Alrighty GOP, It’s Go Time, Let’s See What You Got!

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Oscar Gordon

A Navy Turbine Tech who learned to spin wrenches on old cars, Oscar has since been trained as an Engineer & Software Developer & now writes tools for other engineers. When not in his shop or at work, he can be found spending time with his family, gardening, hiking, kayaking, gaming, or whatever strikes his fancy & fits in the budget.

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506 Responses

  1. Avatar Road Scholar says:

    If history is any guide, #1 & #4.

    What needs to be clearly understood is that the NRA serves the same purpose to the contemporary GOP as unions have served to the Democrats. Some money, especially for state/local elections, and boots on the ground. Dead kids are just collateral damage.Report

  2. fillyjonk fillyjonk says:

    I would also suspect possibly more mandates that require teachers/professors/school support staff/people like nurses to go through training to “identify” and require us to ‘report’ people that “seem” dangerous. Of course, the FBI may continue to sit with their thumbs up their butts but it seems requiring to send already-busy people for more training, and put more responsibility on them, is a thing now.

    I would also not be surprised at 5, with a side-order of “people who are kinda weird get a little extra surveillance” and a lot of weird-but-harmless folks wind up harassed. But maybe some actually-threatening folks (cough whitesupremacists cough) don’t get looked into at all, because double standards are a thing.Report

  3. Avatar Dark Matter says:

    How many dozen times do the police have to be told there’s a serious problem before they do something? The FBI was told twice he was going to be a school shooter. The teachers at the school were expecting it.

    I’m having a hard time convincing myself this is a Presidential level issue. We’ll pass a law that says the authorities are supposed to follow the other laws?

    If someone wants to argue the authorities don’t have the tools they need to deal with someone who openly claims he’s going to shoot up schools, then we can and should have that discussion, but if they had the tools and just didn’t do their jobs then that’s the discussion we should be having.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

      What, specifically, should they have done? Neither forbidding him from buying a firearm, or confiscating one he already owned, was legally possible.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

        *knock knock*

        “Hello officers, what seems to be the matter?”

        “We have a report that there is a creepy kid, possibly mentally disturbed, with poor socialization skills living here, and he is exercising his 2nd Amendment rights to amass a small arsenal of firearms to water the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants.”

        “Yes, that’s very true.”

        “OK, then, just checking. Have a nice day.”Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

          I’ll see if I can find the links later, but in a lot of cases, contact with law enforcement interrupts everything, and the kid (these are not sophisticated killers) just starts talking and talking and talking themselves into some manner of intervention. I mean, the Vegas massacre shooter is likely the exception that proves the rule, but whenever I read about a kid being stopped before the attack, that is the pattern. They just can’t keep quiet.

          Even if no crime is ultimately prosecuted, the plan is thwarted, parents/guardians become aware, the means are removed, counseling is sought, etc.Report

          • Avatar Doctor Jay says:

            I agree with this. Just talking with them, discussing the concerns, generally disrupts everything with most spree killers. I’ve read several accounts of disrupted spree killings, and this is the pattern.

            The common thread among them appears to be feelings of humiliation, and talking to them signals that someone actually cares about them. I think that’s the link.Report

            • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

              Also, these kids rarely live alone. The police can visit, explain their concern, ask the residents if they can search, and even if what they find is not illegal (journals, plans, etc.), bringing it to someones attention, or even bringing their concern to someones attention, can cause the required intervention.Report

            • Avatar James K says:

              @doctor-jay

              Indeed, there are ways law enforcement can solve problems other than emptying their magazine into them.Report

      • Avatar Dark Matter says:

        Neither forbidding him from buying a firearm, or confiscating one he already owned, was legally possible.

        I find it difficult to believe that a gun obsessed mentally ill nut can openly claim, in writing, using his real name, that he’s going to shoot up schools and the authorities don’t have the tools to deal with him.

        If that’s the case then this is good news, we can pass laws to deal with the situation.

        If it’s not the case then we can pass more laws the authorities (and criminals) will ignore.Report

        • Avatar pillsy says:

          1. I’ve seen some arguments back and forth about the extent to which the police can act in situations like this. My understanding is that it varies from state to state, but in most states, including FL, they can’t do a whole hell of a lot.

          2. There is some value in defense in depth, so if they don’t trip one trigger they trick another. Then again there’s also some value in not having laws that are widely flouted or ignored by the relevant authorities.Report

          • Avatar pillsy says:

            Here’s a New Yorker article that touches on the issue, though I’m a little queasy about the focus on mental illness, since mental illness isn’t really the problem and there are a lot of problems with stigmatizing it.Report

          • Avatar Doctor Jay says:

            One thing that police can do is take someone into custody for no reason and hold them for 23 hours on suspicion of X. In other contexts, this is often done.

            This kind of thing, along with talking to people about the evidence, the journals, the plans, the training, what are they going to do with it? It’s very likely to disrupt shootings. We need to engage with people, not back away slowly.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain says:

      The FBI was told twice he was going to be a school shooter.

      The companion question is, of course, the number of people who are reported twice to the FBI as a potential shooter. One a day? Ten? A hundred? In a nation of 320M people, one-in-a-million things happen by the hundreds.Report

      • Avatar pillsy says:

        He was also seriously on the radar of local law enforcement.

        Some of this was almost certainly a failure of the various agencies. But there’s only so much they can do.Report

        • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

          I’m bothered by the use of the word “failure” here since it’s not really clear what they should have done. Not only is it not illegal to be a crazy weirdo who talks about killing people and amasses guns, it’s kind of an American tradition.

          When these things happen, it’s much more common for people to say, “Yeah, we figured he was going to do that at some point,” than, “That guy? No way!” We all know who are crazy dangerous weirdos are. They stand out like sore thumbs and exhibit mostly the same types of dysfunctions. But as far as I’m aware, we don’t have any tools to deal with them. We just have to wait until they kill somebody.Report

          • Avatar pillsy says:

            Maybe the FBI should start roping these assholes into stings with fake guns and bombs, the way they do with moron would-be jihadists.Report

            • Avatar Michael Cain says:

              Bombs, maybe. What kind of gun sting do you run on someone who can legally walk into the corner gun shop and buy anything?Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                True I guess all of them have been with bombs.

                Anyway maybe they should start doing more of that with extremist weirdos who aren’t Muslim, too.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                You try to sell them an obscure but illegal mod to their AR-15. Or an untaxed suppressor.

                Seriously folks, the ways you can make your gun into a felony are legion, especially something like an AR-15. A 19 year old kid is not gonna be aware of them all. Hell, there are folks who are well versed in the ATF regs who still get it wrong.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain says:

                Just for the sake of argument, how long could the FBI or ATF get away with this?

                Jan 3, 20xx
                For Immediate Release
                The FBI is proud to announce that today we obtained our 10,000th conviction under the “Run a scam to sell illegal weapons parts to anyone reported to us as a potential school shooter” program.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                How long have they been suckering bombers with that program?

                Although you have a point, in that the goal of such a program should not be maximum conviction, but intervention and help. Unfortunately, that is not the incentive LE has, so they wait until they can get a conviction, which might be too long.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                Just for instance, the ATF can come after you for having the parts to make a bomb or illegal firearm, you don’t even have to have assembled them into a bomb or firearm. They just need to show you have the parts and some evidence you reasonable have the knowledge and means. IIRC motive is not necessary. I don’t know how often such prosecutions are successful in front of a jury, but it’s enough to get an indictment.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

        Well, when all your focus is on either drugs or Islamic terrorists, it’s hard to dedicate resources to running down more local threats.Report

  4. Avatar pillsy says:

    1 and 4.

    I think they’ll stay the hell away the likes of 3 and 5, not out of any (completely justified) concern about due process and civil liberties, but because they understand that those sorts of measures will subject a lot of their fellow tribe members to a lot of very uncomfortable scrutiny and worse.

    Because when you get down to it, there’s just enough of a chunk of Team Red that’s into Freikorps cosplay and Day of the Rope jerkoff fantasies that the Republican Party leadership knows it would be on very thin ice if they did anything that might inconvenience the extremist Right. This most recent shooter looks to have been a neo-Nazi, and yet people on the Right who are casting about for anything to explain this that isn’t easy access to firearms [1] are really reluctant to even mention this as a possible explanation or reason for concern.

    I don’t even think that the gun control measures being proposed will help very much, if at all, with mass shootings, though a couple of them may be worthwhile for other reasons if they’re implemented properly. I’m extremely frustrated with a lot of my fellow Blue Team members for frequently not knowing what the fuck they’re talking about, or having the vaguest sense that a lot of the objections and distrust they’re facing are somewhat reasonable and can be addressed by actually sitting down and thinking about how to design a goddamn public policy that works.

    But ye gods, at least they aren’t sitting around trying to figure out how to use this as an excuse to sell more guns the way they NRA is.

    [1] Fatherlessness! Godlessness! Violent movies and video games, because guns don’t kill people, imaginary guns kill people!Report

  5. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    @oscar-gordon
    You work your side of the street, I’ll work mine.

    For my fellow liberals, I’m advising that its time to stop with the throat-clearing “Of course we believe in a personal right to a gun…”

    Because I don’t believe that. I think whatever moral principle or logic that supported the 2nd Amendment has long vanished.

    See that’s the thing about absolutist stances, they demand an equal and opposite counter.

    If something so modest as a restriction on crazy people owning guns is fought as ferociously as a total firearm confiscation, then what point is there in nibbling around the edges with timid steps?Report

    • Avatar pillsy says:

      For my fellow liberals, I’m advising that its time to stop with the throat-clearing “Of course we believe in a personal right to a gun…”

      But what if we actually do believe that?

      I mean right now I’m sufficiently on tilt that I’d seriously consider repealing the Second Amendment solely to spite Erick Erickson, but I’m pretty sure that will pass.Report

      • Avatar InMD says:

        This is a part of it. There’s an assumption that there’s a consensus on the broader left around firearm rights/policy that doesn’t exist. My policy preferences line up reasonably well with Bernie world. Still, I support a right to personal ownership of firearms and find most of the reforms circulated every time there’s a massacre to be pointless or maybe counter productive.

        What I’d actually like to learn more about is the Czech model. They recently amended their constitution to include a right to firearm ownership and I think their system could be promising.Report

        • Avatar Morat20 says:

          In a damn sane world, the gun owners would propose sensible legislation to handle firearm ownership, and the use and misuse of.

          Strangely, that doesn’t happen. Mostly what I see are complaints that other people’s proposed laws won’t work, often coupled with sneers that non-owners “clearly know nothing about the topic”.

          Fair enough. I’m happy to let the subject matter experts come up with a way to address this. I’m not going to ask for 100% solutions here, I’m happy with any progress.

          I will note that solutions that start with “more guns” aren’t actually serious solutions. “Arm the teachers” is not a serious solution. “Arm the students” is not a serious solution. Sadly, it seems to be the most common refrain from the NRA. “if only there had been more guns, like the reason teacher’s weren’t strapped is because they just couldn’t get their hands on a gun.Report

          • Avatar pillsy says:

            There are a lot of problems here.

            One, and it’s not the only one, but it looms large, is that roughly half the people calling for gun control are saying, “Nobody wants to take your guns away!” and the other half are saying, “Hell yes we want to take your guns away!”Report

          • Avatar Stillwater says:

            I’m happy to let the subject matter experts come up with a way to address this.

            Wouldn’t those experts say “ban and buy-back”? Which is a non-starter in the US cuz 2A, so we go to other measures which are non-starters too.

            I think the 2A dead-enders and NRA glad-handers are forcing a high-stakes binary choice on the electorate, tho, one with a *lot* of downside risk for their interests.Report

            • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

              A ban is unlikely to work, but a large scale buy-back could make headway.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Works in other countries. A buyback without a ban is pointless.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                I think this may not actually be the case, but it’s probably at its least helpful with mass shootings.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                What’s not the case? That bans work or that buybacks aren’t helpful? Or something else?Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                That bans in the absence of buybacks aren’t going to be helpful. Removing the guns from circulation can plausibly help avoid gun deaths in a number of ways: suicides, spur of the moment homicides, they won’t be stolen and find their way into the hands of criminals, et c.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                This. Buybacks have an efficacy in reducing the number of unwanted and possibly unsecured firearms.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                A fully general buy back would take some guns off the streets, presumably those which the current owners either don’t want or don’t have enough value to profitably sell. Still, I think if we’re talking about a culture of violence which results in frequent massacres using semi-auto military grade weapons, the expert opinion would be to ban the effers and get ’em all of the streets. Without a ban, a buyback on those and similar would be useless. (Well, except for the AR-15 owner who’s become a pacifist I guess.)Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                In that context, then yes, the ban is necessary.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                I would assume a ban would include the destruction of any banned guns (well, after the trial) if encountered. Like, for example, when arresting someone.

                As I understand it now, guns seized from criminals are simply auctioned off.Report

          • Avatar InMD says:

            Well I don’t think more guns are a solution.
            There is a part of me that’s started wondering if a nationwide approach isn’t the best way to go. I’d be curious to hear what other people on the firearm rights side think about that.

            On the mass shooting issue I think the best thing we can do right now is set up something better and more reliable than NICS. If existing systems were being administered properly they could have prevented or at least made far more difficult quite a few recent incidents. The Texas shooting last year and Dylan Roof immediately come to mind.Report

            • Avatar Morat20 says:

              I’d bet real money that if you tried to “properly administrate” these systems, you’d run smack dab into other laws and large loopholes placed squarely in your way. Oh, and probably lack of funding.

              It’s almost as if some lobbyist group as made sure to neuter such things, being unable to repeal it.

              But hey, government can’t do anything right, so it’s probably not that, yeah?Report

            • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

              Better NICS would help, but doing it properly would require a uniform way to report convictions, etc., as well as some kind of registry. Honestly, if the hard core folks don’t give, that will be the victory the Dems will get – something approaching a registry.Report

          • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

            @morat20

            This is kinda the whole point of this post. The GOP is in total control. If they honestly believe that mental health is the issue[1], they have the power to address it.

            My money is on Trump offering up something, but loading it with a poison pill so the Democrats balk, and he can go on Twitter and talk about how the Dems aren’t serious and just want to take everyone’s guns away.

            [1] I don’t, and if they do anything, it will be to criminalize things further with a default attitude of “they’re all evil”.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

      I concur here largely. We need to reduce the number of firearms in the United States.

      The caveat being what to do about the Second Amendment and the huge difficulty in amending the Constitution. I think prohibition is the only Amendment to be repealed totally even slavery was outlawed by adding an Amendment.

      Realpolitiks sucks and the truth is that the Constitution gives overwhelming power to small rural states on guns and immigration. Democrats can turn immigration into a litmus test but guns would turn us really into a permanent minority party.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

        The problem is the relationship Americans have with guns.

        “Relationship” is the word here.

        Our cultural attitude towards guns and gun violence is different than it is in most other countries. Other countries have mental illness, other countries have young men with feelings of humiliation and sexual inadequacy, other countries have domestic violence.

        We have a paradox here in America. Overall crime has declined remarkably, yet the number of spree shootings has risen.
        Overall the number of gun owners has declined, but the shrinking number of gun owners have amassed larger and larger arsenals.

        The cultural attitude towards guns is the only variable at play here.
        In the Wild West, gun control was a common and uncontroversial thing. It was considered reasonable for towns to ban the possession of guns in public.

        In the Golden Age of the early/ mid 20th Century, when most men were veterans of war, it was not controversial for the government to ban fully automatic rifles.

        It would have been striking, alarming to the point of alerting the police, for someone to insist on carrying a pistol into a bar, and talk about “watering the tree of liberty with blood”.

        But that has all changed. Our cultural attitude towards gun violence is different now, unhealthy and disturbed.

        There isn’t some silver bullet/magic potion/One Weird Trick remedy for all this.

        When a culture has developed an unhealthy relationship to guns like a drunk with alcohol, it requires a deep and sustained effort to root it out.

        America has become like a family where one member suddenly acts out in an act of shocking violence. It isn’t enough to focus on the one acting out. It is critical to grasp that there was a culture, an environment that nurtured the dysfunction, that inflamed it, aggravated it, sustained it, and helped it along the way to its conclusion.

        The mental health crisis isn’t with these lone individuals, its with all of us, and how we think about guns and gun violence.Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

          I’ve talked about the culture before, and as time goes on, I am more and more convinced that our gun culture is a trailing indicator of our police culture. The more insular and paranoid the police become, the more insular and paranoid the unhealthy* gun culture becomes. The police get to salve their fears with politicians granting them more legal authority. Everyone else gets to stock up on arms and ammo.

          Turn the police, you’ll turn the culture.

          *There remains a healthy gun culture, but it feels attacked enough that it sides with the unhealthy side in defense.Report

          • Avatar greginak says:

            Veiled, or not even veiled, violent threats have become a bit more of thing with pols and cultural figures. Almost all of them are right wing. That fits in there somewhere. All three groups seem pretty fairly well aligned.Report

            • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

              Pols and leaders reap dividends with that kind of talk. They aren’t going to stop until it stops being to their benefit. Cranking down on gun control won’t stop it.Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                And of course doing nothing on gun control hasn’t’ tamped it down either. I don’t’ see where that stuff stops selling in the near future. The recent shooter apparently said all sorts of racist hateful stuff which of course is pretty common on the ol information superhighway.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                Yep. Need to break that narrative.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater says:

            I’ve talked about the culture before, and as time goes on, I am more and more convinced that our gun culture is a trailing indicator of our police culture.

            Ruby Ridge and Waco.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

            Where Do All These Paranoid Cops Come From, Asks Nation With More Guns Than PeopleReport

            • Avatar Jaybird says:

              Are the cities with really, really good gun control laws more likely to have cops with really, really good community relations?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                I think what you say here is the flaw in Oscar’s general claim. White person gun culture extremism isn’t a response to cop behavior in, say, Baltimore.Report

              • Avatar InMD says:

                I can’t speak for Oscar but you’re misreading him I think. Parts of gun culture imitate the paranoid police culture that prevails in places like Baltimore.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Could be. Black people have been the victims of state power since the founding of the country, tho, so I don’t see how a continuation of those measures would cause the current level extremism in the white community. Seems to me the better explanation is that it’s a response to government power being used against white people. Waco and Ruby specifically.Report

              • Avatar InMD says:

                Well we may just have to disagree. In my various adventures in American gun culture I haven’t found loads of sympathy for survivalists or Branch Davidian types (though it is out there and my guess is that its more prevalent in other regions). What I do hear a frustrating amount of is people echoing the kind of extreme self-defense philosophies and paranoia about crime regularly expressed by the police.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Right, but presumably because they think state power might be directed against them, correct? Where did white people ever get such a strange idea?Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                Right, but presumably because they think state power might be directed against them, correct? Where did white people ever get such a strange idea?

                History, both ours and other people’s.

                Further, it’s not entirely a “gov power will be used against me” thing. There’s also “the gov can’t be trusted to help me if it hits the fan”.

                I don’t own a gun, and generically, I don’t need one. However that can change.

                If one of my daughters picks up a serious stalker, my lack of need for a gun can change. Ditto if I start living out in the country and shooting the wildlife (or the neighbors dog) becomes an issue. Ditto if I move to some area where the police have less than full control. Ditto if I feel I’m a target by someone or something that can introduce violence.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Another way to say it: given that an arms race against cops is obviously ridiculous the motivation for doing so can’t be the rational acceptance of the irrational. So it seems to me much more likely that it’s motivated by something irrational, like a new-found fear that state power can and will be used indiscriminately, not just against “others”.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                @stillwater
                There are bad actors in society. There are irrational actors in society. There are criminals in society. The police’s goals and needs aren’t always well aligned with my needs.

                Society’s need for me to be disarmed may conflict, directly, with my need to defend myself. Not a vague “some generic person” might show up (although there are neighborhoods where that becomes reasonable).

                I’ve encountered two scary people over the years which started conversations with my wife in terms of “should we be armed?”. If you can have a conversation that consists of “what do we do if this person shows up on my doorstep intending to kill people”, then part of that conversation becomes “is it less risky to have a gun in the house than to not have a gun in the house?”Report

              • Avatar InMD says:

                Quite the opposite. It’s because they don’t think state power is capable of protecting them from violent crime (which in certain respects they’re right about) but they also grossly overestimate the threat, especially at the individual level. It is not an arms race against the police. its an arms race against largely imaginary criminals/highly unlikely events that the police insist lurk around every corner.

                Again, Oscar can correct me if I misread him, but this corner of the gun culture doesn’t say ‘I need this to battle the police.’ They say ‘If the police need this, and I can’t rely on the police, I also need this.’Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                Correct, and in a way it makes sense from a Peelian perspective. The public are the police & the police are the public, so one could argue that not only should the public be as well armed as the police in case they have to deal with the same threats.

                Now if you take it a step further, the public should always be able to outgun the police, lest the police get big ideas about who is in charge. This is a stretch these days, but as recently as the the 60’s, it was still an issue that the Feds and state police were unable to maintain control of smaller departments who enjoyed being violent with undesirables.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                I gotta say, I find this really REALLY hard to believe. The claim is that gun rights extremism is not driven by the evidence of cops using military tactics on law abiding citizens, but by police falsely signaling that crime is so out of control, and hence that citizens lives are so at risk, that military grade hardware is necessary to combat the non-existent chaos and danger. That strikes me as overly complicated, to be honest. Seems to me the better explanation is that people are revving the extremism engine because they increasingly (and correctly, probably) perceive that the cops themselves pose a bigger threat to their lives than some hoodlum shaking them down for twenty bucks.

                I mean, I admit that you guys are deeper in that culture than I am, so I concede a disparate level of familiarity with it. But if we’re talking about gun rights extremism, and it’s rise in American culture, I have a hard time believing it’s the result of false signals sent by the cops about uncontrollable crime rather than true signals sent by uncontrollable cops.Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                I gotta say, i think you are off on this Still. I’m familiar with some of the hard core “negative culture” gun rights types. They are terrified of rampaging crime, terrorists and personal fear of people other than cops killing them. Most are very pro-cop/military. There is some suspicion of authority, but that is mostly not the armed authorities. When they are suspicious of armed authorities it is in the frame of action movie tropes: the bureaucratic bosses are PC, paper bound politicians while the front line guys are hard nose street wise goodfellas. Real mens men.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                The claim is that fear of crime is what motivates radical 2A extremism which demands continued access to military grade weaponry and intransigent opposition to regulations on purchases? No, I don’t see the connection there. I mean, I’m trying, but I just don’t see it.

                Btw, you mentioned how the gun rights extremists you know are pro-cop. The Philandro Castillo case seems relevant here.Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                Yeah for the NRA and that ilk they sided with the cops over Castillo in a second. It’s fear of crime and totalitarian gov taking over. They are fine and dandy about gov when they are in power.

                Lots of cops are 2nd A extremists. They are not separate groups.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                @stillwater

                Why can’t it be both? Cognitive dissonance is a thing.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                So…
                I need a gun in case the state is too weak to provide order.

                I also need a gun in case the state is too strong and imposes too much order.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                If you think you don’t need a gun, you’re probably right.

                I fully support you not having one.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                Exactly, and people can hold both ideas in their heads at the same time.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree afterall. 🙂 My experience with gun culture here in Colorado and in Texas is that folks ramped up on gun accumulation/rights aren’t motivated by a threat of crime, but as a bulwark against tyranny.Report

              • Avatar InMD says:

                I strongly suspect there’s a regional bent. People in the urban Mid Atlantic aren’t really worried about federal tyranny. Too many people work for the government, either directly or through contractors. But there are enough islands of poverty and urban decay that violent crime can feel closer than it actually is. Even when it’s phyisically close it usually isn’t demographically.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Probably very true. I lived in Texas during Waco. I bet people in the Mid Atlantic experienced it very differently than Texans did.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Compared to what?

                Lets find a place in America without paranoid and violent cops, and see how their laws compare.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                OK lets go with that.

                SLC is of course predominantly Mormon, and its politics is flavored by their culture and sensibilities.

                Do Mormons dig it when somebody strolls into a mall with an AR-15 slung over their shoulder and starts talking about watering the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants?

                Do Mormons walk into Temple wearing pistols, y’know, for protection?

                In fact, aren’t Mormons the exemplar of a high-trust, high-collaboration society where violence is shunned?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                1. Nope
                2. Nope
                3.They sure are!

                Is that something that follows from laws, though?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                I’m not talking about laws.

                I’m saying American culture has an unhealthy relationship to guns and gun violence, and this society is what produces things like spree shooters.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Well, let’s change the culture.

                I know: let’s have elites make fun of gun owners. They can make Freudian references!Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                That’s probably not helpful, but having in-group leaders that the gun owners respect stoking paranoia seems even less helpful.

                As does having those leaders (and no small number of rank and file gun owners) engage in public imbecility that would tend to validate the decision of those elites to make fun of them.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Wait until you get to the logistics issue of the majority of law enforcement being pro-gun in the places of the country you’re probably most interested in passing pro-children (gun variant) legislation.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                If what this guy did gets legs those folks will be on the outside looking in.

                Top GOP donor: ‘I will not write another check’ until candidates support assault weapons banReport

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                …how did the top donors do in 2016?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                “Good point Stillwater. If GOP donors en masse refuse to fund candidates who oppose an assault weapons ban, it just might pass! Tho of course, as you know, I’m personally opposed to such a ban….”Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Hey, maybe the donors are in charge of the party.

                If they are, you’re 100% right.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                And that’s without getting into my opinion on how well Prohibition (both versions 1.0 and 2.0) and immigration restriction work.

                (Or are we avoiding discussing whether something would work and are, instead, focusing on how good people agree that some things just shouldn’t be condoned by a decent society?)Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                “We” aren’t avoiding anything. You apparently are by not expressing those thoughts and feelings. Give it a go.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Oh, sure.

                Banning guns will work approximately as well as prohibition of alcohol, prohibition of drugs, and immigration restrictions.

                Even if laws are passed, the hammer of the law will also come down hardest on women and minorities and the people we’re most hoping to be restricted by this law won’t be because of the inclinations of law enforcement.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Or it could work like the prohibition on smoking.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                If the suggestion is that we just need to change how the culture views guns, makes sure that everybody knows that they’re *NOT* cool, makes any movie in which guns are shown to be an automatic ‘R’ (some exceptions might be made for historical movies, I guess), and otherwise allows them to be continued to be bought/sold/used (albeit in very limited circumstances), then I’d say that, hey…

                That might actually have a chance of working after 20-30 years.

                I might even be on board with that policy.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                The variable in all this which we really can’t predict is how culture will change.
                But the thing beyond dispute is that it WILL change.
                Gay marriage was a fantasy, until it wasn’t. Smoking was entrenched in American culture, until it wasn’t.

                The contours and agendas of our politics is changing, and will continue to change forever.

                And yes, in fact, it took about 20-30 years for the battle against tobacco to bear fruit, starting from the 1964 Surgeon General’s report.

                The gun culture of the NRA is very narrowly concentrated among a few demographics which punch above their weight politically.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                The variable in all this which we really can’t predict is how culture will change.

                Fair enough.

                Having acknowledged that, is our takeaway “we need to tread cautiously” or “full speed ahead, all we have to do is pass laws that make what we don’t like illegal!”?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                We don’t get to choose whether to either tread carefully, or move full speed ahead.

                Society is always move at breakneck speed, whether we like it or not by events that are beyond our control.
                The 2000 election didn’t hinge upon Middle East politics, but 2004 sure did; The 2004 election didn’t have the economy as its focus, but 2008 sure did.

                America is different today than it was last week and will be different next week than it is today.
                The electorate that goes to the polls in November will be different than the one that went in 2016.

                The Parkland shooting, the expose of Harvey Weinstein, The Russian hacking and Trumps antics have all begun to shape the issues and positions of the midterm elections.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Oh, if we’re relying on the “there’s no such thing as free will” argument, I suppose there’s nothing more that could be added.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                {good job}

                Well, unless people can figure out how to mass produce illegal assault weapons in the Appalachian hills it’s got a pretty good chance of working, seems to me.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                On a 30 year timeline?

                Sure.

                If you’re hoping for a significantly shorter one, I imagine you’ll be surprised by how many illegal assault weapons those hillbillies are capable of assembling.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Assume the ban is forever. People will initially scream with teeth gnashing rage. And then they won’t.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                If we’re hoping for tobacco-level results, we have to use tobacco-level techniques.

                If we use marijuana-level techniques, we’ll find ourselves with marijuana-level results and be asking “but why didn’t this work like the tobacco ban did?”Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                @stillwater

                I imagine you’ll be surprised by how many illegal assault weapons those hillbillies are capable of assembling.

                We’ll have home use 3D printing in this time frame. Owning an “assault rifle” will eventually be a matter of desire.

                The movie (R-rating) part might work. Leaning on the media might also work.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC says:

                This seems to assume there will be an identical illegal demand for guns the same as pot. But there are some rather large differences between the two things:

                First, pot is something people actually enjoy to use, and can use it privately in their own home.

                Whereas guns…don’t really work that way. I mean, people presumably enjoy shooting them, but, that’s not really possible in a universe where they are just illegal.

                I mean, we can probably directly compare that to fireworks…and notice that the market in illegal fireworks is pretty small, and while people often ignore state law there on certain days, there’s not some massive firework smuggling system going on. So the ‘shooting for pleasure’ people will probably stop.

                So, once we get past ‘Likes to collect operate guns as a pure hobby, and will presumably move on to other more-legal hobbies. Like archery or something.’, in my mind there are basically two sorts of ‘massive amounts of guns’ gun owners left:

                The actually unhinged people who seriously consider that it might be fun to shoot a lot of people, and people play-acting about the government.

                The people play-acting own guns mostly to show off to other people…who will get caught, because telling everyone you have illegal things that half the population is scared of is dumb. Or they will give up because they can’t show them off, and maybe end up with old rusting guns they managed to keep and some half-built 3D printed thing, all hidden in a basement closet that they can show some close friends, and that’s it. Those people are not important.

                The unhinged people, be they unhinged because they actually believe the stuff everyone else is play-acting about the government, or just unhinged for other reasons…turn out to be really bad at criminal conspiracies. They telegraph what they are doing for years. They tell other people their violent fantasies.

                Can they locate and purchase contraband guns? Maybe. Can they make their own? Possibly. Can they manage it without being caught? Almost certainly no.

                Second…people generally do not care about pot smokers, or even dealers. I do not smoke pot, but I know several people who do, and I know of at least two who ‘deal’, although their dealing is basically ‘They buy from a real dealer and split the cost and pot with a few others and make a small profit from their efforts’.

                I’ve never considered telling the police about the ones that aren’t really my friends. Why would I? I don’t care what they do…and note I live in Georgia, a state where pot is flatly illegal.

                But guns? Okay, if I had a friend who was mostly responsible and he had, hidden securely, some secret hacked-together gun for some sort of hobbyist reason…yeah, okay, fine. Although if he keeps showing it off, someone else is going to turn him in.

                But some guy who built an illegal arsenal? Hell no am I staying silent about that. Although I will be reporting them anonymously because that guy is crazy.

                Likewise, an illegal gun _dealer_? A guy who seems to be selling guns to anyone who wants them? Yeah, I’m reporting them.

                And it’s not just me. While it has only recently been that a majority of Americans want pot legal, well before that the vast number of Americans didn’t care enough about pot to bother to report anyone for it. Americans generally think of pot as victimless, unless children are somehow involved. (Although only pot, and maybe ecstasy. Cocaine and meth, people are not so apathetic about.)

                Whereas we’re starting with about half of Americans having no such opinion about currently-legal guns, and wishing someone would do things about them now…and that amount will only get larger if they’re illegal.

                You are correct that some of the culture needs to change to make guns verboten. …but the rest of American exists too. And people don’t walk around with signs on their head.

                So I think assuming it will be as easy to get hands on illegal guns as it is on illegal pot does not really make sense.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                How easy is it to undocumentedly immigrate into the country?Report

              • Avatar DavidTC says:

                It doesn’t matter how high the supply could be if the demand isn’t there, and the few people who do demand the guns are somewhat crazy and not particularly competent at negotiating the black market.

                There will, of course, be some demand, and thus guns smuggled in, because I left an important type of gun owner off my list: Actual criminals who use guns. These criminals will be supplied by a black market, basically the same as they are now.

                But the thing is, making that into a pure black market, where every aspect of gun ownership is illegal and they have to be smuggled across the border in crates of fish, instead of a gray market where legal guns constantly enter it and the illegal part is often only the last step of selling to felons, will vastly increase the price.

                We think of drug prohibition as a failure, but it’s actually pretty good at increasing the cost of drugs by hundreds, sometimes thousands, of what farming such drugs should cost. So much that various replacements have been invented that can be manufactured even closer. PCP and meth for cocaine, synthetic nonsense for pot, etc. None of those would exist in any sort of free market, but moving drugs has become so prohibitively expensive that people try to _make_ them where the demand is. (None of that should be taken as evidence the war on some drugs is a good thing, I’m just saying prohibition does really cause an increase in drug prices.)

                If gun prohibition multiplies the cost of legal guns by a mere ten times, it would put them out of the range of a lot of criminals…and that’s what has already happened in other countries. I once read a story about how criminal gangs in, I think Australia, sometimes go in for joint-ownership of a single gun.

                And that’s illegal guns in a world where vast manufacturing plants are allowed to operate legally in the US, and smugglers could ‘easily’ purchase American guns and smuggle them in.

                In a world where that is not how it works, where gun smugglers cannot walk into a gun dealer in the US and buy guns legally, a world where there is only a hundred thousand guns made a year, for law enforcement and military, instead of 11 million…yeah, the cost jumps to hundreds of times as much, and we start getting local machine shops (Probably car chop shops, if we had to guess) making ‘local substitutions’, crappy little 3D printed things that will work for a bit before exploding and crippling their users.

                The ‘synthetic cannabis’ of guns, if you will.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                So my first question was “Is that how it works in Chicago?”

                And then I thought “hey, let me google that for me!”

                I found this article about the various states and how much it costs to own a gun there.

                And, yeah, it’s a lot more expensive to own a gun in Illinois than in, say, Iowa.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                A 3D printer can make all the plastic parts. A home CNC can make almost all of the metal parts, and what I thought was the goal too far, rifling the barrel, is actually doable in a home shop, as long as you aren’t going for match grade rifling.

                So yeah, those Hillbillies can crank ’em out.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe says:

                If what this guy did gets legs those folks will be on the outside looking in.

                Top GOP donor: ‘I will not write another check’ until candidates support assault weapons ban

                The man behind the Jeb! Superpacs is now bringing his considerable skills and influence to gun control? Man, ain’t nothing can stop this movement now.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                This seems like yet another example of Murc’s Law to me. And a more frustrating one than usual, because I actually think the pro-gun folk are actually substantially right about a lot of the issues and no one can hear them over the lemon-blending and TV smashing.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                From the internet:

                Murc’s law, for the uninitiated, is the widespread assumption that only Democrats have any agency or causal influence over American politics.

                It’s weird how, in this case, the people that you think are substantially right about a lot of the issues are the people you’re assuming don’t have moral agency.

                Maybe they do have it but they’re using it in service to the thing that (even) you think they’re right about.

                Why should people who are right about a particular issue exercise their moral agency to change their opinion about it?

                I mean, I understand why people who are wrong about it should.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                You’re misinterpreting: Murc’s Law is about the erroneous assumption that only Democrats have any agency or causal influence over American politics.

                I’m assuming the pro-gun people do have moral agency, and that they (by and large) use that moral agency that makes the cultural conflicts around guns much worse, and generally contributes to the overall toxicity of gun culture.

                Their reasonable policy preferences and interests don’t help.

                Maybe this is OK if you think literally nothing should be done, but even there it’s a high risk strategy. The Democrats could win some elections. It’s happened before.

                The last time they held Congress and the White House, they didn’t do anything on guns, it was because guns were a low salience issue. Overall gun crime was down and Sandy Hook hadn’t happened.

                Next time? It’s a lot less likely. And if they find their way into power with a base that’s convinced that gun owners are just a bunch of unhinged weirdos who are compensating for something, the entirely legitimate concerns of those gun owners are going to be swept aside.

                That doesn’t seem good to me. So I would like some of that agency those pro-gun advocates have to maybe be turned to something other than convincing all of Team Blue what asshats they are.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Eg, an article I linked the last time Jaybird and I talked about this stuff:

                Poll: Strong Majorities Of Republicans Support Various Gun-Control Measures, Including Banning Bump Stocks

                From the article:

                – Universal background checks: 87 percent of GOPers at least “somewhat” support the idea.
                – Barring people on the no-fly list, which is based on arbitrary federal determinations, from buying weapons? 83 percent Republican support.
                – Assault-weapon ban? 65 percent.
                – High-capacity magazines? 64 percent.
                – Three-day waiting period? 72 percent.

                And more! Read the article! Yet, even with this degree of support it’s the Dems fault that none of these measures become law.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                Poll: Strong Majorities Of Republicans Support Various Gun-Control Measures, Including Banning Bump Stocks

                Maybe that’s not enough. If two thirds of the GOP is in favor of something against guns, maybe that’s another way of saying the Guns! faction of the GOP is adamantly against it.Report

              • Avatar PD Shaw says:

                In Illinois, Republicans sponsored a bill to ban bump stocks last year, but it failed to pass because Democrats opposed it for not going far enough. I don’t see how that can be interpreted as anything other than the Democrats want the issue more than the policy.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                The last time they held Congress and the White House, they didn’t do anything on guns, it was because guns were a low salience issue.

                When they did introduce a bill in 2013 it had 50+ votes but not enough to overcome a McConnell led filibuster.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Hey, you’re the one who used the term without explaining it and I copy/pasted the definition of the first site to use the term in Google results.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                In fact, aren’t Mormons the exemplar of a high-trust, high-collaboration society where violence is shunned?

                So if we were all Mormons, and not a multicultural society, then we’d have the answer right there.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Why do you think that makes the difference?Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                I think if difficult cultures (the very definition of multiculturalism) have different tolerances of violence, then it’s hard to be high-trust.Report

              • Avatar Slade the Leveller says:

                Jaybird: Are the cities with really, really good gun control laws..

                Are there any left post-Heller?Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

                There might be other factors besides gun ownership like race that indicate community cop relationships. Cough Castile coughReport

            • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

              Where do all these violent people who are willing to shoot at the police come from, asks the nation that perpetuates violent black markets?

              To add: We’ve always had lots of guns, IIRC it wasn’t much of a problem before prohibition, or between prohibition & the start of the drug war.Report

              • Avatar InMD says:

                This is true and it’s part of why comparisons to the UK and Australia are so misleading. They didn’t solve a problem. They never really had one.Report

          • Avatar InMD says:

            I’ve observed this as well. I hate it. The place where I target shoot stocks all kinds of faux law enforcement crap. I’ve spoken to the guy who owns the range. He claims he refuses to let police certify there due to their support for the big changes we had in 2013. Nevertheless, if you need a t-shirt with some asinine slogan you’d see over at Police One it’s the place to go.Report

          • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

            @oscar-gordon @chip-daniels

            But there is a huge overlap between gun people and pro police people. The idea of a brave ban of armed civilians fighting a tyrannical government is silly and absurd.

            But humans have deep and unbreakabke capacities for wish thinking. There was the guy on Jason’s Facebook feed who seemed absolutely convinced that it was America’s armed nature that prevented Japanese invasion during WW2 as opposed to a lack of capability and the Pacific Ocean.Report

            • Avatar pillsy says:

              I’ve seen multiple people switch midstream from, “We need guns to protect us from tyranny!” to, “Well, if you take the guns away, mass shooters will just use sporks or something!”

              The two assertions are, shall we say, in considerable tension with one another.Report

              • Avatar InMD says:

                This is true and accurate. It’s right there with my facebook feed, where people who have spent the last 12 months posting about how our government has been taken over by outright fascists are now demanding that same government go out and disarm the citizenry.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                Anyone who thinks that the solution to government tyranny lies in the 45 you bought last week, is…let’s just say “deluded” is the polite term.

                An armed citizenry protecting us against the tyranny of government is a fairy-tale Americans like to tell themselves, in order to avoid actually taking responsibility and doing something about it.

                It’s so much more pleasant to conjure heroic fantasies out of our Founding Myths then get up off our asses.Report

              • Avatar InMD says:

                I have mixed feelings about the ‘resistance to tyranny’ thing. To the extent there’s something to it I think it’s that firearm ownership in our culture/system is a stick in a bundle of rights that’s hard to mess with without implicating a lot of other things. But let’s just put that aside.

                What’s in practice being demanded is more mass criminalization. I do think there’s some serious dissonance in saying that the government is fascist or supports the agenda of fascists but then demanding that government is given a while host of new law enforcement powers.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                My thoughts on this are complicated.

                On the one hand, I think “resisting tyranny” is a daft reason to own a gun, and an incoherent justification for gun rights.

                On the other hand, it can’t possibly work if guns aren’t dangerous.[1]

                On the grasping hand, I think it’s rather amazing that just as a lot of the Left was freaking out about fascists, the NRA started talking about how individuals needed guns not to protect against tyranny, but to protect against protesters from the Left.

                They blew a pretty big opportunity there in pursuit of some particularly creepy culture war bollocks.

                [1] This is also true of the (IMO) eminently sensible and very common justification of having them for self defense.Report

              • Avatar InMD says:

                I’ve never been an NRA member and their handling of left wing protest and episodes like Philando Castille has further illuminated what they are.

                But really you don’t see any dissonance here? What kind of #resistance gives up its right to be armed to those it claims must be resisted? And anyway, see my comment to Morat above. I don’t want to go down a path arguing arguing a position I don’t really hold. There’s some serious inconsistency (or at least lack of introspection) between saying the government is corrupt and being woke about police abuse in one breath but then calling for new policies that would empower and exacerbate those people/problems in the next.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                There’s some serious inconsistency (or at least lack of introspection) between saying the government is corrupt and being woke about police abuse in one breath but then calling for new policies that would empower and exacerbate those people/problems in the next.

                I agree strongly with this, and often find myself making the same argument, occasionally even with a bit of success.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                What kind of #resistance gives up its right to be armed to those it claims must be resisted?

                Me, that’s who! Me me me!

                See, this is why I keep coming back to the culture, and our relationship to gun violence.

                I yield to no one in my loathing for the President, but I don’t see gun violence as the answer.

                Its this culture that I see as being sick and toxic, the notion that we are constantly in peril, with darkness and evil lurking at our door.
                That I am alone, able to trust in nothing but my firearm and ability to kill my neighbor, my Congressman, the President.

                This culture of fear and suspicion is what produces tyranny. In virtually every death of a tolerant peaceful free nation, it welcomes tyranny as the savior of violence and chaos.Report

              • Avatar InMD says:

                Fair enough in a vacuum. But none of this happens in a vacuum.

                Edit to add, I too strongly dislike our culture’s naive views on violence and wish we could change that. I don’t think more criminalization will meaningfully impact that problem.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                The idea that gun ownership will protect us from tyranny of government is a fantasy. One whose costs to indulge in are becoming intolerable.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                Yep. And who feeds that fear? Pols for votes & police for budget.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                ’ve never been an NRA member and their handling of left wing protest and episodes like Philando Castille has further illuminated what they are.

                The people who literally write the gun laws?

                You wonder why the background check system doesn’t work well? Think about how serious the NRA is about background checks, and realize no law passes Congress on guns — or remains for long, without quiet amendments buried in other bills — without NRA support.Report

              • Avatar InMD says:

                The NRA certainly isn’t pushing for administrative improvement but the bigger issue is federalism. Many states also have their own background check requirements and a lot of the agencies that administer these transactions aren’t exactly well run or tech savvy. Things get lost, certain types of findings don’t translate well across jurisdictions. Dumb yes, but there’s more to it than the federal gun lobby.Report

              • Avatar J_A says:

                The NRA certainly isn’t pushing for administrative improvement but the bigger issue is federalism. Many states also have their own background check requirements and a lot of the agencies that administer these transactions aren’t exactly well run or tech savvy. Things get lost, certain types of findings don’t translate well across jurisdictions. Dumb yes,……

                You mean that having 53 jurisdictions (or several thousands, if we are counting local ones) doing the same thing their own way is not a great idea?

                I’m shockedReport

              • Avatar DavidTC says:

                What kind of #resistance gives up its right to be armed to those it claims must be resisted?

                I want to second @chip-daniels with my answer:

                The people who still think we live in a democracy operated by rule of law. It is…striking how the left believes that, and the right has a lot of problems with that concept.

                Our government, despite people trying to move it into somewhat fascist behavior, is nowhere at the point they need to be resisted with violence, thanks to the rest of our system working as intended. The only part that isn’t is that Congress is acting as enabler.

                And at this point, the government’s worse tendencies are restricted enough that they just need to be voted out. The attempted fascists, and their enablers. (Or even better, vote out enough of their enablers that investigation and removal of them can begin.)

                Now if Trump tries some extralegal way of stopping either of those, and that method works and the courts do not stop him…well, it’s probably not time to go to violence either, but ‘inability to change government via elections’ has to, at least, be true before violence can even hypothetically be an option.

                But there are a lot of options still on the table before that. I would suggest the next option, if Trump was to extra-legally remain in power, or extra-legally keep his enablers in place, would be general boycotts, a threat to deliberately crash the economy, putting pressure on the business community and the wealthy.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                The obvious solution is only trans people should be allowed to have guns.

                Kidding aside, “arm trans women” is getting said on my Facebook feed a lot these days.Report

              • Avatar Damon says:

                “Kidding aside, “arm trans women” is getting said on my Facebook feed a lot these days.”

                I support this. If you’re part of a group that has experienced some oppression or harassment, I think it’s a damn good idea to be able to defend yourself–armed and unarmed. The idea of relying on someone else to protect you is just foolish.

                “Andy (now Andi) get your gun”.Report

              • Avatar InMD says:

                @veronica-d

                Didn’t see your comment until just now but this is one of the reasons I think the left ought to be more skeptical about gun control as typically proposed. There’s a history of the authorities chosing not to protect trans people, gays, racial minorities, and others from private violence. I don’t want to make criminals out of people in those kinds of situations and I’ve never understood the enthusiasm for effectively doing that.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC says:

                There’s a history of the authorities chosing not to protect trans people, gays, racial minorities, and others from private violence.

                There’s also a pretty long history of authorities choosing to harass and arrest and even kill those exact same people when those people do arm themselves, and especially when they defend themselves against private violence by members of the majority. Regardless of the legality of their gun ownership and their actions.

                If the authorities are okay with people harming a group via private violence, they’re not really going to be okay with that group ‘fighting back’. The problem is not authorities somehow ‘exempting’ that group from protection from the law (Why would they do that?), the problem the authorities in those circumstances, specifically want harm to come to that group but (sometimes) don’t feel like stepping forward publicly under the color of the law to do it, so let other people do it.

                But give them any legal excuse to do that, any reason they can hassle the group itself, like gun ownership, and they will.

                I am not saying those people should not attempt to defend themselves, if they think that will help. Maybe it will save some lives, I dunno.

                But in my opinion, ‘persecuted minorities should arm themselves’ is not a particularly workable solution for them to stop being persecuted, and is pretty dangerous.(1) If the majority, and the legal system, is not on their side and willing to see them assaulted and killed, ‘arming themselves’ just gives those people another point of attack….oh, look, now they have guns and the police can _shoot_ them.

                1) I admit, there is a _certain point_ where that works, but that point is well past ‘individuals arming themselves’ and somewhat closer to the Black Panthers, or at least the stated mission of the Black Panthers. (The Black Panthers notable had a problem of their leadership stupidly attacking the police, but their _stated_ original mission was basically armed patrols.)

                It is worth pointing out that the authorities did everything they could to destroy the Black Panthers, even to the point to trying to start gang wars.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                @davidtc — Yeah exactly.

                People are just so ignorant of what it is like to be broadly hated. They don’t have the first clue.

                Imagine if I had sex with you (cis dudes), and then after the fact decided to murder you and brutally disfigure your body. Then imagine I got caught. Would I likely go to jail?

                You can do it to me you know. You all get that, right? You can just fuck me and murder me with a reasonable chance of getting away with it. No, really. Even if you “get caught.”

                You cannot murder a thing. No one much cares if you stomp a crayfish to death, nor a trans woman.

                It’s damn offensive when people act like, hey, just tote around a goddam AR-15 when you go on a date and you can live a nice safe life. Good fucking grief people.

                I suppose if I accept living life like a war zone — but fuckit, is your life a war zone too? Does that sound fun?

                Yeah I suppose the cops are brutal monsters — along with our president — but I doubt any of you want to live your life in a militia compound. Most of you are soft as fuck anyhow. (Be honest.)

                Civilization matters. Community matters. Governance matters. We have police for a reason.

                Stop voting for assholes and bigots. There is zero room for the (current) republican party among decent human beings.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                @veronica-d

                Sorry to go off topic here, but recently you shared an article about an emotional condition that is closely associated with ADHD; you had indicated you just learned about it. I am trying to find the link again but can’t seem to. Can you share it with me when you get a chance? Thanks.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                @kazzy — I don’t recall the specific link, but this will get you started:

                https://www.google.com/search?q=rejection+sensitive+dysphoriaReport

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                Thanks so much, @veronica-d . The girlfriend’s daughter is almost 11 and has an ADHD diagnosis and some of what’s described jives with some social difficulties she’s experienced. This is offering her/us some new perspectives on understanding and supporting the kiddo.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                @kazzy — The fucked up thing is, the whole “RSD” thing is the theory of one doctor. This is not the mainstream understanding of ADHD.

                That said, it’s fucking true, so damn true. When I talk to other ADHD folks about this, they’re like, “OMG that has a name!!! It’s not just me! I’m not just a social misfit with weak character!”

                That matters a lot. Understanding why I suffer, and in turn overreact, the way “normal” people do not — it’s nice to know that is a thing I share with others. It gives me a vocabulary to talk about it and address it.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                I just read that for the first time.

                I’ve never heard of it before, unsurprisingly, since it’s just one guy.

                But I was diagnosed with ADHD almost 15 years ago, and the shock of recognition I felt upon reading that… is something else.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                @pillsy — Right! I think over time this will become a more standard view. It’s just so obviously correct.Report

              • Avatar Sam says:

                Gripping hand?

                😉Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                I’m pinning that one on autocorrect.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Well, the Trump admin certainly has a fascistic feel, to be sure. Did the Obama Admin? Depends, I guess. I mean, Operation Jade Helm was a go until real patriots exposed the Marxist Kenyan Muslim’s desire to impose martial law on a third of the country, so….

                One thing all sides share right now, atleast at the national level, is a distrust of the other side’s competence and ethics in governing. That’s just as true of the above-the-fray types as it is hard-core liberals and conservatives. And that distrust even extends to shared doubts about the so-called deep state, the hidden and (obviously!) corrupt inner-workings of entrenched power. What’s new, seems to me, is that people increasingly agree that even their own side sucks. The above the frayers see that too, even as they smugly say “I told you so” to score some last self-satisfying points as intellectualism in politics erodes before their eyes.

                Maybe we all need to focus more on returning power to the states.Report

              • Avatar InMD says:

                For the last year I feel like I’ve been getting an education in what living in a deep red state must have felt like in 2008. And that’s not to compare Obama and Trump on politics or competency. It’s more that I am confronted daily with a level of hysteria that doesn’t make much sense to me at the individual level, especially from people I once thought rational.

                My hope for the Trump administration was that the idiocy of it so delegitimized the presidential soap opera that our politics has become that we found our way to a more levelheaded, less news cycle driven type of politics. That was pie in the sky to begin with. The more I think about it, the more I realize destroying the presidency probably would come with its own set of disasters. I have no solutions, other than maybe read less and drink more.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

                That’s a BSDI argument I honestly don’t understand. Obama was a bog-standard Democrat. Trump is a terrible person, a terrible, leader, and a terrible president, seventeen different sorts of disaster waiting to happen.Report

              • Avatar InMD says:

                Re-read what I wrote. Obama being a normal Democrat, doesnt mean that all is healthy in our executive branch, or that as a polity, we aren’t prone to irrational levels of hysteria.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

                Hysteria in defense of liberty is no vice.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                BDSI means you don’t have to reassess your priors. It means you can ignore dealbreaker issues by simply removing them from the table.

                After all, if both sides support that dealbreaker issue, then you obviously can’t vote based on that. Both sides are the same!

                So you can go ahead and vote on abortion, or gay rights, or just for your Team — because all the “Bad stuff” the other side does it to.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                After all, if both sides support that dealbreaker issue, then you obviously can’t vote based on that.

                But… this is entirely rational? There are some issues, including ones that matter to me, where there is little or no meaningful difference between the parties, and indeed I don’t vote based on them.

                This doesn’t mean I don’t have extremely strong partisan preferences. Oh my no.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                Of course it’s rational when it’s true.

                The irrational part is where you force both sides do it. Where you grab onto anything, even just a mere assertion or flat out just make it up, in order to claim “both sides do it”.

                Surely you’ve heard people say “Well, X must do it as well. They all do it”? No evidence, no reason to think that — except it gets you off the hook for a deal breaker.

                The irrational part — the logical fallacy equivalent — is basically lying to yourself about what is and isn’t a deal breaker. Where you basically rationalize away that deal breaker. Everyone’s lying, it’s a conspiracy, or “both sides do it”.

                It’s not really a deal breaker, but you don’t want to admit that to yourself. “I could never vote for someone who sexually assaulted anyone” becomes “Well, they’re both guilty of it so I’ll just vote for who I was gonna vote for anyways”. Because sexual assault isn’t a deal breaker to you.

                It’s just a preference, but you don’t want to admit it.

                Roy Moore, for instance. You’d think pedophilia would be something of a deal breaker, that people would balk at voting for a pedophile just because he was of the right party. And they would. So clearly Roy Moore wasn’t a guy who liked high school aged girls — he was just a victim of a conspiracy.

                Now they can vote for Moore without voting to support married adults cruising high school chicks.

                “Both Sides Do It” can be true. But in my experience, it’s used 99.9% of the time like whataboutism — a way to put aside an issue entirely, to pretend it’s not there, so you don’t have to think about it or admit to yourself that it should be a factor. And so you don’t have to admit to yourself that no, you don’t care if you’re voting for a pedophile as long as he’s on “your side”.Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor says:

                That’s almost the opposite of what BSDI means to me.

                For me, it’s “Sure, Trump paid for sex with porn stars and concealed it during the campaign, and sure he takes eight-figures of vacation every month, but Democrats are no better because Obama once put his feet up on his desk, and wore a tan suit.”

                It’s the idea that to be impartial is to be in the middle of whatever you’re reporting, rather than telling the truth.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Same for me. My best-case, hoped-for scenario was a controlled brush-fire to clean up the grounds. Now it’s in the canopy.Report

            • Avatar LeeEsq says:

              There were also people convinced that America’s tyranny was going to be leftist populist Venezuela type tyranny than a rightist style tyranny despite everything in America history including the Trump administration to the contrary.Report

          • Avatar James K says:

            @oscar-gordon

            I wonder if its that the police cause popular armament, or whether there’s a common cause. Your culture has gotten progressively more paranoid over time, especially after 9-11. This could be jointly affecting popular gun ownership (see: people’s perception of crime rising even as crime falls) and police officers wanting more and more guns.Report

            • Avatar Morat20 says:

              Have you seen some of the funner NRA commercials? Paranoia is good for business.

              Some businesses, at least.Report

            • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

              I think it lags police attitudes. Related to @chip-daniels comment, the issue isn’t so much big cities have SWAT teams and such, because they have those kinds of problems.

              It’s when your town of 10,000, or your county of 20,000* has a SWAT team and an APC and the cops run around in their tacticool gear on a regular basis and serve minor warrants in it. That bleeds into the population, makes them think things are way worse than they are, gets them nervous and paranoid.

              *Or a more populous place with a crime rate measured below 1/100,000.Report

        • Avatar Morat20 says:

          It’s also worth noting that Yet Another Factor in gun issues is that…well, if your city, state, or town makes it difficult to acquire a firearm — you can drive two hours and pick one up somewhere it’s not so hard. And then transport it back.

          “X has strict gun control laws, and nothing has happened” is pretty much countered by that particular issue. State’s are incredibly hampered by this — the “laboratories of democracy” really can’t do any decent experiments without, effectively, massive contamination.Report

          • Avatar InMD says:

            @morat20

            This is inaccurate. To legally buy a firearm from a dealer in another state the firearm needs to be transferred from an FFL dealer in the state of purchase to an FFL dealer in the state where the purchaser is a citizen. The in-your-state FFL dealer is subject to the laws of that state and it’s illegal for that FFL dealer to transfer you something outlawed in that state.

            Now maybe there’s something to the idea that people in more controlled states go to less controlled states to find someone who will do a straw sale. However you can’t just walk into a store over state lines and buy something you can’t in the state you live in.Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

          Ed Brayton has some related thoughts.Report

      • Avatar Dark Matter says:

        We need to reduce the number of firearms in the United States.

        My expectation is cutting the number in half would do little (or nothing) if it was taken from the “law abiding citizens” half.

        If we’re going to run around repealing amendments, then I suggest something on the first so we can stop glorifying these types of crimes. He did this to get in the news and become a name. He succeeded. The next guy will do the same and also succeed.Report

  6. Avatar Slade the Leveller says:

    To summarize the options: no-/the wrong thing. I’m sure they’re right on track to pursue either path.Report

  7. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    1 and 4. Maybe turning them into domestic terrorists but probably not.

    I think the big issue and it strangely leads to a GOP advantage is that they have a lot more single issue voters. The deregulation and tax cut people will stick with the GOP even if they hate the parties hawkishness or social conservatism. The Evangelicals will sell their souls for the “right” judges on the Bench. Ditto with anti immigration folks and guns.

    Meanwhile Democratic voters have a lot of issues they care about but maybe not to the same levels of passion. They also seem to have more dealbreakers.

    Democrats are getting more and more mad about the gun issue but gun nuts are digging in their heels and going further to the right. I can’t tell how much this is because they realize time for them will soon be up.Report

  8. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    That being said I am hesistantv to label mass shootings about mental illness rather than evil. There are lots of under treated or non treated mentally ill people in the United States. The overwhelming majority of them are harmless.

    Chronic homelessness is often an issue of nontreated mental illness but we don’t do anything there.

    The GOP just doesn’t want to spend money on any social service. Not one cent. Look at Trump’s proposed budget and all the cuts to social servicesReport

  9. Avatar greginak says:

    The current budget has cuts to funding for MH care and Medicaid.Report

  10. Avatar dragonfrog says:

    There is absolutely no way they are going to do #2, and they will fit tooth and nail against it if the Democrats propose to do so.

    Mass shooters in the US are overwhelmingly angry white men who hate the kinds of people the GOP also dislike – women, Latinx, black, brown, Muslim. Do they even generally acknowledge Dylan Roof or the Nazi who rammed the crowd of demonstrators as terrorists?

    Do they want to formalize a change that will make clear just what percentage of domestic terrorism is by their own camp? They certainly do not.

    Heck this latest guy even trained with white nationalistic militias, Trump’s own biggest fan base. If there was any school shooting that would lead them to contemplate #2 (and I maintain there isn’t), this one sure ain’t it.Report

      • Avatar pillsy says:

        Yes, they’re overwhelmingly angry men, but not much more or less white than the population as a whole.Report

        • Avatar pillsy says:

          Speaking of demographics, though, Ross Douthat makes the rather weird but also weirdly reasonable-seeming suggestion of age-based restrictions:

          Perhaps the self-arming of citizens could be similarly staggered. Let 18-year-olds own hunting rifles. Make revolvers available at 21. Semiautomatic pistols, at 25. And semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15 could be sold to 30-year-olds but no one younger.

          School shooters tend to be young, and violence itself is something of a young man’s game.

          The whole column is worth a read.Report

          • Avatar LeeEsq says:

            Such a regulatory regime could probably survive Constitutional scrutiny. Preventing mass shootings would be seen as a legitimate government function by just about any court and while the 2nd Amendment is in the Constitution, it isn’t considered a fundamental liberty like the 1st Amendment.Report

            • Avatar Morat20 says:

              That’d need to be attached with other laws, increasing the legal and civil liabilities for “loaning” guns or straw purchases.

              Otherwise Uncle Jim would just buy the AR-15 for Little Timmy. Or he’d buy one “for himself” that would just be stored at Timmy’s house, with Timmy knowing the combination. Wink-wink, hint-hint.

              Unless we’re willing to nail people to the wall for stuff like that, you might as well not even pass the damn law. It’d prevent a few edge cases, would rile the NRA up enough to probably pass a law mandating the government provide fire arms to the poor (after all, it’s not much of a right if can’t afford it), and basically be nothing but a cry of “nanny-state liberalism”.

              *shrug*. I’m personally for universal registration and strict legal and criminal liability. Have all the guns you want. You’re on the hook if someone gets shot by one of them. Which you should be anyways, but for some reason it doesn’t work that way.

              Two kids playing with a gun, and one gets shot. I hear “tragic accident” far more than “Gun-owner charged with negligent homicide for allowing children to get ahold of his gun”.Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor says:

                I’m not sure I like strict criminal liability, but I damn sure like strict civil liability plus mandatory insurance.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq says:

                Outside abolishing the Second Amendment, getting the insurance companies involved along with strict civil liability would be the best way to reduce gun violence.Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor says:

                Agreed. If we really want to punish irresponsible gun owners and criminals, it seems to me we could do a lot worse than holding the last registered owner of any weapon civilly responsible for any damage the weapon causes (absent a pre-incident theft report) and require meaningful insurance policies.

                The insurers would swiftly handle safety protocols, people who get hurt would get paid, and people who are frequently “losing” their guns to criminals would be swiftly identified. Of course, a non-paper registry would vastly improve things, but given that battle has been lost before it seems a tactical error to wrap it into something like this.Report

            • Avatar George Turner says:

              The snag is that 17 or 18 is the starting age for militia service. From a state standpoint, every 18 year old needs to be armed up for combat.Report

          • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

            I’m good with that.Report

          • Avatar Nevermoor says:

            Runs square in the “old enough to die for their country…” issue, though.Report

          • Avatar Marchmaine says:

            I’d even be fine with various classifications of firearms… something like:

            Class A: .22/.17 caliber
            Class 1: All Caliber >.243*, Manual Action, maximum capacity < 7 rounds
            Class 2: Semi-Auto Handguns, all calibers, still must stay 7 rounds and all low recoil platforms/rounds (e.g. .223, 5.56, 7.42×39 and the like)

            Basically Class A and Class 1 will take almost all Hunters out of the mix… 99% of all firearms used for hunting will conform. It also covers personal defense revolvers and shotguns.

            Class 2 could have age/education requirements – presumptive that all applicants will be approved (this is your typical cc handgun, e.g. Ruger LCP380 or LC9)

            Class 3 could have further age/education/proficiency requirements with additional scrutiny. Any semi-auto high velocity round with less than 10 ft-lb recoil is something I’d target for Class 3 or greater. For handguns, its the capacity that tips it for me.

            * Ammunition is tricky, but the nexus between recoil and the platform delivery systems makes the .223/5.56 the beginners choice… it is sooo easy to shoot and control… if you read various blogs (if you haven’t shot them yourself), the degree of difficulty slowly ramps up through 6.5 and 7.42 until you get significant pushback among gun users at the .308 – which is just to say that if we want to define Assault Weapon, it has nothing to do with the form and everything to do with the recoil, control and ballistics. The only weapon system that I’m personally concerned right now with is the .223 semi-auto.

            Reference Chart for Recoil by Caliber
            Any semi-auto high velocity round with less than 10 ft-lb recoil is something I’d target for Class 3 or greater.

            Of course, all guns are potentially lethal, but if you want to keep a significant segment of gun owners out of the fight… keep Class A and Class 1 as is.

            I’m perfectly willing to haggle over Classes 2 – n. Those are other people’s guns. 🙂Report

        • Avatar Burt Likko says:

          I wrote about this exact issue after the Orlando pulse Nightclub shooting, and concluded that the only thing linking mass shootings to one another is the firing mechanism on the weapon. also, The penis. Almost all Of the shooters are men. other than that, it’s not fair to say most shooters are X or Y.Report

  11. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    My guess are 1 and 4. The Republicans are too deep in the ideological rabbit hole to break from any established patterns at this time. They aren’t going to call for anything remotely resembling effective gun control because the NRA vote is a big part of their coalition. Republicans also waged a long war against government provided or funding for any sort of healthcare. As noted above, Trump is massively slashing support for social services. They aren’t going to do a turn around on this either. That means anything the Republicans can do will be deeply authoritarian like 2 and 5. Its for the best that they stick to the usual script.Report

  12. Avatar Stillwater says:

    Oh, and to answer your q:

    GOP will do 1 and 4, because those require doing nothing (well, except sending T&P).

    GOP won’t do 2, 3, or 5 because those require doing something.Report

  13. Avatar Kazzy says:

    I may wanna hear from Sam here… but in reading about this particular shooter’s history, it seems like there were extended and multiple interactions with both LEO and mental health professionals… with the latter constantly recommending no action by the former. He was a minor during most of these.

    I can’t help but wonder if this was because the only “action” possible was imprisonment. Which, sure, in hindsight was preferable in this case. But odds are we don’t want every mentally ill teen jailed. So here it seems the issue wasn’t a failure to recognize mentall illness but a failure/inability to treat.

    If I’m right… then what? How do we create paths that respect the freedoms and rights of the potentially mentally ill while also ensuring public safety? What options can we give those mental health professionals that don’t involve the police?Report

    • Avatar pillsy says:

      One possibility is Gun Violence Restraining Orders. There’s a good article about them at NRO of all places.

      Providing processes for getting guns away from people that shouldn’t have them that don’t also require criminal conviction may be helpful.

      Also, while it might not have helped in exactly this case, making sure that all the crimes that should get into the NCIS really do get into the NCIS would have helped with some others. And unlike some of the other things that get tossed around after mass shootings (AWBs, magazine capacity restrictions, arming teachers, et c.) both these are things that are likely to help with more typical forms of gun violence as well as mass shootings.Report

  14. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    Here’s Republican Bret Stephens:
    Repeal the Second Amendment

    No, it isn’t going to happen anytime soon. But every wild, “out there” goal becomes real when we begin to speak of it, when we conjure up the image in our mind of what America would look like without the Second Amendment, where guns are like they are in Australia or Japan.Report

  15. Avatar George Turner says:

    Why are we trying to reinvent the wheel when we can just look at people who successfully manage kids with weapons. How does ISIS prevent such mass shootings at their youth training camps? All we have to do is just copy their program.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain says:

      My working assumption would be that they do it the same way I understand our own military does it during training — guns and ammo are kept locked up tight except when under close supervision. I seem to recall reading that, at least for enlisted personnel, bringing a privately-owned firearm on base is treated as a serious crime.Report

  16. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    With regards to banning a weapon to prevent school shootings:

    Until we get a handle on the contagion angle, it will do very little. Once the kid gets it in his head to kill his peers, the lack of availability won’t be a factor. There are tons of examples, plans, videos, and step by step instructions on how to build single shot, semi-auto, and full auto weapons online (mostly shotguns and sub-machine guns).

    Very few of these are accurate at range, but they work well enough for short to medium range where you have tightly packed people, and they are reliable enough to kill and wound a couple dozen people before you can expect a failure. And all of them can be built with common, low cost materials and tools available at any big box or neighborhood hardware store (or online). Even welding is not much of a concern if you aren’t looking for a long life weapon, given how available high strength epoxy is. And nothing on the tools or materials list is something that LE can flag (like, say, ammonium nitrate)

    Almost all of them can be built in a weekend. Toss in 3D printing and home CNC and it becomes orders of magnitude easier.

    Seriously, read the links @pillsy & I posted. The AR-15 is used because it’s popular among mass shooters. Making it unavailable will slow things down until something else becomes popular. Then it becomes a game of whack-a-mole.

    To echo @kazzy , the focus should be less on the means, and more on how these people slip through the cracks. Change policy so disturbed people don’t get criminal records or otherwise wrung through the CJ system. Make it so people can be recommended for help, and it doesn’t become a Scarlet ‘N’ (for Nutter) for the rest of their adult lives. Make funding available so these people can get help.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater says:

      Making it unavailable will slow things down until something else becomes popular. … the focus should be less on the means, and more on how these people slip through the cracks.

      Ahh, we’re back to that. OK. Good chat tho!Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

        Explain how a ban, absent improving how we handle potential killers, does anything except alter the means? You are making a claim without any evidence or argument.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater says:

          “Nothing can be done!”

          Your argument doesn’t have any evidence or argument, Oscar. Your premise is that if Nikolas Cruz didn’t have access to an AR-15 he would have made a home-made bomb out of cow shit or indiscriminately hurled poison darts with the same effect. Well, let’s make him do that. Compel him to make a homemade bomb. And when *that* more difficult means of mass killing becomes “popular” we’ll figure out how to deal with identifying *that* threat. You’re argument starts from a presumed right of Americans to own military grade weapons and works backwards to claiming that that access doesn’t contribute the culture of violence resulting in those weapons use in mass killings while conceding that that violence will be expressed irregardless of measures to prevent it.

          I mean, you’ve agreed with the premise of my argument for banning assault weapons and similar: that America *is* a culture of violence. Your solution is to concede that fact and try to keep violent actors from slipping thru the cracks *even tho* they’ll act on their violent impulses no matter what. As you said, they’ll just move onto the next thing to inflict mass casualties. Nothing can be done! My suggestion is that we change the culture of violence which compels people to do these things by taking away the most effective means and most identifiable symbols of that violence. Just ban the effers.Report

          • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

            Really, @stillwater , that’s my argument? Because I disagree with your preferred solution, I want to do nothing?

            Just ban the effers. Because we solved alcoholism by banning alcohol. Because we solved addiction by banning drugs. Clearly we will solve random violence by removing the means to it.

            Restriction without treatment merely incentives workarounds and black markets. If all you do is ban the AR-15, you will fail. If you ban the firearm and also begin trying to curb the culture of violence that sees the AR-15 as the most effective means to enact that violence, then you will have a better chance. And I’m not entirely convinced that the ban is necessary, or at least not worth the political effort. I’d rather spend the political capital changing the treatment side, since there are probably fewer politicians who will stridently resist such things.

            But a ban alone will do little to nothing. The AWB had no measurable effect on random violence and it had 10 years to affect change.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

              If you ban the firearm and also begin trying to curb the culture of violence that sees the AR-15 as the most effective means to enact that violence, then you will have a better chance.

              I agree entirely.

              In fact, written more broadly, it dovetails neatly with mine of changing our cultural attitudes towards gun violence.

              I think there is often a false dichotomy between controlling the means, and controlling the source desire.
              I think they work hand in hand.

              Per my comment about smoking bans, if you imagine that the cultural attitudes of smoking were fixed and unchanging from 1964, present day bans on smoking would be laughably ineffective. No one would obey them, and it would take draconian actions and mass mobilization of the police and army to enforce.

              The same political campaigns to ban smoking, had the effect of changing our culture. The mere act of debating whether smoking should be banned in elevators, caused people to challenge the idea of smoking itself, subtly and incrementally altering our image of who smokes, emboldening those who didn’t.
              As the number of smokers shrunk, it had a virtuous cycle of enlarging the pool of ban proponents, which made further bans easier to enact.

              The number of gun owners is shrinking, and the number of “legitimate” owners (i.e. hunters and sport shooters) shrinking even faster. The image of gun owners is changing, and is being altered by the NRA and gun owners themselves.

              Every spree shooting, and its defense by the NRA alters our perception of what it means to be a “gun owner”. A generation ago our image was of kindly Uncle Bob who went deer hunting. Now increasingly it is of a vacant eyed nutter who mumbles about watering a forest of trees with blood.

              We can and should strengthen the government’s ability to identify and treat those who are dangerous to us. Part of that strengthening is to give government the power to strip them of deadly weapons.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                @chip-daniels

                Yes, exactly.

                I mean, I enjoy firearms and I’d rather let people own and use them, but your methodology is (IMHO) sound. I’m not even opposed to removing weapons from dangerous people, as long as we have an process for dealing with false positives that restores rights and property to people.Report

              • Avatar George Turner says:

                I think a total gun ban is a great idea for Democrats to push for this year. I heartily endorse the idea. Heck, Remington filed bankruptcy and Ruger is in financial trouble, so gun ban talk is desperatley needed to get sales back up.

                Even if enacted, the Clinton ban showed that it would do something between jack and squat about gun violence, but it will help an industry hard hit by the absence of America’s #1 gun salesman.Report

          • Avatar InMD says:

            @oscar-gordon is right about the ease with which AR type rifles can be fabricated and it’s only getting easier. There’s already a whole industry out there dedicated to builds. Unskilled people complete 80% lowers (the regulated part) with drill presses in a couple hours then buy the non-regulated parts. I don’t know how you stop people from being able to create pieces of guns. The machinary behind it isn’t nearly as complex as people think.

            The real reason I don’t see an AWB doing anything though is that it doesn’t ban semi-automatic handguns (which, post Heller, is probably unconstitutional). Media attention to ARs aside, I believe semi automatic handguns are still the most used in mass shootings. High capacity magazines are widely available and they’re not any less deadly in close quarters.Report

        • Avatar Road Scholar says:

          @oscar-gordon , your argument here seems to echo the argument deployed against suggestions to limit availability of handguns to prevent suicides. That someone determined to commit suicide will just find some other means.

          The problem is that while they may very well seek other means they are much less likely to succeed in actually killing themselves. Furthermore, research suggests that very few people attempt suicide again having failed once. Handguns are very effective on the first attempt. Do the math.

          So the argument for restricting access to “assault weapons” rests on the reality that they are very effective at committing mass homicide. Make the fuckers work for it. Make them attempt mass killings with rocks or knives or baseball bats. Fewer people will die.Report

          • Avatar InMD says:

            @road-scholar

            They’re no more effective for mass shootings than any number of common handguns. The VA Tech shooter used a glock.Report

          • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

            No, my argument is that in the history of fecking forever, when has a ban ever worked to stem the flow of something that the population clearly wants?

            I mean, if an AWB will work, certainly we can point to other very popular things that were successfully banned. Right?

            Now if you want to tack on age restrictions, or something else that might reasonably be effective, to make them work for it, hey, I’ll entertain that.

            But if you want to ban it, first you need to make a lot of people have no desire for it.Report

            • Avatar Road Scholar says:

              Well, my understanding is that full automatic weapons are tough and expansive to come by, and I can’t recall off the top of my head any recentish incidents where they were used. This despite the fact that converting a semi-auto to full auto isn’t that terribly difficult, or so I’m told. So maybe that counts.

              Alcohol prohibition is a more interesting case. The fact is alcohol was a huge social problem leading up to prohibition. Yeah, there was a black market and it led to some serious organized crime problems, but subsequent to repeal alcohol as a social issue really declined. It’s like we hit a reset button on that. So, sorta successful?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                It’s enough to make you wonder why they repealed it.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain says:

                Well, my understanding is that full automatic weapons are tough and expansive to come by…

                How close do you want to come? There are probably at least a half-dozen regular commenters here who could design and build a trigger add-on that could provide a 3-6 rounds per second maximum rate, with selectable single-shot, 3-shot burst, or fire until the magazine is empty. Highly illegal devices, but not technically all that hard given a suitable semi-automatic weapon to attach them to.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                Full autos are not widely desired, so the restriction works. They are fun to shoot, but they burn through ammo (read: money) at a prodigious rate and tactically their utility is very limited. Always has been. Even criminals glommed onto the fact that full auto is a great way to burn through a mag without actually hitting your target.

                Older rifles could be converted by someone with a decent set of gun smithing tools and skills. Modern rifles require a lot more work and skill.

                As for alcohol, how many other confounding factors were at play (i.e. how strong of a movement was there to get people help, etc.), and that has to be weighed against how many people were killed/lives destroyed by law enforcement being zealous/etc.? A smarter AWB probably would not have a cost measured in tens of thousands of lives (owning a gun is not like having an addiction, so there is that), but it will still have a cost, and if it is not coupled to some significant social policy (rather than purely criminal), I’m unconvinced it would be worth the trouble.

                So sure, try a ban, but make sure there is more than just a ban. But if it comes down to a ban, or better social policy, go with the social policy. Deal with the underlying pathology, or the pathology will just find a new way to express itself.Report

  17. If we start with the idea that gun violence is a public health problem some things come to mind. First an integrated plan addressing multiple vectors is necessary.

    With both tobacco and drunk driving, the activity was made very expensive by either taxes, fines etc. Laws were tightened up (lower blood alcohol levels and age restrictions). Public education helped to alert the public to the activity’s danger’s and stigmatize the behavior. Any one of these approaches could be picked apart as not up tot the task. Together they helped improve things.

    In the case of tobacco we had big tobacco endlessly calling for more research as a delaying tactic. With guns, my understanding is that it is illegal for the gov’t to pay for research. I wonder why. We need more a better information, especially concerning the nexus of mental health and guns. This should be a well funded area of research.

    This is off the top of my head. I’m sure people with more knowledge and expertise than I in the area could come up better, more detailed plans if we would let them.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

      The CDC was banned from using research to push a policy preference. They took that to mean, don’t produce research that might lean one way politically.

      It’s a stupid rule that needs to end.Report

      • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

        That’s a weird distinction people need to point out. You can go ahead and do research as long as it doesn’t reach any clear conclusions.Report

    • Avatar KenB says:

      I think the challenge is that there’s disagreement over which of the two examples you use is the appropriate overall direction. The “tobacco” model would be that the costs of gun ownership are higher than the benefits and we need to find ways to reduce gun ownership overall. The “drunk driving” model is that the main issue to contend with is the irresponsible or criminal use of guns, not gun ownership itself.Report

      • I agree. Your point does present a challenge. Although given the wide spectrum of gun types and capacities, I think there is room for both approaches. So hand guns and hunting rifles would get the drunk driving treatment and everything else the tobacco treatment.

        An additional way to augment both approaches would be to repeal the laws that give gun manufacturers special status, such as the product liability protections they enjoy. A well researched Surgeons General’s report on gun violence similar to the one on tobacco years ago could be another element in a comprehensive approach.Report

        • Avatar InMD says:

          Why would you go lighter on handguns out of curiosity?Report

          • I’m willing to take a face value the argument that people get them for personal protection, and that to a degree they fulfill that function. My understanding of the Supreme Court ruling is that they bought such an argument. Well done research cold easily convince me otherwise, maybe it could convince the SC too. In any event it seems that restrictions on magazine size are prudent, maybe requiring that they be smart guns.Report

            • Avatar InMD says:

              I guess this is what I don’t understand about an AWB though. What would the purpose be if it leaves just-as-effective weapons for mass shootings legally on the market?Report

  18. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    When it comes to a ban, the counterfactual that has to be considered is that semi-auto rifles have been in civilian hands since before WWII, and the AR-15 has been available since the 60’s, and it hasn’t been a problem until the last 20 years or so.

    The problem starts, as with so many things, with the drug war. SWAT teams had semi-autos since the very early days in the 60’s and 70’s, and the modern Patrol Rifle (the AR-15 in every patrol car) came about after 1997.

    So that cultural shift that turned a niche class of guns into the most popular type of civilian rifle? The drug war that put everyone in the mindset of being at war. Police, gangs, and everyone caught in the middle.

    In one sense, there is an appeal to a ban. If we could say, “We are gonna ban/severely restrict this class of rifle for the next 20 years, complete with buy backs and all while we wind down the drug war and get a handle on the problem culture.”, I could be sold on the idea. But the drug war won’t end, or no one will actually deal with the culture issue, and the ban will be permanent, and historically, bans never work the way anyone intends.Report

    • Avatar Dark Matter says:

      If it’s just a ban on this class of rifle, then…

      Criminals and Suicides drive the big numbers and neither of them use this for their thing, so it’s a nothing-bugger for the big numbers.

      The mass murderers will find a different way. The lower functioning ones might end up with something that doesn’t work well. But wow, we might look at whatever the high functioning ones come up with and wish they were still using rifles.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

        Maybe mass murderers will look at other countries, and replicate how they do mass murders.Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

          So, chemical weapons then, great…Report

        • Avatar Dark Matter says:

          Maybe mass murderers will look at other countries, and replicate how they do mass murders.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rampage_killers

          Of course the problem with the above list is it doesn’t have Timothy McVeigh on it. On the below one it’s just a list of lists… but this thing happens.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Mass_murderers_by_nationality

          Right now we have this meme that mass murderers must use a rifle, but it’s just a meme. For a highly functional individual with time, money, and patience, the AK isn’t all that effective a killing tool. The Pulse killer probably could have blown up an airplane or three (I’m assuming media was correct in reporting he could work as airport security).

          The problem isn’t the rifle, the problem is the mass murderer.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

            Its more than a meme.

            Had the Pulse killer wanted to blow up an airliner, he would have to outwit all the security protocols put in place after 9-11.

            Had he wanted to blow up a Federal building like McVeigh, he would have to circumvent the restrictions on fuel oil and fertilizer put in place after the OKC bombing.

            Had he wanted to light his shoes on fire, he would have to get past TSA safeguards put in place after the Shoe Bomber.

            After every mass killing, we put new security provisions in place, and they seem to be effective.

            Every mass killing that is, except with guns. After those, we do absolutely nothing.

            And mass killings in Europe and Australia are remarkably rare, compared to America.

            The only variable here is the gun.Report

            • Avatar Dark Matter says:

              Had the Pulse killer wanted to blow up an airliner, he would have to outwit all the security protocols put in place after 9-11.

              The same security protocols he’d be expected to carry out?

              Fully licensed, fully vetted, professional armed security guard who can work at an airport. At a minimum, he’s an armed guy inside of security who knows how security works. He gets on an airplane and makes it crash. Suicide but whatever.

              Way more likely we don’t make security guards go through the same security lines we make everyone else (and/or there are other flaws) so yes, he can indeed smuggle explosives in.

              Had he wanted to blow up a Federal building like McVeigh, he would have to circumvent the restrictions on fuel oil and fertilizer put in place after the OKC bombing.

              I’m reasonably sure farmers still use fertilizer and fuel oil is also still common. My expectation is anyone going down this path gets diverted into “which gun should I use”.

              After every mass killing, we put new security provisions in place, and they seem to be effective. Every mass killing that is, except with guns. After those, we do absolutely nothing.

              Typically after a mass killing the anti-gun people suggest laws that wouldn’t have worked to prevent the incident they’re supposedly trying to prevent. And yes, since they’re clearly just signalling to their fellows how anti-gun they are, the pro-gun people kill the suggestions as one step towards a totally-gun-free-utopia.Report

      • Avatar George Turner says:

        Arson in a packed space is by far the easiest to pull off and inflicts the largest death toll by a wide measure.

        The Happy Land nightclub fire, set by a guy getting revenge on his ex, killed 87 people.

        A gay nightclub in New Orleans was set ablaze and 32 people died.

        Nightclubs, dance halls, and schools are all vulnerable to fire. The death toll from the top 5 US nightclub fires is over a thousand dead.Report

        • Avatar Dark Matter says:

          @george-turner
          Please don’t start a conversation on how to min-max mass murder.

          @chip-daniels
          Anyone with an engineering background (and/or mindset) could probably get into three digits if they’re willing to think about it for a while. Getting to four digits is more of a challenge but IMHO is also possible. No, I’m not going to detail how I think it could be done.

          This “gun” meme doesn’t just hurt us, it also helps us by preventing original thinking by high functioning mass murderers. At the moment these nuts are min-maxing Columbine’s techniques. However the Columbine killers were dysfunctional children who didn’t have jobs or a budget.Report

  19. Avatar Morat20 says:

    Looks like it’s Option 1 and the unmentioned Option 6, which is of course “Arm the teachers”. Awesome.Report

    • Avatar greginak says:

      Give it a week and it will be arm the janitors and then bus drivers. At least armed drones aren’t on the table yet except for Wayne Allen Root.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

      IIRC Utah permits teachers to carry concealed and it hasn’t been an issue in the decade or so that has been permitted.

      That said, it seems a thin answer to the issue since it relies heavily upon enough teachers being comfortable doing it to represent a sufficient probability of stopping a shooter before he’s had a chance to run out of ammo or targets. It’s not nothing, but it’s also not much.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 says:

        Ah yes, arming teachers. Already teachers, already social workers, already chronically underpaid, already dealing with too large classrooms, already given a great deal of crap to do in the case of an active shooter — let’s make them security guards to.

        What, more than security guards. Crisis response shooters, expected to deliver lethal force with 100% accuracy (don’t want any friendly fire around the kiddos). That’s probably what, just 20 hours of training a week, right?

        I’m sure that the Venn Diagram between “teacher” and “willing and able to take the life of someone they probably know” is practically a circle!

        It’s not a solution, thin or otherwise. It’s flagrant stupidity masquerading as a serious response.

        In fact, I’d bet money that it’s statistically worse than doing nothing at all.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

          It isn’t meant to withstand scrutiny as a real proposal.
          Its meant to be a distraction to avoid talking about the underlying framing.

          Why should we accept the premise that violent disturbed men (and its always men) are allowed to possess weapons of war?
          Why can’t a civilized society declare that anyone who wishes to possess a weapon demonstrate in the affirmative that they are capable of using it responsibly?

          These are the questions they don’t want to discuss.Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

          Utah is a strange one. They have not had, to date, a single school shooting.

          No one knows if it’s because of the permits, or because the schools train & drill regularly for the event, or if there is something they are doing on a more social policy front that is catching the problem kids before they grab a gun.

          From 2014, but it was the first that popped on a search.Report

          • Avatar Morat20 says:

            No one knows if it’s because of the permits

            It’s not. You know how I know? Ft Hood shooting. Sure, only those whose duty required it were armed — but that still amounts to a lot of trained marksmen with guns who could be there in under 5 minutes.

            Then there’s regular shootings at schools with armed guards. It’s not like the shooters didn’t know there were armed guards, and they cheerfully went anyways.

            And concealed carry doesn’t deter anyone in the slightest (humans are optimistic buggers who simply assume the odds are it’ll be the way they want, which to a wannabe shooter means “no one will be carrying concealed”) and open carry just says “Shoot me first before I know there’s a problem”.

            And given teenagers are actually worse than adults at being overly optimistic in deciding the world works the way they want, the idea of a teacher carrying concealed would literally never occur to them — and if they one did, they’d just assume they’d never run into them (or find them first, I suppose).Report

        • Avatar DavidTC says:

          That’s probably what, just 20 hours of training a week, right?

          I wonder how much training, and providing firearms, would cost for 3.2 million people, which is the approximate number of public-school full-time teachers in the US.

          Note the number of people employed by all law enforcement (local, state, and federal) in the US total 1.2 million, and only about 800,000 of them have arrest powers and thus logically have guns and firearm training.

          So if we’re talking about arming and training all teachers, we’re talking about approximately four times the _entire armed law enforcement_ cost of firearm training. (Let’s ignore the fact that law enforcement is often extremely under-trained in weapons.)

          That would also require us to buy something like 1.65 _billion_ dollars worth of guns, assuming we go with a $500 Glock 19, the handgun of choice of police. This would cost us 2.4% of the _entire_ budget of the US Department of Education. Plus ammo, of course, and somewhere to lock all these guns up during non-school hours.

          But I dunno, maybe we’re talking about arming only one teacher out of twenty, which is about the lowest possible level that we could plausibly claim to have ‘armed teachers’ and get at least one in every school.

          So we’re talking about something that is only one fifth of the cost of arming and training in weapons all law enforcement?Report

          • Avatar Morat20 says:

            HAHA! It’d go like the rest of Education. Teachers would be required to pay for their own gun, their range time, and their certification hours would be unpaid and after school hours. On top of their current duties. If they’re lucky, the school would actually pay for their instruction.

            Just not the gun, bullets, or their time.

            And then the school board would switch out weapons and tactical doctrine every six months.Report

            • Avatar DavidTC says:

              It’d go like the rest of Education.

              I dunno. The air force _is_ considering holding a bake sale to pay for their bomber^Wparade, so maybe our schools actually _will_ get all the money they need….but only if that money involves shooting people.

              …are we literally in the punchline to a joke?

              Edit: Actually, it’s sorta sounding like a _really poorly phrased genie wish_.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

            That would also require us to buy something like 1.65 _billion_ dollars worth of guns

            Its…almost like the kind of thing a manufacturer’s lobbying group would propose.Report

          • Avatar Dark Matter says:

            I wonder how much training, and providing firearms, would cost for 3.2 million people, which is the approximate number of public-school full-time teachers in the US.

            We wouldn’t do “all”, not even “most”. I expect the bulk of them are unwilling or unable.

            But how many teachers are ex-military? In the national guard? How many are gun enthusiasts? How many would cc if we didn’t have these “gun free zone” posters up?

            It makes no sense to purposefully disarm people like that so the only person with a gun is the rampage shooter.Report

            • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

              I think it kind of does, because the vast majority of the time, the only person with a gun will be nobody.

              If I was 100% certain that there would be a mass shooting at a particular school tomorrow, I’d want a bunch of armed teachers. But I’m very nearly 100% certain that there won’t be a mass shooting at that school, so by a very wide margin, all we’re doing is introducing guns into a situation where adults will need to keep track of them and keep them away from kids.

              In order for that to pay off, you have to actually have a mass shooting and actually have an armed teacher do something about it that makes the outcome better. How often will that happen relative to how often screw-ups will happen if we introduce a a few hundred thousand guns into 100,000 schools? I can’t be certain, but eyeballing the numbers suggests that your kid will be more likely to be killed by a loose faculty firearm than by a spree killer.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                In order for that to pay off, you have to actually have a mass shooting and actually have an armed teacher do something about it that makes the outcome better.

                If it’s successfully stopped then it’d hardly be a mass shooting.

                I can’t be certain, but eyeballing the numbers suggests that your kid will be more likely to be killed by a loose faculty firearm than by a spree killer.

                Human intuition is terrible at evaluating different low probability events so I’d really like to see stats… which not only don’t exist, but probably also can’t. If we liken this to vaccinations, then a successful vaccination can end up killing more people than die from the original disease.

                Big picture is in terms of numbers, these mass shootings are so rare they don’t exist.

                However we seem to care about them so much that serious people want to rewrite the Constitution, get rid of fundamental rights, and treat every person in the US as a potential school shooter to force their disarmament. In that case, then we should be looking at “easier” and “less destructive” courses of action.Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

                As long as we recognize that we’re not actually solving a problem by any metric other than, “People are a little nuts and doing this slightly crazy thing makes them feel better,” I guess that’s OK.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                If it’s successfully stopped then it’d hardly be a mass shooting.

                Replace “stopped” with “prevented”.Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew says:

        He wants to give “just a little bonus” to teachers who are licensed and comfortable carrying. Pay people extra in professions that have nothing to do with guns (or should) who have accepted the social responsibility of owning and being trained and comfortable with firearms. Aka, subsidize gun culture.

        It’s a sop to gun folks and gun culture, and generally conservatives who are responsive to signaling of that kind. “They want gun control, but guess what *I* think we should do? You’re gonna love this!”

        That’s what it is, nothing more and nothing less.Report

    • Avatar pillsy says:

      The pro-gun control side is often, with (IMO) real justification, accused of advancing policies on the basis of, “We must do something. This is something. Ergo, we must do this!”

      But now we’ve got “arming teachers” as the GOP counter-proposal. Well, that and complaining about violent movies and video games like it’s 1994.

      If they keep this up, we’ll probably wind up with an Assault Weapon Ban like it’s 1994, too.Report

      • Avatar DavidTC says:

        Well, that and complaining about violent movies and video games like it’s 1994.

        I have to agree with Trump suggestion here. Movies probably _should_ have ratings.

        Of course, I’m not so sure about video games, after all, there are just a few of those in existence, and computers that can talk to video displays are rather expensive…

        …oh, whoops, I’m accidentally posting from 1964.Report

      • Avatar pillsy says:

        This, “Let’s just arm the teachers!” plan started off ludicrous, and has deteriorated rapidly.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater says:

          Hell, why not cut out the middle man and just arm the kids? My idea is that every child over 8 carries a gun while on school premises. Don’t need to rush the shooter anymore! The littlest ones would attend windowless schools surrounded by SWAT teams locked down from 8 to 4.

          Another idea I have: place a dozen or so hand guns and rifles along the walls of every classroom easily accessible in times of emergency.*

          Why isn’t anyone taking these proposals seriously????

          *And a few taped under random desks here and there…Report

        • Avatar dragonfrog says:

          The teachers did better than that cop did – two of them died taking bullets to save students. One literally threw himself into the line of fire so the bullets would hit his body and not those of the fleeing students.

          If the proposal was to arm the teachers and disarm the cops it would probably save a lot of lives.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          That’s one of the scary things that really, really needs to be looked at closely.

          Because we’re in a situation where stuff has been tested in the field and it didn’t *WORK*.

          Gun-free zone? Didn’t work.
          Assault Weapons Ban? Didn’t work.
          If you see something, say something? Didn’t work.
          Having good guys with a gun on site? Didn’t work.Report

          • Avatar Dark Matter says:

            Having good guys with a gun on site? Didn’t work.

            When was this tried and what was the problem?

            And btw, my kid’s high school has a cop or two there. They’re armed.Report

            • Avatar Pillsy says:

              Parkland, most recently. The armed deputy decided not to go after the bad guy with the gun.

              And there have been other mass shootings with CCW holders and off duty cops on the scene (the Phoenix shooting with Gabby Giffords is an example). It almost never helps.

              ISTR there was one incident in, like the ‘80s where a woman with a CCW did stop a mass shooter, but cursory Googling didn’t confirm it.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                If I remember correctly, at the Giffords shooting, someone who was involved in taking the guy down made a conscious decision not to draw his weapon cuz he believed it’s make the situation more dangerous, for himself and others.Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

                Do we actually have any good examples of armed bystanders stopping a mass shooting? I know that we have examples of the police eventually getting there and doing it, but those are professionals who are expected to do it, and even then, I think that only a minority of mass shootings end with the police stopping them.

                Is there any data at all that suggests that the “good guy with a gun” thing is actually an effective plan?Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                I don’t think so? I offered that example because it seemed to show “Good guy with a gun decided not to use gun cuz doing so was a bad idea.”

                Good guys with guns don’t want to be good guys with guns… just good guys.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                Do we actually have any good examples of armed bystanders stopping a mass shooting?

                Both of the below articles list some. However I think it’s telling that the bulk of successful shootings happen in “gun free zones”.

                http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/11/08/texas-church-shooting-not-first-time-good-guy-with-gun-takes-down-mass-shooter.html

                https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2015/10/03/do-civilians-with-guns-ever-stop-mass-shootings/?utm_term=.397e109c9575Report

              • Avatar DavidTC says:

                However I think it’s telling that the bulk of successful shootings happen in “gun free zones”.

                Yes, it is telling…that we have chosen to bar people from carrying guns into the sorts of places people have shot up before and presumably will do so again.

                I find it a bit more telling that when legislatures and political parties have to consider _their own_ safety, the solution is always always always ‘bar guns from where we meet’.

                Which, I mean, I’m not trying to point out the hypocrisy of that. What I’m trying to point out is that pretty much _everyone_ in reality, when forced to make a decision of ‘am I safer if random people near me might have guns?’, always decide the answer to that is ‘No’. Always. Without a single exception.

                This is one of those situations where there is an answer that everyone actually believes is true, (It is dangerous to let people have guns near me.) and then there is a different answer that a lot of a single political party are _pretending_ to believe. (Guns make things safer!)Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                I find it a bit more telling that when legislatures and political parties have to consider _their own_ safety, the solution is always always always ‘bar guns from where we meet’.

                Not all guns. I’m pretty sure the Secret Service, Capitol Police, etc are all armed. Certainly the Courts’ cops are armed.

                A “gun free zone” needs someone who is armed enforcing it. Otherwise it’s just wishful thinking and a shooting gallery.Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

                I think if the negative correlation between people with guns and mass shooting deaths actually held, the US would be doing better in the “people killed in mass shootings” metric than it currently is.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                I think if the negative correlation between people with guns and mass shooting deaths actually held, the US would be doing better in the “people killed in mass shootings” metric than it currently is.

                I suspect there are more successful mass shootings in gun free zones than in gun stores.

                The Genii is already out of the bottle, we have guns into society, we’re not disarming any time soon (especially with the WoD ongoing). Given that, I don’t see the utility of examining other societies where the genii is in the bottle and seeing if it helps.

                The issue is, are “gun free zones” useful and effective without armed guards enforcing them? If the answer is “no”, then we need to pay for armed guards (who may only protect themselves) and/or we can allow CC. The advantage of CC is it’s free, the disadvantage is it’s potluck and it’s also admitting the genii is out of the bottle.

                And it’s that last point which seems to be the problem.

                And yes, we should do the things which we all admit we should do. People who openly admit they’re going to shoot up schools should have their records sent to the FBI or whatever. Even the NRA admits the mentally ill shouldn’t have guns.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                Parkland, most recently. The armed deputy decided not to go after the bad guy with the gun.

                A “problem” would be if the legally armed guy caused problems. If he’s shooting people himself or making people have sex at gunpoint or something (i.e. so called “peace keepers” in some war zones which create their own problems).

                This was a failure, but it wouldn’t be in the news if it weren’t a failure.Report

        • Avatar DavidTC says:

          Look, law enforcement personnel are supposed to walk blindly into shooting situations alone where they don’t know who is doing the shooting. This man completely failed at…

          …wait, wait, I’m getting told they actually aren’t supposed to that, because that would be completely idiotic and a good way to be shot, and/or a good way to shoot someone who _might_ be holding a weapon but isn’t actually.Report

          • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

            IIRC, since Columbine, the first officers on site are supposed to attempt to engage the shooter. They are supposed to get training for this. Like, specific, live action training (with volunteers and simunitions, etc.), not just a weekend seminar.Report

            • Avatar DavidTC says:

              IIRC, since Columbine, the first officers on site are supposed to attempt to engage the shooter.

              Saying ‘One police officer should go up against an unknown number of shooters operating in unknown way in a building full of children’ seems…really stupid.

              Basically, it would mean that in any school where there is a single ‘resource officer’ with a firearm, all shooters have to do is be aware that the officer will come after them, and set some sort of trap?

              Not even any sort of sophisticated thing. Just sticking his gun out of sight under a table and saying ‘I saw him go that way!’ and then shooting the resource officer when he goes past.

              There’s a reason that police try to clear buildings of people when there’s a shooter, and it’s not _just_ because it’s less dangerous for the people in the building…it’s also less dangerous for the police if they have no idea who the hell the shooter is. The police want everyone out in the open where they can see them. They don’t want to walk past some seemingly innocent person who then turns around shoot them.

              I mean, I’m not saying what you described isn’t the policy. I’m saying it’s really stupid if it is.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                Luckily, it’s exceedingly rare for these school shooters to actually do that kind of planning or thought.

                As I said elsewhere, these aren’t sophisticated killers.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                They’re teenagers. They’re not sophisticated by biological design. They also heavily discount risk and have ridiculously optimistic projections of future outcomes.

                Literally half of the dumb things teenagers do boil down to those two neurological traits. The other half is, of course, desperation to get laid. Probably before the first problem kills them.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain says:

      There used to be studies by the Army, back in the days of the draft, regarding recruits’ willingness to shoot at an enemy with actual intent to hit them. What I recall is that a surprisingly large percentage, even after weeks of training, even with combat experience, shot to miss. How many teachers, with minimal training — because no one is going to set aside much money in already tight school budgets — are going to do the necessary thing should the need arise? How many of them are going to be seriously screwed up mentally by the experience?Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

        See also, killologyReport

      • Avatar Morat20 says:

        What I recall is that a surprisingly large percentage, even after weeks of training, even with combat experience, shot to miss

        That’s shooting the enemy. The deliberatly dehumanized enemy, with all your buddies at your back that are relying on you.

        Try shooting someone you know. Not just someone — a kid you know. You might have taught.Report

        • Avatar Dark Matter says:

          Try shooting someone you know. Not just someone — a kid you know. You might have taught.

          Better that than watching that kid shoot the other kids you’re teaching and yourself.

          The alternative to letting a small minority of teachers be armed is…. what?

          1) Treat every single person in the US as a potential school shooter and disarming them?

          2) Put up more “no guns allowed” signs and trust mass murderers will obey the law?

          3) Ban this particular rifle because getting shot with something else is so much better?

          4) Breathlessly claim everyone is safer if the only armed person is a rampage shooter?

          Letting teachers be armed is the worst solution, except for all the others.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

            There isn’t a One Weird Trick to reducing these mass shootings to a minimal level.

            But as I mentioned before, America is not the only nation to have had this problem, and we can see what others have done.

            Do we have to accept the premise that we will have this many violent men?

            Or that they have to find it so easy to become armed to the teeth with military grade weapons?Report

            • Avatar Dark Matter says:

              There isn’t a One Weird Trick to reducing these mass shootings to a minimal level.

              Totally agreed.

              But as I mentioned before, America is not the only nation to have had this problem, and we can see what others have done.

              Have any of them had success with “gun free zones” policed by a sign on the door? Israel perhaps?

              Do we have to accept the premise that we will have this many violent men?

              There are things we can and should do around the edges (mental illness, ending the war on drugs, etc), but as long as the media always glorifies their behavior? Yes.

              Or that they have to find it so easy to become armed to the teeth with military grade weapons?

              The good news is none of them have had “military grade” weapons. This is also the bad news.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Being dispositionally conservative, and still musing to myself about how our society is changing, I have to wonder.

                Imagine that we all were magically transported into the past, maybe 1928, or 1888.

                And we were trying to describe to these past cultures our phenomenon of a continuing pattern of young males so violently detached from the rest of us that they amass an arsenal of war weapons and go on mass killings.

                And further, we explain, that our only solutions seems to be that we turn America into an armed camp where every man woman and child stalks around heavily armed in a state of perpetual alarm and dread.

                What would our forebears think?

                What would the American from 1888 think, considering he may well have lived in a Western town where guns were actually banned?

                What would the man from 1928 think, given that his society’s response to gangland shootings was to ban automatic rifles?

                How would they react to our fumbling explanations of “b-but mental illness!” when the one had just experienced the Civil War, the single greatest episode of violence and trauma America had ever seen, and the other had experienced the wrenching dislocations of massive immigration and Prohibition crime?

                And yet, somehow, in these previous eras, they were able to contain the violence, and didn’t fetishize the holding of weapons.

                How have we changed? What can we learn from our ancestors about weapons and violence in civilized culture?Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain says:

                Such a discussion would have to include other factors.

                In 1868, when the population was three-quarters rural, a young man (or woman) having trouble finding employment in the eastern parts of the country could walk west far enough to be able to claim 160 acres of land and start a farm. With minimal improvements, after five years they owned the land free and clear. How much of a safety valve was that?

                In 1928, vagrancy was illegal in many (most?) places. The law was often enforced with a beating and an escort to the city limits. How much did that affect people’s attitude towards their personal safety? How many places got away with no blacks or no Mexicans allowed laws, with similar enforcement?

                In both eras, manual labor was common. How much of our current problems would largely go away if the young men who perpetrate them were doing 8-10 hours of hard labor five or six days per week?Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:

                “In 1868, when the population was three-quarters rural, a young man (or woman) having trouble finding employment in the eastern parts of the country could walk west far enough to be able to claim 160 acres of land and start a farm. With minimal improvements, after five years they owned the land free and clear. How much of a safety valve was that?”

                Just wanted to note that until today I had no idea the Homestead Act also applied to women (as long as they weren’t married). Cool. Thanks for bringing that to my attention – my understanding of the West is rather patchy due to having grown up on the Eastern edge of the country upstairs.

                *wanders off to read reference book entries on women homesteaders*Report

              • Avatar InMD says:

                If we’re talking about blowing the minds of our ancestors with ways people die in the future I think abundant, cheap, and readily available high calorie-high in sugar food would be the real alien concept. Also the guy in 1928 probably would have heard about the Bath School Massacre that happened a year before, though there was no 24/7 news cycle to terrify everyone and inspire copycats.

                The world was way more violent in their times. These school shootings are terrible, just like terrorist attacks are, but we really need to maintain perspective.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                @michael-cain @inmd
                Combining both comments together, it is clear that we have become simultaneously more, and less violent.

                Which is actually true. America is by most metrics much safer than it has been especially for ethnic minorities.

                But that is a bit like pointing out that, all things considered, 2001 was a very safe and secure year to be living in America because the 9/11 attacks were a blip on the statistical radar of killings.

                True, but irrelevant.
                The purpose of mass shootings is the same as terrorism, which is to strip away the sense of stability and safety and make everyone afraid and insecure.That they are done for personal rather than political motives doesn’t change that.

                The threat posed by mass shootings is to the heart of democracy. The high trust, high collaborative society we talk about can’t exist when every trip to the market carries the threat of deadly violence.

                And our forebears knew this. Its why they didn’t hesitate to ban guns in town. Its why the citizens of the Wild West eradicated its wildness as fast as they could.

                They also were well acquainted with toxic masculinity. The social etiquette of how gentlemen were to behave was by our standards, rather dainty and effeminate. They struggled as we do with the proper role of masculine energy and violence.

                So in a lot of ways they might find a lot of our world familiar. What I think they might find shocking though is our relationship to guns. I don’t see a lot of historical examples of the gun nuts of today, with the fetishization of guns as near-sacred totems.And I think the loose talk of “watering the tree of liberty” would sound a bit too close to “sic semper tyrannis” for their liking.

                But mostly, when I read history and literature I get a sense of hope that the world of the 21st century would be freed of that brutality and savagery. they believed that this century would be a new Athens marked by peace and prosperity.

                I can’t help but think of how shocking it would be for them to see that a century or so later, we are watering the tree of liberty with the blood of our children.Report

              • Avatar InMD says:

                @chip-daniels

                I could quibble on the historical details but I don’t disagree with your sentiment. There’s a culture of fear in the US. I think that culture manifests in all kinds of weird ways, and one of those ways is what Oscar referred to above as the unhealthy gun culture. I also think one of the ways it manifests is the abject and completely disproportionate moral panic that ensues every time there’s a high profile violent incident of any kind (mass shooting, terrorism, street crime, particularly heinous sex crime, etc.).

                FWIW I think the idea that we should arm teachers is just as silly an overreaction as enacting a futile ban on certain types of rifles based basically on cosmetics. Now the fact that I’m familiar with, and I like to think part of, the good gun culture (which can be shockingly nerdy) probably makes it easier for me to take that view. I very much get why it would be harder for others who don’t have that experience.

                Still, I think the way to fight the culture of fear, which I agree is a problem, is to stay measured and try to take a step back before joining the mob (to be clear, not accusing you of this, just sharing my personal philosophy).Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                What I have learned from making the conservative Fall From Grace argument, is how critical it is to select the correct period of the Golden Age, and select the correct target of the Fall.

                Such as:

                A. “Boy, things are going to hell in a handbasket.”

                B. “Yeah, since Reagan and the decline of unions wages have been stagnant.”

                A. “Nonsense! Things are better than they ever have been, wealth is greater than ever and consumer choice is more plentiful!”

                A. “The moral and spiritual decline in America is just awful.”

                B. “Yeah, men have become toxic, and are lashing out in shooting sprees and there is rampant rape culture.”

                A. “Nonsense! Crime is lower now than it ever has been and women enjoy more empowerment and freedom than ever before!”

                At this moment, I am actually open to either argument.

                If someone wants to convince me that despite the spiritual malaise and economic stagnation we are doing great, and despite the sound and fury of the gun nuts our gun culture is not actually worsening, then great have at it.Report

              • Avatar InMD says:

                Most of the options aren’t mutually exclusive. Both good and bad things can be true at the same time.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                Imagine that we all were magically transported into the past, maybe 1928, or 1888…How have we changed? What can we learn from our ancestors about weapons and violence in civilized culture?

                Your historical non-violent utopia is a fantasy. Here’s a graph to long term murder rates and trends. graph

                Even if we want to use your cherry picked dates. 1888 was the year of Jack the Ripper. 1928 was the aftermath of the Bath School mass murder of 38 elementary students. Your gun free western cowboy towns had scary high daily murder rates.

                The bulk of our modern murders are driven by inner city minority communities. Our sacred, more knowledgeable, ancestor would recommend something like the Klan and threat of lynchings to keep a lid on them.

                Our past is a lot more ugly than our present.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                As I mention, the decrease in violence yet increase in fear is a paradox.

                If we’re so safe, why the need for so much weaponry?

                Imagine an American in 1918 listening to Dana Loesch go on an unhinged rant about killers at the door, or McCardle suggesting schoolchildren form a suicidal human wave assault on a shooter and what they would think of us.Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:

                @chip-daniels Many Americans in 1918 (certainly not all) would probably tell you that’s what you get for letting women speak on subjects they don’t understand. A woman’s proper sphere being the home, not the discussion of guns.

                They might conclude that all of this was somehow a result of women’s suffrage, backlash to the (resulting) Prohibition, etc.

                I don’t think they’d be disappointed/appalled, so much as dumbfounded and shocked and looking for people to blame, and women would be the easy go-to on that for many of them.

                But then I don’t tend to think people are all that much worse or much better on average due to chronology. We can *hope* to make things *collectively* better, but that’s about it.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                As I mention, the decrease in violence yet increase in fear is a paradox.

                It’s not a paradox, when every local atrocity is national or global news.Report

              • I don’t know how to quantify and compare the violence/fear quotients, but some in 1918 would probably think even the current crazies not that out of line. 1918 was within wave of lynchings from 1882-1968 when 4,743 documented lynchings occurred in the United States. We can easily forget how horrific they were.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain says:

                I was recently reviewing some materials on the Colorado mining labor wars, roughly 1894-1914. Striking miners periodically had to defend themselves from private armies hired by the mine owners, or the state militia, or both (see, eg, the Ludlow Massacre).Report

              • Avatar Jason says:

                Yes. The Steelworks Museum in Pueblo has a list of weapons that strikebreakers requested. It includes machine guns, sawed-off shotguns, gas grenades, grenades, etc.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                As I mention, the decrease in violence yet increase in fear is a paradox.

                Guns are hardly new in the US, actually they’re a core Constitutional Right. Gun ownership is headed down. Murder is headed down. Mass murder has both been with us from the beginning and from a big picture standpoint doesn’t exist.

                The idea of arming teachers, even ones who were soldiers in another lifetime, is so horrifying that it’s compared to giving a gun to every child. The only possible solution is less guns, even if it means tearing up the Constitution.

                As far as I can tell, it’s your fear of weaponry that’s the issue here.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Do you think our attitude towards weaponry is the same as it has ever been? Like, the NRA talks the same way today that it has always?

                Because from what I can see, the American attitude towards this Core Constitutional Right is radically different today than it was in generations past.

                Open carry was not a common thing anywhere until recently. Its not like people were strolling around Manhattan with rifles slung over their shoulder in the 1950s.

                Reagan had no problem enacting gun control laws.

                The ban on machine guns wasn’t even opposed by the NRA;

                And once again, it was common for towns to flatly ban the Core Constitutional Right and nobody except the Clanton Gang complained about it.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                Open carry was not a common thing anywhere until recently.

                This is the guns equiv of a in-your-face gay pride parade. Get out of the closet. Show your strength. If anyone has a problem with it then it says more about them than about you.

                Do you think our attitude towards weaponry is the same as it has ever been? Like, the NRA talks the same way today that it has always?

                There have been multiple changes from the good old days of the 1950’s. A lot of it comes down to technology increasing so we’re all more connected but whatever.

                Multiple groups have shown they can keep themselves employed via outrage and “an enemy”. NOTHING will ever satisfy the pro-life movement because their leaders would then be out of jobs so the goal posts will have to be moved. Ditto the pro/anti-gun groups. Ditto others.

                This doesn’t just mean the NRA wants to stroke outrage for their slice of political power and money. It also means the gun control groups aren’t negotiating in good faith. We get rid of the AR15, will the gun control groups disband? Virginia Tech still happens, do we get the AR15 back or is the new solution the same as the old, “less guns on the march towards total disarmament of everyone”?

                The ban on machine guns wasn’t even opposed by the NRA;

                Multiple issues. First this was low hanging fruit. No good civilian use. Not being used. I can easily see legal uses for the AR15 and large magazines for me personally.

                2nd this was early enough that I suspect it was assumed if they gave it up that would be “enough”, i.e. that the other side would be reasonable and other proposals would be as reasonable. Now they know better.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC says:

                I can easily see legal uses for the AR15 and large magazines for me personally.

                There are all sorts of _legal_ uses for an AR-15. People use them legally at shooting ranges all the time, for example.

                The question is: Is there any legal use that an AR-15 is required for that cannot be met with a high-calibre lower-velocity lower-rate-of-fire rifle?

                To put it in the context of other constitutional amendments: Yes, you have the right to protest in public, but is there a particular reason you need to do it in the street, or would it work perfectly well on the sidewalk? Likewise, can you still exercise your right to self-defense and whatnot using a standard rifle?

                Actually, I’d kinda be interested in knowing if there is any legal use that an AR-15 is _best at_? Those sort of weapons aren’t particularly good at _anything_ legal, being designed as they are to shoot through walls (Making them extremely dangerous for home and self defense) and designed to injure instead of kill, making them rather unacceptable for hunting.(1) And, of course, they’re more expensive.

                Seriously, tell me what legal situation someone could be in that an AR-15 would be the _best_ choice of weapon? And, no, ‘they’re in an abandoned building surrounded by dozens of attackers’ is not even a slightly realistic scenario.

                1) Note I am pretending that hunting is a ‘legal use’, although I will point out that as jurisdictions can ban it, and have always been able to do so, that’s a bad thing to hang a right on.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                I’d kinda be interested in knowing if there is any legal use that an AR-15 is _best at_?

                Since when is this the standard? Start applying that to other rights, speech for example, and I’m sure we’d get all sorts of obnoxious examples.

                But to answer your question, “best” depends on a large range of factors, not least what is on sale at the local gun store, or what I could get second hand.

                If I decide I need a weapon, i.e. that someone showing up on my doorstep trying to kill me or mine is a reasonable situation, then there are all sorts of considerations. Budget. Availability. Skill level (or lack of the same). Amount I’d need to reload. Legality. And yes, how scary the weapon it is.

                I expect it’d be an extremely stressful situation so a high magazine is highly desirable, I’m not sure I’d be able to reload. I’m also not sure I could hit anything in less than a dozen shots. I’d want something long barrel because that’s probably easier to aim and harder to misuse.

                My expertise is not high, it’s possible some YouTube videos and a visit to the gun store would totally change my mind, but my back of the envelope suggests the AR is within the realm of possibility. Thing is, what makes it useful for killing a room full of people would make it useful for an unskilled home defender who expects missing 90% of the time (or more) is the likely outcome.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                A ban is probably not gonna happen, but let’s assume semi-autos fall under a scheme similar to full-auto weapons (extra scrutiny, tax stamp, registration, etc.), coupled with an effort to get a large number out of civilian hands (wide scale buy backs and aggressive enforcement of protection orders, similar to what Seattle is doing now).

                My prediction – whatever law is passed will necessarily have to define semi-autos very narrowly, down to something like, “A weapon wherein the action uses energy from the recoil to eject a spent cartridge, and strip a fresh cartridge from a magazine, and place that cartridge in battery and resets the trigger.”

                Which leaves an awful lot of room for manufacturers to develop novel mechanisms.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC says:

                My prediction – whatever law is passed will necessarily have to define semi-autos very narrowly, down to something like, “A weapon wherein the action uses energy from the recoil to eject a spent cartridge, and strip a fresh cartridge from a magazine, and place that cartridge in battery and resets the trigger.”

                I would much rather we have rate-of-fire limitations.

                You can’t engineer around that. Either pulling the trigger as fast as possible causes the gun to exceed the rate, or it does not.

                I’d actually like ‘short-term’ and ‘long-term’ limitations. Like, you can fire off ten bullets in five seconds, but then you have to reload.

                I’d also like to see velocity limitations, although admitted those _can_ be gamed by changing out ammo.

                What I’d really really like to see, in an ideal world, would be some sort of mathematical formula that includes velocity, calibre, and rate of fire.

                Where, for example, high velocity rifles are allowed, but they have an _extremely slow_ ‘rate of fire’, as in they are single shot and require loading in bullets one at a time. Meanwhile, for protection, you can have low-velocity, high-calibre gun with a fairly high short-term rate of fire, where you have a dozen bullets that will stop an intruder or wolve or whatever, and kill them, or at least take them down, but won’t rip them to shreds and won’t go through walls.

                I think it’s pretty clear if you try to make rules _describing_ how guns work, the gun manfacturers will work around them. What needs to be describes is ‘how bullets leave the gun’, which can’t be worked around…either they are leaving the gun that way, or they are not.

                ‘You can have guns that expel bullets in this manner. You can have guns that expel bullets in this other manner. You can have guns that expel bullets in yet another manner. You can’t have guns that expel bullets in any other way.’

                Note also the extremely stupid rules about sawed-off shotguns, a giant bunch of complicated silliness that is patched loophole on top of patched loophole to try to measure the ‘length’ of the barrel of the gun…all which could actually be easily explained by ‘shotguns are allowed to fire with this specific angle of spread and no more’. Mount the gun in a testing room, fire it, measure the angle of where the closest shot hit the floor and walls from the end of the barrel, problem solved. Who the hell cares how the gun is built?Report

              • Avatar bookdragon says:

                This. +100.

                Limits on rate of fire and kinetic energy of the projectile are far more useful in terms of limiting deaths from mass shooting.

                Throw in GVROs. Pass a law to get past Printz so we go back to requiring state and local gov to report felony and domestic violence convictions and involuntary mental health commitments so they turn up in NICS.

                Those things won’t eliminate all gun violence just like laws against stealing haven’t made us theft-free. But I never hear anyone saying “Well, thieves are out there and if they want to break in they’ll find a way, so we might as well just leave all doors and windows open.”Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                What I’d really really like to see, in an ideal world, would be some sort of mathematical formula that includes velocity, calibre, and rate of fire. … Meanwhile, for protection, you can have low-velocity, high-calibre gun with a fairly high short-term rate of fire, where you have a dozen bullets that will stop an intruder or wolve or whatever, and kill them,

                Question for you.

                We move to your “ideal” math equation. After someone uses this weapon to slaughter a room full of kindergarteners (reloading twice or maybe just having three weapons), will you be in favor of gun rights or will you be arguing for more restrictions?Report

              • Avatar DavidTC says:

                You want the long plan? Heh. Sure, why not. I fully look forward to this showing up on some right-wing site with ‘leftist plan exposed!’, and I urge those people to actually _read_ this and think about it. But I will also note I’m just a stupid blog commenter and cannot possibly speak for anyone else.

                But here’s _my_ plan:

                First, here’s the secret that I know, and you know, and I know you know, but I’m not sure you know I know: Mass shootings are not important.

                Oh, yes, they’re the only way the gun laws will ever change at this point, but fundamentally, they are not important. Stopping them is a stupid ground to make gun policy off of, and the fact it’s the _only_ think we can make gun policy off of indicated how very dumb our current system is.

                What is truly important is handguns. Those are the majority of murdering firearms. So it seems weird I just indicated I was okay with them, right?

                Except here’s the problem: There is a very sick culture out there right now, consisting of a lot of gun fetishists.

                The NRA and the right likes to conflate these guys with hunters, but they are not. Approximately 25% of civilians own guns in the US…and three percent of the population, the gun fetishists, own a full _half_ of them. The remaining 22% are hunters, or rational people who own a firearm for self-defense, or (And this is the confusing part) just criminals who use their gun for criminally things like murdering people.

                So…why do I care about the people who own half the guns if the criminals are someone else?

                Because those people, those fetishists, the 3% that own half the guns, are the major reason we can’t do anything about the actual criminals who have guns. Those people fund the NRA. (Well, fund the gun manufacturers who fund the NRA.) Those people write a bajillion letters to Congress. Those people are single issue voters with a really dumb single issue consisting of paranoia and fantasies.

                And we have to, frankly, destroy their culture. Not the culture of ‘gun owners’, which again is ~25% of the population. I have nothing against hunters, or a responsible person who conceal carries for protection, or a guy with a shotgun locked up next to his bed, or criminals who…well, I mean, I _do_ have something against criminals, I guess, but they are not who I am talking about.

                No, we have to destroy the culture of the ~3% of paranoids who own somewhere between eight(1) and 140 guns each, because _only then_ can we actually start passing reasonable gun laws.

                And I’m speaking hyperbolicly, of course. We don’t have to ‘destroy’ anything. We just have to actually make people realize those people should not be taken seriously, and the NRA should not be taken seriously, and while the people against them will never have the fervor that those 3% have, the last I checked, 97% of apathetic people probably outvote 3% of enraged paranoids.

                Some of this has just started happening, maybe. And it’s wrongly directed at AR-15s and guns like them…or, rather, it’s correctly directed at them, for utterly wrong reasons. AR-15s are a symptom, not a cause.

                But banning them will cause gun fetishists to become more unhinged and marginalized, and others to perhaps exit their nonsense. And in the real world, there will be anger at gun companies for selling them and the NRA for stopping legislation.

                And thus ‘the plan’ moves onward. Which, again, isn’t really any sort of plan of anyone but me.

                Now, I was a bit misleading when I said that math was my ‘ideal’ solution. My _actual_ ideal solution would be a universe where we didn’t need those sort of rules because gun fetishists weren’t buying half the guns, so no one bothered to make dumbass guns like the AR-15. That was more ‘If I somehow got a genie wish to pass one law about gun control’.

                If you want to know the actual next step, once we marginalize these people who have held gun laws completely immovable since the 90s, once we can again pass gun legislation, I would suggest requiring registration and impose massive penalties for ‘losing’ guns or having them stolen. And start introducing magazine size restrictions, but I’m okay with grandfathering existing guns for a decade or so. I think I’ve talked about all this in the past. Oh, and I would like to see some sort of required training for gun ownership.

                There will _eventually_ be mandatory buyback (confiscation, whatever you want to call it.) of certain types of guns, and I’d really like to see societal norms discourage any sort of violent fantasies used to advertise guns at all.

                And meanwhile illegal guns will slowly disappear.

                And as for the next mass shooting? Well, they aren’t actually that statistically important in the number of gun deaths, and I suspect people will stop getting so amazingly upset once they can actually regulate guns.

                1) To make this clear, I’m not saying there’s some sort of magical cut-off at eight guns that makes people automatically fetishists. I can think of plausible reasons to end up with eight guns. Heck, I’m sure there’s some guy out there that owns twenty guns for improbable reasons that is a perfectly rational person, who is probably trying to get rid of a few. Or he’s some rich guy who is just really careless with money and buys a new gun each hunting season instead of cleaning the old one, which he might have accidentally dropped in the lake and had to fish out anyway. Meanwhile, there are plenty of fetishists who own one gun, or even no guns, because they cannot afford them.

                The difference is how they act with regard to guns and think about them, not purely how many they own…although ‘owning a lot of guns’ is the main reason the NRA is trying to create and keep such people.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                heck, I’m sure there’s some guy out there that owns twenty guns for improbable reasons that is a perfectly rational person, who is probably trying to get rid of a few

                I’ve touched on this before, but “inheritance” coupled with “the dwindling numbers of gun-owning households”.

                My father-in-law owns quite a few hunting rifles and shotguns and a handful of handguns. He’s bought…two of those, over his 60+ years of life. Almost half of them he’s inherited in the last decade. When he dies, that entire collection is likely to go to one person, perhaps to be split among two — both of whom are already on the short list to receive any other guns floating around their sides of the family.

                They’re perfectly functional guns, well used but maintained well, practical and they have sentimental value — enough that he hates the idea of selling them.

                So he’s probably got 15 or so guns of various sorts, and he freely admits he needs 3 of them. And the only reason he hasn’t sold the other 12 or so is for sentimental reasons, and he’s got enough room in his gun safe for them…..(and about once a year, someone will want to go shooting on his land, so he’s got plenty of loaners).

                Politically, he’s not been a member of the NRA since before I was born and he refuses to hunt (or go skeet shooting) with people he doesn’t know. Got tired of one too many incidents with idiots with poor muzzle discipline.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC says:

                I’ve touched on this before, but “inheritance” coupled with “the dwindling numbers of gun-owning households”.

                Yeah, I’m wondering if that ‘3% own half the guns’ isn’t itself a bit misleading. Because not only are their guys like your father-in-law that just sorta ended up with a bunch of guns because other people don’t want them, there’s probably at least one guy who ended up owning 50+ guns because his great-grandfather collected an entire house of them displayed behind glass and he’s the family member that ended up with the ‘gun house’, and he’s selling off one wherever money is tight but otherwise it’s just some really weird decor.

                Of course, that works on the other side of the scales also, in that a lot of people probably inherited a single gun and have no idea what to do with it, so they count as ‘gun owners that don’t own a lot of guns’.

                I think a more relevant statistic, and one we’re unlikely to get, is what percentage of private individuals _buy_ what percentage of the guns sold over, say, a twenty-year span? I suspect we’d find it even more skewed than the 22%/3% split of current ownership. (Aka, 1/8th of gun owners own half the guns.)

                I’m betting only like 1/10th of the gun buyers are _buying_ half the guns. Or even lower.

                There is one set of gun buyers that buy perhaps one gun a decade, because they buy a gun for a specific purpose and as long as it works for that purpose, they’re good, until they can justify something better….and then they probably sell the old one. Basically, they own guns like other people own refrigerators: A moderately expensive purchase for a specific use that you use until it breaks…or until you see some incredibly awesome replacement and can justify the spending. And sometimes you get more than one, sure, you need one for the house and a small one for the basement. Or you buy a new one and put the old one in the garage. But you don’t, like, buy a dozen of them. (Although people usually don’t think of you as ‘refrigerator guy’ and leave you all the refrigerators in a family.)

                And there is another set of people that just basically collects guns because they think they’re cool. They buy guns like other people buy cat figurines, or clothes, or books, or Raspberry Pis. (That last one is probably just me.)

                And here I should clarify again: The problem isn’t even really _that_ entire last group, either. People can collect all sorts of silly things, and guns are interesting both historically and mechanically. Hell, I’ve spent too much time on Wikipedia reading about different types of guns to claim otherwise. It’s perfectly fine to be a ‘gun collector’.

                But there is a subgroup of ‘gun collectors’ who are operating in crazy-land, and currently stopping any sort of gun laws. Heck, I’m not even sure if they count as ‘collectors’…the entire concept of ‘collecting’ thing implies the collector thinks those things, or that amount of those things, aren’t really useful.

                But that’s not what these guys are doing…they’re basically _hoarders_ of guns. They are amassing a bunch of things they think are useful, for reasons they think are good, but they are factually incorrect about all of that because they have been fed paranoia from the NRA and the right.

                So, yes, we need to try to be careful about how we define the ‘these people are unreasonable’ group, not only to keep from alienating reasonable gun owners and even collectors, but because making the ‘Pry my gun from my cold dead hands’ group look bigger is _exactly what the NRA has been doing for decades_, on purpose.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain says:

                …or Raspberry Pis. (That last one is probably just me.)

                Nope, not just you.Report

              • Avatar dragonfrog says:

                The remaining 22% are hunters, or rational people who own a firearm for self-defense, or (And this is the confusing part) just criminals who use their gun for criminally things like murdering people.

                There are probably a few people for whom owning a gun for self-defense is rational – in the sense that it decreases their risk of falling victim to violence by more than it increases their risk of suicide, the risk to everyone in their household of gun accidents and violence, etc.

                But the great majority of the basically reasonable, calm-minded people who own a gun for self-defense are not “rational” in that strict sense.

                Most of those who are rational in that sense, are probably criminals – who carry guns not for the purpose of murdering or robbing, but to protect themselves from their fellow criminals, with whom they of necessity do business, and some of whom do have guns for the purpose of robbery and murder.Report

              • Avatar dragonfrog says:

                For myself, there’s foreseeable no way I’m going to own a gun – I’ve averaged probably two or three weeks a year with suicidal thoughts for the past couple decades. And I think I’m in pretty solid mental health compared to the nationwide average.

                I’m not the only person in the household either. I don’t need to double and triple guess the mental health self-assessment of every adult in the family, try to prognosticate how bad is the worst we’re each going to reach at our individual lifetime lows, or guess from very little present knowledge what each of child’s lifetime mental health life path is likely to look like – if I just choose to go without a gun.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                There are probably a few people for whom owning a gun for self-defense is rational – in the sense that it decreases their risk of falling victim to violence by more than it increases their risk of suicide, the risk to everyone in their household of gun accidents and violence, etc.

                The risk level of a gun in the house is what, something like that of owning a pool? Now granted, I don’t own a pool because of the risk level so there’s that.

                However my expected risk might change next week. One of my daughters dumps her boyfriend and he starts stalking her. Some nut targets a family member. The local wildlife becomes a problem.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                I know, and you know, and I know you know, but I’m not sure you know I know…

                🙂 Thank you, and I didn’t.

                Approximately 25% of civilians own guns in the US…and three percent of the population, the gun fetishists, own a full _half_ of them.

                Lots of people collect “something”. I know a guy with multiple dozens of guns. He collects WW2 stuff (he could easily start a store) so it’s part of the package.

                those people, those fetishists, the 3% that own half the guns, are the major reason we can’t do anything about the actual criminals who have guns.

                We are not one sensible gun law away from getting criminals (i.e. drug dealers) to disarm. Short of ending the war on drugs (which I support), that segment of society has tremendous need for firearms, is already used to ignoring laws, and also has already built an import/export pipeline for illegal merchandise.

                Serious criminal gun control in this society means we need to get rid of the truly massive economic interests which fuel it. That’s making it unprofitable for dealer-X to murder dealer-Y.

                And meanwhile illegal guns will slowly disappear.

                Because people won’t change their actions, even if they have massive economic interests suggesting they should. Any plan which expects criminals to obey the law is doomed to failure. Look at whatever law you want to pass and ask if it’d destroy the illegal drug trade if applied to drugs. If the answer is “no”, then it probably won’t disarm criminals.

                I would suggest requiring registration and impose massive penalties for ‘losing’ guns or having them stolen.

                We’re headed for a society where anyone with a 3D printer can “manufacture” a firearm. It’s probably already technically feasible, we just don’t have the demand for it.

                Even if 100% of criminal guns are currently lost/stolen/strawman, getting rid of that route will just instantly open up another. We saw something very similar when most illegal drugs came via “transport route X” or “country Y”. Stopping that just shifted the flow to somewhere else.

                Currently, all criminals at a certain level need guns to function. Shifting the legal gun trade into an illegal run-by-criminals gun trade is probably not going to have the impact we want. I’d expect it’d make gun control a lot worse because they won’t run background checks or whatever.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                Speaking of criminal guns:

                https://www.thetrace.org/features/stolen-guns-violent-crime-america/

                Part of owning a gun is taking reasonable steps to secure it. If you aren’t home, and it isn’t on your person, it needs to be in a safe that is not trivial to get into with a prybar.

                Ergo, insurance requirements or mandatory reporting of theft should be a thing.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Ergo, insurance requirements

                I’ve read some short takes on this. Do you have any links to a full treatment that seems workable?Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                I haven’t, but I’ll poke around tomorrow, if I get a chance. See if anything workable is out there.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                Seems NY tried to make it happen.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                @davidtc

                The more I think about it, the more this could work, if we have some good numbers to work from.

                Rate an firearm (any arm, really) by how much energy it can deliver at nominal range, per second.

                For, say, your average person who is not a cop, or soldier, or gun collector, they can own any weapon that can deliver a max of X Watts (Joules/second). Want to shoot a semi auto weapon, then it can only be chambered for a caliber of rubber bullets. And the breech will be specifically designed so that if someone attempted to chamber a more powerful round, the breech stands a high likelihood of catastrophic failure when fired. For self defense purposes, you nail someone with 5 or more rubber bullets in rapid succession, unless they are wearing body armor or high as a rocket, they are going to back the hell off, and probably need some medical attention.

                Want to deliver more Watts, then the firearm is a manual loader (lever, pump, or bolt action, or similar).

                Over a certain Wattage, LE is gonna want to know why (you are a big game hunter, or a collector, etc.).

                The trick is settling on the Watt range.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC says:

                Start applying that to other rights, speech for example, and I’m sure we’d get all sorts of obnoxious examples.

                I literally just did apply that standard to speech.

                Specific ways of using constitutional rights can be restricted if people are still able to fully use those rights.

                You do not, for example, have a right to wander off the street into public school classrooms and start preaching your religion to students. Or into libraries, or town meetings. Likewise, you have to get permits and whatnot to peacefully assemble. The courts have repeatedly upheld time and place restrictions for speech.

                The Supreme Court, in Heller, said that people have a right to own firearm to fulfill specific rights.

                Well, I say, as long as the people _can_ own firearms that work to fulfill those rights, as long as it is legal to own something that can accomplish those specific things…specific forms of guns can be banned.

                ‘Type restrictions’, if you will.

                not least what is on sale at the local gun store, or what I could get second hand.

                Uh, no. What we should allow people to own does not really change because might happen to randomly be cheaper. (Which it wouldn’t be anyway.)

                You would have a good point if anyone was proposing banning the cheapest form of firearms, and in fact that’s part of what pissed the court off in Heller, that disallowing all handguns (DC only allowed rifles, which start off more expensive) barred poor people from availing themselves of their rights…except the problem is that AR-15s and other goofy high-velocity low-calibre rifles are literally the most expensive sort of guns.

                I expect it’d be an extremely stressful situation so a high magazine is highly desirable, I’m not sure I’d be able to reload. I’m also not sure I could hit anything in less than a dozen shots.

                Fun fact about the high-velocity low-calibre rounds in that: They go through the walls of a house.

                Now, a lot of bullets will actually do that if fired straight, but the thing about the low-calibre rounds is they will tumble wildly when they hit a wall and go in crazy direction, so basically, if you’re missing the person, you have no idea where the bullet is going. (Unlike larger calibre rifles or lower velocity handgun, which if they go through a wall, will at least go in a straight-ish line.)

                I’m pretty certain that saying ‘I am such a poor shot that I need a weapon that lets me fire a lot of bullets quickly, even if most of them are going to go wherever’ is not an argument that will work in court for such a weapon being sold to the public, and is probably an argument that you, personally, should not own such a weapon!

                And yes, how scary the weapon it is.

                Looking scary probably does not count as some constitutional goal. You do not have a constitutional right to scare people with guns…in fact, such a thing is generally considered assault and illegal, although you were talking about it during home defense where it would be legal. But it’s not a right.

                I’d want something long barrel because that’s probably easier to aim and harder to misuse.

                The longer the barrel, the harder it is to aim it in close quarters. (And the easier it is to have it taken away from you.) The advantage of long barrels is that they can be aimed longer distances, but that doesn’t make them easier to aim closer, and certainly not if speed is an issue.

                Considering your requirements, the blatantly obvious weapon for you to purchase would be a shotgun, which, although hard to ‘aim’ than a handgun, doesn’t really require you to aim at all more than ‘vaguely over there’. Also, they aren’t going to go through a lot of walls.

                As an added advantage, it will cost something like a quarter the price of an AR-15.

                This is all exactly what I mean by ‘The courts may say you have a right to self-defense, but that doesn’t mean the legislature cannot decide what particular manner of self-defense you are supposed to us, as long as it works.’

                The law can thus say ‘home-defense should be done via these sorts of shotguns or handguns’, and ‘self-defense in public should be done via these sorts of handguns’, and ‘defending the State should be done via…well, the fully-automatic rifles we have prepared to hand out when the State is invaded, duh, but you don’t get those until we’re invaded’ (That ‘right’ is kinda stupid and doesn’t make much sense.), and…that’s it. Those are the three things that the court said the law had to allow, and as long as the law allows those things to happen in some sort of reasonable method, it can disallow any other methods it has a valid reason to do so, like ‘Those sort of guns are more dangerous to bystanders during those lawful actions.’.

                Now, there is an entire hypothetical argument to be had if the weapons I was concerned about were better at self defense. There would be a legal argument about whether or not any such laws were the _least restrictive_ manner of projecting public safety while still allowing people to exercise their rights.

                But we somehow have stumbled upon the dumbest weapons to use for pretty much everything the court have said people have a right own guns to do. And some of the most expensive weapons on top of that.

                Which is why I asked ‘Is there actually anything those guns are better at?’.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                Specific ways of using constitutional rights can be restricted if people are still able to fully use those rights.

                “Still able to fully use those rights” means you can’t be nerfing my choices to the point where you’re increasing my risk.

                Looking scary probably does not count as some constitutional goal. … it’s not a right.

                And here we go. Looking scary is useful for my easily foreseeable situation. This kind of armchair quarterbacking and deciding I don’t “need” that or have the “right” to this results in decreased utility. It also results in me opposing the involvement of this kind of thinking anywhere in the process.

                Fun fact about the high-velocity low-calibre rounds in that: They go through the walls of a house.

                Shooting through walls is a feature, not a bug. My house has two stories. If I’m shooting down then the issue is moot. If she is trying to break into my house, then I want to prevent that even if I have to shoot through things. Btw my neighbors are far enough away their risk from this would be pretty negligible.

                I’m pretty certain that saying ‘I am such a poor shot that I need a weapon that lets me fire a lot of bullets quickly, even if most of them are going to go wherever’ is not an argument that will work in court for such a weapon being sold to the public, and is probably an argument that you, personally, should not own such a weapon!

                So only some people have the right to defend themselves, and I’m not one of them.

                The longer the barrel, the harder it is to aim it in close quarters.

                I’m trying to avoid close quarters, lots of things have gone wrong if she has house access. I want the issue resolved before we get to that point. I also have children around. Having the gun be big, obvious, and heavy enough that it never gets lost, misplaced, or played with seems like a good thing.

                Or, if I need to plan for close quarters, then we open that can of worms and I go full CC (which means spending a fair bit of time and training) and get a handgun… but that gives us enough conflicting requirements it means “two guns”.

                Considering your requirements, the blatantly obvious weapon for you to purchase would be a shotgun

                An Extremely strong option. Definitely at the top of the short list, and I could take up deer hunting in addition. If I’d continued down this path I’d have tried each, started visiting gun stores, talked to people who know a lot more than I do, and figured out what I was comfortable with.

                the legislature cannot decide what particular manner of self-defense you are supposed to us, as long as it works.’

                What will work is something I’d like to decide. Entrusting that evaluation to people who doesn’t want me to have a gun, AT ALL, seems like something to avoid.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC says:

                Looking scary is useful for my easily foreseeable situation

                That does not matter, constitutionally. There is no constitutional right to scare people with guns.

                Although if you want to argue you have a right to scary-looking guns, whatever. I don’t really care. Have at it. I’m arguing about regulating the behavior of guns in firing bullets, not the look of them.

                Buy any sort of still-legal gun you want and mount a little silver skull on it. Put spikes on it. Name it after a woman and spraypaint that on the side. I do not care.

                It also results in me opposing the involvement of this kind of thinking anywhere in the process.

                Yes, heaven forbid that the courts weigh the exercise of one party’s constitutional rights against society’s right to not be harmed by the exercise of those rights. Surely that can’t be how it works. I mean, it’s not like I literally gave an example of how people can’t just randomly exercise their freedom to assemble and petition the government anywhere at any time on public property.

                Shooting through walls is a feature, not a bug. My house has two stories. If I’m shooting down then the issue is moot. If she is trying to break into my house, then I want to prevent that even if I have to shoot through things. Btw my neighbors are far enough away their risk from this would be pretty negligible.

                I can’t even begin to describe how dumb it is to fire, unseen, into another floor of your house because ‘someone broke in’.

                I also must point out it is nearly impossible to deliberately hit someone this way, even with ammo that does go straight. It’s even harder with these high-velocity low-calibre rounds that tumble when they hit things and go in random directions.

                If you actually wish(?!) to shoot people through walls and floors (And, again, while you might wish that, it is extremely unlikely that a court will think that is any sort of constitutional right, considering how dangerously stupid shooting at people sight unseen is.), you need to use a high calibre round that will go mostly straight through walls, not the low calibre stuff that goes off in random direction.

                But, seriously, you basically appear to be arguing for the right to stand on the second floor of your house and spray the first floor of your house with random bullets that go in random directions. This does not comport with any lawful or even sane definition of ‘defense of home’, and the courts do not have to allow you to do it. Even if you really want to.

                Btw my neighbors are far enough away their risk from this would be pretty negligible.

                Oh, I see. The distance of your neighbors means the government is required to let those weapons be sold to everyone. That makes sense.

                So only some people have the right to defend themselves, and I’m not one of them.

                No. People only have a constitutional right to defend themselves in reasonably sane manner that does not risk absurd levels of collateral damage. Just like people cannot use their right of religious exercise to juggle running chainsaws while walking down the sidewalk, even if their religion demands it.

                Moreover, the government has a right to limit such options for defense to things that are sane in most circumstances, even if you are Mr. Hermit living out in the woods in the middle of nowhere and your sidewalk is almost completely empty. The government does not have to allow special rules about chainsaw juggling for you, nor does it have to make the rules that everyone follows comport with your specific situation.

                I would argue the government has a right to make rules about this _even if_ it results in a slight decrease of efficiency of the right to self defense, but, interestingly, this does not, because, as I keep pointing out, the sort of guns I am talking about are pretty crappy choices for self and home defense anyway. (In fact, rifles in general are bad choices merely for their length.)

                I’m trying to avoid close quarters, lots of things have gone wrong if she has house access.

                You realize it is illegal to shoot someone who has not broken into your house or isn’t posing a threat to you, right? Castle laws apply only to inside your house. You can’t shoot someone out the window because they are wandering around in your yard, even if they refuse to leave. You must call the police and have them arrested. (Technically, you can use minimal force to eject them, but that would not involve using a gun.)

                Even stand-your-ground laws, assuming your state has them, do not apply if there is a locked door between you and them. While stand-your-ground laws have had some spectacular stupid decisions made in their interpretation, like letting them apply even if the shooter started the fight, they are not dumb in that particular area: The law still requires that people shot at have some way they could hypothetically harm you, and people locked outside your house generally cannot.

                Additionally, stand-your-ground requires close quarters (Because, again, it requires some sort of plausible level of harm that might come to you.), so even if you went outside to shoot them, it wouldn’t work unless you got close to them.

                So what, exactly, is this hypothetical scenario? The only way that anyone outside your house could legally pose a threat that would justify shooting them from inside, or at range from outside, is if they were pointing a gun at you or your house.

                Well, that seems like a really stupid hypothetical, because, duh, in the world you appear to want, there’s really no reason they wouldn’t have shot up your house before you noticed they were there. Spray it with gunfire from a distance.

                Good plan you’ve got there. Solid. If your enemies do exactly the stupidest possible thing, showing up as a lethal threat that legally allows you to kill them, but stupidly not executing said lethal threat, you can spray gunfire at them and maybe kill them before they can fire back.

                I also have children around.

                Good things those children are locked in their room, physically unable to go downstairs or outside at night.

                I mean, I assume.Report

              • Avatar Maribou, Moderator says:

                @davidtc

                I understand why you’re frustrated with the comment you are responding to, but at … just about this point:

                Good plan you’ve got there. Solid.

                You shifted from picking apart the (il)logic to mocking the other poster. Yes, I realize you’re theoretically still mocking the plan, but your tone shifted from frustrated to something less pleasant.

                Also, throughout the post, you didn’t really need to keep hammering on the not-sane part of things, it would’ve been equally effective and a lot less annoying from a mental-health-stigma point of view as well as a provocative-to-further-incivility point of view if you’d stuck to unreasonable or maybe at least mentioned sane less than every other breath.

                I realize both those things are somewhat subtle, and even arguable (don’t), but it’s my call and that’s how I’m calling it.

                Knock it off, please. And if you can’t back up from there, give it some space.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                heaven forbid that the courts weigh the exercise of one party’s constitutional rights against society’s right to not be harmed by the exercise of those rights.

                Me buying that gun and storing it in a safe harms no one. Treating everyone like a potential school shooter quickly leads to unconstitutional restrictions. Society’s right to not be harmed should be taking exception to how, why, and where I pull the trigger.

                I can’t even begin to describe how dumb it is to fire, unseen, into another floor of your house because ‘someone broke in’.

                I thought I made it clear I didn’t want her in the house. If I’m firing from the 2nd floor then it’s down into the ground outside so over penetration isn’t an issue. If I’m firing from the first floor then shooting through a door may be highly desirable.

                …dangerously stupid shooting at people sight unseen…

                The whole situation would be howling at the moon insane, from start to end. But not my insanity, I’d be dealing with a situation forced upon me. “Dangerously stupid” can still be “less risky than the actual alternatives”.

                It’s the whole “arming teachers” argument but with a known nut you expect to show up.

                People only have a constitutional right to defend themselves in reasonably sane manner that does not risk absurd levels of collateral damage.

                You seem to be assuming I’m in some urban paradise surrounded by people. I’m not. The expected amount of “collateral damage” is zero.

                The distance of your neighbors means the government is required to let those weapons be sold to everyone. That makes sense.

                Shockingly, urban and rural environments have different concerns, needs, and solutions to problems. It’s hardly new for urban to insist that one size fits all because “everyone is urban” but it is tiresome.

                even if you are Mr. Hermit living out in the woods in the middle of nowhere and your sidewalk is almost completely empty.

                An “empty sidewalk” is your limit on how bare the land can be? Try “no sidewalk at all and none expected”… but I’m not sure if it counts as “middle of nowhere”. I’ve a 15 or 20 minute commute. But yeah, it gets seriously rural (active farms) if I go the other direction.

                You can’t shoot someone out the window because they are wandering around in your yard, even if they refuse to leave. You must call the police and have them arrested.

                I refuse to have any interaction with her at all. Calling the police is first out of the box (they can “ask her to leave”), but when seconds count they’re minutes away (and this assumes they do something other than wait for her to run out of bullets or bodies).

                I’m huge, I’ve got 12 inches and 100+ pounds on her. She’s crazy, not stupid. So if she shows up looking to kill my children, she’d need to be armed. My expectation is the situation would escalate quickly and badly. Which means the problem isn’t someone “wandering around in my yard”, it’s “a mentally ill active shooter who is targeting my family”.

                And at that point the issue becomes tactics, and risk mitigation within a budget. For all the talk of “illegal”, or “insane”, or whatever “should” happen, the ability to shoot through walls or doors might be decisive and less risky than other alternatives.

                This isn’t “planning on what happens after the gov falls and the zombies invade” paranoia. This was “the known facts are a seriously disturbed person has targeted my family, knows where I live and the interior of the house, claims to have strong motivation to want us dead, and it’s unclear what flavor of crazy she is”.

                My understanding of her situation has changed. I now know she’s very unlikely to be violent (except towards her kid but that’s a different problem). There’s this weird disconnect between what she claims is going on and how she acts. However with the information I had at the time, I think my level of risk would have been lowered if I’d had a gun in the house. Granted, I also thought a shotgun was a stronger choice than an assault rifle but that’s a budget issue. If the budget is large enough then going with both seems reasonable.

                I get that this is a nightmare scenario. It’s tempting to insist “reasonable” alternatives “must” exist, that the police will be able to handle it. However the reality on the ground can be really ugly.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                @dark-matter

                What are the four rules again? Let’s see… guns are always loaded… smart, but not what I am looking for… booger hook and bang switch… no, not that one… only point at bad guys… getting warmer… AHA! Here it is!

                Always be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

                Unless you are sporting FLIR optics, you can’t possibly do this. Also, the DA in damn near every district in the US will happily prosecute* you until the heat death of the universe if s/he even suspects just a smidgen that you shot through a door or wall with intent and killed someone, even if that person was armed and dangerous.

                *Unless you have a badge, then you are good to shoot through anything.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                the DA… will happily prosecute you… if you shot through a door or wall with intent and killed someone, even if that person was armed and dangerous.

                This is like saying an armed teacher will need to worry about being shot by the police in a rampage shooter situation. It’s true, but if you’re dealing with THAT flavor of crazy and it’s hit the fan to that extreme, it’s a good problem to have because the alternatives are worse.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                Regardless, shooting through a wall or door is STILL poor firearms safety and a great way to wind up on the wrong end of the judgement of 12.

                Be smart, wait for the target to be visible and a confirmed threat.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                Not all rights are structured the same!

                In particular, the courts currently recognize an individual right to own firearms as being (at least primarily) about self-defense, and that’s after a huge and unprecedented expansion in Heller and MacDonald, both of which are less than a decade old. It’s hard to determine exactly what they cover, because of the weird Möbius strip logic of Heller that seems to be there solely because it allowed Antonin Scalia to pretend it was an “originalist” decision.

                Still, lower courts have all found that AWBs are constitutional, and the SCOTUS has yet to take up the issue. That doesn’t make AWBs a good policy, obviously–“constitutional” is the literal bare minimum for a law needs to clear to actually be a law. @davidtc isn’t wrong to discuss gun rights in the context of some other purpose.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                I think a more interesting question is why possession of a semi automatic rifle is considered a right, but fully automatic is not.

                I’m not looking for the technical legal reasoning, but the deeper moral principle involved.
                What would be unjust or immoral in making semiautomatics a restricted privilege for example?Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                There is a right to own a full-auto. Just gotta do the paperwork and pay the tax stamp ($200).

                You just can’t own a full-auto made after 1968. And the reason that passes muster is because full-auto was not considered a weapon in common usage. Never has been.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC says:

                There is a right to own a full-auto. Just gotta do the paperwork and pay the tax stamp ($200).

                I don’t think that’s technically correct. Yes, you _can_ own a full-auto like that. But I don’t think it’s a ‘right’.

                I’m pretty sure the court would not saying ownership of something was a ‘right’, but let the government get away with barring manufacture of new ones so less than 500,000 of them existed and could ever exist. That, by definition, means that only 1/5th of the adult population could exercise their rights in that regard.

                That sort of nonsense, making something a constitutional right but the legislature forbidding people from providing it to people who want it, only works in court when we’re talking about abortion rights. 😉

                Edit: Did I just say 500,000 was 1/5th of 250,000,000? Doh. It’s 1/500th. Looks like it’s time for bed for me.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                I wan’t looking for the technical legalities.

                When the Founders said that the people have a right to bear arms, did they mean everything from swords to muskets to cannons?

                What logic is there to making a distinction between “They meant swords and muskets, but not cannons!” or the modern equivalent of “They meant semiautomatic handguns and rifles, but not fully automatic belt fed .50 caliber guns!”

                The reason I ask, is that the line that separates semiautomatics from larger weapons like machine guns and howitzers is just asserted like some Obvious and Axiomatic Fundamental Right, which doesn’t need to be explained or argued.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Do we have any evidence at all that the founding fathers thought that private citizens should have weapons suitable to go up against what governments at that time were able to provide?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                {{Founding Fathers™}}Report

              • Avatar scott the mediocre says:

                Not directly relevant, but it was normal for (some) US merchant ships to carry weaponry approaching (but not AFAIK equaling) in caliber and throw weight a commissioned sloop of war (= sixth rate in the Royal Navy, not sure the French or Spanish equivalent terms). Recall that piracy was very much a Thing in the Caribbean and western Mediterranean until a little after the Napoleonic wars (cf US Marine Anthem). Also recall letters of marque – some ships were designed to be converted into commerce raiders, in which configuration they were sometimes intended to overawe the other guys’ lightly armed merchantmen.

                Given a perhaps-improbable level of crew training, two or three well- but legally-armed merchantmen would have a fair chance of taking a sixth rate in an open/fair fight. In comparison, today with weaponry you can legally own, every sovereign citizen working together could not IMHO touch a modestly trigger happy Coast Guard cutter (the smallest of which have 25mm bushmasters on stabilized mounts). N.b. not including surprise attack while tied up.

                I also STR reading of a few swivel guns in private (=non formally militia) hands on the frontier in the immediate post-revolutionary period, but cannot find a cite at the moment and could well be remembering incorrectly.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Huh. That’s pretty interesting. So for seafaring vessels, government-grade weaponry *WAS* the norm for a while there.

                Until it wasn’t anymore.Report

              • Avatar scott the mediocre says:

                I’m not sure I would call it the norm, but it was certainly common for vessels which might be expected to transit through some rough neighborhoods (by comparison, vessels which were by design or preference limited to the North Atlantic trade or coasters often carried no cannon (my guess would be usually carried no cannon, but I’m too lazy to search statistics). Note also that a ship had to be designed from the beginning to carry heavy naval artillery – it was pretty impractical to retrofit.Report

              • Avatar George Turner says:

                Yes, we do. The Founders used private firearms and cannon to take on the British army and navy.

                Interestingly, one way to get out of militia service was to own or serve as crew on a privately owned warship. Thousands of people did just that in the War of 1812.

                That war included the Battle of New Orleans, which was won with privately owned cannon and rifles.

                Thankfully, people are still allowed to own fighter aircraft, bombers, attack helicopters, tanks, and warships.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC says:

                The reason I ask, is that the line that separates semiautomatics from larger weapons like machine guns and howitzers is just asserted like some Obvious and Axiomatic Fundamental Right, which doesn’t need to be explained or argued.

                The previous reason was that, before Heller, courts had never held the right to bear arms was any sort of individual right.

                The current reason, after Heller, is presumably that such things are not needed for self or home defense, and/or their danger to others outweighs any such possible use. Aka, the same sort of logic that disallows inciting ‘imminent lawless action’ under the first amendment.Report

              • Avatar George Turner says:

                My whole family open carried in the 30’s. It’s not a new thing.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                Didn’t Will have a link to the nature of “running amok”, and how it’s been a thing for a very long time?Report

        • Avatar Jesse says:

          That’s not even getting into the multiple stories of teachers getting violent with their own students, for a variety of reasons. Now, let’s some add guns to that!Report

      • Avatar Dark Matter says:

        How many of them are going to be seriously screwed up mentally by the experience?

        Currently they die while trying to stop a shooter bare handed.

        Potentially “screwed up mentally” would be a VAST improvement.Report

        • Avatar bookdragon says:

          How many of them are going to crouch behind their desks ready to shoot if the gunman comes thru the door …and shoot a panicked kid or teacher who runs in to hide? or the SWAT officer who comes in? Or, even more likely, wind up getting shot by SWAT when they come in to clear the room and see a gun?Report

          • Avatar Morat20 says:

            Silly dragon, blue-on-blue never happens! Good guys with a gun never make mistakes, just like in movies!Report

          • Avatar Dark Matter says:

            How many of them are going to crouch behind their desks ready to shoot if the gunman comes thru the door …and shoot a panicked kid or teacher who runs in to hide? or the SWAT officer who comes in? Or, even more likely, wind up getting shot by SWAT when they come in to clear the room and see a gun?

            So everyone is safer if the Rampage shooter is the only armed person?Report

            • Avatar bookdragon says:

              Everyone is safer if the rampage shooter can’t get a firearm capable of spraying over a 100 bullets in 6 minutes in the first place.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                Everyone is safer if the rampage shooter can’t get a firearm capable of spraying over a 100 bullets in 6 minutes in the first place.

                That gun holds 20-25 bullets, so he reloaded 4 times (thus the “multiple clips” reported by the media). The police waited until he was done. He averaged one bullet every three seconds which doesn’t seem like a “spray”.

                Would making him spend an extra handful of seconds to reload a few more times accomplished much? If his gun were limited to 10 bullets per clip, could the teachers have taken him bare handed?

                The gun seems like less of a problem than the shooter and the situation. Making him use a handgun, like in Virginia Tech (which killed more people) doesn’t seem like an improvement, much less a solution.Report

            • Avatar dragonfrog says:

              Let’s accept for the moment that on days with a rampage shooting, students are 75% safer from the shooter, but only 65% less likely to be shot when you figure in some rate of friendly fire.

              On all the other days (which at almost every school in the country is the only kind of day there is), how much more risk is there of false-alarm or accidental shootings? How much extra risk does there have to be on non-rampage-shooter days, before your safety measure kills more people than it saves?

              How many more lives would be saved every year from other measures? Better lighting and traffic calming infrastructure at all intersections within two blocks of a school, for example. Suicide crisis intervention. Naloxone. Enforcing sick days…Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                How many more lives would be saved every year from other measures?

                Sure. Agreed with all of that. Everything you said.

                However we’re in the “something must be done” stage. The advantage of letting teachers be armed is it’s something we could do. It’s passing laws on the law abiding rather than the law disabiding. It probably would make the worst days better (or at least not worse).

                And if the gun control people are going to insist that “something must be done” then maybe, no matter how stupid the numbers are, we go with it.Report

  20. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    So, seems it wasn’t just one cop, it was 4, who failed to engage the shooter. To quote Brother Jason K

    The police in the United States increasingly resemble the nobility in the Old Regime. Allowed to carry weapons when others are not, allowed to use them with relatively relaxed rules, subject to leniency in their special tribunals. And heaven help you if you choose to fight back.

    As this goes on, it becomes pretty clear that LE had lots of warning about this asshole, and just could not be bothered to do, well, anything. It’s going to be hard to ask people to give up their firearms (of any type) when the police keep coming off as incompetent or excessively trigger happy (which are two excellent reasons to not call the police to help you). Couple that with the fear that accompanies constant coverage and reporting and perspectives, etc of every single bit of violence, and well…Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain says:

      @james-k often raises the question of the many overlapping law enforcement agencies in the US. A quick skim on the internet suggests that Parkland, where the school was located, merged its LE with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office more than ten years ago. The officers who arrived and found the sheriff’s office personnel outside the school were from Coral Springs, the next city to the south of Parkland. The Broward CSO appears to be huge — 5800 employees and a $730M budget.

      Anyone know how Florida divides up responsibilities between the CSOs and municipal police? How the training differs? Whether the CSO (or CSOs) tactical doctrine is to contain the area, or to enter and confront any shooters? At the time of the Columbine shooting in Colorado, the tactical practice here was contain first, and wait for specialists to do the actual entry.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater says:

      As this goes on, it becomes pretty clear that LE had lots of warning about this asshole, and just could not be bothered to do, well, anything.

      Maybe that’s because the NRA and 2A dead-enders have reflexively opposed *any* measures which would infringe on gun rights? I mean, talk about slippery slopes to full-on gummint confiscation. Dude, you have no idea…

      It’s going to be hard to ask people to give up their firearms (of any type) when the police keep coming off as incompetent or excessively trigger happy

      I think you should personalize this argument Oscar: it’s going to be hard to ask *you* to give up your guns for those reasons. Your argument is that since the Broward cops failed to engage the school shooter *you* need to keep and (presumably) bear an AR-15 at all times. (??? Am I understanding the argument right?) Or could it be that even this argument is an expression of hysteria and is therefore irrational?

      Look, I get the sentiment being expressed, but by phrasing it the way you do I can’t help but think you’re engaging in a propaganda war by appealing to what you yerownself concede are irrational fears of crime coupled with an irrational fear that gummint can’t protect “us.” (When did this become 2Aer’s go-to talking point?) There is absolutely no logical link between Broward cops failing to engage a shooter and a presumed right of citizens to own military grade semi-automatic weapons.* It’s all fear-mongering, and you’re either strategically engaging in it to support your preferred position on an assault weapons ban, or you yourself have succumbed to irrational fears. There’s really no middle ground *in the argument you made* that I can see, to be honest. That’s not to say that a different argument for refusing to give up your guns can’t be made.** But this one ain’t it.

      *It’s especially incoherent when the perceived necessity to own military grade weapons derives from the very thing at issue: a right to own them.

      **I think the best argument for preserving the right to military grade weapons ownership is the ‘bulwark against tyranny” argument, myself. I also think it’s ridiculous, for practical as well as conceptual reasons. Eg., there’s no practical distinction between arming up as a bulwark against tyranny (“freedom fighters!”) and arming up to overthrow the government (also freedom fighters), and cops will respond to either by arming up even more.*** The cycle of escalation concludes with what we see right now: military hardware possessed by local PDs).

      *** I read an article that some town’s cops (or maybe it was state troopers) are agitating for carrying AR-15s in their cruisers given their prevalence on the streets.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

        You misunderstand me.

        You want a high trust, high collaboration society? Step 1 – have law enforcement respond appropriately* to call outs with five nines reliability. If your call to the police is a crap shoot as to whether or not they are going to hold back until the shooting and screaming stops, and/or when they do go in, it’s guns blazing/shoot anything that moves – well, that is only going to fuel the hysteria, not dampen it. Especially when it is also highly unlikely that officers who take such actions are not disciplined beyond a stern talking to.

        Also, WTF is a military grade weapon when discussing personal arms? There is no such thing, in reality. About the closest thing we have to that is a full-auto weapon. Semi-autos have been civilian weapons since long before the AR-15 showed up.

        Finally, cops have patrol rifles because of the Hollywood shootout in 1997. Cops like to imagine they are facing down guys like that every day. The stats don’t bear it out. Surprise surprise, cops drink their own kool-aid and the fear they sow justifies the hysteria they feel.

        *appropriately for the citizen, not the officer safety.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

          It does seem weird to me to on the one hand, complain about cops suffering from irrational fear and at the same time insist that people should be able to carry a military grade weapon* into Starbucks because y’know, personal security.

          *Military grade weaponry means a rifle whose chief purpose is to kill humans, as opposed to a hunting weapon.Report

          • Avatar Jason says:

            “Military grade” weaponry is a scare term to encourage gun control. At this point, I’m for gun control, but let’s be honest about where these terms come from. People like using terms like “military grade” or “assault weapon” (isn’t that redundant–any weapon’s purpose is assault) because they sound scary, not that most of their features actually make them deadlier. In fact, the one feature that does make them deadlier is probably the box magazine of normal capacity (30 rounds). Bans of those types (box magazine accepting sem-auto rifles) may be an answer to mass shootings.
            Hunting rifles ARE military grade (they were just general issue a loooong time ago). And an avid hunter’s rifle may be deadlier in that it’s more accurate than what used to be issued. I find the whole idea about purpose being to kill animals versus people a bit silly, as there’s nothing about hunting rifles that’s designed specifically for animals instead of humans. People do use AR’s to hunt coyotes, after all.
            I, too, find the AR-15 dudes in Starbucks ridiculous. However, they’re not really concerned with security; they’re making a political statement. It’s a push against gun control. It’s also stupid; I know many in the gun community think so.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

              “Scary” is actually a correct metric to evaluate things on.
              The Bushmaster was marketed specifically because it looks like, and is, a human hunting tool. It’s essential design is to make killing easy without the need for accuracy.
              Public displays of such weaponry is a belligerent act intended to communicate the intent and willingness to take a life.

              And as I mentioned elsewhere, inflicting terror is itself a societal problem on par with killing people because it strikes at the gray zone that Adam Silverman at Balloon Juice talks about, that public sphere where we all feel safe.

              Democracy is incompatible with fear.Report

              • Avatar Jason says:

                It’s essential design is to make killing easy without the need for accuracy.

                Poppycock. They’re built to be accurate. They make killing easy because they can fire quickly and accurately with low recoil. This is certainly a tangent, but it bugs me.

                As for public displays being belligerent acts? Sometimes. Not always. Context is usually important. As I said, some of those idiots are doing it to say “look at me” and not to say “I’m gonna kill you all.”

                Democracy is incompatible with fear.

                Yes. That’s why we’re fished.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                “They make killing easy because they can fire quickly and accurately with low recoil. This is certainly a tangent, but it bugs me.”

                Does this make them different from hunting rifles?Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                No, it makes them different from medium and large caliber rifles. I’ve said this before, but a Mini-14 range rifle is the same rifle as the AR-15, but with different “furniture” and (IIRC) and different semi-auto mechanism.

                Same ammo, same recoil.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Does this make them different from hunting rifles?

                Yes. They were designed to hunt people.

                This can’t be emphasized enough.

                The AR15 and its clones are knockoffs of military guns designed for combat- the tumbling round for example is designed to make wounds lethal even in a hit that would otherwise not be.

                They are meant to look like military weapons, and feel like military weapons. The whole Man Card marketing push is to evoke masculinity and belligerence.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Thanks, that’s useful to know.
                I suppose I was thinking of that article in the Atlantic Where the doctor describes the massive damage a round from an assault rifle does, versus a regular bullet.
                Or as your article puts it:

                When a military FMJ (full metal jacket) bullet strikes flesh, there is an immediate and very destructive energy dump that acts like a hydraulic force, in all directions at once.

                Yet again- These weapons are designed to kill humans. They were designed by the military, for combat, to kill humans.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                @chip-daniels

                There is just so much…

                Sigh, no.

                A rifle round, any rifle round larger that a .22LR, is a supersonic round (unless specifically loaded as a subsonic round). Whether the round tumbles in the body, or punches straight through, the bulk of the damage to flesh comes from the supersonic shockwave as the bullet passes through a body. If it begins to tumble on the way through, it will do additional damage, but by then it’s already lost enough velocity that the shockwave is done. This has been the case since we got away from ball and musket.

                Let me reiterate this bit – every rifle round, from the lowly .223 up through the monster 50-cal and beyond, is a supersonic round, and it will remain so through the bulk of it’s effective range. There is nothing specific about it’s design as it relates to human lethality other than, if it can bring down a deer, it can bring down a person.

                Now, the .223, which is little more than a jumped up .22LR (same diameter, but enough extra powder to make it supersonic), being a full metal jacketed round, fired through a modern AR-15 with the 1-14 twist, will, as they said, punch through a person like an icepick. Turns out, that does a nice job of giving a person a nasty wound, but not necessarily killing them. Why? (And @jason can correct me if I’m wrong) Because soldiers in combat tend to be behind cover, so when they get hit, it’s often an exposed extremity (arm, leg, shoulder, head – only one of these is usually fatal). Do series damage to an extremity like that keeps the soldier alive, but takes them out of the fight and forces their comrades to tend to them, which takes 1 – 2 other soldiers out of the fight.

                So the issue we have is not one of bullet lethality, but rather with the fact that in a mass shooting situation, no one is behind cover, and no one is doing anything to foul the shooters aim, so they can target center of mass with considerable reliability.

                Of course, that still leaves open plenty of room to discuss the merits of magazine limits, or rate of fire limits, or (& as I’ve been thinking about it, @davidtc idea of ‘energy downrange per second’ limits), but stop pretending that there is anything about the 5.56/.223 round that makes it extra special deadly. There isn’t, it’s actually somewhat anemic as far as rifle rounds go.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                So the M16 and it’s civilian knockoffs are not designed for combat?Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                Sure they are, but what defines it as a combat rifle is not any given feature, but a collection of features all applied together (and utilized by someone who knows what the hell they are doing). This was kind of what the ’94 AWB tried to get at, albeit in an astoundingly clumsy way.

                So a bog standard AR-15 is just as deadly as a bog standard Ruger Mini-14 (both semi-auto, both take the 5.56 round, both use detachable box magazines). The AR-15 also has a pistol grip, while the Mini-14 has a traditional wooden stock.

                The Mini-14 is a ranch rifle, it’s meant for controlling pests like prairie dogs and coyotes. The AR-15 is a military pattern rifle. The difference is cosmetic. A person with small hands or limited range of motion in their hands/arms/shoulders might have a problem using the Mini-14 as is, and would prefer the AR-15 because of the pistol grip. If they have neck issues, the AR-15 sights might also be preferred because you don’t have to tilt your head as far to use them. Sure, you can get a pistol grip and raised sights for the Mini-14, but they come standard on the AR.

                Now, an AR-15 can be more fully kitted out for combat, with accessory rails, and suppressors, and advanced optics, etc. But where it goes from varmint rifle to combat weapon is a fuzzy line. Remember that throughout history, almost all combat weapons started life as civilian weapons. The AR-15 is probably one of the first that was seriously designed as a military rifle first, and a civilian arm later, but it took a lot from the civilian arms available.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                One other thing about the AR platform and the 5.56 round.

                Part of what makes the AR platform attractive is the fact that it can be configured easily to allow for shooters of all types and physical abilities. Pistol grips and collapsible stocks allow for smaller women and disabled people to be able to shoot comfortably. Same goes for the low recoil of the 5.56 round.

                So before folks decide that feature X makes the rifle extra special saucy deadly, understand that A) it doesn’t, not really, and B) it also probably allows other people (besides full grown and fully able men) to be able to learn how to shoot as well.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                OK this is actually very helpful, that the difference between a combat weapon and civilian weapon isn’t one single feature, but a collection of features.
                Mind if I quote this for my leftist purposes? (Mwahahaha…)

                In all seriousness, this is what I am driving at. In addition to what you listed above, I would add that these weapons are similar to sports cars and perfume, in that they are specifically marketed and shrouded in an image, in this case an image of combat.

                They are meant to look and feel and communicate the idea of combat, or to be blunt, they are meant to look and feel like human-killing tools.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                @chip-daniels

                They are meant to look and feel and communicate the idea of combat, or to be blunt, they are meant to look and feel like human-killing tools.

                Now we are getting closer to the problem.

                Think of it this way, if the AR platform, and all it’s various accessories, were only offered in colors that fall into the ‘day-glo pastel’ range, you might start dealing with the issue.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                And if they really were used within a culture that was healthy and responsible we wouldn’t be having this discussion.
                But as it is, we are faced several tasks, as citizens.

                One is to work on reforming this toxic culture and the other is to restrict these tools that aren’t being used responsibly.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain says:

                The point the author is making in the Atlantic article can be summed up as “common rifle rounds deliver approx an order of magnitude more kinetic energy than common pistol rounds”. (The formula is e = 0.5 * m * v**2; triple the velocity, deliver nine times the energy.) A significant part of the increase is simply the efficiency gained from a longer barrel. The rest is that a rifle makes more propellant practical compared to a handgun (dealing with more recoil, longer cartridges). Civilian high-velocity rifle rounds have been around for a hundred years now — they’ve always been popular for varmint hunting. The assault-ness (shape of the weapon) isn’t what makes the difference — it’s the rifle-ness.Report

              • Avatar Damon says:

                “The assault-ness (shape of the weapon) isn’t what makes the difference — it’s the rifle-ness.”

                Indeed. In some cases, of hunters transitioning through countries with strict firearm control, there have been problems because the caliber of the hunting rifle (bolt action) is considered a “military round” there, IE .308. The .308 is also a standard hunting caliber.Report

              • Avatar rexknobus says:

                I’m here to second the Atlantic article. Interesting read. As a person who has worked in an ER/OR and carried the M-16 and M-16A1 professionally, I thought I’d weigh in a bit (sorry, I might be a bit long-winded today — see headliner above.) 😉

                The first gunshot wound I ever saw was on one of my first days in the ER (I was 17, a senior in high school), when I was passing the entrance and a guy walked in, all alone, under his own power.

                Me: Can I help you, sir?”
                Him: I…I think I’ve been shot.

                He opened his shirt and there was this little hole dead center in his abdomen. No blood at all. I spent the rest of the night watching over the surgeons’ shoulders (they were great about this at the hospital) as they went through his intestines inch by inch, finding all the little holes and cleansing and closing each one carefully in fear of sepsis.

                This contrasted greatly to the wounds I saw a couple of years later, using the M-16 in southeast Asia. Much as described in the Atlantic article. At the time, even the USMC DI’s were giving us the “tumbling round” story, which of course I believed. Hey, if they didn’t know, who would? Spectacular damage. Sure, often because of multiple wounds, but that ties right in to the current discussions about rates of fire and magazine capacity, doesn’t it? Turns out that tumbling business was BS, but I can clearly remember the human damage.

                Then, as a movie kind of guy, I had to research Dirty Harry’s comment (a few years later) about “the .44 magnum. The most powerful handgun in the world..” business and see what that meant. Turns out Harry’s big ole pistol had about 1/3 the power of my uncle’s 30.06 bolt-action deer rifle. Huh.

                If it seems odd that a trained Marine might have to learn these things, it shouldn’t. We didn’t have to know the math or the physics of weaponry. We had to know had to insert the magazine, pull the bolt, aim (maybe), and pull the trigger. Shooting, particularly with an M-16/AR-15 tiny round (my god! I thought when I first saw a 5.56mm bullet for an M-16, that’s just a .22! Like my old plinking rifle!) is simple, easy, “automatic” if you will. That’s how they were designed. The specs were obviously “how can we cause the most damage with the least effort and knowledge? Soldiers are kind of dumb, after all.” Success on that score.

                I like the use of the word “militariness” above. It won’t work in the political arguments that continue, I suppose. Any word used to describe the type of weapons under discussion will fail when faced with specific questions. It does become something like the “I can’t define pornography, but I know it when I see it” point of view. But, to be honest, we do all know what is meant by “assault rifle.” We do know what the addition of a pistol grip, an accessory rail, a large detachable magazine, a tactical look, etc., etc. means for a weapon. We know that without those things we have your uncle’s 5-shot hunting rifle (or Oscar’s Mini14 — had to Google that. Very few people are going to object to that weapon).

                Another good phrase above is “spray and pray.” Your uncle can’t do that. The light-weight no recoil round, the pistol grip, the semi (or full) automatic of the AR-15, make “s-a-p” easy and fun. and damned effective.

                The DI’s told us that about 3% of guys in fire-fights shoot with intentional aiming and effect. The rest is “spray-and-pray.” Been there, done that. It’s true. The M-14 (a bigger, heavier, much better, and more effective rifle than the M-16) actually has a higher rate of automatic fire than the M-16, but it has a recoil, it doesn’t have a pistol grip, the ammo weighs twice as much so you can’t carry as much. So, to make the point, you can’t lift it up over the log and simply empty your magazine without aiming like you can with the M-16 — which is what usually happens.

                My overall point? Don’t let all the specifics and the math and the physics and the gun knowledge (google all unknown terms and nomenclature I may have used — none of it is very complicated, really) and even the politics have too much effect on your decision. You know what “assault rifle” means. You know what the AR-15 is for.

                If it means “defending my liberty against the company of Marines that the totalitarian government will send to take away my registered weapon guaranteed me by the 2nd Amendment” — good luck with that. I don’t think you really get how Marine companies work.

                If it means “a gun people buy, generally just to plink around on a target range, but which puts the capability of a lot of carnage in their hands, and makes them get all swagger-y while looking like a cool soldier dude to boot” — well, that is worth a bit of discussion. Looks like we may need to draw some lines there. Most of us don’t really mind the plinking, have some reservations about the role-playing, and are really upset about the carnage.

                Hobbyists? Collectors? Historians? Any way you can stick to the black powder technology?

                18 years old and older who want to be cool soldier types? Can you just enlist or something? Your survival odds are very high and you’ll get to shoot thousands of rounds free.

                Maybe some of the differences between different small-caliber, high-velocity weapons is cosmetic, but while talking ballistics. Delivery of damage. The “cosmetics” can be very disturbing indeed.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                Excellent comment, @rexknobusReport

              • Avatar rexknobus says:

                An additional thought that occurred to me later (l’esprit d’escalier — one of my favorite Frenchisms).

                A lot of folks seem to think of the AR-15 as an Italian sports car, all sleek and modern and stuff, but anyone who really thinks it through knows that it’s really your grandad’s old Buick with a sexy paint job. Automatic (there’s that word again) transmission, just turn the key to start it, power steering, power brakes, comfort settings lighting up on the dash, lots of room for spare stuff in the trunk, no knowledge of mechanics or cars required for perfect operation.

                The M-16/AR-15 was designed for the “lowest common denominator.” It’s light, it’s easy, anybody can use it. If they were selling AR-15’s in Life magazine back in 1957, there would be a picture of June Cleaver wearing an apron in the kitchen beaming proudly and cradling her very own “pink protector” as Ward looks on with doting affection.

                If somehow we got that image across, sales might plummet. One can hope…Report

              • Avatar rexknobus says:

                Oooops. No disrespect meant to Mrs. Cleaver. always thought she was awesome.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                some of those idiots are doing it to say “look at me” and not to say “I’m gonna kill you all.”

                This is astoundingly uncomforting.Report

              • Avatar Jason says:

                Yes. Even worse, there are ones who gleefully imagine a civil war. While I imagine there’s a lot of internet couch commando in this, it’s still really disturbing that some people think they want this, and that some people actually want this.Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

                I keep seeing a scatter plot on Twitter of mass shootings vs guns per capita by country and two things stand out to me:

                1) With the US, it’s obviously a steep straight line.
                2) Without the US, it looks like a cloud (although I’m told that when you do the math, the correlation still exists in a statistically significant way). The US is a massive outlier in both variables.

                It’s possible that more guns cause more mass shootings, but looking at that graph, I strongly suspect that we have a lot of guns and a lot of mass shootings because of a shared variable. Probably something to do with our lunatic gun culture. If there was a third axis for “wearing guns as a fashion accessory / political statement” we’d probably be a massive outlier there as well, maybe sharing the spot with a few places run by Islamic militants.Report

              • Avatar Damon says:

                “If there was a third axis for “wearing guns as a fashion accessory / political statement” we’d probably be a massive outlier there as well”

                Of course we would, given that most other comparison countries severely restrict possession, not to mention, carrying, of firearms.Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

                We’ll, I’ll also bet that that third axis and the mass shooting axis would not be uncorrelated.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC says:

                If there was a third axis for “wearing guns as a fashion accessory / political statement” we’d probably be a massive outlier there as well, maybe sharing the spot with a few places run by Islamic militants.

                I think the real problem is that, if there was an axis for “has a lobbying arm of gun manufacturers that causes paranoia and fear in gun owners and blocks any gun regulations”, we’d be the only people above zero.Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

                I’m skeptical that the NRA is really the driving force behind our gun policy. I think its power reflects our culture rather than driving it.

                A lot of people seem to think that Macro Rubio is dying to get on the gun control bandwagon but for that sweet, sweet NRA cash, but I don’t see any reason to think that’s true other than peoples’ tendency to assume that everybody who disagrees with them does so because they’re evil. The NRA has real organizing power and obviously has effects at the margin, but eliminating it wouldn’t be like killing the evil wizard that animates all the zombies.Report

              • Avatar j r says:

                I’m skeptical that the NRA is really the driving force behind our gun policy. I think its power reflects our culture rather than driving it.

                This is pretty close to my view. The NRA is like the AARP. They have a lot of political power. Some of it is because of money and lobbying efforts, but that all flows from the fact that they represent a large group of people with a concentrated set of interests.Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:

                @troublesome-frog My reason for thinking that same thing about Marco Rubio is mainly that it would be consistent with his usual spinelessness and willingness to shake hands with anyone at all if it will increase his access to power. I’ve seen him pull reversals and backflips to avoid admitting reversals on all kinds of things since I started paying attention in 2015, not just or even especially gun control. Like, his own moral impulses don’t line up with what he’ll say to get approval from powerful men and he’s not even particularly sneaky about that. It’s just consistently the case that he’ll have one way of expressing a moral understanding of an issue and then erase it from existence as if he’d never said anything similar before in his life the next time someone corners him about it.

                Which is a shame, because if he somehow grew a backbone, he’d be a Republican presidential hopeful I could actually respect (even though we’d differ on some issues that are incredibly important to me). But if wishes were horses…Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

                Oh, I didn’t mean to suggest that Rubio was driven by deeper principles in his own head. Just that he knows who his voters are and he’ll do what he can to stay in their good graces. I’m guessing that he broadly agrees with them (even though he’d surely be running on suing the NRA if he was running for Mayor of Berkeley), but it’s the votes he cares about more than the lobbying group.

                There are some cases where lobbying groups make senators do things that screw their own constituents and go up against large majorities of voters. This just doesn’t seem to be one of those cases. The gun vote is a big vote, and it represents real people with real preferences.

                That’s also why I’m not super excited about the “repeal the 2nd Amendment” type movements. It’s a loser, practically speaking, and even if it wasn’t, it would be rolling over a belief held strongly by about half the country. It’s old fashioned, but the preferences of people who don’t vote with me are still at least a little bit important to me, and I don’t want to step on their toes too hard without excellent reason.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                I’m skeptical that the NRA is really the driving force behind our gun policy. I think its power reflects our culture rather than driving it.

                The NRA’s position on gun rights is wildly out of line with American culture. Lots of proposed regulations, including an assault weapons ban, have 60-70+% support.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain says:

                Out of curiosity, do we know if it makes a difference if the changes are packaged as a single take-it-or-leave-it bundle? Say we put all of an assault weapon ban, a large magazine ban, universal background checks, a waiting period, and an expanded no-buy list together in a single package, what would the support for the package look like?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                You mean something like comprehensive immigration reform except for guns? Personally I haven’t seen any polling on bundles, for either topic. It’d be interesting to see how folks respond to specific packages of reforms.

                Tangential to the topic, this Noah Rothman article is a nice critique of the larger problem which gun control measures are only one example of.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                What, the employees don’t want to work, but still want all the protections that allow them to keep their high paying, cushy job?

                Damn Federal Legislators Union!Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Exactly. But it’s even worse than your joke implies. I usually try to avoid reading Noah Rothman because it’s always depressingly irritating: either because he’s so wrong or because he’s so right.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                That’s my feeling. People are supportive in the abstract, but once details firm up, the support often wavers as people decide if it goes too far, or not far enough.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                I didn’t interpret Michael’s comment as implying that voters’ support wavers for any particular measure, just that when bundled people’s overall support will go down due to inclusions they don’t agree with. (Cynically, those are called poison pills, right?) The same reasoning applies to so-called “comprehensive immigration reform” proposals. The idea of bundling every issue in a very contentious debate into a single package suggests to me that Congress – or at a minimum congressional leadership – doesn’t want to do *anything* since potentially every provision in a bundled package constitutes a veto point for someone.

                Going back to Rothman’s article, there are ways Congress bakes its own dysfunction into the cake. It doesn’t have to be that way, but it is.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                ConcurReport

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

                AARP members also make up a minority of the US, but they’re still a substantial chunk of the population and a very large voting bloc. If AARP went away tomorrow, those people would be less organized and wield less power, but politicians would still rightly be scared to death of them because AARP’s power was in harnessing those real people rather than spreading around donations.

                There’s a lot of stuff that the “majority” of people want, but the question is how much they want it and whether they’re willing to change their votes on it. Or if those people vote at all. I’d be in favor of a lot of the reforms Australia adopted, but I also have a bunch of other issues I think are more important, and I’m not willing to change my vote on those issues to make it happen.

                I seriously doubt that survivors like Mitch McConnell are misreading their voters so badly that they’re giving up a big political win by not supporting the measures that 70% of Americans want. Theres an electoral calculation being made, and I bet it’s being made correctly.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                The analogy to AARP would work if there were folks seriously arguing that AARP determined government policies like Medicare and Social Security and so on. As it is, those policies enjoy broad support despite an old folks lobby. Public sentiment aligns with those policies. That’s not the case with the NRA.

                Oscar hinted at the possibility that gun regulation polling isn’t reliable since when the rubber meets the road folks get queezy and their support wavers. That’s a possibility, for sure. But it’d be unique to gun regs, no?

                As for Mitch making a mistake about opposing policies which 70% of the electorate supports… That’s not really how politics works. I mean, it *should* be, at least more than it is, but it isn’t: GCAs aren’t single issue voters while GRAs often are. The gamble he’s taking is that gun regs won’t attain “single issue” status. And he’ll win that bet. It won’t.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain says:

                As for Mitch making a mistake about opposing policies which 70% of the electorate supports… That’s not really how politics works.

                Among other things, Mitch cares exactly zero about how added gun controls poll in California or New York or other places where there’s going to be two Democrats elected to the Senate regardless. How does it poll in the places with the 60 or so Senate seats that Mitch actually cares about?Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

                As for Mitch making a mistake about opposing policies which 70% of the electorate supports… That’s not really how politics works.

                We’re saying the same thing here. AFAICT, there are single-issue voters on only a handful of topics:

                Lowering taxes on rich people: Owned by rich people on the right. Magnified massively by money.
                Gun control: Pretty much all single-issue voters are people on the right. Magnified by the NRA, but very real on their own.
                Abortion: A mix of both. Lots of lobbyists, money, grassroots. Scorched earth all around.

                I may have forgotten some, but those are the ones that stick out.

                In the case of taxes on rich people, what “70% of the population” believes could actually flip the results because the minority is actually a small minority that’s only important because of money.

                In the case of gun control, the are lots of single-issue gun voters and the politicians they elect know it. Lobbyist money is a nice bonus, but absent the NRA, they’d all still be out of a job if they upset those single-issue voters. The majority doesn’t rule here because they’re not single issue voters and they’re not the voters the people in power need. There’s no need to appeal to the NRA puppet-mastering the whole thing to explain it.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                There’s no need to appeal to the NRA puppet-mastering the whole thing to explain it.

                Well, we started by talking about whether the NRA represents pop culture opinion or is an outlier, and now we’re at discounting the role the NRA has played in making gun rights absolutism a single issue vote for a chunk of the conservative base. Personally, I think the NRA has played a major role in the politicization of gun rights over the last couple decades, mostly by creating and fomenting irrational fears of confiscation and slippery slopes to marital law and so on out of whole cloth. As an organization, it didn’t used to be that way.Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

                If there’s one thing the past few years have taught me, it’s that a feedback/amplification element like social media or a well-run political propaganda operation (or both, now!) can take a minority position held by weirdos and turn it into gospel that a large plurality are willing to go to war over just by making a tribal affiliation marker, so you’re probably right.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC says:

                We’re saying the same thing here. AFAICT, there are single-issue voters on only a handful of topics:

                And it’s getting slightly off-topic for this discussion, but it’s worth mentioning that all of are things that the vast majority of Republicans claim to support in general (Well, technically, ‘lower taxes’, not ‘lower taxes on the rich’.), but most of them get pretty wishy-washy when you get down to the level of ‘laws’.

                Lowering taxes on rich people: Owned by rich people on the right. Magnified massively by money.

                As long as it’s phrased as ‘tax cuts’, Republican like it.

                But ask them if the wealthy should pay more in taxes, they will say yes. Ask them about any specific tax rate on the wealthy, they will support increasing it. Ask them about paying lower capital gains vs. income, they do not like it.

                Gun control: Pretty much all single-issue voters are people on the right. Magnified by the NRA, but very real on their own.

                Republican usually, by a slim majority, dislike the idea of ‘stricter gun control’. It was notable when, after the Vegas shooting, that temporarily flipped by a few points and a tiny majority was in favor of ‘stricter gun control’ for a short time.

                Meanwhile Republicans, at the same time, like the idea of waiting periods, stricter ID checks, magazine limits, etc, etc. See the list by Stillwater.

                I guess those…don’t count as ‘stricter gun control’? Somehow? (If those aren’t stricter gun control, can we _do_ them?)

                Abortion: A mix of both. Lots of lobbyists, money, grassroots. Scorched earth all around.

                A startlingly large number of Republicans (And even some Democrats), call themselves pro-life but don’t actually think abortions should be illegal, or even harder to get.

                An awful lot of people seem to think ‘pro-life’ means ‘women should think hard before getting an abortion’ and ‘our tax dollars shouldn’t pay for them’.

                At some point, it becomes rather clear these single-issues are not actually issues per se…they are identities. They reflect what sort of people someone thinks of themselves as, and do not particularly indicate how they want the laws to be.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                The NRA’s position on gun rights is wildly out of line with American culture. Lots of proposed regulations, including an assault weapons ban, have 60-70+% support.

                Only 35%-40% of households have guns, so 60-70+% support comes pretty close to “all households who don’t have a gun”, which implies they’re not “wildly out of line” given a multicultural situation.

                35% of the electorate would never vote for the GOP under any circumstances, roughly all of them are in the 60-75% that support the ban. This drops GOP support for the ban down to 25-40%. So of the people who might reasonably vote for the GOP, 60-75% oppose the ban.

                Or let’s assume 60% of the GOP support the ban, but with the remaining, for 20% this is their most important issue. I.e. assume we have a 50/50 split country and the NRA represents 10% of the country.

                In a 50/50 split country, it’s fatal to piss off 10% of the voters which normally vote for you. 20% of the GOP stays home election night.

                So you need a lot more than 60-70+% support. And since we’re talking about tramping on minority rights on an issue that minority considers to be really important, maybe we Should need a lot more support. Keeping in mind that no one supports school shootings, maybe we should be seeing what the NRA considers acceptable gun control and pushing for that.Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:

                “35% of the electorate would never vote for the GOP under any circumstances, roughly all of them are in the 60-75% that support the ban. This drops GOP support for the ban down to 25-40%. So of the people who might reasonably vote for the GOP, 60-75% oppose the ban.”

                If 60-75 percent of voters support the ban, GOP support for the ban is 25-40 percent *of all voters*, not of people who might reasonably vote for the GOP.
                You’ve already capped people who might vote for them at 65 percent *of all voters*.

                So the correct percent of GOP voters is (25…40)/65 = 38-60 percent of all potential GOP voters who opose the ban.

                Which is a large minority OR a majority of *potential GOP voters*.

                Only 40-62 percent are against it.
                C’mon, man, you’re way more of a math guy than I am!

                I don’t have a big problem with the rest of your argument, especially since you helpfully shifted to an assumption that was far closer to the real math – but I couldn’t let that first part sit uncorrected.

                Though I will say that if you look at the 2nd part of your argument, if 20 percent of people who normally vote for you suddenly / finally make gun control their literally most important issue, but *on the other side of the argument*, it’ll be equally fatal. Given 40-65 percent of potential GOP voters who support of the ban, I’d be really worried that a third of people who would normally vote for the GOP might not on the gun control issue *alone*. Or I’d be worried about that were I the NRA and did I persist in ruining the gun owner’s image through intransigence.

                As it is I’m a lot more conflicted.

                And I don’t think arming teachers counts as “gun control”. The NRA aren’t otherwise really in favor of *any* acceptable gun control once the chips are down (very much including your and my preferred solution of ending the war on drugs), as far as I can tell. The NRA needs to be broken-the-back-of, for the sake of gun owners *too*, as our own Mike Dwyer advocated (in gentler terms) in a post about this several school shootings ago.Report

              • Avatar Pillsy says:

                I’m not hardcore about it, and in any event I’m one of the small number of people who opposes gun control yet belongs to @dark-matter ‘s group who’ll never vote GOP. Still, the NRA strategy of endlessly ramping up the culture war salience of gun control seems like an absolutely terrible approach for preserving the rights of citizens to keep and bear arms.

                From a political perspective, surely it’s better to have the population be divided between people who like guns and people who don’t much care about them. Making guns an integral part of the Team Red uniform accomplished the opposite.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Or, rather than engage in apriori statistical analysis, there’s actual data. By pretty substantial majorities conservative voters support a whole slew of gun regs (found here) which Allahpundit summarized here:

                -Universal background checks: 87 percent of GOPers at least “somewhat” support the idea.
                -Barring people on the no-fly list, which is based on arbitrary federal determinations, from buying weapons? 83 percent Republican support.
                -Assault-weapon ban? 65 percent.
                -High-capacity magazines? 64 percent.
                -Three-day waiting period? 72 percent.

                And more!Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:

                @stillwater That’s what I was getting at with “that was far closer to the real math” but I can see how that was quite wry, and thus insufficiently explicit. I assumed everyone in this conversation was familiar with that set of statistics by now.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Honestly a shoulda tagged Dark in that comment since it was directed at his statisticalizing but piggy-backed off yours.

                Also, one thing about some of your last remarks in that comment. Polling for the midterms has showed women – especially white suburban women – leaving the GOP in droves and women across the board moving towards gun control. No knowing how it plays out acourse. Like you said, tho, if I were an NRA insider I’d be worried.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                So the correct percent of GOP voters is (25…40)/65 = 38-60 percent of all potential GOP voters.

                You are correct, my bad.

                if 20 percent of people who normally vote for you suddenly / finally make gun control their literally most important issue, but *on the other side of the argument*, it’ll be equally fatal.

                Yes. All that needs to happen is God!, Money!, or Moats! needs to give up their calling and switch to opposing Guns!.

                However Trump (who I assume doesn’t care) tried to put together a collision without Guns! and decided he couldn’t. Even Obama (who I assume is anti-Guns!) refused to do much with the issue, presumably because of math.

                For all of the sound, fury, and threats of history being on their side, history suggests doing nothing is politically the correct choice. Part of this is because of single issue voters, but the rest is we don’t have the ability to do much.

                A politician who is elected on a platform of stopping these attacks by banning gun “X”, even if allowed to implement his platform, would need to answer for not stopping these attacks. He’d get all the pain from going against the NRA’s people and none of the benefit from everyone else because they’d still be staring at corpses. We banned assault rifles before and (within the margin of error) nothing happened.

                If we’re going to fix this issue via generic gun control, then we need to actually do most everything the NRA warns against. That’s why the NRA’s warnings look more legit than, say, birthers.Report

              • Avatar bookdragon says:

                Or maybe if we want to continue to have the gun rights we had in, say the 1950s, we should push back on the NRA to return to being the organization they were back then.

                Right now the 10% you talk about may mean something, but there is growing wave of young people (and their parents and grandparents) who are starting to view the NRA the way most people view NAMBLA or the KKK. And the NRA has no one to blame for that but themselves. 2A Uber Alles is bad policy.

                These kids who were born shortly after Columbine and were in grade school during Sandy Hook, and everything that’s happened between and after, have grown up with active shooter drills. School shootings may be statistically rare, but to kids in jr high and high school right now, the thought isn’t what to do ‘if’ but ‘when’. They expect it to happen to them. Why? Because it happens over and over and over again and the answer from the supposedly responsible adults is ‘we can’t do anything to stop it’.

                Why? Answer: NRA.

                Note: Not the 2nd Amendment. The NRA, the gun pushers who own most of congress.

                Hence you are seeing kids holding up signs saying ‘The NRA is a terrorist organization’. Yes, that’s extreme (although some of Dana Loesh’s rants on NRAtv make you wonder…) but they have spent their whole lives with politicians saying “thoughts&prayers, but we can’t talk about guns” and have come to translate that as “your lives are not as important as our checks from the NRA”.

                These kids will be voting very, very soon. They may well be as committed and single issue as any pro-lifer. Because from their pov, this is a pro-life issue. Their lives.

                So, start thinking about sane compromise now or risk finding that essential 10% on the side of banning everything but single shot musketsReport

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                So, start thinking about sane compromise now or risk finding that essential 10% on the side of banning everything but single shot muskets

                So, after we compromise and there’s another school shooting, what happens then? Another “compromise”? And then another after that?

                You mentioned Sandyhook, so great, what “sane policy” stops it? Background checks? Waiting periods? The killer spent a year planning it then murdered his mother for her weapons. He was never diagnosed as mentally ill, his father only thinks so now retroactively.

                What do you want to do that isn’t trivially defeated by the killer changing his actions? Ban “military style” weapons and he shows up with “non-military style” weapons. Ban “specific rifle” or even “all rifles” and he uses a handgun.

                In the current situation, having been told dozens and dozens of times that this guy is a serious problem and potential school shooter, the police did nothing even after the shooting started. So clearly the focus needs to be on the NRA and the gun he was holding. Pretending we can get the mass murderer to follow the law is way easier than getting the police to do their jobs.

                I think it’s reasonable for the pro-gun people to refuse to sacrifice their rights in the name of your moral outrage.Report

              • Avatar bookdragon says:

                This has nothing to do with “my moral outrage”. I certainly don’t pretend to have the answers either. I’m just telling you what I see on the social media of 13-18 year olds that I happen to be aware of because two people in that category live in my house.

                As others have said better further down, The NRA’s 2A extremism is going to inspire a backlash. I’m seeing the wave of that tsunami forming right now in this coming generation. Unlike the folks my age, they are young, passionate, and fed up enough to not care about being ‘reasonable’.

                Like the response to Rubio saying there’s no point in banning ‘assault rifles’ because there are just cosmetic differences between them and various other semi-autos. “Fine. Then ban those too.”

                or this similar exchange:

                Gun proponent: [long lecture on various guns, details of differences, correct terminology, etc. followed yb assertion that if you don’t know all that you aren’t qualified to say anything about gun control]

                Teens: “Uh-huh. So I can’t have an opinion on gun control unless I know every detail about every gun ever. But the day I turn 18 I can buy an AR-15 with no proof I know even the most basic stuff about how to use it? Yeah. That makes sense…. [eye roll]”

                These kids are ‘calling BS’ and if the NRA is going to dig in on extremism, they are going to get a bigger backlash or equally extreme response in return. In fact, the NRA as a brand may already be too damaged to salvage. However, the idea that most gun owners are sane and reasonable can still prevail. But that will take gun owners stepping up and changing gun culture so that it’s the rules of gun safety and ethic of responsibility that are front and center, not fear-mongering and demanding ever more firepower.Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:

                +50

                It’s not that I even necessarily think this is what *should* happen, it’s what I think *will* happen.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                I certainly don’t pretend to have the answers either.

                Expand mental health. Stop glorifying mass shooters by making them household names, don’t publish their agendas. Make the police do their jobs. End the War on Drugs.

                that will take gun owners stepping up and changing gun culture so that it’s the rules of gun safety and ethic of responsibility are front and center, not fear-mongering and demanding ever more firepower.

                “Gun culture” and “gun safety and ethics” have little interaction with suicide, criminals (the WoD), or rampage shooters. All three understand what they’re doing, that it’s wrong, and they don’t care. All of the recent shooters have been lone wolf because you can’t brag, or even suggest, that you’re going to shoot up a school down at the gun club without the police getting involved.

                You can blame “gun culture” (or violent video games, or lack of going to church, or whatever) all you want, but IMHO this is an effort to try to get the rampage shooter to respect the “no guns allowed” sign on the wall. I seriously doubt that’s a productive course of action.

                Like the response to Rubio saying there’s no point in banning ‘assault rifles’ because there are just cosmetic differences between them and various other semi-autos. “Fine. Then ban those too.”

                They can certainly have “an opinion on gun control” without knowing every detail, but knowing nothing at all will cause problems. If he’s serious about tearing up the 2nd AM then he at least has a platform and understands where he wants to go. Much more likely he has no clue what the actual problems are, where he is, where he wants to go, how to get there, or the issues he’s raising.

                What stopped the Occupy movement from having influence was a total lack of solutions. I see much the same here and expect the same results.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                RE: Police do their jobs.

                The upshot is that in all three of Florida’s recent mass shootings, the killer had come to the FBI’s attention before his rampage

                The Broward Sheriff’s Office resorted to its own bureaucratic gobbledygook, telling reporters that none of his behavior “appeared arrestable under Florida law.” This is false. It’s not legal in Florida to hold a gun to your mother’s head, or menace the family that took you in, or threaten to shoot up a school. Authorities could also have pursued an involuntary commitment to a mental facility under Florida’s “Baker Act,” which might have given him the psychological treatment he needed and seems to crave. It also might have made him ineligible to legally purchase firearms.

                https://www.ocregister.com/2018/03/03/law-enforcement-incompetence-is-killing-us/

                And there’s a lot more at that link.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                Washington is trying to do better.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                There might not be enough data, but I’d be curious to see this broken out by state and region.Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

                From what I’ve seen, efforts to do real social science breaking down gun policy by state/region (as opposed to creating scatter plots with the US and Yemen on them as if “guns per capita” is the main difference between them) tend to show that there’s still a positive correlation with gun ownership and gun deaths.

                I don’t see any support for the “more guns makes us safer” hypothesis. I’d buy the, “the data is noisy with respect to this particular policy” argument, but flipping the sign on the correlation based on thought experiments and eyeballing the headlines seems like a no-go.

                We’d probably have more good data if the CDC was still supporting that research.Report

            • Avatar Kazzy says:

              @jason

              I’d actually be curious to hear @oscar-gordon weigh in on this. I’m far from an expert, but I imagine that capacity is just one factor. How “wieldy” is a given weapon? Hunting rifles, from what I’ve seen/experienced in my limited exposure, don’t lend themselves well to the “spray and pray” approach that seems most common among these mass shooters. Nor do they seem well suited to use in closer/indoor quarters.

              Which maybe should or shouldn’t be a factor in deciding what to ban or restrict. But it does seem like we should speak accurately with regards to the actual differences between these weapons.Report

              • Avatar Jason says:

                You’re right–hunting rifles aren’t “spray and pray”–most are bolt action with an internal (non-removable) magazine of 4-5 rounds depending on caliber. They can still be fired rapidly, but not as much as a semi-auto. However, most can be wielded as quickly as as AR’s. They are just as wieldy as AR’s indoors–unless you have one with a really long barrel (or an old military surplus rifle–my mosin is a better pike than a rifle).Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                Well, when you have the bayonet mounted, otherwise it’s a better club, or short burst flame thrower.

                Nice to meet a fellow Mosin fan, we should go shooting and compare shoulder calluses.Report

              • Avatar Jason says:

                sure. I have the Bulgarian surplus rounds. Bring windex for the bores.
                And regulations require the bayonet to always be mounted.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                Gotta love those old ass primers, if the surplus crap wasn’t so astonishingly cheap…

                What part of the country you in again?Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                I really have to get out there sometime, I’m starting to get too many friends (online & IRL) out there I never get to see.Report

              • Avatar Jason says:

                It’s a great place.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                Hunting rifles tend to have a longer barrel and a monte carlo or thumb hole stock, so they look like they have to be shot from the shoulder.

                They don’t. You can shoot them from the hip just fine, it’s just not as comfortable and it’s impossible to actually aim. After 20 or 30 hunting rounds, your hand will get sore. Call it 40-50 rounds for something small, like 5.56.

                An AR-15 has a pistol grip that makes it more comfortable over the long haul, simple as that.

                As for indoor/outdoor, the appropriate comparison is close quarters or at range. A weapon for use at range will have a longer design since more barrel length equals more accuracy at a distance. A close quarters weapon will have a reduced barrel length and/or a compact design (a carbine or a bullpup) meant to allow a person to maneuver and shoot in tight spaces (like a small house, or enemy tunnels). Since the range is expected to be very close, the barrel can be much shorter.

                Personally, I’m saving up for one of these. I love the compact design and the ability to switch between two magazines, so I can load one with bean bags, and the other with buckshot.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                @oscar-gordon @jason

                Thanks for your replies and indulgence of my relative ignorance on this topic.

                What would be the appropriate term for the “class” of weapons that the AR-15 falls in? It seems as if “assault rifle” or “military grade” are problematic for one reason or another and (probably?) legitimately so.

                But based on what you’ve said, I don’t imagine it falls into any reasonable definition of a “hunting rifle”. It isn’t a “handgun”… unless I’m misunderstanding that term (I assume it is roughly synonymous with a “pistol”… but maybe I don’t even know what that means…?).

                Please trust this isn’t a gotcha question. And it’s cool if the answer is that there really isn’t an answer. It strikes me as very possible that guns don’t fit neatly into categories and that we might be best served to identify specific features even if that doesn’t lend itself to bumper sticker-style sloganeering. It just seems like we need some better way of talking about guns if some of the more commonly used terms only serve to derail the conversation.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                I prefer “Military Pattern” rifles. And even that is kind of a vague term, because once you get away from the basic loading and firing mechanism, you can usually modify everything else to whatever suits your preferences.

                My Mosin, for example, is an old Russian Army bolt action rifle, but I replaced the laminate wood stock with a nice composite monte carlo, and mounted a rail so I could mount a scope on it. If I looked, I could probably find someone who makes a collapsible stock and pistol grip or thumb hole stock for it, etc.

                So you can have a hunting rifle that looks like a military pattern rifle, or an AR-15 that has been fitted with more traditional furniture so it looks like a hunting rifle.

                Shoots the same, either way.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                Thanks.

                I actually went and watched a video on what bump stocks are. The first video made me think, “Holy shit! That looks like full auto!”

                A second video showed someone I presume was an expert; he spoke rather expertly and is licensed to sell firearms, including full auto to police military. He demoed an AR-15 with a standard stock, bump stock, and with full auto capacity.

                Firing rates were 5 bullets per second, 7.5, and 15. So 50% increase over standard but half full auto. He did pause while using the bump stock, presumably to control the weapon. So I assume potential firing rate is higher but likely difficult and much less accurate.

                All that to say… I don’t fucking know. The bump stock seemed scary at first glance and the cost/benefit analysis means banning it is probably much more benefit than cost in terms of public safety (enforcement is another question). But banning it is far from the panacea I’ve heard it talked about as.

                Would fewer people have died or been hurt in Vegas if he didn’t have bump stocks? Probably. But would a whole hell of a lot still been dead or injured? Yes.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                Has anyone ever seen an actual tally of how many people were wounded or killed by gun fire, and how many were injured or killed in the panic?Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                I haven’t. When I saw the number of injured (I think it was 800+) I just assumed a bunch were injured in the panic and may include things like a bloody nose, checked and cleared of a concussion, and sprained ankle because I couldn’t imagine 800+ people struck by bullets. But I could be way off. It does raise questions about how we ought to report these numbers.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            It seems to me that the argument that “the authorities are afraid of military grade weaponry” is one of those arguments that you can’t tell whether it’s being said by the good people on the right side of the debate or the bad people on the wrong side of it.

            The argument does seem to have been borne out in practice, though.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

              Where was this borne out?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Just the other day.

                It’s one of the big criticisms of the authorities.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                I imagine that depends, in part, on why they didn’t go in and what they knew and when they knew it.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Well, here’s one of the accounts from on the scene.

                The sheriff is doing a good job of explaining that the deputies did nothing wrong.

                So I guess we’ll see.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                But the question remains…

                Did they not go in because they were afraid of military-grade weaponry?
                Or did they not go in because they were afraid of gunfire?

                If they didn’t know what weapon the guy had, it seems we’d have to assume the latter.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                From the audio alone it’s pretty clear the kid had a semi-auto with an extended magazine. The part I heard was like 16 shots squeezed off in only a few seconds.

                I think Peterson didn’t enter because cops aren’t heroes and he already qualified for retirement.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                25-30 rounds is a standard magazine. Extended is more than 30 (usually 50 – 100).

                “because cops aren’t heroes”

                That’s not what cops and their supporters tell us every fecking day.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                A standard magazine for an AR-15 can still be high capacity, can’t it? Didn’t the old regs define extended magazines as more than 10 bullets?

                Googling, those two terms aren’t synonymous, are they? An extended mag is a type of high-capacity mag, correct?Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                In WWII a standard clip was 8 rounds. But the AR-15/M-16 (IIRC) originally came with a 20 round magazine, that was bumped up to 30 a few years later.

                20 & 30 round magazines for the AR-15 series have been the standard for decades, so calling them high capacity is a misnomer. This is not true for all semi-auto rifles, however. In short, there is no accepted value for what constitutes standard vs. high or low capacity, other than, “what has the rifle historically shipped with?”.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I don’t know what the official investigation is going to find but the narrative being pushed by one of the survivors, David Hogg, is that the deputies were afraid but we shouldn’t hold that against them.

                Here’s him in an interview.

                Relevant quotation: “Who wants to go down the barrel of an AR-15, even with a Glock? And I know that’s what these police officers are supposed to do, but they’re people too.”

                Maybe the official inquiry will find that David Hogg’s assumptions are bad.

                But for right now? That seems to be the narrative. They didn’t go in because they were afraid but who can blame them?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                But for right now? That seems to be the narrative. They didn’t go in because they were afraid but who can blame them?

                This is weird. The only person I’ve seen say that Peterson was afraid to go in is a 17-18 year old HS student, and he didn’t assert it as fact, he offered it as a possible reason for why he didn’t enter the building. Yet you – and conservapeople enmasse – are viewing it as “the” narrative, but only because you all have decided to make it so.

                Add: Apparently Peterson felt like he acted according to protocol by calling for back up and establishing a perimeter.Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                Grist for the mill:

                Cops shoot innocent guy who had taken gun away from hostage taker.

                http://amarillo.com/local-news/news/crime-and-courts/2018-02-14/apd-shoots-faith-city-mission-student-who-d-taken-gunReport

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Not just him, remember. There’s also the student who says that the deputy was standing behind the stairwell wall, just pointing his gun at the building.

                The narrative that Peterson didn’t go in because cops aren’t heroes and he already qualified for retirement *IS* floating around out there in the wild.

                (And the fact that Coral Springs police are ticked at the deputies isn’t helping push that narrative away.)

                But maybe the official enquiry will find that the deputies were following the proper protocols for a school shooting.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Jaybird, cops are *trained* to not be heroes. They’re trained to act according to established protocols. The idea that they are *real* heroes is a myth created on your tv box. My point is that conservatives have pinned a narrative on liberals based on the musings of only one kid and you’re falling for the ploy (or participating in it).Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Wait. What’s the narrative again?

                Is it that nobody should have expected the authorities to go in because they’re trained to not be heroes?

                If so, I think we’ve established that, yeah, an AR-15 is probably going to be helpful against a tyrannical government.

                Which was the point being made all the way at the root of this conversation. (You don’t even have to scroll that far up to see it.)Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                (Though I also enjoyed the point floating around out there that said that if they wanted the deputies to kick down a door and start shooting, they should have said that there was a black guy in there selling loosies.)Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                I just want to know where I’m supposed to be on this. As a libtard, I should take my cues from a teenager without firsthand knowledge of the specifics of this situation… especially since the idea that this cop was fearful supports the idea that these guns are scary to cops and should be illegal? Is that right?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                While *I* wouldn’t use that term, I think that if you see yourself on the left, I believe that your position ought to be that nobody needs an assault weapon and so we should pass laws that make assault weapons illegal to buy, sell, or own unless you happen to be acting in your professional capacity in law enforcement.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                AM I free to arrive at my own position? Or do I have to adhere to a narrative of some kind? You seem rather keen on narratives. They probably make making assumptions easy.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Of course you are.

                But if you have enough opinions that differ from the group you claim to affiliate yourself with, you’re eventually going to find yourself wondering whether you’re really a member of the group you affiliate yourself with.

                “I’m on the left but I am against gun control, I support restrictions on abortion, I think marriage is between a man and a woman, I think the government should just butt out of health care, and there are only two genders.”

                If someone said the above, I think we’d both want clarification as to what they meant by “left” in their sentence.

                If you’re a proud member of the left and you’re wondering what your position on guns ought to be, I think the whole “I just don’t think that people should have machines designed solely to kill people except for people in law enforcement” position is squarely smack dab in the middle of “uncontroversial”.

                Now, if you already have an opinion on it, well. You probably have already come to a conclusion as to what your opinion ought to be and it happens to coincide with the opinion that you happen to have (or else you’d have picked a different one). But that’s downright trivially true.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Wait. What’s the narrative again?

                I suggest you pick one and stick to it so that you don’t keep confusing yourself.

                Is it that nobody should have expected the authorities to go in because they’re trained to not be heroes?

                No, the authorities in fact did go in. Peterson did not go in at the sound of the first shots. He (apparently) called for back up and established a perimeter. Is that protocol? Peterson (apparently) thought it was.

                If so, I think we’ve established that, yeah, an AR-15 is probably going to be helpful against a tyrannical government.

                No, we’ve only established – if that – that (perhaps) the protocol is that a lone officer doesn’t engage with an armed person squeezing off rounds but instead waits for backup. It’s very weird to me that your example of successful armed resistance to tyranny is person taken into custody.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Well, my experience of the thread was that I said “looks like the argument that the authorities are afraid of these weapons was borne out”, I was then asked for an example. I gave the deputies as an example. We’re now debating whether they were afraid or not.

                My only evidence for the deputies being afraid is news article that talk about stuff like the students saying they were (but not blaming them for being afraid) and the cops being disgusted with the deputies.

                Maybe you’re right. Maybe our speculation that the proper protocol for the deputies was to wait for the shooter to either run out of bullets or run out of students until backup arrived is an accurate speculation and, thus, the deputies did the right thing.

                I guess we’ll find out what happened when the final inquiry is done.

                (Have there been any articles that talk about what the proper protocols are? I’ve just seen articles that talked about how the sheriff’s department in that county has a history of screwing up. Like this one. Or articles that talk about how the right thing for a deputy in that situation is to go in. Like this one.)Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                No one knows. We’ll see.

                Btw, I didn’t say the protocol was to wait for the shooter to run out of bullets, I said the protocol (possibly) was to wait for backup. But from what I gather the shooting stopped pretty quickly after it began and before the second unit of cops arrived. So it’s possible that Peterson thought the kid was already dead or trying to leave the building. Why he didn’t enter the building *at that point*, with those other cops, is a more relevant question re: his being scared and the relevant protocols than why he didn’t enter the instant he heard shots fired. To me anyway.

                (Israel’s claim that Peterson *should* have immediately run into the building and “killed the killer” strikes me absurdly obvious ass covering.)Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Well, it looks like more information has come out.

                From the article (emphasis added):

                The Broward Sheriff’s Office captain who initially took charge of the chaotic scene at a Parkland high school where 17 people were killed told deputies to form a perimeter around the deadly scene — which they did instead of going in to confront the shooter, according to a partial BSO dispatch log obtained by the Miami Herald.

                Capt. Jan Jordan, commander of BSO’s Parkland district, gave the order, the log shows, identifying her by her police call sign.

                Broward Sheriff Scott Israel has said BSO training and nationwide active-shooter procedure call for armed law enforcement officers to confront shooters immediately rather than secure a scene.

                If you want to see where Jake Tapper asks about this policy, the transcript is here. (Do a search for the word “perimeter”.)Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                WAIT… I thought this kid was a paid actor?Report

        • Avatar Stillwater says:

          You want a high trust, high collaboration society? Step 1 – have law enforcement respond appropriately* to call outs with five nines reliability. If your call to the police is a crap shoot …

          I still don’t see how this view of incompetent cops and over-hyped crime constitutes an argument for citizen’s right to purchase and possess assault weapons. Why isn’t (say) shotgun and a hand gun enough fire-power for home and personal defense? Why does incompetent cop behavior entail the right to purchase assault weapons?Report

          • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

            As I said before, you misunderstood me. Please stop assuming that is my argument and try reading it again.Report

            • Avatar Stillwater says:

              Here’s the argument I’ve been commenting on:

              It’s going to be hard to ask people to give up their firearms (of any type) when the police keep coming off as incompetent or excessively trigger happy (which are two excellent reasons to not call the police to help you). Couple that with the fear that accompanies constant coverage and reporting and perspectives, etc of every single bit of violence, and well…

              The argument appears to be that a) if people distrust police they won’t give up their guns, including AR-15s and similar, b) people distrust police, therefore c) people won’t give up their guns, including AR-15s and similar.

              My comments in this thread are directed at a). I think it’s more or less a truism to say that people won’t give up stuff they want to keep. What you said, tho, is that they won’t give up their guns *if* they can’t trust the police, implying that their desire for those weapons, and the correlated increased commitment to 2A rights, derives from a lack of trust in cops. Hence, my asking: what’s the logical connection between police incompetence at preventing a school shooting and 2A extremism regarding assault weapons?

              I mean, if you’re just saying that gun lovers love their guns then sure, I misunderstood you. But you appear to be tying police incompetence to GRA exremism in a *logical* chain of reasoning, and I just don’t see it. The alternative – that GRA extremism as a response to cop incompetence is irrational – is one I’m happy to discuss too. 🙂Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                I’m not looking at gun lovers, because, as you say, they love their guns.

                You need to understand that people are getting some very conflicting messaging from multiple directions. It comes from the news media, who inflate every story far beyond it’s scope. It comes from the NRA, who tells everyone that threats are everywhere and they need to arm up. It comes from the police, who, depending on the department, tell people to:

                A) You can’t depend on the police to be there in time, get a gun and protect yourself; or
                B) You absolutely have nothing to worry about, violent crime is way down, you can depend on us to protect you.

                The folks in group A are usually rural sheriffs and such with large areas and limited manpower. The folks in B are usually urban or suburban. Now the real problem is the suburban B group, who, as they tell people they have nothing to worry about, are running around in battle rattle, and showing off their new Bearcat with the pintle mounted M-60[1], and justifying it by saying “A mass shooting could happen anytime, we have to be ready!” I mean, really, you never know when you are going to have to kill an unarmed man crawling on the floor in his underwear at point blank range, you want the best gear for that.

                A mixed message of “your safe” while the person offering that message is kitting out for war, that’s gonna make people nervous, and afraid, and when folks get afraid, especially when there is no certain target for that fear, they start to do things to try and feel safe, to try and feel in control. And hey, look, those NRA folks are saying, get a gun, learn how to use it, be ready to protect yourself and your loved ones. Oh, and by the way, the AR-15 is a great gun for just that.

                Toss in stories of police violently over-reacting to non-threats, and police acting cowardly for some seasoning, and you just heighten that sense of unease that the police can’t be trusted[2].

                It’s almost like the NRA and the police had their messaging in synch. That, or the NRA is smart enough (and despite how you feel about them, they aren’t stupid) to see what the police are doing and are capitalizing on it. Either way, an irrational fear is being stoked from multiple directions, and it’s a big part of what makes it hard to get any movement on things.

                [1] I don’t know about you, but personally, knowing that the police will respond to a school shooting with vehicle mounted automatic weapons makes me wonder how many kids are going to die from the shooter, and how many from the police?

                [2] I do tend to wonder, if someone barged into my house with violent intent, even if I managed to barricade my family and call the police, are they going to respond with small caliber handguns, or weapons that can easily overpenetrate? Officer marksmanship is nothing to write home about, and I don’t want stray rounds coming through my walls with any appreciable velocity. If I wonder that, others will be too, and it’s not hard to go from there to, “Perhaps I should get a gun and just deal with it myself, so when the police do arrive, it’s just to take evidence.”Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                If I wonder that, others will be too, and it’s not hard to go from there to, “Perhaps I should get a gun and just deal with it myself, so when the police do arrive, it’s just to take evidence.”

                Well, maybe we’ve found the source of the disagreement then. Buying a handgun gun for the purposes of home defense doesn’t make a person into a radical 2A extremist fundamentally opposed to an assault weapons ban (which your earlier comment included as guns people wouldn’t want to give up). It seems perfectly consistent for a person to act on the motivations you’ve described by supporting a right to purchase a shot gun or hand gun for home defense and also support an assault weapons ban. Ie., that there *are* guns they’d be willing to give up in light of cop incompetence. Or do you think merely supporting the right to own a handgun for home defense makes a person a radical GR extremist?Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                Or do you think merely supporting the right to own a handgun for home defense makes a person a radical GR extremist?

                Not at all, but groups like the NRA aren’t saying, ‘go get a handgun or shotgun’, they are saying, ‘go get an AR rifle’. The gun control extremists are saying don’t get anything, trust to the police.

                The folks in the middle, well, they don’t trust the police, not enough, anyway, and since the GC side isn’t offering up much in the way of recommendations, the NRA types get to shout them down when it comes to recommendations.

                So the NRA gets support, even if it is weak.

                Now, if the police stop acting like they are on the edge of a war at all times, perhaps people will stop feeling a nameless dread and want to arm themselves for war quite so much.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Now, if the police stop acting like they are on the edge of a war at all times, perhaps people will stop feeling a nameless dread and want to arm themselves for war quite so much.

                Cops acting like they’re on the edge of war with the citizenry is a very different motivation for desiring guns than police incompetence.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                Cops acting like they’re on the edge of war with the citizenry is a very different motivation for desiring guns than police incompetence.

                To me, those are two sides of the same coin.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                To me, those are two sides of the same coin.

                Right. That’s the disagreement between us. If we’re talking about *rational* justifications for 2A extremism (and not merely purchasing a hand gun for home defense) those two things seem to me clearly distinct.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                I never meant to imply that either represented a rational anything.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                I never meant to imply that either represented a rational anything.

                Now we’re back to my first comment on the thread. In the initial comment I responded to you argued that cop incompetence exhibited by Broward County will cause an increase in 2A extremism and provided the context for why that’s not a crazy view to hold in follow ups. You even admitted to holding that view yourself in the comment I quote here. Now you’re saying it’s not a rational position to hold.

                I think that means you agree with my first comment on the thread. Either way, we’ve exhausted this topic. Or are exhausted by it.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                Not extremism. Just support.

                I’m not entirely sure where I led you to believe that it would lead to extremism. Extremism is far removed from support, or a lack of support for things like bans.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                From your comment at the top of the subthread

                It’s going to be hard to ask people to give up their firearms (of any type) when the police keep coming off as incompetent or excessively trigger happy Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                How is it extremism that people will not be willing to surrender property because the government said so?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                That’s an entirely different argument, Oscar.

                {{David Regio suggests arguments like that, btw. Ie., based on property rights rather than 2A rights}}Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                I know he does. His arguments are not lost on me.

                I am sorry our wires got crossed though and we spent way too much energy talking past each other.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain says:

                Not at all, but groups like the NRA aren’t saying, ‘go get a handgun or shotgun’, they are saying, ‘go get an AR rifle’.

                Not just an AR rifle, but one with specific sorts of bits attached: short barrel, short stock, big magazine, etc.

                Much different than my son-in-law’s hunting rifle built on the AR-15 platform. He’s 6’4″ with unusually long arms and says it was a more affordable way to get something very near custom-fit for his size. Of course, it’s also not something that you want to try to swing around in a hallway or heavy brush.Report

      • Avatar Maribou, Moderator says:

        @stillwater Oscar handled it well but you got too personal with this comment. Dial it back, please. Or if you can’t, it may be a sign that you need to take a step away from the discussion for a bit.Report

    • Avatar greginak says:

      I’ll admit i haven’t followed it the info about this shooter to closely. However almost everything i’ve seen wouldn’t allow the cops to do anything. Allegations of talking tough, taking pix with guns and racist swill are a dime a dozen and not actionable. He had some suicide attempt apparently but involuntary commitment is typically short term until the client is stable and says they wont’ hurt themselves. It’s not some panacea to take people off the streets for a long time.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

        Involuntary commitment also makes you ineligible to purchase a gun until you are cleared by a mental health pro.Report

        • Avatar greginak says:

          It is, very appropriately, hard to involuntarily commit someone. It takes more than someone saying “hey that guy over there is nutzo and threatened to kill people.” If we are talking threats that is more a legal/cop matter.Report

  21. Avatar Morat20 says:

    So I’ve been thinking, and given the demographics trend and other indicators*, I figure gun-owners have about 20 years to fix their problem — and fix it to the satisfaction of people tired of kids getting shot.

    Otherwise, non-owners are going to fix it for them, and it’ll be a solution born out of decades of school shootings, so it won’t be a delicate solution but more like the blunt hammer of angry, angry people who are sick and tired of it all. (And I wouldn’t count on Heller stopping them, mostly because Heller doesn’t say what a lot of people think it says, and also I’m not sure of the stability of anything that overturns centuries of precedent. Sometimes they stick around, sometimes they collapse.). I suspect gun-owners would prefer their own solutions.

    *Demographics: Gun-owning households continue to fall as a %. Other indicators: The NRA seems to be getting crazier — and I say this in respect to actual gun owners getting uncomfortable with them, and that’s the face of fgun ownership and I see absolutely no movement to change that. But most important is voter intensity on the issue.

    See, the latter is why gun owners pretty much dictate gun policy. For all the screaming about gun grabbing liberals, very few gun control advocates actually care that strongly. It’s not a make or break issue, it’s not one that brings them out to primaries, it’s one they’ll grumble about but won’t take action on. It’s just not a high priority. However, many gun advocates vote very heavily based on guns. It is a make or break issue, it will drive them to primaries, they will be moved to action.

    That looks to be slowly changing, and I suspect the NRA is doing themselves no favors here. Radicalizing both sides is a bad idea when your side is outnumbered.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq says:

      Gun owners are currently acted like late phase Drys. Originally, the Wets just wanted to reform the Volstead Act so that beer and light wine was legal. The Drys wouldn’t have one bit of this and continually insisted on a total ban on alcohol. Eventually, the Wets got fed up and decided to do away with Prohibition altogether.

      Current gun owners are rejecting any sort of moderate gun control and are going for the most extreme interpretation of the 2nd Amendment possible. Like you said, non-gun owners are going to get fed up, evidence suggests that this is already happening, and impose their own solution. The Drys thought Prohibition would be around forever and they were wrong. Same with the gun owners.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 says:

        I don’t think many gun owners really realize how anemic support for gun control has been. It’s one of those issues where, I think, one side’s passion is projected onto the other side. Obviously if I feel this strongly about my side, the other side has to feel as strongly about theirs, basically.

        Except really, gun control support has been pretty anemic. There’s local elections and local issues where the pro-control side is a lot more enthusiastic or single-issue on it, but nationally? There’s a reason Obama never pushed any gun control measures, why Democrats nationally tend basically hold votes they know won’t pass — there aren’t enough Democratic voters who care enough about the issue to make it a focus.

        But gun owners are digging their own graves here, and it happened when the face of gun ownership changed from a hunter to people toting their AR-15s into Denny’s, or playing militia in the woods (often with extra creepy politics), or talking dreamily about home invasion.

        I’d want a hell of a lot more out of gun control if I didn’t know hunters. I got nothing against those guys! I don’t want to step on their toes, I don’t want to stop them from hunting, and to me their ownership and use of guns is perfectly acceptable.

        And the problem is — fewer and fewer people know hunters, and more and more people know “I know this guy who wants his CC license, and he’s always talking about his damn gun like it’s the only thing in his life, and it’s like he wants someone to try something so he has an excuse to shoot someone.”

        The image of a “gun owner” looks less and less like a sober, sensible hunter — and more and more like an armed man spoiling for a fight.Report

  22. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    Just a reminder, mass school shooting are still incredibly rare, and schools are still safer than ever before.Report

  23. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    Somewhat related: The SFPD over-reacting so badly. Seven officers fired 65 rounds in 15 seconds, and hit, well, nobody, but probably only through shear dumb luck. And the police say, oh yeah, totally within policy.

    How many young men are going to watch that and think, “woah, that was cool!”?Report