Mary’s Monday Metazoan: I always say we could use more gastrotrichs around here »« Shut up and die already. No fussing.

America has a disease

A man and his wife are out on a movie date, and before the show starts, he talks to his 3-year-old daughter at home on his cell phone. And apparently he was doing some texting, too. Clearly, our big problem is our dependency on these ubiquitous little telecommunications devices…

Wait, no, that’s not it. The problem is that sitting nearby was Curtis Reeves, 71, a retired police officer, who resented the chatter before his movie came on, and Mr Reeves was carrying a goddamn fucking gun in the theater, and argued with the talkative father and eventually shot him dead and wounded his wife.

The Tampa police seriously “considered if this could be a ‘stand your ground’ case but decided the criteria did not apply.” Obviously not. The victim was white. But holy shitballs, they considered this? An armed asshole guns down a man over some noise during the movie previews and they contemplated letting him go?

Then, minutes after I read that, aghast, I get a little beep, and someone sent me this link.

reddit-rifle

Reddit is selling personalized guns with their logo.

Personal privacy is prized among Redditors, most of whom participate on the site anonymously. A fervent pro-gun constituency among them makes the market opportunity for gun dealers all the more attractive. The primary subreddit on the topic, /r/Guns, currently has more than 154,000 subscribers, and GunsForSale, created in March 2011, has doubled in size in the last year, with more than 7,200 subscribers. Gun dealers using the site indicate that they’ve enjoyed a spike in demand in the past year, after the Sandy Hook massacre ignited a national debate and pro-gun activists whipped up fears about a regulatory crackdown.

Yeah, that’s the big worry with a bunch of dead kids — someone might grow a spine and a brain somewhere and take steps to regulate guns. They needn’t have worried: this is America, we’re aspiring to mutual bloody annihilation among the citizenry.

And christ, reddit.

Comments

  1. says

    The problem is that sitting nearby was Curtis Reeves, 71, a retired police officer, who resented the chatter before his movie came on, and Mr Reeves was carrying a goddamn fucking gun in the theater, and argued with the talkative father and eventually shot him dead and wounded his wife.

    ! I don’t know what to say anymore. I just don’t.

  2. bluentx says

    Cross posted from The Lounge:

    On arriving at work tonight I found an announcement from the Texas Water Utility Association*. Their motto: Educational Excellence.

    A scholarship fundraiser. A drawing for…. a 12 gauge shotgun! Guns as prizes for school scholarship donations!!!

    I think I will fax this announcement back to them with the notation:

    “With multiple school shootings in the news, this is a truly disgusting display of insensitivity!”

    *This is the same organization I wrote to last August about proselytization and anti-science garbage spewed by one of their instructors during a training class (Educational Excellence!). I have yet to receive a reply about that.

  3. Pierce R. Butler says

    bluentx @ # 2: … a truly disgusting display of insensitivity!

    I suspect “insensitivity”, to teabaggers & their fellow travelers, means “I am a knee-jerk crybaby liberal, and must be ignored or harassed.

    Besides, it severely understates the case.

    How about “… truly disgusting display of callousness and obsession …”?

  4. sc_2f30f4ac0ee604ffcb1bca6ea0ebeea9 says

    Whoa, whoa, whoa… Leave Reddit out of this one. Reddit is just a communications platform that allows users to create whatever sort of content they want. The powers that be intervene when there are serious issues, but for the most part, blaming Reddit for what a certain subset of Redditors like to talk about makes as much sense as blaming the whole Internet for the same thing.

  5. says

    #4
    The powers that be intervened to allow official Reddit logos on the guns. This was a corporate decision by the Reddit honchos.

    More generally: Fuck. What the fuck is these assholes’ problem?

  6. Wowbagger, Designated Snarker says

    Sigh. I’d love to come visit your country one day, PZ, but stories like this put me off.

  7. bluentx says

    Pierce R. Butler:

    I know, even ‘understated’ is an understatement. :)
    On second thought, I’ll probably snail mail it in, thereby avoiding even the look of impropriety (using the business fax machine). That will give me more time to hone my language. [Callousness...hummm..]

    As for the comments at the link… For a Fox article, some of the push back (to right wing brain farts) is pretty sweet!

  8. ChasCPeterson says

    Leave Reddit out of this one.

    Why don’t you read before you comment, jackass?

    Reddit’s communications director, Victoria Taylor, confirmed that the [Reddit] logo was licensed to the gun group in May 2011.

    and then there’s this:

    Taylor, the communications director, told Mother Jones: “Reddit neither condones nor does not condone the buying and selling of firearms through the site, as long as users are not using the site to violate applicable US laws.”

    con·done
    kənˈdōn/
    verb
    1. accept and allow (behavior that is considered morally wrong or offensive) to continue.

    I’d have to say they condone it, all right. Fucking weasels.

  9. says

    The Tampa police seriously “considered if this could be a ‘stand your ground’ case but decided the criteria did not apply.”

    And least anyone think the problems here are limited to Florida: as a former law enforcement officer, Reeves was likely authorized to carry a concealed firearm anywhere in the United States regardless of state and local laws: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_Enforcement_Officers_Safety_Act .

    Note: CNN is reporting Reeves’ first name as “Charles”.

  10. says

    Apropos, elected idiot Steve Stockman (R-of course, TX, no surprise) tweeted this yesterday:

    QUIZ: How many guns do you own?
    A) Not enough.
    B) Not enough.
    C) Not enough.
    D) All of the above.

  11. tbrucegodfrey says

    It’s reasonable for law enforcement to explore all possible evidence and theories. It’s a movie theatre; it’s dark and there could have been at some stage reason to believe that this shooter perceived himself as being in danger, and drew accordingly.

    He’s 71 years old and probably cannot fight off an attacker without a gun, if there was an attacker (apparently not.) So the cops explored whether a given provision of law applied under the facts as they gathered them. It’s not as if someone on the scene hands the cops a “syllabus of the killing”; they investigate and rule out various scenarios. This is normal police work.

  12. says

    Chas quoth:

    Taylor, the communications director, told Mother Jones: “Reddit neither condones nor does not condone the buying and selling of firearms through the site, as long as users are not using the site to violate applicable US laws.”

    Jesus Christ. Dear Communications Director, please learn to use a dictionary.

  13. Seize says

    Preemptively, Caine: please thwamp me on the nose if this is derailing, and if it is, everyone ignore me.

    However, in response to this:

    Reddit is just a communications platform that allows users to create whatever sort of content they want. The powers that be intervene when there are serious issues, but for the most part, blaming Reddit for what a certain subset of Redditors like to talk about makes as much sense as blaming the whole Internet for the same thing.

    To what extent is this actually true? For example, we all know that certain aspects of 4chan and the other *chan platforms make them prone to abuse. Moreover, once a certain group sets up shop somewhere, that shop is no longer a hypothetical situation. The mods or owners of the platform should be expected to respond to, say, a hate group taking up shop on their platform like ethical human beings.

  14. felidae says

    I’m from Detroit–”from” being the operative word here as I got the hell out of there 30 years ago–and if the proposition that more guns makes for a safer city, then Detroit should be one of the safest cities on the planet as it is one of the most heavily armed cities around. Instead, there around 350 murders a year and the leading cause of death for black males under 35 is homicide

  15. says

    tbrucegodfrey:

    It’s reasonable for law enforcement to explore all possible evidence and theories.

    There was absolutely no reason whatsoever for the attempt to pass this off under stand your ground. Florida law enforcement has a less than stellar record in this matter, to say the least. Your weaselly attempt to excuse their bullshit ain’t helping.

    He’s 71 years old and probably cannot fight off an attacker without a gun

    Uh huh. That must be it, must not have anything to do with him being ex-law enforcement, eh? Why it’s just totes reasonable to carry a weapon into a theater to enjoy a movie.

  16. says

    Seize:

    Preemptively, Caine: please thwamp me on the nose if this is derailing, and if it is, everyone ignore me.

    I don’t think you’re derailing. I think you have a very good point.

  17. Onamission5 says

    But of course so-called responsible people who are well trained in firearm use and safety, like former police captains or heads of security at big corporations, and who have concealed carry permits, would never, ever break the rules of a business establishment and bring in a loaded weapon then use their weapon for purposes of aggression. Concealed handguns are only for self defense, don’tcha know? Like when someone throws popcorn at you.

    *spits*

  18. Seize says

    Okay. Just checking before I proceed.

    All of the freeze peach talk from redditors rings kind of hollow for me, given the fact that reddit has now been established as a platform from which certain subreddits see it as their right to intimidate other speakers with impunity. Free speech isn’t of any use to anyone if credible threats aren’t punished. If majority members use “free speech” to bully minority populations on reddit or the rest of the internet into silence, we’ve just got another hierarchy.

  19. Rey Fox says

    Yeah, it’s the 90% of bad apple Redditors that make the rest look bad.

    Kinda like police officers in that respect.

  20. says

    Instead, there around 350 murders a year and the leading cause of death for black males under 35 is homicide

    The number of murders in some US cities is simply amazing to me. I live in Ottawa and I just checked to see how many murders there were in 2013. It was actually up from the previous year. We had nine murders. Ottawa has about 900000 people in the city, so we are talking about 1 in 100000 people. Winnipeg has one of the highest at about 5 per 100000. In Detroit it is about 50 per 100000. Staggering.

  21. ck says

    The only thing that can save you from a bad gun-toting homicidal ex-cop is a good gun-toting homicidal ex-cop… wait, am I doing this right?

  22. Alverant says

    He’s 71 years old and probably cannot fight off an attacker without a gun

    Because tasers and pepper sprays are too heavy?

    When all you have are guns everyone else looks like a target.

  23. anuran says

    Cops are among the worst. They have a sense of entitlement, a feeling that they are above the law, generally poor gun safety and a career’s-worth of consequence-free violence.

  24. says

    “I asked if the guy was OK, and he started gurgling blood and then fell,” recalled Cummings’ son, who said he ran to call 911.

    I’m surprised he didn’t get shot too. I mean, it was the damned preview of the new Will Ferrel bromance/action flick, and here this guy is calling 911 and ruining it for everyone.

  25. militantagnostic says

    Travis

    A couple of years ago Windsor (just south of Detroit) had 0 murders in a population of a quarter million. Calgary has been running between 1 and 4 per 100,000 with a more or less declining trend. Even in a city with over a million people, there are too few murders per year to determine a trend over 5 years

    Is my understanding of “stand your ground” correct – you can initiate a confrontation with someone and then when it looks like you are going to get your ass kicked you can shoot them? And if there are no witnesses it is your word against theirs, but they aren’t saying anything because they are dead? Sure no-one is stupid enough to pass a law like that.

  26. says

    Whatever happened to calling a theatre usher like people used to do?

    “Stand your ground” was “considered”? Are they going to call the shooting self-defense as well? It sounds more like the ex-cop was looking for an excuse to kill someone. If the charge is anything less than first degree murder, it’s another case of cops protecting (ex-)cops from charges (see: Jesus Huerta).

    He was probably a lousy cop if he doesn’t know how to de-escalate a situation with words. Then again, he would have been a lousy cop because he caused the situation with words.

  27. jnorris says

    Imagine if three other people in the theater were armed and one of them shots at first shooter. Then the other two shot at the second and then at each other. How many by-standers would be dead?

    The NRA says we will all be safe when everyone packs heat. Yeah. sure.

  28. ChasCPeterson says

    Am I the only one who looked for, and found, a reddit button immediately under the post?

    oo. ouch.

    (in my case, AdBlock erases all that crap)

  29. Muz says

    Others have more or less said it already, but doesn’t the old guy pretty much fit the bill of the sort of concealed carry person that gun advocates want to see more of in the world? For our “safety”?

  30. says

    Oh, sweet Jesus, America.

    If you look at everyone through gun sights, everyone eventually looks like a target.

    Despite being designed explicitly to do so, guns don’t kill people because guns are non-sentient objects. However, guns (and easy access to them) do make killing people reeeally fucking easy – especially if they are where they don’t belong, like in the hands of a sentient fucking idiot. Remove the gun from the equation and this guy could be looking at an assault charge – maybe not even that. Maybe he would’ve chosen not to kick off because he wouldn’t have had his magic metal cock in his pocket making him feel like a big tough range-rider.

    This situation right here is the flip-side of the pro-conceal & carry brigade’s argument that average shmoes on the street should be able to carry pocket-cannons in order to protect the peace (i.e. to effectively be pseudo-cops). Here we have no less than a former cop, whom the public should ostensibly be able to trust with a gun, losing his shit over some noise during the fucking previews and killing a man in cold blood over it. If there’s any reason not to let anybody, even a retired cop, carry a concealed lethal weapon in public without at minimum an extensive background check and perhaps (or especially, in the case of former cops and servicepeople, whose professional lives necessarily involve high-risk and stressful situations) a decent psych evaluation, this, you’d think, would be it. But no – I predict the gun freaks will be all over this, throwing out “No True Firearm Enthusiast” arguments as fast as they can type and some will even say “If everyone else in that theatre was packing, this wouldn’t have happened! #NRA4EVA

  31. Nemo says

    I’ve never been much of a Reddit user, but I had always believed that it was a neutral platform (as suggested in comment #4) — until now. Licensing your logo to a gun manufacturer does rather seem like taking a side.

  32. says

    All gun discussions about the US boil down to this: ten thousand or more non-guilty people must be shot every year or there isn’t any freedom.

    No, really, that is it.

    I think we Germans got our toll out of all the neighboring countries and subsequently paid for ourselves by getting bombed, which is why we now have freedom and comparatively few homicides (much less by firearm) in central Europe.

    So, dear US, please have some other country bomb the shit out of Houston or whatever, so that you can stop shooting each other for the next century or so.

    Hey, wait, isn’t this whole “blood for freedom” thing pretty Biblical? Maybe that’s why Biblical America finds it so normal to pay for basic rights (you know, staying alive and not be injured because of texting during a movie trailer) by offering blood sacrifices. Someone should have told the shooter that their region had already given enough people to God this year to allow annoying behavior in a theater for the month. How about hanging up monthly lists in public places, like “March, 284 people shot in Willowburg City, God appeased, please don’t shoot more people until May”.

  33. petrander says

    I want to cry…

    We live in Europe, but otherwise this could be us being shot. We have two autistic children and going to the movies involves finding a responsible adult supervisor at home and even then it is imperative we can be reached at least by SMS in case of melt downs and other crises.

    Otherwise, people’s inconsiderate behaviour can tick me off, especially when it’s clearly not necessary. But this… no.

  34. Dunc says

    The NRA says we will all be safe when everyone packs heat. Yeah. sure.

    “We won’t be safe ’til everybody’s dead” [The Ballad of October 16th, Millard Lampell, 1941]

  35. anuran says

    First off, please stop saying “packing heat” unless you want to sound like an ignoramus who thinks he knows what he or she is talking about. It’s right up there with calling someone a hep cat, claiming to be “rodded up” or, well, the sort of teabagging “Sovereign Citizen” who uses made up legalese. You sneer at them. People who know something about guns sneer at you.

    Second, “stand your ground” and self defense are two very different things. The use of deadly force in self defense has a long and well-developed body of law around it. “Choice of evils”, “immediate and otherwise unavoidable danger of death or serious bodily injury”, “yourself or an innocent third party”, “in fear for my life…no other choice”, that sort of thing.

    SYG is an ALEC-sponsored perversion which turns it on its head. In Stand Your Ground jurisdictions you just have to have a “reasonable fear” and be somewhere you have a legal right to be. Then it becomes “kill the witnesses”. The self defense, defensive firearms and police instructors I know are unanimously appalled by it because it tries to give the greatest possible latitude in killing people and doesn’t even make a pretense of backing off in order to avoid a deadly confrontation.

  36. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    Seriously, redditt, fuck you.

    And the guy was shot because he was on the phone to his 3 year old daughter. From reading the story, he offered no threat to Reeves what so ever. That’s murder, plain and simple.

    Apparently he was charged with second degree murder. Can someone explain the differences in degree? I assume it’s second degree because it wasn’t pre-meditated?

  37. Acolyte of Sagan says

    I’ll admit that there are times when I could quite cheerfully take somebody’s ‘phone from them and re-insert it where the sun don’t shine, but this is just……ahh, I don’t have the words for this!

  38. Nick Gotts says

    People who know something about guns sneer at you. – anuran

    And I should care about that – why? (Not that I would ever use the phrase “packing heat”.)

  39. Bernard Bumner says

    Because tasers and pepper sprays are too heavy?

    When all you have are guns everyone else looks like a target.

    No guns. No tasers. No pepper sprays.

    Address the culture of fear and loathing which leads every potential threat to be met by a violent response.

    There is no great issue in the UK of retired police officers being killed for want of offensive/defensive weaponry. And only a very small number of killings by police officers, retired or otherwise.

    My fear is that this first resort to violence and the notion of pre-emptive violence is creeping more and more into the UK psyche – the American model of self-defence is often enviously cited by the tabloid media as a good and just right. The American sickness is not only going untreated, but it may be contageous.

  40. nutella says

    @14 Seize

    “To what extent is this actually true?”

    Reddit is in principle a neutral platform but in practice they explicitly and officially encourage MRAs, street pornographers, and gun nuts. The claims of platform neutrality and dedication to free speech were made during the Violent Acres exposure story and it was BS then too.

  41. methuseus says

    So this happened less than an hour from me, and it’s absolutely horrible. I can understand them taking SYG into account only because it’s a law and they have to take the law into account. As far as actually looking at it enough that it’s put in the media, it’s ridiculous. First accounts said the four people involved were the only ones in the theater. Add that there were others, plus that it was still previews, it’s patently ridiculous how this happened. Then the revelation that it was a retired police officer, even worse. It makes me fear for my children, let alone myself. Yes, the guy texting could have been quieter and more respectful from every account I’ve seen, but, since it was previews, none of the other patrons seemed perturbed by it.

    As far as the second degree thing, first degree murder requires proof that the murderer had the intent to kill. Sometimes showing intent to kill, but not of that particular person, can lower it to second degree, though I still believe it should be first degree.

  42. eurosid says

    People who know something about guns sneer at you. – anuran

    And I should care about that – why? (Not that I would ever use the phrase “packing heat”.) -Nick Gotts

    Because some of them will kill you if you annoy them. Didn’t you read the post?

  43. says

    Acolyte of Sagan

    I’ll admit that there are times when I could quite cheerfully take somebody’s ‘phone from them and re-insert it where the sun don’t shine, but this is just……ahh, I don’t have the words for this!

    My husbnad has a tendency to become, uhm, overenthusiastic when he thinks there’s a wrong to be righted, especially if he believes that somebody endangers others. He is, by no means, violent and I’m not afraid that he would hit somebody.
    I am afraid that one day somebody might knock in his teeth.
    If we lived in the States I would have to be afraid that somebody killed him.

  44. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @Bernard Brummer

    No guns. No tasers. No pepper sprays.

    Address the culture of fear and loathing which leads every potential threat to be met by a violent response.

    As a long-term goal, yes, definitely. As a short term fix? Some sensible fucking gun control and a campaign to persuade people to switch to non-lethal self-defense technology would be a vast improvement over the current situation.

    My fear is that this first resort to violence and the notion of pre-emptive violence is creeping more and more into the UK psyche – the American model of self-defence is often enviously cited by the tabloid media …

    I’ve noticed this occasionally. We too have our wannabe-hero man-children who have swallowed the NRA propaganda; ours are just embittered that our government won’t allow them the means to pretend to be Rambo and jealous that their American brethren do have the means. I for one am perfectly happy for them to stay impotent and embittered, but I too worry at the trend in opinion. Of course it’s pretty much just rags like The Sun, so I’m not that worried…

  45. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @methuseus

    As far as the second degree thing, first degree murder requires proof that the murderer had the intent to kill. Sometimes showing intent to kill, but not of that particular person, can lower it to second degree, though I still believe it should be first degree.

    He shot him. With a gun. In the chest. To me, that seems like a pretty clear attempt to kill someone, and it’s pretty clear in this case that the person he meant to kill was the person who he did in fact kill. So this should be first degree?

  46. Sarahface, who is trying to break the lurking habit says

    Of course it’s pretty much just rags like The Sun, so I’m not that worried…

    Except that the Sun has a surprising amount of influence – maybe not in the sense of ‘The Sun says [x] should be the case’ and the country replies with ‘[x] should be the case, yes’, but they have the highest circulation of any newspaper in the country (I believe) and that gives them an ability to frame the debate in such a way that the discourse gradually changes to reflect that.
    Not to mention the way the press has power to get politicians to at least talk about things, if they kick up enough of a fuss.

    Maybe I’m too cynical, but I see the UK as moving away from the generally more-desirable European models of everything (healthcare, gun control, education, employment rights, etc) and towards the (generally less desirable) US models. And that scares me, because we currently have a government that has outright contempt for the young, the poor, and immigrants. (And everyone else, too. Except the rich.)

  47. Howard Bannister says

    @Thumper

    Usually First Degree has to be “willful and premeditated” in US law.

  48. Nick Gotts says

    eurosid@48,

    Good point. I profusely and abjectly apologise for any offence I may ever have given to anyone who owns a gun or knows something about guns!

  49. methuseus says

    @Thumper 51:

    He shot him. With a gun. In the chest. To me, that seems like a pretty clear attempt to kill someone, and it’s pretty clear in this case that the person he meant to kill was the person who he did in fact kill. So this should be first degree?

    I’m not saying it’s right, but I forgot the part about it being premeditated. The person has to have planned it beforehand, and not committed the crime in the heat of the moment. I’m not saying it’s right, but that’s how the law is written. I’m really not sure how I feel about it, since that means this man and a woman who shoots her husband who’s coming at her with a knife are seen as the same in the law (if you ignore SYG, which likely would not apply in that case since she’s a woman).

  50. Bernard Bumner says

    As a long-term goal, yes, definitely. As a short term fix? Some sensible fucking gun control and a campaign to persuade people to switch to non-lethal self-defense technology would be a vast improvement over the current situation.

    The potential problem with giving people more access to “non-lethal” technology is that they may be more likely to actually use it, and to use it at lower personal risk threasholds. Tasers and pepper spray are not non-lethal, just more rarely lethal. Increased deployment will potentially lead to many more examples of those rare incidents where someone is killed due to heart attacks, choking, falling, allergic reactions, etc.

    There may be more vulnerable people, including pensioners and children, shot as a result of promoting new-and-improved, safer Non-Lethal violence. I’m not sure whether that possibilty has been examined?

    And if gun fetishists have the choice, they will still choose the obvious lethality of a firearm over the less-frequently deadly alternative. It is no use offering them the apparent sugar-tit of a taser, if they won’t choose that before a gun. If stricter gun control is to be achieved, then it should not be replaced by increased capacity to use other means of violence. Personally, if I was in charge, I would simply enact a ban on private ownership of firearms, but the reality in the US seeems to be that the cultural change will be also required to acheived the change of habbits around firearms ownership, carrying, and use.

  51. says

    IANAL, so I wonder if the fact that he brought a firearm into a movie theater could be argued to constitute some form of premeditation? I seem to remember examples (admittedly, from tv shows) where bringing a firearm to a situation where there was no reason to bring one, was argued to be premeditation, even if the specific victim wasn’t planned.

    E.g. if a person brings a rifle to a tall building and then shoots a random person in the street, the fact that he didn’t plan to kill a specific individual doesn’t protect him from a charge of premeditated murder. The act of bringing the weapon constitutes premeditation.

    Does the concealed carry permit cancel such an argument? Does a CC permit allow you to bring a weapon anywhere on the off-chance that you’ll need it for self-defense?

  52. says

    Yes, the guy texting could have been quieter and more respectful from every account I’ve seen, but, since it was previews, none of the other patrons seemed perturbed by it.

    You (general you, not you methuseus @ #47) know what the response ought to be if perturbed by someone phoning or texting in a cinema? Even if they’re doing it during the feature and not merely the previews? Hint: it’s not pulling out a firearm and shooting them.

    Why are people focusing on the fact that the murder victim was being annoying during previews as though the shooting would have been justified if he had been noisy during the movie? Being loud and disrespectful warrants being asked by an usher to be quieter or, at worst, requested to leave.

  53. Bernard Bumner says

    Hint: it’s not pulling out a firearm and shooting them.

    Of course, he can just be written off as a crazy, and not representative of gun owners in general.

    Even if the discussion manages to refocus on the actions of the killer, rather than his victim, there will still be a refusal to accept that such killings are an inevitable consequence of widespread ownership and carrying of firearms.

  54. says

    I get a sense that many of the posters here are the same ones who scream profiling if Muslims are targeted at airports or Hispanics are pulled over near the Border, yet they have no problem painting the 80 million + lawful gun owners with the same brush as the 1 or two percent who actually commit gun crimes. They ignore the fact that criminals DON’T OBEY THE LAW as part of their qualification towards being a criminal. Further, its well known across America that cops will do anything to protect their own which is the ONLY reason “stand your ground” was considered. Add to that the fact that if you take just six American cities (Chicago, Detroit, Miami, D.C., New York and Los Angeles.) out of the equation the numbers drop drastically for the rest of the country, lower than many countries known for gun control laws.

    I’m 58 and I’ve owned guns since I was 18, while I’ve never shot at people I have used them for self-defense and was glad I had them when needed. I’ll add that I was robbed twice as a convenience store manager of a store with a “no guns” policy; strangely enough, the robbers ignored this concept. (One of whom was wanted for the shooting death of an unarmed store clerk in another State.) On top of that, what’s the largest drug bust you’ve ever heard of? Tons, right? But criminals won’t smuggle guns and ammo if its against the law? Really? Are you mental?

    One last note for the “cowboy culture” fans; having grown up in the American West and being capable of reading actual history as opposed to “yellow journalism”, I know that more people died of snakebite than bullets in the Old West. Guns are tools and far more useful than the tools who want to take them away. Just sayin………..

  55. Onamission5 says

    @#61

    I am very glad to hear that you’re more than willing to trade other people’s lives for your right to be armed to the teeth for no good goddamned reason.

  56. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    And the guy was shot because he was on the phone to his 3 year old daughter. From reading the story, he offered no threat to Reeves what so ever. That’s murder, plain and simple.

    Apparently he was charged with second degree murder. Can someone explain the differences in degree? I assume it’s second degree because it wasn’t pre-meditated?

    In a sane society, anyone charged with murder while carrying a gun would automatically be charged with separate counts of first and second degree murder.

    I get a sense that many of the posters here are the same ones who scream profiling if Muslims are targeted at airports or Hispanics are pulled over near the Border, yet they have no problem painting the 80 million + lawful gun owners with the same brush as the 1 or two percent who actually commit gun crimes. They ignore the fact that criminals DON’T OBEY THE LAW as part of their qualification towards being a criminal. Further, its well known across America that cops will do anything to protect their own which is the ONLY reason “stand your ground” was considered. Add to that the fact that if you take just six American cities (Chicago, Detroit, Miami, D.C., New York and Los Angeles.) out of the equation the numbers drop drastically for the rest of the country, lower than many countries known for gun control laws.

    I’m 58 and I’ve owned guns since I was 18, while I’ve never shot at people I have used them for self-defense and was glad I had them when needed. I’ll add that I was robbed twice as a convenience store manager of a store with a “no guns” policy; strangely enough, the robbers ignored this concept. (One of whom was wanted for the shooting death of an unarmed store clerk in another State.)

    “It’s mine…my own….mmmmmmmmmyyyyyyyyyyy ppppprrrrrrrreeeeeecccccciiiiiiiiioooooouuuuussssss!!!!!!!!”

  57. ougaseon says

    Glenn Festog @ 61

    Add to that the fact that if you take just six American cities (Chicago, Detroit, Miami, D.C., New York and Los Angeles.) out of the equation the numbers drop drastically for the rest of the country, lower than many countries known for gun control laws.

    This is not a fact. This is straight up false. Literally a lie. There were 14612 murders in the US in 2013. Even if you remove the contribution of 1811 murders from the 6 cities with highest number of murders (actually Chicago, Detroit, New York, LA, Philadelphia, and Baltimore), you’re left with 12801 murders. If you dishonestly neglect to remove the population of those cities from the total US population of approximately 310 million to give this claim the best possible chance of being even close to true, you move from 4.7 to 4.1 per 100000. Down 6 places on the list of countries by murder rate. Somewhere between Palestine and Albania.

    Fuck, dude, it took 30 seconds of googling and 30 seconds of math to check that completely implausible claim. Seriously, it took longer to type the html citing my sources than it did to figure out how badly wrong you are. Creationists have more plausible and more difficult-to-refute claims.

  58. says

    They ignore the fact that criminals DON’T OBEY THE LAW as part of their qualification towards being a criminal

    No, we get that. We just think (unlike the gun nuts) that this is a good reason for putting some regulations in place, to control who gets to carry guns.

    The fact that criminals can sometimes get around such regulations is no reason not to have them, unless you’re willing to just get rid of all laws in general.

  59. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    They ignore the fact that criminals DON’T OBEY THE LAW as part of their qualification towards being a criminal.

    Mr. Reeves wasn’t a criminal until he murdered Mr. Oulson. If he wasn’t allowed to carry a gun, he may never have committed his crime.

    Also, you might be interested in this study. “States with higher gun ownership rates and weak gun laws have the highest rates of gun death according to a new analysis by the Violence Policy Center (VPC) of 2010 national data (the most recent available) from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. “

  60. robnyny says

    I actually heard one person assert that SYG applies only to deadly force, basically guns. If two guys get into a fight, and one throws a punch, the punch is the provocation that allows the other to use deadly force.

  61. says

    Daily Kos does a regular “Gun Fail” column mostly cataloging accidental shootings. Those 90% of law-abiding gun owners are responsible for at least eleven deaths due to accidental firings (cleaning, hunting accidents, kids getting hold of guns, mistaking family for burglars) just in the last week.

    I’m curious, too, where smugglers would be bringing guns from if gun restrictions were tighter in the US? Where can you currently obtain firearms with as much ease as the US? This seems like the people saying that if the US moves toward universal healthcare, doctors will leave the country. Where will they go to find a less socialist healthcare system than America’s?

  62. says

    Add to that the fact that if you take just six American cities (Chicago, Detroit, Miami, D.C., New York and Los Angeles.) out of the equation the numbers drop drastically for the rest of the country, lower than many countries known for gun control laws.

    As ougaseon pointed out, this is simply not true. On top of that, the proportion of homicides in the US that are commited with firearms is huge compared to other countries. For example, Canada has a homicide rate of 1.6/100000, and about 0.5/100000 are commited with guns. In the US about 3-3.5/100000, so about 2/3 are commited using a firearm. Of course, I do not think this is only chalked up to gun control. Guns are not that difficult to get here, but the US does have one hell of a sick attitude toward their guns. They do view them as tools, but tools to solve seemingly every problem. Whenever I see communities of US gun lovers online, I always end up seeing endless fantasy scenerios about stopping intruders, and protecting themselves. I’ve known plenty of gun owners here (hell, I have a percussion cap muzzleloader myself), some are hunters, some are target shooters, but one thing you do not run across all of the time is this obsession with using their guns to solve problems. Sure, you can find some people like this, but it pervades US gun ownership is a distubing way.

  63. says

    Mr. Reeves wasn’t a criminal until he murdered Mr. Oulson. If he wasn’t allowed to carry a gun, he may never have committed his crime.

    They have made it impossible for any good, upstanding gun owner to do any wrong, because by definition once they do something wrong, they were never a responsible gun owner. Of course, there appears to be no way to discriminate between the two prior to the act most of the time.

  64. says

    I’m curious, too, where smugglers would be bringing guns from if gun restrictions were tighter in the US?

    There is that. A common argument is that criminals can easily get a hold of guns, so law-abiding citizens need them, too. However, why is it that criminals have such an easy time getting guns?

    E.g. I understand that private gun sales are not subject to any kind of background checks of the buyer. Furthermore, gun registration only seem to apply to official gun dealers, not to private individuals. So, a private seller can sell a gun to a criminal, with no background check and without keeping any records of who got which gun. And, of course, that buyer can sell the gun on, under the same (non-existent) restrictions.

    No fucking wonder criminals can get guns easily

  65. Sarahface, who is trying to break the lurking habit says

    They have made it impossible for any good, upstanding gun owner to do any wrong, because by definition once they do something wrong, they were never a responsible gun owner. Of course, there appears to be no way to discriminate between the two prior to the act most of the time.

    No True Gun Owner Is A Cold-Blooded Murderer?

  66. says

    LykeX:
    Does the concealed carry permit cancel such an argument? Does a CC permit allow you to bring a weapon anywhere on the off-chance that you’ll need it for self-defense?

    For a former cop, like the shooter here, the answer to that is apparently usually yes. Which makes remarkably little sense.

    See the link I gave @10.

    Glenn Festog

    Cut the lies and the false equivalences. You don’t need a semiautomatic handgun hidden under your coat to go hunting, or for target shooting. And you are wrong in your attempted defense of your need to own guns: if there are fewer guns in a society, then both repeat criminal offenders, like everybody else (including people like Curtis), have a much harder time killing people and simply have fewer guns in the first place

    E.g.:

    In England+Wales in 2007, firearms (including air guns) were used in 21521 reported crimes ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_the_United_Kingdom#Firearms_crime ). 56 million people.

    In the US in 2011, there were upwards of 400000 crimes involving guns ( http://www.nij.gov/topics/crime/gun-violence/Pages/welcome.aspx ). 312 million people.

    Notice that the rate of all crimes involving guns in the US is more than a factor of 3 higher than in the UK?

  67. says

    Travis:

    Whenever I see communities of US gun lovers online, I always end up seeing endless fantasy scenerios about stopping intruders, and protecting themselves.

    And that’s all they are, fantasies. Reality seldom corresponds to “gun dude is a superhero” fantasies, especially as they have much in common with a scene from a stupid Hollywood flick. I’m happier relying on good doors, and my two monster dogs. Most people who might want into your house don’t like houses with dogs.

  68. David Marjanović says

    I’m curious, too, where smugglers would be bringing guns from if gun restrictions were tighter in the US? Where can you currently obtain firearms with as much ease as the US?

    The failed-state areas of northern Mexico, specifically Ciudad Juárez…

    …because guns are smuggled there from the US in huge amounts.

  69. says

    Glen Festog:

    Guns are tools and far more useful than the tools who want to take them away.

    Who are these tools who want to take your toys away?
    What are the odds that these people will ever have significant public support for such bans?

  70. Rex Little, Giant Douchweasel says

    The Tampa police seriously “considered if this could be a ‘stand your ground’ case but decided the criteria did not apply.” Obviously not. The victim was white.

    Is the snarky dig based just on PZ’s opinion of Stand Your Ground laws, or is it in fact rare for them to be applied when a white person is killed? (Not a rhetorical question; I wouldn’t be surprised at either answer.)

  71. Rex Little, Giant Douchweasel says

    Xtina:

    It was helpful, thank you. The chart in the article implied that there are enough SYG cases involving white victims to use as a basis for comparison to those involving black victims, which would be contrary to what is implied by the statement I quoted above.

  72. ChasCPeterson says

    In the most comprehensive effort of its kind, the Tampa Bay Times has identified nearly 200 “stand your ground” cases and their outcomes. The Times identified cases through media reports, court records and dozens of interviews with prosecutors and defense attorneys across the state.
    Among the findings:
    • Those who invoke “stand your ground” to avoid prosecution have been extremely successful. Nearly 70 percent have gone free.
    • Defendants claiming “stand your ground” are more likely to prevail if the victim is black. Seventy-three percent of those who killed a black person faced no penalty compared to 59 percent of those who killed a white.

    sourse

  73. Ichthyic says

    Reddit is selling personalized guns with their logo.

    so glad I left when I did.

    so, so glad.

  74. Ichthyic says

    First off, please stop saying “packing heat” unless you want to sound like an ignoramus who thinks he knows what he or she is talking about.

    Hey, abercrombie, yer all wet. Don’t be bumping gums about roscoes!
    Whaddya think ya are, a cinder dick?

  75. Ichthyic says

    I get a sense that many of the posters here are the same ones who scream profiling if Muslims are targeted at airports or Hispanics are pulled over near the Border, yet they have no problem painting the 80 million + lawful gun owners with the same brush as the 1 or two percent who actually commit gun crimes.

    hey, Glenboy…

    how would you characterize a retired police captain?

    fuckwit.

  76. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    First off, sorry for the long wait in replying; I was busy on the other gun thread..

    @Howard bannister #53 and methuseus #55

    Thanks, I assumed it was to do with pre-meditation. Makes sense.

    @Bernard Brummer #57

    The potential problem with giving people more access to “non-lethal” technology is that they may be more likely to actually use it, and to use it at lower personal risk threasholds. Tasers and pepper spray are not non-lethal, just more rarely lethal. Increased deployment will potentially lead to many more examples of those rare incidents where someone is killed due to heart attacks, choking, falling, allergic reactions, etc.

    There may be more vulnerable people, including pensioners and children, shot as a result of promoting new-and-improved, safer Non-Lethal violence. I’m not sure whether that possibilty has been examined?

    And if gun fetishists have the choice, they will still choose the obvious lethality of a firearm over the less-frequently deadly alternative. It is no use offering them the apparent sugar-tit of a taser, if they won’t choose that before a gun. If stricter gun control is to be achieved, then it should not be replaced by increased capacity to use other means of violence. Personally, if I was in charge, I would simply enact a ban on private ownership of firearms, but the reality in the US seeems to be that the cultural change will be also required to acheived the change of habbits around firearms ownership, carrying, and use.

    I agree non-lethal is still dangerous and potentially lethal. But I still think that’s a vast improvement over just plain lethal. As for gun-nuts preferring the lethality of guns; again I agree but only in the very specific case of gun nuts. Those who honestly have a gun just for self-defence purposes could easily be persuaded to switch to non-lethal alternatives through a good PR campaign and making guns more difficult to obtain. I fully and completely support a federal licensing programme and, while it’s not my primary aim, I wouldn’t be at all suprised if there were people who simply couldn’t be bothered to go through the licensing process and so opted for non-lethal alternatives instead.

    I see absolutely no reason to assume more vulnerable people will be targetted by non-lethal alternatives. I don’t even understand your logic there. If they’re being used for self-defence, which is the premise of the argument, then why would a geriatric or a child be targetted with one?

  77. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @Glenn Fostog

    Guns are indeed tools. A tool is a piece of technology designed to facilitate a particular task. What is the particular task that guns are designed to facilitate? Killing macroscopic animals. This makes them rather distinct from tools such as spades, hammers or axes which, while they can be employed to kill someone, are not designed specifically to facilitate killing, and are therefore not nearly as efficient at it. Now stop with the false equivalencies.

  78. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    I get a sense that many of the posters here are the same ones who scream profiling if Muslims are targeted at airports or Hispanics are pulled over near the Border, yet they have no problem painting the 80 million + lawful gun owners with the same brush as the 1 or two percent who actually commit gun crimes.

    Because all Muslims are dangerous in the same way that all guns are dangerous. Yes, you read that right; our contention is not that gun owners are all dangerous, it is that guns are all dangerous. Fuckwit.