12 Dead, At Least 50 Wounded In Mass Shooting At Colorado Movie Theater

Terror erupted in a Colorado movie theater early this morning.

Sometime after midnight local time in Aurora, Colorado, a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises became the scene of a mass shooting that has left at least 14 people dead as of this hour:

AURORA — Fourteen people were killed and about 50 were injured early Friday when shots rang out at an Aurora movie theater during a premiere showing of the new Batman movie.

A suspect in is custody and an aparment building connected to the suspect was being evacuated and searched for possible explosives, according to Police Chief Dan Oates,

Ten people died at the theater and four others died at hospitals.

Sometime after 1 a.m., police received reports of gunshots at the Century 16 Movie Theaters at the Aurora Town Center.

No confirmed information is available on how many people were injured and whether there were any fatalities.

Dozens of ambulances and police vehicles were outside the mall, where the theater was showing “The Dark Knight Rises.” Police from all over the metro area had been called to the scene.

A witness, Bejamin Fernandez, 30, said he was watching the movie when he heard a series of explosions. He said that people ran from the theater and there were gunshots as police shouted ‘get down!”

He says he saw people falling, including one young girl.

Salina Jordan, 19, was in Theater 8 and saw people hit in her theater. She said one girl was struck in cheek, others in stomach including a girl who looked to be around 9 years old.

She said it sounded like firecrackers until someone ran into Theater 8 yelling “they’re shooting out here!”

The police came running in, telling people to run out. Some police were carrying, dragging bodies, she said.

Police had set up a command post near the Dillards and were interviewing hundreds of possible witnesses. Some were taken by buses to Gateway High School for questioning.

Police spokeswoman Cassidee Carlson says “the scene is still very active and we have little information for release at this time.”

Local news station KUSA reports that there is one person in custody, a man who was found by police in the back of the theater with at least two firearms, a gas mask, and, reportedly, a bullet proof vest of some kind. Some witnesses interviewed by local news have said that the person was dressed in a costume of some kind, possibly a character from the movie as a disguise. It’s also being reported that the person in custody told police that there were explosives of some kind at this apartment and, in fact, reports at the moment are that explosives were indeed found there, although its not clear what the quantity or type might be.

Some of the eyewitness reports that have been streaming over CNN from local affiliates have been quite horrifying. One man described seeing a police officer carrying a young girl out of the theater with what appeared to be gun shot wounds to her back and her body “lifeless.” The police officers who were on duty when the incident happened apparently were putting victims in their cars and rushing them directly to hospitals rather than wait for EMTs.  Of course, through all of this the eyewitness statements are going to be confused at times and even now, three hours later, investigators are still talking to the people who were in the theater at the time.

The police aren’t commenting about the identity of the shooter so there’s no indication if this is a terrorist act of some kind or, more likely, a lone nut with a lot of guns. It’s worth noting that Aurora is only miles away from Littleton, Colorado and the site of the Columbine High School shootings, so this is not an unfamiliar event for the area.

Update: One Denver television station is live-streaming its coverage of the incident, and the Denver Post’s Twitter feed has been quite active the last several hours, additional Twitter coverage can be found here.

Update 8:03am: The initial death toll has been revised down to 12. Of course, with several victims still in critical condition these numbers are likely to fluctuate for the better part of the day.

Additionally, both President Obama and Mitt Romney have released statements:

President Obama made the following statement on the Colorado movie theater shooting:

“Michelle and I are shocked and saddened by the horrific and tragic shooting in Colorado. Federal and local law enforcement are still responding, and my Administration will do everything that we can to support the people of Aurora in this extraordinarily difficult time. We are committed to bringing whoever was responsible to justice, ensuring the safety of our people, and caring for those who have been wounded. As we do when confronted by moments of darkness and challenge, we must now come together as one American family. All of us must have the people of Aurora in our thoughts and prayers as they confront the loss of family, friends, and neighbors, and we must stand together with them in the challenging hours and days to come.”

And Mitt Romney today made the following statement on Friday morning’s shooting:

“Ann and I are deeply saddened by the news of the senseless violence that took the lives of 15 people in Colorado and injured dozens more. We are praying for the families and loved ones of the victims during this time of deep shock and immense grief.  We expect that the person responsible for this terrible crime will be quickly brought to justice.”

Both men are scheduled to have campaign events today. One expects that their remarks will be more tempered than planned, assuming the events aren’t canceled altogether.

Update 8:20am: ABC News is reporting that the suspect has been identified as James Homes of Aurora:

A lone gunman burst into a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., at a midnight showing of the latest Batman film, “The Dark Knight Rises,” and opened fire, killing at least 12 people and injuring at least 50, police said.

James Holmes, 24, of North Aurora, was apprehended at the scene clad in a bullet-proof vest and riot helmet.

Witnesses said Holmes crashed into the movie theater from an emergency exit door at the front of the auditorium, setting off a smoke bomb and then shooting off dozens of rounds from multiple firearms, police told ABC News.

Holmes was caught by police in the parking lot of the Century 16 Movie Theaters, nine miles outside of Denver, after police began receiving dozens of 911 calls at 12:39 a.m. MT. He was carrying a gas mask, rifle, and handgun, and police believe at least one other gun was left in the movie theater.

Police said the suspect mentioned having explosives stored, leading them to evacuate his entire North Aurora apartment complex and search the buildings.

No word on motive yet, obviously.

Update 9:30am: ABCNews reports on an interesting conversation with a woman who is apparently Holmes’s mother:

Police said 10 victims died inside the theater, while dozens of others were taken to local hospitals, including a child as young as 6 years old.

A San Diego woman identifying herself as James Holmes’s mother spoke briefly with ABC News this morning.

She had awoken unaware of the news of the shooting and had not been contacted by authorities. She immediately expressed concern that her son may have been involved.

“You have the right person,” she said.

“I need to call the police,” she added. “I need to fly out to Colorado.

In other news, people are already trying to score political points off this tragedy and talking about the politics of what happened. To which I can only say, can we wait for the partisan finger pointing and the “what it all means” posts until after the bodies are buried?

FILED UNDER: General
Doug Mataconis
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. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. DRS says:

    God Almighty, not again.

  2. Herb says:

    Pardon my French, but holy f-ing shit! I go to that theater all the time.

  3. rodney dill says:

    @Herb: It’s good to hear you didn’t make this showing then.

  4. PJ says:

    Shooter’s name has been released.
    James Homes, 24.

  5. PJ says:

    hmm.
    James Holmes.

  6. Lib Cap says:

    Hhmmmmm…..

    And, I moved from Detroit, to Denver.

    … just sayin’.

  7. stonetools says:

    You know, you sort of get the society you deserve,. We have decided that we want a society in which everyone has a right to get firearms and other weapons any time they want , without the kind of checks that would prevent crazies from getting weapons.
    Unsurprisingly, crazy people get weapons and kill bunches of innocent people with them,time and again. We are so inured to this kind of thing and our leaders are so cowed by the NRA, that we don’t even get outraged any more. Its just collateral damage: part of living in a society that has a cock-eyed romantic view about guns.
    I don’t expect to see any changes until the USA as a whole comes to its senses, perhaps in 20 years or so. I simply expect to see this happening again and again until society gets sick and tired of this

  8. Herb says:

    @rodney dill: Definitely….think I’ll see the Dark Knight Rises at another theater.

    The suspect’s apartment is five blocks from my house. Drove by on the way to work and they have that place locked down. Get into the office and on CNN they have helicopter footage of the search.

    This is just nuts. I’m still reeling.

  9. Rob in CT says:

    I like it better when angry men deal with their anger by ranting on the internet. Or playing some shooter game.

    Unfortunately, not everyone is satisfied by that.

    stonetools: it’s more than guns, per se. Our society generally likes violence. Not that such is terribly unique, really, but it feels that way to me sometimes. Most of us manage to watch Die Hard and not decide to try and become the Gunslinger of Goodness or whatever. Our culture needs to change. What are we gonna do? Require a psych screening before getting a gun (it might be this guy has no criminal record, so how else would you pick up on his issues?)? Would that even work, even if we set aside the 2nd Amendment? I have my doubts.

  10. Anderson says:

    What the hell is wrong with people?

  11. mattb says:

    In other news, people are already trying to score political points off this tragedy and talking about the politics of what happened. To which I can only say, can we wait for the partisan finger pointing and the “what it all means” posts until after the bodies are buried?

    Unfortunately, I think that much of this is tied to trying to control the randomness of this event. If it was politically motivated it then makes a bit more “sense” than simply a tweaker armed with a gun.

  12. @mattb:

    Everyone thought the Giffords shooting was political at first. Then we realized it was the work of a man so deranged that he still can’t be ruled competent to stand trial

  13. mattb says:

    @Doug Mataconis: I totally agree. The thing though is that accepting the rational perspective — that this was a tweaker — means accepting that this could happen anywhere and anytime with little chance of stopping it.

    The thing about a politically motivated incident (including terrorism) is that people think there is an underlying rationality to it — and therefore there’s a chance of preventing it from happening (or in particular happening to you).

  14. DRS says:

    Speculating about causes is how people are hardwired to deal with traumas like this. It’s nothing to deplore or condemn, celebrate or praise. It’s just how we try to make sense of the incredible.

  15. Mikey says:

    To which I can only say, can we wait for the partisan finger pointing and the “what it all means” posts until after the bodies are buried?

    Is that a rhetorical question, Doug? Because this is 2012 America, and it’s an election year. People don’t even wait for all the facts before starting the partisan finger pointing, let alone waiting for the funerals.

  16. Ernieyeball says:

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

  17. @Doug Mataconis:

    I still disagree that you can use an either-or in that situation. Anyone who assassinates anyone is crazy. That they can be politically crazy is well-established. It was a political nutter who ignited World War One, right?

    That doesn’t mean that they can’t be “criminally insane” at the same time. I prefer life imprisonment for such killers. I think we can call them insane, and killers, and leave it at that. We have a mistake in our society that “insane” implies “cure” and “release.” There is no reason those have to be the rules. And should and insane killer be cured, he should certainly understand the rules.

    On guns and our society, sure, we should recognize the trade-offs.

  18. John,

    If someone assassinated Bashar Assad today, would you call them insane?

  19. @Doug Mataconis:

    You know what the strange thing is? Most likely, yes. I’ve known at least one person who was pivotal, not a killer, but heralded in the international press for setting right a wrong. What I learned in knowing him was that he broke from the ranks of his peers because he was a little crazy.

    And so while a revolution is not exactly the same as assassination, I bet the first person in that door is not going to be the most sane person in the group.

    Now, as James Clavell famously reminded us, there is only one moral justification for revolution … and that is that you win.

  20. Mikey says:

    @Rob in CT:

    Our culture needs to change. What are we gonna do? Require a psych screening before getting a gun (it might be this guy has no criminal record, so how else would you pick up on his issues?)? Would that even work, even if we set aside the 2nd Amendment? I have my doubts.

    Norway has very strict gun control that even includes air rifles (“pellet guns”) and collector’s items. Anyone who wishes to own a gun must provide written justification and be approved by the police. All guns are registered. Storage requirements are similarly strict, requiring a gun safe secured to a non-removable part of the house, and subject to police inspection. Guns must be transported unloaded and only going to or from an approved range or hunting area. Concealed carry is totally banned.

    Yet Norwegian lunatic shooter Anders Behring Breivik was still able to kill 77 people and wound over 200 a year ago this coming Sunday.

    Someone who wants to do a thing like this will obtain the means to do it, and the strictness or laxity of gun regulation has absolutely no bearing on the outcome.

  21. @Mikey:

    They appear to have the same openness to military rifles that we do, though:

    Upon returning to Norway, Breivik obtained a legal permit for a .223-caliber Ruger Mini-14 semi-automatic carbine, ostensibly for the purpose of hunting deer. It was equipped with a reflector sight, bayonet, and a green laser pointer. He bought it in late 2010 for €1,400 ($2000). He wanted to purchase a 7.62x39mm Ruger Mini-30 semi-automatic carbine, since the 7.62mm caliber offers more damage at short and medium ranges, but gun laws in Norway may have prevented Breivik from obtaining it.

    Getting a permit for the pistol proved more difficult, as he had to demonstrate regular attendance at a sport shooting club.[30] He also bought 10 30-round magazines from a United States supplier. From November 2010 to January 2011 he went through 15 training sessions at the Oslo Pistol Club, and by mid-January his application to purchase a Glock pistol was approved.[32][33] The pistol was equipped with a green laser point.

    I know the NRA is all about 30-round magazines being necessary for our freedoms, but again there is a trade-off.

    When you have a bolt-action, 5 round, rifle, it’s a lot harder. Coincidentally, Anders had a bolt-action hunting rifle. He didn’t feel that was appropriate for his planned spree, and so went shopping.

  22. mattb says:

    @Mikey:

    Someone who wants to do a thing like this will obtain the means to do it, and the strictness or laxity of gun regulation has absolutely no bearing on the outcome.

    Generally I agree with this sentiment. That said, some gun controls — such as limiting the ability to purchase so-called assault weapons, not allowing certain gun mods, or limiting the size of magazines — can help mitigate some of the potential violence that can be done.

    For example, remember that Jared Loebner was subdued while he was attempting to change clips after running out of ammo. With a larger magazine he would have been able to keep shooting for a longer period before that moment came.

  23. @mattb:

    FWIW, I think you can leave off “so-called” from “assault rifles.”

    Anders, for instance, purchased a “deer rifle” with a bayonet. Give us a break.

  24. al-Ameda says:

    This is absolutely terrible.

    I believe that – unfortunately, statistically – think these type of events are inevitably going to happen every few years.

    America has 310M people of which maybe 1% of 1% (.0001) or 30,000 are mentally ill to the point of potentially being a danger to themselves or others. Add to that the fact that there are well over 200M guns in this country, and guns or automatic weapons are relatively easy to obtain, and you have the potential for this to happen every few years.

    I’m not cynical, it’s just that I believe that from a public health standpoint these type of tragedies are going to happen.

  25. @john personna:

    Anyone who assassinates anyone is crazy.

    So, for example, you think the members of the Seal Team that killed bin laden are all crazy? All of the people operating our drones in Pakistan and Yemen?

  26. @john personna:

    As I ask in the comment about, what about the people who tried to kill Hitler?

  27. JKB says:

    @al-Ameda: “…and guns or automatic weapons are relatively easy to obtain, …”

    Your ignorance is showing. guns or more accurately, firearms are not terribly difficult but are not easy to obtain. Unless you are smuggling them to the drug cartels, in which case, the BATF and Department of Justice will intercede on your behalf with the firearms sellers then facilitate their transfer across the border.

    Automatic weapons are terribly difficult and expensive to obtain. No new automatic weapons have been permitted to enter private ownership since 1986. Those already owned are very valuable and can only be transferred with someone holding a federal firearms license to do so. They transfer can only occur via a federal firearms licensed dealer.

  28. @Doug Mataconis:

    So, what’s your point? Are you opening the door to a “sane” assassination in the United States? Or by the United States?

    But on Hitler, when are you talking about? During the war? That’s kind of a different deal. I’d say all the parties were pressing their position in the war by that path.

    … this is such a stupid sub-argument. I don’t see the point. Is Doug trying to make the Arizona shooter “rational” because people who went after Hitler were?

  29. @Stormy Dragon:

    See “war.”

  30. @Stormy Dragon:

    BTW, the seal team “attempted to capture” which is the right way to do it.

  31. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    Your ignorance is showing. guns or more accurately, firearms are not terribly difficult but are not easy to obtain.

    So the difference between ignorance and non-ignorance on this subject
    is the difference between:

    Me: “and guns or automatic weapons are relatively easy to obtain” and
    You: “firearms are not terribly difficult but are not easy to obtain..”

    That seems to me to be a minor difference. Especially in a nation of well-over 200M guns.

  32. Herb says:

    It gets worse….

    One of my co-workers was at the theater last night.

    He’s in the hospital right now. Prognosis good.

  33. @al-Ameda:

    He’s after you for “automatic” versus “semi-automatic.”

  34. @Herb:

    Wow, best wishes.

  35. Rob in CT says:

    @Herb:

    Wow, that’ll make it feel real I bet. Glad to hear your coworker should be ok.

  36. Andrew E. says:

    Not to be too much of a smartass, Doug, but are all the people here talking about guns just trying to score political points? Could you inform us when this conversation is permissible?

  37. CSK says:

    The shooter was a medical student until last month. Why he left school has not been reported yet.

  38. Desensitized Ambivalent Remote American says:

    Wow.

    Batman, huh?

    I hear it was a really killer flick

    Did they get a refund on their ticket?

  39. Andrew E. says:

    @Herb: best of luck to your co-worker, Herb. One of my co-worker’s friend’s sister is in surgery right now from the shooting. They’re removing a bullet from her head.

    I remember this feeling, it was the same one I had when we were all watching Columbine happen in real time. I’ve lived in Denver my entire life and I love this area. Such pointlessness.

  40. Al says:

    The problem isn’t how we treat guns; it’s how we treat (or, more accurately, how we ignore or stigmatize) the mentally ill.

  41. Mikey says:

    @Desensitized Ambivalent Remote American: I get the connection between your name and your comments, but this isn’t something about which reasonable people can joke. So STFU and get out.

  42. al-Ameda says:

    @Andrew E.:

    Not to be too much of a smartass, Doug, but are all the people here talking about guns just trying to score political points? Could you inform us when this conversation is permissible?

    Just talking about reality, Andrew.

  43. James says:

    @Andrew E.:

    Could you inform us when this conversation is permissible?

    Thanks for that. Doug, I’m incredibly tired of your sanctimonious self-righteousness. The issue isn’t the political motivations as it is mental state. The fact that people like Jared Louger, James Holmes, etc, etc, et. al. have such easy access to firearms is the real problem. When you factor in the United State’s really really terrible mental heath safety net, you’re going to get incidents like this periodically. Why? Because freedom?

  44. Moderate Mom says:

    Mental illness doesn’t have a political orientation. I’ll just leave it at that.

  45. bk says:

    Not sure if this has already been pointed out, but to add horror upon horror, one of the victims was a young woman who only last month had narrowly escaped a random shooting incident in a food court in or near Toronto. She wrote about her experience; absolutely heartbreaking.

  46. matt says:

    @stonetools: Your ignorance of gun control laws is appalling

    @mattb: It’s already illegal to possess an assault rifle that is not a pre-ban (86) without a federal license. The only assault rifles you can legally purchase without a license are pre-bans which generally sell for over $10000 due to the rarity of such a gun and the requirements for transfer of ownership (federal licensed dealer etc). As for the assault weapon ban it banned a few shotguns and even some bolt action rifles. The law also banned silly things like bayonet lugs. Because you know drive by bayoneting is such a problem. On the flip side though a SAR 1 (romanian semi-aut ak47) now costs over twice as much as it did during the Clinton “assault weapon” ban.

    @al-Ameda: Automatic weapons are NOT easy to obtain as they are ILLEGAL without a federal permit. There are some pre-bans available but once again they sell for around $10000 and up if you can even find someone wanting to sell one. Of course in order to transfer such a weapon the federal government gets involved.

    This individual was already breaking several laws before the shooting even began yet for some reason some people think adding more laws would of stopped it…

  47. James says:

    Continuing my point; all this sympathy for those killed, wounded and traumatized is meaningless without some attempt to integrate accountability. Doug, your plea to “wait until after the bodies are buried” is just meaningless, empty-mouth posturing that allows you to sake out your conception of a moral high ground, with actually having to entertain the public policy failures that allows troubled people like Mr. Holmes to access multiple firearms, body armor and tear gas grenades.

    @matt: It’s quite easy to purchase a civilian issue AR-15 at a private gun show without an ID, or Federal background check, if you purchase from a ‘private,’ non-FFL licensed seller at numerous gun shows across our great country. At that point, if you know what you’re doing (and you should if you have that kind of cash to burn), to modify the firearm to full-automatic action.

  48. Drew says:

    @john personna:

    You poor, naive dear.

  49. mattb says:

    @matt:

    It’s already illegal to possess an assault rifle without a federal license. The only assault rifles you can legally purchase without a license are pre-bans which generally sell for over $10000 due to the rarity of such a gun and the requirements for transfer of ownership (federal licensed dealer etc).

    Correct, and I’m well aware of that.

    This is exactly the sort of legislation I was referring to as a good thing. One can argue for gun control without necessarily arguing for new laws. I am all for the refinement of what’s on the books at the federal level and pursuing other changes at the state level (which is an important part of the entire debate).

    As for the assault weapon ban it banned a few shotguns and even some bolt action rifles. The law also banned silly things like bayonet lugs. Because you know drive by bayoneting is such a problem.

    I agree that nonsensical things often get caught up within these laws. That’s why I advocate refinement.

    That said, I’m more than willing to give up having bayonet lugs in order to keep the current Assault Weapons rules in place.

    Trust me, I’m not a “ban all guns” type of person. But generally speaking, I have a hard time seeing why it’s a bad idea to highly regulate the ownership of fully automatic and some semi-automatic weapons (especially those that can be easily modded to fully automatic).

  50. al-Ameda says:

    @matt:

    @al-Ameda: Automatic weapons are NOT easy to obtain as they are ILLEGAL without a federal permit. There are some pre-bans available but once again they sell for around $10000 and up if you can even find someone wanting to sell one. Of course in order to transfer such a weapon the federal government gets involved.

    Automatic weaponry is apparently so difficult to obtain, yet so many people are in possession of a lot of such weaponry. This country is awash in guns – and it will always be.

    That’s why I said that this kind of violence is virtually inevitable, there’s not much we can do about it.

  51. michael reynolds says:

    We need guns, lots of guns so that terrified crackers can be ready for the coming race war, and impotent old farts can stroke their rifles and feel like men. Guns are a necessary component of the hero fantasy. Certainly worth losing a few thousand people a year for that.

  52. mantis says:

    This individual was already breaking several laws before the shooting even began yet for some reason some people think adding more laws would of stopped it…

    We could make it a lot harder for people to obtain these weapons even if it is already illegal to do so. The gun lobby opposes that, as they want it to be as easy as possible for any person to obtain any weapon.

  53. swbarnes2 says:

    @Moderate Mom:

    Mental illness doesn’t have a political orientation. I’ll just leave it at that.

    Do Republican compaign managers find dead cats on their front porches? Do the family members of Republicans get their gas lines cut? Do Democrats fake getting attacked by knife-wielding Republicans? Do those “pregnancy crisis” centers get blown up at the same rate as abortion clinics? That guy with the shotgun, who was caught by police on the highway on his way to commit mass murder was not headed to the Cato Foundation.

    The Fort Hood shooting is the only one of these kinds of incidents I can think of where you could argue that the attack was against a “conservative” target. But in general, the people who get violent on strangers for political reasons don’t target cosnervatives, they target liberals.

  54. James says:

    @swbarnes2: Don’t forget this guy

  55. @john personna:

    So, what’s your point? Are you opening the door to a “sane” assassination in the United States? Or by the United States?

    I think the point is that “Anyone who assassinates anyone is crazy” is a stupidly reductive statement.

  56. john personna says:

    @Drew:

    Did you not think the quotes were necessary, or are irony impaired?

  57. Gustopher says:

    Yes, if we allow people to have guns, some will use them to kill lots of people. This is a complete no brainer.

    I think gun ownership is the only issue where the Republicans put liberty before safety, although the arguments in favor of loose gun control are often couched in fantasies of shooting the bad guy before his rampage gets to far. Other than that, they are all for expanding police power, bending over for the TSA, the Department of Homeland Security…

  58. john personna says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    When I’m clearly talking about the typical nut-job assassin, how useful is it, really, to seek out rare and uncommon corner cases?

    It is argumentation by forced misapplication.

  59. cian says:

    I simply expect to see this happening again and again until society gets sick and tired of this

    Just read somewhere that in the 70s 8 out of 10 adults surveyed thought gun laws needed to be strickter. Only 20% thought they were too strict. Today that figures stands at 56%. Not sure our society can get any sicker than it is.

  60. C. Clavin says:

    So this guy could buy a gun…but I can’t buy pot?
    This guy could get a gun…but my gay friends can’t get married?
    This guy could get a gun…I mean seriously…this guy could get a gun???

    I’m thinking if that guy had some pot…he never would have gotten past the concession stand.
    I’m just sayin’…

  61. mattb says:

    @Gustopher:

    Yes, if we allow people to have guns, some will use them to kill lots of people. This is a complete no brainer.

    While I am sympathetic to this line of thought, there are a lot of dangerous things that we are allowed to have in this country that we don’t bat an eye over.

    The most obvious one is automobiles and other vehicles. Last I checked there is not a single state in the nation in which the number of shooting based deaths come remotely close to the number of automotive based deaths.

    Yet every time there’s a major incident of someone intentionally running a car into a crowd, we don’t get into a discussion of “car control” or the need to take all cars away.

    The fact is, gun ownership is enshrined within the Constitution. And there are numerous good reasons for owning a gun. And by and large the vast majority of gun owners are responsible people.

  62. mattb says:

    @Gustopher:
    To be clear, I agree with your premise that gun control is a key area where, from a distance the GOP seems to flip their position of liberty vs. safety. I think the key thing to understand is that if you look at it from the perspective of individual safety, however, it isn’t all that inconsistent.

    My broader point is that I think trying to fight for either extreme — total gun control and suppression of ownership or the complete deregulation of gun ownership — leads us to bad places.

    From my perspective there’s no inconstancy with advocating for regulated ownership.

  63. James says:

    @mattb: I’m going to take issue with your comparison; namely, there is none. Cars are heavily regulated; I had to go through ~20 hours of observation time, ~20 hours of monitored driving time, and a full drivers ed class. I have to be licensed (and insured) to operate a motor vehicle, and to gain that license, I had to perform basic driving tasks in the presences of a taxpayer paid police officer. My car needs to be registered with the state to be street-legal, and every year I need to pay to have it inspected to make sure it meets basic safety and emission standards. Moreover, cars are a very large, unconcealable, (and very overused) tool of basic personal transportation.

    Guns, on the other hand, are specifically designed to kill and/or maim, and can be easily and legally obtained with cash, without a background check, or ID, at many of the numerous gun shows across the country, from a non-FFL licensed ‘private seller’. They’re also very easy to conceal (depending on your make/model) and posses incredible danger to the public, in terms of stray bullets and/or incidents like this. It’s also very hard to prevent unauthorized use of a firearm, whereas cars have all kinds of security measures (and I sure many more are in development).

    I mean really, there’s no comparing the two.

  64. James says:

    @mattb: The key word would be “regulated,” which, in almsot any form, is anathema to the GOP’s NRA-wing.

  65. mattb says:

    @James:Got to push back on some of your points.

    As with cars, the rules around gun ownership change from state to state. So for example, licensing requirements in some states include passing tests and/or mandatory safety courses.

    And, to be clear, I think that anyone selling firearms needs to have an FFL and go through the ID check process. And, at least in New York State, that’s the way things are — anyone who legally sells a gun must comply with all FFL standards.

    To a degree I appreciate your point about one key difference being the need to insure the car. That said, there are also a handful of states where you can legally drive without auto insurance.

    On the entire “guns are made for killing and maiming,” I have to disagree. There are a number of types of specialty guns which are produced specifically for sport and other events. It’s true they can be used, theoretically, for evil purposes – but that isn’t their intent. This argument is akin to saying that all sports cars are built specifically for speeding.

    Again, I’m a firm believer in regulated gun ownership and closing FFL loopholes. But I also object to going to far in the opposite direction.

  66. James says:

    @mattb: Thanks for the reasonable points. I certainly don’t disagree that guns have a special legal (and cultural) place in America, pursuant to the 2nd Amendment, DC v. Heller etc etc. If I had my druthers, we’d have firearm ownership regulation correlated with population densities, or something to that effect.

    As for you point that about “specialty guns which are produced specifically for sport and other events,” I agree that those specific guns are used in a non-killing/maiming context, but the entire logic of sport shooting; working on your accuracy, draw quickness, etc, is steeped in the origins of the necessities of those skills – hunting and warfare. Guns are irrevocably liked to their essential purpose, to fire a hard projectile at very high speeds for the purpose of hitting a target. Whether that specific target can experience pain or suffer death, is beside the basic point. Guns are purposely designed to inflict damage in the most efficient manner possible.

  67. Mikey says:

    @mattb:

    I’m a firm believer in regulated gun ownership and closing FFL loopholes.

    I’ve long been an advocate of making the federal “instant check” system available to even non-FFL private sellers. We shouldn’t require a person who owns only one gun and decides to sell it to jump through the hoops to get an FFL, but at the same time we should make it easy for them to determine whether a prospective buyer is legally permitted to own a gun.

  68. James says:

    @mattb: Lastly, you pointed out that:

    Yet every time there’s a major incident of someone intentionally running a car into a crowd, we don’t get into a discussion of “car control” or the need to take all cars away.

    Well, there’s usually quite a bit of agitation, especially after a large tragedy, to increase the oversight for both young and elderly drivers alike. I’ve been driving for about 8 years now. When I got my licenses at 16, I had to undergo 6 mo if junior operator status (JOL) – driving with any passengers under 21, or anyone 21+ but without (IIRC) 3+ years of driving, was specifically prohibited. Nowadays, 16 years have to undergo a full year of JOL status. It’s rarely headline news, but restrictions are getting tighter.

  69. mattb says:

    @James:

    Guns are irrevocably liked to their essential purpose, to fire a hard projectile at very high speeds for the purpose of hitting a target. Whether that specific target can experience pain or suffer death, is beside the basic point. Guns are purposely designed to inflict damage in the most efficient manner possible.

    Can the same argument not be also made about knives? While they eventually were specialized for cooking, the knife/blade form itself was always intended to cut and more often than not cutting flesh? Any specialization that comes — beyond the entire fantasy knife crap — is always based around optimizing the knife for cutting through specific substances. And all training — even directed towards cooking — is based around learning to cut as efficiently and effectively as possible.

    I’m not trying to run away from the implications of what guns were initially developed for. I just take issue with the idea that function overwhelms the tool and “infects” everything for lack of a better term. I find that it tends to poison the overall discussion.

    Without a doubt guns are to be respected. Any weapon is. And so to are a number of objects that can be easily turned into weapons without a second thought.

    Admittedly, I am coming at this from the perspective of someone who trains martial arts for practical/tactical, self cultivation, and cultural preservation reasons.

  70. James says:

    @mattb: Fair points. My own view is that cooking is more deeply divorced from knife combat than sport shooting is to hunting. I can certainly understand how you see the distinction differently. I lot of my specific agitation against guns is related to the incredible danger they pose to public safety in urban/suburban areas that I live in, and in terms of their overall ‘efficiency’ in maximizing casualties. I’ve had loved ones lose friends and family to stray bullets, as opposed to bladed weapons.

  71. Ernieyeball says:

    @Desensitized Ambivalent Remote American: Did they get a refund on their ticket?

    “Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?”

  72. Gustopher says:

    @mattb:

    Yet every time there’s a major incident of someone intentionally running a car into a crowd, we don’t get into a discussion of “car control” or the need to take all cars away.

    I’m not saying we should enact strict gun control. I’m saying we shouldn’t be surprised when this happens (again, and again, and again).

  73. Scott O says:

    Deer have become much craftier over the years. So if you’re a responsible sportsman you’ll soon be able to acquire one of these. $1199.00 for base model , flip up sights, muzzle brakes, lazer & lights will be additional.

  74. Nikki says:

    Yet Norwegian lunatic shooter Anders Behring Breivik was still able to kill 77 people and wound over 200 a year ago this coming Sunday.

    Norway suffered one horrific incident. The U.S. suffers such incidents an average of 20 times per year

  75. matt says:

    @James: A civilian AR-15 is NOT an assault rifle. The AR-15 is just a scary looking rifle chambered for the same rounds used by non scary looking hunting rifles. So are you advocating that we ban all the hunting rifles that also share the same bullets as the AR-15?

    You do realize that the cheapest you’ll find a decent working AR-15 for is over $1000 bucks right? To modify it for full auto would require a pre-ban unit which tend to sell for +$8000. Anyone capable of throwing +$12000 down to kill some people would probably go for more effective methods of mass murder then a gun.

    So I’m going to guess you’re one of those clueless people that think you can easily convert about any gun to full auto. Well a cheaply converted ar-15 or AK-47 is almost more dangerous to the user then any potential targets. It’s very VERY common for those conversions to empty clips without the shooter pulling the trigger. IT’s also very common for those conversions to result in a jammed or exploding gun.

    So if as you claim that these guns are so dangerous and easy to use why have all the guns that have been used in almost all the shootings over the last several years been semi-automatic non AR-15s?

    There are actually very few states that allow private dealers to sell at gun shows without engaging in background checks and such. So what you’re advocating is that when I go to sell one of my guns to a friend that I should be regulated by the federal government. That’s very authoritarian of you.

    @mattb: @matt: Just a FYI but it was the Clinton “assault weapon” ban that banned bayonet lugs and a bunch of stuff that makes guns look scary but never actually banned any real assault rifles.

    On that note what is it about bayonet lugs that you find so dangerous?

    @al-Ameda: The only people in possession of those weaponry are the kind that can throw 10 grand around for fun or are federally licensed which are not generally the type that go on shooting sprees. Can you direct me to a recent shooting spree involving a pre-ban automatic rifle?

    @mantis: You’re right if your side succeeded in banning all guns and pointy objects no one would ever be hurt let alone killed.

    @mattb: Yeah I always found that fact amusing.

    @Scott O: Oh look a scary looking shotgun that shoots the exact same as almost every shotgun used by hunters across this nation. What’s your point?

  76. mattb says:

    @Nikki:

    Norway suffered one horrific incident. The U.S. suffers such incidents an average of 20 times per year

    To be fair, it’s not exactly apples and oranges.

    Norway’s population is approximately 4.7 million people.
    The US population is approximately 311.5 million people. In New York State alone there are some 19.4 million people.

    So while an average of 20 per year is still too many by far, trying to compare the stats doesn’t make a lot of sense (comparing the US to all of Western Europe probably would have been a better view).

  77. mattb says:

    @James:
    No worries and thanks for the conversation. Trust me, I usually find myself defending your position, so this has been a bit weird for me as well.

    Your points about ‘overall ‘efficiency’ in maximizing casualties’ is an interesting one. I’m not sure if I fully agree (for a variety of reasons), but the sentiment is still true none the less. And I am terribly sorry to hear that you have lost friends and family to gun violence.

    I would be curious to know how many of those cases involved legal gun purchases versus illegally obtained arms versus guns acquired through the “grey market” of unlicensed gun show dealers.

  78. matt says:

    @James: If cars were regulated like guns:

    1. Small cars would have a 72-hour waiting period, larger cars 24 hours.
    2. Cars would have a minimum size and weight.
    3. New cars manufactured since 1994 couldn’t have larger than 10-gallon gas tanks (nobody needs to drive that far)
    4. Cars could be driven only within the state of license. It is legal to drive in certain other states (reciprocity) but the car would have to be shipped or towed between those states.
    5. Local communities could ban certain sized cars or ban them outright.
    6. Big cars could be bought by 18-year-olds, small cars’ buyers would have to be 21 minimum.
    7. Any car purchased out-of-state would have to be transferred through a federally licensed dealer.
    8. Legislation would be introduced banning the transfer of a car to a family member.
    9. Gasoline could only be sold through licensed federal dealers (and they wouldn’t be on every block).
    10. All cars having spoilers, fender flares, window tint, chrome, roll-back sunroofs, mag wheels would be banned as they are the choice of criminals. Manufacturers respond with extended “lips”on the trunk and fenders, colored glass, aluminized plastic, pop-up sunroofs, and wheel covers and legislators howl about the “spirit of the law.”
    11. Every time someone died, there would be a call to ban all cars from the hands of civilians.
    12. Police and the military have big gas tanks, spoilers, tint, chrome, sunroofs and mags. Certain exemptions are made for cars to be used on racetracks only. Politicians exempt themselves and anyone well-connected.
    13. In some localities, it would be up to the local LEO Chief or mayor to decide if you can drive a car on public roads.
    14. In most places it would be legal for anyone to drive their car on their own property, but no cars within 1000′ of a school or church and never on Federal land.
    15. Cars would be banned by make and model, as well as kit cars that look like certain makes and models.
    16. A 12-cylinder Lamborghini Countach (with a big gas tank) assembled before 1994 is OK in some communities with a $200 fee. If a Lambo is made of salvaged parts or a kit car, it cannot have more than 4 cylinders or more than a 10 gallon tank. Applies to other sports cars as well. LEO/military/pols are exempt.
    17. Felons and certain misdemeanors disqualify you from ever buying or driving a car. Laws applied ex post facto are fine. Police convicted of domestic violence may drive on the job only.
    18. You are competent enough in the Army, Marines or police to drive any car they have, but upon return to civilian life you somehow become incompetant and untrustworthy.

  79. Buzz Buzz says:

    Sure didn’t take the OTB drones long to whip themselves up into their usual two minutes hate frenzy – just a few comments in and it’s already the NRA’s fault!

    I predict that once the fact that this guy is actually a lunatic full-bore lefty OWS type comes out, then the hive will demand that everyone heed Doug’s request to skip the political finger-pointing regarding this terrible event.

  80. matt says:

    @Buzz Buzz: Why can’t we just acknowledge that crazy people happen and leave it at that? Who cares if he was a rightie leftie or a centerie the dude should be defined by his actions not his political stances…

  81. mattb says:

    @matt: On that we both definitely agree.

    I owe you a response to the earlier questions I wrote. I will acknowledge that earlier in this thread I totally got the entire “assault rifle” versus “assault weapons” thing totally confused. I’m not close enough to this stuff to keep the two straight.

    Generally speaking I don’t see much of an issue with the cosmetic stuff and from that perspective didn’t see the point of the Clinton ban.

    On the other hand, I do continue to support regulating things like extended magazines thing.

  82. Mikey says:

    @Nikki: The point is, if someone wants to perpetrate a massacre, he will find the tools to do it regardless of how controlled those tools may be in his country.

    The largest mass murders in American history were committed not with guns, but with fertilizer (OKC bombing), dynamite (Bath School), and gasoline (Happy Land).

  83. al-Ameda says:

    @matt:

    If cars were regulated like guns:

    We’re licensed to own and drive cars, we’re required to purchase insurance to operate the car. I’m not sure gun owners want all of that to apply to their guns.

    Generally, people do not purchase a vehicle with the intent to: (1) to harm another person or, (2) harm a group of people, (3) defend their property with said vehicle, (4) hunt deer with the vehicle, (5) defend themselves from dangerous people on the street.

    The analogy that compares the regulation of automobiles to the regulation of guns is a junk comparison, a severely defective analogy.

  84. al-Ameda says:

    @matt:

    @al-Ameda: The only people in possession of those weaponry are the kind that can throw 10 grand around for fun or are federally licensed which are not generally the type that go on shooting sprees. Can you direct me to a recent shooting spree involving a pre-ban automatic rifle?

    Look, all I’m saying is that we have 310M people in this country, and well over 200M guns, and it’s not hard for people who are unstable to acquire guns. Americans love guns and we put up with a lot of gun violence. Just the way it is, and it’s not going to change.

  85. mantis says:

    @matt:

    @mantis: You’re right if your side succeeded in banning all guns and pointy objects no one would ever be hurt let alone killed.

    Whack at that straw, matt, whack it!

  86. PJ says:

    @matt:

    You’re right if your side succeeded in banning all guns and pointy objects no one would ever be hurt let alone killed.

    Western Europe, has a lot fewer firearms homicides than the US per capita (I recall the US having 9 times or so as many, per capita), which I would assume is related to stricter gun laws.
    And yet people in Western Europe aren’t picking up other objects to kill each other to make it up, non firearms homicides are about twice as common per capita in the US than in Western Europe.

  87. Eric Florack says:

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

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

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

  88. PJ says:

    @Bithead:

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

    James Holmes had multiple targets, it didn’t matter where he fired.
    The one armed citizen would only have one.
    In a dark, smoke filled room.

    What do you think would have happened?

    Perhaps it would have been even better with ten armed citizens?

    (Oh, there was one armed citizen in that room. James Holmes. Imagine no armed citizens in that room, at all.)

  89. I’ve heard many arm chair Soldiers of Fortune like you make this argument, and none of you are very convincing with the argument that it would have been easy to take this guy out.

    This is why

  90. al-Ameda says:

    @Eric Florack:

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

    Let’s see …
    America, 310M people, 250M guns
    Conservative conclusion? Not enough guns.

  91. PJ says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Conservative conclusion? Not enough guns.

    Can’t wait for them demanding that there can’t be any places where you’re not allowed to carry a concealed firearm. And after that, demanding that everyone carries a firearm.

  92. mantis says:

    @al-Ameda:

    America, 310M people, 250M guns
    Conservative conclusion? Not enough guns.

    Indeed! Every American should carry at least two guns at all times. That way no one would ever get shot!

  93. mantis says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Think, now; what would have happened, had just one armed citizen been in that room? Just one person who wasn’t a sheep?

    See, if you aren’t armed at all times, you’re a sheep.

    My guess is bithead wouldn’t feel bad about killing sheep. He probably has more in common with Holmes than he does with the rest of us.

  94. Eric Florack says:

    @Doug Mataconis: At what point did I ever say it was easy? The very reason that he was able to shoot somebody was because he knew there was nobody capable of defending themselves in the room. Absent that point there is considerable reason to consider he wouldn’t have tried to shoot at all.

  95. mattb says:

    @Eric Florack:

    The very reason that he was able to shoot somebody was because he knew there was nobody capable of defending themselves in the room. Absent that point there is considerable reason to consider he wouldn’t have tried to shoot at all.

    Really… So someone who decided to booby trap his entire apartment and tactically plan this type of assault (complete with wearing bulletproof body armor) would have been sane enough to decide not to go through with this plan on the off chance that he might get shot?

    Is it a possibility that a single armed person in that theater might have been able to take him out? Sure. But is it a probability? Doubtful.

    And likewise there is an equal probability that another armed person within that theatre might have only compounded the damage given the relative level of chaos caused by the deadly combination of a darkness + smoke/tear gas + a riot. Under those conditions, it’s far more likely that someone returning fire would have easily hit the wrong people.

    Note, that even in situations where there is clear visibility, during the actual shooting its difficult to tell what is going on. Tucson provides an excellent example. By the time that the one armed citizen had made it to the scene, the person holding the gun was no longer the shooter. Thankfully that citizen made the correct split second decision, put away his gun and went to assist with keeping Loebner subdued. It easily could have gone the other way.

    Those conditions would give a trained person problems, let alone a citizen who most likely has not trained at RETURNING FIRE UNDER FIRE — something entirely different than range shooting or even a lot of the tactical course work that many hobbiests do.

    Again, I don’t have issues with the idea of using guns in self defense. However, I feel that if one chooses to do that, it’s incumbent upon them to train for self defense with the fire arm. If for no other reasons than they come to understand how hard it is to do. It’s not impossible. But it isn’t as easy as Eric seems to imagine.

    And that’s the ultimate thing, the folks who push this “one armed person” theory are — in my experience — the last people that you would typically find in any sort of reality based, armed self defense training program. And most of the people I’ve met in those programs (often LEO’s) are the first to get concerned with people who treat guns as if they are a panacea.

  96. mattb says:

    And here’s a good koan to ponder: for a third party, is it better to be shot by the shooter or to be shot by someone attempting to take out the shooter?

  97. mantis says:

    The very reason that he was able to shoot somebody was because he knew there was nobody capable of defending themselves in the room.

    No he didn’t.

  98. matt says:

    @al-Ameda: I was required to undergo a background check and to register for a FOID card so I could buy a gun when I lived in Illinois. Despite being located in a state that required registration to own a gun and an outright ban on all firearms within city limits people in Chicago were still murdering each other like crazy.

    So tell me how registering a firearm is going to prevent the misuse of a tool?

    Generally, people do not purchase a vehicle with the intent to: (1) to harm another person or, (2) harm a group of people, (3) defend their property with said vehicle, (4) hunt deer with the vehicle, (5) defend themselves from dangerous people on the street.

    Indeed people purchase a car to use as a tool to get around. I purchased a gun to use as a tool to get food and to defend my livestock from wild animals. When either tool is misused people get injured and right now the automobile is injuring a shit ton more people.

    @al-Ameda:

    That’s actually a lie as crime has been decreasing quite dramatically across the nation.

    @mantis: Makes as much sense as your comment..

  99. matt says:

    @PJ: Western Europe also has a culture that is a lot different from ours. The American culture is so riddled with violence that even if you were to make all guns magically disappear our murder rate would still be far higher. I mean seriously over there it’s BAD to show violence on TV but fine to show nudity meanwhile over here you can kill people horrifically on TV as long as you don’t show a boob…

    @mattb: If you have a concealed carry permit then you ARE TRAINED for such situations. They don’t just hand out permits to anyone who can pay. You have to pass courses and in most cases the same style of courses that law enforcement take.

  100. mattb says:

    @matt:

    If you have a concealed carry permit then you ARE TRAINED for such situations. They don’t just hand out permits to anyone who can pay. You have to pass courses and in most cases the same style of courses that law enforcement take.

    Perhaps this is different depending on state, but at least in New York state you are not getting any significant amount of training for these situations. Or in a number of other locations I’ve talked to people from. And I have a few friends going though the CC process here (and another one going for his training certification).

    I agree that people going for CC do get additional training, but there is a huge gap between the type of training you seem to be thinking of and the type that I’m thinking of.

    There is typically a classroom and a range requirement. But not all states require the student to demonstrate proficiency (see Florida as one example). And I have not heard of many programs that do live fire on fire simulations. If you know of some, I’d love to get that info.

  101. mattb says:

    @matt:

    If you have a concealed carry permit then you ARE TRAINED for such situations. They don’t just hand out permits to anyone who can pay. You have to pass courses and in most cases the same style of courses that law enforcement take.

    You also fail to mention states like Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Washington where there is no training requirement for concealed carry the last time I checked. In fact, a common tactic for folks in Western NY is to get licensed in Pennsylvania first, and then list that existing CC license on their New York application.

  102. al-Ameda says:

    @matt:

    @al-Ameda:
    That’s actually a lie as crime has been decreasing quite dramatically across the nation.

    What did I say that was a lie?

  103. mattb says:

    @matt:
    Just to be clear, in case I haven’t been, I am not arguing again CC. Or want to see it done away with.

    I would like to see every state adopt the sort of consistent training requirements (and the NRA has a pretty good framework) that it sounds like you have been through — including some form of legitimate pass/fail testing.

    Admittedly, I’d make that training/testing take more than the typical day and I’d also require semi-regular re-certification (btw, I feel the same way about driving tests). But none of those things will probably ever come to pass.

  104. matt says:

    @mattb: Okay I completely concede to you on that point. I had no idea you could even get a concealed carry permit in New York. My experience is limited to Texas where I had to attend classes which included live firing on the range. Texas is a really weird place when it comes to regulations and such. For such a “red” state they regulate things way more then I experienced up in “blue” Illinois (not to mention taxes and fees ugh).

    @mattb: Dude bring it on those are all wonderfully commonsensical requirements to me. You should be forced to spend days in the class room and out on the range to prove your proficiency at handling and shooting a firearm in a safe manner. The whole thing ended up costing me about $300 including the training that is required. I’m almost certain that the location I was trained at actually goes beyond what is required by the law in Texas. Personally I believe law enforcement like training should be required for anyone applying for a concealed carry permit. Such a thing shouldn’t be taken lightly by anyone.

  105. matt says:

    See part of the problem with gun control discussions is that the pro-gun users concentrate on the states with strict regulations while the anti-gun people concentrate on the state with the least amount of regulations and then they apply that to the country. I must admit that I have learned a bit of a lesson as a result of this thread. I thank you for y our reasonable responses.

  106. Eric Florack says:

    @al-Ameda: Ummm. Rick?
    THere was clearly one gun too few…. nobody but the perp was carrying. Why do you suppose that is?
    Could it possibly be the decades of leftist screaming about increasing gun control making a safer?

    Really… So someone who decided to booby trap his entire apartment and tactically plan this type of assault (complete with wearing bulletproof body armor) would have been sane enough to decide not to go through with this plan on the off chance that he might get shot?

    Yes…. knowing one’s plan has no chance of success, does have a tendency to change minds… insane or not.

    @Doug Mataconis:
    Funny, that wasn’t your attitude on FB.,.

  107. Ernieyeball says:

    @Eric Florack: THere was clearly one gun too few…

    If those 12 stiffs could talk they would probably say there were far too many guns in the theater that night…

  108. mattb says:

    @matt:
    I study the martial arts, so I am definitely not anti-weapon or anti-self defense. My biggest concern and interest is in help people learn the realities and responsibilities of self defense.

    In fact most serious martial artists I know are all getting into tactical gun work for personal and professional — hence my crash course in CCW. I’m currently working to coordinate (but not teach) a “Gun 101” course for an upcoming martial arts weekend. And that’s really gotten me recently reading up on the subject.

    See part of the problem with gun control discussions is that the pro-gun users concentrate on the states with strict regulations while the anti-gun people concentrate on the state with the least amount of regulations and then they apply that to the country.

    Yup… this is definitely the case. Additionally, some of the people arguing on each side take positions that are not necessarily informed by real interactions with and training around weapons. Trying to be a pragmatist on this issue is really difficult.

    Plus the strange interactions of Federal, State, and Local laws make these discussions really difficult.

    For example with the entire CCW thing in New York , it’s all but impossible (or at least really really really difficult) to get a Concealed Carry permit for NYC. Here in Western NY my understanding is its easy to get the first level CC, but that’s only for carrying while hunting or to and from the range. You can get those restrictions removed through course (classroom and hands-on) work.

    I realize that it’s anathema to some folks, but this is one of those areas where a much more standardized set of regulations would make things a LOT easier and make a lot more sense.

  109. mattb says:

    BTW, beyond Matt, does anyone else here have a CCW permit or undergone any sort of safety/combat shooting training?

  110. Eric Florack says:

    @Ernieyeball: Ernie are giving us a nonsensical argument. The bottom line is the government cannot protect us. The job of self protection falls to self. The second amendment was not only about protecting us from each other but also fabout protecting us from government .

    consider the words of Dave Ross;

    [Hhistory has proven that the reverse is true: disarming a population is frequently the precursor to genocide. It occurred in the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany and Cambodia under the Maoist Pol Pot. Millions paid the ultimate price for giving up their firearms — and their God-given right to protect themselves.

    As usual, the idiots in the press — as well as their Statist sycophants like Bloomberg and Jackson — must ignore all of history. They must ignore facts, logic and reason to claim that they can ban evil and order society to suppress evildoers — if only they can be granted total control over you and your God-given right to defend yourself.

    Perhaps the most logical conclusion to draw from history is that the way to a peaceful environment is to arm the citizenry and disarm the government.

  111. mattb says:

    @Eric Florack:

    The bottom line is the government cannot protect us. The job of self protection falls to self… Perhaps the most logical conclusion to draw from history is that the way to a peaceful environment is to arm the citizenry and disarm the government.

    To that point Eric, I’m cuious: do you have a CCW permit? As I know that you live in the same section of the state as I do, it’s not overly arduous to get one.

    Or are you one of the sheeple who don’t carry or train for these sorts of circumstances?

  112. Eric Florack says:

    @mattb: Unfortunately the Federal government unconstitutionally prevents me from carrying, at all, much less CC given what I do for living these days.

    Ponder that point for a moment.

  113. al-Ameda says:

    @Eric Florack:

    @al-Ameda: Ummm. Rick?
    THere was clearly one gun too few…. nobody but the perp was carrying. Why do you suppose that is?
    Could it possibly be the decades of leftist screaming about increasing gun control making a safer?

    That was an incoherent response.

  114. Ernieyeball says:

    The job of self protection falls to self.

    Clearly Citizen Florack is blaming the victims…they should have been armed!

  115. Ernieyeball says:

    Seven year old girl kills 10 year old brother with grandpa’s gun.

    “All indications are that this was a tragic accident. Foul play is not suspected at this time,” Sheriff Mulch said.

    http://thesouthern.com/news/local/891bddc8-d443-11e1-bbd9-001a4bcf887a.html

    So does this mean grandpa will not be charged with endangering the life of a child by leaving his gun within reach of a seven year old?
    Stay Tuned…

  116. mantis says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Unfortunately the Federal government unconstitutionally prevents me from carrying, at all, much less CC given what I do for living these days.

    I didn’t know inmates could use the Internet.

  117. Ernieyeball says:

    @mantis: He’s a prisoner of his own mind…

  118. anjin-san says:

    At what point did I ever say it was easy? The very reason that he was able to shoot somebody was because he knew there was nobody capable of defending themselves in the room. Absent that point there is considerable reason to consider he wouldn’t have tried to shoot at all.

    That explains why cops never get shot.

  119. mattb says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Unfortunately the Federal government unconstitutionally prevents me from carrying, at all, much less CC given what I do for living these days.

    Uh… what?!

    What exactly do you do for a living that causes the feds to keep you from having a CC permit? Do you work in a bank, state or federal building?

    And if so, I don’t understand how that prevents you from obtaining a CC permit for carrying when you go to the movie theatre and other non work locations… List time I checked, not job should prevent you from getting a general CC permit. Or if I’m missing something, please let me know…

    Or is this just the “anti-Eric” rules?

  120. matt says:

    @Ernieyeball: That’s not an accident and to me that’s criminal negligence.

  121. Ernieyeball says:

    @matt: No Kiddin’. At least the States Atty. is not charging the 7 year old.
    I would think grandpa might be due for some Jefferson County justice however.

    http://thesouthern.com/news/local/investigation-continues-into-child-s-fatal-shooting/article_688ace7c-d4e1-11e1-b7fe-0019bb2963f4.html