My Photo

« Making History | Main | Tort Reform Arguments from Unexpected Places »

June 12, 2016

Comments

Sometimes, reactions are just too predictable. From the Washington Post: After Orlando, the right points to redical Islam, while the left points to guns, hate. That headline says it all.

With so many wounded in the Orlando Pulse shooting, hospitals will likely be scrambling for blood donations. But many in the gay community won't be able to donate because the federal government still prohibits gay men who have had sex with other men from giving blood.

I saw Tom Brokaw on tv this morning saying he was a long time gun owner and he believed that something needed to be done about guns in America.

I couldn't agree more.

Then he posed the question as to how we got to the point in America that when we have a conflict or problem we just grab a gun?

The answer, in my mind, is pride and a lack of respect for life.

We have slowly degenerated as a society to the point where every and any slight seems to require retribution. We pride ourselves on standing up for what we believe, beyond any rational interpretation of that.

Most people play that out in words, on blogs and in Facebook memes "showing" those others, I can't begin to count the headlines in my Facebook feed that read "X person annihilates Y person in three words".

Then there are people who will play out that retribution to it's ultimate possible conclusion.

But we have encouraged that in word and deed for most of my lifetime. We glamorize those who act against all odds, who stand up for their beliefs against all opposition. That's great.

Then we make anti-heroes a staple of our most important films and stories. The cross section of these societal inputs make action in the face of perceived evil an acceptable outcome.

There is little else that could explain the frequency of these events. As Tom said this morning, my experience also, he grew up in the Midwest where everyone had a gun. No one did this. Certainly in Texas where I grew up it seemed everyone had a gun. And to get one was simply a trip to the gun shop.

The proliferation of guns is not the root cause of this wave of hateful violence. It is the modern equivalent of lynchings, more widely distributed because we hate more things more violently. We should control the free access to guns, but that will only slow a tide that seems to grow as we become a more divided people. The more divided and hateful we become, the more people on the fringe will believe that defending their beliefs with violence is acceptable.

Waiting for the first Kristian(TM) fundies to applaud the shooting, asking why it needed a g#dd#mned M-word to do what a g#d-fearing Kristian(TM) should have done long ago.
It's as predictable as the normal reactions from 'left' and 'right'.

Hartmut, I think it may not work out quite as you expect.

Fox News, where many of those fundamentalists get their information about the world, seems to be focusing on calling it "Muslim terrorism." In short, in the lists of those the far right dislikes (or even recoils from in horror), the (presumed) identity of the shooter far outweighs the identity of the victims.

There may, of course, still be some who will react as you expect. But it appears, so far, that they will be a minority.

Does this reflect a growing, if reluctant, acceptance of the massive cultural change we have lately seen when it comes to homosexuality? The answer is left as an exercise to the student -- which is what my teachers used to say when (among other occasions) they were uncertain of the answer themselves.

Marty, the per capita murder rate is about the same as it was in the 1960's (scroll down for the per capita chart.) How many people then had semi-automatic rifles? I think the murder rate would be less than it was in the 1960's if people couldn't so easily get hold of mass shooting weapons.

Since megaphones have become so cheap in the last few decades, the (always) tiny majority will make itself heard by just being loud enough. They will not die out. An existing target is not actually necessary, if an imaginary one is available. Even over here in certain parts of (mainly Southern) Germany there are still some active witchfinders that (fortunately rarely) get into the news when they commit an act of arson. Police knows them since they get pestered by them on a regular base with calls for action against the rampant plague of devil whores.
This type of guys bides its time knowing well that sooner or later it will be their's again one day.
You see, I am rather pessimistic and cynical.

i'm trying to think of a time when people in this country didn't think picking up a gun was the most efficient way to solve a problem.

can't think of one.

It's Aaron Burr's fault.

At the risk of sounding like a lot of people that I otherwise find pretty noxious, I can think of such a time. My recollection (admittedly non-adult) is that in the 1950s (at least in California) recourse to guns was not considered usual. Let alone an efficient way to address problems.

Yes, we all saw westerns on TV and at the movies. And we kids routinely played cowboys with toy guns. But we were real clear that they weren't real. Not the stories in the westerns. Not the guns. (Of course, those were the days when the NRA was all about gun safety. And officially in favor of gun control laws, too.)

Things may have been different in other parts of the country. Perhaps someone else had experience there and can tell us.

stop, you're both right. the us is a nationwide an unusually violent culture, and it's really easy to get firearms here.

both things are chosen, not imposed, so both are presumably so because we want them to be so.

'nation with', not 'nationwide'

farging icehole tablet

probably the wrong thread,too.

time to call it a night.

Well, I don't remember this type of violence.

I do remember that the Weather Underground and the Black Panthers "had guns". But that was pretty universally considered bad and they seemed to prefer blowing up empty places. And they were a mostly a distant news item for me in Texas.

The local gangs had guns, but no one much used them, lots of waving around. The Hells Angels and a few other bike gangs were a more real danger, and that was just if you happened on them and were stupid.

We were all regularly worrying about dying in a nuclear fire or in Vietnam, and the only guy in town you worried about was the guy that was going to get his gun out of his truck most every time he got drunk. So his buddies always made sure it wasn't loaded when they went drinking.

There were differences. Most people didn't carry handguns, although many did have them under the seat. We didn't have assault rifles except the ones smuggled back from Nam, and they were mostly not for sale. You were more likely to get a big hole at short range from a sawed off shotgun, they were illegal but lots of people had one. And the fastest repeater still required that classic Rifleman skill that we all practiced with our toy guns.

That jumps around in age a little, but then I remember the UT tower shooter as my first memory of a mass shooter.

He had two rifles, a handgun and a sawed off shotgun. 1966. I guess the phenomenon isn't new, just a lot more frequent.

We were stunned that anyone could do such a thing. And I still am, every time.


I suspect (based on NOTHING) that the earlier attitudes were coming from those who made it through the Great Depression and WWII: a feeling that life could be precarious, and unless you exercised prudence, you could see your family thrown into horrible circumstances or death.

Much like the earlier Victorians, where a 'mistake' in marriage, or an unpredictable bank failure, could mean absolute ruin.

Life is more stable now, so we have to make our own problems.

Or, I could be completely full of sh1t. Too.

Again, the per capita murder rate was the same in the early '60's as it is now. It went up, then down again. Mass shootings are a new thing, and it's because people have assault rifles. Fewer people are shooting other people, but those who do are causing much greater loss of life. I blame the ease of access to assault weapons, not a more violent culture.

Yeah sapient I got that. But it doesn't make any sense at all. First, your numbers don't support it because all the mass murders don't touch the homicide rate. They are a blip. So the two things are not really related.

Second, we are not talking about a "more violent culture" in the abstract or in general. We are talking about a culture that has glorified the vigilante, strong silent killer willing to die for what is right. So the generalization you are disagreeing with is not what I, or as far as I can tell, anyone claimed. If I wasn't clear then hopefully now I am.

Third, and most important, I started by saying we should do something about guns just because. So I am commenting on something I think is important that is not an argument against what you want. The UT Tower shooter was 1966. The history of mass shooters provides a broad range of shooters, motives and targets. The common thread is many of them believe they are doing a good thing. The rest are just exacting retribution. Both common themes in our culture, movies etc.

There is a reason there are more of them, assault rifles just make the damage higher in each situation.

I think Marty might be on to something here, as I said in the other thread, though I probably went a little too far wth my pop culture theorizing. But I don't know how one would prove or disprove it. Marty's idea, I mean, not my notion of the moral superiority of old TV shows over some of what these rotten kids are watching today.

We are talking about a culture that has glorified the vigilante, strong silent killer willing to die for what is right.

well... Dirty Harry came out in 1971, Death Wish in 1974. and there were decades of vigilante westerns, before those. and, of course, US history is full of actual vigilantes.

but, yes, something has changed.

IMO, we're seeing more mass shootings in the US simply because the act of suicidal mass shooting has become fashionable. it's no longer an unthinkable act - and it's actually routine.

the FL shooting is notable for the body count. but there were two other mass shootings just the day before. this month, before yesterday, nineteen people in the US have been killed, 43 wounded, in incidents where 4 or more people were shot.

getting a gun and killing a bunch of people before getting killed yourself is now a thing people do, the idea is out there; it's a meme. so people do it.

.... and, we could, if we really gave a crap about it, make it harder for people to do these things. we could come to our senses and realize that this isn't the 1780s, the 2nd Amendment was not written by Jesus, and the need for unfettered access to personal firearms is an anachronism.

but we don't care. not that much, anyway.

I don't think he could have killed fifty people with a couple of pistols and a shotgun.

The Republicans in Congress voted down a measure that would have banned the sale of the weapon the shooter used to people on the FBI watch list. Let that sink in.

The shooter was on the watch list and bought the weapon legally.

Such a simple and sensible and modest idea: no legal sale of weapons for mass killing to people on the FBI watch list. I wonder if the COngress people who voted against this feel any sense of responsibility?

Repeal the 2nd Amendment.

we could come to our senses and realize that this isn't the 1780s, the 2nd Amendment was not written by Jesus, and the need for unfettered access to personal firearms is an anachronism.

Or we could take a minimalist approach. Recognize that the 2nd Amendment starts with a clause which, instead of being ignored, ought to be attended to.

(Have you ever tried asking a 2nd Amendment enthusiast what he thinks constitutes "a well-regulated militia"? It is simply amazing how many different responses they come up with . . . none of which actually addresses the question It's like they know, deep in their hearts, that any possible answer will destroy their position.)

Have you ever tried asking a 2nd Amendment enthusiast what he thinks constitutes "a well-regulated militia"?

my favorite is the "well, it's just a run-on sentence. the first clause isn't a condition or a requirement or a justification of the second clause; the second clause is basically the most important non-sequitur in the world!"

Have you ever tried asking a 2nd Amendment enthusiast what he thinks constitutes "a well-regulated militia"?

It's unfortunate that they got so much help from the Supreme Court. Judicial support for the extreme right wing can stop. Our choice in November.

Such a simple and sensible and modest idea: no legal sale of weapons for mass killing to people on the FBI watch list. I wonder if the COngress people who voted against this feel any sense of responsibility?

This surprised me, too, at first. But the argument appears to be that these watch lists (no-fly lists, etc) are easy to get on, not so easy to get off, even when mistaken. There don’t seem to be any strict guidelines or review protocols. Of course, it was Congress that created these nebulous, quasi-judicial distinctions like “enemy combatant” in the first place. But here we are.

My Facebook page, like may of yours I’d wager, is full of calls to “carry if you can”. There is a very real sentiment that the only thing that will stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. The only two possible scenarios are bad-guy-shoots-innocents and good-guy-stops-bad-guy. It’s binary, and there’s no room for a second, possibly-confused, un- or under-trained good guy complicating the matter. There’s a certitude and confidence that I find alarming. But, hey, we’re all great drivers, too (pay no attention to the fender I crumpled backing out of the garage).

the argument appears to be that these watch lists (no-fly lists, etc) are easy to get on, not so easy to get off, even when mistaken.

Is it really that hard to create an effective review process for getting mistakes corrected with these lists? Can't be. Which leads to the obvious conclusion that Congress doesn't want to have it done . . . else they would have mandated it when their fellow members started turning up on the list.

From gun purchase to exit wound to medical bankruptcy, I can't think who to blame.

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2016/06/13/who-pays/

Free-floating American dumbassity, likely genetic.

How is it a "privilege" to fly and a "right" to own a military-grade weapon?

How did the Founders not foresee the technological advance of flying, but they were able to foresee all manner of the technological advances in modern weaponry and approve of it without exception.

Or did they foresee flying and in their wisdom not approve of it as something that should be available to all.

Pigs neither flew nor shot anyone back in the Founders' day, so that's no help.

Unlike now.

D*MN! Microsoft just bought LinkedIn, "giving the world's biggest software provider access to a virtual Rolodex of connected business professionals."

Guess it's time to start looking for a new social media forum. Sigh.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/omar-mateen-st-lucie-county-shooting-center

F8ck it all.

Apparently, it's a right for birds of a f*cked up feather to fly together.

The good guy (who is a bad guy) with guns sells the bad guy (who was probably a good guy at one time or another) guns.

Conservative Republicans arm conservative Muslims.

The world is awash in conservative vermin.

Deport all Americans back to dumbf*ckistan, where we came from.

Both heterosexual, I would imagine.

They use the same bathroom.

Both pledged allegiance in recent times to murderous terrorist organizations.

ISIS or Republican? Anyone's guess:

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/james-wesley-howell-arrested-la-pride

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/guns-orlando-nightclub-pulse-obama-assault-weapons-smith-and-wesson-sales-spike-obama-152332488.html

Whenever I hear that a food item, like chicken for example, is recalled by the FDA for concealed carrying the bacteria that kills dozens of people, I rush to stock up on the packages of chicken with the bacteria.

I don't why, it just comes naturally. Can't help it.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/roger-stone-huma-abedin-terrorist-agent

There is plenty more murderous violence coming from terrorist agents in our midst.

All the wrong people are gunned down in this country.

Paris France, with far more restrictive gun control laws, has had three Islamic radical attacks in less than 2 years. Why do we think "gun control" here will prevent what it has failed to prevent in France?

It may be worth noting that the attacks in France required groups of people to arrange to smuggle the guns in. Rather than just one guy being able to walk to the corner and buy one.

Might at least contribute to why people think this. Gun control might not stop everything. But it is possible to believe that stopping the lone nut cases is worthwhile.

WJ, what specific gun control do you have in mind that would realistically affect outcomes like these?

Repeal of 2nd amendment followed by one year buyback followed by criminalization of gun possession, dealing, smuggling, etc.

And a rainbow unicorn.

Well just for one, I'm not seeing a valid use for a gun which can shoot a couple of dozen rounds without reloading. Obviously not needed for hunting, at least by any hunter who is even marginally competent. And pretty useless against formal military weapons (aka "defending against tyrrany"). So why?

Also I don't see a signficant distinction between "semi-automatic" and "automatic" (which are already illegal). I do understand that gun enthusiasts apparently find the distinction important -- but how much of that importance is related to automatic weapons being illegal, and not wanting more restrictions, is unclear.

I don't really see the objections to security checks (although it appears that those wouldn't have helped in this specific case). Ditto requiring the same restrictions at gun shows as at retail (again, not relevant to this specific case).

Not an exhaustive list. But perhaps enough for initial discussion....

Using an iPhone from a really boring deposition. What impact, other than having to reload more often, is gained by limiting magazine capacity?

What impact, other than having to reload more often, is gained by limiting magazine capacity?

that's plenty of gain right there.

What cleek said.

Is it enough of a gain that if limits were made, we'd quit talking about gun control?

seems like a very strange requirement.

i'm not sure anyone is claiming that limiting magazine size is the silver bullet. it's certainly something that would help.

For better or worse, depending on your point of view, the ubiquitous gun ownership bullet has already left the chamber.

To reverse the number guns held by private individuals by any meaningful percentage would require a massive police state whose boot would fall on the necks of gun owners and non-owners alike.

"Have you ever tried asking a 2nd Amendment enthusiast what he thinks constitutes "a well-regulated militia"? It is simply amazing how many different responses they come up with . . . none of which actually addresses the question It's like they know, deep in their hearts, that any possible answer will destroy their position.)"

Yeah, it goes like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yx5d3haRG7M

The well-regulated militia clause was inserted to maintain sanity, but Americans no believe in sanity claus.

to reverse the number guns held by private individuals by any meaningful percentage would require a massive police state

But would it? Certainly that would be one way to go.

But I seem to recall reading that the Australians took another path. Massive gun buy-backs, if memory serves.

Might be other approaches as well. If we are willing to look for them.

What if I don't want to sell? Am I an outlaw?

France does NOT have particularly strict gun control laws, not least for historical reasons connected with hunting.

Pre-Revolution, hunting was reserved for the aristocracy, and was resented by the populace. Which is why, after Louis XVI was given a severe haircut, it was a point of revolutionary doctrine that hunting (and the firearms to hunt with) were 'available to all'.

I've heard boar-hunters at night in the Ardennes. It sounds like they're using fully-auto firearms (or semi-auto, and are really good at it). Considering "boar hunting" and "at night in the forest", I don't blame them one tiny bit, those boars are aggressive and nasty and will eat humans.

They taste really good though, so there's that.

Anyway, the point is that FRANCE is not a good example of 'strict European gun control'. Try the UK or Ireland, and the problems the UK had with the IRA.

Gun buy-backs are great. Use the proceeds from parting with several pieces of junk to buy a nice Glock.

a massive police state whose boot would fall on the necks of gun owners and non-owners alike

i don't care. this fantasy of Freedom™ clearly isn't working out.

i'd rather not have to spend my days worrying that some dimwitted, rage-addicted, heavily-armed wingnut is going to decide that today's the day he's going to take revenge on all the employees and patrons of whatever business i have to visit.

can i just go to the damned post office without worrying that Bob has finally blown his valve and is going to stop in and kill everyone he can after he hits the local arms dealer ?

no?

then what's the fncking point of it all?

cleek, 14,000 people were murdered last year in a country of 318,000,000. For all that I believe in reasonable gun laws, I don't share your willingness to write off freedom.

"Is it enough of a gain that if limits were made, we'd quit talking about gun control?"

No. To accomplish that we'd have to get rid of the First Amendment too.

"To reverse the number guns held by private individuals by any meaningful percentage would require a massive police state whose boot would fall on the necks of gun owners and non-owners alike."

We Americans are a can't-do bunch of people.

But related to that, if those who sell guns spout off in social media about their hatred of government and the President, their license to sell weapons should be revoked for life, before they can sell to their fellow terrorists.

They may then resume spouting off at will.

France does pretty well with gun control compared to the U.S. and any number of Central and South American countries, and some African countries.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate

"What if I don't want to sell? Am I an outlaw?"

Not unless your in-laws turn you in. But at the very least, your weapons wouldn't see the light of day again. More importantly, others who don't share your care and diligence regarding gun safety would lay low for a good long while, this reducing gun violence and accidents.

.... and ... "Gun buy-backs are great. Use the proceeds from parting with several pieces of junk to buy a nice Glock."

That doesn't seem to be how it worked in Australia.

http://www.vox.com/2015/8/27/9212725/australia-buyback

I guess Americans are special snowflakes.

Australia has incredibly restrictive immigration laws as well. So they had to resort to mass-killing among themselves to boost the murder rate. This, the gun control.

I would heartily suggest confiscating all weaponry from the American people before deporting tens of millions AND removing health insurance coverage from 20 million more.

Heck, while Trump is instituting his police state, while not confiscate the weapons too.

"No. To accomplish that we'd have to get rid of the First Amendment too."

The State of Florida rescinded the First Amendment for doctors by disallowing their right to question their patients regrading gun ownership and habits in their households.

Not one f*cking goddamed objection from freedom-lovers.

Missouri, too:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-weisser/missouri-guns-doctors_b_6017896.html

Apparently, freedom-loving doctors knuckled under to the police state.

Bullets in motion have always been sacred political speech in America, second only to the money that talks.

Gun buy-backs are great. Use the proceeds from parting with several pieces of junk to buy a nice Glock.

Come on, Charles, be serious. Obviously gun buy-backs aren't useful until after you have in places laws to limit purchases.

What if I don't want to sell? Am I an outlaw?

I wouldn't write the law that way, McKinney. You wouldn't have to sell. You just couldn't (legally) sell to anyone else. Nor give, for that matter (including as part of your estate).

Would that still leave some significant number of guns out there? Sure. Would it substantially reduce the numbers, and without requiring "jack-booted" government siezures? Also yes.

But waiting after you have gun purchase limits in place increases the cost and lowers the effectiveness of you gun buyback.

How does it lower the effectiveness? It seems like allowing people to, in your words, "Use the proceeds from parting with several pieces of junk to buy a nice Glock." reduces the effectiveness to roughly zero.

But limiting purchases increases the value of the existing guns. You'll have to offer more money per gun and you may get fewer takers.

I would upgrade training for those who wish to own a weapon, if they must, unlike what we have now:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLsg0EvZozI

I would also disarm all civilian government agencies, including all local police departments and even the National Guard and put to the test Americans' resolve to pay their taxes, halt pollution, observe traffic laws and the rest of civil society without being "forced" to do so.

I'd give that pony a week before we'd have to put it out of its misery.

I still believe technology will be developed to completely disable guns when they are aimed at human flesh.

Also, a breathalyzer device could be installed on each weapon. If the breath of the user was human, the weapon would be useless, except to throw.

Wayne LaPierre will take up new digs at the National Machete Association.

The disappointment will be overwhelming.

How did we get to the point where "gun ownership" = "freedom"? Have we forgotten how to speak English?

Does taking away your guns prevent you from speaking freely? Yes or no?

Does taking away your guns prevent you from voting? Yes or No?

Does taking away your guns prevent you from lawfully assembling to address the government about your grievances? Yes or No?

If you answered Yes to any of the above, please lay out in clear, concise, and actually understandable language, how there is a real, actual, and highly probable assault on your freedom as a result or abolishing the 2nd Amendment and confiscating guns.

It never ceases to amaze that those who equate guns with "freedom" turn around argue we have to increase federal government power exponentially to fight teh terrorism.

Heck, while Trump is instituting his police state, while not confiscate the weapons too.

Yup. What's good for the goose is good for the hairpiece.

But limiting purchases increases the value of the existing guns. You'll have to offer more money per gun and you may get fewer takers.

To reach this conclusion requires several unstated assumptions that may or may not apply. But then again, libertarians have a limitless supply of assumptions....

cleek, 14,000 people were murdered last year in a country of 318,000,000. For all that I believe in reasonable gun laws, I don't share your willingness to write off freedom.

bah. we spend hundreds of billions of dollars "protecting" ourselves from much smaller threats than that. and come on, it's just a friggin gun. we're holding ourselves hostage over some stupid anachronism.

The banning and ostracism and the number of Americans being excluded continues apace:

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/trump-revokes-wapo-press-credentials

Jeff Bezos may have helped plan Muslim attacks on America.

According to Trump followers, Bezos, that anti-Trump faggot, will be protected from Muslim attacks on his sexuality, whatever it is, said Trump, leader of the ISIS-influenced Republican Party, I'm not saying he's gay, I just know what my boy Chris Christie reads in the grocery line periodicals when he's running my errands, added the fascist lout underneath the expensive hairpiece.

However, the bathrooms at all Trump properties are off-limits to Bezos.

He might dilute the concentrated effluent issuing therefrom.

Because yanking the Washington Post's press credentials will soooo help them to cover more accurately. Riiiiiight!

How come those who want fewer guns in the hands of everyone always have to prove their case?

But the ones who wants MORE guns in the public's hands are rarely questioned.

Smartasses say if the good guys in the gay club in Orlando had been carrying, the shooter would have been stopped in his tracks.

Thing is, many of the good guys in the club were doing a floor show as female impersonators who might well have got done taking out the perpetrator and then run down the street to use a public ladies' room and more cops would have been called to stop THAT than showed up at the club.

"Whattaya mean by good guy?" Governor Scott would have blared.

"The freak is a would-be child molester first, and an armed hero second!"


Of course, if Trump wasn't already sulking this
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/06/13/this-new-poll-utah-poll-is-amazingly-bad-for-donald-trump/
might have got him going. A Republican who is actually tied with the Democratic candidate in Utah!?! Oh, the horror!

If I had only known, I am now gathering the list of people who's credentials I am revoking. Don't talk about me anymore. So there.. 2,2,2,2 times.

Gabrielle Giffords shooter was prevented from killing more people because he had to stop to reload. The Seattle Pacific shooter was prevented from killing more people because he had to stop to reload. Some of the kids who walked away from Sandy Hook, did so because that shooter had to stop and reload.

So, it would appear that there is some value in limiting the number of bullets that a magazine can hold. If that's the wrong name for the thing that holds the bullets, kindly bite me.

There are no gun laws that would be remotely practical, or politically achievable, in this country that would prevent attacks like the ones in France. Those were carefully planned attacks, carried out by multiple people, who had received training in planning and executing such attacks.

The situations that could be helped by better gun laws are more likely to be those like Orlando, where an ill-adjusted young guy with a history of violence and general hostile and anti-social acting out is able, readily, to purchase firearms and express his general sense of resentment by shooting as many people as he can before he gets shot.

People who have been interviewed multiple times by the FBI for claiming to "know the Tsarnaevs", and who are divorced because they beat the crap out of their wives, really shouldn't be able to get a firearm with any degree of ease.

Does anyone disagree?

Another situation that would be helped would be idiots who shoot their neighbors through the garage wall because they can't figure out if they left one in the chamber or not, or who leave their loaded firearms in a bathroom stall or movie theater seat for some little kid to find.

An enormous number of jurisdictions in the US are "shall issue" or simply unregulated for public carry permits, whether open or concealed. That means any swinging d**k who wants to get a gun and carry it around in public can do so, period.

I think that's insane.

I'm not, remotely, against guns. I don't care about guns one way or the other. If you want a gun, get a gun. Live it up.

What I find baffling to the point of anger is the idea that some folks' interest in firearms trumps the reasonable concern and interest of everybody else in the country in being able to go about their business without getting shot.

Last I looked, per the CDC, something like 100K people get shot in this country, per year. That's a lot.

Americans shoot themselves and each other, a lot. Enough that it deserves attention, and constructive action.

And yes, if we the people of the US, through our elected representatives, decide that certain classes of firearms should not be legal, and you decide that we can all go piss up a rope, you are keeping your firearm, you are an outlaw.

That's how the law works.

It's in all of our interest to prevent assholes from having guns. There are a hell of a lot of categories of asshole that are just not that hard to pin down.

if we the people of the US, through our elected representatives, decide that certain classes of firearms should not be legal, and you decide that we can all go piss up a rope, you are keeping your firearm, you are an outlaw.

Russell, that isn't what McKinney was saying. We were talking about a gun buy-back. Which might, or might not, include a provision making it mandatory to sell any guns you currently own. If it didn't, then you wouldn't be breaking the law if you happened not to sell.

Adding to what russell said, Could we please, at least, have gun owners be licensed like drivers? And could those gun owners pay (a lot, please) for insurance to compensate those who suffer injuries at the hands of gun wielders? The fact that these victims and their families don't even get the kind of compensation that car accident victims receive, and that the community has to pass the hat to try to pay for their grievous injuries .... something is truly wrong with that picture.

If I'm not mistaken, the topic was the Australian buy-back program, which again if I'm not mistaken was compulsory.

I'm personally not really all that worried about McK owning guns, so I'm not interested in preventing him from having them.

Nonetheless, if somehow pigs learned to fly, hell froze over, and certain classes of firearms were made illegal, and McK (or whoever) insisted on hanging on to theirs, then he (or whoever) would be outside the law.

We outlawed automatic weapons, and the world did not come to an end.

Speaking personally again, I don't really see much point in outlawing (for example) so-called assault weapons. At the kinds of close ranges that are typical of mass shootings, there's not much practical difference between them and a semi-automatic handgun.

I doubt it would make a dent in the overall number of people getting shot. All it would do is make the folks to manufacture and sell them very, very wealthy, because every dude in the country with a "molon labe" bumper sticker would immediately go out and buy five.

Just to flip all of the rest of us the bird.

My short list of useful regulation would be:

1. Magazines hold 10 rounds or less
2. People with a history of violent or aggressive behavior don't get guns.
3. People who demonstrate an inability to handle their guns safely lose their guns and don't get them back

I don't really care about guns per se. I care about the ease with which stupid, careless, and violent people are able to get them.

Another whole topic, which should be of particular interest to rural folks, is suicide by firearm. Outnumbers murder by multiples.

The Australian buyback program was only sorta mandatory. Not having automatic and semiautomatic weapons was mandatory. They took 20% of the guns out of circulation. The gun violence statistics went down (66% in some categories) and suicides went down, IIRC, 30%. They still had 80% of the guns and 1/3 of the violence. I suspect, based on NOTHING, that the already decreasing gun violence rate was affected by the same events that caused some guns to be outlawed.

Just for clarity, they count mass shootings as 5 people where we count 4. I hadn't encountered a different way to count until I saw that.

The Orlando massacre was the Perfect Storm: god, guns, and gays.

A colleague of mine who is devoutly Catholic was talking to another guy at the coffee machine today. He said, "As soon as I heard the news, I knew who did it."
"You mean, a Muslim?" I asked.
"Yes."
"Before you heard the name?"
"Yup."
"Funny," I told him, "before I heard the name I would have bet on a fundamentalist christian."
We discussed the provenance of homo-hatred in the scriptures of the Abrahamic monotheisms long enough for the Keurig to dispense our coffees, and then it was back to work.

We never got around to the gun control question.

--TP

whatever.

if a class or category of firearms is outlawed, and you decide to keep yours, you are outside the law.

can we all pick and choose which laws we will obey, and which not? sign me up for that, please.

sorry, my 'whatever' was a response to Marty's comment about the OZ buyback, not TonyP's comment.

and it was not intended to dismiss Marty's comment.

kindly strike 'whatever' and replace with 'that's true, but...'

We don't need no credentials in America.

All we need, and if you add up all of the "r's:, "e's", "l's", "o's", "a's", "d's" and esses in the Constitution, no matter in what Scalia order they appear, what it boils down to is reloading is the business of America, to paraphrase Rita Coolidge.

"Just for clarity, they count mass shootings as 5 people where we count 4. I hadn't encountered a different way to count until I saw that."

Is that some sort of advanced math? I usually start counting at one.

I bet you were being ironic.

Do the Aussies have a separate lane at the gun registration office for those who are planning on killing less than five?

No doubt the conservatives in the Aussie Parliament have defunded the five and over queue window and the bored clerks manning the under-five window shrug their shoulders and tell the folks in line: "Let's call it four, mate, and a richochet. After all, four is a quartet, not a mass. Now in America, a trio is fair game."

"Not having automatic and semiautomatic weapons was mandatory"

"and suicides went down, IIRC, 30%."

The trigger finger lives on..

Each US citizen at age 25 will be given a single, bolt action rifle of ____ caliber and two five round clips, each stamped with your unique identifier. This is yours for life and nontransferable. Should you accept it, you must undergo a mandatory safe handling and storage course and are strictly liable for any damage or injury done using the rifle by you or anyone else (unless you can show that it was taken from you under threat of serious violence). Upon your death the rifle is to be returned and destroyed. possession of any other type of firearm is a felony.

Ugh, yes, put the 'militia' part back in the 2nd amendment.

Friendly(?) addition:
each year, said citizen must complete a two day refresher course, including an overnight hike with full pack. Declining to do so, or failing the course, results in loss of firearm. Congress sets the rules for the equipage and organization of the militia; States appoint the officers.

Sorta like 'adult scouting (plus guns)', probably help improve the community also, too.

Ugh, Snarki, do you suppose you could include an option to just opt out? For those with better things to do with their time than play shoot-em-up.

we had something like what snarki proposes in the early days, see the militia acts of 1792 and following. we moved to a professional army because the citizen militia didn't always do so well in actual combat.

it's an open question, to me at least, what the 2nd A actually means in the absence of the institution that was it's context and motivation.

wj: of course you should be able to 'opt out'. It just means that you have to turn in any firearms you currently own, and not (legally) get any new ones.

A citizen militia is a TERRIBLE way of handling national defense. But it might be a way to make sure that firearms are only in 'trained, responsible' hands, and improve physical fitness of US couch potatoes also, too.

A strict constructionist might argue that the Constittion is referring to the right to own single shot weapons that take at least 15 seconds to reload. If you wanted to kill a lot of unarmed people then you woulld probably strap on a lot of loaded pistols and carry an ax or sword. Or join a militia and slaughter a Pequot village with your buddies ( yes, a century before) or shoot down some ruffians in a Boston street with your fellow Redcoats. Massacres were much harder to commit back then.

Only half snarking. We already realize that the right to bear arms can't mean rocket launchers or machine guns or weaponized anthrax dispensers. The Constitution is outdated on weapons technology, so we should take into account the lethality of the weapons the writers had in mind.

smooth-bore single-shot pistols are a lot less effective at mass slaughter than 12-round semi-autos.

not only are the types of weapons far beyond what they had in 1790, but guns were fairly uncommon then. they were expensive and hard to maintain. most people didn't bother. a MA survey in 1840 showed that ~10% of people had one.

so where did they come from? the civil war.

http://www.economist.com/node/218080

Thanks for that link, cleek. How interesting.

Yes. Bring back militias and use them the way the Founders intended...as slave patrols.

George Washington came to despise the militias.

Some ridiculous majority of the mythical Americans who showed up to fight the British were drunk and/or likely to desert soon after arriving at the front lines for duty.

They didn't follow orders. What did you expect? They were "you're-not-the-boss-of-me" wastrels.

Most of all, few of them arrived with weapons, because few of them had any, despite the effing horsesh*t peddled by conservative crapologists all these years, and most of the weapons they possessed didn't work, or they didn't know how to use them.

Read Garry Wills' "Necessary Evil" for the full monty on the manure we've been fed in this country.

Tench Coxe was full of sh*t.

No more moments of silence. F*ck silence:

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/house-democrats-protest-after-moment-silence-orlando-victims

F*ck these filth:

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/roger-jimenez-steven-anderson-pastors-praise-orlando

I'm sure they'll enjoy the growing evidence that the shooter may well have been gay himself, the fascist, sadistic pigf*cking Republicans.

F8ck Gingrich:

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/newt-gingrich-proposes-creating-new-house-unamerican-activities-committee

First person we investigate and execute for unAmerican activities id him.

F*vk the NRA. And kill it. Shoot it in the balls.

One way to saturate a country with guns and create a gun culture is to have a nice little civil war.

That's why so many in the NRA and conservatives and libertarians talk up a civil war and stoke the fear and hate.

It's good for business.

Death merchants. I wanna sell some Death back to them.

Cleek's link is a great companion piece to Wills book.

I wasn't particularly thinking of a militia, but it could be justified on that basis (might need to get SCOTUS to change its mind though).

My thought was that the justifications for the 2nd amendment I hear are (a) self defense; (b) hunting; (c) some kind of fantasy about fighting off domestic tyranny.

If everyone were given a rifle, that would take care of (a) and (b). The training/strict liability and ban on other firearms would ensure additional safety beyond what we have now. I'm not willing to give much credence to (c).

Yes people could opt out.

Blacks and civil rights activists found various kinds of firearms useful in dealing with the Jim Crow south.

US Mass Shootings, 1982-2016: Data From Mother Jones' Investigation: The full data set from our in-depth investigation into mass shootings. Plus: additional cases from 2013-16.

http://www.gunviolencearchive.org/reports/mass-shooting

this one has a lot more entries. and it shows there have been eight incidents where 4 or more people have been shot (killed or wounded) in the last four days.

this is the freedom we want? this is what we wave the flag for?

A couple of comments, now that I have a brief period with an actual keyboard.

How to construe the second amendment? There are two parts, the militia preface and the 'right of the people'. As an aside, sometime back, I recall reading that the majority of constitutional scholars reviewing the issue concluded, on the strength of how other constitutional rights were inferred/construed, that the right was personal and not collective.

My take has always been that a militia was a creature not just of states but of local collectives or communities. Before TX was ever a republic or a state, there were militias that were called out for Indian raids and whatnot.

Her is the first militia definition I got from Google:

a military force that is raised from the civil population to supplement a regular army in an emergency.
a military force that engages in rebel or terrorist activities, typically in opposition to a regular army.
all able-bodied civilians eligible by law for military service.

The militia contemplated by the 2d Amendment contemplates an an armed populace; however, I'm not convinced the "bear arms" doesn't relate to military activities such as local militia drill. The 2d A doesn't refer to the National Guard, which didn't exist at the time. Is it outdated? Probably. Good luck repealing it.

Upthread someone wrote that guns were not widespread until the civil war. That is not a uniform consensus. The Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 and the Indian Wars all featured heavy involvement of militia and armed civilians plus hunting was an important food source. So, take that one with a grain of salt.

Yes, we have a lot of firearm violence, less now than in recent years, but still too much.

The violence is not the freedom we want. It isn't even freedom. Those who perpetrate violence are on the street wreaking mayhem for a lot of reasons, including a criminal justice system that fails to separate the violent from society and keep them separated, a lack of family structure and values and an education system that was doomed to fail too many.

If you're not a hunter, not a firearms enthusiast, don't own a gun for self defense or don't think that the right to own a firearm is part of being a free person, then owning a gun makes no sense.

One of the fault lines is those who don't own guns telling those who do that they are indirectly responsible for what happened in Orlando and that, because of things like Orlando, gun owners need to give up their guns. Or have their access and use of guns severely restricted.

It's a conversation in which neither side is going to persuade the other. It's also probably true that when Democratic candidates say they don't want to take away anyone's guns, they have much less credibility today than ever before.

Russell's comments about reloading slowing down a mass shooter have me thinking. There may be something to requiring a license to own large capacity-capable semi automatic weapons. That's not a huge imposition. The problem with a ban is that there are millions of them in circulation and large capacity magazines are ubiquitous.

As for pistols, shotguns and traditional hunting/target rifles (almost all of which are far more powerful/lethal than the Orlando shooter's rifle), that is and will be part of the American landscape for many years to come.

The comments to this entry are closed.