Been Said Before. Say It Again

What can I say?

How to express the sorrow I feel for the families and friends in mourning after the Newtown school murders?

As many of you know, I have a young son, twelve now.  Every day I walk him to his public school in a suburb of Boston.  As I write this paragraph, I’m just about to head home to take him to his martial arts club — the kind of ordinary thing parents do.  The notion that I could have hugged him at the school door at 8 a.m. and then at lunch received that unspeakable phone call?

I have no words.

Fra_Angelico_-_Massacre_of_the_Innocents_-_WGA00610

I’ve spent the afternoon trying to think of something other than the raw misery of the day.  The way my mind works, though, I couldn’t stop coming back to the same old question:  what to do about the damn guns.  I started by reading Fallows on this near-weekly exercise in American exceptionalism, and then I came across this essential Ezra Klein  piece, “Nine facts about guns and mass shootings.” 

The whole post is worth your attention, but here’s what is to my mind the money quote:

7. States with stricter gun control laws have fewer deaths from gun-related violence.

Last year, economist Richard Florida dove deep into the correlations between gun deaths and other kinds of social indicators. Some of what he found was, perhaps, unexpected: Higher populations, more stress, more immigrants, and more mental illness were not correlated with more deaths from gun violence. But one thing he found was, perhaps, perfectly predictable: States with tighter gun control laws appear to have fewer gun-related deaths. The disclaimer here is that correlation is not causation. But correlations can be suggestive:

“The map overlays the map of firearm deaths above with gun control restrictions by state,” explains Florida. “It highlights states which have one of three gun control restrictions in place – assault weapons’ bans, trigger locks, or safe storage requirements. Firearm deaths are significantly lower in states with stricter gun control legislation. Though the sample sizes are small, we find substantial negative correlations between firearm deaths and states that ban assault weapons (-.45), require trigger locks (-.42), and mandate safe storage requirements for guns (-.48).”

And yes, just in case there are any gotcha gun nuts reading this:  I’m aware that Connecticut with its relatively strong gun laws was the site of today’s tragedy.  That’s (part of) the problem — the most rigorous gun laws in this country are a shadow of what they are in other, less murder-stricken lands, and the state-by-state patchwork of laws combined with the interstate highway system means that even the strongest local protections are leaky as hell.

So, as I say, check out all that Ezra has to offer on all this; this is one of his good ones.

The only other thing I want to say right now is that I think it’s important to politicize the hell out of this event…but towards particular policy goals.
I’m not really ready to write coherently anything more than to note that it is intolerable — immoral, in my view — to simply accept as the cost of being American a gun culture that results in both the murder of children and a rate of death by gun that took about 30,000 lives in 2011, roughly two-thirds of them suicides. (PDF).  We’ve got to get to a better circumstance — and if that means taking out NRA candidates state assembly rep by rep — that’s a challenge we can talk through over the next little while

But for now…well I’ve been pecking at this between kinder-transport duty and dinner and dishes, and I’ve just come downstairs again from a longer-than-usual bedtime cuddle.

My son and I talked a bit about the shootings, and he took the news on board without really letting me know what he thinks about it.   He does that — he guards his counsel until he’s decided what his parents need to know.  But I wouldn’t be surprised if he knew why I squeezed him tonight harder than usual.

It sounds hollow as hell to say it, but fuck it — here goes:

Stay safe, everyone, and hold close those you love.

Image:  Fra Angelico, The Massacre of the  Innocentsbetween 1451 and 1452.

Cross posted at Inverse Square.

 

 

 

 






73 replies
  1. 1
    Maude says:

    Wonderful post.

  2. 2
    Yutsano says:

    There is a HUGE loophole in most gun control laws, and it affects every state: gun shows. Since they are considered groups of “private dealers”, by federal law they cannot be regulated in the same way that gun shops can be. A lot of people interested in obtaining what could be considered illegal weapons do so at these trade venues. They need to have the big foot of regulation planted on their asses NOW.

    This also applies to Internet dealers. One is being sued for a murder in Toronto as we type.

    BTW, it seems shallow on this day, but your artwork selections are always stellar Tom.

  3. 3
    Mike in NC says:

    We live in a sick, sick fucking country. Not even worthy of comparinging to North Korea. We sure a sick society.

  4. 4
    hilts says:

    Glenn Reynolds outdouches himself –

    “Policies making areas “gun free” provide a sense of safety to those who engage in magical thinking, but in practice, of course, killers aren’t stopped by gun-free zones. As always, it’s the honest people — the very ones you want to be armed — who tend to obey the law.

    This vulnerability makes some people uncomfortable. I teach at a state university with a campus gun-free policy, and quite a few of my students have permits to carry guns. After the Virginia Tech shooting a few years ago, one of them asked me if we could move class off campus, because she felt unsafe being unarmed. I certainly would have felt perfectly safe having her carry a gun in my presence; she was, and is, a responsible adult. I feel the same way about the other law students I know who have carry permits.”

  5. 5
    Uncle Jeffy says:

    Tell Clint Eastwood that if he wants to talk to an empty chair, there’s 26 of them waiting for him in Newton, CT.

  6. 6
    Mnemosyne says:

    This struck me as a fascinating statistic from Ezra’s list, but I’m not sure what it means:

    Of the 11 deadliest shootings in the US, five have happened from 2007 onward.

    Are we dealing with a low-level civil war of some kind? Many of the shooters seem to be well beyond rationality, but I can’t help but wonder.

  7. 7
    eclecticbrotha says:

    Awful nice of MSNBC to show the face of the shooter’s older brother on TV, especially after all the misdirected hatred he’s having to endure from isiots on social media that think he did it. also, people need o stop doing heinous shit and forcing MSNBC to interrupt their weeked “Lockup” marathons.

  8. 8
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    Yes, wonderful post I have to go into our garden and howl now. I’m a loser.

  9. 9
    mclaren says:

    America: a nation of Molochs.

  10. 10
    Catpause says:

    These shootings are the work of profoundly mentally ill people, and to ignore the failure of our for-profit healthcare system is criminal at this point. How cheap is universal healthcare now that we lay more bodies before the alter of greed? This is not a gun problem or a school security problem. It is us as a nation not caring for our mentally ill.

  11. 11
    Walker says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Note the shooter’s age. There is a measurable increase in untreated mental illness among people in this age range. I first learned about the problem when I started reading applications at my university. The staff told me that the number one thing we look for in student essays these days is mental health because the problem has started to get so bad on college campuses. The showed me a some of academic studies warning that this was a growing problem (cannot find the links right now).

    Granted, most of these mentally ill people are not going to shoot someone. At worst they hurt themselves. But as the absolute numbers grow, you will see more an more of this.

  12. 12
    RosiesDad says:

    On Monday, you need to wake up and call your elected representatives and ask them what they are going to do about preventing mass shootings in the United States. And on Tuesday, you need to call them back and ask again. And on Wednesday and on Thursday and Friday. And everyday.

    Until they do something.

    It is time to politicize it. The NRA and the gun lobby have money. We have numbers.

    Do it.

  13. 13
    gbear says:

    My first move was to order some buttons that say “I am NOT carrying a gun” in response to that moron’s twitter a few posts back. A couple friends have already put in their requests for one, and I plan on putting it on my coat and wearing it everywhere all winter. I’m also going to push my reps for some response. Who knows what the hell they’ll be able to do…

  14. 14
    Pinkamena Panic says:

    @Catpause: Yep, keep fucking that chicken. As we all know, only a mentally ill person could have done this, what with their inability to be Good People, because Good and Mentally Healthy are the same.

    Fuck you.

  15. 15
    Pinkamena Panic says:

    @Catpause: Yep, keep fucking that chicken. As we all know, only a mentally ill person could have done this, what with their inability to be Good People, because Good and Mentally Healthy are the same.

    Fuck you.

  16. 16
    elmo says:

    Raw misery is right.
    Today is my 46th birthday. My Dad died this morning, after a long illness.
    I went to work anyway, because I had a lot of work to do, and what good would sitting at home do.
    So I took a break at my desk and looked at the news – this was around 2 pm or so.
    I think I stopped sobbing around 3. I’d managed to hold it together until then, but dear God the grief of those families, added to my own, was too much. Given a choice, I would keep my own grief and take theirs as well. So much sorrow for one day .

  17. 17
    Walker says:

    @Pinkamena Panic:

    The news reports have largely confirmed that the shooter was mentally ill. As were the people in most of the high profile shootings recently (Oregon mall shooting unclear).

    The people who are complaining about the state of mental health in this country on this board are not pro-gun. Nothing in that post of Catpause was pro-gun. That is irrational projection on your part.

  18. 18
    gbear says:

    Been Said Before. Say It Again

    Alternate post title: “Although its been said many times, many ways…”

  19. 19
    gbear says:

    @Catpause:

    This is not a gun problem or a school security problem. It is us as a nation not caring for our mentally ill.

    Oh sure, it’s always about you.

  20. 20
    Gian says:

    I posted this at the tail end of an early thread, but I had a glimmer of hope out of local sports radio today.
    the lunch hour guys at 710 espn radio in LA
    Steve Mason and John Ireland opened the portion of the show that I heard, and I paraphrase:
    On a day like today it’s not right to talk about the Lakers losing streak or the Angels free agent signings.
    they then proceeded to talk about mass shootings and the end of the assault weapons ban

    today’s show isn’t up for listening yet, but their link is here:
    http://espn.go.com/los-angeles.....sonireland

    I have a 7 year old, and a 3 year old and have a tv news blackout going on. I just don’t know how to explain this. My heart just aches.

    I’m thinking of the next time I hear “it’s too soon” to talk about it, I’ll say, I’m talking about it after Auroa, or Gabby Giffords, or the WI temple or, and since we didn’t talk about it after (pick one) and Newtown just happened, we waited too long to talk about it and how many more kids need to die to satisfy your twisted sense of decorum?

  21. 21
    whidgy says:

    Anybody got a body count for the number of children our country has killed in drone attacks in the past few years and how that stacks up against the number killed in schools?

  22. 22
    hitchhiker says:

    I just. Can’t.

    Some of you know what it’s like to have your life shattered; I do. I had to put my arms around my half-grown daughters in a trauma center one night and tell them their dad was never going to walk again, and might not be able to hug them or breathe right.

    Here’s the thing I know. For awhile, these families are going to be turning their heads a hundred times a day, trying somehow to make it be yesterday. They’re not going to be able to look at their calendars because there will be — on the days before today — reminders about dentist appointments and haircuts and soccer tryouts. And the reminder of the innocence of marching toward this day, trusting that the future is there, is just unbearable.

    If it takes us 50 years to get rid of these fucking guns, I’m in. We just have to start, and not give up.

  23. 23
    scav says:

    I’m so sorry for you elmo. So often it is just that little trivial thing that finally punches us through tomexpressed grief but this could in no way be described thus and only made everything harder and more complicated. The things all this is dragging up. I’ll drop this flotsom in. One can purchase the photo of my murdered aunt and 13 month cousin’s bodies on ebay. It was quite the shock to discover that unexpectedly. Market value? less than ten bucks.

  24. 24
    Tom Levenson says:

    @whidgy: It takes a special something to be as much of an asshole as the asshole who would write that.

    Plus the implied suggestion of just desserts is purely cruel.

  25. 25
    justawriter says:

    Sadly, I think serious gun control will only happen when massacres of conservative leaders and spokesthugs becomes as common as massacres of women and children.

  26. 26
    Keith G says:

    Stay safe, everyone, and hold close those you love.

    …and work with a fiendish compulsion to build an activist base that consistently votes it’s moral priorities on this issue or all of this will be for naught.

    Talk, and tears, are cheap.

  27. 27
    Alison says:

    @whidgy: Do you have a reason for asking such a question on a post about this tragedy? I mean, besides just being a jackass.

  28. 28
    Keith G says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Are we dealing with a low-level civil war of some kind? Many of the shooters seem to be well beyond rationality, but I can’t help but wonder.

    When you hear hoof beats, think horses.

    The Federal Assault Weapons Ban ended on September 13, ’04. Over time, high capacity weapons have become more numerous and much cheaper. With more of these human killing products lying around, more persons in extreme turmoil have such weapons near them. Simple arithmetic.

  29. 29
    Maude says:

    @hitchhiker:
    My brother was in his twenties when he became a quad. He lived seven years. I miss him.

  30. 30
    ShadeTail says:

    @Walker: I could not possibly agree less. Catpause’s claim that it was not about guns is very clearly pro-gun, or at least anti-gun-control. It is a big lie that gun nuts and the NRA love to spread around. “THE GUNS ARE BLAMELESS!! FOCUS ON THE PERSON!!” But guns are undeniably part of the problem, and trying to downplay that essential fact is most certainly pro-gun.

  31. 31
    PurpleGirl says:

    @elmo: Sorry to hear about your father. Take care of yourself, rest, eat, drink water, slow down if possible. If you need to write something to release your feelings, you know that BJers will always understand a rant. {{{{hug}}}}

  32. 32
    mclaren says:

    @Catpause:

    These shootings are the work of profoundly mentally ill people, and to ignore the failure of our for-profit healthcare system is criminal at this point.

    All other countries have profoundly mentally ill people in their population. That’s not the problem. The problem is the fucking guns.

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  33. 33
    magurakurin says:

    @Walker:

    Nothing in that post of Catpause was pro-gun. That is irrational projection on your part.

    Except the part where they said “this is not a gun problem.”

    Yes, mental health care sucks in the States. It sucks worse in Japan. Do the math.

    This most certainly is “a gun problem.” And that problem is made far, far worse in a society with a shit mental health system. It’s not an either or question.

    I’m more than willing to admit that the United States needs a massive overhaul of the mental health system. Why can’t it be admitted that it needs a massive introduction of strict controls and bans on weaponry? Not admitting the latter is pro-gun in my mind.

  34. 34
    Mnemosyne says:

    @scav:

    I could probably find the cover of the Sun-Times that featured a family portrait of my uncle, his wife, and their three kids after they died in a car accident, but I don’t even want to look.

  35. 35
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tom Levenson:
    @Alison:

    Ignore it. It’s trying to cover up its complete lack of empathy by pretending to be oh-so-much-more empathic than the rest of us. It feels all tragedies equally! Which, by definition, means it feels none at all.

  36. 36
    magurakurin says:

    @mclaren:

    when Mclaren is right, she’s right. ♫ ♪ Shine on you crazy diamond….♫

  37. 37
    Rob in DC says:

    The time to deal with guns in the United States via regulation sailed a long time ago, in fact it may have never existed, but the if it did the inflection point was when cheap automatic weapons became feasible to mass produce for non-military consumption. When we failed to curb the presence of these weapons in the United States and let them flood into the hands of consumers we forfeited any opportunity to effectively quash gun violence via restrictive gun ownership laws.

    I’m sorry, I am looking at that map and see barely any correlation at all. I am going to go off on a limb and say culture is a much better explainer of those small correlations you are seeing than any gun laws.

    Theoretically it would be extremely easy to think of a legal framework to eliminate gun violence in the United States. Make guns illegal everywhere (at the very least automatic and semiautomatic weapons which are the tools of mass murder), in all 50 states. Any scheme being suggested by pundits or in gun control advocate ideologies is likely to be less stringent than what I just proposed. Yet even the regime I just suggested would do diddly squat to prevent heinous shit like the events in Connecticut today.

    In practice executing the no guns anywhere in the United States would be impossible. There are too many goddamn guns floating around in this country. 310 million according to an article I read today. Short of going totalitarian the government is not going to get rid of all these guns. They are going to be right here, and if a law was passed that actually stopped the influx of new guns in the United States the guns still in this country would still be around making events like today’s possible for the next century. AK-47s have a practically indefinite lifespan. You could leave one in the mud for 40 years in Vietnam, pick it up and marginally clean it and it will fire happily for you at a rate of 600 rounds/min as if it just came off the factory line.

    Therefore guns will be accessible to maniacs in the U.S. for the foreseeable future. If someone is truly committed to enacting atrocities like an elementary school shooting they will find a way, no matter how strict we make our gun laws because the practical realities of a country where there are more guns than citizens will make it possible.

    The solution can only be better mental health services and preemptive custody of unstable individuals. We can learn to identify maniacs like this, and treat them or lock them away. I am sorry, this is an anti-liberty position but when we live in a world where weapons of mass murder are easily accessible to anyone with the will we will have to curtail the protections of the 14th amendment if we want to live in a safe society. This is the poisonous legacy that the NRA and our military fascist culture has bequeathed to us. The other alternative is the status quo. I hate to say it but I am uncertain which one is better.

    The other solution is the one the NRA advocates. In the fucked up situation the United States exists in because of our massive gun inventory it is a viable one. Deny it all you want but they are exactly right that if the majority of adults in that school were armed this would not have happened. We unfortunately have to take their position seriously because the realities on the ground, which exist partially due to the selfish pricks themselves, make their position one of our few viable solutions to the gun violence problem.

    I feel helpless because of the only practical solutions I see one leads us further down fascist road we have been walking for so long, and the other leads us to a society that accepts more casual gun violence in return for avoiding massacres where lunatics prey on the truly most harmless and innocent among us. But that is the reality of this situation, don’t kid yourselves that gun laws will prevent this kind of shit.

  38. 38
    asiangrrlMN says:

    I just can’t. So I posted this instead (from The Onion). That pretty much sums it up for me.

    @elmo: I’m so sorry for the loss of your father. My deepest condolences to you and your loved ones.

  39. 39
    Humble Lurker says:

    @Rob in DC:

    Deny it all you want but they are exactly right that if the majority of adults in that school were armed this would not have happened.

    Fuck you.

  40. 40
    DB says:

    @hitchhiker: Thank you so much for this.

  41. 41
    Petorado says:

    So tonight, parents around this nation will lie awake haunted by a more deeply ingrained terror that the next time their child goes to school, to a movie theater, to a place of worship, to the mall, or other place where people congregate that their child may end up shot by someone with a lot of anger and an AR-15. But tonight, gun obsessives will sleep fitfully knowing that their guns are still safe.

  42. 42

    @Rob in DC:

    Deny it all you want but they are exactly right that if the majority of adults in that school were armed this would not have happened.

    Trained law enforcement officers, who are trained to deal with such situations, accidentally shoot the wrong people. What makes you think that the teachers at the school, who were not, would not do significantly worse?

    People said the same dumb crap about the shooting at the movie theater in Colorado. I can’t think of a worse scenario than having a bunch of random armed people in an enclosed space popping off.

    You really are a stupid shit.

  43. 43
    Gian says:

    @Rob in DC:

    damn, this event has me wanting to hit the bottle like psy fighter squared, but you need to control yourself.
    drink some water take some asprin.

    but you sound like you’re stoned out of your mind.

    the real world, where people lack perfect information about the sudden chaos in this kind of event, responses take time.

  44. 44
    am says:

    @mclaren:

    All of those countries also have much better mental healthcare systems.

    It’s about the guns as well as healthcare for the mentally ill.

  45. 45
    Yutsano says:

    @magurakurin: Let us never speak of this again…

  46. 46
    whidgy says:

    @Tom Levenson: Oh wait, I thought it was time to politicize this? Didn’t you say “The only other thing I want to say right now is that I think it’s important to politicize the hell out of this event…but towards particular policy goals.”

    Okay, so lets talk about why we don’t give a shit that our drone attacks have killed scores, if not hundreds of children?

    Please don’t use the deaths of these children as a nice little prop to advance whatever policy goals you have and then turn around and get all sanctimonious when somebody disagrees with you.

  47. 47
    Pinkamena Panic says:

    @whidgy: Like you give a FUCK about children, you inhuman ghoul.

  48. 48
    whidgy says:

    @Pinkamena Panic: I see, Obama could stop the drone attacks tomorrow. Wouldn’t need to consult congress or fight the NRA.

    But that won’t happen. It’s not even being discussed.

    Now that we have a nice juicy shooting it will give everybody the chance to parade about making a wonderful show of how outraged they are and go back to beating on their favorite hobby horses: “We need background checks” “We need better mental health care” “We need to do something about violent video games” “We need to outlaw assault weapons” and so on.

    It’s just a disgusting display.

  49. 49
    Gian says:

    @whidgy:
    best get inside by daylight, I read the Hobbit, even if I haven’t seen the movie.

    please don’t turn to stone

  50. 50
    Rob in DC says:

    @Humble Lurker:

    You can hate me all you want but I cant help thinking in that crazy Idaho castle society seperationists wanted to build, where every 13 year old onward has to pass a gun shooting exam annually and go around armed this shit would not happen, elementary school children would not die when psychotics snap. I’m not sure I wouldn’t prefer to live in such a world.

    As much as I want to live in a world like one Hitchhiker believes in, where in 50 years we can get rid of this plague if we start now, I don’t believe its possible. It’s going to be impossible to get rid of the guns stockpile in this country. I want a solution where little children don’t die, maybe the crazies have the right idea at this point, the situation has gotten so fucked there might not be any other solution.

  51. 51

    @whidgy: If you think you’re advancing some sort of policy goal, you’re doing it wrong, you sanctimonious sack of shit.

  52. 52
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Rob in DC: why wouldn’t a society full of armed people still have some of them snap and start shooting one day? The first person who starts shooting by surprise and doesn’t care if he lives or dies will ALWAYS be able to kill a whole bunch of people. Why wouldn’t that happen? Why do you think that makes any sense?

  53. 53

    @Rob in DC:

    You can hate me all you want but I cant help thinking in that crazy Idaho castle society seperationists wanted to build, where every 13 year old onward has to pass a gun shooting exam annually and go around armed this shit would not happen, elementary school children would not die when psychotics snap. I’m not sure I wouldn’t prefer to live in such a world.

    You are a crazy person. The fewer people who think like you making public policy, the better.

  54. 54

    @mclaren:

    All other countries have profoundly mentally ill people in their population. That’s not the problem. The problem is the fucking guns.

    (minus the spam)

    Well, it’s that, and stewing them in a profoundly violent and mutually alienating society with a disintegrating social contract, and then mixing in a few hundred million guns.

  55. 55
    jayackroyd says:

    There’s a cultural issue here. I grew up in one of the unregulated states that is also one of the yellow states: Maine. We had a rifle, a single shot .22, in the mudroom. The shells were in a desk drawer in the kitchen, right off the mudroom. On the one hand, I suppose this was horrific gun safety practice on my parents’ part–four kids in the house and all. OTOH, it was never loaded except when it was in use.

    But the thing is we didn’t see the rifle as a weapon. We saw it as a tool. Every once in a while my father would get ticked off at the woodchucks in the garden and would (AFAICT, because he never hit one) scare them off by shooting in their general direction. We certainly didn’t see it as a means of defending our castle; we didn’t lock the doors (hell, one of our cats could open the doors*), so that would have been kinda silly.

    It wasn’t anywhere near the most dangerous tool in the house either. The circular saw or the chain saw were scarier. Oh, and the rifle wasn’t a toy, either. I never fired it, never occurred to me that I’d want to do so for fun. I’ve still never fired a gun. Seems silly.

    ‘Though I knew plenty of hunters–we ate venison shared by neighbors pretty frequently–I didn’t know any NRA members. Gun control wasn’t an issue that arose–and I worked on a few campaigns, Republican campaigns, in my youth.

    This gun nut culture–those red states in Tom’s map–lies deeper than regulations or not regulations. I’ve never lived south of the Mason-Dixon line, so don’t know what’s going on there, really. But there’s something broken in our society when people feel threatened when, frankly, they’re not.

    Where does that sense of threat come from? Is it a vestige of the war of northern aggression? Still? I mean, the Confederacy WAS conquered, brutally, and occupied. I suppose, given the obduracy of the battle flag, you’d have to say, to some degree, that it is. Is that so?

    ————-
    *She’d jump up and swat the latch on the door to the mudroom, and then jump up onto the screen door leading outside to swing it open. There were at least a couple of times she managed to do this in the winter–outside door left ajar or something. I know this because I got up first one of those times. Chilly!

  56. 56
    scav says:

    @Midnight Marauder: In your nirvana, every post thirteen year old psychotic would be armed and the 20 kindergartners would still be unarmed. beep! try again.

    at least you know many, if not most people find your position hateful: hug yourself and revel in it that’s why you came. but don’t pretend your position is taken out of superior übermensch logic.

  57. 57
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @jayackroyd: The sense of threat revolves around the idea that one day the negroes will decide it’s time for payback.

  58. 58
    Humble Lurker says:

    @Rob in DC:
    Explain Fort Hood to me, if you really believe that. How’d that happen?

    And who said I hated you? I just said Fuck you. Still do.

  59. 59
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    I don’t see your correlation between laws and firearm deaths. What I see is lower death rates in New England and the places settled by them over the years: the upper midwest, Oregon, Washington. Firearms deaths correlate with the South and the Appalachians. Different cultures.

  60. 60
    jayackroyd says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Yeah, I knew I’d get that. But seriously. What’s different in the South? My brother, still living in Maine, doesn’t have a rifle rack on his pickup. Nor on his Camry, FTM. Or on those coupla other cars parked in the yard. Or on the snowplow pickup.

    (He doesn’t leave the Christmas lights up all year long.)

  61. 61
    jayackroyd says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Yeah, I knew I’d get that. But seriously. What’s different in the South? My brother, still living in Maine, doesn’t have a rifle rack on his pickup. Nor on his Camry, FTM. Or on those coupla other cars parked in the yard. Or on the snowplow pickup.

    (He doesn’t leave the Christmas lights up all year long.)

  62. 62
    Mnemosyne says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I think the urban riots of the 60s were way more traumatizing to the majority of white Americans alive at the time than people today realize. I mean, I wasn’t alive at the time, but a lot of the current paranoia does seem to stem from the conviction that Those People are coming to kill us all and the government isn’t going to lift a finger to stop them.

  63. 63
    Yutsano says:

    @Rob in DC: Florida.

    You lose.

  64. 64
    jayackroyd says:

    @Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason: That’s why Tom linked to the piece on the study, so you wouldn’t have to rely on your eyesight to estimate the correlation coefficients. Here’s the link again:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/nat.....ths/69354/

  65. 65
    karen marie says:

    @Rob in DC:

    elementary school children would not die when psychotics snap.

    This is true because you say so? Put a group of paranoid morons in a closed space and arm them. Great idea! Oh, no, nothing bad could possibly happen — they’ve all got guns!

    Do you live alone in a cave having been raised by wolves?

  66. 66
    TS says:

    @Catpause:

    This is not a gun problem or a school security problem. It is us as a nation not caring for our mentally ill.

    According to an analysis presented on Rachel Maddow show – the major people of concern are clinically depressed angry teenagers who cannot address their issues with parents but would be open to help from other adults.

    Would they all be found/helped – of course not – but taking away their access to guns would probably save their own lives as well as those they would attack.

  67. 67
    AJ Hill says:

    @whidgy: I oppose the careless and unrestricted use of drones by our military/political leaders, but using that issue as an excuse for avoiding our national gun epidemic is irrational and intellectually dishonest.

  68. 68
    whidgy says:

    @AJ Hill: It’s not avoiding a discussion to ask why, if we are so terribly concerned about saving children’s lives, are we talking about a school shooting instead of a the drone program that kills far more children.

    It throws light, I think, on what this discussion is really about.

    Hint: It ain’t about protecting children.
    .

  69. 69
    jp7505a says:

    Over on Digby’s blog there are a number of posts with links to the fevered swamp of conserative, no not conserative but reactionary conspiarcy theories. Stocking up on ammo to kill the ‘minority urban youth’ rioters. MUY is SO MUCH MORE POLITE than the N word. The posts debate the finer points of differnt rifles and what the effective kill range is. One post compares killing MUY to shooting at prairre dogs.

    What has hapened in this country to create such evil and paranoid thinking. Even blaming it on racism seems too simple. I guess this type of thinking has always existed around the edges of our society, after all the KKK had to find members somewhere but the Internet just lets them crawl out from under the rocks that they usually inhabit.

    I make the distinction between conserative and reactionary because even if someone like David Brooks is mistaken in his policy positions I can’t imagine him or David Frum or people like them buying into these vile morbid fantasies.

  70. 70
    Mnemosyne says:

    @whidgy:

    So halting drone attacks overseas will make crazy people inside the US stop shooting people? How, exactly do you picture that working? Is there an incantation required or does Xenu descend from the heavens and wave his hand to make it so?

  71. 71
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mnemosyne: This disappointingly common game of holier than thou one-upmanship relies on a willful failure to distinguish between the deliberate targeting of children, the neglectful failure to protect children, and the accidental deaths of children. In other words, it’s contemptible bullshit.

  72. 72
    rational anarchist says:

    Abject stupidity.

    I can only assume a “child protective gun law” is referring to “safe storage” and or “trigger locks”. Neither of which would have affected this incident.

    Also, as an Ohio resident, I can’t help but look at surrounding states with similar demographics like Pennsylvania and Michigan– Are you sure these laws are effective?

    Here in Columbus, black males between 16-30 make up less than 5% of the population, yet commit over 50% of the gun homicides annually— meanwhile, my five guns which I’ve owned for 30 yrs are still less deadly than Ted Kennedy’s Oldsmobile.

  73. 73
    Gus says:

    @Rob in DC: Now is the perfect time for you to shut the fuck up.

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