Today in Nuts with Guns

The story of a Rochester area man who killed his 10 year-old and 3 year-old daughters over the weekend didn’t even make the national news, because some nut in Nevada and another psycho in West Virginia killed five people each. The Nevada incident involved an AK-47.

I have no specific policy prescription here, but it’s worth noting that it’s just a little bit too easy for disturbed people to get their hands on guns.






152 replies
  1. 1
    cleek says:

    The deaths occurred in an isolated area of Adirondack Camping Village

    yipes. i used to deliver ice there.

  2. 2

    Apparently it was a rough weekend. People were snapping at each other, criticizing each other, and shooting each other. All over the country.

    And yes, the presence of guns just made it worse. Without the presence of guns, some of those folks would have been yelling at each other but would still be alive. It probably is next to impossible to get rid of them all.

    I have no solutions.

  3. 3
    Charly Brown says:

    Well, right here is Mass a man killed his girlfriend and shot her two teenage kids. But of course we need to make sure that we have our guns, how else will we protect ourselves…

  4. 4
    MikeJ says:

    @cleek: And now I picture cleek in porn inspired by Eugene O’Neill.

  5. 5
    schlemizel - was Alwhite says:

    I was a member of the NRA back in the late 60s & early 70s. One of the biggest reasons was that they gave you a huge life insurance policy covering you if you died while hunting. I also enjoyed reading about some of the guns they dissected. But it became obvious to me that they really stopped being an organization focused on hunting and shooting sports some time around then. They became all paranoia all the time, often it was not even trying to be subtle. The goal was you needed more and bigger guns all the time. I see them as a marketing arm of the gun manufacturers. The market was saturated already and they needed to find ways to sell more and more.
    They have been so successful that they really have won the gun control debate by default. There are millions of guns floating around. Many have been stolen or purchased by ‘bad guys’, nuts or abusers. There is no way to get the genie back in the bottle so the only solution is to buy even MORE guns!
    Yeah, we’re screwed again.

  6. 6
    cleek says:

    @MikeJ:
    The Iceman Cummeth ?

  7. 7
    El Tiburon says:

    but it’s worth noting that it’s just a little bit too easy for disturbed people to get their hands on guns.

    Well, then. The Founding Fathers, Abe Lincoln and Thomas Airplane, should not have put Item #2 in the Old Parchment promising 40 acres and a Glock to every white man who owns property or who is white.

    Now, excuse me while I get my target practice on. Where’s a democrat?

  8. 8
    AB says:

    The second and third links go to the same article, which is about the West Virginia incident.

  9. 9
    mistermix says:

    @AB: Fixed. Thanks.

  10. 10

    … it’s worth noting that it’s just a little bit too easy for disturbed people to get their hands on guns.

    ZOMG WHY DO YOU HATE THE CONSTITUTION!

  11. 11
  12. 12
    Jamey: Bike Commuter of the Gods says:

    The IHOP shooting–four Guardsmen killed–ought to put to lie the idea that victims of random gun violence still would be alive if EVERYONE was strapped (i.e., the Va. Tech argument)… for about five minutes.

  13. 13
    Rihilism says:

    When, exactly, was I transported into Dahlgren…does anyone have an orchid I can borrow…where the hell is Tak?…

  14. 14
    Mino says:

    And there are increasing numbers of disturbed people out there, too.

  15. 15
    gene108 says:

    it’s worth noting that it’s just a little bit too easy for disturbed people to get their hands on guns.

    Bigger issue is the lack of treatment for mental illness. The stigma of being diagnosed as mentally ill. The lack of money for mental health hospitals and out patient services, such as group homes.

    Also, too the absolute lack of money for people working in the mental health field discourages people from getting into it and creates a high level of burn out, within the profession.

    If another illness had a possible side effect of getting a dozen healthy and unaffected people killed in a day, throughout different parts of the country, I bet the MSM would be running wall to wall coverage about the scourge of the “bird flu” or whatever the contagion gets dubbed.

    Mental illness on the other hand is swept under the rug. We accept there will always have to be a certain percentage of crazy people, who will hurt themselves and others.

    Anyway, I could go on and on about how screwed up we are, with regards to funding mental health treatment, but it is one of the big problems in this country that gets very little attention.

  16. 16
    greennotGreen says:

    “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

    Despite the Supreme Court’s* reading in 2008 that this ensures an individual’s right to bear (certain) arms, I don’t see how it can rationally be read that way. Don’t the first words “We the people” of the Constitution refer to the citizenry as a whole? Otherwise, the document would only have the weight of the individuals who signed it, not the weight of the individuals as delegates from twelve states.

    *This being the same Supreme Court that interceded in a presidential election in which they had no constitutional role.

  17. 17
    geg6 says:

    So let’s raffle off another gun in Pima County to honor the victims!

    /AZ GOP

  18. 18
    Cat Lady says:

    It’s always men who go nuts with guns, and since gun = p3n!s it’s all about inadequacy. I always assume that the biggest raging asshole or warmonger has a tiny dick.

  19. 19
    A Mom Anon says:

    @gene108: Yes,why mental health isn’t considered a medical issue makes zero sense.

    It also might be nice if guns weren’t viewed as an answer to problems. Kill the bad guy. Kill the person you feel wronged you. Kill someone to make someone else “pay”. Kill the spouse you’ve grown to hate. Handguns and assault rifles aren’t meant for hunting anything but humans. Why this is so hard to get I have no idea. Maybe if we actually addressed social problems in this country instead of ignoring or covering them up we’d see less gun violence. I know, and unicorns fart glitter. Sigh.
    @geg above: if anyone deserved a good smack upside the head,it’s the pack of nitwits who thought the Glock raffle was a splendid plan. Jesus.

  20. 20
    Frances says:

    Somebody ought to start a rumor that Obama is planning to take away books.

  21. 21
    GVG says:

    The problem is finding out someone has a mental illness that makes them unsafe to own a gun gets into Doctor patient confidentiality. Plus I don’t think we are really that good at diagnosing who’s dangerous and who isn’t yet I don’t think it’s really a reliable science yet If people feel that their condition might be reported to outside agencies they become less likely to admit to a professional that they have certain thoughts….I happen to know of people who won’t get counseling because it can impair their professional license even for something routine and simple in my view as grief counseling or discussing fear left over from an attack years ago. Think about privacy issues and the fact that their must be many people who have disparing moments who DON”T then go on to kill a bunch of people and imagine all those people having it reported in a big public database accessed by every gun seller in America including Walmart employee’s…What exactly would the criteria be for someone to need to be reported is hard to define before the fact of a killing spree.
    I do think some things should trigger a lock out, but it probably can’t come from doctors. Things like stalking, threats, police reports with witnesses ought to result in denial and confiscation of already purchased weapons.
    I’ve tried to think about it and its really hard to come up with a concrete proposal.

  22. 22

    The problem (as others have noted) starts with the ability to ID people with mental problems that would prevent them from owning a gun. That is not the job of the gun dealer.

    @Jamey: Bike Commuter of the Gods: Or the nut who shot those cops out in Washington (unless I mean Oregon).

    Of course the fReichtard answer to that is the cops must have been weakened by PC Libtard Rays.

    Ralph Swagler, the owner of a nearby barbecue restaurant, told The A.P. that he saw the gunman pull up outside the restaurant, where he first shot a man on a motorcycle and then headed inside.

    “I wish I had shot at him, but he was going in the IHOP,” Mr. Swagler said. “But when he came at me — when somebody is pointing an automatic weapon at you, you can’t believe the firepower, the kind of rounds coming out of that weapon.”

    But if everyone was allowed to carry a grenade launcher …

  23. 23
    greennotGreen says:

    @Cat Lady: Not always. Last year Amy Bishop killed three people at University of Alabama, Huntsville, because she didn’t get tenure. (Well, she really killed them because she was deeply disturbed, and she had a gun.)

  24. 24
    Bobby says:

    People go crazy every day. There is no way anyone can predict it. A sane man buys a gun today, goes crazy tomorrow. “He was such a nice quiet man”, then one day he loses it. No real reason for this comment except that the amount of firearms out there is really scary but what is really scary is all the people who can and will go nuts.

  25. 25
    RoonieRoo says:

    @gene108: This a million times.

  26. 26
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    @Jamey: Bike Commuter of the Gods: Uh, National Guard personnel would not be armed in a fucking IHOP in Nevada. Shit, even in the “combat zones” you have to have a goddam direct order to lock and load a weapon.

  27. 27
    PaulW says:

    But… but… guns don’t kill people. Bullets kill people. Wait, that came out wrong.

    Guns don’t kill people. Cars kill people. Except that cars require drivers’ licenses and auto insurance. Hold on.

    Guns don’t kill people. Steak knives and baseball bats kill people. Except that knives and bats have other, more positive uses that justify their manufacture. Hurm. This is going to take a minute…

    Guns don’t kill people. Ideologies and fetish worship kill people. Nah, too sarcastic.

    Guns don’t kill people. They just make it too damn easy.

  28. 28
    Ash Can says:

    @GVG: Jared Loughner wasn’t exactly borderline. And I have a hard time believing that anyone who acts out in a massively violent way is.

  29. 29
    Jado says:

    Yew pussa librel commie punks make me wanna puke! Yew cain’t make a omelet witout breakin sum eggs, so if’n some random librels get plunked BY INDIVIDUALS, who ain’t part of ANY SPECIFIC POLITICAL MOVEMENT, who were ACTIN ALONE, in ISOLATED INCIDENTS, well then, that there is the price we pay fer livin in the good ol’ USA.

    Freedom ain’t free, and the tree of liberty needs waterin with the blood of bystanders sometimes. From my cold dead hands.

    WOLVERINES!!

  30. 30

    @PaulW: Guns don’t kill people, doctors who perform abortions kill people!

    Also: FLASH MOBS!

  31. 31
    ericblair says:

    @Raven (formerly stuckinred):

    Uh, National Guard personnel would not be armed in a fucking IHOP in Nevada. Shit, even in the “combat zones” you have to have a goddam direct order to lock and load a weapon.

    Yup. People who have been trained to use firearms and are expected to use them in their duties have far more restrictions on handling their weapons then Billy Joe Bob who thinks guns are cool. Notice how organizations that take firearms seriously, take firearms seriously?

    As for the 2nd amendment discussion, you’d think that the originalists in the courts would have the most problem with assuming a personal right to firearms. The actual, original discussions on the 2nd amendment happened because the individual states wanted to maintain their ability to raise militias in a federal relationship, and had nothing to do with individual citizens.

  32. 32
    Chad N Freude says:

    the tree of liberty needs waterin with the blood of bystanders

    That’s very good. The NRA should sell t-shirts with that line emblazoned across the front.

  33. 33
    Chad N Freude says:

    @Thoughtful Black Co-Citizen: An NPR story this morning says that now doctors who prescribe contraceptives are included.

    ETA: The story includes a clip of Sean Hannity asserting that the Gov’t should subsidize V1agra because it treats a medical condition but should not subsidize contraception because it’s just to enable women to have sex whenever they want. I have a fertile (no pun) imagination, but I could never make up something like that.

  34. 34
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @Ash Can: the Va. Tech shooter wasn’t either. He had issues way before that day.

  35. 35
    gene108 says:

    @A Mom Anon:

    Handguns and assault rifles aren’t meant for hunting anything but humans. Why this is so hard to get I have no idea.

    Well the folks clamoring to get CCW permits and who want to make it easier to get CCW permits have 180 degree different view of things.

    “Thankfully”, we live in a world where your view and there’s can never come to a happy compromise.

    @Ash Can:

    I think the point he is making is that there are a lot of people, who do not seek mental health treatment, even for non-clinical depression, but event specific issues, who are afraid to get treatment because of the stigma attached to mental health issues.

    I tend to agree with CVG that there isn’t a good way to figure out, when someone is mentally unfit to have a gun.

    Having a bout of depression and then getting stable isn’t the same as being on the edge, but we have no way to look at someone and decide where they are mentally.

    Psychiatrists have a tough enough time deciding where a patient is in terms of treatment, I doubt a gun store clerk or Wal-Mart employee should have access to that sort of decision making ability.

    If a person, who likes guns, gets depressed and knowing that having a history of mental illness will keep you from your hobby, you are just discouraging a group of people from seeking treatment.

    You can’t make getting guns tougher for a specific group of people. You need to do it for everybody or leave things as they are, because everyone has a different opinion on what group is the most likely to misuse fire arms.

  36. 36
    gene108 says:

    Guns don’t kill people.

    Guns don’t kill people, bullets do!

    Guns just get all the blame…I swear it isn’t fair…

  37. 37
    Amir Khalid says:

    I got a question. As I understand, in those early days state and local authorities didn’t have permanent police or other security forces to keep order; they relied on rounding up the local menfolk as the need arose — into a “well-regulated militia”, as referred to in the 2nd Amendment. So it was a citizen’s duty to keep a gun in case he was called up for such service.

    State and local authorities in the US no longer round up posses as they did back then, so what is the justification these days for letting every Tom, Dick and Harry keep a gun?

  38. 38

    @Raven (formerly stuckinred):

    the Guardsman weren’t armed, but the owner of the BBQ restaurant next door was. But he was too scared to get off a shot

    The gunfire prompted Ralph Swagler, the owner of a nearby barbecue restaurant, to grab his weapon. But when Sencion started toward him, Swagler backed away.

    “I wish I had shot at him when he was going in the IHOP,” said Swagler, who owns Locals BBQ & Grill. “But when he came at me, when somebody is pointing an automatic weapon at you — you can’t believe the firepower, the kind of rounds coming out of that weapon.”

    so, there’s one gun that was useless as defense.

    What a fucked up story. Apparently the shooter had a “support our troops” sticker on his van. And then went and shot three guys who had just done a tour in Afghanistan.

    And, speaking to the difficulty of keeping guns out of the hands of the insane, as mentioned above he was a ” a gentle, kind man who was very helpful to friends and family.”

    The only answer is to get rid of the guns. But that will never happen. Living in a country without guns, I am always just a wee bit afraid when I come home to the States to visit. It’s a bit like a lightning strike, but it is a kind of lightning that just never falls here.

    sad story.

  39. 39
    Trabb's Boy says:

    Hold on here. People with mental illnesses are not more violent than people without. Some people with mental illnesses are violent assholes, as are some people without mental illnesses. There is no reason to single out people with mental illness as people who shouldn’t be able to own firearms.

    See, e.g.,

    Personally, I wish there were some more controls on gun ownership generally, but please don’t go hating on a group that already has a tough time in this world.

  40. 40
    ericblair says:

    @magurakurin:

    What a fucked up story. Apparently the shooter had a “support our troops” sticker on his van. And then went and shot three guys who had just done a tour in Afghanistan.

    “Support the Troops” is a tribal marker. If you actually supported the troops, you’d kind of want increased VA funding for when they get home and put a stop to warmongering to ensure they’re only used when all else fails. “Support the Troops”, however, as a bumper sticker, keeps you in good wingnut standing.

    As the restaurant owner found out, having a gun and no specific military training makes you most effective with unarmed targets. Other armed targets, not so much.

  41. 41
    Chris says:

    @ericblair:

    “Support the Troops” is a tribal marker.

    This.

    Just like every other thing the GOP pretends to believe.

  42. 42
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    @magurakurin: People have no fucking idea what it’s like to get shot at, period.

  43. 43
    Earl Butz says:

    The Nevada shooter’s family knew he was mentally ill, and knew he had guns. Why they didn’t at least try saying anything to anyone is beyond me.

  44. 44
    catclub says:

    @Amir Khalid: See schlmizel @ #4

    The NRA is actually the gun manufacturers of america, keeping demand for guns high.

  45. 45
  46. 46
    schlemizel - was Alwhite says:

    As a strict constructionist Constitutional scholar :D I believe the Founding fathers must be taken at their word exactly as I believe them to have meant it, not how people who might disagree with me interpret it!

    Therefore, in regards to the second amendment, you have the right to have as many mussel-loading smooth-bored muskets as you want and the government can not prevent you from buying black powder or lead shot for said arms.

  47. 47
    Cacti says:

    If mentally unstable people couldn’t get guns, the King of England could come over here and start pushing you around!

    Do ya want that? Do ya?

  48. 48
    Chad N Freude says:

    @catclub: Not just the manufacturers, although it is a big business. It’s also a cult.

  49. 49
    Persia says:

    @cleek: Yeah, I’ve been in the area too. 10 and 3. Christ.

  50. 50

    @Raven (formerly stuckinred):

    I sure as shit don’t. Don’t want to know either.

    But you are probably very correct. People think the shit they see on tv is real. The BBQ guy found out in living color that the real world of guns and bullets is way more fucking scary than an episode of CSI Miami.

  51. 51
    Matt says:

    I think Tom Tomorrow put it best:

    Barring some seismic realignment in this country, the gun control debate is all but settled – and your side won. The occasional horrific civilian massacre is just the price we have to pay.

    Over and over again, apparently.

  52. 52
    Earl Butz says:

    Yup. People who have been trained to use firearms and are expected to use them in their duties have far more restrictions on handling their weapons then Billy Joe Bob who thinks guns are cool. Notice how organizations that take firearms seriously, take firearms seriously?

    @ericblair: Base housing would be the exception. EVERYBODY there is armed to the teeth, it’s absolutely ludicrous (you’re on a military base inside some of the best security in the world) and that, combined with the high rate of alcohol consumption that frequently occurs on base, ends up producing a lot of dead soldiers every year. Which you won’t read about in the local news, because it happened on base.

  53. 53
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    @magurakurin: Self preservation is a motherfucker.

  54. 54
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Raven (formerly stuckinred):
    True. Unless you’ve been rigorously trained the first reaction is to start firing wildly. Add to that the fact that most people who purchase a firearm for self defense couldn’t hit the ground with their hat and you have a recipe for disaster.

  55. 55
    Carl Nyberg says:

    Here’s one idea on firearm ownership.

    Once a year a firearms owner has to get five people to attest that they know him/her and are in regular contact with the individual. They have to sign a form that says they are perfectly comfortable having the individual own firearms.

    I suspect that many of the people who engage in spree killing and the like would have a hard time getting five people to sign for them owning guns.

    And this places the onus where it belongs, on the firearms owners. The idea that it’s the responsibility of police, teachers, school administrators, etc. to flag the mentally ill is stupid (especially since the firearms owners & industry wants to keep it secret who owns firearms).

  56. 56
    Carl Nyberg says:

    If someone has signed for a firearm owner and the firearm owner is having mental health issues, there would be a hotline to call.

    Individuals could withdraw their signatures on a firearm owners petition.

  57. 57
    Sam Houston says:

    There are all sorts of behaviors allowed by the Constitution that if left unchecked become public health crises. This shouldn’t be hard for rational people to talk about, but there it is.

    Would we be willing to consider death offsets? In 2000 there were about 80K gun deaths. Make the industry buy and trade life-credits with polluters, car manufacturers, and tobacco companies.

  58. 58
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Carl Nyberg:
    I am in hopes that the spate of killings that generated this thread are an outlier. I fear that as the economy continues in its moribund state that there will be more killings as people finally snap under the strain of joblessness and the loss of their homes.

    Your idea is a good one. It could never be implemented in a nation where Washington D.C.’s perfectly sensible attempt to regulate firearms was overturned.

  59. 59
    johnsmith1882 says:

    Here’s a policy prescription: civilians can’t purchase kalashnikovs.

  60. 60
    Trakker says:

    Their attitude toward guns is just one more indication that the right is intent on dragging America back to the 19th century.

    They dream of an America where (white) men strut down the street with heat strapped to their hip, intimidating wussy liberals and itching to blow away any thugs who look dangerous.

  61. 61
    somegayname says:

    All states except IL have some provision for concealed carry, and we haven’t descended into the wild west type mayhem. Gun violence, and crime in general, have continued to decrease despite the assault weapons ban expiration and (surprisingly) despite a severe recession. The events are tragic, but I swear gun violence prompts reactions on BJ similar to those on Cable News when a white woman is kidnapped or a shark attacks someone.

  62. 62
    cleek says:

    @johnsmith1882:
    any other semi-auto would be just as deadly.

    you can buy a cheap .22 for like $150 that can fire ten rounds as quick as you can pull the trigger. yeah, a .22 is smaller than a 9mm, but it’ll kill ya just as dead.

  63. 63
    gene108 says:

    @Carl Nyberg:

    @Earl Butz:

    It’s no where near as easy to get someone committed for mental health issues as it is to dial 911 and have the ambulance show up because someone’s having a seizure, stroke or heart attack.

  64. 64

    @schlemizel – was Alwhite:

    you have the right to have as many mussel-loading smooth-bored muskets as you want

    Guns don’t kill people, shellfish kill people!

  65. 65
    Persia says:

    @somegayname: What about a white shark kidnapping?

    More seriously, it’s probably just growing up in gun country talking, but I’m saddened that our society could just about give a shit about mental health. Treatment is hard to find in some places and expensive everywhere, and there’s a huge stigma that stops people from seeking treatment. (Which would no doubt get larger if we started denying ‘the mentally ill’ guns on a blanket basis.)

  66. 66
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    As I understand, in those early days state and local authorities didn’t have permanent police or other security forces to keep order; they relied on rounding up the local menfolk as the need arose — into a “well-regulated militia”, as referred to in the 2nd Amendment. So it was a citizen’s duty to keep a gun in case he was called up for such service.

    Excellent summary. Just to add to it, part of the reason was because the original civil libertarians in England were appalled at the idea that their government could have permanently-existing professional armed forces, because that was a prescription for empire-building abroad and strong-arming a vulnerable populace at home. Parliamentary factions fought about “standing armies” constantly. So if you can’t have a standing army, you need to have a just-in-time method for making a defensive army at a moment’s notice — i.e., “the militia.” Americans liked this and wrote it into the Constitution.

    State and local authorities in the US no longer round up posses as they did back then, so what is the justification these days for letting every Tom, Dick and Harry keep a gun?

    Inability to parse 18th-century prose, I think. I mean, for fuck’s sake (or is that for suck’s fake?), the word _regulated_ is PART OF THE TEXT OF THE AMENDMENT. “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state [i.e., _because_ a militia is necessary to protect the liberty of the people, because it thwarts tyrannical power from being used to subjugate them], the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed [so you can be part of that well-regulated militia we were talking about a whole 20 words ago].”

  67. 67
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Joey Maloney: You can have my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead flippers!

  68. 68
    Martin says:

    If that guy in Nevada wasn’t able to buy an AK-47, he just would have killed those people with ginormous pancakes instead.

  69. 69
    JPL says:

    @magurakurin: If the owner of the BBQ had an AK-47 then he could have stopped the killer.
    It’s time that we all buy an AK-47.

  70. 70
    rlrr says:

    @johnsmith1882:

    I wonder if people who think civilians should have easy access to kalashnikovs would object to a civilian obtaining artillery, tactical nukes, etc…

  71. 71
    JCT says:

    @Raven (formerly stuckinred): To say the least — most of them have this inane “video game” view of firearms.

    Never ceases to amaze me that these guys don’t ask themselves *why* LEOs spend so much timing training *how* to react to these situations and have to continue this training throughout their careers. I’m sure there are tons of threads out there calling this guy Swagler pu$$y of the universe. Meanwhile, most of them would have either accidentally shot themselves or peed themselves if someone pointed an ak-47 at them like that.

    Yet heaven-for-fucking-fend that they *have* to even take some basic classes to carry a concealed weapon. I’m about to move to AZ and have stumbled on some threads in preparing for my move that have shocked the hell out of me. Like *picketing* gun shops for being in favor of (and offering for $60) CCW classes. WTF?

    /rant off

  72. 72
    johnsmith1882 says:

    @cleek: right. my point is that civilians don’t need access to semi-automatic weapons, which seems obvious enough, unless you thought that i have something specifically against mass-reproduced russian technology.

  73. 73
    geg6 says:

    @somegayname:

    You have obviously never known anyone killed by senseless gun violence. If you had, you’d not be so cavalier about. As for the declining crime rates, they are not necessarily correlated with gun deaths, since gun deaths include not only gun-related crimes but accidental discharges and suicides. Gun deaths have declined, but rather slowly compared to other crime rates. And it’s not all guns that are the problem. In 2005, 75% of the 10,100 homicides committed using firearms in the United States were committed using handguns, compared to 4% with rifles, 5% with shotguns, and the rest with a type of firearm not specified. http://web.archive.org/web/201.....le_07.html

    A quarter of all robberies are committed with guns. A robbery committed with a gun is 3X more likely to end up in fatalities. It’s about the same with domestic violence. The level of gun ownership in America’s 50 largest cities correlates to the number of robberies committed with guns, but not overall robbery rates. Even though robbery and assault rates in Europe and Australia are about the same as in the US, their murder rates are much, much lower.

    Guns don’t make us safe, no matter how much it makes you feel like a man.

  74. 74
    somegayname says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    “…[so you can be part of that well-regulated militia we were talking about a whole 20 words ago].”

    But even your interpretation – CAN be part – allows for the situation where you own a gun but are not part of the militia. Nothing in the text requires militia membership to own a gun, but recognizes that you cannot raise an armed militia from an unarmed constituency.
    People also need to get over the cosmetic appearance of the gun. Civilians cannot own ‘Kalishnikovs’ unless they were registered before 1986, and you’re talking +$10,000 easy. Civilians can own semiautomatic weapons that have a similar form factor, such as WASR-10. I know the article says ‘AK-47’, but given the rarity and expense, I presume the author was going by @this

  75. 75
    johnsmith1882 says:

    @rlrr: RPG’s don’t kill people, blah blah, something else kills people. Haven’t you ever had flash-cooked exploded venison? Delicious. The shaped charge really seals in the juices, and you don’t have to butcher it.

  76. 76
    Elizabelle says:

    @Carl Nyberg:

    Great idea.

    I wish we lived in a country with as much concern for the rights of bystanders as for gun owners.

  77. 77

    @Trabb’s Boy: It also raises the issue of WHICH mental illness. And again, what good does that do if the person hasn’t been diagnosed.

    As an aside, I wasn’t aware until recently that you’re expected to support the diagnosis of certain mental health diagnoses when you get a driver’s license. (At least in my state.) I seroiusly doubt many people self-report.

  78. 78
    cckids says:

    @Jamey: Bike Commuter of the Gods:

    The IHOP shooting—four Guardsmen killed—ought to put to lie the idea that victims of random gun violence still would be alive if EVERYONE was strapped (i.e., the Va. Tech argument)… for about five minutes.

    Well, the Guardsmen were unarmed, but an owner of a nearby shop was packing & came out to do battle after the gunman shot a woman outside. To his credit (?), he admits to being too intimidated by the firepower of the AK-47 to even attempt to shoot. So I guess we all just need BIGGER, FASTER guns. . .?

    Edited to add: Addressed, I guess. . . late to the post, due to West Coast.

  79. 79
    James says:

    You can make them illegal and people will still be able to easily get guns. It will just mean that us law-abiding citizens won’t have guns. The nuts and criminals will still have guns.

  80. 80
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @somegayname:

    But even your interpretation – CAN be part – allows for the situation where you own a gun but are not part of the militia.

    Not really. The reason you get to keep a gun is because you might find yourself being called into being part of “the militia.” Now, you can say that “the militia” basically means “the armed populace,” so everyone gets to have a gun anyway. Fair enough. But under those conditions, it’s _regulated_, right there in the text.

    (The wheels-within-wheels debate then becomes whether “well-regulated” means “subject to law,” or is simply a synonym for “smoothly functioning.” And IMHO it’s not at all clear who gets to call up “the militia” — not like a state National Guard but this armed-body-of-the-people entity — by convoking its just-in-time existence when, in the context of the debates about the limits to tyrannical power, that ability seems to reside in “the people” in contradistinction to “the government.”)

  81. 81
    somegayname says:

    @geg6: I am an empiricist though, and recognize that although a good friend was killed by a drunk driver, prohibition just did not work. A lot of gun crime – hell any crime in general – is driven by social and economic factors. Do you really think that banning handguns would remove those 75% of homicides? I think they would be committed instead by sawed off longarms, knives, or some other means. As for the robberies, you may think that the gun causes the 3 fold increase in fatalities, but I interpret that as a person willing to commit an armed robbery is inherently more violent than an unarmed robber. Also too, correlation is not causation. Do more people in the 50 largest cities buy guns to commit robberies, or do more people buy guns in response to perceived safety given local crime rates?
    I like the strawman argument to insult my manhood. I never claimed guns make us safer. The decrease in crime rates before during and after the assault weapons ban suggest they have little if any effect.

  82. 82
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @somegayname:

    Nothing in the text requires militia membership to own a gun

    The “Being necessary” phrase comes damn close, especially given the ambiguity surrounding the concept of the militia and the impermanence that virtually defines it.

  83. 83
    Amir Khalid says:

    @FlipYrWhig:
    As I read the 2nd amendment, it implies that the right to organize a militia belongs to a state, as part of its obligation to security within its borders. (So a citizen would not really have the right to organize his own Militia of Me And My Buddies.) The citizen’s right to bear arms is only mentioned pursuant to the need for such a militia.

    Most countries would consider it madness to allow private armed militias. Are they, like, really constitutionally protected in the US?
    ETA: It seems you already answered this #77.

  84. 84
    Stefan says:

    “I wish I had shot at him when he was going in the IHOP,” said Swagler, who owns Locals BBQ & Grill. “But when he came at me, when somebody is pointing an automatic weapon at you—you can’t believe the firepower, the kind of rounds coming out of that weapon.”

    Real life’s not like a movie, is it?

  85. 85
    Calouste says:

    Obviously, we need to make gun training mandatory for under 10 years olds, so they can protect themselves against their parents. Those girls wouldn’t have been shot by their father if they were packing.

    /NRA

  86. 86
    Stefan says:

    It’s no where near as easy to get someone committed for mental health issues as it is to dial 911 and have the ambulance show up because someone’s having a seizure, stroke or heart attack.

    Which is as it should be. The potential for mischief if it was easy to get another person committed is immense — husbands and wives would use it against each other in divorce and custody cases, to use just one example.

  87. 87
    geg6 says:

    @somegayname:

    Funny enough, you assume I want to ban guns. Hee! For reals, I don’t.

    Just handguns and assault rifles.

    As for your idea that the murders would still happen, I doubt that. Especially in such numbers. Funny that Europe and Australia have just as many robberies and assaults as the US (per 100,000) and many, many fewer deaths. Why do you suppose that is?

  88. 88
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Amir Khalid: I like your explanation better than mine, honestly, because it’s more logical and coherent. But my sense of the English debates on liberty underlying and preceding the American debates leads me to think that the “militia” is itself a very amorphous and impermanent thing that isn’t quite the same as a state-level national-guard-esque security force.

    I think The People and The Militia are sometimes almost interchangeable, in the lingo of liberty in the Anglophone world at least, but calling them “the militia” emphasizes that they’re armed. I just can’t keep straight if the people pull out their guns and become the militia, or if the people call themselves the militia and then pull out their guns.

    And none of what I’ve said come from or is aimed towards a legal perspective, just from repeated readings of 17th- and 18th-century texts on the nature of liberty and civil government.

  89. 89
    Stefan says:

    Do you really think that banning handguns would remove those 75% of homicides?

    Oh, if only there were other countries that had effectively banned guns that we could look to for evidence! If only we could look, so, say, Canada, England, Germany, Japan, Korea, Turkey, France, etc. to see how their rates of gun deaths compared to ours!

    I think they would be committed instead by sawed off longarms, knives, or some other means.

    Yes, well, people think lots of stupid things. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to kill someone with a knife? Unless you take the other person completely by surprise, it’s a very messy and disgusting process, full of screaming and spurting blood, which forces you to get face to face with your victim who is doing everyhing in his power to resist you, and which can only be done one person at a time.

    It’s comparatively quite easy to shoot multiple people with a gun from a distance — all you have to do is move your finger a little bit.

  90. 90
    somegayname says:

    @FlipYrWhig: The ‘being necessary’ applies to the well regulated militia with respect to the security of the free state, not to membership as a prerequisite for firearms ownership.

  91. 91
    PeakVT says:

    @Amir Khalid: The US Constitution has been in force for about 222 years now, and the requirements for amendment are pretty high, so it has more than a few archaic elements. The whole concept of a militia is one of them.

  92. 92
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @somegayname: That’s not how 17th- and 18th-century English works, though. It basically means “Because a well-regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state, the right to keep and bear arms shall not be abridged.” There’s no reason to include that first part except to modify and restrict the second.

  93. 93
    PeakVT says:

    @Stefan: Gun – a remote control on someone else’s life. Other readily available deadly weapons – not so much.

  94. 94
    GVG says:

    Not all mental illnesses have anything to do with the problems. Some of the known examples seem really obvious in hindsight but I’m not so sure that their aren’t 10 times or more who are hard to tell from them before hand who will never actually do anything like this …I really just don’t think diagnosis is that good yet.
    What if we make some laws about reporting this kind of thing to an…call it anti registry (not allowed to buy guns) with even temporary (for grief or event related condition) and permanent. Make it as fair as possible, to the extent we know how at this time. What if 20 years from now we are noticing that say 10 times as many blacks get put on it as whites even though they are about 10% of the population? sort of like drug law enforcement results…How do we prevent THAT? I think it is possible.
    Now I’m actually rather antigun myself, but I can’t think of a way to reliably sort who is a violent assXXXX from rational citizen’s. Mental state is part of the problem. I think our knowledge in this area is not much better than medieval yet. Up bringing and values also form a part of it. Thinking it’s OK to shoot someone such as a wife or girlfriend contributes even more to the grim statistics but I’m sure we can’t legislate on that issue. Work together to change societal attitudes with long term goals yes. I don’t give up but a simple law is not where I put my hope.
    I have been mulling the mental health report versus gun permit issue since shortly after the Virgina Tech shooting. I read a story that made it clear he had been known about but no one had made any reports that prevented gun buying and it was because of Doctor patient ethics, which did not have any obvious solution without consequences that were worse for more people. I haven’t really reached any conclusions but kind of hope a discussion here will be helpful.

  95. 95
    wenchacha says:

    Is there a website which logs each gun-related mass murder in this country? It happens so often now, at least every week and often more than once in a week. I don’t know what good such record-keeping would do; I’m sure more people die in car accidents weekly, so the take-away would be that we should want to ban private transportation.

    My hunch is that over the last several years that mass murders are on the increase, but I don’t know if that is the case.

  96. 96
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    The flip side of the mental illness ban is who gets to make the call on who is a loon or not? Not to mention if you read in with the Carson City shooter his friends didn’t think he was capable of it.

  97. 97

    I have no specific policy prescription here

    And like so many others here, I don’t expect you should. It’s depressing when this happens, but it’s probably another case where the urge to “do something” leads us to “do something that doesn’t help.”

  98. 98
    dww44 says:

    @gene108: I heard a great segment on Sunday’s All Things Considered” broadcast about how far too many of the mentally insane are thrown into jail. There was a great segment with a Miami judge about his program to get the mentally ill in his domain out of jail and into a treatment program. Constructive piece.

    Additionally there’s an interview with a photographer /author who’s gone around photographing all the abandoned mental health facilities in states around the country. Just a great segment all told and worth a listen.

    Succinct quote from the piece:

    Now, three decades later, more than a million people a year with mental illness are finding a home in the two places that can’t turn them away: jail and prison.

    http://www.npr.org/2011/09/04/.....-prisoners

    I apologize for problems I seem to have with posting links. Never quite sure about how to do that here.

  99. 99
  100. 100
    Jewish Steel says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    DougJ favorite, Hendrik Hertzberg asked a similar question. Paraphrasing, “Either the words ‘well-regulated militia’ mean something, or they mean nothing. Which is it?”

    I guess it’s nothing.

  101. 101
    Chris says:

    @rlrr:

    I wonder if people who think civilians should have easy access to kalashnikovs would object to a civilian obtaining artillery, tactical nukes, etc…

    I posted exactly that in a PJMedia thread a year or so ago (under a bogus ID) just because I was curious to see what the response would be. No dice: didn’t make it through the filter. I assume they didn’t want their audience hurting themselves by thinking too hard about where the line was and what part of the Constitution allowed it to be drawn.

  102. 102
    danimal says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    Apparently it was a rough weekend. People were snapping at each other, criticizing each other, and shooting each other. All over the country.

    You’d never know it reading this blog, that’s for sure. All peaches and cream here over the holiday.

    Keep Balloon Juice unarmed!

  103. 103
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @somegayname:

    But even your interpretation – CAN be part – allows for the situation where you own a gun but are not part of the militia. Nothing in the text requires militia membership to own a gun, but recognizes that you cannot raise an armed militia from an unarmed constituency.

    all American males between 18-60 are part of the militia by default. Goes back to Anglo Saxon England. That’s why the National Guard is called the National Guard and not the Militia.

    No matter how you slice it the Found Fathers clearly wanted an armed population to offset the power of the central government. See the English Civil War which was big in the Founding Father’s thinking.

  104. 104
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    My understanding is that he didn’t have a genuine fully automatic AK-47, but a semi-automatic knock off that is full legal for civilians to own.

    Should semi-automatic versions of fully automatic machine guns be outlawed? I’m not sure what the big deal is about them per se; most rifles and pistols are semi-automatic, and a hunting rifle with a 10 round magazine is just as deadly at close range as an AK 47 knockoff.

  105. 105
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay:
    Is it true, as I have heard, that a semiautomatic replica assault rifle is easily converted into the full-auto real thing? (As I understand, US law forbids this but is difficult to enforce.) I ask as one largely ignorant about fire-arms.

  106. 106
    WereBear says:

    @dww44: I think that is the crux of it: we used to have a place, even if inadequate, for the people who just can’t cope. Whatever form that may take.

    At this point, they wind up in jail. Because they have no alternative. I’ve long thought we would be so much better off as a society if we just organized some camps that people could go to voluntarily if they wished to opt out. A low low low stress life where they could do some minimal chores to keep the place operating and otherwise be left alone. I think it would lower crime & mental illness rates dramatically.

    We are not genetically suited to modern life; and the pace and complexity increases every day. Some thrive, some cope, and some crash.

  107. 107
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    I’m honestly not sure. My understanding is that a lot of people think its easy, but it may be one of those things that seems easier than it is.

    I may be wrong about if he actually used a real AK-47 though-does it have a semi-auto option? My understanding is that its pretty rare people use fully automatic weapons in crimes, hence my skepticism that he used a real AK 47.

  108. 108
    somegayname says:

    @Stefan: Nope, Canada has more restrictions but still fairly liberal gun laws. I don’t know much about the other countries, but check here for per capita gun ownership list. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a per household metric. Many nations limit the number of guns a person can own, but an asshole with access to a single gun is more dangerous than the collector with a basement full. Then check here. Those two lists don’t correlate well.
    Switzerland is an interesting one. They do the whole militia thing properly, and people walk around in public with select fire full auto capable murder sticks without killing entire neighborhoods. They have lower crime rates in general, but it must be due to guns, not to their commie social safety nets and economic policies.
    Nope, I’d rather live in Mexico. Surely with their near ban on civilian ownership it is safer than disneyland?
    My point is there are cultural differences at play as well. Switzerland has a high access rate to guns, but relatively little crime likely due to the social safety nets. Capitalist paradise Mexico has a huge economic incentive (US Drug War) to skirt gun laws and engage in gun violence. Also too, mass stabbings are not uncommon (relative to mass shootings), with comparable outcomes. A more recent with lower toll but crazier overall. They just aren’t sensational enough for national hysteria.

  109. 109
    nellcote says:

    I think guns should be treated like cars. Ownership would require proof of competence/training, insurance and ammunition would be taxed to cover added bureaucracy and emergency rooms costs.

    btw 62,000 Guns ‘Missing’ from Gun Shops Since 2008

  110. 110
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay: It’s not that important that a weapon like that be fully auto. GI’s burned up so much ammo using full auto on M-16’s in the Nam that they changed them to fire three round bursts.

  111. 111
    drkrick says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: But how many people with similar issues never take violent action?

  112. 112
    Pococurante says:

    Warning: worldview complication off the starboard bow

    I have several friends with jobs that require them to deposit employer funds after hours or be on warehouse premises in remote locations. I think they have pretty good reasons to have earned a CCL and carry.

    I live on a farm in Texas. A handgun is useful.

    None of us are about to walk into the local Starbucks with a handgun strapped on. We’re not recreating a video game world view.

    I’d certainly like to see more handgun regulation. Gun shows are particularly concerning to me. I’ll never in a million years contribute to the NRA.

    But eliminating handguns altogether? No. It would take decades to drain them from the population and it would just create a violent underground market.

  113. 113
    somegayname says:

    @Stefan:

    It’s comparatively quite easy to shoot multiple people with a gun from a distance—all you have to do is move your finger a little bit.

    I missed this bit. Apparently so did Mr Swagler of Nevada

    “I wish I had shot at him when he was going in the IHOP,” said Swagler, who owns Locals BBQ & Grill. “But when he came at me, when somebody is pointing an automatic weapon at you—you can’t believe the firepower, the kind of rounds coming out of that weapon.”

    Most people have a hard time taking someones life, even under threat. Some people, unfortunately, will blow up a building with fertilizer or fly a plane into an IRS building as some sick protest.

  114. 114
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    @somegayname: Most sane people. Crazy motherfuckers have much less trouble with it.

  115. 115
    Jager says:

    @Raven (formerly stuckinred): Yes, in Army weapons training, if you are caught with any ammunition off the range, your ass is grass and the Army is the lawn mower. Interesting how an organization loaded with weapons of all kinds is so careful with ammo isn’t it!

  116. 116
    somegayname says:

    @Raven (formerly stuckinred): Well, then we’re back to the mental health issues and in No true Scotsman territory, right? I agree with others that it’s unfair to single out mental health patients given that most of these crazy motherfuckers are diagnosed after some tragedy.

  117. 117
    celticragonchick says:

    @Jamey: Bike Commuter of the Gods:

    The IHOP shooting—four Guardsmen killed—ought to put to lie the idea that victims of random gun violence still would be alive if EVERYONE was strapped (i.e., the Va. Tech argument)… for about five minutes.

    Not the same thing. The shooting in Carson City with the Guardsmen was similar to a shooting at a Starbucks where police officers were killed while writing their reports. There is no defense at all against that sort of ambush. You are distracted by, well, living your life and the gunmen is concentrating on ending it for you.

    At Virginia Tech, the ambush phase passed into the rampaging-gunmen-people-are-hiding-from phase. There was sufficient time for people to think and react to the threat and they did so as best they could, including hiding and barricading classrooms. There was realistically enough time for an armed person to respond, had one been there. An armed woman shot and wounded the gunman at Ted Haggards church (who was the same person who had murdered people at the YWAM missionary campus the previous night)and stopped his shooting spree. A school vice principal held a shooter at gunpoint in Arkansas (I believe) a few years back when a middle schooler opend fire on students. He had time to retrieve a .45 pistol from the trunk of his car.

    Most of us are not armed of course, and crazies can pick their time and targets.

  118. 118
    Jager says:

    I have a friend who shoots handguns at the range 2 or three times a month. We were at a cook out at his house, when the cover was taken off the grill, a 6 foot rattle snake was hiding under it. My friend ran in the house and got a .22 pistol and was going to blast the snake, cooler heads prevailed and he went back in and brought out his hard pellet pistol. He shot at the snake about 5 times, hitting the grill (nice dent and shitty ricochet) and the patio. I hadn’t shot a gun in 30 years, I took the pellet gun and hit the snake in the head with the first shot. (I fired Expert with the M1911 in the Army) I bought him a snake stick the next day. Some people can shoot and some can’t and some people can shoot on the range and can’t hit anything in real life.

  119. 119
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    @Jager: I flew into Pleiku Airbase and had my 16. The Airforce MP’s freaked out, put me in there jeep, drove me to the gate and put me out! Had to hitchhike to Camp Enari.

  120. 120
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    @Jager: You were better off throwing the damn 45 at the target! :)

  121. 121
    gene108 says:

    @rlrr:

    I wonder if people who think civilians should have easy access to kalashnikovs would object to a civilian obtaining artillery, tactical nukes, etc…

    There are a lot of folks, who believe civilians should have access to the same weaponry as government employees, i.e. police and the military.

    They may not want to mess with nukes, but military grade fire arms are definitely on the wish list and maybe artillery as well.

    In a nutshell, the government should not be better armed than its citizens.

  122. 122
    Jager says:

    @Raven (formerly stuckinred): My Grandfather had a M1911, (he carried one in WWl) he used to let me shoot it at our lake place when I was a kid. When I stepped up to the firing line in the Army with it, I was the only trooper who didn’t piss in his pants squeezing the the trigger the the first time.

  123. 123
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    @Jager: I assume you trained on 16’s? We used 14’s and the first time around for a lot of guys was pretty intense. Like you, I was raised around guns, so it wasn’t that big a deal.

  124. 124
    Stefan says:

    But eliminating handguns altogether? No. It would take decades to drain them from the population and it would just create a violent underground market.

    Not that the person who wrote the above is a conservative or an NRA member, but it’s interesting to me how many actual conservatives and/or NRA members are quite willing to see the logic of the above when it comes to handguns, but are completely unwilling to see the same when it comes to drug prohibition.

    (And for those who’d say, but what about vice versa, I submit that the human urge to unwind and get high is far stronger and more universal than the human urge to walk around armed).

  125. 125
    gene108 says:

    @dww44:

    I don’t think closing down some state mental health facilities was a bad thing.

    The old 1970’s ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ sort of hospitals weren’t great for improving outcomes. Once people got dumped in those they didn’t come out and were zombied out on Thorizine or whatever other anti-depressants they had back then.

    The problem is a lack of investment in mental health. Insurances don’t cover it as fully as other forms of hospitalization, so hospitals aren’t expanding to meet the actual demand.

    State governments gut social services, whenever possible, because most people aren’t poor and aren’t effected. Local governments also chip into the funding of mental health, but they don’t have the people high up enough to provide needed resources, let alone pay to attract people.

    Jails and prisons get a lot of the mentally ill, because while incarcerated a prisoner can get some degree of medical care and attention.

    I really don’t know what it would take for people to be willing to be open about mental illness, so the stigma gets taken off of it, like we’ve taken or reduced the stigma for other diseases or something like being homosexual and being open about it.

    There are a large subset of people, who figure people should just “toughen up” and not be so “wishy-washy”. I don’t know what it’d take to get people to change their thinking.

    One of the other problems is diagnosis isn’t an exact science. You can’t do a brain biopsy to see if the chemicals that are supposed to be at certain levels are too high or too low. Diagnosis is a best guess on the symptoms – mood, sleep patterns, hygiene, etc. – that people might display.

    There probably have been cases, where one person has declared someone is mentally ill to have the institutionalized, so they cannot defend themselves in a divorce or other matter, which is one reason it isn’t easy to get someone committed involuntarily.

  126. 126
    Jager says:

    @Raven (formerly stuckinred): I trained on everything from the 16 back to the M-1 because I was involved in training the PRU (Provincial Recon Units) I loved the M-1 and the M-14. If I was still into guns I’d buy a M-14. I checked the prices a couple of months ago and they are through the roof. $2,500 for original US model in excellent condition with a military sling.

  127. 127
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Pococurante:

    I have several friends with jobs that require them to deposit employer funds after hours or be on warehouse premises in remote locations. I think they have pretty good reasons to have earned a CCL and carry.

    Wouldn’t an armed escort (possibly uniformed as well) be better protection for your friends? Much more visible than a concealed firearm, thus a more obvious deterrent; and harder to get the drop on.

  128. 128
    trollhattan says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay:

    Basically, anybody who wants to convert their semi-auto AK or AR15 or…to fully automatic can buy the kit to do so at a gun show. IIUC you just can’t buy them already assembled.

    Regardless, in most circumstances a semi or fully automatic will kill as many people, and the semi is easier to keep on target, if you will.

    We’re a nation that’s become insane.

  129. 129
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    @Jager: PRU’s, heavy work.

    Me too, I’ve looked at the mini-14 and they are getting pricy and, from the review, people don’t seem to like em much.

  130. 130
    Amir Khalid says:

    @trollhattan:

    Basically, anybody who wants to convert their semi-auto AK or AR15 or…to fully automatic can buy the kit to do so at a gun show.

    For the life of me, I cannot understand why this is allowed.

  131. 131
    trollhattan says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Have to say, putting your employee in a dubious position WRT employee safety, then arming them–essentially telling them to get into a shootout rather than surrender the boss’ loot, would be considered quite negligent. The widow and kids would clean out whatever cash was left over.

  132. 132
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    @Amir Khalid: How would you prevent it?

  133. 133
  134. 134
    somegayname says:

    @trollhattan: Nope. There are kits but they are highly restricted and regulated by BATFE. ATF ruling here. However, many semi autos could be converted by glueing the firing pin in place or creative use of a shoestring.

  135. 135
    Amir Khalid says:

    @somegayname:
    Your first link #134 leads to your own comment, and your second link to a 404 error page. Please to fix?

  136. 136

    @Amir Khalid:

    For the life of me, I cannot understand why this is allowed.

    Seems pretty clear. The portion of the electorate that considers any restriction on guns is large, well-organized, and determined to punish any fool elected official who crosses them. I don’t know why this is so, but I know that it is.

    True story. Back in the late 70s I worked in the Ohio legislature. My boss asked the legislative staff to draft a bill to ban cheap handguns. There was something in it about melting temperatures of the metals. Before the bill was even introduced, our office was buried in mail opposing it. I believe it was introduced, but it went nowhere. The mail kept coming in for a while. There we no other issues, not the death penalty, not abortion, that generated mail anything like that gun control bill.

  137. 137
    Ruckus says:

    @Jager:
    Did a weapons qual on the tin can I was on. 20 miles out, hit the water and nothing else and you are good to go. Two clips, fired both clips rapid fire, maybe 15 seconds, handed the empty gun and clips back to the gunners mate. He asked if I was from NYC. I said no, LA. I qualified. Also shot M1 Garands. Navy didn’t get 16’s for ships. Didn’t get to shoot the Thompson subs or BAR’s.

  138. 138
    Stefan says:

    I have several friends with jobs that require them to deposit employer funds after hours or be on warehouse premises in remote locations. I think they have pretty good reasons to have earned a CCL and carry.

    Hey, if anyone wanted the money so bad they’d hold me up for it, they can have it. Your friends would be far safer just handing over the bag quietly than they would be carrying a gun and getting into a shoot-out over some cash that, frankly, they can’t take with them once they’re dead.

  139. 139
    Jager says:

    @Ruckus: Have you had a chance to tour one of the Navy’s new guided missile frigates? Loaded with M-60 machine guns, I asked why and the Chief simply said ‘The Cole”. Hope they have better weapons training than you had! They carry 30 foot inflatables with diesel engines, top speed about 45kts with a couple of mounted M-60’s. Love to have one of those sans machine guns!

  140. 140
    somegayname says:

    @Amir Khalid: Not sure why the first didn’t work for you. Copy/paste this into your browser: http://www.atf.gov/publication.....ndix-b.pdf
    I picked a bad second link off the wikipedia without checking it. Try this one. Since this was posted the ATF reversed its ruling that had classified a string as a machine gun.

  141. 141
    Ruckus says:

    I do believe that this nation is in it’s death throes.

    We have a segment of the population that believes that screwing themselves while making their bosses richer is the only way to go. We seem incapable of having any kind of reasonable discussion of gun control. We have people committing multiple murders of innocent bystanders. We have and still are empire building. Our national legislature is almost completely dysfunctional. Most of our media is not concerned with free speech, they expect to be paid handsomely for it. Our income inequity is way out of control. We imprison more of our population than any other country, that includes dictators. Our financial system is completely out of control. One of our 2 political parties is batshit crazy, and doesn’t care. Etc. Etc. Etc.

    And what is really bad? I only scratched the surface.

  142. 142
    Ruckus says:

    @Jager:
    I was in a long time ago in a far, far away country.

    I love the military’s reactionary view of the world. Seemingly always looking at threats in a rear view mirror, rarely seeing the one right in front of them. That sounds harsh but it seemed that way 40 years ago and it seems that way now. The poor bastards that have to get shot and and do the shooting have to work in that kind of environment, making their jobs that much harder.

  143. 143
    Pococurante says:

    Bear in mind. The risk to defend one’s life and soul, one’s family, is not a state supported expense… ANYWHERE.

    @Amir Khalid:
    Of course. So suppose you are in these rural areas. How do you make this case to those for whom the risk is abstract? The ones who have to explain a weekly expense when they can just force the victims to bear total cost for defense?

    Is your question based on a real world understanding of marginal job areas? Because I think not.

    @Stefan: You are not educated on how the law works. Let’s pretend you are the “upper manager”. How do you determine when you were scammed? From the perspective of most, they know they were not scammed when the parent of XX number of children died protecting the payroll. Many honest men and women have been horrifically murdered over what many BJ’rs would consider pocket change.

    Is your question based on a real world understanding of marginal job areas? Because I think not.

    So until you pay the premium to protect families, please understand why we’d rather be free to defend ourselves.

    None of you will be there to help the kids stay above the poverty line after the primary wage earner is killed in the name of protecting the plutocrats.

    It’s a big problem. Please find room in your worldview to understand why “the average voter” is not confident your enlightened worldview may not apply to their daily reality.

  144. 144
    somegayname says:

    @geg6:

    Funny enough, you assume I want to ban guns. Hee! For reals, I don’t. Just handguns and assault rifles.

    So you don’t want to ban guns but you want to ban guns? Logic much?

  145. 145
    wobbly says:

    While I agree with you about guns, a grown man doesn’t really need a gun to kill little girls in their sleep, especially if they are his own daughters. Plenty of cases of enraged “Daddies” taking a knife or club to wife and kids, with fatal results.

    The main difference in these episodes between the gun wielders and the more primitive weapon wielders is that THE BASTARDS WHO USE THE OLD STUFF SELDOM EVEN TRY TO STAB OR CLUB THEMSELVES TO DEATH.

    Those who do seldom succeed, and quite frankly, I think they mostly fake it, bruise themselves a little or cut themselves, to prove their “remorse”.

    This guy, at least, had the guts to to execute himself for his crimes and the tool to use.

    As I rose this morning in Rochester, New York, at 5 AM, it seemed to me that the mother in the case reported a daughter missing to the local police and no “Amber Alert” was issued????

    Why????

    The Chief of Police will shortly hold a press conference.

    Stay tuned.

  146. 146
    somegayname says:

    @wobbly: Why not? They have No Legal Obligation to Protect anyone. That was the ruling from our wise old justices in DC. The ruling was the result of a similar case of a father kidnapping his own daughters.
    As grandpa said: ‘Fuck the Police’

  147. 147
    Fned says:

    1. The first part of the Second Amendment is a dependent clause; it explains the reasons for including the second part, and has no independent meaning. The second part is an independent clause; it is completely unaffected in meaning by the first part, and can stand alone without changing meaning. 18th century grammar had the same structures regarding dependent and independent clauses as our grammar does today.

    If one still finds it unclear, one can easily reverse the clauses using the conjunction “because”, without changing the meaning of the whole sentence, or affecting the meaning of each clause.

    2. “Militia” is not specifcially defined in the Constitution, but in the Militia Act of 1792, it’s defined as “each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective States, resident therein, who is or shall be of age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years.” I’m not sure if only taking guns away from women, old folks, and black people is quite what the “WELL-REGULATED MILITIA” screamers are actually calling for.

    Although, the first gun-control laws in the United States, the ones the NRA was originally founded to oppose, did pretty much exactly that, so maybe that IS what they want. Maybe they use more socially-acceptable hoplophobia to cover for their xenophobia.

    3. “The People” means the same thing in every single amendment in the Bill of Rights. It does not magically transform to a “collective” right (whatever the fuck that means) when talking about firearms ownership, but then suddenly become an individual right again when you’re testifying in court, or the cops want to search your house without a warrant, or you just want to publish your opinion on something without going to jail. The People means all individuals.

    4. Every supplemental writing of the people who wrote the constitution that mentions the ownership of weapons reasserts that it is an individual right. You have to be in denial to think they meant anything else.

    5. Seriously, I don’t get it — can someone define “collective right”? I can’t for the life of me figure out what the hell that means. Examples?

    6. @somegayname — you seem to disagree with that Supreme Court ruling about the police not having a legal obligation to protect any given individual. I hope I’m just misreading that, as it should be obvious to anyone with half a brain that, since the police lack the physical capacity to protect EVERY individual, they cannot be held responsible for ANY individual’s protection.

    In fact, I’d go so far as to say that each adult individual has EXACTLY ONE person that is specifically responsible for protecting him or her against violent crime, and that is: said individual. Contracts to change this happen all the time (for example, you have a legal guardian, you hire a bodyguard, or the authorities take you into custody), but when it comes down to it, no one is ultimately responsible for protecting your ass except you.

    8. Which is what it comes down to – if the collective wants to take something away from you, but can’t offer a substitute, there had better be a pretty goddamn compelling case that you don’t need it.

    So why is it so many people want to deny the means of self-defense to people who are small, weak, injured, alone? Those who are most vulnerable to close-contact violence? Until you can show that there is no longer a threat of violence, it seems kind of heartless.

  148. 148
    Roberta X says:

    @trollhattan: No, wrong. First off, the AR-15 (semiauto) receiver is quite different internally; you’d have to do quite a lot of work to even fit in the parts to make it full-auto. Second, the full-auto parts kit itself counts as a “machine gun” under Federal law. You can’t buy one that was made after 1986 — and owning the pre-’86 version takes in addition to stakes of money, Federal regulation and you local top cop signing off on the application.

    Converting an “AK-47” lookalike from semi-auto to full-auto is similarly difficult and mondo illegal. Possibly harder, since the receiver (which holds all the moving parts together)is stamped sheet metal.

    “Easy full auto conversion” is a myth shared by Internet commandos and anti-gunners alike. It’s nonsense.

    (And as for handguns, their main use is close-quarters defense. Most of them will never be fired in defense or attack — certainly none of the ones I own have been).

  149. 149
    Jerry says:

    A former cop here.

    First, the police have no responsibility to protect you from crime. We are there to apprehend law breakers and gather evidence. Draw your own conclusions.

    Second, very adequate gun laws exist so long as they are enforced. (Check out Operation Exile in Richmond VA)Although forbidden by federal & most state laws from possessing firearms, FBI statistics show the vast preponderance of violent crimes are committed by people with prior felony convictions.

    Third, the VA Tech shooter had been judged mentally incompetent but the court neglected to file the paperwork which would have prevented him from legally purchasing firearms. The Giffords shooting occurred because the parents “protected” their son from the consequences of his increasingly irrational behavior.

    Finally, anyone telling you that you can openly buy machine guns or live grenades or whatever at a gun show is feeding you a line of organic fertilizer. These things can be had on the black market but gun shows aren’t the black market.

  150. 150
    Tim says:

    :) Alcohol is involved in approximately twice as many deaths every year in the US as are firearms (of any kind), where’s the hand-wringing and the outrage?

    Putting the blame for human shortcomings on material objects is naive and juvenile.

  151. 151
    karrde says:

    @Sam Houston:
    In 2000 there were about 80K gun deaths.

    I assume you use ‘K’ for ‘Kilo’, usually meaning ‘times 1000’.

    If that is what you mean, you are wrong. (Unless you mean ‘since [the year] 2000’ instead of ‘in [the year] 2000’…in which case you are even more wrong.)

    Go to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s online database for Fatal Injury Reports at
    http://webappa.cdc.gov/sasweb/.....10_us.html

    Select “all intents” under entry (1), select “firearm” under entry (2), select “2000” under both entries in “years of report”, and you’ll find this:

    Number of Deaths: 28663

    which is much less than 80000. If you return to the original page, and select years “2000” to “2008” (leaving everything else the same), you will get

    Number of Deaths: 272590

    which is much more than 80000.

    For comparison, if you select “Motor Vehicle, Traffic” under entry (2), and years “2000” to “2000”, you will get

    Number of Deaths: 41994

    And if you select “Motor Vehicle, Traffic” and years “2000” to “2008”, you will get

    Number of Deaths: 382621

    This is simple example shows something that is true for every year reported (using the 1981-1998 data set*, or the 1998-2008 data set). On average, about 30% more people die in vehicle accidents than die by gunfire every year.

    Even more interesting, using year 2008 numbers, is the difference between Suicide, Homicide, police intervention, Accidental/Unintentional, and Undetermined Cause.

    Death by Firearm, year 2008:
    Suicide: 18223
    Homicide: 12179
    Legal Intervention: 326
    Unintentional: 592
    Undetermined: 273
    —————————
    Total: 31593

    This is a pattern that, if you query for every year from 1981 to 2008, will have similar ratios. About 55% of firearm deaths are Suicide. About 40% are Homicide, with the remaining 5% split between “Legal Intervention”, “Unintentional”, and “Undetermined”.

    In comparison, the “Motor Vehicle” category consistently has a value between 37000 and 45000, with more than 95% in the “Unintentional/Accidental” category. This has held true for all years since 1981.

    Thus, if you want to ban something to save lives, I suggest you start with cars.

    —————————————————-
    * http://webappa.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/mortrate9.html

  152. 152
    Joseph says:

    Trollhatten,

    RobertaX beat me to it, but she is correct. I have never seen a “conversion kit” at any gunshow. Full auto weapons are extremely expensive, usually north of 10K. And it is difficult to get the local law to sign off on it, which the must do. Getting caught with an illegal full auto weapon is a sure way to have the Feds jump on you with both feet…which they WILL do. Converting a semi-auto to full auto will also get you a long trip to jail.
    Most legal gun owners are careful about following the law, as they don’t want to lose the right to own firearms. As for the illegal gun owners…well, they don’t obey the laws in the first place.

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