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In the wake of the latest shooting-spree massacre, we've heard from Ted Nugent and the other usual suspects that just one armed person at Aurora might have saved a few lives. Notorious survey faker and cross-dressing Internet sockpuppeteer John Lott has been joined by countless other bloggers and commentators in criticizing Cinemark for exercising its private-property rights by barring anyone carrying guns from attending.

But in these comments and the responses to them, I have yet found no one who seems willing to confront a disturbing truth: James Holmes clearly anticipated that there might be armed individuals in attendance.

And his preparations for that possibility may have well made the massacre worse.

If you have decided, for whatever reason, that you just hate life so much that you're going to get a gun, go somewhere public and open fire with the intent of killing as many random people as possible, it would be hard to beat a movie theater. It's dark and crowded, with a high target density. You could be reasonably certain of taking out a few people right away with even the simplest pistol, and with a more sophisticated weapon you'll easily get into a double-digit death toll. If the movie has a shootout scene, so much the better as cover for starting your spree.

James Holmes planned his massacre with a meticulous that would have impressed Osama bin Laden. He clearly figured this out.

One thing I do not think factored into his calculations is Cinemark's firearms prohibition, whatever gun enthusiasts may be saying about "gun-free zones." (And those people have to explain then, why just three years ago a U.S. soldier was able to kill even more people than Holmes did in a shooting spree at a military base, where as we all know no one has ever been allowed to carry any guns, or how just a few months ago another U.S. soldier killed even more people than that 2009 soldier did on a spree in Afghanistan, where there is no guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms and the populace has thus lived forever in some Swedish socialist utopian dreamland where no one ever, ever does anything like that.

Sarcasm notwithstanding, I honestly wonder whether any of those commentators has ever experienced actual "security" (even the quotes are pushing it) at a contemporary American movie theater. Because I have, as have many of you.

And frankly, it makes the Mexican customs service look like paragons of competence and integrity. Like many other people, I don't particularly want to pay $15 (on top of the ticket price) for a 16-ounce drink and some stale candy, but I don't want to forego seeing the movie without something to eat and drink either. So, I and anyone I'm with routinely stop at a convenience store near the theater and purchase the same comestibles at a more reasonable price.

Of course, there's a big sign at the box office window saying "NO OUTSIDE FOOD OR DRINK". So, we usually just put the food in pockets or other places not easily seen. I have hidden Sweet Tart rolls in my waistband under loose shirts. Women usually put soda bottles in their purses, knowing they won't be searched anymore than I will. Sometimes I've even carried the plastic bag rather blatantly past the ticket taker. They. Just. Do. Not. Care.

If this is what they do to prevent outside food sales from cutting into their concession revenue, I can just imagine how hard they work to keep guns out of the theater. And can you blame them? I know if I was some minimum-wage part-time teenager in a dorky-looking bowtie, tuxedo shirt and ill-fitting vest and polyester pants, it would so make my night at work to go out of my way to go up and politely tell that guy with the Glock in his holster who looks like he ate several Hells' Angels for breakfast that he can't come in here with his gun. Uh-huh. When I'm not packing myself. Sir, you don't want to take it off? Oh, OK, we'll just call the police then, and they'll ask you to leave. If you don't, then we'll have you arrested for ... trespassing! And you'll be punished with ... a fine of several hundred dollars! That'll show you! Um, maybe yeah, your idea makes sense. Enjoy the film, sir. Yes. You too.

Now imagine that scenario playing out, or, rather, not playing out at a crowded midnight-madness showing of the most eagerly anticipated big-budget action comic-book franchise movie of the summer, with some patrons in costume, to boot. I'm sure the staff (or would that more accurately be described as understaff? Gotta allow them the right to make money, after all) had their hands full just keeping their hands full, much less enforcing Cinemark's rules (rules that, to be fair, are probably required by their insurance policies).

This commentator on a blog post on the subject understands what John Lott and all the other pro-gun pundits do not: that Cinemark's gun prohibition, or any movie theater's for that matter, is a joke and likely would not have deterred anyone from carrying a weapon into the theater (after all, they're supposed to be concealed to begin with). Hell, Holmes had one of his pistols on his body before he sneaked out to the side door to get the rest of his weapons. He knew this (and let's leave aside the fact that the prohibition statutorily would not apply to off-duty police officers, and there might be a good possibility of one of them being in the audience as well).

And he had to know other people knew this. Why else, given the inherent advantages of the situation to the spree shooter, would his equipment have included body armor? That's rather heavy and cumbersome to wear and would stand out in a crowd of escapees. It only makes sense if you have not ruled out the possibility that someone in the crowd you are shooting into might return fire. Correction: Apparently the "urban assault vest", name notwithstanding, isn't bulletproof.

And, in that vein, why go to the trouble of releasing tear gas canisters in the theater? Transporting them there would increase your risk of ruining the whole plot if they went off accidentally. And there's really no need for them if you're shooting into a dark room full of people who are already going to have trouble seeing you, who will likely run around screaming once they realize someone, somewhere, is shooting at them. But they would make it a lot harder for any of them to aim a weapon at you.

James Holmes had lived in Colorado for a while. He had to be aware that it was a concealed-carry state. He took that into account when he planned his massacre. As a result, he carried deadlier weapons, and took defensive measures to incapacitate the crowd that he might not have otherwise felt necessary to take, measures that certainly increased his casualty count. I really wonder if there isn't someone out there who did pack into the theater that night, and is somewhere maintaining a shamed silence, having sensibly realized when the shit hit the fan that returning fire would only have made things worse (Or did they? Some of the early witness accounts, I seem to recall, suggested that there was more than one gunman in the theater. But that may have been mere confusion).

Concealed-carry laws have been sold to the public as a preventive measure for this sort of situation. In some incidents they have doubtless been so. But as anyone familiar with the ongoing process of providing security against a continuing threat knows, eventually those who would perpetrate them get wise and, like all living things, adapt the change. Some threats stop being threats, given the right type of countermeasure.

But others get better at being threats, in the process becoming more dangerous. After being a problem in the '70s and '80s, airplane hijackings by either terrorists or deranged individuals were eventually rendered rare by the consistent application of security measures like X-raying carryons and making everyone walk through metal detectors. So, more determined terrorists switched to bombing planes instead, and eventually the coup de grace of hijacking them and then flying them into targets—which as we know killed a lot more people than the hijackings ever had.

There will, unfortunately, be more shootings like this one. Some will be planned and (ahem) executed by deranged indviduals who don't plan them well, and will be foiled before too many people get hit because of the poor planning. But others will have people like Holmes behind them, who will plan and prepare for their targets' likelihood of shooting back, and when they set macabre records that aspect will be harder to deny or ignore.

And I don't want to be the NRA having to explain then how CC laws still save lives.

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Comment Preferences

  •  a tear gas filled... (19+ / 0-)

    dark theater filled with panicked people running from a gunman who is wearing body armor: even the best trained shooters in the world would have bad odds under those conditions.  only an idiot thinks that some armed weekend warrior would have prevented the shooting in Aurora.  

    As a nation, the U.S. consumes the most hot dogs per capita. So you'd be wise to never underestimate our powers of denial.

    by jbou on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 10:13:36 PM PDT

  •  There was an op-ed in the NYT (16+ / 0-)

    from a retired cop (30 years) about the confusion inherent in a gun battle.  Don't have the link to hand at the moment.

    But his point was that the GOP are wrong, and if more in the Aurora audience had had guns, the death toll likely would have been larger.

    To make the argument that the media has a left- or right-wing, or a liberal or a conservative bias, is like asking if the problem with Al-Qaeda is do they use too much oil in their hummus. Al Franken

    by Youffraita on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 10:18:08 PM PDT

    •  Gun fights are hella confusing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joy of Fishes, Youffraita

      Even in war. Beleieve me, in a gunfight the hardest thing to figure out is what to do. you don't want to hit friendlies but there's an overwhelming desire to shoot back.
      The best rule of thumb in a gunfight: shoot at whoever's shooting at you.
      No weapon anyone could be expected to carry would have helped here.  There's no weapon that will cover every circumstance

      Happy just to be alive

      by exlrrp on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 05:04:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is an important point... (12+ / 0-)

    ...and the few conservatives I know who are experienced with firearms do pause to consider the ramifications when I bring it up. Only blowhards and idiots claim that even a trained shooter could have taken down Holmes anywhere near the start of his rampage. He was obviously prepared to maximize his chances of killing--nighttime, loud movie, dark theater, armor, smoke.

    And it's not a one-off event. The L.A. bank robbers used body armor and assault rifles. The Norway shooter wore body armor. It's an escalating arms race, which puts the lie to the notion that "if guns are outlawed, only the outlaws will have guns." The reality is whatever the status quo, outlaws will always upgrade. Always.

    And let's not kid ourselves that anyone with a concealed carry permit knows what the hell they're doing.

  •  Navy SEAL snipers are only people I'd trust... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, concernedamerican, Oh Mary Oh

    To take down an active shooter in body armor in a dark, crowded, smoke-filled and panicked theater.

    Some Charles Bronson wannabe would just cause more confusion and get more people killed directly or indirectly.

    Follow Me on Twitter!!/ZeddRebel

    by TarantinoDork on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 11:00:47 PM PDT

    •  My ex is a Marine (3+ / 0-)

      who set several marksmanship records in San Diego and would have been a serious candidate for sniper school if it weren't for some other issues.

      In this circumstance, he says the most effective approach would have been to move in from behind and manually disarm the guy. This is a guy who's not trained for combat, wearing a gas mask which severely limits his peripheral vision and encumbered by body armor that he's not experienced with.

      But he says that if he'd been there and been carrying, he probably would have tried to set up a shot first. He'd have been limited to a pistol, so he would have gone for a center mass shot. He most likely wouldn't have taken it (he might have seen the body armor, and he almost certainly would have had trouble setting up a clear shot). But he would have wasted valuable time trying.

      Without a gun, he would have gone straight for the disarming approach.

      This guy's very pro-gun and pro-concealed-carry, but even he acknowledges that in hindsight he'd have handled this particular instance better without a gun.

      "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

      by kyril on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 03:41:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've made this point here before, but it bears ... (11+ / 0-)

    being made again.  When I worked at DOJ, one of my bosses was into shooting sports and was friends with a number of FBI agents.  Pretty much every summer, he would take a group of summer law clerks down to Quantico to go through an abbreviated version of the "shoot/don't shoot" course there.  Some of them had done some shooting before, and others hadn't.  Some were reasonably good shots, and others were terrible.

    One summer, he came back and mentioned that a particular young woman who had little experience with actual firearms, but a lot with video games when she was younger, had been a great shot.  She killed or seriously wounded pretty much all the "bad guy" targets.  The problem was that she also killed her partner and a couple of innocent bystanders, including a mother carrying a baby.  The technical shooting skills were great, but the decision making-skills on when to shoot and not shoot were pretty seriously lacking.  She was apparently very shaken by the experience.

    Federal law enforcement agents and police officers in many police departments don't get issued a weapon unless they pass that kind of a course -- and yet they still sometimes make tragic mistakes.  Very few holders of concealed carry permits have ever taken such a course, much less passed one, and yet somehow, people think they can safely exchange gunfire with somebody in a crowd.  It's simply amazing to me.

    I used to occasionally judge shoot-to-retrive field trials and hunting tests for bird dogs.  These tests use "official guns" to actually do the shooting.  We had repeatedly told people where to stand where there would be no shooting in their direction, and had emphasized that everybody should keep their children with them at all times.  Most clubs use members of the club who are experienced hunters, but this one club used off-duty members of a local police department SWAT team, and it turned out to be really fortunate that they did.

    A pheasant was flushed and began flying in the direction of a treeline where nobody was supposed to be.  The "official gun" assigned to that dog leveled his shotgun when a 10 or 11 year old boy suddenly stepped out from the trees pretty much in the direction of the shot that would have been fired.  Before the other judge and I (who were on horseback and therefore had a better view of the surroundings than the "official gun" could get out more than "Don't ...," this off-duty police officer raised his shotgun to the air.  Everybody was terrified, but I think there is an excellent chance that if it had been a normal hunter, concentrating on the target, there might have been a tragedy.

    Giving "concealed carry" permits out to pretty much anybody who doesn't have a criminal record, and thinking that this isn't going to create far more tragedies than it prevents, is simply insane.

    Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

    by leevank on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 11:15:46 PM PDT

  •  diary uses tortured logic. (7+ / 0-)

    First of all, no law, concealed carry or other, or even the death penalty swiftly applied, is going to deter a madman with the desire to commit mass murder.  

    So concealed carry laws are irrelevant to that.

    Second, it's pointless to speculate why he was wearing body armor: that information will come out during the trial or subsequently.  For all we know he was planning to have a shootout with the police after the attack.  

    So whether others in the theater may have had concealed weapons is irrelevant to that.  

    Third, no sane 2A supporter believes that people should run around armed unless they have taken the relevant safety course and practiced until their hands were numb.  Nobody supports unlimited and unqualified CCPs.  

    So whether others in the theater with concealed weapons would have caused more casualties is either an exercise in pointless speculation or crass political point-scoring.  

    Fourth, there's supposed to be a truce around here on gun control until AFTER the election, lest we end up throwing more undecideds to the Republicans.  Romney in office will be far more deadly via policy, than a madman in a theater with an arsenal in his coat.  

    "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 11:34:10 PM PDT

    •  this>>>> (6+ / 0-)
      Fourth, there's supposed to be a truce around here on gun control until AFTER the election, lest we end up throwing more undecideds to the Republicans.  Romney in office will be far more deadly via policy, than a madman in a theater with an arsenal in his coa

      From those who live like leeches on the people's lives, We must take back our land again, America!...Langston Hughes

      by KenBee on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 01:14:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Geebus (1+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      Hidden by:
      " sane 2A supporter believes that people should run around armed unless they have taken the relevant safety course and practiced until their hands were numb.  Nobody supports unlimited and unqualified CCPs."
      As usual, 2A supporters are running loose with their guns like Rambo in a jockstrap.  Or did you have some verifiable references?
      "...there's supposed to be a truce around here on gun control until AFTER the election, lest we end up throwing more undecideds to the Republicans."
      That's news to me.  So why are you continuing to air your gun-crazed viewpoints?

      Only weak men fear strong women

      by john07801 on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 01:54:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Huh? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, KVoimakas, KenBee
      Nobody supports unlimited and unqualified CCPs.  
      You do know what the law is in my state, right?

      "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State ..."- Vermont Constitution Chapter 1, Article 16

      by kestrel9000 on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 01:59:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nitpick. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, KenBee

      I do support by and large unlimited and unqualified CCW permits and constitutional carry, including to felons with a clean bill of mental health.  I do so for two reasons:

      1. As a public health issue, there's no evidence that permit issuance depending on mandatory training improves public safety.  Number of reasons why that may be, but won't speculate here.  I'd reevaluate if this weren't true, but my own personal test for a restriction of Second Amendment rights is strict scrutiny

      2. Current law denies Second Amendment rights to people who may need it most.  I don't have a good sense of how national this matter is, or much of a feel for it beyond a few cross-sectional, regional spot checks, but when 75 to 91 percent of homicide victims in major cities had records, then our country is being as unimaginably cruel to these men and women as we are to prison rape victims.

      I'd also reiterate here as I have elsewhere that there is no evidence whatsoever that armed defenders have ever made a mass killing worse.

      •  I'm not as sympathetic. Most of those homicide (5+ / 0-)

        victims with records were engaged in the same criminal enterprise as their killer. They weren't victims because they were unarmed, they're victims because they continued to associate with the criminal element, and continued to engage in the same crimes.

        Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

        by Robobagpiper on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 04:18:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's quite possible. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Which is why I admit that I don't have a good feel for the circumstances beyond the snapshot numbers.  Undoubtedly that number also contains victims who were in the process of committing violent criminal acts against law abiding citizens. What I don't know is if most victims were armed, or what the nature of their criminal enterprise was.  I do know we can set the floor of justifiable homicides by civilians as reported by law enforcement at two  percent of overall murders in 2010.

        •  many mj possession felons can't possess (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          their finances are in ruins, they live in the poorest parts often and are exposed to all that goes on there: good, bad, and indifferent.  To make sweeping statements about about felons is pretty thoughtless, to deny them the legal ability to protect themselves is...well, additional punishment.
            Non violent felons, especially MJ possession with no gang enhancements should be reviewed on a permit basis imo.

          I've told about my MJ possession felon friend who has been stalked by a mountain lion and shot at in his rural calif property, can't legally possess a firearm.

          I think the local sheriff/loe should have the ability to allow him a permit to possess a shotgun...that would be a mod to the current gun laws I'd support.

          From those who live like leeches on the people's lives, We must take back our land again, America!...Langston Hughes

          by KenBee on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 09:50:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I have a story completely goes with what you said (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I am not a criminal attny. But, in being introduced to my first firm, I was kind of shadowing all the lawyers to see their "styles".

            I shadowed one Lawyer at a Murder Case. If the guy was not a felon, they would've likely went to trial and won. Or he would not have been charged. What happened:

            This guy had some Felony conviction long in the past. He was not allowed to own a gun. He lived in a really bad neighborhood. On Christmas Eve he was walking home, wearing a fake fur coat. These two guys tried to Rob him, shot him about 12 times. . .  They had a 9mm.

            He had a 45. He shot the primary guy about 8. Obvious self defense. Only complicating feature was allegedly the other guy was on the ground (mind you after this gentleman was shot 12 times and staggering) and someone claimed he walked up and shot the guy. There are a lot of ways to still say that's self defense. I wouldn't turn my back on someone if they shot me 12 times. Also the guy could've been dead.

            FF he is on trial for murder (he survived). I saw the negotiating for a plea. Basically nomatter what he was doing 4 years for having a gun. So they did 6-9. I think a good deal as you're risking 3 years v. life or worse.

            When the judge was giving him the max (the 9) my attorney was pissed and I remember thinking what is he talking about as he said something like "this is an example of retaliating with violence is never right." Despite . . . the guy was getting shot!

            So basically because he made a mistake 20 yrs ago he had to agree to a deal just because he acted to save his life. And obviously he needed the gun if someone wants your FAKE fur coat on Christmas.

    •  Diarist also gets his facts wrong. Aside from MPs (7+ / 0-)

      military bases are the most strictly-enforced gun-free zones.

      Regardless of the merits and/or likelihood of a licensed CCW holder successfully intervening in a mass shooting, gun-free zones that lack security screening checkpoints fail precisely because they exclude only those people intending to do harm with the guns they carry.

      Licensed CCW holders know the law - when they reach a gun-free zone, they respect the zone, and leave their weapon behind, or decline to come in. Those intending to do ill, or reserving the option to do so, will ignore the restriction, as they're unlikely to be caught - and for those definitely intending harm, the penalty for being caught with a gun is small compared to the penalty for what they're intending to do.

      When you have a policy that can, by design, only achieve the opposite of its intent, it's no less than pure stupidity to maintain the policy.

      Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

      by Robobagpiper on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 04:16:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  some responses (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SuetheRedWA, Oh Mary Oh

        Aside from MPs, military bases are the most strictly-enforced gun-free zones.

        And this is obviously because the United States military is TOTALLY ANTI-GUN!!!!

        But aside from that, wouldn't a military base be the one place where you could expect a swift armed response to your shooting spree? As it turns out, there was in that case, and let's see how effective it was:

        Base civilian police Sergeant Kimberly Munley, who had rushed to the scene in her patrol car, encountered Hasan in the area outside the Soldier Readiness Processing Center. Hasan fired at Munley, who exchanged shots with him using her 9mm M9 pistol. Munley's hand was hit by shrapnel when one of Hasan's bullets struck a nearby rain gutter, and then two bullets struck Munley: the first bullet hit her thigh, and the second hit her knee. As she began to fall from the first bullet, the second bullet struck her femur, shattering it and knocking her to the ground. Hasan then walked up to Munley and kicked her pistol out of reach.
        Yes, I know, the next officer to come along did succeed in taking Hasan down. But the takeaway here is that this was where the most optimal armed response should have and did occur ... and yet more people died than did in Aurora. You would have to think that Hasan, too, anticipated an armed response to his rampage. CCW advocates at the very least ought not to be selling those laws as a harm-reduction measure, not outright prevention.

        And the real issue is that shooting-spree killers generally pick their locations for some personal reason, like working there, or the unemployment office because it was the anniversary of their claim being denied not because they're gun-free or not. Can we at least stipulate to this?

        Licensed CCW holders know the law - when they reach a gun-free zone, they respect the zone, and leave their weapon behind, or decline to come in.

        The two blog commenters I linked to said otherwise. One said it was worth the risk of losing the permit. And Cinemark's policy did not have legal backing other than trespass, as far as I can tell. It's not "the law" unless there is a specific criminal charge for bringing a firearm onto private property where the owner has decreed there shall be none.

    •  Not so twisted (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Oh Mary Oh

      First of all, no law, concealed carry or other, or even the death penalty swiftly applied, is going to deter a madman with the desire to commit mass murder.

      I didn't argue that any law would. Just that his preparations for a situation where people in his target group could well have made his massacre deadlier.

      For all we know he was planning to have a shootout with the police after the attack.

      I don't think so. His original plan, from what we seem to know, was for the music in his apartment to make the neighbors call the police with a noise complaint, and for the responding police to trigger the firebomb he'd set when they opened the apartment door, thus making sure that pretty much the entire police and fire contingent locally would have been busy responding to that while he was shooting the theater up. My guess is his goal was to abandon his weapons and escape along with the crowd.

      So whether others in the theater with concealed weapons would have caused more casualties is either an exercise in pointless speculation or crass political point-scoring.

      My point, as stated above, is not that other people in the theater with weapons would have led to more casualties had they responded, because as far as we know either no one else was armed or anyone there who may have been armed chose, for whatever reason, not to respond that way. It's that Holmes' actions show that he was aware of the possibility that there may have been someone who was, and the steps he took to account for that may have made the massacre deadlier (To be fair, his MAC-15 (or whatever it was ... the reporting I've read hasn't identified the first weapon he used other than saying it was a civilian version of an M16) jammed early on, which may have saved the most lives of anything in this incident).

  •  Battle star poopy pants. (0+ / 0-)

    He is such a man.

    . . . from Julie, Julia. "Oh, well. Boo-hoo. Now what?"

    by 88kathy on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 11:43:47 PM PDT

  •  I can't take a soda or my own popcorn into a Movie (0+ / 0-)

    so how exactly am I supposed to sneak a gun in??
      And one that would take down a Swat ready gunman in a crowded dark theatre?
      This Monday morning quarterback has reached the absurd.

  •  Do we know for sure that there wasn't a (0+ / 0-)

    "Rambo" in the audience, that got off a few shots in the dark, smokefilled theater?

    When banjos are outlawed, only outlaws will have banjos.

    by Bisbonian on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 07:42:08 AM PDT

    •  I have a Concealed Carry but dont own a gun (0+ / 0-)

      I got it basically because a friend of my dad's needed to fill up a class. Have never owned a gun have had it for awhile and don't plan on it.

      The only issues I take with this are few.

      I do not think that this is a good debate for CC/Guns. I believe your rational human will see someone used guns to kill ppl. Some guy with a gun is not going to stop that.

      Let them look dumb.

      Also, the guy with CC is not taking it into the theatre. Its probably a felony like in Ohio. Really the ppl with CCW are not the people to worry about. I know a lot of extremely liberal people who have them (who grew up in rough neighborhoods are military or otherwise).

      There was a HUGE deal in Ohio when they first started it. They listed the names of everyone in the County (it is public record so theoretically you could look at the ppl there and see if they are registered-if they aren't its pretty stupid to discuss). I agreed then. Now? I have not heard of any serious ramifications in OH. I also know the attitude of most CCW is "I'd get out of there".

      I don't think we should take the bait. It is what it is. A gun tragedy. You can pontificate all day about stas, etc., but to your average american it is just one more strike having nothing to do with (if I had a gun).

      My lunch break and .02.

  •  I guess a lot of people didn't see the follow up. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happy camper, KVoimakas, theatre goon
    Why else, given the inherent advantages of the situation to the spree shooter, would his equipment have included body armor?
    The shooter was not actually wearing a bulletproof vest.

    Chief Executive Officer Chad Weinman said despite its name, the urban assault vest is not bulletproof, but is simply a vest made for carrying accessories.

    The only bulletproof gear he was wearing was a helmet.

    Presumably the vest was to hold extra magazines and the pistols.

  •  Aurora shootings (0+ / 0-)

    Fact of the matter is, these shootings occur with enough regularity to make them sickening. I lived in Canada for 3 years and the USA for 2 and ten years ago wrote a thriller which had gun control at its core in the same way that Grisham's The Chamber focused on the death penalty.

    In that ten years we've seen Columbine and numerous other incidents.  They can happen too in the UK. Andy Murray, our top tennis player, was a Dumblane school shooting survivor. Then just last year we had an even worse massacre in Norway, which has fairly strict gun laws. So the bottom line is: if a nutcase really wants to get hold of a gun for a wild shooting spree, they can.

    What I addressed mainly in The Second Amendment was the easy availability of guns which can turn an average Satuday night bar or neighborhood argument more deadly when guns are too readily available. That's where the majority of the 10,000 killings a year in the USA stem from.

    In the UK this year, our total murder rate was just over 600. About the same as a city like LA, but we have population of 65 million. So something is working.

    I was pleased to see that Haiwaii has quite a low murder rate compared to 25 years ago, and that has largely come about through year by year stricter gun control.

    Of course, the age old argument put up against this time and time again by the NRA and GOA is that you can't mess with The Second Amendment - which is true. It's in the Constitution.

    But it struck me that The Second Amendment, with its main purpose to provide an efficient private national militia for defense, was not strictly adhered to. Far from it. And that's where the core thesis at the heart of the book, The Second Amendment, plays its part and starts to have wings.

    So much so that when I reissued the book on kindle, I was urged to take it to the next stage, which I've now done. You might want to check it out.


  •  Except of course (0+ / 0-)

    that they do save lives. 100,000 - 2,500,000 defensive gun uses annually (with the likely 'sweet spot' coming in around 800,000). Now, not all (or even a very large portion) of those are concealed carry cases, but many are. What's more, it doesn't matter if they DO save lives, only that we're allowed to TRY and save our lives. THAT is the right that is dear to defend.

    •  It's a tradeoff (0+ / 0-)

      Perhaps statistically, but I think of this in light of one of my favorite books of all time, Why Things Bite Back: Technology and the Revenge of Unintended Consequences, in which Princeton physicist shows how many things that were intended to reduce risk or harm, and usually did, nevertheless created new risks or displaced the old risks somewhere else. For example, modern medicine has been able to prevent many deaths from acute diseases and causes ... at the price of making many of those things into chronic conditions that impose different costs on society.

      To apply this to, more specifically, law enforcement, you may remember if you are old enough how we started making drunken-driving laws tougher in the 1980s, and enforcing them more consistently. It did indeed get a lot of drunks off the road — but at the same time the amount of hit-and-run accidents went up, as drunk drivers began realizing they ought not to stick around for the police to show up. That imposes long-term costs that weren't there before ... the accident victim cannot sue an unknown John Doe for compensation and must depend on other resources to deal with their injury; similarly the drunken driver has not been deterred and may well do the same thing again. The laws have been stiffened so that a driver leaving the scene of a personal-injury accident where s/he was legally intoxicated is punished even more severely, but that still depends on catching the driver relatively quickly enough to establish that they were drunk. Yes, this probably happened before 1982, but there's an even greater incentive for this to happen afterwards.

      To apply this model directly to spree-shootings and concealed-carry laws, I think, we would gradually see a phenomenon similar to what we've seen with the power grids: in older systems, like those in less developed countries, blackouts are commonplace but contained to small areas and service is usually restored quickly; while in advanced countries like ours they are rare, but when they do happen they are catastrophic and can take hours to fix. So, with spree shootings, they might become less frequent but deadlier.

      It's not a pleasant choice to consider, but would you prefer, say, 2-3 of these events a year with a death toll of 5-15 or one every 2-3 years with a Breivik-level death toll? One might assume, too, that more shooters will, as Breivik did and Holmes apparently intended, precede their shootings with a diversionary bombing. (Shooting/bombing incidents are not a new thing in this country, either.). When I say that I don't want to be the NRA in that situation, I mean that the public might respond more favorably to legislation in the wake of such tragedies if the death tolls started routinely hitting multiple-dozen levels, even if less people died in such incidents over all.

      •  Solid thinking all around (0+ / 0-)

        but I'd rather address issues at their cause, rather than apply bandaids. Want lower levels of homicides? Reduce the factors that cause them (none of which have anything to do with weapons). Strengthen the family unit, reduce wealth concentration, enact social programs, provide economic opportunity, implement meaningful mental health care, steer cultural norm away from violence/greed/ego, provide political efficacy, encourage homogeneity, etc.

        So yeah, do something after a tragedy like to make things better. Looking to guns, concealed carry, or anything similar won't do that. It will only make it worse.

        The unintended consequences of toughening gun laws (or abolishing concealed carry) is more direct victimization. Meanwhile it accomplishes NOTHING positive, since there are NO negatives from concealed carry.

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