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The N.R.A.’s Bizarre Response To The Sandy Hook Shootings

Mitt Romney Campaigns In Colorado

After a week of silence in the wake of the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, National Rife Association Vice-President Wayne LaPierre held a press conference this morning that had been billed as a forum for presenting their position on how to respond to mass shootings in the wake of last weeks tragedy. Actually it’s unfair to call it a press conference because, although there were three speakers — LaPierre, David Keene, and former Congresman Asa Hutchinson — the press was not permitted to ask any questions at all. Twice during the event, LaPierre was interrupted by protesters who appears to be from Code Pink ridiculously accusing the NRA of being responsible for the deaths of children. However, it was the event itself that proved to be the truly bizarre event:

WASHINGTON — After a weeklong silence since the Connecticut school shootings, the National Rifle Association on Friday called for a program to arm and train guards in schools as the best way to protect children from gun violence. The group blamed video games, the news media and lax law enforcement – but not guns – for a recent rash of mass shootings.

It offered no new proposals to restrict firearms.

“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” said Wayne LaPierre, the N.R.A.’s vice president, at a packed media event was interrupted twice by protesters demanding tougher gun controls.

Angry and combative, Mr. LaPierre, who has led the N.R.A.’s operations for two decades, complained that the news media had unfairly “demonized gun owners,” and he called the makers of violent video games “a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people.”

Shock over the Connecticut shootings has spurred wide calls for tighter gun control measures, with even some pro-gun lawmakers aligned with the N.R.A. saying that they were rethinking their positions. With the N.R.A. unusually quiet since the shootings, gun control supporters and opponents had looked to Friday’s event as a sign of how the nation’s largest and best-known gun lobby would respond and whether it would pledge cooperation with the White House and lawmakers seeking new actions.

Mr. LaPierre’s defiant tone suggested otherwise. N.R.A. leaders took no questions, ignoring reporters who called out to ask Mr. LaPierre and David Keene, the group’s president, whether they planned to work with President Obama.

The N.R.A.’s main answer to school violence was a model program it unveiled called National School Shield, which would train and arm security guards at schools in those local districts that want to use it.

The group named Asa Hutchinson, a former Arkansas congressman and a strong supporter of the N.R.A., to lead a task force financed by the N.R.A. in developing details for the model.

“Assurance of school safety must be restored with a sense of urgency,” Mr. Hutchinson said. The gun group called for schools to arm their security officers immediately.

The idea is not a completely new one. The federal government and local districts have developed programs meant to bolster security at schools — with varying models and mixed results — and the N.R.A. itself has developed safety programs for children and schools in the past and suggested armed guards.

This time, Mr. LaPierre said the N.R.A. would dedicate its resources and expertise to developing the new safety program that he had announced. He did not say how much money it planned to spend on the effort.

He said that armed security guards at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14 might have stopped the gunman, Adam Lanza, at the outset of his rampage. “Will you at least admit,” Mr. LaPierre said, appealing directly to members of the news media who he said had been unduly skeptical of the N.R.A., “that 26 innocent lives might have been spared that day?”

He added, “The only way — the only way — to stop a monster from killing our kids is to be personally involved and invested in a plan of absolute protection.”

“Why is the idea of a gun good when it’s used to protect the president of our country or our police but bad when it’s used to protect our children in our schools?” he asked. “They’re our kids. They’re our responsibility. And it’s not just our duty to protect them; it’s our right to protect them.”

Gun-free school zones identified by signs, he said, serve only to “tell every insane killer in America that schools are the safest place to effect maximum mayhem with minimum risk.”

Before getting to the merits of LaPierre’s statement, I’ve got to say that the tone of the entire event and the defiance that it displayed in light of calls from many circles, including some Republicans, for a reexamination of the nation’s gun laws was really quite bizarre. La Pierre has never been an very effective spokesperson for his organizations cause, but his performance today bordered on being disastrous. It was as if the shootings in Newtown hadn’t occurred at all and he was simply repeating the same policy positions the organization has been taking for years now. I’m not suggesting that the NRA has to change its positions because of what happened in Newtown, however it seemed pretty clear to me that whoever it is that worked on the messaging for this event has no conception at all of how the political landscape regarding the gun control debate changed at 9:30 last Friday morning. If they did, they would have not sent LaPierre out there with the message that he presented.

Many people on the right had a similar negative reaction to today’s event. Consider, for example, this from Jonathan Tobin at Commentary:

The substance as well as the tone of his remarks appalled many reporters and media figures, who started sniping at LaPierre on Twitter. But there was nothing wrong with advocating for more armed security guards at schools. He happened to be right when he said the only thing that can stop a “bad guy” with a gun was a good guy with one. But his trenchant observation that gun-free school zones are open invitations to armed lunatics came out as sounding as if those who proposed such areas had the blood of the children of Newtown on their hands. That seemed of a piece with the smears shouted by Code Pink members who attempted to disrupt the presser by shouting that the NRA was guilty of killing children. Doing so distracted attention from what could be a reasonable proposal.

LaPierre’s attempt to pivot the discussion away from guns to video games was equally disingenuous. The prevalence of violence in our popular culture is a real problem, but it ill behooves a group founded on a belief that the Second Amendment must be preserved at all costs to take stands that sounded as if it was willing to hypocritically sacrifice the First with its protection of free speech.

The same applies to their talk about a national registry of mentally ill persons. Incidents like Newtown are more the product of mental illness than inadequate gun legislation, but the NRA seemed to be advocating exactly the sort of Big Brother government measure that it would fight to do the death where it to be applied to weapons.

What was needed from the NRA was a signal that it was prepared to react to the outrage about Newtown with reasoned suggestions about keeping any guns out of the hands of people like Adam Lanza. Instead, it sallied forth with its usual arguments about why any form of gun control or legislation, no matter how reasonable, must be rejected out of hand. That may have been what many of its 4 million members wanted but it was not the thing to say only 90 minutes after a national minute of silence exactly one week after Newtown.

Tobin is largely correct here. This press conference, or whatever it is you want to call it, may have been appealing to the membership of the National Rifle Association, but I suspect it has done serious damage to the cause of gun rights as a whole, at least in the short term. It isn’t over yet, either. LaPierre is scheduled to appear on at least two Sunday morning talk shows and, this time, he won’t be able to dodge questions.

Chris Cillizza pushes back against the negative reaction to some extent by arguing that the NRA’s response indicates that there isn’t likely to be a sea change on national gun control policy any time soon:

[W]hat LaPierre’s press conference did is make clear that those who had begun to call the Newtown shooting a tipping point in the gun control debate may have to rethink that assessment.

While polling suggests that there has been some reversal in the broad trend against more gun laws, the reality is that any measure has to make it through Congress. And LaPierre sent a very firm signal today to all members of the House and Senate: Now is not the time to further tighten gun laws, it’s a time to arm those charged with protecting our children. Such a stance makes any attempt to pass something like the assault weapons ban that much more difficult for President Obama and gun control advocates in the House and Senate.

What could change that calculus?  A sustained movement in public opinion regarding the role of guns — and gun rights — in our society. That’s possible. But, while the NRA’s critics were quick to lambast LaPierre’s press conference as a PR disaster, it could also be true that many supporters of the organization (and gun rights more generally) saw it as a victory, a decision to stand up in the face of an onslaught of what they believe to be unfair scapegoating.

Cillizza may be right. The polling on gun control even in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings shows only small majorities favoring new legislation, which is basically where things were before last Friday. Additionally, while the shootings have energized that segment of the public that favors more gun control, there is going to come a time in this debate, if we actually have it, where the substantial and vocal proponents of the right to keep and bear arms will also begin having its say. Joe Manchin, who was among the first Senator’s with a pro-gun rights record to say he was willing to consider new legislation is already appearing to walk those comments back. So it’s entirely possible that any momentum for new gun laws that has been created by the tragedy in Newtown will in the end be blunted by the voices of citizens who oppose such laws.  However, if that happens, it won’t be because the NRA was the voice of the opposition.

As for the merits of the idea of putting armed guards in public schools, this isn’t of course a new idea. Many of the nation’s schools — mostly at the Middle School and High School level — have security guards of some kind whether they consist of employees of the school itself or police officers assigned to the school itself. For the most part, one cannot gain access to a school after the school day has started without being let in by an employee. Many schools in large American cities also have entrances that are guarded, some of them with magnetometers and X-Ray machines that all people who enter the building must go through. Most elementary schools, even in major cities, do not have this level of security, and I have to wonder if it’s really a good idea to impose this requirements on every school in the country. For one thing, this is a policy prescription that comes at a certain cost. In addition to the costs that would have to be incurred for training, salaries, and benefits, there’s also the question of liability insurance to cover the possibility that one of these security guards might do something wrong and the question of just how far we want to go in encasing yet another one of our societal institutions in a security bubble. Additionally, while acknowledging the utter tragedy of Newtown, one must also recognize that shootings of these types are exceedingly rare. Do we really want to base national policy on events that don’t happen very often? I’m not so sure about that.

Of course, the NRA isn’t the only organization calling for increased security in America’s schools. California Senator Barbara Boxer, who I am quite sure is not a member of the National Rifle Association, has an even more radical proposal:

(WASHINGTON) — Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., proposed using National Guard troops to help make schools across the nation safer and avoid another shooting like last week at Sandy Hook.

“Three hundred million weapons are out there, nothing I know is going to change that. And in the meantime we better — we darn better — keep our kids safe,” Sen. Boxer said at a press conference on Capitol Hill Wednesday. “And if we avoid looking at that question I think we are failing.”

The Save Our Schools Act (SOS) would allow the federal government to reimburse Governors who want to use National Guard troops in schools and is modeled after the National Guard program that allows governors to use the Guard to assist with law enforcement efforts related to drug interdiction activities.

“So we take a successful program and we say we’re going to add a new purpose,” Boxer said. “National guard troops could be used to help support local law enforcement agencies in protecting our children at schools.”

Yes, that will solve all our problems, let’s militarize the schools.

To some extent, all the ideas we’re seeing right now are based more on an emotional response to an immense tragedy rather than a rational response to a perceived problem. It’s understandable, but it’s not the way public policy should be made. As for the NRA, the only thing they accomplished today was to make themselves even more irrelevant to this debate.

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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. Argon says:

    Double face-palm. The NRA VP actually damaged his organization better than a gun ever could.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 4

  2. legion says:

    LaPierre’s NRA, like many on the wrong side of this issue, want _everyone else_ to change in order to solve the problem, but is utterly unwilling to change even the slightest thing in itself. That’s the hallmark of someone who doesn’t want to actually fix the problem – he just wants us all to stop bothering him about the problem.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 8

  3. legion says:

    That said, as a parent, the idea of hundreds of thousands of heavily armed “volunteers” walking around every school in the country does _not_ give me comfort.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 36 Thumb down 6

  4. @legion:

    And, as I have said to many of my friends who have advocated this idea in the last week, I would bet that this is a sentiment shared by parents regardless of political ideology.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 3

  5. Tsar Nicholas says:

    If we had a real media rather than the propaganda wing of the DNC/Democrat Party then I’m sure there would have been a real press conference. With the media in full high dudgeon agenda mode, however, being the NRA is like being a Crip at a Blood convention, if you catch my drift.

    In any event, a few other points are worth noting:

    – Our school districts for decades and continuing until the present day have been pissing away taxpayers dollars on defined benefit plans for mediocre to flat out retarded teachers along with overpaid administrators. They’ve pissed away money on social engineering programs. They’ve pissed away money on airheaded texts. So on, so forth. If they reined in their own profligacy they easily could afford putting an armed guard at every school.

    – The liability insurance cost issue really is a non-issue. Armed guards would be provided by independent contractor security agencies. Securitas. Pinkerton. Brinks. ISS. Etc., etc. They wouldn’t be employees of the schools. The agencies’ liablity insurance would cover third-party risk exposures. The schools would be added at no cost as additional insureds. And to the extent schools wanted armed guards to be on their own payrolls then the extra marginal cost of that coverage would be miniscule. Schools already have massive liability coverages along with massive excess liablility coverages. Plus most public districts get the benefit of pooled liability insurance programs. Again, the extra marginal premium costs of armed guards would be negligible.

    – School shootings are extremely rare, granted, but when they happen it’s a colossal tragedy. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best. When you start pinching pennies on the basis of cost benefit analyses that’s fine and dandy if we’re talking about prospective monetary losses. When you’re talking about real risks of kids getting shot to death, however, and prospectively en masse, dogma has to give way to prudence if not to overabundances of caution. Better safe than sorry.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 75

  6. grumpy realist says:

    We’re getting more and more to be a failed Nation-State….I don’t associate armed guards at the entrance of every public building to be indicative of a first-world society. Sounds more like those places where the middle and upper classes have to hire bodyguards to keep from being kidnapped.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 7

  7. Argon says:

    @legion: @legion:
    Agreed. And there are enough stressed out people in world. Imagine arming teachers. Do they really think that plan will reduce the incidents of people getting shot in schools?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 6

  8. Stephen1947 says:

    LaPierre turns out to be just the right spokesMAN to represent the Moloch worshippers who don’t mind the regular sacrifice of children so long as they can continue fondling their beloved killing tools. ‘the only one who can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.’ Never a word about how to stop bad guys from getting guns. Because of course if that were to happen the profits of LaPierre’s real constitutency, arms manufacturers, would not continue to grow.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 23 Thumb down 9

  9. grumpy realist says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: So because teachers don’t teach the way you want them you it’s perfectly fine to unilaterally break a contract and reneg on all the promises about pensions that have been made over the years?

    Got if. And then you wonder why no one wants to be a teacher?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

  10. Argon says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    You have friends that advocated more arms in school? I know of no one where I work or any friends who mentioned that as an option.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  11. Jen says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    School shootings are extremely rare, granted, but when they happen it’s a colossal tragedy. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best. When you start pinching pennies on the basis of cost benefit analyses that’s fine and dandy if we’re talking about prospective monetary losses. When you’re talking about real risks of kids getting shot to death, however, and prospectively en masse, dogma has to give way to prudence if not to overabundances of caution. Better safe than sorry.

    So, are you advocating for a tax increase to pay for this? Because it will cost a lot of money. And you’re not going to get it out of magic Republican “waste and fraud” spending cuts.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 4

  12. john personna says:

    Public Radio actually had a couple good observations on this:

    – 1/3 of schools now have armed guards

    – one problem with security arrangements is the “expanding perimeter” effect.

    If you put guards in real schools, do you later need to put them in private pre-schools, or on school buses? How far and fast does the perimeter expand?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  13. wr says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: Shorter Tsar: If schools stopped wasting money paying teachers and buying textbooks published after 1955, there would be plenty of money to hire armed guards.

    Wouldn’t it be easier just to send the children to a minimum security prison?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 30 Thumb down 4

  14. Tsar Nicholas says:

    @grumpy realist: Welcome to reality, Grumpy. You’re a few decades late, granted, but at least now you’re starting to clue in. And if you really want to get an advanced and expedited course in the direction in which we’re headed, take a stroll around the Tenderloin or Bayview Districts of San Francisco, or East and South Los Angeles, or “the Flats” section of Oakland, or Stockton and San Bernardino. Not even to mention Chicago, Philly, Detroit, Baltimore, New Orleans, Boston and Newark. Watch, listen and learn. Policies and politics have real world consequences.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 33

  15. john personna says:

    (BTW, I find the distortion of in-article photos (vs main page) annoying. Differing aspect ratios.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  16. stonetools says:

    He happened to be right when he said the only thing that can stop a “bad guy” with a gun was a good guy with one.

    False dichotomy alert. Other countries make sure the bad guy doesn’t get a gun in the first place, without deploying an army of armed school security guards. saves money too.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 4

  17. Just Me says:

    Doug-just a note. Sandy Hook had the security system where the doors are locked and a person has to be buzzed in. Lanza was not buzzed in but shot his way into the school.

    Buzzers however, are great security when it comes to controlling who is in the building and funneling visitors through a single door-they don’t really do much when it comes to guns.

    The NRA at times is rather kooky, but in general I think running out to start tightening on gun control isn’t going to do much at all to stop the mentally ill determined to shoot people.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 10

  18. wr says:

    @Jen: He already explained how to pay for it — stop wasting money on the schools’ core mission of educating children.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 3

  19. Argon says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:
    You think it’s better to arm everyone than reduce arms. It’s the MAD doctrine applied to firearms.

    Thanks but I don’t want to live in Somalia.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 4

  20. swbarnes2 says:

    Why is this bizarre?

    Doesn’t the NRA get lots of money from gun manufacturers? Why is it bizarre that they want to lobby for the government to spend tons of government money on their friends the gun makers? The other constituency of the NRA are guys with lots and lots and lots of guns. Why is it bizarre that the NRA is trying to normalize and rationalize that behavior?

    Why is throwing your hands in the air and saying “it’s this bizarre” the one and only analysis you seem to have for any issue? You want to know why these insane policy ideas are out there? Because you vote crazy people like Bob McDonnell into power, where they can support and pass those crazy ideas. It’s dishonest to vote the crazies into power and then complain about how crazy they are.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 4

  21. john personna says:

    While I am addressing my own grievances, I was also annoyed that the crawler at the bottom of MSNBC shows bought the “modern sporting arms” label.

    This is obviously coinage of some Thank You for Smoking type.

    Once you have an AR-15 clone, you can modify it again, extensively, to make it as good for “sporting” as a much cheaper bolt action rifle.

    That is, if you think sporting is hunting practice and hunting game. If you think “sporting” is about “tactical” you should be sitting quietly somewhere and thinking about how how you got mixed up in it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  22. john personna says:

    @wr:

    OMG, they totally missed “homeschool everyone” as their answer!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  23. rudderpedals says:

    Gift baskets for the good folks at Pinkerton, Xenodefender, etc, and a handy lump of coal for the rest of ya.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  24. David M says:

    @Just Me:

    I think running out to start tightening on gun control isn’t going to do much at all to stop the mentally ill determined to shoot people.

    Obviously making it easier for them to get guns is the solution.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 5

  25. The Q says:

    There’s about 140, 000 K-12 schools in the US. Multiply this number by $120,000 which covers the cost of salary, overhead, benefits etc. for an armed security guard. So, we are talking about $17 billion a year.

    Who is going to foot this bill? Cash strapped school districts who are laying off music, special ED and PE teachers? How about state governments which have massive problems?

    So, Uncle Sam should foot the bill. How? Simply levy a tax on all guns. 300 million guns X $56 = $17 billion. If you can’t pay this tax, government confiscates the gun. Make it a yearly tax.

    NRA logic: banks get robbed, so lets have armed guards at banks. Voila, no bank robberies right?

    School has armed guard. Gunman knows this. Response? Throw a grenade threw the window killing guard, then have carte blanche killing spree. No problem killing a guard if a shooter really wants to destroy children.

    Next NRA suggestion in light of a slew of guard deaths. arm teachers, in case guard is gunned down.. Result, Mr. Hand comes out blazing with his Glock, misses the shooter and accidentally kills Mr. Kotter whose own shot goes wild and hits a natural gas line, which then explodes and incinerates all 300 school children huddled in their classrooms.

    I suggest we follow the NRA’s suggestion and ban mentally ill folks from getting/possessing guns. This will effectively take guns out of the hands out of about 90% of the NRA members who are sick ba$tard aholes.

    Sorry, Doug, these aholes do have blood on their hands.

    Also, why doesn’t Japan have sky high crime rates. After all, you have a completely disarmed citizenry and the criminals know it. We should see home after home robbed and the population terrorized since criminals WITH GUNS would be able, with impunity, to murder, steal and plunder. Thats the NRA argument.

    Yet, that doesn’t happen. And it hasn’t happened in other civilized societies which have sane gun laws.

    Now I know the loons will whine that this won’t stop shooters, we aren’t Japan, that petty crime hasn’t declined with all these restrictions in other countries etc. But, thats all bullshite.

    Other nations have decided that he only thing that stops a bad guy is making it really difficult if not impossible for bad guy to get a gun.

    Again, please Jesus, let Wayne’s head get blown off accidentally cleaning his gun.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 6

  26. wr says:

    @john personna: I’m sure JenoJay is busy coming up with that one as we speak. Expect him to post it as soon as the thought is complete… sometime after next Thursday.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  27. john personna says:

    Today I learned that firearm suicides reduced 80% and gun massacres reduced 100% in Australia after NFA gun buyback.

    (That law covered wide classes of guns, but still left quite a few types legal. I would presume that many of those who turned in a weapon didn’t feel a particular need for a legal type. Otherwise, suicides in particular would choose another gun and carry on.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 3

  28. john personna says:

    It’s interesting. The Australian system divides guns into classes, broadly by destructive power, and then asks for a “genuine need” for ownership in the higher classes.

    We learned this week that AR-15 clones are the best selling guns in America.

    That is not abut “genuine need.” It is all about “want” and for those who shoot them at all (and don’t keep them as closet queens) it is about “playing at tactical.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 4

  29. Let's Be Free says:

    Worked 30 years in a bulding that was patrolled by six armed guards, never once heard anyone say, get rid of the armed guards to make us safe. Outside of that bullding, in the gun free zone aka Washington DC, numerous times tenants were held up by armed assailants. Twice since the Newtown shootings I’ve seen armed law enforcement in my kids’ elementary school. Everyone was glad to see them. If you want to be safe and secure you need a well-armed defense. Tha’ts the way it has been thoughout human history; all the vigils and hand wringing in the world isn’t going to change that.

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  30. mattb says:

    Thoughts in no particular order:

    1. Someone needs to inform the NRA that sometimes saying nothing is the right thing to do. Hell simply expressing grief and putting out a statement that guns should be kept secure would have been enough. But (a) to advocate for an unfunded federal mandate while simultaneously rejecting federal regulation and (b) blaming everyone else — including the people covering your event — is not smart. Especially in the current environment.

    2. The only way this plan should be considered is if it’s funded by a mandatory federal tax on firearms, gun accessories, and ammo. Anything left over in the fund should be reserved for aiding victims of the next mass shooting. Part of the rational for this is that all of the guns and ammo used in this shooting were bought legally. If gun owners are not willing to budge on high capacity magazines, the least they can do is pay for the protections that we have to put in place because of it.

    3. You have to love the NRA’s commitment to using the idea that “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun” as a way to promote guns in America. I mean they are so committed they put someone in charge whose son is a “bad guy with a gun.”
    New NRA Prez David Keene’s Son Is a Convicted Road-Rage Shooter

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  31. JKB says:

    Why is this bizarre? You’ve got some emotional idea that now gun bans will be accepted by tap dancing in the blood of a tragedy. Well, quietly, the NRA has been gaining 8000 new members a day. even as they went off line for a while. Firearms are flying of the shelf, high capacity magazines as well. Those politicians and businesses that rushed to turn just a little anti-gun are back pedaling as fast as possible in the face of quiet words from gun owners about lost votes and lost customers.

    By the way, define “bad guy”? @stonetools:
    No one knew Adam Lanza had any intention to or had done anything wrong until he arrived at the school. The only person who could have known earlier was dead.

    Real “bad guys” criminals already have guns, illegally. Real “bad guys” already acquire machine guns by organizing thefts from the military. Not to mention, bring guns in from Mexico.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 12

  32. mattb says:

    @Let’s Be Free:

    Worked 30 years in a bulding that was patrolled by six armed guards, never once heard anyone say, get rid of the armed guards to make us safe.

    Out of curiosity, what was the building in question? Or if you feel uncomfortable saying that, what type of business was the building in?

    BTW, while many schools currently have security guards in them, I’d be curious as to what percentage of those schools have security that are carrying firearms. And of those that do carry firearms, what % are local police versus independent security contractors.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  33. The Q says:

    Hey JKB, I live in Mexico, errr, Los Angeles where we have some of the toughest gun laws in the US and a dwindling number of households with guns in them and a huge Latino and black population.

    Result – just as the NRA predicted after these gun laws took effect: Crime down 40% the last 20 years. Murders in 1979 – 1090…last year in our city with 30% more population 385.

    So, lets see, more gun control, less guns, more “minorities’ = way less crime and much less murders.

    JKB, put that in your crack pipe and smoke it.

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  34. Just Me says:

    BTW, while many schools currently have security guards in them, I’d be curious as to what percentage of those schools have security that are carrying firearms.

    Our middle and high school have a resource officer on campus. He is a police officer and carries his gun.

    He has more in his job description than patrolling the building though so he isn’t exactly a security guard but he is present in the building during school hours.

    No one knew Adam Lanza had any intention to or had done anything wrong until he arrived at the school.

    They knew he didn’t belong there and didn’t buzz him into the building. He shot his way in through the glass door.

    One thing that might have lowered the number of killed in this situation would have been a faster police arrival. Twenty minutes is a lot of time for a guy with a gun to kill people-no matter what kind of gun he is carrying.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  35. Woody says:

    As to Mr La Pierre”s appearances on talk shows where he won’t be able to “dodge questions”, one of those shows is Meet the Press.

    David Gregory is the most milquetoast of hosts who has shown an unsurpassed* ability to lob softball questions without any messy follow ups.

    *okay, the Blitzer is worse.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  36. Jib says:

    I have a 9 year old and no way am I going for allowing armed amateurs in his school. I was raised with guns and I know that if you allow armed amateurs in schools, you will have more kids killed in gun accidents than you do in mass shootings.

    I am hoping Obama introduces the NRA School Security Act of 2013 which taxes guns and ammunition at a high enough rate provide every school in the USA $100,000 a year to pay for enhanced security. Funds to be dispersed through the federal Dept of Education.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  37. john personna says:

    @JKB:

    Man, you crown this idiocy with “bring guns from Mexico.”

    We learned this week:

    Allowing The Assault Rifle Ban To Expire Led To Hundreds Of Mexican Deaths As Well

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  38. john personna says:

    @this:

    Always funny when people down vote facts.

    Facts they didn’t want to hear?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  39. Brummagem Joe says:

    LaPierre was interrupted by protesters who appears to be from Code Pink ridiculously accusing the NRA of being responsible for the deaths of children.

    They are partially responsible for the death of these children……btw another of those mass shootings YOU claim are VERY RARE took place in PA today…..Four dead……Beneath your notice of course Doug.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

  40. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    And, as I have said to many of my friends

    I can well believe you have lots of friends who think this a great idea Doug. Of course most normal people would agree with Mikey Bloomberg……do Americans really want to live in this dystopian environment……I doubt it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  41. Brummagem Joe says:

    A policeman in every classroom……these people are completely nuts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  42. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Just Me:

    Our middle and high school have a resource officer on campus. He is a police officer and carries his gun.

    I don’t know where this school is but I can assure you that in our small town we do not have armed police officers in the school.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  43. Ken Shepherd says:

    @Jib: Yeah, like that is going to be fairly and wisely distributed to the local level without any waste, fraud or abuse at all.

    Security for schools is a fundamentally local issue. Rural schools where police protection is few and far between may need dedicated officers or security guards while urban and suburban schools may be able to make do with cops who patrol nearby and check in periodically with the principal and central office staff.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  44. An Interested Party says:

    If we had a real media rather than the propaganda wing of the DNC/Democrat Party then I’m sure there would have been a real press conference. With the media in full high dudgeon agenda mode, however, being the NRA is like being a Crip at a Blood convention, if you catch my drift.

    If we had real conservatives rather than sniveling victims like you, we could have real discussions about issues like this rather than these whiny ass titty-baby rants about the supposed evils of the media…

    Meanwhile, the various fools on this thread who are arguing for armed guards in schools need to take their police state ideas to Somalia or some other similar hell hole…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  45. Al says:

    When a friggin’ web comic can completely destroy your argument in three panels then you probably didn’t do so well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  46. john personna says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Meanwhile, the various fools on this thread who are arguing for armed guards in schools need to take their police state ideas to Somalia or some other similar hell hole…

    Fully 1/3 of public schools already have armed guards. Many of those are probably inner city, with gang violence, rather than out of fear of spree killers. That was the case with my dad’s inner city LA school.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  47. Dixon Hard says:

    With all the sarcasm and name calling on here no wonder we have devolved as a society, b/c everyone thinks they are right and the other person is stupid, we can’t just debate, we have to act like a part of the society the NRA was slamming today. That said:

    Where I live, we have POST certified Sheriffs deputies in every school where I live, part of a 1/2 cent sales tax passed years ago to give them a raise, I’m not a tax enthusiast, but it wasn’t much of a sacrifice to have security for our children, especially in the schools around here where anyone could walk in.

    I am a non-NRA, but strong, vocal supporter of my gun rights, before and after Sandy Hook. While the Pres. has mentioned it slightly, the main emphasis is going to be on gun control just to please the masses. The main issue should be Mental Health. We as Americans run like roaches when the lights cut on when someone mentions MH. Alot of people’s family members need MH help and don’t go b/c of the stigma of it, perhaps like Lanza’s mother/family. I work in MH and in my state, like right now, when the budget is short, healthcare gets cut and MH is the first to get cut. Getting MH help for people should be the 1st thing that comes up, not more paper legislation. If gun control is passed, do you think a gang member is going to just start using sling shots and air rifles? Do you think the next Lanza is going to simply turn away from a school b/c all he could find/kill someone for and steal, was a 22 pistol or a baseball bat? I think not. China has strict gun control measures and recently they’ve been having someone go into schools and stab/slash children. When this happens in America are we going to having a 7 day waiting period on hatchets, machete’s and kitchen wares?

    And I wholeheartedly agree with the NRA in that H-Wood, video games and the media MUST take their part of the blame and responsibility for what has happened to society. We saw this over 30 years ago with John Hinkley, trying to assassinate Pres. Reagan to impress Jodie Foster. Or Mark David Chapman assassinating John Lennon. Both used revolvers, both were nuk’in futs, both really needed MH care and both are locked up today b/c of their MH issues and the celebrity they’ve created by their doings. And anyone remember “CHiP’s”, the TV show. How many times did John and Ponch pull their weapons? I can’t remember any and IMDB states they never did.

    I heard an argument recently that no one can recall the assassin of Arch Duke Ferdinand, that lead to WWI. The argument was that if this happened today, no one would remember who was assassinated and only the assassin. The media almost always focuses on the criminal and not the victim, sensationalizing their crimes with “Breaking News” and investigative reports and documentaries. One of the shows on tv how is titled “How I Almost Got Away With It”, sensationalizing criminals escapes and life on the run.

    Unlike the NRA, I would accept some gun control measures, BUT ONLY IF mental health, Hollywood and the media are seriously, not as a side note, put on the table. But just like Republicans have the NRA, the Democrats have Hollywood and the media barking down their throats, screaming the 1st amendment and no censorship. I would sacrifice no more than the other 2 would be willing to sacrifice.

    I don’t believe that ALL mass shootings are done by the mentally ill b/c society grows more fragile with every generation. But starting with treating, caring and dealing with the mentally ill in society is a good start.

    On a side note, I would like to advocate for the cancelled show “American Guns”. This show focuses on guns that won’t be impacted by re-assertion of the federal gun ban. This is a family show, teaches family values for people that have those values, advocates strongly for gun safety. Like some other guns shows on TV they are not “yee-haw” and blast everything with an automatic weapon. Please don’t lump American Guns in with them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 10

  48. john personna says:

    @Dixon Hard:

    American Guns: “A female shooter orders an AR-10 with a grenade launcher to take back to her women’s pistol league. “

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  49. al-Ameda says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    If we had a real media rather than the propaganda wing of the DNC/Democrat Party then I’m sure there would have been a real press conference.

    Excuse me, but that was the real media. Your alternative media evidently believes that there are not enough guns in this country, and that a good example of a safe country is Somalia, where there are no restrictions on acquiring weaponry of any kind.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  50. Pharoah Narim says:

    I’m still trying to figure out how legislation would have prevented a perpetrator from murdering a lawful gun owner, stealing the guns, then using them to commit a crime. I’m also trying to figure out why it’s not registering with gun control nuts that these military-cloned “assault rifles” are noting but ugly semi-automatic rifles. Hunting rifles have the SAME capability and the ammo in many cases is far more destructive. Sure we can ban 30 round clips if it makes people feel good. Doesn’t matter–you can buy them black market or duct tape the smaller capacity magazines bottom to bottom. So the next nut massacres people with a hunting rifle–is that supposed to make people feel better? A ban on semi-autos isn’t going to happen–it would effectively ban guns as the semi-auto feature is century-old technology.

    There isn’t a legislative prescription here folks–its part cultural/part mental health/part economy. While its easy and helpful to look at other countries and what they’ve done–that doesn’t mean those policies are an easy transplant here. We’re different cultures, different histories, different national psyches. Instead of hanging your hat on a magic gun control/ban solution–how about figuring out how to attack this problem without that Ace? How can you proceed WITHOUT gun control ? Or is it gun control or bust? Frankly I don’t see how people can insist we have a gun violence problem when 9000 out of 300+ Million (.0003) of our citizens were killed by guns last year. We could knock half off that total by changing our drug policies.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 12

  51. michael reynolds says:

    What a load of rationalizing bullish!t the gun nuts do spew. The insanity of their arguments should ipso facto disqualify them from owning guns.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 4

  52. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @john personna: That “study” is complete bull.

    “Assault weapons” — a meaningless legal term that translates into “scary-looking guns” — are used in a small portion of crimes. Notice that the article doesn’t specify what kinds of guns were used in those killings — which makes me think that the omission is deliberate. Most gun crimes involve handguns, not long weapons.

    Why the popularity of the AR-15 design? Because it’s an incredibly versatile design. Just by swapping out a few parts, it’s a target rifle, a defense rifle, a hunting rifle, and can be re-chambered for many different calibers of ammunition. It’s light and has a low recoil, so it’s suitable for shooters of a wide variety of sizes and shapes. Plus, since it’s related to the M-16, which has been the main weapon of the US military for almost 50 years, a lot of shooters have a basic familiarity with it, and it has a certain cachet.

    I find myself taking a notion from the pro-choice side and applying it here.

    “Don’t like guns? Then don’t own one!”

    In 2008, Joe Biden proudly proclaimed himself the owner of two guns, and insisted that Obama had no plans to implement any kind of gun control. He vowed to stick up for gun owners’ rights.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 12

  53. Jib says:

    @Ken Shepherd: What kind of communist are you to question the NRA? This is their idea and every God, Guts and Guns TRUE AMERICAN must support it!

    I would love Obama to propose this just to watch the right wing tear itself apart trying to figure out where it stands on this. Of course this may be overkill given how they are already tearing themselves up over the fiscal cliff.

    Heck who knows, maybe it would pass and every school would get an extra $100,000 from gun taxes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  54. bk says:

    Shorter Tsar: “Blackety black black black”. Tsar, you are truly a despicable moron.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

  55. Stonetools says:

    Sometimes, when the gun nuts throw up a cloud of propaganda about the in effectiveness of gun control, stats and figures clear away the BS:

    @TheNewDeal: Gun Deaths in 2011: Japan 48, Great Britain 8, Switzerland 34, Canada 52, Israel 58, Sweden 21, Germany 42, UNITED STATES 10,728 #NRA #p2

    Gun control works, it really does.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  56. An Interested Party says:

    Fully 1/3 of public schools already have armed guards.

    These schools probably have armed guards because of gang violence, as you noted, but that certainly doesn’t mean that there should be armed guards in all, or even most, schools, as some have called for in the aftermath of this tragedy…

    China has strict gun control measures and recently they’ve been having someone go into schools and stab/slash children. When this happens in America are we going to having a 7 day waiting period on hatchets, machete’s and kitchen wares?

    An extremely faulty argument, as lone deranged killers don’t kill dozens of other people with hatchets, machetes, or kitchen wares…

    And I wholeheartedly agree with the NRA in that H-Wood, video games and the media MUST take their part of the blame and responsibility for what has happened to society.

    Oh absolutely! A soon as the NRA does the same…

    I find myself taking a notion from the pro-choice side and applying it here.

    “Don’t like guns? Then don’t own one!”

    Yes, and also make sure to be fast enough to outrun a bullet fired from someone else’s gun…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  57. Pharoah Narim says:

    @Stonetools: One of the countries in your list is the largest consumer of drugs–in the WORLD. The same country also has the most lucrative drug black market. There are more relevant factors than gun control as demonstrated by societies that have high guns per capita rate yet do NOT have gun deaths at comparable ratios to the US.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  58. john says:

    you dumbasses, do you really think you can disarm America. Do you really think you can stop a “bad guy” from doing anything with a law?? come on….really ….??? Are you that stupid???

    So guard our Money, Congress, President, Nukes, and not our most precious commodity ?? Why not?? My kids deserve protection !!

    To Hell with you liberals , I want my kids protected !!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 13

  59. The web comic Penny Arcade had a great comic today that stated: “It is a very odd sort of Patriot that would destroy the First Amendment to protect the Second.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  60. Hal 10000 says:

    I seem to recall that the Secret Service report on Columbine was very critical on physical security measures for schools, arguing that they create a false sense of security and keep teachers from noting dangerous students.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  61. bill says:

    so we can’t enter a fed building with a weapon, but we can enter a school zone simply because no one will stop us? you monday morning qb’s should do some research on this before you spout your idiotic venom. what works in some states might not work in others, hence the fed needs to but out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 11

  62. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Brummagem Joe:

    I don’t know where this school is but I can assure you that in our small town we do not have armed police officers in the school.

    Joe, the small town I used to live in (Bourbon MO) had a single police officer assigned to it’s 2 campuses (K-8, HS). The town I live close to now (Richwoods MO) I doubt it has one assigned to it as the town does not have a police force.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  63. matt says:

    @john personna: An AR in the .223/5.56 size is quite effective as a hunting rifle out of the box. Toss a scope on it like you would a bolt action hunting rifle and you actually have a cheaper hunting rifle then a similar quality bolt action rifle. The .223 option works great for varmint hunting and if you want to hunt deer or other medium/large sized game you just step up to the 5.56 round with no modifications. Want a bigger round to make sure you don’t have to have perfect shot placement? No problem just buy an upper receiver with a bigger caliber capability going all the way up to .50 cal. There’s a variety of large game hunting rounds you can use with the AR15 platform with little to no modifications required for the majority of the gun. The AR15 platform is a very cost effective way to have a very accurate gun with the capability of shooting a large variety of round sizes.

    I just chose a SAIGA because it was 1/3rd the price and is incredibly reliable while being good enough in accuracy for me to drop boars/deer with one shot within 150 yards.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  64. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Why the popularity of the AR-15 design? Because it’s an incredibly versatile design. Just by swapping out a few parts, it’s a target rifle, a defense rifle, a hunting rifle, and can be re-chambered for many different calibers of ammunition. It’s light and has a low recoil, so it’s suitable for shooters of a wide variety of sizes and shapes.

    You really don’t know anything about guns do you Jenos? Least of all the AR-15.

    Because it’s an incredibly versatile design.
    No, it is not. It is made for killing people. Nothing else.
    Just by swapping out a few parts, it’s a target rifle, a defense rifle, a hunting rifle,
    No, you can not just “swap out a few parts”(I notice how you redefined “assault rifle” to “defense rifle”…. cute) and make it something else. That is like saying, “If I change the Ford logos to Chevy logos my p/u will be a Chevy.”
    and can be re-chambered for many different calibers of ammunition.
    At 3 times the cost of buying a different gun… not to mention that
    em> It’s light and has a low recoil,
    It comes chambered for the .223 Remington, if you change it to, say the .30-06, it will tear your shoulder off because it is light and the recoil from the .30-06 is considerably greater.

    Folks, we did not name these weapons “assault rifles”, the arms industry did. Now that loonies are using them to “assault” people, you want to change what we call them? This is what they were designed to do…. Kill people. Now we are seeing just how effective they are at that singular purpose. You can sit there and yell “SQUIRREL!” all you want, but it will not change reality. An assault weapon allows a person to kill people with great efficiency.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 6

  65. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @matt:

    An AR in the .223/5.56 size is quite effective as a hunting rifle out of the box.

    If you are hunting prairie dogs at 50 yards or less..

    Toss a scope on it like you would a bolt action hunting rifle and you actually have a cheaper hunting rifle then a similar quality bolt action rifle.

    NO! A bolt action is far more accurate and has more downrange punch because all the energy from the powder is channeled down the bore to the bullet!

    The .223 option works great for varmint hunting and if you want to hunt deer or other medium/large sized game you just step up to the 5.56 round with no modifications.

    The .223 IS the 5.56. (Math is hard, I guess).

    Want a bigger round to make sure you don’t have to have perfect shot placement?

    Hayzoos Christo, what the H.E.L.L are you talking about???? If you can’t put the bullet where it needs to go, making it bigger won’t change that fact!

    No problem just buy an upper receiver with a bigger caliber capability going all the way up to .50 cal. There’s a variety of large game hunting rounds you can use with the AR15 platform with little to no modifications required for the majority of the gun.

    Really? Hmmmm. Haven’t been keeping up with the gun literature. I may have been a little hasty in my reply to Jenos above. That said… @matt: What could possibly be STUPIDER than putting a .50 cal. in a frame designed for a .223????? Again, the weight of the AR-15 precludes it’s use with larger calibers.

    The AR15 platform is a very cost effective way to have a very accurate gun with the capability of shooting a large variety of round sizes.

    Not sure I have ever read the words “AR-15″ and “accuracy” in the same sentence before. You want accuracy? Bolt action, Better yet, rolling block. Semi-auto? No.

    Stop it. Just stop it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  66. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Nice swap there — “assault weapon” (the politician-invented term) and “assault rifle” (the military-invented term). And the AR-15 is NOT an “assault rifle.” Did you actually think no one would notice you changing from “assault weapon” to “assault rifle?”

    “Assault rifles” are defined of being capable of fully automatic or burst fire — either firing constantly from a single trigger pull, or a determined number of rounds (usually 3) with a single trigger pull. There are no legal AR-15s that are more than semi-automatic (firing a single round per trigger pull).

    “Assault weapons” are “scary-looking rifles.” The elements that define them do nothing to increase their lethality.

    As far as its versatility… you weren’t serious about what you said, right? When I said it can be used for a lot of things, I certainly didn’t say that it could be used for a lot of things all at the same time. Here’s the article I was alluding to, written by someone who actually knows quite a bit about guns.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

  67. Brummagem Joe says:

    @michael reynolds:

    The insanity of their arguments should ipso facto disqualify them from owning guns.

    It’s disturbing I’m bound to say when one considers that some of these folks probably have guns. If these are the poster boys for the “sanity” of gun owners it says it all. To them and the immoral people at the NRA these dead kids are just collateral damage.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  68. matt says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: You either clearly have no idea what you’re talking about or you are intentionally being incredibly dishonest. No one can be so clueless about a weapons platform as you.

    If you are hunting prairie dogs at 50 yards or less..

    The AR platform’s biggest claim to fame is that it’s extremely accurate with sub MOA capability out to 200 yards. You can easily pick off prairie dogs at +200 yards with irons and farther with a decent scope.

    NO! A bolt action is far more accurate and has more downrange punch because all the energy from the powder is channeled down the bore to the bullet!

    Actually no not always. This all depends on what bolt action you’re talking about. The AR 15 is as accurate as any bolt action to 100 yards. The AR is plenty accurate for deer and hogs out to 500 yards. Beyond that you’re not going to know what’s behind your target anyway so frankly you shouldn’t be shooting that far. Muzzle velocity is lower then some bolt actions but it is higher then others. The muzzle velocity is more determined by the powder and bullet load then the design of the gun. The Gas blowback system doesn’t siphon much power at all.

    The .223 IS the 5.56. (Math is hard, I guess).

    No it’s not. Using a 5.56 nato round in a gun chambered for the .223 is a recipe for disaster.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5.56%C3%9745mm_NATO

    TLDR : The 5.56 has a thicker wall and higher pressures which is very likely to cause failure in a .223 gun.

    Hayzoos Christo, what the H.E.L.L are you talking about???? If you can’t put the bullet where it needs to go, making it bigger won’t change that fact!

    Dear lord at this point I cannot help but believe you’re being intentional stupid. A bigger round means you have more wiggle room for shot placement. Any hunter knows this and plans their shot appropriately depending on the gun and the game animal they are shooting.

    Really? Hmmmm. Haven’t been keeping up with the gun literature. I may have been a little hasty in my reply to Jenos above. That said… @matt: What could possibly be STUPIDER than putting a .50 cal. in a frame designed for a .223????? Again, the weight of the AR-15 precludes it’s use with larger calibers.

    The gun platform is designed for that capability and it’s very common for AR owners to change amongst calibers depending upon their goal. Obviously with a .50 setup you’re going to want a good solid lower receiver setup. Also the .50 example is just the extreme high end of bullet capability. Most people stick to smaller rounds that are still bigger and more effective at hunting then the 5.56.

    Not sure I have ever read the words “AR-15″ and “accuracy” in the same sentence before. You want accuracy? Bolt action, Better yet, rolling block. Semi-auto? No.

    Stop it. Just stop it.

    Holy crap the whole claim to fame for the AR family is that the gun is a crapton more accurate than the civilian AK or SKS variants. I know AR owners who can shoot dime sized groupings with their 5.56 ar at 100 yards.

    The dragonuv guns are semi auto and quite capable of being used as a sniper platform. Hell the ol .50 call machine guns were used as sniper platforms in Vietnam. Don’t try to pretend that semi autos can’t be accurate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  69. john personna says:

    @matt:

    We aren’t that far apart. What would you actually hunt “out of the box” with open sights and .223? At great expense, right?

    If you want a close range deer gun a lever 30-30 is cheaper and again, better.

    Also, I noted that bolt action scoped rifles are much cheaper, and can be bought in a caliber to match the application.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  70. matt says:

    Look I’ll give you that a full sized rifle bullet is more accurate at +500 yards. I’m just not a fan of shooting something 600 yards away because it’s basically impossible to confirm that you’re clear behind your target for the shot. Not to mention that things like wind and brush start becoming a serious problem for an accurate shot. I stick to a modified 7.62×39 sporting SAIGA for that reason. I’m not taking shots at anything beyond 150 yards and at that range I can still make a kill shot almost every time (I can’t say every time because flyers and unexpected wind gusts/movements occur). I also know that my bullet won’t be flying for miles with potential lethal consequences..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  71. john personna says:

    Someone asked in a guns forum about .223 for coyote hunting. The best answer was:

    There are a lot of different “AR-15″ rifles, and with the .223 barrel lengths range from 16.5 to 23 inches. You bet there will be performance differences.

    The Bolt gun is going to have a slight edge in accuracy over a *good* AR, but a *good* AR is going to cost twice as much.

    The Savage will have a slight edge–at the same barrel length–as the AR.

    So you can use a military derived rifle for hunting at twice the expense.

    Why again?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  72. Pharoah Narim says:

    @matt:

    “I know AR owners who can shoot dime sized groupings with their 5.56 ar at 100 yards.”

    Went to the range once with a guy that had an AR modified for target shooting (floating barrel, scope, etc) We suspending bowling pins from thin ropes at 150 yrds—and shot the ropes (dropping the pins) with incredible frequency. I also know guys that hog hunt with the AR. Its very versatile. Im not into guns enough to spend the money on a military clone however. I barely shoot the pistol I have now and will consider getting rid of it when my kids get a little older until they’ve left the house. Kids do dumb things sometimes no matter how much you’ve taught them. I can be gunless for 10 years or so.

    “But it’s designed to kill people!” No…guns are designed to accelerate projectiles down their barrel at sub-sonic speeds towards a target. What that target is–is the design of the trigger puller. In the overwhelming majority of peoples possession, a gun is really more a deterrent against home invasion/burglary than a viable active defense during an attack. If someone has decided to attack, they have the element of surprise and you’ll in no position to go for any weapon unless they make a mistake. So I don’t buy the whole self defense argument for having weapons unless we’re talking deterrent factors. The “assault weapon” ban is a useless legal prescription. I’d disagree, but have more respect for a handgun ban as a legal prescription that could make a difference. That’s the overwhelming choice of weapon in most gun homicides. But as I mentioned before .00003 of US citizens were killed with guns last years. What’s the aim? .00002? .000001? We could drop the rate just as easily with a change in the drug laws and lowering unemployment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  73. JKB says:

    hey, anybody catch on that the armed security in schools is an expansion of Clinton policy from 2000? But it is one program that Obama did cut?

    Clinton also unveiled the $60-million fifth round of funding for “COPS in School,” a Justice Department program that helps pay the costs of placing police officers in schools to help make them safer for students and teachers. The money will be used to provide 452 officers in schools in more than 220 communities.

    So, if you find the NRA idea bizarre, where were you when Clinton was President? (Isn’t that how the Left always argues)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  74. john personna says:

    @Pharoah Narim:

    There are always gun folks with money, and they’ll pay to get whatever gun is currently in vogue, and make it perform well. There was a time when .17 HMR was the cool thing, and there was a time when .50 BMG was the cool thing. I guess if you are rich enough, you can ride all the trends.

    The thing to note though is that military derived semi-automatic rifles, nicely grouped as “assault rifles,” (a) are a trend, and (b) are best suited for “tactical” situations. That is why they are grouped with a whole set of “tactical” accessories, training, and competition.

    Sure, you can make a tactical weapon hunt. It was a more natural cross-over when military weapons were bolt action and fixed magazine. That was kind of the pinnacle of what you needed for hunting.

    The key question is why “tactical” and “assault rifles” captured the US enthusiast population, to such a degree that many of them overspend, and pass on a simple bolt action gun that would be more suited to their real goals.

    (If you want to shoot strings at 150 yards, you can do that much more cheaply with a bolt action rifle.)

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  75. john personna says:

    (I think many “gun enthusiasts” don’t want to come clean about their “tactical” fascination.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  76. matt says:

    @john personna: I can buy a good AR for 1000 bucks and it comes with the ability to shoot two radically different rounds. To get the equal out of a bolt action rifle would require me to purchase two of them.

    Since I’m terribad at a bolt action I can also drop a lot more hogs faster with a semi-auto than a bolt action. Which is important as hogs are fast and extremely hard to hunt. I’ve had hogs flee after hearing a car door or a gun being racked.

    Hogs are such a problem down here that ranch owners will rent helicopters for shooting hogs. When you’re hanging out the side of a helicopter you don’t want to be using a bolt action.

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  77. Pharoah Narim says:

    @john personna:

    I think we know why–the country has a fascination with military technology. There are lots of vets and vet wanna be’s out there. The “assault rifle” taps into a market where those guys/gals get to scratch their itch for military-style weapons but without the capability of the real deal military hardware. We can make a good case for reduced clip size but then again–magazines can be machined easily so there’d be a black market for them which would be an additional thing for ATF to enforce–that wouldn’t even make their top 15 priorities. A nut can also tape his clips bottom to bottom to double capacity. The same thing could be done with semi-auto hunting rifles–nobody is going to feel good about themselves if the next massacre is done with a tricked up hunting rifle.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  78. matt says:

    @Pharoah Narim: Actually quite a few of the shooting massacres over the last 60 years have been committed with tricked up hunting rifles or shotguns.

    My current Hog gun is just a tricked up hunting rifle.

    Originally
    http://oi48.tinypic.com/zl8yn8.jpg

    Now
    http://oi48.tinypic.com/v2sgtl.jpg
    Once again assault rifles are not used in crimes according to the FBI.

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  79. john personna says:

    @matt:

    I doubt the two rounds are radically different. And seriously, how many hogs do you take home? Do you process them or send them to the dump?

    @Pharoah Narim:

    The changes I suggest, small magazines and a bullet button, would be a small inconvenience to law abiding citizens. And yes, spree shooters would have to maneuver around the changes. That is the point – making it less easy for them to shop and go.

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  80. john personna says:

    (I met a park ranger in Florida who “relocated” hogs out of his park. He relocated them to the Baptist Church, which ran a smoker every Sunday.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  81. matt says:

    @john personna: You can doubt it all day long but reality is what reality is. If you want to educate yourself as to how the rounds are radically different then I suggest you click my wiki link above.

    How many do I take home? From 0 to 6 depending on how it goes and who I’m with. Either I process them on the ranch or I take them to a local butcher for them to do it The helicopter hunts will result in the death of up several hundred. Supposedly they’ve killed up to 500 before but I wasn’t there for that. I obviously don’t have the time to process those hogs but I will strip the back meat and such.

    The bullet button concept is just stupid. It won’t stop the criminals and it’ll just annoy the law abiding citizens. In California the bullet button is easily replaced with commonly available parts and tools. We can’t stop tons of drugs from flowing into this country and you think we can stop criminals from using scrap metal to replace a bullet button?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  82. matt says:

    @john personna: LOL nice

    Wild hog is leaner and better tasting then the commercial version. IT makes full sense if you compare the diet and the method of death. Commercial raised hogs are tortured nearly their whole life and at the end the muscles are full of panic related badness causing the taste to suffer.

    I’m not really a fan of killing an animal just to kill it but feral hogs are destroying the farmland in this state and killing the natural wildlife.

    Here’s a pretty well written article on the subject.
    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/A-Plague-of-Pigs-in-Texas.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  83. matt says:

    @john personna: Varmints usually like squirrel rabbits fox any small animal that a 5.56 round would decimate.

    A 7.62×39 round is effectively the same as a 30 30 at 150 yards. What lever action 30 30 are you going to get brand new for 325 bucks?

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  84. john personna says:

    @matt:

    Don’t argue yourself out of small changes. Small magazines and bullet buttons only cost the reasonable shooter, changing one or twice, a few seconds. They greatly burden the “shop and go” spree killer who now needs a satchel full of magazines and a reach to a tool every time.

    When you say guns can be illegally modified, that’s true now right? And the Sandy Hook shooter could have modified something to full auto. He didn’t because he was a “shop and go” guy.

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  85. matt says:

    @john personna: They don’t burden a spree shooter because they won’t bother with using a bullet button. I’ve been trying to get that point across to you. The bullet button concept is great and all but the reality is it’s EASILY DEFEATABLE/replaced with a conventional catch. So in the end a spree shooter is going to spend 15 minutes longer prepping for his killing by replacing the bullet button. You think the theater shooter wouldn’t of done that after making all the bombs? Hell do you think without a gun that dude wouldn’t of just blown the theater up?

    AS for the full auto thing. Probably because converting most semi-autos to full auto makes them very dangerous to the shooter. Besides full auto results in a lot of wasted bullets.

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  86. john personna says:

    @matt:

    Sounds like the good old combination of a .22lr and a bolt action rifle would come in under your $1000. A “tactical” guy is probably going to own a .22 anyway.

    I think the chain stores hit that price with Marlin 30-30’s, don’t they? It has accuracy to match an open sights use.

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  87. matt says:

    @john personna: .22 doesn’t have anywhere near the stopping power that a 5.56 or a 7.62 has…

    I started off hunting with open sights on my SAIGA and it worked great.

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  88. john personna says:

    @matt:

    So, weld in the bullet button. Make a criminal have to mill it out.

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  89. john personna says:

    @matt:

    You said “squirrels, rabbits, and foxes.” Do you really want to blow the squirrels and rabbits apart?

    Foxes I don’t know … didn’t know we had too many.

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  90. matt says:

    @john personna: So what are you going to do to enforce that? Send a cop to everyone’s house to force them to take their gun to a certified gunsmith to have that welded in? How do you plan to enforce this on 300 million guns? How do you plan to design a bullet button for handguns which are by far more often used in murders?

    Do you know how easy it is to cut that off with a dremel?

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  91. matt says:

    @john personna: I dunno I was just naming small game/varmints at random. A .223 does a lot less damage to those animals then a 5.56 especially if you get the proper headshot.

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  92. john personna says:

    @matt:

    The bottom line is that you spent more on your SAIGA because you wanted to be tactical, right?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  93. john personna says:

    @matt:

    How about we give two credits. One is for the gunsmith, enough for a factory authorized guy to make the mod. The second is a cash $100 thank-you to the owner for bringing his gun in.

    What kind of shooter would turn that down?

    If you say “oh no, I need fast magazine changes” you might be part of the problem.

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  94. matt says:

    @john personna: I spent $325 on the saiga which is far less then what any of the new guns you mentioned would of cost.

    I upgraded it because frankly I’ve always want an AK-47. Since I was a wee little kid I always wanted to have one for some reason. Even when I was surrounded by technically superior guns I still had the desire. So the reason I put more money into the SAIGA was so I could get the AK-47 action in a legal manner. What pushed me over on buying the gun (besides the cheap price) was when I found out that the 7.62×39 had a similar wound pattern to the 30 30s I had used as a kid when hunting. I never cared about SHTF crap or the whole tactical thing. If the SAIGA didn’t have the AK’s vaunted reliability or if it wasn’t as accurate as it is I probably never would of bought one.

    The m4 milspec buffer tube with adjustable stock was $100 (the stock pull was terrible and the stock hurt).
    The trigger package is a g2 from tapco. $23
    Hogue overmold grip $20
    bullet guide $5
    Rivets to close the original trigger holes couple bucks
    Modified my trigger cover and such free

    So total price including my mods is under $500.

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  95. matt says:

    @john personna: Okay so that’s a start. $30 billion for a thank you and an unknown amount for the gunsmiths.

    How do you intend to enforce this? What penalties?

    EDIT: What’s funny is a large reason why I converted my SAIGA was because I was having a hard time finding a stock that had the length of pull I wanted and didn’t cost an arm and leg. I ended up converting so I could just use a fully adjustable stock instead.

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  96. john personna says:

    @matt:

    That is cheaper than I thought. Maybe a bolt action Savage in similar caliber would come in close.

    For what it’s worth, if I lived in an area with a hog problem, I’d go for the Savage and a big smoker.

    @matt:

    This link says that of the 300M guns, 1.5M are assault rifles. Some higher number are semi-automatics with removable magazines. But certainly it isn’t all 300M. There are a lot of repeating arms of various types.

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  97. john personna says:

    Oh, on penalty, how about a fix-it ticket first, and then forfeiting on second violation with the same gun.

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  98. john personna says:

    (I’m jealous of people who can edit posts, but I love my Chromium too much to change.)

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  99. matt says:

    @john personna: Those aren’t assault rifles and the term assault weapon was made up back in the late 80s early 90s by anti-gun groups to gin up fear.

    An assault rifle is a select-fire (either fully automatic or burst capable) rifle that uses an intermediate cartridge and a detachable magazine. It is not to be confused with assault weapons.[1] Assault rifles are the standard service rifles in most modern armies. Assault rifles are categorized in between light machine guns, which are intended more for sustained automatic fire in a light support role, and submachine guns, which fire a pistol cartridge rather than a rifle cartridge.

    Your point is taken though that out of the 300million ish guns in circulation most wouldn’t be effected by a bullet button. Then again most of the gun murders a year wouldn’t be effected either (handguns). A solid 40% of murders a year wouldn’t be effected either. The majority of gun related murders involve a handgun which I have never seen a bullet button for.

    So basically you want to inconvenience millions of gun owners in the hopes that you’ll reduce yearly mass shootings? Those mass shootings which account for less then 50 deaths a year are worth spending billions to try to reduce the numbers by a handful (with no guarantee)? I think we’d get a lot bigger bang for our buck investing that money into a single payer system which would guarantee save hundreds of thousands of lives a year.

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  100. matt says:

    Here are you bullet buttons in action. Notice how the lock has minimal effect on the time required for a change. Effectiveness is pretty much non existent which is par for the course for gun control laws these days.,.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48JRkHOEXoM

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXu051cheZU

    I would like to take a moment to thank you for your engagement in a courteous conversation about the situation at hand. This is the only way we’re going to figure out effective methods for reducing the rate of deaths.

    I’m a firm believer that if we had a public option with strong mental health treatments that we’d be better off overall. Instead of focusing on a small section of murders I’d rather make changes that lower ALL murders.

    I still think expanding the NICS and such would be a good idea to prevent people from buying guns from private owners when they shouldn’t be able to.

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  101. matt says:

    We need a public option with strong treatment options for mentally ill people (especially for the poor).

    We as a society need to stop glorifying violence and insisting on using it to solve our problems (Iraq the drumwar for war with Iran etc).

    We need to stop glorifying everything military even when clearly we shouldn’t be.

    We need to close any NICS related loopholes and provide for a free easy way for private sales to involve a NICS. That will fix the gun show loopholes that do exist.

    We need for some tightening in CCW requirements with training and background checks as a minimum requirement.

    We need to stop militarizing the police and focus on community outreach. Removing the stigma of snitching will increase the chances of discovering a shooting plot before it happens Also that would increase the chances of catching those that commit murder.

    We need to look at our culture and ourselves in an honest light.

    we should consider requiring gun owners to carry insurance to cover accidents with their firearms.

    We should consider a national FOID card like system with required training classes. I’m worried about this bit because we cannot even get a national ID passed. There’s also the problem that such a requirement will become a manner for the government to restrict ownership solely by passing ever ridiculous fees. There’s also the unintended consequences of such a precedent.

    Anyone have something reasonable to add?

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  102. john personna says:

    @matt:

    Dude. You told us how you wanted an AK from childhood. That pretty much confirms assault rifles as a desired type. It does not stem from desired use.

    I found a page with best hog rifles. The lever 30-30 was number one. Down deep, once they got past the lever and bolt action guns then they shifted to “tactical” that you could “switch back to 30 round magazines for home defense.”

    on the videos …

    The first video actually shows how much juggling was intended.

    The second video shows magazines with “button pushers” attached. Obviously we should craft a law where that isn’t “buy and go.”

    Again, if you argue too hard against small changes, you really just argue for stronger laws, like the Australian, where sport shooters are limited to slow firing weapons (bolt action rifles and double barreled shotguns).

    I really think you should have shelved the AK-47 fascination, and we should guide future hunters towards guns which are safer from a public health standpoint.

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  103. john personna says:

    (If I just wanted to bag a hog and then go home to break it down, I’d be fine with a black powder rifle.)

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  104. john personna says:

    tl;dr – a lever action 30-30 is a better hog gun, but matt has been fascinated by assault rifles, so that’s what he bought.

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  105. matt says:

    @john personna: Wow those savages are cheap. According to what I’ve read so far they are also very very reliable. I might consider one of those in the future if they are still legal.

    Thanks to the panic I could probably sell my saiga for over a grand now.

    Looking around I’m seeing converted Saigas for over $700. Wow.

    What part of my x39 does the same damage as a 30 30 at a reduced cost do you not get? I can buy a 20 pack of hunting ammo for $5.

    My Saiga is NOT an assault rifle for of the love of god could you at least use the proper terminology?

    See this is the problem with trying to discuss things. I admit I’ve always wanted an ak-47 and suddenly that’s all that matters. It doesn’t matter that I went out looking for a reliable cheap to shoot and cheap to buy gun that is capable of taking down large game and smaller. All that matters to you is a silly desire from my youth.

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  106. john personna says:

    @matt:

    You just switched “costs” in that ;-). At today’s market price you can get a nice bolt action rifle and scope out of the sale of your Saiga.

    At your old price, the Marlin and low end Savages come in the same.

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  107. matt says:

    @john personna: True I’m willing to admit that Saigas are over priced now. I hadn’t realized that the gun panic had upped the prices so much. I saw a machined AR 15 lower going for 2 grand on gun broker.. Ugh the insanity..

    BTW a SAR-1 which was a Romanian training AK-47 was buyable during the AWB for 350 bucks (they cut the bayonet lug off and blammo legal to import). I thought about buying one but I didn’t because back then I didn’t hunt and I couldn’t justify buying a rifle like that to shoot targets.

    If I just wanted an AK 47 I would of bought a wasr10 or an Arsenal SGL-21 or a mak 90 or any number of AKs that have all the military hardware such as foregrips, bayonet lug, muzzlebreak, cleaning rod holder. Instead I bought a SAIGA because the round was good enough for what I planned to hunt and the cost was unbeatable. The fact that I could convert it to look like an AK-47 at some time did occur to me but it definitely wasn’t the deciding factor or I would of bought one of the above guns. Hell if the AK-47 look was as important as you imply I would of converted the front end to Ak-47 grips and replaced the FSB with a bulgarian model that has threads so I could mount a 74 style muzzle break.

    I’m still thinking of installing a muzzle break but that’s because I’d like less recoil not because I think it looks cool.

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  108. john personna says:

    (And yes, I am using correct American usage when I use ‘assault rifle’ for ‘military-derived semi-automatic.’ I know the NRA would love to call them ‘modern sporting arms’ but that is lobbying. A bolt action rifle with synthetic stock and rain resistance is a ‘modern sporting arm.’ An “evil black rifle” is very much manufactured for people who want to buy “evil black rifles.”)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  109. matt says:

    @john personna: What you’re effectively doing is calling a car a semi. You’re not using the American usage you’re using the completely and utterly wrong word according to the WORLD and AMERICA. For god’s sake you’re going to claim that WIkipedia is owned by the NRA now? Even our OWN GOVERNMENT doesn’t agree with you on that usage.

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  110. stonetools says:

    The bottom line is that you spent more on your SAIGA because you wanted to be tactical, right?

    The gun botherers constantly attack gun safety advocates because they just want to ban guns based on appearance, but the dirty little secret about these weapons is seen here:

    Consider your man card reissued.

    It is precisely because these guns look bad ass and military looking that they are so in demand, not because of “accuracy”, “stopping power” , “versatility” or any of the BS reasons given above. It is because the people who buy them want to feel like Jack Reacher or (insert macho action hero here).
    When my wife (former Marine Sergeant) sees an AR-15, she feels no warm inner tingle (She doesn’t need a man card.) She just sees what looks like a military weapon, part of a soldier’s toolkit and something no civilian needs, any more than a civilian needs a bayonet or a claymore mine.
    Now military technology can have civilian uses. You can use claymore mines for thinning hog herds, grenade launchers for killing bears, and ( messily) bayonets for hunting deer. But really, these weapons are designed first and foremost, for killing people in a military setting. When Curtis LeMay first recommended the AR15 for the USAF, he sure as hell didn’t have hog hunting in mind.
    As I have said, any one who wants to have these peculiarly lethal types of weapons, should have to prove they can be responsible and safe gun owners, just as to those who drive cars have to prove they are responsible and safe drivers. They should have to undergo safety training, they should be evaluated by some kind of mental health testing and/ or background checks, and they should have to have three people vouch that they can be safe and responsible gun owners. Gun owners will rage that they shouldn’t have to put up with the inconvenience of having to jump through these hoops, but they should think of it as part of the cost of living in a safe and civilized society, like obeying the traffic laws or going through airport security checks.

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  111. matt says:

    @stonetools: The m16 is not an ar15 there are substantial differences in the action and materials used. An ar 15’s action and internals has far more in common with a semi-automatic hunting rifle then a real assault rifle like the m16. You’re making an argument solely based on looks. Such disingenuous behavior by you is to be expected by you as you never intended to have a serious discussion about gun control.

    The man card thing is just as stupid when used in advertisement for cars, alcohol and any number of other products.

    AS for the saiga. I clearly stated that I ended up spending more on it because the stock was terrible. It was too short and the end of it bit into my shoulder and actually left two bruises. I had trouble finding a decent stock for it so I went the cheaper route of converting it. Now I have a very very comfortable grip and stock that no longer leaves bruises.

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  112. stonetools says:

    More from that site:

    These weapons are not hard to get. Here in Oregon – which is about middle-of-the-road in its gun laws, at least here in the southern part; neither as strict as California and Massachusetts or as permissive as Arizona or Utah – you basically walk up to the counter at Sportsmen’s Warehouse, or Cabela’s, or any gun shop, of which there are typically at least one in any town of more than about 10,000 people. A helpful, friendly salesman will hand you anything you want to look at. You point out what you want. You can load up your cart with any number of accessories – ammunition by the case, scopes, extra magazines, and so on – while the clerk runs your driver’s license and social security number through a system that checks you against a state-run database. This takes anywhere from fifteen minutes to a maximum of 45, if it’s a busy day (say, when a Democrat has just been elected President and every right winger in the country has rushed out to load up on assault weapons before Obama tries to grab them away).

    And then you walk out of the store with all your goodies. Half an hour later, you can be loaded up and ready to go, blasting away at whatever targets float your boat.

    Like, say, an elementary school full of six-year-olds.

    Isn’t that just effing ridiculous.I’m surprised we don’t have MORE mass shootings.

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  113. matt says:

    @stonetools:

    Isn’t that just effing ridiculous.I’m surprised we don’t have MORE mass shootings.

    Because you’re way overstating the danger of gun sales…

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  114. Tyrell says:

    I think that the President needs a commission to study the gun issue and make recommendations. I think it would be a big mistake to put a politician (Biden) in charge of and on this committee. It should be made of of everyday citizens, including victims of gun – related crime and their families. I don’t have anything against the vice president; (I think he is a good leader,) and other politicians, but we need a common sense approach to this without a lot of influence of lobby groups and corporations. And let’s get this away from the news media and their incessant sensationalism.

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  115. matt says:

    @Tyrell: Dude about 8500 people were murdered last year with a gun. Most of those murders involved a handgun and the people knowing each other. Meaning spouses or drug dealers/gang members etc. Meanwhile 5600 people were murdered by someone without a gun involved at all. Meanwhile cars resulted in 33000 deaths medical errors resulted in 200,000 deaths about 3000 people drowned in the pool in their backyard (about 5000 total drowned). If you’re under 12 you’re far more likely to drown in a pool or die in a car accident then be killed by a gun. If you’re over 12 you’re still more likely to drown in a pool or die in a car accident but the chance of a gun related death increases slightly. If you don’t own a gun your chances of dying via a gun drops rapidly (more so if you don’t know a gun owner).

    From the CDC

    Number of deaths for leading causes of death

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

    Just enacting a public option would save tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people a year.
    Mandating the implementation of improved medical record keeping and safety plans could save tens of thousands of lives.

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  116. stonetools says:

    @matt:

    The m16 is not an ar15 there are substantial differences in the action and materials used. An ar 15′s action and internals has far more in common with a semi-automatic hunting rifle then a real assault rifle like the m16. You’re making an argument solely based on looks. Such disingenuous behavior by you is to be expected by you as you never intended to have a serious discussion about gun control

    For gun nerds all that stuff is interesting, but in real life all I’m interested in is that AR 15s and such weapons are very effective for exploding the skulls of multiple 6 year olds in a quick, effective fashion or for slaughtering theater patrons. I don’t really give a flying f@#k about stocks.

    I repeat,what matters is that semi-auto versions of battle rifles or whatever you want to call them make it easy for minimally trained people to kill lots of people fast. That’s why the military wants (fully automatic) versions of such weapons. That’s why you only want them in hands of gun owners who will be responsible about handling such lethal weapons-if you want such weapons available at all.
    The point of the ad is that the AR15 is so popular precisely because it looks so bad ass and because of its reputation- not because of muzzle velocity, caliber,etc, etc, that gun nerds go on about.

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  117. matt says:

    @stonetools: Those differences matter greatly. What you’re complaining about is applicable to almost every gun in existence. Hell the biggest school massacre in US history didn’t have one gun death.

    It’s popular because it’s an accurate and adaptable weapons platform at a reasonable price. As mentioned above you can easily change an ar15 to handle a variety of rounds between .223 up to .50 cal. One good AR can fulfill the role of several hunting rifles.

    Yes there are morons who are like what you mentioned but those are the same type of morons that put a giant spoiler and a giant tip on their Honda and think they are badass. You don’t care about the poseurs driving cars too fast and causing far more death because you like cars.

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  118. Modulo Myself says:

    @matt:

    Funny, because if the government made the speed limit 10 mph and banned bad foods, then those death rates would plummet. No one is advocating any of this, because it’s extreme and would not be pleasurable for most people.

    But guns don’t matter in the way that food or getting somewhere matters. I know, I really know, that it’s hard to believe this, but they don’t. For most people, they are just hobbies and toys. And the only person who thinks they prevent crime is John Lott, who is a fraud.

    Even your endless breathless recitation of gun facts seems to verify this–otherwise, why are people buying tricked out guns (and lots of them) if not as things to enjoy rather than as practical items? Or are we supposed to take people who dress up a Ford as a Ferrari as practitioners of a utilitarian ethos?

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  119. john personna says:

    @matt:

    You are pretending that “tactical” is not a theme and a marketing message.

    Gun stores and manufacturers target an audience that identifies with paramilitary use.

    My local “hunting and fishing” store sponsors “tactical”is competitions to mine this trend.

    We should drop that and fall back to honest sporting use.

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  120. matt says:

    @Modulo Myself: Well your talk of banning them is the prime motivation for sales right now. Demand is at a 25 year high at least. Stores are moving months worth of merchandise in days.

    As for the ford ferrari statement you’re actually closer to the truth then you realize. A tacticooled AR functions the same as some semi-automatic hunting rifles that use traditional wood stocks. Check this video out please.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysf8x477c30

    @john personna: I never pretended that tactical is not a theme. I think in one of the other threads if not this one I said “tacticool”. I just don’t care to be involved with it. Just like I don’t feel like being involved with upgrading my car’s speed and acceleration. Actually in a lot of these cases it’d more like “I don’t feel like putting a giant wing on my car”. Most of that stuff is cosmetic and even a regular hunting rifle can be tacticooled (including bolt action).

    I imagine it’s tapping into the same mindset that is leading the charge behind paintball and airsoft.

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  121. wr says:

    @stonetools: “She just sees what looks like a military weapon, part of a soldier’s toolkit and something no civilian needs, any more than a civilian needs a bayonet or a claymore mine.”

    How dare you try to take away my right to a Claymore mine! What if I’m attacked by a… well, a Claymore and that mine is the only thing that’s going to save me? Why do you hate freedom?

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  122. stonetools says:

    @matt:

    Those differences matter greatly.

    They matter greatly to YOU. They matter to you because you and other gun enthusiasts would much rather be nattering on about caliber than to be discussing that such guns make it easy for people to kill this child and 26 other people.Why don’t you take a look at that photo, imagine a bullet going through that face, and then come back and talk to me about .223 caliber vs 5.6mm .

    Your point-and all gun enthusiasts-is that I must not be inconvenienced in any away in the easy acquisition of my toys, because I have a right to my toys, god@mnit, and that those civilians who don’t understand the crucial difference between.223 caliber and 5.6mm ammunition and who call magazines clips shouldn’t have anything to say about it.

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  123. stonetools says:

    @matt:

    Well your talk of banning them is the prime motivation for sales right now

    Note that most here aren’t talking about “banning” anything.All I’m talking about is limiting ownership to responsible gun owners. But hey, beat that straw man. Beat it good.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  124. matt says:

    @stonetools: You’ve already stated that you want pretty much every gun to be banned. This isn’t even a discussion for you.

    @stonetools: You being one of those that want to ban all semi-automatics. I wish you were only interested in limiting ownership to responsible gun owners…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  125. john personna says:

    @matt:

    I never pretended that tactical is not a theme. I think in one of the other threads if not this one I said “tacticool”. I just don’t care to be involved with it. Just like I don’t feel like being involved with upgrading my car’s speed and acceleration.

    And yet your “after” picture above has a large capacity magazine added, right?

    For when wave after wave of zombie hogs attacks your position?

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  126. Stonetools says:

    @matt:

    Please post where I said that.I have posted repeatedly that I was against banning guns, and that my preferred approach is licensing semi automatics.

    Maybe you want to think I’m in favor of banning guns, but I assure you that you are wrong. It won’t stop you , though. You are simply being willfully obtuse by lumping all gun safety advocates into idiot ” gun banners” who don’t understand about clips and magazines and such. That’s what you like to do.

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  127. matt says:

    @john personna: Nope that’s a standard capacity magazine which I do hunt with. BTW you can get the large magazines like that which hold 10 rounds. I just don’t have to do it since I live in Texas. I usually only run 10-20 rounds in my magazine because the extra weight would be unneeded. I also told you earlier that when we’re doing eradication we can end up killing hundreds of hogs. So fully loaded magazines can come in very handy when hanging out of a helicopter or shooting a pack on the ground.

    @Stonetools: Now you’re just being silly. You know you said it in one of the earlier posts on this blog. I believe it was in the first of the series but it’s not worth my time to link it because then you’ll move the posts again.

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  128. matt says:

    Here’s my magazine in that picture.

    http://www.nationalgunsupply.com/Tapco-AK47-10-Round-Magazine-7pack-p/tapco-mag630bca-7pk.htm

    Technically a 30 round magazine is standard for that platform. It’s the +40 round stuff that is high capacity which are just range toys and I can’t justify them.

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  129. matt says:

    10-20 rounds in my non limited magazines… Ugh..

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  130. Dave says:

    @matt: Matt

    I don’t believe stonetools has called for a complete ban. You, however, very noticably don’t seem to be able to adress stonetools’ post at 15:27. In a balancing test, does your desire for a semi-automatic with a 30 round clip outweigh the damage that such a weapon can cause – as has been demonstrated in Conn. and Colorado and Arizona (a pistol in that case)? Especially when there are perfectly viable substitutes such as bolt action rifles, revolvers, etc. for what you want to do. Had the killers in Conn., Colorado, Arizona been limited to smaller round capacity, slow load weapons they very possibly would have killed far fewer people. Is your convenience more important than a human life?

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  131. matt says:

    @Dave: I looked some and I believe you are correct I have stonetools mixed up with rafar or something. I apologize for that statement then. It’s been rather difficult to keep track of who is saying what when I have so many people posting. It’s been a very busy last week as I’ve been banging major hours at my two jobs. Today is my first day off and I probably should just sleep.

    I don’t believe I have to justify the “damage” of the 30 round clips considering a tiny minority of murders involve them. That number is absolutely dwarfed by the number of people killed via other means including cars water and via medical errors. I don’t see a problem in that aspect. I do see a problem with our lack of a public option. I also see a problem with how our society deals with the mental health question..

    Are you going to justify the 33000 people killed a year because you allow people to have high horsepower cars or trucks with a high center of gravity?

    I don’t feel like responding to his comment at 15:27 because he’s using a purely emotional argument. If he was worried about kids dying he’d do something about the 15 million children who die a year due to hunger. If that’s too big of a goal he could do something as simple as lobbying for medical reforms to prevent 200,000 deaths a year.

    It’s all a matter of perspective and the reality is your chances of being killed by a gun is less then being killed by lightening assuming you don’t engage in stupid behavior.

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  132. matt says:

    Hell the number of people killed by a gun with a 30 round magazine is dwarfed by the number of people killed with non guns..

    How about this kid being ran over by a car?
    http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/10466692/

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  133. Jenos Idanian Who Has No Pony Tail says:

    @stonetools: They matter greatly to YOU. They matter to you because you and other gun enthusiasts would much rather be nattering on about caliber than to be discussing that such guns make it easy for people to kill this child and 26 other people.Why don’t you take a look at that photo, imagine a bullet going through that face, and then come back and talk to me about .223 caliber vs 5.6mm .

    The differences are important because you’re talking about making laws and setting policies, and you make two things abundantly clear: 1) you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about, and 2) you don’t care in the least.

    The reason people keep telling you just how wrong you are on basic facts is because you have no idea just how unworkable your ideas are, and you don’t care. “Your argument boils down to “those things scare me, and I want them to go away!” It’s an entirely emotional appeal, unencumbered by facts and reality. Because you have an unreasonable fear, you expect everyone else to forgo what they see (rightly) as their Constitutional rights.

    Pass a gun control law without the input of people who actually know about guns, and you end up with stupid things like the “Assault Weapons ban” — where, for example, makers of AR-15 knockoffs removed the bayonet lug and flash suppressor, then resumed selling weapons every bit as effective as they were before they were the ban.

    Try confronting your fears for a change. ‘Cuz you ain’t gonna convince the rest of the country to indulge them.

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  134. Dave says:

    @matt:

    But things are being done to minimize deaths by car, bad water, lack of access to medical care etc. and nobody is claiming there is a constitutional right to not reform these areas – that’s the point.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  135. matt says:

    I understand the emotions involved though. When a close friend of my family was killed his surviving wife and kids joined MADD and were all about being being anti-drunk driving. After about a year they realized that MADD was way too radical for them.

    @Dave:
    Same thing with guns. Better designed safeties and trigger locks for example. The RFID designs and biometrics allowing for only the owner to shoot. THat’s besides the safety features added to the design itself to protect the user (much like cars).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  136. matt says:

    @Dave: @Dave: The point being that despite what some of the hysterical people are screaming we’re not that many deaths relatively because of 30 round clips or the availability of guns. Just to make sure you know here’s my recommendations to further push down our historically low death rate.

    We need a public option with strong treatment options for mentally ill people (especially for the poor).

    We as a society need to stop glorifying violence and insisting on using it to solve our problems (Iraq the drumwar for war with Iran etc).

    We need to stop glorifying everything military even when clearly we shouldn’t be.

    We need to close any NICS related loopholes and provide for a free easy way for private sales to involve a NICS. That will fix the gun show loopholes that do exist.

    We need for some tightening in CCW requirements with training and background checks as a minimum requirement.

    We need to stop militarizing the police and focus on community outreach. Removing the stigma of snitching will increase the chances of discovering a shooting plot before it happens.

    We need to look at our culture and ourselves in an honest light.

    we should consider requiring gun owners to carry insurance to cover accidents with their firearms.

    We should consider a national FOID card like system with required training classes. I’m worried about this bit because we cannot even get a national ID passed. There’s also the problem that such a requirement will become a manner for the government to restrict ownership solely by passing ever ridiculous fees. There’s also the unintended consequences of such a precedent.

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  137. matt says:

    @Jenos Idanian Who Has No Pony Tail: Yeah It made me giggle when I realized a military issue semi-auto AK (SAR-1) was not only legal but easy and cheap to buy during the AWB. Granted those AKs were a crapshoot in quality with cant and trigger slap being a huge problem. Can’t import hardware like that anymore due to a rule change by the ATF..

    The same ATF that said airsoft guns can be easily converted into machines guns….

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  138. Brummagem Joe says:

    The NRA has killed many more Americans than Bin Laden ever dreamed of.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  139. sam says:

    @matt:

    Matt, take a look at this essay, The Freedom of an Armed Society and then read this story,Man shot at Florida pizza restaurant for complaining about service.

    Something to think about, no?

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  140. matt says:

    @sam: Note how the individual was still charged despite his defense.

    I used to stay in Chicago with friends because I lived relatively near. Despite the bans at the time people were still shooting each other…

    The fellow in the opinion piece would have a point if shootings weren’t rare occurrences that account for only a tiny tiny amount of deaths a year.

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  141. matt says:

    Boy that article was hard to read. It was full of falsehoods and scaremongering..

    Stuff like this made me facepalm.

    Furthermore, of the weapons that proliferate amongst the armed public, an increasing number are high caliber weapons (the weapon of choice in the goriest shootings in recent years).

    The last shooting used .223 which is a SMALL caliber relatively low powered cartridge. Large caliber and high powered guns tend to be hunting rifles..

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  142. Dave says:

    @matt:
    All reasonable ideas. But the best fail safe prophylactic to lessen the human damage at attempted mass killing by a deranged person is to slow down the weapon’s rate of fire and increase the load time. The easiest way to do this is to restrict regular citizens to buying bolt action rifles and revolvers and banning quick loaders. This enables people to either get away or disarm the attacker. It won’t stop murders, but it will lessen the number of killed in attacks on large groups of people. And from a legal perspective, it meets a citizen’s right to self defense and allows for hunting and target practice.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  143. legion says:

    @matt:

    Note how the individual was still charged despite his defense.

    Yes, the individual was charged. But he still shot another person because he was too stupid to grasp the basic concept and believed he had the right to use a gun to defend himself in that situation. Laws that are poorly worded, poorly implemented, and just plain poorly thought out are every bit as dangerous as the things they’re supposed to protect us from.

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  144. matt says:

    @legion: I highly HIGHLY doubt he shot the guy while thinking stand your ground was going to save him. When you shoot someone you’re probably not thinking of how you’re going to stay out of jail…

    I’m glad they charged the guy and if convicted he would lose his CCW quickly thankfully. Aggravated battery is a second degree felony. I think both of us can agree that people like that shouldn’t be allowed to have a CCW.

    I can agree on your statement about poorly thought out laws.

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  145. sam says:

    @matt:

    The fellow in the opinion piece would have a point if shootings weren’t rare occurrences that account for only a tiny tiny amount of deaths a year

    But that wasn’t really his point, was it? His argument is that the idea that an armed society is a polite society is true only if we understand that in an armed society, your freedom of speech, your freedom to be eccentric, your freedom to be offensive, would be curtailed by your fear that someone might shoot you for your eccentric behavior. Can you give me an argument why that wouldn’t be an outcome in a society where a great number of the citizenry is carrying a concealed weapon?

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  146. sam says:

    And see this story, Florida Shooting Focuses Attention on ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law.

    The lede of that story concerns a the killing of a man, in front of his 8-year-old daughter, by another man with whom the victim got into an argument over a kid skateboarding on the basketball court. The story goes on to say:

    The National Rifle Association lobbied strongly for the change to state law, which was adopted in 2005 and signed by Gov. Jeb Bush. Mr. Bush said at the time that he supported the measure because, faced with a serious threat one’s life, “to have to retreat and put yourself in a very precarious position defies common sense.” [The stand your ground theory].

    In the years since the law was amended in 2005, there has been a surge in the number of cases [of such kinds of shootings]. A 2010 review by The St. Petersburg Times found that rates of justifiable homicide tripled since the law was passed and that “twice a week, on average, someone’s killing was considered warranted.”

    The paper reviewed press accounts of 93 cases involving 65 deaths in confrontations in which the new law could be applied and found that 57 of them resulted in no criminal charge or trial. In seven others that went to trial, the defendants were then acquitted.

    Now, I will accept that the Florida law is bad legislation, but that does not alter the fact that all too often, when armed, people will resort to the gun in a confrontation.

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  147. matt says:

    @sam: Texas? Lots of eccentrics down here and even more guns including CCW. I wore this shirt a couple times down here. Sure I got some people being idiots but no one tried to or threatened to shoot me.

    http://www.cynical-c.com/2007/07/12/bush-lied-they-died-t-shirt-banned-in-three-states/

    I just have a hard time taking someone’s editorial serious when they are making serious factual mistakes.

    @sam: People with a CCW on average commit far FAR less crimes then the normal population. Yes there are some bad apples and yes they should be weeded out as best as possible.

    I cannot comment on the Florida situation as I do not live there and I don’t have the time to brush up on that law. If it’s being abused then by all means it needs to be changed.

    EDIT: My comment about tightening up CCW requirements actually was spurred by the loose requirements in Florida. I completely believe that Florida needs to step up the requirements for CCW.

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  148. matt says:

    @john personna: Checked your link and the 6th gun listed is what you call a tactical gun. That’s not deep down and it’s certainly not after all the bolt action.

    The bolt and lever action rifles are more dangerous to random people than the SAIGA. The rounds shot by the bolt action or lever action grounds would be in the air and lethal for distances far beyond where my SAIGA’s round would be safely in the dirt.

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  149. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Brummagem Joe: The NRA has killed many more Americans than Bin Laden ever dreamed of.

    Oh, bullcrap. How many NRA members commit mass shootings?

    You wanna talk about numbers? How about this:

    Abortions performed by Planned Parenthood, by year:

    2006: 289,750
    2007: 305,310
    2008: 324,008
    2009: 332,278
    2010: 329,445

    That’s a grand total of 1,580,791, and an increase of about 14% over five years — a period whe the US population grew by less than half that rate.

    You wanna toss out complete nonsense? I’ll answer with questionably-relevant but absolutely accurate facts and statistics.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 9

  150. sam says:

    @matt:

    I just have a hard time taking someone’s editorial serious when they are making serious factual mistakes.

    That reminds me of a story Kierkegaard tells someplace about the little shoemaker from some backwater village out in the hinterland of Attica who goes to Athens for the first time. He goes up the Acropolis and while he’s he walking around at looking at the sights, he comes upon the famous statue of the goddess fixing her sandal. He looks at the sandal and says, “Shoddy workmanship”.

    He seems to have missed the point, too.

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  151. john personna says:

    Basically matt has named a corner case of hunting, let alone of hog shooting. Many discussion forums favor lever action and bolt action guns for taking one or two hogs. “Eradication” is where you try to shoot a lot of them, before they run away. And any gun you use for that will also be good for shooting many people, before they run away.

    Many hog hunters are fine with low rate of fire weapons. Those are the top picks on the “hog guns” link. But yeah, if you want to killing lots of hogs something you can do “shop and go,” then that will make it possible to head to less socially responsible places.

    I think the best solution is to use lever 30-30s, and just take more guys on the hog roundup.

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  152. wr says:

    @matt: “I’m glad they charged the guy and if convicted he would lose his CCW quickly thankfully.”

    Oh, goodie. So our new rule is you get to attempt to murder only one innocent person before you’re not longer allowed to play Wyatt Earp in a 21st century world. I feel much safter.

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  153. matt says:

    @sam: Your story has no relevance. The statue wasn’t using false facts to push for further shoe regulation..

    @john personna: First off you’re focusing on a gun that is used in a TINY TINY amount of murders a year. Second off you’re choosing to focus on an even tinier amount of death a year while far easier and far more effective methods of preventing death present itself. Third off I clearly stated that I do go with more then a couple guys. Fourth keep fucking that chicken..

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  154. matt says:

    Just delete my post that is caught in moderation.

    @sam: Your story has no relevance. The statue wasn’t using false facts to push for further shoe regulation..

    @john personna: First off you’re focusing on a gun that is used in a TINY TINY amount of murders a year. Second off you’re choosing to focus on an even tinier amount of death a year while far easier and far more effective methods of preventing death present itself. Third off I clearly stated that I do go with more then a couple guys. Fourth off you have been caught lying and all you can do is just make silly dismissive comments.

    Your suggestions might save a few people a year but at great annoyance and hindrance to millions of lawful gun owners and hunters. We dismiss your suggestions for the same reason you dismissed my suggestions about limiting car speed/acceleration (despite doing so for cars would save a lot of people) because it’s stupid. Covering cars in soft rubber would probably save more lives a year then your suggestions for guns but you don’t like that because you like your cars. Don’t go on about how cars are needed because as you say most people live in the city so they don’t need guns or cars. Public transportation or bicycles will get you from point A to point B. AS for those that have legit reasons to use a car? Well sucks to be them.

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  155. matt says:

    @wr: It’s clear that you have nothing to add to this discussion. Anyone with half a brain can see me calling for stricter requirements in Florida. Go troll 4chan or cnn.com and leave the adults alone.

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  156. Jenos Idanian Who Has No Pony Tail says:

    @john personna: You’re certainly entitled to your opinion. The problem is, you’re pushing for your opinion to have the force of law.

    You say that your choice of weapons is better suited for the purpose at hand. I have no idea whether it is or not, but I am repulsed that you want to dictate your choice to everyone else. And then you want to persuade them that it’s for the best that you deprive them of their choice.

    That’s a common thread on the left — taking away choices to prevent people from making “bad” choices, and saying that it’s really OK because those were bad choices anyway. There are terms for philosophies that dictate such things to people…

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  157. wr says:

    @matt: Nothing to add except contempt for the yahoos who believe that we should live in a society where everybody walks around armed and “real men” settle our problems with gunfire as if it’s 1832, and who pay corrupt lawmakers to bring their disgusting little fantasies to life. Sorry if I don’t enjoy comparing muzzle velocities as much as the resident gun-lovers around here — personally I think this is one of our cultures’ least appealing fetishes. Most little boys stop pretending to play superhero around the time they turn eight; the others drool over the chance to take out a “bad guy” someday.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  158. wr says:

    @matt: You want a stricter restriction? Here’s my proposal: You carry a loaded gun anywhere that hunting is not specifically allowed, you go to jail. Exceptions for licensed, bonded security officials.

    What’s the problem with that one?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  159. Jenos Idanian Who Has No Pony Tail says:

    @wr: Shorter wr: Stupid Fascist Says Stupid Things.

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  160. Spartacus says:

    @wr:

    You want a stricter restriction?

    Matt wants to be in favor of “reasonable” restrictions, but when pressed he knows he cannot rationally justify any kind of restrictions because once he tries to explain why he would favor any particular type of restriction he would have to explain why that same rationale doesn’t justify a greater restriction.

    If you think fully automatic weapons or 30-round magazines should be outlawed, you’ll be hard pressed to explain why semi-automatic weapons or 12-round magazines shouldn’t also be outlawed. It’s not like you’re going to make the battle between a crazed gunman and unarmed first-graders a fair one just by limiting the gunman to a semi-automatic, 12-round magazine rifle.

    I raised this issue to Matt and James Joyner on another thread and I got nothing but crickets.

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  161. MattB says:

    @Spartacus:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  162. MattB (the other Matt... not plain "Matt") says:

    @Spartacus:

    Matt wants to be in favor of “reasonable” restrictions, but when pressed he knows he cannot rationally justify any kind of restrictions because once he tries to explain why he would favor any particular type of restriction he would have to explain why that same rationale doesn’t justify a greater restriction.

    This statement is largely correct and somewhat useless at the same time. Once is begins, where any regulation stops is fundamentally arbitrary. There’s no reason it shouldn’t be the same for guns.

    On the topic of whether semi-automatics should be restricted, all I can contribute is that a number of the countries that people have identified as having progressive gun regulations still allow semi-automatic “assault weapons” like the ones used in recent mass shootings. The key thing is that these countries restrict magazine size and, to my knowledge, didn’t grandfather in any existing magazines.

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  163. Spartacus says:

    @MattB:

    This statement is largely correct and somewhat useless at the same time.

    I don’t think it’s useless at all. It forces people to answer what it is they’re trying to accomplish by enacting any kind of restriction. Once you acknowledge that the purpose of the restriction is to create a safer society, then you must answer whether the restriction you support is (a) effective and (b) whether it goes far enough.

    Most reasonable people will agree that outlawing fully automatic weapons and large magazines will make society safer, but there’s still an argument on whether such restrictions go far enough. Well, we know that the more restrictive the legislation, the greater the burden on gun owners. So, then, is the burden on gun owners outweighed by the benefit to the rest of society?

    I have yet to hear any poster or commenter at OTB argue that the benefit to society of very restrictive gun laws is outweighed by the burden on gun owners or those who want to own a gun. But I don’t think we’ll even have that argument unless we first come to grips with the fact that the “reasonable” restrictions that are usually discussed do not go far enough to create the benefit that we’re after.

    Now, I’ve readily admitted that practically and politically America is not yet at the point where we can pass, and enforce, the kind of restrictive laws that would limit gun access to the degree that we should. But we’re not going to move in that direction until we have an honest discussion about the balance of interests between gun owners and a safe society.

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  164. stonetools says:

    Another country that has a sensible gun safety scheme without banning semi-autos is Switzerland, and they don’t go in for that crazy faux macho BS that makes US gun culture so irrational:

    Switzerland trails behind only the U.S, Yemen and Serbia in the number of guns per capita; between 2.3 million and 4.5 million military and private firearms are estimated to be in circulation in a country of only 8 million people. Yet, despite the prevalence of guns, the violent-crime rate is low: government figures show about 0.5 gun homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in 2010. By comparison, the U.S rate in the same year was about 5 firearm killings per 100,000 people, according to a 2011 U.N. report.

    Unlike some other heavily armed nations, Switzerland’s gun ownership is deeply rooted in a sense of patriotic duty and national identity. Weapons are kept at home because of the long-held belief that enemies could invade tiny Switzerland quickly, so every soldier had to be able to fight his way to his regiment’s assembly point. (Switzerland was at risk of being invaded by Germany during World War II but was spared, historians say, because every Swiss man was armed and trained to shoot.)

    Read more: http://world.time.com/2012/12/20/the-swiss-difference-a-gun-culture-that-works/#ixzz2FvFBRrOu

    Their gun safety scheme:

    The law allows citizens or legal residents over the age of 18, who have obtained a permit from the government and who have no criminal record or history of mental illness, to buy up to three weapons from an authorized dealer, with the exception of automatic firearms and selective fire weapons, which are banned. Semiautomatics, which have caused havoc in the U.S., can be legally purchased.
    …..
    One of the reasons the crime rate in Switzerland is low despite the prevalence of weapons — and also why the Swiss mentality can’t be transposed to the current American reality — is the culture of responsibility and safety that is anchored in society and passed from generation to generation.

    Note the emphasis in Swiss culture: safety and responsibility, not “rights”, bluster about fighting off the US government, or “My gun is bigger than your gun”.

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  165. john personna says:

    @MattB (reply button not working),

    It looks like under the Australian system a bolt action .308 would be Class B, while a semi-auto would be Class C and more strongly regulated.

    I don’t see that flying in the US, but I wouldn’t refuse residence in Australia because of it. I actually like the rationality of gun class matched to application.

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  166. john personna says:

    (Under the Australian system the other matt would have to argue that he needs to kill more than one or two hogs at a time and needs Class C.)

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  167. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian Who Has No Pony Tail: Get a dictionary, moron.

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  168. anjin-san says:

    I am repulsed that you want to dictate your choice to everyone else. And then you want to persuade them that it’s for the best that you deprive them of their choice.

    Sounds quite a bit like conservatives and women’s reproductive rights. Frankly, I think it’s more important that my wife have legal control of what happens to her own body than for me to be able to do a little target shooting.

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  169. anjin-san says:

    You wanna toss out complete nonsense? I’ll answer with questionably-relevant but absolutely accurate facts and statistics.

    Mitt Romney saved a drowning man, you know…

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  170. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Sounds quite a bit like conservatives and women’s reproductive rights.

    Congratulations, you get a gold star. Yes, conservatives tend to have that attitude in that area. Liberals have it in a whole bunch of other areas.

    Light bulbs, toilets, automobiles, seat belts/motorcycle helmets, health insurance, “unhealthy” foods — one of the main tenets of modern liberalism is “we want to protect you from making what we think are bad choices, so we won’t let anyone make those choices. You’ll just take what we think is best for most people.”

    Why is it so wrong in the area of abortion, and so right everywhere else?

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  171. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @wr: Once again, you demonstrate your style — wait until the argument gets really going, then come in and try to kick those you think are losing. (Emphasis on the “try.”)

    If you’re going to go on the battlefield and bayonet the wounded, though, you really should carry something sharper than a plastic spoon…

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  172. barbintheboonies says:

    I cannot understand how the NRA believes that an heavily armed person could be stopped by an armed guard without having pre- exposed knowledge something was going to happen. The element of surprise, also bullets flying in rapidly would put even the most trained law officer in an offense position. The gun man who killed those kids ind teachers had a plan and did not care if he was to be killed, but if they were all armed I believe the outcome would have been the same. A man who had a concealed weapon at the mall in Portland said last week I did not take out my weapon because I was afraid of hitting a innocent bystander.To be honest I would have ran as fast for cover as I could.

    My suggestion Get rid of assault rifles for average citizens. Make people who own guns more responsible. That mans mother never should have had those guns with an unstable kid such as him. Her estate should all go to the victims` family’s.( a small token). Gun owners need to take some responsibility. If their guns are not secure from getting in the hands of people who clearly should not have them including children who accidentally shoot themselves and others They need to be held accountable if reasonable precautions were not in place. . .

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  173. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @barbintheboonies: I cannot understand how the NRA believes that an heavily armed person could be stopped by an armed guard without having pre- exposed knowledge something was going to happen.

    It happens. It happened at the Appalachian Law School shooting, the New Life Church shooting, and it apparently happened at the Clackamas Mall shooting.

    My suggestion Get rid of assault rifles for average citizens.

    Too late. Assault rifles have been illegal for civilians to own from their first creation.

    Do you mean “assault weapons?” An incredibly stupid law that is thankfully dead now, and should never have been passed. It was “feel-good” legislation that achieved exactly nothing but give people a false sense of security and politicians a false sense of accomplishment.

    Gun owners need to take some responsibility.

    There are millions of LEGAL gun owners already who take tremendous responsibility for their guns. They’re the millions and millions who don’t shoot people every year.

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  174. anjin-san says:

    automobiles, seat belts/motorcycle helmets, health insurance,

    Ah, so you are willing to reach in to your pocket and pay for the consequences of un worn seat belts and helmets, as well as un purchased health insurance.

    I see.

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  175. anjin-san says:

    There are millions of LEGAL gun owners already who take tremendous responsibility for their guns.

    And then there are the irresponsible ones, like Ms. Lanza. I don’t think the parents of the dead children are taking a lot of comfort from knowing about all the responsible gun owners.

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  176. anjin-san says:

    I cannot understand how the NRA believes that an heavily armed person could be stopped by an armed guard without having pre- exposed knowledge something was going to happen.

    Indeed. There was an armed sheriff at Columbine, and Virginia Tech has its own police force.

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  177. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: So, because a very, very few act irresponsibly, we must deprive all of their rights?

    And the Virginia Tech shooter chained the doors shut and left a (false) note claiming there were bombs present — which slowed down the police response. He guaranteed he’d be the only one armed in the building — as the campus had an extremely strict “no guns allowed” rule.

    The university’s employees, students, and volunteers, or any visitor or other third party attending a sporting, entertainment, or educational event, or visiting an academic or administrative office building, dining facility, or residence hall, are further prohibited from carrying, maintaining, or storing a firearm or weapon on any university facility, even if the owner has a valid permit, when it is not required by the individual’s job, or in accordance with the relevant University Policies for Student Life. This prohibition applies to all events on campus where people congregate in any public or outdoor areas.
    Any such individual who is reported or discovered to possess a firearm or weapon on university property will be asked to remove it immediately. Failure to comply may result in a student conduct referral and/or arrest, or an employee disciplinary action and/or arrest.

    I still can’t believe that that rule didn’t prevent the shooting.

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  178. anjin-san says:

    So, because a very, very few act irresponsibly, we must deprive all of their rights?

    Please show were I said that. Also, how about producing data to show that “very, very few” gun owners are irresponsible.

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  179. anjin-san says:

    Ah, so you are willing to reach in to your pocket and pay for the consequences of un worn seat belts and helmets, as well as un purchased health insurance.

    Are you?

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  180. anjin-san says:

    2 firefighters die in ambush at blazing NY house

    WEBSTER, N.Y. (AP) — A gunman ambushed four volunteer firefighters responding to an intense pre-dawn house fire Monday morning outside Rochester, N.Y., killing two before ending up dead himself, authorities said. Police used an armored vehicle to evacuate more than 30 nearby residents.

    The gunman fired at the firefighters when they arrived shortly after 5:30 a.m. at the blaze near the Lake Ontario shore in Webster, town Police Chief Gerald Pickering said. The first Webster police officer who arrived chased the suspect and exchanged gunfire with him, authorities said.

    “It does appear it was a trap” for the first responders to the fire, Pickering said at a news conference.

    Authorities didn’t say how the gunman died or whether anyone might have died in the fire itself.

    One of the dead firefighters was also a town police lieutenant; it wasn’t clear whether he returned fire. An off-duty police officer who was driving by was injured by shrapnel, Pickering said.

    The fire started in one home and spread to two others and a car, officials said. The gunfire initially kept firefighters from battling the blazes. Police say four homes were destroyed and four damaged.

    The West Webster Fire District learned of the fire early Monday after a report of a car and house on fire on Lake Road, on a narrow peninsula where Irondequoit Bay meets Lake Ontario, Monroe County Sheriff Patrick O’Flynn said.

    The fire appeared from a distance as a pulsating ball of flame glowing against the early morning sky, flames licking into treetops and reflecting on the water, with huge bursts of smoke billowing away in a brisk wind.

    Two of the firefighters arrived on a fire engine and two in their own vehicles, Pickering said. After the gunman fired, one of the wounded men managed to flee, but the other three couldn’t because of flying gunfire.

    A police armored vehicle was used to recover two of the men, and eventually it evacuated 33 people from nearby homes, the police chief said.

    The dead men were identified as Police Lt. Michael Chiapperini, 43, the Webster Police Department’s public information officer; and Tomasz Kaczowka, also a 911 dispatcher, whose age was not released.

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  181. george says:

    @anjin-san:

    2 firefighters die in ambush at blazing NY house

    I’m guessing the NRA response is going to be that the fire fighters should have had some of their crew lay down suppressing automatic rifle fire on the building, before trying to douse the fire. Because the best solution to an ambush is to soften the target area before entering it, and the only way to stop a bad guy in an ambush is for the good guy to shoot first to clear the area before the bad guy has a chance to shoot.

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  182. anjin-san says:

    @ george

    We also need to arm the kid who sells you popcorn at the movies…

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  183. anjin-san says:

    George Bush’s letter of resignation from the NRA (1995)

    Dear Mr. Washington,

    I was outraged when, even in the wake of the Oklahoma City tragedy, Mr. Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of N.R.A., defended his attack on federal agents as “jack-booted thugs.” To attack Secret Service agents or A.T.F. people or any government law enforcement people as “wearing Nazi bucket helmets and black storm trooper uniforms” wanting to “attack law abiding citizens” is a vicious slander on good people.

    Al Whicher, who served on my [ United States Secret Service ] detail when I was Vice President and President, was killed in Oklahoma City. He was no Nazi. He was a kind man, a loving parent, a man dedicated to serving his country — and serve it well he did.

    In 1993, I attended the wake for A.T.F. agent Steve Willis, another dedicated officer who did his duty. I can assure you that this honorable man, killed by weird cultists, was no Nazi.

    John Magaw, who used to head the U.S.S.S. and now heads A.T.F., is one of the most principled, decent men I have ever known. He would be the last to condone the kind of illegal behavior your ugly letter charges. The same is true for the F.B.I.’s able Director Louis Freeh. I appointed Mr. Freeh to the Federal Bench. His integrity and honor are beyond question.

    Both John Magaw and Judge Freeh were in office when I was President. They both now serve in the current administration. They both have badges. Neither of them would ever give the government’s “go ahead to harass, intimidate, even murder law abiding citizens.” (Your words)

    I am a gun owner and an avid hunter. Over the years I have agreed with most of N.R.A.’s objectives, particularly your educational and training efforts, and your fundamental stance in favor of owning guns.

    However, your broadside against Federal agents deeply offends my own sense of decency and honor; and it offends my concept of service to country. It indirectly slanders a wide array of government law enforcement officials, who are out there, day and night, laying their lives on the line for all of us.

    You have not repudiated Mr. LaPierre’s unwarranted attack. Therefore, I resign as a Life Member of N.R.A., said resignation to be effective upon your receipt of this letter. Please remove my name from your membership list.

    Sincerely,

    [ signed ] George Bush

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  184. mattb says:

    @anjin-san:
    This happened in my neck of the woods…

    So far the latest is that:
    a. The shooter — who took his own life — had intentionally set the fire as a “trap”
    b. The shooter had already been convicted of manslaughter for having killed his grandmother with a hammer in 1980.

    It’s going to be interesting to find out where the gun (or guns) came from. So far all local media is reporting was that a “rifle” of indeterminate type was used in the shooting.

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  185. mattb says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I cannot understand how the NRA believes that an heavily armed person could be stopped by an armed guard without having pre- exposed knowledge something was going to happen.

    It happens. It happened at the Appalachian Law School shooting, the New Life Church shooting, and it apparently happened at the Clackamas Mall shooting.

    Sigh… playing loose with the facts again @Jenos.

    Of these three, the only on where an “armed guard” actually stopped the attack while it was in progress and using a gun was the New Life Church Shooting. In that case the churches armed security guard did shoot the gunman mid spree.

    In the case of Appalachian Law School, the gunman had already stopped his attack and had set down the weapon. And, at least by a number of accounts, he was tackled by an off duty LEO (who was a student at the school) who was *not* armed.

    In the case of the Clackamas Mall shooting, the person in question with a gun (an off duty security guard) only drew on the shooter towards the end of the event, when the shooter’s gun had apparently jammed. The security guard realized that he couldn’t get a clean shot and retreated to cover because he felt he was outgunned. By this point the ARMED POLICE had arrived and the shooter fled into the service corridors where he eventually shot himself. While the actions of the security guard were heroic and his decision not to risk the lives of anyone behind the shooter were commendable, it’s difficult to see how this anecdote supports your premise.

    Stick with the New Life Church as it’s the only account where what you want to prove actually happened.

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  186. mattb says:

    @Spartacus:

    Most reasonable people will agree that outlawing fully automatic weapons and large magazines will make society safer, but there’s still an argument on whether such restrictions go far enough.

    At the risk of being called condescending again, fully automatic weapons are already banned. And I agree that outlawing large capacity magazines has the potential for making society safer.

    They jury is frankly out on the issue of *semi-automatic* weapons. There are numerous countries where they are still legal, though more heavily regulated, including Canada, Switzerland, Israel, the Nordic Countries which have no where near our level of violence. So I don’t think one can safely say “most reasonable people” on that topic (unless by “most reasonable people” you mean “people who think the same way I do”).

    On the broader topic of gun violence, we need to make a decision about what we mean by that as “mass shooting” violence is a different beast than the majority of gun violence that takes place in the US. While mass shootings are scarier and more spectacular, they are a fundamentally different beast than the “everyday” gun violence in our world.

    And while some measures (see reducing magazine size) might cut across both categories, the prescriptions for one won’t necessarily work for the other.

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  187. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    a very, very few act irresponsibly

    Still waiting for you do document “very, very few.” You were just patting yourself on the backa short wile ago, saying you are the guy who brings facts to the table. Ante up.

    I’m 53. I don’t know anyone who has defended themself with a gun outside of police work or military combat. I have know more than a few gun owners act who have irresponsibly where firearms are concerned. One of them is in jail for that very thing at the moment.

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  188. The Q says:

    So, if the assault ban was meaningless and accomplished nothing, then why all the vitriol against its re-implementation?

    And how do you know that it didn’t stop hundreds of potential deaths because some were unable to get them?

    You aholes think that this ban was a failure just because some idiots ran amok with said guns. By your logic, why have the death penalty for cop killers since obviously this “ban” doesn’t work as cops continue to be killed. This “kill a cop, die in gas chamber” is a meaningless law as it has not stopped killing of cops.

    Or what up with the 65 mph speed “limit” when I see cars that whiz by me going 75?

    Or what about the ban on taking weapons onto planes? Those pesky TSA lines, if the NRA ran them would be a thing of the past, since terrorists who really want to down a plane will use a plastic gun or implant the bomb up their arse holes (like many of the heads of some here) to circumvent these prohibitions.

    The problem with the gun freak mentality is that EVERY RULE IS USELESS if one person circumvents it. We have rape laws, yet women get raped. NRA logic:would suggest rape laws as pointless regulations which deter no one since thousands are raped every year.

    Why have tax penalties, when tax cheaters are common come April 15.

    This absurd, obtuse, idiotic and lunatic fringe clings tenaciously to these same old vacuous “arguments” over and over and neglect the irrefutable evidence that gun controls DO WORK.

    Like I posted earlier, LA murders have gone down almost 65% the last 23 years as has serious crime.

    This completely flies in the face of the NRA – “more nigg#$ers and Spics mean more crime and murder, hence stock up white boys on machine guns” – meme.

    So, Matt and Jenius, how do you square that? LA has some of the strictest gun laws in the US and a much lower rate of ownership per household and yet we have seen violence and murder fall precipitously.

    As the Robot once said, “this does not compute will Robinson. this does not compute.”

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  189. The Q says:

    P.S. the archtect of much of the falling crime in LA, ex chief William Bratton, was completely for strict gun control and an assault weapons ban, but then he’s a wimp libtard pansy who doesn’t know a .223 bullet from a dead first grader.

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  190. anjin-san says:

    Interesting. The Fox News homepage story about the firefighter ambush reads:

    “Gunman Dead After Killing 2 Firefighters at House Fire” – no details, no mention of firearms or shooting. Clicking on the link products a 404 error.

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  191. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Hey, how’d that election work out for you? You know, the one you assured us all Romney would win in a landslide? The one where the Republicans were going to take back the Senate?

    Let me know if you’re ever right about one single thing.

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  192. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @mattb: My (trivial) error — I meant to rephrase “armed guard” to “armed individual” to emphasize my point; the vast, vast majority of legal gun owners act responsibly and properly with their guns. And in the three cases I cited, armed citizens (yes, the guys at the Law School shooting were LEOs, but were present in the capacity of students, not in the line of duty.

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  193. anjin-san says:

    @ WR

    Back off dude. Romney saved a drowning man.

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  194. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: The shooter, a convicted felon, was legally prohibited from owning or possessing a gun.

    Good thing we had that law on the books, right? It worked wonders here. So let’s pass more laws that criminals will ignore, most honest people will follow, and a few currently-honest people will be made into criminals for choosing to ignore the new law.

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  195. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @The Q: So, if the assault ban was meaningless and accomplished nothing, then why all the vitriol against its re-implementation?

    And how do you know that it didn’t stop hundreds of potential deaths because some were unable to get them?

    The reason I oppose bringing back the “Scary-Looking Guns Ban” is that I loathe stupid, pointless laws of all types. They make the backers feel like they achieved something (they don’t), and they tend to make people forget about the issue that prompted the law — which hasn’t been addressed at all.

    And how do you know it stopped a single death?

    Your rant there is high on emotion, skimpy on facts. You seem to think you can hide your inability to make arguments by increasing your volume, substituting venom for reason. I feel no great compunction to answer you. As they say, you can’t reason someone out of a position they didn’t get to reasonably.

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  196. anjin-san says:

    Good thing we had that law on the books, right?

    Well there were any number of thefts, murders, and rapes committed today. And there are laws against all of those things. I guess the concept of law just does not work – some people don’t follow the law. We should just give up on it.

    A new year is just around the corner Jenos. Do try to be less stupid in it.

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  197. anjin-san says:

    I loathe stupid, pointless laws of all types.

    Right, like seat belt and helmet laws. Because it is stupid and pointless to reduce the level of harm people suffer in accidents, and to reduce the downstream costs to individuals and society as a whole.

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  198. anjin-san says:

    @ The Q

    Dude, just make shit up. Insist it’s fact (preferably over, and over, and over, with a Rain Man like level of obsession) Then you will be able to debate on Jenos’ level.

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  199. MetalGoddess says:

    The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Interesting. Considering that many so called good guys go over the edge and murder their families and co-workers with guns. What does the NRA think we should do about good guys who go nuts? How do I actually differentiate between a good guy and a bad guy? When you think about it, some of these shooters were not bad guys before they shot a bunch of people. They didn’t have criminal records. Never got in trouble with the law. So at what point did these good guys go bad? Because appraently good guys with guns can definitely turn into bad guys with guns. Maybe if we got over our obsession with violence and solving every issue with a bullet or a bomb, then maybe the killing would go down. A gun is not the answer to everything. And quite frankly I’m tired of living in a shooting gallery where I never know if someone is going to blow me away somewhere.

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