Letting gun control arguments atrophy

Another AR-15 left unsecured and easily accessible, another wholly preventable tragedy, and some really striking polling regarding Latinos and gun control that I haven’t seen discussed:

A fifteen-year-old New Mexico Latino teen who later told police he had homicidal and suicidal thoughts grabbed his parents’ assault rifle from their closet and killed his mother, a brother and two sisters under the age of 9, before waiting several hours and then killing his father. Like in the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting, the New Mexico teen, Nehemiah Griego, had no history of violence. And like Newtown, Connecticut school shooter Adam Lanza, Nehemiah Griego simply took his parents’ AR-15 assault rifle to kill his own family members.

Polls have shown that a majority of Latinos support gun control legislation. According a Pew Research poll, only 29 percent of Latinos think gun rights are more important than gun control. Another poll found 69 percent of Latinos believe in stronger laws regarding the sale of guns, and nearly nine in ten – 86 percent – believe all gun buyers should have to pass a criminal background check.

In an interview with MSNBC, Texas Democratic Mayor Julián Castro, who advocates for gun control legislation, disputed what he calls the “slippery slope” argument advocated by conservative legislators like Cruz and the NRA. The NRA argues that more gun control restrictions can lead to taking away an individual’s rights to bear arms. Castro said that “paranoia” from the NRA is being countered by those who favor “reasonable gun control restrictions” through a relatively new tool — social media.“What I think is different now is the opportunity to penetrate that culture and get a message out there in a way that is authentic and from the people,” said Castro, who accused his fellow Democrats of having let gun control arguments “atrophy” for many years. ”What you’re going to see is a shifting of public opinion,” said Castro, even in regions with a history of gun ownership.

Castro always appears to have an enormous amount of energy when I’ve seen him on television, and he’ll need it for his social media campaign, because the weapons industry is pouring millions into marketing directed at children:

Threatened by long-term declining participation in shooting sports, the firearms industry has poured millions of dollars into a broad campaign to ensure its future by getting guns into the hands of more, and younger, children.
The industry’s strategies include giving firearms, ammunition and cash to youth groups; weakening state restrictions on hunting by young children; marketing an affordable military-style rifle for “junior shooters” and sponsoring semiautomatic-handgun competitions for youths; and developing a target-shooting video game that promotes brand-name weapons, with links to the Web sites of their makers.
The pages of Junior Shooters, an industry-supported magazine that seeks to get children involved in the recreational use of firearms, once featured a smiling 15-year-old girl clutching a semiautomatic rifle. At the end of an accompanying article that extolled target shooting with a Bushmaster AR-15 – an advertisement elsewhere in the magazine directed readers to a coupon for buying one – the author encouraged youngsters to share the article with a parent.
“Who knows?” it said. “Maybe you’ll find a Bushmaster AR-15 under your tree some frosty Christmas morning!”






120 replies
  1. 1
    c u n d gulag says:

    I say, arm the fetus before it even has any arms!

    This way, their little hands will develop around the trigger, and they can shoot the doctor if the mother decides to have an abortion, or shoot its way out, instead of having a C-section.
    Oh, and shoot any MoFo who decides to slap it on its ass.

  2. 2
    BGinCHI says:

    From each according to his ability, to each according to his need for massive firepower.

    This is an economics problem as much as it is a psychological and moral one. Follow the money. Cut it off at the source. Take away the incentives.

  3. 3
    muddy says:

    “Who knows?” it said. “Maybe you’ll find a Bushmaster AR-15 under your tree some frosty Christmas morning!”

    And then you can kill them with it!

  4. 4
    Epicurus says:

    @muddy: You’ll shoot your eye out, kid!

  5. 5

    Eddie Izzard “they say guns don’t kill people, people kill people, yeah but I think the guns help”.

  6. 6
    SatanicPanic says:

    I wonder how much conservative rhetoric about shooting border crossers is driving this. It’s hard to be enthusiastic about guns when you know they’re pointed in your direction.

  7. 7
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Castro always appears to have an enormous amount of energy when I’ve seen him on television, and he’ll need it for his social media campaign, because the weapons industry is pouring millions into marketing directed at children

    And at social media. I do not post about my gun ownership on Facebook – never have and never will – and yet I get a huge number of ads and “sponsored stories” from the NRA and some outfit called the US Concealed Carry Association.

  8. 8
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Threatened by long-term declining participation in shooting sports, the firearms industry has poured millions of dollars into a broad campaign to ensure its future by getting guns into the hands of more, and younger, children.

    This has ALWAYS been what it’s really about.

    The future of the merchants of death.

    The NRA was founded after peace broke out in the mid 1860’s to keep the merchants of death in the sort of business they’d been in during the Civil War.

    They don’t care how many people die from using their product as it was designed to be used, so long as there’s still a market for their deadly toys.

    As I believe Kay put it the other day, Wayne LaPierre is a gun salesman. That is his job. To sell firearms. The 2nd Amendment is a PR tool of the merchants of death.

    This isn’t about brave defenders of the Constitution. It’s about moving product. Product that has only one real use…to grievously injure (do you know what a 5.56 round is designed to do to human flesh?) and kill people.

  9. 9
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    Latinos are for gun control, blacks are for gun control. You might start thinking these groups are different than the whites who need to maintain their authority.

  10. 10
    Bernie says:

    This is Joe Camel all over again.

  11. 11
    Bernie says:

    This is Joe Camel all over again.

  12. 12

    Well, looks like the gun nuts’ master plan is working. It’s now, once again, too soon to talk about gun laws, lest we “politicize” the issue. If’d planned it, it couldn’t be working any better.

  13. 13
    japa21 says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): The majority of whites are for gun control too. The only problem is crazy people tend to make more noise and scare more people. My wife tends to be a little paranoid about how peopl may react to things we might say in public. Recently, when we were out shopping I mentioned something about the madness of the current gun culture and she asked me to keep my voice down. When I asked why she said, again in a very quiet tone, that she was concerned what some gun nut would do if they heard me. There is a real fear of triggering (pun intended) a reaction from some of these nuts. And she is not the only one.

  14. 14
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): That’s quite the coincidence, isn’t it?

  15. 15
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    I might add that Kay’s excellent post yesterday about the NRA’s successful effort to cripple measures to limit the availability of firearms to those with mental health issues tells us that the firearms industry does not care, ala Wernher von Braun (“‘Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down? / That’s not my department’, says Wernher von Braun.”), what is done with their toys as long as the check clears for them.

  16. 16
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    Latinos are for gun control, blacks are for gun control. You might start thinking these groups are different than the whites who need to maintain their authorityauthoriteh.

    Just a minor correction to properly convey the attitude of those concerned with aforementioned maintenance.

  17. 17
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Oh, and because it CANNOT POSSIBLY BE OVERDONE, again, thank you Kay for another informative, concise, and well written post. You are the true star of BJ, IMHO.

    OK, well, co-star, with Tunch, Lily, and Rosie. And Doug Galt. And the entire gang of idiots.

  18. 18
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @japa21: A colleague of mine recently announced that he would like to shift his teaching load from live, in-classroom instruction to online courses. Even though he believes that online instruction is significantly less effective for a large percentage of our students, he likes the idea that he can’t be shot by an angry student opening fire in an online classroom.

  19. 19
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Smiling Mortician:

    he likes the idea that he can’t be shot by an angry student opening fire in an online classroom.

    It’s all fun and games until some bug puts a PvP flag on you and a kid comes after you with Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker.

  20. 20
    Wag says:

    TPM has an interesting take on why duck hunting is an excellent model for control of magazine size.

  21. 21
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    @japa21:

    There is a real fear of triggering (pun intended) a reaction from some of these nuts. And she is not the only one.

    I said this in another thread: the right to own and carry a gun trumps all other rights and freedoms, including those of speech, assembly, and religion. The words “well regulated Militia” mean nothing.

    The problem is not the guns so much as it is the attitudes of the 2nd Amendment absolutists. Their rights matter more than your rights. Their right to carry and brandish a gun wherever the fuck they choose is inalienable, while your rights to safety and security in a public place are conditional and frankly not that important.

    You have no right or expectation to be safe in your home, school, or church if such safety puts any limitations on what or how many guns someone may own.

    That’s the real battle we have to fight. Yes, we need restrictions on what types of weapons people may own, and we need restrictions on where they can carry them, but none of that is going to make a helluva lot of difference without forcing a lot of these assholes to grow the fuck up.

  22. 22
    Chet says:

    In factual news, handguns (and not assault rifles) are overwhelmingly the “weapon of choice” for mass shooters:

  23. 23
    StringOnAStick says:

    @japa21: Your wife isn’t the only one. My husband and I will be flying soon, with a stopover in Phoenix, and I have thought several times that we need to keep the conversation away from gun talk, and keep an eye peeled for a gun nit on the plane. It is, of course, my FREEDOM to worry about this, and that’s what it’s all about, amirite?

  24. 24
    Chet says:

    In factual news, handguns (and not assault rifles) are overwhelmingly the “weapon of choice” for mass shooters:

    http://www.wired.com/dangerroo.....-patterns/

  25. 25
    Maude says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    Using children in schools as part of the NRA argument is despicable. The propaganda was bad enough before that.

  26. 26
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @Chet: It’s not either/or. It’s both/and. That’s why America is the best country on earth. Duh.

  27. 27
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Chet:

    Except in all those cases where military grade weapons are used.

    Weapons that have absolutely no business being in untrained, unsecured civilian hands.

  28. 28
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    @Chet: Oh look, it’s the NRA shill.

    You’re right, Chet. Absolutely dead-on right. You see, I’ve been shooting all my life, grandfather was a cop, and I know quite a bit about guns. Indeed, the vast majority of killings in this fine nation are committed with handguns.

    So, I take it you’re for a comprehensive ban on handguns then?

  29. 29
    Kay says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Thanks. For me the motivating factor is public schools. I was ambivalent on guns until the NRA and their various lobbyists (volunteers and paid) entered the realm of “school security”. I would have left them alone had they left me alone, but they won’t. My youngest is in a public school. He’s ten years old and quirky and funny and great and I don’t want him undergoing mandatory NRA-promoted “safety” training. I don’t want him trained to accept “live fire” as an ordinary fact of his life. I don’t want him fearful every minute of every day, with all this bullshit paramilitary language they spout about “threats” and “deploying” guards. I think that’s corrosive to his general well-being. He’s ten. He’s not a member of their citizen-militia or whatever.
    Conservatives loathe public…sorry, GOVERNMENT schools. Why this sudden interest in them by weapons salespeople?

  30. 30
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    @Chet: Let’s say I’m in a position to do something, I’m the King of America. Here’s the deal I’d offer you, Chet:

    Universal, comprehensive ban on all handguns. Semi-auto, revolver, double-action, single-action, single-shot. All of ’em. You admit yourself they’re the core of the problem. I happen to agree. So we round ’em all up and get rid of them all.

    In exchange:

    You get all the battle-rifle action you want. Fifty-round mags, flash suppressors, silencers, full-auto. Night vision scopes of course. Any caliber you like. No limits at all.

    Deal?

  31. 31
    Ruckus says:

    @Kay:
    Isn’t it obvious? Sell more guns. Have more people open carrying. Have more people scared that there are more guns. Therefore they have to have more guns.
    If you make the world a less safe place, then more guns are needed to make it a safer place. Except that more guns make it less safe so…
    More guns.

    I know your question was rhetorical but I had to answer anyway.
    The answer is always, always, always More Guns.

  32. 32
    muddy says:

    @Wag:

    TPM has an interesting take on why duck hunting is an excellent model for control of magazine size.

    The NRA freaks out on more than 1 aspect, when it was decided that lead shot was being picked up by the waterfowl as grit for their gizzard and they’d die. Just the idea that they were supposed to change from lead to steel pellets in the shells was OMG 2ND, tyranny!

  33. 33
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Chet:

    All right, you’ve convinced me — all guns must be banned.

  34. 34
    Ruckus says:

    @Ruckus:
    If the nra was more concerned about our 2nd amendment rights they would be trying to get rid of the crazy element. They would be for more gun safety. But they are not.

    As Kay has pointed out on post after post the nra is an industry org that is out to increase gun sales. Full Stop. End of story. Any concept that they have any other agenda is just head in sand silly.

  35. 35

    I’m looking at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, and I have to say, LaPierre is an awful actor. He shakes his head, he rolls his eyes, and he does this at everything that any Democrat says. It’s kind of sad, when you think about it, that with all that money the N.R.A. has to wallow in, they can’t get a spokesman who can fake sincerity a little bit more believeably.

  36. 36

    @Chet:

    O.K., fair enough. Let’s have buybacks. Buybacks all around. Everywhere. And, also, too, let’s not forget Mexico and Central America. We need to help them buy back their guns, too. And, I know, it won’t make everything bright, shiny and spotless in a day or a week or a year or even, maybe, ten years. But it’ll help. And nobody says this has to be a one-time deal. Let’s get the buybacks going and keep them going from here on out. Have a gun? Want to get rid of it? Great. The government will buy it from you, without asking you anything about the gun. Federal buybacks. State buybacks. County, town, borough, city and township buybacks. Church buybacks. Non-profit buybacks. All kinds of buybacks.

    Say we had something like this going on now. I bet there would be a lot fewer guns in a few years. And, yes, I know that this isn’t a cure-all. No, criminals are unlikely to sell their guns. Yes, some people will keep their guns. But slowly, maybe, buybacks can do something about that.

  37. 37
    Roger Moore says:

    @Chet:

    In factual news, handguns (and not assault rifles) are overwhelmingly the “weapon of choice” for mass shooters:

    I guess we need to limit magazine sizes for handguns, too, then.

  38. 38
    Kay says:

    @Zapruder F. Mashtots, D.D.S. (Mumphrey, et al.):

    I think the upside of Democrats letting their arguments atrophy is that gun nuts got lazy and sloppy. LaPierre isn’t consistent in his arguments even day to day. One day he’s lying about demanding lists of mentally ill people, the next day he’s decrying the creation of any lists or any checks of any kind. They haven’t had to defend these positions for years. They’ve been collecting donor money and passing it along to captured lawmakers and the deregulation of weapons has gone in without any effort at all.

  39. 39
    Ruckus says:

    Read the comments at Kay’s link. They are more worried about the type/caliber of weapon or calling a magazine a clip than that some one murdered his family. The death is not the important part, the details of how and what weapon are, that a not known crazy person would kill his family in cold blood is not important, only the news story points that are slightly out of line with later facts are important. HE KILLED his family.
    Guns are more important than life. A guns right to exist is more important than mine.
    Good to know.

  40. 40
    Kay says:

    @Chet:

    Hey Chet, why don’t you ever mention the recklessness, carelessness and absolute disregard for the safety of others that keeps appearing in these (daily) stories where guns magically end up in the hands of children? Where does personal responsibility fit in the gun nut value system? Why do you spend so much time tendentiously lecturing people here who don’t own weapons and ignore those who do own weapons? Wouldn’t your time be better spent demanding gun owners secure their arsenals?

  41. 41
    El Cid says:

    We just need to make it more likely that guns and magazines fail and jam.

    After all, the only thing which can stop a bad guy with a gun is a bad gun.

  42. 42
    gogol's wife says:

    @Kay:

    Oh, but don’t you know Chet doesn’t own any guns? At least, that’s what he told us the first time he showed up here. But for some reason he ONLY comments on gun-control threads.

  43. 43
    LanceThruster says:

    @El Cid:

    That was actually an argument put forth for not prohibiting the sale of the so-called “Saturday Night Specials.” They made the case that you wanted a criminal to have a less reliable handgun.

  44. 44
    Ruckus says:

    @gogol’s wife:
    Are you trying to say his parents own them and keep them locked up so that he can’t get his hands on them? Do his parents understand something about him that he doesn’t?

  45. 45
    Kay says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    They misunderstand me on this, too. I don’t want to learn about guns. If they’d keep control of their guns, and quit losing them under the couch cushions or whatever, I wouldn’t have to think about guns at all.

  46. 46
    Chet says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Yes, obviously civilians should only have access to firearms that are inaccurate and failure-prone.

  47. 47
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Chet:

    You don’t to argue any more, you’ve convinced me: civilians should have no access to firearms at all. Anyone who wants a gun is clearly not responsible enough to own one.

  48. 48
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Bernie: My thoughts exactly.

    It’s a smaller and smaller population in the US that hunts for food, and once that stops the sport hunting dries up, too. The other issue is that good hunting rifles which are cared for can last a really long time. These guys are like Whirlpool trying to sell a new washing machine every three months. Where will you put them all? Build a shed on the back? Some rednecks with a trailer might steal ’em if you don’t chain ’em down.

  49. 49
    Kay says:

    @Ruckus:

    It’s more than the parents. This kid survived, and he is in an absolute world of hurt:

    Nehemiah agreed to speak with police without an adult or lawyer present, according to the court document. Police have not confirmed whether the teen, who was booked in juvenile jail, has been assigned a public defender.
    Nehemiah was charged Sunday morning with five counts of murder and three counts of child abuse leading to death. Under New Mexico state law, 15-year-olds charged with first-degree murder are tried in adult criminal court.

    We had a 15 year old accidentally shoot and kill a 16 year old here. The adult dropped his gun on a clothes dryer in the garage and walked away, and the 15 year old, being 15, came after and picked it up. In any event, the 16 year old is dead, which is of course tragic, but it’s two years later and the nightmare isn’t over for the 15 year old. He spent months in juvenile detention and was eventually sent to live with relatives because there was so much anger towards him here locally.

  50. 50
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Kay: You know what really sucked? Doing a bullshit “active shooter” online training at work.

    Yeah, forget about not selling guns to criminals. We’ll just put a bandaid over the problem and when your family is mourning, excuse ourselves because Millie and Bob were paying attention to the active shooter protocol and we just don’t know what Dave was thinking running up the hallway instead of down.

  51. 51
    Chet says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    So, I take it you’re for a comprehensive ban on handguns then?

    I am, but only among men. Ownership of a secured handgun should be required by women.

  52. 52
    Chet says:

    @Zapruder F. Mashtots, D.D.S. (Mumphrey, et al.):

    O.K., fair enough. Let’s have buybacks. Buybacks all around. Everywhere.

    Yes, let’s solve the guns problem by massively increasing the demand for guns. Makes perfect sense!

  53. 53
    gogol's wife says:

    I realize that responding to Chet does keep the conversation going, but at what price?

  54. 54
    Kay says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    Aren’t the freelance gun nuts working against the professional gun nuts here? The professional gun nuts are promoting paramilitary training, where we’re all primed to respond to irresponsible gun owners. Okay. The freelance gun nuts, on the other hand, are walking around selling the idea that guns are not dangerous, and we shouldn’t react at all, which I suppose is the message I’m supposed to take from them wearing their AR 15 as a hipster fashion accessory. So which is it, and how can one tell and active shooter from a gun nut strutting around with his “brand”?

    This is what I mean by lazy. They’re not pulling together on the propaganda! Unify that message, folks!

  55. 55
    Wag says:

    @Kay:

    Why this sudden interest in them by weapons salespeople?

    Easy. Money.

  56. 56
    Mnemosyne says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    I have to admit, Chet’s arguments have really changed my mind. I was all in favor of reasonable restrictions like universal licensing, universal registration, and banning large-capacity magazines, but he’s convinced me that there is no such thing as a “responsible gun owner,” so our only choice is to ban all guns in private hands.

  57. 57
    Chet says:

    @Kay:

    Wouldn’t your time be better spent demanding gun owners secure their arsenals?

    Gun owners overwhelmingly do secure their “arsenals.” Less than one-one-hundredth of one percent of privately-owned firearms are ever – ever, in their operational lifetime, which is about 150 years – used to commit a crime. Concealed-carry permit holders are statistically less likely as a group to commit crimes than police officers. But there’s no group of humans larger than 20 people where you won’t be able to find examples of crime – no matter what the law. Laws actually aren’t a very good tool for preventing things from happening, that’s why the largest, most overwhelming input in the crime rate is childhood lead exposure.

  58. 58
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Chet:

    Gun owners overwhelmingly do secure their “arsenals.” Less than one-one-hundredth of one percent of privately-owned firearms are ever – ever, in their operational lifetime, which is about 150 years – used to commit a crime.

    How often are they used accidentally? Or are those some of the statistics that the government is banned from keeping, so you’re going to pretend it never happens despite the multiple citations in this very thread of idiots leaving their guns unsecured?

  59. 59
    Paul says:

    @Chet:

    But there’s no group of humans larger than 20 people where you won’t be able to find examples of crime – no matter what the law

    Perhaps. But gun owners can do a HELL of a lot more damage than the rest of the population can. Case in point is Newton. The mother owned a number of guns and chose not secure them and 20 little children paid the ultimate price.

    There is a reason why other countries have chosen to have responsible gun laws in place and it is working for them.

  60. 60
    scav says:

    chet seems to argue that if there is a single responsible gun owner anywhere it is unfair to put any restrictions on guns while the celticchick thinks so long as crazy gun owners exist, there is no reason to regulate same. Guns really are magic and unlike other sub-lunar objects. One must submit abjectly to their dominion.

  61. 61
    Chet says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    But for some reason he ONLY comments on gun-control threads.

    No, that’s not true. I also post on threads about the Post Office.

  62. 62
    Kay says:

    @scav:

    But, interestingly, Chet is 100% in favor of the NRA-backed regulatory regime/mandatory training imposed on children in public schools, as a response to gun violence.

    See how this works? Gun enthusiasts have successfully shifted any regulatory burden, time investment or inconvenience from themselves to children.

  63. 63

    Anyone that had Lamar Alexander in the “who is going to say that video games are worse than guns” pool, collect your winnings. http://kotaku.com/5980247/vide.....us-senator

  64. 64
    Kay says:

    It’s gone beyond parody at this point. They cannot hold a hearing on gun violence without being interrupted by a shooting:

    Three people were shot and two others were injured at a Phoenix office complex Wednesday, the Arizona Republic reported. According to the Associated Press, police do not have a suspect in custody.
    News of the shooting surfaced as the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on gun violence in America. Mark Kelly, husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), told the Senate committee of the shooting while answering a question.

  65. 65
    Chet says:

    @Paul:

    There is a reason why other countries have chosen to have responsible gun laws in place and it is working for them.

    It’s not working for them. Rates of violent crime are higher throughout Europe than they are in the US. A woman is twice as likely to be sexually assaulted in the UK and four times as likely in Australia, the two countries held up as exemplar gun control regimes. Australia’s gun control had no effect on the homicide rate or the prevalence of mass homicides. The UK’s gun control caused gun crime to quadruple in a year.

    Sure, in the extremely narrow category of firearm homicides, they’re better than us – and always have been, since statistics first started being kept in the 1800’s. Their gun control efforts have had no effect on that. What they have done is expose their populaces to an extraordinary degree of risk of injury, assault, rape, and property crime. I’m not excited to see the same trade-off made, here.

  66. 66
    scav says:

    @Kay: And women need big scary guns because men are so much larger (and apparently roam about attacking in packs at any moment –don’t they have jobs?). Imagine the size of the weaponry the kidlets will need! Profit!

  67. 67
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Kay: I just saw that. It falls under the “truth really is stranger than fiction” heading. Words fail me.

  68. 68
    El Cid says:

    Actually it would be interesting to have a look at proposed (or existing) policies regarding firearms and ammunition (anything from regulations or bans on ownership to advocacy campaigns to do this or not do that, the whole spectrum) not beginning with ‘first principles’ but beginning with a certain defined category of violent crime and/or accidental risk and showing how for each a proposed change in policy would reduce the incidence or risk of harm.

    I.e., which policies (including but not limited to gun / ammo regs, etc.) would and by how much reduce the number and severity of murders committed in the commission of domestic abuse…

    Or in the case of mass shootings…

    Or in the case of weapons obtained by children…

    Each particular type of risk or attack is likely to have factors which differ from and factors in common with others.

    I am just curious as to see how it would change the outline or the debate or recommendations to begin at the level of the risk or crime and the most effective used & likely policies to reduce their incidence and lethality / damage, and see which gun & ammo policies from direct regulation to awareness programs to whatever would come out of a list created that way.

  69. 69
    Kay says:

    @ranchandsyrup:

    I don’t think most people outside of the gun nut community are aware of “extreme shooting” ranges. Lobbyist Lamar will grow to regret pointing to violent games played by children as a cause, because there’s a huge and growing market among gun nuts for real live violent games played by children that involve real guns.

  70. 70
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Chet:

    So the collective magic of all of our magical guns is what’s protecting women from rape and not, say, changes in police standards in the US that haven’t reached Britain yet?

    Guns really are magic!

  71. 71
    Chet says:

    @Kay:

    But, interestingly, Chet is 100% in favor of the NRA-backed regulatory regime/mandatory training imposed on children in public schools, as a response to gun violence.

    I’d be opposed to it if you’d like to make a convincing argument as to why I should be. Or did you think “NRA-backed” did all the heavy lifting in that regard? If the odious Wayne LaPierre comes out against childhood cancer, am I required to now oppose funding for St. Jude’s?

  72. 72
    Paul says:

    @Chet:

    It’s not working for them. Rates of violent crime are higher throughout Europe than they are in the US. A woman is twice as likely to be sexually assaulted in the UK and four times as likely in Australia, the two countries held up as exemplar gun control regimes. Australia’s gun control had no effect on the homicide rate or the prevalence of mass homicides. The UK’s gun control caused gun crime to quadruple in a year. Sure, in the extremely narrow category of firearm homicides, they’re better than us – and always have been, since statistics first started being kept in the 1800′s. Their gun control efforts have had no effect on that. What they have done is expose their populaces to an extraordinary degree of risk of injury, assault, rape, and property crime. I’m not excited to see the same trade-off made, here.

    Well, speak for yourself. It is obviously working for them. They hardly have any mass shootings. On the other hand, we have them several times a month now. Hell, we just another mass shooting once again today – this time in Phoneix.

    At some point – please keep an open mind. There IS less crime in other countries, no matter what NRA tells you what to believe.

    Have you ever been abroad? I felt safe as can be walking around after midnight in Paris. On the other hand, in New York at day time, some idiot on the subway started shouting he had gun and people started to get scared and departed at the next stop.

    But hell, at least the gun idiot had HIS freedom. To hell with the rest of us Americans…

  73. 73
    kerFuFFler says:

    …disputed what he calls the “slippery slope” argument advocated by conservative legislators…

    I’m glad people are fighting the slippery slope argument. Seriously, it is monumentally stupid to rule out some kind of happy medium just because it is possible in theory to move to far in the other direction. After all, an anorexic’s first healthy bite could be considered the first step in becoming obese, so let’s not fight anorexia….

  74. 74
    Chet says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    So the collective magic of all of our magical guns

    Look, you can’t simultaneously argue (as you have) that gun culture has negative externalities outside of the immediate circle of gun owners, and then deny that gun culture has any effect outside of the immediate circle of gun owners.

    Yes, efforts by a nation to deny citizens any capacity for self-defense – recall, after all, that the UK bans not only handguns, but tasers and chemical sprays as well – emboldens predators and reinforces the learned helplessness that, in part, makes people susceptible to crimes. It’s not “gun magic”, it’s that criminals in the UK are free to storm homes (burglaries in the UK are four times as likely to happen while the home is occupied) and victimize women because they know they have so little to fear. That’s why you’re 200 times as likely to be assaulted in the UK than in the US.

  75. 75

    @Kay: Great point. I just want him to test the implied hypothesis of his statement that guns do not “affect” people. I think he’ll find the results fascinating and potentially deadly.

  76. 76
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Chet:

    Yes, efforts by a nation to deny citizens any capacity for self-defense – recall, after all, that the UK bans not only handguns, but tasers and chemical sprays as well – emboldens predators and reinforces the learned helplessness that, in part, makes people susceptible to crimes.

    Oh, sweetie. It’s so cute how you come here and expose your paranoid fantasies without even understanding they’re not actually real.

    Maybe you can start playing “Magic: the Gathering” and get your need to imagine big scary enemies who are all coming to get you out of your system that way.

  77. 77
    Paul says:

    @Chet:

    That’s why you’re 200 times as likely to be assaulted in the UK than in the US.

    200 times? Do you by any chance have a source for that number. And no, it can’t be FoxNews or NRA.

    By the way, whatever that number is, as I recall you are still 4 times (per capita) more likely to be killed in the US than in the UK. I don’t know about you but I rather be assaulted than killed.

  78. 78
    Chet says:

    @Paul:

    Well, speak for yourself. It is obviously working for them. They hardly have any mass shootings.

    We hardly have any mass shootings. Statistically they continue to be as rare as hens’ teeth. It makes no sense to derive policy from them because they’re so rare.

    There IS less crime in other countries, no matter what NRA tells you what to believe.

    I’m not telling you anything I’ve heard from the NRA. I’m telling you what’s been collected by the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the equivalent organizations in other countries. It’s just not the case that they have less crime; they have more. Almost every country in Europe, for instance, has a higher incidence of crime than the US.

    Have you ever been abroad? I felt safe as can be walking around after midnight in Paris. On the other hand, in New York at day time, some idiot on the subway started shouting he had gun and people started to get scared and departed at the next stop.

    Quite extensively. After midnight in Paris, just like you – which was the only place I’ve ever been the victim of an attempted crime. It was a fascinating experience, having some local thieves rifle through my bag unchallenged; the locals accepted it as a matter of course. Your feelings, based as they are entirely on your mistaken idea that Europe is safer than the US, are completely irrelevant. The statistical fact of the matter is that you’re far more likely to be murdered in Paris than in New York.

  79. 79
    RaflW says:

    “Who knows?” it said. “Maybe you’ll find a Bushmaster AR-15 under your tree some frosty Christmas morning!”

    When I read things like this, I get tempted to work to repeal the frickin second amendment. I know, we’re not supposed to validate the winger’s fears.

    But God on a gurney, this is nuts.

  80. 80
    bemused says:

    Oh, for fuck’s sake. Nothing can be done? What horse shit. If Australia can do it, we sure can and we’ve had multiple massacres here.

    I thought it was bad enough that gun nuts in a panic over “government tyranny” are crawling out from their cesspool bunkers. Now we have very frightened people who say we cannot nor should not disturb them even more with sensible regulations because they may go postal on all of us. WTF

  81. 81
    Kay says:

    “My problem with background checks is you are never going to get criminals to go through universal background checks. And all the law-abiding people, you’ll create an enormous federal bureaucracy, unfunded, hitting all the little people in the country, will have to go through it, pay the fees, pay the taxes,” LaPierre said
    .

    But LaPierre and his minions have absolutely no problem imposing “school shield” regulations on millions of other people’s children. They’re wingers so they hope to do it on the cheap, because God forbid gun owners should pay for anything.

    It’s selfishness that approaches the level of a mental illness, IMO. Freedom for me, but not for thee.

  82. 82
    scav says:

    These are to a large part the same bedwetters that want to invade other nations on the 1% docterine, required warfare as psychological therapy after 9/11 and insist that the confiscation of metal knitting needles and nail-clippers on planes is a reasonable response to the threat of terrorism. They really are interesting.

  83. 83
    Chet says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    It’s so cute how you come here and expose your paranoid fantasies without even understanding they’re not actually real.

    They’re not my “paranoid fantasies.” As a white, able-bodied male I’m probably among the least likely person in the US to be victimized by a crime. I’m not “afraid” and I don’t own a gun.

    But not everybody is white or male, and to downplay the elevated risk to women, minorities, and the disabled – who suffer up to three or four times the risk of being the victim of crimes, often merely as a result of being perceived as “easier’ victims – simply because white males like you and I are relatively safe is just flat-out racist. I don’t own a gun because I don’t need one. But to assume that because you and I don’t, nobody does is incredibly self-centered, blinkered, and arrogant.

  84. 84
    Chet says:

    @bemused:

    If Australia can do it, we sure can and we’ve had multiple massacres here.

    So has Australia, since they passed their gun control laws.

    That’s sort of the issue, here – Australia couldn’t do it. They couldn’t lower their homicide rate with gun control and they couldn’t prevent mass murders from happening. Just a few years after they passed one of the strictest anti-gun laws in the West they had the largest mass killing in their entire history.

    What about that is “working”?

  85. 85
    Paul says:

    @Chet:

    Statistically they continue to be as rare as hens’ teeth. It makes no sense to derive policy from them because they’re so rare.

    You could say the same about 911 type of terrorist attacks. Surely you aren’t saying that we should ignore them. Mass shootings is a type of terrorism.

    Hell, I no longer attend political events in this country because of what happen to Giffords.

    I’m not telling you anything I’ve heard from the NRA. I’m telling you what’s been collected by the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the equivalent organizations in other countries. It’s just not the case that they have less crime; they have more. Almost every country in Europe, for instance, has a higher incidence of crime than the US.

    Again, I’m not sure what you are referring to. 200 times is such a large number that I would assume you would have a source for it. Since you don’t, I will simply assume it is made up. BTW, it is certainly not the first time an NRA defender has made up numbers.

    Here’s an article that has some actual numbers that disproves what you are claiming:

    One piece of this puzzle is the national rate of firearm-related murders, which is charted above. The United States has by far the highest per capita rate of all developed countries. According to data compiled by the United Nations, the United States has four times as many gun-related homicides per capita as do Turkey and Switzerland, which are tied for third. The U.S. gun murder rate is about 20 times the average for all other countries on this chart. That means that Americans are 20 times as likely to be killed by a gun than is someone from another developed country.

    Your feelings, based as they are entirely on your mistaken idea that Europe is safer than the US, are completely irrelevant. The statistical fact of the matter is that you’re far more likely to be murdered in Paris than in New York.

    Once again, you are throwing out numbers without any basis for them. According to this article, the homicide rate is 4.4 per 100,000 in Paris vs 6.0 in New York.
    http://www.nbcchicago.com/blog.....74546.html

  86. 86
    Paul says:

    @Chet:

    Just a few years after they passed one of the strictest anti-gun laws in the West they had the largest mass killing in their entire history. What about that is “working”?

    Please give more details because I’m not following.

    Australia had a mass shooting in 1996. After that mass shooting they completely changed their gun laws. And after 1996, I am not aware of them having as you put it “the largest mass killing in their entire history.”

    When after 1996 did it happen?

  87. 87
    trollhattan says:

    @Paul:
    Hey now, don’t go messing up a perfectly good hallucination with pesky facts. It’s un-American.

  88. 88
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Chet:

    Does anyone ever wonder why Chet never provides links? It’s because, as you might suspect, he’s lying:

    In 2011, the entire country of France had 430 murders.

    In 2011, New York City had 502 murders.

  89. 89
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Chet:

    But not everybody is white or male, and to downplay the elevated risk to women, minorities, and the disabled – who suffer up to three or four times the risk of being the victim of crimes, often merely as a result of being perceived as “easier’ victims – simply because white males like you and I are relatively safe is just flat-out racist.

    Uh, dude, I am not a man. I thought everyone here knew that. And, no, I don’t feel so threatened by being a woman in an urban area that I must run out and get a gun.

  90. 90
    japa21 says:

    @Mnemosyne: Actually, your link indicates 665 murders in 2012 for France, so France (as a country) had roughly 160 more murders than NYC. However, the population of France is 8 times the population of NYC so your point remains the same. Chet is full of it. I have noticed that Chet
    1) is remarkably remiss in posting any links to support his statements and
    2) tends to feel that certain people must be mandated to carry guns whether they want to or not (which is a remarkable way to promote freedom).

  91. 91
    bemused says:

    @Chet:

    Oh pfft. You just enjoy coming here to produce gong shows throwing out hilariously ludicrous analogies such as, If LaPierre is against childhood cancer, should I now oppose funding for St Judes? Lame.

  92. 92
    steverino says:

    Don’t forget this little gun-show incident from 2008, featuring a child from Connecticut: Boy, 8, Shoots Self With Uzi at Gun Show

    Teach the children well…

  93. 93
    Chet says:

    @Paul:

    You could say the same about 911 type of terrorist attacks.

    Yes, and I did, because it was true.

    Look, if your example of an effective response to rare events is the TSA, bombing brown people in Iraq, and nudie-scanners in airports, then you’re just fucked in the head. 9/11 was exactly the sort of situation it was a mistake to use as a basis for policy.

    200 times is such a large number that I would assume you would have a source for it.

    Yes, and I told you my source – the Bureau of Justice Statistics will tell you how common assaults are in the US, and the Office for National Statistics will tell you how common assaults are in the UK. I assume you can be trusted to divide one by the other, or does your calculator have gastritis?

    Hell, I no longer attend political events in this country because of what happen to Giffords.

    And amazingly, I’m the one being accused of paranoia and fear.

    One piece of this puzzle is the national rate of firearm-related murders, which is charted above. The United States has by far the highest per capita rate of all developed countries.

    I’ve seen this, and it turns out that they don’t actually mean “developed countries”, they mean “countries that have a low rate of homicide, plus the United States.” In other words it’s a cherry-picked comparison.

  94. 94
    Chet says:

    @Paul:

    When after 1996 did it happen?

    In 2000, at Childers Palace, and then again in 2002, at Monash University. The Childers Palace massacre was the deadliest massacre in modern Australian history that wasn’t related to Aboriginal oppression.

  95. 95
    Chet says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Uh, dude, I am not a man. I thought everyone here knew that.

    Sorry, it’s just that you’re so aggressively abusive and stupid I just assumed.

  96. 96
    Cassidy says:

    In 2000, at Childers Palace

    A fire. Not gun related at all. You’re being disingenuous in suggesting it’s the same thing.

    2002, at Monash University

    2 killed, 5 wounded.

    Interesting examples you’re choosing. Almost as if you’re deliberately being vague.

  97. 97
    Chet says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    In 2011, the entire country of France had 430 murders.
    In 2011, New York City had 502 murders.

    From your first link

    Revealing figures gathered by the French national supervisory body on crime and punishment (ONDRP), Valls said that the number of homicides recorded in the country for the year 2012 represented “the lowest ever”.

    So, firstly that’s the quote from 2012, not 2011; New York in 2012 had only 414 homicides. Secondly, choosing as a basis for comparison France’s lowest record ever is pretty naked cherry-picking.

  98. 98
    Mnemosyne says:

    @japa21:

    Ah, yes, you’re correct. It was the Paris metro area that had 430 murders to New York City’s 502. What was it that Chet said again? Oh, yeah:

    The statistical fact of the matter is that you’re far more likely to be murdered in Paris than in New York.

    Huh. I guess it’s a “statistical fact” that 430 is a larger number than 502, though most people would say 430 was actually a smaller number than 502. Weird how statistics work.

  99. 99
    japa21 says:

    @Cassidy: You can excuse Chet regarding Childers Palace. After all fire and firearm are so close.

    ETA: And isn’t it interesting that even when he is trying to back up his arguments, he still refuses to provide any links.

  100. 100
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cassidy:

    Not to mention that the Childers Palace fire killed 15, as opposed to the 35 killed in the Port Arthur massacre.

    There’s that pesky math again. I’m sure Chet will be back any minute to tell us all that 15 really is a bigger number than 35 — statistics prove it!

  101. 101
    japa21 says:

    @Chet: Nonetheless it absolutely blows your argument out of the water.

  102. 102
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Chet:

    Since the article says that the 430 number is a 2.3% drop from 2011, that means Paris had 440 murders in 2011, compared to New York City’s 502. Let’s be generous and round that up to 450, just to be on the statistical safe side.

    Who’s cherry-picking now? Or do statistics still prove that 502 is a smaller number than 450?

  103. 103
    kay says:

    I’ll have to get the transcript of this hearing. Survivors of the shootings say school security, NRA style, is a waste of time and resources.

    Interesting how real people with first- hand experience contradict Chet/ LaPierre.

  104. 104
    kay says:

    LaPierre is hurting The Cause in this hearing. Comes off as ancient, angry and confused.
    The Aurora survivor is a great witness, and good look’in, which never hurts :)

  105. 105
    japa21 says:

    @Mnemosyne: And actually, that figure is not for Paris alone but for all the larger cities in France.

  106. 106
    kay says:

    Gun nut shot and killed a school bus driver, has a 6 year old hostage.
    NRA needs to put guards on busses, I guess.
    This one actually has an underground bunker.

  107. 107
    Chet says:

    Huh. I guess it’s a “statistical fact” that 430 is a larger number than 502, though most people would say 430 was actually a smaller number than 502. Weird how statistics work.

    Yes, it is weird. For instance it’s weird how you can’t describe overall trends based on cherry-picked outliers. Again, try not using a news source where the story is “lowest murder rate in France in history.” After all, I don’t recall the part where Paul said he visited Paris in 2011, do you?

  108. 108
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Chet:

    Dude, just admit it — you tried to claim that you have a higher chance of being murdered in Paris than you do in New York City, and you were wrong. Embarrassingly wrong.

    But, like I said, that’s why you never provide links — you know you’re lying and you hope no one bothers to check up on you.

  109. 109
    Chet says:

    @japa21:

    Nonetheless it absolutely blows your argument out of the water.

    That you’re safer in NYC than in Paris? Absolutely it doesn’t. In 2007, for instance, the violent crime rate in the US was 466 crimes per 100,000 people; in France, it was over 500. The gun control of France wasn’t able to stop their own mass shooting, committed (surprise) with handguns.

  110. 110
    bemused says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Chet is a professional pot stirrer. Not worth the time or aggravation.

  111. 111
    Chet says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Dude, just admit it — you tried to claim that you have a higher chance of being murdered in Paris than you do in New York City, and you were wrong.

    Lady, just admit it – you tried to cherry-pick the most favorable comparison, and you were caught flat-footed misrepresenting your source.

  112. 112
    Chet says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    But, like I said, that’s why you never provide links

    You’re lying. My posts are full of links.

  113. 113
    Mnemosyne says:

    @japa21:

    Wow, their system is way more complicated than I realized!

    So, yes, Chet, that “cherry-picked” 430 number that you hate so much? That’s not for Paris, or even just the Paris metro area. That’s the combined number for every city of more than 10,000 people in the entire country. The actual number just for the city of Paris is much lower than that.

  114. 114
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Chet:

    Gosh, one whole post with links in it! That completely disproves my criticism of the 15 other posts you made with “facts” and no links!

    Have you figured out yet that 35 is a larger number than 15, or do we need to go over it again?

  115. 115
    Paul says:

    @Chet:

    Yes, and I told you my source – the Bureau of Justice Statistics will tell you how common assaults are in the US, and the Office for National Statistics will tell you how common assaults are in the UK. I assume you can be trusted to divide one by the other, or does your calculator have gastritis?

    OK then – so provide a link. You are the one who are throwing out baseless numbers. I say baseless because I have never heard about 200 before. I had heard perhaps 4 times. That’s quite a difference.

    I’ve seen this, and it turns out that they don’t actually mean “developed countries”, they mean “countries that have a low rate of homicide, plus the United States.” In other words it’s a cherry-picked comparison.

    Cherry-picked comparison??? The whole basis for your argument is that we have a lower homicide rate than the entire world because of our loose gun laws. And now you are saying that it is not fair to compare the US to regular countries such France, Germany, Australia or what have you. Bizarre.

  116. 116
    jp7505a says:

    The GOP now tells us that since they plan on eliminating police officers over the next few years, citizens should stock up guns and ammo for self protection, Maybe we should just keeps the cops on the payroll. These people are beyond nuts.
    They also believe that women should stock up on firepower since the GOP is opposed to the violence against women law.

  117. 117
    shocking says:

    @Chet: Chet, you’ll note that the US’s overall homicide rate is 4 times higher that Australia’s. This might also explain the higher assault rate in Oz, because what might’ve been a murder if the perp had a gun, comes down to s a simple assault. We also have not had a mass shooting since the gun buyback program, where as before we were averaging about 1 a year.

    But of course I assume you’re arguing honestly…

  118. 118
    shocking says:

    @Chet: Chet, the Childers Palace fire did not involve firearms. Sheesh. And the Monash Uni shooting had 2 people killed – hardly comparable to the 35 in Tasmania.

  119. 119
    mike says:

    Here’s a song I wrote about gun control and the NRA. Please have listen and pass it on…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qiCOIpOGgw

  120. 120
    Thomas says:

    As an Australian I’m staggered at how powerful the gun lobby has been allowed to come. Now placing guns in the hands of children Im sorry but it just makes no sense.

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