The American Trait of Never Learning Anything

I took a nap earlier, and after I woke up, I sort of just lay there for a while, and I started thinking about all the mass shootings we’ve had. I know there have been so many it would be hard to count, but for me, the first one that really sticks in my consciousness was the Luby’s shooting in Killeen, TX. That was the first big one I really remember, in part because I was on active duty, and so many of my buddies had served at Ft. Hood. At any rate, I went to the wikipedia entry for the Luby’s massacre, and this caught my eye:

In response to the massacre,[5] the Texas Legislature in 1995 passed a shall-issue gun law, which requires that all qualifying applicants be issued a Concealed Handgun License (the state’s required permit to carry concealed weapons), removing the personal discretion of the issuing authority to deny such licenses. To qualify for a license, one must be free-and-clear of crimes, attend a minimum 10-hour class taught by a state-certified instructor, pass a 50-question test, show proficiency in a 50-round shooting test, and pass two background tests, one shallow and one deep. The license costs $240 to $290, depending on the added instructor’s fee.

The law had been campaigned for by Dr. Suzanna Hupp, who was present at the time of the massacre where both of her parents were shot and killed. She later expressed regret for obeying the law by leaving her firearm in her car rather than keeping it on her person due to the fact that it could have cost her her chiropractic license.[6] She testified across the country in support of concealed handgun laws, and was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1996.[7] The law was signed by then-Governor George W. Bush.[8]

More guns always fixes everything.






104 replies
  1. 1
    cathyx says:

    Bring back the wild west and shoot outs. Maybe even duels.

  2. 2
    BigSouthern says:

    Absolutely. When you have lung cancer the only answer is more cigarettes.

  3. 3
    srv says:

    We need real politicians like Aaron Burr again.

  4. 4
    Baud says:

    More guns always fixes everything.

    Well, has anyone been killed in Texas since this law went into effect? I didn’t think so. Checkmate, libruls.

  5. 5
    Yutsano says:

    Makes me wonder where the NRA was on this. Because, of course, freedumb.

  6. 6
    piratedan says:

    was actually surprised to catch a show on CNN that called out how monied interests continue to hamstring the economy and keep bad business practices in place when its been proven that when proper regulation is in place, good businesses thrive.

  7. 7
    demz taters says:

    Well Jay Gould was wrong. Seems you don’t even have to hire one half to get them to kill the other half.

  8. 8
    ploeg says:

    Obviously they should have had the lights on during the movie so that the folks with concealed weapons could aim properly.

  9. 9
    ItAintEazy says:

    @Baud:

    Well, to be fair, Texas only suffered one shooting rampage since the law went to effect, so it must be working /sarcasm

  10. 10
    Citizen_X says:

    Again, somebody tell when an armed person–besides a cop–has ever stopped a massacre. It. Has never. Happened.

    And he Aurora shootings? Please. The guy was encased in ballistic armor. He was the Ned Kelly of nutjobs.

  11. 11
    Ben Franklin says:

    …Because all the carnage in Aurora and it’s predecessors could have been stopped by all citizens strapped.

    Colorado is mourning 12 dead. If theater goers had been armed, the 12 would have been best case scenario, as friendly fire would have claimed a bumper crop.

  12. 12
    eemom says:

    On Friday, I really did believe that not even the most rabid gun nut could insist that more guns could have improved the situation in this particular instance, i.e., a chaotic scene in a fucking DARK, fucking SMOKE-FILLED theatre.

    I really believed that. : (

  13. 13
    Baud says:

    @ItAintEazy:

    How many had they suffered before the law took effect (besides the one)?

  14. 14
    Ben Franklin says:

    I’m reminded of the N. Hollywood shootout of 1997. It took 350 cops to finally stop the heavlly armed, armored assailants.

  15. 15
    jwb says:

    @eemom: optimist.

  16. 16
    piratedan says:

    @eemom: that would work under the assumption that these folks would ever admit to being wrong, about anything. Remember, their belief trumps anything like facts or research or evidence.

  17. 17
    e.a.f. says:

    Yes, I’m sure if the woman had a gun with her it would all hve worked out, for the funeral industry.

    It is true, “when will they ever learn”. If the guys doing the shooting hadn’t been able to access guns to begine with there would have been no shootings. The American gun culture will be the demise of many.

  18. 18
    Svensker says:

    @Ben Franklin: Well, yeah, but one or two armed citizens could of totes taken them out. That’s what happens in the cheeto-stained GI Joe comics I read myself to sleep with every night anyway.

  19. 19
    Politically Lost says:

    The one I think about is the one in Southern California and a guy with an AK-47 decided a elementary school yard was the place to try out target practice.

    There was also that one in San Yasedro in the same era.

  20. 20
    The Dangerman says:

    Was on road, so missed most early news (and intentionally not watching some of the whacked out coverage over the weekend)…

    …but how is it that an emergency door can be opened (and propped open) without alarms going off? I’m not assigning blame to the theater, that goes to the whackjob alone, but an earlier alarm may have saved a few people.

  21. 21
    Dennis SGMM says:

    Americans never learn anything because they already know it all.

  22. 22
    Tokyokie says:

    @Politically Lost: Well, Charles Whitman was the very first one I remember, but he wasn’t use a semiautomatic weapon. The first one of those I can recall was the guy who shot up the San Ysidro McDonald’s in 1984.

  23. 23
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    If we outlaw nukes, only rogue states like Iran will have nukes. Therefore, it’s safer for everyone to have nukes.

  24. 24
    cathyx says:

    @efgoldman: They can charge admission to watch.

  25. 25
    Raven says:

    Members of the Westboro Baptist Church appear to be on their way to protest a prayer vigil for victims of the Aurora massacre, according to tweets from members posted by Examiner.com.

  26. 26
    Ben Franklin says:

    The current gun laws are settled and I don’t expect comments from the Prez during today’s visit to CO. It’s an election year, (sigh)

  27. 27

    @Politically Lost:

    There was also that one in San Yasedro in the same era.

    And an earlier San Diego shooting spree inspired this song.

  28. 28
    Raven says:

    Members of the Westboro Baptist Church appear to be on their way to protest a prayer vigil for victims of the Aurora massacre, according to tweets from members posted by Examiner.com.

  29. 29
    Publius39 says:

    Winston Churchill famously said that Americans can be trusted to do the right thing after they have tried everything else. I find that quote to be highly appropriate, especially in light of the right-ward lurch of the current Republican party.

  30. 30
    Ash Can says:

    Because the only thing that will prevent the mentally ill from getting guns is…more guns.

  31. 31
    Jay in Oregon says:

    I don’t think that the people who boast that they could have stopped the shooter if only they had been there (and carrying) really grasp the situation.

    It was a darkened theater, most likely one of the best screens in the house with one of the best (read: loudest) sound systems.
    He was wearing body armor.
    He rolled canisters of tear gas in before opening fire.

    So I’m supposed to believe:
    • Someone is watching a Batman movie with explosions and gunfire of their own;
    • Clouds start billowing up in front of the screen;
    • The sounds of firecrackers going off fills the air (because real gunfire sounds nothing like the cannon fire you hear in action films);
    • People start screaming and panicking;

    And the would-be hero is going to:
    a) correctly assess that a maniac is firing an automatic weapon into a crowded theater,
    b) determine where that maniac is located,
    c) draw my weapon, and
    d) kill the shooter with one or two shots through body armor

    WITHOUT:
    e) getting shot by the shooter first,
    e) hitting any of the dozens of panicking moviegoers,
    f) shooting ANOTHER would-be hero who has the same idea,
    g) getting shot by said would-be hero
    h) getting shot by the police when all is said and done.

    Anyone who believes that all of the above is likely, let alone possible, needs to have their head examined. Real-life shooting situations are not target shooting and they’re not Call of Duty 4.

  32. 32
    Ben Franklin says:

    I don’t expect Obama to say anything about guns during the Aurora visit.

    It’s an election year, (sigh)

    But, does it matter what he says? He can’t say ‘gun’ because that will provide absolute proof about his Mythical Gun Roundup, but what if he says a word which has the letters g-u or n?

    Shit. He might as well go ballistic.

  33. 33
    BGinCHI says:

    @Citizen_X: Malkin claims there was one in Colorado Springs, but I’m not getting out of the boat to check.

    Anyone know about that?

    The NRA doesn’t care about guns as much as they care about money and political influence. I bet LaPierre and others make some nice coin.

  34. 34
    cathyx says:

    I’m having weird internets. Sorry for the triple posts.

  35. 35
    Chris T. says:

    Remember, a suitcase-nuke-armed society is a polite society.

    A polite, radioactive society.

  36. 36
    Amir Khalid says:

    I’m struck by the myth that gets touted by certain Americans after every one of these horrible events: that had someone else at the scene been armed, fewer people would have ended up dead. Real life should have refuted this nonsense by now. It has certainly not been touted in Norway, where they are now marking the anniversary of Anders Breivik’s rampage.

  37. 37
    Hal says:

    Her mother and father were executed by the shooter, so I can’t even begin to imagine how I might react; but the fact that she thinks the way to prevent more of these tragedies is to arm people seems incredibly naive.

    In that entire restaurant, no one else was armed? It was all up to her and she would have responded forcefully, like she was a member of Seal Team Six?

  38. 38
    And Another Thing... says:

    A PDF from the Brady Campaign, 62 pages of mass shootings dating from 2005. It’s stunning.

  39. 39
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jay in Oregon:

    One of my friends at work had a crazy “I could have stopped it” moment (she’s not a right-winger, just someone with a rescue complex) that slowly faded as I shared all of the details with her.

    I do feel sorry for Dr. Hupp, who had the horrible experience of having to watch her parents and 21 other people be murdered in front of her, but we really need to stop basing our public policies on survivor’s guilt and people’s fantasies about what they totally could have done in that situation.

  40. 40
    PeakVT says:

    @Hal: The idea that the government prevented her from saving her parents might be her way of dealing with survivor’s guilt.

    ETA: I see I’m not the only one with that idea.

  41. 41
    patrick II says:

    @cathyx:

    In wild west lore, is Wyatt Earp a hero or a villian for taking away everybody’s guns when they came to town? Are the Clantons the heroes of the story for the modern conservative?

  42. 42
    Jay in Oregon says:

    Winston Churchill famously said that Americans can be trusted to do the right thing after they have tried everything else.

    Then I guess it’s going to take a couple of these wingnut vigilante fantasies going horribly wrong—with lots of dead shooters and even more dead bystanders—before the population at large stops listening to the likes of the NRA.

    They’re not a Second Amendment watchdog group, they’re shills for the firearm industry. Every response to every tragedy is “more guns!” They won’t be happy until every house has a gun, and everyone who chooses not to own one is “choosing to be a victim.”

  43. 43
    MikeJ says:

    @Jay in Oregon: Near Seattle we had a nutcase walk into a coffee shop and gun down four cops. Trained professionals, all with weapons, mid morning, lots of light, no distractions, one shooter who didn’t have body armour.

  44. 44
    The Dangerman says:

    @efgoldman:

    The doors aren’t alarmed in most theaters, especially mallplexes, because many patrons use them to exit directly to the parking lot, rather than back through the lobby.

    Guess it’s been a long time since I’ve been to a theater (prefer my own popcorn and not a big fan of crowds); used to be, opening the Emergency Exit was forbidden during the movie because they wanted to prevent people sneaking in without paying.

    Uncontrolled access to a reasonably densely populated area (not that the front doors offer much control, but it’s at least something) … worse yet, a densely populated area that is darkened … seems to me some control would be warranted.

  45. 45
    Ilia says:

    Chiropractors aren’t doctors. Ten bucks this lady also thinks vaccines cause autism.

  46. 46
    apocalipstick says:

    @Jay in Oregon: Real gunfire sounds nothing like firecrackers, especially not in an enclosed space. If anything, the cacophony would have added to the confusion and panic response.

  47. 47
    BruinKid says:

    My Ron Paul friend actually argued that more guns would make things safer, because, and this was really his argument, you never see mass shootings at gun ranges because everyone there is armed.

  48. 48
    MikeJ says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Uncontrolled access to a reasonably densely populated area

    They’re typically locked if you try to enter from the outside, but open from the inside.

  49. 49
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @MikeJ:
    Obviously the shooter could have been stopped if more people had been packing.
    Four trained cops weren’t enough; what we needed were 5 or 6 weekend warriors.

  50. 50
    Mike in NC says:

    I lived in Virginia back when scumbag Ollie North was running for the US Senate. I recall one of his bright ideas was to have everybody packing heat like it was Dodge City. These things never change.

  51. 51

    @Jay in Oregon:

    These are the points I’ve been making to my wingnuttier friends and acquaintances since Friday.

    Sometimes shit happens, and you just can’t do a thing about it. The world’s greatest cardiologist could be at a banquet with the rest of the world’s great cardiologists, suffer a sudden and massive heart attack so severe that no one in the room can save him. A planeload of Sully Sullenbergers couldn’t safely land a plane if the wings sheared off. The difference being, of course, that it’s reasonably probable that the pilots and MDs aren’t going to make the situation worse. Given the circumstances of this shooting, I can’t even picture the world’s best cop doing much to stop the shooter.

  52. 52
    Nellcote says:

    So which will be more difficult politcally to do, regulating guns or making mental health care more accessable/affordable?

    Both need to be done but clearly we Americans are not able to walk and chew gum at the same time.

  53. 53
  54. 54
    john b says:

    @The Dangerman:

    having worked in a couple theaters over the years, these aren’t emergency exits like in a stadium (where an alarm goes off) or a store where they’re alarmed so that people don’t just take their shoplifted items out of them. these are just exits. no alarms.

    they aren’t alarmed because normal people exit them because they’re often closer to their cars. OR the theater employees use them to empty trash rather than hauling it through the main part of the theater.

    as for using it to gain access during the middle of a movie: it happens, but it’s usually not a great plan because people can see the light (and the doors are always locked from the inside — you can get in, but not out)

  55. 55
    CW in LA says:

    @Dennis SGMM: Right, learning things is an admission you weren’t right before, and therefore it’s an admission of weakness.

  56. 56
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    This is very much the Republican argument about the economy: It will somehow magically work when all regulations are removed. The fact that removing various regulations hasn’t had any effect doesn’t mean that they won’t just work as promised.

  57. 57
    Amir Khalid says:

    @BruinKid:
    And what did your friend say, when you pointed out that big crowds don’t gather at gun ranges in the first place?

  58. 58
    MikeJ says:

    @Mike in NC:

    I recall one of his bright ideas was to have everybody packing heat like it was Dodge City.

    Ahem:

    The reputation of Dodge as a hell on earth with an overflowing Boot Hill dated from its time as the rowdy end of the track of the westward-building Santa Fe railroad. When things got out of hand, a city government was organized. Laws were drawn up banning livestock on the sidewalks; horses above the ground floor; public drunkenness and disorderly conduct; the carrying of guns within the town limits (all who entered had to place their weapons on pegs provided in most public places), and the discharge of firearms within the city limits except on such holidays as the Fourth of July and New Year’s Day.
    __
    The gun toter was subject to being shot on sight by the town police. Strict gun control was vital for public safety.

  59. 59
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @apocalipstick:
    OK, you’ve got me there.
    I do own and have done target shooting with single-shot rifles and have fired a handgun or two, but those were in open shooting ranges, not in an enclosed space. I’ve not been around automatic weapons when they were fired.

    I think the straw that breaks the camel’s back will be when you have a mass shooting similar to this and one or more would-be heroes start shooting at each other or at police. When you have some guys with a rescue/hero complex who are responsible for a bunch of dead bystanders or even cops, maybe people will start wising up.

  60. 60
    Cacti says:

    @Hal:

    Her mother and father were executed by the shooter, so I can’t even begin to imagine how I might react; but the fact that she thinks the way to prevent more of these tragedies is to arm people seems incredibly naive.

    It’s as though the Fort Hood shooting incident never happened.

    In reality, a single shooter was able to kill 13 people and wound 29 more, at an installation populated with tens of thousands of combat veterans and trained experts in the use of firearms.

    There were at least 4 failed attempts to subdue Hasan, including a police sergeant who took bullets to her knee and femur.

  61. 61
    lamh35 says:

    FYI, There is a very nice livestream from Denver here:

    http://media.thedenverchannel.com/livestreampage

  62. 62
    YoohooCthulhu says:

    Fuck man–I wonder if all these jackoffs who want to hand pistols out on street corners actually spend time at shooting ranges and realize how difficult competent marksmanship is.

    I’m not talking shooting a grazing deer from a blind with a high-powered rifle either–hitting a moving target, in a rapidly evolving threat-assessment situation (is that a gun or a firecracker? how many shooters are there? who has a gun and who doesn’t? where is it?) is fucking difficult even if you practice constantly. In a crowded room with people panicking? Difficult for even crack military or law enforcement personnel.

    One would think the Fort Hood shooting–where there were tons of competently trained marksmen and it STILL took forever (several counter-shooters and multiple attempts) to subdue the shooter–would have taught something.

  63. 63
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Cacti:

    It’s as though the Fort Hood shooting incident never happened.
    __
    In reality, a single shooter was able to kill 13 people and wound 29 more, at an installation populated with tens of thousands of combat veterans and trained experts in the use of firearms.
    __
    There were at least 4 failed attempts to subdue Hasan, including a police sergeant who took bullets to her knee and femur.

    Your typical wingnut will reply: “Real Americans like me can out-shoot the best of the wimps in Obama’s pantywaisted military, which he’s filled with man-hating lesbians, limp-wristed ho-mo-seckt-u-als, and Soviet Muslim agents.”

  64. 64
    MikeJ says:

    @Tonal Crow: I believe the actual argument would be that almost nobody on a military base is armed, and getting access to ammo is an incredibly big deal.

  65. 65
    muddy says:

    When a young relative of mine was diagnosed with a mental illness, a gun nut friend was mainly concerned that now the kid would not be able to buy guns. I said a) he can too, gun shows bitchez, and 2) if he’s mentally ill maybe he should not have one, FFS.

    This ass tried to tell me that the people at gun shows are so noble and pure that they never sell guns to people that ought not have them. I said tell it to someone who has never been to a gun show.

    Nary a word about Jeez, it’s hard that he and his family has this illness to deal with. No no, the real tragedy is the gunlessness, not the fact that this kid is really sick and really suffering, and his family along with him.

  66. 66

    I’m having a hard time accepting the media blitz about this shooting. I live in Flint, MI. We’ve had 6 homicides in the last week. One of the shootings was a triple homicide. A 16 year-old got killed last night and another person is in critical condition from a separate shooting on the same night. There have been close to 40 homicides already this year in a city with a population of 100,000. Not one peep in the media outside of this immediate area.

  67. 67
    Jay in Oregon says:

    Speaking of Call of Duty 4; my friend’s son got back from basic training in the Army Reserve less than a week ago. I was over at their house yesterday, and he was playing CoD4.

    I watched him do a basic warm-up level dressed up as a shooting exercise (to familiarize the player with the UI and the controls); he’s done this many times and got a pretty good score, so the game recommended playing on the hardest difficulty setting, meaning the player can take less damage and the AI on the enemy units has better aim.

    I watched him do the first level, where his counter-terrorist unit is dropped onto a ship to neutralize the crew during a thunderstorm. The first part of the level was pretty straightforward, but when he got into the cargo hold of the ship, I saw him die about a dozen times both from terrorists who were in hiding as well as in plain sight; the game “cheats” by flashing the names of friendly teammates up when you aim at them and I still saw him overlook at least two terrorists who killed him. In almost every case, there was a flash of gunfire and he was dead on the deck. He never got a chance to get to cover or fire back.

    Unfortunately, you don’t drop back to a loading screen in real life.

  68. 68
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Jay in Oregon: While your list is good and exhaustive, you are expecting a wing-nut to consider facts. They don’t need no stinkin’ facts.

  69. 69
    Shalimar says:

    @Jay in Oregon: What we need is a would-be-hero meet-and-greet before every public event, so that way they will be able to distinguish all the other concealed carriers from the bad guys.

  70. 70
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @Tonal Crow:
    Right, because when Obama became President every single member of the armed forces resigned in protest and no one serving today has been in for longer than 4 years.

    Oh, wait, that’s wrong; we still had thousands of soldiers engaged in active combat duty in Afghanistan and Iraq, and thousands more in transit. Still do, as a matter of fact.

    Any wingnut who said something like that within earshot of someone who is active duty is asking to get his ass whipped.

  71. 71
    NotMax says:

    (inserts tongue in cheek)

    Obviously what is needed is to take already existing usher robots and modify them to replace human ushers.

    A gun turret, a blinding million candlepower spotlight and a Taser or three should do it.

    Nothing could possibly go wrong.

    go wrong

        go wrong

            go wrong

    /tongueincheek

  72. 72
    Trentrunner says:

    They shot a congresswoman IN THE HEAD in public.

    They shot a six-year-old who died IN FRONT OF HIS MOTHER.

    Nothing will change even if Wayne LaPierre is picking bits of his grandkids’ machine-gunned gore out of his polyester lapel.

    This is America. Get used to it.

  73. 73
    Jay in Oregon says:

    The other part that the would-be heroes fail to consider is that this wasn’t a crime of passion.

    The shooter selected the time and the venue, assembled an arsenal, acquired body armor, and booby-trapped his apartment. The last theory I heard was that his stereo playing would have merited a police response; anyone entering the apartment would have set off the booby traps, killing more people and drawing police and emergency personnel away from his planned shooting spree.

    We should thank our lucky stars more people aren’t dead. He could have been lobbing explosives into the theater as well as shooting, and the booby traps in his apartment could have been set off. Had everything gone the way he planned, his death tool could have reached 3 digits.

  74. 74
    Chris T. says:

    “When offered a chance to relocate to the U.S., citizens of Damascus, Syria replied: ‘No thanks, it’s too dangerous there.'”

  75. 75
    Redshift says:

    @Jay in Oregon:

    I think the straw that breaks the camel’s back will be when you have a mass shooting similar to this and one or more would-be heroes start shooting at each other or at police. When you have some guys with a rescue/hero complex who are responsible for a bunch of dead bystanders or even cops, maybe people will start wising up.

    Not a chance. Just like conservatism, guns cannot fail, they can only be failed. The same idiots who are spouting the absurd idea that armed untrained civilians would take out a would-be shooter will be equally sure that if they were there, they could have done it, so the people who tried and produced further disaster just screwed up.

    But more generally, the problem is that it’s not logic that drives this “reasoning,” it’s a bullshit argument. They start with the certainty that the unrestricted freedumb to own guns must be a good thing, and work backwards to insist how it could be a good thing in this situation. Even if you come up with an airtight explanation why it wouldn’t and somehow get them not to ignore it, you won’t defeat the argument, because they’ll just work backwards and make up another justification. It’s the fundamental problem of arguing with bullshit — it takes a lot more effort to debunk it than it does to make up more.

    However, that’s not really the problem here. The problem is that we have a well-funded lobby for gun manufacturers (which is what the NRA has become; gun owners are just their useful idiots) on one side, and a diffuse group of ordinary citizens on the other. Even if we can overcome their propaganda influence, they still have an outsized ability to cause political pain. Unless there’s a big enough backlash movement to go up against that, we’re stuck.

  76. 76
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    @muddy: When my son and daughter-in-law moved from a large midwestern city to a very small town (population 1200) two states away, I was concerned about how she would deal with it, in light of the fact she was/is bipolar-schizophrenic. At one point, she told me that was quite happy to move there, once she learned that the state they moved to allowed mentally ill persons to buy guns. And you and I know why she wanted to buy a gun.

  77. 77
    fuckwit says:

    Gun == Penis.

    That’s what the slavering wingnuts are all upset about.

    Something about being able to SHOOT STUFF, LONG DISTANCES, REPEATEDLY, out of a cylindrical tube– usually 6 times in quick succession before “reloading”– seems so essential to the identity of a weird but politically/economically powerful subset of men.

    Was it George Carlin who said back in the day that the problem with Vietnam was that Johnson didn’t want to “pull out”?

    We are just monkeys with very dextrous thumbs. The monkey part of our brain is way too dominant in too many of us, too often.

  78. 78
    Yutsano says:

    @Jay in Oregon: And I bet there will still be an insanity defence.

  79. 79
    chrome agnomen says:

    what i haven’t heard mentioned, is that maybe there actually were people in that theater who were armed, and that didn’t stop a thing.

  80. 80
    Lee says:

    I use this when discussing gun control around times like this.

    The periodic mass shooting/murder is the price we pay to protect our right to bear arms. The blood of innocents helps keep us free.

    It usually gets quite the reaction :)

  81. 81
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Jay in Oregon:

    They’re not a Second Amendment watchdog group, they’re shills for the firearm industry. Every response to every tragedy is “more guns!” They won’t be happy until every house has a gun, and everyone who chooses not to own one is “choosing to be a victim.”

    They’re like the phone company–pay for unlisted #, pay for caller ID, pay for caller ID blocker, pay for special caller-ID-blocker-ID, etc, etc.

  82. 82
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @apocalipstick: witnesses stated that they thought “some kids had set off some firecrackers”.

  83. 83
    rc says:

    Sadly, if we have a circumstance where armed citizens start blasting away and hit each other, bystanders and more, the outcome will not be less guns. The MRS and our supine politicians will promptly pass legislation shielding the shooters from liability. That is how our broken system works. It wouldn’t surprise surprise me if it already exists.

  84. 84
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @YoohooCthulhu:

    One would think the Fort Hood shooting—where there were tons of competently trained marksmen and it STILL took forever (several counter-shooters and multiple attempts) to subdue the shooter—would have taught something.

    The eternal sunshine of the spotless conservative mind, or however that goes.

  85. 85
    apocalipstick says:

    @Jay in Oregon: I lived in Oklahoma during the 80s. They had basically no gun laws at a state level. Friend of mine had a section 3 FFL and could own full auto. He had a Mac-10 that we took to the range. Even with a supressor, that thing was hellacious loud. I’ve also had the misfortune to be out in the open when a police takedown of a suspect wanted for rape went bad and turned into gunfire. I grew up in a hunting family and have shot since I was eleven (one reason I favor stronger gun laws is that most people today don’t seem to be trained the way my dad trained me: “If you ever point that at another person, I will make you sorry you ever saw a gun.”), but I’ve never seen anything scarier or more disorienting than that. I basically went down and tried to dig a hole in the asphalt with my bare hands.

    As for handguns, cranking off anything bigger than a .22 w/out hearing protection will leave you unable to hear anything other than a loud ‘wooooooing’ for some time. I laugh every time a character in a movie cranks off a dozen rounds, then whispers to his partner.

  86. 86
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @muddy: No no, the real tragedy is the gunlessness, not the fact that this kid is really sick and really suffering, and his family along with him.

    How can you shoot nears in the coming race war, if you don’t have a gun?

  87. 87
    Nutella says:

    @John – A Motley Moose:

    I’m having a hard time accepting the media blitz about this shooting.

    That’s the other half of the American sickness. When these major shootings occur the press covers them obsessively and we wallow in the details, thrilled to hear all about who lived and who died and what the shooter had for breakfast. It’s violence p0rn and the US won’t give that up any more than it will give up its automatic weapons.

    ETA – this is not meant as a cut at Motley Moose and his sadness at all. I’m complaining about America’s reaction in general.

  88. 88
    apocalipstick says:

    @Jay in Oregon: We should be glad that none of these geniuses has thought to throw a balloon full of ammonia followed by a balloon full of bleach. Chlorine gas would make gunfire seem like a picnic.

  89. 89
    dead existentialist says:

    @rc:

    The MRS and our supine politicians will promptly pass legislation shielding the shooters from liability.

    Why would the Mammography Reporting System do that?

  90. 90
    trollhattan says:

    Unpossibly enough, Rupert Murdoch is sounding slightly sane in response to Aurora. I’m sure it will pass, but I’ll take it anyway, for now. (But has he phoned Ailes?)

    In the wake of the Aurora shootings, Rupert Murdoch— who now has even more time to devote to his micro-blogging habit — took to Twitter with this (slightly garbled) message on Saturday night: “We have to do something about gun controls. Police license okay for hunting rifle or pistol for anyone without crim or pscho record. No more.” It’s a somewhat surprising position for the owner of the decidedly gun-friendly Fox News, but sometimes you just can’t argue with common sense. As Murdoch added in a subsequent tweet, “We don’t need AK47s to defend ourselves.”

    http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2.....ntrol.html

  91. 91
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    @rc: Already there: “Stand your Ground” laws in multiple states.

  92. 92
    GxB says:

    Pretty good diary up at the GOS wherein Jason “Georgy-Boy” Alexander wrote out an impassioned response to the Aurora shootings. This is probably the only way we’ll get some reasonable ban on assault weapons. Grass roots and a couple high profile names with the stones to lend their voice. No politician is gong to touch this third rail, and I think there’ll be plenty more bloodshed before any laws are changed. Somethings have to change when the time comes, I’d love for it to be civies with assault weapon’s time…

  93. 93
    Nancy B. says:

    The tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of moviegoers. Or something.

  94. 94
    trollhattan says:

    This cretin Holmes is reminding me of Clarence Thomas.

    “I was always trying to get into his head,” said one fellow neuroscience first-year. “If no one had ever said anything to him, he wouldn’t have said a word” all year.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....ory_2.html

  95. 95

    @Nutella: The media does love its violence p0rn. That’s what makes it so difficult to understand why they ignore the everyday violence that is plaguing so many of our cities. The shooting victim in critical condition that I mentioned in my first post died today. That makes 7 deaths in 7 days. Since 6/21 there have been 12 deaths and more than 50 wounded. Sounds remarkably close to the numbers in CO. These latest deaths bring the total to 40 for the year. We’re on pace to break the worst year record of 66. Not one mention in the media outside of this area.

  96. 96
    bobber says:

    Hey John. Followed your site for a good while, but I’m curious what your positions on gun control are, being someone who was in the armed forces.

  97. 97
    trollhattan says:

    @bobber:

    More guns always fixes everything.

    Encapsulated there. Yes, he does sarcasm.

  98. 98
    bobber says:

    @ Trollhatan

    Yes, I get that was sarcasm. I was asking for a more detailed view.

  99. 99
    Nutella says:

    @John – A Motley Moose:

    The media does love its violence p0rn. That’s what makes it so difficult to understand why they ignore the everyday violence that is plaguing so many of our cities.

    That’s because it doesn’t have the drama to make it p0rnographic. The scene in a typical couple’s bedroom wouldn’t be dramatic enough for p0rn. Car crashes aren’t dramatic enough for news p0rn but airplane crashes are. And individual shootings aren’t p0rn either — a minimum number of middle class people have to be the victims of one incident. A news hook like the opening of a popular movie makes it even more dramatic.

    I don’t think other countries do this. It’s very American.

    I’d be interested to hear from people from other countries — am I right about that?

  100. 100
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Yutsano:

    And I bet there will still be an insanity defence.

    Well, yeah, because insanity does not actually preclude being able to plan and carry out a massacre.

    As people were saying yesterday, unfortunately this guy is at the exact right age to have his first major schizophrenic break with reality. And from what I’ve been told, the voices in your head can be very specific and detailed about what it is they want you to do.

  101. 101
    Hovercraft Full of Eels says:

    John, you have summarized one of the only three possible responses to any and all questions of public policy in the USA ca. 2012. Just to refresh everyone’s memories, the options are:

    1) Tax cuts for rich people
    2) Less regulation of corporations
    3) NEEDZ MOAR GUNZ !!!

    No matter what the problem is, one of these three is always the solution. Because shut up, that’s why.

  102. 102
    heckblazer says:

    If you must issue concealed carry permits the Texas standards are pretty decent, actually. I don’t see them doing much to prevent crime though.

    As for Ft. Hood, the trained soldiers were easy pickings because soldiers aren’t allowed to carry weapons on base. The reason for that is that the Army recognizes that allowing bored young men easy access to weapons is just asking for trouble.

    Anyways, I agree with the Batman:
    http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblo.....-free-zone

  103. 103
    Richard Shindledecker says:

    Who gives a shit about the second amendment? Like the rest of the Constitution/Bill of Rights it’s just like the Geneva Conventions…Quaint.

  104. 104
    JayDee says:

    @efgoldman: All this talk about how others amongst the audience having weapons could have defused this situation misses one obvious detail:

    If you’re going to make it legal for people to bring weapons to a movie, how on earth are you going to keep the crazed nutcases OUT? After all, this guy had to go out the back door to bring his weaponry inside. These people would allow him to carry them right through the front door, in plain sight. Yeah, that’ll stop it, you betcha.

    Wanna hear the simple solution? At least as regards theaters, just hire someone to guard the back door. They used to have them at all theaters when I was young, but of course the American business model calls for getting rid of all that “dead weight” in the interest of quarterly profits. So why don’t we just call these deaths a natural result of America’s obsession with wealth and fortune? That has as much to do with it as anything.

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