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More Than 50 Dead, 400 Injured, In Las Vegas Mass Shooting

Las Vegas Shooting

At least 50 people are dead and more than 400 injured in what is already being described as the worst mass shooting in American history:

LAS VEGAS — A gunman at a Las Vegas hotel rained a rapid-fire barrage on a huge outdoor concert festival on Sunday night, sending thousands of people fleeing. At least 50 victims died, and hundreds of others were wounded, officials said, making it one of the deadliest mass shootings in United States history.

“We believe the individual killed himself,” said Sheriff Joseph Lombardo of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department on CNN.

Online video of the attack outside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino showed the singer Jason Aldean performing outside at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, a three-day country music event, interrupted by the sound of automatic gunfire. The music stopped, and concertgoers ducked for cover. “Get down,” one shouted. “Stay down,” screamed another.

Several SWAT teams were sent to the hotel immediately after the first reports of the shooting at 10:08 p.m., and officers overheard on police radio reported being pinned down by gunfire. Shortly before midnight the Las Vegas police reported that “one suspect is down,” and soon thereafter the police said they did not believe there were any more active gunmen.

The Las Vegas police said Monday that 50 people were killed and 406 people had been taken to the hospital. The police identified the gunman as Stephen Paddock, 64. Sheriff Lombardo said the police were seeking “a companion” named Marilou Danley, and the authorities later said they were “confident” they had located her.

Eric Paddock, a brother of Stephen Paddock who lives in Orlando, Fla., told the Orlando Sentinel that he had made a statement to the police. “We are completely dumbfounded,” he said. “We can’t understand what happened.”

President Trump issued a statement on Twitter on Monday extending sympathies to the victims and their families.

Video of the shooting captured nine seconds of rapid-fire, continuous bursts, followed by 37 seconds of silence from the weapon amid panicked screaming. The barrage of gunfire then erupted again in at least two more rounds, both shorter than the first.

In the confusion after the shooting, the police also descended on the Ali Baba Restaurant, about a 10-minute drive from the Mandalay Bay, and they also investigated reports of a shooting at the New York-New York Hotel and Casino, not far from the concert ground.

The police reported clearing out the Mandalay Bay’s 29th floor and working their way up to the 32nd floor. A police Twitter post described reports of an “active shooter” near or around the Mandalay Bay casino.

Video from the shooting showed Mr. Aldean, the final performer of the night, running off the stage as the gunfire erupted.

Jake Owen, a country singer who was on stage with Mr. Aldean when the shooting began, told CNN on Monday that it was like “shooting fish in a barrel from where he was.”

Concertgoers described hearing round after round of gunfire. “Everyone was running, you could see people getting shot,” Gail Davis, one of the witnesses, said. “I’ve never been that scared in my life,” she added. “To have this happen, I can’t wrap my mind around it.”

“It just kept coming,” one of the witnesses, Robyn Webb, told The Las Vegas Review-Journal. “It was relentless.”

They said they saw about 20 people bleeding in the street.

“That’s when we knew for sure it was real,” said her companion, Matt Webb.

The police reported closing off about a mile of Las Vegas Boulevard and asked the public to steer clear of the area.

A photo posted by a Review-Journal photographer showed emergency responders transporting one injured person in a wheelbarrow.

McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas said that some flights destined for the airport were diverted because of police activity. The airport is just east of the Mandalay hotel, and after the shooting there were reports of people fleeing the concert by running onto an airport runway.

The hotel itself was placed on virtual lockdown after the shooting, guests said.

More from the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

A gunman opened fire on an outdoor country music concert from a Mandalay Bay hotel room late Sunday, killing at least 50 people, injuring more than 400 and sending the Las Vegas Strip into chaos.

The massacre is the deadliest mass shooting in United States history.

As officers entered the suspect’s room, 64-year-old Mesquite resident Stephen Paddock died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel, police confirmed early Monday.

Officers found 10 rifles in Paddock’s room.

Police initially had named Marilou Danley as a person of interest associated with Paddock, but at about 5 a.m. released a statement saying they had interviewed her and do not believe she is involved with the shooting. Police continue to look for a Hyundai Tucson with the Nevada license plate 114 B40.

An off-duty Las Vegas police officer attending the concert was among the victims killed, Sheriff Joe Lombardo said during a briefing early Monday.

Families seeking information on the welfare of loved ones should call 866-535-5654.

The attack came during the last performances on the final night of the three-day Route 91 country music festival, which has been held for the past four years on a 15-acre lot on Las Vegas Boulevard across from Mandalay Bay.

Gunfire from an automatic weapon rang out while Jason Aldean was onstage. Concertgoer Ivetta Saldana, who was there with a friend, said the shots sounded like fireworks.

She said she hid in a sewer.

“It was a horror show,” she said at the Town Square shopping center south of the Strip. “People were standing around, then they hit the floor.”

One responding officer was critically injured, and another had minor injuries, police said.

MGM Resorts International, which owns Mandalay Bay, released a statement early Monday from Jim Murren, the company’s chairman and CEO.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims of last night’s shooting, their families, and those still fighting for their lives,” Murren said. “We are working with law enforcement and will continue to do all we can to help all of those involved.”

(…)

Matt and Robyn Webb from Orange County said they sheltered underneath their seats as burst after burst of gunfire rained down from the direction of Mandalay Bay.

“It just kept coming,” Robyn Webb said. “It was relentless.”

They eventually evacuated toward Reno Avenue, where they said they saw as many as 20 people lying in the street bleeding.

“That’s when we knew for sure it was real,” Matt Webb said.

They ended up at Hooters Hotel Casino, but they said they had to flee from there with the panicked crowd as more shots rang out.

“We thought we were safe,” Robyn said.

They ended up sitting together on a curb next to an empty lot on Tropicana Avenue just east of Koval Lane, trying to get news on their phones and collect themselves as wailing ambulances streamed to and from the scene.

They said they had no way to get back to their room and their two puppies, now on lockdown at the Delano.

Here’s the video from the scene:

The shooting took place around ten o’clock last night local time at the end of an outdoor concert featuring a number of country music stars. The last performer of the night, Jason Aldean, was just wrapping up his show when the shooting began and there were an estimated 20,000 people from all over the country at the event, all of them in the line of fire of the shooter who was firing from the 36th floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel overlooking the concert grounds. From the sound of the video, and based on the reports of law enforcement on the scene, it seems clear that the principal weapon that was being used was a fully automatic weapon of some kind. These types of weapons are generally not legal for an average citizen to obtain, and in the cases where they are the weapons are strictly regulated by both the ATF and local law enforcement and the weapon itself and the permitting process required would end up costing tens of thousands of dollars. It’s possible that the weapon is one that the gunman may have legally obtained the weapon before the ban went into place in 1986, but that wouldn’t necessarily account for where and how he may have obtained the ammunition that was used. In any event, it’s unclear at this early stage of the investigation exactly how or where he may have obtained this weapon or the ammunition for it. Until we have that information, any discussion about the weapons used is purely speculation.

There are also early reports that the gunman, who was identified fairly early as being Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old white man may have had as many eight other weapons in the hotel room he had been staying in since September 28th, but again it’s not known where or how he obtained those weapons. Also unclear is what may have motivated the shooting, although there are some reports that Paddock may have recently been through a divorce. In any case, Paddock is dead, apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot wound that was inflicted as SWAT team members were breaking into the hotel room where he was shooting from. There were also early reports that police were looking for a woman who was identified as a person of interest who was living with Paddock in Mesquite and may have been seen at the Mandalay Bay Hotel with him in the days before the shooting. In their last briefing, local police said that they had located this woman but it’s unclear whether that means that they’ve talked to her or whether they just think they know where she is.

Given the relative dearth of information at this point, it’s hard to make any other comments about this case or what impact it may have on the on the inevitable political debate that will inevitably result from it. As I noted, if it is the case that the weapon used was fully automatic, then the suspicion will have to be either that he didn’t obtain the weapon legally or that he illegally modified a standard semi-automatic weapon in some way that would make it behave like an automatic weapon. It’s also unclear what motive there may have been behind the shooting, although law enforcement has said that they have already ruled out international terrorism. It’s still possible, of course, that there was some domestic political angle to this horrific event, or that Paddock was simply mentally ill in some fashion as was the case with the shooter in the Aurora, Colorado case. In any event, what we already know is that the this is the worst mass shooting in American people and that the body count is likely to go higher before the day is over.

Update: The Chairman of the Clark County Commission has established a GoFundMe for victims and the families of victims.

Update #2: President Trump delivered remarks on the shooting late this morning:

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

Comments

  1. al-Ameda says:

    From Philly.com

    Early Monday morning, police identified Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old Las Vegas resident, as the man suspected of opening fire from the Mandala Bay Resort and Casino late Sunday night, killing more than 50 people and injuring 400 others.

    But amid the chaos that erupted at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, people turning to social media for answers saw another name popping up on their feed: Geary Danley.

    Danley’s name first came up due to the fact he was Facebook friends with Marilou Danley, who police previously described as a “person of interest” connected to the suspected shooter. It’s unclear what relationship Geary Danley has with Marilou Danley, and he did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Marilou Danley has been located out of the country and is no longer considered a person of interest.

    Right-wing news site The Gateway Pundi
    t, which the Trump administration granted White House press credentials earlier this year, posted a now-deleted item identifying Geary Danley as the shooter with the headline: “Las Vegas Shooter Reportedly a Democrat Who Liked Rachel Maddow, MoveOn.org and Associated with Anti-Trump Army.”

    So, there you go.

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

  2. Mister Bluster says:

    People kill people with guns in this country because they can.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4

  3. Stormy Dragon says:

    My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2017

    “Warmest condolences”!?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 2

  4. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    Strange considering Nevada has the strictest gun laws in the nation…oh…wait…er…never mind.
    ISIS claims responsibility…too funny.
    Angry 64 year old white guy. Remains to be seen what he was so angry about. Bad country music disturbing him in his room???

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 4

  5. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    To be fair, it’s just as meaningful as “thoughts and prayers.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  6. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    That at least sounds like something an actual human being would write, not some alien who has never experienced a real emotion trying to pretend they’re human to fit in among us.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 3

  7. al-Ameda says:

    I heard that on the news too …
    I won’t pile on, but, honestly, sometimes Trump is as awkward as Nixon was in his wording and expressions.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  8. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    “Warmest condolences”!?

    Unfortunately he had already dedicated a golf trophy, that he didn’t have anything to do with, over the weekend.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  9. CSK says:

    The Trumpkins have completely lost interest now that it’s been established that the shooter isn’t a Trump-hating Muslim African-American tight end.

    @al-Ameda:

    Ah, The Gateway Pundit: The sine qua non of semi-literate paranoid crackpot hysteria.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 3

  10. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Or… as we call it here in the USA: Monday.

    The USA made a decision after Sandy Hook: Guns are more important than people.

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/10/2/1703325/-Sandy-Hook-mom-goes-off-We-value-guns-flags-fake-acts-of-patriotism-over-people-pain

    No need for clutching pears or sending warmest condolences or prayers.

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/10/2/1703312/-Republican-Senators-who-voted-against-assault-weapons-ban-are-tweeting-their-thoughts-and-prayers

    This is the new normal.

    I’m not shocked… I’m just surprised he didn’t have a rocket launcher.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 6

  11. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    Trump, this morning…

    “We pray for the entire nation to find unity and peace, and we pray for the day when evil is banished, and the innocent are safe from hatred and from fear.”

    So we are going to banish evil? I guess right after we build the wall, and make Mexico pay for it.
    Too funny. What a clueless maroon.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  12. Facebones says:

    @CSK: There’s a reason Jim Hoft has retained the title of Stupidest Man on the Internet despite stiff competition.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  13. MarkedMan says:

    Doug said:

    These types of weapons are generally not legal for an average citizen to obtain, and in the cases where they are the weapons are strictly regulated by both the ATF and local law enforcement and the weapon itself and the permitting process required would end up costing tens of thousands of dollars.

    Read more: http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/more-than-50-dead-400-injured-in-las-vegas-mass-shooting/#ixzz4uMiwGUZS

    Doug you may believe this reflects reality, but you are very wrong. How it works: you buy a legal semi-automatic gun and the dealer or a friend lets you know with a wink and a nudge where you can find the inexpensive kit on the internet to convert it to a fully automatic weapon.

    This is common enough in rural Pennsylvania that when I visit a relative there, I hear fully automatic gunfire coming from the public gun range across from the scout camp (about a mile away, but those guns are loud!) often enough that I hardly note it anymore.

    So no, fully automatic weapons are not tightly controlled in the US any more than speed limits are strictly enforced on US highways because maximum speed signs are posted at every entrance.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 40 Thumb down 2

  14. Facebones says:

    I don’t even know what to say anymore. We as a country have made it clear that we favor the rights of deranged people to have access to semi-automatic weapons over and above the rights of school children and concert goers to get home in one piece.

    Any tiny attempt at gun control will never make it out of a committee in congress, and should anything even sneak through anyone voting for it will be subject to millions of dollars of negative ads by the insane lobbyists of the NRA. And should anything miraculously get through congress and signed by president dumbass, it will get voted down by the conservative Supreme Court.

    So, congress will send thoughts and prayers. Better yet, just set up a macro to send out that tweet at the next mass shooting. It’s literally all we can expect.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  15. @MarkedMan:

    First of all the types of modifications you speak of are illegal.

    Secondly, you are simply incorrect about the process to obtain a fully automatic weapon legally. In order to do that, BATF requires the purchase and approval of a Class 3 firearms license. This requires a much more thorough background and criminal check than any other state or Federal law requires. The ATF’s own website has some information about this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

  16. I have updated the post a bit to provide more detailed information about the state of the law regarding fully automatic weapons.

    As I said, though, no information regarding the type of weapon(s) used has been confirmed by authorities. The theory that the weapon was fully automatic is based largely on the sounds on the video, which simply don’t fit what you’d be capable of doing with a properly function semi-automatic weapon.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  17. Hal_10000 says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    The USA made a decision after Sandy Hook: Guns are more important than people.

    We as a country have made it clear that we favor the rights of deranged people to have access to semi-automatic weapons over and above the rights of school children and concert goers to get home in one piece.

    No we haven’t. We have decided that taking guns from the law-abiding is not the most effective way of stopping gun violence.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 26

  18. Mikey says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    First of all the types of modifications you speak of are illegal.

    So’s doing 80 in a 65 but that’s how I get to work every day.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 1

  19. pylon says:

    @Doug Mataconis: @Doug Mataconis:

    The modifications may be illegal but they are not hard to do, and are not uncommon.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  20. Mikey says:

    @Hal_10000:

    We have decided that taking guns from the law-abiding is not the most effective way of stopping gun violence.

    What we’ve actually decided is there’s no level of mass murder sufficient to move us to substantive change.

    There’s no need to even ask “is this the one that will get us to fix this?” That bridge was crossed when the massacres of schoolchildren happened and we did nothing.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 4

  21. pylon says:

    @Hal_10000:

    This guy was law abiding. Until he wasn’t.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 1

  22. NW-Steve says:

    @Hal_10000:

    We have decided that taking guns from the law-abiding is not the most effective way of stopping gun violence.

    Then, please enlighten me. What have we decided is the most effective way of stopping gun violence?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  23. CSK says:

    @Facebones:

    Hoft’s got the stupidest followers on the Internet, too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  24. al-Ameda says:

    @CSK:

    @al-Ameda:
    Ah, The Gateway Pundit: The sine qua non of semi-literate paranoid crackpot hysteria.

    … and those grease balls have White House press credentials

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  25. Smeagol says:

    @al-Ameda: That’s because Trump has had wealth and power his entire adult life, so he didn’t have to learn to even pretend to have empathy

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  26. Mikey says:

    An interesting, and thoroughly depressing, factoid:

    More people died, and more were wounded, in this mass shooting than we lost in the main phase (November 7 to November 16, 2004) of the 2nd battle for Fallujah.

    That was considered the peak of fighting in that war. Sure it dragged on for years after that, but 2nd Fallujah was the biggest single battle.

    And we just lost more people in a single mass shooting incident, right here in America.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 0

  27. MarkedMan says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Secondly, you are simply incorrect about the process to obtain a fully automatic weapon legally

    Read more: http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/more-than-50-dead-400-injured-in-las-vegas-mass-shooting/#ixzz4uMppHHsw

    Doug, I didn’t say anything about obtaining a gun legally. I interpreted your comment as implying that these laws and regulations pose some kind of a meaningful bar on obtaining fully automatic weapons. They do not. If that was not your intention, why did you bring it up?

    In that same rural PA area, there have been two major crimes involving automatic weapons in one way or another where my relative was very familiar with the people involved. One concerned a general contractor they hired and became a family friend. I know this guy fairly well too. Really, really steeped into the gun culture and had modified at least one of his guns to fully automatic. In fact, he’s the one that explained to me how simple it was to do. This felony didn’t involve anyone shot, but rather his propensity to go into the local watering holes and get louder and louder about how no gum’nint is going to take away his guns, about how he lives out in the country with no one around and when the UN comes.. (I’m not kidding. He’s a nice guy but he is into the gun nut thing all the way to believing the numbers on the backs of stop signs are secret codes to let the UN know who has guns on the road.) … Anyway, he loudly goes on that when the UN comes he will be ready with his guns, which he proceeds to list until someone in the bar realizes he’s talking about tens of thousands of dollars worth of easily fence-able guns with nothing more than a cheap doorknob between them and a guy with a crowbar and, by the way, no witnesses around. Fortunately for him, they waited until he and his wife were out before cleaning him out. He now has a gun safe (barn door, horse) and a whole lot fewer guns. I guess he thinks that if someone breaks in and sees the gun safe they won’t just beat him and his wife up until he gives them the combo.

    The second was more tragic. My relative’s next door neighbor (big distances between homes there) had an adult son that became more and more troubled and more and more immersed into the gun culture. Scared the sh*t out of me one time when I heard fully automatic fire REALLY close, closer than the gun range. My brother, who didn’t realize at the time how disturbed the son had become, reassured me that it was just the neighbor who was into guns and bow hunting. Eventually he threatened his parents with a gun, they called the police and he went full paranoia, throwing supplies and ammunition into a pack and heading up the hill to the state game lands. The cops caught up with him and he killed one of them and then himself.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  28. Scott F. says:

    @Hal_10000:

    We have decided that taking guns from the law-abiding is not the most effective way of stopping gun violence.

    No we haven’t. We have decided there’s nothing to do but accept gobsmacking, mind-numbingly incessant gun violence. There’s no measure we will even try in order to understand, let alone curb, the source of the ceaseless, senseless death by gun we abide in this country.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 1

  29. Jen says:

    Death toll is up to 58 now. I’ve always suspected that at some point we’d have one of these incidents that wouldn’t fit with a “good guy with a gun could’ve stopped it” narrative. And here we are.

    From what has been released so far, the shooter was a fairly reclusive guy. Family/friends report no real strong political or religious affiliations or sentiments. He was according to WaPo, a “professional gambler” who spent a lot of time in Vegas. The FBI has stated definitively that he had no ties to international terror groups.

    In other words, there was no way of knowing this guy would do this, and no way of stopping it (from a law enforcement perspective).

    So what do we do? What can we do? If he modified his weapons illegally, what does it matter if the kits can be obtained online?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  30. gVOR08 says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    Marked didn’t say it was legal. He said it was easy and common. A brother in law of mine, decades ago, did a rather absurd routine bragging about buying and installing a kit to make his M16 copy full auto while not quite admitting he’d done it. He’s matured since and gotten rid of the thing.

    I forget what the gun strokers call them, but there are technically legal kits that modify semi-auto pretend assault rifles so that, firing from the hip, they rebound from recoil back into the shooters trigger finger, doing a pretty good imitation of real auto fire. Not well aimed, but able to spray a lot of rounds.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  31. gVOR08 says:

    TV is on behind me with a press briefing by the Sheriff. Every local politician is taking a turn saying something. We’re up to the platitude phase already: hearts go out, brave first responders, city is safe, lone nut, no one could have seen it coming. Next will be the beat every detail to death phase, followed shortly by the nothing we can do phase.

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

  32. Not the IT Dept. says:

    We’re a violence-loving society. Combined with the ease of purchasing (and converting, as MM says above) guns and weapons, it makes for a toxic combination.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  33. Gustopher says:

    As American as a mass shooting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  34. CET says:

    @gVOR08:

    I forget what the gun strokers call them, but there are technically legal kits that modify semi-auto pretend assault rifles so that, firing from the hip, they rebound from recoil back into the shooters trigger finger, doing a pretty good imitation of real auto fire. Not well aimed, but able to spray a lot of rounds.

    I believe it’s called a ‘bump fire’ modification, and it’s nominally so that people with disabilities can still fire a gun (insert obvious joke here). Frankly, the fact that it’s legal is a sick joke. As folks who’ve been around here for a few years may recall, I’m one of the more pro 2nd amendment commenters here, but bump fire kits are clearly an attempt to circumvent a reasonable restriction on civilian weaponry.

    Now, that may or may not be what happened here. Frankly, until we know more about what happened, any version of ‘this happened because of x’ is speculation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  35. Hal_10000 says:

    @NW-Steve:

    Then, please enlighten me. What have we decided is the most effective way of stopping gun violence?

    The things we’ve been doing that have cut the rate in half for the last twenty years. And then some: better policing, ending the War on Drugs, etc. I understand it’s easier to think that your political opponents are callous monsters who don’t care about people being murdered. it’s also stupid. The biggest problem with American politics is not partisanship but the assumption that the other side is not just wrong, but evil. It’s much easier to engage the beliefs we think they have rather than the beliefs they actually do have.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 7

  36. MarkedMan says:

    @Hal_10000: The states with the toughest gun laws have the lowest rates of death by guns. How do you explain that?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  37. Gustopher says:

    Update: The Chairman of the Clark County Commission has established a GoFundMe for victims and the families of victims.

    Oh, well, that solves everything. The carnage of gun violence in America — the shattered lives of the victims’ families and the massive medical bills of the injured survivors — can be solved with a GoFundMe. For anyone who thinks this is at all reasonable, GoFvckYourself.

    We aren’t going to do a damn thing about gun violence in America, so we need to at least have a process in place to help make the victims and their families whole. A Second Amendment Insurance fund, run by the federal government — or contracted out to private companies, but guaranteed by the federal government — that will provide each and every American with free health care and cover lost wages when they are a victim of gun violence, and which will provide for the families of those who were killed by gun violence.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  38. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @Jen:

    “professional gambler”

    Purely conjecture at this point…but I wonder if he lost it all, gambling, and decided to go our in a blaze of glory? We may never know…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  39. Katharsis says:

    Hey look on the bright side, I hear gun stocks are up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  40. CET says:

    @Mikey:

    More people died, and more were wounded, in this mass shooting than we lost in the main phase (November 7 to November 16, 2004) of the 2nd battle for Fallujah.

    This is callous, but… meh. We probably lost more people yesterday due to car accidents. For reasons that don’t make sense to me, 100 deaths in one day at the same place is a tragedy, but 100 deaths in one day spaced out over the country is a statistic…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  41. Hal_10000 says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Quite simple. They don’t. And you’re being selective. If you look at the overall rate of murder, there is zero correlation between gun ownership and murder rate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

  42. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Secondly, you are simply incorrect about the process to obtain a fully automatic weapon legally. In order to do that, BATF requires the purchase and approval of a Class 3 firearms license.

    I went back and checked Marked Man’s comment. His comment was only about the availability of conversion kits (by the way, a friend of mine used to make money converting semis to full autos even when full autos were more or less legal). He made no mention at all of legality, only commenting on availability of kits and frequency of people using them.

    You go into this “BUT IT’S ILLEGAL!” snit every time someone brings this point up. Get over yourself!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  43. Mikey says:

    @CET: My point was intended to be that we lost fewer people in the major battle of an actual war than we did last night at a country/western concert.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  44. Jen says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl: We’ll probably get a clearer picture of his finances, etc. in the coming days and weeks if that’s relevant, but yeah, we might never know. When I read that and other reports that he spent a lot of time in Vegas, what you suggest did occur to me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  45. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Hal_10000:

    No we haven’t. We have decided that taking guns from the law-abiding is not the most effective way of stopping gun violence.

    intent =/= reality

    .

    Let me know how the magic unicorns will deflect the bullets the next time.

    Because that is as likely as passing gun regulations.

    It’s a done deal. it IS what we have chosen.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  46. Gustopher says:

    @CET: actually, annual car deaths and annual gun deaths are about the same in the country.

    Cars allow us to have independence, and suburbs, and are basically integral to the modern economy, so roughly 30,000 deaths per year is probably worth it. Guns just give us about 30,000 dead people.

    We do actively work to lower the number of car deaths, though, and we don’t do sh-t about guns.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  47. Mister Bluster says:

    It’s time we amend the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution to mandate that fire arms owners belong to a well organized Constitutional Militia.
    You know, like the Militia mentioned in:

    Article I Section 8 USCon
    The Congress shall have Power To:..provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
    To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  48. MarkedMan says:

    Here is one source backing my claim. This includes all death by guns, including accidental and suicide. Charts number 5, 7, 10 and 14 specifically concern states, but all of the charts are interesting.

    FWIW, I think gun control laws would have a significant impact. But what really concerns me is the incredibly toxic gun culture. There is a vicious cycle of the gun companies, NRA and pro gun news sources and websites endlessly hyping carjackings, home invasions and shootings by blacks, hispanics and Muslims in general, while ignoring the steep decline in overall crime rates since the late eighties (or as pointed out by Kevin Drum, since the first generation of children raised since the removal of lead from gasoline reached the age where they would historically commit the bulk of their crimes). After inundating people with fear and hysteria, they push the “solution” that the only way to keep your family safe is to own a lot of costly firearms and shoot a lot of expensive ammunition on a regular basis, and maybe parade around town with a gun strapped to your hip.

    I know a fair number of people that are into guns in a big way. Many of them are pretty decent people overall, people I like. But when they talk about guns I get the same “I am a hundred per cent sure of these totally BS statistics because my overlords have explained them to me” as I used to get from the airport Hare Krishnas back in the day. They stoke each other up with story after story about how “those people” are about to burst into their car, their home or their schools and kill/rob/rape unless everyone is armed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  49. Gromitt Gunn says:

    This person killed almost as many Americans as Hurricane Harvey. I expect us to start taking gun violence as seriously as we take climate change any day now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  50. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @Jen:

    he spent a lot of time in Vegas

    Apparently he also made several large gambling transactions recently…in the tens of thousands range…but it’s not clear if those were wins or losses. Of course the house always wins (unless it’s a Trump casino).
    Also of note; his father was a bank robber who made it onto the FBI’s top 10 most wanted list…and was a diagnosed psychopath. Nonetheless…it is patently unfair to visit the sins of the father upon the son. On the other hand, I think we can all agree that the Las Vagas shooter was a indeed psychopath…if only for a short time period.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  51. Bokonon says:

    The right wing trolls are already out in force, seizing the narrative and claiming that the shooter was a “liberal” and somehow associated with ANTIFA.

    They are pointing to a statement by “ANTIFA Australia” as proof.

    This makes me wonder if the Russians are behind the ANTIFA claim, and are using this as another fake news opportunity (given their involvement in the “ANTIFA Boston” fake stuff before).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  52. Gustopher says:

    @Gromitt Gunn:

    This person killed almost as many Americans as Hurricane Harvey. I expect us to start taking gun violence as seriously as we take climate change any day now.

    Your expectation has been met.

    We don’t take climate change seriously either…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  53. Mister Bluster says:

    @Hal_10000:..The biggest problem with American politics is not partisanship but the assumption that the other side is not just wrong, but evil.

    Citizen John Valko:
    “Kill the idiot players,” Valko, who co-owned Racine, Wisconsin’s Reefpoint Brew House, wrote in a Facebook comment. “Execute them. They are nothing but garbage.”

    Citizen Christopher Cantwell:
    “I’m trying to make myself more capable of violence. I’m here to spread ideas, talk in the hopes that somebody will come along and do that. Somebody like Donald Trump who does not give his daughter to a Jew,” Cantwell says in the Vice film.
    He then agrees with the Vice News host that he is looking for a leader who is “a lot more racist than Donald Trump”.

    Citizen David Duke:
    On Thursday, Duke offered his strongest support for the candidate yet, telling radio listeners that a vote for one of Trump’s rivals would be “treason to your heritage.”

    I submit that these three American Citizens are evil.
    I submit that they have millions of American Citizens who agree with them and that these millions of American Citizens are evil too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  54. Gustopher says:

    The picture Doug chose for this post illustrates another problem plaguing America — we’ve gotten taller and rounder, but t-shirts have not gotten longer. Plumber’s Ass is a scourge upon the nation.

    We won’t do anything about gun violence, but perhaps we can all come together and make sure that man on the right has some shirts long enough to cover his shame. And then, maybe, something good will come out of this tragedy.

    Think of the children who are being exposed to this. Sure, we didn’t do anything about the children at Sandy Ridge, but this is a more solvable problem.

    There are 250M guns in America, and they last basically forever. There are at least ten times that number of t-shirts in America, but they last two years tops. If we come together as a nation, we can solve Plumber’s Ass by 2020.

    2024 if we have some hearings on bringing back overalls and/or suits.

    But, during our lifetimes, if we aren’t all killed before that by nuclear war or climate change or gun violence.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  55. wr says:

    @Scott F.: “We have decided there’s nothing to do but accept gobsmacking, mind-numbingly incessant gun violence. There’s no measure we will even try in order to understand, let alone curb, the source of the ceaseless, senseless death by gun we abide in this country.”

    No, we haven’t. The only decision made here is by Republicans in Congress, and they have decided that there is no amount of dead Americans that can outweigh that sweet, sweet cash from the NRA.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  56. Hal_10000 says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    You’re engaging in the worst of modern political fallacies. You find the worst elements of the other “side”, then claim that everyone agrees with them and are therefore just as bad. You claim that these represent who the other side “really are”. It’s no different than when Right Winger dismiss real concerns about policing by playing a video of some demonstrators shouting “pigs in blankets”. Or when they cite Venezuela as an argument against single payer.

    Thank you for illustrating my point perfectly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  57. Hal_10000 says:

    As a point aside from gun control, the layout of the hotel and concert are just chilling. He was firing into a crowd like shooting fish in a barrel. This wasn’t someone who snapped. This was cold and calculated mass murder. I can not imagine the mindset that goes into that. Just horrible.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  58. MarkedMan says:

    @Hal_10000: Apologies, I missed your source link in your quote. I just followed it and, well, it’s fairly weak. First, to my surprise, he bases his post off of the same Vox article I linked to although he is specifically addressing it’s chart on rates of gun death in countries, not states. But so be it. He takes the chart which shows a high correlation of gun deaths vs. gun ownership rates and basically says two things: 1) He doesn’t agree with the countries chosen. He will use a chart showing different countries, where the correlation is much less significant. Fine, but he also doesn’t seem to notice that even with his choice all of them group together at on the left side of the graph, and the US is way, way over on the right side by itself. Given that all of the countries he has chosen have much tougher gun laws than the US, and they are all on the left side of the chart, it just doesn’t make for a convincing argument to me. Your mileage may vary. 2) The second thing he does smells of intellectual dishonesty. He says, hey, the real meaningful data is the suicide rate due to guns, since even in the US you are twice as likely to suicide with a gun than to be shot yourself accidentally or by someone else. Wow, I thought. Usually the gun culturists want to ignore the suicide rate. Maybe this will be an honest analysis? Not so much. He ignores the very convenient chart in the original article that shows that in US the suicide rate by non-gun methods are roughly the same for high and low gun ownership states, but in high gun ownership states the gun suicide rate is twice that, and in low gun ownership areas are about half that. A huge difference, but like I say, he ignores that. And then he really twists everything around. He proceeds to say the meaningful comparison is the overall suicide rate between countries, with the best source of comparison being South Korea. South Korea has a very high suicide rate and low gun ownership, while the US has a moderately high suicide rate and high gun ownership. So basically, he compares a country that has glorified suicide for millennia as a noble way to atone for public or private shortcomings, to one primarily populated by people whose culture has for millennia taught that suicide is not only a disgrace, but a mortal sin that will damn you to eternal agony.

    One of the things that James Randi has said about investigating frauds is that when their claims are shown to be total shams, they double down, but that doesn’t mean we are obligated to keep engaging. I don’t know who RTFTLC is, but I know that he is not engaging in an honest argument.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 4

  59. Mister Bluster says:

    @Hal_10000:..then claim that everyone agrees with them

    Read what I wrote. I did not say everyone agrees with them.
    US population is 325,000,000. If 3,000,000 citizens (millions, which is what I did write) agree with them that is not even one percent of the population.
    Of course I could be totally wrong and the truth is that Valko, Cantwell and Duke are the only three evil United States Citizens but somehow I doubt it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  60. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @Hal_10000:

    This wasn’t someone who snapped. This was cold and calculated mass murder. I can not imagine the mindset that goes into that. Just horrible.

    Yeah…this is what I was alluding to early on. And by all indications a perfectly normal, run-of-the-mill guy. Horrible, as you say. And fvcking scary because of the unpredictability.
    What could have possibly provoked this action from this guy?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  61. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Gustopher: Yes, quite.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  62. gVOR08 says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I know a fair number of people that are into guns in a big way. Many of them are pretty decent people overall, people I like.

    Same in my circle of aquaintance. The gun enthusiasts are mostly good people, loan any of them a hundred on their word. But they aren’t the people I would select to trust with deadly force.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  63. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    The count of weapons in the room is now 18-20.
    This guy was a well-regulated militia all by himself.
    Lexington and Concord…49 Americans dead.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  64. Hal_10000 says:

    @MarkedMan:

    That article was written by me. The violence rates for states follow the same pattern. And you can click through to Volokh’s analysis of the same data. The countries I use are identical using the same criteria (top 25 in Human Development Index). I specifically note that he US in an outlier. The reason I mention suicide is because Vox does and the chart i’m debunking does, lumping it all together into one category. If they’re going to do that and ignore 50-99% of the problem of suicide, it’s they who are being intellectually dishonest. I specifically note that the suicide rate has more to do with cultural influences than gun ownership. If you look at the murder data, the pattern is the same.

    Good reading comprehension there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

  65. Andre Kenji says:

    Guns per se are not the problem. The problem is that gun culture in the United States is attached to the idea of fearing crimes and guns.In some sense, people feel compelled to buy guns because they fear other people with guns. There is a mixture of aggressiveness, fear and guns, that’s not going to end well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  66. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @Mister Bluster: You missed Hal’s point. He was making Trump’s “a lot of very good people were at Charlottesville” argument.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  67. Mister Bluster says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’nint cracker:..If Trump forwarded a list of names of the good Nazi’s and the good Klan members and all around good White Power Junkies in Charlottesville to Hal, maybe Mister 10K can post it here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  68. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Mikey:

    More people died, and more were wounded, in this mass shooting than we lost in the main phase (November 7 to November 16, 2004) of the 2nd battle for Fallujah.

    The only way this is true is if you only count US servicemen.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  69. Mikey says:

    @Stormy Dragon: I thought that was implied in the “we lost,” but if you feel it needs clarification, yes, that’s true.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  70. MarkedMan says:

    @Hal_10000: I’m not sure why you think that the prevalence of suicide in Korea is indicative of the disproportionate rate of gun suicide in the US. Chart #10 in that Vox article seems to have a lot more relevance. It shows that if you take US states, the non-gun suicide rate is the same for high gun ownership states and low gun ownership states, at about 9K per year (on their scale). But the high gun states have nearly twice that, or over 16K, for gun suicides, while the low gun states have a gun suicide rate of only 4K per year. Rather than address that in your article attempting to debunk such a correlation, you comparedthe overall suicide rate in the US to the overall rate in South Korea, a country that formed its cultural norms for a high suicide rate centuries before the invention of the gun.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  71. Bob@Youngstown says:
  72. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Mikey:

    The hundreds of Iraqi civilians don’t count as people we lost?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  73. Mikey says:

    @Stormy Dragon: “We lost” about 4400 in that war. The Iraqis, both military and civilian, lost far more. So what’s your point?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  74. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    WTF…Tom Petty dead at 66.
    Thanks, Tom…and rest in peace…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  75. the Q says:

    Hal1000 wrote, “We have decided that taking guns from the law-abiding is not the most effective way of stopping gun violence

    Sorry pal, you are way off. Some have decided that is the most effective way. I give you the city of Los Angeles as proof.

    Real world empirical data: Los Angeles city and county have some of the most stringent gun laws in the country.

    In 1980, before many of these laws were enacted, there were over 1050 murders in LA city. Vast majority committed by guns.

    Last year, 290 murders.

    I guess for gun nuts who dispute this correlation, I will use another explanation then. In 1980, LA was 58% white, 18% Latino. Today its 28% white, 51% Latino so I guess it would ease the gun nuts mind if I blamed the decrease in violence, not on stricter gun laws, but rather getting rid of the crazy, gun loving, violent prone trigger happy white people who were replaced by peace loving, non gun nut Latinos!!!!!

    Right Hal?

    So to amend your statement, “We in LA have decided that taking guns from the law-abiding is not the most effective way of stopping gun violence. Getting rid of gun nut white people from your population base is.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  76. CET says:

    Since we have done the inevitable swan-dive into the culture wars here…

    If we’re talking about endemic gun violence, comparisons between the US and Western Europe are apples and oranges. The US is not a first world country throughout – it is pockets of first world country surrounded by 2nd/3rd world country.

    If someone has a reference that refutes this, I’d be interested in seeing it, but the last time I dug into the literature on gun violence the weight of evidence indicated that gun laws have little if any correlation to homicide rates. If you cherry pick your source data and your controls, you can sort of show something like looks like an effect in either direction. Usually, you get correlations that look like garbage.

    My interpretation of that is that the easy availability of guns might make the rot at the heart of our culture worse, but the real issues are more likely to be things like income inequality, lack of social opportunity, access to healthcare and mental health resources, etc, etc. Arguing about how many rounds someone can have in a magazine, or whether their rifle can have an adjustable stock is a distraction that benefits the major players in our gun debates (Bloomberg et al, and the NRA) without making the slightest difference for public safety.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  77. the Q says:

    I certainly hope if this nut is a Christian, that all Christian leaders will come out against Christians killing in cold blood their fellow human beings and they remind everyone, notwithstanding the 60 million killed by Christians the last 100 years, that Christianity is a “peace loving” cult…er, religion.

    How many more Christian slaughters will we put up with till we ban them from entering our country?

    We should immediately put a travel ban on Ireland. For that country has exported so many kooks and nuts that it has to stop. My great great great grandfather was one of them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  78. MarkedMan says:

    @CET: It is true that it the stricter or looser gun laws do not immediately or clearly show great impact. And that is important and I’m not trivializing it. But one thing that is very clear is that states with higher gun ownership have significantly higher gun death rates. See the references above.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  79. the Q says:

    On the news last night they interviewed a witness who said he was familiar with guns and could tell what type of gun was being used as soon as he heard the shots. He and his girlfriend were able to run when he reloaded.

    He also commented, “I’m from California and we have a law that only allows a 10 round clip. This guy was obviously shooting full mags of 30”.

    As I listened I thought if he had a 10 round clip, more people would be alive since those 5-10 seconds to reload means 40-60 more yards you can run to seek shelter.

    But to southern inbred gun nuts who dress up like Sheriff John and wave a cap pistol to prove they have a penis, I guess those extra yards and extra lives saved are less important than gunning down folks without that pesky inconvenience of reloading so often.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  80. gVOR08 says:

    Police departments are buying Shot Spotters, acoustic/electronic devices with microphones placed around town that can recognize gunshots and triangulate the location. Congress is considering legalizing silencers. What is wrong with Republicans?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  81. Hal_10000 says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Look, I know I’m challenging your religion here, so let me simplify this:

    Vox: Look, high gun states have more gun murders and suicides!
    Me: But not more overall murders and suicides.
    Vox: Look, countries with more guns have more gun murders and suicides!
    Me: But not more overall murders and suicides.

    This isn’t complicated.

    @the Q:

    Gun violence fell similarly in cities that don’t have such strict gun laws. And LA’s murder rate peaked in the early 90’s, the same as it did everywhere else. And Chicago has strict gun laws and a massive murder rate, so we could play this cherry-picking game all day.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  82. the Q says:

    Ok, Hal, you win. Its obviously getting rid of white gun nuts that did the trick since you gainsay the stricter gun laws.

    But,wait, doesn’t the NRA kooks insist that stricter gun laws mean MORE crime since only criminals will have guns?

    Isn’t that their whole rationale? We can’t restrict law abiding citizens their right to 30 clip mags since only criminals will get them?

    Shouldn’t if we follow the rationale of gun nuts that stricter gun laws = more crime, murder.

    LA proves them wrong It goes against their critical argument that they spew and will spew again in the next 24 hours.

    Now, please show me the error here?

    Also you do realize that Chicago gun laws DECREASED murders from over 900 in 1994 to less than 500 last year.

    So, again, tell me how much more violent Chicago is relative to the 90s BEFORE gun laws

    What does it take for you gun nuts? Your loved ones being blown away by a gun nut toting a UZI? Sorry, if thats what it takes……fine.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  83. t says:

    @the Q:

    Your loved ones being blown away by a gun nut toting a UZI? Sorry, if thats what it takes……fine.

    3edgy5me

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  84. MarkedMan says:

    @Hal_10000: You aren’t challenging my religion here. But you are challenging the facts. I’m going to stick to suicides here, since that is what we have been discussing. Vox says HGS have higher rates of suicides then LGS, due entirely to the 4X per capita gun suicide rate. They provide the NEJM study as evidence. You ignore that, say it doesn’t, and point to South Korea as evidence. I don’t even understand why they are relevant.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  85. MarkedMan says:

    BTW, a general observation. The entire country, regardless of gun laws, police tactics, imprisonment rates, three strike laws, or anything else, has seen a drop of about 50% in the murder rate. Comparing 1994 to today and then pointing to a specific Chicago gun law does not really show a causative link.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  86. CET says:

    @MarkedMan:

    But one thing that is very clear is that states with higher gun ownership have significantly higher gun death rates. See the references above.

    Fair point – I will grant that the evidence indicates a correlation between suicides by gun and gun availability/ownership. (Figure 5 in that ref is basically about suicides – if you just look at homicides, it goes back to a garbage correlation. Even for that graph, I’d like to see an R2 value though…)

    But, I’m generally opposed to using that as a rationale for gun control laws because: (1) Suicide by gun and gun ownership are both predominately a white, rural, male phenomenon and you would expect them to correlate even in the absence of causation, (2) with the exception of waiting periods, none of the commonly considered laws seem likely to affect suicides,* (3) I’m generally of the opinion that suicide should be legal, but that the root causes of a high suicide rate should be addressed.

    *Full disclosure: I’m generally ok with waiting periods, provided there is a fast and easy exception for people with obvious immediate need (a woman who is leaving an abusive partner, for example).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  87. Mister Bluster says:

    @the Q:..I certainly hope if this nut is a Christian.

    How in Hell are we ever going to know if this guy is a Christian?
    He is the only source that can provide us the truth of the matter and he’s dead and can’t tell us.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  88. the Q says:

    Sarcasm there Mr. Bluster

    PS, I tried to delete on above comment but it didn’t go through.

    Sorry about the comment that t rightfully was disgusted by.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  89. Mister Bluster says:

    Sarcasm there Mr. Bluster

    Only if you say so.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  90. the Q says:

    I wrote the comment, so I think I know the intent behind it

    Also, this is a pretty literate crowd, I obviously over estimated that by one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  91. Mister Bluster says:

    Sarcasm there Mr. Bluster

    I thought you meant that I was being sarcastic but I just couldn’t imagine why.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  92. Hal_10000 says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Here’s what I said in my post:

    I want to be very clear on this: my point is not that there is no correlation between the presence of guns and violent death. If we had fewer guns, maybe fewer people would kill themselves. If Japan had lots of guns, maybe their suicide rate would be even higher. I’m not addressing that. My point is that this specific talking point is irrelevant when it comes to gun control. Guns are not the biggest factor in violent death. Culture is the biggest factor and it’s not even close.

    There are good reasons to believe that guns may increase suicide rates: e.g., Israel’s experiment with making soldiers leave their guns on base. Suicide is often impulsive and guns tend to be more effective in that impulse leading to death than say, slashing one’s wrists.

    But … my point is that suicide is way more dependent on culture than guns. It’s notable that as America’s homicide rate has been cut in half, our suicide rate has remained steady (and is highest among the elderly). I don’t think this is because of guns. I think we need to look deeper; that it reflects more difficult cultural ills. To put a name to it: neglect of the elderly, cultural isolation, decay of social support networks. The most common reason old people kill themselves is ill health and/or loneliness.

    This is one of those arenas where the Republican talking point about mental health really *is* relevant. And one of the big reasons I’ve moved away from opposing universal healthcare (although not single-payer, etc.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  93. Mister Bluster says:

    For What it’s Worth
    This guy was on stage with the band last night when the killing began.

    Guitarist Caleb Keeter
    I’ve been a proponent of the 2nd amendment my entire life.

    Until the events of last night. I cannot express how wrong I was. We actually have members of our crew with CHL licenses, and legal firearms on the bus.

    They were useless.

    We couldn’t touch them for fear police might think that we were part of the massacre and shoot us. A small group (or one man) laid waste to a city with dedicated, fearless police officers desperately trying to help, because of accss to an insane amount of fire power.

    Enough is enough.

    Writing my parents and the love of my life a goodbye last night and a living will because I felt like I wasn’t going to live through the night was enough for me to realize that this is completely and totally out of hand. These rounds were powerful enough that my crew guys just standing in close proximity of a victim shot by this fucking coward received shrapnel wounds.

    We need gun control RIGHT. NOW.

    My biggest regret is that I stubbornly didn’t realize it until my brothers on the road and myself were threatened by it.

    We are unbelievably fortunate to not be among the number of victims killed or seriously wounded by this maniac.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  94. Mister Bluster says:

    Please release my comment from moderation and let me know why it has been snagged.
    GB

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  95. Mister Bluster says:

    Let’s see if this posts.

    Guitarist Caleb Keeter:
    I’ve been a proponent of the 2nd amendment my entire life.

    Until the events of last night. I cannot express how wrong I was. We actually have members of our crew with CHL licenses, and legal firearms on the bus.

    They were useless.

    We couldn’t touch them for fear police might think that we were part of the massacre and shoot us. A small group (or one man) laid waste to a city with dedicated, fearless police officers desperately trying to help, because of accss to an insane amount of fire power.

    Enough is enough.

    Writing my parents and the love of my life a goodbye last night and a living will because I felt like I wasn’t going to live through the night was enough for me to realize that this is completely and totally out of hand. These rounds were powerful enough that my crew guys just standing in close proximity of a victim shot by this fucking coward received shrapnel wounds.

    We need gun control RIGHT. NOW.

    My biggest regret is that I stubbornly didn’t realize it until my brothers on the road and myself were threatened by it.

    We are unbelievably fortunate to not be among the number of victims killed or seriously wounded by this maniac.

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  96. Mister Bluster says:

    For What it’s Worth
    This guy was on stage with the band last night when the killing began.

    Guitarist Caleb Keeter
    I’ve been a proponent of the 2nd amendment my entire life.

    Until the events of last night. I cannot express how wrong I was. We actually have members of our crew with CHL licenses, and legal firearms on the bus.

    They were useless.

    We couldn’t touch them for fear police might think that we were part of the massacre and shoot us. A small group (or one man) laid waste to a city with dedicated, fearless police officers desperately trying to help, because of accss to an insane amount of fire power.

    Enough is enough.

    Writing my parents and the love of my life a goodbye last night and a living will because I felt like I wasn’t going to live through the night was enough for me to realize that this is completely and totally out of hand. These rounds were powerful enough that my crew guys just standing in close proximity of a victim shot by this fvcking coward received shrapnel wounds.

    We need gun control RIGHT. NOW.

    My biggest regret is that I stubbornly didn’t realize it until my brothers on the road and myself were threatened by it.

    We are unbelievably fortunate to not be among the number of victims killed or seriously wounded by this maniac.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 2

  97. MarkedMan says:

    @Hal_10000: Hmmm. Okay, if your point is that culture plays a very important role in suicide then I agree. If you say that that people nearing the end of their lives are much more likely to commit suicide, then I agree. Now, if you were saying that access to guns doesn’t have an effect on the suicide rate, then I would disagree, but by your comments about Israel, I see that you are not saying that.

    That leaves the only real disagreement, which is what we should do about our own culture, here in the USA. I think gun regulations can help. You don’t. Fine. But I’ll go back to my opening statement, wherein I said that my biggest concern is the cancerous gun culture here in the US, which has become sick and deranged. And that is a large part of the problem.

    As I said, I know a fair number of people that talk about their big guns and their collections an about how the criminals know better than to come for them, and on and on. Most of these guys are decent people and I like them, but I can’t think of a single one that I feel comfortable about if they were to get woken up in the middle of the night by some innocent person they weren’t expecting, especially if they had a few before they went to bed. But for the most part I expect their involvement in a gun slaying will be limited to when their $10K gun collection gets stolen and distributed to criminals.

    I know that when I was a kid the gun owners I was exposed to were serious people who didn’t boast about how they saw themselves as some sort of batman with a gun. I suspect many of those serious people still exist, but they don’t talk about it much nowadays lest they get caught up with the dick-wavers.When I was young the gun magazines were about 30-06’s and deer blinds, and now they are about automatic weapons and how best to lay down a cover fire.

    As I said above, the worst actors are in the professional gun industry, such as the manufacturers, the gun show people, the NRA and the toady politicians. They are generating a violent and deranged feedback loop where assault rifles and street sweepers are the only way of protecting yourself from “those” people. They hype every brown on white crime, and ignore any case of a toddler getting the household gun and blowing her own brains out. It’s a sick, sick industry from stem to stern.

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  98. MarkedMan says:

    @CET: I think we could argue the details but could also find points of agreement. See my above comment about where I think we would get the most bang for the buck if we were willing to tackle this as a society. And I don’t think new laws would have much affect on the current culture. It would have to community leaders raising their hands and taking the loose cannons to task.

    It’s interesting how Trump and so many other white are quick to ask “why don’t we see those black football players raisin’ a ruckus when there is black on black crime?” (Short answer: Many do. YOU don’t see it because you are not interested in what they do off the field.) They are so quick to ask “If Muslims are so peaceful why don’t they report on these bad actors in their mosques” (Short answer: Most are peaceful. And they do report on dangerous elements.) But you see no real acknowledgement that the KKK and other hate organizations typically start their meetings with a Christian prayer. That it was regular old Christian people that hid the Olympic bomber for several years, primarily because he did God’s work in also bombing a gay bar. Or that when my wife worked at Planned Parenthood and had to walk through the protesters every day, it was those nut ball Christians, those Catholic priests and those Baptist ministers that I feared would leave my children motherless. Imams were so far down the list I didn’t even think about it. For all the times these white Christians point their fingers at “those” people, it never occurs to them for one minute that they have an obligation to police the loud mouths and extremists in their own neighborhoods or churches.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 1

  99. Mister Bluster says:

    Downvoted for posting clauses directly from the United States Constitution. Must be a Tory.

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  100. An Interested Party says:

    If Sandy Hook didn’t change the minds of many people who could do something about guns, don’t expect this latest atrocity to either…I do wonder, though, if those in positions of power would have their minds changed if something like this happened, say, on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, or in the boardroom of the national headquarters of the NRA, or the Courtroom of the Supreme Court…

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  101. Monala says:

    @Hal_10000: Since the article was written by you and I generally consider you a reasonable person, would you consider rethinking this line:

    [your first example of how our culture glorifies violence] I mean in inner cities, where violence is ubiquitous and role models are non-existent.

    That is far from true. A few examples: There’s a school for African-American young men on Chicago’s Southside that sends 100% of its graduating class to college each year. There’s a predominantly African-American school in Detroit that has won multiple national chess championships.

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  102. Hal_10000 says:

    @MarkedMan:

    As I said above, the worst actors are in the professional gun industry, such as the manufacturers, the gun show people, the NRA and the toady politicians. They are generating a violent and deranged feedback loop where assault rifles and street sweepers are the only way of protecting yourself from “those” people. They hype every brown on white crime, and ignore any case of a toddler getting the household gun and blowing her own brains out. It’s a sick, sick industry from stem to stern.

    Agree with that. This why I’m not an NRA member.

    That is far from true.

    Agreed. I was probably a bit too glib with that line.

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  103. Blue Galangal says:

    @MarkedMan: My 74 yo father, who lives in the whitest county with the lowest crime rate in the state of Ohio, is currently going to a CCW class.

    There is no way on this green earth that man should have a license to even own a gun – he has water on the brain and a permanent shunt installed and has become increasingly fearful and paranoid – and there is no earthly reason he needs a gun OR a CCW in his town where the biggest danger is the meth trailer park on the county line where some meth dealers might get into a shootout with each other.

    But “they” are going to come and “get” him. Any day now. So he needs to walk around with a cane and a concealed weapon and, I guess, pretend he’s John Wick and can balance w/o his cane and shoot “them” when “they” come for him in the Taco Bell drive-through.

    In case you’re wondering, yes, he receives Medicaid in addition to Medicare and Social Security (his medical bills alone in the past four years have reached ~350k), but it’s okay because he’s white and paid $45,000 into the system over his lifetime. That’s not socialism, don’t be silly.

    I’m in a semi-permanent state of despair. I have no idea how one combats this. There’s a news story in the WaPo today about how the Russian disinformation campaign targeted gullible, fearful FB users during the election. Anyone who watched people like my father on FB during the election already was familiar with the pattern.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  104. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @gVOR08:

    Congress is considering legalizing silencers.

    Already legal in Oregon. People use them in indoor gun ranges.

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  105. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @An Interested Party: Considering that it happened on a Congressional baseball practice field and one of the victims just came back to Congress last week, I’m guessing no. I realize the scale is different, but the principle seems to hold well enough to suit me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  106. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    And while I’m here, @Q: while I’m sure that your great great great Grandfather is proud that you are continuing in his crazy footsteps, would you consider self-deporting back to the old sod? I’ve not been in a long time, but I hear it’s pretty nice.

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  107. drj says:

    @Hal_10000:

    If you look at the overall rate of murder, there is zero correlation between gun ownership and murder rate.

    I am extremely suspicious of the data that you present in your linked piece (to put it very mildly).

    First, why don’t you distinguish between homicide and suicide? Both, of course, are problematic, but homicide rather more so, I would say.

    Even more importantly, why don’t you name the countries in your graph that supposedly shows that “there is no correlation whatsoever between gun ownership and violent death. If anything, there is a slight anti-correlation”?

    Not coincidentally, it seems, your graph looks a lot like this one, for example, where the “slight anti-correlation” between gun ownership and homicide rates is only caused by much poorer countries with rather weak law enforcement, such as Brazil, Mexico, and Russia.

    Then there is this list of studies provided by the Harvard School of Public Health:

    Our review of the academic literature found that a broad array of evidence indicates that gun availability is a risk factor for homicide, both in the United States and across high-income countries. Case-control studies, ecological time-series and cross-sectional studies indicate that in homes, cities, states and regions in the U.S., where there are more guns, both men and women are at a higher risk for homicide, particularly firearm homicide.

    We analyzed the relationship between homicide and gun availability using data from 26 developed countries from the early 1990s. We found that across developed countries, where guns are more available, there are more homicides. These results often hold even when the United States is excluded.

    After controlling for poverty and urbanization, for every age group, people in states with many guns have elevated rates of homicide, particularly firearm homicide.

    Using survey data on rates of household gun ownership, we examined the association between gun availability and homicide across states, 2001-2003. We found that states with higher levels of household gun ownership had higher rates of firearm homicide and overall homicide.

    Etc.

    TL;DR: While you accuse others of cherry picking, I strongly suspect you are, by far, the worst offender in that regard.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  108. Jen says:

    @Blue Galangal: I sympathize. My father, who is 80 and lives in AZ, has been talking about getting a firearm for the house. It’s insane that he’d be allowed to do this–his reaction times are, kindly, not what they used to be. I’m terrified that he’s going to accidentally shoot my mother. All because of some phantom feeling of threat that really doesn’t exist. We lived abroad for much of my life in places where there actually was a level of risk and he didn’t react like this.

    @Mister Bluster: Hopefully his fans will listen. That is precisely what some of us have been saying for a long time–that having a gun in a situation like this not only doesn’t help, it confuses things and could make one a target. I do hope he is sincere and stays the course with this newly discovered revelation, but it’s unfortunate that it takes something like this to see the light.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  109. CET says:

    @MarkedMan:

    For all the times these white Christians point their fingers at “those” people, it never occurs to them for one minute that they have an obligation to police the loud mouths and extremists in their own neighborhoods or churches.

    Yep – we’re on the same page here (this, and the rest of that post). I enjoy asking people like that about the Oklahoma city bombing…

    Also, via Politico , it looks like one or more guns may in fact have had bump-fire stocks installed….

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  110. MarkedMan says:

    This comes late in the thread but it’s worth adding this link to a Scientific American overview of gun research. The previous research I referenced focused on states with high rates of gun ownership vs. states with low rates of gun ownership. A lot of the Scientific American research is about people who actually have guns in their homes versus people that don’t. Some highlights: For people with one or more guns kept in the home, there is at least a 1.4x likelihood that there will be a gun homicide in that house. The suicide rate is 5.8x and that increases to as much as 9.2x if the gun is kept loaded. These studies paired similar people and demographics with and without guns so as to control for extenuating circumstances.

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  111. KM says:

    @Blue Galangal @Jen:

    The problem with letting people have guns because they’re “afraid” is some people are *always* afraid or fear without cause. We don’t ask the questions we should about competency, skill or capacity for reason because it infringes on “rights”. When the 2nd was drafted, people didn’t regularly live to the ages we do with the degenerative diseases we see more and more of as the age limit creeps higher. How many gun-toting 80yr olds with the ability to kill dozens in seconds were around in the 1790s?

    We don’t like taking things away from the elderly as it reduces their independence and frankly, that’s gonna be us one day so we don’t want to set a precedent. However, I think selling to someone who’s obviously ill or too old to be able to fire properly should be a crime.

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  112. Mikey says:

    Speaker Ryan was on TV talking about “mental health reform,” which is much needed in this context. But he and the rest of the congressional GOP want to gut Medicaid, which is the largest payer for mental health services in the country.

    That these two things are mutually exclusive doesn’t seem to have occurred to him. (Or maybe it’s just words, noble sentiments that will provide top cover for the nothing they really want to do.)

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  113. cian says:

    Just more and more outrage, that and prayers. In the meantime nothing changes or, worse, no one believes anything will change. While millions of Americans, in poll after poll, including a majority of NRA members, plead for their government to do something, anything, to protect them from these mass killings, the House prepares to debate a bill to legalize silencers, called ‘The Hearing Protection Act’. It’s hard to find language strong enough to describe such madness. Harder still to understand a nation that continues to elect such insane leaders.

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  114. Mister Bluster says:

    Let’s face it this is just another Blood Sacrifice to the National Rifle Association and their toadys like Bill O’Reilly:

    “This is the price of freedom,” he wrote. “Violent nuts are allowed to roam free until they do damage, no matter how threatening they are. The 2nd Amendment is clear that Americans have a right to arm themselves for protection. Even the loons.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  115. Mikey says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Blood Sacrifice

    As historian Garry Wills wrote of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary:

    That horror cannot be blamed just on one unhinged person. It was the sacrifice we as a culture made, and continually make, to our demonic god. We guarantee that crazed man after crazed man will have a flood of killing power readily supplied him. We have to make that offering, out of devotion to our Moloch, our god. The gun is our Moloch.

    http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2012/12/15/our-moloch/

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  116. Monala says:

    @Monala: For whatever odd reason, my links don’t work. Here’s the article about the school with 100% college enrollment:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/100-percent-of-seniors-at-chicago-school-admitted-to-college-for-7th-year-in-a-row_us_5722273ee4b0b49df6aa5aaa

    Here’s the article about the young chess champions:

    http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2017/05/16/detroit-chess-teams/325690001/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  117. CET says:

    @MarkedMan:

    For people with one or more guns kept in the home, there is at least a 1.4x likelihood that there will be a gun homicide in that house.

    Yea…about that… The Scientific American article cites Arthur Kellerman for that, who is basically the gun-control equivalent of Kleck (e.g. they both publish garbage research, but are on opposite sides). Kellerman’s ‘odds ratios’ come with three very important caveats.

    (1) They are for specific populations that don’t generalize well to the national level.
    (2) His crude odds ratios show no significant effect. In order to get a statistically significant effect, he goes through a big list of other variables and p-hacks them until controlling for a subset produces the results he’s looking for.
    (3) If you go back and read Kellerman’s 1993 paper you’ll note that where the odds ratio from firearm owner ship is not significant, you see massive effects from alcohol use, drug use, and rental (vs. ownership). The title of that paper would more appropriately have been: ‘drinkers and home renters are vastly more likely to be killed with a gun.’

    For the record though, if any of the progressive commenters wonder why on earth gun owners tend to be skeptical of public health research on guns and violence, that paper is a perfect example (especially since the results get cited by popular news so often). I tend to think that the answer is to encourage folks to produce better research, but that’s easier said than done.

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  118. Mikey says:

    @CET:

    I tend to think that the answer is to encourage folks to produce better research, but that’s easier said than done.

    Given the NRA’s bought-and-paid-for Republicans have blocked government research into gun violence for something like 20 years, I think you’re entirely correct.

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  119. Blue Galangal says:

    @KM: I agree, generally, and I’m not even talking about taking away his handgun (although it would be much safer for everyone). Although perhaps there ought to be a test for the aged, the way they test drivers in Florida: because it’s not safe to have people behind the wheel if they’re not competent to drive.

    The thing here is, Ohio already *has* open carry. There’s only one reason he’s going to the trouble for CCW: industry (and right wing infotainment) fear.

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  120. Blue Galangal says:

    @Jen: My sympathies in return. There’s no rational reason for this fear: it’s stoked by disinformation campaigns (including the NRA, front and center) and all the rest of it – Infowars, Breitbart, every single dog whistle and coded message. I’d heard gun sales were down when Trump got elected; I’m sure they’ll go back up now because once again guns are at the forefront of the news for a few days so those who have 19 guns will make sure to run out and buy 2 or 3 more.

    (Could there be a limit on the number of guns owned? Could there be any agreement on that?)

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  121. Mikey says:

    NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch tweeted this in response to a call for a ban on the type of firearms used by Paddock:

    If it’s a “health issue,” cars, then hand, feet, and fists will be banned first (also pools).

    Show me the person who can kill 59 and wound nearly 500 in eight minutes at a range of a couple hundred yards with their hands, feet, fists, or by throwing pools at them.

    What utter idiocy.

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  122. CET says:

    @Mikey:

    (1) It isn’t a ban on research, it’s a directive telling the CDC that gun violence is outside their purview. Researchers across the country outside of the CDC can (and do) still produce research on gun violence. But, because (1) guns are very much a ‘culture wars’ issue that most researchers have strong feelings about, and (2) studies need to find a strong correlation to get published (regardless of what the researchers need to do to make that correlation show up), you end up with a high noise to signal ratio.

    (2) My strong suspicion is that Loesch is referring the to the fact that rifles kills a relatively small number of people per year. Based on the FBIs UCR statistics, more people are beaten to death in any given year than are killed with rifles (and more people drown in pools and bathtubs – though at that point you’re comparing accidental deaths with homicides, which is more a rhetorical point than anything else).

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  123. Mikey says:

    @CET:

    It isn’t a ban on research, it’s a directive telling the CDC that gun violence is outside their purview.

    That seems a distinction without much of a difference in this context.

    But, because (1) guns are very much a ‘culture wars’ issue that most researchers have strong feelings about, and (2) studies need to find a strong correlation to get published

    I can’t disagree with this, but it strikes me as a good justification for the CDC’s involvement.

    My strong suspicion is that Loesch is referring the to the fact that rifles kills a relatively small number of people per year.

    Yeah, I know. But it’s a singularly tone-deaf, and irrelevant, thing to say after a guy with an assortment of rifles just killed or wounded nearly 600 people from a slant range of about 400 yards.

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