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Are Mass Shootings Really On The Rise?

In the wake of last Friday’s tragedy in Newtown, The Washington Post’s Brad Plumer asserted that mass shootings of this type are on the rise:

These sorts of headlines are also becoming gut-wrenchingly familiar. Of the 12 deadliest shootings in U.S. history, six have taken place since 2007. (The Newton school shooting will likely rank second on that list.) Mass killings appear to be on the upswing — even as other types of homicides and violent crimes are becoming less frequent.

David Brooks highlighted this discrepancy back in July. For much of the 20th century there were, on average, a handful of mass killings per decade. But that number spiked in 1980, and kept rising thereafter. In the United States, there have now been at least 62 mass shootings in the past three decades, with 24 in the last seven years alone. This has happened even as the nation’s overall violent crime and homicide rates have been dropping.

It sounds like we’ve got a serious, and growing problem and, if you confine yourself to just falling anecdotal stories, it certainly seems as though we do. Since 2007, we’ve seen mass shootings in Virginia Tech, Phoenix, Aurora, and now Newtown. Based on that trend it certainly seems like mass shootings are becoming a growing phenomena. The problem is that the facts simply don’t bear this out:

[T]hose who study mass shootings say they are not becoming more common.

“There is no pattern, there is no increase,” says criminologist James Allen Fox of Boston’s Northeastern University, who has been studying the subject since the 1980s, spurred by a rash of mass shootings in post offices.

The random mass shootings that get the most media attention are the rarest, Fox says. Most people who die of bullet wounds knew the identity of their killer.

Society moves on, he says, because of our ability to distance ourselves from the horror of the day, and because people believe that these tragedies are “one of the unfortunate prices we pay for our freedoms.”

Grant Duwe, a criminologist with the Minnesota Department of Corrections who has written a history of mass murders in America, said that while mass shootings rose between the 1960s and the 1990s, they actually dropped in the 2000s. And mass killings actually reached their peak in 1929, according to his data. He estimates that there were 32 in the 1980s, 42 in the 1990s and 26 in the first decade of the century.

Chances of being killed in a mass shooting, he says, are probably no greater than being struck by lightning.

James Allen Fox, quoted in the excerpt above, made similar points in an Op-Ed published  in the wake of the Aurora shooting:

The carnage has compelled many observers to examine the possible reasons behind the rise in mass murder. New York Times columnist David Brooks noted the number of schizophrenics going untreated. Gun control advocates have pointed to the 2004 expiration of the federal assault weapons ban as the culprit, while gun-rights proponents have argued that the body counts would be lessened were more Americans armed and ready to intervene and overtake an active shooter.

There is one not-so-tiny flaw in all of these theories for the increase in mass shootings. And that is that mass shootings have not increased in number or in overall body count, at least not over the past several decades.

(…)

Without minimizing the pain and suffering of the hundreds of who have been victimized in seneless attacks, the facts say clearly that the has been no increase in mass killings, and certainly no epidemic. Occasionally, we have witnessed short-term spikes with several shootings clustering close together in time.

In the 1980s, we had a flurry of postal shootings, and the 1990s included a half dozen schoolyard massacres. Other than the copycatting reflected in these cases, the clustering of mass murders is nothing more than random timing and sheer coincidence.

Fox includes this chart:

It’s easy to understand why people think that these types of shootings are becoming more common. We live in an era where, when something like this happens, we get non-stop coverage from the cable and broadcast networks. As I noted the other day, the worst school massacre in American history occurred in an era before television even existed, and it didn’t result in the same kind of obsessive coverage we’re likely to see regarding Newtown or much of the rest of this week. When incidents like this get that kind of media coverage, it creates the impression that they are far more common than they actually are. Of course, as Jesse Walker notes, there is some good in the media coverage:

While there’s a lot to object to in the media coverage of the last few days — the inaccuracies reported on the day of the massacre, the exploitative intrusions on grieving people’s privacy — this feeling that the crime took place in our backyard isn’t a bad thing in itself. It represents empathy, and when the press amplifies our empathy, it’s doing good. But it’s also important for the press to give people a context for that empathy, lest those natural feelings for the victims and the people who loved them turn into an irrational fear that the next victims will be our own children or ourselves. Look at the ways so many schools locked down after Columbine: the increase in inflexible zero-tolerance policies, the speed-up in the school-to-prison pipeline. Those changes made a lot of students less secure, not more. And they were driven by contextless, free-floating fear. Empathy , paranoia no.

Now it goes without saying that one of these incidents is one too many, but it is, important to get the facts right before we have this “national conversation” that the media tells us we’re supposed to be having. Mass shootings like what happened in Newtown get a lot of attention when they happen both because of the horror that they evoke and because they are, in reality, rather rare. Before we go making social policy, perhaps we need to ask ourselves if we want to base changes in the law on events that don’t happen very often.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. michael reynolds says:

    If these shootings were being carried out by Muslim extremists we’d have nuked Saudi Arabia by now.

    I agree we shouldn’t go around flinching in fear of mass shootings. But we should take reasonable steps to minimize risk. Lightning strikes are rare, but building codes require grounding, public pools are closed during storms and rational people don’t stand under trees or on golf courses.

    In this case we need to start bending the gun ownership curve downward. People need to understand that none of the rationales for gun ownership are rational. They are dangerous tools which have no legitimate use in society outside of police, military or a hunter’s hands. You like to target shoot? Too bad. Find another hobby.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 44 Thumb down 51

  2. Ernieyeball says:

    Are Mass Shootings Really On The Rise?

    No. Apparently they have plateaued at some statistical level that should allow us to tolerate the murder of 6 and 7 year old children so citizens are free to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights. We should accept the slaughter of innocents and do nothing since “it is, in reality, rather rare.”

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 50 Thumb down 29

  3. Spartacus says:

    Doug wrote:

    Before we go making social policy, perhaps we need to ask ourselves if we want to base changes in the law on events that don’t happen very often.

    These mass killings, and the media attention they garner, are the crystallizing events that open up a discussion about the larger problem of widespread gun violence in America. Other than the extreme Right’s advocacy for greater access to, and use of guns, just about all of the recommendations by everyone who’s weighed in on the subject would reduce the likelihood of gun violence. None of the ideas would result in greater gun violence. So, really, what is the actual harm that comes from making policy after this kind of event?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 21 Thumb down 14

  4. Blue Shark says:

    Gee Doug,

    …These “Rare Events”, should (God forbid) they happen to you, you might see the issue more clearly.

    …And after all isn’t it the horror that these were all of us (our children, our teachers, our neighbors, and our friends) under assault that make this “one” different?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 9

  5. mattb says:

    Using a triggering event like this to rally for change is not inherently a bad thing. But as a number of those of us who are pro-regulation keep pointing out, if the legislation targets a moral panic versus an actual problem, then bad laws come into play. And it’s also something that the 24×7 news cycle greatly contributes to.

    In the wake of Moral Panics, we end up with having to remove our shoes to board an airplane or community wide bans on pit bulls. Again, I fear what we will have to go through when the inevitable “rectal bombing” attempt is made.

    I am not saying that mass shootings are not a problem. But they are not the *primary problem.* Gun violence, on a smaller scale, is the bigger issue. And laws should be designed to curtain that first and foremost.

    There is no question we should continue to work to curtain gun violence. And that regulation works (see this Atlantic article).

    But again, the fact is that even with its progressive gun control laws, Norway suffer a massacre that was 3x as bad as what we just went through. That doesn’t negate Norway’s laws. It doesn’t negate the value of enacting intelligent legislation.

    But it is evidence that we cannot always prevent these acts from happening.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 2

  6. jpmeyer says:

    Am I the only person that sees some really weird trends in that chart? I wish that Fox had linked to the study itself because I can’t wrap my head around how some of the numbers could happen.

    If you look at around 2005-2006, there’s a year where the number of incidents stays the same, the number of offenders goes up by around 10, and the number of victims goes up by around 30. Also, the number of incidents per year looks like it has a pretty small standard deviation while the number of deaths per year can fluctuate wildly.

    Also: the MoJo article says that there have been 62 mass shootings the last 30 years, while that chart has something like 20 PER YEAR over that timeframe. How are these terms being defined and measured?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  7. michael reynolds says:

    @mattb:

    Norway has a tiny fraction of our gun deaths. So does every other nation with serious gun control laws.

    We have a huge number of gun deaths because we have a huge number of guns.

    This isn’t about a moral panic, it’s about the on-going slaughter of Americans because of the cult of the gun.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 23

  8. jpmeyer says:

    One more weird trend that I noticed: a “mass shooting” is defined by the FBI as having at least 4 deaths, not counting the shooter himself, but there are some years like 2005 where it doesn’t look like it’s possible for that to have happened (less than 75 deaths but about 20 shootings).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  9. Spartacus says:

    @michael reynolds:

    We have a huge number of gun deaths because we have a huge number of guns.

    This is the problem in a nutshell.

    The question I kept asking on the other thread by JJ is why the interest of gun owners to possess guns should outweigh the public’s interest in a safer society by way of fewer guns? No one in support of gun rights was able to provide any kind of an answer.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 13

  10. MBunge says:

    @michael reynolds: “none of the rationales for gun ownership are rational. They are dangerous tools which have no legitimate use in society outside of police, military or a hunter’s hands.”

    1. Call me a kook if you want, but I’m not entirely comfortable with the government having guns and not the governed.

    2. If this is about saving lives, are we going to install engine governors on all our cars so they can’t go over 55 miles an hour? Are we going to mandate they all have breathalyzer devices connected to the ignition so they can’t start if our blood alcohol is over the legal limit? Should we put video cameras on every corner so we can catch any crime as it happens?

    Mike

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 9

  11. MBunge says:

    @Spartacus: “The question I kept asking on the other thread by JJ is why the interest of gun owners to possess guns should outweigh the public’s interest in a safer society by way of fewer guns?”

    Why should someone’s freedom of speech outweigh the public’s interest in a more moral society?

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 5

  12. Sandman says:

    Good job Doug.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  13. Brummagem Joe says:

    and because they are, in reality, rather rare.

    Before we go making social policy, perhaps we need to ask ourselves if we want to base changes in the law on events that don’t happen very often.

    Oh dear me the sophistry cavalry have arrived.

    No Doug mass shootings aren’t on the rise but then neither are deaths from malaria or lead poisoning. It’s entirely beside the point. In fact overall gun deaths are well down from 30 years ago. The point is that by comparison with our peer group mass shootings and overall gun homicides in the US are out of sight. And mass shootings which I would define as 3 or more people killed or wounded by an assailant are NOT by any stretch of the imagination rare in the US. There have been hundreds of them over the last ten years.Hundreds of them and many involve children. Obviously Doug is continuing to put dogma above the deaths of children.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 9

  14. john personna says:

    While I think “increasing” or “decreasing” are hard to claim, there is no doubt we’ve had a bad year.

    And a bad year can lead one to ask what reasonably be done.

    (I say that as someone who was fortunate this week that the NB shooter wasn’t really trying. My sister having been on the scene.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  15. Ernieyeball says:

    Yes Mike. Cars and guns are exactly the same. Guns can be used for transportation from one point to another. It is called car jacking.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  16. Brummagem Joe says:

    @mattb:

    But it is evidence that we cannot always prevent these acts from happening.

    Your santimonious bs is getting tedious.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 12

  17. mattb says:

    @michael reynolds:

    They are dangerous tools which have no legitimate use in society outside of police, military or a hunter’s hands. You like to target shoot? Too bad. Find another hobby.

    Have to disagree on the issue of target shooting Michael. The same rational can be applied, for example, to martial arts. Why should any civilian learn how to most effectively hurt, maim, or otherwise kill another civilian? Why should it be practiced or celebrated? Just look at the toll that boxing has taken on the bodies of athletes?

    I mean people can talk about martial arts getting people into good shape, but let’s face it there are far more effective methods for that, or wax philosophic about it making people better citizens, but that’s a relatively new line of thought in fighting arts and could also be applied to target shooting.

    I agree that we have a cult of the gun in the US. And that there needs to be gun regulations. But count me less than convinced that banning target shooting is the way to go. Using that logic, shouldn’t we ban shooting simulations in videogames and heroic portrayals of violence in fiction?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  18. mattb says:

    @Brummagem Joe:

    Your santimonious bs is getting tedious.

    Funny, I was thinking the same thing about you. :P

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  19. Brummagem Joe says:

    Those oh so rare mass shootings Doug? Here’s a list of them since 2005….hundreds of them

    http://www.bradycampaign.org/xshare/pdf/major-shootings.pdf

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  20. rudderpedals says:

    Local shootings in your city that weren’t remarkable last week are now front page. Another change is that no one need buy the bullshit anymore.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  21. Brummagem Joe says:

    @mattb:

    Like to give me an example of my sanctimony…….trust me I’m going to have no problem finding examples of yours because they are legion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  22. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Well, the media is airheaded, sensationalistic and desperate for ratings. Their political agendas are as obvious as sunlight and their methods are as heavy handed as a prime Mike Tyson. And let’s be blunt: they’re not the sharpest tools in the shed. So it goes without saying that on this sort of a topic you have to take what the media says with a giant grain of salt.

    In terms of having a national discussion about this we might as well beat our heads against brick walls. The bodies of gunshot victims in places with heavy gun control could pile up to the rafters and yet the political left nevertheless reflexively would demand heavy gun control. You can’t really fix cognitive dissonance.

    We could if we were rational and hadn’t slipped so far into Zombieville have a legitimate discussion about a national compromise law that (1) preempted all state and local gun control, (2) boosted incentives for firearms exports (that sort of thing adds to GDP and creates jobs), (3) issued uniform rules with appropriate waiting periods and background check requirements, (4) addressed the conundrum of unlicensed dealers and unregistered sales and trades at gun shows and other industry confabs, and (5) eliminated rather than simply partially reined in junk lawsuits against the gun industry. Within such an overhaul we could come to a middle ground on assault weapons. No outright ban. But for non-military and non-law enforcement users no automatic firing capability. Cash amnesty for fully automatic assault weapons already in circulation. Or something along those lines. Not perfect. But steps in the correct direction.

    But practically speaking, for obvious reasons, not much to none of the foregoing are in the cards.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 11

  23. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    Using this statement as prima facie evidence of mental health problems one can only hope Nicko doesn’t have access to firearms….LOL

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  24. grumpy realist says:

    We’re probably not going to do anything about gun control in this country until a terrorist group realizes that it can use our incredibly lax gun control laws to create massacre after massacre. And even if they were carrying these out weekly, I’m sure we’d have some 2nd Amendment nuts who would shrug their shoulders and say “well, that’s the price of freedom.”

    How many american are going to have to die before we realize we have really, really stupid laws about this? And even more stupid cultures?

    If you want to live in a country with no gun control and you have the freedom to shoot what you want and when you want, please move to Somalia. Guns, lax regulation, and a modern society don’t mix.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 9

  25. MBunge says:

    @Ernieyeball: “Yes Mike. Cars and guns are exactly the same”

    And the right to own a gun is no different than the right to do anything else. Limiting personal autonomy NOT because of what someone does but because of what others do or because of what that someone might do in the future is a fairly serious road to go down. And that’s from someone who supports stricter gun regulations.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  26. Brummagem Joe says:

    @MBunge:

    If this is about saving lives, are we going to install engine governors on all our cars so they can’t go over 55 miles an hour?

    Oh dear me we’re back on the car accident false analogy. Yes cars can kill people but then so can kitchen knives or hammers. Planning to restrict the availability of these are you?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  27. Brummagem Joe says:

    @MBunge:

    And the right to own a gun is no different than the right to do anything else.

    Actually it is. The express function of guns is to kill people. On the other hand my and others right to attend performances of the Magic Flute has not as far as I know yet caused any fatalities.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

  28. KariQ says:

    @MBunge:

    1. Call me a kook if you want, but I’m not entirely comfortable with the government having guns and not the governed.

    Do you really think that a group of civilians are going to take their semi-automatics and overthrow a government that has jet aircraft, tanks, and more firepower than the rest of the world put together? Did the citizens of the former Soviet bloc countries overthrow their governments because of weapons?

    My personal opinion is that armed resistance to government impedes any resistance because it creates a situation where a strong military response appears justified and is likely to be supported by a significant part of the population that might otherwise be sympathetic to resistance.

    2. If this is about saving lives, are we going to install engine governors on all our cars so they can’t go over 55 miles an hour? Are we going to mandate they all have breathalyzer devices connected to the ignition so they can’t start if our blood alcohol is over the legal limit? Should we put video cameras on every corner so we can catch any crime as it happens?

    So we should abolish all safety regulations about cars because the only point of mandatory seat belts is saving lives? We should abolish drunk driving laws because the only point of them is to make the roads safer? Banks should get rid of those cameras and safety devices they have to prevent robberies because the only point is to prevent someone from getting away with a crime?

    How far we should go in the name of safety is a legitimate question, of course. But when it comes to guns, we have virtually no laws regarding them. If you drive a car, you have to prove you know how to operate it, register it with the state, and notify them if you sell it. The only reason we don’t have a similar requirement for guns is because some paranoid gun lovers start screaming how this will only let the government seize their guns, for reasons related to your first point no doubt.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 7

  29. mattb says:

    @Brummagem Joe:

    Like to give me an example of my sanctimony…….trust me I’m going to have no problem finding examples of yours because they are legion.

    I’d honestly be interested in your sharing examples of my sanctimony. I know I can get snarky, and more than occasionally smug, but what really try not to do is be hypocritical (a key component of sanctimoniousness). If you can point out where I’ve been hypocritical in this debate (and not later apologized for the mistake), I’d be really interested in seeing it.

    Beyond that, I really have no interest in continuing our back and forth.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  30. Rafer Janders says:

    @mattb:

    But again, the fact is that even with its progressive gun control laws, Norway suffer a massacre that was 3x as bad as what we just went through.

    Yes, but two points:

    1. In a typical year, less than 10 people are shot and killed in Norway compared to around 12,000 in the U.S. So while America is about 60 times bigger by population than Norway, it has 1,200 times more gun homicides. Looked at yet another way, Anders Breivik killed 68 people in his massacre. In the US, that’s the number of people killed by guns every two days.

    2. The Norwegian killer couldn’t arm himself in Norway, but had to get his ammuntion from the US. Their gun control laws worked, but he found a way to evade them by using our own lax gun control regime (“He wrote in his 1,500-page manifesto about going to a U.S. supplier to buy 10 30-round clips for his .223-caliber rifle, according to the Norwegian newspaper Aftenpost. In Norway, you can’t buy a hunting rifle clip with more than three bullets…”)

    http://opinion.latimes.com/opinionla/2011/07/breivik-got-his-ammo-here.html

    Sure, some determined psychopath can always find a way to commit a horrible crime. But here in the US, you don’t even have to be a determined psychopath, you can be a lazy, stupid moron and still arm yourself to the teeth.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4

  31. Coop says:

    @MBunge:

    1. Call me a kook if you want, but I’m not entirely comfortable with the government having guns and not the governed.

    That ship has already sailed. I’m pretty sure the U.S. military could decimate our entire citizenry in a matter of minutes if it wanted to, given its technological capabilities. A bunch of yahoos running around the streets with guns doesn’t make the slightest bit of difference.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  32. stonetools says:

    @mattb:

    But it is evidence that we cannot always prevent these acts from happening

    That’s the wrong framing of the issue. You don’t PREVENT these things from happening: nothing can do that. You lower the PROBABILITY of these things and lower their LETHALITY. You can’t prevent murder from happening: but you can lower the murder rate. You can’t prevent tornadoes from happening: but you can lower the death toll when they hit.

    Note, BTW, Doug my libertarian brother, Mr. Fox did not say that we should do nothing. On the contrary:

    The lack of any upward trend should not stop us, of course, from trying to find causes and solutions for extreme violence. A fitting the legacy to this summer’s tragedies would be the expansion of mental health services. We should also have a serious debate about sensible restrictions on gun sales but absent the politics. And perhaps we should all try harder to reach out to those around us who seem to be struggling financially, socially or psychologically.

    Seems to me he isn’t recommending hesitation: he is recommending expanding setvices for the mentally ill, more assistance for the poor , and to at least discuss gun safety legislation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  33. Brummagem Joe says:

    @mattb:

    Beyond that, I really have no interest in continuing our back and forth.

    I’m sure you don’t since I have a to you no doubt annoying habit of revealing your fatuities. On another thread you’re likening the public health problem of speeders and dui offenders to the gun problem and proposing anyone caught in a dui or speeding should be banned from driving for life…..LOL

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  34. Ebenezer_Arvigenius says:

    @Brummagem Joe:

    Actually this was his sanest comment in months.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  35. Brummagem Joe says:

    @mattb:

    I’d honestly be interested in your sharing examples of my sanctimony.

    Are you really so lacking in self knowledge?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  36. stonetools says:

    @stonetools:

    Just to drive the point home,

    There is ONE party that opposes expansion of mental health services.
    There is ONE party that opposes gun safety legislation
    There is ONE party that opposes more help for those who are struggling financially and socially

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  37. Spartacus says:

    @MBunge:

    Why should someone’s freedom of speech outweigh the public’s interest in a more moral society?

    Generally, I think a right should be curtailed only when the curtailment would produce a greater benefit (and/or less harm) than the absence of curtailment. So, if you could describe how free speech has produced an actual harm to someone (as opposed to an “extremely vague “less moral” society) I might be able to answer.

    I won’t hold my breath.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  38. Unsympathetic says:

    I think teachers should carry.

    http://www.law.harvard.edu/students/orgs/jlpp/Vol30_No2_KatesMauseronline.pdf

    The comparison to be made across national boundaries is total homicide rate — not homicide rate by method. Other countries are actually far more dangerous than the US.. i don’t care whether I’m held up with a knife or a gun, either way I’ve lost my wallet.

    Of course tragedies like SH get publicized – and they should. But remember that public policy when dealing with millions of people is a rate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 6

  39. Rafer Janders says:

    i don’t care whether I’m held up with a knife or a gun, either way I’ve lost my wallet.

    Well, since in that case you won’t be shot or stabbed, it doesn’t matter what you won’t be shot or stabbed by.

    But I’d rather someone try to stab me than shoot me, since I actually have a chance to defend myself against a knife in a way I don’t against a gun. Kiling someone with a knife is hard; killing someone with a gun is as easy as flexing your trigger finger.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 5

  40. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Ebenezer_Arvigenius:

    He thinks he’s real

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  41. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Unsympathetic:

    Other countries are actually far more dangerous than the US..

    Would you like to give us a list of these countries that in terms of deaths per capita are much more dangerous than the US.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  42. Coop says:

    @Unsympathetic:

    YES, let’s turn school classrooms into a crossfire zone! I’m sure that elementary school teachers can wield AKs with the precision of a surgeon. And as Adam Landza’s mother knows, nobody else will get their hands on those guns.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

  43. michael reynolds says:

    @MBunge:
    The car analogy is beneath you. Cars have a purpose other than killing humans. Further they are seriously regulated as regards safety.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6

  44. Andy says:

    @KariQ:

    Do you really think that a group of civilians are going to take their semi-automatics and overthrow a government that has jet aircraft, tanks, and more firepower than the rest of the world put together?

    I suggest you review recent history in the Middle East and South Asia.

    My personal opinion is that armed resistance to government impedes any resistance because it creates a situation where a strong military response appears justified and is likely to be supported by a significant part of the population that might otherwise be sympathetic to resistance.

    Well, there are a lot of successful resistance movements in history. Also a lot of unsuccessful ones. Generalizing on this topic is problematic.

    How far we should go in the name of safety is a legitimate question, of course. But when it comes to guns, we have virtually no laws regarding them.

    Almost no laws? Are you really sure about that?

    The only reason we don’t have a similar requirement for guns is because some paranoid gun lovers start screaming how this will only let the government seize their guns, for reasons related to your first point no doubt.

    Not all gun lovers are paranoid. In fact, the vast majority aren’t. In any case, accusing gun owners of being paranoid seems like a poor strategy to convince them to change their viewpoint….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  45. john personna says:

    @michael reynolds:

    The reason Mr. Cheney’s friend survived was in fact because the gun, and the bird load, were not designed to kill humans.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  46. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Unsympathetic:

    Other countries are actually far more dangerous than the US..

    Here is the data…..wow Honduras and the Congo are WAY ahead of us…..of course Canada is only a third of our overall homicide rate and Britain a quarter but we like to compare ourselves with the Congo….after all we’re so alike.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate

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  47. Rafer Janders says:

    @Andy:

    I suggest you review recent history in the Middle East and South Asia.

    Recent history shows that civilians armed with rifles are no match for a modern military armed with tanks, helicopters, jets, and other long-range weaponry. Armed insurrections only succeed when (a) an outside force intervenes or arms the rebels (as we did in Libya) and/or (b) when large portions of the military go over to the rebels (as happened in Libya and in Syria).

    No idea what the South Asia is in reference to.

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  48. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Andy:
    Almost no laws? Are you really sure about that?

    Of course we have laws but they are ineffective for a host of reasons which are known to anyone with a dimes worth of knowledge of public policy ….. porous borders, insufficient oversight etc etc……and how would you characterise the attitudes of the gun lobby in the shape of the NRA?….open minded, realistic, pragmatic, sensible?…… And to think I’ve always thought you were fairly perceptive

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  49. Rafer Janders says:

    @Andy:

    I suggest you review recent history in the Middle East and South Asia.

    OK, reviewed it,and still have no idea what you’re talking about. Can’t find any instance in which a force of domestic insurgents armed only with rifles and machine guns succeeded in overthrowing a government willing to use a modern military against them.

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  50. Jc says:

    Maybe we should focus on who are victims and attackers in mass shootings recent history I.e. attackers and victims are kids. Where is the mass shootings study looking at that? Are our future generations in jeopardy to experience this at a higher rate?

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  51. bill says:

    @Spartacus: follow the gun control regions and see what kind of effect it has, question answered. the public feels that drugs are bad too, yet they seem to find a way in as long as there’s a market.

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  52. Brummagem Joe says:

    Okay Doug I’m waiting for some substantiation of that claim that mass shootings are RARE despite the fact that there have been hundreds of them since 2005

    http://www.bradycampaign.org/xshare/pdf/major-shootings.pdf

    Doug is not a fool so why does he choose to disregard the data……..An agenda? ……oh surely not…..not an honest injun like Doug…..oooooohhhh…….my faith in human nature has been shattered…..booh hooo

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  53. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Whilst I agree entirely with your central thesis there are a couple of cases where it happened or more less happened…..Afghanistan the soviet union and dare I say it us…….Castro and Batista…..Tito and his partisans…… but these are definitely the exceptions.

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  54. Andy says:

    @Rafer Janders: Afghanistan is in south Asia. We’ve been there ten years, have we defeated the Taliban yet? Did we defeat the insurgency in Iraq, or did we co-opt it? And there are many more examples – Cuba, Hezbollah, the Arab revolt in WWI, etc.

    @Brummagem Joe:

    Of course we have laws but they are ineffective for a host of reasons which are known to anyone with a dimes worth of knowledge of public policy

    Yes, there are a lot of gun laws, some are not effective, some are not designed with gun control in mind. Every state and the federal government has some kind of gun regulation even if one doesn’t think it’s sufficient. But that’s not the point the person I responded to made.

    and how would you characterise the attitudes of the gun lobby in the shape of the NRA?….open minded, realistic, pragmatic, sensible?

    Of course the NRA isn’t open-minded, they are a single-issue lobby group. But then again, I don’t know of any single-issue lobby group that is “open minded” when it comes to their issue. Is the Brady campaign “open minded?”

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  55. Coop says:

    FYI – Brad Plummer has a new piece up on this topic, looking at the data from James Allan Fox.

    He notes that part of the reason there is no increase in Fox’s data is because he defines a “mass shooting” as any shooting with 4 or more victims in a single incident (standard FBI definition).

    If you exclude cases of gang violence and bank robberies, then mass shootings (of the kind in Newtown or Aurora) have become more common.

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  56. Andy says:

    @Coop: That makes sense, a lot depends on how one defines “mass shooting” and how one filters events to get a dataset.

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  57. wr says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: ” And let’s be blunt: they’re not the sharpest tools in the shed”

    So if they’re not sharp, does that mean they’re blunt? Just like us? And is it good for us to be blunt but bad for them to be blunt, because they are tools and we are something other than tools in which bluntness is something to be prized rather than shunned?

    For God’s sake man, I understand that you are a political and moral idiot pretending to be a wise man. But could you at least pretend to have some respect for the English language? Because sun rises in the East, what you try to pass off as writing makes my eyeballs bleed.

    “Oh, the irony… “

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  58. Rafer Janders says:

    @Andy:

    Afghanistan is in south Asia.

    Eh, culturally, geographically and historically, I consider Afghanistan to be part of Central Asia, not South Asia. But this gets rather off-topic.

    We’ve been there ten years, have we defeated the Taliban yet? Did we defeat the insurgency in Iraq, or did we co-opt it? And there are many more examples – Cuba, Hezbollah, the Arab revolt in WWI, etc.

    But you’re mixing up scenarios. The original quote, specifically,was about whether “a group of civilians are going to take their semi-automatics and overthrow a government that has jet aircraft, tanks, and more firepower than the rest of the world put together?” — with the key word being “overthrow”. None of those examples, with the possible exception of Cuba, support that. Let’s take them in order:

    Afghanistan — the Taliban have not been able to overthrow the US-backed government.

    Iraq — rebels were not able to overthrow the US-backed government.

    Cuba — that’s about the closest. But Batista’s armed forces were a long way away from the power and lethality of the US armed forces.

    Hezbollah — haven’t overthrown anyone, and are armed and equipped by Iran.

    the Arab revolt — not even close, as the Arabs were armed and supported by the British Army, including by its Navy, RAF and artillery.

    Let’s face it, Billy Bob and his Tea Party buddies armed with semi-automatics would last, oh, a good one minute against your average US Army rifle platoon. This notion that we need an armed citizenry as a bulwark agains tyranny ignores the reality of what a modern military can do.

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  59. wr says:

    @Brummagem Joe: “Would you like to give us a list of these countries that in terms of deaths per capita are much more dangerous than the US”

    Well, I’m pretty sure that there isn’t a country in the world where the death per capita is any less than 100%, but if I’m wrong, I’d love to hear about it…

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  60. Rafer Janders says:

    @Brummagem Joe:

    …..Afghanistan the soviet union and dare I say it us…….Castro and Batista…..Tito and his partisans…… but these are definitely the exceptions.

    Again, apart from Cuba, which I allowed above, those others are all cases where the insurgents received massive amounts of arms, money and material from outside sources (Afghanistan in the 80s by the US, Tito by the British and Americans, etc). And in those cases the rebels never overcame the occupier militarily, rather, the occupier eventually withdrew because of larger concerns. The US armed forces aren’t going to withdraw from America.

    The question isn’t “can a local insurgent force carry on an armed resistance against a foreign invader, so long as they receive outside support?” The question is “could armed US citizens overthrow the US government?” And the answer to that is simply no. It’s a fantasy to pretend otherwise.

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  61. mattb says:

    Couple (sanctimonious) thoughts…

    Look, most of us have brought up the issue of drunk driving as an imperfect allegory. We understand that the primary function of a car is for transportation, just as the primary function of a gun is to be a weapon. On the other hand, there is no constitutional enshrined right to drive. For better or worse there is one to bear arms.

    Look we know it’s not perfect. The reason we have been using it it — as a bit of arguing through allegory versus fully arguing for it as something we believe in — it that there is some value in the comparison.

    A vehicle can be used recklessly or safely. And there is no question of the heavy toll that drunk driving take on our population. Given that some people have raised gun violence, and in particular mass shootings, in this frame it’s worth exploring.

    Is it perfect? No.

    Does MBunge necessarily believe that every car should have a breathilized? I’m guessing not. I personally don’t believe that one offense should cost someone their license for the rest of their lives.

    But the goal here is to have a discussion (at least that is my goal).

    Perhaps that’s the bigger problem (and part of what I mean by moral panic). As of late, it seems like there is no possibility of a rational discussion on this topic. No matter how many times someone says “I believe in regulation”, offering any push back is seen as advocating for the destruction of regulation.

    And, part of the reason that I’m pushing back is that while a lot of people here are advocating for stricter gun control, the types of things that they are advocating for don’t seem to match the law’s that they are holding up as models.

    So, in this one respect, I’ve been trying to play a “conservative” (as I understand it) role. We’re not crafting law here — though it’s good to try and discuss it. And I get that part of this is an expression of pure anger and revulsion at what happened (btw, has everyone seen the Onion’s spot on take?).

    But in the quest to vent, it seems to me that attempts at rational conversation are being thrown by the wayside. And, rational conversation and debate, has always been why I’ve come to OTB.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  62. wr says:

    @Rafer Janders: “Let’s face it, Billy Bob and his Tea Party buddies armed with semi-automatics would last, oh, a good one minute against your average US Army rifle platoon. This notion that we need an armed citizenry as a bulwark agains tyranny ignores the reality of what a modern military can do. ”

    And of course it wouldn’t be a platoon. It would be a drone armed with bombs or missiles. Goober and his Tea buddies could fire their penis extenders all they wanted, and the entire toothless clan would still end up as a pile of ash.

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  63. mattb says:

    Couple (sanctimonious) thoughts…

    Look, most of us have brought up the issue of drunk driving as an imperfect allegory. We understand that the primary function of a car is for transportation, just as the primary function of a gun is to be a weapon. On the other hand, there is no constitutional enshrined right to drive. For better or worse there is one to bear arms.

    Look we know it’s not perfect. The reason we have been using it it — as a bit of arguing through allegory versus fully arguing for it as something we believe in — it that there is some value in the comparison.

    A vehicle can be used recklessly or safely. And there is no question of the heavy toll that drunk driving take on our population. Given that some people have raised gun violence, and in particular mass shootings, in this frame it’s worth exploring.

    Is it perfect? No.

    Does MBunge necessarily believe that every car should have a breathilized? I’m guessing not. I personally don’t believe that one offense should cost someone their license for the rest of their lives.

    But the goal here is to have a discussion (at least that is my goal).

    Perhaps that’s the bigger problem (and part of what I mean by moral panic). As of late, it seems like there is no possibility of a rational discussion on this topic. No matter how many times someone says “I believe in regulation”, offering any push back is seen as advocating for the destruction of regulation.

    And, part of the reason that I’m pushing back is that while a lot of people here are advocating for stricter gun control, the types of things that they are advocating for don’t seem to match the law’s that they are holding up as models.

    So, in this one respect, I’ve been trying to play a “conservative” (as I understand it) role. We’re not crafting law here — though it’s good to try and discuss it. And I get that part of this is an expression of pure anger and revulsion at what happened (btw, has everyone seen the Onion’s spot on take [which sadly breaks the spam filter due to a dirty word in the URL]?).

    But in the quest to vent, it seems to me that attempts at rational conversation are being thrown by the wayside. And, rational conversation and debate, has always been why I’ve come to OTB.

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  64. Andy says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Point taken on south vs. central Asia.

    As for the rest, I think you are talking tactics, while I am talking strategy. Rebels with AK’s aren’t going to walk over more powerful military forces, that is true. But the military dynamic is only one part of a larger political struggle. Let’s go back to what the original poster said,

    My personal opinion is that armed resistance to government impedes any resistance because it creates a situation where a strong military response appears justified and is likely to be supported by a significant part of the population that might otherwise be sympathetic to resistance.

    Is that really true in most or all cases? Armed resistance can be an expression of popular will against unjust governance. Just look at Syria, the rebels are outgunned, but who do you think will come out on top in the end? As for Iraq and Afghanistan, yes, insurgents can’t defeat the governments while they have our support, but, if history is any guide, our support will not be enduring.

    That said, I do think there is an interesting choice between armed resistance and unarmed resistance. I remember seeing some research a few years back comparing success rates between the two strategies, but I don’t recall the results.

    Anyway, I think with this kind of thing it’s hard to generalize. A lot depends on other factors, especially factors intrinsic to the specific conflict and the various parties to the conflict.

    Sorry for the thread hijack.

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  65. Andy says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    The question is “could armed US citizens overthrow the US government?” And the answer to that is simply no. It’s a fantasy to pretend otherwise.

    Missed this as I was typing. I think this is wrong or, at least, simplistic. Again, the military conflict is part of a larger political conflict. Armed US citizens would not be able to defeat the government right away – a successful insurgency would have to be able to build the ability to directly challenge government forces and eventually defeat them. Success is not guaranteed, obviously, but it’s not a fantasy either. This is a process that Mao and Giap literally wrote the book on.

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  66. mattb says:

    @Brummagem Joe:

    Of course we have laws but they are ineffective for a host of reasons which are known to anyone with a dimes worth of knowledge of public policy ….. porous borders, insufficient oversight etc etc……

    You raise two key points here:
    1. That only a federal solution will work to this problem. Generally speaking, if things are left to individual states then things will always leak.
    2. That whatever solution is enacted, funding needs to be put in place for enforcement. Especially if we attempt anything as radical as a restriction on magazine size with no grandfathering.

    All that said, in the recent mass shootings, have porous state borders at all come into play? My understanding is, that in each case, the firearms were legally bought based on the rules of the state that the individuals occupied (even in the case of CT which has pretty.

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  67. Hal 10000 says:

    I looked at this on my own blog. There are simply too few of these events to draw any conclusion from. You can start playing with bumps and wiggles in the graph. But when you have such rare events — 1 or 2 a year, often 0 — you just can’t make heads or tails of them. Each one is obviously horrific. But you’re talking about less than half of a percent of total violent killings.

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  68. Hal 10000 says:

    On the whole, gun violence and violent crime are down 40-50% off their peak. That has happened without many of the big policies people trot out every time a tragedy occurs.

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  69. Jack says:

    @Spartacus: Then I’ll reply if no one else want’s to step up. It’s because your wishes don’t trump my rights. Booya!

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  70. Jack says:

    @Coop: Isn’t that why we are going on 10 years in Afghanistan?

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  71. Unsympathetic says:

    @Brummagem Joe:

    The US is an outlier no matter how you slice the data.

    You have to go to a country with a genocide actually taking place to find a country with a similar rate of both murder and gun violence. That doesn’t strike you as odd?

    But hey, freedom must be having guns and not doing anything with them except killing defenseless people and dreaming of zombies.

    Because, of course, the instant you attempt to say anything remotely containing political content – you become a disappeared terrorist, with or without those guns.

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  72. Brummagem Joe says:

    @wr:

    Well, I’m pretty sure that there isn’t a country in the world where the death per capita is any less than 100%, but if I’m wrong, I’d love to hear about it…

    True, my mistake, so we could have said deaths per 1000 or per 100,000…..answers?

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  73. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Unsympathetic:

    The US is an outlier no matter how you slice the data.

    This wasn’t the thrust of your argument….this was

    The comparison to be made across national boundaries is total homicide rate — not homicide rate by method. Other countries are actually far more dangerous than the US..

    Other countries in our peer group are NOT far more dangerous than the US as you suggested.

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  74. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Again, apart from Cuba, which I allowed above, those others are all cases where the insurgents received massive amounts of arms, money and material from outside

    I agree totally with your central thesis but this doesn’t mean there haven’t been the odd exceptions. In Afghanistan at the moment the Taliban are essentially fighting with light weaponry and homemade bombs and essentially they’ve held us to a stalemate and how long do you think Karzai is going to last when we depart. The same was true of Tito who didn’t have tanks and heavy artillery to take on the 11 divisions of the Wehrmacht. No one for a minute believes uncle bubba and his militia would last five minutes but this doesn’t mean there haven’t been the odd insurgencies that have succeeded.

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  75. michael reynolds says:

    Gun lovers can squirm and evade and yell “Look, over there!” all they want. It doesn’t change the facts:

    1) We have a far, far higher murder rate than our peer group in the world.

    2) There is no rational argument — not a single one — for private ownership of guns.

    3) Owning a gun puts other people at risk. Period.

    We do not need private ownership of guns. Owning a gun is an irresponsible act that endangers other people as well as the owner.

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  76. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Andy:

    Just look at Syria, the rebels are outgunned, but who do you think will come out on top in the end?

    Actually Syria isn’t a very good example. The rebels are outgunned but not massively…..at least a quarter of the Syrian army has gone over to them and they’ve received considerable help from outside. For insurgencies to be successful they generally need a lot of help from outside and most important the state they are trying to overthrow has to be shaky already.

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  77. @Rafer Janders:

    Armed insurrections only succeed when (a) an outside force intervenes or arms the rebels (as we did in Libya) and/or (b) when large portions of the military go over to the rebels (as happened in Libya and in Syria).

    Exactly.

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  78. @Rafer Janders: In re: Cuba, it is worth noting that the Cuban Revolution was not a case of the military might of the rebels defeating the state’s military. Rather, it was about the collapse of that state due to the conjunction of several factors including, but by no means limited to a) the withdrawal of US support for the Batista regime, b) the alienation of large sectors, up to portions of the middle and upper classes, of Cuban society who were ready to see Batista go, and c) the poorly institutionalized nature of the Cuban state under Batista–i.e., it crumbled once Batista saw that it was time to leave.

    Yes, the guerrillas played a role, but it was not a case of those guerrillas simply militarily overpowering the state (indeed, that’s not what Che’s foco strategy was about).

    There has been no example of armed insurrection defeating an institutionalized, established state that maintained control of its military. There is also usually some substantial exogenous event of consequence that weakens the status quo military–e.g., WWI in the case of the Russian Revolution or WWII in the case of the Chinese.

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  79. @Rafer Janders:

    Let’s face it, Billy Bob and his Tea Party buddies armed with semi-automatics would last, oh, a good one minute against your average US Army rifle platoon. This notion that we need an armed citizenry as a bulwark agains tyranny ignores the reality of what a modern military can do.

    Yup.

    It’s pure fantasy.

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  80. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Andy:

    This is a process that Mao and Giap literally wrote the book on.

    Actually the Russians made it possible for Mao to take over China. When the war ended they occupied large parts of China including Manchuria which was one of the main industrial centers of China when the Japanese withdrew and then handed it all over to Mao. They also gave him massive military assistance. Without this support and territory he was given on a plate he wouldn’t have been able to beat the nationalists.

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  81. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    It’s pure fantasy.

    It is. Some of the statements from the gun crowd do beggar belief….eg. if all guns were licensed the govt could come and take them away from you……so why doesn’t the government come and take your car?…..LOL

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  82. Jack says:

    @michael reynolds: From my cold dead hands.

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  83. michael reynolds says:

    @Jack:

    Not trying to take it from you, dude. Inviting you and those like you to grow up, realize you’re doing wrong, and stop.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

  84. Andy says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    There has been no example of armed insurrection defeating an institutionalized, established state that maintained control of its military. There is also usually some substantial exogenous event of consequence that weakens the status quo military–e.g., WWI in the case of the Russian Revolution or WWII in the case of the Chinese.

    Well, when you put it that way, yes. Take away any advantage insurgents have and they are not likely to win. But all insurgencies aren’t like that and we shouldn’t assume that any future insurgency in the US would necessarily be limited to just a bunch of tea partiers with guns (and, for the record, I think the chances of an actual insurgency in the US are very remote).

    But as I pointed out before, there is more than a military struggle going on, it is ultimately a political struggle for power with a military element. Building domestic and international support is part of the process of taking power from an established government. Insurgencies don’t necessarily start from day 1 with foreign supply chain, foreign political support and/or a large military thanks to defections. These things must be built before the government can be seriously challenged. So I think it is premature to preemptively declare that there is no way a nascent insurgency could possibly win based solely on the initial ratio of military power, much less declare it a fantasy.

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  85. C. Barnes says:

    @michael reynolds: Jamaica: some of the strongest gun control laws in the world, and the second highest death by firearm rate. Your generalization is flatly untrue.

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  86. C. Barnes says:

    @Unsympathetic: Mexico, Jamaica… both countries with much worse problems, no? And not because of genocide. I may be wrong; happy to be corrected.

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  87. matt says:

    This feeds into the same gut check that people are ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE that crime has been on the rise for years when in reality crime rates were dropping..

    There’s far too many people in this thread who are succumbing to emotions. This thread is littered with ignorant comments by people who aren’t interested in rational discussion (Michael and crew for example). Instead of listening they only want to scream and slander.

    If we as a country relied more on facts and logic we’d be a lot better off. Even Mattb has grown tired of attempting to reason with these people.

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  88. matt says:

    @michael reynolds: Prime example of massive ignorance despite having a wealth of counter information available to him. In an ideal world he’d read what others have to say and realize that his absolution is wrong. Instead he continues to slander legal law abiding citizens because of his own fears and ignorance.

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  89. @Andy: But what your are agreeing with is my basic point: an armed citizenry is not a special bulwark against tyranny, nor is it a special foundation upon which to built a rebellion. Reality is far more complicated than that.

    It actually is fantasy that having a gun owning population is a protection against a government becoming tyrannical.

    This is not to say that I am suggesting we have to round up all the guns (although I am at a loss as to why people need semi-automatic weapons with 30-round clips), but I am saying that of the arguments for private ownership of guns, protections against a tyrannical government is actually one lousy argument.

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  90. BTW, I am not sure that “Are Mass Shootings Really On The Rise?” is really the pertinent question here. I utterly agree that we have to aware that what we think is on the rise (crime, shark attacks, whatever) can be heavily influences by the news. Further, it is good to know what the actual facts are.

    However, the issue is not whether they are on the rise in terms of determining how top deal with them. Regardless of the trend line, I find one mass shooting of this type, let alone two in a year, to be rather alarming. That’s the real issue.

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  91. Brummagem Joe says:

    @C. Barnes:

    Mexico, Jamaica… both countries with much worse problems, no? And not because of genocide. I may be wrong; happy to be corrected.

    Wow Barnes thinks the US is Jamaica….LOL. Jamaica and Mexico are not first world countries. The fact you have to look to these sort of places to justify your argument is evidence of just how ridiculous it is. In the industrialized world we’re the only country with a huge gun homicide problem and we have overall homicide rates up to 15 times greater. Our gun regulations are notably more lax than any of our peer group in fact they are an international joke. Our problem is not all a coincidence.

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  92. Brummagem Joe says:

    @matt:

    There’s far too many people in this thread who are succumbing to emotions.

    Of course your emotion and prejudice play no role whatever in your mindset. We can tell that by miles of comment (most of it baloney) on this subject you have posted over the last few days……LOL

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  93. Jen says:

    Before we go making social policy, perhaps we need to ask ourselves if we want to base changes in the law on events that don’t happen very often.

    Another thing that is fairly rare are terrorist attacks on US soil. But we created agencies–TSA and Homeland Security–started two wars, instituted many new airport policies making air travel incredibly annoying, and last but not least spent billions of dollars to mitigate that threat.

    I have no problem putting some further restrictions on guns. Frankly, if 2nd amendment advocates had any sense, they’d be in favor of restrictions too–the more these things happen, the more likely it is that people will demand more change. In marketing terms, the nuts that go on shooting sprees are damaging their brand.

    The car analogy mentioned upthread is ridiculous. A car is designed to get you from point A to point B. A gun is designed to kill or maim.

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  94. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Jen:

    Another thing that is fairly rare are terrorist attacks on US soil.

    You’re right about our different responses to gun outrages and just about everything else from terrorist attacks to salmonella outbreaks. But then Doug’s claim that mass shootings are rare is a complete fiction. In fact they are everyday occurrences although they vary in scale and this latest one was particularly egregious. But a dead child killed in an incident with three or four fatalities but which is off the national radar remains just as dead as one of the 20 in Newtown.

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  95. michael reynolds says:

    @C. Barnes:
    You consider Jamaica a “peer?” Jamaica?

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  96. john personna says:

    You know, Florida has an invasive python problem and is going to have a public hunt, a derby, in a little while. Instructions are that hunters humanely dispatch their snake.

    Perhaps “no gun” types can think of some convoluted solution, but as long as we are not all vegans who want even invasive pythons to live, this doesn’t seem so bad.

    (I believe Everglade hunting regs have a max magazine restriction that is fairly low.)

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  97. michael reynolds says:

    @john personna:

    I’m assuming you’re being funny. You aren’t actually suggesting we need a nation with more than a hundred million guns and thousands of gun deaths to kill snakes in Florida.

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  98. michael reynolds says:

    @matt:

    Would you care to explain where you think I’m wrong?

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  99. mattb says:

    @michael reynolds:

    There is no rational argument — not a single one — for private ownership of guns.

    Michael, in all seriousness, is there a rational argument for private ownership of any potentially functional weapon (note that I only talking about things that are intended to function as weapons, not the entire car can be a weapon argument)?

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  100. Rob in CT says:

    Another thing that is fairly rare are terrorist attacks on US soil. But we created agencies–TSA and Homeland Security–started two wars, instituted many new airport policies making air travel incredibly annoying, and last but not least spent billions of dollars to mitigate that threat

    Which I for one thing was an overreaction. But yes, the difference is stark.

    The thing with the car analogy is that we do in fact heavily regulate cars (both manufacture & use). I also remember, btw, way back in 2001, a few folks tried arguing (entirely unsuccessfully) that the 9/11 death toll was dwarfed by traffic deaths and other routine things that we, on some level or another, tolerate. That argument didn’t work then and probably won’t work now (though I think the point about relative scale of harm is a good one).

    From what I can tell, there is some good “low hanging fruit” available to us here wrt guns. Magazine size. Closing the “gun show loophole.”

    Also attacking the mental health side, and other non-gun-regulation policies that might help us continue/accelerate the ongoing (~20yrs) drop in violent crime.

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  101. john personna says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I was trying to gently remind that ethical uses still exist.

    As a meat eater, who thinks a wild deer might have a better life, all told, than a feedlot steer, I am open to such things.

    Frankly I don’t think “guns are only to kill people” hyperbole is useful. Sure, you might get some ready to forget 100000 of human hunting with projectile weapons (300 with guns), but you are singing to a fringe choir at that point.

    And guns purposed for hunting are less useful and I think less interesting to the unstable.

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  102. michael reynolds says:

    @mattb:

    If there is a rational argument, make it. The idea that an armed population safeguards liberty is an adolescent hero fantasy. It’s something I’d put in a book and call it fiction.

    The self-defense argument is obviously nonsense.

    As for your attempt to turn the issue around, there’s a problem: there is no counterpart to the gun. Knives have legitimate purposes — cooking, for example.

    The self-defense weapon we have added to our arsenal is called the cell phone. Call 911. Put decent locks on your doors, check that things are locked up, and fund a competent police force. That’s rational self-defense. The rest of this is juvenile male hero fantasy. You want to be a hero? Join the army.

    Your guns endanger innocent people. That’s not opinion, that’s fact. Your guns are second-hand smoke writ large.

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  103. Andy says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    But what your are agreeing with is my basic point: an armed citizenry is not a special bulwark against tyranny, nor is it a special foundation upon which to built a rebellion. Reality is far more complicated than that.

    No, what I am agreeing to is that any group of lightly-armed citizens is not going to waltz into Washington or any other capital and overthrow the government. But that’s not the only scenario.

    It actually is fantasy that having a gun owning population is a protection against a government becoming tyrannical.

    Parsing that carefully, I would agree that it can’t prevent a government from becoming tyrannical, though the framers thought that an armed citizenry organized into state militias would serve as a check on federal power. That’s not the world we live in now obviously.

    However, more generally, it’s not a fantasy that lightly armed groups cannot protect themselves and their base of support from a tyrannical government. It’s happening right now all over the world where insurgent groups are not able to defeat the established government and “take over” but neither is the government able to defeat the insurgents. And most of these groups are lightly armed and suffer from a significant disadvantage in terms of military organization and firepower. They survive by waging a war of the flea and, as Mao said, by “swimming among the people.” Such cases are not at all a “fantasy” and I don’t see why anyone should assume that similar situations could not develop in the US and that the 200-300 million civilians weapons in this country would be a complete non-factor. What is a fantasy, IMO, is the assumption that government forces will inevitably steamroll any opposition because of a simplistic calculation of the disparity in firepower.

    As I already noted, the Taliban are growing in strength despite all the aid for the Afghan government and in the face of US military capabilities. A Taliban unit cannot stand toe to toe with a US Army rifle platoon any more than Billy and Bob could – but they don’t need to. Any group that sought to challenge US Government legitimacy in the face of what it perceives as government tyranny is not going allow itself to go toe-to-toe with Army Platoons. They will do what the Taliban are doing, what Phillipine insurgents have done for decades, what the FARC is doing Columbia, what the Pashtuns have been doing for over a century in the Pakistani tribal belt, etc. And in such a case, haveing a supply of weapons an ammunition at the ready would not be an incidental factor.

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  104. michael reynolds says:

    @john personna:

    Hunters are small and declining percentage of Americans. If you want people to hunt, fine, place weapons in hunting clubs as they do in some (can’t recall which) European countries and let the hunters take them out at appropriate times of year for the sole purpose of hunting.

    Of course hunters also manage to kill innocent people every year, (just the first one that popped up) but if the macho must be served, let it be served in a minimally destructive way. Managing hunting through clubs might help minimize the percentage of hunters who aren’t hunting so much as staggering drunk through the woods with a shotgun.

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  105. michael reynolds says:

    @john personna:

    By the way, for a guy who believes optimistically that we can be moved from SUV’s to bikes and hybrids, you’re awfully pessimistic about the long-term power of social change on guns. Minds can be changed on this.

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  106. Andy says:

    @michael reynolds:

    By the way, for a guy who believes optimistically that we can be moved from SUV’s to bikes and hybrids, you’re awfully pessimistic about the long-term power of social change on guns. Minds can be changed on this

    I definitely agree that minds can be changed on this. However, your tactics don’t make much sense to me. Comparing gun owners to pedophiles and adolescents (and the other derogatory terms you’ve thrown around), does not strike me as a winning strategy for changing minds, or convincing people that your position is a reasonable one.

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  107. Just Me says:

    The TSA example might be a good comparison, however how many people in this discussion think the TSA, Homeland Security and all the stupid rules to get on an airplane make sense?

    So people here are advocating for less of those things while advocating for more gun control. At least the advocates for less gun control aren’t asking the TSA to get more invasive.

    Also, one thing of interest in the time-line is that it took 20 minutes for police and first responders to arrive at the school. A lot of people can die in 20 minutes. If it takes cops 20 minutes to arrive, even if the size of clips were lowered a lot of kids are going to die. Twenty minutes is too long for cops to get to a school where the vast majority of victims aren’t even large enough to overpower the shooter.

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  108. burn321 says:

    @michael reynolds: Mike you are right. I belive our culture of violance and gun ownership can be turned around. there is no place for guns in the home. We do not need violance on TV and get rid of these video games that have people shooting each other.

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  109. michael reynolds says:

    @Andy:

    I never compared gun owners to pedophiles.

    But their fantasies are adolescent and their arguments are irrational. Minds are changed by many means. The cigarette war rested on shaming people, ostracizing them, as well as gently persuading them. I think that’s probably a good model.

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  110. burn321 says:

    You have a sick person who feels no emotion you give him glorified violance on TV and give him video games of killing humans and a tool to do it like a gun and this what occurs if we remove all 3 from our culture we will be better off and safer.

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  111. burn321 says:

    If you feel you need violance on TV you are SICK. If You Feel you need to kill people on a video game for fun you are very sick. If you own a gun you are weak

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  112. john personna says:

    @michael reynolds:

    What are you going to do, eject Alaska from the Union?

    BTW, I own three expensive bikes. Some people DO think that is crazy.

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  113. burn321 says:

    Remove violance from our cultre

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  114. Andy says:

    @michael reynolds: I went back and looked it up. I guess you are technically correct:

    People who collect guns, especially more than one, are psychological counterparts to people who collect kiddie porn.”

    A distinction without much difference IMO. Regardless, I’m not sure who such comparisons are designed to persuade.

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  115. mattb says:

    @michael reynolds:

    The self-defense argument is obviously nonsense.

    Ok… can you point out why that is obvious nonsense? Seriously Michael, such a wholesale dismissal is beyond you. There is no rational argument for the use of a firearm (and I’m not suggesting here a rocket launcher or fully automatic weapon) as a viable choice for self defense?

    Note that this is different than suggesting a gun is *the right choice* for everyone when it comes to self defense. Or that everyone lives in a situation where they should have a gun.

    As for your attempt to turn the issue around, there’s a problem: there is no counterpart to the gun. Knives have legitimate purposes — cooking, for example.

    Dodge… not that I specifically stated functional weapons. I wasn’t thinking about cooking knives at all. I was thinking about the wide range of “tactical knives” currently available, going from your basic tactical folder to more exotic types like balisongs (butterfly knives) or kerambit. What about swords — both those that already have and edge (both display and functional) and any that can easily have an edge put on them?

    The fact is that there are a LOT of weapons out there. And while they don’t have the immediate power of a gun, they can still do a LOT of damage in a short amount of time (see the spate of blade based attacks in Chinese schools).

    Is there a rational reason for owning a live katana? Or a balisong?

    The self-defense weapon we have added to our arsenal is called the cell phone. Call 911.

    I completely agree. And that is a good option when available.

    Your guns endanger innocent people. That’s not opinion, that’s fact. Your guns are second-hand smoke writ large.

    Again, I don’t own guns.

    But I do know a number of people who do. And whose gun are always locked up when not in use and are not carried for self defense. Those guns don’t endanger me.

    Likewise I know a number of people who own a lot of bladed weapons. Those weapons when not in used are kept secured. Those weapons don’t endanger me.

    There is nothing wrong with *regulated* responsible ownership. And including in those regulations measures that maker mass shooting more difficult — magazine restrictions — make total sense.

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  116. mattb says:

    @michael reynolds:
    Actually, the more I think about it, the best counterpoint to your stance on guns is actually alcohol. Every arguement you make about the irrationality of guns can also be made about alcohol.

    Is there a rational argument, especially in the wake of all of the negative data about alcohol and its effect on culture, for continuing to allow a poison (that’s what it is) to be legally held and consumed by private citizens?

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  117. mattb says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Of course hunters also manage to kill innocent people every year, (just the first one that popped up) but if the macho must be served, let it be served in a minimally destructive way.

    Just for the record, living in the north east, I know and have met a number of lower income people who subsistence hunt for economic reasons. Additionally we have a lot of hunting here that’s necessary for ecological reasons to keep deer and other populations healthy. Likewise I know other who hunt for both cultural and subsistence reasons.

    Macho/game hunting is something I personally find repugnant. That said, its a mistake to look at all hunters as doing it for macho reasons.

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  118. Rafer Janders says:

    @Andy:

    A Taliban unit cannot stand toe to toe with a US Army rifle platoon any more than Billy and Bob could – but they don’t need to.

    A Taliban unit comprised of Aghan tribesmen from clans which have been at almost continuous war for over 30 years and operating within the rugged fastnesses of Afghanistan is an entirely different thing than Billy and Bob and their buddies in the Selma suburbs. It’s not even an apples and oranges comparison — it’s apples and bicycles.

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  119. Rafer Janders says:

    @john personna:

    What are you going to do, eject Alaska from the Union?

    Sell it to Canada, probably….

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  120. Rafer Janders says:

    @Andy:

    Such cases are not at all a “fantasy” and I don’t see why anyone should assume that similar situations could not develop in the US and that the 200-300 million civilians weapons in this country would be a complete non-factor.

    OK, please sketch out a plausible scenario by which a similar situation could develop in the US.

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  121. mattb says:

    @michael reynolds:

    The idea that an armed population safeguards liberty is an adolescent hero fantasy. It’s something I’d put in a book and call it fiction.

    Generally speaking, I agree with this btw.

    Though I would revise it to an individual who is trained in interpersonal combat and conflict resolution safeguards their individual liberty. Isn’t that the theme of most “man vs.” stories?

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  122. @michael reynolds:
    They are dangerous tools which have no legitimate use in society outside of police, military or a hunter’s hands. You like to target shoot? Too bad. Find another hobby.

    And yet somehow, hunting, which actually involves the taking of life, is legitimate in your mind and target shooting, which involves punching holes in paper sheets or shattering inanimate pieces of clay, is not.

    And the typical target firearm is much larger (harder to conceal) and much heavier (more unwieldy) than the typical hunting gun. Target rifles are almost all manually-operated, single-shot models with either no or very low magazine capacity. Very few target shotguns is use at matches hold more than two shells at a time.

    Way to think straight there, Michael.

    I guess we need to advise that hotbed of NRA robots, the International Olympic Committee, that the shooting sports have to be dropped. because, you know, they are so violent and Olympic athletes are all looming mass murderers. Or something.

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  123. @Ernieyeball:

    Guess you missed where Doug wrote, “Now it goes without saying that one of these incidents is one too many … .”

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  124. Rafer Janders says:

    @mattb:

    Every arguement you make about the irrationality of guns can also be made about alcohol.

    Well….no. Not at all. A gun is specifically designed to allow you to quickly kill large numbers of other people with ease. Alcohol is not designed to kill you or others, though if abused it can kill, but only you and not other people, and not immediately. The key thing about guns is that they are not just a danger to you, but a danger to others, and more than that to large numbers of others.

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  125. Andy says:

    @michael reynolds: So hunting is a legitimate hobby but target shooting isn’t? And only our right honorable police and our brave illustrious military can bear arms? Because right honorable police never ever ever shoot anybody without just-cause or just for kicks? Oh and of course the people that don’t care to follow the law, them too obviously because the federal government has proven highly effective at keeping prohibited items off the street. Also did you even read the article that said mass shootings are in fact not on the rise or a new phenomenon, before you decided instinctively lash out against guns?

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  126. Andy says:

    @Rafer Janders:That’s a distinction without a difference unless you believe Americans are incapable of fighting when they think it’s necessary. Not everyone who becomes insurgents is born into a fighting culture.

    I really don’t see how you can be so absolutist about that – that there is no conceivable way for US citizens to resist the military power of the US government. People resist governments all over the world and throughout history. What is unique about the US where this is impossible?

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  127. bk says:

    @burn321:

    Remove violance from our cultre

    Require some basic literacy to comment on this blog.

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  128. Andy says:

    @Andy: Um, that Andy isn’t me, BTW.

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  129. mattb says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    A gun is specifically designed to allow you to quickly kill large numbers of other people with ease.

    Fair. But this is true of any weapon. People do not make inefficient weapons.

    Alcohol is not designed to kill you or others, though if abused it can kill, but only you and not other people, and not immediately.

    Alcohol is “designed” to be a narcotic. It’s designed to have a mind altering effect on the body.

    though if abused it can kill, but only you and not other people, and not immediately.

    Clearly you have no experience with alcohol abuse and the terrible, inter-generational effects it can have on families. I’d suggest going to some ALANON meetings or talking with battered spouse counselors before making such overarching and foolish statements. And that’s before we get to DWI/DUI.

    Or is it the case that alcohol doesn’t kill people, people kill people?

    More civilians have have victims of emotional, psychological, and physical violence due to alcohol than guns.

    But we manage to “safely” regulate it.

    And it somehow manages to allow it to exist (while being regulated) and run PSA campaigns to discourage the aspect of it that we have deemed socially dangerous.

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  130. Rafer Janders says:

    @Andy:

    It’s not that there’s anything unique about the US, or that there’s no way it could ever happen. But in the US as presently constituted, with the government we have, in the modern era, there’s no way. Sure, we can all come up with some sort of The Postman/Handmaid’s Tale/Revolution/Hunger Games etc. dysfunctional scenario — but that’s all it would be, a fantasy, and really has no relevance to today’s on the ground debate in reality about what to do about guns now. It’s a mentally mastubatory sideshow, a waste of time on a remote possiblity rather than actual probability.

    Also, too, re this “guns will protect us against tyranny” — c’mon, the very first thing a tyrannical government would do would be to take everyone’s guns. It’s a tautology. For the scenario to work, you’d have to assume a government so lost to modern representative democracy that you’d be justified to resist it with armed force, and yet not so tyrannical that it wouldn’t, as one of its first acts, already have taken everyone’s weapons.

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  131. Rafer Janders says:

    @mattb:

    Clearly you have no experience with alcohol abuse and the terrible, inter-generational effects it can have on families.

    Um, look at my name. I’m Irish.

    But c’mon, you’re being silly. My drunken uncle with a gun can shoot me and all my sisters right now, and there’s nothing I can do about it. My drunken uncle with a bottle of Scotch can get very drunk, and can over the years make our lives hell, but there’s a lot we can do about it and a lot of time to do it in.

    There’s no coming back from a death by gunshot. There is coming back from alcohol abuse, as the very existence of groups such as ALANON demonstrates.

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  132. Brummagem Joe says:

    These threads about gun deaths and the need to regulate guns are an endless source of lies and fallacies that range from the merely incorrect to the totally imbecilic. This one started out with Doug telling what is basically a complete falsehood and went downhill from there. We’ve had comparisons of the US with third world countries some of them with low level wars going on; the usefulness of semi autos in potential uprisings against the US govt; analogies between guns and autos and alchohol; suggestions that banning dui and speeding offenders for life would make a greater contribution to public health than banning guns; suggestions that curing insanity is a viable response to this problem; and lots more I can’t remember……It was ever thus.

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  133. mattb says:

    Also, as I asked above, if the issue is weapons and civilians possessing the ability to efficiently harm and kill, why do we allow martial arts to be taught to civilians?

    Short of the watered down material taught at many strip mall schools, the entire purpose of martial arts is to efficiently weaponize the body. And any advanced martial art (versus combat sport) is going to teach the use of weapons to maximize damage.

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  134. Brummagem Joe says:

    @mattb:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Watch it Rafer…..this genius will soon be accusing you of being pro drunk driving…..LOL

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  135. mattb says:

    @Rafer Janders:
    So basically you are saying that we as a society are willing to continue to endure the scars and pain of alcohol abuse. But that we should not be willing to allow someone to safely possess regulated weapons on the outside chance that weapon or that individual might hurt someone.

    My point is not that alcohol should be banned. It’s that our continued tolerance of it, and regulation of it, given the vast amount of pain it has caused (and frankly, you are treating it’s effects rather lightly based on my experiences of people who have suffered intentional and unintentional abuse at the hands/words of alcoholics) is fundamentally as irrational as allowing civilians to own regulated guns.

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  136. Rafer Janders says:

    @mattb:

    Or is it the case that alcohol doesn’t kill people, people kill people?

    Tell you what — the day that I can force my way into a classroom, get 20 six years olds hooked on booze and turn them onto a years-long descent into alcoholism that will eventually lead to all their deaths through drunk driving and cirrhosis, and manage to do all that before being wrestled away by some adults, then I’ll accept that guns and alcohol are equivalent in their ability to do immediate and irrevocable damage.

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  137. mattb says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    My drunken uncle with a bottle of Scotch can get very drunk, and can over the years make our lives hell, but there’s a lot we can do about it and a lot of time to do it in.

    Btw, it’s not “drunken uncles” that I’m concerned about. It’s drunken fathers, mothers, and siblings. Again, using the meme of the “drunken uncle” is an easy way of sidestepping the point — not unlike some of the things that anti-gun regulation people do to minimize the damage that guns have done.

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  138. @michael reynolds:

    1) We have a far, far higher murder rate than our peer group in the world..
    Yes, this is inarguable. It is a true cause of national shame. And yet, I have to wonder again, with all the talk about America’s gun culture, why do people of your side of the issue spend all their time talking about the guns and no time talking about the culture? For example:
    Mass killings are a male problem

    American gun culture illustrated

    This:

    … by the time an average child leaves elementary school, he or she will have witnessed 8,000 murders and over 100,000 other acts of violence. By the time that child is 18 years-of-age; he or she will witness 200,000 acts of violence, including 40,000 murders. One 17-year longitudinal study concluded that teens who watched more than one hour of TV a day were almost four times as likely as other teens to commit aggressive acts in adulthood

    Homicides by American ethnicity (BJS)

    2) There is no rational argument — not a single one — for private ownership of guns.
    Except you have already in a comment to this post said that hunting is. Also, self defense absolutely is a rational argument for ownership of guns, and I do not even mean here defense against human attackers. My wife and I were both attacked one day by a loose pit bull dog. Yes, I mean attacked. I found the toe of my walking shoe wholly inadequate to defend.

    Ranchers and many others in the western US fairly routinely have to defend their herds or themselves from predator animals, especially wolves. On another post, a commenter related how on his own property he had been charged by five wolves. He was very glad he had with him his .223 rifle with a 30-round mag because he had to drop two wolves before the others ran off. It took more than 10 rounds because he reasonably started firing as soon as he saw them charging. “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes” is good advice for people with muskets, not so much with a long-range rifle facing multiple predators.

    3) Owning a gun puts other people at risk.
    Well, yes and no. Yes, if the firearm is handled improperly, stored improperly or stolen (as A.. Lanza stole the guns he used) or used to commit a crime. No if these things don’t happen. Guns are inanimate, they don’t operate themselves. Perhaps discussions about gun control need to include user control, too. Example, for a long time some have advocated technological tools to make a handgun inoperable except by a coded-in user (such as Bond’s Walther pistol in Skyfall). The technology isn’t really quite there yet (except in the fictional Q lab) but it’s almost certainly possible and reliably so. The gun lobby will scream that the added cost is unbearable and unfair, to which I would give the same answer you gave about target shooting: tough. If his mom’s guns had been so coded, Lanza would not have been armed. Just a thought.

    I personally am entirely open to requiring background checks for transfer between private individuals, though I think the enforcement problem would be huge. Contrary to what most people think about gun shows, the bulk of private sales there are from a private individual to a licensed dealer, who upon resale has to put that buyer through the whole nine yards.

    While I’m on that subject, there is no such thing as an “unlicensed dealer.” There are licensed dealers and unlawful dealers. I had this conversation with a badged and credentialed BATF agent, who told me that the bureau is well aware the scam of multiple and repeated sales by an unlicensed seller under the pretense that the sales are private. As far as the BATF is concerned, selling guns for the purpose of generating income makes you a dealer, regardless of whether you possess a federal firearms license. And doing that, unlicensed, makes you a criminal as the law exists now. Problem is, he said, that the criminals who do this are not so stupid as to do it at gun shows.

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  139. mattb says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    then I’ll accept that guns and alcohol are equivalent in their ability to do immediate and irrevocable damage.

    If that’s the measure, then we return to swords, knives, machetes, and martial arts (not to mention cars, 747’s and everyday cleaning supplies).

    It’s a framework, where I agree, you are always right. There are things that can, if abused, cause irreparable damage. I think that they should be regulated.

    My point is more with the argument that there is no value or rational reason for allowing civilian’s to own guns. This was articulated by @michael reynolds here:

    There is no rational argument — not a single one — for private ownership of guns.

    Just out of curiosity, what’s you’re view on this?

    And then can you give me the rational reason for alcohol ownership?

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  140. Rafer Janders says:

    Just out of curiosity, what’s you’re view on this?

    My view? I think guns are, for lack of a better word, cool. I enjoy shooting guns. I would, if I had my druthers, have a gun room with every gun I’ve had on my wish list since childhood, and I’d have a gun range in the basement. I think target shooting is a great sport, and I’ve known families that still hunt to put food on the table.

    However….as much as I personally would love to have guns, I’m no longer sure that the broader societal damage is worth the cost. Just because I’d like to do something doesn’t mean it’s a good idea for everyone, and I’m willing to give up a benefit for everyone else’s sake. If I were king, I’d still allow gun ownership, but on a much more restricted Canadian/Australian/German/Swiss etc. model.

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  141. mattb says:

    @Rafer Janders:
    So, if I’m reading you right, you disagree with Michael’s position as well, just not so strongly.

    As far as your point:

    I’m no longer sure that the broader societal damage [of guns] is worth the cost. Just because I’d like to do something doesn’t mean it’s a good idea for everyone, and I’m willing to give up a benefit for everyone else’s sake.

    I think this is why I bring up alcohol as an analogous item to guns.

    The reason alcohol is allowed in our culture is that people enjoy its consumption. But there is no rational reason for it’s continued existence other than personal enjoyment. And it’s caused a LOT of suffering (though mostly invisible). But we’re willing to allow that suffering and abuse to continue because (beyond the genie being out of the bottle), we don’t want to lose our own ability to enjoy alcohol.

    But, beyond selfishness, is there a rational reason to allow for “civilians” for lack of a better term to own alcohol?

    Then again, selfishness is rational (at least until it isn’t).

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  142. CB says:

    @Brummagem Joe:

    As someone who enjoys reading the comments here, can i ask you to tone down the petulance and incredulity? Youre kinda being unnecesarily dickish to people with histories of reasoned argument and politeness. Just sayin’.

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  143. Just Me says:

    Michael Reynolds-clearly you have never felt the need to hunt and likely don’t care for eating wild game.

    I know very few people who hunt for the machoism, or even for the fun. I don’t know anyone personally who hunts solely to kill something.

    Most hunters (and this closer to all but there might be an exception somewhere) I know hunt to put food on the table and because they like venison.

    My brother in law doesn’t buy beef at the grocery, he hunts, and stocks his freezer with deer. How exactly is hunting for the food that goes on your table less moral than buying it neatly wrapped in plastic at the grocery store?

    You are projecting your own opinion for why people hunt onto hunters in general.

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  144. Pharoah Narim says:

    Repub response to fiscal crisis: We have a spending problem

    Dem response to mass shootings: We have gun problem

    I’ve really had it with the opportunism and lazy person’s approach to problem solving. People don’t like guns–got it. But to offer gun control as a real solution that would prevent this and other crimes like it is attempting to exploit a tragegy. Oh–it will reduce the passion shootings crimes that never make the news (how many of those merely become stabbing deaths)–but not mass shootings nor drug killings. We have 300 million people in this country. 12000 or so are killed every year–most in disputes with people they know. Factor out the large hunk of those that are due to the drug trade and I would say we all are relatively safe in this country. The primary purpose of a gun IS to deter–which is a legitimate home defense strategy from the standpoint that an agressor is less likely to break into a home where weapons are kept.

    You want to reduce violence? Deal with the roots: Mental illness and poor people fighting over scraps of an ever shrinking pie. People don’t have time to kill when they are busy working and building futures for their themselves and their families–or are getting mental health treatment (as opposed to some pills).

    For what its worth–a cell phone is NOT a self defense device. The primary responsibility for your self defense lies with YOU and can’t be acquiesed to a city/county bureaucracy. Even if that self-defense tactic involves running as fast as your legs can take you. Someone with a knife and a little bit of anatomical knowlege can kill you almost instantly. Police are a second responder who, in the best case scenario, can halt an in-progress attack and (in the worst case) clean up the mess.

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  145. john personna says:

    @Pharoah Narim:

    So how would you identify murderers and suicides before the event?

    Can anyone inform, and require anyone else to undergo mental health screening?

    Or do you want everyone in the US to undergo screening every year or so?

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  146. john personna says:

    (Do we even thing that mental health screening is good enough to be accurate? What is the false negative rate? What is the false positive rate?)

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  147. michael reynolds says:

    @Just Me:

    No one hunts to put food on the table. The price of the gun, the price of the ammo, the price of the hunting license, the cost of gas, would cover a lot of food down at Costco.

    There’s a reason hunting has fallen off dramatically. We don’t live in rural areas, we live in cities. I doubt 5% of the population lives in areas where hunting is convenient. And food is cheap.

    People hunt for male bonding, for sport, for some notion of tradition, and then they shoot some innocent passerby in the chest. Here’s a convenient list of people shot or killed in hunting accidents. Here’s just the most recent:

    MERCERSBURG — A hunter was flown from the Mercersburg area after a hunting accident on Saturday.

    “It appears the hunter shot himself in the stomach with a 6mm rifle,”
    Pennsylvania Game Commission spokesman Jerry Feaser said.

    The Game Commission, Pennsylvania State Police, ambulances and LifeNet helicopter responded to the 4:44 p.m. call on Saturday at 8926 Corner Road in Montgomery Township.

    Hunters in 2011 were involved in 36 shooting incidents in Pennsylvania, according to the Game Commission. Two people died. A rifle was involved in
    12 incidents. Thirteen wounds were self-inflicted. Fifteen of the hunters injured were hunting deer. The most common causes were unintentional discharge or being in the line of fire (nine incidents each).

    Now, oddly enough, I’ve fired a few guns and know a bit about them. It’s not easy to shoot yourself in the stomach with a long gun. A man stupid enough (or more likely drunk enough) to shoot himself in the stomach with a rifle has no business possessing a gun, let alone wandering around the woods shooting at things.

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  148. Just Me says:

    So how would you identify murderers and suicides before the event?

    In many cases families see the person spiraling out of control, but don’t have the resources to get action. Or they see the early signs, but those signs are not enough to get a court order for involuntary commitment. One huge problem with many mental illnesses is that the person will not take medications to control the mental illness.

    Can anyone inform, and require anyone else to undergo mental health screening?

    A family member can file a request through the courts, but the standard is pretty high.

    A person can’t be required to undergo a mental health screening as the law currently stands, although a lot of doctors will do some minor screens for depression at yearly physicals (I know my doctor will ask questions that are intended to screen for depression and suicide).

    No one hunts to put food on the table. The price of the gun, the price of the ammo, the price of the hunting license, the cost of gas, would cover a lot of food down at Costco.

    Are you really saying nobody hunts to put food on the table? Also, ammunition and hunting licenses here aren’t that expensive and a deer can feed a family for the winter. Two can feed them for the year, and poaching always goes up in times of economic downturn-because some people in rural areas poach to put food on the table.

    Maybe because you are used to living in a city you don’t realize that a lot of people hunt for food in order to feed their family.

    My brother in law (lives in rural Alabama) and all he has in his freezer is the meat from hunting. I can tell you right now that pound for pound the meat in his freezer with the cost of shells and license subtacted is still cheaper than the cost of the same amount of meat in beef.

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  149. mattb says:

    @michael reynolds:

    No one hunts to put food on the table. The price of the gun, the price of the ammo, the price of the hunting license, the cost of gas, would cover a lot of food down at Costco.

    You are 110% wrong on this note. In rural areas — at least throughout the north east — people do count on bagging a deer to put food on their table and stretch low incomes. I KNOW these people — in Vermont, New York, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The prices you lay out — especially when the gun was purchased years ago, are NOT particularly high (even if they are have a third party process the animal). And when you live in the country, it doesn’t take a lot of gas to get to hunting areas (including many who hunt on their own properties).

    These are, by and large, people who can buy meat through a store, but if they *can* get a deer or two, can greatly defer costs and stretch their dollars significantly.

    We don’t live in rural areas, we live in cities. I doubt 5% of the population lives in areas where hunting is convenient. And food is cheap.

    Bull-sh!t Michael. Sorry, please come to New York State — most of which is Rural. Or the Rust Belt. This is one of the times you are really going off the rails (or been living in the burb’s of Cali for way too long).

    As far as your list of accidents, anecdotes are not good data. Again, I have known a whole slew of people who have hunted for their entire lives — actually helping put food on their table — who have never shot themselves or anything else.

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  150. john personna says:

    @Just Me:

    In many cases families see the person spiraling out of control, but don’t have the resources to get action. Or they see the early signs, but those signs are not enough to get a court order for involuntary commitment. One huge problem with many mental illnesses is that the person will not take medications to control the mental illness.

    Right. I’m pointing out that if people want the government to jump in and handle these cases, they are going to need something like a 1-800 number “to report the suspicious.” I’m not sure we really want that, or that people who want health care to solve the problem have really thought it through.

    It could get quite Kafkaesque. Your server at Starbucks thought you were twitchy and called it in …

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  151. Just Me says:

    Again, I have known a whole slew of people who have hunted for their entire lives — actually helping put food on their table — who have never shot themselves or anything else.

    it isn’t as if every time someI can’t think of anyone I personally know who has injured themselves or somebody else in a hunting accident. I know they happen, but it isn’t like they are a daily occurrence during hunting season.

    Rural NH and Maine are full of people who rely on hunting for food-it is rather presumptuous to argue they don’t.

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  152. Pharoah Narim says:

    John Personna

    We already have a decent profile to work from: Male, middle class, late teens to late 20s, depressed and anti-social (in a spooky not shy way). In addition to making it easy for families to report and get help, feedback from students and teachers should be followed up on and a home evaluation should be done. In addition to help, it would be noted if the home or any of the homes the person frequents had weapons the person could have access to. I would also include in that an evaluation of the persons affinity for weapons (do they go to gun shows, do they surf gun websites, etc) of course if you tried to do that they the personal liberty crowd wants to burn you at the stake. At any rate however, if I were King for a day. That’s where I’d start.

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  153. john personna says:

    @Pharoah Narim:

    I think you are right that the personal liberty push-back would be pretty strong. It would worry me if we only needed to “report” someone to put a mark on their permanent record (or cause them to spend time and money clearing it).

    Whereas incremental modification of gun laws affect everyone equally, and do not unduly penalize any minority.

    I see that the politicians are tooling up for another assault rifle ban. I’m skeptical that the “list bad guns” approach will work, but we can see what they come up with. I think “bullet buttons” and small magazines would be a much better route.

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  154. mattb says:

    @john personna:

    I think you are right that the personal liberty push-back would be pretty strong. It would worry me if we only needed to “report” someone to put a mark on their permanent record (or cause them to spend time and money clearing it).

    On that note, actually getting a diagnosis of “severe depression” is even something that most physicians will counsel a patient to avoid — unless fully necessary — as it has rather big implications for insurance, among other things.

    Really we have a huge issue with mental health in this nation (as keeps getting repeated). I don’t even want to get into the hell that can be dealing with suicidal thoughts and having to watch someone being involuntarily committed for a number of hours because they said that they are having suicidal ideation in a medical setting.

    Which isn’t to say that we shouldn’t be concerned about such things. But the current system is often too black and white to be effective.

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  155. matt says:

    @michael reynolds: I have many many times in every thread. So either you’re purposely ignoring my experiences on the farm or you’re just oblivious to the realities of a country that is mostly rural land with some high population cities.

    I don’t feel like typing out the stories again in detail with such a high chance you’ll continue to ignore them. So deal with the cliff notes version.

    I hunt with my AK clone and I’ve had to use the semi auto action to stop charges from groups of pissed off boars. Boars in the wild develop tough cartilage shields and tusks. I’ve also seen them break 30mph (in a truck next to them on a dirt road). At least one of the times I was charged by a group of +200 lb boars and if I had been using a bolt action I would of been put in the hospital (assuming I survived). No tree to climb or stand behind.

    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/A-Plague-of-Pigs-in-Texas.html

    When I lived up in Illinois I was attacked by a pack of dogs that were killing my LIVELIHOOD. Fortunately my semi auto gun allowed me to drop what I think was the head pack dog and two of his members before my life was in serious jeopardy (the rest ran QUICK after I dropped the third one). Packs of feral dogs can and have killed people. Coyotes was also another common problem. Other wild animals were far less common and usually easily scared. Rather the dogs killed me or my livestock I’m boned either way because without the livestock I have no money to pay the bills so in effect I’m being indirectly killed.

    The response time of any police officer in a rural or farm area is generally +45 minutes. If you rely on the police in a lot of America you’re already boned (America is a country of large areas of nothing broken up by large population centers. It’s amazing how many people don’t realize that the majority of Illinois isn’t Chicago and is actually farmland..

    Several years ago my ex was up north at a family reunion in Quebec. They were out having a massive picnic when a bear wandered in and started rummaging through the nearby cars. Fortunately her French Canadian relatives were armed and were able to dispatch the bear before it became a serious issue.

    Yeah so keep on about how there’s absolutely positively no valid reason for anyone to own a gun..

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  156. matt says:

    Last year my at the time fiancee and I moved into a local small town because the rent prices were cheaper. Our first evening alone in our new house with all the stuff in it we were to be found mostly asleep on the bed. While laying there I heard someone nearby set off fireworks. Almost exactly 18 minutes later I hear a cop knock. Turned out our new neighbor heard the fireworks and called 911 to report gunfire. So in a town of 15000 where I would see cops every day when driving to or from work or school it still took them over 15 minutes to respond. 15 minutes is more then enough time for me to bleed out and die. While the story is kind of funny now it’s still scary in some aspects.

    So excuse me for not relying 100% on cops that might be there in the next half hour or so.

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  157. matt says:

    I prefer wild hunted meat. Wild pig tastes better and has less fat then the crap you buy at the store. I think part of the taste difference is also the fact that when I kill a pig it drops quickly without time to be scared and build up lactic acid. A pig killed at a slaughter house is tortured for anywhere up to several hours before being killed and that allows for a lot of nasty stuff to build up.

    According to the CDC.

    Heart disease: 599,413
    Cancer: 567,628
    Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 137,353
    Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 128,842
    Accidents (unintentional injuries): 118,021
    Alzheimer’s disease: 79,003
    Diabetes: 68,705
    Influenza and Pneumonia: 53,692
    Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 48,935
    Intentional self-harm (suicide): 36,909

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  158. matt says:

    To answer the title question mass shootings aren’t on the rise. The last big peak was back in the middle of the assault weapons ban period..

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  159. Just Me says:

    It would worry me if we only needed to “report” someone to put a mark on their permanent record (or cause them to spend time and money clearing it).

    I don’t particularly want to see some kind of list created from a series of anonymous reports, but lowering the standard for declaring somebody mentally ill would be nice. Also, if a person’s mental illness is such that they are a danger to themselves or other people, I would like to see them either required to take medications under supervision or institutionalized.

    I don’t think the average mentally ill person is anywhere close to dangerous to society, but because the average person isn’t dangerous that doesn’t mean we should bury our heads in the sand and pretend like non of them are dangerous.

    So in a town of 15000 where I would see cops every day when driving to or from work or school it still took them over 15 minutes to respond.

    In the time line released yesterday, it took the police 20 minutes to respond to the calls from the Sandy Hook Elementary school.

    Twenty minutes is a lot of time to leave a killer with a building full of victims.

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  160. Jen says:

    On the hunting for food issue–I live in NH, and while I would never hunt (ever), if we did not have deer and moose hunts, there would be far, far more car/animal accidents. Hunters do provide a balance to the ecosystem, which does provide a measure of control of the population so that we don’t have an out of control population of animals that make a wicked big mess out of your car if you are unfortunate enough to have one wander across the highway at an inopportune time.

    There are very few natural predators for these animals remaining, so without hunting the populations would increase dramatically and cause not only more highway accidents, but would also mean many would be underfed, prone to disease, and sick. Sick deer attract more deer ticks, more deer ticks, more human Lyme disease, etc.

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  161. mattb says:

    @Jen:
    And part of the reason that the deer and moose populations are out of control throughout the north east is that human developments have essentially removed all apex predators and clustered the herds into pockets where the over reproduce.

    You are entirely correct that without hunting the populations would spiral out of control and leave them open to disease. And the fact is, once disease gets into a wild herd, it’s difficult, if not impossible to get out and leads to lots of problems (like the ones you list).

    BTW that last bit is not simply hunting propaganda — that comes straight from the DEC.

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  162. john personna says:

    @matt:

    In most areas the statistics are thus:

    – introducing a gun into your home would increase your chance of injury, not reduce it
    – introducing a gun into your home would increase your chance of suicide
    – introducing a gun into your home would increase the chance children’s accidental death
    – introducing a gun into your home would increase the chance of your teen’s suicides

    – in most areas all these outweigh the increase in safety from home protection

    Those are more painful to visualize of course, which is why mentally you visualize successful home defense, and use that as your rationale. You don’t want to think about a future teen getting sad and having learned dad’s safe’s combination over the years.

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  163. wr says:

    @mattb: “You are entirely correct that without hunting the populations would spiral out of control and leave them open to disease. And the fact is, once disease gets into a wild herd, it’s difficult, if not impossible to get out and leads to lots of problems (like the ones you list).”

    Well now you’ve convinced me. Clearly, the only possible way to prevent wild animal populations from succumbing to terrible diseases is to maintain the policies that allow gun nuts to murder children at elementary schools and audiences at movie theaters. Well played, sir!

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  164. mattb says:

    @wr:

    Well now you’ve convinced me. Clearly, the only possible way to prevent wild animal populations from succumbing to terrible diseases is to maintain the policies that allow gun nuts to murder children at elementary schools and audiences at movie theaters. Well played, sir!

    Listen Ass — and this goes out as a broader challenge to all of the dicks who keep taking pot shots at me for actually trying to have a rational conversation about this topic — find where I’ve made that argument.

    In fact, find any place where I’ve argued against increased regulation.

    Otherwise STUF and get off of your high horse.

    All I was doing was responding to the idea that (a) there is no good reason to hunt, (b) that all hunters are macho a-holes with penis issues, and (c) that no one practices substance hunting any more.

    More broadly, I’ve been responding to people saying crap like “there’s no rational reason to own a (regulated) gun.”

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  165. matt says:

    @john personna: I don’t visualize anything good coming from a home invasion and your insistence otherwise shows you’re more interested in fighting a strawman instead of what I am.

    All of what you said ALL OF IT applies to cars, baseball bats, insecticide, cleaning supplies, knives, various blunt objects, electricity, gas, appliances and about any tool in your house. All of those things increases your risk of death and all of those risks are accepted by you. The same goes with my guns which are secured when not used for hunting or being taken to the range. Which is why your home defense statement is complete bullshit.

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  166. matt says:

    @john personna:

    introducing a gun into your home would increase the chance of your teen’s suicides

    introducing a gun into your home would increase your chance of suicide

    This is such horshit it’s not even funny anymore. IF I’m going to kill myself it’ll be via hanging so you fckwits won’t have another person to add to your twisting of statistics.

    I know of no one who was doing great loved life but had to commit suicide because of a gun.

    This is the fundamental difference in opinion between you and I. You think that guns cause suicide/death while I see the person using the gun as the cause. If someone wants to commit suicide let em. I’d rather these people shoot themselves instead of going on a rampage.

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  167. wr says:

    @mattb: “Listen Ass — and this goes out as a broader challenge to all of the dicks who keep taking pot shots at me for actually trying to have a rational conversation about this topic — find where I’ve made that argument. ”

    Actually, you’ve been a consdescending bore, posting the same tired arguments over and over and over again. The people you call “dicks” are, for the most part, regular commenters who get tired of hearing the same broken record lecture and same self-serving analogies posted 20 or 30 times a day.

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  168. wr says:

    @matt: “IF I’m going to kill myself it’ll be via hanging so you fckwits won’t have another person to add to your twisting of statistics.”

    Boy, that will show us!

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  169. mattb says:

    @wr:
    Umm… you realize that I’m a “regular poster” here too… As in been here for the past four years?

    And apparently you don’t appear to like it when facts might just have a bias against your position.

    BTW, do you also realize that MattB != Matt?

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  170. john personna says:

    @matt:

    Of course you visualized it, otherwise your whole comment about “time for cops” makes no sense.

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  171. john personna says:

    @matt:

    Those are the odds.

    Plenty of data is available.

    Now, you can try to beat the odds. If you are a gun owner you should try to beat them.

    But those are the odds.

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  172. matt says:

    @michael reynolds: You’re so wrong in this post I almost don’t even know where to begin.

    First off lets deal with the money aspect of hunting. When I go hunting here are the following costs.

    License for the year $25

    20 rounds of SP ammo $9
    Gas $5 round trip

    The cost of a gun is a one time sunk cost and in my case my gun will be good for at least 100 years of service $325. I love to target shoot with my gun and even if I didn’t hunt I’d still have it.

    So when I go hunting I spend about 8bucks max for whatever I can bag (usually 1 bullet per hog). Usually I get several hogs so I can easily fill up a chest freezer with hog meat with that 8 bucks. I usually end up with more meat then I can eat so I sell some of it and give some away. Texas pays me $2 per hog tail (I freeze them in a plastic bag). So between the meat I sell and the tails I turn in I usually make money..

    Try to tell me how much meat at costco you can get for $8. Also while we’re discussing this you should know that the wild meat I bag is leaner and better tasting then the store stuff (fact as they drop dead instantly instead of being stressed and tortured for many hours/days in a slaughter lot).

    Those reasons are why you’re seeing more liberals hunting these days then ever. It’s become something of a hipster thing to do even. For better or worse..

    http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2012/12/liberal-urban-hunters.html

    I can actually agree with you on the stomach shooter.

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  173. matt says:

    @john personna: My family has been “beating” those odds for several generations. No accidents no deaths no gun related suicides..

    @john personna: I didn’t say I didn’t visualize it happening just that I don’t visualize anything good coming from it. I have a dog and I’m a large man with martial arts training. I don’t even need a gun to defend myself in most situations.

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  174. matt says:

    Crap I was too slow on the edit.

    I just wanted to add that since my guns are secured I’d probably be meeting an invader with my katana or bokken depending on the situation.

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  175. matt says:

    @matt: To further expand on this post. I use an AK clone to hunt because the ammo is cheap, the gun is/was cheap, it’s incredibly reliable, I can put down several hogs quickly, and the 7.62×39 round is ineffective beyond 300 yards. That means that when I’m shooting at something on the ground I can guarantee that my rounds will be in the dirt before the 400 yard mark. A round from a real hunting rifle (bolt action or semi-auto) is lethal for potentially miles past your target. The British fellow who relatively recently broke the sniper distance record was using a 338 which is the same gun used by big game hunters. One of the things my family drilled into my head was “know what is behind your target” I’ve passed up shots before on some beautiful deer because I couldn’t confirm that I had a clear backdrop.

    Now as to why I would want to put several hogs down quickly? Hogs are smart and difficult to hunt. If I actually find a group of them to shoot at that’s probably the only group I’m going to see that day or at all. The ones that survive become experienced and are thus even harder to hunt. Some people hunt hogs just because of the difficulty.

    I also don’t sell the meat. I give it to friends who then pay for my ummm gas and stuff yeah.

    It just so happens that I drive a combat 4cyl car that gets 28-40 mpg.

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  176. matt says:

    Rule # 1
    Treat all guns as if they are loaded.

    Rule # 2
    Never let the muzzle of a gun point at anything you do not want to destroy or kill.

    Rule # 3
    Keep your finger straight and off the trigger.

    Rule # 4
    Be absolutely sure of your target, and what is behind it.

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  177. wr says:

    @mattb: I know you and Matt are not the same person, and that you’ve been here for a long time. You’ve always struck me as a patient, reasonable person, and on occasion convinced me that it is indeed possible to take patience and reason too far (as when you kept engaging Jan and chiding those of us who dismissed her as a troll until she finally proved herself even to you). But that’s personal taste, I suppose…

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  178. wr says:

    @wr: And having just said I knew the difference, I responded to MattB as if he was Matt. Now I’m confused. If we have to keep talking about guns, could one of you change your name?

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  179. mattb (as in the pro-gun regulation moderate matt) says:

    @wr:
    I knew this was going to happen… No worries. I think it’s been happening a lot.

    Plus I’m much more sympathetic to a lot of stuff Matt (no “B”) has been writing (though I don’t agree with his positions).

    on occasion convinced me that it is indeed possible to take patience and reason too far (as when you kept engaging Jan and chiding those of us who dismissed her as a troll until she finally proved herself even to you).

    I really try to give eveyone the benefit of the doubt. Plus most of the time I’m replying for lurkers in the hopes of clearly defeating a bad argument.

    If we have to keep talking about guns, could one of you change your name?

    How’s this work? I’ll take other suggestions…

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  180. matt says:

    @wr:

    Well I’ve been posting here longer then Mattb. I remember the glory days of triumph and the other good trolls. I remember when James had his first kid even. Hell I remember back before michael reynolds started posting. It’s just up until now we’ve agreed on most things so you’ve never really noticed me.

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