Eradicate the guns, not the people

The Washington Post graces us with articles on what an AR-15 bullet does to a human body. It’s unsettling stuff, especially when they describe what happens to actual, named human victims. The only people who would want to own these murderous devices are psychopaths, so why haven’t we criminalized them already?

If you have to ask why the US has these devastating shootings, the answer is simple: it’s the guns.

The debate is over. Stop arguing for lethal weapons and do something about it.

This comic is appropriate.


  1. Reginald Selkirk says

    Fox News Guest’s Oblivious Observation About Nashville Shooting Goes Viral

    Josephine Harvey
    Mon, March 27, 2023 at 10:39 PM EDT

    A Fox News segment went viral on Monday after a guest on the conservative network pointed out a pattern in school shootings.

    Her concern wasn’t the common denominator in all shootings ― access to guns ― but rather unlocked doors.

    “That seems to be a common pattern in many of these shootings, a side door. If we can lock the side doors and make sure that the schools are secure, hopefully we can avoid these tragedies going forward,” former FBI agent Nicole Parker said as she discussed a shooting Monday at The Covenant School in Nashville that left three children and three adults dead.

    Throughout her commentary, Parker made no mention of the firearms the shooter wielded. According to police, 28-year-old Audrey Hale was carrying a rifle, an assault rifle-style pistol and a handgun when she was killed by officers at the scene.

    What’s more, Hale apparently entered the school through a locked side door by shooting through it, according to Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake.,,

  2. says

    When I think of the “2nd Amendment Enthusiasts” who bellow about their “freedom” to have any gun they choose, anywhere, and at any time, and the appropriate pushback from people tired of this crap, I am reminded of Klaatu’s (Michael Rennie) final statement in The Day the Earth Stood Still: “The universe grows smaller every day, and the threat of aggression by any group, anywhere, can no longer be tolerated. There must be security for all or no one is secure. Now, this does not mean giving up any freedom except the freedom to act irresponsibly.”

    We are literally talking about people who value their guns more than their neighbor’s children.

  3. says

    OT: I’ve tried to post a comment on the Pinker thread, but it vanished without a trace. A different comment of mine posted afterword went up, but then when I tried again to post the earlier comment, it again failed to appear. Not sure what’s wrong here; I also noticed FTB kept on asking me simple arithmetic questions and I had to close my browser (Chrome) and re-open it to log in here again.

  4. wzrd1 says

    It’s fascinating that an entire article is dedicated to a specific firearm, out of many different kinds of firearm, and the effects that only its bullets have.
    Almost as if the AR-15 is magical, while the mini-14 isn’t, despite firing the same round from the same basic barrel.
    High velocity bullets all behave in similar fashion and generate the same horrific wounds, but also realize that that round is also used in hunting medium sized game. It’s not an exceptionally effective rifle for deer, of all things, an AK-47 round is more effective, it having similar energy to a common 30-30 round.
    But, utterly not addressed and more significant, the societal embrasure of violence as a means to resolve problems.
    In 1927, a man detonated a series of bombs in a schoolhouse in Bath Charter Township, Michigan. 43 dead, 58 injured, explosives were restricted increasingly, culminating in 1934’s NFA restriction of destructive devices. Thankfully, nothing has been blown up since in the US, well, save everything that’s been blown up at equal frequency since. What slowed things was a societal shift that rejected that as an acceptable solution for anything whatsoever.

    If one has pain from cancer or a fracture, does one merely treat the pain and ignore the cancer or fracture? Or does one treat the cause of the pain, thereby eliminating that pain entirely?
    No, we’ll suggest passing along the morphine and ignoring the problem on one side, the other simply passing the morphine and not admitting that there’s any problem.
    Thanks, but no thanks. I loathe opiates and opioids. I loathe the quick fix mentality even more, as complex problems aren’t susceptible to mitigation via quick fixes.

  5. raven says

    OT: I’ve tried to post a comment on the Pinker thread, but it vanished without a trace. A different comment of mine posted afterword went up, but then when I tried again to post the earlier comment, it again failed to appear. Not sure what’s wrong here;

    It is probably the filter.

    There is a filter for FTBs that disappears into moderation, comments that use the wrong word.
    It’s part of troll control.
    As to what those words are, it isn’t public knowledge but sometimes you can guess, insults against disadvantaged groups might be one set.

    It isn’t just you.
    I’ve had it happen rarely and sometimes identified the cause, and sometimes never did figure it out.

  6. Akira MacKenzie says

    The Gun Nuts have cultivated a “patriotic” mystique revolving firearms ownership:

    The gun owner is a REAL American. Independent/ Self-reliant. Strong and capable of taking care of themselves. A gun owner doesn’t need police or the military to defend them; not with Old Betsy in the gun case. Even though they never officially taken the oath of service, they are willing to fight against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

    Anyone who wants to take your guns wants you to be a meek slave. They are out to control you–the very opposite of everything America is supposed to be about. Who cares about “safety!” Only weaklings, cowards, and control freaks are concerned about “safety.” The strong, brave, and patriotic will always put freedom first!

    That’s what you’re fighting. How do you plan on defeating it WITHOUT a massive culture change or civil war?

  7. says

    How do we plan on fighting all that? Both with realism (including, but not limited to, the utter failure of such people to protect anyone anywhere), and by calling out all the dishonesty, bigotry and insanity of the gun-nuts’ self-delusional worldview.

    Also by quoting the WHOLE amendment they’re so fond of, not just the second half of the sentence.

  8. says

    raven: if there’s a filter at work, then why did my comment that began with “Fuck off to bed” go through without a hitch?

  9. says

    Also, if there’s a filter, wouldn’t I get a message saying “This comment is in moderation”? I’ve seen that in other FTBlogs.

  10. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 8

    Both with realism (including, but not limited to, the utter failure of such people to protect anyone anywhere), and by calling out all the dishonesty, bigotry and insanity of the gun-nuts’ self-delusional worldview.

    Riiiiiight, because that’s worked so well in the past. You aren’t dealing with people who care about “facts.” Any information that challenges their ideology MUST have been fabricated by the evil, tyrannical, freedom-hating leftists. They have their own reality where the earth is 6000-years-old, Jesus could walk on water, America is the greatest nation in the world, and Donald Trump’s 2017 Inaugural really was the most attended in history.

  11. says

    We need to face facts. Republican rank and file voters find their guns more precious than they find their kids. Now Republican leadership probably feels otherwise, because they probably don’t find their guns more precious than their kids, but they clearly find their tax cuts and deregulation more precious than their kids.

  12. says

    This might be irrelevant, but I’ve sometimes had comments disappear from the comment box before I hit the “Post Comment” button. I have several paragraphs all typed in there, I go to add something to it, and upon touching the keyboard it all vanishes. I’ve been assuming it’s something to do with the touchpad misinterpreting my touch when I accidentally brush against it.
    Maybe it’s the touchpad, that bit of technology trying to be everything at once, or maybe it’s me being over 60, and therefore technologically impaired. I mean, I had to do an online search to figure out how to answer my smartphone. Silly old me, I should have known you have to swipe towards the center of the screen.

  13. raven says

    Does FTBs have a comment filter

    PZ Myers in 2013:

    I do have keyword filtering, and I use it to block a lot of the language misogynists use, which is remarkably effective (there sure is a lot of rapey hatey talk stuck in the spam filter now). Other suggestions for words that magically disappear the bad guys would be useful. Also maybe words that block some of the knee-jerk responses from the good guys. What words/phrases do you hate to see popping up?

    There is a spam filter or was in 2013.

  14. billseymour says

    feralboy12 @13:  what I do is first write the comment in a plain text editor, like Notepad on Windows, complete with all the relavant HTML tags (usually just a <blockquote></blockquote> pair and “&nbsp;&nbsp;” when I want a double space).  After proofreading as best I can, I copy and paste the text into the comment field, hit the “Preview” button, and proofread again.

  15. says

    From Salon: 

    Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tenn., insisted that there was nothing Congress could do in response to Monday’s school shooting at Nashville’s Covenant School, which marked the 131st mass shooting this year.
    Burchett, who represents Knoxville, told reporters on the steps of Capitol on Monday that Congress is powerless to affect the rise in mass shooting deaths.
    “We’re not gonna fix it,” he said. “I don’t see any role that we could do other than mess things up, honestly.”
    Burchett offered his solution to rising gun violence: “You’ve got to change people’s hearts.”
    “As a Christian, we talk about the church,” he added. “I’ve said this many times, I think we really need a revival in this country”

    In other words, “What can we do? We’re just Congress. We’ll screw it up.”
    And the solution is more Christianity. Because Christians would never support or perpetrate gun violence. Maybe this will be a Waco call for everyone!
    Sorry, I meant wakeup.

  16. Akira MacKenzie says

    And the solution is more Christianity.

    Because, evidently the Presbyterian school this shooting took place wasn’t JEEZ-us-ing hard enough.

  17. laurian says

    The way to deal w/ this shit in our Free Market Capitalist whatever it to hold those who hand a gun to a mass murderer be held accountable. Yannow, like the patsy who drives the get-a-way car from a murderous Bank heist.

  18. wzrd1 says

    @Akira MacKenzie, what’s worked in such inane discussions for me is describing in painful detail what their “Hero” alone can do against my combined arms attack of artillery, mortars, long range rockets, bombers, fighter-bombers, assault helicopters, grenade machine guns, all firing a shake and bake mix of white phosphorus and high explosives, to finally, at our leisure finally send in armor and infantry to collect the “Hero”, well, shop vac the pieces and dump them into a bag.
    And a gentle reminder, we have commanders, the Constitution doesn’t radio orders, commanders and civilian leaders do and we obey our lawful orders, not follow odd conspiracy theories.
    Then, a gentle reminder, wars aren’t fought to kill off the entirety or even majority of an enemy, they’re fought to make continuing warfare so erosive and destructive to the adversary that cessation of hostilities and any costs involved are preferable and survivable to the adversary, continued combat not so much. That’s worked with Japan quite well, it worked with Germany quite well, it worked with North Korea quite well.
    Idiots try to counter North Korea, to which I simply ask how many battles we’ve fought with them this month and year.

    That swiftly ends that idiotic army of one notion. And I didn’t even need to suggest what a MOAB would do. I saw the results of one fired in combat, it literally melted much of even surviving parts of enemy AK’s enough to look like modern art. Out of six structures, only one foundation wall survived and what was found inside of the cave that was the main target, even strong stomachs emptied after viewing that.

    @feralboy12, score three in the 10 ring.

  19. James Redekop says

    “A gun owner doesn’t need police or the military to defend them” — then the gun owner shouldn’t complain about defunding the police. He doesn’t need them, after all! He can take care of himself. Might even save him some on taxes.

  20. says

    You aren’t dealing with people who care about “facts.”

    Actually, polls have repeatedly shown that the majority of Americans (as opposed to the loudest bloviators or the richest lobbyists) actually DO care about reality, and DO want more gun control than the gun-nuts are willing to admit. Part of the problem is that Democrats aren’t speaking clearly or strongly enough about this to impress the majority, and only sound feeble and ineffectual when they do — especially when all they do is call for the same old “assault weapons” ban that didn’t do jack shit before.

  21. says

    feralboy: It’s not the touchpad this time (though that has happened before when I use my touch pad, which I’m not doing now). The text disappears as it normally does after I his “Post”, it just doesn’t reappear as a posted comment.

    raven: Does the filter catch “pond-scum” or “butthurt?” Because those are the nastiest words in my comment.

  22. milesteg says

    I fully back more regulation of guns, but the hand wringing over what a .223/5.56 round (what is typically used in an AR-15) does to a body and acting like it’s some super lethal round only psychopaths would use is completely, utterly idiotic.

    A .223/5.56 round is a less powerful and less lethal than the vast majority of rifle rounds and less powerful than many handgun rounds. The issue with an AR-15 is not how damaging individual rounds are, it’s how fast you can fire them. The military uses the round not because it’s a super lethal round, but because it allows controlled rapid fire.

    That ability to fire rapidly with control is what makes the rifle a problem.

    The round itself is a very pragmatic and not “for psychopaths”. It’s commonly used by ranchers, hunters and sport shooters (in guns other than an AR-15) for very practical and reasonably uses.

  23. says

    feralboy: It’s not the touchpad this time (though that has happened before when I use my touch pad, which I’m not doing now). The text disappears as it normally does after I his “Post”, it just doesn’t reappear as a posted comment.

    raven: You may be right — my comment is now up.

  24. birgerjohansson says

    When Sweden finally abandoned the 7,62 mm cartridges and adopted a FN rifle in 5.56 they modified the cartridge/gun combo so the bullet would not tumble round in the wound cavity quite as much. Because those high-velocity bullets are evil.
    Or more evil than alternatives.

    Since the damage is hidden inside the torso, we do not witness it and experience the same horror as when watching, för instance, a medieval melee weapon in action.

  25. says

    Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tenn., … offered his solution to rising gun violence: “You’ve got to change people’s hearts.”

    On the one hand, I agree: we have to change Americans’ hearts, minds, priorities and basic mindsets, of we’re to get any sort of handle on the violent crimes we’re seeing these days. And this is necessary whether or not there’s any change in our gun laws in the foreseeable future.

    OTOH, What are Burchett and his chums doing to change anyone’s hearts? Are they busy trying to stop all the blood libel and incitements to violence against LGBT+ people, ethnic minorities, women, non-Christians, teachers, civil servants, scientists, or anyone relying on government assistance of any sort? Are they campaigning to teach kids about our full history, so they’ll know not to repeat any of the heartless actions in our past? Are they even paying any lip service to the actual teachings of their own Lord And Savior? ‘Cuz that guy did have a few things to say about changing people’s hearts.

    Short answer: Fuck these Retrumplitarians. To borrow the immortal words of their own recent saint: Christian Republicans aren’t the solution; Christian Republicans are the problem.

  26. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    A couple years back, someome demonstrated AR-15 ammo variants on a pig carcass (pork shoulder from butcher).
    One brand left a softball-sized exit hole, a couple others each exploded it. A piercing round cleanly passed through without the devastating tumble of lighter rounds.
    Video: AR-15 vs Meat and bone
    CW: Guy excitedly showing damage to dangling meat.

  27. milesteg says


    Lots of misconceptions here, in both your video and the video in the post. Tumbling rounds are designed as a substitute for expanding ammunition (soft points/hollow points). Expanding ammunition is banned by the geneva convention for warfare, because expanding rounds are what cause the massive damage described here. Military rounds use a full metal jacket will just pass right through a body making a wound channel only the size of the bullet’s diameter, or if the round tumbles will create a wound channel with a maximum size of the bullets longest dimension. This is bad, but not nearly as bad as expanding ammunition.

    Expanding ammunition (as animated in this post’s linked content) does exactly what it sounds like. It expands upon impact. This expansion creates a wound channel many times the size of the bullet and large exit damage, and with high power rounds the bullet will actually rip apart and turn essentially into shrapnel and shred your insides.

    It’s expanding ammunition that creates the massive damage (including “exploding”) you see in your videos. Expanding ammunition is commonly used with nearly every gun and round. While it’s banned for military use, expanding ammunition is legal and commonly used for civilian purposes.

    If you are, for example, a hunter, the right kind of ammunition to use is expanding ammunition, because it provides the highest chance of cleanly killing the animal in one shot. Non-expanding ammo is far more likely to only injure the animal which leads to unnecessary suffering.

  28. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @milesteg #27:

    Lots of misconceptions here

    I described a video simulating wounds. There was no argument. At most, there was an implication that effects vary.

  29. milesteg says

    You specifically said: A piercing round cleanly passed through without the devastating tumble of lighter rounds.

    I merely pointed out that your statement is a misconception, and that it’s expanding ammo that will cause devastating damage.

  30. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @milesteg #30:
    I see. Tumbling doesn’t entail the expansion/fragmentation shown, so the word would be inadequate and misleading in isolation. Thank you.

  31. wzrd1 says

    milesteg, I’m a retired SF medic. Rifle rounds, by their very nature, all tumble upon entry into tissue. It’s basic physics, as the rear of the round has greater mass than the front of the round, hence greater momentum to continue its path as the front begins to halt. This causes the round to begin to tumble inside of the tissue, cavitation causing most of the injury.
    The 5.56×45 NATO military round has a higher chamber pressure and velocity compared to its civilian parent .223 round, not by evil mad scientist intent and design, but due to the fact that when the round was developed, there was no sporting ammunition standards organization, so the two, a few thousandths of an inch different, diverged.
    I’ll call bullshit on the more powerful handgun rounds, as the most popular current handgun remains the 9mm, followed by 10mm/.40 caliber and those are anemic in comparison, but the 5.56/.223 is an intermediate cartridge that was designed to be lighter, so that soldiers could carry more ammunition with less exhaustion than with battle rifle cartridges like the 7.62x51mm/.308 round (which has essentially the same power as the older 30-06 round fired by the M1 Garand and many long range hunting rifles).
    Both tumble on entry into tissue, both cause cavitation injuries around the wound channel, the 7.62/.308 having greater bullet mass that imparts even more energy to tissues, hence being even more destructive and much, much longer ranged than the light 5.56/.223 round. Both, horrifically devastating to children, due to their small size and low physiological reserves. I still have nightmares of that very thing from the wars.
    Expanding ammunition is prohibited by the Hague Convention as inhumane. Tumbling, it ain’t design, it’s simply physics, bullets aren’t death rays, magical or nuclear warheads, they’re objects that follow fairly simple laws of physics.

    gijoel @29, the police chief started that one off, with no suggestion of evidence to support the claim.
    But hey, cop’s gotta want to get a good witch hunt going!
    He also alleged she was under treatment for “emotional issues”, but then suggested that there was no mental health issues being treated. Kind of reminds me of the police description of a suspect, who was tall/short, skinny/fat, swarthy/pale, bald with long hair that was dark/light colored.
    Give it a month or six, once an actual investigation has been completed, we’ll likely get a more typical report that shows that the chief was more full of shit than a Christmas goose.
    Which is my main reason I want a full investigation conducted, otherwise I’m guessing and knee jerking, rather than using reason to try to guide legislation.
    Remember the last assault weapons ban? Nothing was banned, save specific cosmetic features. The exact same rifles were for sale, minus things never involving a crime, such as bayonet lugs and if the flash suppressor was able to be unscrewed with a wrench or a pin punch and wrench. All of the parts to convert the things over to the original specifications, such as that bayonet mount were trivially available.
    And I’ve yet to find a crime report of any crimes committed with a fixed bayonet. None involving a flash suppressor, as such don’t disguise or silence a muzzle blast.
    Although there is a push on to take those stupid arm stocks with straps that get used as miniature stocks regulated as NFA restricted short barreled rifles and rightfully so. Although, shorter barrels give lower muzzle velocities, hence shorter range, less accuracy and a hell of a lot less energy to the bullet that’s flying and makes a muzzle flash much more pronounced, since most of the powder is burning outside of the weapon.

    One other trivia, the civilian M4 rifle is 3 inches longer than the basic issue M4 rifle, which is legally an NFA restricted short barreled rifle. For competitions, that’s ignored and we compete with barrels 3 inches longer than our military competes with. Personally, I’ve no use or desire to own an SBR and can’t think of any reason that I’d suddenly want to.
    I do want to get back into long range competition with an M1A, but those run around $4k for a basic competition model, with a like amount spent on optics and currently is outside of my financial resources.
    Yeah, competition firearms are damnably expensive, due to the precision that goes into all of their components and skill of the gunsmiths that tune them. Think a hunting rifle is a family car, competition rifles are formula one race cars that drive the same speed, but just are a hell of a lot more accurate.

  32. wzrd1 says

    I am starting to get pissed off though.
    Usually, I’ll get one e-mail per day from a few firearms and ammunition companies I’ve dealt with for my needs over the years. Today, I’ve gotten a full dozen e-mails, mostly for AR commodity grade ammunition (I use National Match only) and AR’s/pistols that are decidedly not competition models (only one e-mail listed a few low end competition models of pistols).
    All to stimulate panic buying as Obama, erm, Biden is coming to personally takes yours gunz…
    Makes me want to park a howitzer on their collective toes! Despite my back raising merry hell today.
    And only a modest inclination to own a single non-functional howitzer. But, only for concealed carry.
    7 tons of concealed carry being the punchline. Well, that and it being around 30 feet long.

  33. milesteg says

    The .223 and the 5.56 are both nearly identical in ballistics. Speed and energy are both within a few % of each other. And of course, the load and barrel length have far more impact than the very small differences in the case.

    Most large caliber & magnum handguns have more muzzle energy than a .223/5.56. An even larger subset have roughly the same. Some like a 500S&W have much, much more. Of course relatively small/light rounds like a 9mm don’t.

    The .223/5.56 are small compared to most rifles. Most commonly used hunting rifles/calibers are far more powerful. Being a small, light round is the point. It makes controlling the weapon far easier and, as you mentioned, increases the amount of ammunition that can be carried.

    And, as I have been saying, it’s expanding ammo that causes devasting injury. Getting shot with a full metal jacket 5.56 is far more survivable than getting shot the same way with, say, a .40 hand gun using a hollow point. Even though the 5.56 has a lot more energy and velocity, the rifle round will most likely go through you causing a wound channel, the latter will, by design, fragment into shrapnel and shred your insides. A non-hollow point expanding round will not be quite as devasting, but will still expand, create a far larger wound, still possibly fragment, and is more likely to deliver 100% of the energy of the bullet into your body (which doesn’t happen if the bullet doesn’t stay inside you).

  34. says

    I like John Stewart’s approach. Point out that adding more guns results in more dead people Ask when the pattern is supposed to change with more guns and why.
    And I’ll add insinuations about people willing to keep adding more guns and getting more dead people. And how they don’t care so I’ll not care about shaming or tone as long as I’ve got relevant unresponded to content. That’s uncivil politics I’m responding to.

  35. lochaber says

    If you can tolerate it, it’s worth watching some of the slow-motion camera videos on youtube, where they show the effects of various rounds going through ballistic gelatin. Because the gelatin is (mostly) clear, you can see the internal damage as it’s happening, as it’s not always evident from the entrance/exit wound.

    Rifles completely outclass handguns. First off, they are far more accurate – 50ft away, I might hit a human sized target with a handgun. With a rifle, I can decide which eye to land a round in. And most rifles are supersonic, and that is a large part of what contributes to the damage that you will see done to ballistic gelatin in those slow-mo videos. Shortly after the round enters the gelatin, the wound channel(?) expands far beyond the diameter of the round. I haven’t seen any of the videos recently, but I think it was easily ten times or more the size of the round. And while some flesh is somewhat stretchy, it’s not that stretchy, and certainly not at those speeds, so it’s shredding and destroying flesh when a living being is shot. And if the rifle round strikes a bone, the bone fragments themselves can cause further damage to surrounding tissue.

    Generally, these rifles will punch clean through body armor designed to protect someone from handguns.

    There is absolutely no reason people should be taking AR15s to taco bell and walmart. its fucking absurd and ridiculous.

  36. chrislawson says


    I would like that would work, but it’s trying to talk to the same people who not only believe in the Laffer Curve, but also believe we are always in the right half of the graph no matter what.

  37. drew says

    I don’t think it’s fair to talk about the AR-15 without at least a mention about how it’s utterly useless for hunting other animals. Deer and pheasants don’t have to worry, really. Only humans.

  38. mamba says

    This happens every time, even here.

    People with guns killed people. Access to the guns was clearly the problem.

    Yet what do we see? Some gun lover instantly debating meaningless things like grain sizes and muzzle velocities and why certain guns are still ok to shoot targets with, collectors love them, whatever other excuse to ramble about technical details that don’t mean shit. As if anything they have to say on THAT subject changes anything at all.

    Look, personally I don’t care if an AR-15 has hunting applications, or whether a .23 bullet is somehow more socially acceptable than a .45 bullet, or whether a collector needs a functioning gun at all. (and yes I just made up my numbers to piss off gun purists even more, because it’s irrelevant remember?) It’s like arguing that the gasoline used to burn down the orphanage was actually kerosene. Who gives a fuck??? You got dead kids and a clear problem, stop being pedantic!

  39. says

    @39, b, b, but it’s important to understand whether or not the gasoline is regular or high test, as well. When it comes to arguing arcane details, a friend of mine likes to say that the fact he doesn’t know which planet Han Solo is from does not prevent him from pointing out that the whole story is fiction.

    There are several salient facts that can be brought forth. One of my favorites is that the US, having less than 5% of the global population, has roughly half of all civilian firearms. If more guns really made you safer, then we’d be the safest country on the planet by far. But the data show that the exact opposite is true. Thus, the premise is false.

    But asking a gun fondler to accept any legislation aimed at curbing gun violence is like asking them to stop eating their favorite dessert that grandma made. In their mind, you’re asking them to give up something good and wholesome. Seriously. Mom, the flag, apple pie, god, and guns. They’re all mashed together. Just listen to the rhetoric.

  40. says

    That a gun or round is used by “ranchers, hunters and sport shooters” does not automatically mean it is not a weapon for psychopaths.

    Also, I’m damned tired of any post that criticizes America’s gun fetish being intruded upon by gun fetishists going on at length about the details of their bloody favorite piece of murder tool.

  41. rietpluim says

    Who the hell made up that bearing arms is a constitutional right anyway? Bearing arms is not and should not be a right.

  42. birgerjohansson says

    It makes me recall an old MAD magazine spoofing “Guns & Ammo”. ‘How to hunt songbirds with your 40 mm Bofors gun’.

    The modern bolt action rifle was perfected well before the end of the 19th century, and you can use it successfully to hunt anything smaller than a whale. Hell, we have people who use the old 1896 Swedish service rifle for hunting.

    Semi-automatic rifles are convenient for hunters, but you are not supposed to need more than one bullet or else you should probably not be hunting.

    Home defence guns are mainly useful for depressed teens who want to kill themselves with daddy’s shotgun.

  43. asclepias says

    I hate all this talk about mental health because nobody actually defines what they mean when they say mental health, leaving us to consider people who are psychotic or have schizophrenia or that most evil of mental health problems, depression. Really, people just need to be taught how to better manage their anger. I guess that could be considered mental health, but it’s not what I immediately think of when I hear the phrase, and I bet few others do, either.

  44. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @rietpluim #42:

    Who the hell made up that bearing arms is a constitutional right anyway?

    Article: NPR – Historian uncovers the racist roots of the 2nd amendment

    the amendment […] was crafted to ensure that slave owners could quickly crush any rebellion or resistance from those whom they’d enslaved. […] the right to bear arms, presumably guaranteed to all citizens, has been repeatedly denied to Black people.
    It was in response to the concerns coming out of the Virginia ratification convention for the Constitution, led by Patrick Henry and George Mason […] James Madison crafted that language in order to mollify the concerns
    the Haitian Revolution, just sent basically an earthquake of fear throughout the United States.

  45. milesteg says

    @PZ Myers

    That a gun or round is used by “ranchers, hunters and sport shooters” does not automatically mean it is not a weapon for >>psychopaths.

    You have it backward, A gun or round that psychopaths might use does not automatically mean anyone who owns it is automatically a psychopath. Similarly, just because a psychopath mowed down people in a car doesn’t mean cars are for psychopaths. Guns are tools. Very dangerous tools that require very tight regulation (far, far more than we have now), but tools none-the-less.

    The rherotic you are engaging in is utterly counterproductive to the cause of fixing our gun problems. Calling people — who have never engaged in any wrong behavior — psychopaths because they own any particular gun does nothing but damage the credibility of the cause. You’re never going to win anyone’s support by calling them evil.

    Also, I’m damned tired of any post that criticizes America’s gun fetish being intruded upon by gun fetishists going on at length >> about the details of their bloody favorite piece of murder tool.

    More tiresome and wholly counterproductive rhetoric and silly name calling. Having knowledge of firearms and ballistics and engaging in factual discussion about those topics does not make someone a “gun fetishist”. Literally my very first statement was: “I fully back more regulation of guns”.

    You can’t fight any problem with ignorance, even our gun problems. Going on about how “terrible” and “psychopathic” a .223/5.56 round is is nothing but ignorance. It’s an ordinary, small rifle round. It has no features which are not present in most other ammunition and doesn’t inherently produce any more damage than any other round of similar power. Ballistics, and the damage a gun can do is the result of many different variables.

    If you want to remove the worst guns from society (which is what I want — at a minimum), you won’t focus on any particular round or gun, you want to focus on the aspects of guns and ammunition that vastly increase their lethality (both in terms of speed and damage). The most problematic things (that are commonly used) are automatics (including semi-automatics) and various forms of expanding ammunition.

    Removing all or even most guns is not a realistic goal in the U.S. — at least not anytime soon. We’re currently about 30 states shy of what would be needed to amend the constitution on this matter. What does have at least a slim chance is removing the worst types of guns and ammunition which can save a lot of lives while we work the long term constitutional problems.

    But again, your willingness to disparage folks simply because they own a gun — or worse yet because they have /knowledge/ is thoroughly, utterly counterproductive.

  46. wzrd1 says

    I gave my solution, but it seems to have fallen into the shutdown conversation filter.
    A solution that’s proven effective and has substantial case law behind it.
    But instead, they’re already talking about another assault weapons ban, which proved ineffective before, given the same rifles were sold minus a few cosmetic parts and called a ban. The parts, easily installed with one pin punch and a plain screwdriver in 5 minutes to convert it back to the pre-ban configuration.

  47. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Also, I’m damned tired of any post that criticizes America’s gun fetish being intruded upon by gun fetishists going on at length about the details of their bloody favorite piece of murder tool.

    It’s very important to understand the details of guns in order to craft effective regulation. Otherwise, you get “assault weapon bans” which do nothing, and magazine capacity limits which which do almost nothing, but the passing of these laws tricks the public into thinking that they’ve done something, thus lowering the public pressure to actually do something, like a mandatory licensing scheme for all gun owners with mandatory background checks as part of the licensing process, or just revoking the second amendment and banning all semiauto guns (and revolvers). Either of those policies would actually do something, and we should endorse effective policies and criticize do-nothing policies like assault weapon bans.

  48. StevoR says

    Mrs Betty Bowers on twitter :

    “You can’t ban guns because bans never work.”

    — Republicans who have banned abortion, contraception, books, drag queens, vaccines, honest history lessons, and talking about LGBTQ people.

    Of course, hypocrisy is theri sacrament but still staggering really.

  49. milesteg says


    It’s very important to understand the details of guns in order to craft effective regulation. …

    A much more concise rephrasing of what I’m trying to say, thank you.