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On Politicizing Tragedy

It’s seemingly inevitable that every tragedy that occurs in modern America inevitably gets politicized by those wishing to advance a political partisan viewpoint or a specific issue. After the Gabrielle Giffords shooting in January 2011, there were those who sought to blame the actions of what turned out to be a deranged man who has been ruled mentally incapable of standing trial on Sarah Palin, or the Tea Party, or “heated political rhetoric.” As I noted at the time, these were mostly silly and ridiculous argument, all the more so because they were being in opening hours of the tragedy when victims lives were still hanging in the balance. In the end, when the truth was finally learned about Jared Loughner, there were few apologies from those who had tried to bend a tragedy to push a political agenda. They just moved on to the next outrage of the day.

It’s no different today in the wake of the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado.a

Within mere hours of the incident, while people’s lives still hung in the balance in hospitals around Denver, people were already beginning to look for political motives behind the tragedy. More than one conservative I follow on Twitter jumped right to the Islamic Terrorism angle, of course. Shortly after the suspect’s name had been released, ABC News reported Brian Ross, apparently using nothing more than a Google search, speculated as to whether the identified “James Holmes” was the same as a “Jim Holmes” listed on the website of the Colorado Tea Party (he isn’t, and ABC apologized). Even while criticizing Ross and ABC News, the people at Breitbart were speculating if the shooter was the same person as registered Democrat with the same name from Durango, Colorado (he’s not). Other’s speculated over whether or not this shooter was affiliated with Occupy Wall Street even though there was absolutely no reason to believe that. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, as well as others such as CNN host Piers Morgan, used the opening hours of the tragedy to push a gun control agenda. Congressman Louie Gohmert, already known for saying nutty things, said that the fact that nobody took Holmes out before he killed more people is a sign of the decline of Christian values. Others have jumped in to blame the murders committed by Holmes on Rush Limbaugh. And, on the punditocracy side, The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza was up within hours with a “what it all means” political post even though we didn’t have all the facts about what happened.

As I said, it’s become a standard part of the American response to tragedies such as this. There does seem to be a line for such things, though. We largely didn’t see the 9/11 attacks politicized in this manner, most likely because they were such a tragic and shocking event that they, temporarily at least, dragged us out of the hyperpartisan world we’d become used to. It didn’t last long, though, and we were quickly back to our old ways, and The Plum Line’s Jamelle Bouie argues that it’s a mistake:

We don’t have enough information to make a judgment about what happened, much less use it to argue any point. What’s more, there’s something disrespectful in the rush to debate; let’s mourn for the victims before we begin to argue causes or consequences. It may well be the case that this shooting warrants a renewed national conversation over the wisdom of loose gun control. But it’s important to recognize the extent to which stricter gun laws aren’t a solution that will do away with mass shootings. If you are determined to kill a lot of people, you’ll find a way to meet your goal; after all, illegal guns work just as well as legal ones.

Finally, I want to second tech writer Anil Dash when he suggests that we look at this from the perspective of our culture and not our politics. He writes, “We marginalize & neglect our sons when they feel vulnerable, stigmatize depression & schizophrenia, and treat violence as entertainment.” Does the easy availability of firearms make mass shootings more likely than they otherwise would be? Probably. But Dash hits on a more important truth: Our treatment and understanding of mental illness is not a priority in our culture, especially when it comes to men, and it should be. What’s more, even when it comes to mentally healthy men, there are few socially acceptable ways to express their fears, their pain, and their anxieties, and boys are still raised to reject emotional expression as somehow un-masculine. “Stop crying, be a man” is still a thing that parents say to their sons, and it’s incredibly destructive.

I made a similar point in the wake of the Giffords shooting, after it had become clear that Jared Loughner was a deeply disturbed individual who had never gotten the help that he needed for his obvious mental illness. If it turns out that Holmes is similarly troubled, then I would agree that yes this would be another time for us to discuss the stigma that this society seems to have when it comes to mental health issues. We don’t know if those kinds of illnesses played a role in today’s events yet, though, so it’s probably not even worthwhile to have that discussion yet. Instead, I would suggest that the best thing to do is for us to remember the victims and to be respectful enough toward their family that to not turn this event into a political football before they’ve even had a chance to begin the mourning process, especially given that as of the time I am writing this ten of the victims of Holmes’s rampage remain inside the theater where they died while the police continue what is likely to be a long investigation.

Time’s Michael Grunwald takes a different position, and argues that political activists have a duty to speak out:

If advocates or experts or even politicians think their policy ideas can prevent the next Aurora—by preventing potential killers from obtaining guns, by making sure potential victims can carry guns, or by some other method—then by all means, now is the time to spread the word. Pretty soon, the pundits will be back to “you people” and “you didn’t build this” and whatever new verbal gaffe overwhelms the competition to lead the free world.

It’s telling that the people who get paid to analyze politics recoil at the notion that its practitioners should connect it to real-life pain. They think they’re covering a sport, an entertainment. But politics matters, because policies matter. “Obamacare” and “gay marriage” are not just issues that might play badly with swing voters or turn the tide in Virginia; they’re issues that affect people’s lives. Gun control and the Second Amendment are issues, too, and now seems like a pretty good time to talk about them.

It’s inevitable, of course, that the Gun Control crowd would speak out after a tragedy like this, but I have to wonder what Grunwald thinks they can meaningfully say given the fact that we know absolutely nothing about what may have motivated Holmes, whether he was mentally ill, or how he obtained the weapons he used in this atrocious attack. All they’d be able to do is spout the same talking points that they would on any other day, and the NRA and other groups that support the Right To Keep And Bare Arms, would spout their talking points. Nothing would be accomplished except giving the cable news channels something to fill up their hours of obsessive coverage with. It won’t accomplish anything, and, as David Weigel notes, the odds that this event would lead to significant changes in American gun laws are miminal:

If any shooting was going to inspire new regulations, it would have been the January 2011 massacre in Tucson that severely wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killed a federal judge. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, a New York Democrat, quickly proposed legislation that would have banned the extended magazines allegedly used by Jared Loughner. It went nowhere in the Republican-led House. “I maintain, as Americans have believed since the American founding, that firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens make communities safer, not less safe,” Rep. Mike Pence, told me then. “I think, particularly in Washington, D.C., the desire is to move immediately off and find something else to blame, and find some public policy that’s wanting.” Crying “politicization,” in that case, helped tamp down talk of a gun bill that was never going to pass anyway.

This being an election year, the odds that anyone is going to propose legislation that has any chance at all of passing are somewhere between slim and none. So, the gun debate will likely be revived, and there are legitimate questions that probably should be discussed such as how this guy was able to obtain or construct what some are calling “tear gas” devices, although the chemical composition of the devices is rather unclear at this point and most likely didn’t consist of military-grade or even police-grade chemical weapons. However, to the extent Grunweld thinks that this tragedy can be exploited to advance the agenda of The Brady Campaign, he’s delusional.

Perhaps there are political issues implicated by the tragic events in Colorado early this morning, but it strikes me that we should at least wait until we have a better idea of what happened, and why, before we all jump on our partisan bandwagons and start waiving the bloody shirt. Its a measure of respect to the victims, and it might actually allow the proper degree of reflection that will allow people to see things as they really are rather than through the eyes of partisanship.

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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. Isn’t complaining about the politicization of tragedy just a more passive-aggressive way of politicizing the tragedy?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 5

  2. Jeremy says:

    Agreed.

    I don’t care which side does it, just stop it. It’s absurd and disgusting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  3. mattb says:

    It seems to me that part of this rush to judgement/politicization is also a byproduct of media/media saturation.

    These people’s jobs are to feed the beast on a daily basis — whether that be the production of columns or filling in three hours of air-time. And all of that can require a lot of work. So it’s not entirely surprising that some of these people mine whats easy and available.

    What is all but impossible to defend are news desks (and those that call themselves news desks and I’m placing the Daily Caller in that group) engaging in that sort of speculative reporting. It’s bad when editorialists do it. But it’s far worse for the news arm of a news organization to start publishing those sort of unconfirmed facts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  4. Andy says:

    I agree with the idea behind your post – namely that people shouldn’t jump to use these tragedies to support their agendas – however this:

    Instead, I would suggest that the best thing to do is for us to remember the victims and to be respectful enough toward their family that to not turn this event into a political football before they’ve even had a chance to begin the mourning process, especially given that as of the time I am writing this ten of the victims of Holmes’s rampage remain inside the theater where they died while the police continue what is likely to be a long investigation.

    …is stated without any irony.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  5. I thought this was a brilliant take on the pundit reaction to this event:

    http://www.theagitator.com/2012/07/20/aurora-tragedy-shines-spotlight-on-medical-schools/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  6. Lib Cap says:

    Wait…

    No comment of Maklin gloating that the blame fell on “Mighty Righty”?

    (… seriously, that was her term. She’s a lil sick puppy, that one.)

    No mention tha Breitbrt.com fell overthemselvs to state that it was a REGISTERD DEMOCRAT !!!

    (… oh, then they found out that the fellow is not a registered voter.)

    Man… Give it the f’ up, just for a day while it gets sorted out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

  7. Tlaloc says:

    Much like the class war nonsense, this is a case of wanting to call a truce when you know you are in danger of losing. Strange how we can’t “politicize” a situation that has become all too common and which has direct roots in the political priorities of one side.

    Why is it obscene to use a tragedy to try and prevent future tragedies but not obscene to use every day to make such tragedies more likely?

    No I’m not buying the right’s sudden delicacy on the issue of guns, it will evaporate as soon as the latest tragedy is out of the public mind, and they’ll go right back to putting guns in the hands of every psychopath.

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

  8. Loviatar says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    .

    Politicizing Tragedy
    .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  9. MBunge says:

    “All they’d be able to do is spout the same talking points that they would on any other day, and the NRA and other groups that support the Right To Keep And Bare Arms, would spout their talking points.”

    I think the argument is that tragedies like this force people to get beyond the reflexive bullshit and confront the underlying reality.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  10. @Lib Cap:

    Dude, did you not notice that I linked to the post where the Brietbart idiots made the false “Registered Democrat” claim?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4

  11. Andy says:

    @Tlaloc:

    Why is it obscene to use a tragedy to try and prevent future tragedies but not obscene to use every day to make such tragedies more likely?

    I would think that one should have some objective understanding of what caused a tragedy before proposing solutions to prevent future similar tragedies. Otherwise you’re just guessing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  12. al-Ameda says:

    It’s inevitable, of course, that the Gun Control crowd would speak out after a tragedy like this, but I have to wonder what Grunwald thinks they can meaningfully say given the fact that we know absolutely nothing about what may have motivated Holmes, whether he was mentally ill, or how he obtained the weapons he used in this atrocious attack. All they’d be able to do is spout the same talking points that they would on any other day, and the NRA and other groups that support the Right To Keep And Bare Arms, would spout their talking points. Nothing would be accomplished except giving the cable news channels something to fill up their hours of obsessive coverage with.

    I don’t know, I think it’s instructive to know whether he was mentally ill, and to know how he managed to acquire his weaponry.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  13. Tlaloc says:

    I would think that one should have some objective understanding of what caused a tragedy before proposing solutions to prevent future similar tragedies. Otherwise you’re just guessing.

    Is there any chance that the proliferation of weaponry had nothing to do with it? We know he was heavily armed. Even if he acquired the arms illegally the very fact that you can easily acquire such weapons legally makes it a hell of a lot easier to blend in. I can’t conceive of any circumstances in which he was not aided by the the insane formulations of the 2nd amendment that the right cleaves to religiously.

    I’m all ears if you have some…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4

  14. Tlaloc says:

    Let’s put it clearly:
    The job of the victims is to grieve
    Our job is to get to work figuring out how to prevent the next one. And we do in fact need to get to work right ^%$#ing now. We’re about 30 years over due for that work in fact.

    By all means give them the room to grieve their losses, but that in no way absolves us of the need to act.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

  15. Andy says:

    @Tlaloc:

    So what is your proposal? Knowing almost nothing about the background of this individual or how he prepared, is there some specific law you have in mind that would have prevented this?

    By all means give them the room to grieve their losses, but that in no way absolves us of the need to act.

    Act how in order to do what? If it’s preventing future tragedies that one is really interested in, then one needs to put forward specific policies and demonstrate exactly how those policies will, in reality, prevent said tragedies. Vague notions about the “proliferation of weaponry” is just hand-waving.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  16. Peterh says:

    I would think that one should have some objective understanding of what caused a tragedy before proposing solutions to prevent future similar tragedies. Otherwise you’re just guessing.

    Man buys gun….man shoots gun….man kills with gun…..no friggin’ guessing here…..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6

  17. Lib Cap says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Dude, did you not notice that I linked to the post where the Brietbart idiots made the false “Registered Democrat” claim?

    Doug… My appy polly loggies.

    Hmmm… maybe not the best cinematic allusion for today, my good droog.

    I better just stick with “sorry, I missed it”.

    But seriously… WTF is with that http://michellemalkin.com ?

    One of her “helpful” suggestions is that it all would have been better if the theater-goers were all armed.

    And don’t EVEN read the comments…. woof.

    Dig: I know that I live in Colorado, and SHE lives in Colorado, and I’m ok with the second amendment (saying that, and not being a gun owner, no problems)… but it’s been a long time since side arms and gun belts have been the law of the west.

    One side screams that the other side will use this as an excuse to push disarmament… the other side says it will likely result in more arms sales.

    Black or red…

    Based on the strength of the NRA lobby and recent continued expansion of gun rights… I know which one on which I’ll place my chip.
    .

    It’s all just great untill good ol’ “OO” comes up and takes out a theater… or a school…

    Did you know we have an average of 20 mass shootings a year in the USA?

    (source: http://rt.com/usa/news/mass-year-people-massacre-710/ )

    … just sayin': Tragedy for some, no lessons learned.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5

  18. de stijl says:

    the NRA and other groups that support the Right To Keep And Bare Arms

    The NRA has started advocating for sundresses and those cute little tank tops? Cool!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  19. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Bad brains + idle time = the all too predictable political refrains from the usual suspects.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  20. michael reynolds says:

    Man with gun murders a bunch of people. So for God’s sake let’s NOT talk about guns. Let’s talk about the weather.

    This is pure, distilled essence of bullsh!t. To demand that we not discuss guns in the aftermath of a shooting is a politicization. It’s the NRA and its water-carriers trying to shut down the discussion. That’s politics.

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

  21. Lit3Bolt says:

    Doug, do you not think it’s the slightest bit odd that nothing political can be made from a mass murder with guns, but airplane terrorism, bus bombings, and even whether our powerlines should be above ground or below ground deserve exhaustive analysis and discussion? Why is this out of bounds, but endlessly speculating about Team Obama or Team Romney understable and acceptable?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  22. Buzz Buzz says:

    “Never let a crisis go to waste!”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  23. Buzz Buzz says:

    Let’s ban all guns, then the whole country will be as safe as places like Chicago and Washington D.C.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 9

  24. Tlaloc says:

    So what is your proposal? Knowing almost nothing about the background of this individual or how he prepared, is there some specific law you have in mind that would have prevented this?

    There are a ton of good ideas out there about how to reduce the amount of guns in our society and mitigate their harm. The two most obvious are registering and tracking all weapons and putting a hellacious tax on ammo not expended at a gun range. Beyond that I’d be looking for anything that encourages people to get rid of guns, not to buy new guns, and to instead get non-lethal defensive weapons, if they really need them.

    There’s simply no way to keep guns out of the hands of sociopaths when the society is awash in them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 6

  25. Just Me says:

    I am not keen on jumping to conclusions and in general find as often as not that the perpetrators of the various horrific events are mentally ill or disturbed in some way.

    I haven’t seen much on motivations for the killing yet, but my best guess is that over the next few days we will learn that Holmes suffers from some sort of mental illness.

    I also think that at some point people have to realize some people do some pretty awful things and are often motivated by things other than politics.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  26. Herb says:

    Just got home after a crazy day, had to pass the theater, the hospitals where the victims are staying, and the suspect’s apartment, still on lockdown surrounded by cops.

    Had quite a busy day since we were a man down, so I missed the development of the politicization, but I guess that was inevitable. The usual suspects (yes, I guess that’s appropriate) are making the usual noises, but then again the usual suspects are also talking about cold dead hands, of which today I guess we get our pick.

    I will agree wholeheartedly with Michael here:

    ” To demand that we not discuss guns in the aftermath of a shooting is a politicization. “

    These incidents are becoming too common. We’re talking about “the next Aurora” already, and of course, we’re all referring back to Giffords. And there’s plenty more “crazed gunmen rampages” to refer to as well. We’re just supposed to shrug, and say, “oh well, it happens?”

    This guy had flash grenades, a throat protector, a helmet, the whole nine. It would have been nice if, while he was acquiring all of this, along with the AR-15 and other weapons, someone asked him, “What the f#@$ you need that for?”

    That’s not such an inappropriate question, is it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

  27. matt says:

    @Tlaloc: He was already illegally transporting the weapons before he even made it to the theater. There’s plenty of youtube videos of people being harassed by the police for open carrying where it’s legal (including cases where the gun isn’t even loaded). You don’t just blend in by walking around with guns in your hands.

    @Tlaloc: Talk about magical thinking. How the hell are you going to tax ammo depending on where it’s used? I highly recommend you look into the gun control laws in Norway. Despite all the registrations and more Anders was still able to kill 77 people and injure over 319. So yeah keep telling us how even more regulations and making things even more illegal will suddenly make this stop. Once we ban all guns maybe we can start legislating knives and other pointy objects.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6

  28. JR says:

    @Buzz Buzz

    Let’s ban all guns, then the whole country will be as safe as places like Chicago and Washington D.C.

    Don’t you think those gun laws were put in place because those cities were so dangerous to begin with? You can argue that they’ve been ineffective but I don’t think they’ve contributed to the crime rate. Texas has very lax gun laws and still has a high rate of gun violence.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

  29. @michael reynolds:

    Man with gun murders a bunch of people. So for God’s sake let’s NOT talk about guns. Let’s talk about the weather.

    I have a friend that was coming out of a gay bar several years ago when three guys tried approached him spouting anti-gay slurs and obviously preparing to beat him. When he pulled back his shirt to expose his carry weapon, they fled.

    You make it sound like it’s simply get rid of guns, less innocent deaths, when in reality you’re just trading one set of innocent deaths for another.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

  30. @Tlaloc:

    The two most obvious are registering and tracking all weapons and putting a hellacious tax on ammo not expended at a gun range.

    And how exactly would registration have prevented this shooting? It’s not like there’s a great mystery about who did it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  31. matt says:

    @JR: You mean Texas which has about 10.7 gun deaths per 100000 people (including suicide accidents etc)? That fact puts it well below many states which have much more strict gun control laws..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  32. al-Ameda says:

    @Buzz Buzz:

    “Never let a crisis go to waste!”

    Is the NRA going to sanctimoniously claim that they’re being harmed or singled-out by the responses to this tragedy?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

  33. al-Ameda says:

    @Herb:

    This guy had flash grenades, a throat protector, a helmet, the whole nine. It would have been nice if, while he was acquiring all of this, along with the AR-15 and other weapons, someone asked him, “What the f#@$ you need that for?”

    That’s not such an inappropriate question, is it?

    You’re damned right it’s not such an inappropriate question to ask.

    Best wishes to your friend Herb.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  34. @Herb:

    These incidents are becoming too common.

    Are they? If you look at the statistics, the number of mass shootings each year has been relatively common since the 70s:

    http://boston.com/community/blogs/crime_punishment/mass%20shootings.jpg

    This is just another case, like so many crime stories, where they just seem to be becoming more common because of increased media attention.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  35. michael reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Nonsense. NRA brand baloney. Show me a single credible stat that says gun ownership prevents more crime than it causes. You think what they needed at that theater today was a few more people with guns firing away in the dark trying to bring down the shooter?

    I was held up at gun point, and I owned a gun. If I’d shown the gun the SOB would have shot me in the face. My wife was pistol-whipped by an attempted rapist – she defeated him by pretending to faint and then screaming. Had she whipped out a gun he’d very likely have shot her, or we’d have had a gun battle in a residential area of Annapolis, MD. Where would those stray bullets have gone?

    Without a gun the Martin/Zimmerman thing would have been bloody noses and a dislocated jaw, not death, arrest, prosecution and possible prison.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 7

  36. @michael reynolds:

    Nonsense. NRA brand baloney.

    So you’re accusing me of lying, making up an incident that never occured at the direction of the NRA?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  37. michael reynolds says:

    Top 10 states in gun deaths per 100K:

    DC, AL, LA, WY, AZ, NV, MS, NM, AK, AL.

    DC is of course not really a state, it’s an extension of MD and VA, so let’s add the next actual state to the list, and it is: TN.

    Notice something about those states? 8 red and arguably 2 purple. Not a single blue state.

    Now the bottom 10:

    HI, MA, CT, NJ, NY, RI, NH, MN, ME and IA.

    Notice something about those states? 8 blue and 2 purple. Not a single red state.

    Since Texas was mentioned above, they have more than twice the gun deaths per capita of New York.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 6

  38. michael reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    No, I’m accusing you of using a single anecdote to prove a point that is clearly not proved.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 5

  39. john personna says:

    @matt:

    Did Anders import American high capacity clips, or not?

    Were they vital to his attack, or not?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  40. Herb says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    “This is just another case, like so many crime stories, where they just seem to be becoming more common because of increased media attention.”

    You don’t think the firepower and the bodycounts demand the media attention?

    You can’t shoot over 80 people with a handgun, man. Flash grenades? Throat protection? A tactical helmet? It’s a little more than just a “crime.”
    @al-Ameda: Best wishes to your friend Herb.

    Thanks. I think he’ll be alright. Might see him on the news though. He’s that kind of guy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

  41. Lit3Bolt says:

    NRA freaks are hilarious. You’ll grab your ankles and bend over to feel safe in an airport, but must be armed at all times everywhere else, because that weight in your holster magically protects you from random killings by mentally ill people who will always find a way to attack you and your children at their most vunerable moment. And the response is always more guns, more machismo, more anecdotes that prove nothing but your close minded ideology.

    My question is, why don’t we see mass murders with cars? It’s because of the thug gun mania the NRA and cowardly Republicans and Democrats create and feed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 5

  42. john personna says:

    I feel sorry for NRA types, because they are simple people, who want to be for 30 round clips, and against shooting sprees too. It’s mean to ask them to connect the two.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 7

  43. john personna says:

    Since many above have more extreme gun control positions than I, I should peck out a thumbnail. I’m fine with guns. I don’t have any now, but I’m fine with my friends and neighbors having them. If I lived a more country life, I might have some.

    And is certainly true that with millions out there, the genie is out of the bottle.

    Probably the only thing we could do now would be to outlaw the high capacity clips, but even that is a political long-shot.

    So, we’ll be “for” high capacity semi-automatcs and then be saddened every year or two, when they are used this way.

    We’ve made our choice.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6

  44. Ron Beasley says:

    Has Michelle Bachmann claimed he’s a secret Muslim yet?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

  45. @michael reynolds:

    The problem is your figures include suicides, accidents, and getting shot by the police, not just homicides. Now I can’t find a breakdown of firearm homicides per captia, but if you look at total homicides, you get:

    DC, Louisiana, Missippi, Alabama, and Maryland as the worst
    North Dakota, Vermont, Wyoming, Idaho, and New Hampshire as the best

    Which doesn’t seem to follow a clear pattern regarding either red/blue or gun laws.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  46. matt says:

    @michael reynolds: Note that Texas which is used as the boogeyman for gun control nuts across the country isn’t on your list either..

    .@john personna: Yes he imported them and based on the description of the situation Anders would of done just as much damage with standard magazines

    @Herb: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GsmUzSBaUQ

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  47. matt says:

    Just to clarify I find the increasing militarization of police and the general push towards a police state for “our safety” to be ridiculous and the TSA is just a minor symptom of a far larger problem.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  48. john personna says:

    @matt:

    The obvious thing is a that despite your assurance, Anders felt differently.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  49. Buzz Buzz says:

    @john personna:

    I feel sorry for NRA types, because they are simple people, who want to be for 30 round clips, and against shooting sprees too. It’s mean to ask them to connect the two.

    Yeah, if those NRA simpletons had a clue they’d follow my earlier suggestion.

    Let’s ban all guns, then the whole country will be as safe as places like Chicago and Washington D.C.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

  50. john personna says:

    @Buzz Buzz:

    Sounds like you are dodging the hard questions, how you keep guns and keep people safe too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

  51. Just Me says:

    Just to clarify I find the increasing militarization of police and the general push towards a police state for “our safety” to be ridiculous and the TSA is just a minor symptom of a far larger problem.

    I would rather see states permit concealed carrying than all these SWAT teams that storm people’s homes.

    I am not personally keen on guns, but my husband and kids enjoy shooting and hunting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  52. Buzz Buzz says:

    @john personna:

    Sounds like you are dodging the hard questions, how you keep guns and keep people safe too.

    Obviously, you can’t, which is why we should ban all guns and make the entire country as safe as the gun-banning cities of Chicago and Washington D.C. are!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 12

  53. Al says:

    It’s still not about how we treat guns; it’s about how we treat the mentally ill. If this guy got the help that he needed, help that the free market won’t provide because there’s no money in it, this tragedy wouldn’t have happened.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  54. Lit3Bolt says:

    @Al:

    Exactly. Buying a gun should not be easy. It should be like buying a mansion or a pile of diamonds or a truckload of fertilizer and ammonia nitrate. Sorry for the inconvenience, but it keeps other people alive.

    The problem with gun nuts is that they assume criminals are rational and are deterred by gun ownership. That doesnt work with the crazies.

    All “gun control” liberals want is some method of screening out the crazies from guns, flash bangs, and body armor. But gun nuts don’t want that. Why?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

  55. bk says:

    Someone put if far better than I can –

    we live in a country where the Supreme Court has decided the 1st amendment does not give you the right to yell “fire” in a crowded movie theatre, but the 2nd Amendment gives you an unfettered right to amass enough guns to shoot 71 people in the same theatre.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  56. Loviatar says:

    E.J. Dionne wrote a great post over at The Moderate Voice addressing the “Politicizing Tragedy” dodge usually put forward by the NRA and their stooges after these recurring tragedies.
    .

    The Gag Rule on Guns

    For all the dysfunction in our political system, a healthy pattern usually takes hold when a terrible tragedy seizes the nation’s attention.

    Normally, we engage in a searching conversation over what rational steps can be taken by individuals, communities and various levels of government to make the recurrence of a comparable tragedy less likely. Sometimes we act, sometimes we don’t, but at least we explore sensible solutions.

    Unless the tragedy involves guns. Then our whole public reasoning process goes haywire. Anyone who dares to say that an event such as the massacre at a Colorado movie theater early Friday morning demands that we rethink our approach to the regulation of firearms is accused of “exploiting” the deaths of innocent people.

    This is part of the gun lobby’s rote response, and the rest of us allow it to work every time. Their goal is to block any conversation about how our nation’s gun laws, the most permissive in the industrialized world, increase the likelihood of mass killings of this sort.

    First, the gun lobby goes straight to the exploitation argument — which is, of course, a big lie. You can see this because we never allow an assertion of this kind to stop conversation on other issues.

    Nobody who points to the inadequacy of our flood-control policies or mistakes by the Army Corps of Engineers is accused of “exploiting” the victims of a deluge. Nobody who criticizes a botched response by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to a natural disaster is accused of “exploiting” the victims of a hurricane or a tornado.

    Nobody who lays part of the blame for an accident on insufficient regulation of, say, the airlines or coal mining is accused of “exploiting” the accident’s victims.

    No, it’s only where a gun massacre is concerned that an absolute and total gag rule is imposed on any thinking beyond the immediate circumstances of the catastrophe. God forbid that we question even a single tenet of the theology of firearms.

    .

    Go read the whole thing.
    The Gag Rule on Guns

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 4

  57. @michael reynolds:

    Another morbidly amusing thing I noticed… Alaska has one of the highest death by firearm rates in the country ~20/100k, but one of the lowest homicide rates ~4/100k.

    Apparently living in Alaska is a fate worse than death.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  58. @Loviatar:

    Nobody who lays part of the blame for an accident on insufficient regulation of, say, the airlines or coal mining is accused of “exploiting” the accident’s victims.

    There’s also not a huge organized movement to ban air travel that responds to airplane crashes by going “see, we told you letting people fly is a bad idea!”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  59. Al says:
  60. mantis says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    There’s also not a huge organized movement to ban air travel that responds to airplane crashes by going “see, we told you letting people fly is a bad idea!”

    Most airplane crashes are accidents. There already exists a huge, organized movement to prevent airplane crashes due to equipment failures, weather, and other air traffic.

    There is also big, organized movement to prevent terrorists from hijacking planes, though. That’s a much better comparison.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  61. Loviatar says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Usually you’re pretty good with your comments. A little too conservative for my tastes, but well thought out and much more coherent than the usual run of the mill Libertarian/Conservative trolls, however this comment is crap.

    There’s also not a huge organized movement to ban air travel that responds to airplane crashes by going “see, we told you letting people fly is a bad idea!”

    Please point out anywhere in this thread where I said anything about banning guns, shit please point out where anyone in this thread said anything about banning guns. What was said is, after every horrific killing the NRA and its stooges use the tactic of “not Politicizing Tragedy” to squelch any discussions about reasonable gun control. You took that statement and immediately created a strawman of wanting to ban all guns.

    Take off the talking points blinders and try again, I have faith you can do better.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

  62. Just nutha' ig'rant cracker says:

    I’m ambivlent about both registration and 2nd Amendment arguments, and for what it’s worth, there is nothing that makes me feel safer than knowing that somewhere in the US a handgun had given up its life so that the nation can have another storm sewer grate. Having said that, let me weigh in with the observation that we probably cannot have a nation where crazy people can be prevented from doing crazy, homicidal things without fairly aggressive involuntary committment laws.

    And therein lies the rub…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  63. G.A. says:

    Are they? If you look at the statistics, the number of mass shootings each year has been relatively common since the 70s

    The whole country has gone to hell and on an express elevator since 1963….

    Um, thats when they took the bible out of school….

    Now ignore, hate and attack that reality…3..2..1..

    Stormy Dragon:

    Usually you’re pretty good with your comments. A little too conservative for my tastes

    lol wow..

    I say we implement liberal control, it will cut down on violent murders almost completely.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  64. Robert c says:

    @Herb:

    Well said. This wasn’t a simple “crime”.
    This was a Spec. Ops type assault on civilians.
    Imagine how this would be framed
    If this guy was Arab. It would be “terrorism”.
    Which begs the question, why is this not
    Terrorism?

    Robert c

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  65. People above ask about why the NRA comes into the conversation so early, it’s a response to the NRA’s tactics and training. They are schooled to answer any question about gun ownership as if it were proposing a total ban. That’s the team answer.

    After Aurora, Michael Tomasky on the Country the NRA Wants to See

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  66. Eric Florack says:

    I say again…

    OK, we’ve all seen the wailing and complaining about the shootings in Colorado.

    We will doubtless see over the next weeks and months more calls for more stringent firearm control. An escalation, if you will of the war on individuals who exercise their second amendment rights.

    But, let’s show some actual thought, some logic, and a spine…

    Those people who got shot, those who died, were waiting for the police, thinking they had no need for self-protection… that the government was able to protect them. They were dependent on the falicy that the job of protecting them was the government’s and also that the government’s war on individuals using their second amendment rights to carry firearms, was sufficient for their protection.

    Think, now; what would have happened, had just one armed citizen been in that room? Just one person who wasn’t a sheep? That one armed citizen could have stopped the situation long prior to the arrival of the police. Many lives would have been saved, many injuries averted.

    Here’s the solution. More guns in the hands of citizens. Less dependance on government to do our jobs… including self-protection… for us.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  67. @Eric Florack:

    That’s actually what Tomasky talks about above:

    In fact, if anything, we are headed for a day when 20 percent of the people in a movie theater are armed themselves, and we have a good old shoot ’em up that would’ve made John Ford’s head spin but will make the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre’s heart soar like an eagle.

    Your answer to a shooting, is a shoot-out. In. A. Movie. Theater.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  68. stonetools says:

    If the killer had used explosives or poison gas on the theater, there would now be all kinds of calls aiied at preventing crazy people from getting their hands on such weapons by just ordering them off the Internet. But because he used The Holy Weapons (firearms), there are no calls at all from any Congress-critter about preventing crazy people from ordering firearms and ammunition without limit from the Internet. Does this even make sense ?
    Gail Collins has a column in the NYT abound the long slog for black civil rights and likened the struggle for handgun control to be like that. It may take a generation, but truth and reason will win out in the end.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  69. G.A. says:

    Your answer to a shooting, is a shoot-out. In. A. Movie. Theater.

    How about two in the head from close range, game over. Then empty the clip in his face to make sure!

    Some one could have also drawn his fire if not killed him, maybe less people would have got hit?

    Why would there be a wild west shoot out? I mean there could be but once again it would draw fire, this bastard is already trying to kill everyone in the room.

    I know many many people who would have killed that dude quick because they know how,double quick if they had been protecting their friends and family.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  70. If you are sitting behind me, how do I know I’m not the one getting it in the head?

    I know you want to save me, and that’s great, but you understand that you are an unknown quantity to me, along with every other would-be Wyatt Earp in the audience.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  71. Or, how sure are you of the other Wyatt Earp’s behind you ;-)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  72. Me Me Me says:

    used the opening hours of the tragedy to push a gun control agenda

    Heaven forbid we look at a repeat of a tragedy and wonder out-loud if there might be a useful policy response. No, no, can’t do that, lets just stick to mouthing platitudes and supplicating a mythical sky daddy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  73. stonetools says:

    <@Eric Florack:

    So the “gun rights” response is to have 20% of the audience in a darkened theater pull out their guns and start firing?

    I’m hoping that this is a parody troll, and not meant to be a serious , well thought out response to the issue. Its this kind of John Wayne fantasy that dominates the thinking of the gun nuts on the issue.

    @john persona

    Wyatt Earp was IN FAVOR of gun control. That’s what the gunfight at the OK Corral was in part about-an attempt to enforce the city gun control ordinance.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  74. Me Me Me says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Here’s the solution. More guns in the hands of citizens. Less dependance on government to do our jobs… including self-protection… for us.

    What exactly are you planning on packing that would make you effective against a shooter wearing full body armour and carrying a 100-round clip?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  75. Al says:

    *Sigh* Let’s try this again: Regardless of what kind of weapons are available, someone as severely mentally ill as Holmes will (and regularly do, even if it doesn’t make the news) hurt the people if they don’t get the help they need.

    As things stand right now gun control won’t help. Making sure the severely mentally ill can’t get guns implies a level of care for the mentally ill that just plain doesn’t exist. Fix that problem and the gun control issue becomes moot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  76. Al says:

    Gah. When I said “hurt the people” I meant “hurt the people around them.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  77. mattb says:

    @Al:
    Generally speaking, I agree with your point.

    The only gun control issue that I think is worth revisiting is the question of extended magazines. As with other situations, is not so much specifically the guns involved (as none of them were fully automatic or modded to be fully automatic), how many shots could be gotten off before the need to reload.

    I realize some will argue that this doesn’t matter since the shooter had multiple guns. However, as with reloading, the time that it takes to switch weapons is additional time for either (a) people to escape or (b) people to attempt to subdue the attacker (remember in the case of Tucson, Loebner was stopped while in the process of reloading).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  78. Al says:

    @mattb:

    And how often does someone who has violent mental health issues hurt someone with a gun (let alone a gun loaded with an extended magazine) versus a knife or a stick or their fists? We’re talking about a fraction of incidents here.

    If you care about the problem of the severely mentally ill then guns, ammo and extended clips just plain isn’t the core issue, the fact that getting them help is incredibly difficult is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  79. G.A. says:

    What exactly are you planning on packing that would make you effective against a shooter wearing full body armour and carrying a 100-round clip?

    I think I explained that…

    Heaven forbid we look at a repeat of a tragedy and wonder out-loud if there might be a useful policy response. No, no, can’t do that, lets just stick to mouthing platitudes and supplicating a mythical sky daddy.

    And what that hell does this even mean? All of your gun control crap has been tested and it has failed, and then you talk some atheist hate crap….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  80. mattb says:

    @Al:
    There are two separate and not diametically opposed issues here.

    The first, and I would agree more pressing, is the issue of how we deal with the mentally ill within the country.

    There is a second issue, which is the question of gun violence. The fact is that time after time in the case of these mass shootings, extended magazines are involved. I think it’s fair to bring up a open discussion on about them. In the end, the majority of the population might agree that the relative limited number of mass shootings does not constitute a good enough reason to inconvenience gun owners.

    I personally see nothing preventing us from asking both questions at once.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  81. G.A. says:

    The only gun control issue that I think is worth revisiting is the question of extended magazines. As with other situations, is not so much specifically the guns involved (as none of them were fully automatic or modded to be fully automatic), how many shots could be gotten off before the need to reload.

    Sorry bro but this is America, if the government has tanks and aircraft carriers then the citizens need some and have the right to have some too.

    No I an not joking I have been thinking…..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  82. matt says:

    @john personna Timothy McVeigh rigged up a backup ignition system with his bomb and he also had a last resort backup where he could shoot a corner of the truck to ignite the bomb. In the end those things didn’t matter just like the extended clip didn’t matter.

    @Al: : If he had gotten help he would of realized that bombs would of been better and then a lot more people would be dead.. See I can play the same game :P

    @Lit3Bolt: Uh where’s it difficult to buy truckloads of fertilizer?

    @stonetools: Those calls would of been just as dumb..

    I have a concealed carry permit and the training I took in order to gain that permit would of told me to get as many people out of there as possible. Only if cornered, unable to escape or if I had a very VERY clear line of fire would I of returned fire.. Situations like that are too chaotic for police to know who the real shooter is and anyone with a gun out would be a target to them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  83. Al says:

    @mattb:

    I personally see nothing preventing us from asking both questions at once.

    But are they? Which issue gets the most attention by several orders of magnitude?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  84. G.A. says:

    Wyatt Earp was IN FAVOR of gun control. That’s what the gunfight at the OK Corral was in part about-an attempt to enforce the city gun control ordinance.

    Leave your guns when you arrive get them back when you depart…sigh, disarming drunk a$$ liberal cowboys looking to get all bootyed up and go whoring was probably a good idea for Tombstone seeing it was a den of ill repute…

    But we are talking about 2012 and hundreds of thousands if not millions of crazed products of a secular society that don’t give a crap about nothing especially guns laws or human life…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  85. al-Ameda says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Here’s the solution. More guns in the hands of citizens. Less dependance on government to do our jobs… including self-protection… for us.

    Exactly, why weren’t those movie goers armed and ready to fight?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  86. mattb says:

    @matt:

    I have a concealed carry permit and the training I took in order to gain that permit would of told me to get as many people out of there as possible. Only if cornered, unable to escape or if I had a very VERY clear line of fire would I of returned fire.. Situations like that are too chaotic for police to know who the real shooter is and anyone with a gun out would be a target to them.

    Matt,

    Which state did you get the permit in? Sounds like it was an excellent course! And all of that matches with everything I’ve learned about pistol/gun safety in these situations. And to that point, I find it very difficult to imagine (though it is of course possible) that once the explosive/gas device was thrown, anyone would have had the “very VERY clear line of fire” necessary to engage the attacker. That’s something that a lot of the “if only there had been someone there with a CC” people don’t seem to understand.

    Again, could someone who was armed have stopped this immediately? Possibly. But reviewing the facts, it just doesn’t seem very probable at all. And if the person who was armed did not have the presence of mind to remember the very training you mention, things could have been much worse.

    All that said, I’m not arguing against CC (provided there are solid course requirements for it). I’m simply arguing that it probably wouldn’t have changed much if anything in this situation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  87. mattb says:

    @G.A.:

    How about two in the head from close range, game over. Then empty the clip in his face to make sure!

    Some one could have also drawn his fire if not killed him, maybe less people would have got hit?

    And while we all might disagree on the subject of CC, think that comments like this (not to mention his posts in general) make us all agree that none of us would want to see G.A. packing concealed heat.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  88. Eric Florack says:

    @stonetools: That would be one aspect. The other would be the likelyhood taht knowing that chances were he’d be walking into a room filled with gun toting good guys a bit more daunting, thereby eliminating such plans before they got started.

    Consider the reason rich women rich women in furs are far more often molested than motorcycle gang members in leather.

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  89. Eric Florack says:

    @mattb: I would trust GA far more than yourself, so armed. Just so you know.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  90. matt says:

    @mattb: I live in the state of Texas currently and I also grew up around a lot of guns as a kid on a farm in a rural area of Illinois (shot many a coyote or feral dog that was attacking our livestock). My dad was very strict about gun safety. Even when I was a little kid hauling around a BB gun I still handled it like it was a loaded full sized gun at all times. My dad said it’d be too easy to get into bad habits otherwise. My family has owned guns for as long as anyone can remember and we’ve NEVER had a gun related accident that caused an injury or was our fault. The only accident I’ve had was when I was around 12 and a 9mm basically blew up on me because of a manufacturer defect. Ended up getting the gun replaced for free but I never shot the replacement for obvious reasons.

    I’m an extremely good shot and even I find it highly improbable that I would of been able to get a shot off on the killer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  91. G.A. says:

    And while we all might disagree on the subject of CC, think that comments like this (not to mention his posts in general) make us all agree that none of us would want to see G.A. packing concealed heat.

    Do my comments make you afraid? You don’t understand this can happen?Or more then likely would?Dude If my nerves held and I was there and could have snuck up on that bastard with my pocket knife and got it into the the back of his neck I would have cut his dumb A$$ head off!!!! And then unloaded his AR into his face for good measure…

    Oh and I used to be a very good shot, but I can’t have guns… well I am sure Walker would pardon me if he looked at my record since since I was 17….

    But I know, I don’t need one.Others that know how to use them, ******* A.. everywhere at all times!!!!

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  92. G.A. says:

    I’m an extremely good shot and even I find it highly improbable that I would of been able to get a shot off on the killer.

    I believe you, but I know lots of of people that would get em.Look into combat shooting.

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  93. matt says:

    @G.A.: I outshoot most of the local military personal at the range here :)

    In a combat situation though I’m sure I wouldn’t..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  94. mattb says:

    @G.A.:

    I believe you, but I know lots of of people that would get em.Look into combat shooting.

    You realize that most Combat Shooting training focuses on controlled situations without the possibility of returned live fire.

    As many LEO’s and firearms instructors I’ve talked to have pointed out, everything changes when the targets can shoot back.

    Again, to pretend that under those circumstances: dark theater, smoke, person shooting into crowd, crowd rioting – that even a person with significant training could get a safe bead on the target, you’re engaging in a ridiculous fantasy.

    Matt has it right. The first responsibility is to make sure the most amount people (including yourself) get out of there safely. Then you can start pretending to be the Punisher.

    BTW — I’m curious, beyond Matt, how many of the other people here pushing for more weapons (a) have a CCW permit and (b) have gone through any gun combatives training?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  95. mattb says:

    @Eric Florack:

    I would trust GA far more than yourself, so armed. Just so you know.

    As with most of your posts, this says far more about you than it does the world we both occupy. :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  96. Ebenezer_Arvigenius says:

    Consider the reason rich women rich women in furs are far more often molested than motorcycle gang members in leather.

    Of course the problem with that statement is right there. Are fewer fur wearing rich women molested because there are leather biker chicks? Of course not. All this CC ftw stuff creates is target switches. “Oh the theatre goers might be armed. Let’s try the Kindergarten instead…”.

    In the end it’s the old “I’ve mine” meme. “I, unlike most people, like to carry guns so I would prefer if crimes happened to some liberal wussies instead of me”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  97. G.A. says:

    Again, to pretend that under those circumstances: dark theater, smoke, person shooting into crowd, crowd rioting – that even a person with significant training could get a safe bead on the target, you’re engaging in a ridiculous fantasy.

    well I guess people need to start buying laser sites…

    As many LEO’s and firearms instructors I’ve talked to have pointed out, everything changes when the targets can shoot back.

    That what we are trying to tell you..

    Matt has it right. The first responsibility is to make sure the most amount people (including yourself) get out of there safely. Then you can start pretending to be the Punisher.

    By being defenceless will he walks up and down the steps killing you in your seat.. and shooting you in the back as you crowd the exits..ya ok…

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  98. @matt:

    You keep making this argument that killers, if they hadn’t had access to the extended magazines they chose, would have chosen something else.

    You keep ignoring what they chose, what was convenient to them. To use the economic term, it was their “revealed preference.”

    Is this the point in the thread where you make up reasons you “need” extended magazines yourself, and why simply removing them from the equation would not make mass killing harder, or at leas, less easy?

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  99. BTW, if it was found that mass killers preferred high capacity semi-automatic weapons for, not only their ease, but their mode of killing, would that change your mind? Or would you hand-wave again?

    The interesting thing is that if they were “mad bombers” they wouldn’t have to be there. They wouldn’t have the same 99% chance of getting killed or caught.

    They do what they do, with guns, because it gets them visible, visceral, violence, and then it gets them killed or caught.

    “going out in a blaze of infamy” is harder without guns

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  100. mattb says:

    @john personna:

    BTW, if it was found that mass killers preferred high capacity semi-automatic weapons for, not only their ease, but their mode of killing, would that change your mind? Or would you hand-wave again?

    To be fair, in terms of lethality is little difference between single shot, manual repeater, and semi-automatic rifles.

    Instead we need to look at rate of fire. Clearly semi-automatics are capable of much more rapid sustained fire because they automatically load (but do not fire) the next bullet. That said, someone with training can approach similar speeds with a manual repeater. Further, manual repeaters are far less likely to jam than semi-autos (and it appears that the rifle did jam in the Colorado shooting).

    For all these reasons, it’s better to discuss magazine* capacity rather than loading mechanism. My understanding is that the Colorado shooter was using a 100 round (!) extended magazine for the rifle.

    Beyond convenience at the range, I am at a loss for any practical reason to need a 100 round extended magazine. And this is one of those areas where, unfair as it is, the potential for that sort of magazine to be used in bad ways far outweighs any convenience that they provide at the range.

    * – not to all non-gun folks who want to be heard, understand that it’s a MAGAZINE not a CLIP (though a clip often goes within a magazine). Sadly, if you use clip instead of magazine, gun folks will often immediately fall out of the conversation or spend their time correcting your usage rather than your substantive point.

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  101. @mattb:

    I actually think repeaters versus automatics would have been a good division for gun control, but you know, that horse left the barn a hundred years ago. All the best guns John Wayne used were repeaters.

    Related: Watching a few reality shows with hunters, I noticed that they carried a few rounds in their pockets. This includes a couple guys who were stalking a grizzly that was after their cattle, at night. Shortly before actually shooting they took out the cartridges, loaded their bolt-action rifles, and shot. These were 3rd generation Alaskans. Apparently even there, even at night in grizzly country, they felt safer with rounds in their pockets than in their rifles.

    On magazine versus clip, it’s probably a lost battle. Language is defined by usage. I do know what a stripper clip is though.

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  102. Al says:

    You all do realize that you’re proving Doug’s point, right?

    No one argues my contention that the real issue here is that the mentally ill can’t get the help that they need (Well, one person did with a completely non-nonsensical argument but I’m not counting that.) and that gun control is, at best, a sideshow. Yet we’re all still talking about full vs. semi vs. bolt action and the difference between a magazine and a clip. And yes, I do know the difference but even Marines tend to use the words interchangeably.

    The large portion of severely mentally ill are ignored until after they commit acts of violence and when they commit acts of violence they tend to use guns in a small minority of cases. If you believe that is true but you still want to talk about nothing but gun control or which political party the perpetrator belonged to when tragedies like this happen (and judging by the contents of the threads in the past few posts, you don’t) then I would contend that you care more about pushing an agenda than actual root causes.

    That’s doubly true when you accuse someone of being an “NRA stooge” or a “liberal wussy” for pointing this out.

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  103. @Al:

    We are talking about people who choose to go out in a blaze of infamy.

    They have access to mental health. I’m sure that if they called anyone related to either mental health or public safety and said “I’m thinking about shooting a lot of people” they’d have a response pretty quick.

    They don’t though. Instead the people we are talking about, the spree killers, go out and buy high capacity semi-automatic weapons.

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  104. mattb says:

    God, I know that I will continue to regret this, but once more unto the breach
    @G.A.:

    well I guess people need to start buying laser sites…

    A laser site works great if you can see the person you are targeting. Given that the theatre was dark, filling with smoke, and people were running in all directions, the idea that someone could (a) easy see the target, let alone (b) get a clear line of shot.

    I’m sure you think you could. I tend to trust Matt’s far more grounded view of the situation.

    [That things are different when the target shoots back is] what we are trying to tell you..

    By that I’m guessing you mean that if the audience shot back, things would have been harder. Again, I’m not denying that possibility. But, the thing is that the audience members with guns would have needed to be able to return fire under fire.

    This all get’s to a key fallicy in the martial arts and combat in general – the myth of the “ever ready warrior.” When someone is in a situation where they are not expecting to be assaulted — i.e. a movie — they will always be surprised by a surprise attack. Which means that they will experience the same stress, flight-or-fight reaction, and adrenal dump as anyone else. Cognition gets screwed up for a moment and fine motor skills go out the window.

    The difference between the general population and “born warriors” is how effectively their system processes adrenaline and allows them to get back to conscious fighting. To some degree that transition can be trained (that’s what good military training is about). But the key thing there is *constant training* as opposed to one off.

    Throw in the added stress of someone actually shooting at you while you’re trying to get yourself under control enough to target and return fire (all of that fine motor skills) as you begin to understand how difficult it is for even trained people, within the best of circumstances to react.

    So simply saying someone has “combatives shooting training” so she could take out the shooter in this sitaution no problem is missing the larger context of this sort of self defense encounter.

    Again, I’m not saying it’s impossible. But highly improbable. And again, adding another shooter into this mix, well intentioned or not, will most likely increases the threat that the crowd is under.

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  105. @Al:

    BTW, on the “NRA stooge” thing, it’s a response to the NRA’s zero-tolerance strategy. They consider any restriction to be a slippery slope to total bans and gun confiscation. So anyone who makes that slippery slope argument gets push-back.

    You saw above perhaps where I said “Sounds like you are dodging the hard questions, how you keep guns and keep people safe too.” That request for reason actually got 4 down-votes, as well as a claim that no, it leads to gun bans.

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  106. Eric Florack says:

    @michael reynolds: Actually it’s the left and the keys and the president chuck down the conversation and moving away from the only logical conclusion; gun control doesn’t work.

    It seems to me that there is a certain amount of blood is Asian as well going on with the visit of Obama to Colorado today, Particularly in an election year.

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  107. grumpy realist says:

    We’re not doing anything about Gun Control because for some people, (see E. Florack above), a gun is a mystical symbol of Uhmeerican Freeedom! and we can’t possibly have any limitations whatsoever, no matter no matter how many people get shot.

    Oh, and for those of you fantasizing about what you would have done in that theatre had you been there and armed with your trusty concealed gun? Like hell you would have taken him down. Chances are you would have panicked like everyone else and done nothing, or taken out your gun and blazed away in the direction of where you thought the shots were coming from, killing a load of innocent bystanders and not getting your target. And then, when the cops grab you, your response will be to whine: “I was just trying to help!” (Sorry, you’re still going down for reckless manslaughter.)

    Lord save me from such “protectors”.

    (You can also imagine what would happen if you have more than one gun-happy idiot in the crowd.)

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  108. Al says:

    @john personna:

    They have access to mental health. I’m sure that if they called anyone related to either mental health or public safety and said “I’m thinking about shooting a lot of people” they’d have a response pretty quick.

    Sure, and that’s the problem right there. Expecting a severely paranoid schizophrenic to call and ask for help, which is how the system is set up now, is like expecting a broken leg to heal itself. The people in the best position to know that there’s a problem and get that person help is their immediate family but if that person is twenty some odd years old, which tends to be when schizophrenia really starts to get bad, there’s literally next to nothing they can do.

    And I don’t particularly care what the NRA says any more than I cared what Marilyn Manson said after Columnbine or what Rachel Maddow or Rush said after the Giffords shooting. They’re all part of the same problem.

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  109. @Al:

    Maybe I misunderstand then. How do we spot the potential spree killers and get them into mental health programs?

    I’ve heard something about them being discernible from their Google searches, but I’m not sure that one would go down well with … anybody.

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  110. (My presumption is that we can’t spot them, and so can only make it harder for them.)

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  111. Al says:

    @john personna:

    How do we spot the potential spree killers and get them into mental health programs?

    I would argue that you’re thinking about the problem too narrowly. How do we get the mentally ill, who in their illness may refuse help, into mental health programs? How do we address people with severe mental illness that will probably need some level of care and supervision for the rest of their lives? Right now the solution is let them be homeless until they do something that lands them in jail. I’d argue that’s not working very well.

    Spotting schizophrenia before it becomes violent isn’t that difficult. Holmes’ family knew he had problems just as I know who has schizophrenia in my family. It’s not a secret, there’s just nothing that can be done.

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  112. matt says:

    @john personna:

    You keep making this argument that killers, if they hadn’t had access to the extended magazines they chose, would have chosen something else.

    No actually I’m making the argument that extended clips didn’t actually help Anders which is backed up by the chain of events. There wasn’t any one point where he would of had to reload while targets were present.

    Is this the point in the thread where you make up reasons you “need” extended magazines yourself, and why simply removing them from the equation would not make mass killing harder, or at leas, less easy?

    I use them on the range because reloading magazines is a pain in the ass and it saves me a lot of effort to just load up a couple high capacity mags. Now the interesting thing is high cap mags have spring and jamming issues which is why you don’t see our troops running around with them. Yes our troops somehow manage to kill plenty of people with standard sized magazines. Which according to your perspective should somehow be magically impossible.

    You can find plenty of videos of people speed reloading which eliminates almost every advantage of an extended magazine while suffering from none of the negatives.

    BTW, if it was found that mass killers preferred high capacity semi-automatic weapons for, not only their ease, but their mode of killing, would that change your mind? Or would you hand-wave again?

    Look this dude didn’t choose guns because it was going to be the most efficient killing method. He chose to use guns because of some personal reason that we might never know. If he hadn’t had access to guns we’d actually probably be looking at another Oklahoma style bombing maybe in spree form. Just look what that dude rigged up in his apartment. Now imagine what he could of done with a couple rider trucks and all that brain power.

    They do what they do, with guns, because it gets them visible, visceral, violence, and then it gets them killed or caught.

    How many of these people have you interviewed? Regardless you’re thinking along the same line as me.

    “going out in a blaze of infamy” is harder without guns

    Yeah he probably would of resorted to a Timothy Mcveigh style or maybe just started killing people randomly with the medicines at his work place. Do you really believe this dude would of woke up and went “oh man I wish I had a gun so I could kill some people oh hum guess I’ll go trim some hedges instead”? really??

    He also didn’t go out in a blaze of infamy. He had working guns left that he could of used to execute a “blaze of glory” but he didn’t.

    EDIT : I’ve noticed that people are reporting that the shooter’s gun jammed and I would be willing to bet a fairly large sum of imaginary money that the gun jammed because he was using one of those giant extended mags (the 100 round ones cause jams A LOT on the range due to spring pressure issues).

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  113. matt says:

    I don’t use 100 round mags because they jam a lot and most serious shooters consider them a toy with no real use.

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  114. Me Me Me says:

    @Al:

    The people in the best position to know that there’s a problem and get that person help is their immediate family but if that person is twenty some odd years old, which tends to be when schizophrenia really starts to get bad, there’s literally next to nothing they can do.

    I’d like to live in a country where a guy buying a full suit of body armor, multiple assault weapons and several thousand rounds of ammo sets off alarm bells.

    Scratch that. I’d like to live in in a country where a guy buying a full suit of body armor, multiple assault weapons and several thousand rounds of ammo is illegal. I reckon it isn’t too much of a stretch to say that given that we don’t allow the sale of hand grenades, we don’t really really need to allow the sale of the this gun-fetish paraphernalia either.

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  115. Al says:

    @Me Me Me:

    Great. Try and get the Second Amendment repealed and rewritten then. Using this tragedy as a vehicle for that when it isn’t the root cause of the issue and in fact distracts from discussing that is exactly my complaint.

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  116. matt says:

    @Me Me Me: I’d prefer to live in a country that didn’t glorify violence while preaching the evils of the human body..

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  117. wr says:

    @mattb: At least one person who’s in the hospital was in the next auditorium and was struck by a bullet that came through the wall. Just wondering how all our brilliant marksmen here would shoot the gunman in such a way that none of their bullets would go through the thin walls and strike other innocents.

    Except for GA, who I’m sure is using magic bullets that only go where he tells them to go. But for those of you who have some awareness of the difference between reality and fantasy, how would it work if ten or twenty armed civillians started firing back at the killer?

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  118. G.A. says:

    God, I know that I will continue to regret this, but once more unto the breach

    Whats there to regret?

    I think that you are over thinking this.

    He was unloading on a unarmed panicked crowd or so he would have thought. One or more trained people could have returned fire and hit him, his gun, and would have drawn his fire.Most of the the stuff you said would have applied to him also then.

    Many thing could have happened.In this case do you think people that are trained and packing are gonna wait for him to start shooting before they get their weapons out after he tossed those canisters?

    And speaking for myself I would rather get shot by someone trying to defend me then by that punk…if I had to die or be wounded there…

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  119. Me Me Me says:

    @G.A.:

    And speaking for myself I would rather get shot by someone trying to defend me then by that punk

    Speaking for myself, I would rather not get shot. We have more gun deaths in a week than the UK (population 63 million) has in a year.

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  120. G.A. says:

    Except for GA, who I’m sure is using magic bullets that only go where he tells them to go. But for those of you who have some awareness of the difference between reality and fantasy, how would it work if ten or twenty armed civilians started firing back at the killer?

    Such a stupid argument it almost criminal.

    So you know how that bastard was shooting when the bullets went through the wall? Was he standing near or in front of the screen or in the corner by the METAL DOOR? With the EXIT SIGN? A theater goes down, sharply, did you forget that detail when you figured out to make this silly statement?But you are right, ten or twenty people would have just state blasting away in all directions because they can’t see the guy shooting the AR at them and because if they have guns they must be mindless wing nuts who voted for Bush twice and are racists….

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  121. G.A. says:

    Speaking for myself, I would rather not get shot. We have more gun deaths in a week than the UK (population 63 million) has in a year.

    Which liberal controlled city do you live in may I ask?

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  122. Me Me Me says:

    @G.A.: @G.A.:
    Not that it is any of your business, but I don’t.

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  123. Eric Florack says:

    You guys keep arguing on about how one thing or another should be attacked and regulated as a useless piece of firearm equipment. The point that you seem to be forgetting is that the constitution says clearly “shall not be infringed.”

    What is it a file that, you guys don’t understand?
    It means that whatever kind of firearm and individual wants to all it is constitutional. Regulations of those purchases are unconstitutional.
    Period.

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  124. G.A. says:

    Not that it is any of your business, but I don’t.

    Hmmm…

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  125. matt says:

    @wr: That’s the power of a 5.56mm rifle round at work. Concealed Carry people tend to pack handguns which have a much lower muzzle velocity and thus lesser penetrating capability (home defense people concentrate on pistols or shotguns for that reason). That’s why the extensive expansion of SWAT tactics for minor crimes has resulted in people getting shot next door or in the next apartment (usually when the police decide to shoot a running dog). Rifle rounds penetrate a lot farther then a pistol can due to simple physics.

    Seriously your almost complete ignorance of simple facts in relation to guns has me worried. You would do well to at least learn a little bit about the subject before commenting on it.

    @Me Me Me: As stated earlier the population difference is enormous and the cultural difference is almost as huge. You cannot directly compare a country where showing brutal killing son TV is fine but you dare not show a boob vs a country where boobs are okay but you better not show a graphic murder. Our country glorifies violence in a way that UK and other European countries don’t. Even if guns magically disappeared we’d still see way more murders committed here then the UK.

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  126. Me Me Me says:

    @Eric Florack:

    You guys keep arguing on about how one thing or another should be attacked and regulated as a useless piece of firearm equipment. The point that you seem to be forgetting is that the constitution says clearly “shall not be infringed.”

    What is it a file that, you guys don’t understand?
    It means that whatever kind of firearm and individual wants to all it is constitutional. Regulations of those purchases are unconstitutional.
    Period.

    Where on teh Interwebs can I order shoulder-fired missiles or rocket-propelled grenades?

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  127. Me Me Me says:

    @matt:

    As stated earlier the population difference is enormous and the cultural difference is almost as huge.

    Population difference: 5X
    Gun death difference: 50X
    Number of gruesome murders shown on TV: equal.

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  128. G.A. says:

    Me Me Me, I live in between Milwaukee and Chicago, and there is always some gang banger or the like murdering somebody pretty much every day in those liberal controlled cities.Thank God and my Gov for conceal and carry..

    And all my my friends that I can run to when the crap really hits the fan..

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  129. Me Me Me says:

    Well G.A., think of how much more fervently you’d have to fetishize that hunk of metal if you lived in a red state, every single one of which has a higher rate of fire arm deaths than IL & WI.
    http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/01/the-geography-of-gun-deaths/69354/

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  130. G.A. says:

    Where on teh Interwebs can I order shoulder-fired missiles or rocket-propelled grenades?

    hey… I guess we can’t have tanks, not a firearm, but you can get cannon and Gatling guns. I seen them on Pawn Stars…

    And if Obama wants to mandate we buy something or give it out free for health care how about body armor?

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  131. G.A. says:

    Well G.A., think of how much more fervently you’d have to fetishize that hunk of metal if you lived in a red state

    I have a sword fetish not a gun fetish….and I said liberal controlled cities and murders, both things that can be stopped with 2nd amendment rights.

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  132. Answers to two people boil down to simple pragmatism.

    @Al, a psychologist on TV summarized it like this: “There are thousands of people out there with ‘yellow lights’ of caution over them. They only become ‘red lights’ in retrospect.” He’s saying that we have no way of interceding unless (a) we are willing to suspend liberties of people who have committed no crime, and (b) to do it wholesale.

    @matt, it’s kind of a weird argument when you try to get into the head of a person who shops for large magazine, military derived, semi-automatic weapons, and who visualizes going out in a blaze of infamy. What am I supposed to say? Do you think typical gun users understand the triggers to spree killing? And from their expertise we should agree that anything they like is not a motivator or enabler to the killers?

    I sure don’t know what makes them do it. I don’t know why they want to murder anyone, let alone large numbers of people. I assume, since they all gear up to fire lots of shots and do lots of damage, that IS part of the vision that motivates them. And yeah, I think having to put in a new magazine every 5 shots would make that a lot less attractive.

    … despite the assurances from sane non-killers that they could make it work.

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  133. al-Ameda says:

    @Eric Florack:

    It means that whatever kind of firearm and individual wants to all it is constitutional. Regulations of those purchases are unconstitutional. Period.

    No wonder places like Iraq and Somalia are the safest places in the world – nearly everyone has every type of weapon imaginable.

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  134. Al says:

    @john personna:

    He’s saying that we have no way of interceding unless (a) we are willing to suspend liberties of people who have committed no crime, and (b) to do it wholesale.

    Three things:

    (a) That’s one really bad shrink. Treating the mentally ill would mean that many of those yellow lights would never turn red. Would it be perfect? No, but it’s better than what we have now.

    (b) Yes, implementing something would be difficult and would require a fairly involved dialog. That’s been my point the whole time.

    (c) Like it or not, many people would also consider taking away their right to own guns a wholesale suspension of liberty. Which one actually moves towards solving the problem of treating the mentally ill?

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  135. mattb says:

    @matt:

    EDIT : I’ve noticed that people are reporting that the shooter’s gun jammed and I would be willing to bet a fairly large sum of imaginary money that the gun jammed because he was using one of those giant extended mags (the 100 round ones cause jams A LOT on the range due to spring pressure issues).

    From all accounts, this appears to have been the case — both that he was using a 100 round extended magazine and that it jammed.

    Again, I’m looking for a good justification for placing a ban on these sort of high capacity magazines. Especially if they are unreliable at the range, is there a good reason for continuing to make them available EXCEPT for taking a philosophical stand?

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  136. matt says:

    @Me Me Me: Negative. I don’t have the time to show you the differences and the level of censure ship utilized win western Europe but I highly suggest you educate yourself some day.

    @john personna:

    I think having to put in a new magazine every 5 shots would make that a lot less attractive.

    I think it would make a Timothy Mcveigh like bomb a lot more attractive. The only thing that kept this from being worse was probably the killer’s desire to make the killing a personal event. It’s pretty obvious the dude had the knowledge and materials to make some nasty bombs.

    @mattb: Well just look through this thread. You have people directly or indirectly demanding that guns be restricted to under 5 round mixed in with talk about how guns aren’t needed anyway. Gun owners see this and probably think if they give up on 100 round magazines their 13 round magazines will be next. Personally I have no problem with a ban on 100 round magazines because even on the range they are more trouble then they are worth. I just have a hard time believing that banning extended mags will suddenly sate these anti-gun nuts. Their outrage will just pour into smaller and smaller mags and weapons till they get them all banned. This is also one of the leading reasons why people fight against gun registration. Historically gun registration is the first step to confiscation. Combine that with the general paranoia of Americans (humans in general?) and you get a strong reaction. This of course tosses aside the facts that in cases like this we clearly know who the gun owner was and that most guns used in crimes have the serial number removed and such.

    Even if we banned 100 round magazines today it’ll take decades before the effects are felt. Like I said earlier my SAR-1 was about $350 bucks plus fees from the federally licensed dealer (bought on the internet requires delivery to a federally licensed dealer who then charges for the convenience) during the assault weapon ban era. Soon as Obama took office the value over doubled and I could now get $800 for it easily. Sadly ammo prices have increased greatly too :(

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  137. mattb says:

    @matt: As we agreed on another thread, pragmatism in this sort of discussion is difficult. And you are right that for some people the end goal is a total ban. That said, on the flip side, for some people, any regulation is too much.

    The pragmatic view — and I ultimately think it’s one that make sense for gun owners — is to seek the middle ground and accept that, at a very least, the most extreme of extended magazines should be banned.

    I think that all can be done without taking us down the slippery slope.

    I also understand that such a ban wouldn’t immediately change anything. But that reads as a weak argument to me. Nothing ever changes overnight (short of maybe the repeal of prohibition). That doesn’t mean that taking some common sensical steps wouldn’t have a positive longer term effect.

    Beyond that… two thoughts combined in what you write:
    @matt:
    Historically gun registration is the first step to confiscation. Combine that with the general paranoia of Americans (humans in general?) and you get a strong reaction.

    Soon as Obama took office the value over doubled and I could now get $800 for it easily.

    I think taken as a whole, this points out a real problem with certain gun rights people (I’m not suggesting you) — all it take is a Democrat to get anywhere near to oval office and suddenly everything becomes reduction to Nazism (i.e. taking the population guns) and runs on the gun stores. And yet, here we find outselves, almost four years later and no significant legislation has come even remotely close to being passed and simply suggesting that banning 100 round extended magazines might be a good idea get’s loped in with *everyone should be forced to disarm and turn in everything more powerful than an airsoft.” (which you are not saying, but other people here and other places are).

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  138. mattb says:

    @mattb: Crap, that last section should have read:

    Historically gun registration is the first step to confiscation. Combine that with the general paranoia of Americans (humans in general?) and you get a strong reaction.

    Soon as Obama took office the value over doubled and I could now get $800 for it easily.

    I think taken as a whole, this points out a real problem with certain gun rights people (I’m not suggesting you) — all it takes is a Democrat to get anywhere near to oval office and suddenly everything becomes reduction to Nazism (i.e. taking the population guns) and runs on the gun stores.

    And yet, here we find outselves, almost four years later and no significant legislation has come even remotely close to being passed and simply suggesting that banning 100 round extended magazines might be a good idea get’s loped in with *everyone should be forced to disarm and turn in everything more powerful than an airsoft.” (which you are not saying, but other people here and other places are).

    Sadly, in part because this is in response to a moral panic, I don’t see pragmatism winning out on either side.

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  139. matt says:

    @mattb: Just for the record I’m usually considered a lefty here and at other places. This is one of the few subjects where I end up being on the side of the right wingers. I voted for Obama last election because he seemed to genuinely not believe in pandering to the left wingers on this subject. One sure way to make voters like me re-consider voting for Obama is if he tries to pull some pandering by proposing another useless bill like Clinton’s “assault weapon” ban (which did a fine job of banning scary looking stuff like bayonet lugs or folding stocks but never banned a single assault rifle). I could never vote for Romney but I don’t believe I could push the button for Obama in such a situation.

    Frankly I cannot even read most left wing blogs right now because they are posting blatantly irresponsible articles about the killing. For example one post in a very popular left wing blog went with the headline about how the killer bought his stuff direct from the internet. The headline gives the reader the impression that the killer bought his guns online and had them direct delivered (OMGZ GUNS ARE SO EASY TO GET!!!). The reality is in the article you quickly find out that the only thing he bought on the internet was his ammo and that ridiculous magazine. Or the often quoted part about how the killer had a “100 round drum magazine capable of firing 50-60 rounds per minute” which sounds scary till you realize magazines don’t shoot bullets and someone with a pump action shot gun can shoot faster then that. It’s just ridiculous that amount of rank partisan and ignorant posts being made on the subject of guns.

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  140. mattb says:

    @matt:

    It’s just ridiculous that amount of rank partisan and ignorant posts being made on the subject of guns.

    This I can agree with.

    Or the often quoted part about how the killer had a “100 round drum magazine capable of firing 50-60 rounds per minute” which sounds scary till you realize magazines don’t shoot bullets and someone with a pump action shot gun can shoot faster then that.

    The entire “sounds scary till you realize magazines don’t shoot bullets” I think is a little bit of a dodge… much like the entire magazine/clip thing… I realize that your point is without a doubt technically correct, but it might be glossing over some stuff.

    As far as the “pump action shot gun can shoot faster then that” — I think it was on this thread that I noted that manual repeaters can easily approach/match the speed of semi-auto. That said, I think you’re playing a little fast here… first, the ammo capacity of the shot gun is lower, correct? And secondly, imagining a 100 shot magazine for that pump action, you’re going to need to be in pretty good shape to sustain the same rate of speed over that full minute or two to continue to match the speed of the semi-automatic.

    Again, not looking or advocating for a total weapons ban. Or necessarily for banning those modifications. That’s why I’m trying to keep my posts to the issues of magazines.

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  141. mattb says:

    @wr:

    Just wondering how all our brilliant marksmen here would shoot the gunman in such a way that none of their bullets would go through the thin walls and strike other innocents.

    To be fair to the other side, most responsible self defense shooters I know specifically buy bullets that will fragment on hitting walls in order to ensure that they don’t go into other rooms. The last thing you want to do if you are facing a home invasion is accidentally shoot the wrong person through a wall.

    This also points to why a lot of training should be (and depending on state is often) necessary to get pistol and concealed carry permits.

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