Sensible Gun Control

One of the talking points about the Tucson shooting is that the gun used is “just the same as the one police use”, and that’s true – the Glock 9mm pistol is a common police sidearm. But, police carry it with a 15 shot clip, not the 30+ shot extended magazine pictured here. By the definition of the assault weapon ban, it’s an assault gun with that extended mag.

In Saturday’s shooting, it was only because of the heroic actions of Patricia Maisch, who grabbed the extended magazine from the shooter’s hand, and the lucky break that his next magazine’s spring was defective, that the shooter was limited to 31 shots.

In these kinds of mass shootings, the shooter is most vulnerable when he’s reloading. It’s simple logic that the more times he has to reload, the better chance bystanders have to tackle him, which is really the only defense that unarmed bystanders have. (And the notion that armed civilian bystanders could have gotten off a clean shot in the chaos of humanity surrounding this shooting is a fantasy. )

Since Arizona is one of a few states where extended magazines are legal, the killer was able to walk into a gun store and purchase an extended magazine along with his Glock pistol. It’s clear that the easily availability of extended magazines contributed to the loss of life on Saturday.

I’ve got nothing against guns. I grew up around them, and I occasionally shoot semi-automatic weapons with a friend at the range. And I also understand that a determined killer can probably get his or her hands on an assault weapon because there are many of them floating around. But the kind of wacko who plans mass murder often isn’t a high-functioning member of society, and throwing up a few roadblocks in front of him can’t hurt, because there’s really no use for an extended magazine on a 9mm pistol other than killing more people in a shorter period of time.

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158 replies
  1. 1
    Emma says:

    This is the thing that makes me crazy about the gun crowd. I don’t have a problem with a sane person who likes to hunt legally or shoot at a range owning guns. I just want us to find ways to at least slow down people like this guy. But each time I try to discuss this rationally, they make it sound like I want to march them into cattle cars.

  2. 2
    Rick Taylor says:

    I don’t see why buying and owning a gun shouldn’t be as legally cumbersome as buying and owning a car.

  3. 3

    Guns for hunting animals and guns for hunting people are 2 different things entirely. The question I keep coming back to – having been raised in the people’s republic of MA and now residing in the UK – is how on earth can our disfunctional relationship with guns be ended?

    I (like everyone else in the US orbit) blogged (click the link in the name) about this event today and one of the studies i link to – from the brady bill website – is a 1997 study linking women’s violent death in the home (suicide and homicide) to gun possession.

    If we could just cut the number of guns (and the size of magazines) available, I think we’d be in a better place as a country.

  4. 4
  5. 5
    Tsukune says:

    Extended magazines? Compensating much?

    Arizona: The Tiny Dick State.

  6. 6
    liberal says:

    On-topic: Krugman had a good column on the connection between the assassination attempt and the Right’s eliminationist rhetoric today.

    Off-topic: Good piece in last Sunday’s WaPo Outlook section on slavery and the causes of the Civil War.

  7. 7
    liberal says:

    @TheMightyTrowel:

    Guns for hunting animals and guns for hunting people are 2 different things entirely.

    I don’t really see why pistols are needed to hunt animals.

    The advantage of restricting people to long guns is that they’re harder to conceal.

  8. 8
    Alwhite says:

    all this kind of talk does is inflame the paranoia of the gun nuts. The courts are too likely to reject your arguments or the manufacturers will simply find a way around them, sadly. The NRA is in business to feed fear into the system so as to promote more and more and more gun sales. Any reasonable discussion gets put into their wurlitzer under full distortion and amplification for their cause.

    I think the right approach is a strict interpretation of the Constitution; muzzle-loader, black powder weapons were what they were talking about when they wrote the rules.

  9. 9
    WereBear says:

    I’m just in awe of these people who risked their lives to stop the gunman.

    When people despair, they should remember that these folks are Americans, too.

  10. 10
    Rathskeller says:

    Wow, I think a rule like this could actually get past Congress. It is hard to defend extended magazines, even in the feverish fantasies of the gun-lovers. The push should also be targeted as part of the war on drugs. Not super relevant, just good PR.

  11. 11
    Jeff Spender says:

    O/T, but this article on Arizona really delves deeply into the state’s problems. It’s definitely worth a read.

    http://www.harpers.org/archive/2010/07/0083023

    This is one of my favorite parts:

    Allen, who retained her seat in an election that fall, has since gained minor notoriety after calling for more uranium mining, saying in a speech that “this earth has been here 6,000 years, long before anybody had environmental laws, and somehow it hasn’t been done away with.” She also has complained that trees are “stealing Arizona’s water supply” and sponsored a new law that allows carriers of concealed weapons to forego safety training and the indignity of background checks.

  12. 12
    Keith says:

    because there’s really no use for an extended magazine on a 9mm pistol other than killing more people in a shorter period of time.

    Also, I hear that surveyors can use them to cut line easier.

  13. 13
    TOP123 says:

    Right. I enjoy shooting myself, and as you said, there is no real need for a thirty round extended magazine. Frankly, and I am happy to be corrected by those with experience in law enforcement if I am wrong, I would think there are a remarkably small number of cases in which officers need more than a six round capacity.

    As for the civilian crowd, I’d be curious to know what might be the explanation if one were required to check a box on an official form before buying an extended magazine. As TheMightyTrowel says, there are weapons for different uses. I find it hard to imagine a need for thirty rounds in any hunting scenario involving a sidearm, and I’ve never felt overwhelmingly burdened at the range by the need to reload after six or fifteen or whatever. Rick Taylor is absolutely right; sensible annoying bureaucratic hurdles are just as appropriate to firearms as they are to automobiles.

  14. 14
    Ija says:

    Too bad the Democrats have pretty much given up on gun control. I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for anything to happen in this area anymore.

  15. 15
    Peter says:

    @Jeff Spender:

    She also has complained that trees are “stealing Arizona’s water supply”

    That’s amazing. The fact that she was doubtless sincere when she said it only makes it better.

  16. 16
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    Meh.

    As long as the right wing nutjobs have their guns, I’m not giving mine up. Call it paranoid (it ain’t paranoia if they’re really out to get you), but honestly, I am not at all comfortable with the idea that only the right-wing nutjobs are armed. My oath has always been, “they may well kill me, but I’m taking some of the bastards to Hell with me.”

    Gun control in America first came about to keep guns out of the hands of black men; it made us easier targets.

    Fuck that.

  17. 17

    The only way people will agree to more roadblocks to buying a gun is if someone invents something that is more lethal and easy to carry. He passed the background check and I’m not sure what additional background checks would have stopped him from getting a gun.

    @liberal: A friend who is a forest ranger in grizzly territory carries a pistol when he is working. Granted it is a gun that would make Dirty Harry feel inadequate, but it is less cumbersome than a rifle.

  18. 18
  19. 19

    I enjoy shooting myself

    Doesn’t that hurt?

    Sorry. Couldn’t resist.

  20. 20
  21. 21
    TOP123 says:

    @liberal: A pistol wouldn’t be your primary firearm, but there are circumstances in which they could be used in hunting. If you had wounded an animal, say, or when hunting dangerous game (see: bear). That said, you raise a legitimate issue, and JFK and MLK notwithstanding, pistols have long been the weapon of choice for evil assholes targeting prominent figures. I’d be happy to see a decent series of hoops set up before licensing, nationally.

  22. 22
    liberal says:

    @Thoughtful Black Co-Citizen:

    Granted it is a gun that would make Dirty Harry feel inadequate, but it is less cumbersome than a rifle.

    Yes, in a running argument I had with someone (probably at Tim Lambert’s blog), some gun freak said he needs a short-barrelled gun when hunting in the wild because he didn’t have enough time to point a long gun at wild boars that charge him.

    But this overlooks the point of rational policy analysis, which is to weigh costs and benefits.

  23. 23
    Alex S. says:

    @Jeff Spender:

    War between the species!

  24. 24
    TOP123 says:

    @Thoughtful Black Co-Citizen: Haha… Oops. Haven’t had my coffee yet this AM… commas help if deployed appropriately…

  25. 25
    liberal says:

    @TOP123:
    Right, I had that thought when replying to Thoughtful Black Co-Citizen: instead of banning short guns, they could be heavily restricted with onerous licensing requirements.

  26. 26
    MattF says:

    Well, look… it’s a free country, and if you want to live in a place where someone in the throes of a massive psychotic breakdown can buy an assault weapon in his local supermarket, that’s your choice. As for me, I’d rather not.

  27. 27
    JCT says:

    Good article today regarding the lag in some states regarding the submission of mental health records that should at least throw a roadblock up. Pathetic that this is the best that we can hope for. I have never understood the argument against significant license requirements for owning handguns. If you’re a law-abinding person, a wait should not matter and when measured against the greater good of keeping firearms (especially those designed to kill many people quickly) out of the hands of unstable people it should be a no-brainer.

    I must say that I am aghast that the extended magazine is legal — that’s pure insanity.

  28. 28
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    Let’s not be obtuse here. Hunting has nothing to do with the issue of the 2nd amendment or gun control laws. People that believe fervently in the 2nd amendment as absolute do so because they believe it is the last resort way to hold the government accountable to their wishes. Unfortunately, these people also believe you must vote exactly as they do or they are entitled to exercise that last resort. These people will accept no sensible restrictions on their right because they believe that is the government disabling their ability to armed rebellion. It’s a messed up (IMO) but hardly uncommon viewpoint.

  29. 29
    liberal says:

    @Ivan Ivanovich Renko:

    I am not at all comfortable with the idea that only the right-wing nutjobs are armed.

    I agree with the sentiment.

    OTOH, I’d claim that having guns is neither necessary nor sufficient. What’s necessary is organizational strength and saavy. If truly nasty sh*t comes down the pike, a harassed group is screwed without it. With it, they can always steal/buy the guns when necessary. If things don’t work out, that’s a reflection of the bad situation the group is in more generally, not their lack of weapons ahead of time.

  30. 30
    stuckinred says:

    @Comrade Javamanphil: yup, all the rest of this stuff is pissin in the wind.

  31. 31

    Not to quibble too much, but extended magazines are legal in most states. Only CA, HI, MA, MD, NJ and NY prohibit large-capacity magazines.

  32. 32
    liberal says:

    @JCT:

    I have never understood the argument against significant license requirements for owning handguns.

    Because it would perhaps result in lower profits for gun manufacturers.

  33. 33
    TOP123 says:

    @liberal: A friend of mine’s father has a pistol that they call their snake gun that is a revolver (.38?) with a separate single load of bird shot. It’s carried in case of need when out in a boat or canoe in south Georgia and north Florida. There are reasonable uses for a sidearm.

    That said, those do, as you say, represent a rather small portion of the pistols owned, (or so says my speculation that I pulled out of wherever, but I’d be surprised if the stats didn’t agree), and by all means, there should be more regulation and sanctions attached.

    Seriously, for starters, can we start to agree now that people shouldn’t be carrying firearms (let alone AR-15s or whatever) at political rallies?

  34. 34
    ChrisS says:

    He wasn’t a wacko or delusional or anything else.

    Sure anyone has to have a few wires crossed to shoot a bunch of people in cold blood. But the gun nut rhetoric surely isn’t helping. Watering the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants and all that.

    http://www.zimbio.com/pictures.....2G-j2LlmGJ

    http://www.zimbio.com/pictures.....ogHRkKKSn-

  35. 35
    Kirk Spencer says:

    Frustrating as it is, it’s mindset that’s in play. And the mindset can be summarized in one simple phrase:

    The government is not your friend, and you must protect yourself from it.

    What’s really frustrating about this is that the message carries in other venues as well, some of which slide into the left as well.

    The current thread is about firearms. But taxes, government ownership of various industries, and more also fall into this whole arena.

    And the left is not immune, as I can demonstrate with one concept. National IDs.

    Heck, what’s the argument for why we don’t want the government building a national intelligence database?

    The government is not your friend, and you must protect yourself from it.

    Parse that phrase, find what needs done to adjust it so it’s not accurate, and you might be able to start make other changes. Don’t change the ground, and you can’t change the fight.

  36. 36
    WereBear says:

    No system will be perfect, of course, but I’d like to see a system that at least attempted to keep weapons out of the hands of lunatics.

    The NRA types will whine “They can just go to criminals and get them,” but this is specious bullshit. Have you seen this guy? Like most crazed gunmen, he’s an inadequate loser who tops out his social skills getting Twinkies from a convenience store.

    Negotiating an illegal arms sale would be just another barrier to entry, wouldn’t it?

  37. 37
    TOP123 says:

    @liberal: Right, exactly. Amen.

  38. 38
    ChrisS says:

    Stuck in moderation hell.

    Oh wells.

    I’ve got the long guns at home, but I think it’s high time I got my pistol permit and a few sidearms. It’ll cost a bit, but when Peak Oil forces the Mad Max times, I don’t want to be the least armed person in my neighborhood.

  39. 39
    Alwhite says:

    “If a Detroit Muslim put a map on the web w/crosshairs on 20 pols then 1 of them got shot where would he b sitting right now? just asking”

    Mike Moore tweet from this AM.

  40. 40
    JasonK says:

    @MattF: assuming you’re not joking, the 9-yr old girl who got killed in the shooting didn’t have that option.

    I’ve always been a proponent of gun ownership rights, with limits. I find it ridiculous that proper training isn’t required of someone (or proof that training has already taken place) before they can purchase a gun. It is also ridiculous that a state would pass laws that allow concealed carry of handguns without a permit or allow the sales of these extended magazines which clearly have only one purpose.

    It astounds me that we have citizens who feel their rights are being stepped on by required training or the inability to legally purchase an extended magazine. It’s just nuts.

    Thankfully there was bravery shown that day and this nut was taken down before he could do more damage.

  41. 41

    @liberal:

    #29

    I’d claim that having guns is neither necessary nor sufficient. What’s necessary is organizational strength and savvy. If truly nasty sh*t comes down the pike, a harassed group is screwed without it. With it, they can always steal/buy the guns when necessary.

    Good point.

  42. 42
    kerFuFFler says:

    @Comrade Javamanphil:
    “Unfortunately, these people also believe you must vote exactly as they do or they are entitled to exercise that last resort. ”

    You’re dead right about that! (Dare I even say that???) Click the link to see the “Liberal Hunting License”.

  43. 43
    bemused says:

    @Rick Taylor:
    I agree but that’s way too rational and sensible for gun nuts and the NRA.

    There was quite a bit of discussion on inadequate gun regulations on Morning Joe. Hmm, I don’t remember this topic coming up much in media during the wild town hall meetings summer of 2009.

  44. 44
    Chris says:

    As long as the right wing nutjobs have their guns, I’m not giving mine up. Call it paranoid (it ain’t paranoia if they’re really out to get you), but honestly, I am not at all comfortable with the idea that only the right-wing nutjobs are armed.

    My sympathies. Heard the same thing this year from my cousin born and bred in New York, who now lives in North Carolina; “I want to own a gun, now that I live in a red state.”

  45. 45
    Tattoosydney says:

    @Keith:

    Also, I hear that surveyors can use them to cut line easier.

    I saw what you did there.

  46. 46
    brantl says:

    But the kind of wacko who plans mass murder often isn’t a high-functioning member of society, and throwing up a few roadblocks in front of him can’t hurt, because there’s really no use for an extended magazine on a 9mm pistol other than killing more people in a shorter period of time.

    Exactly. Arizona is now the state where the NRA children have taken over. “THEY want to ban guns, so let’s make absolutely everything related to guns that anyone, anywhere could possibly want, LEGAL!” It never occurs to them that what many people who want “absolutely everything related to guns that anyone, anywhere could possibly want”, are criminals and whackos, and some of those things would only be needful to criminals and whackos.

    What dipshits.

  47. 47
    ChrisS says:

    I’ve always been a proponent of gun ownership rights, with limits. I find it ridiculous that proper training isn’t required of someone (or proof that training has already taken place) before they can purchase a gun.

    It is in some states. In NY for example, to purchase a handgun, you’re required to take a handgun safety course, submit an application to the county sheriff (who then completes an FBI background check), with four letters of reference and your stated use for the gun. Typically, unless you’re law enforcement, you would only be permitted to carry the gun in a case to and from a range or hunting area. Otherwise it has to stay at home.

  48. 48
    TOP123 says:

    @Comrade Javamanphil: I’m not really disagreeing with you here; I hate the NRA absolutism and the bullshit tea party rhetoric attached to a lot of one side of this discussion. I do, however, think that from a plain historical sense there is a point to be made about the right for (at least organized and regulated groups of) citizens to carry arms. In particular, though, I think that the 2nd Amendment also stems from a history of hunting rights in the Old World being increasingly restricted, and maintained as a privilege of the upper classes. The right to gun ownership in this country was one of the manifestations of our liberalism and democracy, as opposed to the stratified structure of privileges allowed and denied in European societies of the day.

    Let me say again, I support strict, even burdensome, review of these rights. What happens when wingnuts and libertarians and Teahadists and, ahem, the gun lobby, get their hands on this issue is ugly. Given the intended purpose of a firearm (even if it’s just putting holes in a ringed piece of paper), it is plain asinine that it is not treated by even as much regulation as car ownership.

  49. 49
    MattF says:

    @JasonK

    Joking aside, I don’t think we disagree, or not much. I’m in the “The world is what it is and not some other thing” camp, so I’m for uniform-and-reasonable regulation of gun ownership.

  50. 50
    Chris says:

    @JasonK:

    I find it ridiculous that proper training isn’t required of someone (or proof that training has already taken place) before they can purchase a gun.

    I concur. One of the favorite recurring tropes from wingnuts is that “look at Switzerland, they’ve all got guns and a really low crime rate.”

    Yes, but in Switzerland, the reason they all have guns is because they’ve all been drafted and served in the military for a certain amount of time, during which they were trained and trained and trained some more in the responsible use of said weapon. Not exactly the way things work in America.

  51. 51
    SRW1 says:

    @Thoughtful Black Co-Citizen:

    Giving in to that temptation brought a light moment to the world when it could do with one.

  52. 52
    Dork says:

    And the notion that armed civilian bystanders could have gotten off a clean shot in the chaos of humanity surrounding this shooting is a fantasy.

    And yet it’s all the wingtards are talking about today. How we could have prevented this with more guns, not fewer.

  53. 53
    Boxer says:

    @Comrade Misfit:

    Came here first to post this. It is just objectively incorrect of mistermix to act like Arizona is strange in its lack of magazine capacity restrictions.

    Also, what was the point of saying no armed civilian could have helped in a crowded environment? Could an armed cop have helped, or was it just a claim that no one with any gun could have helped?

    Cops aren’t magically more accurate, so I’m just not clear as to whether you think no armed person would be of help or if you specifically think an armed civilian would be uesless but an armed cop useful in a mass shooting scenario.

  54. 54
    JPL says:

    I might have to buy one of those…I just emailed boortz after reading about his appearance on CNN.. Here’s what I wrote

    During your CNN appearance you spoke about free speech. The attempted assassination of a Congressional Representative should not be made into a partisan issue. Whether some speech is over the line is a worthy topic though.
    In the words of a great American author I leave you with this thought:…………………………………………………………………………….
    “It is by the fortune of God that, in this country, we have three benefits: freedom of speech, freedom of thought, and the wisdom never to use either.”…………………………………………..
    Mark Twain

  55. 55
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    @brantl:

    Exactly. Arizona is now the state where the NRA children have taken over. “THEY want to ban guns, so let’s make absolutely everything related to guns that anyone, anywhere could possibly want, LEGAL!” It never occurs to them that what many people who want “absolutely everything related to guns that anyone, anywhere could possibly want”, are criminals and whackos, and some of those things would only be needful to criminals and whackos.

    What’s annoying about this, and something I have yet to hear anybody seriously comment on, is that the entire premise of unrestricted concealed carry was to allow an armed citizenry to prevent mass shootings such as this. By this logic, the shooter should be dead now or at least wounded from some righteous citizen packing heat. I’m sure Instaputz will explain why this did not happen since he was such a vocal proponent after the VTech shooting (among others.)

  56. 56
    schrodinger's cat says:

    A quick look through NYT and WashPost and this is what I found, the MSM has already begun its excuse making and started absolving the right wing hatemongers of yesterday’s incident.

    One exception: Paul Krugman’s piece in the NYT.

  57. 57
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    mistermix tells us:

    In Saturday’s shooting, it was only because of the heroic actions of Patricia Maisch, who grabbed the extended magazine from the shooter’s hand, and the lucky break that his next magazine’s spring was defective, that the shooter was limited to 31 shots.

    This is either delusional or disingenuous. The credit in this case belongs to the two Arizona males who charged the shooter and tackled him. These guys get no credit at Balloon Juice because there is no desire to compare and contrast the men of Arizona with the student body of Virginia Tech.

  58. 58
    Chris says:

    @Boxer:

    I think the general point was that you can’t prevent this kind of incident simply by walking around with guns all the time (whether it’s cops or armed citizens who carry them). Wingnuts often claim that you can.

  59. 59

    […] Juice‘s mistermix offers a plan for “sensible gun control” in the wake of Saturday’s tragic […]

  60. 60

    I was raised in a hunting culture [Oklahoma hillbilly here]. People hunted for the same reason they raised a vegetable garden: to supplement their grocery basket. I was taught how to use a rifle and actually shot a squirrel once. I was so upset because the animal was so fucking dead that I didn’t do any more hunting.

    But you can defend your home against predatory humans and other animals with a rifle. Been there, done that.

    As a single mother living in the city, I thought about getting a gun for protection. However, I couldn’t decide whether I could actually shoot a person and feared that the gun would be taken away from me and used on me. I still don’t know if I could shoot somebody.

    I have thought that a rifle with a nice, noisy pump action might be good for actual protection but I haven’t purchased one yet.

  61. 61
    FFrank says:

    This reminds me of the craziness of George Soldini who shot up an LA Fitness in Western Pennsylvania. In his BLOG there were some right wing rantings too but his actions where more aimed toward women.

    Sometimes you can tell who is crazy and sometimes you can’t until it happens.

  62. 62
    Violet says:

    @Tsukune:

    Extended magazines? Compensating much?
    __
    Arizona: The Tiny Dick State.

    Perhaps this is a concept that deserves a little attention.

    These days a person expressing a lot of anti-gay sentiment is deemed a “tell” that a person is a closeted gay. It didn’t used to be that way, but things have changed. Perhaps having extended magazines could be turned into a “tell” that someone is lacking in his manly area. Fewer people would want to be seen with them if that were the case.

  63. 63
    cleek says:

    want to kill a lot of people but you can’t buy a big clip? learn how to aim and carry two guns.

    eliminating big clips isn’t going to do anything.

  64. 64
    Punchy says:

    that trees are “stealing Arizona’s water supply”

    3 Onion writers just quit their jobs, saying there’s no way their satire can top reality anymore.

  65. 65
    liberal says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    I have thought that a rifle with a nice, noisy pump action might be good for actual protection…

    Heh. There’s a scene in Michael Moore’s “Roger and Me” that’s exactly about that.

  66. 66
    JPL says:

    A friend heard that someone had a concealed weapon and during the chaos didn’t have time to use it. Did anyone else hear about this?

  67. 67
    JD Rhoades says:

    @TOP123:

    I would think there are a remarkably small number of cases in which officers need more than a six round capacity.

    A few years ago, shortly after the NC Highway Patrol switched to a Beretta with an 18 round magazine, a trooper told me “if the other guy’s still standing after 18 rounds, I’m just going home.”

    (they’ve since gone to S & W .40 calibers. I think).

  68. 68
    gnomedad says:

    @Kirk Spencer:

    The government is not your friend, and you must protect yourself from it.

    Also, all government powers must be directed at people who are clearly Not You: gays, pot-smokers, pregnant women, foreign brown people, etc.

  69. 69
    cmorenc says:

    There cannot be “sensible gun control”, because an insensible, utterly irresponsible gang of paranoid zealots have enough numbers and willingness to vote single-issue against ANY politician who proposes ANY restrictions on gun ownership or carrying whatsoever, and donate huge sums of money to their opponents. It’s impossible to reason with someone who finds weaponry such emotionally satisfying compensation for deep shriveled-dick insecurities about themselves and paranoia about dangerous “others”.

  70. 70
    liberal says:

    @WereBear:

    Negotiating an illegal arms sale would be just another barrier to entry, wouldn’t it?

    IMHO, yes. Increasing barriers and cost would mean fewer criminals and nuts would have guns, just as with any other good.

    Of course, the real nasties like the drug cartels in Mexico would still find a way to get them, given the resources they command.

  71. 71
    JD Rhoades says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    I have thought that a rifle with a nice, noisy pump action might be good for actual protection but I haven’t purchased one yet.

    Get a shotgun. The unmistakable Click-CLACK of the slide is pretty chilling.

    And with double ought buckshot, you’ve got a lesser chance of a round going all the way through and hitting someone else.

    Hopefully, though, a good security system or a nice noisy dog will keep the ill-intentioned far enough away to avoid that sort of confrontation. Defense in depth.

  72. 72

    @cleek: Thank you.

    The argument that “reasonable” gun control will make these sorts of attacks less likely, or less lethal, sound very similar to the arguments that strip searching my 80+ year old mother-in-law will make air travel safer. A determined terrorist, assassin, or murderer is going to make a try. The world is a sometimes a dangerous place. We cannot insulate ourselves from all possible harm.

  73. 73
    jurassicpork says:

    Let’s not forget about Hernandez, her openly gay aide, who not only helped tackle the shooter, he even staunched Congresswoman Gifford’s blood loss by keeping pressure on it. He was hurt during his heroics and is a credit to the LGBT community and the human race.

  74. 74
    TOP123 says:

    @cleek: Have to disagree, here. A pistol is heavy. Carrying multiple firearms is much less practical than carrying a few preloaded extended capacity clips. The other point is that the training and practice issue could cut down on the number of heavily armed insane sociopaths who could do this amount of damage. Certainly, plenty of mass murderers know how to aim, as you put it, (Timothy McVeigh was trained by the best), but as we’ve been discussing, there is worth to raising barriers to entry and making it more difficult for would be assassins and spree killers.

    I welcome some feedback on this from others here, but I just can’t think of any legitimate non-military (i.e., person-killing) use for an extended magazine. Even law enforcement would rarely need this. Outside of an Inside Man style siege scenario, I would suspect police officers would be best served (as would hunters and self-defenders) by an ultra-reliable six shot revolver.

  75. 75
    pk says:

    A bit off topic, but this seems scarily prophetic considering what has happened. From The View of all places. Surprisingly, Elizabeth comes off as a rational human being.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kU6F427158Q

  76. 76
    terraformer says:

    But if that herd of [enter animal type here] was bearing down on you, you’d be glad you had that 30+ clip then, wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t you???!!!

  77. 77
    JCT says:

    @Comrade Misfit: Just goes to show you– I’ve only lived in CA and NY. And am at the late stages of contemplating a move to AZ.

  78. 78
    ChrisS says:

    Other comment in moderations, but he’s not a whacko. Or a delusional kid that didn’t know what he was doing. That’s a bullshit lie and an easy out.

    Fucker shot a congresswoman in the head because he didn’t agree with her politics.

  79. 79
    liberal says:

    @jurassicpork:
    Given it’s AZ, I was struck by his being Hispanic. Didn’t know he was gay. Seemed very professional on the Today show. (Turn it on only to keep the twins busy…)

  80. 80
    BobS says:

    @Linda Featheringill: A rifle isn’t the best choice for home defense. That would be a shotgun.
    I’m currently living in a part of northern Michigan where November 15 (the beginning of gun season for deer) is an unofficial holiday, with many of the boys (and some girls) absent from school. Good luck if you have a plumbing problem on that date. Many of the hunters I know displayed signs for Obama in 2008. I think the Palins of the world be surprised at how genuinely proficient with firearms ‘unreal’ Americans are.
    Personally, I don’t hunt. I never killed an animal without feeling like an asshole for doing it, so I just stopped. I do have a couple of weapons for home defense ( I felt I owed it to my dog to have something to back up what I took for granted he would do), one a .357 I used to carry when I worked at an inner city hospital (during the crack epidemic years) that saw me leave the building at 2 or 3 in the morning. The other is a semi-automatic 12 gauge that holds 8 shells, the gun I would recommend ( or possibly it’s 20 gauge cousin, for the ladies) for home defense.

  81. 81
    liberal says:

    @ChrisS:
    You mean the AZ shooter? From the little I’ve seen, he’s definitely wacko. Meaning, clearly a paranoid schizophrenic.

    For some people it really does come down to brain chemistry.

    (OTOH I think arguing that the Right bears some responsibility for his actions given their eliminationist rhetoric is reasonable, assuming some of the claims about what he’s said are valid (stuff about allusions to 10th Amendment rhetoric).)

  82. 82

    @JD Rhoades:

    Hopefully, though, a good security system or a nice noisy dog will keep the ill-intentioned far enough away to avoid that sort of confrontation. Defense in depth.

    Thanks for the suggestions.

    My dog Tulip is a sweetie but has a very impressive bark, with a lot of white, pointed teeth. She has scared a couple of people. I don’t tell everyone that she actually is a fraidy-cat. :-)

  83. 83
    kay says:

    @cmorenc:

    There cannot be “sensible gun control”,

    There’s plenty of gun control. More every day. We just decided to control everyone rather than control gun enthusiasts.

    You’ll now be walking through a metal detector to meet with your county commissioner. That’s gun control. They’re herding us all through to reach the individual carrying the gun. They simply shifted the burden from gun enthusiasts to everyone, but it’s gun control.

  84. 84
    JD Rhoades says:

    @Ivan Ivanovich Renko:

    As long as the right wing nutjobs have their guns, I’m not giving mine up. Call it paranoid (it ain’t paranoia if they’re really out to get you), but honestly, I am not at all comfortable with the idea that only the right-wing nutjobs are armed. My oath has always been, “they may well kill me, but I’m taking some of the bastards to Hell with me.”

    Damn right. As recently as two weeks, ago a commenter on the website of my local paper responded to my column on predictions for the year ahead by openly fantasizing about my death in 2011 (and the celebration that would follow).

    I don’t go anywhere without being armed.

  85. 85
    liberal says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum:
    Of course we can’t insulate ourselves from all harm. The question is, would the public be served by much more onerous restrictions on gun ownership? IMHO the answer is “yes”. Of course, it would have to be on a national level, and would have to be draconian enough that criminals wanting guns would face higher prices and barriers to entry.

    Again, however, AFAICT the only real interest against doing so is the profits of gun manufacturers.

  86. 86
    Michael says:

    ZOMG – Yew libruls is a’comin’ to take ar gunz away from us. Man the ramparts! WOLVERINES!!!

  87. 87
    liberal says:

    @cmorenc:
    I agree, but honestly I find it hard to believe that the whole charade isn’t being orchestrated by the gun manufacturers.

  88. 88

    @BobS:

    #79

    The other is a semi-automatic 12 gauge that holds 8 shells, the gun I would recommend ( or possibly it’s 20 gauge cousin, for the ladies) for home defense.

    I’m sure that the lighter gauge could do plenty of damage. And yes, weight is a consideration. Thanks for the suggestion.

  89. 89
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @ChrisS: Exactly. Why the rush to give this guy a pass? Or more accurately the people who have been fanning the flames of hatred since 2008 ,remember those Palin rallies before the elections? and the town halls from summer of 2009?

  90. 90
    JD Rhoades says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    My dog Tulip is a sweetie but has a very impressive bark, with a lot of white, pointed teeth. She has scared a couple of people. I don’t tell everyone that she actually is a fraidy-cat. :-)

    :-) Sounds familiar.

    Here’s the thing. Thieves don’t want to work hard. That’s why they’re thieves. Throw even a tiny obstacle in their way, and most–not all, but most–will try to find an easier target.

    The truly deranged or FUBAR, sadly, are the ones who require the defense in depth.

  91. 91

    @JD Rhoades:

    As recently as two weeks, ago a commenter on the website of my local paper responded to my column on predictions for the year ahead by openly fantasizing about my death in 2011 (and the celebration that would follow).

    Oh my! Be careful!

  92. 92
    Bill ORLY says:

    @JPL: It’s Arizona. There were probably a half-dozen CCW in the crowd. The shooting was over in 19 seconds. I’m a pretty quick shot (USPSA competitor) and I doubt I could have done anything unless I was right next to the assailant. Pulling out a pistol and aiming in a crowd situation is dicey.

    As some others have noted, I carry not because of the scary Muslins (sic), but because of the unhinged morons wound up by the RW noise machine crying FIRE in the crowded movie house. Can I make a difference? Questionable. I would like the option, in any case. I also think that carrying is a privilege, and training should be a requirement. And those 30-round big stick magazines (NOT clips, please) are moronic. There is a place for something like this (Google USPSA Open Class) but these are limited to competition scenarios, and don’t have applications beyond this.

  93. 93
    Chris says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Why the rush to give this guy a pass?

    DING DING DING DING DING!!!

    The first I heard about this was a comment on my yellow-dog Republican friend’s facebook page. Immediately after the “I’m horrified by this” comment was the “I’m sure they’ll blame Republicans for this!” followed a couple hours later by “yep, the media’s blaming Sarah Palin!” Every update since then has concerned how mean and nasty liberals are, rather than anything about the shooting itself. (And that’s been the trend on rightie blogs as well).

    Kind of reminds you of Bush’s comment that the worst moment in his presidency wasn’t losing a bunch of citizens to Katrina, but being called out on it by Kanye West.

  94. 94
    TOP123 says:

    @JD Rhoades: Right, I mean people act like general police work is like something out of Mad Max or the Terminator. Six well-aimed shots from a reliable weapon (say, a revolver–notice the shooter’s clip was faulty–in this case, thank God!) are a significant amount of force. I certainly understand the argument that law enforcement can’t be badly outgunned by the criminals, but that’s, for one thing, an argument for much stronger gun laws. It is not healthy for our society, either, to have the police heavily armed in a normal state. Keep the automatics and assault rifles for when they’re needed, like a SWAT team. If that’s not convincing, think of the man who died under forty plus bullets pulling out his wallet in a NYC street not so long ago.

  95. 95

    @Linda Featheringill: Go with the 12-gauge and have it sawed off to the legal limit. Firing in the direction of your intended target will have the desired effect.

  96. 96
    PeakVT says:

    It’s nuts to think that a few putzes with guns can stop “the gubmint” these days. The government has armored vehicles, jet planes, drones, guided missiles, nuclear bombs – the works. Both nobodies and a significant group of nobodies are completely powerless if the government feels like doing something nasty. The only way to stop the government is to head it off at the ballot box.

  97. 97
    TOP123 says:

    @terraformer: Well, yes, in the zombie apocalypse. There, I see a distinct need for high capacity magazines, and plenty of them.

  98. 98
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @cleek: The brakes don’t work; might as well not steer.

  99. 99
    TOP123 says:

    @Linda Featheringill: I guess you’d have to load your own, but I think people used to keep a load of rock salt in their bird gun for home defense purposes…

  100. 100
    Maude says:

    @Bill ORLY:
    A commenter in the NYT said he or she teaches in AZ. With the concealed weapons laws, the kids could have handguns and it wouldn’t be known. There’s no metal detector there.

  101. 101
    Carol says:

    @WereBear: Not only that, but these types are too afraid to go into the inner city neighborhoods and other sketchy places to make the necessary contacts. Plus, with anything else under the table, it costs a bit more to get something-which is probably another barrier.

    Don’t forget that there’s a moment of silence at 11 am EST today declared by President Obama.

  102. 102
    TOP123 says:

    @Bill ORLY: You make a good point, and that’s exactly what people need to think about. How useful will this be? We may all like to think of ourselves as the hero in our own movie, but, realistically, how likely is it that that concealed carry weapon is going to do something useful? You point out that you’re uncertain, even as someone who knows quite well what they’re doing and how to handle your weapon. As you say, it’s an option to have in certain situations, but the idea that it is an answer to society’s problems is laughable on its face.

    Thanks for this comment.

    Also, apologies for my use of the word clip; I was influenced by my own Hollywood references in that comment! But it kinda ties into my whole point, right? People think too much about Rambo and don’t really understand firearms outside of a movie context.

  103. 103
    gypsy howell says:

    @Chris:

    I do not understand this line of reasoning that if only we required more certification and training, somehow this would keep guns out the hands of killers. What would requiring training do to stop gun violence? What, we want the crazies to be better shots?

  104. 104
    The Dangerman says:

    @JPL:

    A friend heard that someone had a concealed weapon and during the chaos didn’t have time to use it.

    In one of these mass casualty events, has anyone ever stopped it by shooting the bad guy? I can’t think of one. Maybe the Museum in DC, but that was a security guard.

    And how would it work?

    Bad Guy walks in, starts shooting. Good Guy 001pulls out gun, blows Bad Guy away. One has better hope Good Guys 002 through Good Guys 999 aren’t also packing or good luck determining who is a Good Guy or Bad Guy in the ensuing “Simpson’s Episode” chaos.

  105. 105
    Carol says:

    @PeakVT: And if it gets to the point of a real revolution, the army would have to be with the revolutionaries in order for it to work. So the “Red Dawn” scenario would be inoperative anyway-there would be no need for such theatrics.

    In modern revolutions, the involvement of the army comes last-and that’s usually through refusing to shoot the revolutionaries or just siding with them. That is, if the revolution isn’t a pretext for a military coup-in that case, the army takes its own initiative.

  106. 106
    Triassic Sands says:

    @JCT:

    Good article today regarding the lag in some states regarding the submission of mental health records that should at least throw a roadblock up.

    I don’t remember seeing anything in the 2nd Amendment requiring militia members to be sane. After all, one person’s lunatic is just another person’s Republican.

    Similarly, there is nothing in the requirements for holding elective office that requires sanity. If there were, today’s GOP would look a lot different.

  107. 107
    Carol says:

    @gypsy howell: At least training and education would allow other people to evaluate a person’s sanity, to impress on the careless the importance of making sure that things are handled safely.

  108. 108
    TOP123 says:

    @Carol: I really think part of the point of that stipulation by the Founding Fathers was the class issue, though it wasn’t explicitly framed that way. In other words, the right to bear arms, not just in a militia but for the cook pot, helped make you a citizen of a free republic, rather than a subject in a land filled with the king’s game parks. I could be wrong about this, but I would welcome other’s thoughts on it…

  109. 109
    PeakVT says:

    @gypsy howell: If the training involves a lot of indoctrination about guns as a defensive weapon, responsible storage, etc. then it might be helpful. We would need some peer-reviewed studies to say for sure.

  110. 110
    TOP123 says:

    @Carol: Right, and it should be used part-and-parcel with background checks and waiting periods.

    My uncle has had an on-again off-again relationship with his car, because he suffers from epilepsy. There’s really a basic level of safety that should be applied to this issue, which, when you think about it, is much less central to people’s lives these days ( though back in the 18th Century firearms were up there with wagon and buggy ownership as a practical tool) than that of driving a car. Our inviolable right to drive a car is much, much more important to our freedoms now than owning a rifle; and somehow the Republic has survived vision tests and the requirement of parallel parking proficiency.

  111. 111
    Redshift says:

    @TOP123: I kind of doubt that, considering that they reserved the right to vote to property owners. It seems unlikely they were making a class statement by ensuring that all the people they weren’t giving the right to elect their government would have the power to overthrow it by force. I would think it’s more likely related to the fact that they had just been through a revolution where militias did overthrow an imperial government, and they had no standing army (nor did they expect the country to be able to afford one.)

  112. 112
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @TOP123: Shortly before Christmas 1996, I was mugged. One of my friends from the Army asked if it had caused me to change my mind about concealed carry. I said no. The mugging happened too fast; three people came around a corner and hit me, knocking me down, then they kicked me for a while as the said, “Give me your fucking wallet.” I was protecting my head from the kicks, so I couldn’t reach for it. Finally, one of them grabbed my pocket, ripped it open, and took the wallet. This happened too quickly for me to have reached for a pistol if I had been carrying one. It would not have stopped the crime. My muggers did not show any weapons, so my carrying one would have introduced a weapon to the scene. If they were carrying, but not showing, this would have escalated the situation. Finally, I ended up losing $50, a pair of pants, some blood, and some time. That is not worth someone’s life.

  113. 113
    jonas says:

    A lot of these so-called liberty loving, Second Amendment enthusiasts would be the first ones to join a Freikorps militia at the vanguard of a fascist coup if the opportunity arose. If you notice, there was precious little outrage in those circles in the previous decade over actual government tyranny — warrantless wiretapping, torture, corruption, secrecy — whereas these folks were absolutely apoplectic about a black guy getting elected president and any federal legislation that threatens to give minorities a modicum of dignity in their lives.

    Cole had it right one time when he said if it weren’t for women and minority voters in this country, we’d be living in a fascist dictatorship.

  114. 114
    D. Mason says:

    @Kirk Spencer:

    Frustrating as it is, it’s mindset that’s in play. And the mindset can be summarized in one simple phrase:

    The government is not your friend, and you must protect yourself from it.

    I could link you to hundreds of stories, videos, wikipedia entries and of course, wikileaks, to support that simple phrase. The difference for most sane people who believe this extremely true axiom is that they don’t look to violence as a means to protect themselves against the government, who’s agents have so much more expertise in that realm, they look to disassociation. I know I try to brush up against the government as rarely as possible, as a matter of habit and a rule of thumb I avoid anyone associated with the government like the plague. I don’t want to be the guy who didn’t have his papers in order for the IRS agent who’s spouse was caught cheating yesterday. Every government employee is a threat to my freedom and lifestyle because the “law” in America is so vast and convoluted that you can’t avoid giving some zealous busy-body in the government a way to fuck you if they ever start looking for one. Most of us break several laws before we arrive at work in the morning so how can anyone think the government is any kind of friend? It’s simple minded to believe that you can shoot your way out of an interaction with the government, and pretty twisted to imagine doing so, but I never question the mindset of someone who wants to avoid such interactions or extricate themselves from same.

  115. 115
    Bill ORLY says:

    @TOP123: Trouble is, cars are not mentioned in the Constitution. I’m not saying this to justify the crazy way gun laws are approached in the US, but as an anticipation for how any argument will be framed.

  116. 116
    TOP123 says:

    @Redshift: That’s a good point, and you’re right to point out at the franchise was initially restricted. I’d say my point about hunting rights–which I’m willing to admit I could be wrong about–has more to do with the absence of an aristocracy. Whilst the Founders and most of those involved in that mix might have kept a tight leash on the franchise, they were heavily influenced by a spirit of republicanism that suggested that a farmer who earned enough money to have his own stretch of land and a fowling piece could go shoot game to his heart’s content without asking permission of the magistrate, paying into the King’s treasury, or buying a title of nobility.

  117. 117
    JPL says:

    @Bill ORLY: You’re correct and that’s something I never considered. The idea that a concealed weapon is necessary because it can save your life appears to be limited at best. Using your example about automobiles, imo, they can restrict magazines because they are not mentioned in the Constitution.
    FYI..In Atlanta because of the snow storm, local stations are not observing the moment of silence. We are just having snow storm coverage.

  118. 118
    Origuy says:

    The Second Amendment doesn’t define the word militia, but if you look at the predecessor to the Constitution, the Articles of Confederation, you find in Article VI:

    No vessel of war shall be kept up in time of peace by any State, except such number only, as shall be deemed necessary by the United States in Congress assembled, for the defense of such State, or its trade; nor shall any body of forces be kept up by any State in time of peace, except such number only, as in the judgement of the United States in Congress assembled, shall be deemed requisite to garrison the forts necessary for the defense of such State; but every State shall always keep up a well-regulated and disciplined militia, sufficiently armed and accoutered, and shall provide and constantly have ready for use, in public stores, a due number of filed pieces and tents, and a proper quantity of arms, ammunition and camp equipage.

    The Articles of Confederation was all about what states could and couldn’t do; it didn’t have a bill of rights. However, I think that the Founders thought they knew who should be in a militia, and Loughner wouldn’t qualify.

  119. 119
    TOP123 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Wow. Thank you for sharing that (and I’m sorry you went through it)–that is exactly the kind of experience that I’m hoping we as individuals, as people on a comments section, as neighbors talking, and as a country can talk about. It is people like you who’ve actually been at the sharp end who can help cut through the yammering of the Fox personalities confusing our national discourse.

  120. 120
    lucslawyer says:

    I just wonder how many more would have been killed or injured had 4 or 5 startled onlookers pulled their weapons and started blasting away in the confusion….

  121. 121
    cthulhu says:

    But wait! Law-abiding citizens NEED these armaments to be readily available for the coming government/illegal immigrant/zombie apocalypse!

  122. 122
    Chris says:

    @jonas:

    A lot of these so-called liberty loving, Second Amendment enthusiasts would be the first ones to join a Freikorps militia at the vanguard of a fascist coup if the opportunity arose.

    Exactly.

    You can argue whether or not an armed citizenry is an effective deterrent against the power of government (the answer’s no, by the way).

    But it’s a moot point, because if there’s ever an oppressive, authoritarian dictatorship in this country, the NRA crowd that supposedly acts as an antibody to that won’t be out there in the streets fighting the government; they’ll be the SA thugs supplementing the government, going around beating up union members, leftists, ungood journalists, immigrants, Muslims and uppity minorities.

  123. 123
    TOP123 says:

    @Chris: While I agree with you that the authorities have us citizens heavily outgunned (how many Predator drones do you have in your garage?) and that a lot of 2nd Amendment enthusiasts might lean in one direction, it’s not like the citizenry can’t rise up and fight a military led reactionary coup. The Republicans may have lost the Spanish Civil War, but it was the willingness of good hearted citizens (and some international help) to stand by their elected government in arms, against much of the army, that kept that fuck Franco from completing his job much sooner.

  124. 124
    Cam says:

    @JPL: Yes — I read it in the Washington Post this morning. One of the two men who tackled the killer had a gun on him, but did not draw or use it

  125. 125
    jonas says:

    @TOP123: That may be part of it, but I think the main issue was to create a way for the states to defend themselves and maintain public order without the federal government needing to have a standing army all the time for internal security which, correctly, was perceived as a threat to liberty. The “security of a free state” the amendment speaks of is the security of the individual states, not “the” state or federal government.

    In a sense, the Second Amendment’s original intention was overturned in the 1791 Whiskey Rebellion where the federal government asserted its monopoly on policing political violence in the states.

  126. 126
    brantl says:

    If you’re a law-abinding person, a wait should not matter and when measured against the greater good of keeping firearms (especially those designed to kill many people quickly) out of the hands of unstable people it should be a no-brainer.

    Unless you’re law abiding and someone’s been shooting at you, and the cops are no-shows, or no-shows in any meaningful time frame, and maybe even if they do show. Then, you want one NOW.

  127. 127
    jonas says:

    @Chris: Yup. The Gifford attack reminded me of nothing so much as the assassination of the philosopher Moritz Schlick on the steps of the University of Vienna in 1936 by a deranged Nazi sympathizer.

  128. 128
    TOP123 says:

    @jonas: Sure, and I definitely don’t want to give the impression that that’s what the 2nd Amendment was about–rather that it was part of the mindset of the time. Your point about the standing Federal army is spot on.

  129. 129
    18Echo says:

    @Emma: @Bill ORLY: @Bill ORLY:

    There are other problems with using the car analogy. Like this.

    Anyone. regardless of age, mental condition, or criminal convictions, can buy a car and drive it on their own property with no registrations and no licensing and the government has no say in the matter. Heck they can (and collectors do) buy tanks and APCs today and drive them on private land. I’m sure that treating gun ownership like that would give some folks heartburn.

    As for the authorities having *us* out gunned. Not really so much. How many predator drones do you actually think are in the entire US?

    Hint. There have been only about 350 RQ-1’s ever produced. How effective? Well, in an area where they are highly concentrated (Afghanistan) how many IEDs are prevented by Predator strikes? Answer is “not very many” Same goes for M1 tanks. There were only 9000 ever produced. Everyone thinks the armed forces have over whelming force at their disposal, but they do not. They simply do not have the numbers to hold land on a scale the size of the US.

    The consent and the civilly of the population is all that holds our country together. I think that the right wingers that think an armed revolution will be necessary and the left wingers that think it couldn’t be done are both wrong. The reality is that we live in a blessed nation where entire governments are “over thrown” every 4 years and the losers retire and write books about it.

    I want it to stay that way too.

  130. 130
    TOP123 says:

    @brantl: Okay, fine, accepting your point for the sake of the argument, what exactly do you need?

    Do you want a good solid six shot revolver? A shotgun with a reasonably light load, like a number of commenters above have suggested? This is the question whenever anyone brings up self defense. Unless you are planning on being involved in a lengthy siege in your home holding out against the neighborhood drug gang, you just don’t need 1) an automatic–frankly, a revolver is more reliable anyway 2) more than half a dozen rounds 3) thirty rounds 4) an assault rifle, whatever its status modification-wise.

    That’s the problem with the self defense argument–you really do have to picture yourself holed up and fighting of waves of zombies to justify anything beyond the most basic well-made firearm. And I have no problem with collectors, enthusiasts, etc., just see my comments above about having a legitimate process of scrutiny, and sanctions for those who use firearms irresponsibly. Most people have no need for ready access to any pistol, and it’s entirely reasonable that they be regulated and strictly licensed.

  131. 131
    brantl says:

    @TOP123: The problem that I’m envisioning, when you would want a pistol, is because someone’s after you, who’s probably got a pistol, and for one reason or another, the cops aren’t able to or aren’t willing to do, enough to reasonably protect you. If this happened to me,

    I’d want a revolver, and I’d practice with it, just as soon as I’d bought it.
    And to all the other sensible questions you’re going to ask:
    I’d want a request for this specific reason to be handled as expeditiously as possible (hastened by evidence that I’d been shot at).
    I’d put it in a holster that I could draw as quickly as humanly possible.
    I wouldn’t draw it unless I was sure someone was trying to kill me.

    Most people have no predictable need for a handgun; I’ll grant you that.

  132. 132
    Citizen_X says:

    @TOP123: That’s a good historical case, and it’s a demonstration of liberal’s point about organization. The Spanish Civil War was supposed to be the Spanish military coup. The coup attempt failed (and turned into a longer war), partly because not all the army joined in, but also because anarchist and soshulist unions said “fuck this,” mobbed the Army garrisons, and raided the armories. They were radical unions long before they were militias.

    Try telling that to your average NRA member, just for fun.

  133. 133
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Dork:

    And the notion that armed civilian bystanders could have gotten off a clean shot in the chaos of humanity surrounding this shooting is a fantasy.

    An armed conceal/carry weapon holder was one of the first people to help hold down the shooter, actually. He had heard the shots and came out of the store. I saw his interview yesterday. Had the shooter gotten free somehow or produced a back up pistol, he would have been shot and killed on the spot in all likelihood.

  134. 134
    TOP123 says:

    @brantl: Sure, and that, along with all sorts of other reasons including my own personal bias, is why I’m not a gun abolitionist, but differ with many of my friends on the issue of regulation. A well regulated militia, indeed. It should be a privilege, though one afforded by the Constitution to all citizens (regardless of race or income, just like the rest of our rights are, theoretically) to own a firearm. Or not to own one. But if they choose to do so, they should be subject to certain rationally based and strict regulations. That’s how I see defusing the Winger argument; yes, the Constitution firmly protects your right to own a firearm under certain circumstances as a free citizen of this nation; and you accept a hell of a lot of responsibilitie along with that gun license. It is your Constitutional right in the sense that the government can’t prevent you from exercising this right because you’re gay or black or a Democrat, but that doesn’t mean that you and every one else has free license to do

  135. 135
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Cam:

    @JPL: Yes—I read it in the Washington Post this morning. One of the two men who tackled the killer had a gun on him, but did not draw or use it

    I believe the shooter had already expended his first magazine and was trying to reload when the guy came out to see what the hell had just happened. I think it likely he would have drawn his weapon and opened fire, except he described that somebody had already grabbed the gunman, so he joined in.

  136. 136
    brantl says:

    @TOP123: I completely agree with what you’re saying. I’m just saying that writing an explicit, time-length delay into the law could be counterproductive to reasonable gun ownership, given my example that I illustrated here.

  137. 137
    TOP123 says:

    @brantl: Okay, but i think the distinction with a waiting period is this; if you are moving to a really edgy neighborhood, if you are suddenly transporting a lot of valuables in the course of your work, whatever, you can get a permit to the extent allowed by local statutes. If you drink a fifth of whiskey and decide to kill your brother in law, you can’t buy a .38 over the counter. I take your point, but think the benefits of the waiting period laws heavily outweigh the difficulities they might impose. Again, I could be wrong; please discuss.

  138. 138
    Kilkee says:

    @JPL: Yes. Ex-footballer, 200 pounds or so, decided not to draw his concealed weapon –instead helped hold the guy down until police arrived. In TV interview had the good sense to say that he knew hecould not fire in that environment without risking harm to others. Might also have thought that if he was holding a gun in such chaos that he might be the next one taken out, by police or other armed bystanders.

  139. 139
    Avogadro623 says:

    @PeakVT:
    I’m not advocating this but you’re kidding right? You can’t be so simple as to think armed resistance is about matching jets with jets and tanks with tanks. It is called asymmetric warfare and it is amazingly effective.

    I don’t know if you ever heard of a place called Vietnam or Iraq. Or remember the month when one shooter and his teenage sidekick paralyzed DC and the surrounding area.

    But yes, a very small group of dedicated and armed people can bring a government to a halt or make the cost to the government of functioning too high, i.e the kicking in of doors and searching of everyone.

  140. 140
    Lit3Bolt says:

    @cleek:

    Of course, you can take that argument in the other direction, and say why ban big clips? Why ban grenade launchers? Mortars? SAMs?

    Put it this way. There’s more rules and regulations and bureaucratic communication between states surrounding driving a motor vehicle in this country than there are over guns.

  141. 141
    Avogadro623 says:

    @jonas:
    Jonas, when you say:

    “In a sense, the Second Amendment’s original intention was overturned in the 1791 Whiskey Rebellion where the federal government asserted its monopoly on policing political violence in the states. ”

    I would strongly disagree. The federal government became involved only after the farmers killed federal agents and the reaction by the federal government in no way subverted the original intent of the 2nd amendment or granted any monopoly to the federal government.

    And, the actions of the federal government, the sending in of troops, was in 1794, not 1791.

  142. 142
    18Echo says:

    @Ivan Ivanovich Renko:

    “Gun control in America first came about to keep guns out of the hands of black men; it made us easier targets.
    Fuck that.”
    You are right. The laws did come about to keep guns from black men. But you should recognize that the white men passing those laws were not right wing nuts. They were liberal Southern Democrats. Remember that the KKK was mostly Democrats as was pretty much all of the south at the time. Byrd was a Democrat, Wallace was a Democrat, Bull “Fire Hose” Connor was a Democrat. I could go on for pages. This shooter was described by one of his classmates as a “Left Wing Pothead” How many “Left Wing Potheads” fit your idea of a threat to your personal safety?

    ” I am not at all comfortable with the idea that only the right-wing nutjobs are armed” Me either. I think that all adults should take their personal safety and the safety of their loved ones as a personal responsibility and be prepared to defend themselves from violence. (and nut jobs from all walks of life) Like this shooting, what ever violence that is going to visit you in this life will be all over LONG before the police arrive on the site, so it will always be up to you to defend yourself.

    My working assumption is that 99.9% of well adjusted adults, regardless of political leanings, go about their daily business neither looking for trouble or hoping to be involved in violence. The other .1% on the other hand will not be stopped by kind words alone.

  143. 143
    Avogadro623 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    Question for you OO, if you knew it were going to happen again what would you do? If you knew three guys were going to toss you to the ground and kick the crap out of you and -probably- be satisfied with only taking $50 from you again and not decide they want to see what the inside of your head looks like, would you want a gun? What if it were your wife, or your daughter?

    Honestly, I will truly respect whatever decision you make for yourself. And I’ll make my own decision.

  144. 144
    Avogadro623 says:

    @The Dangerman:
    Good question Dangerman. The most commonly reference example of someone in the crowd stopping a shooter with their own concealed weapon is the Luby’s massacre in Texas back in the early 90s, though I believe the gunman actually shot & killed himself.

    One thing to keep in mind though is a lunatic gunman may indeed be a lunatic but that does not mean he is stupid. Most mass shootings take place in “gun free zones” like schools and government buildings for a reason. A perfect example of that would be the Westroads Mall shooting in Omaha back in 2007.

  145. 145
    Avogadro623 says:

    @Avogadro623:
    A bit of self correction in my reply to Dangerman. The Luby’s case is referenced as an example of a CWP holder having left her gun in her car because she couldn’t take it into Luby’s and then being the victim of a shooting. A case of “if she only had her gun she could have…”. But we’ll never know and chances probably aren’t good she could have stopped anyone even with a gun. So my error on that.

    I will point out though that while I won’t call Ft. Hood a “gun free zone”, the 40+ victims there were not allowed to carry weapons unless they were using them in training and were unarmed when they were shot.

  146. 146
    gypsy howell says:

    Tom Tomorrow sums up the “debate” we’re allowed to have about sensible gun control in this country.

  147. 147
    celticdragonchick says:

    @18Echo:

    “Gun control in America first came about to keep guns out of the hands of black men; it made us easier targets.
    Fuck that.” You are right. The laws did come about to keep guns from black men. But you should recognize that the white men passing those laws were not right wing nuts. They were liberal Southern Democrats. Remember that the KKK was mostly Democrats as was pretty much all of the south at the time. Byrd was a Democrat, Wallace was a Democrat, Bull “Fire Hose” Connor was a Democrat. I could go on for pages. This shooter was described by one of his classmates as a “Left Wing Pothead” How many “Left Wing Potheads” fit your idea of a threat to your personal safety?

    ” I am not at all comfortable with the idea that only the right-wing nutjobs are armed”

    Me either. I think that all adults should take their personal safety and the safety of their loved ones as a personal responsibility and be prepared to defend themselves from violence. (and nut jobs from all walks of life) Like this shooting, what ever violence that is going to visit you in this life will be all over LONG before the police arrive on the site, so it will always be up to you to defend yourself.

    My working assumption is that 99.9% of well adjusted adults, regardless of political leanings, go about their daily business neither looking for trouble or hoping to be involved in violence. The other .1% on the other hand will not be stopped by kind words alone.

    Precisely.

  148. 148
    someGayName says:

    @gypsy howell: Japanese guy got 7 with a truck and a knife. The assault weapons ban expired in 2004 and violent crime continued to decrease. Gun control is an expensive endeavor for little or no practical benefit. Remember 1994? There are a ton of middle aged guys who will vote R in response to any perceived threat that the Dems will take away their weekly escape to the range/shooting competition. It might save a couple hundred victims of violent crime and suicides per year (of a nation of 309 million). The political consequence could be the social safety net, abortion rights, and any progress toward single payer healthcare, which affects most of the 309 million.
    For the number of guns in the US, violent gun crime is quite low. The knee jerk response to ‘ban something…anything’ brings Bruce Schneier’s concept of security theater to mind. Leave us our hobby and focus on some useful policy.

  149. 149
    someGayName says:

    @TheMightyTrowel: I couldn’t resist, but correlation does not imply causation. Having a gun in the home does not drive a man to beat or murder his wife or girlfriend. Likely, the same ‘macho’ dysfunction that drives wife beating also motivates gun purchases since ‘that’s what manly men do’ by this sick reasoning. Banning guns wouldn’t stop the beatings, and likely shift most of the murders from GSW to blunt force trauma or stabbing.
    The brady study seems to evenly pair homicides to the random controls, but doesn’t this introduce selection bias? from the report “Randomly selected control subjects were matched to the victims by neighborhood, sex, race, and age range.” That assumes a homicide rate of 50%, or that all non-matched demographics are perfectly captured by one random sample, while the test group is not randomly sampled. A better design would be to take a lump random sample and compare the murders that happen to have been randomly sampled to the rest of the sampled population. Another way would be to select a control group proportional to ‘non-murdered’ population at large, relative to the 143 murders tested.

  150. 150

    […] or even violent rhetoric, others to Arizona’s concealed carry laws, others to the need for “sensible gun control laws”. While some or all of those things may be contributing factors to the shootings, I don’t see […]

  151. 151

    As a former homicide detective and SWAT team leader I have studied and trained for these types of “active shooter” incidents.

    Banning high-capacity magazines will do noting to stop these types of incidents. Most active shooters will simply bring more than one gun.

    There is a well know saying in the shooting world, “The fastest reload is another gun.” The shooters at Columbine, the shooter at the CA McDonald’s and at Virginia Tech, and a few other all had more than one gun.

    Banning high capacity magazines will do NOTHING but prevent law abiding citizens who have concealed weapons permits from fighting on a level playing field.

    People that know nothing about guns, crime, and life in the real world should not be passing laws that will get more innocent people killed.

    This is not 1950s Mayberry USA anymore.

  152. 152

    […] mental-health care IS antediluvian, and the ease with which anyone – crazies included – can access assault weapons should be ethically abhorrent for those who haven’t been weaned on the gun-lobby […]

  153. 153
    Caz says:

    “And the notion that armed civilian bystanders could have gotten off a clean shot in the chaos of humanity surrounding this shooting is a fantasy.”

    You’re obviously not very well versed in carrying and using hanguns for self-defense. This is precisely what you learn to do when you train with a handgun. I guarantee I would’ve gotten off a clean shot in the chaos of humanity on that fateful day – as would millions of others who own and train with their guns.

    The problem is that you’ve been propagandized by the left about how worthless guns are for self-defense.

    The answer isn’t limiting the size of clips. The answer is allowing everyone to carry and encouraging people to have respect for firearms, to carry responsibly, and to learn to use them in case of an emergency.

    If we, as a society, were to embrace that philosophy, this wacko would’ve been taken down a little earlier by someone who had a gun and knew how to use it.

    You can’t prevent vioent acts. But you can be prepared to deal with them when they arise. Outlawing certain clips is trying to prevent the acts, rather than focusing on being prepared to deal with it when it arises.

    Putting up minor roadblocks isn’t going to do anything except reinforce that guns are the problem and cause fewer people to own, carry, and learn to use this valuable tool.

    You have fallen victim to the propaganda which is why you think limiting guns is the answer.

  154. 154

    I really don’t understand why, why everyone gets so upset about their right to own a gun!
    Why would it be so difficult to have a law just like a car?
    You purchase a gun!
    You register it!
    You insure it!
    You have a background check on your criminal status.
    Before you can take it on the road (purchase ammunition to put in it) you get a little drivers/gun training, like how to aim, like how to clean the weapon, like how to store it when not in use.
    Is that so damn difficult for honest gun owners to have to pursue?
    If your going to use it for honest reasons then you should have no objections.
    It seems to me, it’s the quick buy, the quick ammo install, the quick shoot for deadly purposes on the other intended human victim or hold up of bank/store that is what the criminals really want, that’s where gun ownership is a bad thing!!!

  155. 155
    DPirate says:

    because there’s really no use for an extended magazine on a 9mm pistol other than killing more people in a shorter period of time.

    Not so. If you ever have to defend yourself with a handgun, you will much appreciate not having to reload. You ought to watch some youtube vids of actual shootouts, whether involving police or just the average citizen. Nobody takes careful aim and squeezes the trigger – it’s bam bam bam as fast as possible while running to cover.

    I watched one the other day where having to reload cost the police officer his life.

    We have generally good gun laws. IMO, too strict in places. Silly stuff like this isn’t going to help anyone. The crazy guy is still going to get the jump on you.

  156. 156
    david says:

    @TheMightyTrowel:
    If we are going to reduce guns and reduce or eliminate high capacity magazines, then do we eliminate cars, bats, knives. In 2009 11870 innocent people were killed by drunk drivers in the US. Do we ban cars?
    I am not some gun activist, I just do not think a ban or reducing anything will help. Some (rachel maddow) are saying that if the ban was still in effect this may not have been as serious. That’s not true. Even after the ban high capacity magazines were still available on the market and if you already owned one then you were fine. the ban stopped manufacturers from making any more, so the ones that were already on the market were here to stay..
    God bless the Victims and families in Tucson, AZ

  157. 157
    2nd Amendment says:

    @TOP123: The 2nd Amendment gives us the right to own arms. Period. 30 round magazines, 100 round magazines, belt-fed guns, etc. are protected under the 2nd Amendment. I a police officer and believe that irrespective of whether there is a legitimate purpose for multiple-round magazines, the U.S. Constitution gives law abiding citizens the right to own them. Of course, there certainly is a legitimate use for them – civil unrest. Trust me, if there were riots, a natural disaster, or aggressive criminals, you would want the ability to shoot many rounds without having to reload. Will criminals use them? Sure. That is why it is the duty and responsibility of every citizen to keep his or her own gun with him at all times. This tragedy would have been shut down much more quickly had everyone in the crowd had a weapon.

  158. 158
    Avogadro623 says:

    @Jeff Morelock:
    Amen

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] mental-health care IS antediluvian, and the ease with which anyone – crazies included – can access assault weapons should be ethically abhorrent for those who haven’t been weaned on the gun-lobby […]

  2. […] or even violent rhetoric, others to Arizona’s concealed carry laws, others to the need for “sensible gun control laws”. While some or all of those things may be contributing factors to the shootings, I don’t see […]

  3. […] Juice‘s mistermix offers a plan for “sensible gun control” in the wake of Saturday’s tragic […]

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