“Who Are You Calling A Nut?” And Other Ethics Issues In The Community College Shooting Aftermath (Continued)

I apologize for the length of this two-part entry, but the preponderance of fact- and reasoning-free anti-gun hysteria in the wake of the Oregon shooting has even exceeded Sandy Hook levels, a development I didn’t think was possible. An emotional national reaction to such a tragedy is fine, and natural, as long as it doesn’t stampede policy-makers and make the public dumber and more ignorant than they already are regarding basic rights, the reasons for them, and the limits of law and government. This post and its earlier installment are offered to catalogue, in part, the ethics carnage, and perhaps to save some readers time when they are confronted with a usually sane friend or family member who begins ranting about how “ridiculous” it is that this “problem” hasn’t been “solved” and how it’s all the fault of the NRA and bribed politicians, because if Australia can do it, why can’t we? In my experience, however, the angry anti-gun zealots—yes, you can still be a zealot and talk about “common sense solutions” if they are either not sensible or not solutions—don’t want to hear facts or reason. People have died, guns are bad, and why can’t we stop it? The same people also tend to think we can stop prejudice, poverty, risk, inequality, war, and the effects of mankind living on the planet. They also rank “Imagine” among the most profound songs ever written.

Sigh.

Here are the rest of the points:

V. Another Facebook friend published this chart…

wholechart

…and said that it showed that “states with fewer gun regulations had frequent gun related murders than those with more regulations. It doesn’t show that. It shows, for example, that Vermont, Maine and North Dakota have few regulations and low gun murder rates. I know him well–he’s an honest man. But he saw what he wanted to see, not what was actually on the chart. Meanwhile, everyone “liked” his post.

VI. I know I’ve made this observation before, but it still drives me crazy. I just had another argument over it with my sister, and she hung up on me. Obama and the hoard leaps on this shooting to once again lobby for “common sense” gun controls that most agree wouldn’t have stopped this shooting. There is , I would say, an obvious, ethical and logical disconnect there. If the measures being sought would not have stopped this shooting, why all the angry, “blood on your hands,” “how long will this go on” rhetoric? The clear and misleading message is that the shooting would have or might have been stopped if only, if only, but when the substantive recommendations are listed they have little or nothing to do with the incident itself. Why do smart people tolerate this? The shooter’s father–who, by the way, shares at least as much culpability for the Oregon shooting as anyone, and a lot more than the NRA, gave an interview in which he blamed the shooting on the fact that the law allowed his son to acquire 13 guns:

“How on Earth could he compile 13 guns? How can that happen?” Ian Mercer said on CNN. “They talk about gun laws, they talk about gun control. Every time something like this happens, they talk about it, and nothing is done. I’m not trying to say that that’s what to blame for what happened. [ That’s exactly what you are saying…] But if Chris had not been able to get a hold of 13 guns, it wouldn’t have happened.”

Huh? His son, who was so well raised to respect human life, Christians, and the proper use of firearms, did all his shooting with one gun, not thirteen. There is no reason to believe that if he had only been able to buy one gun, his rampage wouldn’t have occurred. Meanwhile, the progressive Talking Points Memo  headlined Mercer’s remarks, “Ore. Shooter’s Dad: If He Hadn’t Had Access To The Guns, It Wouldn’t Have Happened.”

Ya think? Similar headlines: “Police conclude that if the pool had been drained, nobody would have drowned in it!” …“Hollywood coroner: ‘If Mama Cass had been fasting, she wouldn’t have choked on a sandwich’,” and ” Mayor of Amity: “If that Great Wgite had been a tuna, the little Kittner boy would be alive today.” This is called “confirmation bias.”

VII. I keep reading that the NRA is “scaremongering” by suggesting—to “gun nuts,” presumably—that Obama and the anti-gun lobby want not merely to regulate guns but to eliminate them. As I wrote in a previous post, this is simply a logical conclusion, based on the fact that the tragic events that prompt these periodic outburst of gun-hate unmoored to reality can only be even theoretically prevented by eliminating guns and also restricting the rights of Americans before they do anything violent—pre-crime. It is also justified by the fact that gun-regulation supporters, including President Obama, keep citing Australia as a model for U.S. policy—where they confiscated the guns. (They also have no Bill of Rights and a lot of kangaroos—you know: identical to the U.S.)

“We know that other countries, in response to one mass shooting, have been able to craft laws that almost eliminate mass shootings,” the President said last week. “Friends of ours, allies of ours — Great Britain, Australia, countries like ours. So we know there are ways to prevent it.”

The facts don’t support that. In fact, it is hard to see how the confiscation had any impact at all. The rates of gun violence were going down before the draconian ban, and they kept going down at the same rate. It is like the old joke about the guy who keeps snapping his fingers, and is asked why he does it.

“Keeps the elephants away!” the loony says.

“But there are no elephants within 10,000 miles of here!” his companion protests.

“See?” says the Snapper. “It works!”

VIII. The hateful rhetoric focused on the NRA at times like these is unfair, and ignorant. Of course the organization is extreme, because organizations that exist to protect rights must by their nature be vigilant against incremental incursions on the rights they protect. They stake out the extreme defense against extreme opponents of those rights and the citizens they protect. In this the NRA is no different from the NARAL, or the Baseball Players Association, or the Sierra Club, NOW, or the ACLU, just as important to the public policy debate, and exactly as worthy of respect.

IX. The news media, as it always is on this issue, has thrown objectivity out the window. Even though the actual text of what Jeb Bush said about immediately demanding “action” after every disaster was made available, reporters still state, as Alisyn Camorata did this morning, that Bush callously shrugged off the Oregon shooting with “Stuff happens,” which he did not. Pundits, meanwhile, including prominent columnists, have filed countless op-eds that say nothing more profound, or less hysterical, than “WE GOTTA DO SOMETHING!!! ARGHHHHH!”  Ruth Marcus, for example, a member of the Washington Post editorial board, offered a column with a headline that could stand as a parody of the whole theme offered by the anti-gun lobby: Is this the mass shooting that will finally shame us into acting? Because “acting” is what matters, apparently, not what the action is. Marcus notes, after listing some arguably reasonable gun regulations,

“Of course, enacting reasonable gun measures would not have stopped all of these. Still, you tell the parents of 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green, killed in Tucson, that limits on oversized ammunition magazines are not justified; Jared Loughner got off 31 shots before being stopped when he paused to reload.”

No, in fact reasonable gun measures wouldn’t have stopped most of the mass shootings, and it’s telling, don’t you think, that Marcus had to go back to 2011 to find a feature of a mass shooting that might have been affected by a proposed regulation? Not only that, but she stooped to the cheap “ask the parents of the victim” tactic. Yes, the parents of a child victim will often be willing to accept a benign dictatorship if it would bring back their child—that’s why it is always grandstanding and appealing to conflicted interests when such parents are called to testify.

X. To his credit, the most moderate and thoughtful Post editor, Fred Hyatt, wrote an op-ed that was, mirabile dictu, honest. He openly advocates a “gun free society.”  He wrote in part…

And yes, I understand how difficult it would be. This is a matter of changing the culture and norms of an entire society. It would take time.

But the incremental approach is not succeeding. It sets increasingly modest goals, increasingly polite goals: close a loophole here, restrict a particularly lethal weapon there. Talk about gun safety and public health. Say “reform,” not “control.”

Every time there is a mass shooting, gun-control advocates argue again for legislation. But almost every time, opponents can argue that this shooter wouldn’t have been blocked from buying a gun, or that this gun would not have been on anyone’s banned list — and so why waste time (and political capital) on irrelevant restrictions?

To be clear, I believe the NRA is wrong on this, and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence is right. Modest restrictions can help and have helped. The one-gun-a-month law can reduce crime. The gun-show loophole should be closed, and closing it would prevent some criminals from obtaining weapons. Every gun in a home with children should have a trigger lock.

But how many members of Congress will risk their jobs for modest, incremental reform that may or may not show up as a blip on the following year’s murder statistics? We’ve learned the answer to that question.

 Fine, you say, but then why would those same members commit political suicide by embracing something bigger?

They won’t, of course. Congress will not lead this change. There has to be a cultural shift. Only then will Congress and the Supreme Court follow.

As we’ve seen over the past 15 years with same-sex marriage, such deep cultural change is difficult — and possible. Wyatt Earp, the frontier mentality, prying my cold dead fingers — I get all that. But Australia was a pioneer nation, too, and gave up its guns. Societies change, populations evolve.

And people are not immune, over time, to reason. Given how guns decimate poor black communities every day — not just when there are mass shootings, but every day — this is a civil rights issue. Given how many small children shoot themselves or their siblings accidentally, it is a family issue. Given the suicides that could be prevented, it is a mental health issue. On average 55 Americans shoot themselves to death every day. Every day!

The Supreme Court, which has misread the Second Amendment in its recent decisions, would have to revisit the issue. The court has corrected itself before, and if public opinion shifts it could correct itself again. If it did not, the Constitution would have to be amended.

It sounds hard, I know. But it’s possible that if we started talking more honestly about the most logical, long-term goal, public opinion would begin to shift and the short-term gains would become more, not less likely, as the NRA had to play defense. We might end up with a safer country.

I respect Hyatt for clearly stating a position that is usually stated in only code and lies, and for comprehending that culture and values are the impediments to what he wants. For the record, he is still naive and mistaken on several points, including the last: anyone who believes any populace is “safer” when the only weapons are held by the military and the police has either ignored the lessons of history, or think the U.S. is immune to them. He’s wrong that the Supreme Court “misread” the Second Amendment. He’s wrong that removing guns would significant lower suicide rates—I have had three cousins, an uncle, a college room mate and another college friends take their own lives, and not one of them used a gun. Like everyone else, he’s wrong to equate Australia with the U.S., especially culturally and historically. His proposed regulations are reasonable, but they won’t stop mass killings, and changing a pro-gun culture that is as deeply established as ours would require school indoctrination, which people like me will fight to the death, and First Amendment restrictions that must not be permitted. The popular culture reinforces the usefulness of guns to good people, heroic people, and victims. How does Meryl Streep save her husband and child from evil Kevin Bacon in “The River Wild”? She shoots him. How does Quaker pacifist Grace Kelly save her man from certain death in “High Noon”? She shoots the villain. How does Indiana Jones defeat that sword wielding warrior in “Raiders of the Lost Ark”? He shoots him. How does Bruce Willis dispatch Hans in “Die Hard”? BANG.

How does Rick and his band of survivors get through every single episode of “The Walking Dead” when zombies attack?

You guessed it.

Hey, good luck with your plan, Fred, but I’m rooting against it, and I think you are going to be deeply disappointed.

XI. Finally, I must address Facebook. It’s a veritable gun hate orgy out there, with people threatening to defriend as evil anyone who stands up to their delusions, and delusions they are. All of the misleading statistics and examples that I have mentioned are repeated ad nauseum—Australia, the NRA, “civilized nations,” states with more gun laws. But there are many more.

  • Many thought Jon Stewart successor Trevor Noah was worth quoting with his illogical suggestion that opposing abortion is inconsistent with refusing to surrender the Second Amendment. You see, Noah, you dim wit, abortion intentionally and legally kills innocents; when guns do it, it’s illegal. And once someone tries to harm you, it’s too late to abort him. The carnage from abortion  far, far exceeds gun deaths, here and world-wide, and there is usually a non-fatal alternative to abortion. It’s a terrible analogy, and not a very funny one, either. Then there’s this…
  • Guns CarsSpeaking of terrible analogies: this has been posted by people whose IQ indicates they know better. I doubt that I need to explain all of the ways this is silly—there are so many. Here are a few: Training shooters would stop a lot of accidental deaths, but might make mass killings worse. Felons can get a driving license with ease; so can people with mental illness problems. The problem with guns is not usually the integrity of the equipment. What, exactly, would a written gun test be about that was relevant to using it? Most of all, all of those driving and car regulations haven’t stopped deaths that are roughly equal to gun deaths, but nobody is clamoring to ban cars.
  • Several have written, to a flood of “likes,” that gun owners should be required by law to store guns unloaded in a locked compartment and ammunition in a separate room. Of course, a previously sane gun owner who goes Sweeney Todd will just unlock the gun and load it, and toddle off to infamy. This measure doesn’t address the problem that is prompting the anger. Even more absurdly, nobody seem to realize that this measure is either unenforceable, or enforceable only by diminished of the Fourth Amendment. If police can barge in and check compliance with gun laws, why not compliance with drug laws? Child safety laws?
  • Moreover, the progressives who want gun confiscation if they can get it are often the same ideological fantasists who want to release blacks convicted of crimes just to reduce “over-incarceration.” Many gun control measures will fall most harshly on blacks: as A. Barton Hinkle noted at Reason,New York’s stop-and-frisk policy, derided a profiling (which it was), was one of the most effective gun control policies in the country. American Interest points out:

“Moreover, all the evidence suggests that stricter gun laws would fall disproportionately on the same people who have always bear the brunt of tough criminal justice policies. The Washington Post‘s Radley Balko noted last year that “47.3 percent of those convicted for federal gun crimes were black — a racial disparity larger than any other class of federal crimes, including drug crimes.” According to the Bureau of Labor of Justice statistics, state, local, and federal governments arrested black people for gun crimes at a five times higher rate than they arrested whites. More than three out of four gun arrests were in urban areas. So people who empathize with the message of the Black Lives Matter movement—that young, black men in America’s cities are treated unfairly by the criminal justice system and that mass incarceration has devastated too many communities—should think further about what the draconian gun policies they pine for would actually entail.”

  • Perhaps the worst argument, and one of the most popular, is the statement that the right to own guns should be subordinated to “the right to be safe.” Leaving aside the fact that for many Americans owning guns does make them feel safer, and the insistence of third parties that they don’t “need’ guns to feel safe in an intrusion, there is no such right.

There is nothing wrong with posting bad theories and arguments on Facebook, but posting them with a declaration that anyone who disagrees is an accessory to murder and not fit for human companionship is just an invitation to ignorance.

At this point, the anti-gun movement, which is what the gun control movement has allowed itself to become, will not get the “dialogue” it says it wants until it starts being truthful, stops relying on emotion, and is willing to abandon gun confiscation and the de facto banning of private gun ownership as its real agenda. This could begin by a Presidential address in which President Obama directly rejects gun-banning as undesirable and unAmerican, asserts that it is neither necessary nor prudent to do confiscate guns, apologizes for demonizing those who have sought to exercise and preserve their Second Amendment rights, and stating that his goal is to work with the NRA and others to address ways that reduce illegal and unintended gun violence without infringing on the rights of law-abiding Americans to purchase and keep the arms they believe are necessary for their legal needs.

This won’t happen, of course.

And that’s not the fault of the NRA either.

_____________________

Sources: Talking Points Memo, Washington Post 1, 2

215 thoughts on ““Who Are You Calling A Nut?” And Other Ethics Issues In The Community College Shooting Aftermath (Continued)

  1. I have been anti gun for decades. Gun nuts? Well – to me you have to be nuts to have them. My daughter-in-law is now getting her license. Her husband, my son, is an airline captain and is certified to carry heat. Other sons are all “gun nuts” since it was always their choice. In scouts and as young adults they were all exposed to firearms and training. My personal views were explained, but as they got older they could make their own choices. And I don’t give a damn about their “rights” to carry.

    I would get rid of the lot of them. All guns. . Totally impractical? Not to me.

    I hate the politics of it. Every tragic should just be what it is and stand alone. Soon the groundswell will have a dramatic shift and that is now happening. I don’t need Obama to pontificate on dead bodies.

    • I would get rid of the lot of them. All guns. . Totally impractical? Not to me.

      So who exactly is going to get rid of all the guns?

      If we are going to start, we should start with the Secret Service’s presidential security detail as a test case. If that works, we can move on to the Secret Service as a whole, the ATF, FBI, U.S. marshals…

    • I had a discussion with my quasi-communist aunt over the weekend, they were just in Costa Rica and were talking about how great it was: No military, the savings from the military went to paying for free higher education, vehicles were taxed at an amazing rate, which they attributed to lower emissions and infrastructure costs, and that infrastructure was paid for by those car taxes. It really does sound amazing.

      Then I asked the question: “No military? In a Central American nation? How does that work?”

      Apparently the drug runners ARE a problem, and Nicaragua would like nothing more than to Machete them all to death, but the United States Army backs up Socialist Costa Rica, effectively supplying a military so Costa Rica doesn’t have to. If America wasn’t subsidizing Costa Rica’s socialism, they’d need a military, if they had a military, there wouldn’t be free education, and not having a car isn’t that big of a deal in a country you can casually jog across in three days.

      Why relate any of this? Well… It goes to show that generally, idealistic positions don’t work unless everyone else is also on board, and the reason we call them ‘idealistic’ is specifically because everyone ISN’T on board. These social pet projects don’t stand up to scrutiny once you remove them from the small island nations you relegate them to. Carrying that over to guns: If every gun on earth simultaneously melted into slag, there might be a legitimate argument to not making new guns if everyone was on the same page. But the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun, and I think it’s fundamentally stupid to argue that the good guys should lose their guns first, and that is exactly what people who feel that guns should be banned are arguing, because good people also obey laws better than bad people. We accept the shootings that happen year over year (4000 non suicide gun deaths annually in a population of 350,000,000) as an acceptable cost to the alternative.

      • Costa Rica disbanded its military in 1948 to prevent further civil wars, however shortly thereafter they were almost invaded by Nicaragua and only saved by US aircraft operating “off the books.” Of course the drug runners are a problem, and Costa Rica actually welcomes the aid of the US Navy and Coast Guard…but won’t let them dock, because the bringing of a ship armed with artillery into their ports is a violation of their Constitutional right to a peaceful life. Were the US not doing all this, well, you know the rest, but the lefty idealists hold this up as a model for the rest of the world to follow. In Ireland you can amend the Constitution by popular referendum, and it has been so amended many times, which is actually manageable and credible in a nation of 7 million, leaving aside the question of whether decisions like that should be done by referendum. However, at least when the decision comes in, a case can be made that at least a majority IS on the same page, and if the policy goes south, well, the people have no one but themselves to blame.

        A referendum like that isn’t possible in a huge nation of 350,000,000 broken down into 50 states with very different cultures. There is no one-size-fits-all rule with regard to a lot of things, and gun culture is one of those things.

  2. I have been pro-gun all my life. Gun nuts? Well – to me you have to be nuts NOT to have guns. And I don’t give a damn about anyone’s “rights” to impose their intended controls on me or my guns.

    I would get rid of the lot of them. All gun-banners.
    Totally impractical? Not to me.

    I love the politics of it. Every shooting should be seen for the validation of the eternal correctness of the broadest possible freedom with guns that it is. Groundswell for groundswell, a dramatic shift will occur, and is occurring, in favor of more gun rights. I welcome Obama’s and his fellow wannabe gun-banners’ wasting of their energy on futile suppression of fundamental liberty.

    • Jack’s Sister: “This is why we ought to confiscate all guns”

      Jack: “I think we really need to ensure both sides honestly state their premises with no more obfuscation”

      Jack’s Sister: “There you go again with all your academic terms”

      Jack: “I’m just saying, your side lacks nuance and deep consideration”

      Jack’s Sister: “Yeah, we you used to wet the bed!”

      Jack: “I WAS FIVE!”

      Jack’s Sister: “And do I need to mention the nickname we had for you?”

      Jack: “You know what? I used to read your diary when you were a teenager, you weirdo!”

      Jack’s Sister: *click*

  3. Jack, you said this:

    At this point, the anti-gun movement, which is what the gun control movement has allowed itself to become, will not get the “dialogue” it says it wants until it starts being truthful,stops relying on emotion, and is willing to abandon gun confiscation and the de facto banning of private gun ownership as its real agenda. [my emphasis]

    If they stop relying on emotion, they cannot win. Emotion is the one and only thing that permits these arguments to have any force at all. So while I totally appreciate your appeal to logic, that is a dead end for these people, and they know it. Without constant appeals to emotion, they lose, and lose huge.

    As an example of how logic would fail them, most of the so-called “common sense” gun control they advocate for is already the law of the land. The so-called “gun show loophole” isn’t really a loophole, it’s designed to exempt the occasional sale (occasional is very important in this context) of firearms between private individuals from background checks. It isn’t as if a private individual could take his 250 guns to a gun show and sell them legally without being an FFL holder, who has to do background checks. That wouldn’t be an “occasional” sale.

    What they are trying to do is to force a groundswell for any law, using the camel’s nose under the tent philosophy, which is why, as you point out, the NRA is so over-the-top in assailing them.

  4. “Moreover, the progressives who want gun confiscation if they can get it are often the same ideological fantasists who want to release blacks convicted of crimes just to reduce “over-incarceration.” Many gun control measures will fall most harshly on blacks: as A. Barton Hinkle noted at Reason,New York’s stop-and-frisk policy, derided a profiling (which it was), was one of the most effective gun control policies in the country.”

    Wait, would that be a progressive idea leading to exactly what progressives claim is “systemic racism”?

    Interestingly enough, the more I research the more I realize that if there is “systemic racism” it is mostly due to progressive ideas…take mimimum wage for example, hurts black people exponentially more than it hurts everyone else.

  5. It does not surprise me that people are still pushing ideas discredited ten years ago. I mean, people are still denying the Holocaust seventy years after the fact.

    “We know that other countries, in response to one mass shooting, have been able to craft laws that almost eliminate mass shootings,” the President said last week. “Friends of ours, allies of ours — Great Britain, Australia, countries like ours. So we know there are ways to prevent it.”

    No mention of Mexico?

    One question these kind of people avoid is the question of who will enforce these laws. #BlackLivesMatter (which has yet to reach the levels of intellectual dishonesty and invincible ignorance of the gun control movement) has certainly reduced the people’s trust in those who would enforce such laws.

    https://ethicsalarms.com/2012/06/08/new-yorks-stop-and-frisk-ethical-dilemma/

    How do we fix the problem? Well, it would help if African-Americans committed fewer crimes…then race would no longer be a valid component of suspicion. In the meantime, however, unless Bloomberg and his police can develop a stop and frisk approach in which race and ethnicity doesn’t make individuals a target, his program should be curtailed. It may work, but working doesn’t make it right—not in a nation built of the principles of equal justice under the law, no matter how many lives it saves.

    This begs the question of how many gun control nuts are also supporters of stop-and-frisk.

    Now, to point out something that is very relevant to this issue.

    300 million guns in the U.S. and 15,000 Americans killed by guns each year. The rate is 0.005%.
    Here is something else to consider.
    36 million black people in the U.S. and 7500 Americans killed by black people each year. The rate is 0.021%.

    Are we to ban black people, or put restrictions on black people to save 7,500 Americans a year?

    (Of course, I suspect that many of those who want restrictions on guns also want restrictions on blacks.)

    • To reply to your first and last sentences…One of the (non-legal) definitions of insanity is to continue to try the same thing over and over, expecting different results each time. In those cities that have the most repressive gun-control laws, Detroit, Chicago and D.C., exists what is probably the driving statistic for high gun crime, specifically, black on black or black on white shootings.

      Last sentence; of course they do. Not necessarily consciously, of course, but one of the driving principles of Affirmative Action was that black people were too stupid to be able to make a success of their lives without government help. If that wasn’t a hold-over from Southern Democrats, I don’t know what was.

  6. I note that the four states with the highest incidence of gun violence are also the poorest states. Probably there is a strong relationship to the demographics of states. New Hampshire and Vermont aren’t exactly melting pot states. I think one thing that could be done nationwide is to reopen State Hospitals for the mentally ill and high risk of violence and put the dangerous nut cases back in.

  7. I wait for the day when one of our states in this nation will experiment with guns the way Colorado has with weed. If I had it my way, Colorado would also pioneer this experiment. (Because I live in Colorado and I love it here.)

    I want a state to create standards for a mandatory High School curriculum for all Juniors. The curriculum would be Gun Safety (Shooting, maintenance, hands on experience) and an agnostic Respect for Life (What it means to live and let live, how and when to defend yourself, how to avoid putting yourself in unnecessarily dangerous situations.) As a part of a health curriculum, it could potentially also be integrated with Sex Ed, Drug Use & Abuse, Personal Hygiene, and First Aid / CPR training.

    Just an idea, but if we could educate every student on Firearm Safety, we could potentially have an impact in the “accidental shooting” category.

    Anti-Gun Zealots have often said that people need to be trained and need more experience and need to take tests. OK. Let’s make it mandatory for every HS kid. I like that idea. Let’s certify the entirety of the next generation to handle firearms.

      • Aside: You know how someone might be raised in a strict household with very limited freedom or diversity of experiences, then they go to college and without their parents’ direct supervision they experience a lot of freedom and proceed to lose their shit and go wild?

        Is that perhaps a bit analogous to the young male mass shootings? These guys don’t strike me as the kind that are raised around firearms and then all of a sudden, they find out they have access to firearms and the power poisons their mind and they proceed to lose their shit.

        Or is that flawed reasoning / hypothesis?

        • I think there is something to that hypothesis indeed.

          I don’t think it helps that young boys are increasingly raised in a culture that feeds them 10,000 contradicting expectations in life, on top of that we throw them into an increasing myriad of regulations and laws, on top of that we’ve destroyed any modicum of educating young boys into becoming young men. We’ve destroyed any motivation for turning our upward invasion of barbarians into civilized men. Quite frankly, it’s a miracle there aren’t *MORE* of these shootings.

          As an analogy:

          We’ve castrated the calves before they grow up, then we’ve commanded them to be fruitful, on top of that we’ve told them being bulls is the most abhorrent thing they could be, then chastised them when they don’t behave like bulls.

    • Seem’s I learned some of this stuff at a YMCA camp awhile back and later in bootcamp. I saw what happened to the dopes on the firing range that didn’t practice safety with their weapons and it wasn’t pretty.

    • Tim, you might check with the Swiss. Universal firearms training (military), everybody gets a rifle and everybody has to qualify with it. Kept Germany out of Switzerland during WWII.

  8. Also while I’m in my ranting mode, can we please fix health care?

    Cash for Primary Care and Routine Care Physicians
    Insurance for Major Medical and Prescriptions
    Socialized for Counseling and Mental Health

  9. How stupid to say “get rid of all guns.” Almost as laughable as the thought of giving women the vote once was or to think of even abolishing slavery.

    Maybe a hundred years from now folks will look back and say “Having guns? Were they nuts?”

        • This is a hidden version of the well known, though errant, “it can’t happen here” argument. It is naive at best – a denial of human nature and history. And no, it makes you analogous to the good-natured Germans who didn’t think their government would ever do harm, nice try trying to derail the analogy through emotionalism.

          You are also relying on some assumption that I think we’d go despotic overnight if we denied the Right to Bear to Arms. Of course we wouldn’t. But history and human nature will attest that IT WILL HAPPEN when no check against in from the people exists.

        • Hmmm, shall we mention the Ottoman Empire 1911? “We need weapons and soldiers to guard against a potential attack, so you Armenians turn over all weapons and furnish us with all the young men you have.” A few years later…poof! “Genocide? You heard anything about a genocide? We haven’t, except the Nazi thing.”

          Or let’s talk about where it all started, Concord 1775. “These colonists are getting awfully restless, starting to want to run things THEIR way instead of accepting that their freedoms are revocable benefits. We better sneak in under cover of night and steal the powder from the public magazine, then we can impose full control by force of arms.”

    • Slavery isn’t a physical object, it’s an institutionalized behavior. And giving women the right to vote doesn’t work in any possible way as an analogy. You are comparing giving people a freedom to taking one away.

      A correct analogy would be, “How stupid to say, ‘get rid of all guns.’ Almost as laughable as when we tried to ‘get rid of all alcohol.” Alcohol, after all, probably causes more death and misery than guns. I look forward to your arguments in favor of trying Prohibition again.

      • Guns deprive people of life — they are, in fact, DESIGNED to deprive people of life. Life is perhaps one of the most basic rights — a right that is being taken away every time someone is shot. Your right to a gun could equal my right to life being eliminated.

        As I said on another post though, time will be the biggest detriment to the Second Amendment. Fewer and fewer people are buying guns. Once gun ownership drops to a certain percentile, I think the amendment will be revisited.

        • And we already punish people for the *ACT* of violating another’s Right to Life…mere possession of a tool that can be used to do so is not analogous. Try again.

            • No, no. The comparison made by Isaac is one of reality of deprivation of rights…then you created a counter based on the *possibility* of deprivation of rights.

              Now this latest bit by you just looks like a “quick say something, anything” response, because quite frankly it makes little sense.

              • It makes a lot of sense.

                The *better* argument from you would be to acknowledge that there is no sufficient repayment for loss of life but to say that the scales should still tip toward the rights of gun owners because of the potential need to overthrow the government.

                • Which has been said over a half dozen times in the combined discussions on this, yet that isn’t where this sub-thread was going at all. You and your ilk are so amusing when you start the diversionary tap dances when your arguments fall flat on their faces.

                  • I’m trying to find where you think I’ve made a diversion ….

                    We just look at our scales differently. For you, they tip toward we need to overthrow the government if necessary. For me, they tip toward too many lives are lost to gun violence (all gun violence, including suicides) and this outweighs the interests of gun owners. I think we are weighing the same set of facts. Neither one of us is an idiot.

                    I’ll go further. I actually think I AGREE with Jack that no amount of gun regulation, absent confiscation of all guns, will work. I think the nation isn’t ready to have that discussion yet. Perhaps in a hundred years or so, it will happen as gun ownership levels continue to decrease. But not now.

                    The only reason I engaged in this discussion at all is that I thought Isaac’s point was ridiculous. I usually refrain from arguing in substance on this topic.

            • In some state you can fry if you take another’s life. What else would you like? Progressive shooting out of someone’s joints before execution?

                    • So what? There’s also no sufficient justice for someone who drinks like a fish then gets behind the wheel of a car and takes out multiple lives or someone who sets a bomb to go off under a Federal building.

                    • You are really making some end run argument that “justice can’t be served” because of the occasional bad actor killing people when law abiding citizens possess the means to defend themselves…?

                      Is this high school debate day? Did I miss the memo?

                      You know, those same bad people will still kill others even when the law abiding are disarmed…

                      Please tell me you know that. Please tell me you know that elementary bit of knowledge.

                    • So your argument is what?

                      we not punish crime at all?

                      I wonder if you would apply this to rape. After all, there is no way to unrape someone, so according to your rationale, there is no sufficient justice for rapists.

                • Today really is Gish Gallop day…

                  Rick has brought out the tried and untrue argument that 2nd Amendment defenders desire everyone to be armed to the gills with the latest tanks and rockets and hell, why not even nukes.

                  Really, Rick?

                  Really?

                  This is truly asinine.

                  • Asinine? Really? Have you seen some of the crap you can get? Need a sniper rifle? No problem.

                    I’m sure if nuke tipped bullets were available the GN crowd would be after them. Maybe the NRA could have a bogo sale?

                    • Who the hell are you to tell me what I need? I may soon take back my caveat that you aren’t Nazi-like.

                      “I’m sure if nuke tipped bullets were available the GN crowd would be after them. Maybe the NRA could have a bogo sale?”

                      You’re as bad as Charles, incapable of a good faith discussion. This high school debate point has been addressed. No one is arguing that the 2nd Amendment term “Arms” means what the hyper-ventilators (of which you are rapidly becoming) claim we mean it to be.

        • “They are, in fact, DESIGNED to deprive people of life.”

          And pepper spray deprives people of the use of their eyes. It is, in fact, DESIGNED to cause people torturous pain. A woman’s right to own pepper spray could equal a rapist’s right to rape being eliminated.

          Support the ban on pepper spray. That stuff is just so evil.
          (Bad arguments are bad.)

          • In any case, the basic assumption is wrong. Guns are NOT designed to kill people. Handguns come the closest, but there are multiple uses for handguns, as well. Guns are designed to kill, yes, but with accurate aiming by compassionate persons can be used to wound as well. That said, for the average handgun user, I’d recommend the triple-tap to the center of mass.

        • And alcohol and tobacco also take life, though they do it slowly, yet we never tried to eliminate the latter and tried and failed to eliminate the former.

            • No, just to impair brain function and body function, especially in the case of alcohol, to the point where you put others at risk. There’s not even a use for them beyond personal gratification, whereas weapons can be used to defend self or nation and explosives have legitimate industrial use.

              • Let’s not forget all the damage second hand smoke does. Really Beth? Quick, smart-ass responses devoid of substance will not win you this argument.

                • Just because I can type quickly does not mean that I haven’t thought these things through Steve.

                  In the vast majority of instances, alcohol and tobacco do NOT put others at risk. Re second hand smoke, many jurisdictions — including mine — ban smoking in all public places. Good.

                  Weapons only serve one purpose — to kill another person.

                  • And in the vast majority of instances, guns do not put others at risk unless others seek out the risk, like you come at a CCH with a bat and he pulls his gun to convince you than mugging him is a bad idea, or you break into someone’s house to endanger his family and he takes you out. But thousands of people hunt, target-shoot, whatever, each day, and nothing happens.

                    • Sheesh. I don’t care about hunters and target shooters — just about every guy I know does that. I’m talking about hand guns and assault weapons. And, your facts are incorrect anyway. The number 1 fatality from gun use is suicide.

                    • Someone wants to take the final exit, he’s going to do it, gun or no gun. This is a non sequitur.

                    • I don’t agree with you. Guns make suicide easy. If a person has to go to a top of a building, or construct a noose, there is time for that person to rethink what he is doing. Other methods also are not as effective. Many women attempt suicide (pills, drowning, etc.) but men tend to be successful because they use guns.

                    • Damn, and I thought all this time we were in perfect harmony. I don’t care if someone wants out. I do care if he wants to take others with him.

                    • And Beth trumps out the tired and worn out “assault weapons” argument…

                      what’s the standard everybody?

                      Let’s remind ourselves:

                      It LOOKS like an assault weapon.

                      You are accurate about one thing, you don’t choose to respond substantively on this topic.

            • Just to throw my $0.02 in..

              Why does what a product is “designed” to do matter? As you pointed out above, there aren’t a spate of pepper spray attacks in the news, so regardless of what it is designed to do, there’s no need for a push to ban it. So is it that guns are “designed” to kill, which is why they should be banned? Or because mass shootings occur?

              Personally, what a product is deigned to do matters little, and I don’t get why the alcohol analogy is a bad one. No one “needs” alcohol. I don’t care what it’s designed to do; it still contributes to many, many deaths, and many more lives being ruined. So why does no one care enough about 10,000+ drunk driving deaths in 2013 to push for a revisitation of prohibition? Why isn’t alcohol given the same serious “America needs to have a conversation” talk from progressives that accompanies gun violence?

        • Hmm, I remember the LA riots when stores were getting robbed and a few liquor store owners were able to scare away the bad element because they had shotguns and rifles. The cops were nowhere to be found.

      • The analogy is the fact that changes take place – changes that were once scoffed at and laughed at. Years ago when I was an anti smoking nut we started slowly – no smoking in super markets. Look at how that has gone. Our approach was making it a public health issue which is how this should be. Any fool can get a gun. And any fool can use it. Trouble is some of those “law abiding” folks happen to be fools.

      • You haven’t made an argument yet, beyond I hate guns and guns are bad. The first is just an opinion based on emotion, and the second is so simplistic as to be useless. But your position is typical and representative, and thus is useful to have to stare at, like a pangolin, okapi or platypus.

        • Don’t forget “And I don’t give a damn about their “rights” to carry.” This is no different from “I think this is wrong and anyone who disagrees with me can shove it up his ass.” Wanna know where you can shove your uninformed opinions, Rick?

          • Maybe into the body bags of the weekly killings? Guess that means I am “uninformed.”

            Amazing that America can solve so many problems, yet this one escapes us.

            • Hint: you can shove them into a bodily orifice, and it ain’t one of the seven in your head. You haven’t made a single substantive argument here today nor said anything that wasn’t snark and grandstanding and dismissing the other side. I hereby declare you the first Pigeon Chess Grandmaster, because this IS like playing chess with a pigeon. A grand master could deploy all the chessmen and rules to best effect, but all the pigeon will do is knock over the chessmen, shit on the board, and then strut around like it actually won.

            • Ugh. Still waiting for the non-“DO SOMETHING!” and non-“GUNS BAD” argument. Do you have one? I really want to hear it, and I’m willing to be persuaded. The gun control crowd had me until I realized that they were making stuff up and refusing to deal with reality while pretending that they were.

              • Jack….I already mentioned several times the lack of reality of my position. Got that? Of course what needs to be done is finally starting to happen, but only incrementally with stricter laws being put into place. I have repeatedly stressed this on this thread. That may not be your idea of an argument, but it is mine.

                I could care less about the convoluted statistics each side tosses about, but what I do care for is the obvious destruction that is taking place. Will those incremental changes eventually change what I have already noted – a societal shift. Hope so, but it will take generations.

                Now if you want hard ass penalties for use of a firearm I’m all for it. That is just another baby step. Take enough of them and mission accomplished.

                • So your position is “Facts and Reality be Damned, I hate Guns and don’t want anyone to own them because of preconceived notions I can’t substantiate with data OR principle”?

                • We took those steps a while ago with things like the Graves Act in NJ, which mandates jail time for using a gun in the commission of a crime. I have zero problem with that, you SHOULD be punished for abusing your Constitutional right. However, as I pointed out below, a total ban is impossible without a lot of things happening that realistically aren’t going to happen. I see no point in arguing a position that can never be.

        • Of course I hate guns. Great that you were able to figure that out. The argument is the number of body bags and support tacit support the killing fields American has become. That is THE argument. It needs to stop. I realize my pipe dream of a total abolition has not a shred of reality, but I know damn well methods are taking place to restrict ownership even more. That eventual – no doubt after many decades – will have the desired impact – abolition.

          I realize this is going against the tide on this site.

          • And against the tide of reality. Here’s a review of the Constitutional law, for those clamoring for Congress to “do something” or shouting for a repeal of the 2nd Amendment. Given that the SCOTUS has shown they are NOT going to strike it down or gut it, a lawsuit isn’t going to get you there, so the only possibility is a Constitutional Amendment.

            Amending the Constitution is a very involved process. Under Article V, either both houses of Congress have to propose an amendment by a 2/3 supermajority vote, or 3/4 of State legislatures have to call for a national convention to propose amendments. The former method has been used 33 times in our history, including the Bill of Rights, the latter not at all. That’s just to propose an amendment.

            Once that’s done, the proposal has to be ratified “within a reasonable time” (often years) by either 3/4 of State legislatures or ratifying conventions in 3/4 of states.

            Let’s assume it was decided to try to repeal the 2nd Amendment. That would mean you have to either get 2/3 of BOTH houses of Congress to propose and sign onto that OR legislatures in 38 states to propose it. Given the current makeup of Congress, you’d have to get 21 Senators and over 100 Congressmen to break ranks with their party. Three words: not gonna happen. Given the current makeup of the State legislatures, even less likely.

            Assume you got that far, you still have to persuade the legislatures in 38 states to sign off on this new amendment. So even if you got 67 Senators and 292 Congressmen to vote for this, then you have to criss-cross the nation getting Assemblymen and State Senators up and down the place to vote for this. Given the current makeup of those legislatures, now more Republican than in decades, how likely do you think that is?

            Then let’s assume it DOES pass, that only throws the question of regulation back to the various legislatures. Now you need to persuade these legislative bodies to propose and pass legislation that will outlaw private possession of firearms. Again, how likely do you think that is? Finally, there comes the question of implementing those laws, which eventually is going to involve heavily armed police going into people’s houses to either seize their property or make certain that no illegal items are present. Most likely it would also involve out and out battles with gangs who wouldn’t give up the ghost. Even assuming you are going to TRY this, what makes you think that an enforcement apparatus that’s been battling drug trafficking for 40 years and illegal immigration for 30, and not doing too well (in both cases badly enough that a lot of the same folks calling for outlawing of all firearms are saying we should give up the fight) is going to actually be successful in not only seizing 300 million firearms, but making sure no new ones arrive?

            • Steve, one of the things I will absolutely guarantee you is that illegal firearms are easier to get RIGHT NOW than legal ones. The assumption seems to be that if we make ALL firearms illegal, the ones that are already illegal will also go away. I assure you that nothing could be further from the truth. Black market firearms are a cancer, and there is no real cure for it. Smugglers are gonna ‘smuggle’ and they are gonna smuggle what ever makes a profit. Firearms do a pretty good job of that.

            • Since we are already amending the Constitution, can we add an abortion ban? I meant, we’re going through so much effort to fix one problem, might as well do it in a single shot (pun intended) to avoid wasting money and time.

              *ducks*

            • Oh, but according to another post the argument that DC, Detroit, New Orleans and Chicago are killing fields has been “debunked everywhere by Facebook.” When I asked the guy for a link, he fled.

              • I found several google results for it. Hint: the debunking relies on using total counts rather than rates per 100,000 people. However, since that is an INVALID debunking, I don’t think you will get anything substantive here.

                • Not sort of. It IS a heavily restricted one where one kook got a hold of his mom’s poorly secured weapons and you know the rest. It’s just that the rest of us didn’t pay the price for this kook’s atrocity.

                • Okay, Here’s where I call bullshit. State laws on guns are ALL meaningless unless all states have them. Statistics bear this out. Can’t buy a gun in CT? Go get one in GA. Where I live, it’s incredibly difficult to buy a gun in MD, so most people go to VA. Every single day, I drive between VA, MD, and DC. Know what? I have never been stopped at a border to check if I have a gun, legal or illegal. Because that’s not how the US is set up. You’re a smart guy Tex. Don’t fall for the stupid “gun-free zone” crap.

                  • Erm, the gun-free zone “crap” has nothing to do with purchasing power…

                    Logical and reasoned people already know that if a bad person wants to get a weapon to do bad things with, no laws will stop them.

                    The gun-free zone “crap” has to do with the ease with which people may be permitted to have a firearm ON THEIR PERSONS at the time of an altercation that might afford them the opportunity to stop the bad person in the act of killing others…

                    You’re a smart girl, Beth, don’t re-frame arguments dishonestly.

          • “The argument is the number of body bags and the tacit support the killing fields American has become.” Except it hasn’t, so its no argument. Murders are declining, except where police have been told that they defend the peace under strict liability, and that they will be tarred as racists and murderers for life if the person they shoot is black….an unrelated problem.

    • “Get rid of all the guns” is as stupid as saying “lower the age of sexual consent to 13”.

      If private individuals in an impoverished country can make backyard guns, what do you think people in this country can accomplish? Do you really think your friendly neighborhood crack dealer is going to have trouble getting a Sten gun- let alone a MAC-11?

      And then of course you forget the success of the #BlackLivesMatter movement in getting people to distrust the police. What, these same police, who regularly gun down unarmed black men, are going to be the ones to get rid of all the guns? Of course, you people were either unable or unwilling to go against #BlackLivesMatter and get people to trust the police- let alone fellate them. But perhaps it is because they have much more credibility than you do. As my Usenet ally Chris Morton once wrote, the only bunch of people with a greater degree of dishonesty and invincible ignorance than you are Holocaust deniers.

      For all these reasons, convincing Americans to give up their guns is like convincing them to allow grown men to pop their 13-year-old daughters’ cherries. It is not happening.

  10. We’ve always had guns. And we’ve always had mental illness. Neither of those things is a new phenomenon.

    School shootings and killing sprees like this ARE a new phenomenon. However, they are not being accompanied by higher rates of gun violence. Violent crime is at historic lows. Gun crime is low by any historical standard, and rates of gun crime continue to go DOWN.

    Any logical person can cross “guns” off of the list of possible reasons for the uptick in these kind of bizarre personal killing sprees. And I’d say go ahead and cross off “mental illness” too, unless you can prove that mental illness (leading to criminal behavior) is a growing problem, or that the treatments for it are becoming LESS effective.

    What we have here, in a time of decreased violence overall, is an increasing number of mostly young men, socially alienated, almost all with either unorthodox, occult religious beliefs, or none at all, and a general antipathy towards traditional faith and morality. They are generally anti-establishment in some way. Most of them want to become famous by killing. Most of them write “manifestos” of some sort. Most of them plan their killing sprees well in advance, are fairly intelligent, and are not barking mad in any traditional sense. They are generally sociopathic, egotistical narcissists without empathy. They don’t have a lot of close relationships, outside of possibly others like them. They tend to prefer video games and the internet to actual social interaction. Their individual victims are random; they just want a body count. And they tend to choose places like schools and churches where they are not likely to meet armed resistance.

    When so many of these killings fit a similar profile, reasonable people should be looking for explanations that actually fit the phenomenon. There’s something sociological going on producing this very specific class of weirdo killer. But sure, let’s yammer on about guns some more. It’s easier than asking hard questions about culture.

    • “What we have here, in a time of decreased violence overall, is an increasing number of mostly young men, socially alienated, almost all with either unorthodox, occult religious beliefs, or none at all, and a general antipathy towards traditional faith and morality. They are generally anti-establishment in some way. Most of them want to become famous by killing. Most of them write “manifestos” of some sort. Most of them plan their killing sprees well in advance, are fairly intelligent, and are not barking mad in any traditional sense. They are generally sociopathic, egotistical narcissists without empathy. They don’t have a lot of close relationships, outside of possibly others like them. They tend to prefer video games and the internet to actual social interaction. Their individual victims are random; they just want a body count. And they tend to choose places like schools and churches where they are not likely to meet armed resistance.”

      I agree with you. Most people agree with you. But, unfortunately, these young men can get their hands on guns. It’s the availability of weapons that allow them to carry out these fantasies. For the most part, they aren’t seeking bombs (which take knowledge and skill to use) or going into a public place armed with a sword. They want something quick, easy, and will do the most damage.

      • And they go straight for the places where they know there will be no guns, like the lunatic in Colorado going for a theater or Adam Lanza going for a school, and they take themselves out as soon as they know good guys with guns are about to enter the scene and their unopposed killing spree is about to end, like that piece of human garbage in West Webster who (after a straw purchase by his gf) set a fire so he could shoot at unarmed firemen, then topped himself when he knew the police were about to arrive.

        • Steve, in the most recent shooting, there were armed students at the school. They were afraid to intervene in case the authorities or other students perceived that they were the shooters. There are also mass shootings that happen on military bases — presumably where many people are armed.

          If I’m going to a movie theater, I’m going to watch the movie, not stay on the lookout at all times for a potential shooter. No one can be on guard at all times and go about their lives in any meaningful way.

          • Well, there was an armed shooter in a different building, and he did the right thing, since charging in like Horst Buckholtz in “The Magnificent Seven” would have been crazy. If he were in the room where the shooting took place, it might have been different.

            For the record, I don’t think returning to Dodge City is a good idea.

            • “For the record, I don’t think returning to Dodge City is a good idea.”

              Interestingly enough, the Wild West WASN’T the stereotypical shoot out fest the Gun Haters like to use as their slippery slope fear of a well-armed citizenry.

              As a matter of fact, most shoot outs occurred between LAW ENFORCEMENT and CRIMINALS…like most of TODAY’S shootouts are.

            • That armed student was also carrying a gun against the rules established by UCC (a position the college was allowed to take under state law – which I disagree with; I don’t think you should have to give up any of your rights in order to attend college). In addition, he was placed in lock-down in the building where he was studying when the shooting began.

              Could he have made a difference? No one can say, but we can say that the opportunity to make a difference was not allowed.

          • Like Fort Hood, where not a single soldier in the building was armed due to policy that says only perimeter guards and on duty MPs can be and they had to wait for base civilian police to arrive?

          • [Reply to Beth Oct 6 at 4:11 pm]
            “There are also mass shootings that happen on military bases — presumably where many people are armed.”

            The vast majority of people on the vast majority of military bases, during normal operations, are unarmed, and there are not “many” people armed there. More recently, there have been calls to allow more freedom for all troops to carry while on base.

            Beth, how do you square your defense of every woman’s right to choose you-know-what to save her own life with your defense of the deprivation of every person’s right to choose you-know-what to save their own life? Privacy is one thing; vulnerability to others’ deadly force would seem to be something you would oppose, on grounds of…well, for one thing, privacy.

            …unless you are seriously advocating for a monopoly on deadly force by means of guns for the benefit of government agents, from the position that guns should be “safe, legal, and rare”…

              • My mistake Beth. I thought that I had read your comments in defense of abortion “rights” numerous times. There must be another Beth in here…or I have confused you with someone else…or, there’s a “gotcha” on me, for confirmation bias.

          • “No one can be on guard at all times and go about their lives in any meaningful way.”

            Non sequitur. No one expects that.

            But a GOOD amount of situation awareness combined with basic preparedness (available means of self-defense + willingness + basic ability) by the vast majority of people ISN’T difficult for each individual to accomplish nor does it preclude going “about their lives in any meaningful way”.

      • GUN DEATHS ARE DECREASING, NOT INCREASING. Sorry for the all-caps, but I think that that little bit of data needs to be accepted going forward.

        The next bit: even the more extreme anti-gun laws (such as exist in DC and Chicago, two of America’s most violent cities) would probably not have prevented a single one of these killings. These are intelligent sociopaths, planning to break every law of God, man and nature. They can and do circumvent gun laws. If they can’t, they aren’t going to shrug their shoulders and go take up needlework. They’ll just adapt. Eliot Rodger used a knife and his car as well as a gun. Cops, soldiers like the Beltway sniper, or family members/friend of cops and soldiers will still have access to guns. A lucrative, unregulated black market for guns will exist. Going full Prohibition on guns is not going to make a noteworthy difference.

        So…
        -Ban almost all guns
        -Cripple an entire industry
        -Cost 1000s of jobs
        -End hunting and target shooting
        -(cost 1000s MORE jobs, as hunting-related businesses die)
        -Weaken the Bill of Rights
        -Accomplish nothing

        No thanks. Let’s have a conversation about guns when gun deaths actually go UP.

  11. Its impossible to have a conversation with people in favor of gun control because they ignore facts and have no knowledge of weapons. They just repeat all the talking points that they have heard on TV and read on line. Ive just stopped trying and ignore them on line.

        • THIS one I am happy to have used. Perhaps Jack can award the obvious idiot who doesn’t engage with any thought the “Pigeon Chess Grand Master” award.

          • You can do as I have done (presumptuously, with Jack’s grace), with my occasional “Eeyore award,” and make that PCGM award your own, to bestow on deserving commenters or persons who Jack posts about. I had thought about presuming to bestow another award of my own, for sarcasm, but, I do not feel worthy of judging folks in here for that – too many (including Jack) are too much better than I in wielding sarcasm.

    • No knowledge of weapons? Hilarious! The facts are on TV about every week. Tell it to the survivors.

      Gun control (a real misnomer) is one of the few ultra moonbat positions I can support, endorse and pay money into. But it is not a deal breaker. If I favor two candidates equally and one is in favor of strict (hopefully harsh) gun control then they get the dough and the vote. If not, I do not become a one trick pony on it. I’ll pass. That just about eliminates the entire Democratic Party.

      • “No knowledge of weapons? Hilarious! The facts are on TV about every week. Tell it to the survivors.”

        Emotion. As a matter of fact, if a survivor had no knowledge of weapons before a shooting, experience in the shooting raises there level of knowledge from nothing to next-to-nothing.

        “Gun control (a real misnomer) is one of the few ultra moonbat positions I can support, endorse and pay money into. But it is not a deal breaker. If I favor two candidates equally and one is in favor of strict (hopefully harsh) gun control then they get the dough and the vote. If not, I do not become a one trick pony on it. I’ll pass. That just about eliminates the entire Democratic Party.”

        Could you redo that bit? It’s semantic gibberish.

        • I’ll redo it for you: he votes for the candidate in favor of harsh gun control or no candidate at all, so he rarely casts a vote for either of the two major parties.

        • Emotion? You bet and I see a bundle of it from the other side. Please. Spare me.Same as abortion…Obama…and Dancing With The Stars.

          The gibberish is very simple and I will use small words – supporting strict gun control laws does not necessarily insure my vote. There. I think that’s about 7.5 SMOG score.

          • Puerile zingers like this don’t add anything, especially not in the context of my reply to Rick M. nor the context of his comment.

            No doubt though that the snark resonates with those who put little thought into this topic, so at least you have that.

              • BZZZZZT! Failed again.

                No necessary issues with snark. I ensure what I couch in snark is still a valid and logical point.

                If you’ll re-read, you’ll note that sentence 1 indicates your comment is empty and useless. Sentence 2 indicates that at least it’s snark may resonate with non-thinkers.

                No condemnation of the snark, only condemnation of the baselessness of the comment.

                It was actually trying to find some value in your comment. I shouldn’t have done so.

                • I’m sorry, that was loaded with snark.

                  Snark is used too much on this blog. I think it derives from individuals assuming the other side ought to already know a certain set of premises and ought to already understand how logical conclusions derive from those premises.

                  I for one will reduce my usage of snark when making arguments.

                  I cannot guarantee however that certain levels of snark or stinging commentary won’t come out when commenters have shown that given time and again irrefutable proof of a correct conclusion they still insist on pushing error.

                  I cannot guarantee that it won’t come out with particular commenters who smugness relating to that 1st caveat gets right under my skin from the get go.

                  • Great endorsement of Paradigm Synch principles. Though clever, snark tends not to make for good communication, and the satisfaction of being clever will ultimately not make up for the dissatisfaction of a perpetual barrier to people’s understanding of each other. It’s always satisfying to see someone decide to forgo snark and resolve to reach across the gap.

                  • I will endeavor to set an a example, though a consistent definition of snark and snarky would be helpful. I’ve seen everything from crotchety, snappish, sarcastic, impertinent, even complaining defined as snark. I kind of have to complain, and I would rather use sarcasm or mockery—snark?—to point out that something is really stupid than to say, “this is stupid.” Or is that snark too? I consider snark criticizing a point without really countering it, just ridiculing it. It it does both effectively, I don’t see what’s wrong with snark.

                    • I agree. Hence my last two caveats…

                      To simplify, if I’m arguing with someone that 2+2=4 and they insist that no, it is indeed 5, at some point there is NO alternative but to inform someone they are stupid.

                    • My parents taught me that if you want people to actually listen and try to understand you, you can’t take for granted that they are wrong. That means always asking questions, and giving them an opportunity to answer them to your satisfaction. If you’re really good, you’ll even come up with some arguments for their perspective that go part of the way towards convincing you, if they aren’t bright enough to do so. I’m kind of surprised something so simple and effective isn’t common knowledge, especially among people who otherwise have good empathy skills.

                    • That furthers the popular and destructive notion that all ideas, no matter how ignorant, ill considered and absurd, have validity. That’s demonstrably untrue, and because careless, stupid, illogical, ignorant assertions do not warrant respect or rebuttal, there is nothing wrong, and much right, with not engaging in debate until certain baseline requirements are met—like facts, evidence, and orderly thought.

                    • Of course not all ideas have validity. Any halfway decent perception user knows that. But most people, being immature and terrible at analysis, will not be able to take you seriously if you start out with, “Here’s why you’re wrong,” much though they should. People who make mistakes that are so stupid you’d never expect them require you to explain things you’d never have to explain, and that takes time. The only way people will be patient enough to stick around while you explain is if they think they can bring you around to their way of thinking.

                      That’s why I listen to what they have to say and ask intelligent questions; I certainly could be brought around, if they made sense. My questions can both lead them to make enough sense that I can at least concede some legitimate points, and pick apart their worldview while they watch, which is much more effective at helping them see the truth than simply criticizing them is. Criticism doesn’t work if you’re not using their paradigm. It’s much better to enter their paradigm and destroy it from within.

                      Everyone warrants respect unless they’re a direct threat, and if you don’t rebut the ideas of idiots, they will stay wrong and dangerous. Some people don’t believe in facts and evidence? Engage them on that. Get creative. Get to the heart of the disagreement, rather than just the most visible parts. Use “Where’d You Get That Idea?” to trace the paradigm schism back to its source, and then stand with them at the place where you both agree and figure out why you started to believe different things. Listen to them and ask questions; explain your reasoning to them so they understand.

                      I’m starting to have hope that this approach could actually change the world, because it looks like nobody’s done it before for issues of any magnitude, despite it being one of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

                    • If they’re that kind of idiot, what good does telling them as much do, other than make you feel better and them feel angry?

                      If we’re dealing with the kind of idiot that can’t learn reasoning, and not merely the kind of idiot who has managed not to learn it yet, then we just put them on hold until we’ve finished teaching all the people who can learn.

                      My plan for changing the world relies on the idea that enough people can become mature enough and skilled enough at basic mindsets that we can at least stop other people from screwing things up. If we can’t stop them from screwing things up by talking it out, then we’ll manipulate them and strip them of power de facto, such as by removing economic power from them and disrupting their political cohesiveness. If we can’t do either of those, then as a last resort we’ll fight them and imprison them or legally disenfranchise them. The more people and skill we have compared to the idiots, the less collateral damage the idiots have a chance to do to the world. I would mandate that all tactics used against “idiots” be designed to promote and reward maturity, so that any “idiot” always gets a chance to learn and those who manage to take it would be able to join the rest of us. There you have it. That’s my evil plan to save the world. (More important information follows; therefore, anyone who quotes any part of this paragraph without immediately also quoting both this parenthetical in its entirety AND the next paragraph in its entirety, especially if they omit or in any way obscure or obfuscate either in an attempt to negatively affect the perception of me held by any third party, waives in perpetuity all credibility and any rights attributed to them by society and agrees to follow my every command to them to the best of their ability for the remainder of their existence. Failing to read this notice does not nullify its effect, because come on, it’s not even fine print, and if you read a quote that makes you angry, you should look at the original context. I wonder how many malicious, dishonorable slaves I’ll eventually acquire with this from Twitter alone, with its 140 character limit?)

                      However, I don’t think this worst case scenario is the case, in which the classical liberal ideal that people can learn to be mature enough to be trusted with freedom and an official voice is simply not true. Based on my experience, I think the majority of people can learn to be better. Plus, if I give up on people, it’ll hurt my pride, in that I will have conceded defeat on the field of perception and communication. More practically, although I assert that if, as you stipulate, a person is incapable of being an adult, then they merit none of the rights and privileges thereof, I don’t think we could systematically prove they were incapable even if it were true. I still don’t think we’ll have to, though.

              • Give it up, Beth, as you are wasting internet ink. I get accused for no “new ideas.” Reading most of these posts is like an “Best of NRA” journal. No matter what the situation may be the response is the same old blather. I guess all those innocent bodies are collateral damage? What could you have done to prevent it?

                I may have posted some of my pathways to follow such as confiscation of all handguns and a ban on their production. Using chip technology as best as possible. Enough law suits against manufactures so that one may actually work. You want your gun? Have it stored in a rod & gun club and sign it in and sign it out. Let the licensing procedure take a year….maybe longer. You have a gun you buy a $1,000,000 insurance policy regarding anything dastardly happening with in. Nothing new or inventive and there are plenty of other options. At least they are a step forward and not backwards.

                • You have to be kidding. You remind me of a gag in the last Dick Van Dyke Show, a dream Western spoof. Big Bad Brady tells sheriff Rob to go for his guns, and after a pause, Rob walks out of the bar. “You chicken?” says Big Bad. “No, I’m going for my guns. I swear Richie had them under his bed…”

                  Is it too much to ask for policy ideas that have some remote chance of happening? You might as well advocate waving a wand and turning them into squirt guns.

                  • I may have posted some of my pathways to follow such as confiscation of all handguns and a ban on their production.

                    So if we are to confgiscate handguns, let us start with the ones in the possession of the Secret Service’s presidential security detail. If that works, we can move on to confiscation from the rest of the Secret Service, ATF, FBI, U.S. military, before confi9scating them from state governments.

                    as for banning production. see this video.

                    Using chip technology as best as possible.

                    Does the Secret Service use chip technology in their guns?

                    Enough law suits against manufactures so that one may actually work.

                    You may not realize this, but manufacturers are not liable for injuries caused by criminal misuse of their products.

                    Must gun banners wallow in their ignorance?

                    You want your gun? Have it stored in a rod & gun club and sign it in and sign it out.

                    Is this followed by the U.S. Secret Service?

                    Let the licensing procedure take a year….maybe longer.

                    Which means people will get unlicensed guns from your friendly neighborhood crack dealer.

                    You have a gun you buy a $1,000,000 insurance policy regarding anything dastardly happening with in.

                    You may not realize this (not surprisingly), but most insurance companies have an exclusion for intentional criminal acts.

                  • What’s useless is the utter lack of defining premises…

                    Do people have the right to defend themselves or not?

                    If Rick says Yes, then I am absolutely baffled why he compels people to accept lesser odds in a defense.

                    If Rick says No, then I have even more questions to ask.

                • “You want your gun?”

                  I really don’t think you’ve taken the time to think about what’s been said here that this isn’t about “gettin’ to keep our gunz!”. It’s about the most ancient right of man to be secure and to self-defend – taken from one end of the continuum to the other – that is to say, to be secure from criminals, invaders, and tyrants. Something than man must rely on himself and his fellows when central authorities are incapable of stopping them.

                  The question “you want your gun” is answered “No, I want my security, and time and again, central authorities prove woefully incapable of being exactly where they need to be at exactly the right time when MY security is immediately threatened, and worse, history has proven, given time, that central authorities can be counted on to be just as dangerous as the criminal element to the happiness and livelihoods of the people they are constituted to govern.”

                  Now, please give this serious thought, otherwise, I just don’t think we can have a good faith discussion with any hope of bringing people to the light.

  12. Well, this discussion has devolved as nearly all of them typically do; and it’s a shame too. The trap in this discussion is generally that people start discussing “should we have guns in this country” and that’s not the discussion that ever leads to anything substantive.

    After a shooting, the call is always the same “do something” and the only thing that comes out of the ensuing discussion is “should we have guns in this country”. It’s the absolute wrong question to ask if one is looking for substantive dialogue. Of course, that’s why I love that discussion – it bogs down the fervor and emotion of the anti-gun zealots until they throw their hands up in the air in frustration and claim that the game is rigged.

    Well, it is rigged, but not the way they think it is; the rigging is because they don’t know or don’t want to recognize the rules and parameters. How can you move forward if you don’t know where you are currently and where the future goal lies? I mean, I feel I could see this issue very clearly and it seems rather simple to me to the point that the venomous opinions are rather unnecessary. Oh well. Keep ’em bogged down and the status quo will reign.

    • No, this conversation deteriorated because people started taking past each other and certain other people starting talking out their asses with pipe dreams of a total ban in a nation where there are 300 million guns.

    • Well gee, I donno then, as long as they insist on having a discussion on their terms and get huffy when we try to veer the discussion into logic-land, what’s to be done?

    • I don’t know how you avoid the “trap” if that is the unspoken subtext. It’s essentially like racism: when bigots started talking about ‘what to do about the Negro,” the subtext was prejudice, but nobody would admit it, except some shameless racists like the KKK.

      “I hate and fear guns and thus distrust anyone who owns or wants to own them” is what the anti-gun side of the fence has devolved into, and it has devolved there because the moderate regulatory measures don’t accomplish what they were supposed to…of course they don’t. That’s because the simplistic slogan of the NRA was right, and still it is resisted. The problem is people, not guns. That limits the options, and there will be no sensible progress until there is acceptance of that simple fact as well as the fact that the US will not and cannot get rid of guns.

      • The trap is avoided when those seeking change start from an intellectually honest position about the current situation. Since you’ll never get Rick or Beth to admit that the SC has ruled gun ownership to be a constitutional individual right, they can’t see the landscape as it is and can’t offer changes or improvements that fit the landscape. Instead, they can only offer over-zealous despotic venom that can’t possibly sway a well-reasoned mind.

        • Parallels on the conservative side: abortion (the US will never, ever, prosecute a woman for having an abortion, so banning it is not worth talking about, pure that the position may be), and illegal immigration (No, we aren’t going to deport 13 million illegals)…

        • Already mentioned changes. Nice to know a Constitution can NEVER change. So I will appeal to the hubris of your “well reasoned mind.” My position is two-fold. The ardent and lack of reality Rick would – if say, a pol said “Ban all weapons.” Got me. I’m on board.”

          The reality is that ain’t happening so the best option is the other verse or stricter laws – you know the drill since the NRA sends out the info – tougher licensing, background checks and on and on. Heard that tired refrain. Well… that is what I support. Yep….make it as tough as possible. Count me in. Really up the ante on what’s in place.

          So let’s go to the next level that I have already (my thumbs are getting tired) posted on. Say Ted Cruz wants no changes. Zip. Nada. Say Hillary wants to grab gun owners (and non owners – there is a distinction) by the you know what. She’s got my vote! But wait? Hold on, Pard. What about the rest of the issues.

          That, my friends, is where I drift. Say old Teddy Boy has five other hot button items and I look and say “Looks good, Ted.” And I fall in love with four of them. Ms. Pants Suit on the same five and I love one and reject the other four. Teddy is my boy! That – for translation – makes me about as non one trick pony as possible.

          For some gun legislation, climate change, and abortion are all hot button issues – if a candidate is in favor of it they will get the votes from the ardents.

          • You’ll only be sticking it to innocent country boys and their hunting toys, while actual criminals go unaffected. I understand that for some people, antagonizing rednecks is a worthy end by itself, but I don’t concur.

          • See – you’re half way there. You’ve figured out that the constitution is your road-block, but you’ve failed to articulate any ideas that conform with that acknowledgement. What does it mean if something is a “right” enshrined in a constitution? It means that it is action that the government is prohibited from restricting. Rather than call for a change to the constitution, you advocate more laws in violation of it. “Make it tough as possible.” Do you advocate making it tough for people to practice their religion? Make it tough as possible to speak freely, author willingly, or assemble in public? You know the constitution is your stumbling block and you show such irreverence to it by equating an enshrined right to a privilege such as driving a car.

            Courts have been striking down your “tough as possible” laws in recent years because they don’t jive with the constitution and your solution is to throw your hands up in the air in frustration and do the same thing again. You should be working to change the constitution, not rape it. What kind of example do you set for other issues when you advocate such things? Respect the process. Respect the constitution. Change it if you can, but don’t wipe your ass with it.

        • I admit that the Supreme Court acknowledged that gun ownership is a constitutional right. The opinion was Heller and the winning position was argued by a law school friend of mine.

          That does not mean that rights can’t be regulated.

          Next.

  13. I haven’t seen “High Noon,” so I may be missing a major plot point here, but I don’t see how shooting your man can save him from certain death.

    Hyatt’s forthrightness and his dedication to societal change that he acknowledges is difficult is definitely refreshing. I would object to the comparison to Australia mostly based on the fact that Australia also has a rather extreme (for the Western world) institution of censorship. I am curious as to what people do if they need to shoot a wild animal, as I understand there are many dangerous animals in Australia.

    The paper really takes a turn for the worse when Hyatt tries to tie guns to civil rights. It’s a civil rights issue because black communities are hurt? Let’s explore the logical implication of that statement: The government is oppressing black people by allowing guns to exist? Soft bigotry of low expectations, much? Either that, or he’s using a completely different definition of civil rights from what I’m used to. No, “civil rights” doesn’t mean “good for black people.” Same thing with the family angle: if it’s a family issue, let the family deal with it by having the grownups practice gun safety. The whole point of family issues is that the government doesn’t get involved, so that was a poor choice of words there. Same thing with the mental illness angle, which Jack already covered the absurdity of… thouroughly. Somehow my condolences don’t seem enough.

    Now for the heavy ideas: I will address whether we should have guns in this country, because I think that it’s possible to change society if it’s actually a good idea.

    Let’s not get mixed up about the big picture: Guns (handguns, at least) are tools made specifically to be able to injure humans. This ability leads to their main function: threatening humans with grievous harm or death in order to change their behavior. People who oppose guns are focused on the terrible occasions when a gun’s ability is actually used. However, the main function is what is important to those who advocate for guns, and even to most of those who misuse them. The power to modify others’ behavior through threats is a double-edged sword, and therefore so is giving up that power. Guns represent a democratization of power, an enforced accountability of the people around you. If they threaten you, you can threaten them back, and vice versa. Mutually-assured destruction existed long before nuclear weapons. The effect of this power on a population depends on the population’s character to begin with. If the majority of a population is selfish, ruthless, and vindictive, everyone else will have to follow suit in order to have a marginally greater chance of protecting themselves, though they will not be very safe anyway. If the majority of a population is caring, honorable, and even-tempered, those who aren’t will face certain repercussions if they threaten others for unacceptable reasons. We’ve seen both of these scenarios play out in the American Old West. As always, the outcome depends on the character of society, and that’s what why cultural engineering is how I will change the world.

    Now that we’ve visualized a society with guns, let’s look at one without, ignoring entirely the practicality of attaining it, and ignoring the law, which is ultimately decided by the people. Physical threats and accountability are still possible, but only for criminals, who are slightly less dangerous without guns, and for the government, which has a monopoly on firearms. There is one positive effect here compared with the gun society: criminals have to get creative with their threats, and their gang wars have less collateral damage. On the other hand, people are not likely to feel much safer in a crime-ridden neighborhood simply because nobody has guns. Also, people in a relatively safer area might be less able to defend themselves against crime, especially when they are alone. I’ll admit that the right to self-defense tools seems redundant if you expect the government to defend you. However, the most important argument, I think, in favor of guns, is that at this point in Earth’s history, the government cannot be trusted to act honorably with a monopoly on physical force. It already has monopolies on laws, licensing, justice, and taxation, to name just a few. Color me unimpressed with its track record. In human culture thus far, government officials seem to be unfortunately prone to doing whatever they think can get away with, and it would be inadvisable to let them think they can get away with misusing physical force. I don’t know just how effective it is, and I’m hoping it won’t ever have to be tested, but the right to own guns is and was originally meant to be the ultimate check and balance on the government’s power. That’s why the “fundamental value of our nation” is important and why people consider guns as indispensable as cars. I’m working on giving humans something more powerful than mere weapons, but in the meantime they’ll have to do. As for why other countries don’t feel the need to defend themselves against their own governments, my best guess is that they aren’t as alienated from them. That’s another thing I’ll be working on. Perhaps when humans as a society habitually think of each others’ wellbeing, guns will be completely unnecessary, but until I succeed, they remain useful.

    As for the periodic tragedies, I am wondering if I’m the only one here morbid enough enough to realize just how easily I could kill people around me with no firearms whatsoever, merely because they trust me not to. A pencil here, a cleaning agent there… And yes, an automobile. As Beth said, punishment after a tragedy does nothing to fix the tragedy. However, the fact that people trust each other not to become spontaneously violent (whether or not that trust comes from knowing you could shoot them) is actually what allows society to function. Then again, some of us visualize how we would defend ourselves if other people started attacking, as shown here: https://xkcd.com/337/ There are plenty of tragedies that occur without guns, and I’m betting most of them nowadays go unnoticed except by their communities because they don’t involve guns. The way to avert tragedies, guns or not, is to reach out to people around us, pay attention to them, and show them that they are valued, that they have worth and companionship and the power to make a positive difference. Those who feel trapped in a world they can’t tolerate, who feel they have no power of their own, who feel disconnected from the people around them, are those most inclined to lash out, whether it’s with a gun or with a law. My solution is to help people develop their own power, to both tolerate and change their world. Guns and laws (which are enforced with guns) can protect, but they are not constructive.

    Any counterpoints?

    • Long story short, any pro-gun arguments consisting of “guns are protected by the Constitution,” “banning guns is impractical,” or “X kills more people” are missing the point. When you brush away all the finger-pointing and counterpointing, this argument is honestly about whether guns are, on balance, a good thing for society. Different people have different priorities, so they will have different answers. Ben Franklin’s quote comes to mind: “Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.” Then again, they don’t call me Extradimensional “False Dichotomy” Cephalopod for nothing… or at all, actually. Nevertheless, by the time I’m done with this planet, guns will be legal, safe, and wholly unnecessary.

    • Great comment, and thanks for pointing out a really dumb typo. I guess those who know the movie knew what I meant to say, and those who didn’t were puzzled. Grace shot the bad guy, not Gary Cooper. (You really should see the movie.)

  14. But Australia was a pioneer nation, too, and gave up its guns.

    Just to remind people, no, it didn’t, as I pointed out here. That was a bipartisan move by politicians, endorsed by a complicit media that downplayed or even refrained from covering all active and passive opposition to it – which is just precisely what you could also expect if the machinery to do that were present in the U.S.A. (actually, there is such machinery, though it involves workarounds that would take time to prepare – but those preparations may already have been underway for some time). Of course, doing that sort of thing from the top down can lead to deeper change over time, as generations move through, but it does not cover the case of manifesting a cultural change that has already worked its way from the bottom up.

    • Australia gave up about 1/5 of its guns, and they have been slowly making their way back from that. Of course the media buries that, just like they bury all facts that aren’t helpful to the cause.

      • Not slowly, well more firearms in Australia now than before the buyback. Firearms murder rate is still falling just like it was before the buyback.

        • Also true – was not aware they had now passed, rather than caught up to, where they were before in terms of ownership. That said, my only contacts with “down under” are a fellow writing geek from Lithgow who doesn’t get out much (due to chronic fatigue syndrome, poor woman), two emerging singers, and formerly one sex-obsessed, atheistic, America-hating cowgirl from the apparently way sex-obsessed community of Broken Hill, which should be renamed Broken Morals.

  15. Australia, Switzerland, Canada, GB, Jamaica….and just about every country can be examined for what has been successful and what is not. That can be used as a template to examine what America can do. We are unique.

    • Uh huh, and also for why what works one place either didn’t work, or isn’t likely to work, in another. Socialism works relatively well in Scandinavia. They had been moving toward it and agreed on it since the late 19th century, they had small, homogenous populations, and they had a general work ethic. It failed miserably in the PIGS (Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain) nations, which have tumultuous histories, long periods of dictatorship, are for the most part larger, and where the culture is “let the good times roll” and “life is free, life is good.” This almost destroyed Greece.

      Gun control works in some places because there is agreement, more easily amended laws (or specifically NO right to bear arms, as in Italy), a smaller, more homogenous population, and generally a lot fewer weapons in circulation. Here we have a huge, heterogeneous population, a law that’s hard to change (intentionally so), and as many weapons as people. It should also be noted that it hasn’t worked so far in the small enclaves where it’s been tried here, i.e. the above mentioned cities, all of which have very strict gun laws. There is really no empirical reason to believe it could be made to work on a national scale here.

    • You should probably leave Canada out of this. We have about 4/5ths the number of guns per capita America has, but about a third the gun deaths. There’s something culturally driving gun deaths in America over and above the raw numbers, and with 60% of your annual gun deaths in the ‘suicide’ column, I think there’s a healthy argument that this is a mental health discussion. But seeing as America seems utterly incapable of having that mental health discussion, by all means…. Continue.

    • Well, it’s a little unfair to judge her TOO harshly, given that she didn’t have the benefit of the Justice Dept’s grudging exoneration—which it was—of Darren Wilson. (Then again, any objective observer could see that Wilson was being railroaded, that Brown was giant thug, and the cop had every justification to shoot.) But harshly is still fair: cherry picking random crazy comments off the web is an illegitimate way to argue anything. It’s a partyist, uncivil, unfair “if you don’t think the “right” way you’re a troglodyte” knee-jerk screed of the type that most self-respecting publications would send to the trash…but this is Salon. I don’t even check it for story ideas any more. Salon is like Pravda.

      • She claims that the whole thing regarding Michael Brown undermines gun rights supporters because they did not jump on the bandwagon. She claims this means that they do not care about government oppression when done to black people.

        The thing is that the gun rights movement would be have undermined had they latched on to that bandwagon. I mean, the shooting could have been used as an example of how the police can not be trusted to enforce gun control laws in an even-handed manner…

    • I would wonder how she and the other three members are doing with Nebraskans Against Gun Violence? Look, everybody is against gun violence. At least 99.99% of the people in this country are. The problem is that the 0.01% get all the headlines (with reason. Not much point to ‘Gun Owner Shoots NO-ONE With His Automatic Pistol’.) Media doesn’t care. Salon isn’t even going to care.

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