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Another day, another shooting in public, this time killing seven and injuring three.  The high death toll is almost entirely due to the attacker being armed with a gun.  A gun is not the only way to kill people, but it is one of the most lethal.  Had the solitary attacker been armed with a machete, or a bow and arrow, or a baseball bat, it is highly unlikely that as many people would have been killed or wounded.  We never hear of mass killings occurring in public from a person armed with a baseball bat or a machete; indeed we rarely hear of anyone even attempting such an attack, to say nothing of multi-body death counts.  No, if you want to kill lots of people quickly, you definitely need a gun.  

But as we are told time and again, guns don't kill people.  No, it's true, the gun is  a passive instrument, capable of both good and evil, depending on the intentions of the person holding the gun.  And that is why no effort should be made to limit the sale of guns to the public.  We can't put the blame on the gun.  The problem is that in yesterday's shooting, the gun was being used by the wrong person.  In the right hands, that gun would have been used to protect the peaceable students.  Sadly, that person wasn't around yesterday (they're never around when you need them!), only the crazy mass-shooter was.

See the person who did the shooting yesterday was crazy and should never be allowed to possess a gun.  And now that we know he is crazy, he will never be allowed to buy a gun again.  And the police have this guy, they know who he is, and his photo and identifying information will be entered into a large computer database so that that person can never get hold of a gun again.  Good job boys, chalk one up for law enforcement.

The gun industry, which sells guns and ammo for profit, is taking this problem very seriously.  Surely, it's not very good PR if your product was just used to gun down seven people in the span of seconds (when we are taking about a device sold for the purpose of killing many people quickly, is there such a thing as bad publicity?!?!?!).  Limiting the sale of those guns and ammo would hurt the profits of the gun industry, so they have a much better plan: sell bazillions of guns to whoever wants one, use the profits to buy the law-makers and laws to sell even more guns, and then, if someone goes off the reservation and shoots up a school or something, we can be certain that person is a nutcase and we take away that person's guns.  In this way, the profits of the gun industry are protected, and people who want to have lots of guns are free to do so.

The problem is that while every gun owner individually is a highly responsible, law-abiding citizen who only wants to protect their person and home, and sees no reason why they should be tarred with the same brush as the gun owners who go crazy (and I've personally talked with a lot of gun-owners, and I can tell you they all speak of themselves this way), but as a group, all gun owners together are highly murderous.  As a group, gun owners are responsible for tens of thousands of deaths in the US every year (the guns didn't do those shootings, the gun-owners did).  And the only way to determine which are the responsible ones and which are the crazy ones is to give them all guns, and see what happens.  

Because before he shot dead seven classmates at Oikos University yesterday, One Goh was just a law-abiding citizen enjoying his rights to gun ownership.  And look at George Zimmerman, a paragon of responsible gun ownership: his job required him to carry a gun and he had received training in the proper and responsible handling of a gun.  Zimmerman was exactly the kind of model citizen gun-owner that gun-advocates tell us need to have a gun for a safer America, and whose rights would be trampled if he was denied gun ownership.  There is simply no way to know Zimmerman could not be trusted with lethal firepower until he shot an unarmed teen walking down the street.  And Jared Loungher was just a kid who had a couple of brushes with school authorities and had every right to purchase a hand-gun and the extended ammo clip that he used to shoot twenty people at a supermarket, including a member of congress.

Most often, the only way to know someone should not be allowed to purchase or own a gun is after they have used one to shoot multiple persons in a public place.  Indeed, that is pretty much the ONLY standard the gun industry will accept in determining who should not be allowed to buy a gun.  Which makes perfect sense: they make a profit, AND we indentify the nutcases who shouldn't own guns.  And now that we know Mr. Goh should not own a gun, he won't be allowed to buy one.  Which should be a comfort to us all, but of course it is not.  Because there are 40 million or so gun owners in the US.  If only one percent of them turn out to be crazy (a lower incidence than the occurrence of mental illness in the US population, according to psychiatrists), that would mean there are another 400,000 crazy gun owners out there, waiting for their moment

Of course, knowing there are crazy gun-owners out there waiting for their chance to strike is largely what fuels the mania to purchase more guns.  Which suits the needs of the gun industry just fine, and at the same time, kills tens of thousands of Americans every year.  And a vicious cycle is perpetuated: a lone crazed gunman kills in public, the public is frightened and wants to protect itself by buying guns, which in turn results in more crazy people owning more guns, raising the likelihood that someone is going to go off and shoot a bunch of people in public.

Meanwhile, we can cheer the efforts of the gun industry and gun lobby to identify those who shouldn't own guns by making guns widely available to see who uses them to engage in a mass public shooting: this strategy appears to have born fruit.  Not only has the gun industry had another profitable year, they have identified another crazy gun-owner who will never be allowed to buy a gun again.

Limiting the number of guns is not the answer.  Because guns don't kill people; people who own guns kill people.  And we will never know who those people are until they have an opportunity to own a gun.  The sooner we can put guns into the hands of all Americans, the sooner we will know who shouldn't have them.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (14+ / 0-)

    "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

    by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 09:14:09 AM PDT

  •  but but but it's his RIGHT to bear arms...oh he (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Horace Boothroyd III

    did WHAT with his gun? did he feel threatened by those he mercilessly gunned down?

    just a happy-go-lucky guy

    by happyman on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 09:18:15 AM PDT

  •  Zimmerman wasn't suppose to be carrying (5+ / 0-)

    a gun at the time of the murder.

    "I'm not scared of anyone or anything, Angie. Isn't that the way life should be?" Jack Hawksmoor

    by skyounkin on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 09:19:15 AM PDT

    •  yet he was, because of the proliferation of cheap (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      icemilkcoffee

      easy to get weapons in our paranoid society.

      just a happy-go-lucky guy

      by happyman on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 09:25:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, (6+ / 0-)

        he was because he wasn't prosecuted for the first time he assaulted and battered a police officer.  Or the first time he abused his wife.

        •  ah, i see. hell no, if weapons were harder to get (0+ / 0-)

          less psychos would get them. g.z. had no business having that weapon, OBVIOUSLY.

          just a happy-go-lucky guy

          by happyman on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 10:15:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  "obviously" in retrospect (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KVoimakas

            but he probably would have passed a psych battery.  He has fits of violent rage, but he isn't crazy.  So the only reason he is "obviously" unfit is his history of violence.

            Unless you rely on magic?

            •  I think you have proved my point (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              happyman

              I think you have proved the point of my article.

              We can not know in advance who will use their gun well and who will use it to commit random acts of violence.

              George Zimmerman is exactly the sort of person gun advocates point to as the perfect model gun-owner: he had a license, he had received training in firearm use, he watched over his neighborhood, he was interested in law enforcement.  This is precisely the sort of "responsible" gun-owner whose civil rights will be trampled if we permit restrictions on gun sales, say the gun advocates.   Now, some gun advocates want to throw Zimmerman under the bus

              Given that we CAN NOT know in advance who will act out violently and who will not, is it really such a good ideas to make so many guns available?

              "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

              by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 11:00:42 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  yes, (0+ / 0-)

                if you ignore every single fact you can pretend that it supports your agenda.

                •  Aren't you the same guy that wanted to trash the (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  happyman

                  Hey, speaking of ignoring facts....

                  Aren't you the same guy that told me the Weibe study was full of stool, but after reading through it more carefully you couldn't make a single coherent criticism of the science?

                  "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

                  by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 11:31:34 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The one where (3+ / 0-)

                    before "adjusting" the survivors owned more guns than the victims, but after "adjusting" the victims owned more guns than the survivors?

                    That study, which you falsely claimed included a random sample of everyone who died but actually had a selective sample of only suicide and homicide victims?

                    The study that didn't say how its nonrandom samples were selected?

                    That study?

                    No, I can't come up with a single coherent criticism of it.  You got me.

                    •  You lost that argument before; do you want to lose (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      happyman

                      Last time we had that argument (at your insistence), you lost it badly, after acknowledging you had no substantive criticism of the facts presented.

                      Do you want to have the argument all over again?  Because I am happy to argue the facts with you.

                      "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

                      by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 11:51:14 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  any study (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        KVoimakas

                        beginning with data showing that people with guns are less likely to be murdered, and concluding that guns make you more likely to be murdered, is bullshit and can be dismissed.

                        Also, the experiment was designed by practitioners working far, far outside their field of expertise.  Again, sufficient cause to dismiss outright.

                        Using nonrandom and undocumented sample selection methods is unacceptable in my field.  Any paper in my field that tried to do that would be dismissed outright, even if the author had expertise in the field and wasn't trying to push pure bullshit.

                        Oh, there was some other fatal weakness too but I've forgotten what it was.

                        So yeah, other than the fact that it's entirely bullshit from top to bottom, I don't have any cogent critique of it.

                        •  One at a time there, big guy. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          happyman

                          Please, for the sake of coherence: one point at a time.

                          Beginning with your first point: the Weibe study did not begin with data that showed that people with guns are less likely to be murdered.  The Weibe study began we a sample of people who had died of gunshot wounds (taken from a larger sample of the US population that had died) and compared them to a sample of the US population that was alive.

                          And the Weibe study specifically DID NOT conclude "that guns make you more likely to be murdered"

                          Your first point is being refutted.  How do you respond?

                          "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

                          by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 01:13:40 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  That's exactly my point! (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            KVoimakas

                            Weibe actually found that within an extremely narrow, nonrandom, nonrepresentative, and undocumented demographic subsample gun ownership is a risk factor for death by firearms - related homicide.

                            As long as people like you refrain from extending that to that guns put at risk people who might not fit that extremely nonrandom undocumented demographic subgroup, I will refrain from pointing out weaknesses in his methodology that show how weak the study's applicability to the demographic real world is.

                          •  So, you agree with my points (0+ / 0-)

                            So, you agree that the Weibe study started with a sample of people who had died of gunshot wounds (taken from a larger sample of the US population that had died) and compared them to a sample of the US population that was alive.  And you agree that  the Weibe study specifically DID NOT conclude "that guns make you more likely to be murdered"  Yes?

                            I point out that the Weibe study also does not conclude that gun ownership is a risk factor for death by firearm.  What they concluded was that people who live in a home where there is a gun are at a higher risk of suffering fatal gunshot (compared to people living in a home without a gun).

                            Now you seem to be criticizing the Weibe study based on the study sample.  The Weibe study used a sample drawn from a nation-wide pool, and had over 1,000 cases (people who had died of gunshot).  This is a large sample for this sort of study.  What in your opinion would be a better sample for such a study

                            "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

                            by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 02:58:17 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I've already (0+ / 0-)

                            in two different comments made clear what my issue with the sample selection was.  I'm tired of repeating myself.

                          •  So what is a better way to do the sampling (0+ / 0-)

                            So, what in your opinion would be a better sample for such a study?

                            Keep in mind that scientist such as Weibe have to work in the real world.  Larger sample sizes take longer and cost more money.  Oftimes, the researcher can not afford to make the sample as large as they want.  then there is the very real problem of finding and recruiting all those people and keeping them involved for the duration of the study.  Sometimes, the perfect study methods are dangerous and would be prohibited by the various ethics committees

                            But please, tell us how you would improve on Weibe's sample, given your complaints.

                            "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

                            by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 04:13:57 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

              •  Since you have already made up your mind (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                KVoimakas, Texas Lefty, rockhound

                It's probably not worth pointing out that most people killed by guns are not killed in high-profile mass shootings. If there were no high-profile mass shootings, it would make no statistical difference in the number of deaths by violence in this country.
                    Legislation based on extreme events is rarely applied well to normal life. Look, for example, at the current drive to pass voter ID laws. The ones proposing the legislation scream "Voter fraud" and point to rare examples  The low-information voter can say that it seems reasonable, since he needs to produce an ID regularly as part of his daily life. But he doesn't realize that the legislation has the result of restricting a fundamental right from a large group of people, which is the underlying goal of those proposing the legislation.
                     And it still doesn't prevent the problem of the rare extreme event, as the Norway incident demonstrates.

                -5.12, -5.23

                We are men of action; lies do not become us.

                by ER Doc on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 01:56:06 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  I can't call guns cheap. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rockhound

        A decent surplus handgun starts at $200 CZ 82).  A cheap new handgun starts at ~150 (Hi Point).  For me, even $150 is a lot of money.  A good quality handgun (new or surplus) starts at $3-400.  And that's before a cleaning kit, ammunition, an additional magazine, holster or carrying case, eye and ear protection, if surplus a new recoil spring, and other small expenses.  I would figure on an extra $100 of accessories for a new gun owner.

        Under capitalism man exploits man, under communism the roles are reversed.

        by DavidMS on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 06:14:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Anyone know - is Zimmerman allowed his gun today? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nightsweat

      Does anyone know where Zimmerman and his gun stand today with law enforcement?  Does Zimmerman have his gun today, or has he been asked to relinquish them?

      "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

      by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 10:00:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Say what? (8+ / 0-)
    We never hear of mass killings occurring in public from a person armed with a baseball bat or a machete
    Uh, you might want to talk to the relatives of the 800,00 victims in Rwanda about that statement. I dare say they might disagree with you.

    I can just about forgive the Brits for starting our revolutionary war and burning DC to the ground during the war of 1812 for giving us Led Zeppelin.

    by Pager on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 09:24:58 AM PDT

    •  Sure (0+ / 0-)

      If you qualify the individual person as being part of a roving gang or an army, then sure, you make a good point.

      Most of the victims were killed in their own villages or in towns, often by their neighbors and fellow villagers. The militia typically murdered victims by machetes, although some army units used rifles. The Hutu gangs searched out victims hiding in churches and school buildings, and massacred them. Local officials and government-sponsored radio incited ordinary citizens to kill their neighbors, and those who refused to kill were often murdered on the spot. "Either you took part in the massacres or you were massacred yourself."[40]

      One such massacre occurred at Nyarubuye. On April 12, more than 1,500 Tutsis sought refuge in a Catholic church in Nyange, then in Kivumu commune. Local Interahamwe, acting in concert with the authorities, used bulldozers to knock down the church building.[41] The militia used machetes and rifles to kill every person who tried to escape. Local priest Athanase Seromba was later found guilty and sentenced to life in prison by the ICTR for his role in the demolition of his church; he was convicted of the crime of genocide and crimes against humanity.[41][42][43] In another case, thousands sought refuge in the École Technique Officielle (Technical School) in Kigali where Belgian UNAMIR soldiers were stationed. On April 11, the Belgian soldiers withdrew, and Rwandan armed forces and militia killed all the Tutsi.[44]

      An individual in a classroom armed with a machete, not part of a gang or an army, not backed up with friends with machetes, rifles, or bulldozers...the result of a mass killing seems somewhat less likely.

      "Tide goes in, tide goes out. Never a miscommunication. You can’t explain that." -- Bill O'Reilly

      by tytalus on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 09:37:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You are correct that many people were killed (4+ / 0-)

      You are correct that many people were killed during the Rwandan civil war by machete.

      That circumstance differed from the killings in Oakland yesterday in a couple of ways: 1) Rwanda was in the midst of a civil war, while Oakland of yesterday was not; and 2) the killings in Oakland was the result of five minutes' effort by one man, while the killings in Rwanda were the work of many thousands of people over the course of many months.

      I stand by my original statement: "We never hear of mass killings occurring in public from A PERSON armed with a baseball bat or a machete"

      "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

      by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 09:38:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We just haven't evolved far enough as a nation.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Horace Boothroyd III

    ..to have this topic discussed intelligently from both sides.  

    You've got a view from the world of today, and a view from 1776,  and I'm not sure what it will take to get them to coincide.

    "To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well." Justice Robert Jackson, Chief Prosecutor, Nuremberg.

    by Wayward Son on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 09:26:19 AM PDT

  •  Can all those crazy people just raise their hands (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happyman

    and identify themselves as crazy? That would be so much easier. Because I know I'm not crazy. I know I'm entitled to have a gun. It's just those crazy people we should worry about.

  •  I would still rather face a crazy person armed... (1+ / 0-)

    with a machete over a gun any day.

    I can probably outrun the matchete, but I can't outrun a bullet.

    “Tax and Spend” I can understand. I can even understand “Borrow and Spend”. But “Borrow and Give Tax Cuts to Billionaires”? That I have a problem with.

    by LiberalCanuck on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 09:33:47 AM PDT

  •  It isn't the NRA (4+ / 0-)

    who is blocking mental health records from being included in the national background check system.

  •  OK then, the system worked, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tytalus, happyman, SoCaliana

         again.

    The GOP ... Government of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%

    by Azazello on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 09:35:00 AM PDT

    •  Yep, only 2.8 million more deaths to go (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Azazello, Roger Fox, happyman, SoCaliana

      By my calculations, only 2.8 million more Americans need to get shot before we find all the people who shouldn't own guns.

      If there really are 40 million gun owners in America, and if we assume one percent of them are off and may go postal (an assumption I made in the article), and each one is identified as "shouldn't own a gun" after killing seven people (like One Goh did), then we can expect to see 400,000 x 7 or 2.8 million Americas killed before we have identified all the people who today own a gun and shouldn't have one.

      "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

      by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 09:51:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ah, bigotry -- alive and well at DKos. (10+ / 0-)

    Anyone making such a statement as:

    The problem is that while every gun owner individually is a highly responsible, law-abiding citizen who only wants to protect their person and home, and sees no reason why they should be tarred with the same brush as the gun owners who go crazy (and I've personally talked with a lot of gun-owners, and I can tell you they all speak of themselves this way), but as a group, all gun owners together are highly murderous.  As a group, gun owners are responsible for tens of thousands of deaths in the US every year...
    ...aimed at any other group would be roundly criticized, if not immediately banned for expressing such blatant bigotry.

    I guess it's still all right to be a bigot, as long as it's aimed at... you know... those folks.

    Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

    by theatre goon on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 09:47:27 AM PDT

    •  Nothing like a good fallacy (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      not4morewars, johnel, 43north, rockhound

      to blame gun owners for the violence of a few.  Let's try something.....

      The problem is that while every African American individually is a highly responsible, law-abiding citizen who only wants to protect their person and home, and sees no reason why they should be tarred with the same brush as the African Americans who go crazy (and I've personally talked with a lot of African Americans, and I can tell you they all speak of themselves this way), but as a group, all African Americans together are highly murderous.  As a group, African Americans are responsible for tens of thousands of deaths in the US every year...
      Disclaimer: I am not racist or espousing racist views. I am just trying to prove a point.

      "I'm a progressive man and I like progressive people" Peter Tosh

      by Texas Lefty on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 10:04:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  True about gun-owners, but not true about African- (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SoCaliana

        Unfortunately, my original statement is true on the facts; your paraphrase of my statement replacing gun-owners with African-Americans is not true on the facts.

        Fact: every year, tens of thousands of Americans suffer a fatal gunshot injury.

        Fact: every one of those guns involved in the tens of thousands of fatal gunshot injuries occurring every year are owned by gun-owners.  

        Fact: the number of Americans killed every year by African-Americans is smaller by an order of magnitude than the number of Americans killed by guns owned by gun-owners.

        "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

        by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 10:30:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I assume you're counting suicides there, correct? (3+ / 0-)

          Otherwise you'd be saying less than 15k for fatal gunshots.

          Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

          by KVoimakas on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 01:01:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  you know, (0+ / 0-)
          Fact: every one of those guns involved in the tens of thousands of fatal gunshot injuries occurring every year are owned by gun-owners.  
          not every cop in the country owns their service pistol.  how much do you want to bet that over the years quite a few people have been shot by someone who does not own a firearm?  keep in mind how trigger happy cops tend to be.
          •  A couple of points (0+ / 0-)

            1) The number of people shot dead by police is a small portion of the number of people dead of gunshot every year.

            2) True that not all police own their service firearm.  But those firearms are owned by some one or something.  They are still owned.  

            3) By the same token, not all the guns used in murders are owned by the person committing the murder.  Is it fair to claim those murder people are should not be counted in murder statistics?

            But really, all this is a BS follow-up to the BS argument made by Texas Lefty.

            "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

            by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 03:19:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  if we discount the cop shootings, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              KVoimakas

              can we also discount the "business dispute" type shootings where both parties were involved in some sort of crime like the drug trade?

              the problem gets really small then.  small enough that it made me decide that our energy is better spent ending the drug war then energizing the right by scaring them with gun control crap.

              the way to reduce gun violence is to reduce ALL violence.  a real social safety net, good education for all and real opportunity to benefit from the fruits of ones labor will make gun control moot.

        •  And, of course, the vast majority of people killed (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KVoimakas, happymisanthropy

          in the US every year are killed by criminals. If we could identify all present or potential criminals and imprison them for life, we could prevent all murders, (except the ones in prison.)
               Please note that the overwhelming majority of gun owners in the US have never killed anyone. You are proposing a law restricting the rights of at least one third of the population to prevent mass murder events, which are statistically rare, despite the widespread press coverage.

          -5.12, -5.23

          We are men of action; lies do not become us.

          by ER Doc on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 02:13:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Can you provide some back up to your claim? (0+ / 0-)

            I think that is flatly wrong: the vast majority of people killed every year in the US ARE NOT killed by a criminal.

            As an ER Doc, you should know that the number one cause of death in the US is heart disease.

            I assume you meant to say that the number of people killed by gunshot every year are shot by criminals.  This is a statistic I would like to see.  Can you provide a source for this statistic?

            And I point out that locking up all the criminals forever would not have prevented the shooting done by One Goh, Jared Loughner, or George Zimmerman.

            "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

            by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 03:25:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  And car owners? (0+ / 0-)

          How many people are killed every year by cars? How many people die from the pollution cars cause? How many people die in wars over oil that is used to run cars?

          Yet nobody is calling for cars to be banned and they aren't even Constitutionally protected rights.  

          "I'm a progressive man and I like progressive people" Peter Tosh

          by Texas Lefty on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 04:27:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Sadly, though... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KVoimakas, happymisanthropy

        ...like most bigots, those who support this view simply can't see that it is exactly the same thing.

        There's always a reason why their bigotry isn't really bigotry -- and they can get away with it because it's aimed at the other, someone different from them.

        It's really kinda sad, when you think about it.

        Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

        by theatre goon on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 10:48:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Let's not forget (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      43north, rockhound, SoCaliana, KVoimakas

      another highly murderous group - car owners.

      •  True: cars kill many Americans every year (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SoCaliana

        You are correct that cars kill many Americans every year, but I think it is wrong to say car owners are murderous.

        Here's why: 1) guns, unlike cars, are designed and marketed to be highly lethal.  Cars are designed and marketed to protect human life; 2) no one buys a car because of the car's ability to kill many people very quickly; 3) most deaths due to cars occur in what are called "accidents", meaning the event was not intentional, while "accidental" gun deaths are recognized to occur, they make up only a small fraction of the deaths due to firearms.  

        Certainly, no one is saying what Goh did yesterday in Oakland was some kind of accident.

        "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

        by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 10:40:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Even Al Qaeda is Getting Wise... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NYFM, happyman

    Guns, not homemade fertilizer bombs, kill people.

    The Virginia Tech shooter killed more than double the people than the World Trade Center bombers, Eric Robert Rudolph, and the Unabomber combined.

    The Norway shooter, Anders Breivik...killed 12 people with a large and powerful car bomb, but 60 people with a carbine and handgun.

    And take a look at the most recent acts of terror inspired by Islamic extremism.  The Underwear bomber and attempted Times Square bombers popped and fizzled and only succeeded in gaining mockery, not martyrdom.  But the Mumbai, Toulouse, and Fort Hood shooters used guns and killed to horrifying degrees.

    The next 9/11, mark my words, will simply be the combination of a dozen dedicated fanatics combined with America's easy access to firearms.

    Follow Me on Twitter! https://twitter.com/#!/TarantinoDork

    by TarantinoDork on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 09:53:02 AM PDT

    •  I wrote a fictional piece (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mildly Unsuccessful Lurker

      on a 10th Anniversary of 9-11 attack and sent it to some of my former colleagues, who also peered into the hole in the WTC parking garage.

      A simple matter of taking a sealed case of AK-47s, a sealed case of RPG-7s, and a sealed case of munitions, loaded on a ship which has cleared customs in the port of Karachi, met 100 km offshore by a fishing boat.

      Transited to the US, the packages were floated off a ship, on the east coast of the US, and met by another boat which brought the weapons into a small seacoast town, evading Customs and detection.

      From there, a dozen men with combat experience and jihad in mind, would attack the former Stewart Air Base and nearby New York State Thruway, seeking to film this Ode to Osama and upload it to Al Jezeera from a motel in Middletown, NY.

       
      Of course OBL is gone, and this never happened.

      There's more details as to the how and why, but let's just say my former colleagues were unhappy... with the potential of success.  

      Citizens expect daily safety, "we're Americans damn it".
      Seldom does a citizen in any other country, believe so fervently, that tomorrow is guaranteed.

      We, now former public-safety sector types, have no such delusions.

      A man who stands for nothing, will fall for anything. ~ Malcolm X.

      by 43north on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 10:23:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A couple changes... (0+ / 0-)

        Instead of RPGs, Barrett .50 Cal sniper rifles bought from Virginia area dealers. AK-47-style semiautos purchased online, paired with extended 'drum magazines' picked up at gun shows. With two or three of the shooters trained in the art of 'bump-firing' (de facto full auto with any semiautomatic weapon) courtesy youtube instructional videos posted by gun range nuts.

        Thats what the next major attack will look like.

        And sadly, they wouldn't even need men with 'combat experience'....Mumbai and more recently the Toulouse shooter were all perpetrated by buffoons with little more than basic firearms training.

        Follow Me on Twitter! https://twitter.com/#!/TarantinoDork

        by TarantinoDork on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 10:53:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, no. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KVoimakas, happymisanthropy

          Less trouble, less "radar" signature, just slipping it through our bug-tight borders.

          Oh yeah, we don't have bug-tight borders... we rely on Oceans instead of harbor security.

          Every "gun show loophole" and every "strawman purchase in Virginia" leaves a vapor trail, if not a paper trail.

          The WTC bombers were caught via the truck rental document, not because they purchased materials for an ANFO explosive.
          How they were caught was epic.

          "I'd like my money back, the van is gone."
          You wait right there... someone will be with you in a minute.

          A man who stands for nothing, will fall for anything. ~ Malcolm X.

          by 43north on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 01:55:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The WTC bombers... (0+ / 0-)

            ...weren't suicidal.  

            Suicidal attackers like the Fort Hood shooter don't really care if they leave a paper trail or "vapor trail."

            Hasan bought his FN Five-seven handgun, along with extended clips and hundreds of rounds, all at the same Killeen, TX gun store.

            Faisal Shahzad, the convicted Times Square bomber (who had received terrorist training in Pakistan), bought a 9 mm carbine at a Connecticut gun store. It was found loaded with plenty of spare ammo in the trunk of his escape vehicle. Since it was technically a rifle (but with a folding stock that made it highly concealable) he didn't even need a permit for it.

            Had Shahzad launched an attack on Times Square with his gun instead of his half-baked MiracleGro bomb...he would have actually killed people and we wouldn't be talking about him like the joke that he is.

            Ditto the Little Rock recruiting center shooter. Killing one US soldier and wounding another. An Islamic extremist who had traveled to Yemen with the intention of joining terrorists there (and may have been successful.) Amongst his weapons was a .22 caliber rifle legally purchased at Wal-Mart.

            Again, I'm saying the next big attack, when it occurs, will likely be conducted with firearms legally purchased right here in the US of A.

            Follow Me on Twitter! https://twitter.com/#!/TarantinoDork

            by TarantinoDork on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 07:14:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  The problem is that guns play multiple roles. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    avalonbear, happyman, Wayward Son

    They are both a tool and a fetish item.

    And because we can't talk about that in American society, people just get crazy defensive.

    And for the record, I say this as someone who has about twenty guns in their house. Be honest.... we gun owners ALL know people who like a gun because it makes them feel, in my husband's blunt phrasing, "like they've got bigger balls."

    When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

    by Alexandra Lynch on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 10:03:53 AM PDT

    •  A tool and a fetish item (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Alexandra Lynch, SoCaliana

      Well put cogent.

      FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 10:12:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Women more likely to die from guns at home. (0+ / 0-)

      Did you know that your risk of getting shot is greater if you have a gun at home than people who live in homes without guns?  By about a factor of two.  This has been demostrated in a peer-reviewed scientific study.

      The same study also showed that if you are a woman living in a home where there is a gun, you are three times more likely to get shot than a man living in a home where there is a gun.  I'm guess this is due to the "bigger balls" effect.

      "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

      by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 10:16:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  you are mistaking your house for mine (3+ / 0-)

        “Some students of natural history want no predator control at all, while many hunters and farmers want as much as they can get up to complete eradication. Both extremes are biologically unsound….” Aldo Leopold

        by ban nock on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 10:30:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The study was not based on my household (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SoCaliana

          The study I cited was not based on my household, but instead based on a sample of homes across the country.  Indeed, it was the goal of the study authors to model both my house and yours.

          I am afraid you are the one mistaken: because there is no firearms in my home, I am the one with the lower liklihood of receiving a gunshot.

          "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

          by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 10:46:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not a sample (4+ / 0-)

            and neither are you. Your house might well be far more dangerous due to any number of factors, as might mine be more safe. Having access to guns would only be one factor in safety. Some people are prone to anger or drinking or depression, I'd consider those factors much more heavily. In many countries without guns there are still high numbers of suicides and  murders. Looking at one tool for all the answers is misguided.

            “Some students of natural history want no predator control at all, while many hunters and farmers want as much as they can get up to complete eradication. Both extremes are biologically unsound….” Aldo Leopold

            by ban nock on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 01:03:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  due to the "bigger balls" effect. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Alexandra Lynch

        No . This is due to lack of training of the woman in proper use of the fire arm. And in most in home shootings the fear factor + lack of training is the major cause of the person with the gun ending up being shot.

        •  Not sure that explains why women get shot more (0+ / 0-)

          I'm not sure your reasoning tells us why women are three times more likely than men to be shot.

          Do women get less training in proper use of firearms than men?  Do women suffer this "fear factor" greater than men do?

          And do you have any numbers to back up your claims?

          "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

          by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 11:07:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The number one killer of women (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SoCaliana, happymisanthropy

        is an intimate partner.

        So I suspect there are times where the presence of a gun turns a beating into a shooting.

        I prefer to handle the risk by maintaining a non-abusive egalitarian relationship with my husband.

        When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

        by Alexandra Lynch on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 10:46:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  big balls usually means small brains. a man with a (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Alexandra Lynch

      gun AND a small brain. what a combo!

      just a happy-go-lucky guy

      by happyman on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 10:18:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  US Culture (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alexandra Lynch, avalonbear

    IMO the US has a culture that glorifies violence as the solution to all problems.

    It runs thru the founding of the country and the killing of the Native Americans, all the way up to our current foreign policy and movies and video games reinforce it. It includes the death penalty.

    You don't really need to look much farther than all the criticisim Obama has been getting anytime he seems to suggest that cooperation rather than sabre rattling is a good idea.

    Even in our political culture really 9 times out of 10 the voters reward the bully.

    I love guns and shooting but it is interesting how the whole gun culture and market has changed in my time.

    When I was a kid the main people who owned guns had like a shotgun, and maybe a deer and squirrel rifle and then maybe a revolver for home defense.

    Really back then the only military style weapons were surplus, and mostly clips on semi autos were not huge.

    The Dirty Harry films sent the 44 magnum sales thru the roof.  People who had never owned a gun wanted one.

    Now with all the urbanization there are less opportunites to hunt or even drive outside of town to vacant land and target shoot so the whole gun market is more fantasy or paranoid driven.

    You see tons of AK47 copies, and various other guns built only to look badass but that are not really practical for hunting or target shooting.

    I'm skeptical of banning guns and I don't think that it's possible due to HELLER,  but I do wish gun manufacturers would quit pandering to violent fantasy or paranoia in designing and marketing guns.

    •  AK-pattern rifles make fine deer rifles... (0+ / 0-)

      (approx. ballistically equivalent to the 100+ year old .30-30 lever action), and many people shoot them for competition.  Good home-defense rifle.  Good truck-gun/survival rifle.

      Tough, reliable, reasonably easy to handle, decent mid-to-lower power mid-range round, most have reasonable accuracy, and can be improved with after-market barrels and other accesories.

      What is this "pandering" you speak of?  Perhaps they should make/sell guns no-one wants?  This exposes a lack of understanding of market demands.

  •  At the risk of adding to this absurd diary. (3+ / 0-)
    No, if you want to kill lots of people quickly, you definitely need a gun.  
    This guy in Japan managed at least as many victims with a car and a knife.

    Almost all the really large mass murders are not committed with a gun.  Bombs and explosives are what are generally used (See the Oklahoma City Bombing.)

    •  want to kill lots of people quickly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SoCaliana

      You go out and build a big Bomb like Timothy McVey!!!

    •  And guess what? Bombs and explosives are not (0+ / 0-)

      You are correct that in terms of killing the greatest number of people, a bomb or explosive beats a gun.

      Suprisingly, and perhaps because of that truth, the sale of bombs and explosives is tightly controlled in this country.  Unlike guns.

      And perhaps because public access to bombs and explosives is so limited, very few people here in America die of bomb or explosive blasts.

      And that is in marked contrast to the situation with guns here in America.

      Which way do you think it should go: should the bomb and explosive lobby get a clue and start acting like the gun lobby, or should the American public wake up and make some responsible choices regarding gun availability?

      "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

      by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 11:16:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  T & R for beginning a discussion /nt (0+ / 0-)
    •  Thank you. I think a discussion is important (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tytalus, SoCaliana

      I think a discussion with gun advocates is important.  I myself favor greater controls over gun ownership.

      But in these discussions I learn a great deal about firearms and gun ownership.

      This is very educational for me, and I actually appreciate those gun-owners willing to engage and discuss with me.

      "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

      by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 11:25:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Greater controls over gun ownership (0+ / 0-)

    will only cause more criminals to have guns.. remove legal ownership and Guns will be used in crimes still. Hitler took away guns and people made them at home or used the black market to buy them. Look at the gangs in the border states of Mexico. Guns are being smuggled in by the thousands. Greater controls over gun ownership is not the answer to crimes with guns involved.

    "As for bombs"
    The sale of  explosives is tightly controlled in this country thats news. When did fertilizer and diesel fuel become tightly controlled in this country. and when did matches and threaded pipes do the same. Timothy McVey sure knew where to find these so called tightly controlled explosives in this country. You can go out to a grocery store and buy the makings of some really nasty bombs, including the detonators for them..ever heard of a IED?

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