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Thirteen year old black kid gunned down while taking out trash by white neighbor

Unbelievable that this is happening again, in the wake of Trayvon Martin’s shooting. You’d think it would have been an object lesson in “children are not a clear and present danger”! And yet, somehow, I expect the white supremacists to dig through this thirteen year old’s history to find something with which to convince everyone he’s some sort of thug.

A 75-year-old Milwaukee man charged in the fatal shooting of a 13-year-old boy who lived next door had been a repeated target of break-ins, according to neighbors.
[...]
According to the complaint, Spooner approached Simmons as the boy retrieved a garbage cart from in front of a house Thursday morning. The boy’s mother, Patricia Larry, who saw the shooting, said Spooner told her son he “wanted his stuff back and that he wanted his shotguns back,” the complaint said.

Simmons and his mother told Spooner they did not have his property. Spooner then pulled a gun, pointed it at Simmons and fired one shot from about five feet away, the complaint said.

Spooner fired a second shot at Simmons as the boy was running away, according to the complaint. An autopsy found the boy suffered a gunshot wound to his chest, and the bullet damaged the ventricles of his heart before exiting his back. Police recovered a weapon as well as two spent casings.

That’s cowboy justice for you. Accuse someone of something, when they say “I didn’t do it”, shoot them. Twice. I bet if he kept that strategy up, if he wasn’t arrested, eventually he would have murdered the real thief. You know, he might have had to gun down half the town to do it, but his justice would be served.

This is a damn good reason for gun control, because think of the kids. No, no, not the kids who might accidentally shoot themselves with the guns — the black kids that’ll be murdered for being black and being convenient to a person with a gun and a grudge. And by gun control I mean “don’t give guns to racist assholes who don’t value human life”.

Comments

  1. fastlane says

    Holy shit…just…fuck. I got nothing.

    I despair for the human race. I guess the only good I see is that the worst of the racist fuckwits are older, and will be dying off soon.

  2. Pteryxx says

    “Somebody broke into my house” + “There’s a black kid” = “It must have been him!”

    ARGH – it’s the racism version of the drunk looking for their car keys under the streetlight, except with killing children.

  3. carlie says

    This…I just… fuck, but I hate people. I hate people who would do this, I hate people who make the kind of society that thinks that brandishing a gun at people is ok, I hate the people who make the kind of society that teaches people to fear one another to the point of needing weapons, I hate the kind of people who make a society that values stuff over humans, I hate the kind of people who will look at this and shrug and see no need to change anything about society at all because it’s “just an isolated incident”. Fuck them all.

  4. carlie says

    And fuck the journalist who decided to end the story with this:

    “He seemed burdened, truly burdened,” Donovan said. Spooner also said something about “there are other ways to deal with situations” the police couldn’t resolve, Donovan added.

    to foster sympathy for the murderer rather than focusing on the fact that a child was murdered in cold blood.

  5. Pteryxx says

    Right, they couldn’t be bothered to, say, mention how the dead child’s mother feels, who saw the whole thing. I guess clutching her kid’s body and screaming wasn’t “truly burdened” enough.

    *spits*

  6. Skip White says

    So, somebody steals a few of this guy’s guns while he’s out walking his dog. Apparently he has problems with the police getting his guns back. Therefore, his solution is to shoot the black kid across the street while taking out the garbage? Obviously, he didn’t have the shotguns for home protection, since he had at least one other gun. I’m betting he left his door unlocked while walking his dog, thinking nobody would go in his house while he just went around the block. If that’s the case, it’s partly his own damn fault his guns went missing in the first place.

  7. catwhisperer says

    Not to mention the last-but-one sentence:

    “Donovan said the man told him he had lost $3,000 worth of shotguns in a burglary this week, was frustrated with police and was dying of lung cancer.”

    Because somehow, when you’re dying of lung cancer, you really need your arsenal of shotguns more than ever.

  8. thisisaturingtest says

    his justice would be served.

    And there you go. To folks like this, the only meaning of “justice” is what serves them, and the rest of the world be damned. And then give ‘em a gun…

  9. carlie says

    I’m sorry I’m being so defeatist. But I’ve got kids exactly that age who take the trash out, and it punches me in the gut to think of this happening to them, and then it punches me again to realize that no, it won’t, because they have the “right” skin tone, and then it hits me again to remember the conversation last weekend where my mom told me about a family baby shower where a great aunt once removed or something was trash-talking her own daughter for dating a black man, and dammit I feel helpless against it all and I know that I only feel shadowy self-induced white burden guilt helplessness compared to the women who actually have to fear for their kids’ lives no matter what they do. I’m just left huddling in a ball in the corner.

  10. says

    Skip White @8: I kinda have to take issue with that — sure, leaving lots of expensive and dangerous weapons unprotected was unwise, but you can’t victim-blame this guy. Even if he parlayed his own victimhood into destroying this neighbor’s family.

  11. Glodson says

    “‘I looked out the door and saw the mother kneeling over boy at the curb, screaming ‘my son!’ and the old guy was standing right over there by the stop sign with his dog, just waiting.’”

    That right there, broke my fucking heart. I can’t even get properly angry. This asshole responded to the robbery of some fucking things by ripping away a child from his mother. Nothing is worth that. Not a goddamn thing.

    It just… fuck, the image of a mother screaming in pain over her dead son says it all, murdered just for being a suspect.

  12. thisisaturingtest says

    Carlie: Get up, girl. You aren’t helpless, and you haven’t been beaten. You have kids, yes? You’re raising them to know that this sort of thing is as wrong as wrong gets, yes? Then that’s at least two victories you’ve won, and two defeats you’ve inflicted on the side that won’t be able to claim your kids as theirs in the future. Even your huddling in a corner is a sort of victory for you- you know where your heart is, and when it hurts, that’s a win for you.
    Sorry if all this sounds like Vince Lombardi shouting “you ain’t beat ’til you quit!” I don’t mean to sound like a cheerleader- but there’s a certain amount of truth in some cliches.

  13. carlie says

    and the old guy was standing right over there by the stop sign with his dog, just waiting

    And I can’t decide whether it’s good that at least he got caught, when it was because he was so sure of himself that he didn’t even bother to feel any shame and try to run off or say it wasn’t him. Nope, just stood there, looking proudly on his handiwork.

    No single thing is worth someone’s life. Nothing. Especially not fucking guns, but nothing.

  14. Rory says

    It’s the senselessness of this that kills me. The idiot can’t claim the kid was threatening him. It’s not like he was shooting at someone on his property, or someone who he had reason to think was in the process of robbing him. No, he just happened to be pissed off, he had a gun, he saw a kid who he felt comfortable blaming for his problem, and so he shot him. Even in crazy redneck idiot world, how does that make sense?

    Throw this asshole in prison, and don’t let him wriggle out of it on the grounds that he has a serious health problem.

  15. Pteryxx says

    (rage warning)

    There’s a reason that compassion for the black victim’s family is conspiciously absent in articles like this one. Black communities live in fear of losing their sons to gunfire combined with the assumption that they deserved it. This happens ALL THE TIME and they know it and can’t do anything about it, no matter how polite or well-dressed they teach their kids to be. It’s likely that the mother’s worst nightmare just came true; but the article won’t mention that in case it becomes controversial or hurts white folks’ feelings. The killer, HE deserves all the sympathy for being scared of the scary black kid; for being victimized by his own bigotry.

    Mano Singham just linked to this Rolling Stone piece, but this is the sort of reaction:

    … One officer asked J.G. to identify the apartment in which he lived. J.G. responded, telling the officer his family’s apartment number. The officers then rang the bell to Ms. Ligon’s apartment. Over the intercom, Ms. Ligon heard a man say that he was a police officer, and he needed her to come down to identify her son.

    Terrified that J.G. was injured or dead, Ms. Ligon ran out of the apartment to find out what had happened to J.G. As she approached the lobby she saw J.G. standing just outside the vestibule near the mailboxes, surrounded by four officers. She collapsed and began weeping. One officer began laughing, asked Ms. Ligon if J.G. was her son, and handed her the ketchup.

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/mike-bloombergs-new-york-cops-in-your-hallways-20120403

  16. says

    @Pteryxx :

    Yes, there’s the brutal reality of it. A shooting like this happens every week somewhere in the United States. There is huge racial bias in the armament mentality in this country, and it’s been there from the founding. One of the factors backing the racism is the heavily slanted arrest rates, where in some areas a black teenager is more likely to be arrested for a petty non-violent crime than a white adult would be for a violent one. The media does its very best to play up these racist arrest patterns in order to propagandize the fear into the population thoroughly.

    In fewer words, the whole system is corrupt.

  17. carlie says

    Sorry if all this sounds like Vince Lombardi shouting “you ain’t beat ’til you quit!”

    No, I need the kick in the butt. Thanks. :)

  18. jaranath says

    Thing is, let’s GO the full Fox News, WND batshit crazy on this one. Hell, it’s at least POSSIBLE that this kid did in fact take the guy’s stuff. It’s often someone young living nearby, right? Let’s even say the guy really did know the kid did it but couldn’t provide evidence for whatever reason, or that he had but the cops ignored him.

    SO WHAT.

    All the Scary Brown People gibbering BS in the world won’t do a damn thing to excuse this. And part of wha makes me share Carlie’s despair is that all that gibbering will indeed happen, because way, way too many of us think that it would in fact make the shooting less awful, or even righteous. Some of them are people I love, dammit.

    All I know is that some of them also see me not sharing their reactions and question their own from time to time. Be who you are and raise your kids best as you can, Carlie. Influence your and their local environment enough to weight the dice in favor of non-lunacy. I think that’s a critical and necessary job right there, and I take it seriously. Especially when I feel helpless reading about crap like this.

  19. Roweenie says

    What is also making me angry is that in looking this story up online, at least half of the headlines are saying that Spooner “allegedly” shot the boy. What the hell is that? Pacing back and forth while holding your gun until the police get there, having witnesses who saw the shooting is not “alleged” in any way. At least most of the articles I found did not have any comments, either.

  20. says

    Just remember, everybody, guns don’t kill people. People kill people. And Darius Simmons would undoubtedly be just as dead if his 75-year-old assailant had had a…I don’t know, a sword? A crossbow? His bare, 75-year-old hands?

    Certainly making killing as quick and easy as pointing and clicking had no effect on whether or not Spooner would have killed Simmons in this instance. None whatsoever.

    /sarcasm

  21. Miwanpela says

    Here in Australia we have mandatory 12-month testing for elderly drivers to re-evaluate their driving skills. Does the US have a similar regulating process for elderly citizens with a Gun License?

  22. carlie says

    I just told my kids about it, and they were horrified. And the 14 year old immediately said “that’s even worse than Trayvon Martin”. So at least they have that awareness, and that’s good for my small corner.

  23. cortex says

    The whole thing is just so horrible, but what just pours salt in the whole thing is that there’s nothing that can even resemble justice in this case. What, so the guy goes to jail? How many years does he have left anyway with his 75 years and advanced lung cancer? Even if he dies tomorrow, he’s already gotten a full life and lost basically nothing from this encounter other than his reputation, which he clearly didn’t value anymore anyway.

    It’s OK that there’s no Heaven, but sometimes I really, really wish there was a Hell.

  24. says

    my grammar/style-OCD tells me that it should be “Thirteen year old black kid gunned down by white neighbor while taking out trash”; or, less ambiguously, “While taking out trash, thirteen year old black kid gunned down by white neighbor”

    [/irrelevant compulsion]

  25. Aliasalpha says

    ShotgunS? Plural? So he’s had multiple shotguns stolen yet still has enough guns to commit cold blooded (but of course entirely justified thanks to feeling immediately imperiled because the *ahem* ‘assailant’ had a skin tone of a slightly different hue) murder…

    You know I’m sort of that ‘collecting way more than I need’ type of guy with computers but I can say that they’ve never killed anyone (well okay, I don’t know for sure that some of the parts weren’t assembled at foxconn, at most that makes me an accessory after the fact)

  26. carlie says

    but what just pours salt in the whole thing is that there’s nothing that can even resemble justice in this case.

    Exactly. And he’ll get all kinds of sympathy for being old and sick. It sucks.

  27. ibelieveindog says

    Miwanpela,

    In the US, gun laws vary by state. In Wisconsin, no license or permit is required to purchase or own a gun, though a permit is necessary for concealed carry. The only other restriction is a mandatory 48 hour waiting period at purchase.

    I’m going off to wipe my eyes and possibly throw up.

  28. Rob says

    I dunno Jason. Where I come from if you leave weapons accessible (i.e. not locked in a gun cabinet, with bolts, magazines and ammo locked away somewhere else) you are a criminal, not an unwise victim. You were advocating gun control…

    There is no equivalency to be had here.

    Jason said:

    Skip White @8: I kinda have to take issue with that — sure, leaving lots of expensive and dangerous weapons unprotected was unwise, but you can’t victim-blame this guy. Even if he parlayed his own victimhood into destroying this neighbor’s family.

  29. says

    Rob: my problem with it is it would be exactly like telling someone whose car just got stolen that they were partly responsible for it if the door was unlocked, or a woman who was assaulted in a dark alley was responsible for being there.

    Yes, there’s a criminal negligence aspect in the scenario he presented, absolutely, because they’re WEAPONS. But he wouldn’t be complicit. He would be criminally negligent. And there’s a difference.

    Beyond that, we don’t know any of the details about the theft. It’s rank speculation on Skip White’s part.

  30. says

    Sorry if someone’s already asked this, but…

    Does it actually say in the article that the kid was black? I read it twice, but didn’t see any mention of race (even did a CTRL+F for “black” and “african”).

  31. this says

    damn good reason for gun control, because think of the kids.
    You intolerant liberals! Why would we want the kid dead when he would buy thousands of dollars of Product when he grows up and enjoys a full satisfying career as a gangster?

    Best regards,
    National Rifle Marketing Association

    PS. Did anyone catch this on vid? Our A/V department says it’s valuable. The quality determines how much we’ll pay.

  32. this says

    Darius Simmons would undoubtedly be just as dead if his 75-year-old assailant had had a…I don’t know, a sword? A crossbow? His bare, 75-year-old hands?
    When kronic foot odor is outlawed, only outlaws will have…
    ——
    $3,000 worth of shotguns
    So he’s had multiple shotguns stolen yet still has enough guns to commit cold blooded
    This seems like a risky scheme to convince LE that the guns he strawmanned were actually “stolen”.
    ——-
    Here in Australia we have mandatory 12-month testing for elderly drivers to re-evaluate their driving skills. Does the US have a similar regulating process for elderly citizens with a Gun License?
    Some US states have similar increased frequency testing for elderly.
    I haven’t researched, but I’ve never read of skills test requirement for firearms purchase, though state’s laws vary. The Kill At Will states seem least likely to require anything of new purchasers.
    ——-
    I don’t know for sure that some of the parts weren’t assembled at foxconn, at most that makes me an accessory after the fact
    IANAL, but I suspect to be accessory after the fact, you’d had to have known of the crime when you bought the PCs.

  33. Pteryxx says

    Does it actually say in the article that the kid was black? I read it twice, but didn’t see any mention of race (even did a CTRL+F for “black” and “african”).

    The article didn’t specifically mention race, no. It didn’t have to, because race could be inferred by the dogwhistles (“his home had been burglarized” mentioned over and over, including the LEAD FUCKING SENTENCE) and the complete lack of consideration for the victim or the mother whose son was gunned down in front of her.

    I wish that wasn’t an accurate metric to determine a victim’s race, but it really is.

  34. Pteryxx says

    One of those Google photo links came from this article:

    http://www.blackyouthproject.com/2012/06/another-unarmed-black-youth-shot-killed-darius-simmons-was-only-13-years-old/

    Just a few short months ago Hip-Hop journalist Davey D blogged about the 29 Black people that had been killed by police or those claiming to be security since 2012, 16 after the murder of Trayvon Martin. This was before police in Oakland, CA killed 18 year old high school senior Alan Blueford under very questionable circumstances. This morning I just got word from the Executive Director of the League of Young Voters, Biko Baker, that another Black youth was shot down, he was only 13 years old.

    After police arrived, Darius’s body remained on the sidewalk, while police questioned his mother, Patricia Larry, in a squad car for approximately two hours.

    During the police investigation of the shooting, they searched Ms. Larry’s home again. Finding nothing, they then proceeded to arrest his older brother for having truancy tickets.

  35. A nym too says

    Pteryxx – it’s ol though, they don’t have feelings and stuff, not like white people.

    My heart is breaking for Darius’ mum,and his brother, and for black mothers all over that messed-up country.

    I’ll never, ever understand gun culture. I don’twant to be able to understand the view that POC are subhuman.

  36. Sids says

    I’m probably just missing something, but from that alone there doesn’t seem to be any reason to assume he killed him because he was black. Indeed, the news article linked doesn’t mention race at all (which I think is the way it should be). It could have just been a distrust of kids in general or the colour of his hair, or any other factor. By statistics alone 1 in 40 people murdered in Canada would be expected to be black (I have no idea what the actual figures are).

    That said, race probably was a factor, and the way the story is reported and the amount of exposure will almost certainly be affected by race. As will the resulting prison sentence, or lack thereof.

    But one shouldn’t disregard the possibility that the old guy is just indiscriminately psychotic, and the theft of his shotguns was a noble deed performed by someone that wanted to protect the community.

  37. carlie says

    Psst, Sids – being a skeptic doesn’t mean tossing out all social and cultural influences of the last 300 years and pretending people exist in a vacuum.

    After police arrived, Darius’s body remained on the sidewalk, while police questioned his mother, Patricia Larry, in a squad car for approximately two hours.

    And I thought it couldn’t get any worse.

  38. says

    $3000 worth of shotguns?!?!?!

    It seems to be a rule of thumb that past 1-2 guns maximum, the more guns someone owns the more likely they are to be the sort of person who shouldn’t be allowed to own any guns. But we’re not allowed to profile THOSE people at all, are we? They probably don’t let that murdering bastard drive a car either.

  39. sosw says

    It’s not like he was shooting at someone on his property, or someone who he had reason to think was in the process of robbing him.

    Neither of which would have been justified, either. Even if it is legal in some backward places, using lethal force to protect property is not, in my opinion, remotely reasonable. Unless the person is in the process of physically attacking you (or someone else), you don’t get to shoot them merely for breaking into your house.

    Of course, such a situation would be an extenuating circumstance compared to the topic of this article, which is clearly outright murder.

  40. left0ver1under says

    The news items don’t say the time other than morning, but judging by how many people were awake and heard it, and that it’s June, this almost certainly happened during daylight. Spooner saw Simmons in a fully lit area and knew the boy was no threat, lacking both weaponry and size.

    There are absolutely no excuses for Spooner’s actions, but you can be damned sure some scumbag will try to make some. Filth like Limbaugh will inevitably try to make Spooner a cause célèbre and try to portray him as the “victim” (e.g. “Why was that black boy in a white neighborhood at that hour if not to steal something?”).

  41. Grytpype says

    “Hang on a sec,

    This kid gets shot in the chest from 5 feet away and manages to run off?”

    And? Getting shot does not mean that you stop what you’re doing and drop right there. The medical literature is full of cases of people continuing to function after receiving fatal injuries.

  42. Sids says

    Carlie – As I’d said, the way he crime is treated is very likely to be affected by race, but there is no real sign that the crime itself was motivated by it. I just don’t think it’s a good idea to focus on race to the extent that it becomes the center of everything. Some people give little consideration to race when dealing with others.

    Actually, something I found interesting in Steve’s statistics was that whites are about 20-40 times more likely to kill other whites than to kill a black (To use the notation of the statistics). Which is about 5 times higher than would be expected even without discrimination. While this is probably because they tend to associate more with their own race, it certainly doesn’t imply that a lot of white people are attacking black people in hate crimes (it also doesn’t prove that they aren’t), which you seem to be suggesting.

    Maybe I’m naive, maybe the data is no good. I just don’t think it’s wise to assume every time an interracial murder happens, that the race is a major part of it (it certainly is sometimes, but not always).

  43. says

    Sids: that isn’t the entirety of the racism though. It’s that the black family whose thirteen year old kid was just gunned down was treated like criminals, while the man who gunned the kid down is treated like he’s “got a burden”.

    That’s pretty fucked up. And by all accounts, not uncommon for that area. This is a very racially charged locale we’re talking about here.

  44. Sids says

    In terms of how they were treated by the press (and others), I absolutely agree. If the victim was white, it would have be done very differently. My gripe was only with implications that race was the cause of the crime itself. It may have been (quite likely), but there was nothing I could see to support that assertion.

    Besides that, I’m right with you.

  45. says

    Simmons was shot once in the chest with his hands raised. He ran to escape and collapsed at the corner, while Spooner attempted to shoot him in the back, and tried to fire a third shot.

    That is not a fucking burdened person. this is someone who went after the kid like a fucking movie slasher.

  46. Big City Cop says

    Gun laws basically only restrict law-abiding citizens (good guys). Criminals (bad guys) don’t care about the law, they will get guns one way or another. And if they can’t find a gun, they’ll figure out another way to harm others. A steak knife used in an assault will do far greater damage to a person than a handgun, but that doesn’t mean we should pass any legislation to limit the use of steak knives.

  47. says

    Gun laws basically only restrict law-abiding citizens (good guys).

    Which is why, for instance, Poland’s high level of street crime translates into a high level of violence.

    Oh wait.

    Criminals (bad guys) don’t care about the law, they will get guns one way or another.

    Only if the guns are actually there to be obtained. If it’s just not realistically possible to get guns, guns will mostly be in the hands of organized crime and the military. This kinda shit, like with Trayvon? Wouldn’t happen with sane gun control laws. For that to be meaningful in the USA though, it’d have to be federally enacted. STate borders are too porous.

    A steak knife used in an assault will do far greater damage to a person than a handgun, but that doesn’t mean we should pass any legislation to limit the use of steak knives.

    Which is why militaries make a habit of relying on knives, and backburnering guns.

    …oh wait.

  48. Big City Cop says

    Which is why, for instance, Poland’s high level of [gun control] translates into a high level of violence.

    Oh wait.

    The Czech Republic, which borders Poland to the Southwest, and has very similar gun laws to our own here in the U.S., actually has a lower crime rate than Poland. Czech: 178 prisoners per 100k people, Poland: 210 prisoners per 100k people.

    Only if the guns are actually there to be obtained. If it’s just not realistically possible to get guns, guns will mostly be in the hands of organized crime and the military. This kinda shit, like with Trayvon? Wouldn’t happen with sane gun control laws. For that to be meaningful in the USA though, it’d have to be federally enacted. STate borders are too porous.

    I’m sorry, but guns have already been invented. They exist. There are many of them, and they’re everywhere. There is absolutely no feasible way to eradicate them completely, and that’s what you’d have to do if you’d expect evil-doers not to have them.

    Which is why militaries make a habit of relying on knives, and backburnering guns.

    …oh wait

    A group of soldiers is a different beast than a single man. 1 man with 1 gun can only fire in 1 direction at a time. So, as logic dictates, to avoid being shot you would simply avoid being in the line of fire. A man with a knife, on the other hand, can use broad slashing motions and attack in many different directions.

    “There’s no such thing as a good gun. There’s no such thing as a bad gun. A gun in the hands of a bad man is a very dangerous thing. A gun in the hands of a good person is no danger to anyone except the bad guys.”

    -Charlton Heston

  49. says

    A group of soldiers is a different beast than a single man. 1 man with 1 gun can only fire in 1 direction at a time. So, as logic dictates, to avoid being shot you would simply avoid being in the line of fire. A man with a knife, on the other hand, can use broad slashing motions and attack in many different directions.

    I know, right? I mean, that’s totally why Anders Breivik used knives in his killing spree. Right? Right?

  50. says

    Tell me, what’s the relative range of a knife as opposed to a gun, any gun? All you have to do is stay what, three feet away from the person with the knife, right? Surely if it’s that simple to avoid being shot, it’s that simple to avoid being stabbed, right? RIGHT?

  51. says

    The Czech Republic, which borders Poland to the Southwest, and has very similar gun laws to our own here in the U.S., actually has a lower crime rate than Poland. Czech: 178 prisoners per 100k people, Poland: 210 prisoners per 100k people.

    Probably, but I didn’t say a lack of gun access would lower the crime rate. What I said was that a lack of gun access would reduce violent crime rates. Poland was chosen specifically because of its high street crime rate, which contra to your assertion that criminals will get guns anyway, does not include a whole lot of violent crime, guns or otherwise.

    I mean yeah, their mafia has guns, but that doesn’t really translate into guns for the average thief.

    I’m sorry, but guns have already been invented. They exist. There are many of them, and they’re everywhere. There is absolutely no feasible way to eradicate them completely,

    They’re not everywhere, or you couldn’t point to Poland to say that guns lower the crime rate, while I couldn’t laugh in your face and point to Japan if you wanted to limit us to individuals. And you don’t have to eradicate them completely to prevent the overwhelming majority of criminals from having access to them. For fuck’s sake, does it not say something to you that the US has one of the highest rates of Manslaughter and Murder II?

    and that’s what you’d have to do if you’d expect evil-doers not to have them.

    Are you a fucking six year old? What the fuck is with all this talk of bad guys and good guys?

    A group of soldiers is a different beast than a single man. 1 man with 1 gun can only fire in 1 direction at a time. So, as logic dictates, to avoid being shot you would simply avoid being in the line of fire. A man with a knife, on the other hand, can use broad slashing motions and attack in many different directions.

    Okay, go fight a dude with a gun with a knife. This’ll be a great chance to prove that knives are more dangerous.

    “There’s no such thing as a good gun. There’s no such thing as a bad gun. A gun in the hands of a bad man is a very dangerous thing. A gun in the hands of a good person is no danger to anyone except the bad guys.”

    CHarleton Heston must think the world is comprised of White and Black hats. In the real world, generally good people do bad things all the time. They even fuck up, such as shooting family members thinking they were robbers.

  52. Acolyte of Sagan says

    carlie says:
    June 5, 2012 at 7:25 pm AST
    I just told my kids about it, and they were horrified. And the 14 year old immediately said “that’s even worse than Trayvon Martin”. So at least they have that awareness, and that’s good for my small corner.

    When my eldest daughter was about 8 (many years ago; my kids are all grown up and have kids of their own now) we lived in a small village in central England, having moved there from the ‘big city’ just a few months earlier. She was a pupil at the tiny junior school in the next village, a school with only around 100 pupils aged from 7 – 11, kids from around the very rural catchment area.
    One Thursday morning she asked if her one of her friends could come for a sleepover from school the next day, and could I ask the girl’s mum or dad if it was OK by them that afternoon when I went to pick her up. I said yes, and asked her which friend so I knew which parents to ask. She told me the girl’s name, but being such a small school she was friends with just about everybody there and the name didn’t ring any bells, so I asked her to describe the kid. She spent ages trying to describe her friend; height, hair colour, hair-style, shape of face, eyes, mouth, etc. etc., but I was still none the wiser. Eventually she said “You do know her, you helped her dad fix his car outside school at Christmas.
    In all the time she was trying to describe her, not once did she think to mention that her friend was not only black, but apart from her younger sister, was the only black child at the school.
    When I asked why she had omitted the one detail that would have pinned down who she was talking about instantly, she said that basically she had never thought of her in terms of colour, she was just another friend. She’d had friends of various ethnic backgrounds, mainly Afro-Caribbean and Asian, at the school she’d attended when we were city dwellers, and saw a person’s skin colour as unimportant as their shoe size.

    It’s no secret that nobody is born racist, just as no-one is born Christian or Muslim; they are ugly traits that have to be taught. I know that the problem of racism – and religion – is far greater in the U.S.A. than in Britain (although at the time the above took place there was a lot of racism around, we just made sure as much as possible that our own kids weren’t exposed to it), but as others have pointed out earlier on this thread it gets to be less of a problem with each new generation; we just have to try and teach the younger generations that a person’s racial or ethnic identification is not a problem before the racists teach them that it is; or, in other words, judging people by their words and actions is perfectly acceptable; judging by their race, ethnicity, colour, sexuality, gender et al is not.

  53. Big City Cop says

    composer99 says:
    I know, right? I mean, that’s totally why Anders Breivik used knives in his killing spree. Right? Right?

    We’re getting slightly off topic with the knife thing, but yes, that was another tragedy that could have been prevented. If only there were more responsible men and women carrying concealed handguns, perhaps they could eliminate these threats and save lives.

    Rutee Katreya says:
    Also, the USA has guns, and considerably more crime than Poland, if you’d like to claim that gun ownership reduces crime.

    I understand that you have good intentions, but your ideas are wrong.

    Police officers can’t be everywhere and protect everyone from situations like this, where someone snaps and does harm to others, which is why I favor civilian gun ownership and am against gun control.

  54. says

    We’re getting slightly off topic with the knife thing, but yes, that was another tragedy that could have been prevented. If only there were more responsible men and women carrying concealed handguns, perhaps they could eliminate these threats and save lives.

    Like what happened at Aurora, right? Oh wait. Because while Meriken have had several of these shooting sprees, Breivik is notable for being the only one in a long while in Norway.

    I understand that you have good intentions, but your ideas are wrong.

    Because you say so? The facts are on my side.

    Police officers can’t be everywhere and protect everyone from situations like this, where someone snaps and does harm to others, which is why I favor civilian gun ownership and am against gun control.

    Yeah, the police can’t be everywhere, which is why having considerably fewer guns available to the populace works to protect people from snapping.

  55. Big City Cop says

    Like what happened at Aurora, right? Oh wait. Because while Meriken have had several of these shooting sprees, Breivik is notable for being the only one in a long while in Norway.

    Yes. Exactly. The State of Colorado issues Concealed Carry Permits to civilians that prove themselves through background checks and shooting ability, but the City of Aurora has an ordinance against concealed carry, so I would argue that lives were lost because of gun control in that situation. Thank you for proving my point.

  56. Rodney Nelson says

    You think people shooting in a dark theater would result in anything except chaos and an increased body count? I want to know where you live so I can be sure to stay away.

  57. Big City Cop says

    You think people shooting in a dark theater would result in anything except chaos and an increased body count? I want to know where you live so I can be sure to stay away.

    I live in the real world, not fantasy land, and I hope that you do stay away because we don’t need any more ignorant fools in our gene pool. Have you ever discharged a firearm? If not, you have no frame of reference, so why voice your opinion on something which you haven’t the slightest clue about? That’s almost as bad as men telling women that they’re not allowed to control their own bodies. Oh, wait…

  58. says

    Yes. Exactly. The State of Colorado issues Concealed Carry Permits to civilians that prove themselves through background checks and shooting ability, but the City of Aurora has an ordinance against concealed carry, so I would argue that lives were lost because of gun control in that situation. Thank you for proving my point.

    It’s fucking Colorado, you dunderhead. Even if Aurora bans concealed carry, citizens still have nearly unrestricted access to owning guns. How stupid can you possibly be? Concealed Carry Permits don’t even let you go into businesses concealed in colorado, and that’s amazingly permissive as is?

    At what fucking point do gun nuts just cave and say “Okay, maybe guns aren’t great?” What fucking evidence do you need? You said “ONLY CRIMINALS WILL HAVE GUNS IF WE MAKE GUNS ILLEGAL”, I point you to a country that has tons of criminals (or at least, crime) and still doesn’t have criminals with guns. You insisted that the lack of guns permitted breivik, so I point at shootings int he USA that happened despite easy access to a gun, and now it’s fucking concealed carry? What the fuck is wrong with you? Is anything less than every single citizen being William Fucking Tell, and armed with rocket launchers, going to be proof that we need more guns to your sorry ass?

    Have you ever discharged a firearm? If not, you have no frame of reference, so why voice your opinion on something which you haven’t the slightest clue about?

    I’m sorry, is “Knives are more dangerous than guns, because the gunshot only comes in from one side but knives are slashed in a wide arc” guy going to accuse other people of not knowing what guns are like?

    That’s almost as bad as men telling women that they’re not allowed to control their own bodies. Oh, wait…

    No, actually, it’s nothing like that. Because women’s bodies are our bodies, but your gun is a fucking penis replacement you refuse to let go of. And you are an asshole for confusing your fucking penis replacement for our fucking bodies.

  59. Rodney Nelson says

    Have you ever discharged a firearm?

    Probably before you were a twinkle in your daddy’s eye I was an infantryman in Vietnam. So I’ve not only discharged a firearm, I’ve specifically and with intent shot at real people who were shooting back at me. I’ve even (and this would make you cream in your jeans) fired full-auto at people. I also have two Purple Hearts, so sometimes the people shooting back were successful.

    It’s a well-known phenomenon that most infantry either freeze in combat or fire wildly without sighting at a real target. These are trained soldiers, not some guy thinking he’s John Wayne because he took a six hour weapons safety course to get his concealed carry permit. So please excuse me if I think my real world experience trumps your masturbatory fantasies.

  60. Big City Cop says

    Well Rodney, I apologize for assuming that you didn’t know what you were talking about. I’m glad to hear that you do have a frame of reference. And yes, I’m well aware of that combat phenomenon, but it’s not much of an issue with proper training. Of course, there’s always the toothless hippy types… Just hope they never get put into that situation.

    I’ve been a cop in a major city for 15+ years, and I’ve been shot and stabbed on a few occasions. Speaking from personal experience, I’d rather be shot than stabbed. I didn’t mean to imply that knives are more dangerous than guns per se, my point was just that knives are also dangerous weapons that are readily available, and they don’t run out of bullets.

    Rutee, I hope that you seek some sort of guidance or therapy for your mental issues. It appears that you are one of the types of people who shouldn’t be allowed to own firearms, but that doesn’t mean you should take out your frustration on people of sound mind, who want nothing more than to be able to protect themselves and their loved ones.

  61. says

    I’ve been a cop in a major city for 15+ years, and I’ve been shot and stabbed on a few occasions. Speaking from personal experience, I’d rather be shot than stabbed. I didn’t mean to imply that knives are more dangerous than guns per se, my point was just that knives are also dangerous weapons that are readily available, and they don’t run out of bullets.

    Uh, no. No, you haven’t. If you had, you’d be all over the news. Your ideas on how often police officers receive these kinds of injury are way overblown. Your ideas of how well people recover from these kinds of injuries and return to active-duty policing that would put them in the line of fire again are bizarre. Of course, given the rest of what you’ve had to say, that’s not surprising.

  62. says

    I’ve been a cop in a major city for 15+ years

    Filed under shit that didn’t happen. Even cops in major cities don’t shoot enough to justify the shit you’re talking.

    I didn’t mean to imply that knives are more dangerous than guns per se, my point was just that knives are also dangerous weapons that are readily available, and they don’t run out of bullets.

    Then you suck at talking.

    Rutee, I hope that you seek some sort of guidance or therapy for your mental issues.

    You are a piece of shit. Implying I have mental issues because I’m swearing at an ignorant asshat? Is there any low you won’t stoop to?

    Because swearing doesn’t mean I’m uncontrollably angry, punching the walls. Swearing means I’ve fucking had it with your stupid ass.

    . It appears that you are one of the types of people who shouldn’t be allowed to own firearms,

    Someone who knows how fucking dangerous they are, and would, at any rate, never want to own one because she knows it’s a greater danger to her loved ones, statistically speaking, should never be allowed to own a gun, but fools who think the world is a fucking spaghetti western should.

    Fuck you. The majority of people who kill are not pacifists. Most deaths are either by people in the grip of emotion, who’d never have killed if the means weren’t immediately available… or overconfident, smug assholes like you who think they’re incapable of killing ‘good guys’ and end up accidentally shooting their kid or spouse because they think being a white hat protects them from friendly fire.

    who want nothing more than to be able to protect themselves and their loved ones.

    I repeat to your contentless ass: What evidence could possibly prove guns don’t help, to you? You’re making it abundantly clear that you’re just going to declare anything short of open carrying of rocket launchers is proof of MORE GUNS. For fuck’s sake: COLORADO, and you’re still saying the answer is “LEEEEEESSSSSS”.

    The rest of the civilized world learned better decades ago. Why are you so immune to reality, exactly?

  63. Big City Cop says

    Look, I’m not your enemy. I wouldn’t even consider myself a gun nut, I only own 1 rifle aside from the handgun issued to me. I simply don’t support passing more laws restricting firearms for law-abiding citizens. I’ve explained why, and it’s just in one ear and out the other with you. You seem to be the ones seeing things in terms of black or white. Make your arbitrary assertions and preach your gospel of peace and harmony and no more guns, but when it’s all said and done, the guns will still be here. It doesn’t bother me, and I’ve had them used against me. Why should it bother you so much?

    And the rocket launcher thing… You’re not serious, are you? You don’t really believe that firearms are some sort of gateway drug. Get a grip. Go ahead and call me more names, insult me, say I’m a liar. I don’t care about any of that, I was just trying to have an intelligent conversation. But at the rate we’re going, I don’t think it’s of any use for me to continue this discussion.

  64. says

    Look, I’m not your enemy

    Again, you’re not really a cop, but if you were you might have some idea of the futility of this statement. Cops basically are enemies to people of color, especially Latin@s in a state with a papers please law.

    . I’ve explained why, and it’s just in one ear and out the other with you

    I haven’t forgotten your reasons; they’re stupid. Every one of them has been answered with an argument, and the facts are against you. You’ve been forced into increasingly dumb positions.

    You seem to be the ones seeing things in terms of black or white

    Gun laws basically only restrict law-abiding citizens (good guys). Criminals (bad guys) don’t care about the law,

    “There’s no such thing as a good gun. There’s no such thing as a bad gun. A gun in the hands of a bad man is a very dangerous thing. A gun in the hands of a good person is no danger to anyone except the bad guys.”

    -Charlton Heston

    Sure. Keep telling yourself ‘you don’t see things in black and white’, when you keep talking like it’s a movie. Meanwhile, I’m not claiming gun control is a panacea (That’d be a hard claim to make, given states like Poland, which do have a high crime rate despite some idealists’ claims)

    And the rocket launcher thing… You’re not serious, are you?

    Are you following the conversation? I asked you what could possibly prove to you that guns don’t protect people, because at the rate you were going (For fuck’s sake, your response to Aurora was ‘LESS GUN CONTROL, CONCEALED CARRY WOULD SOLVE IT’), nothing less than open artillery would satisfy you.

    What disproves your notion that gun control doesn’t help protect a populace? Because I’ll tell you right now, if developed countries that actually had open access to firearms had fewer deaths, particularly fewer deaths by firearms (Not really counting suicide), then I’d seriously consider the merits of open access to firearms. As is, we only have the bloviating of fools like you, and the unevidenced opinions of some predominantly dead white men.

    You don’t really believe that firearms are some sort of gateway drug.

    Seeing as I didn’t say that, no, I don’t.

    I don’t care about any of that, I was just trying to have an intelligent conversation.

    Which is why you won’t even answer a basic question about your position; what would falsify your position. The sure hallmark of someone desiring an intelligent conversation.

  65. Rodney Nelson says

    The thing I took most objection to was the idiotic idea that the Aurora theater shooting would have been “improved” if people in the audience had been armed. It was easy for the shooter, everyone else was his target. It would have been difficult for someone in the audience to shoot back because all they could see was muzzle flashes. Also no one in the audience was expecting a shooting and was suddenly in a deadly force situation completely unprepared. I can easily see someone pulling out their trusty Glock and firing at random, making a bad situation worse.

  66. says

    Out of interest:

    Firearms-related homicide rate in the US: 3.7 per 100,000 in 2009 (from the CDC)

    Firearms-related homicide rate in Poland: 0.04 per 100,000 in 2009 (from gunpolicy.org, which cites UN and WHO sources)

    Some other select firearm-related rates (all from gunpolicy.org, but I’m not providing hyperlinks so as to avoid going into moderation)):
    Canada 0.5 per 100,000 in 2009
    Czech Republic 0.17 per 100,000 in 2009
    Switzerland 0.72 per 100,000 in 2009
    Japan no 2009 data, 0.0 per 100,000 in 2008 (absolute # 11 deaths) and 0.04 per 100,000 in 2007

    These may not be all quite apples-to-apples comparisons if gunpolicy defines it slightly differently from CDC, so from gunpolicy.org the US rate in 2009 is 2.98 per 100,000 (which suggests gunpolicy.org has a stricter definition than the CDC does).

  67. says

    Other firearms-related mortality (from suicide/unintentional death) and morbidity (whether from assault, self-inflicted, or unintentional) also matters, but I haven’t the time to look that up right now.

  68. says

    So to follow up on #81-82:

    All numbers are, unless otherwise specified:
    (1) from gunpolicy.org;
    (2) for 2009;
    (3) expressed in incidence rates of per 100,000 population

    Other Firearms Mortality

    Firearms-Related Suicides
    USA 5.75 from 2005
    Poland 0.14
    Canada 1.79 from 2006
    Czech Republic 1.16
    Switzerland 3.15 from 2008
    Japan recent data not on gunpolicy.org, most recent figure is 0.04 from 1999

    Firearms-Related Unintentional Mortality
    USA 0.27 from 2005
    Poland 0.03
    Canada 0.08 from 2006
    Czech Republic 0.13
    Switzerland recent data not on gunpolicy.org, most recent figure is 0.10 from 1998
    Japan recent data not on gunpolicy.org, most recent figure is 0.01 from 1999

    Firearms-Related Morbidity
    gunpolicy.org does not appear to have values for this.

    Bottom Line

    Unless I could get better results by scouring individual countries’ firearms-related mortality/morbidity statistics, it appears the US has a substantially higher firearms-related mortality, at 2-3 times the rate, than countries with comparable levels of affluence or firearms ownership.

    Let me put it this way: I don’t think the problem is too few guns.

  69. Big City Cop says

    Rutee Katreya says:
    What I said was that a lack of gun access would reduce violent crime rates. Poland was chosen specifically because of its high street crime rate, which contra to your assertion that criminals will get guns anyway, does not include a whole lot of violent crime, guns or otherwise.

    If you look at the statistics, Poland trumps us in murders. We’re not even in the top 50, Poland is 24th. It’s pretty obvious that taking away guns has an adverse effect on a population’s ability to not get murdered.


    And Rodney, I understand that movie theater situation was difficult, if not impossible to defend against, but I know that before I fire my weapon I consider where every bullet might travel. Anyone carrying a concealed handgun should do the same. We’ve seen the results of having nobody returning fire on that psycho, I just think it could have possibly been ended with less loss of life if there were a competent CHL holder present, which the City of Aurora does not allow.

  70. says

    48 murders per million vs. 9 murders in Poland, and the USA ‘wins’? What galaxy do you live in?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_the_United_States

    (Hint: Multiply by 10 to convert /100k to /1m)

    Seriously, what galaxy do you gun nut assholes live in?

    It’s pretty obvious that taking away guns has an adverse effect on a population’s ability to not get murdered.

    Actually, it doesn’t, because Poland is very poor; the poorest in the EU, bar none except maybe Greece. Notwithstanding that the numbers don’t let the USA win to begin with, and that tons of other countries trail WAAAAAY behind the USA, and have far fewer guns. Poland is primarily there to show that high crime and high gun control don’t mean the criminals have guns. But you know, Poland is also doing better in outright crime stats that matter, so hey.

    but I know that before I fire my weapon I consider where every bullet might travel.

    God almighty, spare us the bullshit. You aren’t going to have that kind of time under fire.

    I just think it could have possibly been ended with less loss of life if there were a competent CHL holder present, which the City of Aurora does not allow.

    You mean an action movie MC, because that’s just not fucking happening in the real world.

  71. says

    Here was me, thinking I had posted this earlier, but I must not have:

    Big City Cop: In addition to the homicide rate noted by Rutee (from US DoJ via Wikipedia) and the firearms-related homicide rates I note upthread, a head-to-head comparison of the US and Poland on the website you cite unequivocally fails to support your contention.

    Why the US isn’t on the table you provided, I couldn’t say (other than NationMaster has a bizarre method of putting together homicide rate tables). But however you slice the data, it’s worse than Poland both in overall homicide rate and in firearms-related homicides.

  72. Rodney Nelson says

    Big City Cop #84

    I know that before I fire my weapon I consider where every bullet might travel. Anyone carrying a concealed handgun should do the same.

    I’m reminded of a song from the musical Man From La Mancha: “To Dream the Impossible Dream.” When I was in a firefight, I wasn’t considering where every bullet might travel, I was more concerned with getting them before they got me. But that’s a difference between police and military. The police are trained to use deadly force as a last resort. In the military, certainly at the sharp end, it’s shoot early and shoot often.

    We’ve seen the results of having nobody returning fire on that psycho, I just think it could have possibly been ended with less loss of life if there were a competent CHL holder present, which the City of Aurora does not allow.

    It’s my belief there’s a whole lot more incompetent shooters around than competent ones. I think the Aurora city council has the right idea, keep guns out of the hands of people who don’t know how to use them. There’s a few people who do know how to use firearms and an even smaller group who know how to use pistols (I’m not one of them) but they’re a distinct minority.

  73. FU says

    “Thirteen year old black kid bla bla bla”

    And since then about ten thousand white people and other also Asian people and other non Negroids have been the victims of the most unbelievably savage Negro violent crimes – and nary a peep from the likes of you, and not a peep from the enemy owned mass media and the whore politicians, nor does the mulatto in chief give a shit because the victims don’t look like one of his sons might have looked like!!!

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