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Responsibility

[ 535 ] December 14, 2012 |

At what point do we start holding the National Rifle Association morally responsible for all these shootings? At what point do we get over our idiotic national love of guns and start acting like grownups in this country?

Talk about your gun rights all you want. People also have a right not be shot in movie theaters and schools. That’s a right far more important than your ability to own an AK-47.

….It seems that up to 27 people are dead. Wayne LaPierre should be in prison. You are goddamn right I am politicizing this tragedy. The NRA is a criminal organization and should be treated as such. Even if it is 1 person dead.

….Below is the gun used in the shootings. A .223 rifle. Can anyone tell me why this gun should be legal?

Comments (535)

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  1. Scott Lemieux says:

    Look, if more 6-year-olds were armed with semiautomatic weapons, like they should be, this never would have occurred.

    • Semanticleo says:

      You’re not suggesting Obama should begin the Mythical Great Gun Round-up?

      • DrDick says:

        Works for me. I will even voluntarily surrender mine if it will get guns out of the hands of criminals and whackjobs.

        • Semanticleo says:

          Start with the GUN SHOW loophole.

          • CaptBackslap says:

            That shouldn’t even be controversial.

          • Snarki, child of Loki says:

            No, don’t close the GUN SHOW loophole!

            Obama should show that he SUPPORTS gun shows, by CONTRIBUTING to them.

            A live hellfire missile for a lucky one in four gun shows! With delivery included!

            • Semanticleo says:

              Good NYM…

            • David Nieporent says:

              There is, of course, no gun show loophole. It is a lie made up by politicians, like McCarthy’s list of communists in the State Department. The laws at gun shows are the same as the laws everywhere else. (Except in some states where they are stricter.)

              • DrDick says:

                And they let you practice law? Seems to me that you could drive a semi load of guns through that “nonexistent” loophole.

                • tonycpsu says:

                  It’s okay, he’s arguing in bad faith, not stupid. I’m sure he’s an excellent attorney.

                • Malaclypse says:

                  It’s okay, he’s arguing in bad faith, not stupid.

                  I think the explanation is more both/and than either/or.

                • David Nieporent says:

                  One of the things they taught me as a law talking guy was not to rely on “about.com” for legal research.

                  That having been said, even the link, while using the term, explains (to someone paying attention) why there is no gun show loophole.

                • spencer says:

                  Is this what you’re referring to, ass?

                  In 33 states, private gun owners are not restricted from selling guns at gun shows. Buyers who purchase guns from individuals are not required to submit to the federal background checks in place for licensed dealers. Critics say that firearms can be obtained illegally as a result, calling it the “gun show loophole.” Proponents of unregulated gun show sales say that there is no loophole; gun owners are simply selling or trading guns at the shows as they would do at their residence.

                  Federal legislation has attempted to put an end to the so-called loophole by requiring all gun show transactions to take place through FFL dealers. Most recently, a 2009 bill attracted several co-sponsors in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. However, Congress ultimately failed to take up consideration of the legislation.

                  Well, if gun show proponents say there’s no loophole, then I guess it must be true.

                  Hope you kept your receipt for that law taking degree of yours.

              • So I have to get a background check to buy a gun at a gun show?

                Right, David?

                • DocAmazing says:

                  To be fair…

                  I can only speak for California. If you’re buying most guns, there’s a waiting period, so you fork over the money at the gun show and arrange for a federal firearms license (FFL) holder to broker the deal (fill out all necessary paperwork, send it to the state capital, and hold the piece for the requisite waiting period). Theoretically, that’s what happens; I surely can’t imagine anyone playing fast and loose with the law when selling things from behind a folding card table at the Cow Palace.

                  There is an exception to this, and it is an interesting one: Curio and Relic (C&R) firearms. I think the laws surrounding this have changed, so that a C&R license is required, but a decade or so ago, one could buy firearms that were at least fifty years old or that came from countries that no longer exist (like Czechoslovakia or the USSR) cash-and-carry, assuming no other legal restrictions (like “assault weapon” laws) were an issue. Ten years ago, it was very popular in the shooting community in CA to pick up SKS rifles from the USSR or Yugoslavia at gun shows and bring them home the same day. (Other defunct Eastern Bloc weapons had California restrictions on them, for various reasons.) SKSs are now abundant here.

                • Semanticleo says:

                  @DocAmazing 5:36

                  I bought my Mosin Nagant vintage 1941 and had to do protocols. Mebbe if it was rendered inoperable, it would fit the criteria?

                • David Nieporent says:

                  Whether you have to have a background check doesn’t have the slightest thing to do with whether you are at a gun show. The federal background check requirement turns on the identity of the seller, not the location of the sale. If you buy a gun from a dealer, you need to undergo a background check, whether the sale takes place at a gun shop, at a gun show, or in a phone booth.

                  If you buy a gun from a private seller, you don’t need to undergo a background check, whether the sale takes place at a gun show, the seller’s driveway, or Fenway Park.

                  (Some states impose extra requirements for gun shows, but there is no place where there are lower requirements at gun shows.)

                • DocAmazing says:

                  Semanticleo–

                  I think they’ve tightened thing up in the past decade. Mosin-Nagants used to be cash-and-carry due to their USSR origin.

                • Gayle Force says:

                  Since I make my living now doing this: the “gun show loophole” is not about gun shows – DN is actually correct. If you regularly sell them as a dealer, you need to be federally licensed – an FFL. FFL’s must do background checks. Private sellers don’t need to have a license, and don’t need to do background checks, except in CA, as pointed out.

                  Of course, there are websites that are the Craigslist for guns, introducing illegal buyers to private sellers, and those private sellers are all too willing to sell guns even to those who blatantly admit they can’t get a gun legally. See Armslist and the Wisconsin spa shooting.

                • RM says:

                  If you ar ebuying from a registered gun dealer,just as at a gun shop you need a background check. If you are buying from an individual (like your next door neighbor) you don’t need a background check at a gun show or at his house.

              • Pseudonym says:

                Ah, I see, this must be the David Nieporent that we all know and love. There’s no “gun show” loophole because the actual loophole is even broader than gun shows, perhaps even applying to all private transactions, a substantial portion of which, incidentally, take place at gun shows.

                So let me get this straight: you’re not denying that there’s a loophole that lets buyers get around requirements for background checks; you’re not denying that this loophole is taken advantage of at gun shows; your defense is that this loophole is also exploited in other circumstances. Therefore this loophole doesn’t exist.

                Does anyone still take David Nieporent’s little turd droppings in good faith around here? Am I being too hasty a judge?

                • David Nieporent says:

                  Does anyone still take David Nieporent’s little turd droppings in good faith around here?

                  Only intelligent people. So around here? No.

                  There’s no “gun show” loophole because the actual loophole is even broader than gun shows, perhaps even applying to all private transactions, a substantial portion of which, incidentally, take place at gun shows.

                  Setting aside the pejorative use of the term “loophole” — the word is usually used (*) to describe an unintended method for circumventing a rule, not an intended limit to the rule — yes, it’s not a gun show loophole because the rule people are complaining about literally has nothing to do with gun shows. There are no special rules for gun shows.

                  It would be like describing the right to make false statements about people without fear of liability as the “newspaper loophole.” The term is both underinclusive — there’s no special rule for newspapers; everyone has the same privilege — and overinclusive — in that newspapers aren’t immune if they publish a false story recklessly.

                  If you wanted to call it a “private seller loophole,” I would still take exception to the term “loophole” for the reason stated below, but that would be an issue of rhetorical emphasis, not accuracy. But calling it a “gun show” loophole is flat out wrong.

                  (*) That is, usually in good faith discussion. In politics, it simply means any detail of a law one doesn’t like.

    • Fighting Words says:

      I thought the argument was that 6-year-old students should use their textbooks to protect themselves from the bullets.

    • Susiejoe says:

      If those teachers and school administrators had been armed, that young man would not have made it into the kindergarten class and killed so many.

  2. mark f says:

    Personally, I blame Bob Costas.

    • Grocer says:

      School shootings only happen when the NFL or the NBA are in season. Clearly there the culture of violence in these organizations is responsible.

  3. SatanicPanic says:

    It’s almost as if these shooters are deliberately looking for places where guns cannot and should not be in order to blow up the argument that the victims could have defended themselves if only they’d been allowed to carry. Trouble is, no such place exists in the eyes of gun owners. Sure, maybe they’ll agree that elementary students shouldn’t be armed (MAYBE), but they’ll happily argue that elementary teachers should be. I guarantee this argument is being made at this very minute.

    • Murc says:

      I have seen people make completely straight-faced arguments that people who do things like open fire in movie theaters are liberal plants, people willing to murder a lot of civilians and get shot by the cops in order to make guns unpopular.

      Because liberals hate guns, and freedom, just THAT MUCH.

      • mark f says:

        The Life of David #Fail

      • SatanicPanic says:

        I can accept that they really believe this, because that’s pretty much what they do with government- get elected so they can sabotage it. And flooding the nation with guns is a great idea, if you want to make the case that you need a gun to defend yourself against all those other guns.

      • BigHank53 says:

        Some people have re-targeted their religious fervor into firearm worship. It has some advantages: you can see, fondle, own, and upgrade your very own personal god-tokens, it requires very little faith (other than faith in one’s own status as a Good Person, an absurdly low bar), and since there are in fact people opposed to more-guns-for-everyone, you can directly grapple with the Adversary.

        As the saying goes, you can’t reason a man out of a position he didn’t reason himself into.

      • Just Dropping By says:

        I have seen people make completely straight-faced arguments that people who do things like open fire in movie theaters are liberal plants, people willing to murder a lot of civilians and get shot by the cops in order to make guns unpopular.

        [CITATION NEEDED]

        (I used to hang out on a lot of conspiracy forums and I’ve seen it frequently argued that spree shooters were brainwashed or subject to other forms of government mindcontrol so as to create a pretext for banning guns, but I’ve never seen an argument that the shooters themselves were consciously trying to produce that result.)

    • Jeremy says:

      Courtesy of Ari Kohen, here’s a bunch of people on Twitter calling this an obvious “false flag” attack: http://kohenari.net/post/37932351300/despicable2

  4. Brian Rogers says:

    We live two towns away from this so my wife is freaking out right now; I can’t bear to imagine what the families in newtown are doing. I am also waiting for the 2nd amendment fetishist on my facebook feed to post Willie Wonka telling all us libs that he logical solution is arming all the teachers.

    • Brian Rogers says:

      Update – the school just decided to cancel today’s planned half day and parent teacher conferences and keep kids in school in reponse to the shooting. I have no idea what that is supposed to accomplish other than looking like they’re doing something.

      • Stan Gable says:

        It’s not a bad idea. Some kids walk home from school and having extra potentially unknown adults walking around is also a risk. Kids are safer in a locked down school while the situation is still murky.

        • thusbloggedanderson says:

          True. I think they may also still be searching the school, and they wouldn’t need a sudden influx of parents on the scene.

          Also, what kind of parent-teacher conferences would they conduct today, really?

          I suspect whatever decision the school made was at police behest, and it’s a wee bit early to start unloading on them. Maybe if the principal weren’t DEAD she could make a statement for you.

          • Brian Rogers says:

            Update 2: new call from the school, they have decided TO do the planned early dismissal, fifteen minutes after telling people they weren’t.

            Plus, there’s a readhing comprehension fail here: I don’t live in the town where it happened. I live two towns over. There is no reaon to believe that there is any risk of a shooter or any threat in any of the schools in my town. I’m hard pressed to beleive that my town is going anything other than acting in order to be acting.

            • mark f says:

              ABC says there’s a second gunman at large. I really can’t blame anyone in proximity from taking measures, even if in hindsight they turn out to have been unnecessary.

            • spencer says:

              there’s a readhing comprehension fail here

              No, there’s a writing composition fail here. You never specified which school you were talking about. It’s only natural to assume that it’s the one where the shooting took place.

              • Brian Rogers says:

                I could try to argue this point but having reread my posts in that light I’ll make the mea culpa.

                Forgive me if I’m a little off – my towns shcool shave now changed their planned day three times with multiple chaos inducing robocalls to the familites.

              • timb says:

                just skip it. Why argue who read what wrong?

                Most annoying thing about this place is that every commenter thinks he/she is always right and never made a mistake, when Mal and I are the only ones who have managed that

      • mark f says:

        Prevents kids from riding the school bus or walking home, presumably without cellphones, while they and their parents are terrified? It seems cruel to call the school a safe haven right now, but this sounds like a smart move.

    • KWillow says:

      Doesn’t the 2nd amendment refer to a “Well regulated Militia”?. Sounds like gun control (regulation) to me. OMG! the 2nd amendment is anti-gun!

      The notion that if everyone were armed there would be fewer killings is… well, not supported by History.

      • mch says:

        Like you, I just can’t get over how badly the Supremes interpreted the second amendment, IN ORIGINALIST TERMS, no less! Just idiotic.

  5. Stan Gable says:

    At what point do we get over our idiotic national love of guns and start acting like grownups in this country?

    First, association with the NRA will need to become a political liability. Might be there now but no telling until the next election. Then it will take several more years to swap out enough judges to make gun control legislation viable, right?

    • Erik Loomis says:

      It’s time to start making the NRA a political liability.

      • njorl says:

        Yes. One thing that should be made clear to everyone: The NRA wants to sell as many guns to criminals as it possibly can because a murderers money spends just as well as anyone else’s.

        • John says:

          Technically, the NRA is a membership organization of gun enthusiasts, not an industry lobbying group. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) is the official trade association of the firearms industry.

          I’m sure the industry pumps a lot of money into the NRA, but it’s always seemed something closer to a true believer thing than an industry front.

      • Precisely.

        Talking about the precise policy, or even political, steps to take is premature

        First, we need to start a public fight and win it.

      • Allan says:

        This. We can start by trying to get some traction with something like “the NRA: helping the mentally ill kill large numbers of children since 1871″

      • DrDick says:

        Guns don’t kill people, the NRA’s opposition to reasonable gun control laws kills people.

    • Murc says:

      The deeply ironic thing at work here is that NRA used to be deeply, deeply concerned with gun control, and was very much in favor of the state enforcing responsible gun ownership. The first few big bills we had, in the first half of the twentieth century, that addressed gun ownership and gun rights on a national level (and which usually restricted them) had the active support and endorsement of the then-NRA.

      • Warren Terra says:

        What connection does this have to the use of state power in the first half of the twentieth century to prevent the perceived threats of anarchists, communists and other labor activists, and black people?

        I’m a big fan of gun control, but I suspect you’re being naive and forgetting just how threatened the comfortably-off felt by their impoverished countrymen in the first half of the twentieth century.

        • DocAmazing says:

          Remember, it was during the governorship of NRA worship-object Ronald Reagan that California started passing gun-control laws–because the Black Panthers were asserting their Second Amendment rights.

        • Murc says:

          What connection does this have to the use of state power in the first half of the twentieth century to prevent the perceived threats of anarchists, communists and other labor activists, and black people?

          I had actually never thought of that.

          I’d always connected it with it the idea that the ‘old’ NRA, as originally constituted, was oriented towards sportsmen, who didn’t want a bunch of plebes horning in on their manly TR-style action.

          I hadn’t considered other political implications.

    • DocAmazing says:

      I like to shoot, and I have a few pistols, so I spend time with NRA members. Most get really nutty about gun laws in general, and much of that comes down to simple inconvenience (I live in California, which has probably the strongest gun-control laws on a state level in the nation, and in San Francisco, which has very tight city-level controls, on top of that)–it requires time and patience to get firearms legally.

      Most of the NRA members I talk to here, though, get embarrassed when the subject of Wayne LaPierre comes up. The non-absolutist wing of the NRA was marginalized decades ago, and even somewhat wingnutty gun enthusiasts realize that their organization makes them look bad. Still, it has several things going for it that will be hard to overcome: big funding from outfits like Olin (an ammo manufacturer), brilliant direct-mail fearmongering, and a team of lawyers who can take the paint off a battleship–they managed to get concealed-carry restrictions overturned in a couple of California counties through very sharp legal maneuvering.

      tl:dr–The public opinion fight against the NRA, even among many of its members, is being won, but that’s only one of the battles.

      • Stan Gable says:

        Is there any mileage to be gained by shaming/shunning NRA members?

        • Erik Loomis says:

          Is there mileage to be gained by telling gun owners their political organization is monstrous and socially unacceptable?

          Yes.

        • DocAmazing says:

          Remember: wingnuts are Noble Victims. Giving them actual grounds to complain about their victimization (shunning) feeds their narrative.

          Probably more effective would be an “Of course YOU would never support that kind of madness, but the NRA recently…” approach.

          Equally effectively, point out the truth: the NRA does stupid shit that creates backlash and increases the likelihood that stronger firearms laws will be passed.

    • Pseudonym says:

      Ok, so we need an organization for gun owners and enthusiasts that endorses responsible gun control measures or at the very least stays out of political lobbying. I’d be surprised if there weren’t one or two already, but not sure how they could gain traction.

  6. thusbloggedanderson says:

    The murderer (we’re hearing multiple fatalities) had a Glock and a Sig Sauer, apparently. No AK-47.

    Given that rounding up all the guns is not a political possibility, it really does seem we need multiple armed guards at all the schools, the malls …

    Could help the unemployment rate, anyway.

    I have a second-grader, who’s autistic, cheerful, and probably wouldn’t have the sense to duck if a killer came into his classroom with a gun. I am so very sorry for those parents and kids.

    • thusbloggedanderson says:

      Latest 12:19 EST: Principal and at least one child killed; teacher shot in foot; more injured.

    • Jon says:

      We had metal detectors and armed city police at my elementary school in Memphis back in the late 80s… Of course, the only people bringing guns and knives to school were the kids, and no one besides a wall or ceiling ever got shot, but still.

      • The Commonwealth of Virginia says:

        27 dead, 14 kids. Fuck.

        • Malaclypse says:

          Er, fuck, that is.

        • thusbloggedanderson says:

          Stunned.

          • Erik Loomis says:

            What’s really stunning about it at this point? It’s almost a weekly occurrence at one level or another. It’s a systemic part of this nation.

            • TheSteveAbides says:

              14 kids under ten years old dead is fucking stunning.

              • thusbloggedanderson says:

                You would think so, if your name weren’t Erik Fucking Loomis.

                • timb says:

                  Ridiculous. As Eric points out, this seems to happen every month to 6 weeks in this country. he’s not saying it’s not a tragedy; he’s tired of feeling powerless to stop the next one.

              • Erik Loomis says:

                Why would we think this wouldn’t happen? After everything that has happened before?

                And what makes us think it won’t happen tomorrow or next week or next month?

                Because it almost certainly will.

                • Fraxin says:

                  Stunning as in horrifying, I think, not as in surprising.

                • thusbloggedanderson says:

                  Right.

                  Congratulations to you on this incident that may well advance your political agenda.

                  I am so done reading this blog. Will miss the 99% of you who aren’t sociopaths.

                  P.S. – I guess I now see the difference between a “liberal” and a “leftist.”

                • Erik Loomis says:

                  How dare I politicize the tragedy…..

                • mpowell says:

                  Anderson: the point the Loomis is making is that given this country’s restrictions on gun control events like this must be expected. He is pretty clearly making the point that you should not be surprised.

                • Anonymous says:

                  Yes, how dare Erik advance his political agenda – preventing guns from getting into the hands of would-be mass-murderers. Clearly he is a sociopath.

                  If the difference between a liberal and a leftist is that liberals don’t scream bloody murder when there’s a bloody murder then I’m definitely a leftist, and would liberals like you please keep it to yourselves if you want to not be political about the tragedy. But don’t tell people trying to change things to shut up.

                • brad says:

                  Thank you, Anonymous, and EL, for a dose of sanity on this horrid day.

        • Barry Freed says:

          18 kids is the latest. Christ fuck.

      • Just Dropping By says:

        Meanwhile, as of thirty seconds ago CNN is still reporting only two dead besides the gunman.

        • Just Dropping By says:

          I should add that I’m not denying the accuracy of ABC’s coverage, but reflecting on how pathetic CNN’s coverage is these days.

    • Joe says:

      The general public don’t want rounding up all the guns. I’m all for regulations that work. Some might have helped stop recent shootings somewhat. But, I’m not sure if there is any big answer here. I’m not sure what making the NRA look like reprobates will do either. Not a big fan of them — especially their tough on crime stuff — but I don’t find focusing on them now that helpful. Maybe, I’m wrong.

      • Erik Loomis says:

        The NRA is the organization pushing to keep crazy guns in crazy people’s hands with no restrictions. They hold a great deal of responsibility for this. The way to get our gun laws more under control is precisely to attack the organization that is at fault.

        • Fraxin says:

          Right, is there any other group that even comes close to doing as much for crazy guns as the NRA?

        • Joe says:

          Guns are regulated in this country and there are many restrictions. I don’t think new laws will do much to stop this sort of thing. What new laws stopped the last wave of school shootings about a decade ago? What change in laws started that wave? I don’t know where this guy got his guns or anything either.

          People don’t want to ban guns or collect the loads of guns out there. Like drinking and driving, the presence of all those guns will lead to tragedies.

          • DocAmazing says:

            People don’t want to … collect the loads of guns out there.

            A friend’s dad was a paratrooper in World War II. One of his jobs was to “collect the loads of guns” from the civilian population in the areas that they had liberated–that is, to disarm the locals. He told me that it was by far more nerve-wracking than fighting the Wehrmacht, and this guy was in the Battle of the Bulge.

            Many people don’t mind disarming, and understand the idea of public safety and sacrifice for the greater good. Others just do not want to give up their weapons, and they can be quite dangerous if pushed. Google “molon labe” for some examples.

            (Note: Of course, I am not suggesting that anyone is attempting to disarm anyone in the US. Firearms sales are booming right now, in part because of NRA-stoked fear of a gun roundup that everyone with two neurons know isn’t going to happen. Barack Obama’s re-election has been a boon to the retail firearms industry.)

          • John says:

            With very, very few exceptions, other countries don’t have shootings like this. Anyone who wants to explain why gun control laws won’t make a difference, needs to find some explanation, besides gun control laws, why these kinds of things are so much more common in the United States than anywhere else.

            • Linnaeus says:

              I do think a case can be made that, at least in “peer” nations, their comparatively higher levels of social welfare are also part of why they have lower levels of gun violence. Poverty, low social support, crumbling infrastructure, etc. all probably play some role.

              Which is not an argument against gun control, I should add, only that these others things can only help the problem.

      • spencer says:

        Even if you don’t round up the guns, simply by making it impossible to add to the supply (by outlawing the sale of firearms, for hypotheticals), you will eventually make the acquisition of illegal guns much more expensive.

        Will that solve everything? Of course not. Would that cut down on the gun violence in this country? I certainly believe it would.

        • Joe says:

          The supply is so great that ‘eventually’ will be a pretty long time.

          Many states have big gun cultures. It is a bipartisan thing. Sen. Leahy, e.g., spoke about his support of gun rights.

          So, next you focus on certain types of guns. But, lots of tragic deaths can occur with commonly owned weapons used for hunting. Others are by guns commonly owned for self-defense.

          Changing this will be a major cultural shift and a lot more than defanging the NRA. The NRA takes advantage of a culture in this country, that is the ultimate concern.

          • BigHank53 says:

            The one idea I heard that made some sense was a tiered licensing system similar to cars. Licensing the operator, that is. Not hard to get a permit for a single-shot shotgun, higher competencies for rifles, handguns, high-cap mags, and concealed carry. Written and practical tests. Wanna buy a gun or ammo? Let’s see your license.

            This was from an ex-law enforcement person, incidentally.

          • Dave S. says:

            The supply is so great that ‘eventually’ will be a pretty long time.

            All the more reason to start sooner rather than later.

          • timb says:

            Do the ol’ Drew Carey comedy bit thing and license bullets…

    • Charles says:

      …rounding up all the guns is not a political possibility…

      Let’s make it one.

  7. Jon says:

    Jesus. Before I clicked the link I assumed this was still about Clackamas Town Center. How many is this for 2012 now?

  8. Unfortunately the answer is probably “literally never.” Gun people are incapable of comprehending that a wide space exists between the legality of gun ownership and literally anyone being permitted to carry weapons on them at any and all times in any and all circumstances.

  9. Chris J says:

    *sigh*. If we could wish troublesome things away, we’d have done so with drugs and guns already. It’s been tried, with unfortunate results. The war on drugs has enriched organized crime and the private prison industry, and places that all but prohibited firearms (like DC) saw shockingly high gun crime rates. We should just face it and accept that we suck at prohibition.
    I also find it depressing when we see shocking gun crimes like this, that some folks want to focus on the gun rights of everyone who didn’t break any gun laws. If it were that simple, we’d probably have no gun crime, but it’s not.

    • The Commonwealth of Virginia says:

      places that all but prohibited firearms (like DC) saw shockingly high gun crime rates.

      I do have borders. Please troll better.

    • Erik Loomis says:

      If you don’t have legal guns, then you don’t have this problem.

      But clearly what’s important in this tragedy is that people be allowed to own as many guns as they want. Let’s focus people!

      • Uncle Kvetch says:

        Yeah, Erik — what about all the people who own guns who didn’t shoot up an elementary school today? If LGM had any integrity there’d be a post up thanking them for their child-shooting-free day.

        • Snarki, child of Loki says:

          Right after you thank all the 100′s of millions of Muslims that DIDN’T fly planes into the World Trade Center.

      • Anon21 says:

        If you don’t have legal guns, then you don’t have this problem.

        Well, I’d put it more like you don’t have a problem of this scope. I think it’s probably impossible, in an open society the size of the United States, to completely prevent spree gun murders. But it’s certain that if we banned or tightly restricted private gun ownership, we would not have events with such terrifying frequency.

      • Semanticleo says:

        But clearly what’s important in this tragedy is that people be allowed to own as many guns as they want.

        Where are your lib/libertarian bona fides? Who decides how many is too many?

        And how do you suppose, Obama could rescind the 2nd Amendment while fussing with himself about Federal pot Law?

        • Erik Loomis says:

          A) Who decides how many rapes is too many? Who decides how many robberies is too many? We as a society.

          B) Presidents cannot repeal constitutional amendments.

          • Timothy Enyart says:

            And the 2nd ammendment is part of the bill of rights, who’s to say anyone can repeal part of that; also as far as I know Conneticutt has very stringent gun laws as do most of its neighboring states; the fact is there will always be a group of people who will find some way to get hold of a gun in order to kill people, if you are already as a person willing to kill someone, breaking a gun law by illegally obtaining a gun isn’t an issue to you

    • Jon says:

      I’m pretty sure that banning guns in one city surrounded on all sides by areas with more liberal gun laws isn’t going to work. Which is why guns are a national, not a state or local issue.

    • sharculese says:

      I also find it depressing when we see shocking gun crimes like this, that some folks want to focus on the gun rights of everyone who didn’t break any gun laws.

      Weird. Because I find it depressing that in response to 27 people dying, there are adult human beings who wall off a whole range of potential solutions by dithering about an antiquated right to play with shiny things.

      • M. Showperson says:

        This, over and over again.

      • David Nieporent says:

        Yeah. Rights, shmights.

        • Malaclypse says:

          What part of “well-regulated militia” was being exercised today?

          Yes, yes – text, shmext…

          • DrDick says:

            I ask again, they let this bozo practice law?

          • David Nieporent says:

            Yes, text. Hint: it says “right of the people to keep and bear arms,” not “right of the well-regulated militia to keep and bear arms.” Reading is, in fact, fundamental.

            But just think of what happened today as a form of abortion; that’s right there in the text of the constitution, isn’t it?

            • Malaclypse says:

              But just think of what happened today as a form of abortion;

              No, really, fuck you, you sycophantic worshiper of authority, I won’t think of twenty dead kindergarteners that way.

              • STH says:

                This troll really can’t tell the difference between a fertilized egg and a person?

                • DrDick says:

                  No he can’t and that is about par for his reasoning.

                • David Nieporent says:

                  A few months’ time. Unless you’re a devotee of Peter Singer, in which case it’s a few years’ time.

                  If calling a human embryo a “fertilized egg” helps you psychologically distance yourself, well, whatever works for you.

            • DrDick says:

              Actually it says both, as you would know if you were actually literate. The precise language as passed by Congress:

              A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

              The first clause clearly indicates that the intent is to allow for a citizens’ militia. It is also the case that in 18th century American usage (and I have read a lot of colonial and early republic documents), the phrase “to bear arms” referred primarily to service in the military and not to private ownership and possession.

  10. mark f says:

    NRO has chosen this moment to gloat about the City of Chicago paying the NRA’s attorney fees. A scan of the check is the “Image of the Year.”

  11. bradP says:

    Talk about your gun rights all you want. People also have a right not be shot in movie theaters and schools. That’s a right far more important than your ability to own an AK-47.

    These arguments are easy when you rely on unbelievably stupid and simplistic arguments.

    I also have the right to not get stabbed by a shiv, but we aren’t outlawing toothbrushes and screwdrivers.

    • Erik Loomis says:

      It’s true. That’s why other nations aren’t a bunch of fucking children about guns like we are.

    • Malaclypse says:

      When is the last time 14 fucking children were killed with a fucking screwdriver?

      You’re smarter than this, and now is not the time to play fucking contrarian.

      • Anonymous says:

        I don’t know, but here is the last time 9 kids were killed with scissors. A whole series of attacks like that happened in Chinese elementary schools actually, involving scissors, axes, and knives. Not a gun to be found.

    • mark f says:

      I remember when my friends and I would play Goldeneye on N64 and you could kill people with karate chops. If this shooter didn’t have an arsenal of guns he would’ve run around that kindergarten class chopping kids and the outcome would’ve been exactly the same.

      • KWillow says:

        My god, you people are stupid. I mean, really really knowingly and deliberately stupid. I guess it must feel good.

      • bradP says:

        Then Erik should explain why they are different, then we would have an argument.

        Otherwise it’s just dumb.

        Where is Erik’s cutoff? Machetes? Kerosene? Large rocks? There are limitless items in the world that make it easier to kill someone by their very existence.

        Does Erik want to eliminate all of them, or is there some sort of cutoff that is actually meaningful?

        • Erik Loomis says:

          Glad you are focusing on what’s important today.

          Sociopath.

        • Malaclypse says:

          How about we discuss the one that can kill over a dozen children in a couple fucking minutes? Is that a meaningful distinction, or will you be deliberately obtuse?

          • bradP says:

            That eliminates smallish large rocks, I suppose.

            But seriously, is that your reasoning for gun control. Mass child shootings?

            If so, how many child shooting sprees can you name that were committed with guns that you would like to prohibit?

            • Stan Gable says:

              Ok – how many shooting sprees were caused by weapons which have no practical hunting value? 90% of them?

              Also, tell you what – why don’t you go hunting with some smallish large rocks and see how well that works. Preferably wolf hunting or something like that where they can fight back a little.

              • bradP says:

                Ok – how many shooting sprees were caused by weapons which have no practical hunting value? 90% of them?

                I don’t know the answer to that, but it is a decent question.

                • Stan Gable says:

                  I don’t know what the Oregon shooter was using but every other one I can think of this year – CT, Aurora and Seattle were all semi-automatics.

                  I don’t recall hearing of a spree killing involving breech loaded or bolt-action weapons.

              • DrDick says:

                I suggest he take part in our mountain lion hunts.

        • njorl says:

          Where is Erik’s cutoff?

          Guns.

          I suppose if you want we could specify range, rate of fire, expectation of lethality and so on, but, in short, guns.

          I suppose the specifications might leave out black-powder muzzle-loaders, but I’ll live with that danger.

        • Xof says:

          Since, apparently, large rocks and guns are exactly equivalent in terms of lethality, there’s no reason to allow guns, since if someone is coming at you with a Glock, and you have a big rock, those situations are exactly and precisely the same.

        • wengler says:

          How about we propose that you can own as money firearms as you want as long as you can demonstrate the ability to responsibly keep them and the psychological competence to have them?

          We are about to go down the well-worn path of signs the shooter was crazy, loopholes allowing him to get his firearms and recriminations that someone didn’t ‘do something’.

          • wengler says:

            many = money…I guess I was thinking it was all about it.

          • bradP says:

            How about we propose that you can own as money firearms as you want as long as you can demonstrate the ability to responsibly keep them and the psychological competence to have them?

            We are about to go down the well-worn path of signs the shooter was crazy, loopholes allowing him to get his firearms and recriminations that someone didn’t ‘do something’.

            Agreed. If we actually want to talk about responsibility, then we should talk about mandatory insurance for owning a gun. If a crime is committed with a gun bearing a particular serial number, the owner of that gun bears the liability.

            If they can’t get insurance, they can’t get a gun.

            That would be reasonable to me.

            • wengler says:

              I was talking about licensing, not insurance.

            • Warren Terra says:

              You’re just lying to us now, unless you’re just lying to yourself.

              Given an entity with deep pockets – let’s call it an “insurance company” – what is the liability for shooting up a schoolyard and killing at least 26 other people, at least 18 of them small children, not to mention those wounded, and those affected by the incident at greater or lesser remove? $50 million? $500 million?

              You can’t write a possibility that envisions such occasional payouts. The insurance you imagine simply isn’t possible, unless the liabilities are capped or the insurers are backstopped by the US Treasury. Capping the liabilities would make a mockery of the insurance, and the Treasury paying victims of our sick society’s gun violence would just formalize the existing situation in which, as a matter of government policy, we’re cool with our rash of atrocities.

        • Warren Terra says:

          You want to ask about machetes?

          OK, let’s talk about machetes. Because the parallel is almost perfect …

          The Wolverhampton machete attack occurred at St Luke’s Church of England infants’ school, on July 8, 1996. While the children were having an outdoor teddy bear picnic, the attacker, 32-year old Horrett Irving Campbell, leapt over a fence and began attacking the children and adults with a machete. Three children and four adults were injured in the attack.

          The injuries were horrific, as of course was the whole incident. But a fit young man with a machete attacked a primary school and managed to kill nobody. The difference between something that slashes at arm’s reach and something that sends thirty hunks of metal rocketing across hundreds of yards turns out to matter.

          Oh, and the Wolverhampton assailant is also alive, and receiving treatment. Because in a less gun-crazy culture that’s possible, too.

        • Dana says:

          I don’t think any of these items were invented for the express purpose of killing.

        • Bijan Parsia says:

          Note that, as I recall, the UK trying to mandate “safety” kitchen knives that were blunted to be less dangerous. Their knife laws are certainly fairly extreme.

          Here’s an article. I see, it was a proposal by a doctors group.

      • S_noe says:

        That was, I think, a jokey reference to Conor Friedersdorf’s recent Atlantic post on why drones are not le sporting.

      • mark f says:

        Well, fuck me like a walrus. This was sarcasm, folks.

    • timb says:

      There’s a story on CNN about China responding to knife attacks on elementary schools with more regulations, but we cannot even regulate the weapons used in these attacks.

  12. Just Dropping By says:

    At what point do we start holding the National Rifle Association morally responsible for all these shootings?

    I’d say that we should start holding the NRA morally responsible for that at the same time we start holding organizations that lobby for sentencing reform morally responsible for crimes committed by former convicts who got released earlier than they would otherwise have been under tougher sentencing laws, i.e., hopefully never since to do so would be to deny the moral agency of the people who actually are committing the crimes.

    • Jameson Quinn says:

      “Morally responsible” is not all-or-nothing. Obviously every individual NRA member did not just murder 14 kids. A tiny fraction of this blame is still plenty to go around.

      • njorl says:

        Yes. Also, the real NRA, the trade association of gun manufacturers and sellers who lobby to make laws which maximize profits blood-be-damned, deserves more blame than the dupes who join it in some misguided gesture of solidarity.

        • David Nieporent says:

          The NRA is not a trade association of gun manufacturers and sellers. It is a membership organization. (There are trade associations of gun manufacturers and sellers; it’s just that the NRA isn’t it.)

    • dl says:

      1.) Sentencing reform advocates ARE held morally responsible for crimes committed by those who are released early. Ever heard of Dukakis?

      2.) The NRA can reasonably foresee that their advocacy will lead to these kinds of things. Therefore they are in part responsible for causing these murders.

    • mpowell says:

      If you let someone out of prison you have given them freedom. If one person that you let out of prison commits a crime, someone else has suffered. You are balancing the freedom of prisoners versus other citizens they may commit crimes against. Generally, we try to avoid excessive lock up, though.

      It is the same for gun ownership except that you are comparing being denied owning a gun to being imprisoned. These things are actually vastly different.

      I am quite willing to hold sentencing reform advocates accountable for the consequences of the policy they prefer. In the vast majority of cases this means minimizing sentences for non-violent offenders. I fully back the morality of this position. The NRA’s position? Not so much.

  13. Anonymous says:

    FYI, the murder rate has been DECLINING for the past 22 years.

  14. c u n d gulag says:

    No, Lapierre should not be in jail.

    May I respectfully suggest that we grab Wayne LaPierre of the NRA, bring him the this school, and let the parents of the children killed, wounded, or psychologicaly traumatized, do with him whatever they want, for as long as they want?

    Of course, I’m just ‘shooting off my mouth’ – which is a lot less harmful than a gun.

    But I can sure understand why “Frontier Justice” has its appeal.

  15. Gepap says:

    I am all for more comprehensive gun control, particularly for handguns. At the same time, events like this are outliers, and can happen in any country in which an individual can get access to guns, which includes the entire western world. There was an elementary school shooting in Scotland several years ago, and the United Kingdom most certainly has more comprehensive gun control than the US.

    The truth is that policy can’t be driven by each tragedy, which, by definition, are uncommon events. Almost thirty people died in this horrific event, but each day more Americans than that die through gun violence in dozens of events that are reported only locally, if reported at all. it is that accumulation of dead that should drive the policy discussion.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, this.

      • Trollhattan says:

        No, not this. Expressed mathmatically, 1/this.

        Compare and contrast gunshot death rates of ANY western nation to the US. Get it, yet?

        Didn’t think so.

        • Chester Allman says:

          This is what I don’t get. It’s so goddamn simple, and yet we as a nation seem determined to keep our eyes closed to this simple, damning fact. It makes me want to fucking weep.

    • SatanicPanic says:

      This is the second mass killing this week.

      • Gepap says:

        This is a continent spanning country of 310 million plus people. Perspective matters.

        • Lee says:

          Yes, perspective matters. If we had reasonable gun control laws and better access to mental health than we would have fewer incidents like this. They would be rareities rather than weekly or months events.

          18 children are dead because of the high and holy 2nd Amendment.

          • bradP says:

            18 children are dead because of the high and holy 2nd Amendment.

            Wow.

            • njorl says:

              While I don’t think you can perfectly identify which shooting deaths are due to the second amendment, I think it is virtually certain that most of them are. Do you really think that is such a stretch?

          • DrDick says:

            18 children are dead because of the high and holy 2nd Amendment.

            No, 18 children are dead owing to an insane misreading of the Second Amendment that completely ignores the first clause in it.

        • SatanicPanic says:

          Oh well, good to know that’s within the limits of what you consider acceptable. Pyscho.

          • Gepap says:

            Ah, one of the “think of the children!” weepy A-holes whose loud and obnoxious screams have done NOTHING to curtail the growing power of the NRA even in the age of mass shootings.

            Maybe idiots like you need to start thinking why we can’t even pass a new assault rifle ban more than a decade after Columbine, after Virginia Tech, and likely after this. Perhaps its because trying to argue from tragedy is not the most effective way to sell policy.

            • sharculese says:

              It’s so adorable when the concern trolls forget and just slough back into actual trolling.

            • SatanicPanic says:

              Yes, because every incident that has happened in the past has the exact same resonance. And because the increase in incidents in recent years won’t affect anything. And because people are more likely to be swayed by raw numbers. Uh huh.

            • Perhaps its because trying to argue from tragedy is not the most effective way to sell policy.

              When did we start going after al Qaeda seriously?

              When did we start passing meaningful worker safety laws?

              If arguing from tragedy is so politically inept, why do the gun nuts feel the need to go on high alert after every tragedy?

        • Jon says:

          Yeah Jesus have some perspective. We can’t talk about this until there’s at least one mass shooting per major city per week.

          • Gepap says:

            Trying to use these tragedies as the point of policy hasn’t worked for a decade – what will change, huh?

            Maybe instead we should constantly talk about the hundreds killed monthly in regular gun violence. THAT is what needs to drive discussion, not one off events like this which can happen even in countries with comprehensive gun control, like Norway.

            • Jon says:

              Yes, we should be talking about everyday gun violence. When you get the media to take it seriously, come back to me and I’ll fucking celebrate. Until then, we’ll take whatever opportunities we can get to drag the issue into the open.

              • Gepap says:

                Every single damn mass shooting has been used to drag the issue back – how is that working out? Maybe we need to bring back comprehensive on the ground advocacy groups for gun control that can bring actual electoral pressure on people to vote for better gun control, you know, like the Brady campaign folks.

                • Jon says:

                  Again, if you can get a national conversation going about everyday gun violence, I will be ecstatic. I’m not holding my breath. These kinds of events (along with celebrity shootings) are the only thing that make it past the media filter on gun violence. Is that a good thing? Of course not. Does that mean we shouldn’t be talking about gun violence in the wake of a mass shooting? I fail to see how that makes sense.

                • edie says:

                  There’s actually some really strong arguments against framing gun control discussions around tragedies–one of them being that conversations around tragedies tend to boil down to ‘how could we have prevented this’? This then leads to all sorts of pointless debate between more guns vs less guns folks. The problem is cultural, and political, and the fact that no one wants to have a serious adult conversation about guns, but I’m not sure that hashing out gun control after tragedies are in fact the best way of getting around that fact. It also raises the question of would the policies to prevent massacres really look identical to general gun control? Is the likely political outcome of a conversation centered around preventing massacres really going to be identical as the political outcome of a conversation centered around the broader issue of gun control? People are talking about these issues like they are interchangeable, and in some ways they really aren’t.

                • njorl says:

                  Every single damn mass shooting has been used to drag the issue back

                  No, they haven’t. In fact the prevalent response to mass shootings lately is that the most important thing to do is to avoid politicizing them.

                  When Ronald Reagan got shot, it was politicized, and something got done.

                • njorl says:

                  Edie, I appreciate what your saying, but the sum total of gun control discussion in this country is about how lawsuits to overturn existing gun control laws will proceed.

                  When a tragedy occurs, the discussion is about how we should all acknowledge that it should not be politcized.

                  There is no pro gun control political movement. There is no one to talk to about rational gun control policies which don’t concern tragedies.

        • Bringing perspective into this discussion serves to fine-tune the level of policy response, not eliminate it.

          • Gepap says:

            Who said anything about eliminating? did you miss the whole “I am all for more comprehensive gun control, particularly for handguns.” part of my statement?

            Policy via tragedy is rarely good policy unless we are talking engineering issues.

        • FLRealist says:

          Please tell that to the parents of today’s murdered children.

        • John says:

          How many mass shootings have there been in the European Union this week?

    • STH says:

      I believe the fucking point here is that these events are NOT outliers. Yes, of course, they happen in other places, but NOT EVERY FUCKING MONTH.

      • Gepap says:

        We don’t get twenty something people shot at a single event every month. Hyperbole is not a debating tactic.

        We do have several hundreds if not over a thousand killed by guns each month in this country. That these discussions flare up only at this time but that continual killing goes without discussion is the problem.

        • Stan Gable says:

          These discussions flare up in spree killings because they’re terrorism.

          I can choose not to have guns in my house and I can choose to avoid socializing with people who are carrying. I can do things to minimize my risk of home invasion.

          There’s not a thing that I can do about school & theater mass killings. You take away the sense that the commons are a safe place and you’ve changed the conversation a lot.

        • njorl says:

          The problem isn’t that discussion flares up after the spree killings. The problem is that it doesn’t go on all the time. You don’t fix that by quieting the discussion after the outrage.

      • rea says:

        And maybe we can’t stop them all from happening. Probably we can’t. Having fewer of them would be a good thing, though.

    • njorl says:

      Our lack of policy is driven by intense fear of the gun lobby. While I would not want our policy driven by tragedy, I would hope that tragedy would at least provoke us to adopt some policy other than “It’s raining guns, Halleluiah! It’s rainin’ guns!”

    • wengler says:

      Dead kindergartners right before Christmas tend to not make one dismiss these types of events in the context of overall discussions.

      The fact is the rightwing gun lobby has won for the past dozen years. They won at the ballot box and the halls of Congress. This is what a world of easy-access to firearms looks like. It’s up to them to defend it. Instead they are running away from any responsibility whatsoever.

      • Gepap says:

        Sadly they come back with the “every teacher should be armed!” idiocy.

        The Right won this through organized campaigning. We need to revive mass groups for gun control capable of scarring elected officials like the NRA scares people.

      • Gone2Ground says:

        This.

        They need to defend it to the faces of the parents, teachers, all the other kids who didn’t die, and in public, on tv, from now until every last person is buried. This includes all their lawyers, accountants, and everyone associated with the NRA and their campaign to make guns everywhere all the time as their solution to gun violence.

        But they won’t, not only because they don’t have the guts to say it, but because they know these ideas are just BS to get more money out of the rubes and line the pockets of their real customers: the guns and ammo industry.

        I only have one question about this tragedy: where did the shooter get the guns? That’s where we need to go.

    • janastas359 says:

      First, this is the 7th mass gun murder of 2012. I’m not sure how high this rate has to become before you’re willing to consider it important.

      Second, as has been said elsewhere, smaller scale, everyday crimes simply don’t show up on people’s radars. There is nothing wrong with big, important events like this spurring on reform in other areas. Frankly, when you post something like this it sounds like you’re trying to tell us how informed you are and how dumb the rest of us are for noticing the tragedy.

      Finally, this quote:

      it is that accumulation of dead that should drive the policy discussion.

      Are you trying to argue that a policy response to mass-shootings would be different than a policy response to smaller scale crimes? Shouldn’t the goal be fewer dead from shooting? What does it matter what kicks off the debate?

      • Gepap says:

        What percentage of all Americans killed by guns this year came from these mass gun murders? Half a percent? Maybe even 1%? if I don’t consider these mass shootings that important it is because they aren’t in fact important in terms of the total damage done in this country by gun violence.

        As for the final question – people who advocate gun control have to deal with enemies capable of writing complete sentences. what is the counter to some NRA nut pointing out that mass shootings happen in places like the UK or Norway, both of which have comprehensive gun control? And how does one build a strong organization capable of concerted action at the state and local level if its driven purely by specific tragedies? That doesn’t work. We need to build an actual organizational counter to the NRA and their money. That is how we win back things against the gun nuts.

        • tonycpsu says:

          And the number of Americans lost in the 9/11 attacks pales in comparison to the numbers from automobile accidents, yet there we are in Afghanistan, standing in long security lines at the airport, etc

          You can say we ought not to let the psychological impact of these large-scale events get in the way of our policy for handling the more mundane everyday tragedies, but that’s not how the human mind works, and we don’t make public policy to placate only those people who can see the signal through the noise.

          • Gepap says:

            Really? Then why haven’t we been able to pass the damned Assault Weapon ban again even after Virginia Tech and Aurora? How will this one more tragedy help something that common sensible passed?

            The best that could happen policy-wise from this is the germinating of actual organizations whose aim will be better gun control, because we will only beat the NRA through boots on the ground, not pronouncements of horror in the media or internet.

            • tonycpsu says:

              You’re asking the wrong guy about the AWB. I am a strong proponent of gun control, but I think Clinton’s AWB was a poorly-written and mostly ineffective law.

              But to answer your question, the reason we’re not doing dick shit about gun control (except making it worse by allowing guns in National Parks and watching pricks like Rick Snyder erode what little control does exist) is because of the NRA’s immense power and money.

              • John says:

                One things that’s worth noting is that the Democrats abandoned support for gun control around 2000 – immediately prior to a decade in which they basically lost all electoral foothold with the demographic groups whose love of guns made them give up on gun control in the first place.

                Look at the electoral map in 1996, when hatred of Clinton’s pro-gun control policies should have been at a peak. Clinton won almost every country in West Virginia. He won in Deer Hunter country in western PA. He did pretty well throughout the South.

                Compare to 2012, where Obama basically was utterly demolished throughout Appalachia. The Democratic coalition in 2012 relies considerably more on demographic groups that support gun control than it did in 1996, and considerably less on demographic groups that oppose it.

                So what are they so fucking afraid of?

  16. Josh G. says:

    Given the number of people who were murdered in this incident, I’m willing to bet that the shooters had high-capacity magazines. That is one factor that lets these bastards kill so many people: they can keep shooting without having to reload.

    Reasonable gun control needs to start with a ban on high-capacity magazines, which don’t have any legitimate use in sporting or self-defense, but do seem to regularly turn up at mass shootings. In addition, we could use a reasonable waiting period for purchasing firearms.

    We also need better treatment of mental health issues in this country; this is a serious problem that extends far beyond incidents like this. And we need better and more comprehensive background checks that keep guns out of the hands of mentally unstable people.

  17. donna says:

    And at one point do we support real mental health in this country and get help for those who need it? And keep them from getting ahold of guns meanwhile?

    • Josh G. says:

      Exactly. America’s crappy health care “system” makes it difficult and expensive for most working-class and middle-class people to get the mental health treatment they need. And meanwhile, the Second Amendment guarantees their right to own any weapons short of full-auto machine guns. It’s not surprising that the intersection of these two bad policies results in disaster every couple of weeks or months.

    • Bertie says:

      Beware of the unintended consequences of taking guns away from the mentally ill. If you lose your guns for visiting a psychiatrist or calling a hotline or whatever, then gun owners will stop seeking mental health help for fear of losing their guns.

      (The much smaller subset of the mentally ill who have been adjudicated as such through the legal system already have some lose of gun rights currently.)

    • CaptBackslap says:

      Mental health problems are tough to treat effectively in a society that doesn’t actually give a shit about anyone.

  18. Chester Allman says:

    Just coming in to say “amen” to Erik’s post. I’m too shaky with rage to type much else right now.

  19. donna says:

    And how many people were killed by guns this week not in mass shootings? Why is this the only time we talk about this problem?

  20. Can anyone tell me why this gun should be legal?

    Can any one tell me how that gun is different from the .22 caliber rifles that should be legal?

    • Jon says:

      Are you seriously asking this?

    • Trollhattan says:

      It’s eleventy-zillion times more awesome. Duh!

    • Stan Gable says:

      I’m going to go with capacity and rate of fire.

      • Jon says:

        Caliber, too. A .22 just doesn’t do as much damage per bullet. It’s like comparing a 30.06 to a BB gun.

        • bradP says:

          Erik says its a .223 caliber. I don’t know a thing about guns, but I thought that was a .22 or very close.

          • DocAmazing says:

            Higher muzzle velocity than .22 long rifle. Same bullet diameter. Similar projectile mass.

            • Jon says:

              The average .226 bullet weighs 3.6g as opposed to the average .22′s 2.6g. That’s a pretty big difference.

              • So it’s the caliber, and the mass?

                Would there have been any difference today if the weapon had been .22 caliber instead of .223?

                • DocAmazing says:

                  .22 long rifle was for years (and probably still is–I haven’t looked it up) the most common handgun homicide round, just because it is so prevalent. .22s are everywhere.

                  At close range, a .22 can be quite lethal, but how lethal a bullet is usually comes down to the amount of energy it transfers to its target. .223 is much higher-energy than .22.

                • Did you just say that you can use 22 long rifle round in a handgun?

                • DocAmazing says:

                  Oh, yeah. .22LR is popular in rifles and pistols (both autoloading and revolver). It’s very cheap, amazingly available (I’ve found it in rural hardware stores that had no other gun supplies), low-recoil, and relatively quiet. Hit men used to use .22 pistols a lot because they aren’t that loud and because they are quite adequate at close range.

          • Jon says:

            .223s are heavier and move faster. The heaviest weight .22 bullet strikes with around 260J of force, the heaviest .223, around 1300J.

            (Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.22_Long_Rifle
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.223_Remington)

            • John says:

              A Joule of force? That doesn’t seem right.

              • DocAmazing says:

                Do you prefer foot-pounds?

              • Jameson Quinn says:

                Doesn’t sound right, but it is. “Force” has a specific meaning in physics, but Jon was using it in its everyday meaning. I’ve been a physics teacher, and I’d grade him down on homework, but it’s fair to say if he’s just talking.

              • Jon says:

                I’m torn between mild embarrassment that my own inner pedant didn’t catch that and do the conversion and disgust that someone would choose a discussion about the collision of a bullet and a small child as the place to get petty about the difference between force and kinetic energy.

            • A good answer.

              Would regulations setting a maximum muzzle velocity or force for rifles make sense?

              Would there have been any difference today if the mass murderer had been using a weapon with lighter or slower rounds?

              • It sounds possible. I remember the big big holes I could make in a gas can with an AR-15 as opposed to the Ruger’s little teensy holes.

              • Jon says:

                Honestly, if legalistic hair splitting is going to stand in the way of gun control, ban them all. But if we’re serious about reining in these kinds of events (and the more common day-to-day gun violence) then setting standards for guns based on lethality wouldn’t be difficult. Yes, muzzle velocity, magazine capacity, rate of fire, and I’m sure many other criteria that someone more knowledgeable about guns than I could come up with should be taken into account, but that’s hardly a huerculean task. It seems to me to be treated as one, though, by people who want to derail meaningful discussions about gun control.

      • And what makes you think that gun’s capacity and rate of fire are different from guns that should be legal?

        Is there something about this particular model or style that changes those variables?

    • Richard says:

      I’m no gun expert but it appears this rifle is not an automatic or even a semi-automatic. And is actually similar to a .22 and is used for shooting varmints. This one has a scope but thats it. If you allow rifles to be legal, this seems to be within the clearly allowable categories. But maybe someone with more knowledge can chime in. To inflict the damage that he did, the shooter would have had to have magazines that held many bullets. However, I also heard on the news that he used Glock pistols so I think there is much more to be learned about what weaponry was used.

      • witless chum says:

        All a semi-automatic means is that the gun chambers the next round for you, rather than you having to use a pump or a lever-action to chamber the round for each shot. That’s a semiauto for sure.

        • Richard says:

          You know more than me. Semi-automatics are legal though. As I understand it, .223 have much higher velocity than .22 rifles and therefore the bullets do more damage than .22 bullets. But a .223 is not in the high range of muzzle velocities. You can buy rifles that are much more powerful.

          And although the gun in Erik’s picture has a scope and looks fancy and cool (in a gun nut sort of way), its not the actual gun used in the shooting. From doing a simple internet search, it appears that some .223s are very simple and look like simple .22 rifles.

      • Anonymous says:

        Nope. They don’t even look similar. A .22 is a smallish low powered round. Not much gunpowder, not much size. Maybe about 2″

        A .223 is an assault rifle round. It has the cartridge associated with a much larger caliber. A lot of gunpowder in comparison to a .22 and is about 5″+.

        The designation of assault rifle comes from the ammunition used.

        Assault rifle rounds are small caliber but very high powered rounds. They are designed to tumble within a person causing greivious damage that a through and through shot would give (like a .22 round or even “regular” rifle)

        There is no fucking way to compare a .223 assault rifle (built off of a military combat weapon model) with a .22 “plinker” (built off of a hunting rifle model).

        • Brandon says:

          this is really pedantic but a .223 bullet is not 5″+ long, that’d be a giant round. A standard .223 cartridge is ~2.25″ long.

        • DocAmazing says:

          The designation of assault rifle comes from the ammunition used.

          Only partially. Classically, “assault rifle” meant a select-fire rifle with a downsized cartridge (e.g.,.223, 7.62x39mm), compared with “automatic rifle” or “battle rifle”, which used a larger cartridge (e.g.,7.62x51mm). Unfortunately, California legislators, in their campaign to pass gun-control legislation in the wake of a workplace mass shooting, made hash of the meaning of “assault rifle”, creating the non-category of “assault weapon”, which roughly means “large capacity, semi-auto, looks scary”. The laws that ended up getting passed owe a lot to that mangling of definitions.

          Target shooting with .223 is pretty common. So is hunting of small game. If you want to start making laws based on the ballistic characteristics of weapons, you’re going to end up banning your uncle’s .30-30.

          • Malaclypse says:

            If you want to start making laws based on the ballistic characteristics of weapons, you’re going to end up banning your uncle’s .30-30.

            I’m willing to run that risk, actually.

            • DocAmazing says:

              Your uncle’s not. If you want to get laws passed, you need the deer-hunting rank and file to feel confident that you’re not coming after them.

              • Brandon C. says:

                This. If you can get the hunters behind it because they know they are safe, then you can get enough people behind it to actually make a difference and get something passed.

                The problem is that the issue is so often framed by the gun owners as all guns or no guns. As much as I would love a world in which there were no more guns. That’s not the one we live in.

    • DocAmazing says:

      It’s a target rifle or a sniper rifle, depending entirely on the desires of the person using it. As pictured, it has a ten-round magazine, which is not high-capacity–such a magazine would be legal in California. As pictured, it is probably semi-automatic–not a machine gun. In short, it isn’t the type of gun you want to ban, necessarily–in California, it would probably be legal with a change of grip and buttstock and a modification to prevent quick change of magazines, and that’s in the state that makes the NRA weep with its tough gun laws.

      Not the best example to pick, Erik.

      • Fraxin says:

        What good reason is there for allowing semi-automatics, though? Especially ones like the AR-15 pictured that are modified automatics and fire as fast as you pull the trigger. Also, even ten rounds seems excessive to me.

        Even California’s laws ought to be stricter, in other words.

        • daveNYC says:

          Especially ones like the AR-15 pictured that are modified automatics and fire as fast as you pull the trigger.

          WTF? Semi-Auto: fires as fast as you pull the trigger.
          Full Auto: Just need to hold the trigger down to fire.

          ‘Modified automatic’ isn’t a thing.

          • DrDick says:

            Actually, it is. There is a civilian version of the M-16 that has been modified by the manufacturer so that it cannot fire full auto (which is a modification in the trigger mechanism). It was quite popular as a deer rifle in my youth and it was also easy for anyone with marginal metalworking skills to modify so it fired full auto.

      • heckblazer says:

        The military stylings definitely makes it look creepy. That said, I gun laws should be based on functionality, not creepiness.

      • Tyto says:

        It looks like the 20-rounder to me. Here in Cali, I think removal of the pistol grip and provision of a ten-round magazine are all you need legalize it in theory. Remember, even a (Cali-legal) Ruger 10/22 has a detachable ten-rounder. The other catch is that the gun must have been “tested” and approved for sale in the state. I seem to recall that Colt opted not to register the .223-chambered AR-15s and clones, at least at the time the “ban” came into effect, and you can only buy the .22LR-chambered version now.

        As you said, it’s incredible that we are the state that makes the NRA weep. Still, those restrictions, along with the actual requirement to take a safety course and other point-of-sale protections, are still a damn site better than the late 1980s.

        • What’s the point of pistol-grip regulations?

          Do pistol-grips make long guns more dangerous, or is this a “looks skeery” law?

          • DocAmazing says:

            “Looks skeery”, mostly, though the original justification was that pistol grips a) allowed for better control of the piece during rapid firing and b) added to concealbility.

            • Slocum says:

              Do militaries add forward pistol grips to rifles to make them look scary?

              • DocAmazing says:

                Forward pistol grips allow for bringing the rifle into position more rapidly. However, those are forward pistol grips, and not the same thing at all ergonomically.

                Study what you’re fighting against and you’ll be a lot more effective.

          • heckblazer says:

            It’s a “looks skeery” law. AFAIK the only parts of the California and the now defunct Federal assault weapons ban that actually did anything was the maximum clip size.

            • PSP says:

              It also successfully killed the Federal programs selling off surplus M1s and M1 carbines, ’cause they were scary looking ex-military. The fact that every Walmart (in most of the country) sold guns of the same calibers and with the capabilities just magnifies the stupid.

              • DocAmazing says:

                In fairness, an M1 carbine in the hands of a nutcase would be pretty much equivalent to the Mini-14s and AR-15s discussed in this thread. It’s light, semi-automatic, and accepts high-capacity magazines. The fact that it looks like the gun that The Good Guys carried around in those movies about The Good War and that it has a handsome walnut stock seems to take some of the scary factor out of it for the non-shooting public.

          • Tyto says:

            Yup, looks skeery. Pistol grips were even barred on shotguns. The other pointless requirement was a ban on flash suppressors, for roughly the same reason.

    • witless chum says:

      It uses a different, more high-powered cartridge and looks cooler than the old .22 I have that my dad bought from Sears in 70s.

  21. Lit3Bolt says:

    Thanks 2nd amendment advocates, for making the United States the equivalent of Somalia for random thug gun violence.

    The only solution to guns is more guns. Religious tautologies for the win!

    I just have one question for gun right advocates: Do you arm your children with guns before you send them to elementary school? Middle school? High school? College? The mall? The movies? Because unless you do, you’re a liar and a hypocrite who only wants to advance a fetish that the rest of this nation is sick of.

    Maybe if you want to live in the Wild West, you can move to Mexico. The rest of us want to live in the 21st century.

  22. Joe says:

    Wikipedia says “the semi-automatic rifle category is often used by law enforcement, for home defense, and for varmint hunting.”

    A common hunting rifle can lead to a lot of tragic deaths especially if used in an enclosed space.

    • Stan Gable says:

      The killer today shot 19 people in a single classroom. Explain to me how that would be possible with a “common hunting rifle.”

      A shooter can aim and fire a semi-automatic 19 times in a 30 second span. If they have to stop, clear the bolt, reload and pull the trigger then it would take ~4 to 5 times as long. Some, or even most of the kids would still be alive.

  23. Anon21 says:

    It may be blindingly obvious, but what’s needed is a political movement to repeal the Second Amendment. Because I think the cons (and the NRA, for that matter) are basically right about what it says, and I think the consequences of this particular outmoded policy choice by our Glorious and Unerring Framers are completely unacceptable.

    • Chester Allman says:

      I’m all for this. Will it happen? No. But this should be our opening position. Full repeal of the 2nd Amendment and a strict Federal ban on all private gun ownership. I’m not kidding. You want to hunt? Use a crossbow. Hell, use a spear; it was good enough for our ancestors who actually needed to hunt.

      Let the troglodytes in the NRA negotiate with us from there.

      • wengler says:

        I would oppose this. The Second Amendment is a good amendment that is interpreted poorly to mean unfettered access to any weapon below automatic. That’s a judge problem, not a Constitution problem.

        Also, if you think rounding up 12 million undocumented immigrants is impossible, try 200 million firearms. Any sort of move in this direction would make every disaffected gun nut go on a shooting spree.

        • Chester Allman says:

          Your latter point is part of why I said I don’t think that repeal would ever actually happen.

          That said, I’ve tried to be one of those liberals who’s made peace with the Second Amendment. But I just can’t do it. I don’t mind, per se, if people want to hunt or pop off rounds at the gun range or shoot cans off stumps or whatever. I understand why people are fascinated by guns. But I cannot honestly find any reason why there should be a constitutional guarantee of the right to own firearms; and while I don’t begrudge any law-abiding gun owner the pleasure he or she receives from firearms, I just can’t accept that gun owners’ right to pursue that pleasure trumps the real and documented and absolutely horrible consequences of legal gun ownership for our society as a whole, and for individual victims in particular.

          Not trying to rant at you personally, btw. Just getting it off my chest.

        • Anonymous37 says:

          Not just interpreted poorly; it’s interpreted selectively.

          The argument I’ve read by 2nd Amendment maximalists is that 1) the wording of “well-regulated militia” is a red herring, as every able-bodied man (who wasn’t a slave, I suppose) was considered to be part of the militia and 2) the “bear arms” should be interpreted to mean weapons that can actually be carried by a single man.

          You could argue that the 2nd Amendment should limit the permissible weapons to guns that are actually issued to, say, members of the National Guard. Which would (correct me if I’m wrong) mean rifles/assault weapons but not sidearms. And even if that wasn’t the case, that interpretation would suggest that the government could strictly regulate weapons manufacture to certain designs/calibers/etc., the same way they only allow certain weapons to be issued to the armed forces. In other words, no crappy machine pistols.

          But most 2nd Amendment supporters don’t seem to want to have gun laws along the lines of what’s in Switzerland, where a whole lot of people have rifles/assault weapons, and they are controlled up the wazoo. (If our gun control laws were as restrictive as Switzerland’s, I would be elated.) They don’t want any encroachment on what they see as their constitutional rights.

          The problem then happens at the other end: why are surface-to-air shoulder mounted rocket launchers illegal for civilians to own? If the point of the 2nd Amendment is to provide a bulwark against state tyranny (and personal protection against crime is a side benefit), then having the capability to fight back against gunships can’t be dismissed. It is a weapon that can be borne by a single person.

          But in my discussions with gun rights folk, they aren’t willing to forthrightly say that everyone who doesn’t have a felony record who has the money to buy a surface-to-air shoulder-mounted rocket launcher should be allowed to do so. The closest I’ve seen is in a comic by Peter Bagge. He states that “And as for that old ‘bazooka’ argument: if I don’t hurt, threaten, or disturb anyone with it, then why can’t I own one? And if I shoot it way out in the middle of nowhere, then why on Earth would anyone care?” Which is a clever way of phrasing it. How about actually 1) naming a specific, real weapon, such as an FIM-92 Stinger; 2) asserting a right for everyone who has the money and isn’t a felon to buy one; and 3) asserting that since the point of the 2nd amendment is to serve as a bulwark against state power, saying that you believe that owners of this weapon should not be forced to register it with the authorities on any level: local, state, or federal.

    • FlipYrWhig says:

      The Second Amendment has to be way up there in the conversation about the stupidest, worst feature of American politics and government. If it hadn’t been there from the beginning, there’s NO WAY it would ever be drawn up or ratified. It’s just absurd.

      • wengler says:

        It made sense when the British were raiding the armories of local militias back in 1775. And any judge with sense would interpret it that way. Unfortunately, there were too many westerns back in the day and people want to live out their drawing down fantasies.

        • FlipYrWhig says:

          Oh, believe me, I know about the history and the political theory behind it — resistance to “standing armies” as tools for subjugating the populace and all that, the stock in trade of 17th- and 18th-century republicanism. But, man, has it ever gone awry since then.

        • Anon21 says:

          It made sense when a shooter literally had to tear open cartridges with his teeth while reloading. It makes zero sense now that firearms are capable of unloading dozens of round in a minute. At this point in history, small arms are simply too dangerous to allow private ownership.

          • Adam M says:

            Yep – pretty much. The 2nd Amendment really only makes sense in its historical context. I’m not sure you can make that argument about any other.

  24. Davis X. Machina says:

    The Freedom Martyrs’ Shrine can always be extended by an extra wall or two.

  25. Bertie says:

    This is also a .223 rifle, the Ruger Mini 14:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mini14GB.jpg

    It was in fact the most popular civilian .223 until the AR-15 design boomed in recent years.

    You’ll note that far from being black and tactical and scary looking, the Mini 14 looks hardly distinguishable from an hunting rifle, or at least what most people think of when they think of “hunting rifle”.

    But despite the appearances, the lethality of the Mini 14 is for all practical purposes exactly the same as that evil looking AR-15 in the updated OP.

    • Anonymous says:

      The ammunition is a big freaking difference.

      Assault rifle ammo is designed to shred people through tumbling and spinning inside them. Not really great for deer hunting

      Regular rifle ammo is designed to poke fast moving moving holes through living tissue. Which is ideal for hunting animals larger than humans

      • Anonymous says:

        The Mini-14 is not much of a hunting rifle.

        Its main appeal is it looks scary is much cheaper than an AR equivalent and not as ugly as your usual AK. (Plus it was used extensively on the A-team)

      • Brandon says:

        Either rifle can fire the same .223 round.

      • DocAmazing says:

        Ah, yes, tumbling and spinning. Does happen, if the rifling in the barrel is too few turns per unit length (I think it’s one turn per fifteen inches in the Viet Nam War-era M-16s); tighten up the rifling and the round behaves like any other rifle round (I think the current standard is one turn in seven inches).

        (Note: It’s possible I have that backwards. I’m no physicist. In any case, tumbling is not inherent to the round.)

        There are people who hunt with .223. Their rifles don’t have military barrels.

        (By the way: one of the biggest consumers of the Mini-14 in its early years was French law enforcement.)

    • Jeffrey Beaumont says:

      The mini-14 is a re-chambered version of the M-14, which is an evolution of the Garand rifle, the .30 caliber battle-rifle of the US in WWII. It could be used for hunting, but is also used by lots of LEOs. It is a semi-automatic, can take high-capacity magazines, etc. It is primarily a military weapon, definitely an assault rifle.

      • DocAmazing says:

        definitely an assault rifle…
        …if in a select-fire (i.e., convertible from semi-auto to full-auto) version. Otherwise, no.

        • Jeffrey Beaumont says:

          Well, it is a slippery definition, but full-auto is definitely not required. I think the basic requirements are just high-cap magazines and an assault-rifle round (.223, 7.62×39, 5.45, etc.). The “assault rifle” ban in this country didnt even identify fully auto weapons because those are totally illegal unless you have specialized permits.

          • Jeffrey Beaumont says:

            The 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which expired on September 13, 2004, codified the definition of an assault weapon. It defined the rifle type of assault weapon as a semiautomatic firearm with the ability to accept a detachable magazine and two or more of the following:
            a folding or telescoping stock
            a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon
            a bayonet mount
            a flash suppressor or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor
            a grenade launcher

            • Jeffrey Beaumont says:

              Apparently there is some definitional debate between “assault rifles” (which have full auto options) and “assault weapons” which include the semi-auto cousins.

              For our current purposes, this is an unimportant issue.

              • DocAmazing says:

                No, it really isn’t an unimportant issue. “Assault rifle” is a term that had been in existence, with an actual definition, since the 1940s; “assault weapon” was a cobbled-together term used by legislators and useful because most people lack the training or the inclination to appreciate the difference. It was much like the deliberate blurring of “automatic” and “semi-automatic” at that time (and, apparently, still). Once again, if you think this is mere pedantry, meet the NRA’s legal team, who have overturned laws because of sloppy wording.

  26. Jeffrey Beaumont says:

    Non-gun people: the news reports to say a .223 rifle, which almost certainly means some variant of an AR-15. This is what Erik depicted, though that is some tricked-out joke gun, so the real gun in this tragedy probably didnt look nearly so Mission Impossible.

    But, note that the AR-15 is not a .22 rifle or a varmit-gun, whatever that means. It is a civilian version of the M-16. The .223 is an assault rifle round, used by all NATO militaries. Initial reports suggest this is an assault rifle tragedy.

    • Richard says:

      All of this may be about nothing. According to the latest report, he took four guns to the school, one a .223 rifle, but only took two 9mm handguns into the school and all the shooting was done with the handguns.

      • Jeffrey Beaumont says:

        Yeah and the stats all point out that the far more common pistols are a much more common in homicides than assault rifles. The assault rifles get the press, because they are military weapons. Really, we probably need to ban the pistols.

        • Richard says:

          I dont disagree. This whole debate, however, seems silly since, at least from the articles and statements I have read so far, the shooter did NOT use a rifle (although he seems to have brought one to the school). Almost all unlawful killings in this country are committed with handguns, not rifles.

    • CaptBackslap says:

      What the hell is on the front of the buttstock in that picture?

      • DocAmazing says:

        See the folded bipod on the front, under the forearm? Well, the thing on the buttstock is the third leg (no Freudian jokes yet, please), creating a complete tripod. That way, the rifle rests on the ground, forming a very stable firing platform.

        • So the user lays on the ground, and the third leg sticks down between their forearm and chest, to the ground?

          • DocAmazing says:

            Exactly. The shooter can adjust the length of each leg so that the rifle is aimed at the target even in the shooter’s absence. The shooter then sights through the scope, fires, gets up, looks at the target through a spotter scope or binoculars, adjusts the point of aim (or adjusts the settings on the scope), then drops down & shoots again. If your goal is to be able to place round after round in the exact same spot, a bipod/tripod system like that is useful. Otherwise, it’s just added weight.

      • Grep Agni says:

        As someone with almost zero knowledge of firearms, I’m guessing its an adjustable weight for balancing the weapon. Possibly to compensate for all the other doodads on it.

  27. Jeffrey Beaumont says:

    Does anyone know of any compiled statistics for the “killing-spree”/”mass-shooting” incidents? It is true that the murder rate is falling, but it is also at least anecdotally evident that mass shootings are more frequent. We need statistics to shut the anti-gun control fools up.

  28. Broken Wingnut Tautology says:

    Because the only thing that stops guns is more guns!

    Because the only thing that stops terrorism is more terrorism!

    Because the only thing that stops torture is more torture!

    Because the only thing that stops fire is more fire!

    Because the only thing that stops flooding is more flooding!

    Because the only thing that stops poison chemicals is more poison chemicals!

    Because the only thing that stops lying is more lying!

    Because the only thing that stops oil spills is more oil spills!

    Because the only thing that stops rape is more rape!

    Because the only thing that stops fraud is more fraud!

    Because the only thing that stops racism is more racism!

    Because the only thing that stops evil is more evil!

    Because the only thing that stops war is more war!

    Because the only thing that stops cancer is more cancer!

    Because the only thing that stops unemployment is more unemployment!

    Because the only thing that stops poverty is more poverty!

    Because the only thing that stops violence is more violence!

    Because the only thing that stops insanity is more insanity!

    Because the only thing that stops drinking is more drinking!

    Because the only thing that stops wingnuts is more wingnuts!

    Because the only thing that stops diarrhea is more diarrhea!

    Because the only thing that stops disease is more disease!

    Because the only thing that stops gambling is more gambling!

    Because the only thing that stops fucking is more fucking!

    Because the only thing that stops tragedy is more tragedy!

    What’s funny is how many of these are actually VERY SERIOUS POSITIONS to have that invoke a lot of chin-stroking.

  29. Paula says:

    Ugh, it’s amazing how predictable these anti-gun control arguments are.

    What’s the difference between an incident like this and acts of terrorism that we’ve responded to over the years? The U.S. gov’t will suspend the accounts of organizations for even indirect funding of suspected terrorist activity. And yet we can’t keep assault weapons out of the hands of mentally ill people.

    What a crock.

  30. Jay B. says:

    This is charming:

    In 2008, 2,947 children and teens died from guns in the United States and 2,793 died in 2009 for a total of 5,740—one child or teen every three hours, eight every day, 55 every week for two years.

    The 5,740 children and teens killed by guns in 2008 and 2009:
    Would fill more than 229 public school classrooms of 25 students each;
    Was greater than the number of U.S. military personnel killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan (5,013);

    The number of preschoolers killed by guns in 2008 (88) and in 2009 (85) was nearly double the number of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2008 (41) and 2009 (48).

  31. ken w says:

    The reason that gun is legal is the second amendment and btw this shit is happing because of two reasons one is 12-21-12 and no one is talking about holding the networks accountable for flooding the t.v with end of the world show that are everywhere right now and second is with overbreeding the population there will be downbreeding sorry to tell you that but now if every person in this country had a gun on them shit like this will not happen as much and for the domba$$es out there that think that getting rid of all the firearms is going to stop this you are completely wrong look if all the guns were taken away like u want only the criminals will have them. If you do not like guns and people to have a legal right to have them gtfo of our country and go to a place like Africa or Australia or some other country that banned them and see how long it takes you to get you ass kick or robbed there.

  32. Sly says:

    After Columbine, in 1999, every state in the country instituted new, more rigorous school safety protocols. In New York, for example, we put in place the SAVE Act. Many of the protocols that the teachers and faculty employed during the crisis were developed, in large part, during that process. There was no bureaucratic or political opposition to these reforms, as no one wanted to be an administrator at a school that had an event like this and didn’t have at least a plan in place to immediately protect the students from harm. Though I can’t say with any certainty, I think it is safe to assume that, despite the abject horror of this event, some lives may have been saved in Newton as a result. The primary difficulty in making such a determination is that were designed to address the possibility of a mass shooting perpetuated by a student of that school and not an adult with an indirect connection to it.

    In short: There was a great tragedy, the political process kicked in to respond, reforms were implemented as a result of that process, and there have been meaningful gains.

    Why has there not been any kind of companion set of reforms with respect to gun access? Because there is political opposition from the gun lobby, which is sustained by playing on the fears of gun owners, as well as bureaucratic opposition from officials who either rely on that lobby for support or who do not want to become a target of its wrath. There is no other reason.

    And if twenty dead kindergartners is not sufficient to shock the conscience of the nation to such an extent that the political muscle of the gun lobby isn’t shaken, I honestly don’t know what would be. This is beyond horrific.

    • DocAmazing says:

      Not to irritate people with the comparison, but in the recent past, it was noted that many bicyclists had been killed by automobiles. The legislature’s response was to require more reflectors on bikes. No mention was made of cars.

      The burden will always fall on the politically less powerful group. Teachers, school administrators, and children don’t have the clout the NRA does.

  33. RA Dinky says:

    The most laughable argument I heard for gun control was after James Holmes shot all those people. Some jokers actually wanted to stop all graduate NIH research stipends since he was receiving an NIH research assistant stipend which he used to amass his weapons and bullets. Maybe we should have outlawed all money so the shooter couldn’t have purchased the guns in the first place.

  34. Hugo Torbet says:

    Why?

    Because we have the inalienable right to join with our neighbors to resist the relentless oppression by the government, i.e., the rich, of our freedoms.

    This right is of particular importance right now because we live in an era in which the government routinely violates the law, e.g., it is an international crime to torture people, American tortured people, and the government does nothing to honor its obligations to prosecute. Meanwhile, the government persecutes, and gleefully destroys the lives of, medical marijuana patients.

    Liberal hand-wringing is all very cathartic, but we must remember our birthright.

    • Sly says:

      Jesus Fucking Christ. We can’t have a more rigorous background check system or a waiting period or, heaven fucking forbid, some kind of regulation on magazine size because of some abstract notion of revolutionary liberty?

      Be sure to remind those twenty children about their birthright.

      Oh, right.

      You can’t.

      Because they’re dead.

    • Malaclypse says:

      Because we have the inalienable right to join with our neighbors to resist the relentless oppression by the government, i.e., the rich, of our freedoms.

      Oh just fuck off, you pretend pseudo-revolutionary. Fucking wankers, the lot of you.

    • Chester Allman says:

      You can’t resist the tyranny of the United States government, real or imagined, with handguns or assault rifles. Not even remotely plausible.

      You can resist tyranny with speech, civil society, and nonviolent action. Modern history has shown us that these are very effective weapons against tyranny.

      The idea that the 2nd Amendment protects us against government tyranny is sheer stupid fantasy.

      • Hugo Torbet says:

        That’s not true.

        The U.S. blew up a lot of stuff in Viet Nam and Afghanistan, but basically was beaten by peasants with hand-me-down rifles.

        There are approximately 3M men in the Ohio-Michigan area with hunting licenses, and almost all of them are good shots. Collected together, with sufficient motivation, they are the largest, most effective army in the world — at least in terms of beating back an occupation.

        • Malaclypse says:

          Shorter Hugo: Wolverines!!!

          • John Protevi says:

            Slightly longer, but still just as fuckwitted Hugo: I know absolutely nothing about how geography and culture and culture interact in guerrilla warfare. Because really, what relevant differences are there between mountain and jungle habitats and the Ohio-Michigan area and between the social structures of tribe, clan, village life and that of 21st century America?

          • swearyanthony says:

            Red Dawn was a documentary.

        • Slocum says:

          You are forgetting that those 3M men in Michigan and Ohio are basically stumblebum fuckwits who are too fat to move without mechanical assistance.

    • Slocum says:

      your birthright to murder children.

  35. Missourah-M says:

    Perhaps we can try another track.

    In the Virginia, Arizona and Aurora mass shootings, the perpetrator had drawn the attention of state university officials, had legal action taken against them, and/or had physicians counseling them. No one took any meaningful action to alert state law enforcement authorities that might have been able to block access to firearms purchases or investigate further.

    I am waiting to see whom in Connecticut was relaxing with coffee and a cookie while a deranged individual was allowed to roam free.

    There is no evidence of anything yet but it seems like a good bet.

    In the meantime ban official non-feasance not firearms.

  36. scott says:

    Not that I really disagree with the post, but isn’t this the kind of broad, wide-ranging assignment of blame and responsibility that you guys love to parse and make fun of when someone else (Greenwald, DeBoer, Friedersdorf, Crooked Timber, etc.) does it? As with most things around here, I guess it depends on whose side you’re on or whose points of view you’re advocating.

    • Warren Terra says:

      Well, there may be some incendiary statements about the personal responsibility of, say, Wayne LaPierre, where the connection is less direct and the generous might even decide that LaPierre was more misguided than he was deliberately evil.

      That being said, most of us are concerned about policy, and about how a decades-long campaign to ensure maximal and unfettered access to large numbers of military-grade weapons with high ammunition capacity has contributed to the level of gun violence in our society. There is no need to fire thirty times without reloading in the name of sport, nor in the name of self-defense. There is no self-defense reason for the gear the Aurora shooter wore; if you have time to put on a full suit of bulletproof armor, you’ve got time to call the police. These items only exist to let people dress up to suit their darkest fantasies of armed assaults on small armies of dangerous opponents – and sometimes to come as close as they can to acting those fantasies out, with terrible results.

      I don’t think, in our gun-crazy culture, we can stop or even greatly reduce our gun violence. But we can make moves that will reduce gun crime and lethal accidents, such as mandatory gun cabinets and trigger locks, and registration of rifling patterns. We can mandate design features, such as prominent safety catches and vivid indicators when a round is chambered (last week, a dad killed his kid because he’d ejected the magazine and a round was in the chamber). And we can reduce the impacts of at least some of these mass-killing atrocities if the shooter has to pause to reload a lot more often.

  37. srm says:

    Why should that gun be illegal? Does it shoot a higher caliber round than hand guns? Does it shoot faster than any hand gun? What is it about the gun in that picture that makes it different than almost any handgun you can buy in a store right at this moment? That it looks scary? That it looks menacing? If that is what you are basing your argument on, you’re a fucking moron who sounds like you don’t understand one thing about guns. Personally, I’d rather people be armed with those than a hand gun as hand guns are EASILY concealable. Tell me where you are going to stick that when trying to be sneaky.

    At least have the balls to say that all guns should be banned. At least I’d respect your position then.

    • Dr. Waffle says:

      “If that is what you are basing your argument on, you’re a fucking moron who sounds like you don’t understand one thing about guns.”

      Awwwww, what’s the matter? Someone insult your precious lil’ firearms?

      • srm says:

        Kind of what one would expect from a 3 year old. Pathetic that a grown adult would respond in a similar fashion.

        • Malaclypse says:

          Says the man (and how sad that we all know your gender) who finds his sad little toys to be worth twenty dead kindergarteners.

          So, yes, pathetic. Indeed.

          • Dr. Waffle says:

            @SRM

            And you are nothing other than a little boy trapped in a big boy’s body. As can be evinced by your anger not over the needless death and mayhem of today, but rather over comments directed at inanimate objects.

            You are a sad, sad man.

          • srm says:

            So neither of you can still answer the question at hand. Why is that? The fact that you two think the banning of guns would stop things like this tells me you have a selective memory and don’t remember OKC. Were you two at the front line calling for the ban of ammonium nitrate when that happened? So that the lives of kids could be saved from future attacks? And I would be willing to bet a lot of money that you two are also on the side of ending the war on drugs because prohibition has obviously not worked. So, explain to us why you think it would work in this instance. As a bonus, tells us of one thing that when prohibited actually was not able to be obtained.

            And another thing, why do you two automatically assume I’m a gun owner? Because I’m not a hypocrite about the Constitution where I pick and choose things that I want to be in it?

            • Erik Loomis says:

              How is it being a facilitator of mass murder?

              Just curious how it feels to defend policies that lead to the death of children.

              • Dr. Waffle says:

                @srm

                Well, idiot, the thing is that I, as well as many other gun-control advocates, am not advocating for the complete prohibition of all firearms. What I/we are advocating for is the enactment of tougher regulations which will hinder criminals, crazies, and terrorists from being able to gun down dozens of their fellow citizens at a time. Shocking, I know.

                Also: I believe your logic should be extended to other areas of the law. It’s illegal to murder someone, or to drink and drive, yet people still find a way to do both; let’s rid ourselves of those rules! If they can’t achieve perfection, then what’s the point of having them in the first place?

                Right?

              • srm says:

                You should be able to answer that yourself being a supporter of Obama. Tell us how it feels to be a facilitator of mass murder of brown people with funny names in foreign countries. How does it feel to defend a man who leads a war machine that leads to the death of children? WAY more children in the past 4 years than were killed today and will ever be killed by maniacs with firearms in this country.

                So look in the mirror and answer your own question.

                • Erik Loomis says:

                  Don’t be a complete fuckwit. We’ve gone over Obama’s terrible policies here a million times. Just because we here are not morons about how American politics operate doesn’t mean you have the right to express the fact that you are an imbecile without challenge.

                • srm says:

                  Yet, even with those terrible policies you still voted for him. So that makes you an enabler of said policies even if you do want to wave your hand and dismiss it as nothing to worry about. Use the excuse of American politics all you want, but you can’t escape the fact that you voted for a man who will kill more children in the next 4 years at the head of the American war machine than will ever be killed in America by maniacs wielding firearms. I can sleep soundly at night knowing my vote did not go to such a person.

                • Erik Loomis says:

                  You obviously think voting is fraught with moral weight, which is stupid. Your ability to sleep well does not make you less culpable for the moral sins of this nation. You are as responsible as anyone else.

                • Dr. Waffle says:

                  @srm

                  I can only assume that you’re a libertarian. And if there’s one thing I’ve come to understand about libertarians, it’s that they actually care very little about gun violence, or drone strikes, or whatever. Dead children, whether here or overseas, are of minor importance compared to their childish need to feel superior to any and everyone who lies outside their little clique, particularly liberals.

                • Erik Loomis says:

                  It’s so fucking appropriate that we have a commenter named Dr. Waffle. You should be in charge of breakfast-related responses to our trolls.

                • srm says:

                  Now I’m a troll because I find your notion that an AR-15 is somehow inherently more dangerous than a 45 caliber handgun absolutely batshit insane, irrational, and without merit? As I asked before, why do you believe that? Handguns are easily concealable in comparison to that large ass AR-15 you posted a picture of? As I said before, I would have more respect for your position if you just called for an outright ban on all firearms. But to take the position that assault rifles are any more dangerous than any other weapon one can buy and thus deserve to be singled out is crazy. As for trolling, I’ve been reading this blog longer than you’ve been writing on it. I may not post at all, but that doesn’t mean I’m just a troll who shows up one day to pick fights.

                  As for you waffles, I accept no labels as that allows people like you to automatically box people in and disregard any position they may hold. If you’re allowed to slap a label on someone, it allows you to be mentally lazy when it comes to the positions a person takes. Argue the merits, not the label. A friend on Facebook said the following a few days ago:

                  “On nearly every issue (in our current political environment) your average devotee of FOX News would consider me a commie libtard hater of freedom…but not on guns. The Democrats are wrong on guns…”

                  That pretty much describes me, too. Almost every position Erik takes on labor and the environment I’m supporting 100%. But he, along with a lot of you, are 100% wrong on the issue of guns. And to continue to be that wrong on guns will only further marginalize your voices in this country.

                • Dr. Waffle says:

                  @Erik

                  Haha I’d gladly accept that role.

                  @srm

                  1.)Ah, you’re such a unique little snowflake. How touching. I still don’t give a fuck, though.

                  2.) “100% wrong on guns,” eh? And what does it mean to be “100% right”?

                  3.) You do realize that none of the rights enumerated in the Constitution are unlimited, right? That each and every one of them is subject to restrictions of one sort or another? I ask because Second Amendment fundamentalists typically have profound difficulty grasping this point.

                  And oh buddy: I don’t think gun-control advocates are the ones who will have to be worried about marginalization after today.

                • Dr. Waffle says:

                  @srm

                  Also: since you’re so keen on assigning responsibility to Erik and myself for Obama’s drone program, are you willing to accept the same for the 8000-9000 gun murders which occur every year? Or for the 30,000 who die annually from all forms of gun violence?

                  Or is responsibility just a one-way street?

                • srm says:

                  @waffle:

                  Of those who die in gun violence, what percentage of those are due to people who illegally obtain guns? 90%? 95%? You know, go around the laws on the books to prevent people like them from having said guns? But disregard that, prohibition and regulation will totally prevent things like Newton from happening again.

                  3.) You do realize that none of the rights enumerated in the Constitution are unlimited, right? That each and every one of them is subject to restrictions of one sort or another? I ask because Second Amendment fundamentalists typically have profound difficulty grasping this point.

                  Aww. So cute. Remember that box I spoke about in my previous comment? Look at how you do it. Do you see me calling for no regulations on gun ownership? Do you see me crying because someone may have to wait 7 days to purchase a gun? No, you don’t. But because you are mentally lazy, you just prefer to throw a person in that box because to argue the merits of a person’s position is just too difficult of a proposition for you. What you do see me doing is calling someone a moron because they think an AR-15 is inherently more dangerous than a handgun because it looks more imposing. And because of that imposing look, let’s just ban them! Have a rational, logical discussion and you might just get rational, logical people to discuss these things with you. But to just start out at an illogical position does you no favor.

                • Dr. Waffle says:

                  “Of those who die in gun violence, what percentage of those are due to people who illegally obtain guns? 90%? 95%? You know, go around the laws on the books to prevent people like them from having said guns?”

                  Ah, so if most guns used to commit murders are obtained illegaly . . . then the problem isn’t easy access to firearms? Their widespread proliferation (300,000,000 and counting!) has nothing to do with their availability on the black market?

                  Talk about lazy thinking.

                  And you’re absolutely right: if the laws don’t achieve perfection, then they shouldn’t exist in the first place. The whole nation should instead follow Louisiana’s lead and adopt the most lenient gun restrictions possible. That’s working out terrifically.

                  “But because you are mentally lazy, you just prefer to throw a person in that box because to argue the merits of a person’s position is just too difficult of a proposition for you.”

                  Stop. Your positions are neither complex nor are they interesting. You’re just like every other gun fanatic out there. And your positions on labor and the environment don’t make you any more sympathetic.

                  “What you do see me doing is calling someone a moron because they think an AR-15 is inherently more dangerous than a handgun because it looks more imposing.”

                  Who gives a fuck? Of everything that’s happened over the last day or so, this is what bothers you the most?

                  I shouldn’t be surprised though. Second Amendment fundamentalists have never been very adept at managing their priorities.

                • srm says:

                  Stop. Your positions are neither complex nor are they interesting. You’re just like every other gun fanatic out there. And your positions on labor and the environment don’t make you any more sympathetic.

                  Ok genius, what is my position in regards to guns? If they aren’t complex then you should have no problem telling me and everybody else exactly what my position is with regards to guns.

                • Dr. Waffle says:

                  @srm

                  Uh, no. You are fully capable of doing that yourself. So please, stop whining and reveal your intricate and nuanced ideas regarding gun control. I’m sure they’ll amaze and astound.

                • srm says:

                  My positions aren’t complex yet you are unable to tell me what they are. Interesting. So, in other words you don’t have one single fucking idea what my positions are yet you are somehow able to ridicule me for these said positions. What a great spot you put yourself in. The epitome of mental laziness. It looks like you’re the fucking troll in this conversation.

                • Malaclypse says:

                  It looks like you’re the fucking troll in this conversation.

                  Projection: it’s what’s for breakfast.

                • Dr. Waffle says:

                  @srm

                  You really want a breakdown, asshole? Fine, here you go:

                  The fact that you two think the banning of guns would stop things like this tells me you have a selective memory and don’t remember OKC.

                  You appear to oppose banning guns. And hey! so do I. Maybe we’re not so different, you and I . . .

                  And another thing, why do you two automatically assume I’m a gun owner? Because I’m not a hypocrite about the Constitution where I pick and choose things that I want to be in it?

                  Ah, a strict constructionist. You ever feel a tinge of nostalgia for the 3/5 clause?

                  Use the excuse of American politics all you want, but you can’t escape the fact that you voted for a man who will kill more children in the next 4 years at the head of the American war machine than will ever be killed in America by maniacs wielding firearms.

                  This quote is instructive. It demonstrates how completely full of shit you are. Want the studies and stats? Or are you just going to ignore them like you have all the other evidence presented to you?

                  Almost every position Erik takes on labor and the environment I’m supporting 100%. But he, along with a lot of you, are 100% wrong on the issue of guns. And to continue to be that wrong on guns will only further marginalize your voices in this country.

                  And what are “our” positions, exactly? I can’t speak for Erik, but I (as I mentioned above) myself am not for prohibiting the ownership of guns.

                  You also never answered my question from an earlier post: what does it mean to be 100% right on “the issue of guns”?

                  Do you see me calling for no regulations on gun ownership? Do you see me crying because someone may have to wait 7 days to purchase a gun?

                  So is this where the “complexity” lies? That you favor some restrictions on gun ownership? Is this really a bold or unique position? It seems as though (contrary to your irrational belief) that most of the commenters here think in a similar vein.

                  So no, your positions are not complex. You are liberal on some issues, but you are(apparently, and I can only go off what you have written) a strict constructionist who believes all those sell-out, hypocritical liberals are intent on confiscating every single gun in America. That that’s not really true appears to mean very little to you, as is usually the case with fanatics with poor reading comprehension skills.

                  As for your desire for a “rational” and “logical” discussion:

                  If that is what you are basing your argument on, you’re a fucking moron who sounds like you don’t understand one thing about guns.

                  That was how YOU began this particular discussion. Not to mention the fact that YOU are more enraged over comments directed at inanimate objects than you are a school of dead children. I have yet to see you write anything that hasn’t completely dismissed or minimized this tragedy, or gun violence in general. It’s all secondary to sticking it to us dumb libs who just don’t understand dem dere guns and how they protect our FREEEDOOOOM.

                • Dr. Waffle says:

                  Also: if I were you I would hesitate before casting the “mentally lazy” descriptor at anyone:

                  Were you two at the front line calling for the ban of ammonium nitrate when that happened . . . I would be willing to bet a lot of money that you two are also on the side of ending the war on drugs because prohibition has obviously not worked. So, explain to us why you think it would work in this instance. As a bonus, tells us of one thing that when prohibited actually was not able to be obtained.

                  Your entire argument rests upon assumptions and inchoate rage. But not rage directed at anything that actually matters. Rage over the fascinating distinctions between different brands of (in the words of “The Onion”) “handheld devices that shoot deadly metal pellets at high speeds.”

                  Priorities, son. Priorities.

                • srm says:

                  Ah, a strict constructionist. You ever feel a tinge of nostalgia for the 3/5 clause?

                  What a monumentally ignorant thing to say. Why is the 3/5 clause not relevant anymore? Because an amendment to the Constitution was passed. You know, exactly how the Founders intended for the Constitution to be changed. Don’t like the 2nd amendment, then work to amend the Constitution exactly how it’s supposed to be done. Ridicule me all you want when I say do it the right way, but at least I’m not hypocrite.

                  This quote is instructive. It demonstrates how completely full of shit you are. Want the studies and stats? Or are you just going to ignore them like you have all the other evidence presented to you?

                  The fact that you didn’t provide them up front leads me to believe you probably don’t have anything. But, let me guess. You’ll probably try to provide stats for how many children have died by guns in the US when that was not what I was referring to. But if comparing apples to oranges floats your boat, go right ahead and float it.

                  what does it mean to be 100% right on “the issue of guns”?

                  That prohibition isn’t the answer. It also tells me that if that is your answer, you’re most likely not asking the right question(s).

                  So no, your positions are not complex. You are liberal on some issues, but you are(apparently, and I can only go off what you have written) a strict constructionist who believes all those sell-out, hypocritical liberals are intent on confiscating every single gun in America. That that’s not really true appears to mean very little to you, as is usually the case with fanatics with poor reading comprehension skills.

                  First of all I never claimed my positions were complex. You were the one who first brought that word into the conversation. Secondly, you are really adept at putting people in boxes for which you have no evidence that they should belong there. I know it makes your strawman burning that much easier, but please. Where have I even hinted at that I’m afraid liberals are going to try and confiscate guns in this country? That that’s not my position by any stretch of the imagination matters little to those who love erecting and then tearing down strawmen.

                  That was how YOU began this particular discussion.

                  Well, if someone says something that moronic, I have no hesitation in calling them out over it. Usually if the conversation starts with a moronic statement of that caliber, logic is not going to be forthcoming from that individual.

                • Dr. Waffle says:

                  What a monumentally ignorant thing to say. Why is the 3/5 clause not relevant anymore? Because an amendment to the Constitution was passed. You know, exactly how the Founders intended for the Constitution to be changed.

                  *sigh* No shit, Sherlock. If I could, I would say this slowly so you could fully understand what I’m saying:

                  I, as well as most of the commenters here, do not favor repealing the Second Amendment. You yourself conceded that rights enumerated in the Constitution are subject to restrictions and regulations. Most gun-control advocates favor strengthening those restrictions and regulations, for reasons that should be obvious by now.

                  Is that clear enough for you? Or do you need a lengthier and more detailed explanation?

                  The fact that you didn’t provide them up front leads me to believe you probably don’t have anything. But, let me guess. You’ll probably try to provide stats for how many children have died by guns in the US when that was not what I was referring to.

                  So I’m assuming you already know that more children die from gun violence in any given year in this country than from “Obama’s war machine.”

                  But if comparing apples to oranges floats your boat, go right ahead and float it.

                  Of course it’s “apples to oranges” to you. What isn’t? The collateral damage of gun ownership is apparently off limits; the collateral damage of Obama’s counter-terror policies isn’t.

                  Talk about hypocrisy.

                  That prohibition isn’t the answer. It also tells me that if that is your answer, you’re most likely not asking the right question(s).

                  I’m not sure who taught you how to read, but someone did you a great disservice. I’ve only explicitly stated my opposition to gun prohibition 3 or 4 times during the course of this conversation. Do I have to do so again?

                  First of all I never claimed my positions were complex. You were the one who first brought that word into the conversation.

                  True, I used that word first. Of course, you didn’t object until now, after you had explicitly dared me to demonstrate that your positions weren’t complex.

                  Where have I even hinted at that I’m afraid liberals are going to try and confiscate guns in this country?

                  Correct me if you didn’t write the following:

                  “The fact that you two think the banning of guns would stop things like this tells me you have a selective memory and don’t remember OKC”

                  “So, explain to us why you think it (prohibition) would work in this instance. As a bonus, tells us of one thing that when prohibited actually was not able to be obtained.”

                  “But he, along with a lot of you, are 100% wrong on the issue of guns. And to continue to be that wrong on guns will only further marginalize your voices in this country.”

                  Did an imposter write these things? If so, I apologize.

                  That that’s not my position by any stretch of the imagination matters little to those who love erecting and then tearing down strawmen.

                  You are just projecting now. Your whole fucking argument is a strawman. You came in guns a’ blazing, assuming that I/we favored banning guns. And despite my attempts to disabuse you of that notion, you have continued to claim that prohibition is what I/we favor. When I/we fucking don’t.

                  Well, if someone says something that moronic, I have no hesitation in calling them out over it. Usually if the conversation starts with a moronic statement of that caliber, logic is not going to be forthcoming from that individual.

                  Oh, you and your double standards. So endearing!

            • Malaclypse says:

              The fact that you two think the banning of guns would stop things like this tells me you have a selective memory and don’t remember OKC.

              Because a genuine one-off event is a good analogy to something that is now happening pretty much monthly, and fertilizer is just like your sad little toys.

              Because I’m not a hypocrite about the Constitution where I pick and choose things that I want to be in it?

              So you remember the part about well-regulated militia? Because otherwise you are picking and choosing, like a sad little hypocrite, with his sad little toys.

  38. David Nieporent says:

    Wayne LaPierre should be in prison. You are goddamn right I am politicizing this tragedy. The NRA is a criminal organization and should be treated as such.

    So that’s the first and second amendments that Loomis wants to eviscerate as part of his five year plan. Any others? Should the police go searching people’s homes without a warrant to find the guns that cause Loomis to wet himself? Maybe we could torture people to get them to admit where their guns are?

    • Malaclypse says:

      Maybe we can invade Iraq. Of course, you’d never advocate that.

    • Leeds man says:

      find the guns that cause Loomis to wet himself?

      Sometimes, “At long last, have you left no sense of decency?” doesn’t even begin to suffice.

    • Dr. Waffle says:

      You truly are a patriot, David. Though I wish you were as concerned with the rights of those dead children as you are of Wayne LaPierre’s.

    • Erik Loomis says:

      David, you’ve really come off well in this debate. If you don’t want people thinking you are the worst person in the world, you might want to stop.

      Oh what, you are proud of being a horrible human being? Well continue on sir!

      • spencer says:

        If you don’t want people thinking you are the worst person in the world

        Too late.

      • David Nieporent says:

        Worried I’ll usurp your title? Don’t worry; you’ve taken such a huge lead in it that nobody could hope to catch you.

        I mean, every time you speak, you widen your lead. The Huckabee post just put the icing on this NRA post.

        • Dr. Waffle says:

          *sigh* David David David. I keep searching for words that could adequately describe you. So far “swamp rat,” “human genital wart,” and “tumor” are leading the pack. What’s your preference? I personally think “genital wart” is particularly apt, but you may disagree.

  39. Dr. Waffle says:

    Also: I wonder how you feel about the survivors of today’s attack who’ll undoubtedly be wetting themselves for the rest of their lives. Are they liberty-hating cowards, too?

  40. fuckyou says:

    lol kill yourself idiot

  41. Unsympathetic says:

    The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants elementary school children.

    Deaths on 9/11/01: 2996. Deaths in 2011 in the US to gun violence: 8775. One of these was worth a trillion-dollar war; the response to the other was more of the same.

    • David Nieporent says:

      Somehow, I think the response to the other is to spend hundreds of billions of dollars a year on law enforcement.

      • spencer says:

        Yeah, that sure works. Remember that one spree killing we had all those years ago? We spent hundreds of billions of dollars in law enforcement, and by god, that sure never happened again!

        • David Nieporent says:

          Well, your attempt at sarcasm aside, gun deaths (along with other violent crime) are declining.

          But, no, we can’t eliminate crime. Did you think there was something we could do to make sure it “never happened again”?

  42. Lou says:

    I am wondering why a kindergarten teacher would need to own such weaponry and a bulletproof vest.

    I doubt she was planning on a bank heist.

    It couldn’t possibly be that she had listened to the insane rantings of Glenn Beck and that ilk, and believed she needed to arm herself for the coming “revolution”?

    This is just a guess, of course, but why would a single kindergarten teacher, probably in her late 40s or early 50s have such weaponry?

  43. veritas says:

    and kids don’t deserve to get raped at football camp, should we cut off all coaches’ willies?

    • Dr. Waffle says:

      Nope, just yours.

      And people don’t deserve to die in drunk-driving accidents. Should we prevent them from operating vehicles when under the influence? Even *gasp* take their licenses away if they’ve been caught drunk driving?

      Or is that deeply injurious to your liberties too?

      • swearyanthony says:

        That then leads to seatbelts and fluoridation. Then the next time you look, the UN black helicopters are everywhere.

      • veritas says:

        I find it funny that you can be so smug while having such cloudy logic. You are comparing apples to oranges. The real comparison would be since some people misuse cars to drink and drive, then it must be okay to take cars from everyone. Which, no it is not.

        • Dr. Waffle says:

          “The real comparison would be since some people misuse cars to drink and drive, then it must be okay to take cars from everyone. Which, no it is not.”

          Who’s arguing that we should ban all guns? I’ve yet to really hear or read anyone who’s advocating whatever little fantasies you may have about the gun-control crowd.

        • And people don’t deserve to die in drunk-driving accidents. Should we prevent them from operating vehicles when under the influence? Even *gasp* take their licenses away if they’ve been caught drunk driving?

          The real comparison would be since some people misuse cars to drink and drive, then it must be okay to take cars from everyone.

          Nope.

  44. RM says:

    You do realize that the guns used to kill the people in the school were both handguns, purchased by the killers mom, the scary looking bushmaster was found in the car in the parking lot after the killings.

    • spencer says:

      All the more reason why the “but law abiding citizens won’t be able to get guns wah wah wah wah” bullshit is missing the point.

    • Bijan Parsia says:

      It seems that the latest coroner’s report says otherwise:

      Dr. Carver said it appeared that all of the children had been killed by a “long rifle” that Mr. Lanza was carrying; a .223 Bushmaster semiautomatic rifle was one of the several weapons police found in the school. The other guns were semiautomatic pistols, including a 10-millimeter Glock and a 9-millimeter Sig Sauer.

  45. swearyanthony says:

    So those folks picketing outside the White House asking for changes to gun control? Fuck that. Here’s a much better place to picket: http://goo.gl/maps/nfqEC NRA Federal Affairs Division. Just up the road.

    If anti-choice lunatics can picket women’s health clinics “to protect the children” why can’t other folks picket these dirtbags? Make them own the consequences of their actions.

  46. [...] give the discussion some structure, consider this paragraph in a comment by ¨John¨ at LGM: One thing that’s worth noting is that the Democrats abandoned support for gun control around [...]

  47. [...] for that massacre (also via 3QD). If you want to argue about gun control, you can do so over at LGM or [...]

  48. [...] how to make pork chops.”“I’m sick of the NRA.”“At what point do we start holding the National Rifle Association morally responsible for all these shootings?”“One of these days it will be time to start pushing back [...]

  49. Mike S. says:

    a .22 rifle (that wasn’t even used in the crime under consideration) shouldn’t be legal b/c it’s outward appearance is similar to much more powerful (larger caliber, full auto) weapons.

    lol, this blog is a joke

  50. [...] From Erik Loomis over at Lawyers, Guns and Money, a not particularly profound piece but one that captures the screaming voices in my head exactly:  Responsibility [...]

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