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One Year Later, Support For Gun Control Back To Pre-Newtown Levels

Gun Flag

Tomorrow, we will mark one year since Adam Lanza, motivated by whatever mental health demons it may have been that motivated him, killed his mother in her bed with the guns that she legally kept in the home that she shared with him and that drove the short distance to Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut and proceeded to gun down 27 more people, including 20 first and second grade children along with seven school staff members who tried to defend them. In the end, Lanza killed himself as well and thus left his precise motivations a complete mystery, but the damage was done. Although there had been a few other mass shootings that same year, the theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado and the shooting at the Sikh Temple in Wisconsin come most immediately to mind, the shooting at Sandy Hook immediately struck everyone as something different precisely because it involved such young children and likely in part because it had occurred in such close proximity to Christmas. Whatever the reason, though, when President Obama spoke at the public memorial for the victims at Sandy Hook, there was the impression that something had changed, and that there might actually be real political momentum for changes to the nations gun laws for the first time since we saw a similar push during the early years of the Clinton Administration.

In the beginning, it seemed as though this assessment would turn out to be correct. Initial polling in the wake of the tragedy seemed to show that support for some forms of gun control had indeed increased, and the ham-handed bizarre efforts of groups like the National Rifle Association to respond to the tragedy seemed to do more to hurt the gun rights cause than to help it. Subsequent polling in the early months of 2013 continued to show that support for gun control in general, and specific measures in particular, had in fact increased in the wake of the Newtown tragedy. In particular, there was and remains very broad support for the idea of universal background checks for weapons purchases, which in the context of current laws would mean expanding the current Federal laws on background checks to over supposed loopholes relating to sales at gun shows and sales that take outside of the context of a purchase from a Federally licensed gun dealer.  At the same time, though, it was apparent from polling early in 2013 that support in the public for anything beyond background checks had stalled, and eventually began to slip as public attention moved on to other issues. Indeed, by April we were seeing polling that showed that a majority of Americans agreed with the sentiment that gun ownership made homes safer.

On the Federal level, the only significant gun control measure that seemed to have a chance of passage was the universal background checks amendment that had be crafted by Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, both Senators with strong records of supporting gun rights in the past. As it turned out, though, that bill fell short of the votes necessary for passage despite a strong bipartisan effort to push it over the top. Most importantly, though, is that polling after the bills defeat did not show very much public outrage over the defeat. By July, the whole issue of gun control seemed to have faded from the news cycle and, while there were some victories for the gun control movement at the state level, there were also several significant defeats, including the recall of two legislators in Colorado over their votes in support of a gun control bill in that state’s legislature. Finally, it’s worth noting that the issue of gun control played essentially no role in the major elections in Virginia and New Jersey this past year.1

In short, what seemed like a political situation after the Newtown tragedy that would have been fertile ground for pursuing further gun control measures has essentially resulting in nothing at all and, now, we have a new poll from NBC News and The Wall Street Journal that shows that support for new gun control measures is back where it was before that fateful day in Newtown:

Support for stricter gun-control measures has dropped to its lowest level since last year’s tragic shootings in Newtown, Conn., according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

Fifty-two percent of Americans now say they want stricter laws covering the sale of firearms. By comparison, 38 percent think gun laws should remain the same, and another 8 percent say they should be less strict.

That support for tighter restrictions is down from earlier in the year. In Jan. 2013, a month after the shootings, 56 percent favored stricter gun laws in the NBC/WSJ poll.

In February, support increased to 61 percent. And in April – as the U.S. Senate was debating gun-control measures that ultimately failed to advance – 55 percent said they wanted stricter gun laws.

(…)

The NBC/WSJ poll also shows a predictable partisan split when it comes to gun control. Seventy-six percent of Democrats say they back stricter gun laws, versus just 28 percent of Republicans who do.

Additionally, the survey finds that the National Rifle Association is more popular than outgoing New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is one of the nation’s most prominent (and deep-pocketed) gun-control advocates.

In the poll, 39 percent have a favorable impression of the NRA, while 31 percent have an unfavorable impression.

That’s compared with Bloomberg’s 19-percent-to-24 percent favorable/unfavorable rating.

The extent to which increased support for stricter gun control laws rose and fell so quickly in the wake of Newtown can be easily seen in this chart:

Gun Control Poll Chart

This really shouldn’t come as a surprise. While Newtown was a horrible tragedy that came in the wake of similarly tragic shootings that same year in Colorado and Wisconsin, the fact remains that gun control remains, as it has always been, a relatively low priority issue among American voters. For example, a Gallup poll released while the Senate was debating the Manchin/Toomey background checks bill, which had seemingly universal support in the polls showed that gun control ranked very near the bottom when it came to issues that voters cared very much about, garnering no more than 6% in a poll taken just months after the Newtown shooting, well below issues such as the economy, jobs, the Federal budget, and health care. More importantly, that poll showed that voter intensity on the issue had already begun to slip even at the point where we hit the three-month anniversary of the shootings. The polling released today is entirely consistent with those findings. As the memory of Newtown has faded, and the political reality of what can actually be accomplished has come to light, the public has moved on to other issues. If a poll were conducted today, you’d no doubt again find that public support for expanded background checks remains as popular today as it was eight months ago, but there’s little sign that any of the people who voted against the measure are going to be punished at the polls for that vote. Indeed, given the fact that several of the Senators who vote against the measure are red state Democrats whose re-elections would be key to the Democratic Party maintaining control of the Senate, it seems highly unlikely that we’ll see any real effort to launch coordinated attacks against those who voted against that measure in particular, or if there was that it would prove to be something that voters would respond to.

This was entirely consistent with what I had noted in January, when the political momentum for gun control seemed to be at its highest:

[W]hile there does seem to be majority, or at least strong plurality, support for some gun control measures, this clearly is not an issue that most Americans consider very important. This suggests that it will be difficult for gun control proponents to keep momentum up for very long, especially considering the fact that Congress will need to deal with issues like the debt ceiling, sequestration, and the remainder of the budget for Fiscal Year 2013, not to mention putting together a budget for Fiscal Year 2014. Then there are the various proposals for immigration reform and other matters that other legislators will be putting before the House and Senate. The sheer momentum of all this other work, combined with the lobbying power of the NRA and similar organizations and the passage of time, is likely to take much of the wind out of the sales of the gun control movement.

At the most, I’d suspect that those things most likely to pass Congress, and even then likely only by the slimmest of margins, would be things such as limitations on high capacity magazines, widening of mandatory background checks, and further expansion of those background checks to include more people who have been diagnosed as dangerously mentally ill.

Then, in April, I made this observation:

To put it bluntly, gun owners and those who support gun rights have consistently been more passionate about the issue than advocates of gun control and, as Craighilland Cillizza note, passion is immensely important in political debates like this. After all, if Senators like Heidi Heitkamp, a red state Democrat who announced this afternoon that she would be opposing the Manchin/Toomey plan, look at the situation and see that there is more of a political risk in voting for the bill than voting against it, it shouldn’t been too shocking what they are going to do.

As I noted in the Gallup poll that I cited this morning, in the wake of the Newtown shootings the percentage of the population for whom gun control was “the most important” issue went from non-existent to high of 6% in February before dropping back down to 4%. That’s higher than where it was before the shootings, but the trend suggests that intensity will continue to wane, especially once public attention moves on to another topic either naturally or because a crisis, either domestic or international, has grabbed the public attention. Indeed, much of the attention that was being paid to the Manchin/Toomey bill on the day that it’s fate is being decided has been diverted by events in Boston and the reports of poisoned letters in Washington, D.C. Once the bill is defeated, it’s likely that gun control will slip even further away from the public mind as we concentrate on the follow-up to the Boston bombing and the upcoming debate on immigration.

Finally, there’s simply political reality that significant gun control is not going to pass under the current political climate on Capitol Hill. If the American people want to change that, they will. So far, there seems to be no indication that this will happen.

So then the question becomes whether gun control becomes an issue in the upcoming midterm elections. Based on this new polling, it seems unlikely that it will, and that if it does, it won’t be in a manner that advocates of additional gun control would prefer.

1 Yes, it is true that Virginia Governor-Elect Terry McAuliffe is a supporter of universal background checks and some other gun control measures. However, this was not a major part of his campaign and the fact of GOP control of the state legislature means that it’s highly unlikely he wil pursue any such measures as Governor.

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

Comments

  1. michael reynolds says:

    I have maintained from the start that we should not fight this out around legislation. This has to be a hearts and minds campaign. We need to convince people that they are foolish to own guns. The gun cult is not prepared for that line of attack.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  2. Gustopher says:

    And, in that year, about 200 kids Have been killed with guns.

    As a society, we apparently accept this as part of the cost of easy access to guns.

    If the news media focused on dead kids as much as they focused on whatever the outrage du jour is, I think that acceptance would change.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

  3. gVOR08 says:

    @michael reynolds: And that approach may already be working. Statistics I recall say that the rise in gun sales is fewer people buying more guns. The percentage of families that own a gun has been falling. However it’s hard to be sure it’s an attitudinal shift. It may just reflect a shrinking rural population.

    I think it would help if we had better reporting. The NRA claims there are large numbers of under reported cases of guns being used legitimately and effectively for defense. I tend to regard their “armed citizen” stories as about as credible as the sexual exploits in letters to Penthouse. But I’m willing to be proven wrong. On the other hand Daily Kos’s weekly Gun Fail listing seems credible, but I suspect these incidents are under reported.

    I do note in Gun Fail that this “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” thing doesn’t seem to apply to accidents. People are seldom quoted as saying “I accidentally pulled the trigger.” It seems to mostly be “the gun went off”, “the gun fell to the floor and discharged”, “I put it in my pocket and it went off’.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  4. michael reynolds says:

    @gVOR08:

    I suspect we’re seeing a generational shift on guns, much like we’ve seen on race and sexuality. I do wish we had better data, but of course the gun cult likes to inflate their numbers and to create an air of inevitability.

    The thing to do is to stigmatize gun owners. People need to stop seeing gun ownership as a private matter and realize that every gun purchased represents a potential accident, murder or suicide. We need to make the point that owning a gun is no more acceptable than owning a vial of Sarin.

    The best analog is probably cigarettes. They went from private vice to public nuisance to unacceptable public health threat. That’s the track we should pursue on guns. By the time laws were passed on cigarette smoking the war was already won – smokers had a sense of shame about their addiction and that left them politically helpless.

    If we keep going at this legislatively, we lose. Hearts and minds we will win.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 6

  5. grumpy realist says:

    I bet there is a great overlap between people who own guns, those who run around screaming “Freedom!” and those who think that paying income taxes is a Marxist plot.

    In other words, they want to be able to do whatever they want to without worrying about the effect on other people or how to pay for anything.. Waving a gun in other people’s faces and scaring the piss out of them is just a basic right, don’t you know?

    (I do hope that one of those bozos tries something like that in Florida or another of the SYG states and gets his head blown off. The NRA won’t know which side to support.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  6. john personna says:

    The NRA has successfully instilled paranoia as a cultural value.

    Any change in gun law is equal to “they are going to take our guns,” and “they are probably going to take our guns anyway.”

    I read that essentially all ammunition went into short supply in the last year as good, paranoid, gun owners “stocked up” for various scenarios. It became a thing not just to have guns, but to have hundred or thousands of rounds of ammunition on hand.

    … not something to really celebrate, Doug.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  7. john personna says:

    @michael reynolds:

    The unfortunate thing is that the NRA thinks (a) you are the bogey man, and (b) you are winning.

    This blocks rational, incremental, change.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  8. beth says:

    @michael reynolds: I believe this is the right approach. When four women hold a meeting on gun control and a dozen gun owners feel they need to posture outside the parking lot with rifles drawn, they don’t look like they’re exercising their rights, they just look like bullies. When gun owners want to hold a gun rally at a Newtown Starbucks, it may well be within their rights to do so but they just look like insensitive dicks for wanting to do so. The mother who accidentally shot off her gun in a Staples store (to keep her 2 year old from playing with it in her purse) and the people who lost their daughter when their other child shot her with a rifle standing in the corner that they forgot was loaded are all making sane, responsible people think twice about whether we really need to have so many guns available in so many places.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  9. john personna says:

    Video: .22LR Rimfire Ammunition shortage Explained

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. john personna says:

    @beth:

    I think Australia and Canada have rational policies, but neither of those actually has a complete ban.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  11. JKB says:

    @michael reynolds: The gun cult is not prepared for that line of attack.

    You are correct, it would be unexpected and a reversal of fortune from the trend since 1959

    Interesting about that graph is that the big, but short-term jag back toward gun control happened in 1979 or right after the Jonestown suicides and, probably more relevant, the SF city hall shootings in the fall of 1978. Granted I wasn’t paying attention much before, but the SF city hall shootings were they first instance I can remember of the media dancing in the blood of the victims to sell gun control. Had an effect for a while but the people smartened up and now see the blood dance for what it is.

    Another interesting feature is that the ratios flip just about the time of the Gun Control Act of 1968. Perhaps a factor. But I don’t think we should ignore the possibility that 1968 was about when you’d expect the African-American opinion in the South to kick in after the Civil Rights act of 1964. So it could simply be those who had “enjoyed” the benefits of gun control under Democrats now had their opinion taken into account.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  12. RG says:

    @michael reynolds:

    This has to be a hearts and minds campaign. We need to convince people that they are foolish to own guns. The gun cult is not prepared for that line of attack.

    How were you planning to convince gun owners of this?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  13. alanstorm says:

    @michael reynolds:
    Thank you for blatantly stating the standard liberal operating procedure:

    “Since the facts aren’t on our side, let’s argue from emotion.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 10

  14. JKB says:

    @RG: How were you planning to convince gun owners of this?

    I suspect he’s going to run around saying guns are icky and only people who watch ‘Duck Dynasty’ would want one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  15. michael reynolds says:

    @alanstorm:

    On the contrary, all the facts are on our side. Which is precisely why we will win a hearts and minds campaign.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  16. rudderpedals says:

    Related: Robert Draper’s detailed tick-tock on the death of the Manchin-Toomey post-Newton (background check) bill: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/15/magazine/inside-the-power-of-the-nra.html?ref=us&pagewanted=all

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  17. michael reynolds says:

    @RG:

    With facts. With reason. Just like people did with cigarettes. It will take time, and I don’t think there’s any point trying to win converts from the gun cult. Those people’s minds are locked up tight. It’s the younger generations. That’s where the long term win comes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  18. beth says:

    @alanstorm: If 80 people a day were dying from drinking grape juice, you can be sure we’d either ban grape juice or put in regulations to make sure it was safer. This country let drunk driving be accepted for far too many years until a handful of mothers decided they’d had enough and slowly but surely changed minds and perceptions. Afterwards came the laws. We’ll get there with guns too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  19. al-Ameda says:

    I’ve always seen the cult of gun ownership as a public health problem.

    We’re a nation of about 315M people and nearly as many guns. We’re awash in guns. To me, it’s inevitable that we we’re going to experience the annual occasional mass shootings, and the regular “accidents,” and homicides. Also, if you assume that 1/10th of 1% of the people (315,000) have mental health problems, and 10% of them (31,500) have guns – then you have another possible factor that contributes to mass shooting probability. We even have laws that prevent the federal government (the CDC) from researching the public health implications concerning gun ownership and gun violence.

    We’re just not serious about guns and violence in America. After Newtown the Gun Lobby immediately countered proposed restrictions with the preposterous notion that schools should be more fully armed in order to prevent these type of mass shootings.

    Again, polls may show increasing support for gun control, but I suspect it’s a mild wide and a centimeter deep.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  20. RG says:

    @michael reynolds:

    With facts. With reason. Just like people did with cigarettes. It will take time, and I don’t think there’s any point trying to win converts from the gun cult. Those people’s minds are locked up tight. It’s the younger generations. That’s where the long term win comes.

    I would say gun control advocates’ minds are equally made up in their beliefs. If it is foolish to own a gun, a gun cultist would say it is equally foolish not to own one.

    I would also say that members of the gun cult have children of their own.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  21. Pinky says:

    Three problems with this story:

    – There have been changes in gun laws at the state level. The article mentioned it in passing. It’s a bigger deal than the article made it out to be.
    – Not only were there those two recalls in Colorado, but Bloomburg’s anti-gun organization has backed a string of candidates, and unless I’m mistaken, all but one of them lost.
    – There doesn’t seem to be a poll supporting the headline of this article. The article mentions that if there were a poll, it would show that gun control support has declined to pre-Newtown levels, but the most recent data it cites is from nine months ago. Hardly sufficient if you’re trying to show a yearlong trend.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. RG says:

    @JKB:

    I suspect he’s going to run around saying guns are icky and only people who watch ‘Duck Dynasty’ would want one.

    I’m curious about his facts, and if they’re coherent enough he might do a better job at reaching people than the Brady and CSGV groups, but stereotypes generally do not help.

    For one thing, I don’t watch Duck Dynasty.

    For another, I’m a gun owner.

    I’m not an NRA member. I can’t say I’m a gun cultist, either.

    But I’ve yet to hear a rational reason for why I should not own guns. Before and since the Newtown shooting, I still haven’t heard or read one. I’m still waiting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  23. michael reynolds says:

    One thing I’d like to do is stop pretending this is about the NRA or its members. It’s about gun manufacturers. It’s about Donald Zikha, for one, who owns Colt. He’s the guy who cashes a check every time a Colt AR-15 is used to blow the brains out of a child.

    Here’s the game they play:
    1) A shooting happens.
    2) Gun control advocates make noise.
    3) Zikha sends his pet Congress creatures out to pound podiums and strut around with guns and stoke paranoia.
    4) Members of the Gun Cult get scared and buy more guns and ammo before the black helicopters from the UN can take them away.
    5) Zikha cashes a check.

    Dead kids = Zikha profit. Dead kids = Campaign money for corrupt Congressmen.

    So we don’t play that game any more. We ignore congress entirely. We eschew any new law. We present the facts and the evidence and we point out the realities. We do it consistently, calmly, relentlessly.

    Because our goal should not be to pass laws. Our goal should be a society with far fewer guns.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  24. alanstorm says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Really? Let’s hear them. All I hear is polemics against “gun violence”, as if other forms of violence are acceptable.

    I thought liberals were opposed to stereotyping. But here you are referring to a “gun cult” (thereby demonstrating your ignorance of the history of the Second Amendment and the 20th Century), and Grumpy Realist chimes in with his imagined gun owner mind-set….

    I guess it’s OK when YOU do it, then.

    Sorry if I don’t share your enthusiasm for granting the government a monopoly on weapons. I find it hard to believe that anyone is naive enough to think that they can be trusted with it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

  25. michael reynolds says:

    @RG:

    Then you haven’t had your eyes open.

    Guy gets into his truck with his 4 year-old kid. Sticks his handgun in the glove compartment. Gun goes off. Dead kid. Father has now killed his own son.

    Guy hears noises outside his house, calls cops who tell him to stay put. But he owns a gun, so he opens the door, goes outside and kills a confused Alzheimer’s patient.

    Both true, both recent, and there are literally thousands more. Accidents, murders, suicides. Owning a gun is an anti-social act that risks the lives of your fellow citizens. Just like blowing cigarette smoke in their face all day long, but the death you cause is a lot quicker.

    Look at it this way. If the Constitution had given you the right to possess Sarin gas, would you do it? Would you store Sarin in your home? With your kids? How about plutonium?

    You bring an instrument of sudden death into your home that is no different than bringing nerve gas in. And you think the facts and logic are on your side. Right.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  26. michael reynolds says:

    @alanstorm:

    Sorry if I don’t share your enthusiasm for granting the government a monopoly on weapons.

    You don’t appear to read very closely. I said specifically I wanted no such thing. But you’re mentally ready to go all 2d Amendment, that’s your programming, which of course makes my point. You’re not a gun cultist, you just parrot their talking points.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  27. JKB says:

    @RG:

    You are new here. This is an old line from MR. He’s never brought anything but stereotypes to the argument.

    Your 3 self descriptors fit me as well.

    As for why you should not own guns, best I can tell from the comments here is because you might actually follow a law they got passed. As opposed to criminals.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  28. beth says:

    @john personna: I never said I wanted a total ban. The commenter on this post referring to “Bloomberg’s anti-gun organization” makes the same mistake. He’s obviously never read anything from Mayors Against Illegal Guns (NOT Mayors Against ALL Guns). There are some common sense regulations that could be put in place to make this country safer – they just get lost in the noise made by those screaming the NRA talking points.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  29. RG says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Owning a gun is an anti-social act that risks the lives of your fellow citizens.

    Really? I find that to be false, considering my current circumstances. Not sure why your opinion of what that makes me would matter, either.

    Look at it this way. If the Constitution had given you the right to possess Sarin gas, would you do it? Would you store Sarin in your home? With your kids? How about plutonium?

    I’m not interested in owning Sarin.

    You bring an instrument of sudden death into your home that is no different than bringing nerve gas in.

    Nerve gas or a similar product might be easy to produce, given the right mixture of household cleaning products. Yet, I don’t have any in my home.

    The gun only causes death if I do not teach members of my family how to handle it safely. It does not act with a will of its own.

    And you think the facts and logic are on your side. Right.

    Strange, I did not consider your above argument to be at all logical or rational. Matter of fact, it’s somewhat condescending.

    Sounds to me like you’re afraid of a tool, lethal in the correct context, harmless if un-used, unloaded and treated with caution and safety in mind. Sorry you feel that way.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  30. michael reynolds says:

    @RG:

    Dude, of course you’re not convinced. As I said: not interested in the cult members. I might as well be arguing with a Scientologist or someone from Westboro Baptist.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  31. RG says:

    @JKB:

    I will keep that in mind, mate!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  32. JKB says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Man arranges to buy use computer equipment via Craiglist. Seller/buyer negotiate to meet in supermarket parking lot. Man arrives, one seller gets into the passenger side of his car; asks about the money. When money is shown, seller pulls gun, demands money. Struggle, during which buyer draws his lawfully carried firearm and shoots seller. Other seller tries to pull buyer from the car. They struggle. Seller is shot but escapes in van. Police find van. Seller shows up at hospital is in serious condition. First seller dead on scene, a juvenile who is lawfully prohibited from possessing a handgun. No charges filed against buyer as he was acting in self defense. Seller in hospital charged with first degree murder plus a slew of other charges.

    As for your example of the tragic shooting of the man with Alzheimer’s, the individual didn’t go outside until 10 minutes after the call to the police. The police did not tell him to remain inside. But he, as everyone, should have realized the police seldom arrive to stop a crime. They do clean up. But remaining inside would have been a better choice. Unfortunately, the man with Alzheimer’s did not stop but continued to approach the resident, who tragically took this as a threat.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  33. alanstorm says:

    @michael reynolds:

    No, they’re not.

    http://www.gunsandammo.com/2013/08/27/cdc-gun-research-backfires-on-obama/

    and the original:

    http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=18319&page=R1

    Unless you and your compatriots are willing to disarm the police and military as well, you are simply hypocrites who are willing to have others do (or threaten to do) violence on your behalf. I can understand how you are scared of guns – they need to be treated with respect. However, denying rights to those who are willing to take the responsibility isn’t a worthwhile endeavor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  34. stonetools says:

    What kind of low grade human being wants lax gun control in order to have unfettered access to high-powered firearms, even at the expense of repeated massacres, even of children? Oh yeah, an American gun enthusiast.
    The drunk driving example cited above is apposite. Essentially, Americans tolerated people getting run over by drunk drivers because peple thought drivers should have the freedom to drive in any condition they wanted to. Libertarian types opposed “government intervention” there too-and also argued against mandatory seat belt laws and anti-smoking legislation.
    Today no one thinks that people who drive drunk are anything but dangerous d!ckheads, understand that mandatory seat belt laws are sensible restrictions on the “freedom” to drive, and see that smokers impose unnecessy medical costs on the rest of us. Eventually people will realise that gun enthusiasts pose the same problem to society as drunk drivers, etc.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  35. RG says:

    @michael reynolds:

    As I said, I’m not a gun cultist.

    Since you insist on thinking of your opposition this way, however, I’ll tell you this much:

    Us gun cultists win hearts and minds by offering to take non-gun owners to the local range and helping them learn how to handle the gun safely, how to shoot safely, and how to have fun.

    And when they come back and say, “Man, that kicked ass! Can we do that again? How can I buy my own gun?” we give them the information they need to acquire a firearm, legally. If they live in a state where they can obtain a conceal carry permit, we give them info on the next CCW class. We offer our opinions on what holster to buy, what caliber to shoot, what range to shoot at. We encourage them to practice shooting as much as possible.

    And we start when they’re young.

    I’d say you have your work cut out for you. Good luck.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9

  36. Pinky says:

    @gVOR08:

    The NRA claims there are large numbers of under reported cases of guns being used legitimately and effectively for defense. I tend to regard their “armed citizen” stories as about as credible as the sexual exploits in letters to Penthouse. But I’m willing to be proven wrong. On the other hand Daily Kos’s weekly Gun Fail listing seems credible, but I suspect these incidents are under reported.

    This is the best illustration of confirmation bias ever. It’s so good that I’m worried it might confirm my biases about confirmation bias, and lead to some kind of confirmation bias feedback wave until there’s nothing left of the universe.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  37. Pinky says:

    @michael reynolds:

    It’s about Donald Zikha, for one, who owns Colt. He’s the guy who cashes a check every time a Colt AR-15 is used to blow the brains out of a child.

    That’s weird. They only pay him when the weapon is used to kill a child? How do they even monitor something like that? They should just give him a check when the gun is purchased.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  38. C. Clavin says:

    @RG:
    And then your kid shoots another kid in the face.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  39. Gavrilo says:

    You bring an instrument of sudden death into your home that is no different than bringing nerve gas in. And you think the facts and logic are on your side. Right.

    I know it’s impossible for you to comprehend since you only deal in facts and logic, but for the benefit of others I will explain. Sometimes bad people really do break into homes with the intent to harm. Sometimes that instrument of sudden death actually does save lives.

    And, let me stop you or any other idiot who wants to argue the stats. That there are more suicides/accidental gun deaths than self-defense shootings doesn’t negate the fact that firearms can and do serve a legitimate purpose.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  40. C. Clavin says:

    20 something kids have been shot at schools since Sandy Hook.
    I can only assume it was by well-regulated militias.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  41. michael reynolds says:

    @RG:

    Yep. And the tobacco companies handed out free, highly-addictive products. And yet you don’t see a lot of kids smoking.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  42. RG says:

    @C. Clavin:

    And then your kid shoots another kid in the face.

    Please tell me how often this happens, percentage-wise, on an annual basis.

    Please also stuff it with the projecting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  43. stonetools says:

    @RG:

    One of the ways you gun cultists win is the careful distinction you draw between guns and the other munitions available to the would be infantry hero. If I told you that I kept dynamite in my house because it made me feel good, that I liked blowing things up, and that I enjoyed going to the local Applebee’s with sticks of dynamite in my pocket because it made me feel like a real big man, you would be reporting me to the authorities STAT. But substiute guns for dynamite, and its all about rights.
    Why is the dynaminite enthusiast entitled to less rights and seen as more dangerous thaan the gun cultist?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  44. michael reynolds says:

    @stonetools:

    It’s why we don’t go after laws. Legislative efforts trigger the paranoid reflexes they’ve been brainwashed with. But you see how helpless they are if instead of, “We’re coming for your guns,” we just say, “We’re going to make you social outcasts.” They’ll insist on trying to bring it back to their core programming. It’s all they’ve got.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  45. RG says:

    @stonetools:

    Why is the dynaminite enthusiast entitled to less rights and seen as more dangerous thaan the gun cultist?

    Why would I do that for?

    I’d also be more inclined to ask the following:

    “Dude, why are carrying around dynamite in a restaurant?”
    “Could you put that back in your car, please?”
    “In which field are you planning to set those off? Because massive explosions are awesome – just not in a restaurant.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  46. Ogrrre says:

    @Gustopher: “In that year, about 200 kids have been killed with guns.” Let’s take your statement as true. In that same year, how many children have died in car wrecks? How many by bladed weapons? How many children were killed by falls? How many by blunt objects? How many drownings? How many have died from medical misadventure? Are you aware that doctors accidentally kill more people each year than are killed, accidentally or intentionally with firearms? How many children were electrocuted? By your logic, we should also outlaw automobiles, knives and swords, tree limbs, baseball bats, stairs and floors, swimming pools and bathtubs, doctors and electricity. Are you sure you want to pursue your line of reasoning, because your line of reasoning is unreasonable.
    In addition, you conveniently forget or ignore FBI and other data that shows that firearms are used anywhere from eight hundred thousand to over three million times per year, IN THIS COUNTRY, to stop or prevent crimes.
    If you are so opposed to firearms, I suggest you post a sign outside your home telling all and sundry of your opposition and let them know your home is a gun free zone. Let us know how that works out for you. I would also like to point out, Sandy Hook Elementary, the Aurora movie theater, and nearly every other mass shooting in this country in the past thirty years or so, has happened in a gun free zone. The City of Chicago, with all their draconian gun-laws has one of the highest murder rates in the country. The cities of Detroit and Washington, DC also have strict gun laws and very high murder rates. Would you care to explain why this is so?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  47. michael reynolds says:

    It’s fascinating really, since their response ought to be, “Yay, more guns for me!” They shouldn’t be bothered by my approach at all. It takes nothing from them. All it does is inform the perspectives of people around them.

    1) Stigmatize gun owners.
    2) Strip away the NRA blind and reveal the real profiteers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  48. RG says:

    @michael reynolds:

    But you see how helpless they are if instead of, “We’re coming for your guns,” we just say, “We’re going to make you social outcasts.” They’ll insist on trying to bring it back to their core programming. It’s all they’ve got.

    I have no idea why you think that’d work. The iconoclasts and social outcasts among the young make it a point to refuse to conform to societal expectations. Telling them that guns aren’t cool translates into “Something else I need to try.” Shaming them will only make them more rebellious and will essentially give them a reason to tell you to fuck off and mind your own business.

    It doesn’t help that you increasingly sound like Prohibitionists.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  49. michael reynolds says:

    Just imagine if we’d been able to convince Nancy Lanza. There would be 20 more children in Newtown celebrating Christmas, 7 fewer dead mothers and fathers, 27 families not sacrificed on the altar of the gun cult for the profit of Mr. Zikha.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  50. al-Ameda says:

    @alanstorm:

    I thought liberals were opposed to stereotyping.

    That’s a new one. Why do conservatives make stuff like that up? No matter, please continue.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  51. michael reynolds says:

    @RG:

    Yeah, and there you go again. See how you can’t avoid circling back to law? You go to Prohibition. I’m not for prohibiting anything, but you can’t get away from your programming.

    And by the way, if saying something was uncool guaranteed adoption by the young, they’d be smoking more, not less. So, you’re wrong. Surprise.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  52. stonetools says:

    @RG:

    Dude, why are carrying around dynamite in a restaurant?”
    “Could you put that back in your car, please?”
    “In which field are you planning to set those off? Because massive explosions are awesome – just not in a restaurant.”

    Answers:

    “Because its my Second Amandment right to bear and carry arms, and the kind of arms I prefer is dynamite”

    “No. Its my right to bear these arms anywhere”.
    “Actually, I like blowing up buildings.”

    All of this is moot. If I walked into a building openly carrying dyamite, I suspect you would be the first over the horizon-and it would be an entirely sensible reaction.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  53. Pinky says:

    @gVOR08: And- why would you think that shootings are more under-reported than non-shootings? Wouldn’t the guy with the bullet in him be easier to spot than the guy without a bullet in him?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  54. RG says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Yeah, and there you go again. See how you can’t avoid circling back to law? You go to Prohibition. I’m not for prohibiting anything, but you can’t get away from your programming.

    The Prohibitionists started with a group of women who called themselves the Christian Women Temperance Union, who made it a point to “raid” bars and generally cause a fuss and try to make casual drinking a stigma before Prohibition actually started. In your case, you’re doing things in reverse. Whatever.

    And by the way, if saying something was uncool guaranteed adoption by the young, they’d be smoking more, not less. So, you’re wrong. Surprise.

    Generally speaking, there are a lot of things that the young are no longer doing. The teen abortion rate is down, dontchaknow.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  55. RG says:

    @stonetools:

    “Because its my Second Amandment right to bear and carry arms, and the kind of arms I prefer is dynamite”

    Good for you, mate!

    “No. Its my right to bear these arms anywhere”.

    You seem to be under the mistaken impression that this is actually true. It’s not. In my locality alone, the City Council finally allows conceal carry in certain public buildings. Last week it was illegal. Anyone who’s stupid enough to carry inside a public building where it’s forbidden deserves to land their ass in jail. If you’re attempting to project what a 2A supporter would actually say, you’re doing it poorly.

    “Actually, I like blowing up buildings.”

    All of this is moot. If I walked into a building openly carrying dyamite, I suspect you would be the first over the horizon-and it would be an entirely sensible reaction.

    Only if you tried to blow up the building with me in it!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  56. michael reynolds says:

    @RG:

    Again, not that this will penetrate the walls of your indoctrination, but I don’t want to take your guns away. I want you to grow up, wise up, figure it out, and give them up all on your own. I know you think that will never happen, but slowly and surely, the world gets better, and people do learn. I’m an optimist. Even Scientology is losing ground, and those people are the greatest brainwashers around. Even better than the NRA.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  57. george says:

    @michael reynolds:

    The thing to do is to stigmatize gun owners. People need to stop seeing gun ownership as a private matter and realize that every gun purchased represents a potential accident, murder or suicide. We need to make the point that owning a gun is no more acceptable than owning a vial of Sarin.

    That might work for handguns. It’ll never work for rifles, because they’re actually very useful if you’re a farmer or rancher, (or trapper/hunter, though that’s rare in the lower 48 states). Your approach has been tried in Canada, and worked in bringing in very tight laws against handguns. It largely failed to bring in tight controls against long guns (as they’re called here) – not because of brainwashing, but because long guns are in fact useful in many situations (and no one seems willing to pay the taxes to provide enough police so that rural people don’t have to wait the current two or more hours to get an officer at their door in case of trouble).

    One solution for long guns that’s being kicked around in part of Canada is to limit them to just being allowed outside of cities. The argument goes that there’s no need for long guns in cities, so why not limit them to where they’re useful. Oddly enough neither side likes this – probably because its a practical solution, whereas most of the people who feel strongly one way or another about long guns are concerned with the principle of the matter. Currently more Canadians are killed by knives than by long guns, so the debate never reaches the level that’s in the US – and the reason so few are killed is because of the near ban on handguns.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  58. C. Clavin says:

    @RG:
    500 kids die every year. 7500 are hospitalized.
    I cannot speak for your children…but my kids are not percentages…especially when they get shot by the kids of irresponsible gun owners.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  59. RG says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Again, not that this will penetrate the walls of your indoctrination, but I don’t want to take your guns away. I want you to grow up, wise up, figure it out, and give them up all on your own. I know you think that will never happen, but slowly and surely, the world gets better, and people do learn. I’m an optimist. Even Scientology is losing ground, and those people are the greatest brainwashers around. Even better than the NRA.

    Fair enough. I would suggest, however, that you revise your approach a bit, especially since what you advocate above sounds more like pacifism to me. The stigmatizing thing only works in certain contexts.

    @C. Clavin:

    I cannot speak for your children…but my kids are not percentages…especially when they get shot by the kids of irresponsible gun owners.

    No kidding.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  60. rudderpedals says:

    And here’s your latest school shooting, minutes ago
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/13/us-usa-colorado-shooting-idUSBRE9BC0WF20131213

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  61. grumpy realist says:

    The trouble is we don’t have a way of dividing out those gun owners who use their guns properly–as a tool–and those who are using it as a “look at me, big he-man!” prop.

    Given all the comments made by people about guns, it really does sound like gun owners think that guns have a mind of their own:

    “The gun just went off”

    Personally, I think that guns should be treated like wild beasts and dynamite: strict liability objects. YOU are responsible for the harm your gun causes, even if you “didn’t mean it, it was an accident.” Just as if you forgot to lock the door on your lion’s cage, it gets out and savages the neighbor’s children. You’re still responsible.

    Someone dumb enough to have an accident with a loaded gun shouldn’t be allowed to have access to one, either.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  62. Rafer Janders says:

    @alanstorm:

    Sorry if I don’t share your enthusiasm for granting the government a monopoly on weapons. I find it hard to believe that anyone is naive enough to think that they can be trusted with it.

    The government effectively has a monopoly on weapons. The government has tanks and heavy artillery and mortars and missiles and flamethrowers and fighter jets and submarines and aircraft carriers and drones and nuclear weapons and the entire combined might of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.

    You have some rifles and handguns in the hands of middle-aged men with borderline obesity, high blood pressure and the tendency to get winded if they run a quarter-mile. If the government wants, it could wipe you out ten times over before you even noticed anything was happening.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  63. stonetools says:

    @RG:

    Plenty of your fellow gun cultists are pressing for right to carry guns into schools, bars and churches. You may think that a tad too extreme, but that’s the company you keep.
    Oh, and spare me the false bravado. I don’t believe for a second you would be cool with me carrying dynamite into your local restaurant. The plain fact that not a one of you gun cultists woiuld be OK with me carrying and storing munitions like that around you-and rightly so. Think of that the next time you\ support some d!ckhead with a tiny penis openly walking around with an AR-15.
    Is there a difference betweern aan AR-15 and two sticks of adynamite? Not really- both can kill a bunch of people real fast. BUt dynamite is rightly seen as too dangerous for mass use, whereas a gun a is a Holy ThHing-God’s own Weapon of Choice, and an instant man card.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  64. C. Clavin says:

    @Ogrrre:

    In that same year, how many children have died in car wrecks? How many by bladed weapons? How many children were killed by falls? How many by blunt objects? How many drownings?

    Tell me…when was the last time someone walked into a school with a swimming pool and killed 20 kids?
    Moron.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  65. C. Clavin says:

    @RG:

    @C. Clavin:
    I cannot speak for your children…but my kids are not percentages…especially when they get shot by the kids of irresponsible gun owners.
    No kidding.

    Um…then why did you ask about percentages? Are you schizophrenic?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  66. Rafer Janders says:

    @RG:

    I have no idea why you think that’d work.

    It worked for cigarettes. It worked for drunk driving.

    The iconoclasts and social outcasts among the young make it a point to refuse to conform to societal expectations.

    And yet smoking among teenagers has plummeted over the last 30 years, from about 1 in 3 teenagers being daily smokers back then to only 1 in 10 in the present day. At this point it’s really only the social outcasts and the stupid who smoke. Everyone else wised up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  67. john personna says:

    @michael reynolds:

    The thing to do is to stigmatize gun owners. People need to stop seeing gun ownership as a private matter and realize that every gun purchased represents a potential accident, murder or suicide. We need to make the point that owning a gun is no more acceptable than owning a vial of Sarin.

    You may feel that owning a gun is no more acceptable than owning a vial of Sarin, but I’m going to suggest that this is not a productive belief.

    That is, it isn’t a belief that will move you toward your goals in your lifetime. Instead, it actually reinforces the paranoia and absolutism on the opposite side of the spectrum.

    Perhaps on gun control “moderates” are few, but I don’t think they stand a chance against absolutists on both sides.

    (Pro-gun absolutists will remember that they oppose moderate things I support, like mandatory safe gun storage and magazine size restrictions.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  68. Pinky says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Um…then why did you ask about percentages? Are you schizophrenic?

    See, this is why people shouldn’t automatically downvote Clavin. It takes away from the impact of downvoting really obnoxious, incoherent comments like this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  69. C. Clavin says:

    Clearly this two year old is part of a well-regulated militia.

    http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/local/mom-shot-while-taking-gun-from-toddler/article_191ae80d-5297-5976-8e1e-e61b694f8d7f.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  70. C. Clavin says:

    @Pinky:
    It’s only incoherent if you can’t somehow manage to read back through the comments.
    Maybe your nurse can help you when she comes in to give you your meds.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  71. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    How depressingly typical. Plenty of interest in a discussion, but not with “cultists.” And anyone who disagrees is a “cultist.”

    Here’s another shooting in a “gun-free zone.” So the logical, rational, common-sense response? Make more gun free zones! Maybe the would-be shooters will be so overwhelmed with target choices, they’ll be frozen with indecision!

    Here’s a moral argument for the gun-grabbers: if you are taking away people’s right to defend themselves, then you are taking moral responsibility for their safety. You are guaranteeing them that they will be protected, because you’ve denied them the opportunity to defend themselves. What do you say to those people who will be killed because they trusted their safety to you?

    You can start by explaining how rational, civil, and responsible you are to Suzanna Hupp.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  72. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Here’s a moral argument for the gun-grabbers: if you are taking away people’s right to defend themselves, then you are taking moral responsibility for their safety.

    George Zimmerman would agree, and he too would be wrong.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  73. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: Who? Oh, that guy who was found not guilty after the media and prosecutors (and quite a few people here) spent over a year making up lies about the case against him?

    On the other hand, I recall a few other people who were very firm about gun control, but it’s a bit too early to Godwinize this thread. Mr. reynolds, I believe, has first call on that. Instead, I’ll just bring up Mayors Against Illegal Guns — quite a few of whom have been criminally charged since they joined up with that group.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 10

  74. Franklin says:

    @beth:

    When four women hold a meeting on gun control and a dozen gun owners feel they need to posture outside the parking lot with rifles drawn, they don’t look like they’re exercising their rights, they just look like bullies.

    Yup. Unwittingly, that was about the best advertisement for gun control I can imagine. Douchebags like that have a type of mental illness, and I don’t think people with mental illness should have guns.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  75. john personna says:

    @Franklin:

    This is what I was talking about, way up top, when I said that the NRA has successfully instilled paranoia as a cultural value.

    Those nimrods organized because they understood that they had a paranoid organization to work with.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  76. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Who? Oh, that guy who was found not guilty after the media and prosecutors (and quite a few people here) spent over a year making up lies about the case against him?

    As you know, in the criminal trial, OJ Simpson was found not guilty.
    Zimmerman set in motion the entire series of events the culminated in his killing of Martin. He was fortunate that there were no witnesses to contradict his version of the facts. Zimmerman was a fortunate man who, if his actions since the trial are any indication of things to come, appears to be running out of luck.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  77. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: Juries, by and large, get it right. There’s a reason you gotta go back over 20 years for your go-to example.

    NOT GUILTY. Just STFU and suck it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  78. john personna says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Has someone hijacked your account?

    Because you really could not do anything to more seriously damage your credibility.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  79. michael reynolds says:

    @john personna:
    I think what you’re missing is that I don’t care about the ‘other side’. They are irrelevant.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  80. michael reynolds says:

    @john personna:
    Basically think Pacific theater in Worl War 2: we island hop. Take the ones we need, isolate the rest and let them rot on the vine. What we need is the next two generations. This is a decades long fight.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  81. john personna says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Umm. Who is actually winning here?

    Haven’t the NRA successful built a zero tolerance for change into political dominance?

    Haven’t they even made the purchase of an AR-15 and a thousand rounds of .223 a patriotic act among a significant segment of the population?

    I mean, AR-15 door prizes at Republican fundraisers aren’t even news anymore.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  82. bill says:

    @john personna: we aren’t either country and are better for it. cherry picking other countries ideologies and trying to say we should be more like them is just not a good thing.
    ironically everyone in here has a chubbie about ar-15’s when the handgun is used far more to kill people. and more often than not it’s minorities killing each other with illegal guns. not a lot of nra supporters in that lot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  83. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @john personna: Basically, john, I read a rather impressive article and decided to stop trying to play by Marquis of Queensbury rules. I no longer give a rat’s ass what you or other deem to be my “credibility.” Besides, you seriously shred yours every time you pronounce that I’ve jettisoned the last of mine (I stopped counting at 20 because I was bored).

    But let me repeat one point: if you deny people the right to defend themselves, then you take on the responsibility for protecting them, and are 100% morally culpable for any injuries they suffer.

    And one more point: if guns are the reason these things happen, why do they almost always happen in places designated “gun-free zones,” and never where guns are plentiful, like gun shows, shooting ranges, or gun manufacturing plants?

    Most people reject the gun-grabbers’ arguments because 1) the arguments are stupid, and 2) most people aren’t. They can smell the condescending “we know better than you do, so let us do your thinking for you” a mile off, and very few like it.

    I was almost pleasantly surprised by Mr. reynolds’ notion of going for a “soft victory” and moving away from legal and into social pressure — it’s a position I can almost respect, and I’m impressed he’d actually subject his fascistic tendencies to a popular referendum.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  84. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Juries, by and large, get it right. There’s a reason you gotta go back over 20 years for your go-to example.
    NOT GUILTY. Just STFU and suck it.

    What’s the matter, you had some room-temperature shell fish today?

    “Juries, by and large, get it right” except when they don’t get it right. There’s a reason some people refer to Zimmerman’s Jury as an “O.J. Jury.” By the way, the Simpson verdict (aka, my “go-to example”) was was 18 years ago, which to my knowledge, is less than “over 20 years.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  85. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: 18 years, then. I’ve done what I can to avoid that crap, especially since one of the biggest legacies of that whole disaster is the Kardashian infestation we suffer today.

    But I know what facts the OJ jury got wrong. The Zimmerman case, though, was flooded with all kinds of lies and falsehoods and misrepresentations aimed at aiding the prosecution. But when it came down to a jury, they said NOT GUILTY.

    Go back and look at the coverage of the trial here as it happened, and see just how the prosecution’s case totally fell apart.

    Oh, my bad — they blacked out the trial here. Go to pretty much anywhere else and look at how the prosecution had no case whatsoever.

    I’m suggesting you do that because I am comfortable assuming that you want to re-fight that argument one more time in the vain hopes that 1) you might actually win, and 2) it might achieve something (both doomed, I have to tell you) because you don’t want to discuss the topic at hand — how there simply is not enough interest in new gun control laws.

    For example, today’s school shooting — the shooter may or may not have legally obtained the gun (he was apparently 18), but he actually dared to defy the law and take a gun into a declared and posted GUN-FREE ZONE If he’s willing to break laws already, why the grand funk do you think he’d be stymied by one more?

    Oh, sorry, I’m asking you to think. I should be more sensitive to your disabilities.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  86. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    For example, today’s school shooting — the shooter may or may not have legally obtained the gun (he was apparently 18), but he actually dared to defy the law and take a gun into a declared and posted GUN-FREE ZONE If he’s willing to break laws already, why the grand funk do you think he’d be stymied by one more?

    Gun Free Zone? Do you really think that THAT is what liberals want – more Gun Free Zone signs?
    There are 315M people in American and nearly as many guns, there are very few gun free zones.

    What sensible people want is fewer guns. I’m not holding my breath on that one, the cult of gun ownership is too strong.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  87. john personna says:

    @bill:

    How are we better in real and concrete terms?

    Wasn’t one recent study that our workforce is more poorly educated? Another that our life expectancy is lower?

    Or are you saying that if we believe we are better, any low performance is acceptable?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  88. john personna says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Basically, the best thing self-defense folks could do would be to throw Zimmermann under the bus (well deserved) and then try to argue that most gun uses by empassioned amateurs have better outcomes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  89. T says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: I firmly believe in someone being able to defend themselves and personally own firearms to defend myself.

    That being said, Zimmerman should be in prison.

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  90. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @john personna: asically, the best thing self-defense folks could do would be to throw Zimmermann under the bus (well deserved) and then try to argue that most gun uses by empassioned amateurs have better outcomes.

    Sorry, I’m not Obama. As a habit, I don’t “throw people under the bus.”

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  91. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Sorry, I’m not Obama. As a habit, I don’t “throw people under the bus.”

    Minor correction: Obama throws them under the teleprompter.
    There, you’re welcome.

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  92. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    Sorry, I’m not Obama. As a habit, I don’t “throw people under the bus.”

    To throw people under the bus, you first have to have people in your life. In your case, I suspect that makes for slim pickings.

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  93. anjin-san says:

    I read a rather impressive article and decided to stop trying to play by Marquis of Queensbury rules.

    Shorter Jenos – “I take myself seriously even if no one else does”

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  94. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Some people misuse drugs, so we take them away from everyone.

    Some people misused alcohol, so we took it away from everyone.

    That worked out so well, let’s try it on guns!

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  95. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Some people misuse drugs, so we take them away from everyone.
    Some people misused alcohol, so we took it away from everyone.
    That worked out so well, let’s try it on guns!

    I love the conservative response: Some people misuse guns, so let’s propose that we make guns more readily and easily available to everyone, and let’s further propose that as many people as possible be encouraged to carry weapons in public.

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  96. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: Encourage? Hardly. Just respecting the individual’s right to choose.

    I realize you don’t think people have the right to make choices in areas apart from sex (they might make (ick) wrong choices, so perhaps we should attach sex toys to the guns or something. Would that make it easier for you to allow people to make their own choices?

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  97. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Well heck yeah, doesn’t everybody feel safer when they see people carrying guns in public parks and other public places?

    I do not believe that the Second Amendments addresses the issue of whether people should be permitted to carry concealed weapons wherever they want to – am I wrong?

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  98. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: Well heck yeah, doesn’t everybody feel safer when they see people carrying guns in public parks and other public places? (Emphasis added)

    As I said above, and has been noted on many occasions (and dutifully ignored by the gun-grabbers), nearly every single mass shooting has taken place where, by design, no one is seen carrying a gun. (Apart from the rule-breaking shooter, that is, who somehow is not deterred by the rules saying NO GUNS.) And places where you see people carrying guns tend to NOT have shootings.

    So you are arguing that you want people to feel safer, while I argue that I want people to be safer.

    Just how are you rationalizing your moral superiority while pushing illusion over substance? Feelings over reality?

    Oh, yeah, you’re a liberal and an Obama supporter. At least you’re consistent.

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  99. An Interested Party says:

    …nearly every single mass shooting has taken place where, by design, no one is seen carrying a gun. (Apart from the rule-breaking shooter, that is, who somehow is not deterred by the rules saying NO GUNS.)

    Following that line of reasoning, there should be gun-toting types roaming the halls of schools all across the country…I think most parents would have a bit of a problem with that…

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  100. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Just how are you rationalizing your moral superiority while pushing illusion over substance? Feelings over reality?

    So, exactly where did I lay claim to this strawman moral superiority that you speak of?

    By the way, does the Second Amendment address the issue of whether or not people should be permitted to carry a gun wherever they want? While people such as yourself see no problem with allowing people to carry guns into public parks, court rooms, school grounds, and shopping malls – the rest of us (who lay no claim to moral superiority) do not see the social value in turning America into Somalia, Yemen or Iraq.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  101. Pinky says:

    @al-Ameda:

    who lay no claim to moral superiority

    lol

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  102. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @An Interested Party: Following that line of reasoning, there should be gun-toting types roaming the halls of schools all across the country…I think most parents would have a bit of a problem with that…

    An armed society is a polite society. And let’s just head off the Somalia comparison (which, by the way, is anarchy — the ideal of the Occupy movement — and nothing like libertarianism, which demands personal responsibility) by noting that Somalia’s problem isn’t guns, but the imbalance of guns — those with the guns feel completely free to totally dominate the unarmed ones. Also, it doesn’t qualify as a “society.”

    Much like the “gun-free zones” where we have our mass shootings.

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  103. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    An armed society is a polite society.

    Most NRA travel coordinators agree: Somalia is the most polite place on Earth.

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  104. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: I was joking when I said it before, but it really seems to be true: you read my comments until you find something you can respond to, and then stop. I countered your Somalia line 11 hours before you made it.

    I know I’m not psychic. You really are that stupid and predictable.

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  105. JKB says:

    “you republicans are so cute” and posting an image that reads: “The Republican Party: Health Care: Let ‘em Die, Climate Change: Let ‘em Die, Gun Violence: Let ‘em Die, Women’s Rights: Let ‘em Die, More War: Let ‘em Die. Is this really the side you want to be on?”

    Sounds a lot like quite a few who comment here. Can you identify whose Facebook this came from?

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  106. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I know I’m not psychic. You really are that stupid and predictable.

    You must not be Somalian – you’re certainly neither psychic nor polite.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  107. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: It’s “Somali,” I’m not Somali, and you finally convinced me that being polite to you is a waste of time.

    Idjit.

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  108. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @JKB: Ooh! Ooh! Mr. Kotter! Pick me! Pick me!

    Nah, let someone else guess. I already know.

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  109. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    It’s “Somali,” I’m not Somali, and you finally convinced me that being polite to you is a waste of time.
    Idjit.

    I’ll let you get back to defending George Zimmerman.
    By the way, it’s “idiot” not “idjit” – of which I am neither, however you could be both.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  110. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    “you republicans are so cute” and posting an image that reads: “The Republican Party: Health Care: Let ‘em Die, Climate Change: Let ‘em Die, Gun Violence: Let ‘em Die, Women’s Rights: Let ‘em Die, More War: Let ‘em Die. Is this really the side you want to be on?”

    Sounds a lot like quite a few who comment here. Can you identify whose Facebook this came from?

    Hmm …. Sounds like a member of the gun ownership cult.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  111. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: Zimmerman was acquitted, so he needs no defense. And “idjit” is vernacular. Are you denigrating the wisdom of Yosemite Sam?

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  112. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Are you denigrating the wisdom of Yosemite Sam?

    Well, I hadn’t thought of it that way, but, yes, I suppose I am.
    Bugs Bunny had wisdom. Yosemite Sam? Not so much.

    “Zimmerman was acquitted, so he needs no defense. ”
    Interesting coincidence, OJ Simpson was acquitted, so he too, needed no defense.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  113. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: You’re right, I apologize. What I should have said was “whatta maroon.”

    But back to the actual point of the article: gun control laws. Are you ready to acknowledge that they are stupid and counterproductive and not gonna fly, or are you gonna keep denying reality?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  114. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    But back to the actual point of the article: gun control laws. Are you ready to acknowledge that they are stupid and counterproductive and not gonna fly, or are you gonna keep denying reality?

    American love guns and are willing to put up with a fair amount of gun violence and the occasional mass shooting as the price we have to pay for our gun fetish. So yes, I will admit that America is not serious about the gun ownership cult in America.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  115. bill says:

    @john personna: there’s not a line at the border waiting to get in either country (assies won’t let many in anyway). our society is failing but most of the 3rd world would just love to come here and do anything. and the gov’t can’t fix our education system anyway, throwing money at it didn’t work out after all- our pubic schools are little more than free daycare for “a lot of people that i won’t profile”- but you know who they are. people with money just send their kid to private schools.
    this has little to do with the 2nd amendment anyway, but the dissolution of the family is reason #1 why our schools just suck and losers are shooting each other for whatever reason.

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  116. stonedome says:

    @michael reynolds: @michael reynolds:
    gun owners are ready for whatever you dish out…

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  117. stonedome says:

    @al-Ameda:
    your cult of irrational fear will never win

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  118. stonedome says:

    @beth:
    i want to know who told you that you are the responsible ones? why do all control activists behave as if they are superior? you don’t even know any law abiding citizens that owns guns, because if you did, you’d realize that they are some of the most responsible people you’ll ever meet.

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