Newtown murders


Somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 people, mostly children, have been killed in a shooting spree at an elementary school in Connecticut. I have no idea what could motivate a man to gun down 3rd graders, but I do know it’s past time to put rational gun control laws in place.

Give it an hour, some idiot will propose arming all the 7 year olds instead.

Comments

  1. dianne says

    I have a proposal: Any person who says that this situation could have been made better by more guns be locked in a room with every other person who made the same proposal and a lot of guns.

    What? Were you waiting for something else? There is nothing else. That’s all there is to the proposal. Apparently, some people think that enough guns will solve any problems. Well, they’ll have enough guns now.

  2. says

    Oh, and the other popular message right now: have some respect for the dead, this isn’t the time to talk about gun control! You’re politicizing a tragedy!

    Fuck those people.

  3. Beatrice says

    Fuck those people.

    Agreed.

    I respect the dead by not wanting any more people to die that way.

  4. says

    Rational gun control AND a cultural shift. There are plenty of nations where firearms can be acquired legally that don’t have anywhere near the sort of firearm fatality rates the US has.

  5. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Chuck Todd: Latest from @PeteWilliamsNBC: the class the shooter targeted was the one taught by his mother.

    w
    t
    f

  6. Beatrice says

    I just wanted to write this, Rev. It seems his mother was a teacher and she’s among the dead.

  7. Esteleth has eaten ALL the gingerbread! Suck it! says

    Bryan Fisher tweeted about 10 minutes after the first reports complaining about how the school was a “gun free” zone. Said that the kids were “sitting ducks.”

    -_-

  8. tbtabby says

    If someone went and shot up an animal shelter, some gun nut would propose arming all the kittens.

  9. joed says

    This is indeed a major tragedy.
    Unfortunately, the U S military causes the violent death of many children worldwide often. Seems the deaths of “foreign” children don’t catch the attention of the U S media. Indeed a major tragedy.

  10. jaranath says

    I know some people who had a kid present at a school shooting that didn’t end up with anyone hurt. They could barely handle it then. They are beside themselves today, don’t even want to let their kids go to school Monday.

    I agree with Audley. Fuck.

  11. flapjack says

    I’m just surprised the NRA haven’t wheeled out the tired “Guns don’t kill people, people do” mantra yet – sure, and those ‘people’ do it much more efficiently and rapidly causing greater devestation with guns than with a sharpened stick.

  12. consciousness razor says

    You missed Bryan Fischer, who said the kids were sitting ducks because the school is another gun-free zone.

    Hmm… This Bryan Fischer?

    Do we have a word in English which means the opposite of totally fucking surprised?

  13. anubisprime says

    I remember an Onion article…

    Article

    I got stomped on for taking it seriously….

    Does not seem so much of a spoof after all!

  14. spence says

    I’m just stunned.

    Some “fun” gun facts from NPR:
    “The latest year for which we have data available, 2009, there were 34,500 motor vehicle deaths, and there were 31,400 firearm deaths. But what we know is that motor vehicle deaths have come down so that they have come down to 32,000. And we also know that firearm deaths may be rising.”

    “In the area of motor vehicle injuries, we have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on research: how to make safer roads, how to make safer cars, and how to make safer drivers. And as a result, since 1974, we’ve saved more than 300,000 lives.

    But in the area of firearm injury deaths, we spend almost nothing.”

    “…[A] congressman from Arkansas named Jay Dickey in 1996… was successful in cutting off all the research funding at CDC for firearm injury research.”

    “Sixty percent of the gun fatalities are suicides, and 40 percent, about, are homicides.”

    “a study that was done to look at whether having a firearm in your home actually does protect you, or whether it puts you at greater risk, showed that families and homes in which there was a gun, not only were they not protected against homicide, but the risk of gun homicide to people in those households was 2.7 times greater than the households without a gun. And the risk of suicide in those households was 4.8 times greater in the households with firearms.”

    “…in the most recent year, 2009, there were only about 550 unintentional firearm deaths. On the other hand, there were 11,500 homicides”

    “the number who are reported with non-fatal injuries from firearms through hospital emergency departments in 2009 was about 58,000 people”

    http://www.npr.org/2012/08/08/158433081/guns-101-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont

    siiigh.

  15. Josh, Exasperated SpokesGay says

    Meanwhile, CNN asks “What can be done to stop the violence?”

    I hate this part of US culture so much it makes me stabby. Our thinking is so fucking perverted and obscene that anyone could actually ask this question.

  16. Amphiox says

    I have a proposal: Any person who says that this situation could have been made better by more guns be locked in a room with every other person who made the same proposal and a lot of guns.

    Important details for this proposal:

    Will these people be locked WITH their guns in the same room, or without?

    And will the walls of the room be bullet-proof?

    Ricochets?

  17. elpayaso says

    flapjack—and we have a nice contemporaneous example from China, where there was just a school attack with a knife….a few people got injured, not 27 dead.

    this really puts this week’s decision from the federal 7th circuit, where they held that the 2d amdt protects the right to keep AND BEAR arms (Ie, tote your loaded gun with you at all times) into timely perspective.

    this country is fugging insane.

  18. throwaway says

    A Christian family member of mine posted a graphic on facebook that said:

    Dear God,
    Why do you allow so much violence in our schools.
    Signed,
    a concerned student

    Dear concerned student,
    Because I am not allowed in your schools
    GOD

    I really want to respond, but I know no good would come from it. *sigh*

  19. dianne says

    Will these people be locked WITH their guns in the same room, or without?

    And will the walls of the room be bullet-proof?

    Ricochets?

    With their guns. In fact, with every gun in the country. But they can have their own to start with.

    Yes. Bullets should not be able to get out either.

    Hopefully.

  20. dianne says

    Dear God,

    Never mind. If you’re so weak that a local legislature can keep you out, you clearly aren’t going to be very effective against a murderer with a weapon of mass destruction. And if you could have stopped it and didn’t, you’re clearly evil. Please stay away.

  21. vole says

    I am a Brit who has never visited the US because of the danger presented by all the crazy people running around with guns. I have been to numerous countries that I perceive to be safer. These include Ukraine, Venezuela and Zambia.

  22. Josh, Exasperated SpokesGay says

    Dear God,

    Why are you such a contradictory, passive-aggressive fuck?

    A Conserned studEnt

  23. broboxley OT says

    the school was a gun free zone
    the shooter is a NJ resident, it was illegal for him to transport those guns from New Jersey without special permits
    I do not know if the weapons were purchased legally
    Sick illegal act, worst part is that the police have a second suspect in custody of some kind. What was the sick object?
    All I know is that kids are dead and the shooter is beyond punishment

  24. says

    Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. People who have been steeped in a violent gun culture, nurtured and expanded by the NRA as a marketing tool to boost gun sales in a world where on average people actually need to buy guns less than ever before.

    I’m not sure what the answer is, but “more guns” is absolutely not it.

  25. Josh, Exasperated SpokesGay says

    Jesus Christ. So it begins. YES GUNS DO FUCKING KILL PEOPLE AND NO, HAVING A PATCHWORK OF STATE AND LOCAL LAWS THAT CAN’T WORK DOESN’T MEAN GUN CONTROL CAN’T WORK.

  26. bcmystery says

    Tuesday I was at the Clackamas Town Center mall when that shooting happened. When I blogged about it, I got ragestorm comments about being an “anti-gun traitor” even though I hadn’t even mentioned guns, gun laws, the Second Amendment or anything like that. My post was basically, “It was scary, I was lucky, I feel for the victims, I never want that to happen again.”

    Lesson: gun fetishists don’t even need something to rail against. They’ll imagine it and rail anyway.

    This morning, watching Twitter, it occurred to me the defenders of gun culture use all the same bullshit arguments, derailings, elisions, and silencing techniques the defenders of rape culture use. There is something seriously ugly in these people.

  27. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    I think the guy in custody is his brother.

    That’s what I’m seeing. And his mother was a teacher there and also one of the victims.

  28. Josh, Exasperated SpokesGay says

    This morning, watching Twitter, it occurred to me the defenders of gun culture use all the same bullshit arguments, derailings, elisions, and silencing techniques the defenders of rape culture use.

    Of course. It’s all interwoven. . .misogyny, military fetishization, glorification of violent “masculinity,” deep, toxic levels of entitlement bizarrely out of step with reality, imagining that not being able to grind others down is actually an oppression. . .

  29. Pteryxx says

    bcmystery, this stranger’s glad you got out of the mall okay.

    This morning, watching Twitter, it occurred to me the defenders of gun culture use all the same bullshit arguments, derailings, elisions, and silencing techniques the defenders of rape culture use. There is something seriously ugly in these people.

    There’s a lot of overlap. Gun laws in the US at least have a historical undercurrent of racism and sexism; it’s even visible in the implementation today – see how Stand Your Ground laws generally exonerate white male shooters, but don’t apply to abused women or black people acting in self-defense.

  30. eric says

    If someone went and shot up an animal shelter, some gun nut would propose arming all the kittens.

    That suggests a solution: arm the gun targets at gun rangesso that if they are missed or ‘wounded,’ they shoot back uprange. That should cut down on the number of gun owners who aren’t good shots.

  31. Agent Silversmith, Honey Powered says

    Sick to my stomach here.

    joed, with the greatest respect, go piss in your own mouth.

  32. says

    Of course. It’s all interwoven. . .misogyny, military fetishization, glorification of violent “masculinity,” deep, toxic levels of entitlement bizarrely out of step with reality, imagining that not being able to grind others down is actually an oppression. . .

    Bingo. That entitlement and privilege is a massive factor in this.

  33. Josh, Exasperated SpokesGay says

    Obama’s on TV talking about how he’s reacted “not as a President, but as anyone would. . a parent.” Fuck you. You’re not my Daddy. Be a goddamn leader, not a pseudo parent figure.

  34. Josh, Exasperated SpokesGay says

    Obama: clue—Lots of us aren’t parents and we’re capable of grieving, too. It’s also sad when non-children are murdered.

    Jeezis.

  35. dobbshead says

    I personally support rational gun control. I’d like to see serious firearm training as well as psych evaluations in addition to simple background checks. That is about as good as the US can do without nullifying the 2nd amendment. The background checks are even difficult though (see: Printz V. The United States), forcing a psych evaluation runs afoul of the 10th amendment apparently.

    That being said, I worry that the attempt at gun control is going to focus on limiting sales on the type of weapon used rather than the kind of person who did the killing. In that sense, the trite NRA saying is correct: It doesn’t matter if it’s an automatic weapon or a hunting shotgun, all modern weapons are about as lethal in a crazy person’s hands. Things like the assault weapon ban, which regulate things like the size of a weapon’s clip or how it looks, are a distraction from policies that will actually decrease the rate of these disasters.

    Or better yet: let’s spend money on social services and economic support networks so that fewer people will actually feel like doing this kind of thing.

  36. caveatimperator says

    consciousness razor, #24,

    TVTropes has the Dull Surprise.
    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DullSurprise

    Slightly more on topic, here’s one gun violence statistic I want to see; how much time murderers spent planning their attacks. Opponents of gun control claim that of we outlaw or restrict assault rifles and other military-grade weapons, the only people who will have them are the criminals. If they’re talking about professional criminals, like drug smugglers, they’re more or less right.

    However, most gun crime is probably not committed by professionals. Most spree killings are definitely not. If these spree killers had to find a black market fixer who would charge them an arm and a leg, and wouldn’t get them their gun for a week or so, would they have been as likely to commit their crimes, or would their crimes at least be less deadly?

  37. gridironmonger says

    The Henan province (China) school slashing/stabbing story was on the BBC News homepage just a bit below this story. If these gun fetishists were at all rational, it would be a good counterpoint to the old “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” canard they use.

  38. Josh, Exasperated SpokesGay says

    That is about as good as the US can do without nullifying the 2nd amendment.

    Bullshit. This is wrong and it’s important to recognize why. The notion that the 2nd amendment gives unfettered access to all citizens to any type of gun in any quantity is a blatant lie that has nothing to do with what it actually says. What part of “a well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state,” is unclear?

    Seriously. We need to change the conversation. We need to stop looking at black and calling it white just because we’ve all agreed to pretend the amendment says something it clearly does not.

  39. dianne says

    I’m not sure what the answer is, but “more guns” is absolutely not it.

    How about fewer guns? Ban individual ownership of handguns nationally or, preferably, internationally. Start regulating any factory that makes guns closely to ensure that they don’t make more than they can legally sell and see where they are selling them. Start closing or retooling factories that make guns that are clearly not for sport or hunting. Start making the laws against illegal gun ownership have some teeth, as in, get caught with an illegal gun, spend the next decade in prison kind of teeth. Make it hard to get a license for a gun. Melt down any illegal firearms confiscated. Ban the NRA and list them as a terrorist organization.

    In short, go ahead and do everything the gun nuts say they’re afraid Obama will do and which Obama lacks the intestinal and gonadal fortitude to actually do.

  40. Mattir says

    Actually, Josh, I think part of the job of being a leader *is* to admit/embrace one’s feelings as a parent/child/spouse/neighbor/whatever at the time of the tragedy. Then to get to work doing stuff, whether it’s enacting real gun control laws, increasing funding for mental health resources and systems (both preventive and treatment), and seriously beefing up job training. The disaffected, underemployed, undereducated, hopeless white guy phenomenon scares the crap out of me, and there are a LOT of them out there.

    Immediately after the event, though, yeah, be a person in a role. That’s part of the job.

  41. TonyJ says

    Oh, and the other popular message right now: have some respect for the dead, this isn’t the time to talk about gun control! You’re politicizing a tragedy!

    Fuck those people.

    With all the shootings we have, you have to wonder when is a good time?

  42. broboxley OT says

    #49 Pteryxx quite correct. In california they didnt bring up gun control until persecuted black folk showed up at the capitol bearing rifles. Ronnie Raygun got all gun control over that

  43. dianne says

    without nullifying the 2nd amendment.

    NULLIFY THE SECOND AMENDMENT! Amendments aren’t set down by god for the good of humanity. They’re not even a part of the original Constitution. Just get rid of the fucking thing. It’s, at the very best, 100 years outdated and does far more harm than good.

  44. Rey Fox says

    Tuesday I was at the Clackamas Town Center mall when that shooting happened. When I blogged about it, I got ragestorm comments about being an “anti-gun traitor” even though I hadn’t even mentioned guns, gun laws, the Second Amendment or anything like that. My post was basically, “It was scary, I was lucky, I feel for the victims, I never want that to happen again.”

    Why, it’s almost as if the people who whine about not “politicizing a tragedy” don’t consider their own views political. As if they felt…privileged to conduct themselves in such a way. One of my Facebook friends posted a polemic about the shooting today, and somebody responded by saying “Please, let’s put the soapbox away…” and then immediately proceeded to plant himself atop it.

    “Please don’t politicize” = “Please don’t challenge my (undeniably political) view on this”

  45. bobo says

    Every single week someone is getting shot in the USA

    WTF is going on?

    I wonder if this has any relation to the fact that gun sales have gone through the roof? or what?

    Mass hysteria over SATANOBMA getting re-elected?

  46. says

    Obama’s on TV talking about how he’s reacted “not as a President, but as anyone would. . a parent.” Fuck you. You’re not my Daddy. Be a goddamn leader, not a pseudo parent figure.

    I think you’re misunderstanding. He didn’t mean as a parent to the country, but as a parent to his own children.

  47. Josh, Exasperated SpokesGay says

    Sorry, Mattir. One can be empathetic without embodying every shop-worn emotional cliche and burnishing the cult of parenthood as if that makes the tragedy unique. I’m not interested in platitudes but political solutions. And I’m quite confident Americans can learn to put on their big boy and big girl pants and not collapse if our elected officials don’t pander to their sentimental view of themselves.

    This is irrelevant complaining on my part, I know. It’s very minor and I’d never bring it up as something that needed serious attention, but it does grate to have it constantly implied that parents have some special emotional capacities denied to us mere mortals. Really. Put yourself in the place of a non-parent. How would you read, “I reacted as anyone would. . as a parent.”

    If you can’t see that, check your parent privilege.

  48. TonyJ says

    A Christian family member of mine posted a graphic on facebook that said:

    Dear God,
    Why do you allow so much violence in our schools.
    Signed,
    a concerned student

    Dear concerned student,
    Because I am not allowed in your schools
    GOD

    I really want to respond, but I know no good would come from it. *sigh*

    I thought their god was omnipotent.

    That is completely disgusting. You should respond.

  49. Mattir says

    To be clear, I don’t think that only people who are parents are allowed to speak about this. It’s just that one’s first response is to think of the children one cares about, and for a lot of people (including, probably, Obama), those are their own kids.

    I agree about the damn scripture thing, though. Wouldn’t it be refreshing if biblical literature assumed its rightful place next to Gilgamesh, Homer, Dante, the Tale of Genji, the Autobiography of Frederick Douglas, and all the other canonical works of human literature?

  50. Beatrice says

    Not being American, I have absolutely no problem saying “Fuck second amendment”. Amendments can and should be amended (there’s a hint somewhere in the word amendment, I could swear), as well as interpreted according to the times.

  51. noastronomer says

    I was at work when my wife called me to cry on the phone with me. It will be another two hours for me before I can get home.

    At which point I think I will throw up.

    Mike.

  52. Moggie says

    Dear God,
    Why do you allow so much violence in our schools.
    Signed,
    a concerned student

    Dear concerned student,
    Because I am not allowed in your schools
    GOD

    It makes me seriously fucking angry that any Christian would use eighteen dead kids as an excuse to post that glurge. Do you imagine, do you really fucking imagine for one moment that those kids who were raised Christian weren’t fervently praying when they realised what was going down? And we’re supposed to believe that your precious omni-max god petulantly turned his back and let them die in pain and terror in order to make a point about a rule which they weren’t even responsible for? Seriously, if you think that, and you think that murdered kids are useful for advancing your agenda, you’re vermin to me.

  53. Rey Fox says

    Wouldn’t it be refreshing if biblical literature assumed its rightful place next to Gilgamesh, Homer, Dante, the Tale of Genji, the Autobiography of Frederick Douglas, and all the other canonical works of human literature?

    I prefer to think of it as a footnote. As in, “This is the ancient work that inspired, or is alluded to by, all of these other vastly better writings.”

  54. No Light says

    I had guests here just now, saw this on the news and had a total meltdown.

    A teacher said her five year olds were saying “I don’t want to die, I just want Christmas”.

    And still the answer will never be gun control, will it? No matter how many fucking kids, not even started in life, how many have to bleed out on a floor in the one place they’ve supposed to be safe, terrified, before America gets a fucking clue

  55. evilDoug says

    Now is exactly the right time to talk about gun control and gun-owner control. Now while tears are still hot on cheeks and the blood of murdered children is still on the floor. Now, before limited attention spans and diversionary tactics relegate the lives of those kids and their teacher to simply being one tenth of one percent of the lives snuffed out by guns this year in the US.

    “Meanwhile, CNN asks “What can be done to stop the violence?” ”
    I have one suggestion CNN. Print the following in large type, and put it up in every studio and newsroom you control: “Some fucking asshole from the NRA has something to say about this. That fucking asshole will not get a voice on this network.”
    An maybe do a piece where you explain that if coffins for all those killed by guns in the US last year were arranged end to end, it would take about three quarters of an hour to drive by them all at 6o miles per hour. Maybe calculate the weight of 31000 twenty-two caliber bullets.

  56. caveatimperator says

    Broboxley #66,
    I have to agree with you there, also partially because of the way other weapon control laws are implemented, at least in my home state of California.
    I collect knives, and when I was researching what types of knives I am allowed to carry concealed, what I am allowed to carry openly but not concealed, and what I am not allowed to carry at all, I was struck by how arbitrary the laws were compared to the gun laws of the state. You can carry a concealed handgun in Los Angeles if you have the right permit (it’s handled at the county level), but you cannot carry a butterfly, even openly. There is no such thing as a knife license in the state, even though it is a far less dangerous weapon than a gun. Brass knuckle are verboten as well.
    It seems as though weapons that are associated with gang violence are routinely outlawed, but the gun rights crowd pushes for lax laws concerning guns, but not other weapons

  57. laurentweppe says

    If someone went and shot up an animal shelter, some gun nut would propose arming all the kittens.

    Kittens are already well armed natural psychopathic killing machines…
    On second thought you’re right: giving more firepower to psychopathic killers is probably the kind of idea a gun nut would find just peachy.

  58. Josh, Exasperated SpokesGay says

    It seems as though weapons that are associated with gang violence are routinely outlawed, but the gun rights crowd pushes for lax laws concerning guns, but not other weapons

    Gee, I wonder why. I wonder what demographics might be behind that. Hmmm.

  59. says

    Folks… my use of “guns don’t kill people” was meant to show one angle from which it is an incredibly stupid thing for people to say. Clearly unsuccessfully,and I apologize for that.

    Dianne, other than the “ban handguns entirely” part, I’m with you all the way down the line. Make it exceedingly hard to get any gun at all, and make it impossible to get multiple guns and a whole line of unnecessary guns like assault rifles and sniper rifles. It has always seemed like a good rule of thumb that the more guns a person tries to buy, the more someone should be keeping an eye on them.

    And no, this isn’t the time to talk about gun control, and take serious action. Right after Columbine might have been a good time. Maybe when Reagan was shot, or when Charles Whitman took to the clock tower at UT-Austin, or when JFK was assassinated, or when Charles Starkweather went on his killing spree, or when gangsters were shooting each other up with Thompson submachine guns during Prohibition, maybe THOSE would have been good fucking times to discuss it and enact/enforce stronger laws.

  60. says

    It seems as though weapons that are associated with gang violence are routinely outlawed, but the gun rights crowd pushes for lax laws concerning guns, but not other weapons

    Of course, because it all feeds into angry-entitled-white-man syndrome. Gotta have guns on hand to protect yourself! And then sit around, waiting for an excuse to protect yourself. And then act all shocked when somebody creates an excuse for himself.

  61. bobo says

    It makes me seriously fucking angry that any Christian would use eighteen dead kids as an excuse to post that glurge. Do you imagine, do you really fucking imagine for one moment that those kids who were raised Christian weren’t fervently praying when they realised what was going down? And we’re supposed to believe that your precious omni-max god petulantly turned his back and let them die in pain and terror in order to make a point about a rule which they weren’t even responsible for? Seriously, if you think that, and you think that murdered kids are useful for advancing your agenda, you’re vermin to me.

    Revolting, isn’t it? And I bet there will be christians coming out of the woodwork saying that the suffering of these children will teach us all compassion!!!!!! These children didn’t die in vain..no, cuz we learned all abvout compassion!

  62. bobo says

    Oh, and I wonder if MRA’s are gonna start bitching that people are paying too much attention to dead chldren, while forgetting the real victims of crime.. men!

  63. caveatimperator says

    That can’t possibly be true, Josh! We’re in a post racial society, right?
    /this message has been close-captioned for the sarcasm impaired
    …sigh, it’s nearly 2013 and each day reminds me that our species still has a long way to go.

  64. dianne says

    other than the “ban handguns entirely” part

    If you can tell me one use handguns have that is worth the children killed by them, I’ll change my mind.

    Not immediately relevant to this shooting, since an automatic weapon was used. They should be banned too. Worldwide. Individual reloading shotguns only. Nothing small, concealable, or automatic. Just…stop.

  65. Esteleth has eaten ALL the gingerbread! Suck it! says

    A set of facts:
    In 1963, following the assassination of President Kennedy, there were proposals to restrict the sale and ownership of military-style rifles by private citizens.

    The National Rifle Association, already powerful and influential at that point…

    supported this wholeheartedly.

    Funny how things change, isn’t it?

    Of course, here’s what many people don’t want to admit:

    What major, societal changes occurred between 1963 and the 1980s, which is when 2nd Amendment absolutism and frothing-at-the-mouth about how bans on private citizens having AK-47s are unconstitutional appeared?

    Can you say “the Civil Rights Movement?”

    Who ARE the 2nd Amendment absolutists, after all?

    They tend to be white Christians, usually men, usually right-of-center (and not infrequently very far right), usually relatively affluent, usually who live in the suburbs or small towns. While people in rural areas care about guns, they tend to be “I want a hunting rifle so I can shoot animals” types.

    This is about race. This is about class.

    This is about “red-blooded Americans” protecting themselves from them.

  66. says

    However, most gun crime is probably not committed by professionals

    More particularly, this type of mass shooting is basically never the work of a professional criminal, and is, in the U.S., always done with weapons that were acquired legally.

  67. says

    I’m not sure what is worse. The horrific tragedy, the terrifying reactions by the religious and gun nuts, the blatant avoidance of talking about problems by the main press and politicos or the fact that literally nothing has been done to even address what could be done since the last shooting.

  68. says

    caveatimperator@ #82,

    I’m with you on that. In Virginia where I just moved from, and New Mexico where I live now, I can carry a loaded handgun openly in a holster, or an unloaded rifle or shotgun of any type on a sling, without a permit and basically anywhere other than government buildings and banks. I can carry a whole collection of fixed-blade hunting and combat style knives, and two pockets-full of knives, but not my “switchblade” because the laws were apparently written by people who watched West Side Story and think that’s what the poor street thugs prefer to carry.

    That, and there’s not a billion-dollar lobbying effort to keep switchblades legal and potentially pass them out to children. Fuck the NRA.

  69. evilDoug says

    “the attempt at gun control is going to focus on limiting sales on the type of weapon”

    So goddamnfuckingwhat? If that is where it starts and ends it isn’t enough, but it would at least be a start. It might get through to some of the assholes that they don’t get to own any fucking toy they want. How many 30 shot clips (and not one goddamned fucking word about “clip” versus “magazine”!) would be sold if they couldn’t be used for the basis of showing off and bragging?

    And a far as “training” goes, as long as training includes how to point your gun at another person, it is being done wrong. As long as the gun range uses human torso paper targets, they are doing it wrong.

  70. iiandyiiii says

    There’s just too many guns in America for banning them to have much of an effect, IMO. Banning stuff that’s plentiful (and in demand) has a pretty awful track record in America- I don’t see why banning guns would be any more effective then banning marijuana- in fact, I think it would be far less effective then banning drugs- drugs are used up, while well-maintained guns can last decades.

    Banning high-capacity magazines might help in reducing the damage of the absolute worst shootings (like the Aurora one).

    Unless we figure out how to get rid of all the guns already in America (and I think that’s fantasy-land stuff- not realistic at all), I think the focus needs to be on mental health and poverty. Everyone should have access to inexpensive mental health treatment, and no one should feel bad about referring someone they know who might be in trouble to proper care. And obviously we need to do far, far more about poverty and economic desperation.

  71. dobbshead says

    What part of “a well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state,” is unclear?

    This part: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” You can’t quote-mine to get away from it. If you want to ban guns, you are going to have to nullify the 2nd amendment. See: District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008)

    And even then, following the Pintz v. U.S. case I cited earlier, there is precedent that limits the federal government’s ability to force states to carry out background checks. Trying to make gun control happen is going to be hard, and doing it poorly will make it harder in the long run.

  72. says

    @94 yep. It’s another revival, brought about by fear of the “others” getting something resembling rights. If anyone has followed the Trayvon case still, the killer there has effectively demonized a dead teenager since he wasn’t a perfect angel of virgin whititude.

  73. says

    I’d like to see serious firearm training as well as psych evaluations in addition to simple background checks.

    Why not just make legal gun ownership a privilege of the wealthy? Unfortunately, that’s how it’s worked in France and the UK (you can still legally own guns if you are a member of an elite sporting club, hunt club, etc) It does make it easier for police, though, since any gun on the street is illegal.

    It’d be better (and more egalitarian) to do away with them entirely.

  74. Krasnaya Koshka says

    I’m completely sickened.

    A friend on FB posted “This is why I have a hard time believing in ‘God’s plan’.” And was immediately countered with, “It is free will. God gives us that. Very sad what people do with that.”

    Now I’m even more sickened. Seriously?! I did counter this friend’s friend, of course, but it’s “god’s will”. Nice.

    Excuse me while I run off to the porcelain god, who’s actually always there for me.

  75. says

    @97 Ya, but nothing was done after the media and politicians made a huge deal about Aurora. OR Columbine or in fact any shooting in the last several decades. Always “now is not the time to politicize” and “mental health” (which is always phrased offensively as possible to anyone who actually has mental health issues) until everyone forgets about it. Then another shooting, same song and dance.

  76. says

    As long as the gun range uses human torso paper targets, they are doing it wrong.

    Teaching people how to shoot other people is a huge business in the US. :( One of my shooter buddies spent a ton of money going to some camp out in redneckistan to learn how to shoot people. Um, this passes for entertainment in some places, apparently.

  77. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    This is the relic of the southern states that feared slave uprisings.

  78. says

    And psych evals won’t work. The killers don’t have diagnosed or usually diagnosable problems. They are just products of a violent culture who gradually hit some point where they decide that violence will solve some internal turmoil. Crazy in the colloquial sense, sure, but not in the sense of diagnosable by the DSM.

  79. dianne says

    One of my shooter buddies spent a ton of money going to some camp out in redneckistan to learn how to shoot people.

    Did the targets have hoodies and skittles?

  80. says

    I couldn’t give a rat’s ass about the constitution, though. If the lobby is small the rights are ignored anyways (see 1st, 4th, 5th and 6th amendments) but holy rusted hell if anyone dares regulate the 2nd even as much as the 1st is regulated. I can’t yell fire in a crowded theater but I can pack a weapon designed solely to murder another human being in one.

  81. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    A well regulated militia

    This should be the operative phrase. I have never attended a meeting of this “well regulated militia”, and I’m over 60 years old. It doesn’t exist. Therefore, anything beyond this phrase doesn’t matter.

  82. says

    dianne,

    I’m even sort of with you on principle on the outright ban, I just don’t know how you make that happen without first changing the culture. Remember, I spent 14 months carrying a handgun for self-defense, and it left me feeling angry and exhausted and emotionally drained and often really depressed. There’s that one “good” use for a handgun, the need for which would be eliminated if we could at least phase out ownership of most of the firearms over time.

  83. gareth says

    In Britain we had a similar incident in 1996 in Dunblane Scotland when a lone gunman killed 16 children and one adult in a school.
    In 1997 private ownership of handguns was made illegal, there have been no more school shootings in Britain.

    America needs to impose tough gun control laws now, I hope to never see another incident like this, there have been far too many already.

  84. says

    Always “now is not the time to politicize” and “mental health” (which is always phrased offensively as possible to anyone who actually has mental health issues) until everyone forgets about it.

    I find it particularly interesting that everybody’s favorite armchair diagnosis to trot out in cases like this–schizophrenia–affects men and women in roughly equal numbers. If murder is a mental health problem, why is it predominantly committed by men?

    We have a cultural problem and our attitude toward guns is a huge factor in it. Gun control is part of the solution, but dealing with these John Wayne fantasies that are keeping the guns out there is the far more complicated long-term solution.

  85. Josh, Exasperated SpokesGay says

    Dobbshead–I’m not quote mining. I’m fully aware of that clause. Why can’t you see that the part about a well-regulated militia modifies and qualifies the clause about “the people?” Why do you treat it as if it were transparently on its face about individual gun ownership? What do you think “well-regulated militia” was meant to mean?

  86. says

    bcmystery:

    Tuesday I was at the Clackamas Town Center mall when that shooting happened.

    I’m glad you’re okay.

    This morning, watching Twitter, it occurred to me the defenders of gun culture use all the same bullshit arguments, derailings, elisions, and silencing techniques the defenders of rape culture use. There is something seriously ugly in these people.

    Oh, yes. It’s all part of the same poisonous package. Toxic masculinity + toxic jingoism.

  87. says

    @114 and statistically people with various schizo related disorders have the exact same rate of violent crimes as everyone else. But whining about crazy people is a good distraction.

  88. totalretard says

    No one has even mentioned gun control except for PZ. Let’s talk about it. What do you want done? Brady bill? (That really helped — not.) Confiscation of firearms as done in Australia in 1996? That really put a damper on shootings, but when they did occur, they were spectacular mass shootings of the sort we’re now facing. (Mexico also has very strict firearms control, and we know that it’s totally effective.) Getting back to to Australia, look at their homicide record before and after gun control: http://www.aic.gov.au/statistics/homicide.html.
    At least there are very few of them are shootings any more. (Curiously, class H firearms include deactivated handguns that are used for target practice.)

    There’s a minimalist approach. Keep all firearms not being carried locked up. This is not being done, and those guilty of this are not being prosecuted because they’re sorry. Yes, they are sorry, and nothing is being done.

    We could make the Brady bill more extreme — require single-shot weapons, leading to the ultimate NRA oxymorons, a single-shot semi-automatic and a single-shot revolver.

    We could also try other approaches — require only open carry, ban handguns, ban rifles and shotguns with a barrel under 6 feet long, require all guns to have a biometric firing mechanisms (just like Mississippi’s restrictions on abortions, this would effectively make all firearms illegal), require all pistols to have at least a 2-foot barrel, require all pistols to be at least .50 magnum or larger (.60 magnum Nitro Express or .50 BMG –all these would also effectively eliminate handguns for any but the most intrepid), or some other regulation that might drive the NRA to using longbows, crossbows, and katanas.

    PZ, in spite of sounding sarcastic (which I am), I’m also perfectly serious. Is your response (“gun control, gun control”) somehow qualitatively different from NRA jerks who want to arm students (which, at least, is specific)? I agree with the need for rational gun laws. What are they?

    PLEASE, at least tell us what you’re asking. At least I have given this some real thought over many years, which it doesn’t appear you have. We can take this offline since you have my real name and e-mail address filed with FtB, and if you can’t get to it, I’ll send it to you if needed.

  89. says

    “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

    It would be so nice if every single jingoistic idiot who clings to this like a security blanket could figure out we aren’t in the midst of the ‘merican revolution anymore.

  90. says

    @119 your user name is crap.

    As for gun control, it would be nice to see leaders actually talk about it, debate about it or evan have the sexual organ fortitude to attempt something. PZ never claimed to have a magic button, but reducing weapon availability and especially handgun and automatic weapon availability is a step towards controlling it. Then we can actually look into what the fuck is wrong with our culture such that we all have John Wayne fantasies, as Caerie mentioned.

  91. says

    I’d like to see better mental health care in this country, so that people with diagnosable illness can be treated. It would also help to have a better safety net, so that people don’t develop an “I’m screwed so bad, that I want to take other people with me.” attitude. People, all people, need some confidence in their future- and realistic expectations.

    I recall a black comedian doing a bit on how it was always the “angry white guy” that was dealing with a job layoff by shooting up the place. A black man knows (so the comedian tells us) that he can get utilities installed in his daughter’s name,… etc. They are more resiliant.

    Well, we all need to be more resiliant.

  92. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Surely the immediate aftermath of this horrifying massacre is the time for all Americans who are both decent and rational to start building a mass movement for gun control. Until such exists, the NRA has a complete lock on the political process.

  93. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Where is the sanity of basing modern laws about guns on a law that was made out of fears of slave uprisings. Also, the arms they had took time to load for each shot and were not very accurate.

    Try to imagine how much damage the murderer could have done if he had guns from the late Eighteenth Century?

  94. Nathair says

    Dear God,
    Never mind. If you’re so weak that a local legislature can keep you out…

    No, you missed the point. This Christian has his loving, compassionate God saying “Since you didn’t force everyone to bow down before me in your schools; Fuck you! How about I send a plague of crazed gunmen to blow away your children! How do you like me now?”

    (And to be fair, that does sound exactly like the God character we all know from the OT.)

  95. Fred Salvador - The Public Sucks; Fuck Hope says

    Ban everything except single-shot weapons with barrels longer than 63cm and an internal capacity of two rounds, then restrict ownership of those weapons to people who obtain firearms licenses which come with strictly enforced controls on where and how the weapons and ammunition for them are stored, the mental health and general character of the applicant, and any other arbitrary shit you can think of to make it as difficult as possible for people to get their hands on a gun. Also restrict the number of rounds a person can purchase in any given year, and finally mandate extremely heavy sentences for anyone caught in possession of an illegal weapon.

    Once you’ve done that, go to the families of these 20 little children and explain to them why it wasn’t done twenty, or forty, or sixty years ago.

    It isn’t a question of politics; that gun control prevents murders is a fact observable in every nation which restricts ownership of firearms.

    This is utterly depraved and indescribably senseless. Even assuming it does precipitate a change in the US’ ridiculous gun culture it’ll be a hollow victory, and yet another damning indictment on the base inhumanity of the supposed centre of enlightenment – because if it takes 20 little kids being shot dead to affect a change in your view on firearms, you’re a fucking monster.

  96. Rodney Nelson says

    Nerd of Redhead #111

    I have never attended a meeting of this “well regulated militia”,

    It’s called the National Guard.

  97. nms says

    Getting back to to Australia, look at their homicide record before and after gun control: http://www.aic.gov.au/statistics/homicide.html.
    At least there are very few of them are shootings any more.

    Some things which spring out:
    – The first two graphs represent total number of homicides per year, rather than homicides per capita per year.
    – The third graph shows that in the 7 years after said confiscation of firearms, the percentage of homicides involving firearms only fell by about a third.

    Would you prefer to link something else?

  98. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It’s called the National Guard.

    Federalized, and I’ve never attended a meeting. Making the successive phrases invalid. By the way, sophistry.

  99. says

    Yeah. It drives me nuts when people pull out the old, “Guns don’t kill people,” argument. A quick analogy demonstrates exactly why guns should be heavily, heavily regulated (and perhaps personal ownership should be outright illegal):

    Hammers don’t drive nails.

    Trucks don’t transport large quantities of physical goods.

    Knives don’t slice vegetables.

    Guns are just tools. Tools designed for the sole purpose of killing. And that makes the whole argument clear. It’s not an argument about gun control. It’s an argument about how much killing we wish to occur.

    Guns don’t kill people. But they make the whole process of killing a helluva lot easier, and a damned sight more convenient and efficient. And that’s their entire reason for existence.

  100. scriabin says

    The legal changes needed to enact proper gun control are daunting and require absolutely strong leadership. Strong leadership only happens when there is a cultural shift that allows leaders to be strong without affecting their electability.

    I so wish that I could see that cultural shift in the US (I’m Canadian – and despite our own idiot Conservative government – every time I head south I’m still stunned by the gun ad billboards, the anti-abortion billboards, the jingoistic stuff…). But I don’t see that shift even on the far horizon – no matter how many children are killed. It’s appalling.

    Guns seem to be as culturally ingrained as religion in the States.

  101. says

    Nathair:

    (And to be fair, that does sound exactly like the God character we all know from the OT.)

    Yes, it does. Goes to show how convenient xian nonsense is, because in situations like this, they never bring up Hippie Jesus and the NT. Nope, it’s right back to Psycho Dad.

  102. psychodigger says

    @rolfboettger

    I just watched that clip you linked to and it makes me want to scream and howl at my screen until my voice gives up.

    What a disgustingly sick excuse of a human being. If this gentlemanly god of his cannot be bothered to save children just to prove a stupid point about prayer, he’s not worth worshipping (nor is he a gentleman).

    This insane wanker should be given a few proper smacks in the head for abusing and defiling the horrible death of these children for his nauseating proselytising. I feel sick to my stomach now.

  103. bobo says

    I just checked one of the right wing forums that I read, and they are already saying shit like this:

    Sick and horrible. What kind of coward kills children.

    Sadly the world will not be given time to mourn before the usual suspects start blaming guns – rather than the sick bastard who did this.

    The bodies aren’t even cold yet and the usual sick bastards are blaming guns. :x These families need our thoughts, prayers, and emotional support from the community…not assholes using it as a soapbox.

    Notice quote #1…the SICK BASTARDS are those of us who are blaming guns’

    yep
    what..
    uh

    wtf!

  104. dianne says

    Joe, I’m partly angry because I don’t think ANYTHING is going to happen and that’s making me want to shove the Overton window open as far as possible. I apologize for snarling at you unfairly.

  105. Beatrice says

    Yes, it does. Goes to show how convenient xian nonsense is, because in situations like this, they never bring up Hippie Jesus and the NT. Nope, it’s right back to Psycho Dad.

    And then they turn around and say that little angels are at home with God now, I presume?

  106. evilDoug says

    I can’t get the cows in the barn because they are spread out all over the field.
    I can’t harvest the wheat because it will take a whole week.
    I can’t do the laundry because it won’t all fit in the machine at once.
    I can’t wash the car because I can only do one side at a time.

    Every stinking time one of these events happens, there is a steady barrage of excuses for why nothing can be done, and they all amount to a variant on tl;dr.

  107. says

    @140 && 141

    So by that logic wouldn’t that make the gunman…

    Oh dear fuck I can’t actually finish that thought. Incoherency and shear stupidity collapsed into a singularity of how much I hate these people.

  108. says

    bobo:

    Notice quote #1…the SICK BASTARDS are those of us who are blaming guns’

    To be fair, the murderer is the first sick bastard. It’s just that those of us who point out that guns are designed strictly for killing are just as bad as the guy who uses the gun for its intended purpose.

  109. Ichthyic says

    – The first two graphs represent total number of homicides per year, rather than homicides per capita per year.

    you think Australia’s population demographic significantly changed enough to make a per capita measure meaningful in this context?

    then you don’t have the slightest clue what you’re talking about.

    The third graph shows that in the 7 years after said confiscation of firearms, the percentage of homicides involving firearms only fell by about a third.

    ONLY??

    fuck me, if any legislation could result in a 30% reduction in JUST 7 YEARS, that’s a fucking phenomenal success rate.

    are you wholly delusional, or only on just this issue?

  110. bobo says

    #144, yeah, I goofed with my blockqoutes and then pointed out the wrong quote

    quote #2 was referencing gun control proponents as *sick bastards*

  111. dianne says

    Getting back to to Australia, look at their homicide record before and after gun control: http://www.aic.gov.au/statistics/homicide.html.
    At least there are very few of them are shootings any more.

    Actually, Australia’s policy looks moderately effective. The number of murders peaked in 1999 and has decreased in absolute terms and the population of Australia has increased pretty linearly in the last couple of decades, meaning that the homicide rate has gone down pretty consistently since 1996.

  112. Alverant says

    #119 you want more details about what kind of gun control we should have, fine.
    1) Take a tip from motor vehicles, require a license you need to take a test for, require insurance, renew on a regular basis, can lose if you screw up, and different kind of licenses for different kinds of guns.
    2) Take another tip from lawyers and stock brokers and require fingerprinting for all gun owners.
    3) All gun owners are legally responsible for what happens with their guns. No more “accidental” shooting bullshit, they are now called criminal homiside. If your gun is stolen and you didn’t take proper care to secure it, you’ll stand right beside the criminal who killed people at their trial.

  113. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    Fuck this is sick. I fucking hate my country sometimes.

    I’ve got nothing coherent to say. Just thinking of my own 4th grader, and all the other kids out there.

    Fuck this.

  114. says

    The amount of hatred in the thread is incredible. As an atheist, environmentalist, union-supporting, anti-imperialist, lesbian I’ve always been a target for hate from the right wing, but at the same time I’ve never once felt comfortable with the label of “liberal” because of all the shit that gets dumped on me by the left wing for being a gun owner. Yeah, I own a gun, and it’s even a semi-automatic assault rifle. (It’s a Ruger Mini-14 if you care.)

    I’ve always felt like I should get more involved in politics, but whenever I try it’s made very clear that I am not welcome because I don’t toe the liberal line on gun control. No one has ever convinced me that I’d be better off disarmed, no one has ever convinced me that the US would be better off, and quite frankly no one has ever even bothered trying to convince me without emotional appeals and straw man arguments. Instead, people lump me in with the NRA, the KKK, and any number of other groups that openly declare their hatred for people like me.

    But hey, I must be a valid target since I’m a “gun nut”. (Definition: a gun nut is apparently anyone who owns even one gun.)

    I’m sick of being hated from both the right and the left, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to give in to groupthink just to avoid being ostracized. So screw you people.

  115. Fred Salvador - The Public Sucks; Fuck Hope says

    @133:

    Yeah. It drives me nuts when people pull out the old, “Guns don’t kill people,” argument

    All that stuff you said, plus this; the argument is absolute horse-shite because it can also be applied to bombs. Bombs don’t kill people – they remove stumps and rocks which are otherwise too large and heavy to be removed, or knock down walls/ buildings that I don’t want anymore, or help me do quarrying. They’re just tools – what’s important is ensuring they’re used responsibly, so why is it that I go to jail for centuries if I’m caught in posession of a timer-fuzed explosive device? Maybe we bomb enthusiasts just need better PR. Maybe a National Bomb Association or something.

    Herp. Afucking. Derp.

    What world do these people live in? Why are they not rushing to throw their shitty little “tools” into a big bonfire and abandon their supposed “right” to own a weapon capable of killing a human being from half a mile away when there’s empirical evidence that doing so will reduce the likelihood of people being shot dead in their country? I can only surmise it is because they are stupid people.

  116. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    1) Take a tip from motor vehicles, require a license you need to take a test for, require insurance, renew on a regular basis, can lose if you screw up, and different kind of licenses for different kinds of guns.
    2) Take another tip from lawyers and stock brokers and require fingerprinting for all gun owners.
    3) All gun owners are legally responsible for what happens with their guns. No more “accidental” shooting bullshit, they are now called criminal homiside. If your gun is stolen and you didn’t take proper care to secure it, you’ll stand right beside the criminal who killed people at their trial.

    4. End gun shows, or at least don’t allow sales at gun show.

  117. bobo says

    #149 Cain:

    God’s li’l weapon? Yes.

    Yes but, the mental gymnasts won’t come right out and say it. They will come up with something similar to the argument that ‘excused’ Richard Mourdocks “rape is a gift” comments. The rapist and/or gunman acted in free will, and *not* by Gods design, BUT God did intentionaly *gift* the raped woman and/or dead children with…well you know!

    p.s. the gift to the dead children is heaven of course, and the gift to us is that we learn compassion by watching children die. natch.

  118. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I’m sick of being hated from both the right and the left, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to give in to groupthink just to avoid being ostracized. So screw you people.

    Gee, you give such a logical reason to own a killing machine. So not.

  119. Beatrice says

    Eris Caffee,

    So screw you people.

    I would shed a tear or two for you, but I reserve today’s sentiments for those 20 murdered children and 7 adults.

  120. carlie says

    It’s gun control, but not just that.

    It’s mental health care. Fucking mental health care, something that should be a right, that is instead portioned out to the precious few who can afford the extra coverage. And no, I’m not saying this guy was mentally ill. Maybe he was, maybe he wasn’t. But he most probably had problems interacting with other people, with controlling his anger, with dealing with frustration and what happens when you feel entitled to something but fail – all the things that therapy can help you deal with. But we have a system where people don’t get to have that kind of care, where even people who have access to it feel stigmatized to the point of not using it, where if you have a strong enough will you’re a good person and if you have any problems at all you’re somehow broken. Every person for themselves, that’s the pioneer spirit and rugged individualism of America. I say fuck. that.

  121. dianne says

    Mexico also has very strict firearms control, and we know that it’s totally effective.

    Gee, it’s almost as if having a much more powerful country on the border which is actively funneling guns into the country and deliberately undermining the government makes it hard to enforce the laws. If the US had better gun control laws, one unintended side benefit would likely be a lower homicide rate in Mexico. And possibly further south.

  122. says

    Gee, you give such a logical reason to own a killing machine. So not.

    It’s just as logical as as the “5 in 100,000 people are murderers so OMG BAN GUNS” argument that you people are throwing around.

  123. Beatrice says

    Our papers say that he had also killed his father at home, his brother, and that his girlfriend and a friend are missing.

  124. dianne says

    Eris, compare homicide, suicide, and accidental death rates in the US to those in any country with gun control. Not necessarily outright banning, but control. Now compare homicide rates in states with strong versus weak gun control laws. Now go to medline and look up childhood mortality in homes with and without guns. There. Several completely statistical arguments that don’t rely on any emotional appeal apart from an underlying assumption that more murders is a bad thing. If you aren’t convinced by the homicide data and numerous papers demonstrating lower childhood death rates in homes that don’t have guns, it’s because you value your delusions more than people’s lives. Because there is no controversy. Guns kill. Even sane, smart, responsible people with guns are more likely to end up dead or with their children dead than they ever are to use those guns for self defense or defense of others.

  125. bobo says

    Eris Caffee, it is important that you defend your rights. This thread is about you, not 26 dead people.

  126. Beatrice says

    Oh, and that the Ryan guy isn’t the murdered, but his brother who had Ryan’s documents with him.

    Looking at some US papers, yeah, it confirms that Ryan is alive and says that “his younger brother is autistic, or has Asperger syndrome and a “personality disorder.” ”

    I don’t know if there was a third brother or if that info in #161 is wrong.

  127. says

    It’s just as logical as as the “5 in 100,000 people are murderers so OMG BAN GUNS” argument that you people are throwing around.

    Because absolutely everyone here is suggesting every gun everywhere must be banned and we all 100% agree with one another. None of us have guns or are advocating control instead of a ban. We are all a bunch of straw liberals and the only way anyone can in any way be involved in progressive politics is by agreeing with our groupthink.

    Right.

  128. Beatrice says

    Eris Caffee,

    Fuck you. 27 people are dead and all you can think about is how someone might possibly deny you having fun with your assault rifle.

  129. Nathair says

    I’ve always felt like I should get more involved in politics, but whenever I try it’s made very clear that I am not welcome because I don’t toe the liberal line on gun control.

    Are you sure? Are you sure it’s not because you’re the kind of narcissistic asshole that would pull a dramatic flounce about your poor hurt fee-fees in a thread discussing a real genuine actual tragedy?

    Please stick the flounce.

  130. says

    Let’s see what some of the good xians at RR are saying:

    There is no safe place in this world from Satan’s rage.

    How….can anyone shoot down an innocent child?

    Satan. He hates the innocent. He had his way today. I can’t wait to see him in chains.

    Matthew 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

    Evil. Just pure evil.
    Lord God our Father will not put up with this much longer.

    Satan has a real pattern in these mass murders. The shooters go in, cause as many deaths and injuries as possible and then take their own lives. They go out of this world with murder as their last act, and no time to repent and receive salvation.

    How I wish Jesus would return right now. How much evil can the world stand before it just collapses on itself?

    Christ is the only answer. Only He can heal and only He can save us from our sin and brokenness. The wages of sin is death and no mortal man has the answer to humanity’s problems. How many will continue to deny that America has some very serious moral problems?

    And yet people will talk but some will still refuse to acknowledge the true Prince of Peace.

    We know as Christians that the children who were shot are with their Father in Heaven. They are not suffering. We, the ones who were left behind have grief and sorrow. We need to pray for the parents and families, and we need to pray for each other that we remain strong in these last days.

    satin’s time is short and I believe he’s trying to take out, not only as many people as he can, but he’s also trying to take our hope as Christians away. I say let us stay strong in our faith and build one another up and support each other. As these shootings increase in frequency, it becomes more and more evident that satin is getting desperate and therefore increases my hope that Jesus is coming soon.

    I have hope! My hope is in my Lord Jesus Christ, Jesus has already triumphed over evil!!

    May we sing of your Glory and Hope, and may we praise your name ALL THE LOUDER, in Jesus
    precious name, Amen

    It’s hard to imagine that after the rapture, especially once the Great Tribulation begins to unfold, these will be the “good old days”.

    I am thinking that someone who is having mental issues and is not a believer in Jesus Christ is alot more vulnerble to satanic attacks.

    I think I found the guy on Facebook. He likes Gun ‘n Roses. He has one photo of him making the guns symbols with his hands.

    Someone wrote on Facebook that we banned God from our schools and now we are asking His help in that very place, ironic? Very true.

    We asked to take God out of our schools and society. And we get lawlessness. We took God out and he stepped back, he allowed it to happen, he didnt want this to happen. That is how somebody explained to somebody else on facebook.

    I keep thinking “now can we put prayer back into the schools”?

    We need more God not less of Him. God is not responsible for the actions of His creation, especially given that our human nature rejects our need for Him. I can’t understand why they feel that God should be held personally responsible for something He did not cause.

    God in His great wisdom and love did not create a world of robots or puppets. But created beings with free will and their own capacity for love or hate and obedience to God’s lovingkindness. We choose, he allows. And satan takes every opportunity he can to use our human weakness toward sin.

    We as Christians know it was not our God that did this. satan was the master mind behind this and that needs to be brought out.
    If we (People) would stop allowing satan to play in our backyards, it would be harder for him to do this.

    The times we are living in is getting worse each day, this is why we need to Jesus more than ever and not just a mantle piece we take down when these things happen.
    The sad thing is… Things will get worse, we cry over this event how many tears do we have for the next one and the next one.

    These type of comments will be blasted our way both by unsaved friends and the media. Think now what words we need to say that brings the truth out and gives God the glory.

    Satan has done a fine job of making himself appear mythological – folks don’t even sense an Adversary in this.

    Obviously, Satan relishes harming children.

    Satan is on another killing spree….come soon Lord Jesus!

    How dare they make this into a “gun control problem”. It cheapens the lives of those lost. The guns don’t kill. It’s the person pulling the trigger.

    This murder – suicide thing sure is happening a lot more now… I mean in the last couple of weeks we have had several… Demonic forces are working hard in this final hour.. They seem to know there time is short… These little children are now in a perfect place (with Jesus).

    Another sure sign that what happened today is a direct result of Our Lord’s name being removed from schools, public, the home, and even in a majority of churches. The enemy moved in to fill the void left by us pushing God out of our society. Don’t think for a minute that the shyster politicians won’t jump at he chance to fringe upon the second amendment. Bozo said it himself on the presser. This type of tragedy will never stop even then….heck go to drudge and a crazed chinaman wounded almost as many in a knife attack!
    Things are only going to get darker. I pray for the families involved! This is unbelievable but I’m definitely not shocked or surprised. This nation dies a bit more with each passing day.

  131. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Just got around to watching the Bryan Fischer video.

    What a opportunistic parasite.

    FYI, his twitter handle is @BryanJFischer

    Let him know how you feel.

  132. Fred Salvador - The Public Sucks; Fuck Hope says

    , and it’s even a semi-automatic assault rifle.

    Why the fucking Jesus do you need an assault rifle? Why the fucking Jesus do you think ordinary people should be allowed to have a weapon like this?

    Banning guns would drastically curtail this kind of senseless violence, but if you’re not in favour of that, think how much lower the death tolls would be in incidents like this if the shit-arses who use self-loading rifles and carbines to commit mass murder were forced to stop and rack a bolt every time they fired a shot, then change out a magazine after every two or three shots. How much more time would that give people to flee? How many more seconds would that buy the emergency services to respond?

    That’s not groupthink. That’s fact.

  133. Ichthyic says

    translation of Eris @151:

    “I don’t actually look at any of the data that supports the effective use of gun control, so nobody has ever been able to convince me!”

    uh, congratulations on your imperviousness? I suggest keeping your semi close at hand to protect that thought process.

  134. says

    Eris Caffee, it is important that you defend your rights. This thread is about you, not 26 dead people.

    Nice try, but you’r bias is showing. This thread was never about the dead people. In fact, in PZ’s post he says himself “I do know it’s past time to put rational gun control laws in place.” The thread topic has been gun control from the very beginning, but you be sure and lie to yourself to make it seem otherwise.

  135. dianne says

    Incidentally, I don’t think I’ve ever respected Obama less than now. He’s got two kids. Why isn’t he calling for actual action that might decrease the risk that they’ll be the next victims of this sort of thing instead of standing there trying to avoid offending the NRA? He ought to be saying “Hell, yes, I’m coming for your guns!” And being ready to teach anyone who thinks that they constitute a well regulated militia all by themselves that their itty bitty gun doesn’t stand up well to a tank.

  136. says

    Eris:

    The amount of hatred in the thread is incredible. As an atheist, environmentalist, union-supporting, anti-imperialist, lesbian I’ve always been a target for hate from the right wing, but at the same time I’ve never once felt comfortable with the label of “liberal” because of all the shit that gets dumped on me by the left wing for being a gun owner. Yeah, I own a gun, and it’s even a semi-automatic assault rifle. (It’s a Ruger Mini-14 if you care.)

    Goodness, what a river of self pitying bullshit. I have terrible news, Cupcake. This thread is not about you. Nor is the tragedy of so many dead, so many lives changed about you. There are many social ills and failures which contributed to this tragedy, however, it couldn’t have taken place without the ease of getting a weapon, which is seriously out of fucking control in this country.

    Now run off and play with your gun, dear.

  137. Beatrice says

    Eris Caffee,

    Do you think people are calling for gun control just because they want to ruin your personal fun?! People are, rightfully, calling for gun control because of those dead people. Because better gun control would lead to less dead people.

    Do you even give a fuck about people dying or just about playing with your fucking assault rifle?

  138. Ichthyic says

    This thread was never about the dead people.

    nice attempt at false equivalence.

    in fact, this thread IS about the people killed by easy access to guns, and how to prevent that happening in the future. this, as much as anything, is exactly about the very people that were just killed.

    compare that to your complaint:

    “I like my pretty little semi”

    fuck.

    you.

  139. andrewtyson says

    As a skeptic who’s torn on the 2nd amendment issue and doesn’t have a strong stance on either side I just have to chime in. I see alot of emotional pleads for action. While I understand the urge to do so, I am dissappointed to see in this media. Statements about what persons on the other side of the argument should do in a room full of guns do not belong in rational discussion.

  140. nms says

    you think Australia’s population demographic significantly changed enough to make a per capita measure meaningful in this context?

    It has, I checked.

    fuck me, if any legislation could result in a 30% reduction in JUST 7 YEARS, that’s a fucking phenomenal success rate.

    I wasn’t arguing that the legislation either wasn’t effective, I was pointing out that the results of said legislation don’t support tr’s “don’t blame the guns” subtext .

  141. dianne says

    Come on! Even the statistics provided by the other gun nut on this thread demonstrate that violence decreases when there are fewer guns. What more could someone want?

  142. Ichthyic says

    The amount of hatred in the thread is incredible.

    I’m picking up a lot of projection here, actually. Please make sure you count to ten before deciding to shoot us all with your semi?

    kthxbye

  143. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It’s just as logical as as the “5 in 100,000 people are murderers so OMG BAN GUNS” argument that you people are throwing around.

    Actually, I don’t believe guns should be banned. But I think every gun owner should be fingerprinted and have DNA on file, along the serial numbers for all their weapons. Make it clear all range safety rules have to be followed by force of law, such as the ammo and gun kept separate until just before firing the weapon. All guns and ammo must be stored in locked cabinets that can withstand small pry bars. Also, thefts of weapons must be reported to the authorities immediately, or the owner becomes liable for later misuse of said weapons. All weapons cannot have more than six bullets in at a given time unless at a certified and secure gun range and transported there and back in armored vehicles.

    Either take back your “banning” screed, or shut the fuck up. Shrill screaming is for the gun nuts.

  144. nms says

    erm, that should be “I wasn’t arguing that the legislation either was or wasn’t effective”

  145. bobo says

    Eris Caffee, is it gun banning you are worried about, or gun control? Do you think background checks are necessary, at all? Or do you think anyone should be able to walk into a gun shop and buy as many guns as they possibly can?

  146. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    and while you’re at it, let Huckabee know too. He’s parroting Fischer.

    @GovMikeHuckabee

  147. Beatrice says

    andrewtyson,

    And fuck you too. If you don’t get emotional when 20 kids get shot then something is wrong with you.

  148. dianne says

    I see alot of emotional pleads for action.

    If the senseless killing of an entire class of kindergarteners isn’t a good reason for action in your mind, then you are a waste as a human being.

  149. Ichthyic says

    It has, I checked.

    then show me the numbers that would support your contention, because I’m not seeing it myself, and I only live just across the pond.

    I wasn’t arguing that the legislation either wasn’t effective, I was pointing out that the results of said legislation don’t support tr’s “don’t blame the guns” subtext .

    ah, sorry, I misinterpreted that.

  150. yoav says

    Our old friend Eric Hovind found the reason, it’s because the shooter went to a school without god, oh and evilution. Every time you think the asshole have hit rock bottom he finds a way to dig dipper.

  151. says

    Eris Caffee:

    It’s just as logical as as the “5 in 100,000 people are murderers so OMG BAN GUNS” argument that you people are throwing around.

    That’s not the argument, at least from me.

    My argument is that guns are specifically designed for killing. They have no other purpose. Statistics indicate that owning a gun makes you more likely to become a gun-related victim, so the claim that owning a gun makes you safer doesn’t freight. Rationally, there’s no logical argument for owning a gun for most people.

    I grew up in Alaska. I hunted. Many of my family and friends in Alaska still subsistence hunt. But even the question of hunting has solutions. Gun clubs that are specifically licensed to store guns, for instance, in which club members (where membership is free) are allowed to check the guns out for hunting purposes, along with enough ammunition for a reasonable hunting expedition.

    Hell, even better: we could just start by regulating ammo. They regulate the fuck out of sales of decongestants, but not ammo.

    Guns are designed for one thing: killing. People who own guns own them for one thing: killing. Or at least, the threat of killing (if you own one for safety). I don’t think it’s irrational to discuss the heavy regulation of something that is designed only for killing.

  152. says

    Eris, compare homicide, suicide, and accidental death rates in the US to those in any country with gun control.

    I’d like to, but the information online is so heavily dominated by people on the gun-control and anti-gun control sides that it’s really hard to tell what is reliabel and what is not. If you have any links to non-biased information I’d appreciate it.

    This looks like a reasonable source for the overall murder rate, at least.

    http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/murder-rates-nationally-and-state

    it’s because you value your delusions more than people’s lives.

    Ah, but there we are. I’m “delusional” if I don’t think like you do.

  153. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    So, Eris Caffee, you would rather toss your lot with those who would make for easier access to more powerful weapons instead of those who are trying to figure out how to keep mass murder like this from happening?

    Good to know.

  154. bobo says

    Someone earlier made the point that NRA nuts sound just like MRA’s and boy, is Eris proving that

    The marc lepine thread was all about the menz

    This thread is all about Eris’ right to play with an assault rifle

  155. Ichthyic says

    following up with what I said here:

    then show me the numbers that would support your contention, because I’m not seeing it myself, and I only live just across the pond.

    population increase in OZ has been steady at 1.4% for many years.

    so, do you really think a 10% (rounding up) increase in population size would show a significant difference if you measured something per capita?

    hint: no.

  156. Nathair says

    This thread was never about the dead people. The thread topic has been gun control from the very beginning

    This thread is about gun control because this thread is about the dead people, these dead people, all the previous dead people and the people who will continue to die unless a grown up gun control discussion happens. You seem to see all the hundreds of thousands of dead people as just some kind of lame excuse irrational gun haters bring up to try to take away your toys.

  157. says

    I’m picking up a lot of projection here, actually. Please make sure you count to ten before deciding to shoot us all with your semi?

    Isn’t that cute? This is exactly what I’m on about. Because I own a gun you automatically declare me to be a threat and potential murderer. Youare trying to take away part of my freedom, but somehow I am supposed to be the one who is threatening.

  158. bobo says

    You know what the funniest thing is? Eris is so wedded to ‘being a victim’ that she cannot even see that many of us do not want to ban all guns. I for one have no problem with people owning guns..just get a fucking background check and anything else that is necessary to try to prevent the wrong people getting guns.

  159. Ichthyic says

    the information online is so heavily dominated by people on the gun-control and anti-gun control sides that it’s really hard to tell what is reliabel and what is not. If you have any links to non-biased information I’d appreciate it.

    I’m betting that since you report a history of “being hated” on this issue, that you have, in fact, been given MANY MANY links to relevant information previous, and just completely ignored it because you didn’t like how it challenged your perceptions.

  160. Beatrice says

    bobo,

    Well, I want to ban her from using a freaking assault rifle. What the fuck does she need an assault rifle for?

  161. moarscienceplz says

    This is only tangentially on-topic, but it does highlight the “logic” of the right-wing mindset:

    Texas, which is arguably ground zero for the “guns don’t kill people” song-and-dance, came up with a clever way to fight the war on drugs – they banned Erlenmeyer flasks. If you don’t know what those are, they are nothing more than fancy glass bottles that are handy for chemistry experiments. So, guns DON’T kill people, but bottles DO make illicit drugs.

  162. consciousness razor says

    Nice try, but you’r bias is showing. This thread was never about the dead people.

    Do you think you could have the fucking decency to make it about them?

  163. Ichthyic says

    This is exactly what I’m on about.

    bait taken.

    shall I get you some pearls to clutch now?

    Youare trying to take away part of my freedom,

    FREEZE PEACH!

    you’re pathetic.

  164. says

    andrewtyson:

    Statements about what persons on the other side of the argument should do in a room full of guns do not belong in rational discussion.

    Pharyngula 101:

    Idiots who barge into the room and immediately make judgments about how others are arguing tend not to do well here. People who take a moment or three to lurk and read tend to do better.

    Don’t strawvulcan, dear. It’s impolite and fuckwitted. Don’t concern troll or tone troll, either. (If you are clueless, go spend a few hours reading the Pharyngula Wiki.) No one is stopping you from arguing in any fucking manner you like. Rather than lecture others, just go about things in the manner you prefer.

    Don’t barge in thinking you’re the calm, cool, collected dude. You aren’t, you’re just a garden variety asswipe who wants to derail the thread disparaging others.

    Don’t make the mistake of thinking (or saying) that emotion is inappropriate. It isn’t. Especially in light of many dead people. If you are going to insist on playing strawvulcan, spare us all and go elsewhere. So, attempt to think before you post again.

    Welcome to Pharyngula.

  165. says

    Do you think people are calling for gun control just because they want to ruin your personal fun?! People are, rightfully, calling for gun control because of those dead people. Because better gun control would lead to less dead people.

    Actually, I think people are calling for gun control because they think it will lead to fewer deaths each year. I happen to think that the number of fewer deaths would not justify the loss of freedom imposed on millions of innocent people. (I also want the TSA disbanded or heavily reformed for the very same reason.)

    Do you even give a fuck about people dying or just about playing with your fucking assault rifle?

    Thank you for demonstrating again the kind of hatred that inspired me to post in the first place. You automatically assume that I’m some of gun obsessed nut job simple because I own a single gun.

    Please try to see things from my perspective: a derranged person in another part of the country killed many innocent people in a horrible mass murder, and now people like you are telling me what a horrible monster I am. There’s no logic in that.

  166. bobo says

    Eris has a ginormous *martyr boner*. Tell us Eris, everytime someone mentions *gun control* do your pants get tighter? Are you in XTC right now?

    Enquiring minds want 2 no!

  167. nms says

    then show me the numbers that would support your contention, because I’m not seeing it myself, and I only live just across the pond.

    Going by population figures from here and homicide rates from the first graph, it looks like the per capita murder rate fell about 30% between 1996 and 2007. The graph implies less.

    ah, sorry, I misinterpreted that.

    No problem, I think my first post was overly cryptic.

  168. says

    moarscienceplz:

    Texas, which is arguably ground zero for the “guns don’t kill people” song-and-dance, came up with a clever way to fight the war on drugs – they banned Erlenmeyer flasks.

    Er, seriously? Gods this country is fucked up.

  169. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    and now people like you are telling me what a horrible monster I am.

    Anybody else smell the paranoia in this statement. Nobody is calling you a monster except you. We are calling you callous, unempathetic, and uncaring about preventing another said incident.

  170. dianne says

    I’d like to, but the information online is so heavily dominated by people on the gun-control and anti-gun control sides that it’s really hard to tell what is reliabel and what is not.

    Oh, yes, those crazy liberal anti-gun nuts at wikipedia Not to mention that their primary source appears to be…the UN! Probably just softening us up for the blue helmet invasion force…

    The data is reliable and entirely consistent. You simply don’t want to believe it because you want to be able to kill people at your convenience.

    And your very link demonstrates that the murder rate is higher in states with lax gun control laws, i.e. Louisiana which allows concealed carry, has no waiting period for purchase, and no gun bans has a homicide rate of 11.2. Relatively restrictive (for the US) New York has a homicide rate of 4.0. Even stricter Massachusetts has a homicide rate of 2.8.And so on. You’re destroying your own case. Which is not surprising since your premise is false.

  171. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Eris Caffee, what would be your solution to help prevent this kind of murder spree? Should teachers and other faculty members be armed? Should they be required to be armed?

    Should access to guns be controlled or should people be armed in because of the chance that someone armed intends to do harm?

  172. Ichthyic says

    Thank you for demonstrating again the kind of hatred that inspired me to post in the first place

    “person who came saying stupid shit looking to reinforce her preconceptions, irrationally reinforces her preconceptions, claims “THE WORLD IS WRONG, NOT ME!!”

    …details at 11.

  173. Beatrice says

    Eris Caffee,

    How many lives is your “right” to play with an assault rifle worth?
    I don’t need an exact number, you can round it up.

  174. says

    Are you sure? Are you sure it’s not because you’re the kind of narcissistic asshole that would pull a dramatic flounce about your poor hurt fee-fees in a thread discussing a real genuine actual tragedy?

    Clearly I’m narcissistic, because I object to being lumped in with murderers and thinking that mental health care is more important than gun control. How totally self absorbed I am.

  175. says

    dianne,

    The snarling was mild at worst, and more than understandable under the circumstances. And maybe productive, in that the conversation and this thread as a whole gives the lie to Eris Caffee’s bullshit about liberals being unwilling and unable to have conversations with people who own firearms and don’t want them banned entirely. Lots of liberals own guns and still manage to support some form of gun control. It is the right-wing gun nuts who hold the extreme position that any and every regulation is somehow a step towards total bans.

    Eris Caffee,

    Can you put together a remotely rational reason why I would need to have a semi-auto pistol that holds 16+1 rounds, plus 4 extra magazines? Or why I should be able to buy a modified M4 assault rifle and as many 30-round magazines as I can afford? Name a purpose that cannot be met with something less-obviously designed for mass murder, cannot still exist even with very strict gun control laws, and that is at least as likely as winning the lottery. Because target shooting can be done better with single-shot pistols and bolt-action rifles, home- and self-defense can be done with 5-shot revolvers and shotguns, hunting can be done with all of the above or with a bow. Where is the rational need for weapons and accessories designed to kill many people very quickly, in the hands of just about anyone with a pulse and a few hundred dollars?

  176. carlie says

    Please try to see things from my perspective: a derranged person in another part of the country killed many innocent people in a horrible mass murder, and now people like you are telling me what a horrible monster I am.

    Yes, please let’s remember that Eris is the real victim here.

  177. wmdon says

    I happen to think that the number of fewer deaths would not justify the loss of freedom imposed on millions of innocent people.

    So how many deaths would it take to justify this “loss of freedom”? Seriously, what’s the ratio?

    You say you’ve never come across any non-emotional arguments that would convince you to relinquish your assault rifle. So what non-emotional arguments did you find convincing enough to purchase your gun in the first place?

    Seriously – I’m curious because, as a Canadian, I don’t find our gun control laws to be a loss of freedom at all. I want to know why the ownership of a weapon whose sole purpose is its ability to kill other human beings (and so deprive them of all of their fundamental rights) is so central to your concept of freedom. I don’t understand the mindset.

  178. Beatrice says

    Eris Caffee,

    Do you have any idea how freaking unbelievable your ridiculous demands for your “right” to have an assault rifle look to an European?

  179. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Gun nuts don’t even have a good argument for allowing citizens to own hand guns. They always point to the 2nd Amendment like it is an argument for gun possession. And they conveniently ignore ‘…well regulated militia…’.
    I don’t want shit like this to keep happening. One way to achieve that is to enact stiff gun control laws.
    I used to think a day at a shooting range would be fun bc I have never touched a gun. I no longer want to do so. These things are lethal weapons and have no purpose beyond killing.
    So Eris, what is your argument in favor of lax gun control laws (in effect, keeping the current status quo)?

  180. says

    Gee, I wonder why. I wonder what demographics might be behind that. Hmmm.

    Hmmmm indeed. The communities that routinely see children as well as adults killed and maimed by guns tend to be urban communities and tend to be disproportionately people of color. They tend to support rational gun control laws.

    The communities that use guns as recreation and as a political statement tend to be rural and disproportionately white. They tend to oppose rational gun control laws.

    Funny how one group’s need for safety and security is trumped by the other group’s demand for unfettered use of guns because they find it fun, or because they have irrational fears about tyrannical government thugs coming to take away their guns (if that were the case, there’s no possible amount of guns that could stop the government, they have civilians vastly outgunned, have for decades, and will continue to into the foreseeable future).

  181. dianne says

    Joe, heck, I’ll even try to meet you half way and say that I can see situations in which having a gun might be useful. If you’re going to hunt deer to thin the herd to avoid overpopulation and starvation, for example, it’s better to shoot them than to club them over the head, unnecessarily distressing the animal. (I’d prefer reintroducing wolves to do the job personally, but one step at a time.) If you live in farthest Montana or west Texas where 911 doesn’t even reach, you might want the gun to shoot rattlesnakes or even home invaders. I’m sure people can think of other situations. But in most urbanized Connecticut? The only use for guns is…exactly what they were used for here.

  182. consciousness razor says

    Actually, I think people are calling for gun control because they think it will lead to fewer deaths each year. I happen to think that the number of fewer deaths would not justify the loss of freedom imposed on millions of innocent people.

    Seriously? It’s okay that people get murdered, so you can have more “freedom”? WTF?

  183. Ichthyic says

    I happen to think that the number of fewer deaths would not justify the loss of freedom imposed on millions of innocent people.

    you know, when I was a teen, a buddy of mine went out and got the materials to make a homemade, large-bore potato cannon.

    We took it down to the beach to shoot it, and saw how powerful it was. 5 minutes later, a cop came by to tell us that these homemade canons were illegal, because they were incredibly dangerous and had actually killed people.

    strangely, even though our FREEDOMs were being limited, we did not try to get congress to pass an act making potato cannons legal in our area.

    Odd that. I mean, shouldn’t I be horribly upset that they IMPINGED OUR FREEDOM to make cannons?

    what Eris is, is an irresponsible child who wants who is upset her parents want to take away the glass shard she is using as a lolly.

    adults can quickly figure out why some things, even seat belts and motorcycle helmets, are worth regulating, even if they really don’t like it.

  184. says

    As long as the gun range uses human torso paper targets, they are doing it wrong.

    I can see the appeal in shooting, I enjoy sports and games that require high skill levels and precision in order to excel. I am in Canada and have done a little bit of target shooting with family in the past but have never seen someone using a human shaped target. It seems weird to me, when shooting I never thought about the target as being a person, or that learning to shoot a person was the goal. However, I am familiar with the wide array of human shaped targets that are available and I really do wonder what others are thinking about when they shoot. It scares me to think that they are shooting while daydreaming about the target actually being a person, maybe dreaming about various fantasies where they get to be a strong person and kill some scary attacker. Creepy.

  185. eigenperson says

    Eris:

    How many lives (per annum) would need to be saved to make it worth giving up the right to buy a gun that allows you to shoot several people without having to pause to reload? (In this hypothetical scenario, people could still buy other kinds of guns.)

    What about if people could still buy such a gun, but only for use at the shooting range (i.e. it wouldn’t be legal to take that kind of gun out of the shooting range, except by a registered courier)? How many lives would need to be saved to make that restriction worth it?

    Feel free to estimate.

  186. carlie says

    You know, we have a similar event that happened only two weeks ago for comparison.

    Guy walks into a classroom, kills his parent.
    Weapon: bow and arrow, knives on hand.
    Total dead on scene: 2: the parent, and the assailant.

    Guy walks into a classroom, kills his parent.
    Weapon: a couple of guns.
    Total dead on scene: 27: 20 children, the parent, 5 other adults, and the assailant.

    So yeah, I’d say the presence of guns makes a fucking lot of difference.

  187. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    …and thinking that mental health care is more important than gun control.

    Ummm…you do realize that keep people with mental health issues is part of gun control. It is not an either/or proposition.

  188. cartomancer says

    As far as the rampant gun culture in the US goes, I followed PZ’s link to the CNN site, and the first update I find is discussing precisely how many guns the killer had and of what type they were. Even down to specific model numbers and barrel calibres.

    Is this normal for mainstream US news reportage? Because it sounds really jarring to someone from outside the loop. Like it’s fetishising the technology and making that the focus of the story.

    When there is a knife attack, do the newspapers linger on the specific type and shape and forging techniques that went into the making of the knife? In a poisoning case is there a detailed chemical breakdown of the poisons used? Does someone who has been beaten to death in a fist-fight get treated to a detailed analysis of the fighting techniques used to kill him?

  189. says

    Eris Caffee, what would be your solution to help prevent this kind of murder spree? Should teachers and other faculty members be armed? Should they be required to be armed?

    Should access to guns be controlled or should people be armed in because of the chance that someone armed intends to do harm?

    Thank you for asking politely Janine.

    I want universal health care, and most importantly mental health care. I would like to see a single payer system, or even a national health service to provide this.

    I would want required firearms training and mental health screenings prior to the purchase of any firearm of any kind. And this should be done across the board for every purchaser and every purchase. (Right now, for example, in Texas where I live, the only thing like this is that people diagnosed as schizphrenic, psychotic, or bipolar need to be certified as “in remission” by a doctor before they can get a concealed carry permit. Apart from the fact that “bipolar” is a very broad spectrum that covers a lot of people who are no threat, this system is easy to bypass simply by not admitting to any problems when filling out the form for the permit.)

    I actually want basic firearms safety training to be taught in the high schools. Everyone should at least know the proper ways to unload a weapon, and most importantly should know what NOT to do with a weapon. (Always assume it is loaded, never point it at anything – not just anyone , etc.)

    I do not think that further restrictions the possesion of semi-automatic rifles is necessary, though licensing of them is not unreasonable.

    I could be persuaded that semi-automatic pistols should be restricted or heavily regulated.

    Arming teachers and other faculty is a stupid idea. Not because it would or would not save lives, but because it would introduce more opportunities for accidents and would probably jsut result in more injuries and accidental deaths.

  190. says

    “Too soon to speak out about a gun-crazy nation? No, too late”

    I’m not in the habit of quoting him but Michael Moore is probably right here.

  191. Fred Salvador - The Public Sucks; Fuck Hope says

    Because I own a gun you automatically declare me to be a threat and potential murderer.

    No; you’re those things because you seem to believe that owning a self-loading firearm is some kind of basic liberty.

    Honestly, what kind of mentality is required to believe that access to something so out-and-out lethal is a “right” of private citizens that should be honoured?

    Single-shot, bolt action weapons with three-round internal capacities (ideally zero internal capacity) would save lives – not as many as complete prohibition, but that’s simply not feasible. Such weapons are also perfectly sufficient for game hunting, and unequivocally adequate for static target shooting. Why should ordinary people be allowed to own a military-grade firearm? Why?

  192. dobbshead says

    Why do you treat it as if it were transparently on its face about individual gun ownership?

    Because it is according to 10 USC § 311

    The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.

    I became a member of the militia of the United States on my 18th birthday. I had to mail in a whole registration form under penalty of law and all that. Gun ownership in the militia is a right, according to the 2nd amendment. SCOTUS also agrees with that reading and affirmed it as recently as 2008 when they struck down the D.C. gun ban. You need to nullify the 2nd amendment to ban guns.

  193. says

    …and thinking that mental health care is more important than gun control.

    Ummm…you do realize that keep people with mental health issues is part of gun control. It is not an either/or proposition.

    Sorry, I didn’t word that well. I meant that I myself think that mental health care is more important than gun control, and that people arguing for gun control seem to feel otherwise.

  194. says

    Carlie:

    Yes, please let’s remember that Eris is the real victim here.

    Yes, yes. It would be absolutely horrible if Eris could not play “Liberal Lesbian Loves Gun!” at all times. Stupid dead people, stepping in front of innocent guns and those still breathing who are at serious risk of gun death, what are they thinking, spoiling Eris’s ability to cuddle her gun and play.

  195. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Actually, cartomancer, the make of the gun and the caliber of the bullets are part of the story. It lets you know just how much deadly force the murderer had.

  196. Ze Madmax says

    Eris @ 207:

    Please try to see things from my perspective: a derranged person in another part of the country killed many innocent people in a horrible mass murder, and now people like you are telling me what a horrible monster I am.

    No. A person killed many innocent people in a horrible mass murder, PZ posted about it (and added some reasonable commentary about the fact that this country needs better fucking gun control), and THEN you showed up here, and whined about much it sucks to be you because of “the shit that gets dumped on [you] by the left wing for being a gun owner.”

    That’s a bad way to start, really. And your followups don’t make it any better because it clearly demonstrate that you use baseless accusations of bias to discredit any information that may threaten to undermine your position.

    Furthermore:

    I happen to think that the number of fewer deaths would not justify the loss of freedom imposed on millions of innocent people.

    THIS is what makes you a monster. You are putting your freedom to access a killing tool (what for, exactly?) over HUMAN FUCKING LIVES.

    As far as I’m concerned, you ARE a monster.

  197. Ichthyic says

    I actually want basic firearms safety training to be taught in the high schools.

    and hand grenade training, don’t forget that!

    oh, also probably RPGs…

    and howitzers, because you never know when you might have to man that old WWII relic sitting on top of the hill overlooking the bay to repel the next commie invasion.

  198. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Is there a Gun Control bingo card?

    We have 18 children and several adults dead as a result of gun violence and Eris has managed to make this thread all about hir.
    Newsflash cupcake, strict gun control laws =/= banning guns.
    Why don’t you respond to the arguments at hand rather than strawmanning people?

  199. Nathair says

    I happen to think that the number of fewer deaths would not justify the loss of freedom

    I see. So saving the lives of a few hundred thousand dead people every single year, people like the twenty or so small children gunned down today, just doesn’t justify stricter legal controls on gun ownership.

    Think the parents of those kids might question your priorities? Think they might ask you what makes unfettered and unregulated access to Hey-Look-I’m-Hannibal-Smith toys like yours more important than human lives?

    Clearly I’m narcissistic

    Acknowledging that you have a problem is a good first step.

  200. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Sorry, I didn’t word that well. I meant that I myself think that mental health care is more important than gun control, and that people arguing for gun control seem to feel otherwise.

    That is still fucked up. What the fuck do you think gun control is?

  201. says

    Sally Strange:

    The communities that use guns as recreation and as a political statement tend to be rural and disproportionately white. They tend to oppose rational gun control laws.

    Yes. This pretty much describes most of the state I live in.

  202. says

    No; you’re those things because you seem to believe that owning a self-loading firearm is some kind of basic liberty.

    I kind of do, thought not strictly as such. I believe that self defense is a natural right of all living things, humans included, of course. Among humans, the people who most threaten our lives and freedoms are people who use fully automatic weapons, missles, bombs and other extremely lethal weaponry. Therefore I hold that all humans havea right to a least a grade of weapon capable of presenting a credible defense.

    If we could eliminate the weapons that are used to threaten us, then we could also eliminate the weapons used to defend us. But I don’t see the first ever happening.

  203. says

    The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.

    So you’re saying that, under your interpretation of the Constitution and current law, women don’t have the right to legally own guns, unless they are members of the national guard.

    Interesting.

  204. Beatrice says

    Sooo. How many lives? Please, Eris Caffee do share how many lives is your “right” to play with an assault rifle worth?

  205. says

    dianne,

    I know people who have depended on hunting to feed their families, or at least to ease the financial strain of the food bill in order to have money for other things. The sort of situations where if they don’t hunt successfully, they aren’t getting much or any protein until they do. There are places where self-defense isn’t really a hypothetical as much as an eventuality. So we figure out who those people are, where those places are, the minimum amount of firearm they need, and we restrict it to that much and no more.

  206. Ichthyic says

    I’m not in the habit of quoting him but Michael Moore is probably right here.

    yup.. People like Eris make a strong argument in favor of the idea that “gun ownership” is now not just considered a “fundamental” right for americans, but an unrevokable privilege.

    I wonder what Eris thought about seat belt laws?

    I mean, surely we should all have the freedom to drive our cars without restrictions, right?

    pah.

    just another case of american exceptionalism and privilege.

    I live now in a country where there is no such psychological privilege present, and strangely, nobody is clamoring for access to guns here.

  207. eigenperson says

    I’d actually like to add one question to the ones I asked Eris in my last post:

    How many lives would have to be saved (per annum) to make it worth giving up the freedom to buy and own pipe bombs?

    Or, if you’d prefer to turn the question around, what is the largest number of lives we should sacrifice per year in order to gain that freedom?

  208. nms says

    I happen to think that the number of fewer deaths would not justify the loss of freedom

    So a certain amount of murder is to be expected as a kind of “freedom tax”? Can people who aren’t gun owners opt out?

  209. says

    THIS is what makes you a monster. You are putting your freedom to access a killing tool (what for, exactly?) over HUMAN FUCKING LIVES.

    As far as I’m concerned, you ARE a monster.

    Oh well. The anti-abortion crowd tells me I’m a monster for exactly the same reason. They are just as wrong as you are.

  210. says

    To follow up on my point from before about the difference between communities, don’t you find it fascinating that it’s the people who are most at risk of actually being shot who are least interested in this whole “guns as self-defense” chimera, and are most supportive of regulating guns at least as well as we regulate cars?

    What’s the actual statistics on pistols (the guns most often thought of as being used for self-defense) actually being used for self-defense? IIRC, it’s less than 1%. The argument for owning guns because you can shoot scary bad guys is based on bad math and worse ethics.

  211. says

    Eris Caffee:

    I kind of do, thought not strictly as such. I believe that self defense is a natural right of all living things, humans included, of course. Among humans, the people who most threaten our lives and freedoms are people who use fully automatic weapons, missiles, bombs and other extremely lethal weaponry. Therefore I hold that all humans have a right to a least a grade of weapon capable of presenting a credible defense.

    If we could eliminate the weapons that are used to threaten us, then we could also eliminate the weapons used to defend us. But I don’t see the first ever happening.

    You’ve left reality and entered paranoid “Red Dawn” country. Here’s an idea: if you want to fight against ARMIES, join THE ARMY. Otherwise, you’re presenting a profoundly irrational position, and you might want to seriously consider indulging in the mental health care you advocate for others.

  212. Ichthyic says

    Can people who aren’t gun owners opt out?

    only if you leave.

    …and that’s what many GRAs (gun rights advocates) will tell you to your face, too.

    …and it’s true, though when you ask them to put their money where their mouth is, and pay for those of us who want to leave, strangely they don’t believe in that kind of “tax”.

  213. says

    So a certain amount of murder is to be expected as a kind of “freedom tax”? Can people who aren’t gun owners opt out?

    It’s note a “freedom tax”. It’s a “humanity tax”. A certain number of murders is to be expected because humans are going to hate each other and kill each other, especially in overpopulated places. Giving up our rights doesn’t solve any problems, it only creates new ones.

  214. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    I kind of do, thought not strictly as such. I believe that self defense is a natural right of all living things, humans included, of course. Among humans, the people who most threaten our lives and freedoms are people who use fully automatic weapons, missles, bombs and other extremely lethal weaponry. Therefore I hold that all humans havea right to a least a grade of weapon capable of presenting a credible defense.

    Take this to the logical extreme. What weaponry can the individual weld to protect from nuclear weapons.

    I am having an image of Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam whipping out ever bigger weapons against each other.

  215. Ichthyic says

    Oh well. The anti-abortion crowd tells me I’m a monster for exactly the same reason. They are just as wrong as you are.

    that doesn’t even make sense.

  216. eigenperson says

    I kind of do, thought not strictly as such. I believe that self defense is a natural right of all living things, humans included, of course. Among humans, the people who most threaten our lives and freedoms are people who use fully automatic weapons, missles, bombs and other extremely lethal weaponry. Therefore I hold that all humans havea right to a least a grade of weapon capable of presenting a credible defense.

    In order to present a credible defense against the powers that threaten to oppress us, we need high-tech anti-aircraft and anti-tank weaponry.

    Should I be allowed to own those?

    I’m somewhat sympathetic to the position that The People should be allowed to… as part of a well-regulated militia (not the same as the National Guard, which is not a militia in any meaningful way). But individually? No way.

  217. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Um, why does anyone need basic training to use a lethal weapon if they aren’t in a career where said weapon will be utilized?

  218. Ichthyic says

    A certain number of murders is to be expected because humans are going to hate each other and kill each other, especially in overpopulated places. Giving up our rights doesn’t solve any problems, it only creates new ones.

    so, giving up your right to drive your car without a seatbelt created WHICH problems, exactly?

    you’re delusional.

    please, do specify EXACTLY ANY problems that would affect even your local society, should someone decide you no longer can haz your semi-automatic rifle?

  219. says

    It’s note a “freedom tax”. It’s a “humanity tax”. A certain number of murders is to be expected because humans are going to hate each other and kill each other, especially in overpopulated places. Giving up our rights doesn’t solve any problems, it only creates new ones.

    Sure it does. It reduces the actual mortality rate resulting from this phenomenon of humans trying to kill each other from time to time. High mortality rate –> rational gun control legislation –> lower mortality rate –> at least one problem partially solved.

    If you were serious, you’d detail some of the problems that this would allegedly create, and why you think we’d be incapable of solving those problems.

  220. cartomancer says

    Actually, cartomancer, the make of the gun and the caliber of the bullets are part of the story. It lets you know just how much deadly force the murderer had.

    I see. That still kind of supports what I was saying though, because to my (and, I would expect, to most non-US and a good number of US) eyes, those are meaningless technical details and I would have to go and find an obscure manual to look up them in if I wanted to get any kind of useful information at all out of them. “Three guns” I get, and I understand what a barrel calibre is, but what a 2.33 (inch? centimetre?) calibre actually means in terms of death-dealing capacity I haven’t the foggiest idea.

    That level of knowledge about the technical specifications of guns is restricted to very small circles indeed where I come from, and is generally considered too technical for mainstream news coverage. From what I gather here, US news reporting seems to consider such details much more meaningful to the general population, and much more the sort of thing that people are keen to know – which seems to be a telling symptom of the extent to which the culture has taken guns to heart.

  221. Ze Madmax says

    Eris @ #256

    Oh well. The anti-abortion crowd tells me I’m a monster for exactly the same reason. They are just as wrong as you are.

    I’m surprise you get Internet access all the way up that pedestal of yours.

  222. consciousness razor says

    Sorry, I didn’t word that well. I meant that I myself think that mental health care is more important than gun control, and that people arguing for gun control seem to feel otherwise.

    That is still fucked up. What the fuck do you think gun control is?

    Obviously “gun control” is gun control for people who don’t need mental health. People who need mental health care are the real problem, because… uh… FREEDOM!

    No, just look over there!

  223. dobbshead says

    @Alverant #148

    I like your answer for gun control. I think a license system that requires a test along with fingerprinting is perfectly reasonable. It will still maintain the right to obtain firearms, but put it within an appropriate regulation. It’s also the most likely to both work and pass constitutional muster.

    @SallyStrange #250

    I’m just citing case law and the USC’s definition of militia. I never said it would pass 18th amendment muster. And it’s not my interpretation of the constitution that matters, it’s SCOTUS’. Last time around they struck down the D.C. handgun ban. Banning guns will take a constitutional amendment and a major culture shift. Regulating who can get guns a little more tightly is easier, but we should choose the regulations that are most likely to work. Banning scary black guns, and guns with folding stocks won’t stop this kind of atrocity if hunting rifles are still available. Requiring psychiatric evaluation and training has a better shot.

  224. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.

    Again, I have never attended a meeting of this “well-regulated” militia, which means there are no meeting, no regulations, no training, no duties, no nothing. Just having a vague law on the books doesn’t cut the reality mustard.

  225. says

    I’m trying to find the “self-defense” website I went to where the person posted an article discussing the need for high-powered rifles with scopes(possibly with night vision) in case you have to shoot someone in “self-defense” from 100m or more away, possibly from inside your house. You know, because we’ve all had to hold off large gangs of armed assailants attempting to breach our perimeter, who also made their presence known from a couple of football fields away.

  226. Ichthyic says

    ok, bored with the drama queen now.

    I bet the next time another of these threads pops up, she will come back with another comment of EXACTLY the same nature as her original at 151, regardless of anything anybody has said or posted.

    you’re wasting your time if you think her posting has anything to do with her changing her real attitudes or perceptions about anything.

  227. says

    Oh well. The anti-abortion crowd tells me I’m a monster for exactly the same reason. They are just as wrong as you are.

    that doesn’t even make sense.

    The anti-abortion people ascribe sentience and personhood to fetuses. This person apparently thinks people are non-sentient non-persons, just like fetuses.

    It’s the only way I can rationalize their response.

  228. Beatrice says

    The anti-abortion people ascribe sentience and personhood to fetuses. This person apparently thinks people are non-sentient non-persons, just like fetuses.

    Put an assault rifle or a handgun in their hand and they’ll count.

  229. says

    The anti-abortion people ascribe sentience and personhood to fetuses. This person apparently thinks people are non-sentient non-persons, just like fetuses.

    Put an assault rifle or a handgun in their hand and they’ll count.

    I suppose that, after you’ve been shot and killed, it’s true that you’re neither sentient nor a person.

  230. eigenperson says

    #274 Ichthyic, I admit that I am still curious to find out how many lives should be sacrificed each year so that people can own self-loading weapons.

  231. says

    Having actually used self-defense to preserve my life, I’m always amazed by how people use that scenario as an excuse to have things like assault rifles.

    Seriously? That wouldn’t have helped. At all. Had I for some bizarre reason been going everywhere with an assault rifle strapped to my body, I probably would have ended up dead instead of simply injured.

  232. says

    You’ve left reality and entered paranoid “Red Dawn” country. Here’s an idea: if you want to fight against ARMIES, join THE ARMY. Otherwise, you’re presenting a profoundly irrational position, and you might want to seriously consider indulging in the mental health care you advocate for others.

    Actually, Joe, the US military is part of what I’m afraid of. In case you haven’t heard, they are very heavily influenced by extremist Christians. I’ve had more than one ex-soldier tell me that I don’t have the same rights as other people, and quite frankly those guys scare me. Even my own mother says I don’t have a right to be an atheist because it’s against the Constitution. So when I talk about defending myself I mean doing so while trying to flee the US, because I have very real (hopefully overblown) fears of a right-wing coup attempt in the next few years.

    If my rifle sits in the closet colelcting dust, then I will be very happy, but I don’t feel safe taking that chance.

    if you guys live is nice safe libreal parts of the country, then I’m glad for yo. But I dont’have that luxury. Sorry.

  233. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    There is a huge difference, cartomancer, between carrying three six shooters, three semi-automatic pistols and hauling three automatic machine guns. Just like there are differences between your standard lead slug, dum-dum bullets and armor piercers.These are not obscure details.

  234. says

    Oh well. The anti-abortion crowd tells me I’m a monster for exactly the same reason. They are just as wrong as you are.

    So…your claim is that because anti-abortion people say that those who put reproductive freedom and control over human lives fetuses are monsters, this also applies to everyone who is appalled at your apparent lack of empathy?

    You can add ‘inability to think’ to your list of problems. That’s one hell of a persecution complex you have going there.

  235. Ichthyic says

    Actually, Joe, the US military is part of what I’m afraid of. In case you haven’t heard, they are very heavily influenced by extremist Christians.

    right, so the reason you want to own semi automatic weapons is because of… black helicopters.

    uh huh.

  236. says

    cartomancer,

    That still kind of supports what I was saying though, because to my (and, I would expect, to most non-US and a good number of US) eyes, those are meaningless technical details and I would have to go and find an obscure manual to look up them in if I wanted to get any kind of useful information at all out of them. “Three guns” I get, and I understand what a barrel calibre is, but what a 2.33 (inch? centimetre?) calibre actually means in terms of death-dealing capacity I haven’t the foggiest idea.

    That level of knowledge about the technical specifications of guns is restricted to very small circles indeed where I come from, and is generally considered too technical for mainstream news coverage. From what I gather here, US news reporting seems to consider such details much more meaningful to the general population, and much more the sort of thing that people are keen to know – which seems to be a telling symptom of the extent to which the culture has taken guns to heart.

    .223 Remington is the civilian version of the 5.56mm NATO round used in military assault rifles. That should be obscure information, and maybe it is… but America totally fetishizes its military, so maybe it is not as obscure as it should be. We also have military surplus stores where people can buy all sorts of old/fake military gear, for some ridiculous reason or another.(plus good and cheap cold-weather stuff occasionally) OH! Plus video games… people know lots about real-life guns thanks to more realistic video games.

  237. consciousness razor says

    Giving up our rights doesn’t solve any problems, it only creates new ones.

    Why is your position getting even more delusional? You said it does solve problems:

    Actually, I think people are calling for gun control because they think it will lead to fewer deaths each year. I happen to think that the number of fewer deaths […]

    There are fewer numbers of deaths. That’s a fucking solution to the fucking problem of people dying, you stupid fucking asshole.

  238. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    So when I talk about defending myself I mean doing so while trying to flee the US, because I have very real (hopefully overblown) fears of a right-wing coup attempt in the next few years.

    Good luck keeping your rifle or getting a replacement when to move to a more reasonable country. They tend to have tighter gun control laws.

  239. eigenperson says

    #284 Eris:

    I don’t know what kind of weapon you own. But I do know that you can’t fight effectively against the US army with it, and even if you gave every liberal in the country a thousand bullets and a semiautomatic, the best we could do is force the army to gun us down en masse from armored helicopters rather than do it in person. And if you think they wouldn’t dare, look at the death toll of the Civil War.

    The point is that if the US population ends up fighting against the US army, the People’s peacetime arsenal won’t help in the slightest.

    PLEASE don’t sacrifice lives for the sake of arming people with small arms against a potential coup. It’s quixotic.

  240. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Eris:
    Have you ever considered that your paranoia has been cultivated by the gun lobby in US culture? I cannot believe you seriously justify having a rifle bc xtian military soldiers might one day come for you.
    Also, why does anyone need training in the use of guns if they are not in a career where it is relevant to know such?

  241. consciousness razor says

    Actually, Joe, the US military is part of what I’m afraid of.

    So you owning a fucking Ruger Mini-14 is going to put up a credible fucking defense against the US fucking military?

    DELUSIONAL.

  242. says

    Caerie:

    Having actually used self-defense to preserve my life, I’m always amazed by how people use that scenario as an excuse to have things like assault rifles.

    :Raises hand: I have used self defense to save my life too and it has nothing to do with guns. All guns do is up the chance you’ll die and they attract attention like nobody’s business.

    Seriously? That wouldn’t have helped. At all.

    Nope. I carry a weapon which isn’t actually a weapon when I’m out and no one has the slightest idea. It’s easily accessible and tiny. And has lethal capability.

  243. Beatrice says

    I’ll pose my question for the last time:

    How many lives is your “right” to play with an assault rifle worth, Eris Caffee?

    This thread makes me sick. The murders are the foremost reason, but Eris Caffee as the representation of US gun nuts contributes quite a lot.
    Congratulations, Eris Caffee, on making this thread about yourself and about your “right” to carry deadly weapons. Fuck you. Seriously, you are a selfish, narcissistic shit. You are everything many Europeans are going to think of when they generalize what happened into “those crazy Americans and their guns”. Having an assault rifle isn’t a fucking right. Banning you from owning one wouldn’t be a horrible curtailing of your freedoms, it would be a basic step towards a civilized nation.

  244. Ichthyic says

    I wonder if Eris would be worried about her right to own guns if she moved to a country without a gun culture to begin with, where gun homicides are extremely low, and there IS no military to speak of?

    Would Eris be unconcerned about giving up her cherished firearm then?

  245. says

    if you guys live is nice safe libreal parts of the country, then I’m glad for yo. But I dont’have that luxury. Sorry.

    “Liberal parts of the country”? You mean, like cities? Those tend to be the areas with the highest concentration of liberal and left-leaning types. Oddly, they tend to be places where being afraid of being shot is rational, unlike your completely irrational fear of being attacked by, I don’t know, rogue Christian soldiers. Also, they tend to be areas where support for gun control is high. As I mentioned before.

    I have some advice for lowering your risk of being murdered by an out-of-control US soldier: don’t get married to one. Also, don’t live outside the US. I’m afraid rifle ownership is going to have a negligible impact on that risk.

  246. Nathair says

    Actually, Joe, the US military is part of what I’m afraid of.

    And there it is. There it always is. Stir a “gun nut” a bit and eventually “I am afraid” comes bubbling to the surface.

    Your fear is not a good enough reason to put the rest of us at real risk.

  247. says

    Improbable Joe said:

    We also have military surplus stores where people can buy all sorts of old/fake military gear, for some ridiculous reason or another.(plus good and cheap cold-weather stuff occasionally)

    How true. Get the Sportsman’s Guide catalogue because I have purchased some uniforms and jackboots from them. They are a really friendly company and I love dealing with them. They also have some great prices on cold weather gear, clothing and a lot of interesting things but at the same time they have all sorts of strange things for people that are apparently afraid of everything. The one thing I remember off the top of my head was a wall clock that swings open, allowing you to store your handgun and lots of rounds.

  248. says

    #274 Ichthyic, I admit that I am still curious to find out how many lives should be sacrificed each year so that people can own self-loading weapons.

    Sorry, but I can’t respond to everyone. I’m going to make this my last post, since obviously no one is going to change anyones minds here today, but I want to address this one question since it has been asked several times.

    How many lives a year would it take to convince me that self-loading guns should be banned? I honestly don’t know.

    1 death in 100? Absolutely ban the things.
    1 in a 1000? Yeah, ban.
    1 in 10,000? Hmmm. Some restrictions would seem reasonable.
    1 in 100,000? Nope, that’s not enough.

    What is the actual rate right now? The closest figures I can get with a quick Google search are from the FBI:

    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10shrtbl08.xls

    Those numbers don’t break down the weapons by semi-automatic or not, but even if every gun were a semi-auto then in 2010 we’d have had a death rate of 1 in 23,000 from guns. (Assuming US population of 308 million.) That is not enough to convince me to ban something that almost 90 million Americans possess without becoming criminals.

    I’m tired of this perennial and futile argument again, so I’ll leave you guys to attack the wonderfulyl hand crafted straw man that Ichthyic has built for you.

  249. Ichthyic says

    I’m going to make this my last post, since obviously no one is going to change anyones minds here today

    thanks for making clear you never came here to change your mind about anything.

  250. says

    So when I talk about defending myself I mean doing so while trying to flee the US, because I have very real (hopefully overblown) fears of a right-wing coup attempt in the next few years.

    Again, you exhibit a real problem with thinking. If you aren’t just pulling shit out of your ass in an attempt to justify your monstrous stances, it seems you don’t realize that any country you could flee to, which would be a desirable country in which to live would have extremely strict gun control. The rest of the world isn’t as demented as the U.S., you know.

    So, in your little scenario, you’d have to say goodbye to your little friend.

    Why do I get the sense that Eris has trouble distinguishing between bad movies and reality?

  251. nakarti says

    The biggest problem with controls is this: We have gun controls. We have any number of controls on the kind of gun you may have. Controls on the accessories you can attach to that gun. Controls on where you can carry that gun. Controls on how you can hide that gun. Controls on what kind of lock you put on that gun.
    We have One control on WHO may have a gun: if you’ve been convicted, no gun. Anybody else, buy a gun.
    (Supposedly there are other checks in some states, but every maniac shooting reminds us this is not done correctly if at all.)

  252. Gregory Greenwood says

    Unfortunately, I can see how this us going to play out. Initially, there will be expressions of horror about the tragedy, paired with statements such as that already made by Obama that ‘now is not the time to discuss gun control’*. If that doesn’t entirely silence discussion, then it will quickly escalate to accusations that gun control advocates are using the deaths in this attack to cynically play polictics.

    That will probably work to minimise discussion of the need for gun control for a while, but after the initial shock fades the whole ‘it’s disrespectful to talk about gun control now’ angle will wear really thin, really fast. Once the issue of gun control is be back on the public agenda in a big way, then it won’t be long before the gun nuts come out in their true colours, and we have another NRA idiot waving a firearm in the air and declaring ‘from my cold, dead hands!’ while his (you just know it will be a wealthy, middle aged White man) equally stupid supporters cheer testerically.

    It is times like this that I am glad that I live in the UK with its at least partially sane gun laws.

    ————————————————————————————————————————–

    * Which leads me to wonder when the ‘proper’ time to discuss the issue will be. I get a sinking feeling the truthful answer would be ‘never’.

  253. says

    Ah, well, one last thought. I just want to note that everyone seems to have ignored my suggestions for better mental health care, mental health screening of gun owners, licensure of powerful weapons, and better firearms safetly training. It just goes to show how an emotional issue can divide people even when they agree on more things than they disagree on.

  254. Beatrice says

    I just want to note that everyone seems to have ignored my suggestions for better mental health care, mental health screening of gun owners, licensure of powerful weapons, and better firearms safetly training.

    LIAR

  255. geoffreybrent says

    @119:

    “Confiscation of firearms as done in Australia in 1996? That really put a damper on shootings, but when they did occur, they were spectacular mass shootings of the sort we’re now facing.”

    For the benefit of those who don’t follow Australian news, this is what’s technically termed a “barefaced lie”.

    Between 1987 and 1996, Australia had at least seven mass shootings. The worst was the Port Arthur massacre in 1996, where Martin Bryant killed 35 people and wounded another 21. After the legislation that followed, outlawing semi- and pump-action longarms… um… you’ll have to refresh my memory about mass shootings since them, because I can’t remember anything remotely near that scale. The closest I can think of to a “mass shooting” since 1996 was the Monash University shooting, where two people were killed and five wounded.

    “Getting back to to Australia, look at their homicide record before and after gun control: http://www.aic.gov.au/statistics/homicide.html.
    At least there are very few of them are shootings any more. (Curiously, class H firearms include deactivated handguns that are used for target practice.)”

    Note the first sentence of that article, which points out that the per capita homicide rate has declined by about one-third between 1992-3 and 2006-7. That translates to approximately 120 fewer homicides each year than we’d expect at early-90s rates.

    It’s doubtful that all that reduction was due to the change in gun laws. But please do us the courtesy of at least being truthful about things that are easily-checked matters of public record.

  256. eigenperson says

    So, there we have it. According to Eris, the number of lives that should be sacrificed per year so that Americans can personally own self-loading weapons is between 3000 and 30000.

    Now, I don’t have a very strong personal feeling about those numbers, myself. However, if you’re unsure why some people call you a monster, I think the fact that you think the right to own self-loading guns is worth between 3000 and 30000 lives per year is part of it.

  257. echidna says

    Eris, those “suggestions” are hardly new or controversial. The discussion with you was driven by the inconsistent positions that you hold.

  258. evilDoug says

    Why should ordinary people be allowed to own a military-grade firearm? Why?

    So they can go to the store and buy something they can show off and brag about?

    I know a kid who makes weapons – out of wood and cardboard and fiberglass and resin – to go with the amazing video game character costumes he makes. As far as I’m concerned, he earned some real bragging rights. The assault, “credible defense from bombs and missiles”, weapon owner? Well, as I am very fond of doing, I quote the final lines of Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s Salute

    I raise my middle finger,
    In the only proper salute.

  259. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Good to see that our liberal lesbian atheist troll still sees mental care issues as being different from gun control issues.

  260. consciousness razor says

    It just goes to show how an emotional issue can divide people even when they agree on more things than they disagree on.

    What, are you not emotional, because you’ve barely stopped to fucking think about the people who died? Are you defending fucking gun ownership on the planet Vulcan or something?

    And why the fuck would matter what the number of things we disagree on is? You think people getting murdered is fine, if it means you have the “freedom” to play with your fucking toy, which you have delusions can somehow keep you safe from the fucking US military of all things. That’s a big fucking thing to disagree about.

  261. Gregory Greenwood says

    consciousness razor @ 294;

    Actually, Joe, the US military is part of what I’m afraid of.

    So you owning a fucking Ruger Mini-14 is going to put up a credible fucking defense against the US fucking military?

    DELUSIONAL.

    I know what you mean – there are few things as ridiculous as gun nuts claiming that the so called right to bear arms is some grand guarantor of personal freedom and that old lie of ‘truth, justice and the American way’.

    They seem to have watched so many corny action movies that they honestly believe that they and a few of their fellow travelers packing infantry weapons would be able to hold back a military coup. That they would be capable of defeating heavy armour, helicopter gunsips, fighter-bombers, drones, naval assets and all the other panoply of hardware possessed by a modern military with what amounts to pea shooters by comparison.

    I wish them luck taking on that Sherman tank with a handgun if some kind of rightwing coup ever comes to pass, because they as sure as the fictional hell-trope are going to need it…

  262. bobo says

    beatrice said

    Congratulations, Eris Caffee, on making this thread about yourself and about your “right” to carry deadly weapons. Fuck you. Seriously, you are a selfish, narcissistic shit.

    QFT

  263. Beatrice says

    According to the 2010 census, Newtown had 27560 residents at the time. If a whole town of Newtown could be saved, Eris might consider letting go of her toy. Half a town? Oh, fuck them.

  264. Rey Fox says

    So yeah, I’d say the presence of guns makes a fucking lot of difference.

    But does it make enough of a difference to make up for the loss of freedom to have gun? Show your math, and make sure you use the right conversion of units (human lives to units of freedom)

  265. says

    For those discussing Australia – we already had gun control before the Port Arthur massacre. It was tightened after that, not introduced for the first time. And the AIC is indeed a reputable source.

    We also have a different culture. Guns are not normally considered as defense against people; they are primarily for killing animals. Hunting; killing farm animals, whether for food or euthanasia; maybe the occasional snake but it’s usually better to just leave them alone. We do also have sporting target shooters, and collectors, and historical re-enactors as well, and they fully expect to have licenses and safety conditions and such. Yes, of course criminals can still get guns – but it’s not so easy.

  266. Ichthyic says

    testerically

    if that’s not a word, it should be.

    Show your math, and make sure you use the right conversion of units (human lives to units of freedom)

    no, really, even though I know there ARE people like Eris that figure they can legitimately do it, I’d prefer not to see this level of rationalization in actual print, EVER.

    well, ever again, anyway.

    it does bring up an important point though; just how much has the rationalization of individuals as “things” instead of people contributed to this kind of nightmare, and to gun culture in general, I wonder?

  267. evilDoug says

    While I believe there is a very real need for improved mental health care, even here in Canada where it is available with no direct cost to the patient, it is only a part of the picture. Marc Lépine had access to such care, and if he had gone to any reasonable doctor and admitted he really wanted to kill people, he probably would have be admitted to hospital within a few hours. But those who don’t seek help for themselves and don’t have anyone who will “push” them to seek it aren’t going to get it. Neither will those who consider themselves entirely mentally healthy.*
    For this reason, I regard voiced promotion of mental health by the NRA-mentality set as a diversionary tactic. Same goes for words about gun safety training. Even a mass murder such as the topic here gets twisted into a diversion, so “little killings”, like the kid who was murdered over noxious music and the laws and attitudes that let such things happen get swept conveniently aside.

    *Public admission of paranoia about the US military would seem like reasonable ground for denial of a permit to own a gun.

  268. Ichthyic says

    which is the automatic weapon?

    do you actually have a point?

    have just heard on the news, that it was mom’s guns that were used.

    again… interesting, but… point?

  269. Fred Salvador - The Public Sucks; Fuck Hope says

    I kind of do, thought not strictly as such. I believe that self defense is a natural right of all living things, humans included, of course.

    As do I. I really don’t see how that ties in with… wait a minute… do I detect the words “fully automatic” marching with ill-deserved grandiosity towards this reply?

    Among humans, the people who most threaten our lives and freedoms are people who use fully automatic weapons,

    Ah yes. There they are.

    missles, bombs and other extremely lethal weaponry.

    So it’s “Schrodinger’s submachine gun” once more, only with a few bells and whistles. No mention of ZOG or the Roswell Conspiracy though, so you’re probably not a survivalist. That’s something, I suppose.

    Therefore I hold that all humans havea right to a least a grade of weapon capable of presenting a credible defense.

    Self-loading rifles are of absolutely no use whatever against car bombs, gravity bombs, ICBMs, rocket artillery, regular artillery, mortars, IEDs, regardless of what warhead they’re packing. Don’t let the NRA lie to you; having access to military-grade weapons isn’t going to save you from terrorism, or VX on the subway, or ebola in the water, or creeping Sharia, or whatever.

    Rifles are designed to fire projectiles with reasonable accuracy at high velocity over long distances. The only fully automatic weaponry capable of similar effective ranges would be some form of military-grade high calibre machine gun, of exactly the kind you never hear about gang members using in firefights. Honestly, who has time to set up a tripod and double-cock a 50cal when there’s a Cadillac full of Crips bearing down on you?

    No; the most likely threat you’ll ever find yourself facing in fully automatic terms is some low-velocity submachine gun, or machine pistol, and unless you are in some bizarre self-defence situation where your rifle’s range becomes a factor then there’s very little odds between your self-loading rifle and his MAC10 when all is said and done – except he can empty his clip in your general direction faster than you can sneeze. Shotguns, brutish and indiscriminate as they are, would be a far wiser choice for defending your home against invasive burglars than a carbine, since accuracy isn’t an issue with buckshot at ten or twenty feet.

    If you’re defending yourself on the street… well that’s not an issue for carbines, is it? As far as I’m aware not even the USA is backward enough to see the open hefting of self-loading rifles as acceptable behaviour in an urban area, nor is a concealed-carry carbine feasible in any way, least of all as a quick-draw defence against armed muggers. Who, if they have you hemmed up, are as likely as not to slot you before you can even lay hand on your concealed weapon anyway.

    Unless you shoot them first. Which presents a whole new set of dilemmas.

    If you’re worried about the USA being invaded somehow… well, Jesus. Holy fucking shit. No, seriously; what the fuck? Even supposing some kind of alien army capable of evading the vast intelligence and surveillance network the US has in place could be found, your country has almost two million active service personnel it can call on, not to mention several hundred thousand reservists, a few hundred thousand heavily armed Federal law enforcement agents, and a fully armed constabulary in every town and county throughout the nation. Why the fuck do they need you to have a repeater?

    Get a grip.

    There is no reasonable excuse, much less a valid defence, for civilian ownership of military-grade weapons. Single-shot, bolt actions rifles with three-round internal capacities and break-barrel shotguns are perfectly sufficient for any conceivable civilian activity, including defence of your home against intruders.

    While I was writing this, I had it pointed out to me that sawing off a shotgun is illegal in the USA. You can carry handguns in certain states but you can’t cut the end off a fucking shotgun? Or buy fireworks? What the fuck is wrong with you people? Where do your standards come fr… oh, right. Corporate interest lobbyists.

  270. Gregory Greenwood says

    proterozoic @ 322;

    Nutjobs are already suggesting we should arm teachers.

    It is always the same with gun nuts – in their minds, if there is a problem caused by guns being too readily available in society, then there is but one answer; MOAR GUNZ!!!111!!1

    Then again, that is their answer to pretty much everything…

    Of course, when they claim that if only some ‘good guy’ had been carrying a weapon then the massacre would never have happened, they never stop to condsider that it is no simple matter to hit a moving target amid the chaos of such an attack, doubly so if that target is shooting back at you. They assume that some righteous, chisel jawed, all American action hero* would gun the malefactor down to the reverberating thunder of a single perfect shot, framed in cinematic slow motion no doubt.

    Of course, back in that little place called reality, what would actually happen is one or more wannabe gunslingers – with little to no training that would be of any use in such a scenario – would open up in pursuit of an unrealistic and deeply immature dream of heroism and would almost certainly succeed in achieving nothing more than increasing the body count.

    ———————————————————————————————————————-

    * An extra large helping of toxic, misogynistic and homophobic patriarchic tropes is mandatory in such cases.

  271. dianne says

    Right now, for example, in Texas where I live, the only thing like this is that people diagnosed as schizphrenic, psychotic, or bipolar need to be certified as “in remission” by a doctor before they can get a concealed carry permit.

    What the crap does “in remission” mean in this context? A psychotic disorder that had an organic (that is, a known organic) cause might be curable, a person who takes his or her meds regularly might be well controlled and not actively psychotic, but they’ll still have schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. We simply don’t know how to put these conditions into anything resembling a remission.

    To top it off, it’s not at all clear that limiting purchase of guns based on psychiatric history is likely to be helpful in preventing massacres. Did the shooter in this case have a psychiatric history? I don’t mean his neighbors saying he was strange or his family saying he seemed depressed, but an actual diagnosis? What about the mall shooter the other week? Or the Columbine shooters or the guy at VA Tech or the Colorado theater shooter or…any other massacre perpetrator you might care to name.

  272. says

    Of course, when they claim that if only some ‘good guy’ had been carrying a weapon then the massacre would never have happened, they never stop to condsider that it is no simple matter to hit a moving target amid the chaos of such an attack, doubly so if that target is shooting back at you. They assume that some righteous, chisel jawed, all American action hero* would gun the malefactor down to the reverberating thunder of a single perfect shot, framed in cinematic slow motion no doubt.

    It’s even dumber than that. There is one potential armed person in a school classroom. If you’re intent on a massacre, the first thing you do when you enter the classroom is shoot the teacher, and unless people are saying that every teacher needs to be on a hair trigger ready to draw and fire within seconds of any adult walking through the door at any time, then there still is nothing that teacher would have been able to do about it.

    Who wants to live in a society where every teacher needs to be armed to keep your children safe?

    Sounds more like Somalia to me.

  273. Beatrice says

    To stray away from the topic of Eris…

    The murderer apparently shot his mother at home and then went to the school to shoot up kids.

  274. Ichthyic says

    …first, kate, not ashley, and second, I see several people, including Chris, just made posts about this too :P

  275. consciousness razor says

    To top it off, it’s not at all clear that limiting purchase of guns based on psychiatric history is likely to be helpful in preventing massacres.

    Well, Eris tells us that is a worthwhile thing to do, because apparently the majority of murders in the US are “massacres,” which are evidently committed by people with mental health problems. Otherwise, it doesn’t save enough lives can’t be the ridiculous fucking rationalization we’re going to use right now.

  276. Nathair says

    Who wants to live in a society where every teacher needs to be armed to keep your children safe?

    Sounds more like Somalia to me.

    And it doesn’t exactly work there.

  277. says

    Just clamping down on the mentally ill owning firearms isn’t going to help much. First, there are probably millions of mentally unstable Americans who have never been formally diagnosed. No amount of surveillance of the mentally ill is going to keep guns out of these people.

    Second, if you’re a gun owner going through a bad patch in your life, are you going to want to seek help if there is a threat that you might lose your right to own your guns if you do? It could end up exacerbating the problem.

  278. John Morales says

    [meta]

    An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.Robert A. Heinlein

    (Even as a youth I laughed at that one)

    An armed society is a safe society.Tempe Tea Party.

    An armed society is a safe society.The Catholic Eye.

  279. dianne says

    Thanks, Ichthyic. People with schizophrenia are no more likely to be violent than the average person. I’m not sure about bipolar-I simply haven’t ever seen a statistic one way or another. There’s probably something wrong with the brains of people who commit mass murder-at least I hate to think that it’s the human norm to commit mass murder without provocation or justification*, but it’s not as simple as having one of the defined mental illnesses.

    So, not only do we not have the medical tech available to truly put someone into remission for mental health issues, requiring that people with a history of mental health issues be “in remission” for them is a senseless form of prejudice that won’t make anyone safer.

    *Highly embarrassed for my species that I have to put so many qualifications on that statement.

  280. Beatrice says

    consciousness razor

    Yes, she completely ignores all the unnecessary killings during robberies, accidental discharges (John Morales linked to a story of a man accidentally killing his son because the idiot didn’t realize there was a bullet inside just a day or two ago), men murdering their lovers/wives in a fit of rage…

  281. says

    Again, mental health service is an extremely important issue, but it is a red herring in gun violence. Most gun murders are not by anyone with any mental health issue and most mass shooters are not diagnosed or even fit the symptoms for diagnosis. The culture itself is built on violence, guns are too easily available in forms that are too deadly and an entire arms industry revolves around scaring “sane” people into buying guns and then bitching nonstop if their “right” to own 100 round drums and assault rifles is at all even talked about.

    Most mental health violence issues are unarmed and short lived, and preventing people with mood disorders or schizoaffective disorders won’t magically lower gun violence.

    Also I am sad I was driving home for the so called librul gun owner to nail schlerself to a cross.

  282. barklikeadog says

    Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.

    Right…Yeah the gun didn’t kill them. It was just the bullets that came out of the gun…. I hate it when people say stupid shit.

  283. Ichthyic says

    There’s probably something wrong with the brains of people who commit mass murder-at least I hate to think that it’s the human norm to commit mass murder without provocation or justification*, but it’s not as simple as having one of the defined mental illnesses.

    Kate’s post definitely gave me pause to more carefully consider the issue, to be sure.

  284. says

    Second, if you’re a gun owner going through a bad patch in your life, are you going to want to seek help if there is a threat that you might lose your right to own your guns if you do? It could end up exacerbating the problem.

    Yep. This would not get people help. It would keep people from seeking help.

  285. carlie says

    Well, Eris tells us that is a worthwhile thing to do, because apparently the majority of murders in the US are “massacres,” which are evidently committed by people with mental health problems.

    We have over 16,000 homicides in the US every year. source

    Most of those are single murders, most of those are not people with mental health problems (unless you define it broadly to mean “anyone who could benefit from some therapy”, which most people who are claiming mental health don’t)

  286. psychodigger says

    Eris Caffee,

    I am one of those Europeans who is absolutely stupefied why on earth you would need to own an assault rifle. All the arguments against have been spelled out above, so I am not going to repeat those, but the only reason in favour I have heard from you is your rather weird fear of your own army. Whether that is reasonable or not (I do not really think so) is a moot point but I am very curious what you expect to do against tanks, gunships, fighter planes, tactical bombers, drones, cruise missiles and tens of thousands of soldiers with one assault rifle? Even if you gang up with like minded nuts when the putsch is executed, you would not last an hour. This is not the Alamo and you are not up against people with flint lock rifles and swords, you know.

    I am not just stumped by the fact that you feel the need to have an assault rifle, but just as much because of the completely insane reason why!

  287. says

    The Onion nails it:

    NEWTOWN, CT—Following today’s mass shooting that left 20 young children dead at a Connecticut elementary school, numerous sources across the country reported that their government-protected right to own a portable device that propels small masses of metal through the air at lethal rates of speed is completely worth any such consequences. “It’s my God-given right and a founding principle of this country that I be able to own a [piece of metal that launches other smaller pieces of metal great distances, one after the other], and if a few deaths here and there is the price we have to pay for that freedom, then so be it,” said Lawrence Crane of nearby Danbury, CT, who is such a staunch advocate of the portable deadly-pellet-flinging apparatuses that he keeps multiple versions of such mechanisms in his home, often carries one with him, and is a member of a club whose sole purpose is to celebrate these assembled steel things and the small bits of metal they send flying. “Sure, it’s sad that a few kids died, but it’s far better than the tyranny that would result if the government came and took away all our [mechanical contraptions that make a lot of little pointy chunks of metal go through the air fast]. Can you even imagine what kind of horrible world that would be?” The man added that if the events that unfolded today led lawmakers to question his ability to possess any such items of steel and lead, authorities would have to “pry the [wholly inanimate mechanical object, nothing more, nothing less] from [his] dead hands.”

  288. Nathair says

    Just clamping down on the mentally ill owning firearms isn’t going to help much.

    Is someone suggesting that?

  289. neuralobserver says

    Obama’s on TV talking about how he’s reacted “not as a President, but as anyone would. . a parent.” Fuck you. You’re not my Daddy. Be a goddamn leader, not a pseudo parent figure.–Josh… @53

    More moronic criticism from brain-challenged Pharygulites. Obama is not a parent figure nor a pseudo parent figure: he IS a parent, of two young girls.
    Do you NOT think that he can relate to the insane death of these children as a parent, viewed and felt through the eyes and sensibilities AS a parent, additionally as well as THE ADULTS WHO WERE KILLED, AS HE DID WITH THE SHOOTINGS IN AURORA, COLORADO EARLIER THIS YEAR,…… ASSHOLE?
    ( And that goes for all who have given a thumbs up to his fuckwitted statements.)

    Be a goddam leader??? What’s he supposed to do, you dumb fuck? Go on a rhetorical tirade in the face of a tragedy like this? He IS leading by expressing national words of comfort and understanding, as OTHER presidents have in similar past situations. No one despises the fucking gun-nut culture in the country more than I do, but it’s empty and lacking understanding and empathy to crash someone within hours of a major tragedy like this, who IS trying to address a severe emotional damage to a large group of victims.
    I agree that the fucking gun culture in this country is out of fucking control, and we need a MASSIVE movement–or in terms of Colin Powell’s military strategy–an effort of ‘overwhelming force’ to turn back the social influence of the NRA and the large proportion of reality-challenged gun nuts, a la Ted Nugent.
    The problem is that the political and social momentum is, unfortunately, with the ‘bullet brigade’, and it’s difficult to turn around. There is more support for ‘gun freedom’ on both sides of the isle in recent years, despite the regularity of the tragedies; frustrating, but unfortunately true.

    Obama: clue—Lots of us aren’t parents and we’re capable of grieving, too. It’s also sad when non-children are murdered. –Josh.. @ 54

    Hmmmm,.. call me naive,.. but I DON’T THINK HE THINKS DEAD, INNOCENT ADULTS ARE INTRINSICALLY LESS IMPORTANT.

  290. Maureen Brian says

    It now seems fairly certain that the 20-year-old brother was the killer.

    What sort of bonkers country efficiently protects him from the evil of buying a can of beer but allows him to go about armed to commit a massacre?

  291. says

    I am very curious what you expect to do against tanks, gunships, fighter planes, tactical bombers, drones, cruise missiles and tens of thousands of soldiers with one assault rifle? Even if you gang up with like minded nuts when the putsch is executed, you would not last an hour. This is not the Alamo and you are not up against people with flint lock rifles and swords, you know.

    Indeed. There is no longer any rational argument for private gun ownership being a defense against government tyranny. As long as a nation’s armed forces remain loyal to the government, it’s a fantasy to believe that armed civilians could do anything to stop them.

    Plus, it’s likely that the vast majority of citizens, including the vast majority of gun owners, would prefer to stay out of any civil war or uprising, given the odds of being rolled over by a tank or blown up by heavy armament.

  292. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ah, well, one last thought. I just want to note that everyone seems to have ignored my suggestions for better mental health care, mental health screening of gun owners, licensure of powerful weapons, and better firearms safetly training.

    No, your proposals are just the starting point for the real reforms needed. That is why nobody is agreeing with your band-aid approach. Get to the real root cause of too many guns in too many untrained and criminal hands.

  293. says

    Just clamping down on the mentally ill owning firearms isn’t going to help much.

    Is someone suggesting that?

    It’s a fairly common right-wing response — part of “if we only kept the guns out of the hands to those who can’t be trusted with them then the rest of us can carry on owning what we like.”

  294. nightshadequeen says

    Shorter Eris:

    Fewer deaths don’t justify banning guns.

    Why are you guys calling me a monster?

    Seriously, what do you use that gun for?

  295. tomh says

    There is a short op-ed piece in the NYT by a father who lost a son in a school shooting 20 years ago. He makes the point that, “Children will continue to pay for a freedom their elders enjoy.” Exactly right. In the same way that children pay the price for their elders freedom to deny them medical care in the name of religion, Eris believes that some children’s deaths are justified in the name of her Constitutional right to own automatic weapons. Children don’t matter much in America when it comes to their elders so-called freedoms.

  296. says

    neuralobserver:

    More moronic criticism from brain-challenged Pharygulites.

    Take your trolling and your ax and go grind it elsewhere. We have filled our quota of idiot trolls for now.

  297. Nathair says

    Obama is not a parent figure nor a pseudo parent figure: he IS a parent, of two young girls.

    How about this then: “Hey Obama, be a sad parent on your own time. When you address the nation following a tragedy like this be the fucking President.”

    Now kindly fuck off.

  298. broboxley OT says

    Ichthyic
    the point was that automatic weapons have been heavily regulated since 1934. Only the treasury department can issue a licence to own one after a very vigorous background check and a $200 tax. That $200 is renewed annually and the regulations are very strict. You can’t go to fredmart and buy them at the sundries counter. Many states do not allow class III weapons at all and you are facing long jail terms if one is in your possession. If you wish to travel to California from NY and want to have your automatic at the other end you must go to a dealer licensed to handle class III weapons and pay him to ship it to a class III dealer in California with a federal permit in the middle.

    Not on every street corner. Not in every thug’s truck, not used in the commission of this particular crime, or the mall shooting or the movie slaughter.

    lets get over the OMG! single shot rifles that look scary! to useful regulation that will have a chance of passing .

  299. Ichthyic says

    lets get over the OMG! single shot rifles that look scary!

    *looks*

    uh, where was this?

    do you plan to continue erecting this strawman? I’d recommend taking it down if you want to actually make a serious point, which I still haven’t seen yet.

  300. grumpyoldfart says

    The gun lobby lawyers are probably having an informal conference right now – and they’re probably not considering changes to gun laws.

  301. echidna says

    There’s probably something wrong with the brains of people who commit mass murder-at least I hate to think that it’s the human norm to commit mass murder without provocation or justification

    This is my inclination as well, except that the Milgram and Stanford experiments suggest that it is not that clear.

  302. John Morales says

    neuralobserver:

    Do you NOT think that he [Obama] can relate to the insane death of these children as a parent, viewed and felt through the eyes and sensibilities AS a parent, additionally as well as THE ADULTS WHO WERE KILLED, AS HE DID WITH THE SHOOTINGS IN AURORA, COLORADO EARLIER THIS YEAR,…… ASSHOLE?

    To expect the President to react as the President rather than as a parent when speaking as the President is hardly perverse.

    Be a goddam leader??? What’s he supposed to do, you dumb fuck?

    Commit to ameliorate the current easy public availability of firearms (the which facilitates these events) by using his Presidential authority, rather than merely bemoan the tragedy.

    No one despises the fucking gun-nut culture in the country more than I do, but it’s empty and lacking understanding and empathy to crash someone within hours of a major tragedy like this, who IS trying to address a severe emotional damage to a large group of victims.

    Sympathy alone is hollow; here in Australia, after the Port Arthur massacre in 1996 the Prime Minister immediately enacted (and forced the States to adopt) the National Firearms Agreement. (cf #312).

  303. says

    I just got home from work, where I’m in charge of an after school childcare program with about 40 elementary school kids, many of whom I’ve known since they were babies. I heard about this just as I was leaving for work, and I could not stop crying. I’ve worked with kids since I was a kid; over thirty years now. I’m on my local school board. I have an eleven-year-old son. My best friend when I was fifteen was killed by idiots with a rifle. I’m a fifty-two year-old white man, and damned near all these killers, as well as the fucking macho gun rights crowd, are white men.

    And I know that, though these events are more and more common (7, — or is it 8 now? — just this year), they also seem to be more accepted; just a part of life to get through. The same fucking pattern every time, and nothing will be done.

    I am having such a hard time with this! I cannot stop crying. It’s my fucking job to take care of children, and I feel so helpless! I know the odds are small that it will ever directly effect me and those I care for, but so fucking what? 20 children are dead.

    I’ve only begun to read the comments. I’ll finish when my son goes to bed. But I want to thank the regulars for your absolute refusal to tolerate the hate, injustice, and fucking foolishness of those who don’t give a fuck about anyone but themselves.

    This is so fucking hard to take. I hurt so much for all those families; all those terrified kids.

  304. azgeo says

    Terrible, terrible news.

    Since we’re talking gun politics, as far as I’m concerned an individual should have the right to own a gun:

    1) If they pass a training course.

    2) If it was designed before 1792.

    Otherwise, throw in licensing, a psych exam, registration, etc. We don’t give people the power to pull teeth without a ton of training and certification. Why should we go easier when it comes to the power to kill dozens of human beings? Ideally, no one should have that power. At least muskets is democratic.

  305. says

    For some reason, the only single-shot rifle that comes to mind is a Barrett sniper rifle. Since those cost upwards of $3000 and I’ve never heard of anyone being killed domestically by one…

  306. sambarge says

    To expect the President to react as the President rather than as a parent when speaking as the President is hardly perverse.

    Most people are reassured by a more human, emotional response. By expressing his fears as a father, the President made himself human and put himself on the same level as the grieving parents, which is a good place to share condolences and an astute political move, if nothing else. I actually assume it was genuine but I’m an rose-coloured glasses optimist, I suppose.

    I’m sure that, in the days to come, the President will act more like Harrison Ford would in a film about an action hero President facing a terrible school shooting (without actually shooting the bad guys himself, that is, which Ford would definitely do) and you’ll be satisfied by his manly leadership.

    Personally, I was a bit bothered by the President’s referral to the grief belonging to parents as a concept rather than as a leadership move. I’m a parent but I flatter myself that the shooting deaths of 20 children would shock, appall and agrieve me even if I hadn’t given birth or raised a child myself.

  307. evilDoug says

    Bench rest rifles are often single shot. They can be quite expensive and the barrels are very heavy. They are intended for putting several bullets through the same hole in a paper target.

  308. Nathair says

    I’m sure that, in the days to come, the President will act more like Harrison Ford would in a film about an action hero President facing a terrible school shooting (without actually shooting the bad guys himself, that is, which Ford would definitely do) and you’ll be satisfied by his manly leadership.

    If we had an award for Not Getting It you would have just earned my nomination.

  309. says

    @207,

    I happen to think that the number of fewer deaths would not justify the loss of freedom imposed on millions of innocent people.

    I’m trying to wrap my head around that sentence, but am currently failing.

  310. broboxley OT says

    Joe Rev BDC single shot meaning one bullet per trigger pull, not fully automatic
    Ichthyic #364 point is the same as every time this happens.
    The shooter used his Mom’s legally purchased weapons. Now what law do you pass? At the end of the day all here will come up with all kinds of laws, restrictions some of which might even make sense.

    Will those new laws stop this scenario from happening ever again?

    The answer is no.

  311. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Former Low level celebrity and general fucking right wing nut Victoria Jackson on Facebook

    Obama dramatically wiped a tear as he said, “The majority of those who died today were children — beautiful little kids … They had their entire lives ahead of them — birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own…”

    YEAH OBAMA. SAME AS THE MILLION BABIES YOU HAD ABORTED THIS YEAR.

    ARE YOU CRYING FOR THEM?!

  312. sambarge says

    If we had an award for Not Getting It you would have just earned my nomination.

    Yeah, like I’d be in the fucking running with the moronic stuff you’ve posted. Like “parent on your own time, Obama!” Puh-leez.

    Oh, but I’ll quote you:

    Fuck right off.

  313. Khantron, the alien that only loves says

    Will those new laws stop this scenario from happening ever again?

    The answer is no.

    I don’t know, Australia seems to have generally stopped the scenario from happening.

  314. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Joe Rev BDC single shot meaning one bullet per trigger pull, not fully automatic

    So then just semi-auto?

    You can put a whole shitload of lead out the business end of a semi auto, fast. I know, I’ve owned a few in the past.

    Add high capacity magazines, something 100% not needed for hunting, and you have a very potent and dangerous killing, ahem, “tool”.

  315. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    387 comments.

    Fuck.

    You know, I don’t even feel ashamed today about wishing that every sack of shit who doesn’t care how many children die needlessly just so they can keep their “pacifier” would follow through and put it in their mouth.

  316. StevoR says

    Poll to possibly pharyngulate here :

    http://ninemsn.com.au/

    VOTE : Does the US need tougher gun laws?

    Yes = 37,250

    No = 3,517

    ***

    Already heading in the right direction but a bit of help couldn’t hurt surely?

    Note that these ninemsn polls are only up for a day or so so get in quickly if you’re going to.

  317. Nathair says

    the moronic stuff you’ve posted. Like “parent on your own time, Obama!” Puh-leez.

    Alas! I am shown to be a moron by your cunning use of the “Puh-leez” stratagem. Clearly I should have known better than to match wits with you, Vizzini!

  318. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Sorry you took my comments that way Caine but their point was counting bro’s lessening of the impact of “regular old guns”

  319. says

    Sorry you took my comments that way Caine but their point was counting bro’s lessening of the impact of “regular old guns”

    Yes, I read the initial reasoning and response. You’re both some ways away from that now.

  320. Eric R says

    I found out about this horrid event today while moving, listening to the radio and I keep cycling between rage and crying. I have no children of my own so its not possible for me to think of what it would be like to lose my kids. I do have nieces and nephews I adore and its the thought of them that makes me cry.

    I’ve owned guns, still do several in fact, Shotguns and pistols, I’ve never had the need for a rifle of any sort.I also own several Bows of both compound and classic recurve design. I enjoy shooting them like most gun owners do I assume. I shoot trap and skeet with my Browning Citori .410 I also have a remington 1100 semi-auto shotgun (with the mandatory plug restricting me to 3 rounds in the gun)which ive hunted with as well as shot at ranges. I have a Beretta 9mm, A colt Python and a few others. All are stored in a gun safe. I have a sawed off 12 guage for home defense. I live alone.

    All that said I find it inconceivable as a gun owner why people rail against gun control. There is nothing unreasonable about asking people to license their guns, nothing unreasonable about requiring the use of trigger locks or limiting magazine capacity, requiring training, retesting or any number of other measures one might reasonably support.

    It is possible to be a responsible gun owner, it is possible to be a gun owner and be heartbroken over what happened today and has happened in the last few years, it can make you wonder if its worth it. I’ve wondered it, most recently after the aurora shooting because I have a sister who lives in aurora. She could have easily been at that theatre.

    I wholeheartedly support gun controls, I have to be honest and say I wouldnt prefer a ban, I do enjoy them. But I’m all for controls, I dont think though that any of our pols are, the republicans arent for certain and dems I think just look at it as a lose lose for them so they keep their mouths shut and make pretty noises and little more, they are either too cowardly to speak about it in earnest, or dont really give a damn.

    I’m gonna go visit my nieces now.

  321. says

    I think you have to have a fairly optimistic perspective on your fellow humans to think that allowing widespread gun ownership will somehow create a safe environment, presumably through some sort of mechanism akin to the old cold war ‘mutually assured destruction’.

    I certainly can’t see it being an easy path from a society where guns are so widespread and the mentality of ‘i need a gun because you might have a gun’ prevails so strongly (not to mention the vocal assertion that it is some kind of sacrosanct human right to hold the means to blow out the back of you rneighbours skull) but i entirely agree that whilever the staus quo remains these kinds of tragedies are inevitable.

    Good luck getting your constitution amended – it never seems like a particularly easy ask!

    Jim.

  322. vaiyt says

    I feel like an outsider in these discussions. In my side of the world, we have our own gun problems, but they’re so vastly different that I don’t think I have any kind of useful insight. Whenever the issue of gun control in the US comes up, I just listen.

  323. says

    Caine, having a serious discussion about gun control should involve actually knowing what we’re talking about. Ignorance is no virtue, and trying to play games about cosmetics the way broboxley attempted to do is both dishonest and counterproductive. It isn’t “gun porn” to make sure you know exactly what you’re talking about when you’re considering regulations and bans.

    For instance, the point that I was going to make when comparing automatic to semi-automatic to true single-shot rifles is that a true single-shot rifle can take a VERY long time to reload in-between shots. For the single-shot Barrett sniper rifle I mentioned earlier, it is probably 20-30 seconds to reload, plus time to sight back in, and the damned thing costs $3000+ and weighs about $40. On the other hand, the difference between an automatic and semi-automatic is that you just “spray and pray” with full-auto unless you’re using a tripod, and a semi-automatic is MORE DANGEROUS because you can easily fire 20-25 aimed shots in a minute.

    The point of all that is not “gun porn” in the slightest. The point is when I oppose the sale of semi-automatic rifles with high-capacity magazines, I do so from a position of knowing exactly what they are capable of, rather than from a more generalized anti-gun position.

  324. John Morales says

    Improbable Joe:

    Caine, having a serious discussion about gun control should involve actually knowing what we’re talking about.

    Everyone here knows what guns are: deadly point-and-shoot weapons that anyone can use.

    (Talking about guns more suitable for mass-slaughter being more problematic than the other kind is fine, but claiming only those merit control is ridiculous)

  325. Ichthyic says

    Joe Rev BDC single shot meaning one bullet per trigger pull, not fully automatic
    Ichthyic #364 point is the same as every time this happens.
    The shooter used his Mom’s legally purchased weapons. Now what law do you pass? At the end of the day all here will come up with all kinds of laws, restrictions some of which might even make sense.

    Will those new laws stop this scenario from happening ever again?

    The answer is no.

    no, considering you were the only one to raise the issue, you’re still erecting a strawman.

    fail.

    uh, regulating weapons has just as much to do with whether an individual OR an individuals friends…family… neighbors… has access to those weapons as well.

    again, your point simply moves the issue a step further back in the chain.

    fail.


    Will those new laws stop this scenario from happening ever again?”

    strawman, again, since nobody ever claimed they would, but when and where they ARE applied, go figure, the number of gun homicides GOES DOWN. significantly.

    so, again… fail.

    3 strikes, you’re done.

  326. Ichthyic says

    just to be sure, I agree with this message, the above is actually making fun of broboxley, not you:

    trying to play games about cosmetics the way broboxley attempted to do is both dishonest and counterproductive.

    ^^yes.

  327. says

    Well… my comparisons depend on the idea of not creating a blanket ban on firearms, but creating a set of evidence-based restrictions.

    Given that caveat, what we were discussing earlier is the same way I could show you a picture of a Smith & Wesson Model S&W500, which is like the Dirty Harry gun on steroids, and compare it to a compact semi-auto that looks like no big deal… except that the semi-auto might accept extended magazines that give it 5-6 times the ammo capacity, and will be able to shoot and reload MUCH faster than the big scary revolver. And I guess thank FSM that Calico’s weapons never really gained any traction, because those are frankly the scariest things I’ve ever seen sold on the civilian market.

  328. StevoR says

    @78. Moggie – 14 December 2012 at 2:35 pm (UTC -6) :

    “Dear God,
    Why do you allow so much violence in our schools.
    Signed,
    a concerned student
    Dear concerned student,
    Because I am not allowed in your schools
    GOD”

    It makes me seriously fucking angry that any Christian would use eighteen dead kids as an excuse to post that glurge. Do you imagine, do you really fucking imagine for one moment that those kids who were raised Christian weren’t fervently praying when they realised what was going down? And we’re supposed to believe that your precious omni-max god petulantly turned his back and let them die in pain and terror in order to make a point about a rule which they weren’t even responsible for? Seriously, if you think that, and you think that murdered kids are useful for advancing your agenda, you’re vermin to me.

    This.

    And also so much for, y’know, NOT politicising things which y’know all those nasty, nasty librulls are supposed to be doing by saying, “hey maybe tighter restrictions on firearms might just help stop these massacres happening so often” right? Whose exploiting an appalling tragedy for their own ideological ends here again?

    Same applies to those RR (Rapture Rady) quotes someone upthread posted too.

  329. StevoR says

    @407.

    Same applies to those RR (Rapture Ready) quotes someone upthread posted too.

    That’d be #169 Caine fleur du mal.

    @ 148.Alverant :

    #119 you want more details about what kind of gun control we should have, fine.
    1) Take a tip from motor vehicles, require a license you need to take a test for, require insurance, renew on a regular basis, can lose if you screw up, and different kind of licenses for different kinds of guns.
    2) Take another tip from lawyers and stock brokers and require fingerprinting for all gun owners.
    3) All gun owners are legally responsible for what happens with their guns. No more “accidental” shooting bullshit, they are now called criminal homiside. If your gun is stolen and you didn’t take proper care to secure it, you’ll stand right beside the criminal who killed people at their trial.

    Proposals there seconded by me.

    @310.Eris Caffee

    Ah, well, one last thought. I just want to note that everyone seems to have ignored my suggestions for better mental health care, mental health screening of gun owners, licensure of powerful weapons, and better firearms safetly training. It just goes to show how an emotional issue can divide people even when they agree on more things than they disagree on.

    (Emphasis added.)

    Is it just me or would at least some of those proposed measures count as, well, tighter gun control laws? So is Eris Caffee effectively contradicting herself here as I think?

  330. John Morales says

    Improbable Joe,

    Well… my comparisons depend on the idea of not creating a blanket ban on firearms, but creating a set of evidence-based restrictions.

    Reasonable evidence for non-restriction would be showing particular guns are not deadly weapons or that one has a reasonable need for it.

    (I don’t consider “I like shooting my gun for fun” a reasonable need)

    [semi-OT]

    Aron Ra’s recent post here is not irrelevant: Do I have to axe?

    See if you carry a gun with the intention -or even desire- to eventually use it against another person, you’re treated as a responsible citizen -even when you bring your gun to the movies, the park, or into Walmart. But if I carry a viking bearded axe into any of these same places -for any of the practical reasons I might have an axe, I would automatically be treated as a madman. Why? Because you can’t hide a battle axe in your pants and you can’t use it to kill ten people from fifty feet away. Tell me that law makes any sense.

  331. StevoR says

    @81. evilDoug :

    Now is exactly the right time to talk about gun control and gun-owner control. Now while tears are still hot on cheeks and the blood of murdered children is still on the floor. Now, before limited attention spans and diversionary tactics relegate the lives of those kids and their teacher to simply being one tenth of one percent of the lives snuffed out by guns this year in the US.

    “Meanwhile, CNN asks “What can be done to stop the violence?” ”
    I have one suggestion CNN. Print the following in large type, and put it up in every studio and newsroom you control: “Some fucking asshole from the NRA has something to say about this. That fucking asshole will not get a voice on this network.”
    An maybe do a piece where you explain that if coffins for all those killed by guns in the US last year were arranged end to end, it would take about three quarters of an hour to drive by them all at 6o miles per hour. Maybe calculate the weight of 31000 twenty-two caliber bullets.

    Impressively scary statitics there – and great suggestion for CNN. If only they – and every other station would adopt it.

    The power the NRA holds over US politics is incredibly malign and destructive. Who fights it and which major politicians is going to be brave enough to stand up and cal them the assholes they are? If enough politicians did – particularly, say, the President – could they be beaten and marginalised and lose their hold over gun policies?

  332. StevoR says

    Print the following in large type, and put it up in every studio and newsroom you control: “Some fucking asshole from the NRA has something to say about this. That fucking asshole will not get a voice on this network.”

    Not just printed in the studio but also stated loud and clear on air would be better yet.

  333. mikeyb says

    Guns don’t kill people… seriously!

    Let’s legalize small nuclear weapons and vials of bubonic plague

    then we can say nukes and plagues don’t kill people, people kill people…..

    how utterly absurd

  334. chigau (Chiggers) says

    In the USA
    which is more ‘regulated’
    getting a gun
    or
    getting a driver’s license?

  335. Rey Fox says

    So is Eris Caffee effectively contradicting herself here as I think?

    She’s relatively sane when she’s not stroking her fucking assault rifle.

  336. left0ver1under says

    Give it an hour, some idiot will propose arming all the 7 year olds instead.

    What sort of idiots do you mean, the famous or nobodies?

    I haven’t heard anyone high profile say anything, but I’ve already seen anonymous morons say it as comments on blogs.

  337. says

    Not caught up and won’t today but I really, really, really need to say this:

    Actually, I think people are calling for gun control because they think it will lead to fewer deaths each year. I happen to think that the number of fewer deaths would not justify the loss of freedom imposed on millions of innocent people.

    Fuck you sick bastard for thinking that your selfish little fun is more important than the life of even ONE other person, especially a child and that YOU are actually the person who gets to decide that and who has the right to value THEIR lives as oppoed to your fun.
    You’re upset that people lump you into one category with the killer? Well, that’s because you show a similar respect for the lives of others as he did.

  338. totalretard says

    Since my previous message (#119), there have been very few constructive comments.

    #148, #153, #191, #236, #271, and #309, thanks for at least taking a stab at the problem. On #191, there is a problem with ammunition hoarders, as was proven shortly after Obama’s first election, but it’s still worth considering.

    #183 and #232 exceeded even my best attempts at covertly making firearms illegal — require gun owners to only transport their guns to secure locations via armored car or registered courier. And it would create new entrepreneurial enterprises for the stubborn owners.

    #151 started a real shit storm when Eris revealed that she had a mini-14. My wife worked in a large hospital in a decent-sized city which used to lead the U.S. in car-jackings. In the 1980s and 1990s, there was at least one armed robbery a week inside the hospital and sometimes several in the same day. Several of her friends at the hospital were assaulted. The hospital had a large security staff, and when she worked late, she would try to have a guard escort he to her car. Even when the security station had a guard, he was usually smart enough to refuse the request. Yes, she began carrying a Tanfoglio 9 mm, which garnered a comment at the firing range about how “unladylike” her gun was. (What. It wasn’t trimmed in anodized pink?) Eris, for the record, I think a mini-14 is also very unladylike. I could go on — like having to visit neighborhoods where there were recently shootings.

    My son’s father-in-law was an arson investigator before he retired, and he not only carried a sidearm, he also wore a bullet-proof vest. There’s a good reason; people like to shoot at arson investigators. In 2000, a wacko killed his parents, set the house on fire, and waited for the fire department to show up so he could shoot them.

    #257 — “The argument for owning guns because you can shoot scary bad guys is based on bad math and worse ethics.” Hell, yes. I admit it my wife and son’s in-laws are immoral and probably crazy for fearing scary bad guys. You have never had a gun pulled on you or been shot at, have you? And you would be paranoid to think that you could ever be in a situation where you would be in danger.

    I don’t think that owning a gun and knowing how to use it guarantees safety, but I think it evens up the odds in a bad situation. If no one had a gun, many bad situations would never occur, which brings me back to Australia.

    #312 — Thanks for correcting me. In fact, my memory is worse off than not remembering the sequence of the Port Arthur massacre and the latest legislation. I was remembering the Julian Knight mass shootings in 1987 and thinking it was post-1996. No excuses. On the other hand, those who were criticizing me for quoting the Australian government’s own homicide statistics because they didn’t prove my point, what point do you think I was trying to prove? Homicide still exists, but most of it is not gun-related. What more do you want?

    #238 — “Why should ordinary people be allowed to own a military-grade firearm?”
    I’m sure that most people would agree they shouldn’t, but like many people who have put in their 2 cents here and many journalists, they don’t have a clue what a military-grade weapon is. Are you implying that a mini-14 is military-grade? It’s usually classified as a carbine, or with a modified stock, a tactical rifle. It’s hard to count the times a mini-14 or AR-15 has been called an automatic weapon, which I think was the point of a later comment (#323 and #329). The difference between an automatic and semi-automatic weapon is the difference between the North Hollywood massacre and the FBI Miami shootout. To be military-grade, a weapon should be either extremely accurate or massively destructive like a rifle with an automatic option, armor-piercing ammo, an RPG, or a sniper rifle. Many good hunting rifles push the boundaries of a sniper rifle. Should we outlaw those?

    #355 –Yes, we know that Eris’ suggestions are just the beginning. At least they give us a beginning. Do you have something to add? By the way, gun safety training was part of Eris’s package (as well as many others’ packages). I’m curious how many gun owners know the four basic rules for gun handling. The Mercer, PA man who killed his 7-year old son on 12-08-12 broke all 4 four rules immediately after buying his pistol, but it was okay because he “didn’t realize it was still loaded”. I feel nothing but remorse for the boy and nothing but contempt for the man.

    I’ve ranted on long enough, so here are my suggestions. Of all the journalists talking about it, only Rachael Maddow had any useful suggestions. There are two common-sense proposals that Maddow suggested as a beginning that should be sure to pass Congress because even the NRA supports them. Immediately go to work on gun handling training and requirements. This is a part of canceled carry requirements for most states but should be required just for owning a gun. Fortunately, Alaskans know all of this through osmosis, so they need no training to carry a gun. (I understand even ex-governors are allowed to carry guns.) Oddly, training seems to be ignored by many police officers, and mayor Bloomberg gives commendations to officers who shoot far more innocent bystanders than people brandishing guns. Training is fundamental for anyone owning a gun.

    Next, a firearm must be kept locked when it is not carried. This means more than a flimsy trigger lock. Locking should prevent access to the magazine, cylinder, or other means of loading a gun. There are inexpensive (less than $30) ways to do this. This simple precaution would have prevented Adam Lanza’s access to his mother’s guns.

    Return to #148 and #153 for more suggestions.

    Now we get to the tough part, which may never be resolved. I’m sure my wife would never have bought a sidearm if there had no immediate threat. A complete gun ban would affect only honest gun owners. Without a country-wide confiscation program, the worst problems still remain, and we are threatened with prying guns from cold dead fingers.

    Okay. How far do we go (assuming the remote possibility), and where should we stop. At least now we have some options on the table. What else can we try? I would still like to hear from PZ since he started this shit-fight.

  339. Anthony K says

    You have never had a gun pulled on you or been shot at, have you?

    How is it that the gun-control types are described as arguing from emotion again?

    I would still like to hear from PZ since he started this shit-fight.

    No. A man who shot 27 people dead did.

  340. totalretard says

    #297 and #417 — Okay, I give in. Somebody tell us how many lives Eris’s gun is costing us. Someone has sported the figure of 33000 people (I think, but my memory has already been proven faulty). I’m sorry, but how does Eris get to decide which people die. Did she personally select the kids who were shot? I’m sure the logic is impeccable, but maybe you can explain it. (By the way, I’m a dumb fuck, so if you can refrain from calling me a sick bastard too, it would be appreciated.)

  341. totalretard says

    #419 — “How is it that the gun-control types are described as arguing from emotion again?” If you’ll point out where I did that, I’ll apologize most humbly. I’ve already eaten crow today.

  342. John Morales says

    commenter who unapologetically uses the nym ‘totalretard':

    Okay, I give in. Somebody tell us how many lives Eris’s gun is costing us.

    More than none, because part of its price is a continuation of gun culture.

    Someone has sported the figure of 33000 people (I think, but my memory has already been proven faulty). I’m sorry, but how does Eris get to decide which people die. Did she personally select the kids who were shot?

    By her advocacy of private gun ownership and carrying, Eris promotes the culture that this is a good thing, at the cost of lives.

    I’m sure the logic is impeccable, but maybe you can explain it.

    Impeccable it is, and simple, too: No guns — no shootings.

    [meta]

    (By the way, I’m a dumb fuck, so if you can refrain from calling me a sick bastard too, it would be appreciated.)

    You certainly aren’t a shining specimen, but your obtuseness seems wilful and your attempt to use an ironic nym doesn’t speak highly of you.

    I refer you to ॐ’s comment immediately preceding yours.

  343. totalretard says

    I know that many people find it offensive, but I have never applied the name to anyone else. On the other hand, others have used it in reference to me (as well as dumb-fuck). I know you find it pejorative, but so far, i haven’t tried to put anyone else down, and I certainly avoid the ‘R’ word anywhere but here.

    Poor excuses, I know, but people who know me, recognize the name. Perhaps you could suggest an alternative that will stand out as well.

  344. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    @425:
    I’m glad to see you addressing the criticisms of your nym. We strive to keep Pharyngula a safe space for all, so among other off limits terms, slurs against those with mental disabilities are strongly discouraged. Your nym-though you may not intend it to be-disparages those who suffer from mental disorders. In the interest of not offending people, please consider an alternative nym.

    Similar to many of the assumptions underlying the medical model of disability amongst many clinicians, the “ableist” societal world-view is that the able-bodied are the norm in society, and that people who have disabilities must either strive to become that norm or should keep their distance from able-bodied people. A disability is thus, inherently, a “bad” thing that must be overcome. The ableist worldview holds that disability is an error, a mistake, or a failing, rather than a simple consequence of human diversity, akin to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender.
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ableism

  345. StevoR says

    @420. strange gods before me ॐ :

    When I clicked that second link lit said after the username box with my username:

    Usernames cannot be changed.

    So, if that’s the same for “total-r**” doesn’t that mean xe couldn’t change it even if xe wanted too?

    @421. Total r***

    #320. Beatrice notes it with :

    According to the 2010 census, Newtown had 27560 residents at the time. If a whole town of Newtown could be saved, Eris might consider letting go of her toy. Half a town? Oh, fuck them.

    and #313 eigenperson – 14 December 2012 at 5:30 pm (UTC -6)

    Provides it with :

    So, there we have it. According to Eris, the number of lives that should be sacrificed per year so that Americans can personally own self-loading weapons is between 3000 and 30000.

    Now, I don’t have a very strong personal feeling about those numbers, myself. However, if you’re unsure why some people call you a monster, I think the fact that you think the right to own self-loading guns is worth between 3000 and 30000 lives per year is part of it.

  346. John Morales says

    [OT]

    StevoR, the username is internal to the system and is the default display name, but the display name can be varied at will via the ‘dashboard’. So, no.

  347. StevoR says

    @421.totalr*** : See also comment # 302.Eris Caffee where she gvies her calculations and reasons for that.

    BTW. I notice there’s a display name as setting there but that can’t seem to be changed either. Not that I’m going to, just thought I’d see if I could add one of those longer phrases after my name. Do we need PZ’s or Chris Clarke’s permission to change nyms here or something?

  348. StevoR says

    So the nickname (required) box can be changed . Has it worked?

    Will I now be ” StevoR, usually drunken & overtired”?

  349. StevoR, usually drunken & overtired says

    Aha! Now? (Having clicked on the display name after changing tehnickname and getting the new lengthened monker up there.)

    BTW. John Morales did you see I answered what I think were your main questions on the thunderdome thread?

  350. Agent Silversmith, Honey Powered says

    Poor excuses, I know, but people who know me, recognize the name. Perhaps you could suggest an alternative that will stand out as well.

    Latentgenius? Bubblekopf?

    Anyway, the ‘retard’ bit has to go.

  351. strange gods before me ॐ says

    totalidiot? totalmoron? totaljackass?

    I’m not trying to insult you, just going with the theme. (The historical clinical designations of “idiot” and “moron” are not in current medical use, while “mental retardation” is.

  352. StevoR, usually drunken & overtired says

    How about totalequals? totalreads? Totalme?

    Use your imagination and something that’s right for you. Surely can’t be that hard especially to come up with something better than I (or anyone here?) could for you?

  353. Fred Salvador - The Public Sucks; Fuck Hope says

    For some reason, the only single-shot rifle that comes to mind is a Barrett sniper rifle. Since those cost upwards of $3000 and I’ve never heard of anyone being killed domestically by one…

    The standard definition of “single-shot” is a weapon with an internal capacity of 1+0 – that is, it can only hold the round in the chamber and has to be physically reloaded after each shot. The colloquial definition of “single-shot” in my neck of the woods is any weapon where the shooter is required to physically interact with anything other than the trigger in some way between shots, regardless of it’s internal capacity; that is, any weapon that isn’t self-loading. It’s generally not applied to pump-action weapons for some reason, but is reserved for things like bolt and Martini action weapons. Apologies for the confusion.

    Since I made those comments, it has emerged the killer perpetrated this atrocity using two legally-held semi-automatic handguns. My opposition to civillian ownership of self-loading rifles is matched square for square by my opposition to civillian ownership of semi-autmoatic handguns, for exactly the same reasons – however in the case of semi-automatic handguns the ridiculous excuse of expedient hunting isn’t even available. Small-calibre rifles and shotguns are far better for small game hunting than a 9mm pistol, and if you’re worried about mice or rats buy a fucking cat – they’re cheaper, more fun, and you having the right to own one in no way abets mass murder.

    #238 — “Why should ordinary people be allowed to own a military-grade firearm?”
    I’m sure that most people would agree they shouldn’t, but like many people who have put in their 2 cents here and many journalists, they don’t have a clue what a military-grade weapon is.

    Maybe not in a strictly technical sense, but who’s going to argue that a self-loading rifle isn’t a military grade weapon that civillians have no need for and should not be allowed to own?

    Are you implying that a mini-14 is military-grade?

    I’m not implying that; I’m outright stating it.

    It’s usually classified as a carbine,

    A “carbine” being little more than a rifle whose overall length (and thus maximum effective range) has been reduced to facilitate easier use in certain tactical situations where the loss of effective range isn’t a huge consideration. A meaningful distinction, to be sure!

    or with a modified stock, a tactical rifle.

    What need does a civilian shooter have for “tactical” considerations? Are you stalking deer into a complex network of caves? An urban environment? Through an Indonesian jungle?

    The only people who need tactical weapons are military or paramilitary staff, thus any weapon designed with such considerations in mind is military grade.

    It’s hard to count the times a mini-14 or AR-15 has been called an automatic weapon, which I think was the point of a later comment (#323 and #329).

    This whole “UR USIN WORDS WRONG” argument is a common obfuscation maneuver by gun-owning sad-acts in order to try and make the issue of gun control seem far more technical than it is.

    Guns kill people because they’re a tool whose entire existence revolves around propelling projectiles into targets at high velocity. The faster they can do that, the more people they can kill; and the easier they are to obtain, the more likely people are to kill with them. No technical knowledge is needed to address these issues.

    If you’re completely unwilling to countenance the latter, at least be intellectually honest when dealing with the former.

    The difference between an automatic and semi-automatic weapon is the difference between the North Hollywood massacre and the FBI Miami shootout.

    And the difference between semi-automatic and fully automatic is meaningless if you’re a pub-goer in Springmartin who’s just been shot dead while fleeing a car bomb by a UVF paramilitary with an AR-15, or you’re a 14 year old Labour Party activist at a summer camp on Utoya Island who has just been shot dead by a man wielding a Mini-14 rifle.

    Sorry, I mean, a Mini-14 “carbine”. Or was it a “tactical rifle”? Doesn’t matter really, does it?

    I daresay at that point even the distinction between .22LR rimfire and .50BMG is likewise totally irrelevant.

    A friend of mine used to work in a reptile house, where handling venomous animals was part and parcel of the job. The reptile house had a sign stuck to the cabinet containing their handling gear which read; “The most dangerous snake in the world is the one that’s just bitten you”. The same goes for guns. The deadliest gun in the world is the gun someone has just shot you with. They’re all dangerous, and just like with venomous snakes there are precautions that society can take to reduce the impact such dangerous things can have on people’s lives.

    Why one is uncontroversial yet the other is heatedly so is a mystery.

    To be military-grade, a weapon should be either extremely accurate or massively destructive like a rifle with an automatic option, armor-piercing ammo, an RPG, or a sniper rifle.

    More bunkum.

    Many good hunting rifles push the boundaries of a sniper rifle. Should we outlaw those?

    If it can be demonstrated that doing so would save lives, then yes.

    Thing is, the effective range and accuracy of a rifle is far less of a factor in mass murders such as this one than the capacity of a weapon to fire multiple rounds without the requirement to reload, or indeed intreact with the weapon in any way beyond pulling the trigger between shots.

    Intellectual honesty is required to tackle political issues. Obfuscating technicality on behalf of your beloved pastime is a bad thing.

    PS: I have, in fact, been shot at. Twice. Four times and hit once if we’re counting air weapons, but let’s not, eh? I’ve also been robbed at gunpoint. All of these incidents occured on Merseyside, which is a county in Merry Old England – all involved pistols, weapons illegal under British law at the time which, I’m confident, were illegally owned by criminals.

    Even despite these experiences, it’s plain to me why civilian ownership of military grade weapons is an appalingly bad idea, and because of these experiences I can see quite clearly why the excuses so often given in defence of such rights of ownership are a pile of horse shit.

  354. says

    Apologies if this has already been said but: for all the claims to nuanced, reasoned, rational or evidence based arguments from the pro-gun advocates all I can hear from them is, “The deaths of other peoples children is a price I am willing to let them pay so I can own my outsize pellet guns. Why do the rest of you hate freedom?”

    I can’t quite think of a word that sums up just how much contempt I hold them in.

  355. shala says

    http://rationalwiki.org/w/images/thumb/b/b7/Tmwguncontrol.jpg/642px-Tmwguncontrol.jpg

    It’s sad that this image is relevant. Every. Single. Time.

    Been reading certain forums in the aftermath of this horrific event. Conservatives/Libertarians that I’ve seen have admitted they’d rather see this kind of event happen every day rather than have the government oppress their right to use guns.

    Paranoia, delusion, and idiocy. The black helicopters and drones are apparently just outside conservative homes in their minds.

  356. Pteryxx says

    Dana Hunter just posted a huge link roundup:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/entequilaesverdad/2012/12/15/enough-children-have-died/

    With special attention to Avicenna’s personal story:

    From FreethoughtBlogs:

    I am putting Avicenna’s post on top. If your heart isn’t already broken, I hope this breaks it.

    A Million Gods: “The Right to Bear Arms.”

    After he’s told us about a five year-old who will never, ever be the same, he says, “If you don’t realise that the right to not get shot is more important than the right to shoot people then nothing I say will ever make sense to you.” And this is what I will be saying to anyone who starts arguing with me about the right to bear arms, unless I choose the choice words of John Poteet instead.

  357. broboxley OT says

    Fred Salvador – The Public Sucks; Fuck Hope
    Ah, English, figures. I also assume you were cheering the government when they arrested the stupid bastard who dared to let off a single shot shotgun at people inside his home. These people were on a bond out of jail for breaking into homes and assaulting the occupants violently at the time they broke into the shotgun owners home. The robbers were freed before the homeowner because he had the temerity to try to defend himself in his own home. I have a Brit passport, I would never want to live there because of smug colonialist people like yourself.

  358. Matt Penfold says

    Something is puzzling me. I have a fair few people arguing that they should have the right to own a gun to protect themselves, their family and their home. (Not here, but around the ‘net).

    Given that any firearm in order to be stored responsibly and safely should stored in a secure cabinet. Ammunition should be stored equally securely but separately.

    Given that, how do such people think they will have time to unlock their gun cabinet, assemble the gun, unlock the ammunition cabinet and load ?

  359. broboxley OT says

    #444 Matt Penfold
    why is that a given?
    Many homes here in America have rifles and pistols in plain sight, the owner usually tells visitors that they are loaded, with one in the chamber and the safety is off. Once told that visitors leave them alone. Children are taught from toddler stage not to touch them as they will go off. The results of touching them are demonstrated. Many people I know have brought their children into adulthood safely doing this. In cases of self defense they simply reach out for the nearest weapon and use it.

    Unless there is some other issue they are not usually incarcerated like they do in the UK when this happens.

  360. Beatrice says

    Many homes here in America have rifles and pistols in plain sight, the owner usually tells visitors that they are loaded, with one in the chamber and the safety is off. Once told that visitors leave them alone.

    I’m not sure whether “visitors” is some kind of euphemism for robbers, but it would sure as hell keep a visitor like me away.

    broboxley, what you are describing sounds sick and wrong. I don’t understand how people can live like that and especially raise kids into that.

  361. Fred Salvador - The Public Sucks; Fuck Hope says

    Ah, English, figures.

    Half-Scots scouser, actually, but don’t let that stop you making assumptions about me based upon your perception of the effect some unimportant characteristic has on my views!

    I also assume you were cheering the government when they arrested the stupid bastard who dared to let off a single shot shotgun at people inside his home.

    You mean the stupid bastard who’d had his shotgun certificate revoked several years prior to the incident you’re referring to after firing at a man he caught stealing apples? Fucking APPLES, for Christ’s sake. With a weapon he had no legal right to possess, no less (pump shotguns with an internal capacity greater than 2 rounds require a Firearms Certificate, not a Shotgun Certificate).

    This being the same stupid bastard who let off an illegally held pump action shotgun (Winny 1300s don’t come in single-shot) three times at two burglars, once from the top of his stairs, and twice more from a downstairs doorway as they were trying to flee, thus presenting no clear and present danger to his life or limb and therefore making his shooting a clear case of unreasonable force?

    You do realise the 16 year old scumbag he killed was shot in the back, don’t you?

    In light of all that, yeah, I was quite happy when a man who murdered another man in cold blood using an illegal firearm ended up in jail for having done so. Same way I was when Dale Cregan was sent down for the shootings he committed. Quite apart from my personal feelings on the rights of a man to murder someone in defence of tables and chairs, Tony Martin deserved a five year prison sentence simply for possessing an illegal firearm, and more for discharging it with intent to endanger life. Which, if he’d been a working-class nobody, is exactly what he would’ve gotten.

    These people were on a bond out of jail for breaking into homes and assaulting the occupants violently at the time they broke into the shotgun owners home. The robbers were freed before the homeowner because he had the temerity to try to defend himself in his own home.

    See above for why you’re an ill-informed moron.

    I have a Brit passport, I would never want to live there because of smug colonialist people like yourself.

    Feel free to burn it and sit in the embers, then. You’re no loss to anyone.

  362. Matt Penfold says

    why is that a given?

    Shall we pretend you never asked that ? Only is a remarkably stupid question and you are now no doubt embarrassed you asked it.

    Many homes here in America have rifles and pistols in plain sight, the owner usually tells visitors that they are loaded, with one in the chamber and the safety is off. Once told that visitors leave them alone. Children are taught from toddler stage not to touch them as they will go off. The results of touching them are demonstrated. Many people I know have brought their children into adulthood safely doing this. In cases of self defense they simply reach out for the nearest weapon and use it.

    Yet clearly, given the data on accidental shootings in the US, your “system” is not working. In fact it is getting people killed.

  363. Matt Penfold says

    Unless there is some other issue they are not usually incarcerated like they do in the UK when this happens.

    And please explain this lack of honesty.

    If you are going to lie, fuck off.

  364. Matt Penfold says

    Feel free to burn it and sit in the embers, then. You’re no loss to anyone.

    I do feel some guilt at inflicting him upon our American cousins, but enough to offset the relief he is not still the UK.

  365. dianne says

    Excuse me while I try to think of a word or concept bad enough to express my feelings about this. USians apparently WANT more gun violence. They want more dead children. Fuck it, there’s never a UN invasion around when you really need one.

  366. Beatrice says

    I realize that my argument is mostly emotional (“sick and wrong”), but I am honestly baffled by this kind of attitude. It’s completely incomprehensible to me how someone can have deadly weapons in their home, loaded, threaten people with them like they’re offering a second glass of vine and teach their children how to use deadly weapons since they can barely hold the thing.

  367. Matt Penfold says

    The claim that people in the UK are imprisoned if they kill or seriously injure an intruder is not true. The law allows for a defence of self-defence, and UK courts have long given householders considerable latitude in the amount of force that it is reasonable to use. Essentially if you reasonably believe you life to be a risk, and you pick up a knife, or cricket bat or other weapon and end up killing the intruder you will NOT be sent to prison.

    broboxley OT is probably referring to the case of Tony Martin, a farmer who was convicted of murdering a burglar (reduced to manslaughter on appeal). Martin shot the burglar in the back, whilst the burglar was trying to flee with an illegally held shotgun. His shotgun licence had been revoked after he made threats to shoot burglars.

  368. bobo says

    Eris’ freedom is more important than the child in Avicenna’s story

    Sickening if you ask me.

    She will sacrifice the lives of these people b/c HER NEEDS are more importan.

    Fuck her!

  369. Fred Salvador - The Public Sucks; Fuck Hope says

    All the back and forth over why Tony Martin, a recidivist firearms offender, is a free man whilst other, less middle-class, and, dare I say, less white, recidivist firearms offenders remain at Her Maj’s Pleasure, and what is and isn’t self defence or what would and wouldn’t happen in the UK is all very stimulating.

    One thing that wouldn’t happen in the UK, is a person taking two legally-held semi-automatic pistols into a school and opening fire on little children with them. Not today, anyway. That exact thing did in fact happen here 15 years ago; in the aftermath we resolved to prevent civilians having access to such dangerous weapons, because the thought of some micropenile gun enthusiasts being put out by the loss of their dangerous toys was far less abhorrent than the idea that someone else might use such weapons to kill yet more schoolchildren.

    Why can’t gun enthusiasts grasp this? Your stupid hobby is not important. You, personally, are not important, and nor are your febrile concerns about ZOG or BNBG or your silly inferiority complex-assuaging desire to carry big loud HRoF weapons. Preventing tiny, defenceless, happy little schoolchildren from being murdered with firearms is important. Taking away access to firearms accomplishes this. Grow the fuck up.

  370. Matt Penfold says

    I remember when the ban on handguns came in after Dunblane there were people complaining it might harm the chances of the UK winning a shooting medal at the next Olympics. I never did understand that concern.

  371. Fred Salvador - The Public Sucks; Fuck Hope says

    Yeah, I remember that as well, and the pissing and bitching and moaning all the gun enthusiasts did about how they weren’t compensated for the full value of their small metal devices, and how this was a massive aggravation to them. My uncle, to this very day, still fucking whines about having to give up his Beretta, and all the businesses forced to close in the wake of the new regulations because they relied on pistol shooters for revenue, and blah blah blah fucking blah.

    This being the uncle whose commute to work at one stage took him directly through Dunblane and Callander, past the big bank of flowers left at the primary school and the memorial. And he’s whining because someone stopped him playing with certain toys. Just… no.

  372. broboxley OT says

    #452 Beatrice
    the visitors are not threatened, they are simply told that the weapons over the mantle will go off if the trigger is pulled. Visitor, nods .
    My mother in law at the age of 90 had 2 rifles, 3 shotguns and several pistols in her closet. In the culture of the yupik village they were unloaded per custom.
    Some folks in America look at guns as a useful tool. Nothing more or less. Now the white male privileged of the UK middle class just love to teach us colonials why we need to emulate their superior mores, luckily we can see fit to ignore them.
    Also ask some of the elderly men where you live a question.
    “just out of curiosity, if someone wanted an mp40 would they know how to get one, quietly. Theoretically of course”
    transliterated to local lingo. I would be interested in the answer

  373. Fred Salvador - The Public Sucks; Fuck Hope says

    Because he is a gun enthusiast, the bread and butter aphid of the firearms industry ant-hill.

  374. Josh, Exasperated SpokesGay says

    #452 Beatrice
    the visitors are not threatened, they are simply told that the weapons over the mantle will go off if the trigger is pulled. Visitor, nods .

    Beatrice is right. There’s something deeply wrong with this being an unremarked upon part of a culture. Just because it’s as ordinary to Americans as seeing green grass doesn’t mean it’s sane, good, or justified. We’re just soaking in our own cultural mythology so deeply it seems that way.

    But it’s wrong.

  375. Matt Penfold says

    Evidence that wielding a gun can increase risk.

    Stereotypes, expectations, and emotions influence an observer’s ability to detect and categorize objects as guns. In light of recent work in action-perception interactions, however, there is another unexplored factor that may be critical: The action choices available to the perceiver. In five experiments, participants determined whether another person was holding a gun or a neutral object. Critically, the participant did this while holding and responding with either a gun or a neutral object. Responding with a gun biased observers to report “gun present” more than did responding with a ball. Thus, by virtue of affording a perceiver the opportunity to use a gun, he or she was more likely to classify objects in a scene as a gun and, as a result, to engage in threat-induced behavior (raising a firearm to shoot). In addition to theoretical implications for event perception and object identification, these findings have practical implications for law enforcement and public safety.

    http://www.nd.edu/~jbrockm1/WittBrockmole_inPress_JEPHPP.pdf

  376. Matt Penfold says

    Beatrice is right. There’s something deeply wrong with this being an unremarked upon part of a culture. Just because it’s as ordinary to Americans as seeing green grass doesn’t mean it’s sane, good, or justified. We’re just soaking in our own cultural mythology so deeply it seems that way.

    But it’s wrong.

    In much of the rest of the world people would nod politely, and slowly back towards to the door in the hope they do not antagonise the person giving the warning. In colloquial terms, they would be considered the local equivalent of “round the fucking bend”.

  377. lostintime says

    This is so terrible. I’ve just read that the children were ushered into closets and told to be absolutely quiet. I can’t imagine how terrifying that would be. My heart goes out to the families.

    Seriously, how do right-wingers and libertarians live with themselves when things like this happen?

  378. Beatrice says

    the visitors are not threatened, they are simply told that the weapons over the mantle will go off if the trigger is pulled. Visitor, nods .

    No subtle* threat there. Nope.

    *honestly, I don’t even consider it subtle, but I’m starting to think that an average gun wielding American and I have very different notions of subtle

  379. broboxley OT says

    Beatrice you didnt grow up with guns in the house stacked alongside the hammers and saw. Of course it seems strange to you. If you saw this in almost every house when you were growing up it would seem reasonable.

  380. Beatrice says

    If you are raised by a violent wife beating bully, you might grow up thinking that smacking a woman around is a completely normal thing, but that won’t make it reasonable. Or desirable. Or something we would like more people to grow up with.

  381. Matt Penfold says

    Beatrice you didnt grow up with guns in the house stacked alongside the hammers and saw. Of course it seems strange to you. If you saw this in almost every house when you were growing up it would seem reasonable.

    I would have thought the fact she did not grow up in a house where the adults behaved so irresponsibly was obvious.

  382. Pteryxx says

    More background info from MoJo’s mass shootings project:

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/09/mass-shootings-investigation?page=1

    Armed civilians attempting to intervene are actually more likely to increase the bloodshed, says Hargarten, “given that civilian shooters are less likely to hit their targets than police in these circumstances.” A chaotic scene in August at the Empire State Building put this starkly into perspective when New York City police officers confronting a gunman wounded nine innocent bystanders.

    Surveys suggest America’s guns may be concentrated in fewer hands today: Approximately 40 percent of households had them in the past decade, versus about 50 percent in the 1980s. But far more relevant is a recent barrage of laws that have rolled back gun restrictions throughout the country. In the past four years, across 37 states, the NRA and its political allies have pushed through 99 laws making guns easier to own, easier to carry in public, and harder for the government to track.

    Among the more striking measures: Eight states now allow firearms in bars. Law-abiding Missourians can carry a gun while intoxicated and even fire it if “acting in self-defense.” In Kansas, permit holders can carry concealed weapons inside K-12 schools, and Louisiana allows them in houses of worship. Virginia not only repealed a law requiring handgun vendors to submit sales records, but the state also ordered the destruction of all such previous records. More than two-thirds of these laws were passed by Republican-controlled statehouses, though often with bipartisan support.

    […]

    And we’re on our way to a situation where the most lax state permitting rules—say, Virginia’s, where an online course now qualifies for firearms safety training and has drawn a flood of out-of-state applicants—are in effect national law. Eighty percent of states now recognize handgun permits from at least some other states. And gun rights activists are pushing hard for a federal reciprocity bill—passed in the House late last year, with GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan among its most ardent supporters—that would essentially make any state’s permits valid nationwide.

    Further details include the few cases where armed civilians attempted to intervene. Also, the article states mental health is a common factor, followed up in a new article which I’ll put in the other thread… sigh.

  383. chigau (Chiggers) says

    Long ago on the family farm a loaded rifle was kept by the door.
    It was used to shoot predatory non-human animals.
    We children knew not to touch it.
    If visitors were informed of it’s location, it was so they could use it if necessary.

  384. Beatrice says

    In US, at least in some states, you can be arrested for sitting in your parked car drunk, correct?
    And yet, there is no problem with carrying a gun into a bar and getting sloshed.

  385. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    chigau,

    Despite your qualifiers, that was still absolutely fucking stupid. (As it was for my parents to let me and my brothers stick our heads out of the car window while it was moving.)

  386. opposablethumbs says

    Many homes here in America have rifles and pistols tazers, grenades, mortars and flick-knives in plain sight, the owner usually tells visitors that they are loaded, with one in the chamber and the safety is off charged, live and razor-sharp, with no safety-guard. Once told that visitors leave them alone. Children are taught from toddler stage not to touch them as they will go off / cut anything to shreds. The results of touching them are demonstrated. Many people I know have brought their children into adulthood safely doing this. In cases of self defense they simply reach out for the nearest weapon and use it.

    Why stop at rifles and pistols, ffs? Why not have a whole arsenal on the mantelpiece?

    I don’t fucking believe this. Who the fuck thinks that the way to improve a weapons-saturated society is to introduce as many weapons as possible as young as possible? Who thinks it’s actually OK to maim or kill someone instead of handing over valuables? Yes I’d be upset to lose something I haven’t got the money to replace – but that doesn’t mean I think somebody should die for stealing it.

    It’s almost like a weird, bloodier version of the tragedy of the commons. Other people are grazing livestock on the green, so rather than even try to agree fare shares for all I’m going to graze twice as many head in the sure and certain knowledge that this time next year there’ll be no grass left and all the animals will be slaughtered. Other people have got weapons, so rather than even consider trying to reduce the amount of weaponry around in society as a whole, Imma go out and buy moar bigger gunz for ME.

    And it doesn’t even offer the benefit of making me safer, on average – not in real life it doesn’t. Sure it feels intuitively that if someone else has got a gun then I’m better off having one too – but as others have kindly linked upthread, the reality is that on average the more guns around just means the more likely it is that someone will get shot. And that someone is just as likely to be you, no matter how much you daydream about being a shoot-em-up hero.

    How many “shooting sprees” have there been in the last, say, thirty years? Compared to any other country in the world with domestic law-and-order stability?

  387. broboxley OT says

    Well, I will have to admit the errors of my ways and move back to england and learn from my betters. Until that happens I will leave this thread at this time

  388. jinxmchue says

    Dear armchair “experts,”

    Stricter gun laws would not have prevented this tragedy. It is absolutely asinine of you to presume so. It is also hypocritical given your persistent complaints against people who have suggested an armed teacher and/or principal could have stopped this shooting. No one truly knows what could have prevented this. Please stop using this horrific act to advance your personal vendettas against guns, the NRA, Fox News, or what have you. There are families that are devastated beyond what most of us can even imagine. They need to be our focus, not you.

  389. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Now the white male privileged of the UK middle class just love to teach us colonials why we need to emulate their superior mores – broboxley

    I think that’s one of the stupidest attempts at deflection I’ve ever seen.

  390. coldthinker says

    broboxley –

    If I ever visited a home and suddenly found that my host keeps a loaded rifle on the wall, I’d certainly get the hell out of that house immediately. Probably making up a polite excuse so as to not irritate the sick fuck.

    Anyone keeping a loaded gun at plain sight and readily available is expecting to shoot someone, and I am not going let myself or my loved ones be around when this happens. And I’m certainly never going to live anywhere where owning and shooting guns is a way of life. Guess my wife’s American cousins won’t be seeing us next year either.

  391. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    jinxmchue,

    No one truly knows what could have prevented this.

    You’re a liar. If guns were not available, it could not have happened.

  392. Beatrice says

    jinxmchue,

    Stricter gun laws would not have prevented this tragedy.

    Maybe, maybe not. The murderer would have certainly had a harder time obtaining weapons. Maybe he wouldn’t have been able to obtain them at all.

    As for the rest: I don’t even want to bother, you’re going to reveal yourself to be a selfish fuck who thinks playing with deadly weapons is more important than human lives and we’ve already been through that. Fuck you.

    This is exactly the right time to talk about gun control. This is exactly the time for all you gun nuts to shut the hell up and feel some fucking shame.

  393. Rey Fox says

    It is also hypocritical given your persistent complaints against people who have suggested an armed teacher and/or principal could have stopped this shooting.

    This makes no sense.

    Please stop using this horrific act to advance your personal vendettas against guns, the NRA, Fox News, or what have you.

    And this is just stupid.

    There are families that are devastated beyond what most of us can even imagine. They need to be our focus, not you.

    Okay. So go away and we will no longer be your focus.

  394. jinxmchue says

    As for the rest: I don’t even want to bother, you’re going to reveal yourself to be a selfish fuck who thinks playing with deadly weapons is more important than human lives and we’ve already been through that. Fuck you.

    This is exactly the right time to talk about gun control. This is exactly the time for all you gun nuts to shut the hell up and feel some fucking shame.

    See this is what happens when you assume. You make an “ass” out of “u” (but not “me”). I’m not a “gun nut.” I don’t own any guns. I have no desire to own any guns. Thanks for burning that straw man, though.

  395. jen says

    First, banning all guns isn’t going to work. You’ll end up with riots, all the gun owners in the streets WITH their guns, and possibly massive amounts of people getting hurt or killed. Two, the guns that were used were owned legally by the mother of the gunman, so a background check wouldn’t have worked. What needs to happen is that along with the background check, family situations should taken into account before people get guns. That woman knew that her son had serious problems, though there’s been autism and general mental health problems talked about, so we don’t know exactly what they were. Why she kept the guns where he could get to them we don’t know either. I think that if somebody wants to own a gun, and they have somebody who lives in the house who has mental problems, they should have to have a gun safe first that the affected person has no access to, especially not knowing the combination. A locked gun cabinet wouldn’t do it, because then the person could just break the glass. There are gun safes these days that are pretty much impenetrable. A person who wants to own gun(s) needs to be willing to put out the money for that safe BEFORE they’re allowed to own the guns.

  396. Beatrice says

    jinxmchue,

    Well then, you are a fool who defends the gun nuts. I’ll give you a cookie for not being able to accidentally shoot anyone.
    You are still defending the fuckers.

  397. Rey Fox says

    First, banning all guns isn’t going to work.

    Why did you feel the need to start your comment with this?

  398. jinxmchue says

    You’re a liar. If guns were not available, it could not have happened

    Cumbria, England: June 2, 2010.

  399. jen says

    @492, because a lot of the earlier comments were advocating the banning of all guns. There are too many out there, AND it’s in the Constitution. It wouldn’t work, because people would find ways to hide their guns, and some have become so paranoid about the government coming to take their guns that things could get violent very fast.

  400. Fred Salvador - The Public Sucks; Fuck Hope says

    Dear armchair “experts,”

    Stricter gun laws would not have prevented this tragedy. It is absolutely asinine of you to presume so.

    Because preventing a person having access to self-loading firearms somehow does not prevent them using self-loading firearms to murder people? Please think about this statement more carefully, and perhaps check you’ve understood the arguments for gun control.

    It is also hypocritical given your persistent complaints against people who have suggested an armed teacher and/or principal could have stopped this shooting. No one truly knows what could have prevented this.

    Yes they do; preventing civilian access to self-loading weapons. That works to prevent mass murder with self-loading weapons in the same way that preventing civilian access to fireworks prevents people being injured by fireworks.

    Please stop using this horrific act to advance your personal vendettas against guns, the NRA, Fox News, or what have you. There are families that are devastated beyond what most of us can even imagine. They need to be our focus, not you.

    Please don’t use false equivalencies to silence debates. If you don’t like the arguments being made here, or feel this is an inappropriate time to be having this discussion, that’s perfectly understandable – but what you must not do is use whatever grief or anger you feel to try and silence people who are trying to discuss a critical issue, whether you agree with what they’re saying or not. Nobody is going to think any less of you if you want to take a step back until you feel sufficiently composed to contribute meaningfully, but trying to shut people up makes people think you’re a jerk.

    Well, I will have to admit the errors of my ways and move back to england and learn from my betters.

    Oh, the irreverence! I think I might cry.

    Until that happens I will leave this thread at this time

    Please stick the flounce; both from this thread, and from the United Kingdom. The idea I might one day pass you in the street is too much for my delicate middle-class sensibilities to bear.

  401. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    jinxmchue,

    You’re also a fuckwit. Clearly, guns were available in the case you mention.

  402. jinxmchue says

    Well then, you are a fool who defends the gun nuts. I’ll give you a cookie for not being able to accidentally shoot anyone.
    You are still defending the fuckers.

    Your rantings are bizarre and hypocritical. You are far, far nuttier than any gun owner. The way you portray things, you’d think accidental shootings happen every day in every city in America and that anyone who legally owns a gun is a mentally unhinged maniac who is either an accident or a mass-murderer waiting to happen. And people here go along with you, which is hilarious. No one has the testicular fortitude to call you out on your lunacy.

  403. Rey Fox says

    “Please stop using this horrific act to advance your personal vendettas against guns, the NRA, Fox News, or what have you.” = “Please stop using this clear case example to advance political views that I don’t like.”