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Guns and Self-Protection

guns-usaVia Matthew Shugart, I would recommend the following essay by political scientist MIguel Centellas:  Guns and Gangs.

Centellas relates his own personal context in the gun debate, pointing out first:

I’m not opposed to guns per se. Both my grandpa and dad were hunters (and I always wanted to go). I’ve shot guns of various kinds, enjoyed it, and was good at it (I have certificates to prove it). But growing up in Michigan, where hunting was a big deal, and where my grandpa and dad (and uncles, neighbors, etc.) went hunting, I rarely ever saw a gun. My grandpa kept his (a rifle, some shotguns, and a pearl handled .22 pistol) locked up in some remote corner of the basement. They were never in any way “readily accessible.” Someone could’ve broken into his house and he’d be helpless, his guns a flight of stairs away in a dark corner. I only ever saw my father’s gun once (a classic Mauser bolt action). That was my experience with “legal” gun ownership. It’s also what I expect of people who advocate “responsible” gun ownership.

He also notes another bit of experience:

Ironically, in many ways, these gangbangers were ultimate libertarians (of a certain stripe). They were engaged in the free market, often selling products that were unregulated—and resisting any regulations. They took it upon themselves to protect themselves and their families—they didn’t call 911. They were self-made men (and a few women). They were rugged individualists, relying only on themselves. Gangbangers don’t have Social Security accounts. If their business fails, they don’t get government bailouts. In short, they fend for themselves in a harsh world.

Hence:  “So that’s my experience with guns. The people who were “responsible” gun owners kept their guns locked up and occasionally went hunting. The “criminals” used them for self protection and walked around armed. ”

I would recommend the whole thing.

While I suspect that these observations will generate a wide variety of responses, I do think that the example is one that should provoke thought.  As Centellas notes:  the arguments that many make for why they need their guns are founded in logics not that dissimilar from the reasons that inner-city gangs walk around armed.  In both cases it is founded in a notion that the government is not to be trusted and that one’s life is in one’s own hands.

The photo montage that Centellas posted is also telling, especially the top two.  I expect that the armed African-American young man who appears to be in a gang evokes a different reaction than the smiling, likely middle-class white dude.

Of course, it is also worth pointing out that if, as I saw Ted Nugent say last night on Piers Morgan, “an armed society is a polite society” then shouldn’t inner city America, especially where gangs abide, be the most polite parts of the country?

Related Posts:

About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor and Chair of Political Science at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. He is the author of Voting Amid Violence: Electoral Democracy in Colombia and is currently working on a comparative study of the US to 29 other democracies. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging at PoliBlog since 2003. Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. john personna says:

    Note also that a theme we’ve heard in these threads, from OTB’s gun advocate readers, is that they should be armed as well, or better than, police. Frankly, that made me think those commenters were like the bad examples one sees on “cops” shows. It’s bad or impaired(*) judgement, plus guns.

    * – including substance-addled.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  2. john personna says:

    Ah, Centellas addresses the paranoia.

    But, recently, the arguments I hear are about self protection and the right to defend against tyranny. The arguments often come from people concerned with gun violence in society, but who believe they need guns to protect themselves become they don’t trust anyone else to do it. And the arguments also come from people who distrust the government, who don’t think it represents them, and who think the police are simply the armed and brutal hand of a distant regime that seeks to put them down.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  3. C. Clavin says:

    Oh my…I now have something to look forward today.
    Cue the keyboard commandoes ranting about how the 2nd amendment cannot be abridged as all the other amendments are…how assault rifles are needed to keep our tyrannical Government at bay even though they have never been used to keep our tyrannical Government at bay…and how a mother needs an assault rifle to keep 5 or 6 hardened violent attacking criminals from her children. I look forward to descriptions of a world in which kindergartens are theaters for firefights…a world in which we need to be strapped to go see a movie and a bunch of people firing guns in that same dark theater is a really good idea.
    But most of all I look forward to JKB pontificating as though he/she knows anything…when he/she hasn’t had the cojones to admit being totally wrong about the NRA ad and Sidwell Friends.
    Have at it all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 8

  4. john personna says:

    @C. Clavin:

    and how a mother needs an assault rifle to keep 5 or 6 hardened violent attacking criminals from her children

    And if that isn’t convincing we should imagine 7 or 8 trained attackers!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  5. Fiona says:

    Thanks for the link. The original article is definitely worth a read and I find his comparisons quite apt. As for the montage, while I find the gang members to be quite menacing, none of the other pictures are particularly reassuring. All of the men pictured look like guns in some way define their manhood. Not appealing.

    I’ve grown tired of the ” but I need a gun to defend myself” argument coming from white middle-class types who live in safe suburbs. The impact of gun violence is disproportionate, falling most heavily on minorities who live in bad neighborhoods, be they gang bangers or innocents caught in the crossfire. Those people may indeed need guns to protect themselves, but all those guns don’t keep them safe.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    You done it now Steven.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  7. scott says:

    What I find interesting is that many are justifying protecting property and material goods essentially saying that shooting to kill is OK for burglary. So it is OK for a private citizen to execute someone for stealing but it is not OK for the state to do so.

    Having discussed this very issue with the wife and family we concluded that the survival of the family is not dependent on any material good and therefore why risk defense of such goods. I would suggest that in this country no one is dependent for their survival on stuff and therefore shooting to protect such goods is not justified.

    Hell, just steal the stuff. I’ll pay the deductible and get new stuff.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

  8. JKB says:

    @john personna: “but who believe they need guns to protect themselves become they don’t trust anyone else to do it.”

    Who is this “anyone else” that will protect you if only you put your trust in them? God? Because, 99.99% of the time the police aren’t there to protect you. They are somewhere else physically and spiritually doing their job either protecting others or writing reports about what happened when they weren’t at other places. If they were to be “there”, I would leave it to them. Less paperwork for me. It is said, people carry guns because cops are to heavy to carry around all day.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 13

  9. Kingdaddy says:

    This American Life had an excellent segment on the human cost of our gun culture, both at home and abroad. Skip the first segment and go straight to Act Two:

    http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/484/doppelgangers

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  10. @Fiona:

    none of the other pictures are particularly reassuring.

    I concur. But I think that most of the self-defense types would have different reactions to the varying photos.

    @Kingdaddy: Thanks–I will check it out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  11. matt bernius says:

    My personal issue with the “I carry for self defense” is the fact that most people are unlikely to ever encounter a self defense situation where a gun is necessary. The fact is that American’s have an overblown fear of random violence.

    Generally speaking, with the exception of truly random acts of violence (i.e. school shootings), most violence is anything but random. People are more likely to be attacked by someone they know, based on situations that have been brewing for quite a while. Or they are, by (un)luck of the draw, living in an area and of a certain age, that makes them more likely to be a victim of violence.

    And, the fact is, in almost all cases, with a modicum of self defense training (which should go far beyond simply learning “boot to the head”), the average person should be able to avoid violent conflict.

    Without a doubt there are people, who by virtue of where they live or work, for whom it makes sense to carry a weapon. However, they are greatly outstripped by the number of people who imagine that they should carry a weapon for reasons disconnected with reality.

    Ditto having a gun for home defense. With the exception of secluded houses or people who live in neighborhoods where there are regular break-ins, I have to question the wisdom of having a readily accessible gun (especially in areas where there are no histories of home invasions).

    All that said, as long as people who decide they should carry also commit to regular training with their weapon (and by that I mean more than range work), I don’t have a big issue with concealed carry.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  12. C. Clavin says:

    @ J.P….
    FYI…I didn’t make that up. Gayle Trotter in Congressional testimony:

    While speaking in front of the senators, Trotter described a hypothetical scene of a “young woman defending her babies in her home” when faced with “three, four, five violent attackers, intruders in her home with her children screaming in the background” as a reason to own an assault rifle. “The peace of mind that she has, knowing that she has a scary-looking gun, gives her more courage when she’s fighting hardened, violent criminals,” said Trotter, who was the only woman on the five-person panel.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  13. john personna says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Yes, I remembered that, and the progression from “three” onward, in attempt to heighten the visualized risk.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  14. matt bernius says:

    @Kingdaddy:
    I had missed the back half of that show, thanks for pointing it out.

    Tangential to all of this, pretty early on in its run, TAL dedicated an entire show to the topic of Guns – http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/81/guns

    The entire program is still really timely, touching on a number of topics that have surfaced in a lot of these threads. It includes an interview with a straw buyer for Chicago gangs and a discussion of how access to cheap guns helped transform poor, (and in this case, black) neighborhoods.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. JKB says:

    @scott: protecting property and material goods

    You are very ignorant of the laws. Texas does have a broad interpretation. However, I know of no other state where deadly force can be used to stop theft. As such, the use of deadly force would not be justifiable and you would be answering criminal charges. In my state, a nice Red one, a non-law enforcement person may not use deadly force to stop someone fleeing the scene of a crime, even if I just saw them murder someone, I cannot discharge my firearm at them. Police have a bit more leeway but it is so complex, they generally won’t shoot at a fleeing suspect.

    Now, if you step out to confront someone stealing or accidently interrupt them, it is nice to have the capability to defend yourself should they choose to attack you rather than flee. A girl I went to high school with was home alone one evening and interrupted a guy trying to steal the lawn mower from the garage. He beat her to death, violated her with a coke bottle, set her on fire and stole her car. All over a lawn mower. In nice middle class neighborhood. So, tell me more about these poor innocent thieves who are endangered by gun owners.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 13

  16. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Never bring a knife to a gun fight.

    Speaking of which, you almost lost me at “political scientist,” but just for shits and giggles I went ahead and read the cited article. And I have to say I’m impressed. I’ve seen a lot of straw men and faux analogies in my time. Shit, for many years I’ve been paid a lot of money by many clients to concoct for them straw men and faux analogy arguments in connection with litigation, writs and appeals. It’s a rare breed who can weave such a straw man and faux analogy as this Centellas fellow.

    Equating the gang banger to the gun rights advocate is priceless. The moral equivalency. The subtle race baiting. It’s quite well done. It’s also evidence, however, of the sort of cognitive impairment which only can exist in liberal media-academe circles.

    There’s a difference between falling down drunk and buzzed. There’s a difference between terminal cancer and a skin mole. There’s a difference between whore and promiscuous. And, yes, there’s a difference between the gang banger using an illegal gun to further his own criminal activities and to protect himself from other criminals and the law-abiding citizen who doesn’t want the government to restrict via regulation his ability to possess a legal firearm to protect himself from the former group of individuals.

    Analogies are fun, and often can make points better than arguments, so here’s an analogy over which the left should ruminate:

    In one corner is an evil Republican businessman who owns a waste management company and who pollutes merely for fun and games. Clubs baby seals too. A wealthy WASP who gives money to Karl Rove. Illegally dumps waste products into sewers and thereby into waterways.

    In the other corner is a progressive liberal Democrat who owns a dry cleaning store. A middle class black man. And as we all know the chemicals used in the dry cleaning process so happen to be environmental hazards. But they’re necessary for the dry cleaning store to operate and thus for this man to make ends meet. There’s no intent to pollute.

    Now, you’re the government. Against whom do you wish to enforce your environmental laws? Obviously the intentional polluter, right?

    But let’s say that your environmental laws as written and practically speaking as enforced only were to apply to dry cleaning businesses and not to any other businesses.

    Are you connecting the dots?

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 22

  17. Mikey says:

    As Centellas notes: the arguments that many make for why they need their guns are founded in logics not that dissimilar from the reasons that inner-city gangs walk around armed. In both cases it is founded in a notion that the government is not to be trusted and that one’s life is in one’s own hands.

    What I hear from my gun-rights advocate friends isn’t that the government is not to be trusted, but rather that the police can’t be everywhere at once and even if you dial 911 they won’t be able to get there in time to do anything besides draw a chalk line around your corpse. Your life is in your own hands because nobody will be able to get there in time to save you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  18. john personna says:

    @JKB:

    Because, 99.99% of the time the police aren’t there to protect you.

    What are you doing that makes you need police there, 99.99% of the time?

    High risk behaviors?

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

  19. john personna says:

    @matt bernius:

    My personal issue with the “I carry for self defense” is the fact that most people are unlikely to ever encounter a self defense situation where a gun is necessary. The fact is that American’s have an overblown fear of random violence.

    I am not a psychologist, but I suspect that the daily ritual of preparing for personal violence would not really serve to reduce the fear.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  20. C. Clavin says:

    Like everything JKB says this self-defense thing is just BS.
    I’ve lived in a half dozen of our largest cities and also in some of the most rural areas.
    I’ve also owned guns…but never, ever felt the need to use one for self-defense.
    This fear of violent crime…like everything JKB types…is mostly fictional. Add in that he/she is a coward…and there you go. If you ask me there is nothing more dangerous than a chicken shit like JKB with an over-active imagination and a gun.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 6

  21. C. Clavin says:

    I just want to emphasize that:
    “…If you ask me there is nothing more dangerous than a chicken shit like JKB with an over-active imagination and a gun…”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4

  22. michael reynolds says:

    The NRA, which is to say the gun manufacturers, make sure that we live in a society saturated with guns. They ensure that criminals have guns. In point of fact they want criminals to have guns, because rape and kidnapping and murder carried out with guns ensures that idiots will buy lots more guns for self-protection. The arms race between criminals and gun nuts is extremely profitable for Colt and Winchester and Bushmaster. The more dead, the more profit.

    Ditto paranoid conspiracy theories, ditto right-wing race-baiting, ditto drug laws, they all funnel profits to the gun manufacturers. Which is the entire point of the exercise.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 4

  23. JKB says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Actually, I have a carry permit because of gun control and global warming.

    Without a permit, technically I am only allowed to transport my firearms directly to and from the range. But that would entail introducing a lot of CO2 into the environment since I’d have to dead head home then go back to do other shopping/errands. So I got a carry permit and can now lawfully carry the firearms in my vehicle as I go about my business. Just doing my part to comply with gun laws and save the earth.

    It’s a bonus that I have firearm readily available should I interrupt thieves at my home since my house is remote and the thieves would have to go through me unless they abandon their vehicle and run through the brush. This would be a vary rare occurrence but then so was Sandy Hook.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 18

  24. al-Ameda says:

    I honestly believe that the majority of those heavily invested in our cult of gun ownership possess weapons, not because they necessarily fear a burglary or a home invasions (though is some areas that may be a concern), but because they fear our government more than they fear violent criminals.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  25. matt bernius says:

    @Steven, thanks for pointing out Centellas’ article. It’s great… in particular the discussion of common ideologies and the photo section.

    The connections he draws between the two groups of proud, rugged individualist gun owners is quite novel.

    It’s also worth nothing, that both groups perceive that the state has, at best, abandoned them. In fact, they seem more than likely to believe that the government is actively working against them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  26. john personna says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Even if they don’t visualize using it, “the government doesn’t want you to have this AR-15″ seems a strong inducement.

    I’m not sure how much of that is high political philosophy, and how much is just “you can’t tell me what to do!”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  27. michael reynolds says:

    We never seem to be able to get straight with gun nuts whether they are abandoned by government or about to be oppressed by government. But it doesn’t matter. Cultists don’t demand consistency.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  28. C. Clavin says:

    “…This would be a vary rare occurrence but then so was Sandy Hook…”

    You stupid f’
    The only thing that made Sandy Hook rare was that it was kindergarten kids with holes in them.
    Do the words Aurora, Virginia Tech, Ft. Hood, Columbine, Oak Creek, or Tuscon mean anything to you?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  29. JKB says:

    @matt bernius:

    Well, trust in the federal government is at an all-time low. So you may be on to something.

    @al-Ameda:
    Perhaps they fear the gun control advocates who routinely issue death threats against gun owners, write of their fantasies of torture and murder of gun owners and gun rights advocates and even create video games showing gun rights advocates being murdered.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 14

  30. michael reynolds says:

    @JKB:

    Do you ever accidentally say anything rational or honest? Gun cultists are scared of violence perpetrated by unarmed gun control proponents. Right.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 3

  31. JKB says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Your obsession does not make mass killings a common occurrence. We all know of 9/11 and Pearl Harbor but those are very rare events. More people arrive home to find it being robbed for the first time in their life every day but you don’t know of these events. Mass killings however are sensationalized by the media for profit and sadly the media also feed the likelihood of mass killings with their insistence on making the murderers famous.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 12

  32. Rafer Janders says:

    @JKB:

    And…JKB makes Centellas’ point with his gangbanger mentality.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  33. john personna says:

    @michael reynolds:

    He seems completely unaware that being the crazy guy in threads, and advocating for broad gun ownership (“I keep a gun in my car”), works at cross-purposes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  34. JKB says:

    @michael reynolds:

    When someone openly threatens to kill you and/or advocates your murder by others, it is only logical to pay attention. As we’ve seen many mass murderers speak of murder and are frustrated at their failure to reach their goals.

    We must wonder, why are gun control advocates so violent? Could it be their desire to ban firearms is based on their own feelings regarding what they might do if they had a gun?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 14

  35. michael reynolds says:

    @JKB:

    What you are too brainwashed to get is that in economic terms you’re no different than a Scientologist. You belong to a cult whose sole focus is fleecing you. Because you’re so thoroughly brainwashed you not only enthusiastically allow yourself to be fleeced, you defend the fleecing and hope to spread the fleecing to others. You recruit for the cult, because you want everyone to be as brainwashed as yourself.

    You’re a cash cow being milked by the gun owners. They inject you with fear hormones and milk your bank account. You’re a sucker, a mark, a sap. You’re a blood bank for vampires.

    And every time you rattle off some astoundingly stupid justification you sicken the rational people around you because there’s something disturbing about interacting with cult members. It’s like dealing with drug addicts or people seriously into the bondage lifestyle or schizophrenics or members of Westboro Baptist. Just. . . creepy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 6

  36. wr says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: “for many years I’ve been paid a lot of money by many clients”

    BWAH-HAH-HAH-HAH-HAH!

    Seriously, Tsar, you slay me. “Clients.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  37. john personna says:

    @JKB:

    Once in all my years I came home to find my front door open. I had the option to leave and call the police. Nothing forced me to clear the building with gun drawn. As it was, I did a quick look to confirm that the burglars (kids who stole my spare change and my condoms) were gone, and then called it in.

    If I’d actually been armed, and shot the kids, I’d call that a bad outcome.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  38. wr says:

    @john personna: “I’m not sure how much of that is high political philosophy, and how much is just “you can’t tell me what to do!” ”

    I think it’s closer to “You’re not the boss of me!”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  39. scott says:

    @JKB: No. Not really. Read this:

    http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/article/Shooting-in-Stone-Oak-adds-to-dialogue-on-guns-4195158.php#ixzz2K2i4D633

    To bring out the salient quote:

    Porter said Pemberton likely won’t face charges.

    “The victim was attempting to prevent the consequence of a theft,” Porter said. “That’s why he confronted the suspects.”

    Bexar County First Assistant District Attorney Cliff Herberg, said he couldn’t comment on the specifics of this case but said Texas law allows for deadly force to be used to protect property, including against a person fleeing with the property.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  40. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    perhaps they fear the gun control advocates who routinely issue death threats against gun owners, write of their fantasies of torture and murder of gun owners and gun rights advocates and even create video games showing gun rights advocates being murdered.

    I agree, perhaps they are paranoid.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  41. C. Clavin says:

    “…We all know of 9/11 and Pearl Harbor but those are very rare events..”

    I’ve heard it all now…JKB’s conceal/carry permit would have stopped the Japanese in Pearl Harbor..if only he/she had been there.
    How can this country have an intelligent conversation when half of the people talking are just f’ing stupid.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 5

  42. al-Ameda says:

    @john personna:
    @al-Ameda:

    Even if they don’t visualize using it, “the government doesn’t want you to have this AR-15″ seems a strong inducement.
    I’m not sure how much of that is high political philosophy, and how much is just “you can’t tell me what to do!”

    You’re right, there is a lot of “you can’t tell me what to do” in this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  43. JKB says:

    @scott:

    As Texans will tell you, things are different in Texas. On the other hand, perhaps these thieves should go rob people in NY or some place.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

  44. JKB says:

    @al-Ameda: You’re right, there is a lot of “you can’t tell me what to do” in this.

    Where might we have heard this before? Perhaps regarding abortion? Gay marriage? Draft dodgers during Vietnam? And so on….

    As opposed to those fighting to retain a natural right considered so important that it was enumerated in the Bill of Rights.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7

  45. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    Speaking of which, you almost lost me at “political scientist,”

    Then why do you insist on spending multiple hours each and every day writing screeds in the comments of a website where two of the three main contributors are political scientists.

    I’m sure the irony is lost on you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  46. anjin-san says:

    If I’d actually been armed, and shot the kids, I’d call that a bad outcome.

    You call it a bad outcome, JKB calls it a wet dream. Different strokes for different folks…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  47. @Gromitt Gunn: I must confess, I always find it odd that some commenters clearly seek only to share their contempt. My usual reaction to a web site that contains writing I find to be contemptible is to avoid it (it certainly isn’t to become a regular denizen of the site’s comment threads).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  48. C. Clavin says:

    Again, JKB is full of shit…which is like saying the sun came up again today:

    “…fighting to retain a natural right…”

    No one is talking about taking away that natural right. No. One.
    However every natural right is abridged in some way or other. Indeed the natural right to freedom of speech, press, religion, and petition…which comes before the right to bear arms…is far more abridged than gun rights.
    People like you, who suffer from Dunning-Kruger Effect, are unable to discern the difference. And therein lies the entire problem.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  49. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @michael reynolds:

    What you are too brainwashed to get is that in economic terms you’re no different than a Scientologist.

    Michael just won the internets for today. I can think of no image that illuminates this discussion more clearly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  50. grumpy realist says:

    @al-Ameda: I think a lot of it is the mentality of a young adolescent who never wants to grow up and be responsible for his actions. Have fun popping off your gun in whatever direction you choose, never worry about whether you hurt anyone with it, never worry if you scare anyone with the fact that you are carrying the damn thing around in public, never making certain that you know how to use it properly…

    Considering how dangerous guns are, I think we should keep them out of the hands of individuals until they can show they can damn well use them correctly. If we were living in a US with the population of the 18th century, it would be one thing–but we aren’t, and your stupidity with your gun has a high probability of hurting an innocent person.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  51. Mikey says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Don’t assume any given commenter is here to engage in rational dialogue. This is still the internet–he might just be here to stir the pot and push your buttons.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  52. @Mikey: A man can dream.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  53. grumpy realist says:

    @al-Ameda: P.S. “Your” above being addressed to gun nuts, not you personally.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  54. (And I can’t really why he, or any number of others, come around. I ultimately find it amusing that they read my posts to begin with. After all, it takes an act of volition to access a blog post).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  55. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JKB:

    As opposed to those fighting to retain a natural right

    Me thinks you are confused as to what a “natural right” is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  56. C. Clavin says:

    @ SLT et al…
    I have to admit that, in general, it’s more fun to engage those who disagree with you than those who agree with you. Opposites attract and all that. I do wish the quality of commenter’s from the other side was better – but that’s a cultural issue.
    The difference at OTB, I have found, is that this site is far more reticent to ban commenters who criticize. It takes nothing at all to be banned at sites like AJ Strata’s or even RCP. If you ain’t in the choir you ain’t welcome. Here the dissenter’s are given free-reign (or is it free-rein?).
    I applaud that…but if you could find some smarter ones…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  57. @C. Clavin: Don’t get me wrong: I welcome and value dissent. I am commenting on a particular type of negative commenter who seems to thrive on sharing his/her’s contempt (and not in a way that actually forwards an argument).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  58. C. Clavin says:

    @ SLT…
    Understood…and as I said, applauded.
    We still haven’t gotten to the bottom of the free-reign/rein question though.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  59. john personna says:

    @C. Clavin:

    We still haven’t gotten to the bottom of the free-reign/rein question though.

    Not a sailing metaphor, and so I’m taken aback, adrift, left high and dry, without a compass, etc.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  60. Moosebreath says:

    @C. Clavin:

    rein is the correct one — you are letting the metaphorical horse have its freedom, not giving a king the right to make rules unfettered.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  61. @JKB:
    So, tell me more about these poor innocent thieves who are endangered by gun owners.

    As I wrote on my blog,

    I will not put my life at risk to protect property. Nothing I own is worth risking death for. Nor is it worth killing for. So I will not shoot someone just to protect property.

    The problem is, of course, that as your childhood friend tragically discovered, there are people who will kill others to steal their property.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  62. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @C. Clavin:

    free-reign/rein question

    The correct spelling is “rein” as in “giving one’s horse free rein to find the safest way thru dangerous terrain”.

    Historically hard to give “free reign to a king” in that, being king he just kind of took it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  63. @Steven L. Taylor:
    I must confess, I always find it odd that some commenters clearly seek only to share their contempt

    Which is, sadly, exactly what OTB has become host to.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  64. Septimius says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I am commenting on a particular type of negative commenter who seems to thrive on sharing his/her’s contempt (and not in a way that actually forwards an argument).

    “…If you ask me there is nothing more dangerous than a chicken shit like JKB with an over-active imagination and a gun…”

    “The NRA, which is to say the gun manufacturers, make sure that we live in a society saturated with guns. They ensure that criminals have guns. In point of fact they want criminals to have guns, because rape and kidnapping and murder carried out with guns ensures that idiots will buy lots more guns for self-protection. The arms race between criminals and gun nuts is extremely profitable for Colt and Winchester and Bushmaster. The more dead, the more profit.”

    “You stupid f’”

    “And…JKB makes Centellas’ point with his gangbanger mentality.”

    “What you are too brainwashed to get is that in economic terms you’re no different than a Scientologist. You belong to a cult whose sole focus is fleecing you. Because you’re so thoroughly brainwashed you not only enthusiastically allow yourself to be fleeced, you defend the fleecing and hope to spread the fleecing to others. You recruit for the cult, because you want everyone to be as brainwashed as yourself.

    You’re a cash cow being milked by the gun owners. They inject you with fear hormones and milk your bank account. You’re a sucker, a mark, a sap. You’re a blood bank for vampires.

    And every time you rattle off some astoundingly stupid justification you sicken the rational people around you because there’s something disturbing about interacting with cult members. It’s like dealing with drug addicts or people seriously into the bondage lifestyle or schizophrenics or members of Westboro Baptist. Just. . . creepy.”

    “You call it a bad outcome, JKB calls it a wet dream. Different strokes for different folks…”

    Just a few of the comments on this thread that forward the argument. You’re welcome.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

  65. @Donald Sensing:

    Which is, sadly, exactly what OTB has become host to.

    Would you care to elaborate?

    I concur that there are some of this ilk in the comment sections (which is unavoidable on the internet)., Yet your statement seems to suggest a more universal opprobrium on the site itself.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  66. @Septimius: I was remarking on the relationship between the commenter and the poster, not the commenters-to-the commenters. These are separate issues in my mind.

    On balance my main focus tends to be my interaction between myself and the commenters who direct themselves at me–to try and mediate all the comments would require far more time than I have in a given day.

    I have, on occasion, intervened, but only in cases that strike me as extreme.

    It strikes me as unreasonable to expect myself, or any of the authors to control the comment threads. I try to be reasonable and hope that that helps to contribute to the general tenor of the conversation, What can I really do beyond that?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  67. Mikey says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: It’s like being at a place with a lot of kids and watching how they interact. Some kids just push buttons because it’s their way of getting attention.

    Congratulations, Dr. Taylor, you’ve helped create a playground. ;-)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  68. (And btw: do I think that some of the commenter-to-commenter intercourse is both contemptuous and unnecessarily coarse? Yes, I do, but I figure that people can work out their own conversations. I also understand why commenters occasionally get tired of various broken records that are regularly played in these environs).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  69. @Steven L. Taylor: Indeed. And without a doubt some play nicer than others. And there are varying types of goals associated with the “play” in question.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  70. DRE says:

    @JKB:

    It’s a bonus that I have firearm readily available should I interrupt thieves at my home since my house is remote and the thieves would have to go through me unless they abandon their vehicle and run through the brush.

    The big problem with this type of thinking is what happens when there is a misunderstanding between two armed individuals. Each may be perfectly innocent in their intentions, but feel that they are being threatened by the other and react accordingly. Each is therefore justified in killing the other.

    In fact this situation only requires one armed individual and one that reacts to a perceived threat by attacking with whatever is available. Think of George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin. We all have a strong interest in minimizing the number of deadly weapons, and making sure that those who possess them are highly trained, tightly regulated, and easily recognized.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  71. (And BTW: we all spout nonsense on occasion as well as letting our emotions get the best of us. Some, however, are more consistent in this area than are others, shall we say. Some have rather distinct and consistent styles).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  72. @Septimius: BTW: I agree that some of those statements are unproductive. I don’t think all of them are, however.

    There is a difference between: ““You stupid f’” or “…If you ask me there is nothing more dangerous than a chicken shit like JKB with an over-active imagination and a gun…” (which I agree is unproductive) and “And…JKB makes Centellas’ point with his gangbanger mentality.” (which, if you read the essay I posted makes perfect sense, even if one doesn’t agree with the characterization).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  73. OzarkHillbilly says:

    And BTW: we all spout nonsense on occasion as well as letting our emotions get the best of us

    HEY! I resemble that remark!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  74. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    Where might we have heard this before? Perhaps regarding abortion? Gay marriage? Draft dodgers during Vietnam? And so on….

    Oh, and add to that draft dodgers during the Civil War, and World War 1, and people who still think the Income Tax is illegal, et cetera.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  75. Al says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Talking to yourself is a sure sign of insanity.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  76. @Al: Occupational hazard ;)

    (Of both being a professor and a parent)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  77. al-Ameda says:

    @Donald Sensing:

    I must confess, I always find it odd that some commenters clearly seek only to share their contempt
    Which is, sadly, exactly what OTB has become host to.

    So, go ahead, name names.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  78. C. Clavin says:

    “…If you ask me there is nothing more dangerous than a chicken shit like JKB with an over-active imagination and a gun…”
    Un-productive…yet accurate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

  79. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: I’m pretty sure that I got an A rather than a B in two of my accounting courses because I was one of a small number of people willing to engage in a dialogue with the professor. My exam grades alone certainly didn’t warrant an A in those classes.

    And now, with the shoe on the other foot, I usually start each semester hoping that there will be at least a couple of students in each section that aren’t afraid to participate. I teach night classes, and a three hour monologue is horrific for everyone, no matter the topic.

    Ah, the circle of life.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  80. john personna says:

    @this:

    Downvoters, I really think that most US citizens have too few police interactions to worry about them not being “there 99.99%” of the time. We only need them, what 0.0001%? Add another zero?

    In my life (now comfortably middle aged) I’ve called once.

    There are a lot of people like me who are sold guns, for home defense.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  81. john personna says:

    @Al:

    I believe they say it’s the arguments that are really worrying.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  82. Moosebreath says:

    @Al:

    Talking to yourself is OK. Answering yourself is OK. It’s when you start interrupting yourself that you need to worry.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  83. Septimius says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I certainly don’t expect you to police the comment threads, and I can understand why you would only want to engage commenters that are directly responding to your column. But, I wouldn’t expect high-minded dialogue from the handful of conservatives that comment here when they are regularly subjected to the type of comments that I quoted from this thread.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  84. john personna says:

    @Septimius:

    The problem we face is that OTB has become a site mostly right of center, which receives mostly comments left of center.

    Few reasoned (realist) conservatives show up, probably because the house positions are kind of boring to them. Agree, blah, carry on.

    The daily conservatives we do get are far out there, people who show up to disagree with mostly reasonable position by being unreasonable. Some of them I’m sure consciously bring the crazy, each day, to annoy the liberals.

    And then, suddenly, they should be taken seriously when they say that they pack guns to feel safe and we should all be good with that?

    Think it through.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  85. stonetools says:

    Empirical analysis shows that urban minority youth are far likely to suffer from gun vioence than any other group. Yet, curiously, the gun lobby doesn’t call for guns for all urban minority youth. Funny that.
    If you were to poll the lawbiding people living in those urban neighborhoods, you would find very few of them saying that the solution to urban gun vioence is more guns. Instead they call for jobs, better schools, more police, and after school programs for the kids. Maybe we should listen to them?

    The people lusting for MOAR GUNZ are invariably folks living in good suburban neighborhoods who are very unlikely to face violent confrontation. My belief is that most want guns just to f ulfil some youthful fantasy and secondarily to show off to their their male friends .
    There was a long article recently on this guy pboasting about pow owning and carrying a gun gave him”situational awareness”. This guy was a rich white male , living in an uscale neighborhood, who drove to a Starbucks in a Meredes with a gun under his jacket. Excerpt:

    He bought his first gun a week before the debut of TheTruthAboutGuns.com. He took a firearms class. He filled out the paperwork and went through the background check to get a permit to carry a gun. He now owns 18 guns.

    “Once you put a gun on, you gain situational awareness,” he says. After he bought his first gun, he says, “I felt grown up. It was like a coming-of-age thing.

    Seriously, isn’t this just some guy with issues? I bet he is typical of all the gun cultists who loudly insist on their “right” to powerful firearms.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  86. JKB says:

    @DRE:

    Your understanding of the law is incorrect. Everything hinges on a reasonable belief there is an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury. Actions, not intentions matter. The solution is to stop being an imminent threat. And you should strive not to be an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury to others whether they are armed or not. It’s just good manners and also helps you avoid criminal charges.

    No you don’t want them readily identifiable. Where people have lawfully open carried, firearm in holster or on shoulder sling, etc., people have maliciously called the police on them. Some here have argued that these individuals lawfully carrying a non-concealed weapon have disturbed the peace. Can’t have it both ways, if people lawfully carrying are readily identifiable, then you can freak out every time you identify someone lawfully carrying.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  87. JKB says:

    @stonetools:

    Well, here is a young woman who just likes shooting guns. Oh, and shooting guns is how she makes her living. Kind of like those people who play golf or tennis, or surf, or fish, etc.

    In fact, guns are so fun to shoot, that President Barack Obama has joined the cult. Reportedly firing guns all the time up at Camp David.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  88. @Steven L. Taylor:

    Yet your statement seems to suggest a more universal opprobrium on the site itself.

    The same scornful mocking tone is found among the majority of commenters of practically every post on OTB, no matter who the post’s writer is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  89. @al-Ameda:

    So, go ahead, name names.

    Well, you need only see the quote in the comment immediately below yours.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  90. stonetools says:

    @JKB:

    Well, here is a young woman who just likes shooting guns. Oh, and shooting guns is how she makes her living. Kind of like those people who play golf or tennis, or surf, or fish, etc.

    Well at least you admit the truth. This really isn’t a battle about “self protection”, or “guarding against government tyranny”: its about convenience and the fun of owning and shooting guns.

    Now let’s balance that against 10, 000 gun homicides per year, versusd a handful in most other industrialized countries

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  91. john personna says:

    @Donald Sensing:

    So I flipped over to your site. You believe “Very simply, they [radical Islam] are now waging war upon the First Amendment” and “And the Obama administration has decided to help them.”

    Do you even know where the crazy line is drawn?

    I mean seriously, if you are a safe and sane guy in real life, figure out that you can’t play a madman on the internets and get respect too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  92. Remember, when seconds count, the police are only minutes hours away, the new Chicago PD policy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  93. @Donald Sensing:

    The same scornful mocking tone is found among the majority of commenters of practically every post on OTB, no matter who the post’s writer is.

    There is, no doubt, too much mocking in derision in the comment section, and I filter some of it more than others.

    First, I would note that the quality of the comments varies, so universal condemnation strikes me as unfair and inaccurate.

    Second, my fundamental point is that I don’t get (and even find amusing) people like the Tsar who hold something in contempt (e.g., political scientists) and yet dedicate some amount of his finite day to read and comment on things written by a political scientist (two of us, in fact).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  94. john personna says:

    @Donald Sensing:

    I did think C.Calvin was a bit … overwrought today, but it’s kind of amazing that stonetool’s quote documents just that kind of over-active imagination and …

    Heading toward a Starbucks on the pricey side of town, Rob Farago is packing. The Glock 30SF lives on his right hip, holstered under his jacket, with 10 rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber. Backup ammo is in another pocket.

    God, should I just stay away from Starbucks? I thought they were safe …

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  95. Heh!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  96. @Steven L. Taylor:

    Fairly put.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  97. @Donald Sensing:

    Speaking for myself, I don’t have a problem if someone believed that they need a handgun to protect their homes, although as noted above, the vast majority of people actually do not.

    Beyond that:

    1. There has to an honest balancing of threat. A handgun in home with three male children (and numerous child visitors) in a relatively safe neighborhood, for example, would be far, far more likely to end in an accidental shooting than it would stopping a home invasion, so such issues have to be taken into consideration.

    2. One does not need an AR 15 and a massive ,magazine to ward off an intruder.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  98. @john personna:

    God, should I just stay away from Starbucks? I thought they were safe …

    Just stay away from the ones “on the pricey side of town.” They’re like walking into Dodge City.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  99. john personna says:

    @Donald Sensing:

    If you think, broadly, American citizens need guns to be safe, then you might not be as sane as you think you are.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  100. john personna says:

    @Donald Sensing:

    I’ll give you some points for humor, but this is the real question – whether this sort of visualized risk, and then armed response, is helpful.

    If it only means amateurs bring guns to (otherwise!) safe destinations, then no, it is not useful at all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  101. matt says:

    @john personna: The only one better armed then the police is the military and the police is doing all they can to catch up.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/26/nypd-could-take-down-plan_n_980883.html

    You’re just engaging in your standard fear-mongering rhetoric…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  102. john personna says:

    @matt:

    That sir, was a crazy response.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  103. john personna says:

    (Perfect example, really. Post crazy stuff as proof you should have guns. As if NY’s plan relating to terrorist attacks by air influences a law abiding family’s safety, or gun ownership decision.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  104. matt says:

    @john personna: Not everyone is as privileged as you and are able to live in the nice neighborhoods.

    I have a CCW and I don’t usually carry because fortunately most of the time my business does not involve a shitty neighborhood. I have on the other hand lived in many a shitty neighborhood where it was common for people to have bars on their windows. In one location one of my friends was so unsubtle that he’d walk to the parking lot with a baseball bat to wait for his wife when she was due home. AT that place it was common to call whoever was home so that the door would be unlocked when you got there.

    I preferred to keep a low-key non confrontational style..

    @john personna: That doesn’t surprise me that you’ve only had one interaction with the police. I’m barely 30 and I’ve had many interactions with the police of which only a handful were of my own fault (speeding traffic accident etc). What we have here is confirmation of your privileged upbringing..

    EDIT : Just in the last 9 months at the current place I’ve had to call the cops four times…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  105. matt says:

    @john personna: Your claim that the police are outgunned is absolutely nuts. Only someone completely delusional would believe that the police who are snatching up billions in military hardware and are armed with fully automatic weaponry (including 50 cal machine guns) are being somehow outgunned by people with semi-autos….

    Yet me pointing out the insanity of your position is somehow nuts?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  106. C. Clavin says:

    Overwrought???
    Oh, you’re an intelligent imbecile!”
    Why, I oughta….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  107. Pharoah Narim says:

    The hate to paint with a broad brush but it appears many of the posters here have never lived in a poor minority community. Sure, people have guns, most of them illegal.. but the reason there is violence has nothing to do with the guns. Its because these communities aren’t policed. The police show up to bag up the bodies before packing it up and leaving the community again. They run just enough counter drug operations and busts to meet their arrest and conviction quotas from the Feds to qualify for additional funding. Funding that goes for fancy assault rifles, body armor, humvees…all the cool militarized toys that shouldn’t be in a community anyway.

    On the second hand, I can’t blame policemen making peanuts for not wanting to risk their lives for the sake of doing the type of police work that makes a difference. Police strategy is to contain criminality to poor areas–not to eliminate it. Criminals know what type of behavior is allowed and where. When guys from poor communities starts branching out into areas not allowed–a foot gets applied to their throats swiftly. To say the key to the equation lies with the guns is to really have not walked in the right shoes to form a clear prospective of this issue. Yes, yes….jobs, school, all that are important but we have come to associate povery with anti-social behavior and the two are mutually exclusive and their merger–especially in black communites is a rather recent occurence.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  108. matt says:

    @Pharoah Narim: Yeah in poor neighborhoods police are there basically only as a cleanup crew because lord knows they won’t be there quick enough to matter.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  109. michael reynolds says:

    More good news for the gun merchants and their cult

    A 3-year-old boy in Greenville, South Carolina was shot in the head and killed on Friday after he started playing with a pink handgun because he thought it was a toy.

    Bet you five bucks sales of pink handguns go up. Do you have yours yet, JKB?

    Dead children = Good business.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  110. @Steven L. Taylor:

    One does not need an AR 15 and a massive ,magazine to ward off an intruder.

    Having had a combat-arms military career, I think I am pretty familiar with the uses of an AR-type rifle and you will probably be surprised that I agree in the main. I do not own such a gun or have either the desire (or the cash) to get one. Having lugged one around for some years, they hold no further attraction for me. I disagree with your assessment, though, of the utility of magazine capacity. When you are in a gunfight, purely defensive or no, it is impossible to have too much ammo ready to use. Most shots will likely miss, and maybe the bad guy will then flee and maybe he won’t. While the odds are that you will need only a few rounds to defend yourself, there is no certainty of it. Nonetheless, it is true that even most police gunfights take less than ten seconds from start to finish and no more than one magazine of ammo.

    But I always advise the people who ask me (which is rare) that having a gun for home defense is not even half the solution. You also have to have a plan. My kids are grown and gone so that vastly simplifies our plan, which is quite simple: immediately retreat to our corner, second-floor bedroom, lock the door, barricade armed behind the bed and call 911. I do not intend to defend my home, only our lives, so if an intruder breaks through the door, his life’s problems will be permanently over. But otherwise the cops can have him, at that time or later. Since there is nothing I own that I would risk my life or take a life to get back, I will not do either to retain possession. It’s just stuff.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  111. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    One does not need an AR 15 and a massive ,magazine to ward off an intruder.

    Heh. If one can’t hit it with the first 15 rounds, what makes them think they will with the second? Or to put it another way, you don’t need a 30 round clip, what you need is practice.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  112. al-Ameda says:

    @matt:

    Not everyone is as privileged as you and are able to live in the nice neighborhoods.

    You actually believe that only the privileged live in safe neighborhoods?
    Do I misunderstand you?

    I hope that’s not what you’re saying, because that is pretty far from the truth.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  113. @john personna:

    So add your name to the list of commenters who think that insulting others is the same as incisive, cogent analysis and insight. Ho, hum.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  114. C. Clavin says:

    I see that the survivalist who kidnapped that kid in Alabama…didn’t survive.
    Damn tyrannical gubmint..if only he had had more guns..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  115. john personna says:

    @matt:

    I grew up in an average California suburb (San Gabriel Valley). My condo’s value sits pretty close to the California median home price. I guess by having a condo I get into a safer zip than with a house, but I’m hardly the elite.

    Maybe if you want to show that everyone is under threat of violence and needs guns, you should do that.

    (Rather than attacking me, in a crazy way.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  116. @OzarkHillbilly:

    If one can’t hit it with the first 15 rounds, what makes them think they will with the second? Or to put it another way, you don’t need a 30 round clip, what you need is practice.

    Actually, this is a good point.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  117. john personna says:

    @Donald Sensing:

    Add you to the list who think they can be crazy and get a pass.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  118. matt says:

    @al-Ameda: You probably should try to read what I typed and not what you wish I had typed.

    @michael reynolds: That’s probably why my family taught me at an early age that guns are never toys. It’s too bad for the kid that the parents involved were irresponsible. You don’t leave a knife or matches lying around for a kid to pick up so why the hell was a gun lying around loaded…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  119. matt says:

    @john personna: You apparently have never experienced real crazy which doesn’t surprise me as you lived in a condo isolated from us peasants.

    I’m relating my actual experiences to contrast with your privileged upbringing and all you can respond with is second grade level trolling. LOLOL CRAZY CRAZY NUTS!!! LOLOL…

    sigh.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  120. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Donald Sensing:

    I disagree with your assessment, though, of the utility of magazine capacity. When you are in a gunfight,

    You gotta be kidding me…..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  121. john personna says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Speaking for myself, I don’t have a problem if someone believed that they need a handgun to protect their homes, although as noted above, the vast majority of people actually do not.

    but

    A handgun in home with three male children (and numerous child visitors) in a relatively safe neighborhood, for example, would be far, far more likely to end in an accidental shooting than it would stopping a home invasion, so such issues have to be taken into consideration.

    I’m not making that straddle today. Yes, we have the 2nd amendment and are very unlikely to eliminate private gun ownership. At most we’ll shift the boundaries of the 1934 National Firearms Act just a squidge.

    That doesn’t mean we have to accept “because I bought a gun, my decision was right” arguments.

    You may have a gun, and your decision may have been faulty.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  122. john personna says:

    @matt:

    Sure, bring some more crazy, that will convince me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  123. john personna says:

    (If I live in a median priced home, I live in a median neighborhood. How hard is that?)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  124. Pharoah Narim says:

    —And while I may agree with common sense regulations. The arguments the left uses to justify their postion is the same nest of false equivilencies and straw men the right uses to trash earned benefits (i.e. entitilements). I listen to the Brosnon on CNN talk about “assault pistols” as deadly as assault rifles and assault rifles that fire 100 round per min…then Odonnell on MSNBC characterizes the AR-15 as the “weapon of mass murderers” and anyone that has taken High School level debate knows exactly what they are trying to do.

    The Constitution may not guarantee an individual right to arms but it also doesn’t carry an individual prohibition either—meaning each state ought to hammer out the laws that best fit the lifestyle of its citizens. If guns are flowing from states that have more relaxed laws to places where pervasive ownership doesn’t make sense–that’s what we pay police for. Sure, Wayne Lapierre is a jerk–but when he says police aren’t going after straw purchasers…I can’t find anything to show that he’s lying. We certainly aren’t investing 1/100 of the resources into that–that we invest in restricting the movement of drugs (because everyone wants “war on drug money from the Feds) If you going to be the party or side of numbers and facts—stay consistent and make policy recomendations based on history, numbers, and facts. That’s all Im saying.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  125. al-Ameda says:

    @matt:

    @al-Ameda: You probably should try to read what I typed and not what you wish I had typed.

    You’re right Matt, you said “Nice” not “safe.”
    Still, you’re saying one has to be privileged to live in a nice neighborhood? Yeah, right.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  126. @john personna:

    That doesn’t mean we have to accept “because I bought a gun, my decision was right” arguments.

    You may have a gun, and your decision may have been faulty.

    Indeed. But then again I am not sure anything I wrote would state otherwise.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  127. Dave Schuler says:

    I’m surprised that no one has latched on to the underlying implication of the linked article: that more effective law enforcement in inner cities is needed.

    Ask yourself a question. Is the feeling of a need to defend oneself on the part of gang members rational or irrational? If it’s rational, what else do you expect them to do? If it’s irrational, how do you convince them of that?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  128. matt says:

    @john personna: Yeah where the median price and median income is about double of here. That median income is 4x the median income in the poor neighborhoods.

    So yeah your condo is just like living at street level with bars on your window and gang bangers outside your front door.

    I’m not even attacking you I’m just pointing out that having a privileged life has caused you to have a different view on life. You should be proud of that fact.

    You think Paris Hilton doesn’t have a different perspective on life then the average poor American?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  129. mantis says:

    @Donald Sensing:

    Remember, when seconds count, the police are only minutes hours away, the new Chicago PD policy.

    Let’s look at the link, shall we?

    Starting this week, Chicago police are changing their responses to 911 calls. They’ll no longer come right away to reports of things like criminal damage to property, vehicle thefts, garage burglaries, or other crimes in which the suspect is no longer on the scene, and the victim isn’t in immediate danger.

    The move will free up the equivalent of 44 police officers a day for patrol duties.

    Now you may be unfamiliar with my city, but we welcome this wise policy change. We need more patrol officers in problem areas, and they will do more good to deal with the gang problem here than a speedy response to a broken window or case of beer stolen from a garage would.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  130. michael reynolds says:

    @matt:

    Grandparents in this case. No doubt they thought they needed it for personal security. Anyone who believes you can teach a three year old not to play with something they find lying around has never had kids.

    But hey, just another dead kid. Add him to the long list of dead kids who do their part to line the pockets of gun manufacturers. Did children are great for the gun business.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  131. john personna says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I’m being pedantic on “I don’t have a problem if someone believed …”

    I think we can have a small problem, while recognizing the right.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  132. john personna says:

    @matt:

    Remember, this discussion was about the common need for guns, before you joined.

    And we were talking about the rich guy, who needed a glock for a Starbucks in the nice side of town.

    There are an entirely different set of problems for the smaller group who do live in strongly crime impacted areas. If you live in one, I’d say go to reddit and ask “where is cheap and safe?” Someone will know.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  133. john personna says:

    @mantis:

    So Donald was just posting a little “crazy” for us to respect, and not lampoon.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  134. matt says:

    @michael reynolds: I was taught?

    In all seriousness the grandparents broke the law and should have to pay for it.

    About 21,000 kids died today so have you cried over every single one of them Micheal?

    @john personna: You’re so clueless it’s hilarious. Go to Reddit lolol. How cute.

    No seriously thanks John that’s probably the funniest thing I’ve read today. You’re so isolated from reality that you think people live in shitty neighborhoods because they want to? That simply asking Reddit will somehow magically make money appear that I don’t have?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  135. @john personna: I see your point.

    All I am trying to note that in terms of public policy I am not looking for legislation to be passed that will curtail the ability of citizens to own a handgun (or shotgun) for home protection. Indeed, I note that because I think too many who engage in this debate pretend like (or are simply paranoid) that that is the point of the conversation.

    I do think, and that was part of my point that you noted, that even if we are going to continue to have that legal right that we ought to do some better cost/benefit analysis. Too much of this discussion, writ large, is predicated on experiences that we are all highly unlikely to ever have.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  136. john personna says:

    @this:

    There are an entirely different set of problems for the smaller group who do live in strongly crime impacted areas. If you live in one, I’d say go to reddit and ask “where is cheap and safe?” Someone will know.

    This was actually a compassionate statement. The data are never uniform. Crime per dollar of rent is not going to be the same, everywhere in the United States. Poor areas might be generally higher crime, but not uniformly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  137. john personna says:

    (And again, you are now calling the median the elite, that arming more people in dangerous areas makes those areas safer.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  138. john personna says:

    BTW Matt, what is your yearly guns budget?

    You said you went to the range a lot, right?

    (I know you are spending a hella lot more on guns than I do on mountain bikes.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  139. matt says:

    @john personna: There’s probably a handful of people on Reddit that even know about where I live and I doubt any of them know something I don’t already know about this area. There’s a wealth of information online available for tracking and mapping out crime patterns. The police department here even has a map on their website where individual crimes were committed and some details on the crime.

    My current location is actually fairly safe compared to prior areas. Availability is a major issue here as anything cheap in a decent neighborhood gets snapped up quickly.

    @john personna: I never called you the elite either…

    @john personna: My yearly gun budget is about 300 bucks which includes my adventures in hunting. In return for that investment I gain fresh meat which lowers my monthly grocery bill by a nice amount (of which I can make a profit if I do well).

    I have unlimited range access for a small yearly fee.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  140. stonetools says:

    @matt:

    Yeah in poor neighborhoods police are there basically only as a cleanup crew because lord knows they won’t be there quick enough to matter.

    Now is the solution to that to outfit every poor person with a semi-automatic rifle with high capacity magazines or to hire more police? I gaurantee that the gun lobby isn’t going to advocate for (1), although its the logical conclusion of their preferred approach.
    Let’s face it, unlimited GUNZ is for white folks who are concerned about THOSE folks coming into their driveway or walking through their gated communities.
    People in poor, urban neighborhoods aren’t calling for more guns: they’re calling for more and better policing. They’re right too. They KNOW, from personal experience, that an armed society isn’t a polite society, its just a more murderous society.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  141. matt says:

    @stonetools: Wow assumptions galore.

    Honestly if you’re in a poor neighborhood in Chicago you probably view the police as the enemy. Because the CPD have made it a point to be so abusive that poor people would rather just not call the police and deal with stuff personally. That of course is going with the assumption that the police would even bother responding to your call in the first place. I’ve had friends tell me about police straight refusing to show up while a crime was in process.

    More officers on the ground could definitely help this problem but only if they are actually making honest outreaches to the community. Right now the only outreach a lot of the big city departments have been providing is with a club..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  142. anjin-san says:

    In all seriousness the grandparents broke the law and should have to pay for it.

    Thats a swell though. Unfortunately, the child in question has already paid, in full.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  143. stonetools says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I do think, and that was part of my point that you noted, that even if we are going to continue to have that legal right that we ought to do some better cost/benefit analysis. Too much of this discussion, writ large, is predicated on experiences that we are all highly unlikely to ever have.

    You’ll never get conservatives to agree to a cost-benefit analysis of mass ownership of guns, although they are happy to applty a cost-benefit analysis to government programs and regulations they don’t like. The reason? Applying such analysis to mass ownership of guns would quickly lead to the conclusion that all other industrialized societies have come to-that guns should be heavily regulated.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  144. matt says:

    @anjin-san: I thought laws would solve everything? So we should pass more laws because we don’t want to enforce the current ones?

    Or we shouldn’t enforce laws because of emotion?

    I’m not even sure what you’re trying to say now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  145. stonetools says:

    @anjin-san:

    You see, that’s the problem with guns. Mistakes with guns are often FOREVER.It’s why guns should be more strictly regulated and why the “a gun is just a tool” argument doesn’t work. If I make a mistake with a hammer, generally no big deal.

    Generally, if a make a mistake with a gun , or pick up a gun in the course of an argument, or try to kill myself with a gun, the consequences are much more serious.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  146. Rafer Janders says:

    @matt:

    About 21,000 kids died today so have you cried over every single one of them ‘

    21,000 kids dying today would indicate about 766,500 kids dying a year. We only have 300 million people or so living in this country, and on average, only 2.5 million people of all ages die of all causes in one year, so that would mean that children are dying at greater a rate than adults.

    Does your false belief that 21,000 kids died today not seem a bit, well..crazy to you?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  147. stonetools says:

    @matt:

    Honestly if you’re in a poor neighborhood in Chicago you probably view the police as the enemy. Because the CPD have made it a point to be so abusive that poor people would rather just not call the police and deal with stuff personally

    Which is why the call is for more and better policing .
    Frankly thats the better solution to the “home intruder” problem. Genrerally, the cop on the block and the cop in the neighborhood scares off the intruder, so you don’t even get the “home intruder is only seconds away” issue.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  148. grumpy realist says:

    @stonetools: That’s why I’m dubious about the arguments “well, if he didn’t have a gun, he would have done the same thing with a baseball bat/knife/aspirin bottle…”

    1. Try being a mass murderer with a baseball bat. Ditto with a knife. Very hard.
    2. Flaring up in anger and committing manslaughter. Again, much easier with a gun in your hand than with any of the others.
    3. Suicide. Much, much more likely to be final and complete with a gun than with any of the others. You don’t see hesitation marks with a gun–you see a dead body instead.

    Look, if the gun nuts want to go off and shoot up each other, fine with me. It’s when they take the rest of us due to their carelessness/stupidity/lack of anger management/belief that God told them to do so that I get annoyed.

    P.S. If “an armed society is a polite society”, why is Iraq such a hellhole? They certainly seem to be armed enough!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  149. matt says:

    @Rafer Janders: http://www.unicef.org/mdg/childmortality.html

    I get it you only care about your tribe..

    @stonetools: Yeah and you’re probably not willing to pay the taxes required to do such a thing. Sure as can be if they did put a cop on every block the cop would be too busy writing tickets or busting a speeder to bother with the thief. Now if you were able to actually make it work then that would be glorious to have. We would also hopefully have a real dialogue about how to best trim our bloated laws.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  150. matt says:

    @grumpy realist:

    P.S. If “an armed society is a polite society”, why is Iraq such a hellhole? They certainly seem to be armed enough!

    I think the whole fighting over who is the legitimate successor to Muhammad for the last what 1200 years might be an over riding factor? We also made it a point to disarm the law abiding citizens when possible which pretty much left the militias and other outlaws with the guns.

    I don’t understand the obsession with suicide. If someone wants to kill themselves let em. They don’t want to be a productive member of society and I’d rather they just off themselves instead of taking others with them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  151. Rafer Janders says:

    @matt:

    Oh, silly me. Of course in a discussion about gun control in the US it should have been immediately apparent that you were discussing total worldwide deaths…..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  152. Rafer Janders says:

    @matt:

    Yeah and you’re probably not willing to pay the taxes required to do such a thing.

    Please, I live in NY. I’m fairly confident that I pay more in taxes in one quarter than you make all year.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  153. matt says:

    @Rafer Janders: Oh I didn’t realize that I had to run everything by you first in order to get permission to ask Micheal a simple question. How silly of me I apologize for that overstep.

    @Rafer Janders: Good for you big boy good for you. Swing that epenor around…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  154. anjin-san says:

    I think the whole fighting over who is the legitimate successor to Muhammad for the last what 1200 years might be an over riding factor?

    Given the violent nature our own society, I think we are in a poor position to get snooty about violence in other countries.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  155. matt says:

    @anjin-san: Haha.

    Don’t shoot the messenger I was just providing some background information on the fighting there.

    I won’t disagree with your assessment of our violent nature that’s for sure.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  156. anjin-san says:

    @ matt

    @anjin-san: I thought laws would solve everything?

    I would like to take you seriously – you have made some thoughtful comments in the past. That being said, when you make remarks like this, it becomes pretty easy to dismiss you. If you can’t do better, you should get in touch with Jenos and JKB and do lunch.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  157. matt says:

    @anjin-san: Well what else is there to say when you are confronted by someone that doesn’t want current laws enforced but wants more laws passed?

    Am I incorrect in characterizing you as wanting more gun control laws?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  158. anjin-san says:

    Am I incorrect in characterizing you as wanting more gun control laws?

    Where have I called for more gun control laws?

    Look, gun laws, like all laws, are flawed, and like anything that involves human beings, imperfect. That does not mean we give up on the concept of law. People still rob, rape, and murder – despite the law. Does that mean we don’t continue to perfect our legal code, and adapt to changing circumstances? Of course not.

    But I will call for new gun laws:

    Any purchase of a firearm requires clearing a background check.

    If inadequate efforts to secure a gun you own result in a death, the penalty to the gun owner is life in prison.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  159. David M says:

    Given the fact the GOP-NRA have made enforcement of current gun laws difficult to impossible at the same time they push the “enforce current gun laws” talking point, no one should ever take it seriously.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  160. DRE says:

    @JKB: Can’t have it both ways, if people lawfully carrying are readily identifiable, then you can freak out every time you identify someone lawfully carrying.

    It’s the lawful part that needs to be readily identifiable, so the weapon is not percieved as a threat. People freak out when they see a random person displaying a weapon, because they doubt that it is lawful.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  161. JKB says:

    @DRE:

    Well, that is why people carry concealed. That way people ignorant of the law don’t make paranoid assumptions.

    Most states have carry permits for those who carry a firearm on their person. Some, due to state constitutions only require permits for concealed carry.

    Historically, open carry was not a concern to people but concealed carry was thought to need regulation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  162. DRE says:

    @matt:

    In all seriousness the grandparents broke the law and should have to pay for it.

    Except that gun rights advocates seem to go crazy at any suggestion of limiting gun ownership to those who are properly trained and aware of the law and the dangers, and even more crazy at the idea of keeping track of gun and ammunition purchases. The only possible gun regulations in the US today would be of this nature, but any regulation is treated as an attempt to ban private gun ownership entirely.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  163. JKB says:

    @stonetools:

    Guns in the US are heavily regulated. Perhaps you’ve heard about the federal law enforcement agency specifically tasked with firearm regulation? The limitations on who can own or possess firearms? The background checks? The license required for NFA firearms? The prohibition of any new select fire and automatic weapons entering private ownership since 1986? The almost universal requirement of a permit to carry a firearm on or about your person? The stringent conditions for transporting a firearm in a vehicle? The prohibition of carrying firearms in many government buildings, businesses, in or near schools?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  164. DRE says:

    @JKB:

    That way people ignorant of the law don’t make paranoid assumptions.

    It’s hardly paranoid to be worried by a random person displaying a deadly weapon, when you have no way of knowing if the person has any idea of how to handle it, even if he doesn’t have evil intentions. If we had laws that required a high degree of training to carry a weapon in public, and made it easy to to identify a person who had that right, then maybe people would be less freaked out by it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  165. anjin-san says:

    @ JKB

    Perhaps you’ve heard that the NRA ad about Obama’s kids that you parroted was BS. Are you going to man up and own it, or continue to take the CS way out? If you are going the chickenshit route, can you tell us why anyone would take anything you say seriously?

    Or you could just continue your manly avoidance of this issue…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  166. bill says:

    @Fiona: the “gang bangers” typically have “illegal” guns, they’re criminals just possessing them and that doesn’t seem to faze them let alone stop them from using them. penis envy is no reason to ban guns….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  167. C. Clavin says:

    Again JKB is full of shit….
    Guns in the US are less regulated than all other developed nations.
    Given an enema…nothing left.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  168. stonetools says:

    @JKB:

    In the USA I live in, there have been :
    Five mass shootings by lunatics using high powered firearms in the last couple of years
    Another lunatic with a gun held a six year old child prisoner for five days before being killed this week ( Prior to this he was a legitimate, responsible gun owner).
    Another “legitimate, responsible gun owner” shot a man dead for the crime of pulling into his driveway
    And there have been approximately 1,619 gun deaths since Sandy Hook (December 14, 2012)

    Clearly , in the USA I live in, guns aren’t sufficiently regulated.
    What color is the sky in your universe?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  169. stonetools says:

    The real reason why gun owners want to carry concealed is that nothing says gun nut like someone carrying a gun openly in a situation where no gun is called for.
    I think gun carriers should be willing to let their freak flag fly, so that those of us who don’t want to be around folks who want to carry guns into suburban coffee shops can avoid them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  170. bill says:

    @stonetools: and the vast majority were not by law abiding gun owners. drug runners and crazies do most of the damage, and neither should be on the streets but they are. let’s talk about chicago, shouldn’t we!?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  171. JKB says:

    @DRE:

    Well, if they are handling it and not at a firing range or in a self defense situation, you should be concerned. But a firearm in a holster is not something to be concerned about it. If they are publicl carrying it without a holster, be concerned. If they brandish it, be concerned.

    But a firearm in a holster is nothing to be concerned about assuming the individual isn’t being threatening.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  172. JKB says:

    @anjin-san:

    I commented on that on the last post about the NRA and that ad. Please see that post.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  173. JKB says:

    @C. Clavin: Guns in the US are less regulated than all other developed nations.

    I said guns in the US are heavily regulated. I made no comment comparing US regulation to regulations in other countries.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  174. michael reynolds says:

    @JKB:

    That’s utterly dishonest. The NRA and the GOP have gutted the ATF. The ATF has virtually no enforcement powers over guns.

    The NRA which used to support background checks now opposes them. Why? Because the gun manufacturers have realized that mass murder are very good business for them. The more mass killings, the more guns they sell. Murder is profit for Bushmaster and Colt and the rest. The gun cult are just pimps for the gun manufacturers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  175. matt says:

    Sorry for the sudden departure but I had chemistry class and lab to attend to this evening.

    @anjin-san: Well basically we agree but I just would like to see our current laws enforced before we get too gung ho about adding more. I agree with you on the background checks and such though which are not covered universally by current law (it’s a patchwork state to state right now). On the other hand there’s been demands for new laws that are already covered by current laws and the lack of enforcement is the actual problem.

    @DRE: Hello I’m a gun owner and advocate yet I’ve already suggested some of the things you’ve listed. You would find more gun owners willing to concede to your demands if it wasn’t for the political reality that if given an inch the anti-gun crowd will take a mile. I believe it’s the lack of any sort of concrete assurance that the slope won’t suddenly steepen that is keeping some gun owners from signing on for registration and such.

    @michael reynolds: You’re so completely off the deep end it’s not even funny. Mass murders has almost nothing to do with the gun sales it’s the nuts like you clamoring to ban guns after a mass murder that is driving the sales. Feinstein has been trying to ban about every gun in existence for a long time now (decades?). Combined with the media storm and the President’s own words people are now taking Feinstein seriously and as such are trying to grab the guns they want before they are banned. Every-time the Democratic party starts talking about passing more gun control laws and give Feinstein attention gun sales shoots up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  176. Pharoah Narim says:

    @Stonetools:

    Another lunatic with a gun held a six year old child prisoner for five days before being killed this week ( Prior to this he was a legitimate, responsible gun owner).

    This is not true. The man had threatened in the past to shoot his neighbors. He was known as “mean man”. In other news–millions of other people DID handle guns safely without incident. What Im reading in the comments is the same logic people use when they see someone talking on an iPhone in the grocery line and using the SNAP card to pay for their crab legs and T-bone steaks. That then becomes the rationale for cutting assistance or having them piss in cups to continue benefits because, obviously, they all are living high off the hog on the public dime. Just like the scenario I highlighted is random–so are bad things that happen with weapons. Numbers don’t lie–and while I don’t like needless death–the statistics show that you odds of you getting shot and killed are almost zero. And the same goes for the folks packing heat waiting for the home invasion to avert an assault. Its not going to happen–it’ll happen to somebody but probably not you.

    Nobody has demonstrated that there isn’t legislation currently on the books we can’t use to prosecute those that threaten others or transfer weapons to people that shouldn’t have them, etc. So why the push for new regulation? Why do I care? Not because of the guns but because I know guns are a serious enough issue to fracture the patchwork coalition the Democrats currently have. It wouldn’t take much more than a few John Huntsman types talking halfway sensible to start chipping away at it. Put the gun fettish away—its going to cost more that what we want to pay for the return we’d get.

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  177. anjin-san says:

    @ matt

    Well basically we agree but I just would like to see our current laws enforced before we get too gung ho about adding more.

    That’s not really how things work in the real world. It sounds like an excuse for doing nothing.

    What do you think of my idea for a law regarding fatalities related to improperly secured guns?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  178. matt says:

    @anjin-san: There’s already laws covering that which need to be enforced. That’s why I called for the owner of the gun to be charged in the case linked by Micheal.

    While we’re at it the grandparents were obviously neglectful too.

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  179. michael reynolds says:

    @matt:

    Right. Yeah. You gun cultists, in service to the gun manufacturers, ensure that our society is saturated with your filthy instruments of murder, and then, surprise! murder occurs.

    So decent people demand that you creeps dial it back, and a bunch of sick f*cks rush out to buy the exact gun used in the murder of children. And it’s our fault.

    Yeah. That makes perfect sense. The insane logic of the cult member.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

  180. michael reynolds says:

    @matt:

    It’s a lie to pretend there are laws. You people have gutted the laws. The laws don’t exist. A madman can buy an assault weapon tomorrow thanks to people like you. You put the guns in their hands. You enable murder. And what is so vile about people like you is that you act as brain-dead cultists pimping for money-grubbing gun manufacturers who profit directly from the deaths of children.

    Another child dead = profit for the gun manufacturers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  181. michael reynolds says:

    @Pharoah Narim:

    Unfortunately, you are mistaken.

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-january-16-2013/there-goes-the-boom

    and:

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-january-16-2013/there-goes-the-boom—atf

    There is no enforcement. And there are no laws because the NRA and their employees in Congress have gutted enforcement.

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  182. matt says:

    @michael reynolds: Except most of the guns being bought aren’t that exact same gun. If you’re referring to the AR-15 platform in general then you’re covering a shit ton of variations and different manufacturers.

    Murder occurs here regardless of availability of weaponry..

    @michael reynolds: No just no. This post by you is so awful I don’t even know if you’re being serious anymore. You declare there’s no laws yet I have spent time pointing out laws that were broken across the many threads involving guns. I could point out all the laws that were broken before the first kid was even shot at sandyhook and you’ll just continue to scream about me being brain dead…

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  183. michael reynolds says:

    @matt:

    In the days after Newtown, Bushmaster did land office business. Everyone wanted the weapon used to shoot children. Why? Because you are sick, disgusting creatures.

    Watch the links I gave to Pharaoh, then come back and talk to me about laws.

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  184. Mike in VA says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    FYI…

    “the armed African-American young man who appears to be in a gang ” is actually rapper Ice Cube, and his gang was the notorious rap group N.W.A. The group is best known for writing the infamous song “Fuck the Police” in the late 80’s, which spurred a whole bunch of controversy as you probably know/remember.

    Anyway, there is more to him/his story than a simple comparison between a photo of him and a white counterpart. He’s the perfect embodiment of a lot the issues surrounding this whole debate. I’m sure a picture of him was used for a reason.

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  185. anjin-san says:

    @ matt

    There’s already laws covering that which need to be enforced.

    The laws are inadequate. What I propose is very simple. You want to own guns? Fine. You are responsable for keeping them secure. If you fail to do so, and someone dies as a result, you spend the rest of your life in jail.

    The “personal responsibility” crowd on the right should have no problem with this.

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  186. wr says:

    @JKB: “But a firearm in a holster is nothing to be concerned about assuming the individual isn’t being threatening. ”

    Right. Just like a nuclear missile in a silo is nothing to be concerned about assuming the country isn’t being threatening.

    Until, of course, it is. And then it’s too late.

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  187. anjin-san says:

    @ wr

    Well, of course. How could a criminal or a deranged person possibly obtain a holster?

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  188. Pharoah Narim says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Thanks for the links. I reviewed them and their ARE substantive points but I’m not going to give the politicians or pundits a pass for serving up more filler than meat. Here’s why:

    No ATF director–Im calling BS. A federal agency head is the mainly responsible for shaping the organization for the next 5-10 years and getting funding from Congress . They’re the “big picture” person. Day to day ops is managed starting 2-3 levels below them. The ATF still managed to publish a hefty amount of arrests, inspections, and convictions the past few years so having no full-time director is not affecting operations to the extent that piece would lead one to believe.

    Number of agents–fair enough. Our population has grown alot since the 70s so we should have had a proportionate amount of growth in agents. However, I would love to know how the agents they have are allocated–what the hell about alcohol and tobacco enforcement should take priority over firearm enforcement? Furthermore, that also shouldn’t stop ATF from leveraging local and state assets for investigations. Federal agencies are always singing the underfunded/undermanned and overworked song to get more money for their agency.

    My largest BS flag is for local and state police who are standing by waiting for the federal government to solve a problem. They’re getting all the nice homeland security money for shiny new toys. Why don’t they use it. Policing most effective when done at the lowest level possible and a lot of data is showing that there aren’t alot of professional straw purchasers out there that would be the type of targets a federal agency would go after. That is the reason I think their workload don’t reflect the a real resolve to get involved. Sure, they’re have some limitations imposed by GOP clowns but there ARE things they can do. State police collaboration isn’t illegal–no reason why Mayor X can’t call Gov Y and meet with Gov Z about how to best user their police assets to stop guns from coming across state lines. They collaborate for drugs operations– guns should be no different.

    There is a more will for legislation than there is for enforcement. Everyone with a badge is chasing the drug butterfly. If new legislation were passed in the current situation with ATF and local and state police, how are THOSE rules going to be enforced?

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  189. matt says:

    @michael reynolds: Yes Michael I got so hot and bothered at the thought of owning a gun used to murder children that I rushed right out and tried to buy one. Unfortunately I was only able to get a gun that was used to murder bambis but hey I figured that was a close second.

    Seriously what the fuck is wrong with you? What kind of nutcase are you that you seriously believe that millions of your fellow Americans want to own a gun just because it was used to kill children?

    What kind of fact free world do you live in where people trying to buy a gun before it’s banned = wanting a gun because it was used to kill kids.

    My god man you’ve jumped the shark so many times I’ve lost count. You sound like a right wing Evangelical talking about abortion…

    I don’t need to watch anything. I clearly know the laws better then you…

    @anjin-san: Really? You haven’t been paying attention at all? I advocated for the prosecution of those at fault for leaving a loaded weapon out and you objected. Yet suddenly now you’re interested in prosecuting? So are you on board with prosecuting the grandparents and the owner of the gun or not?

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  190. matt says:

    @michael reynolds: Yes Michael I got so hot and bothered at the thought of owning a gun used to murder children that I rushed right out and tried to buy one. Unfortunately I was only able to get a gun that was used to murder bambis but hey I figured that was a close second.

    Seriously what the hell is wrong with you? What kind of nutcase are you that you seriously believe that millions of your fellow Americans want to own a gun just because it was used to kill children?

    What kind of fact free world do you live in where people trying to buy a gun before it’s banned = wanting a gun because it was used to kill kids.

    My god man you’ve jumped the shark so many times I’ve lost count. You sound like a right wing Evangelical talking about abortion…

    I don’t need to watch anything. I clearly know the laws better then you. I have tests to study for but if I get time tomorrow I’ll watch the videos and fact check them for you.

    To try to imply that the ATF is toothless is utter insanity..

    @anjin-san: Really? You haven’t been paying attention at all? I advocated for the prosecution of those at fault for leaving a loaded weapon out and you objected. Yet suddenly now you’re interested in prosecuting? So are you on board with prosecuting the grandparents and the owner of the gun or not?

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  191. michael reynolds says:

    @matt:

    Hey. In the days after Newtown Bushmaster sold out. That’s a fact. That’s reality. Your people rushed right out to buy up the specific weapon used to shoot children in the head.

    Fact.

    Live with it. That’s you. That’s your people.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  192. mantis says:

    @anjin-san:

    How could a criminal or a deranged person possibly obtain a holster?

    They get them illegally, and your anti-holster laws would do nothing to stop them!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  193. mantis says:

    @matt:

    Combined with the media storm and the President’s own words people are now taking Feinstein seriously and as such are trying to grab the guns they want before they are banned.

    Like they did before Obama was elected the first time, and then after Obama was elected the first time. And when Gabby Giffords got shot. And when the Aurora massacre happened. And every time a new conspiracy theory spawned from the anti-government, prepper freak show crowd, which is pretty frequently. It doesn’t register them that none of the doomsday scenarios they’ve been hearing for years about the “gungrabbers” ever come true, this time is always the time it’s really going to happen. For decades they’ve been buying this horseshit and it never happens.

    People running out to buy guns now because they think they will be banned are paranoid lunatics who probably shouldn’t have guns at all in my opinion, but we’re never going to do anything to stop them. Ever.

    And Michael’s right. It takes a sick f*cking mind to run out and buy the gun that a guy just used to kill 20 kids.

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  194. anjin-san says:

    I advocated for the prosecution of those at fault for leaving a loaded weapon out and you objected

    Where?

    First you were saying I was calling for more gun laws before I actually did so. Now this.

    You sound confused.

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  195. markm says:

    the arguments that many make for why they need their guns are founded in logics not that dissimilar from the reasons that inner-city gangs walk around armed. In both cases it is founded in a notion that the government is not to be trusted and that one’s life is in one’s own hands.

    Or….if needed, an officer is 15 minutes away (unless he/she just happens to be nearby).

    Of course, it is also worth pointing out that if, as I saw Ted Nugent say last night on Piers Morgan, “an armed society is a polite society” then shouldn’t inner city America, especially where gangs abide, be the most polite parts of the country?

    When you have little to lose, the ‘armed society is a polite society’ goes out the window. Gang members give their lives on a daily basis….I don’t know why…..but death doesn’t appear to be a deterrent to them.

    Where I live, most have weapons in the house but none that I know of would like to give up their lives for nothing. There is a strong pull to preserve.

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  196. @markm:

    When you have little to lose, the ‘armed society is a polite society’ goes out the window

    This is a rather convenient dodge.

    Also: it assumes that people in the inner cities, and those who join gangs, do not value their own lives. Just because they are willing to engage in violence does not mean this is the case.

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  197. markm says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    This is a rather convenient dodge.

    It’s not a dodge at all. We see multiple daily reports of gang members dying in the streets with the goal of what?. I assume you value your life and have anough to lose that you try to avoid situations that may put you in harms way. They certainly don’t.

    Out here where I live there is a high percentage of gun owners. We have little to no crime…I don’t know how much of that is because of who we are as a people or ‘everybody’ knows us rednecks cling to our guns. Either way it is what it is and it’s no skin off anyone’s nose if it remains that way.

    You didn’t quote this:

    Or….if needed, an officer is 15 minutes away (unless he/she just happens to be nearby).

    THAT is a convenient dodge.

    Look, the police are a reactive force. I choose to live ‘out in the country’ because I don’t like portions of what comes with large populations. As such, I choose to have the ability to defend myself if need be whether that be having a weapon in the house or carrying.

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  198. Rafer Janders says:

    @markm:

    Out here where I live there is a high percentage of gun owners. We have little to no crime…

    Where do you live? No need for the street address, but give us the general city/state area. Let’s get some facts, otherwise it’s just BS and we don’t believe you.

    I don’t know how much of that is because of who we are as a people or ‘everybody’ knows us rednecks cling to our guns.

    Or, more likely, it’s because there’s nothing there worth stealing, or you’ve got too few people to support any kind of activity. You all are probably too poor and broken down to even bother with.

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  199. markm says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Or, more likely, it’s because there’s nothing there worth stealing, or you’ve got too few people to support any kind of activity. You all are probably too poor and broken down to even bother with.

    WOW….where does this generalization and rather childish form of discussion come from?. Seriously. You cannot come to grips with my reasoning so resort to that????.

    I am done talking to you.

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  200. JKB says:

    @mantis:

    If the firearm is undisturbed in a holster, why would you be concerned absent other behavior? Are you profiling? Why do you fantasize about being the police?

    Now, police do consider carrying a firearm in the waistband (sans holster) to be indicative of possibly illegal carrying. Although they might not investigate absent other factors that would add to the probable cause. In any case, it is unsafe. Several people have shot their pecker off carrying that way. And moron football players go even further trying to carry in the waistband of their elastic sweat pants.

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  201. mantis says:

    @JKB:

    If the firearm is undisturbed in a holster, why would you be concerned absent other behavior?

    I never said I would. I made a joke about banning holsters, genius.

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  202. C. Clavin says:

    @ JKB…

    “…I said guns in the US are heavily regulated. I made no comment comparing US regulation to regulations in other countries…”

    How f’ing stupid can you actually be????

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  203. @markm: The point is, that the variable of relevance has to be something other than guns. Once we have established that then the notion that having more guns solves the problem goes out the window.

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  204. DRE says:

    @JKB:

    If the firearm is undisturbed in a holster, why would you be concerned absent other behavior? Are you profiling? Why do you fantasize about being the police?

    How secure is a holster? How long does it take for a weapon to be removed from a holster? What do I know about the mental state of the person wearing the holster? Is the weapon loaded? Is the weapon well maintained and in proper working order? What level of expertise does the person wearing the holster have in the care and protection of the weapon? What is the mental state of others in the vicinity of the person wearing the holster?

    I have all of these types of concerns when I am near any object that can easily cause great bodily harm. I am careful when I walk near a moving vehicle, or one with a driver at the wheel. I am careful when I am near a person using, or carrying a chain saw or other potentially dangerous tool. I have these concerns, not because of any paranoia or irrational fear of the objects, but because I am very familiar with them have a clear understanding of the harm they can cause if mishandled. But there are three overriding questions in each of these situations. 1. Do I understand why the dangerous object is in the particular location? 2. Do I have a reason to trust that the one using it is using it appropriately? 3. How easily can I get out of harm’s way if they are not? I have trouble reaching a satisfactory answer to any of these questions any time I am not hunting or at a range but in the presence of a firearm that is not either secured (locked) or in the possession of a clearly recognizable law enforcement official or security guard.

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  205. @DRE: Heck, I would be concerned if a guy was walking around with a sheathed broadsword dangling from his belt (unless I was at ComiCon or a ren fair).

    Why is it so hard to understand that people walking around armed might make others uneasy?

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  206. mantis says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Why is it so hard to understand that people walking around armed might make others uneasy?

    Because you’re dealing with people who believe owning guns makes them invincible superheroes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  207. DRE says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Why is it so hard to understand that people walking around armed might make others uneasy?

    Especially when the people arguing that we have no reason to be bothered are the same ones who believe that it is a rational decision to carry a weapon for self protection. Somehow we are supposed to feel safer when we know that a stranger is carrying a weapon than they do in their daily lives.

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  208. C. Clavin says:

    “…Why is it so hard to understand that people walking around armed might make others uneasy?..”

    Indeed…why is it so hard to understand that someone elses right to bear arms does not trump the right of others to be “…secure in their persons…”

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  209. DRE says:

    @Pharoah Narim:

    This is not true. The man had threatened in the past to shoot his neighbors. He was known as “mean man”.

    But nobody took his gun away.

    Nobody has demonstrated that there isn’t legislation currently on the books we can’t use to prosecute those that threaten others or transfer weapons to people that shouldn’t have them, etc.

    Seems to me that you just did.

    What Im reading in the comments is the same logic people use when they see someone talking on an iPhone in the grocery line and using the SNAP card to pay for their crab legs and T-bone steaks.

    Because rational gun regulation and enforcement is just like eliminating safety-net programs, and somebody getting a benefit they don’t really need or deserve is just like somebody getting killed unnecessarily. OK

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  210. DRE says:

    @matt:

    I believe it’s the lack of any sort of concrete assurance that the slope won’t suddenly steepen that is keeping some gun owners from signing on for registration and such.

    Lack of concrete assurance? It’s hard to believe that these gun owners are unaware of the 2nd amendment and its effect on the possible steepness of the slope.

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  211. C. Clavin says:

    “…any sort of concrete assurance that the slope won’t suddenly steepen that is keeping some gun owners from signing on for registration…”

    Actually the vast majority of gun owners are in favor of universal background checks and registration…59% favor a federal database…84% favor universal background checks.
    It’s the NRA and a narrow minority of whack jobs who don’t.
    Your excuse is just an excuse.

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  212. C. Clavin says:

    My percentages may be askew…the point is still valid.

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  213. stonetools says:

    @C. Clavin:

    How f’ing stupid can you actually be????

    Hey, don’t challenge him. There may be no limit to that capability.

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  214. john personna says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    As I rode my mountain bike today, I passed some game wardens in training. As I go buy someone yells “Keep you finger OUT of the trigger guard.”

    I was not shot.

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  215. mantis says:

    @john personna:

    I was not shot.

    Close call.

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  216. wr says:

    @john personna: “I was not shot.”

    And we’re all very happy about that!

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  217. al-Ameda says:

    Do I consider an “average person” carrying a gun in his jacket or in his waste band to be no threat to me or to others? Of course not.

    A couple of years ago, in San Francisco, I was waiting at the corner area of a public park to meet a couple of friends, while I was waiting, a guy sitting near me inadvertently let his jacket swing open and I noticed a gun tucked into his waste band – I moved, I decided to wait for my friends in another location about 100 yards away on the next corner. I decided that nothing good could result from staying near that guy.

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  218. john personna says:

    Thanks guys, I wasn’t too worried, mildly amused.

    Of course there was an accidental shooting at a gun show recently where the guy was doing all the right things. He dropped the clip on his pistol, pointed it at the ground, pulled the slide to clear the chamber, and … boom, the gun was not totally safe at that point. Pointing at a concrete floor was not either, and the bullet entered his friend’s leg on ricochet (funny that we think the French pansies and use their words for these things).

    The military knows this, and that’s why they’ve got those tube-things installed everywhere, where you stick your muzzle in the hole as you clear the chamber so that accidental discharges are captured.

    Let’s hope every carrying agent (warden and private citizen) points at a safe non reflecting surface as they clear the chamber.

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  219. Pharoah Narim says:

    @DRE: Im going to need for you to summon a higher octave of reading comprehension—uuummmm kaaaay?

    It is against the law to threaten to shoot people and you can be prosecuted for said violation. He wasn’t was he? Therefore either the people he threatened refused to press charges or the D.A. refused to press charges. That has nothing to do with the efficacy of the law but refusal to enforce. If he had at anytime brandished that weapon in a threatening manner–that is also against the law.

    The point I made–that apparently was too much for you to grasp– was that random incidences outside of the context of what overwhelmingly DOES happen can’t and should not be used to make major policy that creates an entirely different norm for people that have nothing to do with said rare or random occurrence. It doesn’t matter what we are talking about. Guns, Welfare, Medicine,….you name it. When people start nitpicking the individual situations to suspend that approach–they are then making an arbitrary judgement based on emotion and personal preference—not data.

    The facts show that HUNDREDS of millions of Americans handle guns yearly–99% of them don’t kill or injure anybody. We have 300+ million citizens and the number of Americans affected by a gun–including EVERYTHING (accidents, intentional, and suicide) is about 1.5%. What’s the end game here 0%? How many of the %1.5 are killed anyway by an alternate weapon in the dream scenario that a gun wasn’t available? I’ll be generous—%.06. Sooooo we spend a bunch of money and resources on enforcement (lets say 1/3 what we do now) for an additional .06% effectiveness? What if we could apply those resources somewhere else and save a greater number of lives than that .09% we are saving from gun violence?

    These are the type of question that need to be asked by voters before politicians pull policy solutions out of a hat–else you end up with a bunch of non-solution and people clamoring for new laws which are also non solutions. EVERYTHING has a cost benefit when we have to figure out how to deploy limited resources to support that policy and ensure it is successful. You never want to have a policy that will cost you too much to enforce in terms of both money and people but also in terms of people’s respect for the law. That doesn’t mean you give up on outcomes–it means that for some things you opt for a flanking attack instead of a direct assault. And that’s all left and right loons can fathom in policy approaches–direct assault…effectiveness or necessity be damned. Drugs and guns are really in the same boat in this country–the more regulation–the more law breakers will be created because they are ingrained in our culture. Maybe that culture will change–but that’s not what we are dealing with now. Tread lightly–VERY LIGHTLY on the gun issue—this is a ridiculously safe country despite all the loons making people feel they are going to be gunned down any minute–I see that as the same as the other loons that have people feeling they’re a week away from being force into a FEMA concentration camp. We need another 3-4 terms with the current Democratic coalition in place to remake our economy (which by the way will drop violence overall)–there is a real opportunity on this issue to blow the coalition before its even warmed up good. I’ve had enough of politicians and their non-solutions.

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  220. mantis says:

    @Pharoah Narim:

    We have 300+ million citizens and the number of Americans affected by a gun–including EVERYTHING (accidents, intentional, and suicide) is about 1.5%. What’s the end game here 0%? How many of the %1.5 are killed anyway by an alternate weapon in the dream scenario that a gun wasn’t available? I’ll be generous—%.06. Sooooo we spend a bunch of money and resources on enforcement (lets say 1/3 what we do now) for an additional .06% effectiveness? What if we could apply those resources somewhere else and save a greater number of lives than that .09% we are saving from gun violence?

    Lets do both things and save way more lives. Or, like you, we could just be cavalier about throwing away thousands of lives for no good reason.

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  221. mantis says:

    @Pharoah Narim:

    this is a ridiculously safe country

    Compared to what?

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  222. al-Ameda says:

    @mantis:

    @Pharoah Narim:

    this is a ridiculously safe country

    Compared to what?

    I’m thinking Yemen, Somalia, or Iraq. By empty-calorie NRA gun-culture slogans , those three nations are the safest places on earth.

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  223. Pharoah Narim says:

    @Mantis:

    No one’s being cavalier–I do recall mentioning that we don’t give up on outcomes, we do better analysis in isolating the human factors in problems and start addressing those–a flanking attack. If your back is hurting—sometimes it’s because you need better shoes rather than have someone messing around trying to fix the back itself.

    There’s nothing to compare—if you have less than 1% chance of something happening to you (even less if you don’t have a lifestyle that brings you into contact with people that use or sell drugs) there isn’t anything to worry about. The chance of lightning striking you in Florida is higher than it is in say Southern California. The bottom line is virtually no-one in either place is going to be struck and while Floridians do have higher awareness of lightning and take precautions when thunderclouds gather–anyone that uses emotionally charged language that we should start making sweeping policy change to combat the lightning safety problem (because Florida isn’t as lightning safe as California) is either blinded by emotion or has an agenda. That’s not what the data shows–someone is going to get struck by lightning…but it overwhelmingly isn’t going to be 99.whatever percent of us. Policians owe it to citizen to craft creative policies based on data and analysis—so that there are more win-wins citizens are willing to live with. Not do what happens now where one group of constituents (through their politicians) try to stick it to the other group…sensitivites be darned.

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  224. DRE says:

    @Pharoah Narim:

    Im going to need for you to summon a higher octave of reading comprehension—uuummmm kaaaay?

    Thanks for the condescension, but I suppose my comments were somewhat terse so I can’t complain much. I thought my points were simple enough but apparently they weren’t.

    It is against the law to threaten to shoot people and you can be prosecuted for said violation. He wasn’t was he? Therefore either the people he threatened refused to press charges or the D.A. refused to press charges. That has nothing to do with the efficacy of the law but refusal to enforce. If he had at anytime brandished that weapon in a threatening manner–that is also against the law.

    And my point is that you identified this individual as one who should not have a gun. The lack of enforcement is not separate from the nature of the law. Gun regulation is a mixture of laws and enforcement, and the enforcement is often hindered by the bad design of laws and lack of resources or a bad incentive structure. The fact that this individual legally had a gun is a clear indication of the failure of our existing regulatory structure. By far the largest focus of gun regulation proponents is improvement in the ability to enforce a rational gun policy by clarification of laws, removal of loopholes, and improvement of enforcement mechanisms. To say that the laws are already fine is to willfully ignore reality.

    The point I made–that apparently was too much for you to grasp– was that random incidences outside of the context of what overwhelmingly DOES happen can’t and should not be used to make major policy that creates an entirely different norm for people that have nothing to do with said rare or random occurrence. It doesn’t matter what we are talking about. Guns, Welfare, Medicine,….you name it.

    And my point is that your point (which I grasped all too clearly) is ridiculous. It matters a whole lot what we are talking about. The consequences of isolated failures in the law are trivial in some cases and catastrophic in the others. The solutions being discussed also matter. People who point out isolated cases of excess benefits and propose elimination of the benefit program or harsh punitive conditions for safety net benefits are behaving quite differently from people who point out isolated but tragic failures in a regulatory structure and advocate changes to that structure which might make life slightly more difficult for people who choose to do something legal but potentially harmful to others. It is always important to balance the impact of the remedy against the cost of the problem.

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  225. Pharoah Narim says:

    @al-Ameda:

    That’s the problem—you aren’t thinking. A comparison of the united states with countries ruled by patchworks of warlords or beset with ethnic violence is the stuff of conservaclown talk radio. Perhaps you should schedule an audition…. Heres more data for you to ignore–homicide rates are lower in Yemen and Iraq. I guess we must conclude that we should adopt their gun policies then—

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  226. al-Ameda says:

    @Pharoah Narim:

    That’s the problem—you aren’t thinking.
    Heres more data for you to ignore–homicide rates are lower in Yemen and Iraq.

    Well,
    i’ve always said that there aren’t enough guns in America.

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  227. DRE says:

    @Pharoah Narim:

    We have 300+ million citizens and the number of Americans affected by a gun–including EVERYTHING (accidents, intentional, and suicide) is about 1.5%.

    That’s 4.5 million people. Clearly a trivial issue. Completely comparable to the one thousand people struck by lightning.

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  228. mantis says:

    @Pharoah Narim:

    There’s nothing to compare—if you have less than 1% chance of something happening to you (even less if you don’t have a lifestyle that brings you into contact with people that use or sell drugs) there isn’t anything to worry about.

    The only reason the percentages are small is you are talking about a population of hundreds of millions of people. The fact is that there are more than 30,000 gun deaths in this country each year, and many more injuries, and those numbers are astronomically high compared to other first world nations. So you’ll forgive me if I recognize your “you personally probably won’t get shot, so nothing needs to be done about the 30k+ who will” attitude as being cavalier about the preventable deaths of many thousands of Americans.

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  229. Pharoah Narim says:

    @DRE: You got what you gave at the end of your initial post addressing my comments. If there was a mistranslation of tone–then feel free to ignore the tone of my reply.

    I did not identify him as a person that should not have a gun. I identified him a a person that should have been prosecuted for threatening his neighboors with bodily harm. Once that process is undertaken—THEN steps should have been taken to evaluate him for mental competency to have weapons. In hindsight he shouldn’t have had weapons—but we never underwent step 1 in the process. His neighboors were let down by the system, who among us want to live among a neighbor who can threaten us–and continue to move about freely with impunity?

    The lack of enforcement is not seperate from the law–maybe in legaleese but not in practice. What is a law without enforcement? In effect its doesn’t exist–no outcome can be achieve. You make my point–laws are ineffective because policy makers don’t don’t analyze facts and consider human factors BEFORE putting pen to paper. They trot out whatever scratches the ideological itch of their political bases and in the end–everybody loses. There is always a choice to act or not–sometimes the decision to not act is better than the decision to act. The left always talks about the interconnectedness of things—but they don’t support policy based on that ideology. If jerks are a problem–by golly lets regulate and/or ban jerks! At least the right is being consistant with their stance because they believe in me, myself, and I–and their policy choices reflect that.

    We’ll have to agree to disagree because I believe it doesn’t matter what you are talking about how you appoach policy. There will always be randoms failures in laws that can be trivial or catastrophic—even in the best crafted legislation. That’s life there are no 0 or 100%s. Some things are beyond address by legislation–with those things, we employ other tools to continue progressing toward our desired outcomes.

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  230. john personna says:

    So a bad situation out here in LA. A cop has flipped out and killed people. Police are worried for a number of reasons, including that he has a Barrett .50 capable of punching through police cars.

    The police themselves aren’t doing real well, having shot down two women delivering newspapers in a mistaken identity thing, thinking they might be the suspect.

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  231. DRE says:

    @Pharoah Narim:

    You make my point–laws are ineffective because policy makers don’t don’t analyze facts and consider human factors BEFORE putting pen to paper.

    As far as I can tell your point seems to be that politicians are stupid and shouldn’t make laws because they will mess them up. If we would just enforce the bad laws already on the books there wouldn’t be a problem, and anyway the chances of any particular individual suffering from a failure of these laws is small so why bother anyway.

    You seem to think that your point is that there should be a careful analysis of costs and benefits of contemplated government action, and I am in full agreement, but your conclusions are unrelated to that point. You are completely failing to point out any particular action that you believe would be a mistake, and you certainly haven’t explained what the costs are that outweigh the potential benefits. You are dismissing the entire issue of gun control as being too trivial to be worth the political cost of trying. This is where our disagreement arises.

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  232. Pharoah Narim says:

    @DRE: You caught me in a math boo boo. So now we are talking about a .001% occurrance (30K vs 300M population) which happens to be 1 order of magnitude greater than being struck by lighting (.0002) Not on the same street but clearly in the same neighborhood.

    Where did I say politicians shouldn’t make policy because they are so bad at it? I said they should do fact-based analysis and examine the human factors BEFORE crafting a policy. How can we have a reasoned debate if you are going to put words in my mouth and argue against that.

    I think the law that you aren’t allowed to threaten people without prosecution is good–dont you? Who doesn’t want that enforced? The fact is—people the most passionate about gun control have gun control as its own end. Outcomes are more important to me and less or more guns does not equal less or more people killed. Even a cursory impirical observation of other countries demostrate that. Why should progressives get to poke fun at conservatives for their scary (virtually non-existent) boogie men but remain unchallenged on their own? Im about reducing violence, there are some gun control proposals that favor that outcomes and some that won’t. A good analogy is the myth in physiology that you can reduce fat on your abs to have a nice 6-pack. That’s not true at all–you can’t spot reduce fat anywhere on your body. You have to reduce your fat overall. That is how I view gun violence in American. If less people in general are interested in hurting their neighbor–less people will get shot, stabbed, bludgeoned, etc.

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  233. mantis says:

    Where did I say politicians shouldn’t make policy because they are so bad at it? I said they should do fact-based analysis and examine the human factors BEFORE crafting a policy. How can we have a reasoned debate if you are going to put words in my mouth and argue against that.

    DRE didn’t put words in your mouth. You didn’t say that policymakers should do that, you declared that they don’t do that:

    laws are ineffective because policy makers don’t don’t analyze facts and consider human factors BEFORE putting pen to paper.

    DRE’s interpretation that you think legislators “are stupid and shouldn’t make laws because they will mess them up,” accurately reflects your comment.

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  234. Pharoah Narim says:

    @Mantis: Actually it doesn’t–unless I said ALL laws are ineffective because politicians NEVER make analysis,etc. My sentiment is that when laws are ineffective—its because analysis based on data isn’t done. Either way, whether what I wrote was ambiguous, or what was read was misinterpreted…absolute pronouncements of always and never aren’t being communicated. Life is nuanced and so should policy be. There are good and bad laws—good approaches and bad approaches. You can differentiate the two with facts without having to guess. The premise that we should do what another country does to achieve similar outcomes isn’t doing the hard work that citizen trust government to do. You wouldn’t want a doctor caring for you to employ that manner of treatment–“well statins worked for so and so—here you go” You want a prescription that’s best for you and based on factors unique to you.

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  235. DRE says:

    @Pharoah Narim:
    You want to quibble about an exact interpretation of words. Why not deal with the bottom line instead. I repeat:

    You are completely failing to point out any particular action that you believe would be a mistake, and you certainly haven’t explained what the costs are that outweigh the potential benefits. You are dismissing the entire issue of gun control as being too trivial to be worth the political cost of trying. This is where our disagreement arises.

    If you don’t believe that this accurately states your position, go back and reread your comment that I originally replied to.

    Regarding your math boo-boo, the 1.5% is approximately the gun related share of all deaths in the US in 2010. If it continues to be that share it will affect 4.5 million of the 300 million alive today (since they will all die)

    Gun related deaths are over 17% of all deaths caused by injury.

    I’m done now

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  236. bill says:

    of course this isn’t making the news much, biden admitting that the plan his boss forced on him won’t work. nice.

    http://outfront.blogs.cnn.com/2013/02/01/biden-says-new-gun-laws-wont-stop-another-mass-shooting/

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  237. mantis says:

    @bill:

    biden admitting that the plan his boss forced on him won’t work.

    Only if you think the plan promised to prevent anyone from getting shot again. But then, you’d have to be an idiot to think that. Oh wait, forgot who I was talking to…

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  238. matt says:

    @michael reynolds: They rushed out to buy guns in generally including the bushmaster. Sales are up a lot across the board and it’s directly because your group is talking about banning them. That’s why in the past when there were shootings sales didn’t see a bump (no talks of bans). Now on the other hand anytime there’s talk of banning a gun or type of gun there’s always a massive increase in sales. Your fail in logic when it comes to this subject is monumental. You really should be embarrassed..

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  239. matt says:

    @mantis: There was talk amongst the crazies but nothing more. Now that the media the president and the head of the Senate are talking about bans (along with the bills being introduced) that’s a bit different..

    You have a sick fcking mind for buying your car considering it’s been used to kill thousands of kids..

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  240. matt says:

    @john personna: Just a heads up but you can punch through a police car with an air rifle..

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  241. matt says:

    @C. Clavin: Did you even bother to read my post or are you so intent on “scoring points” that you didn’t notice that even your figures support my statement?

    Could you tell me when 59% suddenly morphed into a “vast majority”? Until you provide a citation that number is disputable.

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  242. mannning says:

    I shouldn’t buy a Bushmaster: it killed children. Even if it has no automatic feature. Even if it is highly rated for its accuracy and reliability as a semiautomatic rifle. Insane.
    I shouldn’t buy an M-1 Garand: it killed a lot of people (that I don’t know), as did the M 1911 and the Carbine.
    I shouldn’t buy a .38 Police Special: it too killed a lot of people that I don’t know.
    So I must research each and every weapon I am interested in to find out its killing history, and if it killed, especially children, then it must not be purchased? Insane!

    Must I also research the autos I am interested in to see if they had killed any children? Surely I must research the hammers I am interested in, as they may have been used to kill also. (In fact, hammer murders are more frequent that gun murders according to the FBI.)

    These things, guns, autos and hammers, are instruments that must be wielded by a person to kill, yet autos (and hammers) are far more prevalent than guns, and they kill or maim much more often than guns, despite all kinds of laws, registration, insurance and license requirements for autos. What about hammers? Are we missing a new and also useless crusade against hammer wielders?

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  243. Hello to every one, the contents existing at this web site
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  244. al-Ameda says:

    @mannning:
    I know this, when people are determined to undertake a mass killing, the first thing they reach for is the keys to their Chevy Suburban, and not a hammer or a steak knife.

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  245. DRE says:

    @mannning:

    (In fact, hammer murders are more frequent that gun murders according to the FBI.)

    You have managed to mangle the lie. You’re supposed to say that hammer murders are more common than rifle murders, which might be true if you ignore all the unclassified fiream murders and assume that all blunt object murders were committed with hammers. But you said gun murders and gave away the game. Gun murders were 67.4% of all murders in the FBI statistics for 2007-2011, while blunt object murders were 4.2%

    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/expanded-homicide-data-table-8

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  246. matt says:

    @DRE: Well hands and feet are still leading rifles. Sometimes determining the murder weapon is difficult regardless of the method used so there’s some play in ALL the numbers.

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  247. RCE says:

    I need a SSAR-15 for the coming zombie invasion:

    http://youtu.be/kjiPGoLI-Bw

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  248. mannning says:

    @DRE:

    You are right, I mangled it. It was not intentional. Rifles were the culprit type of gun. MB and MC!

    I do see a lot of guys with hammers hanging from their belts walking around in the neighborhood…and an occasional guy with a gun, too. But then, this is Virginia, and we do have open carry laws, but with a list of places where it is not permitted.

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  249. Darrell says:

    So, the categorical premise that “both categories” of firearms carriers: “law abiding” and thugs alike, find the government to be non-trustworthy is an unfair caricature which way oversimplifies the issue.

    I find the government to be entirely trustworthy today. I do not however find them to be responsive, and explicitly in the context of self-defense, timely in any manner. This is because I live in rural mid-west and I’ve been told by county deputies that we should anticipate 20 minutes to a half hour BEST CASE scenario of a country or state officer ever showing up here in an emergency.

    When I travel, I leave my wife and three kids behind and you can be assured that she’s armed.

    I represent a segment of America that is misrepresented in this debate, where the laws of the urban jungle and the concerns of suburban America do not apply well at all.

    I am one that wishes that this entire discussion was left a municipal and state levels. What works for your community does not work for mine. At all. Addressing this issue in a wholesale fasion at the national level amounts to political theatre for opportunistic politicians and nothing more; it does nothing for public safety in my house.

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  250. Craig Davis says:

    @Donald Sensing:
    Is it polite to ask the thief what his intentions are before reacting to his presence? Would the thief be honest in his answer? If he answers truthfully, then the appropriate response can be made. Think of how civil this interaction would be. Sarc!

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  251. Craig Davis says:

    @grumpy realist:
    Switzerland has a heavily armed citizenry. Is it a safe place to live?

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