And Another

Shots have been fired at Reynolds High School in Troutdale, Oregon.  The shooter is dead, and though I saw one unconfirmed Twitter notice that another person had died, all I can get off the AP right now is that the situation is “stabilized.”  Oregonlive.com reports that parents were told that three shooters were involved; that a student said a teacher was shot; and that a student was reported hit as well

Update: The student has died. Fuck, fuck, fuck.

As news of the shooting hit, @PoliticalLine tweeted this:

6/5: Seattle U shooting

6/6: GA court house shooting

6/8: Las Vegas cops shooting

6/10: Oregon high school

not even a full week…

My son goes to high school next year.  We’re lucky in that we live in a state with relatively low incidence of gun violence — 17th out of 50 for gun murders as of 2010.  But Oregon experiences such murders at half the rate Massachusetts do, and statistics are no comfort when it’s your kid, your friend, your partner on the wrong side of someone’s gun.  And, to repeat the obvious, Vermont the state with the lowest rate of gun murders at .3/100,000 still pays a higher butcher’s bill than at least a couple of dozen countries.  We tolerate a level of threat to our kids, to all those we hold most dear, that our closest allies and competitors would see as utterly unacceptable…

…as, of course, it is.

Joseph_Wright_of_Derby_-_The_Dead_Soldier_-_Google_Art_Project

 

I got nothing, except this penetrating glimpse of the obvious:  domestic terrorists are holding us all hostage.

Those who fire their weapons get their grotesque fifteen minutes of … maybe local news, mostly, given the increasingly routine (read, less newsworthy) character of a story that, as the tweet above documents, repeats itself in all but location over and over again.

But the real terrorists, the masterminds, the ones for whom Guantanamo was built, are those who flood America with the weapons that leave our kids, our cops, folks out at a mall or wherever in literally mortal danger.  They would be, it seems to me, the NRA, the political elites, mostly but not exclusively from the GOP, the usual suspects — trading deaths of children, cops eating lunch, whoever, for market share and a grasp on the political power that can be distilled from fearful rage.

The consolation, if there is any, comes from the long view:  gun ownership is down as a fraction of the population.  And the Tea Party version of the GOP locks in the conditions that shrinks its base.  But any relief that may come lies in the long run… and you know how that quote ends.

I’m not totally without hope.  As folks commented in yesterday’s thread, the Supreme Court has not (yet) ruled that regulation of guns is out-of-bounds.  I can imagine a state-by-state tightening of the regulatory regime; I can see the culture of the gun shifting even now in parts of the country.  I don’t think we’re going to forever accept the demand to water the tree of liberty with the blood of school kids.

But damn, folks, we’ve got to get on with it.

Rambling, I know.  I’m just heartsick, sinking deeper and deeper in the hole with each day’s red harvest.   Like I said.  I got nothing.

ETA:  Image:  Joseph Wright of Derby, The Dead Soldier, c. 1789 [apologies to all for forgetting the reference]






167 replies
  1. 1
    MattF says:

    Maybe fewer gun owners, but a greater level of kookification. No solace there, IMO.

  2. 2
    Emma says:

    I got nothing.

    I think a lot of us are on the same boat. Nothing seems to wake up the sleepers (which seems to be a majority of our population). It will never change until the crazies are all dead of old age or until Fox News gets stomped on. Neither one seems promising.

  3. 3
    Trentrunner says:

    If I had my way, all private guns would be confiscated and banned, period.

    BUT this is a classic example of high-profile events skewing perception and going contrary to data.

    Your son is far, far more likely–by several magnitudes of likelihood–to be hurt or killed in automobile accident than he is to be shot by some kook with a Colt.

    Having said all THAT, I’m happy for these shootings to get overplayed as much as possible, because it’s more likely to lead to some restrictions.

    (Though the bullet-ridden corpses of 20 7-year-olds at Sandyhook apparently couldn’t do that.)

  4. 4
    MomSense says:

    And at my son’s elementary school the cops are circling the school all day because of yesterday’s incident. I am just so angry and heartbroken.

  5. 5
    skerry says:

    Just saw there was a shooting at a WalMart in Missouri. Don’t have details, but local hospital is awaiting at least one casualty.

  6. 6
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    I’m not totally without hope.

    I’m 66 years old and I am without hope that anything substantial will be done to curb gun violence. As long as there’s a shitpile of money to be made selling guns ‘n ammo to a carefully and continually riled up segment of the populace and as long as a chunk of that money is funneled to shitbird politicians the body count will simply increase.

  7. 7
  8. 8
    Betty Cracker says:

    Great post, Tom.

  9. 9
    Scout211 says:

    NBC.com is reporting one student and the shooter are dead.

    I am heartsick as well.

    Add the friendly fire deaths of 5 U.S. soldiers yesterday . . . and I am just overwhelmed.

  10. 10
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Trentrunner: The thing is, we’re allowed to improve auto safety, and it is improving.

  11. 11
    Not Adding Much to the Community says:

    That tweet is the most depressing thing of all. I saw a comment this morning calling the US an “armed madhouse” and that hardly seems like hyperbole anymore. That Walmart shopping plaza where the cops were shot is seven miles from my house and now that I think about it, I might spend the day indoors.

  12. 12
    Bokonon says:

    At the end of this summer, my son will be starting high school at a place that had a shooting several months ago. One with two fatalities.

    Enough said.

  13. 13
    eric says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: worse yet, there is a negative feedback loop programmed into the discourse. People have been told that every little step is the first of an inevitable march to total obliteration of private gun ownership. Thus, the second there is a very modest proposal, the lemmings say “aha” here it comes just as we had been told and the merits of the proposal do not even matter. Thus, gun regulation is impossible. Sad, but true.

  14. 14
    Anoniminous says:

    @Origuy:

    “multiple suspects have been taken into custody”

    Multiple?

    ETA: they changed “multiple” to “two.” So I guess that’s something or other.

  15. 15
    Laertes says:

    @MattF:

    Fewer gun owners with higher kookification isn’t entirely unhelpful. As their numbers shrink, their voting power shrinks. You don’t get extra votes just because you really really care.

    A large population of gun owners with a further large population of people who are supportive of the hobby while not gun owners themselves is a powerful political force. A tiny minority of loons with little support outside their little freak show has far less power.

    The higher kookification factor means, of course, that they’re more likely to react violently when sensible gun laws start coming down, but that won’t go well for them, and the harder they resist, the worse it will go. Lefties know from long bitter experience what happens when the law enforcement community sees you as an enemy. Gun nutters may think it can never happen to them. It won’t go the way they expect.

  16. 16
    Patrick says:

    It is amusing to observe the American people. Two polls out this morning where with a decent margin they thought Obama gave up too much for Bergdahl. Yet, at the same time they have no problem whatsoever with all the mass shootings in our country. They keep re-electing the folks who are against gun control. The sheer stupidity/hypocrisy just boggles the mind.

  17. 17

    @Laertes:
    Unfortunately, the Right in general see the gun nuts as on their side – and that’s all they care about. Most of them agree to sensible gun control measures, but it’s not as important to them as stopping the negro-coddling liberals.

  18. 18
    low-tech cyclist says:

    I understand where you’re coming from, Tom. After the Nevada shootings the other day, I couldn’t help but think about their children who will grow up without their fathers, and their wives who will somehow have to do the work of both parents while they’re still in a maelstrom of shock and grief.

    We live in a barbaric country.

    I’ve come to the point where I am absolutely opposed to carry – open or concealed – in public places. If you’re not a cop, you should need to get a court order to concealed-carry, maybe as part of the restraining order against the person you need to protect yourself from.

    But that’s it. Everybody else needs to keep their goddamned death sticks at home, at their shooting range, or in a place where hunting is legal, or in a locked box while transporting in between. If I see a gun in public, that should be a criminal offense that I can call the police to remedy.

    @Trentrunner:

    Your son is far, far more likely–by several magnitudes of likelihood–to be hurt or killed in automobile accident than he is to be shot by some kook with a Colt.

    Really? If trends continue, firearms deaths will exceed automobile deaths by, um, next year.

  19. 19
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Laertes: You’re right that the kooks don’t get more votes just because they care more, but we have to reach the tipping point where enough non-kooks prioritize gun sanity in their candidates and refuse to vote for NRA shills. We aren’t there yet, unfortunately, but I think we will get there eventually. The only question is how many more have to die. And I also agree that turning cops into the enemy will be the gun nuts’ undoing.

  20. 20
    ralphb says:

    @Trentrunner:

    Your son is far, far more likely–by several magnitudes of likelihood–to be hurt or killed in automobile accident than he is to be shot by some kook with a Colt.

    Thanks to improved auto safety and increased gun murders, 2015 is predicted to be the first year that isn’t true.

  21. 21
    JPL says:

    Below ranch and syrup linked to an article that listed 74 school shootings since Sandy Hook. I took a quick count on another wiki link about school shootings since 2000. From 2000 to 2009 there were 47 school shootings and 31 during 2010 and Sandy Hook. Someone who had more sleep than I can figure out the percentage increase.

    @Patrick: How can anyone be more concerned about the Taliban than they are about the nuts at home.

  22. 22
    Patrick says:

    @Trentrunner:

    Your son is far, far more likely–by several magnitudes of likelihood–to be hurt or killed in automobile accident than he is to be shot by some kook with a Colt.

    You could say this about a number of other things. Terrorism comes to mind. And while we bring the A-team in fighting terrorism, we aren’t even trying to fight gun violence. And gun violence is a form of terrorism.

  23. 23
    low-tech cyclist says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    The thing is, we’re allowed to improve auto safety, and it is improving.

    Absolutely. I’m old enough to remember when we had 55,000 automobile deaths each year, year after year. Now it’s below 35,000 and still dropping, despite a lot more people and a lot more miles driven. We have worked on this a lot – safer cars, safer highways, better rescue services and equipment, better trauma centers. And so we have made things better.

    But the NRA and the gun nuts resolutely stand in the way of making guns less dangerous. So we make no progress on that side.

  24. 24
    The Moar You Know says:

    My wife teaches at the same high school that graduated the fine young men that wrote and played “Pumped Up Kicks”, a song about bringing your dad’s gun to school and shooting everyone you can.

    I don’t live in fear and she does not either…but, fuck, what can I say? The situation stopped being acceptable a long fucking time ago.

  25. 25
    Patrick says:

    @JPL:

    How can anyone be more concerned about the Taliban than they are about the nuts at home.

    I believe it is the FoxNews effect. FoxNews rarely cover mass shootings (white shooters) compared to how they cover terrorism (brown people) and for example the Bergdahl release. And every fricking time, the rest of media will pick up whatever FoxNews says. And people, just like sheep, are seemingly too dumb to think for themselves these days.

  26. 26
    skerry says:

    In response to the #YesAllWomen hashtag following the UCSB shooting, the WashPost has this to say

    One way to end violence against women? Stop taking lovers and get married.

    SMH

  27. 27
    Emma says:

    Totally OT, but can anyone explain to me why I have posted two completely innocuous comments that have immediately gone into moderation and then disappeared completely? All I did was sympathize with Tom!

  28. 28
    Trentrunner says:

    Suicides are more than half of gun fatalities, so my point about assessing risk holds: You are far, far more likely to be hurt or killed in an auto accident than by a gun.

    But I repeat: Ban them all. Ban all the guns. Take them away from everyone that is not law enforcement. Period.

  29. 29
    SatanicPanic says:

    @The Moar You Know: That song was catchy but in bad taste. But I’m not blaming that or the movie Heathers either

  30. 30

    @Trentrunner: several orders of magnitude, eh?
    ETA a gun death’s a gun death. you don’t factor out suicides (or anything) from the auto accident side. smh.

  31. 31
    Belafon says:

    @Emma: Were you linking to someone? I’ve noticed a few times where that has caused problems.

  32. 32
    Betty Cracker says:

    @low-tech cyclist:

    I’ve come to the point where I am absolutely opposed to carry – open or concealed – in public places. If you’re not a cop, you should need to get a court order to concealed-carry, maybe as part of the restraining order against the person you need to protect yourself from.

    Amen. Also, what Omnes said yesterday:

    Get rid of detachable magazines. Their only purpose at any size is to make reloading faster. Internal, five round maximum magazines for rifles and pump shotguns. Revolvers only for hand gun and set the bar high for concealed carry. Ban semi-auto weapons for civilian use. Ban open carry except at ranges and on hunting land. Mandate trigger locks and/or gun safes.

    Gun owners who would support those measures can call themselves “reasonable.” The rest can take a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut.

  33. 33
    shortstop says:

    @Patrick: Brown people of different religions are hulking menaces. Half-educated, poorly trained firearms owners with one eyebrow each are drinking buddies.

  34. 34
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Trentrunner:

    Suicides are more than half of gun fatalities, so my point about assessing risk holds: You are far, far more likely to be hurt or killed in an auto accident than by a gun.

    People also commit suicide by auto accident, so you’re going to need to remove that number from the auto fatalities if you’re going to remove suicides from the gun fatalities number.

    I think you need to switch up your talking point because it looks like Tom’s son actually is less likely to die in a car than he is to die by gun because we were allowed to do something to improve auto safety.

  35. 35
    Calouste says:

    @skerry:

    Wow. I can understand that there are people idiotic enough to write that. I can’t understand that there is an editor idiotic enough to publish that.

  36. 36
    Mnemosyne says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    My wife teaches at the same high school that graduated the fine young men that wrote and played “Pumped Up Kicks”, a song about bringing your dad’s gun to school and shooting everyone you can.

    Having heard “Pumped Up Kicks,” I’m pretty sure that song isn’t about how awesome it is to kill people at school, any more than Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy” was about how awesome it is to commit suicide. It’s a creepy, disturbing song by design.

  37. 37
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Emma: I sprung your comment, but I have no idea why it was in the holding cell. The ways of FYWP are mysterious.

  38. 38
    catclub says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    we were allowed to do something to improve auto safety.

    car exhaust is so clean now you cannot use it to kill your self in a closed garage. Curse you Sierra Club!

  39. 39
    skerry says:

    @Betty Cracker: I’d add that any and all “accidental” shots fired should be seen as criminal negligence, at best. Whether it is someone who is cleaning a gun that turns out to be loaded or a child gains access to an unsecured weapon, treat it as a crime. Send people to jail. Fine them. Make gun owners responsible for their weapons.

  40. 40
    catclub says:

    Autoplay ads with sound are bad.

  41. 41
    Penus says:

    A point to take away from the Vegas shootings: Remember the idea that an armed populace is the best protection? When the first officer was shot in Vegas, the second tried to draw his weapon, but couldn’t get it out in time to avoid being shot himself. And that’s a trained law enforcement officer.

  42. 42
    Calouste says:

    @Trentrunner:

    Do you understand what order of magnitude means?

    About 25 kids are killed in school shootings every year, so even if we only count that on one side, and count all the car deaths on the other side, there are only 3 orders of magnitude between them. More likely, with other shooting rampages going on and “accidental shootings”, and with both Tom and his son outside the 16-25 year old range that has the most car deaths, it’s less than two orders of magnitude. Nowhere close to “several”.

  43. 43
    catclub says:

    @skerry:

    treat it as a crime. Send people to jail. Fine them. Make gun owners responsible for their weapons.

    Mothers against Drunk Driving did this, because for a very long time, there were too many people who thought that (driving a little drunk) was likely to be them, and they know they are not criminals, so no convictions.

    years of work, plus need to find sponsors for it. I would imagine insurance companies.

  44. 44
    Belafon says:

    @eric: “No one ever owned guns before the end of the assault weapons ban.” Just like “there were no abortions in this country before Roe v. Wade.”

  45. 45
    C.V. Danes says:

    I keep saying this every time this happens:

    Guns are designed with the express purpose to kill. Not skeet shooting. Not shooting cans. Not all the other secondary purposes people have found. But to kill, efficiently and quickly. Sometimes, people will use them for their intended purpose. When you have 300 million of them on the street, this will happen quite a lot. Training programs will reduce the number of accidental deaths, but will not stop people who want to use guns for their intended purpose from doing so. Screening programs will find the people who are crazy now, but not find the people who may go crazy later. If everyone has a gun, some of the people who are not crazy now will go crazy later, and use their gun for its intended purpose. This is not rocket science. It is simple, statistical math.

    The only way to reduce the frequency of these kinds of events is to reduce the number of guns. How we do that at this point in time, I’m not sure. But there you have it.

  46. 46
    Patrick says:

    @Trentrunner:

    Suicides are more than half of gun fatalities, so my point about assessing risk holds: You are far, far more likely to be hurt or killed in an auto accident than by a gun.

    There is another way of saying this:
    Gun violence in the US accounts for more than half of all gun fatalities in the world. You are far, far more likely to be hurt or killed by a gun in the US than the rest of the world.

  47. 47
    ralphb says:

    @skerry:

    Make gun owners responsible for their weapons.

    Criminal negligence laws should be used in those occurrences. Why they aren’t is a mystery.

  48. 48
    drkrick says:

    Fewer gun owners with higher kookification isn’t entirely unhelpful. As their numbers shrink, their voting power shrinks. You don’t get extra votes just because you really really care.

    You do get extra influence up to a point. If/when we reach the place where the numbers overcome the intensity of that highly motivated minority, things will get interesting. Think 1860, especially since egging that national minority on will still be winning politics in a lot of states and congressional districts.

    Unfortunately, it looks like that’s a transition cost we’re going to have pay to make progress. It’s not like there isn’t a price for continuing the status quo.

  49. 49
    Calouste says:

    @Penus:

    We already knew that. Maurice Clemens, the guy paroled by Mike Huckabee against the advise of the parole board, managed to shoot and kill four on duty police officers that were preparing for their working day. Unless you have your gun out already, you don’t stand a chance against someone with a gun who has the initiative.

  50. 50
    the Conster says:

    The kooks need to be brought to heel, and the best way to do it is for the kooks to feel the heat from their fellow gun owners. Since the gun loons can’t handle the responsibility that comes with owning a gun, all gun owners must be punished now. Kind of like punishing the whole class for the misdeeds of a few, but it has to be done since they insist on acting like out of control children. It’s time for the grown ups to take charge again.

  51. 51
    Elizabelle says:

    In July 1998, a schizophrenic tried to storm the Capitol building with a .38 revolver.. He shot two Capitol policemen to death.

    The United States Capitol shooting incident of 1998 was an attack on July 24, 1998 which led to the death of two United States Capitol Police officers. Detective John Gibson and Officer Jacob Chestnut were killed when Russell Eugene Weston Jr. entered the Capitol and opened fire. Chestnut was killed instantly and Gibson died during surgery at George Washington University Hospital, but not before wounding Weston, who survived.

    Weston’s exact motives are unknown, but he does suffer from a mental disorder and maintains a strong distrust of the federal government. He remains in a mental institution due to paranoid schizophrenia and has yet to be tried in court.

    [The suspect made it as far as Tom Delay’s office suite, and was shot there by Officer Gibson, who was assigned to Delay’s protection detail.]

    Security for lawmakers in the Capitol is very tight, after this attack and September 11. Everything inspected as you enter the buildings, special entrances, don’t be innocently carrying around a box of anything, or you will be asked what is in it. One can get the impression that a citizen has less right to be in the halls of Congress.

    I do not think that congresscritters should be safer than schoolkids or shoppers or bystanders in their everyday life. Which is not to say I think we need to step up the security theatre for the rest of us.

    Remove the excess guns from the mix. They’re killing us and our kids. Not those who benefit from having streams of guns flowing into our society.

    As with so many other issues (healthcare, retirement pensions, nepotism, revolving door self-interest), Congress should not be leading a cushier life, by design, and on the taxpayer dime, so they can legislate a rougher ride for average Americans.

    And that is what they are doing.

    Congresscritters make money off gun manufacturers. They are not as endangered by its products.

    Make them accountable.

  52. 52
    JPL says:

    @skerry: After Sandy Hook I wrote letters to my Senators requesting a tax on magazines and ammo. Surprisingly, Chambliss’ aide wrote back a letter stating that Chambliss was concerned about the increase in gun violence and wound consider different ideas to address that. Isaakson’s aide said he was a big supporter of the 2nd amendment. There was no mention of the substance of my letter.

    I’m pretty hopeless at this point that any additional gun laws can be passed.

  53. 53
    drkrick says:

    @Calouste:

    One way to end violence against women? Stop taking lovers and get married.

    Wow. I can understand that there are people idiotic enough to write that. I can’t understand that there is an editor idiotic enough to publish that.

    One of the things we learned when George Will published a bunch of lies about AGW is that his columns aren’t edited. They just load them into the publishing software and let it rip.

  54. 54
    Chyron HR says:

    @low-tech cyclist:

    Yeah, but you can’t count the upward slope in gun deaths that started in 2009. That’s just Real Americans defending themselves from Soshamalist tyranny.

  55. 55

    If these shooters were all Muslims we’d have mobilized every ounce of American force to deal with the problem. Since they’re largely white 20-something males, we shrug our shoulders, say nothing to be done except by MORE guns …

  56. 56
    skerry says:

    @catclub: Totally agree. I made this point yesterday in an earlier thread. I see a lot of parallels between what MADD did in the 80s, 90s and what needs to be done today with gun violence in changing what is socially acceptable.

  57. 57

    @skerry:

    Wow, I saw the “One way to end violence against women? Stop taking lovers and get married” thing posted on Twitter and Swear To Goddess I thought it was a parody web page someone set up just to LOOK like the WaPo.

    So, you mean that thing was REAL????

    Jesus.

  58. 58
    nancy darling says:

    @skerry:

    One way to end violence against women? Stop taking lovers and get married.

    I just read that appalling oped. It is an insult to men to say they can’t behave themselves unless married. I’m not even going to try to put into words how insulting it is to women.

  59. 59
    Elizabelle says:

    @Patrick:

    Monday, day after the Las Vegas cop murders and WalMart shootings, the Washington Post had the Al Qaeda Karachi airport attack front and center, with an article about a millionaire Democratic political donor/environmentalist at top left.

    The cops made page A3. Not even front page.

    The “Style” section — kind of entertainment, leisure and culture (Sally Quinn’s old haunt) — had a huge front page story on training to prevent another embassy attack like Benghazi.

    Your allegedly liberal media at work.

  60. 60
    Paul in KY says:

    @low-tech cyclist: I agree. No concealed or open carry in places other than your property.

  61. 61
    Trollhattan says:

    Holy fucking fuck.

    •The confusion that occurred about the number of gunmen at the scene apparently happened because two students were found carrying guns when authorities did a pat-down.

    http://www.oregonlive.com/gres.....rt_m-rpt-1

    Does any sentient human still believe we don’t have a firearms problem?

  62. 62
  63. 63
    drkrick says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Wow, I saw the “One way to end violence against women? Stop taking lovers and get married” thing posted on Twitter and Swear To Goddess I thought it was a parody web page someone set up just to LOOK like the WaPo.

    So, you mean that thing was REAL????

    Jesus.

    That kind of reaction to their work would really scare a smart newspaper. I bet Fred Hiatt slept soundly last night.

  64. 64
    SatanicPanic says:

    @skerry: Funny how it always goes one way, doesn’t it?

  65. 65
    Paul in KY says:

    @skerry: It is undeniable that children suffer more extreme violence from non-biological males than from those (males) who are biologically related to them.

  66. 66
    Bokonon says:

    @Betty Cracker: Hah. Look at the firestorm that has gone on in Colorado since the legislature banned SOME high capacity magazines in the wake of the mass shooting that happened at the Aurora movie theater. They didn’t ban all … just some.

    And then look at the recall elections that ensued in Colorado and the total radicalization of the state GOP. And look at how the GOP now stands even odds of winning at the ballot box this coming November (since enough voters seem to be willing to agree).

    When voters say they want gun control, don’t believe them. Throw around enough advertising dollars and bring in enough organizing muscle, and say “freedom” a lot, and they will turn. It really doesn’t take much. Look at the national conversation after the Sandy Hook shootings, and how that pivoted to become a drive for LESS gun and ammunition restrictions.

    Makes me want holler, makes me want to throw up my hands …

  67. 67
    drkrick says:

    @Trollhattan:

    Does any sentient human still believe we don’t have a firearms problem?

    No. But as Adlai Stevenson pointed out, you need a majority.

  68. 68
    Paul in KY says:

    @SatanicPanic: It is a good song. I think Feist one time remarked that the song proved that if you have a great melody, the words don’t really matter.

  69. 69
    Paul in KY says:

    @C.V. Danes: Agree with your logic.

  70. 70
    Paul in KY says:

    @JPL: Those assholes don’t want a tax on anything.

  71. 71
    Patrick says:

    @Bokonon:

    When voters say they want gun control, don’t believe them.

    Amen! If they truly wanted gun control, they have had amply mass shootings to motive them. Gun control is like #25 in importance compared to abortion, etc etc

  72. 72
    JustRuss says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Get rid of detachable magazines.

    +1. Until the animals start shooting back, there’s no reason for anyone outside of military or law enforcement to have a detachable magazine.

  73. 73
    gene108 says:

    The consolation, if there is any, comes from the long view: gun ownership is down as a fraction of the population.

    But the fraction that do own guns, though smaller, is fucking nuts, has jumped the shark 20+ years ago, and has their paranoid fantasies reinforced by the NRA, GOA, Fox News, etc.

    We cannot have sensible gun regulations by rational debate.

    Like with climate change/global warming, voter ID laws, and evolution the conservative side is not rational and does not care. They believe what they believe and nothing is gonna change it. They are proud of their willful ignorance.

  74. 74
    Steeplejack says:

    @Tom Levenson:

    What painting?

  75. 75
    skerry says:

    @SatanicPanic: Someone on twitter said, “Too bad we don’t have a phrase in English for “wife beater” “

  76. 76
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Trollhattan: Jesus. If those guns belonged to the kids’ parents, the parents should go to jail.

  77. 77
    skerry says:

    @Paul in KY: Yeah, I know. #NotAllMen

  78. 78
    Belafon says:

    @Steeplejack: Joseph Wright of Derby – The Dead Soldier. http://commons.wikimedia.org/w.....roject.jpg

  79. 79
    Belafon says:

    @skerry: What a stupid argument. I have another: “The best way for women to reduce violence to them is to shoot their lover in the head after sex.”

  80. 80
    C.V. Danes says:

    @Paul in KY: Thanks. It’s not a difficult concept, unless you’re being paid by the NRA to make it seem difficult.

  81. 81
    gogol's wife says:

    @catclub:

    Yes, one on here almost gave me a heart attack a minute ago. I wish they would go away. I have to keep remembering to turn off my speakers when I come here.

  82. 82
    JPL says:

    Last decade there were 47 school shootings. Since 2010 there were 105 school shootings. We are projected to have almost ten times more school shootings this decade. Wow..

    edit. As far as I know, the information is correct but it did come from wikipedia.

  83. 83
    JGabriel says:

    I remember when a billion dollars was a lot of money. I also remember when it was consider even one murder newsworthy.

    I’m not saying they’re necessarily related – correlation does not equal causation – but it is odd how the increase in mass murders, and attempted mass murders, correlates with inequality of wealth.

  84. 84
    Calouste says:

    @JPL:

    The information might be correct but not complete. Most likely there were school shootings in the 00’s that were not listed because not as many people were on Wikipedia at that time, and they didn’t get added afterwards.

  85. 85
    JGabriel says:

    @Emma:

    Totally OT, but can anyone explain to me why I have posted two completely innocuous comments that have immediately gone into moderation and then disappeared completely? All I did was sympathize with Tom!

    OMG! The moderation filter has gone wingnut!

  86. 86
    Paul in KY says:

    @C.V. Danes: They are made to kill things. People and/or animals. That’s all they are for.

  87. 87
    C.V. Danes says:

    @Calouste:

    Unless you have your gun out already, you don’t stand a chance against someone with a gun who has the initiative.

    Not even having your gun out will protect you from someone sneaking up behind you and shooting you in the back of the head as you’re getting a snack out of that snack machine…

  88. 88
    Paul in KY says:

    @JGabriel: Has anyone given the moderation filter the Turing Test recently?

    Is the moderation filter made by any company that has ‘Skynet’ in the name?

  89. 89
    jonas says:

    @Laertes:

    their voting power shrinks

    Voting isn’t just about raw numbers, it’s about passion and turnout. Single issue voters are the squeaky wheels that get the grease, even if 80% of the general electorate disagrees with them.

  90. 90
    KS in MA says:

    @JPL:

    I’m writing my rep and senators now. It seems to me that’s the only thing we can do–write them early, often, and repeatedly–and get a whole lot more people to do likewise. We need to become wingnuts for gun control! Chambliss won’t ever come around, but others will–if we push them hard enough.

  91. 91
    Paul in KY says:

    Heading to Bonnaroo tomorrow. Hope everyone here has a great rest-of-week.

    Ciao!

  92. 92
    C.V. Danes says:

    @JPL:

    Isaakson’s aide said he was a big supporter of the 2nd amendment.

    Which part of the Second Amendment, I wonder? The actual part specifying the need for a well regulated citizen militia, or the fictitious wild, wild west part?

  93. 93
    Trollhattan says:

    @JGabriel:
    Wordpress does not appreciate your sympathy.

    –Management

  94. 94
    El Caganer says:

    It’s not going to change, because the people who pass the laws in this country don’t want it to change. An armed society is a paranoid society is an increasingly violent society and in the end is a dying society. I used to think that going into semi-retirement in the next year or two would allow me to spend more time engaging in what I saw as important issues in our country. Fuck that. I’m going to spend my time hanging around with the other old farts and riding off into the sunset with my girlfriend.

  95. 95
    Glocksman says:

    If you want to start working for effective gun bans, start on the state and local level.
    The NRA didn’t become a political powerhouse overnight.
    Hell just find the map of states that enacted concealed carry laws over the last 30 years for a good illustration of NRA state level power.

    Given the predominance of Republicans and gun rights Democrats in Congress, Federal level bans are a dead issue for the foreseeable future.

  96. 96
    SatanicPanic says:

    @skerry: Some concepts really aren’t translatable into English that the American right wing and dumb media outlets can understand.

  97. 97

    OT: My take down of Brooks’ latest. Bonus: Kitteh

  98. 98
    Elizabelle says:

    @Glocksman:

    Federal gun regulation may be a dead issue for now, but take the MADD approach and keep trying for a crack in that wall.

    ETA: but great advice to start local and state.

    The NRA has been unyielding in turning back gun legislation. We have to be inexorable too. (And that sucks, that the will of such a majority of citizens counts for nothing against money and lobbying interests.)

  99. 99
    Anna in PDX says:

    @Paul in KY: I hope you are being sarcastic.

  100. 100
    Steeplejack says:

    @Belafon:

    Thanks (and for the link to the embiggened version).

  101. 101
    Incitatus for Senate says:

    Remember when that editor of Guns and Ammo wrote an editorial suggesting that some mild gun regulation might be a good idea, and got fired for it? Did “responsible gun owners” boycott the magazine and it’s advertisers?

    Have “responsible gun owners” boycotted the gun manufacturers that fund and control the NRA?

    Fuck “responsible gun owners”. You assholes are as much a part of the problem as the shooters. It’s your fucking money that gives the gun lobby power. It’s the 21st century, and you fuckwits think it’s still the 1800s. Like a lot of people, I used to think that the answer was some mild regulation. Not anymore. No more fucking guns for anyone.

  102. 102
    Corpsicle says:

    Remember when that editor of Guns and Ammo wrote an editorial suggesting that some mild gun regulation might be a good idea, and got fired for it? Did “responsible gun owners” boycott the magazine and it’s advertisers?

    Have “responsible gun owners” boycotted the gun manufacturers that fund and control the NRA?

    Fuck “responsible gun owners”. You assholes are as much a part of the problem as the shooters. It’s your fucking money that gives the gun lobby power. It’s the 21st century, and you fuckwits think it’s still the 1800s. Like a lot of people, I used to think that the answer was some mild regulation. Not anymore. No more fucking guns for anyone.

  103. 103
    JGabriel says:

    @Paul in KY:

    @JGabriel: Has anyone given the moderation filter the Turing Test recently?

    Hmm …

    MSN:

    Yesterday, at the WordPress Headquarters in California*, a computer convinced human judges that it was actually a 73-year-old American Conservative*. By convincing one-third of the judging panel of its humanity, it became the first computer ever to pass the famous Turing Test. …

    Goostman’s age was crucial to passing the Turing Test. Developer Veselov explained that, “Our main idea was that he can claim that he knows anything, but his political worldview* also makes it perfectly reasonable that he is frequently wrong*.” So if the judges asked him something he was not programmed to know, judges might write that off as a factor of his politics* instead of his lack of humanity.

    *Modified slightly from original.

  104. 104
    low-tech cyclist says:

    @Trentrunner:

    Suicides are more than half of gun fatalities, so my point about assessing risk holds: You are far, far more likely to be hurt or killed in an auto accident than by a gun.

    True enough. But you originally said:

    Your son is far, far more likely–by several magnitudes of likelihood–to be hurt or killed in automobile accident than he is to be shot by some kook with a Colt.

    And my son will someday be a teenager, and the ‘kook with a Colt’ may well be his own self, if a moment of teenage anguish intersects with a handgun lying around at a friend’s house.

    IOW, I don’t buy the whole “gun suicides don’t count” argument. I think it’s fair to discount some fraction of them as being suicides by people who would have found another way to hasten their exit from this life if a gun hadn’t been available, but guns can also turn a passing bad moment into forever.

  105. 105
    Emma says:

    @Belafon: Never mind. It suddenly reappeared. Another great BJ mystery.

  106. 106
    Belafon says:

    @JPL: Links?

  107. 107
    gene108 says:

    @low-tech cyclist:

    I’ve come to the point where I am absolutely opposed to carry – open or concealed – in public places.

    Conceal carry was originally sold as a crime deterrent to counter the increasing crime rates of the 1970’s and 1980’s.

    Now that crime rates are at a 50 year low, the argument has shifted to 2nd Amendment absolutism.

    There’s no good reason to go around armed. Crime is not out of control. Easy access to guns is probably keeping crime rates artificially high.

    At some point, the majority is going to thump the minority on the head very hard over gun control.

  108. 108
    Steve from Antioch says:

    @skerry: MADD directed its efforts towards ending drunk driving, not prohibition.

    What MADD did NOT do was to say that anyone who drinks a beer has the blood of children killed in drunk driving accidents on their hands.

  109. 109
    low-tech cyclist says:

    @Elizabelle:

    (And that sucks, that the will of such a majority of citizens counts for nothing against money and lobbying interests.)

    And that is the real problem with money in politics. Each of us has lives and jobs and parents and children and friends and…well, lives, and there’s only so much time and energy we can give to a particular political battle.

    But money never rests. When and industry hires a lobbying firm, it will show up every day to fight those battles; that’s their day job. The CEOs can do their jobs, then go home to their families, and the lobbying firm keeps on working for them, without their having to commit their own time and energy. Money is a powerful thing.

    So it takes a lot to overcome money. It can be done, but it’s a hell of a lot of work.

  110. 110

    @Steve from Antioch: So in your infinite wisdom what should be done, besides wearing Kevlar as a fashion statement.

  111. 111
    gogol's wife says:

    I guess the bat signal has gone out.

  112. 112
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Steve from Antioch: MADD directed its efforts towards ending drunk driving, not prohibition.

    Of course, because it’s not the alcohol that is the problem, it is the driving. Alcohol can be used by many people in a social and non-lethal manner. Guns are designed to kill things.

  113. 113
    Belafon says:

    @JGabriel: When I took some AI classes in college, my professor made a point of noting that it’s easier to have a computer impersonate a sociopath than a rational person.

  114. 114
    David in NY says:

    @Steve from Antioch: Yeah, but I bet they didn’t much approve people saying stuff like, well, “I don’t approve of drunk driving, of course, but you must acknowledge that drunk drivers cause only a relatively small number of highway fatalities.” That kind of crappy apologia, in which you and your ilk excel, would have gotten you nowhere with MADD, and it gets you nowhere here. Dead is dead.

  115. 115
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Steve from Antioch: My guns (two shotguns and a rifle) are in a closet with trigger locks. I keep no ammo in my home. The weapons come out only for cleaning or for use at a range or hunting. I am the guy who has a beer at home in the MADD scenario, not someone walking around with a concealed weapon because it make them feel safe – that’s the guy who thinks “I just a had a few beers – nothing serious – I can drive home.”

  116. 116
    gene108 says:

    @Bokonon:

    Lenin proved, in October 1917, that a very organized and dedicated minority can overwhelm and impose its will on the disorganized and unmotivated majority.

    The GOP is copying Lenin’s playbook, with regards to so many issues today most Americans would agree with like raising the minimum wage to gun control.

  117. 117
    Belafon says:

    @Steve from Antioch: And one of the ways they did this was hold bars responsible for patrons behavior. They also did change the way society thought about drinking; how else would the designated driver evolve into a good thing. They did do a certain amount of shaming.

    Maybe we should follow their lead. We can hold all gun dealers responsible for their customer’s behavior.

  118. 118
    shelley says:

    Tom, not to be shallow, but what’s the title and artist of the painting you’ve shown?

  119. 119
    gene108 says:

    @Glocksman:

    If you want to start working for effective gun bans, start on the state and local level.

    Why bother? The NRA, GOA and other gun groups have worked tirelessly to gut any local attempts at regulating fire arms. The SCOTUS agrees, 5-4 of course, that localities cannot impose stricter gun laws than the rest of the state. I believe one case was overturning a handgun ban in Chicago and/or Washington, DC.

    The only real hope for change is waiting for Scalia, Thomas or Kennedy to die off, have a Democratic President who appoints a liberal-ish judge to the court, so some of the terrible decisions of the last 15 years can be overturned.

    The NRA didn’t become a political powerhouse overnight.
    Hell just find the map of states that enacted concealed carry laws over the last 30 years for a good illustration of NRA state level power.

    There are articles, I don’t have time to look right now, about how the NRA changed in the 1970’s from mostly promoting gun safety and being behind sensible gun regulations – they backed the 1968 control bill* – and morphed into its current incarnation of guns for everyone and opposing any and all gun laws.

    The transformation happened pretty quickly, as leadership changed and pushed the old guard out.

    Otherwise the NRA has had some influence, whether they chose to use it or not is a different issue, since they have been around for well over 100 years.

    * Sad thing is because the NRA’s prior support for this law and other squishiness on gun rights more extreme groups, like the GOA exist. In short, the NRA are the “reasonable” gun-nuts in the room the public has to deal with.

  120. 120
    Anon mmmm says:

    @low-tech cyclist:

    IOW, I don’t buy the whole “gun suicides don’t count” argument. I think it’s fair to discount some fraction of them as being suicides by people who would have found another way to hasten their exit from this life if a gun hadn’t been available, but guns can also turn a passing bad moment into forever

    There are many of us who wouldn’t be here today if we had access to guns during our lowest moments.

    This reminds me of one of the debates about anti-depression meds. In some cases, they lifted just enough depression for the person to be motivated to go through it. Ease of execution is a huge factor for suicide.

  121. 121
    Gravenstone says:

    @nancy darling: It also stupidly presumes that there is no domestic violence within the confines of marriage. So yes, insulting, belittling and absolutely worthless on all counts.

  122. 122
    SJ says:

    To the sad list of killings it is necessary to add that of 3 Royal Canadian Mounted Police last Wednesday, June 4, in Moncton, New Brunswick. The killer, Justin Bourque, had become enamored of the US gun ranters. Predictably, the Canadian gun fondlers in something called the Nartional Firearms Association used the ocassion to argue against Canadian gun laws.

  123. 123
    Waldo says:

    @shelley: The painting is The Dead Soldier. More info here.

  124. 124
    Tokyokie says:

    @catclub: I think the MADD approach to gun violence is the only one that will work. Mothers Against Drunk Driving worked hard to criminalize drunk driving, but even more important, the organization’s efforts made drunk driving socially unacceptable. I remember years ago, before MADD, driving drunk was considered good macho fun and was generally winked at. But then MADD changed how the behavior was viewed.

    We need to do the same with the ammosexuals. Call them what they are: perverts. Not a different term, not even “ammosexual,” but pervert. Not just now and then, but in every conversation about guns. When one of these gun fondlers talks about protecting his family, he should be accused of harboring perverted eliminationist fantasies. Any politician who trots out a 2nd Amendment argument should be denounced as coddling perverts. The NRA should be referred to as an organization of perverts, no different from NAMBLA. Long ago, protesters by the score should have been harassing Wayne LaPierre every minute of every day, outside his house, outside his office, whenever he gives a speech or attends a pervert convention. Give him twice the hell that abortion opponents have been giving physicians trying to provide women’s reproductive services (although stop short of assassinating him).

    We’ll never change the minds of the perverts, but by calling them what they are without fail and without letup, we can change how these perverts are viewed. And only then, only when these perverts are pushed to the margins of the body politic (they’re already there socially), will this country legislate sensible gun control measures.

    Remember: Perverts, Not Patriots.

  125. 125
    JPL says:

    @Belafon: wikipedia..

    this is an fbi link but I haven’t read it yet

  126. 126
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Bokonon:

    At the end of this summer, my son will be starting high school at a place that had a shooting several months ago. One with two fatalities.

    The NRA will propose that every school should have its own random shooting as a character-building exercise.

  127. 127
    shelley says:

    Caught a snippet of CNN yesterday, Wolf Blitzer talking about the Vegas shooting with the head of the Southern Poverty Law Center (forget his name.) Blitz had the numbskulled nerve to ask with a straight face, ‘Do you think these are just random acts or a sign of a more dangerous trend/movement?” Really, Wolf? I mean, goddamn, really?

    Anyone who’s still trying to suggest that these all are just isolated events should be working in the lower bowels of Fox News. Or on the curvy couch with the Morning Morons.

  128. 128
    Trollhattan says:

    @Anon mmmm:

    IIRC suicide rates for U.S. service people stationed in countries with strict gun laws are much lower than for those stationed elsewhere, including in the States, as is the case for the comparative general populations. Evidence enough for me.

    Will add that while there are ample statistics to compare various nations’ death rates from all causes, including firearms, in the US it’s more difficult to track firearm injury and death because the gun and ammo people actively work against collecting, analyzing and communicating the data in detail. I wonder why that should be?

  129. 129
    Belafon says:

    @JPL: Thanks.

  130. 130
    Bokonon says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: The price of freedom, eh?

  131. 131
    Trollhattan says:

    @Tokyokie:
    Here’s the organization LTC Bateman of Pierce’s shop will be working with when he returns to civilian life.

    http://www.momsdemandaction.org/

    Looks like as good a place to start, as any. Hopefully the various organizations, including the Brady folks, the Newtown families, Gabby Giffords, et al can forge a powerful alliance and draw in a few billionaire sugar daddies in the process. And one of them needs to buy a cable news channel.

  132. 132

    @skerry: This must be news to women of India where the divorce rate is low but the rate of violence against women is not. What an idiot.

  133. 133
    Grover Gardner says:

    A bit of extra craziness here in Oregon today. The guy who lives in the junk-filled lot next to our warehouse in Ashland was taking pot shots at the police this morning. Whee. I picked today to stay home and miss all the “excitement.” :-/

  134. 134
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Laertes: “Voting power” means nothing if they have an arsenal and have demonstrated a propensity to use it.

    This can only end in a lot of bloodshed now. The ammosexuals have gone around the bend.

  135. 135
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @shelley: Leslie Blitzer is one of the most worthless sacks of shit to sit in an anchor chair, which is saying something. This is the guy, mind you, who argued with his own on the air experts that the “balloon boy” in Denver COULD be floating over the city. Leslie, shithead, it’s not a question of whether or not the kid can fit in the box under the balloon. It’s a simple question of weight ratios.

  136. 136
    JPL says:

    @Belafon: Double check my numbers. I’m going to look at the fbi infor later. I’m just in gun overload now.

  137. 137
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @gene108:

    The SCOTUS agrees, 5-4 of course, that localities cannot impose stricter gun laws than the rest of the state.

    I think that you might be misconstruing McDonald v. City of Chicago. That case said that the 2d Amendment applied to state and local governments not just the federal government. It did not say that local governments could not have stricter gun laws than the state. Specifically, the Court said that Chicago could not just flat out ban handguns. It did not say it could not restrict or put conditions on the possession and use of them.

  138. 138
    Trollhattan says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    Mind you, if said balloon were held aloft by a swallow….

  139. 139
    Trollhattan says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):
    In California, concealed carry permits are issued by county sheriffs and the ease with which to obtain them varies a good deal. Our most recent sheriff decided that we had too few such permits and gosh darn if he isn’t in the process of fixing that.

    Bastard.

  140. 140
    Sherparick says:

    Rupert appears to be just trolling us now, or he seriously needs to have a conversation with Roger Ailes.

    Rupert Murdoch ✔ @rupertmurdoch
    Follow

    Terrible news today. When will politicians find courage to ban automatic weapons? As in Oz after similar tragedy.
    8:26 PM – 14 Dec 2012

  141. 141
    gogol's wife says:

    Good post by Josh Horwitz. I belong to his organization and to Brady:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....78015.html

    And I also joined the Gabby G. organization, but I don’t hear much from them.

  142. 142
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    I’m not going to pollute the World Cup thread with politics, so I’m posting this here, from our foes at Noisemax:

    Sen. Inhofe: Freeing Terrorists Is Issue, Not Bergdahl

    Actually, the REAL issue is that there’s a ni*CLANG* in the sacred Oval Office of the shitty grade Z movie star, desecrating it with excess melanin and by wearing anything but a suit and time.

  143. 143
    johnny aquitard says:

    @Betty Cracker: I’m on board with this.

    I do not see how any hunter could ethically use more than 3 shots, and any justification for the 3rd is pretty sketchy in my opinion. That holds true for shotgun hunting for birds and rifles for big game, including dangerous game.

    Every trap and skeet club I’ve been to has rules prohibiting loading more than 1 shell, the only exceptions are for the doubles stations in skeet and by the rules it’s 2 max, one for each clay bird.

    Every shooting range I’ve been to prohibits having a loaded firearm anywhere but on the shooting line. Why? Because it’s goddamn dangerous having a bunch of people walking around with loaded firearms. It’s a risk, it’s asking for a tragic accident not if but when, and the club owners know it and their insurers know it.

    Gun clubs and shooting range management understand it’s a big liability and life safety risk to have their members walking around locked and loaded. Yet the ammosexuals are demanding they be allowed to do it every place else. And they are all lying that doing so makes us safer.

  144. 144

    @Sherparick: last school shooting in Oz was 12 yrs ago. we have had 3 in 10 days.

    @Villago Delenda Est: Bush the younger admin freed 171 from gitmo that went back to fight against us. I realize that is a lower number than the 7 that the Obungler released that went back to the fight with the new math.

  145. 145
  146. 146
    Keith G says:

    Yes we need to find ways for an intervention in the continuing death by gun in the US

    And yet so many, many more children die each year from causes directly related to poverty and lack of sufficient social infrastructure.

    Another larger slice of the pie chart are those who die as a direct result of alcohol and drug abuse. Death by gun deservedly gets big press, while children who are passengers in impaired driving accidents die (often in twos or threes) at how many times more?

    Yes gun violence needs to be addressed, but no need to act as if it is among the top killers of school aged children.

  147. 147
    Betty Cracker says:

    Governor Voldemort and his Death Eater allies in the FL statehouse passed a law a few years ago that prohibited local officials from enforcing city or county gun ordinances, making them subject to hefty fines or removal from office. In rare good news on the gun control front, a circuit court judge ruled that Voldy has no standing to remove local officials.

  148. 148

    @Villago Delenda Est: They can’t stand President Obama, Bergdahl is just collateral damage in the MSM and GOP jihad against Obama.

  149. 149
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Keith G:

    Yes gun violence needs to be addressed, but no need to act as if it is among the top killers of school aged children.

    Let’s play spot the strawman.

  150. 150
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Keith G: Up-thread, someone pointed out that gun deaths are set to overtake auto accidents as a leading cause of death. Yes, there are many problems to address. But we shouldn’t minimize the seriousness of the gun menace either. Walk and chew gum. We should be able to do that.

  151. 151
    Gregorad says:

    I’m living in Europe right now (with a short posting to China, Korea, or South America a couple times a year) and this is one of the reasons why I probably will never come back to the USA– my fiancee is already working on getting me a Dutch passport, and we’ll probably be raising our kids as Dutch schoolchildren (or as Argentinian/Chilean if one of my postings down there becomes permanent). I’m generally not the worrywort type, but it would drive me absolutely crazy wondering if the latest school/university shooting was at my kids’ school/university, even more so given that they seem to be happening about once every few days these days. (Even Canada’s been having its own rash of mass shootings lately.)

    The Netherlands isn’t perfect, but they as well as the Belgians, Germans, French, Nordic Countries, Italians, Spaniards, Greeks– well, just about everyone in Europe has figured out that weekly gunfights and moron vigilantes with revolvers everywhere do not a productive, cohesive society make. Some of these places actually have a decent number of gun owners, but the laws have enough common sense to place restrictions to prevent deadly weapons from circulating all through society. Plus all kinds of other perks like a common-sense judicial and political system and affordable housing that aren’t bought up by the plutocrats, not going broke from health care, not going into indentured servitude from student loans (Britain and increasingly Canada and Australia also have this problem these days unfortunately). Oh, and better jobs plus six weeks of vacation.

    The Chinese and Koreans (even more so the Japanese) are also doing better than the US on most of those fronts these days with a refreshing lack of mass shootings, the same for most of South America. Despite the reputation for violence there, most of the South American countries are actually pretty safe, especially Chile, Argentina and Uruguay (as well as Ecuador and Paraguay for the most part– even Brazil is overall pretty safe in most of its states, at least outside the favela cities like Sao Paulo), plus they have similar perks as the European countries and the prettiest towns, cities and people just about anywhere.

  152. 152
    MomSense says:

    @Keith G:

    It doesn’t have to be among the top killers of children to cause damage. Even the children who are not killed are dealing with the associated fear. And wanting to do something about gun violence doesn’t mean we are planning to abandon all the other important issues that affect children.

    I’m involved locally in dealing with food insecurity–specifically making sure children have food on weekends during the school year and during school vacations and summer vacation. Children in my area will not starve to death but the consequences of food insecurity are numerous.

    The other problem with gun violence is that people, especially women, who try and organize or do any kind of political activity or advocacy often find themselves threatened, stalked, etc. It prevents civic and civil discourse and engagement on issues where concerned citizens should be able to speak and organize without fear of retribution.

  153. 153
    Patrick says:

    @Keith G:

    Your concern is noted. Since other countries are able to tackle several different problems at the same time, I’m sure we here in the US can as well.

  154. 154
    Tom Levenson says:

    @shelley: Joseph Wright of Derby, The Dead Soldier c. 1789. Sorry for failing to get that up there from the beginning. Haste, and all that.

  155. 155
    Keith G says:

    @Betty Cracker: I am glad that accident rates are down. My musing was about danger to children since the topic of children in school was mentioned.

    Yes it would be nice if we could walk and chew gum at the same time, but we seem to have issues with that. If we are wanting to “do battle” with the issues that will most likely stop a two month old from becoming a twenty-two year old, I am not sure how close to the top of the list significant gun ownership reform would be (even though it is a just cause by itself). That makes it an iffy reason to engage in a full-out political brawl.

    I think we got a taste of that when the Obama administration slow-walked the post-Sandy Hook legislation. The gun control fight, now or anytime soon, will take up a tremendous amount of effort. Would that be the best use of political energy? Are there other ways to better ensure that kids get to be adults?

  156. 156
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Keith G: Or maybe it is time to start the grassroots organizing to build political pressure to bring US gun laws into vague comparability with those of civilized nations.

  157. 157
    Keith G says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): Sure. That would be a good use of time with a better, if longer term, chance for success.

    Edit:

    We are slowly nibbling away at those things that make us seem head-scratchingly crazy to other societies. For me, it’s infant mortality among the poor of our land. While it is getting better the gaps are far too wide.

  158. 158
    workworkwork says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    Not to mention that cars are heavily regulated – you need to pass a test to show you can safely operate them, insurance (including liability) is required and they can only be driven on designated roadways.

    Tell a gun fan this and they’ll say, “Driving is a privilege, not a right.”

    Of course, they also think that voting is a privilege.

    F*ck these guys.

  159. 159
    Keith G says:

    I just listened to The Gist, a daily news and views podcast by Mike Pesca. It is with no pleasure that I type that he brings forth a bit of the notion that influences my thought on this. As terrible as this current condition is, it is the result of choices that this society has made over the long term and there are no easy ways out and only small and feeble paths towards improvement. This is our reality.

  160. 160
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Anybody catch Charlie Pierce on today’s “If-it’s-Tuesday-it-must-be-another-school-shooting” story?

    Takeaway line: The ego of the disgruntled must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of students.

    He sounds so discouraged. As does Tom L. As am I, and as, I surmise, are most of us.

  161. 161
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Anybody catch Charlie Pierce on today’s “If-it’s-Tuesday-it-must-be-another-school-shooting” story?

    Takeaway line: The ego of the disgruntled must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of students.

    He sounds so discouraged. As does Tom L. As am I, and as, I surmise, are most of us.

  162. 162
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Well, FYWP.

  163. 163
    Mothra says:

    http://www.decodedscience.com/.....uent/42190

    Here’s a good link to review about the increasing frequency of mass shootings.

  164. 164
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Patrick:

    Gun violence in the US accounts for more than half of all gun fatalities in the world. You are far, far more likely to be hurt or killed by a gun in the US than the rest of the world.

    U.S.A.!! U.S.A.!!

    /NRA fight song

  165. 165
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I likez kitteh more than Brooks.

  166. 166
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @SJ:

    I saw numerous photos of today’s memorial service (although not the funeral itself). Burst into tears when I saw a picture of red-serge-jacketed Mounties, four or five abreast, as far as the eye could see. Just incredibly moving.

  167. 167
    billB says:

    FCK, this is 2 miles from where I grew up. The future of our country is that this sht will happen to every one of you. We let the scum in the NRA ruin our country, and the mess is now in our pocket. Gahd Bless Our Mess, and pull out the rifles to shoot all over the place. IKE would be so sad.

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