Everything But the Obvious

They did everything right, but missed one key detail:

Nikolas Cruz was immature, quirky and depressed when James and Kimberly Snead took him into their Parkland home. But he was pleasant and seemed to be growing happier, they said.

How the 19-year-old turned into a killer still baffles them.

“We had this monster living under our roof and we didn’t know,” Kimberly Snead told the South Florida Sun Sentinel in an exclusive interview Saturday. “We didn’t see this side of him.”

“Everything everybody seems to know, we didn’t know,” James Snead said. “It’s as simple as that.”

Cruz still lived with the Sneads on Wednesday when he walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School with an AR-15 rifle and killed 17 people — the worst school shooting since Sandy Hook.

***

Five days before the shooting, Kimberly Snead took Cruz to the office of a therapist she has been seeing. Cruz said he was open to therapy but didn’t like medication. He took a business card and was figuring out what his health insurance would cover.

James, 48, is a decorated army veteran and a military intelligence analyst who served stints in the Middle East between 1988 and 1996. Kimberly, 49, is a neonatal intensive care nurse who cares for premature and ill babies.

They told Cruz there would be strict rules in their home.

“I told him there’d be rules and he followed every rule to the T,” James said.

The couple both grew up around guns and are comfortable with them, but they insist on gun safety.

They made Cruz buy a locking gun safe to put in his room the day he moved in. Cruz had a handful of guns, including the AR-15 and two other rifles that Snead said would be considered assault rifles. Cruz, a hunter, also had knives, BB guns and pellet guns.

Snead thought he had the only key to the cabinet but has figured out Cruz must have kept a key for himself. The family kept their own rifles, bought after a burglary a couple of years ago, in a separate locked cabinet.

They told Cruz he needed to ask permission to take out the guns. He had asked only twice since November. They said “yes” once and “no” once.

These seem like really sweet people, and I feel horrible for them. And they did everything right. Except one thing. They kept guns in the house and he had access to them.

I just don’t know why this is so damned hard, how many members of our society are so blinded by the obvious. Imagine if you went to the doctor and s/he said “Your test results show you have a fatty liver and early stages of cirrhosis, you just absolutely have to stop drinking and now.” If you acted like we do regarding gun violence, here is how the rest of the conversation would go:

You: What if I drink a lot of cranberry juice. I hear that is good for the liver.

Dr.: Yes, cranberry juice can be good for the liver, but you have to stop drinking alcohol. It’s going to kill you.

You: What about coffee and tea?

Dr.: Yes, those are both good, but you have to stop drinking alcohol. You are killing yourself.

You: WHat if instead I stop using butter and other oils and switch to olive oil?

Dr.: Yes, that would be good, too, but you need to stop drinking alcohol because your liver is very damaged.

You: How about if instead I start a good diet and exercise program and lose some weight?

Dr.: That would also be good for your liver and long term health, but you need to stop drinking alcohol immediately or you are going to die.

You: Thanks for all the helpful advice, Doc.

*Drinks a gallon of vodka. Dies.*

It’s the same damned things with guns, and we have this god damned debate every time there is a mass shooting. Yes, we need to spend more time and money addressing mental health issues. Yes, we need to engage our children more. Yes, we need to keep our eyes open for socially isolated individuals. yes, we need to report people who make threats to the authorities. Yes, we need to deal with people being radicalized online and via social media. Yes, we need to do all those things and more.

BUT WE NEED TO DEAL WITH THE FUCKING GUNS.

This is why all those kids from Florida who are speaking out sound like they are making so much sense- BECAUSE THEY ARE. They aren’t taking a simple issue and and getting wrapped around the axle by turning it into something complicated. The clarity of youth lets them embrace the principle of parsimony that for a number of reasons eludes the adults in the room. Crazy and dangerous people repeatedly for a variety of reasons keep killing people with guns, so we should do something about guns. When someone takes a knife into school, they get kicked out. When someone takes an AR-15 into a school, 20 kids get killed. The kids aren’t confused by all the bullshit that has seeped into our discourse, so they say things like this:

America has a gun problem, and no amount of diet, exercise, or cranberry juice is going to fix it. It’s the fucking guns, stupid.

241 replies
  1. 1
    Corner Stone says:

    or cranberry juice is going to fix it

    “What are you, on your period?”

  2. 2
    trollhattan says:

    Word. The presence of guns is its own problem. How many thousands of suicides occur because of the presence of a gun? Lots of them, maybe someday the CDC will be allowed to put a number on it. Some states now harvest more gun deaths than motor vehicle deaths. Our society needs motor vehicles to function, for better or worse. Our society doesn’t actually needs guns at all.

    BTW, Trump still manages to fuck up everything he touches. Everything.

  3. 3
    trollhattan says:

    Demoderate please? Thanks!

  4. 4
    Trentrunner says:

    This is heartening, but it’s not in my nature to cheerlead, so:

    I’m finding all this “…and a child shall save us” misty romanticism a bit naive and, honestly, creepy and self-serving on the part of the anti-gun left.

    These are teenagers. I will bet my pension that their activism will not last out the schoolyear, let alone carry us into November.

    Yes, it is laudable and bracing that these young victims are stating the obvious. And maybe it will shift the needle just enough here and there to effect change.

    But, once again, we Dems have glommed on to a savior instead of trying to figure out ways to fix this mess ourselves.

  5. 5
    jharp says:

    Excellent post.

    And Emma Gonzalez is amazing. Wow.

    She reminds me to tell those criticizing today’s youth that they can go fuck themselves.

  6. 6
    Big Ole Hound says:

    It’s the AR 15 type assault rifles…mostly, so put back the 1993 ban on them that was allowed to expire under Bush in 2003 when we were in a panic after 9/11. Easy start Congress.

  7. 7
    PhoenixRising says:

    It’s the guns, stupid.

    The family kept their own rifles, bought after a burglary a couple of years ago, in a separate locked cabinet.

    These people had a full gun safe, and when this troubled kid with very real problems moved in with them, they made him buy his own gun safe.

    Just sit with that. They are so inured to the killing power of guns that their reaction to ‘orphaned teen has more guns than we can secure’ was…tell him to get a gun safe of his own, as a condition of being their ward.

    Normal gun-using people would look at this and say, How many battalions do we expect to hold off before help arrives? Maybe we tell him we protect everyone under this roof with *our* weapons, and make the condition ‘cut down to only the handguns and knives that fit into the safe we control’.

    But not Americans. Nope. Florida Man (and Woman) sent him to buy a gun safe. Before they took him to therapy. Because we are all swimming in gun culture & fish don’t know they’re wet.

  8. 8
    The Dangerman says:

    If there was financial liability to the couple for the shooting, maybe if the young man wanted to bring his gun to their home the answer would have been an obvious “are you fucking kidding?”.

    ETA: Not sure the path to liability, but, until people get hit in the pocketbook, good and hard, nothing is going to happen.

  9. 9
    Bailey says:

    While I realize it isn’t the point, I’m struck by the comment that he was open to therapy but “didn’t like medication.” So I’m wondering — was he taking an anti-depressant or not?

    For the record, I don’t buy into the theory that anti-depressants make people rage and kill but plenty of people put forth that argument and I’ve already seen it projected in this case: every shooter is always medicated. Never mind the chicken/egg nature of that argument, I’d be intrigued to find that this kid actually wasn’t taking medication but probably should have been.

  10. 10
    PhoenixRising says:

    @Trentrunner: We’ll see. I was a teen activist & stuck with it until my citizenship was achieved (June 2015). The impact of realizing at a vulnerable age that my country’s politicians either hated me & wanted everyone like me to die, or just didn’t care because Jerry Falwell promised them votes to not care if we died, was lasting. For a lot of us.

  11. 11
    oldster says:

    Very interesting developments, these.

    So, as I have mentioned, I am in an R+6 district up here in New York’s Southern Tier, a.k.a. Northern Pennsyltucky. The issue that galvanizes rural voters like none other is the S.A.F.E. Act, a piece of NYS legislation that imposed some trivial, minimum, apologetic restrictions on things like high-capacity magazines. Cuomo signed it, and my district *hates* him for it. There are yard-signs everywhere saying “Repeal the SAFE Act.” It’s bigger than abortion and the gays combined–you never see signs for that stuff, but there are thousands of permanent lawn signs about the SAFE Act.

    (Which, incidentally, has contributed to keeping New York State safer than it would have been without it. But what are a few dozen schoolkids’ lives compared to the assault on the fundamental rights of law-abiding gun-owners blah blah blah?)

    Anyhow–conventional wisdom in this sort of district is that a Democrat should simply write off the gun issue. Don’t fight it. Buy a gun. Talk pro-gun. Best of all, find a Democrat who legitimately grew up in gun culture, but is good on other issues.

    But whatever you do, do *not* run on gun-control. May as well cede the race from the start.

    That’s why, e.g. my gal Gillibrand was pretty pro-gun back when she was a local. Thank god she has moved left on that. Amazing what contact with reality, and getting out of the Pennsyltucky bubble, can do to your understanding of the world.

    Here’s what I wonder, though: given what is happening in FL, do we have to keep surrendering on guns? Have we reached a point where even an R+6 district might listen to someone who was in favor of modest regulation of guns?

    Nah…I’m dreaming. Too soon. Some day, though. Some day we may get some modest sense into this crazy debate.

  12. 12
    Mary G says:

    Children acting like leaders, while our leader acts like a child. https://t.co/zAZKDjKjGL— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) February 18, 2018

    Somebody on Twitter said that Visa and FedEx are partners with the NRA, so we should start putting pressure on them.

  13. 13
    p.a. says:

    The % of Americans owning guns is in decline. Fewer Americans own more and more guns (maybe they think they can grow extra arms.) I hope we have finally reached the breaking point, but this may just be another victory eventually won funeral by funeral (owners of course. Not victims)

  14. 14
    trollhattan says:

    Gabby Giffords letter:

    I know politicians fear the gun lobby.

    But I also know that fear cannot compare to what those innocent children in Florida felt as the gunshots rang out, bullets flew through the halls of their school, and their teachers and classmates were gunned down.

    That fear is nothing compared to what parents must have felt waiting in the parking lot of the high school waiting for news about their children.

    Our nation’s schools should be the safest spaces in our communities. They should not be the place of horror. And while I wish that the scenes from earlier this week were unthinkable or unimaginable, they are not.

    We have seen them before, and we will see them again… unless our elected leaders show the courage to act — the courage to finally take on the gun lobby.

    But that will only happen when politicians realize they have more to fear from all of us together than they do from the gun lobby. And that starts with making our voices heard:

    Sign my pledge: “I promise that I will Vote Courage in November and support candidates who will stand up to the gun lobby and take action to make our communities safer from gun violence.”

    For a long time I bought into the fiction that after a horrific shooting, there is a required period of silence — where we aren’t supposed to act. I know people felt that way after I was shot, as well.

    But the truth is, the only one who benefits from that waiting period is the gun lobby — which is why their defenders offer little more than “thoughts and prayers” for the families and condemnations for anyone who demands that our communities deserve more.

    In 2018, I am going to work tirelessly to ensure we elect a Congress that is willing to stand up to the gun lobby. And I know the Democratic National Committee will do the same.

    The way the usual arguments are being deconstructed before they can even be spouted has me ever-so-slightly optimistic.

  15. 15
    PhoenixRising says:

    @Bailey:

    was he taking an anti-depressant or not?

    My guess based on timeline: He was medicated for ADHD until his mama passed, in November. At that point. he was a legal adult & had no one acting as his ‘outboard memory unit’ (I have a child at this stage of development)…so I bet there were required appointments to write a new RX that he either forgot or didn’t attend. My money is on ‘stopped Ritalin in 2017’, not anti-depressants.

    However, anti-depressants lead to self-harm in a significant share of adolescents who take them, because their energy levels rise and they can plan. So it’s conceivable here…but again, without the failure to regulate assault rifles, who would care?

  16. 16
    mad citizen says:

    MELT THE GUNS!

  17. 17
    Corner Stone says:

    @Trentrunner:

    But, once again, we Dems have glommed on to a savior instead of trying to figure out ways to fix this mess ourselves.

    Give me a fucking break.

  18. 18
    jo6pac says:

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/02/16/american-carnage/

    Covers it for me. Sadly berry goldwater said if caught a kill a deer in a single shot you shouldn’t own a weapon of any kind. Barry is dead as is the repugs and demodogs that received $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ from the nra.

    I love when Di-Fi comes out says we (congresscritters) need to raise the age to 21. Age to join the Amerikan age is what?

    I’m the left. I do want the endless wars or the end of the war on info to the Amerikan public to be just that. Pease end the endless wars.

  19. 19
    lgerard says:

    The cranberry juice story is like the reports of trump’s recent physical. The doctor evidently told him he needed to exercise more and trump said he would just eat less.

    I am sure that is working out fine

  20. 20
    aimai says:

    @jo6pac: this is so incoherent i’m worried for you. Are you having a stroke?

  21. 21
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Trentrunner: Oh, shut the fuck up. You and your concern trolling. Democrats have been trying to get traction on this issue for *years*, asswipe. To what effect? Right after Sandy Hook, the Colorado Legislature passed a number of (very) modest gun regulations. With the result that reactionaries all over the state lost their shit, started a recall campaign, and got enough mouth-breathers out there (including the libertarians, whose interference on the state level meant that this election, alone of all the other elections since CO passed its “mail-in ballot” initiative, could *not* be a mail-in ballot election) to show up at the polls and overwhelm Dem votes. With the result that a bunch of progressive legislators got recalled and replaced with mouth-breathers whose priority was rolling back gun legislation.

    So excuse us for hailing the fact that for once, we have victims who are speaking out for themselves and exhorting their elders to do better. We need EVERY SINGLE FUCKING VOICE we can get on this issue – not because we depend on teenagers to “save” Democrats on this issue, but because maybe, just maybe, all those soccer moms and NASCAR dads out there might start thinking about the fact that it could be their kid next, and maybe, just maybe, it’s THEIR job to help save them.

    And go fuck yourself.

  22. 22
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Trentrunner:

    But, once again, we Dems have glommed on to a savior instead of trying to figure out ways to fix this mess ourselves.

    These kids aren’t “saviors.” They’re newly born activists who need our assistance to support their collective action.

    If this was the Montgomery bus boycott, would you be saying that there was no need to support the boycotters because supporting them meant we were expecting them to be our “saviors”?

  23. 23
    Corner Stone says:

    Wow, reference to counterpunch. I’d like to say this completes me but I still plan on eating Luby’s later.

  24. 24
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @trollhattan: The fact that about 2/3 of gun deaths are suicides is one of the more unreasonably ignored or dismissed things, I think because neither side in the gun debate feels it serves their narrative.

    On the one hand, when people hear “gun deaths” they think of mass shooting homicides, and that’s not true. Sometimes the anti-gun side relies on that false conflation.

    On the other hand, the pro-gun side tends to just dismiss these suicides as if they don’t count–they assume these people would have killed themselves some other way, and this is just some mental health problem independent of guns. But that’s not true! You can way more easily kill yourself with a gun than with most of the other methods people try. It reduces the necessary threshold for immediately killing yourself to a passing whim, and you can’t be saved by immediate medical attention if you’ve blown your brains out. A pretty large fraction of all suicides in the US are gun deaths, and I suspect that eliminating guns from homes would bring the numbers down considerably.

  25. 25
    trollhattan says:

    @Matt McIrvin:
    Thank you for expanding on the point so well.

    I read that US servicemen and women stationed in countries with strict gun laws have notably lower suicide rates. So it’s not merely “They’re just raised that way” when other countries have lower suicide rates than the good ol’ USA.

  26. 26
    Corner Stone says:

    God. Can we find a box big enough to fit Larry Summers and Arne Fucking Duncan into and shut them in it? Forever.

  27. 27
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    A pretty large fraction of all suicides in the US are gun deaths, and I suspect that eliminating guns from homes would bring the numbers down considerably.

    Co-signed. Research shows that if you make it harder to commit suicide, many people will delay long enough to get help.

    I suspect that talking about gun suicide would also require us to talk about men and depression since the vast majority of people who commit suicide by gun are men, but most Americans don’t want to have that conversation, either. We would rather pretend that depression is a “women’s disease” than accept that women are more likely to get treated while men are allowed to fall into suicidal depression with no assistance.

  28. 28
    JPL says:

    This was how I felt when I read earlier the article about the family.. What amazing folks to help this kid out… WTF case comes with only one key. Really. You can not buy a tiny box with one key..

  29. 29
    dexwood says:

    @Miss Bianca: @Mnemosyne:
    Thank you both.

  30. 30
    PhoenixRising says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Guns turn suicidal thoughts into funerals.

    6 weeks ago my cousin ended her life with a gun. She was creative, imaginative, impulsive & in treatment for depression…and married to a gun humper. If he had taken the bullets to work, she’d be online posting about how no one can take away our 2nd Amendment rights right now, I guarantee it. But instead, as they were both accustomed to, because weapons of war are part of the decor and ambiance of their garage, he left loaded guns in their home, not secured from her–and she impulsively picked one up.

    If she had married a man who had served in the military like her father and uncles and brothers, a man who saw guns as tools, I suspect she would be alive today.

    It’s the guns.

  31. 31
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, I do feel sorry for Cruz’s foster parents, because it sounds like they didn’t have any fucking clue what they were getting themselves into and there was nobody around to tell them what to watch out for.

    But this still wouldn’t have happened if they had not been gun-huggers who thought his gun-hugging behavior was normal. Full stop.

  32. 32
    Shana says:

    @trollhattan: Absolutely. My BIL killed himself in his home with a gun 2 years ago. With a gun he bought for that purpose in Texas where he lived. Yes he was depressed and had some difficulties with his business, but if he hadn’t had such easy access to a gun he might still be alive.

  33. 33
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Mnemosyne: @Matt McIrvin: Had a dear friend commit suicide this way. Was depressed, got mad after an argument with his wife, stuck the muzzle in his mouth, and BLAM. With his wife and kid in the next room. The impulse of a moment, and all because they had fucking GUNS in the house, easily accessible. And these were folks who accepted guns and gun culture, and the whole BS about needing guns around the house to try to keep you “safe”.

    I should talk. I live in a house with a bunch of guns easily accessible as well. But I’m way, way too chickenshit to turn one on myself or on any human, really. I’d have a hard enough time taking aim with the .22 at a coyote hassling my dog! Well, OK, no. I wouldn’t have any problem with it except getting it out the window and aimed in time to do any good!

  34. 34
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Mnemosyne: When discussing any form of suicide in the news media, there’s also the fear that the discussion itself will serve as a contagion. But if we want meaningful policy changes that may be a short-term risk we have to take.

    On the other hand I see some discussion of this that treats it as a total sickness of our society, evidence that our lives have literally become not worth living. But going in that direction just frames the whole problem as hopeless. (And to the extent that there’s any remedy, all I can think of is the entire liberal program–making the world something other than a relentless system for weeding out the weak.)

  35. 35
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @PhoenixRising:

    How tragic, unnecessary, and enraging. I’m so very sorry.

  36. 36
    Mnemosyne says:

    @PhoenixRising:

    In the past, various gun-hugging family members offered to give me a gun. I always refused and reminded them that I was taking anti-depressants so why the fuck would they think it was a good idea for me to have a gun?

    I don’t need or want a gun. Keep that shit away from me.

  37. 37
    JPL says:

    @PhoenixRising: I can’t imagine the pain.

  38. 38
    rk says:

    @Trentrunner:

    But, once again, we Dems have glommed on to a savior instead of trying to figure out ways to fix this mess ourselves.

    Really? Who is this “ourselves” you speak of? Democratic politicians or democrats who vote for them? Obama tried very hard, but had no success with republicans in congress. He couldn’t get a republican congress to pass a single fun control legislation. His executive order was overturned. Maybe the cries of the survivors may help, or maybe not. Maybe we’ll have baby steps towards gun control after 10 more school shootings. So many democrats for so many years have tried so hard to deal with the monstrosity of gun violence. And all you have stupid dismissive ridiculous comments. I doubt if you have even one useful suggestion. Easy to make random meaningless statements.

  39. 39
    SFAW says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    And go fuck yourself.

    I was with you until this part. I’m saying to meself “With or without a rusty pitchfork?” It’s not like you to overlook something as important as that. Are you feeling OK, kid?

    Outside of that, thanks for beating me to the punch, so to speak.

  40. 40
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Shana:
    @Miss Bianca:
    My profound sympathy to you both for these losses.

  41. 41
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    G had a friend who was a depressed alcoholic who owned multiple guns.

    Note the past tense.

  42. 42
    John Cole says:

    @Corner Stone: Odd that in a thread on mass shootings you mention Lubys.

  43. 43
    SoupCatcher says:

    @Corner Stone:

    God. Can we find a box big enough to fit Larry Summers and Arne Fucking Duncan into and shut them in it? Forever.

    Co-sign. But only if there’s room for a honey badger, wolverine, or ill-tempered goose.

  44. 44
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    There also tends to be an attitude that someone who’s going to kill thenselves will do it no matter what, so it’s pointless to try and make it harder.

    Not surprisingly, those are usually the same people who think that spree killers are going to go on murder sprees no matter what, so there’s no point in trying to keep them from getting an AR-15 to do it with.

  45. 45
    Jeffro says:

    @The Dangerman: btw great point in the earlier thread, about WaPo columnists noting a new low for Trumpov. Max Boot and Ruth Marcus make great points. He really IS ignoring the biggest attack on our country since 9/11, and it really IS the equivalent of George W. Bush standing on the post-9/11 rubble pile and…using the megaphone to attack Democrats.

  46. 46
    Corner Stone says:

    @John Cole: It can’t happen here.

  47. 47
    eemom says:

    @Miss Bianca:
    @SFAW:

    Thirded. What a preening asshole.

  48. 48
    Miss Bianca says:

    @SFAW: Well, if I had to specify an implement, I’d probably say “with a Roto-rooter”, but I figured that might be TMI. I am a fucking lady, after all.

  49. 49
    PhoenixRising says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Thank you. It’s been a difficult winter for my family.
    @Mnemosyne: No kidding. My teen is a typical person of her demographics: as an adopted person AND an Asian-American girl, her risk of suicide is sharply elevated. We would never keep a gun in our home because the odds of someone getting hurt so far outweigh the odds that we use it for ‘protection’ from outside threats.

    That’s why we’re a Great Dane family.

  50. 50
    Rommie says:

    The process that made seemingly-intelligent adults say “You have to lock up and ask permission to access your weapons” instead of “NO weapons allowed in this house” is stunning. “We couldn’t infringe on his right to own firearms,” said with a tone that implies it’s 100 percent common sense duh, as the default answer shows how much of a gulf exists to bridge.

  51. 51
    PhoenixRising says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    spree killers are going to go on murder sprees no matter what, so there’s no point in trying to keep them from getting an AR-15 to do it with.

    When I hear this, I am inspired to ask: Have you ever killed a mammal? Okay, what tool did you use to do it? Why not a rock or a pointy stick? Point being, killing is a LOT of work and requires physical skill, power & some luck…without guns.

  52. 52
    Corner Stone says:

    @SoupCatcher: Porci-badger. It includes the ill temper of the honey badger with the delightful sensibilities of the porcupine.

  53. 53
    SFAW says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Not surprisingly, those are usually the same people who think that spree killers are going to go on murder sprees no matter what, so there’s no point in trying to keep them from getting an AR-15 to do it with.

    A variation of the Irwin Mainway thesis.

  54. 54
    JPL says:

    @John Cole: When I lived in Texas Luby’s was known for their pies. just sayin.

  55. 55
    Corner Stone says:

    @Miss Bianca: No fucking doubt.

  56. 56
    SFAW says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    I am a fucking lady, after all.

    Something of which I am well aware, of course.

    But I like the way you’re thinking (vis-a-vis the Roto-Rooter).

  57. 57
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Mnemosyne: Another part of the problem is that most people have an exaggerated notion of their own competence–especially if that competence is low. If you hear that most gun deaths are suicides it’s easy to think “well, I’m safe, I’m not going to do that.” And most of those people who eventually killed themselves probably did.

    (I also had a dear friend who had access to guns and who committed suicide, but not with a gun. He was, in fact, with me the one time I ever went to a gun range and fired some guns. Knowing that the guy eventually killed himself, the memory haunts me. But I think his ultra-responsible, methodical nature precluded him actually doing it that way–he had to find some other way.)

  58. 58
    MelissaM says:

    Who the fuck considers it normal that a 19yo has that many weapons? He’s only been allowed to buy them for less than 2 years, He already owns an assault rifle?? This is not normal!! And here I sigh heavily and have no clue where to go.

  59. 59
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Matt McIrvin: I don’t see this at all, in regards to pro-gun-control activists. This is (yet another) reason to reduce the number of guns out there. Like other gun-related killings, a gun doesn’t any single killing possible but it makes it considerably easier. In this case, a gun means a possible suicide needs a much smaller moment of weakness and has a much higher chance of success. “Pulling the trigger” is considerably easier than cutting your veins.

    That said, anyone truly determined to take their own life will manage to do it. The key is to remove the easy methods (guns) to keep people at the margins much safer.

    This was a pretty standard talking point for awhile, but I suppose it doesn’t get emphasized as much. I mean, if you need to halt possible suicides or you want to focus on halting the mass killing of children, the 2nd one is much easier to marshal popular opinion about.

    ETA: I do, however, constantly see gun fetishists tell me the ‘real’ death rate is much lower, because suicides. They try to pretend those deaths don’t matter, as you say. And you’re absolutely correct about guns facilitating suicides. :(

  60. 60
  61. 61
    Ruckus says:

    @PhoenixRising:
    A 27 yr old kid I worked with shot himself about 5 months ago. He had health issues (had been born with 2 club feet, many semi successful surgeries) and we found out had been rather depressed for quite a while. You’d never have known it by working with him though. (I researched club feet and found that 27 seems to be around the magic age when they’ve had enough.) His gun, lived with his mom and she didn’t know he owned one.
    I don’t think he was getting any help with the depression.

  62. 62

    @aimai: I’m worried the neural network I’m training to troll here got out.

  63. 63
    condorcet runner-up says:

    a bit naive and, honestly, creepy and self-serving on the part of the anti-gun left.

    @Trentrunner: Yeah … no. The adults have clearly failed on this issue. Up to subsequent generations.

  64. 64
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’m sure that if semiauto weapons with large magazines are unavailable, some spree killers will fall back to the bag full of shotguns and loaded revolvers. And when it happens, somebody will immediately announce that the ban is useless and call for the re-legalization of the AR-15. But the odds of a super high body count go down.

  65. 65
    TS says:

    One thing that keeps buzzing through my mind – how would the media have reacted if President Obama went out to dinner followed the next day by a game of golf – right after the Sandy Hook massacre.

    This should be the outrage about the moron President across the land – but of course it is not. Fox News spent time talking about President Clinton’s sex life. Senior admin officials are telling the world to ignore trump and the latter is tweeting more nonsense than usual.

  66. 66
    Suzanne says:

    @MelissaM: Toxic masculinity is one hell of a drug. And I don’t know what to do about it.

  67. 67
    TS says:

    The family kept their own rifles, bought after a burglary a couple of years ago, in a separate locked cabinet.

    Someone else has probably said it – but to note
    When the next burglary happens – the burglar/s will allow time for the family to find the key, unlock the safe, load the guns ….

  68. 68
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @TS: It’s like the fact of Trump being an asshole moron has just been priced in already; nobody considers it news. That’s been a problem at least ever since early in his presidential campaign.

  69. 69
    scott (the other one) says:

    @TS: In a just world, the majority of the most well known journalists, print and television, would be roundly mocked whenever they ventured out into public for their egregious dereliction of duty. I don’t have much hope that anything will truly get the likes of, say, Chuck Todd or Maggie Haberman to properly do their jobs, but being heckled whenever they try to eat an upscale restaurant just might do the trick. A boy can dream, can’t he?

  70. 70
    trollhattan says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Yup, just imagine the carnage if Stephen Paddock had had a roomful of shotguns up there on the 32nd floor and zero AR15s. None of this, for starters.

  71. 71
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @scott (the other one):

    whenever they try to eat an upscale restaurant

    Did they lose a bet?

  72. 72
    scott (the other one) says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Tried to edit, but it wouldn’t let me. (I also phrased a different sentence poorly…albeit not quite THAT poorly.)

  73. 73
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ruckus:

    The niece and nephew I went to Disneyland with both have club feet, as does their mother, and their late maternal grandfather. I had never heard that they’re at higher risk of suicide (presumably from depression and chronic pain).

    My nephew was treated with the new, non-surgical splinting technique when he was a baby. My niece missed its introduction by a few years, so she has had to have a few surgeries.

  74. 74
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    It’s like the fact of Trump being an asshole moron has just been priced in already; nobody considers it news.

    True, dat. And I think the thing that infuriates me is that not only is this true for the Village but for white America in general. And also that the reverse treatment of Obama *should* have been true – the fact that he was an intelligent, thoughtful, class act should have been so baked-in as to give him the benefit of the doubt and made it a non-issue to say things like, for example, that if he’d had a son, he might have looked like Trayvon Martin.

    I crack myself up.

  75. 75
    Ruckus says:

    @trollhattan:
    I got to #12 before I had to stop.

  76. 76
    Mnemosyne says:

    @trollhattan:

    No, thanks, I already have enough nightmares.

  77. 77
    Aleta says:

    You’re so accurate with analogy to addiction. Passing murder off by saying mental illness, ‘society,’ and ‘self-protection’ is because they don’t want to deal.

    Guns are a powerful mood changer. People get a rush of fun and adrenaline to the brain circuits, hang with a social scene that’s kinda wild and independent, and can convert anger and powerlessness to feeling in control.

    Another thing about pretending that mental illness is the key to prevention. There are too many moving parts.

    But if Republicans think they can boil prevention down to symptoms and diagnoses, they should start with their delusional thinking and lack of empathy. Their sociopathy and psychopathy and crimes. And their belief that threats and murder can be justified by a uniform or big money.

  78. 78
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    I’m mostly from Boston but I spent a few years of my childhood in North Carolina. When we lived there, I had a friend whose house I wasn’t allowed to visit or go to for sleepovers even when all my other friends went. My parents knew that her parents had guns and they refused to let me sleep or spend time in a house with guns. I remember having a bit of a temper tantrum about this when I was ca 8 years old and my parents sat me down and explained in detail, with numbers, why they had that rule. My parents both worked in pediatric emergency rooms at the time.

  79. 79
    debit says:

    @Trentrunner: You really need to fuck off and die, shitstain.

  80. 80
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Aleta:

    Guns are a powerful mood changer. People get a rush of fun and adrenaline to the brain circuits, hang with a social scene that’s kinda wild and independent, and can convert anger and powerlessness to feeling in control.

    With a certain type of person, yes. OTOH, I get much more careful, with a small undercurrent of fear, when I have a loaded weapon in my hands. Those things can kill.

  81. 81
    Chet Murthy says:

    @PhoenixRising: Trentrunner’s probably too young to remember the anti-Vietnam War movement. A lotta young men didn’t wanna go die for some piece-of-shit idea of American exceptionalism. A lot. Very young men. Only a little bit older than these admirable youth.

  82. 82
    J R in WV says:

    @PhoenixRising:

    Oh no, so sorry for your loss. I’m closer to some cousins than to my RWNJ brother, so I know how that can hit you. Thinking good thoughts for you. Take care!

  83. 83

    @Chet Murthy: Best to just ignore the troll who’s so sad he created sock puppet accounts to circumvent the pie filter.

  84. 84
  85. 85
    Redshift says:

    Almost all the people I know who have died from gunshots have been suicides. (I was going to say all, and then I remembered that an old friend was one of the San Bernardino victims.) And almost all of those would still be alive of they hadn’t had access to guns.

  86. 86
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    With a certain type of person, yes. OTOH, I get much more careful, with a small undercurrent of fear, when I have a loaded weapon in my hands. Those things can kill.

    You’re a retired artilleryman. Very different from a teen or a fantasy militiaman. Plus, you are arguably smarter than the average person.

  87. 87
    WaterGirl says:

    OT, but I am wading through Mueller’s indictment. I skimmed all the parts with the names of the conspirators, etc. But now I am on 36 and 37. Holy shit. (bolding is mine)

    If Mueller has access to all the data referenced in #37, it seems to me that would go along way toward being able to measure the influence they had over the election results.

    36. Defendants and their co-conspirators also created and controlled numerous Twitter accounts designed to appear as if U.S. persons or groups controlled them. For example, the ORGANIZATION created and controlled the Twitter account “Tennessee GOP,” which used the handle @TEN_GOP. The @TEN_GOP account falsely claimed to be controlled by a U.S. state political party. Over time, the @TEN_GOP account attracted more than 100,000 online followers.

    37. To measure the impact of their online social media operations, Defendants and their co- conspirators tracked the performance of content they posted over social media. They tracked the size of the online U.S. audiences reached through posts, different types of engagement with the posts (such as likes, comments, and reposts), changes in audience size, and other metrics. Defendants and their co-conspirators received and maintained metrics reports on certain group pages and individualized posts.

  88. 88
    Baud says:

    @WaterGirl: I’m hoping Balloon Juice is mentioned in a future indictment. How cool would that be.

  89. 89
    TS says:

    @scott (the other one):

    A boy can dream, can’t he?

    A girl (well old woman) can dream as well.

    I dream of the day when being beholden to another country becomes a worse sin than having an email server – or wearing a tan suit. President Obama was attacked by the media for calling out a cop who arrested a guy for entering his own house. President Moron attacks people every day on twitter and the same media idiots laugh, while his senior staff tell the world to ignore what he says.

  90. 90
    Ruckus says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    I think the age and family can make a huge difference, as it usually does.
    I never really talked to him about his dad but I got the impression he’s been gone for over 20 yrs. It’s got to be difficult for a single mom to work and raise a kid with this level of issues.
    Living with long term issues that effect you every day is another whole level above having intermittent even if persistent health issues. I’ve lived with major migraines for decades but mostly they aren’t every day. I’m sort of dreading my neuro appt in 2 months, that they might tell me I really do have Parkinson’s. But I’m 68 and the downhill to the end is starting to take the shape of a major ski slope. Depression? Hard to avoid a touch now and again.
    A 27 yr old with daily pain and issues of just walking? That’s tens of levels ahead of me, at least.

  91. 91
    Lizzy L says:

    Righteous rant, John. Thank you.

    I’ve had three friends commit suicide. One of them drove her motorcycle into a wall. It was fifty years ago. She was twenty-two. The other two, both men, used a gun. The schizophrenic one did it a shooting range, something I am told is not uncommon. The other used his own gun. To this day no one, not family, not friends, understands why he did it, why he didn’t ask for help. Maybe if he hadn’t owned a gun he would have found another way. But access to the gun made it easy.

    I’ve never used a handgun. When I was young, I spent some time learning how to shoot a rifle. I also learned how to use a bow and arrow. I have friends who own guns, who like to target shoot. As far as I am concerned, the only valid use for a gun in civilian life is to hunt, and then only if you are hunting for food. (I loathe sport hunting.)

    As for the teen activists: support them. Cheer them. Why not?

  92. 92
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Until we do something about the tiny slice of the population that loves their deadly toys more than their own children, we’re going to have incidents like Parkland.

    The ammosexuals need to go cold turkey.

  93. 93
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: It would be rewarding to read the names of the russian trolls – I could compare them with my pie list.

    Guessing you read the indictment? I am feeling kind of sick to my stomach as I read this.

    46. In or around the latter half of 2016, Defendants and their co-conspirators, through their ORGANIZATION-controlled personas, began to encourage U.S. minority groups not to vote in the 2016 U.S. presidential election or to vote for a third-party U.S. presidential candidate.

  94. 94

    @Baud: What if Mueller is a regular Balloon Juice poster?

  95. 95
    Mary G says:

    I was contacted on Facebook by a teacher from Stoneman Douglas High in Florida. She would love it if her students had letters of support when they return. Please send to:

    Diane Wolk-Rogers
    Stoneman Douglas High School
    5901 Pine Island Road
    Parkland, Florida 33076

    Thank you ❤— Jude Cazares (@judecazares1) February 18, 2018

    I googled and she is a teacher at the school. Here is one of her tweets:

    Coming soon. Origins of American Slavery Socratic Seminar. Make sure you print out the article and bring it to class. (posted at the end of Module 17)— diane rogers (@wolkrogers) January 25, 2018

    No wonder those kids are leading the way.

    ETA punctuation embedding tweets seems to erase

  96. 96
    Redshift says:

    I do think part of the reason most adults don’t speak as clearly on this issue is they’ve spent years or decades caught up in the sucker’s game of trying to find something conservatives will accept that will help. Real anti-gun efforts fail, which leads to a search for something that can pass that will help a little, which leads to not even talking about what will really work.

    It’s insidious, and guns are far from the only issue that had followed that pattern. At some point, people have to accept that conservatives are not arguing in good faith, and it’s better to demands the right thing and fail than to try to compromise with them and fail.

  97. 97
    Baud says:

    @WaterGirl: I think they may have been successful in that.

    @schrodingers_cat: Who’s been missing since Mueller was appointed?

  98. 98
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Have you ever seen Mueller and Baud together?

  99. 99
  100. 100
  101. 101
    AnotherBruce says:

    @Trentrunner: These are teenagers. No they are not teenagers, not mentally or spiritually, they have been forced to grow old. Murder does that to you.

  102. 102
    Daddio7 says:

    @Matt McIrvin: To bad Japan has so many guns available, how else could their suicide rate be twice the US? Want to save lives, house to house search for hand guns in the inner cities, oops, that’s racist. I guess disarming ten of millions of middle aged white guys to save the 300 or so killed by young men with AR-15’s is the only path left. Wouldn’t disarming the young men doing the killing be good enough or is there another reason you want the old guys disarmed?

  103. 103
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    I try to stay as far away from guns as I can. Preferably well out of range. Because there really is no unloaded gun. It doesn’t take a key, much real thought to change one from unloaded to loaded, at which point every thing and every one is a target, intentional or not.

  104. 104
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @AnotherBruce: Edward IV was only 19 when he won the Battle of Towton.

  105. 105
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ruckus:

    Because there really is no unloaded gun. It doesn’t take a key, much real thought to change one from unloaded to loaded, at which point every thing and every one is a target, intentional or not.

    Hence the undercurrent of fear.

  106. 106
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Redshift:

    It’s insidious, and guns are far from the only issue that had followed that pattern. At some point, people have to accept that conservatives are not arguing in good faith, and it’s better to demands the right thing and fail than to try to compromise with them and fail.

    I think that’s the thinking that needs to get adjusted, most. But it’s difficult. I think “defensive crouch” has become the liberal default position on some issues for so long that it’s hard to imagine a different approach. Look at the recent internecine warfare among liberals – hell, among the commentariat here on BJ – about the DACA non-deal.

    @Daddio7: Go home, Daddio, you’re drunk.

  107. 107
    Jerry says:

    Anyone happen to know the make and model of the gun safe that the killer used?

  108. 108
    efgoldman says:

    @Lizzy L:

    I’ve never used a handgun. When I was young, a long time ago, I spent some time learning how to shoot a rifle.

    I shot a ..22 rifle at the Army range in Aberdeen, MD, when I was 11 and 12. In basic raining and annually in the reserves I shot an M-14.I couldn’t hit the proverbial side of a proverbial barn. I seldom even put holes in the paper target.
    If I had ever had to use a firearm for real, I’d have been a danger to everything except the intended target.
    To quote one of my favorite movie lines: “A man has to know his limitations.”

  109. 109
    Jay S says:

    @TS:

    When the next burglary happens – the burglar/s will allow time for the family to find the key, unlock the safe, load the guns

    Assuming the reporters are accurate this was not a robbery, but a burglary, that is theft with no one present or at least threatened. So presumably the safe was to prevent the future theft of guns, which is a worthwhile thing, but insufficient.

  110. 110
    Baud says:

    I did skeet shooting once. I was pretty good for my one and only time out.

  111. 111
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Have you ever seen Mueller and Baud together?

    @Baud:
    Any comment?

  112. 112
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @TS: Oh fuck off.

  113. 113
    Baud says:

    @Amir Khalid: Schrodinger’s Cat has not seen Mueller and me together.

  114. 114
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Baud: Nor have I. That is all I am saying.

  115. 115
    Psych1 says:

    Repeat from an earlier thread. – What about the resident BJ gun-nuts? I count at least 3 of them here on this thread pretending to be sane. They are not and they are accepted here.

  116. 116
    Redshift says:

    @Miss Bianca: Yeah, it’s tough, especially because it can be hard to distinguish between a defensive crouch and incremental progress. I think the important difference is to be clear on what you really want, even if you’re willing to accept less to make some progress. A key element of a defensive crouch is not mentioning what you really want for fear of stirring up opposition to even a compromise measure.

    I guess, then, it could be seen as a hopeful sign that Trump and some of the wingnuts feel compelled to lie about what they really want on immigration (though they still put it in their proposals.) A little defensive crouching on the other side for once.

  117. 117
    Aimai says:

    @Matt McIrvin: stupid bothsiderism is stupid. Anti gun activists have been pointing out FOR YEARS that the suicide, accident, domestic violence, and child deaths rates are astronomical .

  118. 118
    jl says:

    As a good BJ reader and commenter I emulate Cole in All Things. Therefore, I am a grouch. I do not normally approve of these damn kids getting all uppity and trying to solve grown-up problems. So, not a ‘gosh golly gee, wisdom from the mouths of babes’ type of person.

    But, OTOH, the arguments against any attempts at gun control at all, the arguments for recent asinine expansion of gun access to people on terrorist watch list, people with serious mental and emotional illness, for any kind of gun anywhere and anytime, are so dumb, I figure anyone who could get through sixth grade should be able to handle them. So, proceed, HS kids who survived a mass shooting, and are pissed about the endless bullshit.

    I recommend the Onion article about the mass puzzlement of US citizens of the only advanced high income economy who that has not reduced gun violence, over why absolutely nothing can be done about it.

    ‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens
    https://www.theonion.com/no-way-to-prevent-this-says-only-nation-where-this-r-1823016659

    Edit: thing is, most HS kids are more intimately familiar with the ins-and-outs of dumb arguments for doing stupid things. They study them closely, go into combat with their parents over them. So, they might be better equipped to call BS than most of us. Adults in their daily lives don’t have to deal with arguments on the dumbshit level of NRA and GOP gun apologetic. But if you are just learning to drive, have a hormone rush to do dangerous stunts, or want to sneak booze underage, you have to study dumb arguments closely in order to gain the opportunity.

  119. 119

    @Omnes Omnibus: So Baud is undercover Mueller?

  120. 120
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @efgoldman:

    I couldn’t hit the proverbial side of a proverbial barn. I seldom even put holes in the paper target.

    Shotguns were invented for people like you

  121. 121
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @jl:

    As a good BJ reader and commenter I emulate Cole in All Things.

    Dear god, why?

  122. 122
  123. 123
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I did not say anything of the kind.

  124. 124
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Redshift:

    A little defensive crouching on the other side for once.

    Heh. From your mouth to God’s ears.

  125. 125
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Call in artillery.

  126. 126
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    Hence the well founded undercurrent of fear.
    Embellished it for you.

  127. 127
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    but what if the barn is far away?

    Then it’s not a threat and doesn’t need to be shot!

  128. 128
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: It is to be hoped that “all things” don’t include the signature disasters attendant upon misplaced mustard, Subarus in fields, and naked mopping.

  129. 129

    @Omnes Omnibus: Its not a certainty but a possibility. On the intertoobz anything is possible.

  130. 130
    Redshift says:

    I did skeet shooting once and wasn’t terrible (at least compared to the other geeky types who were trying it out, who were mostly terrible.) I did some target shooting once at a friend’s vacation cabin. Both were fun, but not enough fun to make an effort to do again. For trying out my marksmanship skills, laser tag was a lot more fun.

  131. 131
    Brachiator says:

    @Daddio7:

    I guess disarming ten of millions of middle aged white guys to save the 300 or so killed by young men with AR-15’s is the only path left.

    Works for me. What else ya got?

  132. 132
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Miss Bianca: My very point.

  133. 133
    dww44 says:

    @Big Ole Hound: Well,I think the timing was convenient rather than that America’s attention was focused on the big bad terrorists from the Middle East. Allowing the ban to lapse was what the NRA/gun lobby and their fully bought and paid for GOP planned to have happen anyways.

    The obvious answer to getting something done on gun control is for Democrats to regain power in a lot more states and at the national level. And that access to power has to last for a good long while. Certainly more than the 4 years or so the last time we had control of the Congress..

  134. 134
    jl says:

    @Baud: I have not seen Baud with Mueller either, nor have I seen Baud skeet shooing. But nevertheless, I know Baud is up to something. I have never seen Baud not up to something.

  135. 135
    Ruckus says:

    @Psych1:
    Names please.

  136. 136
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Redshift: I was a fairly good shot when I practiced a lot (in the army). It is a skill; if one doesn’t practice, one gets rusty. I am very rusty.

  137. 137
    Kay says:

    This is a good piece:

    On Tuesday, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School teacher Ashley Kurth thought gun control was not the answer to preventing mass shootings. She is a lifelong Republican who said she supports the second amendment. She cast her vote for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.
    On Wednesday, Kurth hid 65 students and teachers in her classroom while a gunman massacred 17 people in her high school, including two of her friends.

    She has changed her mind.

  138. 138
    TS says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Great response to a truthful statement – keep up the friendship

  139. 139
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Kay: Good for her. I think her appeals to President DT will fall on deaf ears, and it is beyond horrible that it took witnessing a massacre to bring her to her senses on this issue, but I for one welcome our new ally!

  140. 140

    @Baud: srv has been missing since Nov 2016.

  141. 141
    Amir Khalid says:

    @jl:
    I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone shooing a skeet either. I’m told that if you try it, they just ignore you.

  142. 142
    Miss Bianca says:

    @schrodingers_cat: BWAH HA HAAA! Good one!

  143. 143
    Achrachno says:

    @Daddio7: “Wouldn’t disarming the young men doing the killing be good enough or is there another reason you want the old guys disarmed?” I could agree with that: How about no one under 65 (except police and military) should be allowed to own or possess any firearm? The 2nd amendment should be interpreted to only apply to those mature enough to handle guns responsibly. Old guys could defend themselves and those young hotheads would have to wait. I’ll bet this would greatly reduce gun violence.

  144. 144
    Kay says:

    The stricter gun laws Connecticut (passed after Sandy Hook) seem to be having an effect:

    State officials say Connecticut has experienced the fastest drop in violent crime of any state over the last four years. Gun-control advocates say the suspect in Florida, Nikolas Cruz, could not have bought the AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle believed used in the attack, or the high-capacity magazines, in Connecticut.

  145. 145
    Psych1 says:

    @Ruckus: not up t me to name them, they have outed themselves many times here. Hints tho. They always show up when guns are mentioned. They often mention their specific weapons. Thy usually devolve from the general to the esoteric minutiae comprehensible only those who read gun literature. Most were in the military, probably vietnam or Irag era. A few of them are very likely collecting stress-related disability and may in fact be dangerous. You know who they are!

  146. 146
    WaterGirl says:

    @Kay: I know, better late than never, but I’m feeling rather uncharitable toward her – why does she have to see people she knows shot and killed to change her mind? All those tiny little bodies in Newtown weren’t enough?

  147. 147
    piratedan says:

    @Kay: slowly but surely, some of these folks are starting to realize that Trump really doesn’t represent what they think he does.. in regards to whatever they think Republicans have sold them. Trump represents Trump, everyone else has to look out for themselves. Pretty much true for the rest of the GOP, they’re lookin out for them and those that enable them. If you aren’t part of the club, well sucks to be you.

  148. 148
    Kay says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    I don’t know- Trump is really vain and incredibly self-centered. I don’t think he listens to anyone outside his fans. It might bother him a lot if one of them challenged him on guns. That would make it about him and he’s the only person he cares about or even recognizes as existing.

  149. 149
    Corner Stone says:

    @piratedan: It took her facing death to question how others may feel. She’ll forget about this in a few months and vote R again in 2018/2020.

  150. 150
    Achrachno says:

    @WaterGirl: That’s just how conservatives are about everything. My dad used to say “experience is a dear teacher, but a fool will learn from no other.” Conservatives are fools.

  151. 151
    zhena gogolia says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    And his nym is . . . . Baud?

  152. 152
    Gex says:

    @Jay S: I think the quote is saying they bought the rifles after the burglary.

  153. 153
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Achrachno: The Nazi fuck who shot up the Holocaust Museum was 88.

  154. 154
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Always read the whole thread first! I always forget to do that.

  155. 155
    ruemara says:

    @PhoenixRising: My feelings exactly.

  156. 156
    Miss Bianca says:

    @WaterGirl:

    I know, better late than never, but I’m feeling rather uncharitable toward her – why does she have to see people she knows shot and killed to change her mind?

    Wait, weren’t you the one taking us to task for ridiculing those pundits the other day who emerged from their “strict nonpartisanship” stance to advocate voting “like dumb partisans” for Dems? Is “better late than never” an acceptable stance, or not?

    As for why…you know the answer why. It’s because for any issue that conservatives decide to turn into a wedge issue – gay rights, immigration, insurance, mass gun murder – no conservative can feel any empathy for the individuals affected by their ideologies until they themselves see people they care about get hurt. It’s harsh that that’s what it takes, but I’d rather see repentance than doubling-down.

  157. 157
    Jay says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Sadly, it seems to be a Republican feature, from LBGTQ rights to the ACA,

    for too many it has to happen to them or their family, to change their positions.

  158. 158
    Gex says:

    @Kay: And you know she is going to get some serious hate sent her way for this, which I’m sure will only reinforce her new understanding of why people shouldn’t have easy access to such weaponry.

  159. 159
    Calouste says:

    @WaterGirl: So… was the real Tennessee GOP aware of the @TEN_GOP account (with 100,000 followers, it seems unlikely they wouldn’t be)? And if so, why did they not take action against the imposters?

  160. 160
    MomSense says:

    This story had me in tears. Gradeschooker explains his classroom’s lockdown drill.

    boy stands in front of door

  161. 161
    Kay says:

    @WaterGirl:

    I’m the same as you. I find it hard to be nice about it. It’s a lack of imagination, I think. I’ve never been involved in a mass shooting but I can picture that- feel it, to a certain extent.

    I get mad at them for practical reasons. It will take too long for every conservative to experience every horrible conservative policy personally. We don’t have time for this. I have a friend who had horrible parents. She’s a good parent so I asked her how that was- where did she learn? She said “novels about happy families”. Imagination! Fake it ’till you make it, lady. Chop chop.

  162. 162
    Achrachno says:

    @Matt McIrvin: I don’t seek perfection, just to make things better. I presume you agree that 65 would make things better.

    I suppose we could discuss the exact age limit. Are you suggesting 90 then?

  163. 163
    Corner Stone says:

    @John Cole: And by the way, assface. I am planning on eating Luby’s later because I have leftovers and they are fucking delicious.
    But how about if I said I planned on going to the movie theater later? Or my local church later? Or volunteering at the school later? Or if I had things to finish and needed to go into my workplace later? Or going people watching at a local dance club later?
    Seems to me none of those places are any more safe/odd than a fucking restaurant where something bad happened.
    Asshole.

  164. 164
    debbie says:

    @MomSense:

    Just horrible to read. But I have to say that’s a worse strategy than throwing books at the shooter.

  165. 165
    Corner Stone says:

    @MomSense: I get so tired of people saying Congress when they should be saying “Republicans”.

  166. 166
    sukabi says:

    @WaterGirl: that sounds exactly like the kind of work Cambridge Analytical does / did… Also Facebook & Twitter…. Didn’t Facebook “embed” employees in drumpfs media campaign to “train” them how to use / interpret user data? Thought I remembered that.

  167. 167
    jl says:

    The NRA and gun nuts have pursued a decades long crusade to persuade people that the second amendment is unique in that it provides an unlimited and absolute for anyone to possess any kind of weapon any where any time any now.. And one of the strongly implied subtexts is that the second amendment gives people a constitutional right to shoot things and people and blow stuff up if they get pissed off enough, and still claim some kind of constitutional protection, since they protected themselves from tyranny with something that explodes.

    It’s nuts. I think the Supreme Court went in a very dangerous direction when they had to, by conservatives’ own strict constructionist, textualist, originalist standards, create a new right out of nothing. And to do that, had to find that the first phrase of the second amendment was meaningless throat clearing.

    No question that historically, and from their actions, and writings, the Framers would find this second amendment absolutism insane. It’s like the first amendment absolutism where you have the right to cry ‘Fire’ in a crowded theatre, or incite people to murder a specific person. It’s just nuts.

    But it is an issue that needs to be confronted. Society has to be willing to put some irresponsible and deluded guns nuts in jail for hoarding small private national guard armories. They’ll go to jail yelling about being part of some mythical universal completely unregulated militia where every person is his own law. But it will have to be done before we lose civilized society.

  168. 168
    efgoldman says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    Shotguns were invented for people like you

    The army doesn’t issue them to basic trainees. And I never had any desire to hunt waterfowl.

  169. 169
    Bailey says:

    @sukabi:

    that sounds exactly like the kind of work Cambridge Analytical does / did… Also Facebook & Twitter…. Didn’t Facebook “embed” employees in drumpfs media campaign to “train” them how to use / interpret user data? Thought I remembered that.

    To be fair, FB offered the same to the Clinton campaign and they turned it down. Stupidly.

  170. 170
    MomSense says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Agreed.
    @debbie:

    Apparently the throwing books, running around the class, shouting is part of the training and the idea behind it is that if the shooter is in that classroom, the kids are doomed. If they can distract and delay the shooter by 10 seconds, that can potentially save the lives of the kids in the next classroom.

  171. 171
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Matt McIrvin: My grandmother who was a lifelong liberal had a rather perverse admiration for him. Sort of a “See, we old people are capable of doing things” view. She was more or less his age.

  172. 172
    Corner Stone says:

    @efgoldman: Duck hunting sucks. The absolute worst conditions you can imagine – freezing cold, low cloud ceiling/fog, maybe rainy and just overall miserable – that’s the best day for duck hunting imaginable.
    However, dove/quail or pheasant hunting is usually delightful. beautiful fields, nice cool weather, sunshine on your face. If you’re lucky you get to watch a beautiful dog work on point.

  173. 173
    MomSense says:

    @MomSense:

    ALICE training and I can’t find the link to it right now. Last time I read it I almost threw my phone against the wall.

  174. 174
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @efgoldman: Ducks and geese are yummy.

  175. 175
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Achrachno: Limiting guns to old people would probably bring the homicide rate way down, I’ll admit. On the other hand, the suicides we were talking about further up are, if I recall the stats correctly, mostly middle-aged and older men.

    (And, by the way, white people kill themselves at about twice the rate of black people. I don’t think anyone really knows why; some cultural thing, I suppose.)

  176. 176
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: How do you suppose Grandma would have felt about the Killdozer Dude?

  177. 177
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Well, cops aren’t randomly shooting us for no reason.

  178. 178
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Miss Bianca: It was the fact that someone her age could still do something amazing (even if horrible) that impressed her.

  179. 179
    sukabi says:

    @Bailey: ethics, what are they?

  180. 180
    Bailey says:

    @WaterGirl:

    OT, but I am wading through Mueller’s indictment. I skimmed all the parts with the names of the conspirators, etc. But now I am on 36 and 37. Holy shit. (bolding is mine)

    If Mueller has access to all the data referenced in #37, it seems to me that would go along way toward being able to measure the influence they had over the election results.

    Also OT, but why? Everything you bolded was basic marketing metrics for online campaigns. You certainly wouldn’t be able to divine anything regarding elections results in those metrics — only able to see how many impressions your campaign is making and through a rudimentary facebook “like”, how receptive the audience is to the message.

  181. 181
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @sukabi: Bailey is a HRC was/is/will always be wrong person.

  182. 182
    Bailey says:

    @sukabi:

    ethics, what are they?

    What is unethical about Facebook providing technical help, equally to both campaigns, as to how to best use their platform? This isn’t unethical at all.

  183. 183
    Achrachno says:

    @Matt McIrvin: OK. I don’t have a proposal to solve all problems. As I said, I’m just trying to make it better. I suspect we’d not be able to sell a proposal to limit gun ownership to POC 65 & older, even as a white people protection measure, but it might be interesting to try.

  184. 184
    efgoldman says:

    @Corner Stone: @Omnes Omnibus: I am not going to go out in the woods, freeze my ass off, hide, get soaking wet to shoot at something I probably won’t hit and won’t eat anyway.
    Hell, at least marching band in New England in November you get to do a show, and duck under the stands for a hot, refreshing drink.

  185. 185
    sukabi says:

    @Bailey: also nothing wrong with taking $$$$ for a foreign influence campaign and failing to inform users that the ‘info’ they are consuming is fake and or being created by a hostile foreign power, right?….cause that’s what you’re defending.

    The ‘win at any cost’ attitude is what’s gotten us into this mess.

  186. 186
    sukabi says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: yeah, had a momentary lapse…

  187. 187
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Daddio7: I admit, letting old white guys keep their guns will probably accelerate a long-term demographic shift toward Democrats.

  188. 188
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @efgoldman: I haven’t fired a shotgun since 2003-ish. My dad wants to teach his grandson to shoot, so we have done some plinking with 22s at empty cans at out cabin for the past couple of years.

  189. 189
    Bailey says:

    @sukabi:

    also nothing wrong with taking $$$$ for a foreign influence campaign and failing to inform users that the ‘info’ they are consuming is fake and or being created by a hostile foreign power, right?….cause that’s what you’re defending.

    That is absolutely not what I’m defending. Your comment was that facebook embedded into Trump’s media campaign and that this was somehow unethical. The fact is, the exact same offer was made to both campaigns, except that only one campaign took them up on it.

    Not even Mueller is suggesting that Trump’s direct media team (which is who FB embedded with) were the ones purchasing and controlling Russian created FB ads. And that is what they would have had to have done in order for your concern be unethical.

    The ‘win at any cost’ attitude is what’s gotten us into this mess

    I have a feeling you are conflating actions that facebook has taken.

  190. 190
    Ksmiami says:

    @The Dangerman: yes there needs to be an actuarial solution run by state exchanges- it’s the only way to enforce responsible gun ownership like auto ownership- if my kid is driving my car and injures or kills someone I’m on the hook- should be the same w guns esp minors and guns

  191. 191
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Bailey: Congrats. Your faux-reasonable shtick makes you one of most annoying trolls here. Apply for a raise.

  192. 192
    sukabi says:

    @Bailey: the fact of the matter is that FB did both…and had to have been aware of the scope of the Russian ad buys, the content of the ads and the impact the ads were having ….it’s what they do…and it was exactly what they were “offering” to both campaigns….how to place content for the biggest impact, and how to adjust approach to gain momentum.

  193. 193
    debbie says:

    @MomSense:

    I am horrified. What kind of person asks a child to do that?

  194. 194
    Bailey says:

    @sukabi:

    the fact of the matter is that FB did both…and had to have been aware of the scope of the Russian ad buys, the content of the ads and the impact the ads were having ….it’s what they do…and it was exactly what they were “offering” to both campaigns….how to place content for the biggest impact, and how to adjust approach to gain momentum.

    Whether FB should have been aware of who was purchasing the Russian ads is a separate matter that is reasonable to be upset about.

    But the Russian ads were emphatically not what they were offering to assist on with the campaign embeds. The campaign embeds were for how the campaigns themselves could best use the platform to run their own ads for maximum impact. There is nothing wrong or unethical about this embed. It’s modern campaigning. It is also no different than what happens when any company purchases a new software platform, for example. The company that sells / installs the software generally has a technical embed for a period of time to work through the features.

    Unless you are suggesting that, for some reason, it is unethical for any campaign to understand how their own ads are performing, regardless of the medium they appear on? That would be a very unusual position to take.

  195. 195
    Ksmiami says:

    @Redshift: there is no compromising with evil and that is what conservatism is – evil

  196. 196
    Bailey says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Congrats. Your faux-reasonable shtick makes you one of most annoying trolls here. Apply for a raise.

    Congrats. Your willingness to completely misunderstand the simplest of concepts and find uncomplicated things “troubling” makes you one of the most witless commentators here. Dock your pay.

    P.S. – Are you even making an argument, or just engaging in your normal douchebag for no reason campaign?

  197. 197
    Ruckus says:

    @Psych1:
    We are all adults here, some of us have been adults for longer than a number have been alive. I know who most of the gun humpers are, none have posted on this post.
    You called them out, have some stones.

  198. 198
  199. 199
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Bailey: Nah, I am just wondering what caused you to resurface. Trump panic? Do ask for a raise; you are good at being a faux-reasonable concern troll. Well done you.

  200. 200
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ruckus: Was ARGB here? He is a gun troll. I am not aware of any other gun specific trolls.

  201. 201
    Ruckus says:

    @WaterGirl:
    Some people have closed minds, won’t act or believe anything they don’t see or experience on their own. I think it’s even the MO state motto, “The Show Me State” They want to believe something and no amount of second hand evidence will change their minds. But being in a situation where your death is extremely possible and there is nothing you can do about that has a way of clarifying and wiping away any self inflicted doubt.

  202. 202
    Bailey says:

    @Jay:

    Jay, this isn’t in doubt. But until there is some case that Mueller hasn’t made yet, the ruble-purchased FB ads were NOT what the campaigns themselves were placing and measuring. Both the Clinton campaign and the Trump campaign created and ran their own ads on Facebook, and it was for this reason that they were both offered embeds from FB.

  203. 203
    Bailey says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Nah, I am just wondering what caused you to resurface. Trump panic?

    No, it was you. I was starved for your intellect.

    Do ask for a raise; you are good at being a faux-reasonable concern troll. Well done you.

    But apparently I’m still starving.

  204. 204
    PIGL says:

    So in other words: “The problem is the fucking guns. The problem is the fucking guns. The problem is the fucking guns. The problem is the fucking guns…”

  205. 205
    Ruckus says:

    @Achrachno:
    If you want to stop this based on age then I’d suggest 110 as the limit. You make it to 110 and can pass the physical and written and range tests on how to properly handle weapons, we will provide you one for free. You still have to purchase the ammo and you have to have a permit from the state and city for that. It has a maximum age of 75. BTW the weapon we give you is a black powder musket. Enjoy.

  206. 206
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @PIGL: No, you moron, The problem is the fucking guns.

  207. 207
    Chet Murthy says:

    @debbie:

    What kind of person asks a child to do that?

    [Not defending it — just explaining it.] A person who has given up trying to -prevent- the harm, and is trying to -limit- the harm. If you were a trauma nurse in a war zone, you would triage the goners from those with a chance to live, right? The classroom of tykes that were just visited by the gunner? Goners. The classroom the gunner hasn’t gone into yet? Possibly rescuable. Another metaphor: ALICE is training those children to fall on the grenade. Yeah, I know: makes me sick just to think about it.

    It all operates under the enormously mistaken assumption that there is nothing to be done, to prevent that gunner from being there.

  208. 208
    Jay says:

    @Bailey:

    We’ll see. Meuller’s not done yet.

  209. 209
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jay: Bailey is a faux-reasonable concern troll.

  210. 210
    Bailey says:

    @Jay:

    We’ll see. Meuller’s not done yet.

    That’s true, but let’s not get over our skis just yet. So far there’s not any public evidence that the Trump campaign was directly controlling the Ruble-purchased ads. If they were, that would be one of the easiest things to demonstrate from Mueller’s perspective.

  211. 211
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    Was one of the specific ones I was thinking of and no, I don’t recall seeing his stupid ass here.
    I don’t get this one. Goes out of his way to call out people and then sits on his hands. What is he afraid of, being called a douchenozzle or some such?

  212. 212
  213. 213
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ruckus: Me, I have asshole tendencies, but I don’t troll. I don’t really understand the appeal. I tend to agree with DougJ’s serious posts, but i really miss why he does the troll ones. Or for that matter, why Cole does.

  214. 214
    Ruckus says:

    @PIGL:
    Now if you could get the other half the country to say that we might get somewhere. Maybe a post just saying “It’s the fucking guns.” We could all post and type, “It’s the fucking guns.” Pull a double tborgg unit. Every 50 comments someone could add “Repeat after me, It’s the fucking guns.”

    Still wouldn’t change one gun humper’s mind.

  215. 215
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @PIGL: Adjust your snark meter.

  216. 216
    Ruckus says:

    @PIGL:
    OO is trolling you. As am I. It’s not the same as being a troll, well not intended to be the same.
    I think neither of us has much to do tonight so……..

  217. 217
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    We all have our different strong points and directions we look at things from. As well different senses of humor (or none at all!) and we sometimes take things from a generally weird point. You and I have crossed paths and to this day I’m not sure why, but that’s OK we are allowed to see things differently on occasion. Or not as the case may be. Understanding isn’t the same as agreeing.

  218. 218
    PIGL says:

    Since I seem to be the only one here with a functioning memory, let me explain.

    I was quoting a one time commenter here who wrote,after Sandy Hook, “The problem is the fucking guns” for about a page and a half. What are blog lord said but more succinct.

  219. 219
    SFAW says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Bailey is a faux-reasonable concern troll.

    On the other hand, his/her extremely witty riposte to you was extremely witty. And obviously cut to the quick, you were, because the ink is running in your responses (from your tears of humiliation, of course).

  220. 220
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ruckus: There are are about eight people on this site who really get my sense of humor. Many sort if get it. I would guess that it is similar for most people.

  221. 221
    SFAW says:

    @Jay:

    We’ll see. Meuller’s not done yet.

    Doesn’t matter. I read a tweet or two from a highly-placed source that said Shitgibbon was completely vindicated, exonerated, and something-else-ated, so it must be true.

  222. 222
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @PIGL: I WAS MAKING A FUCKING JOKE. Sorry if you have no sense of humor.

  223. 223
    SFAW says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    There are are about eight people on this site who really get my sense of humor.

    You keep using that word …

  224. 224
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @SFAW: Yeah, that is correct. Or something.

  225. 225
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @SFAW: Eight?

  226. 226
    SFAW says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Eight?

    Humor, wise guy.

    Not that I really think you didn’t get it the first time.

  227. 227
    PIGL says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: “tendencies? I don’t know if I should go as far as that…

  228. 228
    SFAW says:

    @PIGL:

    I don’t know if I should go as far as that…

    Wimp.

    Omnes is proud of his asshole tendencies, as is a certain Jets/Mets fan (of his own, not Omnes’s).

  229. 229
    PIGL says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: “tendencies? I don’t know if I should go as far as that…@Omnes Omnibus: normally when I making a joke to somebody I don’t know I don’t start with “moron” or “fuckwit” or “asshole” or “shitheel” or “dickweasell”. Or scallawag. Or “drunken reprobate”.

  230. 230
    Corner Stone says:

    @efgoldman:

    and duck under the stands

    Did you just say…duck?
    Shuck-shuck…

  231. 231
    SFAW says:

    @PIGL:

    normally when I making a joke to somebody I don’t know I don’t start with “moron” or “fuckwit” or “asshole” or “shitheel” or “dickweasell”. Or scallawag. Or “drunken reprobate”.

    JFC, get a GRIP! This is Balloon Juice, not some tea-and-scones group.

  232. 232
    Achrachno says:

    @Ruckus: ” BTW the weapon we give you is a black powder musket. Enjoy.”

    I don’t want one, but if we’re going to be strict constructionists, muskets would be the only thing covered by the 2nd amend.

    Most of my earlier arguments were an attempt to get people thinking about how much slop there is in potential interpretations of the 2nd. Everyone agrees that it’s OK to keep them out of the hands of minors. Why not 19-25 year olds with their not fully developed brains? The seriously mentally ill? People who don’t really need them but are a threat to others? Lots of people lose their right to own guns because of past criminal activity. Everyone could have the right to own a firearm, as the humpers would have it — but that right could unavailable for exercise until 65. Why not? Let’s open the door to discussion. Older people need them for self defense more than younger, but are not as prone to aggressive action. The place would be safer if no one under 65 owned a gun.

  233. 233
    PIGL says:

    @SFAW: I prefer The Gun Room, myself. Pistols for two and coffee for one.

  234. 234
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @PIGL: I am sorry that I caused you to fall on your fainting couch. You aren’t new here.

  235. 235
    Jay says:

    @SFAW:

    Yup, seen lot’s of commentariate to that regard from people who couldn’t explainer “In this Indictment”, “unwitting” and a week or so ago, couldn’t use “collusion” in a sentence properly.

  236. 236
    SFAW says:

    @Jay:

    couldn’t use “collusion” in a sentence properly.

    My car got totaled a while back. The collusion was the other driver’s fault.

  237. 237
    Ruckus says:

    @Achrachno:
    I was trying to use humor to lighten the mood around here, just a bit. An age might be an appropriate way to go but no one is going to use 65 any more than 110 as the lower limit. Our culture just isn’t built that way. And there is history of people 17 using guns, they can join the military and go to war. Sending them to war and then telling them they have to wait till they are 65 to own a gun? Yeah I don’t see that happening. OTOH most of the people I know who have been to war don’t want to ever see another gun myself included. That’s not universal thou, I know vets who think that more guns, more guns is the answer to everything. There are a number of vets on this blog and if I recall correctly most of them have no use for guns.
    I think that as some say guns are here to stay. But no one needs an AR-15 or anything like it. Cops don’t need them, they are weapons of war and I’m pretty sure that the cops aren’t supposed to be at war with us. Not saying that they all agree with that but that’s another issue. So what I think we have to do is decide does everyone need weapons of war in their house? And to answer that, no, no we do not. So let’s ban weapons of war from our personal arsenals, maybe put some sort of limit on the size of that arsenal, demand maybe that guns have interlocks so that only the owner can fire them. IOW let’s get some control over the situation and see how that goes.

  238. 238
    AnneWith says:

    As Julius Goat pointed out on Twitter,

    Gun owners. If you insist on framing the debate as a choice between confiscation or nothing, eventually people will choose confiscation.

    Source

  239. 239
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @AnneWith: The main problem with the 1990s assault weapon ban was that it didn’t grab any guns. Any weapon manufactured before the ban went into effect was still completely legal. One of the guns used in the Columbine shooting was in that category (another one was a semiautomatic carbine specifically designed to get around the terms of the ban).

  240. 240
    WaterGirl says:

    @MomSense: sobbing after reading that.

  241. 241
    WaterGirl says:

    @sukabi: I think I might throw up. The “impartial” media embeds actively helped the Trump campaign. (from your link)

Comments are closed.