There’s a Reason We No Longer Live in the Fucking Medieval Age.

It took less than 24 hours, but the NRA-sponsored argument to “arm the teachers!” is being field-tested, as noted by Erik, and as illustrated in a charming graphic, circulating on facebook, extolling the virtues of a “staff heavily armed and trained . . . any attempt to harm the children will be met with deadly force”.

Ultimately, such an asinine, idiotic argument serves to defend a mythic mis-interpretation of our 2nd Amendment rights.  So let’s talk about the rights that we do have, or should have, in a modern society.

Sorry, assholes, but my six year old daughter has more of a right to attend her fucking elementary school without fear. Her teacher has the right to concentrate on excellence in pedagogy and not in SWAT tactics. I have the right as a university professor to assume that when the door to my lecture hall opens, as it does five times per hour, it’s another late student, and not my long awaited chance to unholster the Glock I’m packing in order to pop off a couple untrained rounds in playing hero.

When I go to a shopping mall in Clackamas County, where I live while in Oregon (I’m there now, indeed I arrived at PDX just a couple hours after the now forgotten Clackamas Town Center shooting on Tuesday), I have the right to not worry about not only some over-armed deranged soul taking out his frustrations and insecurities and self-perceived failures on the general population, but likewise I shouldn’t have to wonder how many of my fellow shoppers are armed, untrained, yet itching for the chance for a righteous firefight, especially after three post work beers.  Because nothing makes me feel safer than eight or ten well meaning “good guys” trying to take out the one lunatic against the backdrop of 10,000 holiday shoppers.

Our response, as a society, should be to examine the multitude of reasons why these events kick off.  One thing should be perfectly fucking clear, however.  Introduce readily available firearms, especially those that no recreational pursuit requires, the efficiency of the slaughter increases tremendously.  As we all know, on the same day as Sandy Hook, CT, a similar rampage happened in China.  The lunatic in China was armed with only a knife, not two side arms and an AR4 .223.

And holy crap!  No children in China died.  22 wounded.  Nine went to hospital, two in serious condition.

Did I mention that no children died in China?

The response of a significant component of our population in the United States is to arm the teachers, not question the underlying conditions and assumptions that brought us here.  I’m not at all sorry when I say this: that’s fucking ridiculous.

I don’t mind guns, I’ve liked hunting, I’ve been known to be a pretty decent shot, but the asinine line “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” is bullshit.

Guns make the killing a hell of a lot more efficient.

And I’m thankful that my six year old daughter goes to school in England, because if “arm the teachers!” is the best that we can do here, we’ve blown right past the Gilded Age and are plowing head on to a return to medieval times.

217 comments on this post.
  1. Dan Nexon:

    In all fairness, Chinese men with knives, scissors, and cleavers have succeeded in killing lots of schoolchildren over the last few years. But I agree with your point.

  2. Vladimir:

    My sister is a teacher, in Canada by the way, and I asked her about arming the teachers. She replied: No I may shoot my students.

  3. Jameson Quinn:

    I feel nauseous now. I wish I hadn’t read this post. Not really your fault but yuck.

  4. Fred:

    This will certainly be a good way to keep Congress from discussing mental health care that is in any way more in depth than a pop a pill from big pharma plan.

  5. Steve:

    Prohibitions don’t work. They don’t work for drugs, guns, or anything else. They create black markets. How about access to mental health care and improving the way that those who seek it are treated? If this guy had actually gotten a hospital bed, he would have been stripped of all comforts and put in lockdown. IF he had gotten a bed. There isn’t anyplace for people to go when they are at the edge. I object to lawmaking via hysteria, fear, and anger. I also object to the dipshits at the NRA, who keep pushing nonsense as though they represent all gun owners.

  6. NewHavenGuy:

    Yes, exactly.

    Little to add, but a few points:

    1. Far too many Americans seem to think of firearms as a combination of Walter Mitty role-play fetish toy/religious sacrament/awesome Man Toy. Rather than tools used for killing things.

    2. The industry markets them in grossly irresponsible ways. Unlikely to change, as this has been massively profitable. Oh, people get killed, but so what? Those are “offset costs” which have no impact at all on Ruger or S&W’s bottom line.

    3. While I realize that “assault style” weapons are more or less the same, mechanically speaking, as hunting rifles, they are designed and marketed the way they are precisely to push them to crazy people.

    My heart goes out to the many shattered families. I cannot imagine.

  7. donna:

    prohibitions DO work. That’s why we have them. Australia outlawed assault weapons, no mass murders since. And yes we totally need better mental health care in this country, but the same idiots who want their assault weapons don’t want health care, either. Go figure.

  8. Jerry Vinokurov:

    Prohibitions for guns clearly do work in some countries, like, say, Japan.

  9. donna:

    No, assault weapons are not the same as a hunting rifle. You can’t murder 30 people in a couple of minutes with a hunting rifle. You couldn’t reload fast enough. The automatic weapons and huge clips are the problem.

  10. Joshua:

    One does not declare themselves a criminal and get instant access to all the black market goods they desire. How much would that black market have helped all these middle-class loner white guys?

    I’ll mention it again – Anders Breivik went to the Czech Republic to get more powerful, illegal, guns for his rampage. He couldn’t get them. By the right-wing theory of black markets, it shouldn’t have been any problem for him to procure any guns he wanted.

  11. Vladimir:

    Mental health we can argue is the real issue here, but the sheer amount of guns available in America does raise the probability that individuals who aren’t identified or treated for an illness will get possession of firearms. For anyone making the point about mental health it’s important for those people to explain how mental health services and medication will be made available to all Americans.

  12. Anonymous:

    “Sorry, assholes, but my six year old daughter has more of a right to attend her fucking elementary school without fear. Her teacher has the right to concentrate on excellence in pedagogy and not in SWAT tactics.”

    You have a very interesting interpretation of the term “right”. I’m not saying the NRA is correct in what they are doing, but the things you list as “rights” are not rights as all.

    Your post would have been much better without all the emotion. It sounds unhinged instead of well-thought out. That’s how we end up with bad legislation.

  13. The Tragically Flip:

    It speaks to the rampant stupidity of the gun nut crowd that we even have to “debate” whether knives are as lethal as guns for conducting mass murders.

    They really can’t actually believe this, it’s just more Climate Change/Evolution/Supply Side type anti-reality denial.

  14. NewHavenGuy:

    Good point about over sized clips, which have no legitimate civilian application. My point is that a .223 semi-auto is a .223 semi-auto, whether it is decked out to look like a badass commando weapon or not.

    A walnut stock doesn’t speak to fear and fantasy the way an AR-15 does. Big Arma discovered long ago that fear and fantasy moves inventory; ever more clear that the industry doesn’t give a shit who’s buying or why. Crazies are a big profit center for them, and perhaps they should be held accountable for how they market their deadly wares.

  15. donna:

    And anonymous posts are how we end up with idiotic comments. The emotion is quite appropriate — he’s not creating legislation here. Thanks for playing.

  16. Anonymous:

    Concern troll is concerned.

  17. Joshua:

    I literally saw someone point to some terrible incident in Nigeria where a bunch of machete-wielding gangs killed 200 people to draw some sort of machete-machine gun equivalence.

    I mean, it’s not like there are any examples of what can happen when a bunch of gangs in Africa get their hands on AK-47s.

  18. Davis:

    I hope you’re not saying that the only rights we have are those specifically enumerated in the Constitution.

  19. Sly:

    What is this I don’t even…

    So I’m a teacher. According to conservative orthodoxy, I’m a parasite on the public’s dime who is only interested in indoctrinating the precious children of America into communism or atheism or whatever. I can’t be trusted to have any control over the curriculum I teach. I can’t be trusted to fairly and impartially evaluate my students, let alone my colleagues. I can’t be trusted to have collective bargaining rights. I can’t be trusted to have an objective view of governmental policy when it comes to my own profession.

    But they’ll trust me to keep a gun in a room filled with children.

    Even the cynicism-producing neurons of my prefrontal cortex can’t wrap themselves around this kind of stupid bullshit.

  20. Major Kong:

    I actually prefer rifles with wooden stocks. Just call me old fashioned.

  21. bph:

    This is why I think we are doomed to living with enormous climate change. If a murder rate 30 times higher than any other industrialized country is just the price of freedom, trying to convince people we are not just having 30 years bad weather is completely hopeless.

    Fortunately, I will be able to fight off the rising seas with my firearm.

  22. Major Kong:

    Sure you could kill someone with, oh let’s say a halberd, but you’ll have to get close and your arms are going to get pretty damn tired after the fourth or fifth victim.

    There’s a reason the Army issues AR-15s and not halberds.

  23. Major Kong:

    Well said.

    Why can’t we get this kind of thing to go viral on facebook like all the stupid right-wing stuff does?

  24. Paul in NC:

    Hey hey NRA
    How many kids did you kill today?

  25. somethingblue:

    That’s how we end up with bad legislation.

    No, it’s how we end up with stacks of pancakes with maple syrup.

  26. Anonymous:

    I dunno, the right to not be murdered seems kind of important.

  27. Deggjr:

    Maybe with enough training teachers can become as effective as the NYPD: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444812704577611553836585324.html

  28. C White:

    Honestly, it would go viral more easily without the profane headline. Understanding that this kind of tragedy inspires all the profanity we have within us, I can’t post this on my business pages because the language is not appropriate. And the piece would have been just as effective without the f-ing in the headline, but could be circulated more widely.

  29. Joseph Slater:

    And your unions are thuggish. Don’t forget that inconsistent-with-arming-teachers talking point.

  30. Steve:

    Really? You think Australia is in the same position as the US? I bet they have a hell of a time with the penguins smuggling ice. Not the same. Legally, medically, geographically.

  31. Steve:

    Another island.

  32. Cade DeBois (@lifepostepic):

    My beef with Steve Pinker’s theory that we are “less violent” is precisely this: we appear to have traded the quantity of violent acts for fewer one that are far more effective thanks to the technology we have at hand. Yes, humans are violent. Yes, we live in a society that tells us the the Hyper-Male who kills any who stands in his way is an ideal to look up to, and yes, some very unbalanced individuals may try to act out that archetype to a terrifying degree.

    But we have technology today that makes killing a lot more effective. It’s tech that’s readily available, often cheaply and legally, as is the cases with most mass shootings in this country. Some angry person who thinks society owes him and who’s unstable enough to think killing a bunch of kids along with himself is the way to get society back may still act if he didn’t have easy access to guns–but ask yourself this: if you’re a teacher at a school when a rampage killer shows up, do you want that person armed with assault weapons or semi-automatics, or a knife or a bat?

    I work in an elementary school. Personally, I think my classroom doors would shield my students and me from a knife. High-powered fire arms? Probably not. That could be the difference from a very terrifying event and a world-shattering tragedy with casualties. Just sayin’.

  33. Jerry Vinokurov:

    So what? The majority of guns used in crimes are purchased legally. Gun trafficking is relatively tough to pull off, especially if the guns can be tracked. You don’t even need full-blown prohibition, just limitations on things like magazine size and fire rate, and that would already be an improvement. But I suspect this is the sort of “fist principles” glibertarian reasoning that isn’t actually amenable to disproof by facts anyway.

  34. Don K:

    Well, to be fair, the yakuza do have guns, but they also seem to have a code of honor about not involving bystanders when they do a hit.

    I recall a story from a while back that, when a couple of yakuza hitmen got a couple of innocents in the course of their work, they were ordered to kill themselves and did.

  35. Warren Terra:

    It’s been tried. Read up on the TEC-9 sometime; it was a cheaply made, low-quality semiautomatic handgun (though apparently easily convertible to fully automatic) with an oversized clip, a bunch of cosmetic features added onto it to make it look especially scary like the nifty guns in the movies (which incidentally made it vastly less useful as a handgun), and the advertising copy literally boasted about its “fingerprint-resistant” surface. The courts ruled that victims of violence perpetrated with a TEC-9 couldn’t sue the manufacturer for producing and selling a weapon specifically for the purpose of criminal and thuggish behavior.

  36. Davis X. Machina:

    –but ask yourself this: if you’re a teacher at a school when a rampage killer shows up, do you want that person armed with assault weapons or semi-automatics, or a knife or a bat?

    A semi-automatic, of course. Because that way, I know that I spent my about-to-end-spectacularly career was spent in a free country, and not some third-world Commie pest-hole.

    Reflecting upon this will provide comfort as I bleed out.

    USA! USA!

  37. Steve:

    Actually, a small magazine usually encourages aimed fire. A skilled rifleman, and the Marines alone produce 7000 every year, can easily use a hunting rifle to kill 30 in as many minutes. This man might have killed more. As a vet, I can tell you that most of these guys are not criminals. However, we program them to kill and never bother to deprogram them. That would be providing mental health care. There is no place in this country where this guy could have gone for help. Even if he had been put in the system, he’d have been dehumanized and possibly jailed. So there isn’t even much incentive to try.

  38. Jerry Vinokurov:

    My beef with Steve Pinker’s theory that we are “less violent” is precisely this: we appear to have traded the quantity of violent acts for fewer one that are far more effective thanks to the technology we have at hand.

    I think the larger problem with Pinker’s theory is the extent to which it defines violence in a restricted way that ignores systemic forms of violence that don’t break into all-out war between nation states. Otherwise, I agree.

  39. Warren Terra:

    It really is terrible that the deaths of twenty small children has moved Brockington to a display of emotion. If only he could be a Randian superman, callously consigning the children to their fates. Deserving children would have seized their fates and taken the shooter out, probably by throwing lesser children at him.

  40. Jerry Vinokurov:

    Whoops, should have been a “reply” to Cade DeBois.

  41. Left_Wing_Fox:

    The argument is not that spree killers will disappear when guns are less available, but that they are far less capable of racking up such high body counts, given the ability to attack multiple targets at range without exerting anywhere near the level of effort.

    And please, let’s not bring mental illness into this; people are perfectly capable of committing atrocities without being insane. See: any genocide ever.

  42. Hogan:

    Well, yes, the US is a net exporter of guns, and Australia probably isn’t. I’m not sure how that supports your point.

  43. Warren Terra:

    Mobs with machetes aren’t comparable to a nutter in a peaceful society.

    You want a more comparable machete attack? here you go: Wolverhampton, England, 1996. Also a peaceful community in a wealthy country. Also a primary school, and also some of the victims were underpaid public school teachers trying to save their pupils.

    The big difference is that – as with the recent knife attack in China – no victims died. It turns out there’s a reason armies use guns and not knivesL the guns are vastly more lethal, something I thought we settled at least around the time the cavalry charge went out of fashion. In the Wolverhampton case, not even the assailant died, and he is receiving mental health treatment to this day.

  44. Warren Terra:

    Even if we were to trust every teacher with a gun: do we really trust a room full of unruly kids with a gun? Because the teacher’s going to leave the room, or get distracted, or something …

  45. DrDick:

    Even those who have been identified and institutionalized can sometimes get guns. Several years ago, one of my friends was the patient advocate (lawyer for the patients) at a state mental hospital. One of the patients (who had been involuntarily committed) walked off the campus, got a gun, came back on campus, walked into my friend’s office, and shot him dead.

  46. MAJeff:

    Or, he could do like some Christians I’ve seen on Facebook posting an image stating that these kids are going to have the bestest Christmas imaginable because they’ll be hanging out with Jesus.

  47. DrDick:

    And many of the others are stolen. We are a net exporter of guns, so isolation is not a problem. Most of the guns used by the Mexican cartels were purchased in the US.

  48. DrDick:

    The founders of this nation would appear to disagree with you. I quote:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

  49. DrDick:

    Can we get no respect for chocolate croissants around here?

  50. Snarki, child of Loki:

    Well, it certainly doesn’t help when a broadcast network, plus numerous AM radio yammerheads, are devoted to pushing people into violent paranoid delusions.

    99.94% can handle it, the others…?

  51. DrDick:

    +10,000

  52. Warren Terra:

    I realize that some version of Christian theology hold that what happens in this life doesn’t matter, because of Heaven, and can find in this consolation justification for all sorts of atrocities. It’s one of the things I hate about some versions of organized religion, and some versions of Christianity in particular.

    But you might remind those death-cultists that meanwhile there are a bunch of families with lovingly wrapped, thoughtfully chosen presents under beautifully decorated Christmas trees, and no-one is left to open those gifts.

  53. MAJeff:

    Actually, I’d like to tell those Christianists that if life with Jesus will be so much better than what we’ve got now, they should join him ASAP.

  54. Snarki, child of Loki:

    OMFG! Did anyone know of the tremendous tidal wave of powerful arms coming into the USA from Canada and Mexico?!?

    Funny, I thought the flow was in the *other* direction. Silly me.

  55. Mister Harvest:

    “One does not declare themselves a criminal and get instant access to all the black market goods they desire.”

    They do in the same sexual fantasies that allow the keyboard Punishers to take out the assailants. I note that no one of them ever happen to actually, you know, do so.

  56. Mister Harvest:

    I agree. As always with gun massacres, the most important thing to do is nothing.

  57. Hogan:

    It turns out there’s a reason armies use guns and not knives.

    Or large rocks. In case Brad is reading.

  58. Hogan:

    Go back to Frenchland, Frenchie.

  59. Mister Harvest:

    Canada. (Hint: it’s not an island.)

    Really, the “America is such a strange and unusual beast that nothing possibly could be gained by doing anything at all about guns so let’s not try sorry about those kids though” argument is done.

  60. Jon H:

    Fortunately, adding additional security in response to those attacks could be accomplished with rakes and shovels, not firearms.

  61. Bill Murray:

    Next he’ll be asking for gravy for his poutine

  62. Jim Lynch:

    “Far too many Americans seem to think of firearms as a combination of Walter Mitty role-play fetish toy/religious sacrament/awesome Man Toy. Rather than tools used for killing things”.

    There has also been a century’s worth of make-believe Hollywood shootings filmed, disseminated, and soaked-up as enjoyment by generations. I can’t even begin to guess the number of times I’ve seen actors “shot” on film. Take, for example, the career of James Arness. He was “shot” in his arm, or shoulder, or leg (but never his kneecap) at least a hundred times during the Gunsmoke of my youth. Amazingly, he always shook it off, both physically and emotionally (granted, he also shook off having been machine gunned at Anzio in 1943).

  63. Mister Harvest:

    Well, if they are just as lethal, why do we need guns?

  64. Jon H:

    Reloading is an opening for them to fumble, or for someone to tackle the gunman. It also increases opportunities to get away.

    The more often that happens, the better.

  65. Hogan:

    But being electrocuted in the Antarctic did seem to slow him down. Of course he was a giant carrot at the time.

  66. LuckyJimJD:

    Supply all public school teachers with horses & bayonets. Problem solved.

  67. Leeds man:

    Thing is, the rate of gun deaths in Canada is quite high, despite the fairly strict gun laws; 4.75 per 100,000 compared to 9 per 100,000 in the US. In the UK, 0.22 per 100,000.

    Living next to the USA has many drawbacks.

  68. Barry:

    “Thing is, the rate of gun deaths in Canada is quite high, despite the fairly strict gun laws; 4.75 per 100,000 compared to 9 per 100,000 in the US. In the UK, 0.22 per 100,000.”

    IIRC, long gun ownership rates in Canada are around US levels, and as you’ve sorta noted, a small country like Canada gets massive ‘bleed-over’ from any really huge neighbors (hint, hint).

  69. zombie rotten mcdonald:

    Canada also has a strong hunting culture and the associated high gun ownership rates though. The fact that they don’t have a similar murder rate to the US; I suspect you could make the argument that it is due to their stricter gun control.

    Also, because it’s too goddam cold to go out and find victims.

  70. Jen:

    Are you thinking of Antarctica?

  71. zombie rotten mcdonald:

    When carrots are outlawed, only vegetarians will be outlaws.

  72. Leeds man:

    Arctic, not Antarctica. And if it had been a British team, they’d have boiled the crap out of him.

  73. zombie rotten mcdonald:

    Not in America, apparently.

  74. Hogan:

    Arctic, not Antarctica.

    Right. I was thinking of the source material.

  75. zombie rotten mcdonald:

    Fuck off with your concern.

    If we can’t use perfectly viable language to discuss this fucking horrorshow just because some tight-sphinctered pearl clutching pantywaists feel like there are SOME Bad Words, there’s no point to language.

  76. Leeds man:

    Looking for obscenity in all the wrong places.

  77. elm:

    Please, be fair to Brad: he only thinks smallish large rocks are as lethal as guns. Truly large rocks are, of course, perfectly safe.

  78. Leeds man:

    To be fair, I don’t think it’s concern trolling to want to link, but to feel constrained by business-appropriate issues. It’s a dilemma.

  79. Hob:

    You can’t “post this on your business pages”? Oh, that’s too bad. It’s not as if you can find some other writer on the Internet expressing a similar opinion without swearing, and post that on your business pages, where it would no doubt “go viral.” Or, heaven forbid, write an opinion yourself.

  80. The Tragically Flip:

    Halberds don’t kill Knights, medieval foot soldiers do.

  81. BigHank53:

    Any of ‘em leave their home addresses up? Because one could almost get a defense strategy out of that…

  82. Vanna:

    @Vladimir re: My sister is a teacher, in Canada by the way, and I asked her about arming the teachers. She replied: No I may shoot my students.
    -So funny. I’m a teacher with a sarcastic bent, and that was the fisrt thought that popped in my head when I heard it.

  83. Anon21:

    How about access to mental health care and improving the way that those who seek it are treated? If this guy had actually gotten a hospital bed, he would have been stripped of all comforts and put in lockdown. IF he had gotten a bed. There isn’t anyplace for people to go when they are at the edge.

    Is there any indication that Lanza had displayed signs of mental illness that might have gotten him on the radar of friends, family, or professionals? To me, this is a both/and situation; we definitely need better mental health interventions, but we also need to make it harder for people to get their hands on the kind of gun that makes it easy to kill dozens of people in a matter of minutes.

  84. joe from Lowell:

    Yes, his brother told the police when the picked him up that his brother had mental health problems.

  85. Matt Remnant:

    Well said Doc Brock… well said indeed.

  86. DrDick:

    The Canadian gun death rate is about half of what the US is, though it is the second highest in the developed world.

  87. Pestilence:

    +1

  88. Uncle Ebeneezer:

    I’m visiting Texas right now. Deep in enemy territory.

  89. Hogan:

    Yes, nothing takes the mystery out of things like . . . Santa Claus!

  90. trizzlor:

    Like how we have a prohibition on Destructive Devices and yet I hear about all of those RPG spree-killings all the time.

  91. John:

    “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

  92. John:

    The most important thing to do is to arm school teachers, of course. What could go wrong?

  93. John:

    Don’t forget that some of the results of global warming are *good* weather.

  94. Aaron B.:

    Clearly nobody in the mainstream of political discourse would embrace this absurd “arm the teachers” hypothetical. We should continue to mock them rather then attempt to engage them with a measure to charity to get them to change their minds.

  95. calling all toasters:

    What about point-ed sticks? Or fresh fruit?

  96. calling all toasters:

    Maybe we could arm underpaid and abused Fox interns instead?

  97. herr doktor bimler:

    I agree entirely and suggest that you start your own feckin’ blog where you can write your own feckin’ posts with your own gobshite titles.

  98. Oy:

    You are a realmdickhead

  99. Anonymous:

    Here’s the thing about Britain, and that 0.22 per 100K homicide rate by gun (yeah I looked at the same stats recently) . . . my daughter’s mother is a police officer in England. She gave me this stat, and I haven’t verified it recently (when I did, it was correct, but that was a few years ago), but Britain is something on the order of 3x to 4x as violent as the US. My anecdotal experience with the violence is she’s right. Yet, the homicide rate is suspiciously a lot lower.

    Any guesses why?

  100. dave brockington:

    uh, not on my own laptop, which I left behind in England this trip out to Oregon. that last one was me.

  101. Steve:

    Australia, like Japan, is an island nation composed of a mostly racially homogenous people. Their biggest immigrant group is ethnic Chinese. They don’t have a document similar to the Constitution AFAIK. They began as a penal colony, and the early development followed a different trajectory. We share a language and some common law, and that’s about it. We have a huge group of active military and vets, they have relatively few. They have no large predators (important here in the West). I could keep going. Not the same. False equivalency.

  102. Snarkier than thou:

    Yeah. That could never happen. We totally have no problem with other illegal items crossing the border. We don’t have this problem because all drugs are legal, so there’s no incentive. The flow of items could never EVER possibly change.

  103. Leeds man:

    I’m guessing alcohol consumption, especially binge drinking, along with football hooliganism.

  104. joe from Lowell:

    From that huge Mexican armaments industry, I guess.

  105. Snarkier than thou:

    So, you’re going to cite one case as proof of your theory? I didn’t say that everyone will get everything. I said we would have the same problem that we now have with drug laws. Leaving aside all of the domestic opportunities for production. Any good machine shop can make whatever you need. End result – prohibition is a massive failure. Just as it was in the 20′s. I thought people here were against the police state. Wrong? Or is it OK when you have think you have the moral high ground?

  106. Steve:

    You have no idea what people keep in their homes. Really. Ever been to North Idaho?

  107. Atticus Dogsbody:

    And Aussies just aren’t as fucking stupid as Seppos.

  108. Uncle Ebeneezer:

    Not to mention other big differences!

    But he’s right about large predators in the West. How could anyone possibly protect themselves without assault weapons?

  109. DrDick:

    That explains the violence. I think gun laws explain the lack of mortality.

  110. DrDick:

    I live in western Montana and nobody has gotten blown up by one of those in a while, so maybe that prohibition is actually working pretty well.

  111. Mister Harvest:

    So, we have a country that shares the longest undefended land border in the world with the United States, and they still manage to have half the gun death rate per capita as the US.

  112. Mister Harvest:

    You have no right not to be murdered, only to take people with you.

  113. Mister Harvest:

    If the only source for high-capacity, rapid-firing weaponry in the United States was that made on your own personal CNC machine, I believe that you would see a decline in the number of massacres. Just guessing.

  114. UserGoogol:

    Well, that’s somewhat of a matter of semantics. Whenever someone commits a mass murder, their mind is to blame. The difference is between mental flaws which can be classified as illnesses and those which cannot, but that’s as much a function of the existing state of psychology as anything else. (And insanity and mental illness are two very different things. Tons of people suffer from mental illness in some capacity, far fewer can be classified as insane.)

  115. swearyanthony:

    Sure. But had it progressed to where medical intervention was involved? I mean the US has the Greatest Healthcare System in the World, right? Surely he’d find it easy to get medical help if he had mental issues.

  116. swearyanthony:

    Please, please tell me you aren’t being serious here? I mean, just, waaaaaargh why would you do that??

  117. Billy:

    Actually, mental health is not the real issue at all.
    http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/mediawire/198261/how-can-we-explain-shootings-if-we-dont-report-on-mental-illness/

  118. Leeds man:

    Poor reading comprehension on my part. I was answering an unasked, but I think more interesting, question.

  119. MAJeff:

    I wish I could find the image. Someone in my feed “liked” it this morning, and I just sat there stunned. Almost posted it myself saying it would make a great cover image for Russell’s “Why I am not a Christian.” Now I can’t remember who posted it and can’t find it. I’d like to keep a copy of it for future use.

    It was appalling.

  120. expatchad:

    I grew up in Northern Idaho (see prior threadlet)

    We had back then no “spree killings”. None. Ever.


    1. Far too many Americans seem to think of firearms as a combination of Walter Mitty role-play fetish toy/religious sacrament/awesome Man Toy. Rather than tools used for killing things.

    We DID NOT then think of weapons as anything OTHER than killing devices.

    I think you’re spot-on.

    Excellent!

  121. Timb:

    Most sprees are homogeneous white people shooting our “own” kind. The main difference between America and Australia in this context seems to Americans having weapons that discharge several round per second.

  122. swearyanthony:

    That sort of mindset is little better than those evil Westboro freaks. Just flat-out sick. I mean, those parents and families have lost a small child the week before Christmas, and they’re supposed to be comforted by this? Mind boggling.

  123. expatchad:

    Would somebody depart from topic for a moment and explain to this dolt (me) what the hell the references hereabouts to PANCAKES is?

    Sorry, but I’m just a visiting left extraterrestrial.

  124. Timb:

    I bet a Bushmaster in the hands of Jeff Goldstein could take out a drone or a Blackhawk

  125. Timb:

    +2

  126. Timb:

    The way to reond to JenBob, the anon troll, is to all about pancakes, rather than fluff him

  127. expatchad:

    Considering the way Jesus was hanging, that seems like chilly comfort…

  128. expatchad:

    Agree!

  129. expatchad:

    Go with God…but take lots of firearms.

  130. swearyanthony:

    Halberds don’t kill knights, longbows do.

    Didn’t Romney suggest additional funding during the campaign to help reverse the decline in the US halberd industry?

  131. Kercroft:

    So, Steve. Active military and vets are more likely to go shooting up innocent children? Is that what you’re saying?
    You make me want to puke!

  132. NewHavenGuy:

    Yeah, the “gun that made the ’90s roar.” Fingerprint proof too! Now the marketing is more about fantasy and fear about the UN. Oh, and the N-CLANGs too. For some reason, can’t quite put my finger on it, this Democratic President has been awesome for gun sales. Like Maggie Thatcher said, there’s no such thing as “society”.

    Like Oil, Coal, Pharma and Finance, Big Arma is making bank. Oh, there are costs, but they’re offset costs- nothing the stockholders have to worry about. Suckers, fuck ‘em. Let them bury their dead, Ruger’s making money.

    Makes me weep that our polity and our commonwealth are reduced to this.

  133. NewHavenGuy:

    Cynical enough not to be, uh, shocked or anything, but still: this sucks. Killing the New Deal? Hell, we’re on the march back to feudalism. The gun nonsense is symptomatic- fuck the police, You’re On Your Own in a savage wilderness! Got guns? Buy some, civilization is for suckers and sheep.

    This Gilded Age sucks as much as the last one.

  134. Lamar:

    You’re right, Steve. The rest of the civilized world is completely fucking clueless, what with their efficient universal healthcare and effective gun control.

  135. Marc:

    This is the certain outcome of arming teachers: numerous incidents of small children in schools killing themselves and one another playing with them.

    You know, just like many children in the US kill themselves or others with their parents weapons in their homes. With the additional “feature” that a lot of kids in schools like one another less than the friends that they bring home.

  136. Lamar:

    Your fucking quote: “Prohibitions don’t work.”

    Or did you mean prohibitions don’t work only in America?

  137. Speak Truth:

    Does Dave have standing to be outraged?

    Is he a US citizen in name only? Is he a US citizen at all?

    I’d like him to clear this up.

  138. Malaclypse:

    Exactly. Dude probably doesn’t even like pancakes.

  139. John:

    Australia, like Japan, is an island nation composed of a mostly racially homogenous people.

    Newtown, Connecticut – 95.14% White

    What on earth could your point be?

  140. Random:

    Racial homogeneity is not a factor in civilian gun violence anywhere in the world. For example almost all gun violence in the US is intra-racial, that’s true every single year on record. Some of the countries with the highest incidents of civilian firearms-related deaths are extremely racially homogeneous.

  141. John:

    First of all, he wasn’t citing one case as proof of his theory. He was citing one apparent exception to the general rule that you don’t see firearms-related massacres in Western Europe and noting that in that single case (one of very few) the guy had to go abroad to get his guns.

    Look, of course there would still be ways for criminal networks to get their hands on dangerous guns, and this wouldn’t be a cure all. The point isn’t to eliminate all gun-related violence. It’s to reduce the amount of it. If semi-automatic weapons weren’t widely available, would Adam Lanza have been able to kill 20 six-year-olds? (And hell, did owning five guns help Nancy Lanza to defend herself in any way?)

    There’s obviously a lot of stuff that would need to be worked out. The enormous number of guns already out on the streets in the United States creates problems that other countries don’t have.

    But I fail to understand how anyone can, in good faith, look at the international comparisons and think that much stricter gun control laws wouldn’t have any effect on firearm-related deaths. I must conclude that these arguments are being made in bad faith.

  142. DrDick:

    I hear he is a bangers and mash kind of guy. He even likes mushy peas.

  143. Random:

    Living in a ‘police state’ on the topic of guns would not actually result in less personal freedom for non-gun owners. At worst it would be the same as it is now. Those of us who don’t own guns already feel like we’ve had to give up too much of our personal freedom to gun-owners and we’d like some of it back, please.

  144. Random:

    Problem with this approach is you now have the government identifying people as “mentally ill” and then prohibiting them from obtaining guns. Which plays directly into the political paranoia of the NRA base and also impedes gun sales. So there’s going to be strident opposition to it.

  145. Major Kong:

    Actually both worked pretty well.

    Common practice was to bash the Knight down to the ground with some type of a poleaxe (halberd, war-hammer etc.) and then stick a long dagger through his helmet visor.

    You might not penetrate his armor but you’d likely break his bones underneath the armor.

    Nasty business.

  146. Major Kong:

    Seeing as most of the guns are manufactured here….

  147. Linnaeus:

    With HP sauce.

  148. Mohawk6:

    Please!Your “poor me” talking points are just that and w/o merit. Who would ever trust teachers w guns in a classroom?; that will never happen. Where would they ever get training to safely handle a weapon? Who would teach them fire discipline? Teachers have always avoided the military like it was the plague, and during Vietnam they all got their student deferments along w dick chaney and his ilk, while the children of the poor took their place. Teachers/professors go to high school, college and into teaching; they all think the world has the summer off; this i know, as i am a teacher.

  149. MAJeff:

    Another Fiorina failure?

  150. Malaclypse:

    this i know, as i am a teacher.

    English, right? Please tell me you are an English teacher.

  151. Mohawk6:

    No rebuttal? Just noise; please

  152. MAJeff:

    I like orange oil and dried cherries in my pancakes.

  153. Malaclypse:

    Hard to argue with a fact-free tantrum.

  154. Mohawk6:

    How long does it take for you to put together a rebuttal? Are you waiting for a bus or what?

  155. Mohawk6:

    … is that all you got? Figures!!

  156. Malaclypse:

    You want me to rebut your lack of logic, spelling, facts, or grammar? Um, I’ll get right on that.

  157. MAJeff:

    What ARE you babbling about, cracker?

  158. joe from Lowell:

    this i know, as i am a teacher.

    You lie badly.

  159. joe from Lowell:

    I’m sure you; will.

  160. Mohawk6:

    … we have a full-blown racist. Is cracker the best you can do? What else ya got?? I am still waiting for an educated rebuttal, as opposed to pancake receipts and racist name calling. Real macho men unable to perform when they are under pressure.

  161. Mohawk6:

    yes, please do or are you still waiting for that bus?

  162. MAJeff:

    What’s a pancake receipt? Does IHOP provide those?

  163. Anonymous:

    No, focusing on mental health is to pretend that programs will eliminate psychotic, depressed or otherwise dangerous people. Nobody in their right mind ( ;^> ) would pretend that’s true.

    Since the unstable will always be among us, even if we lessen their numbers, we need to prevent the amount of harm they can do. This is per Murphy’s Law: if they can do it the wrong way, they will. We need to prevent their access to assault weapons.

    The only way to eliminate assault weapons would be to outlaw assault weapons, not to reinstate the ban-in-name only that we had 1993–2004. I would tolerate lesser controls if advocates could demonstrate they would me as effective in preventing slaughter of our innocent loved ones.

    In fact, given the toxic political climate, I think it essential that we define the problem as the minimal steps to have the maximum impact on mass-murder assaults. I want no excuse for a politico to say, “we have to tolerate maybe a hundred shocking deaths a year because…”

  164. Mohawk6:

    No rebuttal on the issue of guns and teachers? It is going on 2 hrs since my initial comment, and still nothing but pancakes, racist comments etc. Please, bring it on, or is it too cold at the bus stop to reply. The issue, the issue; speak to it.

  165. Malaclypse:

    You seem to be under the mistaken impression that we are talking to you, rather than laughing at you. Please update your assumptions.

  166. Mohawk6:

    Bye, bye – I gotta catch a bus. I win and you lose!! Take care.

  167. Malaclypse:

    You’ll be back. Your kind always comes back.

  168. Hogan:

    “Teachers are all a bunch of weakass pussies, and you can believe me because I’m a teacher.”

    How could I refute that? More important, why would I want to?

  169. DocAmazing:

    Epimenides says all Cretans are liars, and he should know, for Epimenidies is an asshole.

  170. Atticus Dogsbody:

    Somebody could slip on some carelessly spilled gun oil.

  171. Speak Truth:

    I’d like him to clear this up.

    How ’bout it, Dave?

    Are you content to let your sad apologists speak for you?

    Can you speak for yourself?

    Will there be just more stupid from those wastes of space and no answer from Mr. Brockington?

    Seems about par. What *would* he do without them?

    heh

  172. Malaclypse:

    What *would* he do without them?

    He’s probably have the pancakes in peace and quiet, Jennie dearest. Maybe even some toast. I like toast. Nice and simple, just like our good troll here.

  173. John Protevi:

    I DEMAND ANSWERS TO MY QUESTIONS JUST AS I DEMAND TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY

  174. Speak Truth:

    No rebuttal on the issue of guns and teachers? It is going on 2 hrs since my initial comment, and still nothing but pancakes, racist comments etc. Please, bring it on, or is it too cold at the bus stop to reply. The issue, the issue; speak to it.

    @Mohawk6,

    This is the way it goes her at LGM. There is no discussion. Those you’re attempting to discuss issues with are mostly shut-ins and those out of work. And it’s just a handful of ‘em that post over and over making it look like there’s a lot of traffic.

    So, don’t get to worked up about it. Just enjoy it for the circus it is.
    Thanks for the attempt, anyway.

  175. Speak Truth:

    Fuck off with your concern.

    Hah!
    Yeah, bebe….you need to be just as unhinged as the rest of ‘em. Cuz, if you ain’t bat-shit crazy, then you’re just a concern-troll.
    Get with the program, C White.

    By the way, they don’t care about your fuckin’ business cuz they don’t have businesses…or jobs. It just doesn’t matter when it doesn’t matter.

  176. Malaclypse:

    Fucking block-quotes, how do they work?

  177. Speak Truth:

    …Jennie dearest.

    Can you be any more of a flamin’ queen?

    heh..

  178. John Protevi:

    I AM THE VOICE OF REASON

  179. John Protevi:

    IT’S A SHAME NO ONE HERE WANTS TO DEBATE THE ISSUES THE WAY I DO.

  180. brandon:

    Awesome, now it’s talking to itself.

  181. Leeds man:

    Not sure what your problem is. You’ve already made clear you want the US to adopt Israeli gun laws.

  182. no more guns please:

    Right, I teach very very small children, and I am terribly sane and yes, anger is a huge part of my day I have to deal with. Putting guns into very angry (and more than likely underpaid and overworked) people’s hands is not the answer, especially if any of them have mental health problems.

  183. Lurker:

    It might be the insinuation that with a large population of other races, the whites feel more threathened, with the following perceived need to get weapons for self-defence.

    In a similar vein, many people nullify the applicability of Nordic welfare state model by referring to “homogeneous population”. This means: “They don’t need to pay welfare to lazy niggas.”

  184. DrDick:

    Got any facts to go with that rant? I know a lot of professors and school teachers who are combat veterans. I know even more who are avid hunters.

  185. DrDick:

    We are waiting for and educated comment to respond to, cracker. You can kiss my hairy, white, hillbilly ass.

  186. DrDick:

    No one else will talk to it.

  187. DrDick:

    Jennie, sweetheart, we all understand how troubling and difficult these gender insecurity and identity issues can be, but you will feel so much better if you can just come to grips with your true identity and embrace it. Coming out and being your real self can be so liberating. You will be so much happier and more at ease with yourself. You might even be able to make some friends and not have to lurk around places like this desperately seeking attention from anyone who will throw rocks at you.

  188. Uncle Kvetch:

    And for schools to be run like El Al (whatever the fuck that means).

  189. Halloween Jack:

    Oh, you want a rebuttal. Alrighty then: Troops to Teachers. Feel free to fuck off at your leisure.

  190. Uncle Kvetch:

    Can you be any more of a flamin’ queen?

    Dunno about Mal, but I sure can…you great big hunk o’ hunk o’ burnin’ Truth, you. ROWR!

    Now, what was that you were saying about discussing the issues?

  191. ajay:

    Australia, like Japan, is an island nation composed of a mostly racially homogenous people.

    No, it isn’t. It’s about 10% non-British Isles origin. Much more diverse than Japan.

    Their biggest immigrant group is ethnic Chinese.

    No, it’s Brits. Second: New Zealanders.

    They don’t have a document similar to the Constitution AFAIK.

    Jesus. NO.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_Australia

    They have no large predators (important here in the West).

    Now you’re just taking the piss. They have TWENTY-FOOT-LONG ESTUARINE CROCODILES.

  192. ajay:

    Britain is something on the order of 3x to 4x as violent as the US. My anecdotal experience with the violence is she’s right. Yet, the homicide rate is suspiciously a lot lower.

    Comparing rates of violent crime between countries is a mug’s game. That’s why serious people focus on homicide, because there’s not really much room for fudging things like murder.

    The definition of “violent crime”, however, varies a lot. Some countries make the distinction between violent offences and sex offences – in New Zealand, for example, a rape will not count as a violent crime. Some countries include “threatening behaviour” (the US doesn’t). Some include robbery. Some include all sexual offences as crimes of violence (the UK does).

  193. ajay:

    Leaving aside all of the domestic opportunities for production. Any good machine shop can make whatever you need.

    It’s true that in the UK, though we have tight gun laws, we have a lot of problems with gangsters making their own machine guns in backyard machine shops.

    Oh, no, sorry, I accidentally typed “true” when I meant to type “ludicrous bollocks”.

  194. ajay:

    All primary school teachers should be armed with tigers.

  195. ajay:

    My beef with Steve Pinker’s theory that we are “less violent” is precisely this: we appear to have traded the quantity of violent acts for fewer one that are far more effective thanks to the technology we have at hand.

    It’s still a net gain. We’ve gone from a society where 25% of people died violently, to one where homicide is extremely rare. So whatever the improvement in efficiency has been, it hasn’t been enough to outweigh our more peaceful natures.

  196. ajay:

    I think the larger problem with Pinker’s theory is the extent to which it defines violence in a restricted way that ignores systemic forms of violence that don’t break into all-out war between nation states

    It doesn’t.

  197. ajay:

    And for schools to be run like El Al (whatever the fuck that means).

    Nicer food, I think.

  198. MAJeff:

    Not the same one, but this one has been floating around today.

  199. DrDick:

    +1,000,000

  200. joe from Lowell:

    I stood at a bus stop and nobody wrote me comments.

    I win!

  201. joe from Lowell:

    I totally; don’t get the; bus thing.

  202. Shane:

    You’re way more likely to get killed by a member of government than a crazed shooter in America so why are all of these people coming out for more controls by the government on firearms in the hands of the people? It’s because this isn’t about protecting children, it’s all about ideology. These tantrums are being thrown because they want their precious state to gain even more power. If you really wanted to prevent violence, you’d be advocating that the government lose their gun rights. It’s a good thing that people like the writer of this trash have already lost the argument though. With 285 million guns floating around out there, you couldn’t stop the proliferation of them no matter how hard you tried!

  203. Malaclypse:

    Wolverines!!!

  204. Njorl:

    There doesn’t seem to be any apologia, just people mocking you.

  205. Njorl:

    heh..

    indeedy

  206. DrDick:

    What color is the sky on your planet? Or do you perhaps come from Kazakhstan or the DRC?

  207. Happiness is a warm gun | Fraser Sherman's Blog:

    [...] post here). Digby points out that if that were the solution, we’d be there by now. More from LGM. •Echidne of the Snakes weighs in. •Digby looks at the NRA’s clout–which even [...]

  208. Kathy Ruzinski:

    While America was just learning of the horrific tragedies in Connecticut, the anti-gun wackos were already pushing their radical agenda!

    Here is some perspective on violence:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1196941/The-violent-country-Europe-Britain-worse-South-Africa-U-S.html

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  211. William J Urmson:

    The NRA is the largest domestic terrorist group in the US, maybe the world. Please watch this video called THE NRA PRAYER FOR NEWTOWN CT. I’m the creator of this music video and invite you to use it if you wish without obligation. If nothing else I hope you like it.
    Thanx and peace!
    William J Urmson aka cuaroundclown on Youtube~

    http://youtu.be/OqZqGql9ml4

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  213. machete jan 24 2011:

    So, to match as closely the industry standard we’ll use a 22.

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  214. Guns, Masculinity, and Insecurity - Lawyers, Guns & Money : Lawyers, Guns & Money:

    [...] — at the discourse surrounding gun control in the United States. This, in part, explains the colourful language I employed while digesting the NRA’s response to Sandy Hook, and why I’m happy that my daughter is [...]

  215. Anonymous:

    to bad 95% of all shooting are handguns

  216. Malaclypse:

    “Too” bad 95% of all people who troll years-dead threads can’t spell.

  217. John Protevi:

    To bad or not to bad, that is the question.

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