Ten Dead, Multiple People Injured, In Shooting On Oregon College Campus

Up to 13 people are dead and as many 20 injured after another mass shooting on a college campus.

Roseburg Oregon Shooting

Ten victims including the gunman are dead, and multiple people are injured, after a shooter opened fire on the campus of a community college in southern Oregon:

A 20-year-old man went on a shooting rampage at a community college in Roseburg, Ore., on Thursday, killing multiple victims and injuring at least 20. Officials said the gunman died after an exchange of gunfire with the police.

Accounts of how many people were dead varied, with officials in the office of the Oregon attorney general, Ellen F. Rosenblum, putting the number at 13.

“We are just heartbroken here in Oregon that an act of this magnitude has occurred in our state,” Ms. Rosenblum told MSNBC. She cautioned that the situation was still developing.

The shooting occurred at Umpqua Community College, which has about 3,000 students, in a rural community about three hours south of Portland. The first calls came in at 10:38 a.m., local officials said, and the college was put on lockdown as a number of law enforcement agencies responded.

A student, Brady Winder, 23, who moved to Roseburg from Portland three weeks ago, said he was in a room in Snyder Hall adjacent to where at least one shooting took place.

“I heard at least nine shots,” he said.

“There’s a door connecting our classroom to that classroom, and my teacher was going to knock on the door,” Mr. Winder said. “But she called out, `Is everybody O.K.?’ and then we heard a bunch more shots. We all froze for about half a second.”

“We heard people screaming next door,” he said. “And then everybody took off. People were hopping over desks, knocking things over.”

All the classrooms in the building open to the outdoors — there are no hallways, Mr. Winder said — and “as we were running away, I think there were more shots, but my brain was kind of panic mode, just focused on running as fast as I could.”

The Douglas County sheriff, John Hanlin, said at a news conference that the gunman died after an exchange of gunfire with officers. He said officials were still trying to determine if anyone else might be involved, but other officials said he acted alone.

The campus remained on lockdown. Those without injuries were being transported by buses to the Douglas County fairgrounds, and friends and relatives were being directed to meet them there. The name of the gunman has not been released, though his age was given as 20.

Cory Grogan of the Oregon Office of Emergency Management said that at least 20 people had been wounded. Most of the wounded were taken to nearby hospitals, he said, but some were still being treated at the college.

Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg said in a posting on its website that it had received nine victims from the incident, with three more en route. No details were provided about their conditions.

More from The Washington Post:

ROSEBURG, Ore. — A shooter described as a 20-year-old man opened fire on a rural community college campus in Oregon on Thursday morning, killing multiple people and injuring even more.

Ellen F. Rosenblum, the Oregon attorney general, said her office believed that 13 people were killed in the shooting and another 20 people were injured.

“We are just heartbroken here in Oregon that an act of this magnitude has occurred in our state,” Rosenblum said in an interview on MSNBC. She said the figures were from the Oregon Department of Justice’s Criminal Justice division. She cautioned that the situation was still developing, and other officials confirmed few details.

The lone gunman was killed following an exchange of fire with police, said Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin during a news conference Thursday afternoon.

Hanlin said he could not confirm accounts from other officials regarding the number of people who were killed and injured. “We have confirmed that there are confirmed injuries and there are confirmed fatalities,” he said. “At this point, it’s a very active scene.”

No officers were believed to be injured, he added.

He said it was too soon to know if anyone else was involved in the shooting.

Between 20 and 25 people may have been injured and as many as 15 people may have been killed, according to Mike Lane, assistant chief of the fire department in Roseburg.

The scene was chaotic at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. Ambulances ferried victims to local hospitals, and students reported on social media that they had been trapped inside classrooms.

The shooting was first reported before 10:40 a.m. local time, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. Students and faculty were evacuated from campus to the county’s fairgrounds, the sheriff’s office said.

Jasmyne Davis, 19, was in class when the gunfire began. She said she heard one shot, followed by a 30-second pause, before she heard an argument and eight more gunshots from the classroom next door

Two students ran out the door of her classroom, but a female student who tried to run out was shot in the right arm, Davis said. “Close the door!” the student yelled as she fell back into the classroom.

“I’ve lived in Douglas County my whole life and I never thought I’d see anything like this,” said Danny Medak, 20, a basketball player at Umpqua. He said he heard a loud noise, a pause and then a round of gunshots..

After being released, they boarded a bus for the 13-minute drive to the Douglas County Fairgrounds, where Red Cross volunteers handed out food and water.

Kenneth Ungerman, 25, a Navy veteran and student at the college, was just outside of Snyder Hall when the shooting started. Ungerman said he and a National Guard recruiter heard the pop of gunshots. “We’re both veterans. We know what a gunshot sounds like,” Ungerman said.

He added that the shooter was walking towards Snyder hall on the left side of the building. “It looked like a male, I saw him with a handgun. He was shooting outside at the windows of Snyder Hall,” Ungerman recounted. According to Ungerman, the man was wearing a dark shirt and jeans.

As 15 to 20 shots rang out, students began running out of the right side of the hall yelling: “There’s a shooter! Run, run! Get out of there!”

“We got underneath my jeep rolled on top, and took off,” Ungerman said. They stopped at the entrance to the campus to stop traffic.

The News-Review newspaper in Douglas County quoted a student, Kortney Moore, saying the shooter had asked people their religion before opening fire. Moore could not be immediately reached for comment.

Federal authorities joined officials from Oregon in swarming the rural community college, located about three hours south of Portland. Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms had arrived in the morning and additional agents were also being dispatched. The FBI field office in Portland also said it was sending agents to the scene.

While authorities have stated the age of the deceased shooter, there has been no indication as of yet as to his identity. Most likely, law enforcement is withholding this information until they are able to conduct a more detailed investigation, including searching his home assuming they’re able to locate it. As you may recall, when police searched the home of James Holmes, the Aurora, Colorado theater gunman, they discovered extensive booby traps that were obviously meant to harm first responders when they arrived at the scene. From that point forward, caution has been the watchword with law enforcement in these sorts of situations. There have also been unverified reports that the gunman, or at least someone, had been online last night making threats about an incident that would occur at the college at some point today. According to these reports, several of the people who witnessed the postings expressed concern about what was being said, but there’s no indication if any of them attempted to determine the poster’s identity or to contact law enforcement. That news, though, combined with the reports that the shooter was reportedly asking people what religion they were before he shot them, raises concerns that this was a premeditated attack of some kind motivated by bias in much the same manner as the June shootings in Charleston, South Carolina.

Until we have more information, it’s rather pointless to speculate about what the motivation in this case may have been, of course, or about how this attack may have been possible. That being said, it’s inevitable that this will lead to yet another discussion about gun control laws in this country just as we’ve seen after each of the mass shootings that have occurred over the past five years or so. In that regard, it’s at least worth noting that Oregon recently enacted a universal background check system that is intended to be more stringent than Federal laws, but we don’t know at this point if the weapons used in this incident were purchased before or after the new law went into effect. Also relevant, obviously, will be the question of whether or not the shooter had some sort of mental illness such as was the case with murderers such as James Holmes, Adam Lanza, Seung-Hui Choi, and Jared Lee Loughner. Whatever the answers, though, the seemingly uniquely American phenomenon of the mass shooting has repeated itself, and even beyond the issue of firearms one has to wonder why it is that these things keep happening here.

Update: Overnight, the death and injury totals were revised downward to ten dead, including the gunman, and seven injured. I have revised the post title and the opening of the post accordingly. Also, today’s edition of The Oregonian includes compelling interviews with people in the lecture hall at the time of the shooting. Additionally, the shooter has been identified as Charles Harper Mercer, 26.

Photo via The New York Times

FILED UNDER: Crime, Education, Guns and Gun Control, Law and the Courts, US Politics
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 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. Paul L. says:

    the seemingly uniquely American phenomenon of the mass shooting has repeated itself

    So 2011 Norway attacks and Charlie Hebdo shooting do not count as mass shootings?
    Actually, President Obama, Mass Killings Aren’t Uncommon In Other Countries

    Once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun. … We as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries.

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2015/jun/22/barack-obama/barack-obama-correct-mass-killings-dont-happen-oth/

  2. Stonetools says:

    Doug, there is no mystery whatsoever why mass shootings frequently occur in the United States and rarely happen in other modern industrialized countries. It’s because people like you support the kind of loose gun laws that let mentally disturbed people have easy and immediate access to powerful firearms any time they want to. It’s that simple.
    If you want to know who is to blame for these incidents happening, look in the mirror.

  3. Stonetools says:

    @Paul L.:
    Indeed, mass killings happen in other countries. But as the footnote to the Politifact article admits, the USA has a higher incidence of mass killings than other industrialized countries. If you were interested in facts, you would admit that. But you aren’t , so….

  4. Paul L. says:

    @Stonetools:

    the USA has a higher incidence of mass killings than other industrialized countries

    US has a larger population and larger percentage of minorities than other industrialized countries.

  5. CSK says:

    It really is too pat to say that loose gun laws are the sole factor behind these shootings. When I was a teenager, I lived in an affluent suburb. I didn’t have a gun–never wanted one–but many of my classmates had access to them, because they came from hunting families or horse and cattle farm families, which keep guns because occasionally you need to put down an animal–or drive off the fox trying to get into the hen house. Some of the guys brought rifles to school (locked in the car trunk) so they could go hunting with their fathers afterward. Guess what? No one ever brought a gun into school, and no one was shot. (I live in a very blue northeastern state; the gun laws are much stricter now. But even when they weren’t, the problem of mass shootings like this didn’t exist.)

    The problem appears to be one of keeping guns out of the hands of schizophrenic young men. Or perhaps, convincing schizophrenic young men that either they stay on their medications, or they’ll institutionalized. There is no legal way, at present, to compel the insane to stay on treatment if they’re over the age of eighteen.

  6. Gustopher says:

    I bring this up every time this happens, and I will probably continue to do so: 30,000 people are killed by firearms in the US each year, roughly as many as are killed by cars. Is that a reasonable trade off to the gun enthusiasts to have nearly unfettered access to weapons?

    I’m assuming that if it was 3,000,000 a year, all but the truly sociopathic would say that was too many, and be interested in restrictions to lower it — maximum capacity, lower power, stronger restrictions on who can have guns, etc.

    But, what is the number? And what are the benefits unfettered access to guns provides that make it worth so many lives? Cars increase personal freedom, and make more of the country accessible and habitable, to the point where the lives lost is probably a bargain.

    Studies have shown that gun ownership does not make people statistically safer, and the easy availability lowers the prices of guns on the black market so small time thugs who might be barred from getting a gun legally can still get one easily.

  7. Tyrell says:

    @Stonetools: There are laws that keep the treatment, diagnosis , and condition of people who are under the care of a doctor – psychiatrist confidential. Families who have a family member who needs psychological treatment find it hard to force them to get treatment. Getting someone admitted to a treatment facility is a lot harder now than it used to be. Obviously there are good and valid reasons for these laws; look at the asylum conditions of long ago. But there are downsides too.

  8. Hal_10000 says:

    @Gustopher:

    These studies have also shown that gun control does not make people safer either (unless you carefully cherry-pick your data, a la Webster).

  9. Stonetools says:

    @CSK:
    Actually, it’s not pat, if you understand the laws of probability. If you make it very easy to legally acquire guns then people who shouldn’t have guns will find it easy to acquire guns and will therefore more likely use these guns to commit mass killings. It’s not that hard to understand, really. It’s why there are more and more serious car accidents in the absence of seat belt laws and laws requiring car safety equipment. Libertarians argued against those laws too, claiming they burdened safe driverx. They argued that the way to cut down on car accidents was by urging people to drive safely. Of course , that didn’t work. Meanwhile liberals passed car safety laws and deaths from car accidents went way down. Since then libertarians have quietly abandoned their crusade against car safety laws.
    In the end, gun control advocates are handicapped by the fact that people don’t understand how probability works. Deeper background checks, waiting periods , safety training requirements, etc. won’t stop every conceivable mass killing. But it will sharply cut down on the probability that schizophrenic young men will acquire firearms and therefore the opportunity to commit mass killings and commit suicides. That will mean fewer of them over time, as has demonstrated in other countries.

  10. Stonetools says:

    @Hal_10000:

    Wrong.
    http://www.vox.com/2015/8/24/9183525/gun-violence-statistics

    But hey, go ahead and quote your folks. Make sure you mention their credentials. Fact. Most of the anti gun control folks tend to have degrees in fields such as marketing, and their so called studies tend to have been repeatedly debunked. Meanwhile there is no question whatsoever that the USA has much higher rates of gun homicides than any other industrialized country, year after year.

  11. CSK says:

    @Stonetools:

    You misunderstand my point. I have no objection to people being required to undergo firearms training, nor to weeding out the loons. We don’t allow people to operate motor vehicles nor fly planes without being educated in how to do either one of those things. He11, in a lot of jurisdictions, you have to have a license to own a dog.

    Banning everyone from owning firearms, as some want to do, is not going to solve the problem. Remember Prohibition? It was the answer to organized crime’s prayer.

    On the other hand, I get awfully tired of listening to/reading the ravings of gun nuts who seem to equate possession of a gun with possession of a male organ, and that being deprived of one means being deprived of the other.

  12. Stan says:

    @Paul L.: “US has a larger population and larger percentage of minorities than other industrialized countries.”

    I’m not sure what the larger population has to do with it. Regarding minorities, how many mass shootings of this type are carried out by African-Americans? Or Asian-Americans? Or Hispanics? Some, I’m sure, but most of the mass shootings I’ve read about don’t involve minorities, except as victims.

  13. Hal_10000 says:

    @Stonetools:

    You can site a bunch of charts from Vox that think correlation is causation. I’ll site the National Research Council’s 2004 meta-analysis.

    (Vox also links Mother Jones’ “10 Myths of Gun Control which I debunked here.)

  14. Tony W says:

    President Obama said he’s done comforting the nation after these atrocities. Good. We don’t need comfort, we need laws. I stand with my president.

  15. michael reynolds says:

    This is a summary of NRA independent expenditures in 2014:

    Independent Expenditures: $27,048,581

    For Democrats: $24,262
    Against Democrats: $15,200,018
    For Republicans: $10,823,998
    Against Republicans: $92,034

    Here’s the essence of the scam:

    Shooting = Fear = Gun Sales = Manufacturer Profit = payments to NRA = Payoffs to Republicans.

    Every time there’s a mass shooting, profit is generated and some part of that profit reaches the GOP, which then obediently spreads its legs for the NRA. You think that’s too harsh? Explain why.

  16. Rafer Janders says:

    @Hal_10000:

    Idiot. EVERY OTHER MAJOR INDUSTRIALIZED COUNTRY has more gun control than we do and has lower rates of gun violence. Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Israel, South Korea, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands, Portugal, etc. etc. etc. EVERY SINGLE ONE does not have nearly as many gun deaths.

  17. Stonetools says:

    @Hal_10000:

    Dunno if you debunked anything, mate. The report you relied on dates to 2004 and says mainly that more data is needed to answer certain gun violence related questions conclusively. Well more data has been gathered since 2004, which was the basis of the recent analyses cited in the Vox article. Let’s also note that it’s the gun industry lobbyists and their enablers in Congress that has prevented the gathering of data and the funding of studies on the gun violence issue. . No doubt you think that’s a coincidence.
    The Vox article cites recent studies by the UN, the Center for Disease Control, and the Harvard University School of Public Health. All that sounds much more solid than prognostications by someone who cites without analysis some 11 year old study which doesn’t really support his claim.
    Anyway, I suspect that evidence isn’t really something you are much concerned with. . Like most gun cultists, I’m sure you just KNOW that guns have nothing to do with the fact that mass gun killings happen so often. Because if guns are the problem, your ideology would be wrong and that obviously can’t be. If that means 32, 000 gun deaths every year, well, then, so be it.

  18. mike shupp says:

    There probably are SOME measures that can reduce gun violence without terrifying all the Friends Of The 2nd Amendment out there. Suppose on a show like ER, every so often — every other month, say — there had been a baby killed by a father showing off his new pistol to a family friend, or a curious 3 year who did himself in by blowing off half his face, or a couple of kids shot down while waiting for a school bus. It could have been powerful TV, and it might have persuaded a handful of people to be a bit les enthusiastic about gun ownership.

    Perhaps we could have a popular TV show where one regular character was a feckless gun advocate who routinely endangered the lives of the main characters and who was generally seen by the actors and the audience as a raging asshole with no redeeming qualities. Suppose the CVI crew kept running into victims shot down by a trigger-happy cop?

    What I’m trying to suggest maybe we could encourage a “use guns sensibly” attitude amongst a population which seems hipped on “use guns dramatically.” It might make a difference.

    Something else we might try in real life would be to tone down gun use by cops. Perhaps we could persuade police forces to go back to 6 shot revolvers. Better yet, perhaps we could shift to a system where traffic cops didn’t carry guns, or at least kept them out of sight.

  19. Jack says:

    @Gustopher:

    30,000 people are killed by firearms in the US each year

    2/3 of that number are suicides. If you were as pro choice as you claim to be, you would use the homicide number of ~11,000. But that doesn’t support your meme of gun death = auto deaths so I can understand your deception…that and it’s a standard Democrat talking point.

  20. walt moffett says:

    Now to see how this plays out this election cycle and what bullet point number its assigned in the stump speech. I suspect it will never get higher than 3 or 4, everyone knows Inequality, Women’s Rights, Immigration, Taxation, Government Waste, Health Care Reform etc will be the big points.

  21. Jack says:

    @Tony W:

    I stand with my president. With my nose firmly planted up his anal sphincter.

    FTFY

  22. Jack says:

    @michael reynolds: Every time there’s another shooting Obama opens his mouth and becomes employee of the month for gun stores as sales skyrocket and concealed carry permits rise..

  23. Stonetools says:

    @michael reynolds:
    To be honest, I’m beyond blaming the death merchants, their lobbyists, and their Congressional lap dogs for preventing the passage of sensible gun laws. After all, that’s like blaming vampires for sucking blood or scorpions for stinging. That’s what they do. Profiteering from death is their reason for being.
    No, I blame the American voter for enabling the blood suckers. It is the American voter who puts them in the power, and who listens when they claim that sensible gun laws threaten their freedom, their privilege and their manhood. It is the American voter who tolerates , year after year, this slow motion holocaust.
    I’m glad that the new DGAF Obama has issued a call to action. But it’s falling on legislative ears that can’t hear the call through ears stuffed with NRA money. It’s up to the voters to vote them out. For that we need to recruit new voters and to change old voters. We need the Democrats to really take up this issue and run with it. There’s no time better than now. I’m sick of it. We are all sick of it. Let’s do something about it. Now.

  24. Jack says:
  25. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Jack: Yeah, except for the tweet in the article being conjecture and no one on the scene confirming it (and I’ve been watching reports form the Portland Oregon area, where I live), your right; it’s exactly like you said.

  26. anjin-san says:

    @Stonetools:

    It is the American voter who tolerates , year after year, this slow motion holocaust.

    Yup. We’ve accepted the mass slaughter of children in our country on a regular basis, as long as it is in house. If terrorists had done this, we would be ready to blow up an entire country.

  27. bill says:

    well, obama is upset- but it’ll probably wane when the “anti-christian” views the shooter had are made clear. so as always, blame the weapon-not the loser who used it. any applause for the cops who killed the crazy guy? as if…..
    this is a nice respite for “0” after putin pissed in his wheaties again……jan,2017 can’t come fast enough for him- “write” another book on how great he is and jump on the clinton speaker fee wagon and make some real money. oh, guns are bad, mmmkay….

  28. bill says:

    @Rafer Janders: seriously, we banned alcohol last century and how did that fare… i mean aside from giving us the kennedy clan and such? weed, coke, smack,etc are all illegal in most of the country but easily attained by anyone with cash.
    so what’s your point, really?
    in reality- any crazy mofo who really wants to kill people will find a way, and your looking at this the wrong way- find the cause, not the alleged “cure”.

  29. Moderate Mom says:

    @Stan: Just off the top of my head, I can name two by men of Asian decent: Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 and wounded 17 at Virginia Tech and Chai Soua Vang killed 6 and wounded 2 in the woods of northern Wisconsin.

    As to African Americans, the ones I could think of was John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo of DC Sniper fame – 10 were killed and 3 wounded, but that was over a 3 week period- and Aaron Alexis, who killed 12 and wounded 3 at the Washington Navy Yard.

    Today’s shooter has been identified as Chris Harper Mercer. In the pictures I’ve seen, he appears to be African American.

    There is one thing that seems to be common in mass shootings, and it’s not race or ethnicity. It’s gender. It’s always men. And they are always mentally ill.

  30. Jeremy R says:

    @bill:

    well, obama is upset- but it’ll probably wane when the “anti-christian” views the shooter had are made clear.

    How would that be at all relevant to what the President was advocating? If turns out to be true that the shooter disliked organized religion, as he indicates in his social media profiles, it would be just as beside the point as his describing himself as a “conservative, republican”, his collecting Nazi memorabilia, or his infatuation with the IRA.

  31. JDM says:

    This recent shooting brings back memories of the Marysville, Washington shooting that killed several young people.

    I was one of the physicians, in the operating room, that took care of one of the young teen girls that was shot and subsequently died. You people, with your keyboards and behind your computer screens do not, can not, comprehend the insanity that comes with these shootings. I was in the ICU when one of the young girls mother came into the room, after just finding out that this near dead girl was her daughter. You have no idea the grief and pain suffered by the families and by the hospital staff.

    While I’m not sure better gun control would have prevented the Marysville shooting, I do know that It wouldn’t have happened if the young teenage boy had no access to and had took his fathers handgun and brought it to school. His father was just recently changed and convicted of illegally having 6 guns, due to domestic violence charges.

    http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/crime/father-of-marysville-school-shooter-convicted-of-gun-charges/.

    But the one topic that is never talked about, and not commented on, is what Doug brought up in his last paragraph.

    “Whatever the answers, though, the seemingly uniquely American phenomenon of the mass shooting has repeated itself, and even beyond the issue of firearms one has to wonder why it is that these things keep happening here.”

    I believe that it’s from a general feeling that young men, in America, have become disposable individuals. That they have been left behind. And because of this, they lack any interest in themselves or in their future. These boys, from blue collar families, feel powerless in a world where more girls attend college, and boys can’t be boys. Where yes means yes, but only for girls.

    I think the story from way back in 2000, from Christina Hoff Summers, in the Atlantic, did a good job of talking about the war on boys.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2000/05/the-war-against-boys/304659/

    They are lost, with no jobs and no future, and they are angry. Now, just add guns…

  32. Steve Hynd says:

    @Moderate Mom:

    This guy does not look African-American. But he does say he’s a Republican. http://www.rawstory.com/2015/10/umpqua-college-terrorist-identified-as-26-year-old-chris-harper-mercer/

  33. M. Bouffant says:

    @Jack: You’re a pleasant fellow. If I understand you correctly, you just said to hell w/ the approximately 19,000 annual victims of suicide by gun in this country. Just not a problem to you, right?

  34. cian says:

    The far right/republican/NRA/ Christian fundamentalist axis won this battle a long time ago, and have nothing to fear from Government taking reasonable actions. The day twenty six kids were gunned down in their classroom and nothing changed was the day they knew the war was over. No other functioning country in the world would have allowed such an act to go unrectified.

  35. Lenoxus says:

    @Jack: Suicides are not irrelevant. The presence of a gun hugely increases the risk of a successful suicide. The apparent assumption behind treating suicides as irrelevant is that suicidal people will stop at nothing to kill themselves, which isn’t true. Limit their access to guns (for example, with waiting periods) and they might rethink, or try another less-consistently-lethal approach and increase the chances of winding up in the emergency room. As it happens, they almost always regret the attempt, which is a strong point against the notion that it’s somehow more “pro-choice” (ugh) to let people kill themselves.

    This way-too-common idea that legal availability of guns has zero deterrent effect on those who would kill (themselves or others) is simply untrue. And yet the same conservatives who seem to believe this are also big on taking every possible precaution against terrorists rather than say “Look, they’ll figure out a way to kill lots of people no matter what we do…”

  36. gVOR08 says:

    @cian: Once upon a time we would have done something.
    Once upon a time sensible gun laws received bipartisan support, including Ronald Reagan.
    Once upon a time SCOTUS thought the “militia” thing meant something and gun possession was a collective, not individual, right.
    Once upon a time the NRA was an organization of hunters and target shooters promoting gun training and safety.
    Once upon a time talk radio, FOX News, and Republicans hadn’t driven a third of the country completely out of touch with reality.

  37. Mu says:

    Suicides will happen, if you can’t have guns people look for different means. In German, PTSD from having suiciders splatter over their windshield is a major cause for disability retirement for train engineers.
    What gets me it the lack of decent proposals to actually affect anything like these shootings. Yes, you could probably eliminate most of them with the Australian or English solution, of course, outlawing and collecting guns on an island with no bordering countries is a bit different from policing a continent. Plus the fact that you’d need a constitutional amendment to implement it, and that has as much chance as a reasonable regulation on abortion. Simple restriction laws won’t make a lick of a difference, they’ll be a nuisance to gun owners but most mass shooters passed background checks and would have passed more stringent ones. We could try to rope mental health practitioners into even more mandatory reporting, but that would probably just drive the problem underground as the people who really need it would no longer go looking for help. Even worse if you make it illegal to have guns around mentally unstable similar to households with felons, the one thing that would have stopped Lanza.

  38. robz says:

    “These studies have also shown that gun control does not make people safer either (unless you carefully cherry-pick your data, a la Webster).”

    Tell it to Australia.

    Not that there’s any chance that the USA will follow in those footsteps.

  39. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jack: Because little chicken sh!t cowards who are so afraid of their shadows that they p!ss all over themselves every time they step out the door gotta have their guns.

    My bet is you are one of them.

  40. gVOR08 says:

    The important concepts here are “cost/benefit” and “actionable”. “Actionable” not in the legal usage, the project management usage, that a thing can be broken down into feasible action items.
    Two thirds of GUN OWNERS support better background checks. This can be done, it is actionable. It would not solve everything. The benefit would in fact be small. But the cost is essentially nothing. Unless you place undue value on ‘you’re not the boss of me’.
    The so called gun show loophole can be closed. Gun strokers claim it doesn’t even exist, so the cost of eliminating it must be nothing. Some small benefit, essentially no cost.
    Ban large magazines. Small benefit, no cost.
    Fund research. Small cost and there has to be benefit from better understanding.
    Take small bites where we can.

  41. KM says:

    @JDM:

    You know, I was going to give you a thumbs up for the ER work and frank discussion of consequences until you posted this shite:

    These boys, from blue collar families, feel powerless in a world where more girls attend college, and boys can’t be boys. Where yes means yes, but only for girls. I think the story from way back in 2000, from Christina Hoff Summers, in the Atlantic, did a good job of talking about the war on boys. They are lost, with no jobs and no future, and they are angry. Now, just add guns

    This is absolute garbage. It perpetrates the victim mentality the majority is fostering, that somehow a person who is doing better in this life is somehow taking away from them and grinding them down to the dirt. That life is a zero sum game where if Susie gets a point, it was unfairly stolen from Johnny. It’s as stupid as listening to a Christian complaining they are being persecuted for having to sell birth control but feel Muslims should not hold high office.

    WTF does “boys can’t be boys” actually mean? Spell it out – what exactly are they not allowed to do that means they are being invalided? This phrase gets trotted out by traditionalists who don’t want to articulate their complaints because they are aware of just how dumb they sound. Boys don’t automatically get the most attention in school because of their gender? It’s called tutoring and the parents picking up the slack. The majority of people get into college on their grades and extracurriculars. If your grades suck, bye bye Ivy League. Much like the whiner who sued because her grades weren’t good enough, perhaps hitting the books a little harder is the key. This is becoming an intellectual world where things like coding is not seen as ethereal skills but rather starting to become more basic knowledge. Blue collar families are just as intelligent and capable as white collar ones – it’s the cultural emphasis on education between the two that tends to make the difference.

    The whole yes means yes bit? Indicates you don’t really understand what consent truly means. Men don’t fear being sexually abused while passed out or incapacitated so you implicitly accept that your yes must mean yes. The idea that you have to ask and ask repeatedly for consent is common elsewhere in your daily life – you swipe your credit and then sign, to be sure this is what you agree to. You have to enter your email addy twice to confirm it’s correct on many pages. Complainers about yes = yes say it puts an undo burden on men by making them spend an extra few seconds to reaffirm everybody’s cool when it’s literally not a problem anywhere else in their day.

    Tl;dr If a man can’t stand that he’s being treated like everybody else and not given preferential treatment his whole life, that’s his problem. That his solution is to pick up a gun instead of bettering himself makes him a thug. It’s nobody’s fault but his these people are dead because he couldn’t deal with his anger.

  42. Jack says:

    @M. Bouffant: @Lenoxus: Japan is a very gun control nation, yet it has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. “Armed” with this fact, you position is effectively “dead”. But please, tell me more about how I am supposed to accept infringement on my rights because someone else is having a bad day.

  43. KM says:

    The News-Review newspaper in Douglas County quoted a student, Kortney Moore, saying the shooter had asked people their religion before opening fire. Moore could not be immediately reached for comment.

    Has this been confirmed anywhere else? This sound remarkably like the rumor from Columbine where they were picking off Christian kids. While certainly possible like the mall shootings in Nairobi, it’s seems out of place in the narrative we’re seeing for this attack. Was it just this one student asserting this?

  44. Jack says:

    @gVOR08:

    The benefit would in fact be small

    The benefit action would only apply to legal gun owners, further burdening their rights. Criminals do not get background checks. But you knew that, right?

  45. gVOR08 says:

    …(clenched teeth) DFTFT

  46. KM says:

    @Stonetools:

    No, I blame the American voter for enabling the blood suckers. It is the American voter who puts them in the power, and who listens when they claim that sensible gun laws threaten their freedom, their privilege and their manhood. It is the American voter who tolerates , year after year, this slow motion holocaust.

    This.

    So long as a large enough people can look at a terrible bloodshed and go “My absolute rights are more important then their lives”, we will never be able to have a rational discussion on this, let alone progress to a solution. It’s bone-deep in our culture and not going away anytime soon. Society is about give and take; if we can’t give a little, we’ll keep taking these bloody noses.

  47. CSK says:

    @KM:

    CNN and NBC report that Harper-Mercer asked the students what religion they were. If they identified as Christian, he shot them in the head. If not, he shot them in the legs, according to one witness.

    He lived with his mother, who told neighbors he had “mental issues ” She was, apparently, extremely protective of him, according to the NY Times.

    On his social media profiles, he identified himself as mixed race, anti-religious, and a supporter of the Irish Republican Army. He wore fatigues much of the time.

  48. Stonetools says:

    @Mu:

    So nothing can be done? Anyway most of what you spout is NRA propaganda, contradicted by the few studies that have been done despite NRA imposed rules barring federal funding if gun violence studies. FACT: Germany is a country in the middle of a continent that has countries on. Every borderborders yet thanks to its effective gun safety laws has a gun homicide rate that is one-fifteenth of the US rate. FACT: Even though it borders the most violent and gun happy industrialized country on Earth, Canada has a much lower gun homicide rate than the USA and has had only one mass shooting in 15years. This despite the fact that it is an even bigger country than the USA and has a vibrant hunting culture, etc.
    So , yes, something can be done. Canada and Germany don’t have a toxic gun cult, though. That is a difference.

  49. Davebo says:

    The gunman @Moderate Mom:

    Wow! You aren’t per chance from Utah are you?

    Of course, we all know African Americans just love them some Irish Republican Army!

  50. Jack says:

    @Stonetools: Feel free to strike the 2nd amendment then. Call your representative and get it done if you are so adament about it.

    Me, I will continue to defend myself with the tools I have and will continue to have despite what congress or SCOTUS rules.

  51. Bob @ Youngstown says:

    @gVOR08:

    Take small bites where we can.

    Yes
    And repeat and repeat…

    I have no sympathy for the “Jack’s” of this world who just can’t deal with having to wait several days before getting their deadly weapons.

  52. Jc says:

    Gun control is just that, control, not confiscation of sane peoples guns…except the control would be to confiscate guns from people with mental health issues and not allow people with mental health issues to have guns, which Jack obviously is concerned about, as we can all attest to his mental health seemingly being unbalanced.

    Even over 20 years ago Reagan the progressive knew we needed more gun control. An NRA member with common sense, but he died and likely common sense died with him.

    “Every year, an average of 9,200 Americans are murdered by handguns, according to Department of Justice statistics. This does not include suicides or the tens of thousands of robberies, rapes and assaults committed with handguns.

    This level of violence must be stopped. Sarah and Jim Brady are working hard to do that, and I say more power to them. If the passage of the Brady bill were to result in a reduction of only 10 or 15 percent of those numbers (and it could be a good deal greater), it would be well worth making it the law of the land.”

    and how did the NRA react? Well of course they attacked it and spent millions etc…No respect for Reagan, no respect for common sense and no respect for the 2nd amendment as they don’t even put the full amendment text on their building.

    Like someone else said, if after 20+ children are slaughtered and congress does nothing, then nothing will ever be done – disgusting

    but I am not worried, I know Jack, my concealed carry cowboy, will be there to protect us…

  53. Stan says:

    @JDM: As the father of a daughter who died too soon, I understand only too well the grief felt by the families of the latest shooting victims. But on your larger point, the impoverished lives of many American men, I realize the horrible effects of outsourcing, technological advances, and the increased political power of our donor class on people of modest means, but I’m not sure if men have suffered disproportionately. Or, if they have, why they have. Yes, women attend college more than men these days, and yes, they’ll probably wind up with better careers and more financial success. My question is why? Does it have to do with male culture? Or American popular culture in general? Do Canadian, Dutch, and German men suffer from the same financial and emotional problems as American men? If they do, why aren’t they going on shooting rampages the way our guys do? I can’t figure it out.

  54. Jack says:

    @Bob @ Youngstown: I have only bought guns through FFLs. There should be no mandatory waiting requirement if you have instant check–performed by all FFLs. Even a California court agreed that a waiting period for those that hold carry permits does nothing but burden those wishing to acquire a firearm. Admit it, you simply want to put in place more barriers and cost to gun ownership thus persuading those at the lower end of the economic spectrum of those with an immediate need for a tool for self defense (abusive partner), to forego the firearm option.

  55. Jack says:

    @Jc:

    but I am not worried, I know Jack, my concealed carry cowboy, will be there to protect us…

    Well….not you.

  56. KM says:

    @CSK:

    If CNN and NBC have it “according to one witness”, then they are citing Ms Moore as her name seems to be the only one out there so far. If he was indeed shooting them in the leg for being non-Christian, then this should be able to be confirmed by one of the injured or another.

    I just think it’s strange this keeps getting cited and there’s only one witness. It may be true but it’s very odd that if that was his selection criteria, several people haven’t come forward to affirm it.

  57. CSK says:

    @KM:

    There’s another witness/victim now, Anastasia Boylan, who says the same thing. According to her, the gunman said,”Good.You’re going to see God in a minute.” She was shot, but survived by playing dead.

    Harper-Mercer had attended an elementary school for emotionally disturbed children, so whatever his psychiatric issues were, they were longstanding.

  58. Jc says:

    @Jack: Good. I will take my chances with police protection and solace in knowing old men like yourself are dying off as well as their tired ideas and fear and anger over…well…everything.

  59. SC_Birdflyte says:

    John Brown, just before his hanging, said something like, “I am now firmly convinced that the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged except with blood.” I fear he was right; we will get sensible gun legislation (NOT confiscation) when there is a mass shooting in which the victims are members of Congress or the NRA Board of Directors. That is not the kind of lesson it should take, but it may very well be.

  60. Jack says:

    I wonder if Obama insists the “Moderate Syrians”, to whom he is providing weapons and training, undergo the same strict requirements to own a weapon that he wants to impose in the US. I highly doubt it since these same moderates, once training is complete, walk across the border into Syria and hand their newly acquired weapons over to the people they are supposed to be fighting.

    Obama is a douche of the highest order.

  61. gVOR08 says:

    @KM:

    It’s nobody’s fault but his

    That’s in a way true, but irrelevant. The question should not be, “Who’s at fault?”, the question should be, “What do we do?” Respond pragmatically. Pragmatism has the side benefit of confusing conservatives.

  62. Jack says:

    @Jc:

    I will take my chances with police protection

    The same police you rail over every time they kill another innocent? Those police?

  63. Mu says:

    @Stonetools:
    Not saying nothing can be done. I’m only saying that I haven’t seen a single proposal that wouldn’t require either a massive change on the supreme court or an amendment that would actually do anything to affect these kind of events. Mike Reynolds always has a long lists of changes he’d like to see, pretty close to “max” what anybody is asking for, and none of them would have made a real difference. Stronger background checks might have stopped the SC guy as he had some pending charges, but they wouldn’t have stopped Colorado or Connecticut. Smaller magazines are just eyewash, a guy carrying 3 -4 guns isn’t stopped because he has to switch more often. Ditto for assault rifle bans. And don’t forget that gun laws are mostly state based, to institute drastic changes you need all the red states to follow, what is just as likely as an amendment.
    As for the idiots in the NRA, they’re probably hurting gun owners more in the long run for their focus on republicans only.

  64. gVOR08 says:

    @SC_Birdflyte: Last time we got sensible gun regulation it was because someone tried to assassinate a Republican President. Time before that was largely because the Black Panthers had taken to open carrying.

  65. Lenoxus says:

    @Jack: For cultural reasons, Japan is such an outlier on suicide that low gun availability doesn’t entirely offset the rate. To put that another way, if gun restrictions were loosened in Australia or Germany, there might be more suicides, but suicide wouldn’t become the leading cause of death for young men, like in Japan. And Japan wouldn’t benefit from less gun control either.

    Of course it’s possible the US is a cultural outlier for these kinds of massacres. I actually think it is, but not so much that gun policy would have no effect.

  66. Stonetools says:

    This post by soonergrunt on Balloon Juice is appropriate:

    Over the next few days, we are going to see the typical gun-humper responses to these events, all intended to stifle discussion. Indeed, we’ve already seen them start, within minutes of the first reports of the shooting in Oregon.

    “Now is not the time…” “Don’t politicize this…” “What about (Chicago/New York/Baltimore)” “If only there had been more good guys with guns…” This last one is the current favorite, to my observation

    I fvcking hate these people. I’ve known more than a few of them in my life. Almost all of them white, most middle aged, and very very few of them having any fvcking clue what they’d do in an active shooter situation, but they all have fantasies of being the guy who stands up, unholsters, takes aim, and delivers righteous justice without hesitation, mercy, or mistake.

    As more than one study has shown, that is simply not what will happen. Few if any Concealed Carriers will even clear the holster before becoming casualties themselves, and in many cases, they will engage other innocents.

    It just doesn’t work.

    And from the comments:

    Houston police responded to a shooting call around 11:15 p.m. Saturday at a Valero gas station on Jensen Drive at Reid Street in north Houston. Officials say two men jumped another man in the gas station parking lot and took the victim’s Chevrolet pickup truck. Police say a witness then pulled out a gun and began shooting at the suspects, accidentally hitting the carjacking victim in the head.

    So, yeah, the vigilante thing doesn’t work, except on TV and in the minds of middle aged gun nuts.
    For context, soonergrunt is a retired US Army veteran who knows what active shooting is all about.

  67. Stonetools says:

    Please release my comment from moderation. My fault for not editing a quote

  68. KM says:

    @gVOR08 :

    The question should not be, “Who’s at fault?”, the question should be, “What do we do?” Respond pragmatically.

    Determining fault is pragmatic – you can’t fix something if you don’t know where the problem is. Blame is different. Blaming is like wishing – pointless noise and nothing else.

    Still, your point is taken in that many will focus on blaming others while not correcting the underlying faults. It’s easier to squawk then roll up your sleeves and change.

  69. al-Ameda says:

    @Paul L.:

    US has a larger population and larger percentage of minorities than other industrialized countries.

    I do not believe that our minority population is the one perpetrating these mass shooting incidents. Seems that much the mass shooting carnage is carried out by angry, disaffected, alienated, and mentally disturbed white males.

    It’s both a public heath problem, and one associated with easy access to acquire guns. With a supply of over 300 million guns these incidents will inevitably happen periodically, and the fact is politically we’re not especially interested in doing anything about it.

  70. Jack says:

    The only things that evil and crazy understand are strength, and force. If evil and crazy believe that they will be met with force, they shy away, for they are inherently cowardly. If they were brave, they would engage people who are capable of fighting back. The majority of mass murders occur within “gun free zones”, because the murderers will not be met with strength or force, only submission. Helpless and submissive victims attracts evil and crazy.

    Murder is against the law and carries some of our harshest penalties, yet these sick weirdos never seem to obey that one. Does any rational person expect evil and crazy to obey a minor law against having too many rounds in a magazine…or a law prohibiting them from bringing a firearm to where they intend to commit mass murder? No rational person can possibly think those laws can be effective, yet we seem to insist upon them, with predictable effect…Helpless and submissive victims for evil and crazy to prey upon.

  71. Jc says:

    @Jack: Can you provide a quote where I railed against police, because I don’t think I ever have. I know watching Fear, Outrage, Xenophobia network while fielding multiple troll postings online can be time consuming, but please lookup my “railings” you claim, but better yet, please get up and go outside – retirement is better spent being active and I am sure your doctor would prefer you keep your BP and weight in check. Sitting in the basement “railing” against the ever changing world is not going to help that.

  72. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Jack: Actually, criminals get background checks, too. You don’t want to get caught selling to a police decoy, ya know. Just a different goal.

  73. gVOR08 says:

    @KM: The point I’m trying to make is that blaming the shooter, while valid, is fruitless. Of course he’s to blame. Where does that get us? Shoot him dead again?
    Rain is the root cause of floods. Rain is at fault for floods. Rain is to blame. We don’t stop floods by attacking rain. We do what we can do, we build dams and levees. Take the small, practical steps we can on guns. If that pisses off Jack, well that’s just a bonus.

  74. Jc says:

    If evil and crazy believe that they will be met with force, they shy away, for they are inherently cowardly.

    Tell that to ISIS, Jack. As for here in the U.S., more forceful laws and regulations sound good to me. I mean, you are not evil, crazy maybe, but I’ll bet you buckle your seat belt – It’s the law – did you “rail” against that crazy restrictive law back in the day, or do you long for being able to drive unfettered by that belt – longing for those days of driving freedom long ago taken away…

  75. Jack says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: Criminals do not undergo background checks to buy a gun. They get them off the street, steal them, or have a strawman buy them for them.

  76. Jack says:

    @Jc:

    Tell that to ISIS, Jack.

    HA! Oh, I almost fell out of my chair on that one. ISIS, like Putin, treats Obama and the US military with disregard because they know the military will not be let off the short leash with which Obama has restrained it.

  77. Stonetools says:

    @Mu:

    Back ground checks that include mental health histories and mandatory safety training by instructors trained to spot applicants with mental health issues would most likely have stopped wackos like Holmes and Lanza from getting guns-all without a need for constitutional amendments.
    Since Loughner was captured when he stopped to reload there actually is empirical evidence that limiting magazine sizes would help in these mass shooting incidents.
    I’m for regulating weapons on the basis of how deadly they actually are , which means that the tightest regulations would be on handguns, but yes, assault rifles-or whatever the gun nuts insist on calling them these days- should be closely regulated. As Ozarks Hillbilly said, any so called sportsman who needs an assault rifle with a large magazine to hunt shouldn’t be hunting, period.
    I’m Ok with minimal regulation for shotguns, bolt action rifles, and antique pieces , but there should be deep background checks and mandatory safety training requirements for handguns and assault rifles. If it irritates “legitimate” gun owners, well with great power goes great responsibility. We don’t allow people to drive semi trailers, fly jet airplanes, or use C/4 explosives without special licensing requirements, either. Note that the last falls under the category of “arms” under the Second Amendment, also.

  78. Jack says:

    @gVOR08:

    I have a gun

    You don’t want me to have a gun

    I won’t give up my gun.

    Your move.

  79. Jack says:

    @Stonetools:

    We don’t allow people to drive semi trailers, fly jet airplanes, or use C/4 explosives without special licensing requirements, either.

    None of which are rights. So, yeah.

  80. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Bob @ Youngstown: Thank you for reminding me. The criminal background check from the FBI for my teaching job (as a substitute teacher) was just delayed for another 6-8 weeks while I get my prints redone. Reason: one print of the set of 20 total–10 individual and 2 full hand–did not look enough like the others that the FBI was willing to confirm that the city police fingerprint technician who took them took all 20 from one person.

    On the plus side, I don’t have a problem with when to take my trip to New Zealand anymore and my taxes will be simple. I won’t be doing any teaching work until January at the earliest now.

    And yet the burden of not being able to get a gun for two day (!!!gasp!!!) is an imposition on some RWNJs rights. Mmmmmkaaaaaayy.

  81. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Jack:

    The same police you rail over every time they kill another innocent? Those police?

    Don’t have a problem on that level, I’m white and 23 times less likely to be shot by a police officer because of it.

  82. Stonetools says:

    @Jack:

    Re read the last sentence, then try again.
    Also too, Dylan Roof was a criminal- who went through an improperly done background check. A better or better done background check would have stopped him getting that gun. A universal background check would have stopped him from legally acquiring any gun.
    And a background check prevented the Navy Yard shooter from buying an AR 15. He had to settle for a less deadly shotgun.
    So background checks work-and better, deeper background checks would work better. Not that this evidence will change the minds of fanatics like Jack.

  83. Andre Kenji says:

    @Paul L.: Minorities(AKA as “low income people”) could explain a high homicide rate, but not mass murders. These are generally Middle Class crimes.

  84. al-Ameda says:

    @Jack:

    HA! Oh, I almost fell out of my chair on that one. ISIS, like Putin, treats Obama and the US military with disregard because they know the military will not be let off the short leash with which Obama has restrained it.

    Obama has done nothing to restrain our military, nothing.
    Evidently you have forgotten how, many months ago, the Republican congress voted to deny President Obama the authority to launch air strikes against ISIS encampments in Syria.

  85. robz says:

    As we already have rules restricting which armaments citizens may own, restricting some more types of arms wouldn’t be unconstitutional. True or false?

  86. Mu says:

    @Stonetools:

    Back ground checks that include mental health histories and mandatory safety training by instructors trained to spot applicants with mental health issues would most likely have stopped wackos like Holmes and Lanza from getting guns-all without a need for constitutional amendments.

    You know, that’s the same argument the Jim Crow south used to keep people from voting via election boards and literacy tests. “Can’t have the imbeciles exercise such power, it has to be properly judged that they’re fit to do it.” They did it without constitutional amendment too.
    That gets us down the most slippery slope again. If someone is found to be mentally unstable for gun carrying purposes, does he still get to vote? Does he lose the right to procreate? Can she choose to have an abortion without consent by a moral judgement board? We had all that 50 years ago, plenty of people left who want those things back if you give them an opening.

  87. Jack says:

    @Stonetools:

    Also too, Dylan Roof was a criminal- who went through an improperly done background check.

    No. He went through a standard background check which completed within 3 days. If you cannot find disqualifying information within 3 days, the check must be approved. Had they dug deeper after the 3 days and found something disqualifying, then they should have picked him up.

    A better or better done background check would have stopped him getting that gun. A universal background check would have stopped him from legally acquiring any gun.

    The “universal background check” of which you speak is the exact same check done by the exact same FFLs. The proposals on the table stipulate that person-to-person sales will undergo a NICS check. The one’s performed by FFLs.

    And a background check prevented the Navy Yard shooter from buying an AR 15. He had to settle for a less deadly shotgun.

    No. He was not prevented from buying an AR-15. “Update: The attorney for Sharpshooters says that Alexis did not try to buy an AR-15, that he only rented one, and that it was a handgun that Alexis was prevented from purchasing. This is consistent with Virginia state law that restricts the sale of handguns to out of state residents.”

    Any other lies you would like me to shoot down?

  88. Jack says:

    @robz: False. In Heller, SCOTUS ruled you cannot ban an entire class of weapons in common use.

  89. michael reynolds says:

    @cian:

    No, sorry, you’re wrong. You anti-gun side has just been going at this wrong. They’ve made this all about law, and it’s not just about law.

    As I have said so many times I’m tired of my own voice: this has to be a hearts and minds campaign. Stop with the laws, start with the education, and in particular, start with kids.

    Gun owners are carriers of a disease. They’re basically ebola vectors. They need to be seen for what they are: as dangers to public health. That’s the fight. If you reduce gun ownership, if you reduce the number of retailers willing to sell guns, you reduce the power of the gun cult.

    Cut the number of newly-infected people, isolate the already-infected, shut down the retailers, like Wal-Mart, who spread the disease.

  90. Pinky says:

    Daily Beast (for what that’s worth) is saying mother white, father black, self-identified conservative Republican, anti-religion, pro-IRA.

  91. Jack says:

    @michael reynolds: They tried all that with drugs, and look how that turned out.

  92. grumpy realist says:

    The guy seemed to be a mixed-race white supremacist anti-religion nut?
    Uh, wut?

    Between this and the whole Peeple thing I’m starting to think we’re living in a SNL skit.

  93. Hal_10000 says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    The big thing Vox harps on as “new” research and that Obama harped on is that states w/ more guns have more gun deaths. Aside from correlation not being causation … and the research but not being new but simply restating what has been known for decades … if you broaden that concept to charting *murders* against gun ownership rates, the relationship get very noisy, with an R of 0.1 and huge outliers. The proper way to do this analysis is longitudinal, seeing what happens when states loosen or tighten their gun laws. The problem is that, as the NRC found, you don’t find that gun control changes much.

    Tell it to Australia.

    US gun violence and murders declined *more* sharply than Australia since they passed their big anti-gun law. And please don’t cite Australia and then tell me you don’t want to take everyone’s guns, since that’s what Australia did.

    Well more data has been gathered since 2004, which was the basis of the recent analyses cited in the Vox article. Let’s also note that it’s the gun industry lobbyists and their enablers in Congress that has prevented the gathering of data and the funding of studies on the gun violence issue. . No doubt you think that’s a coincidence.

    Incorrect on both counts. Vox is using similar data to the earlier study. And there *are* ongoing studies, funded privately, notably the Bloomberg Center at JHU (source of cherry-picked studies loved by anti-gun types). Again, make up your minds: is there no research being done? Or does “all the research” say gun control works. (Answer: there is research being done; it doesn’t show that gun control works.)

    I don’t oppose background checks or closing the gun show loophole. But the idea that gun control will drastically reduce gun violence is a fantasy based on cherry-picking data. If this were the case, we would see it dramatically in the data. It wouldn’t be “well we need to do more work”. Gun control is the ultimate in Do Something Politics: We must do something. This is something. Let’s do it.

  94. KM says:

    @Mu:

    That gets us down the most slippery slope again. If someone is found to be mentally unstable for gun carrying purposes, does he still get to vote? Does he lose the right to procreate? Can she choose to have an abortion without consent by a moral judgement board? We had all that 50 years ago, plenty of people left who want those things back if you give them an opening.

    Ah yes, the slippery slope. An oldie but goodie.

    Clearly, someone’s never worked in a group home before. There already are assessments on whether some residents are Eyes-On or can be left alone legally to snuggle. However, they are based on the ability to understand and properly consent to the act in order to prevent abuse, not morally determine if they should be allowed or not. The whole idea is safety, both theirs and others. How in the hell you shoehorn voting in the slippery slope is odd since the legal basis for the supervision and restrictions is for the safety and security. They also cannot waive fundamental constitutional rights and charges of civil rights abuse are commonly leveled against workers following legal directives that interfere with these.

    There was an incident after a knife fight (with multiple injuries and arrests!) wherein the local police issued a written directive to secure all sharp kitchen blades in the main office and the residents filed civil rights abuse charges against all the workers. Apparently, having to go to the main office to get the butcher knife is a hideous violation and deliberate humiliation. The company acquiesced, the charges were dropped, and there was another knife fight 3 weeks later that permanently crippled a resident. No lessons were learned, only blood on the floor.

    There comes a point when one needs to stop and really think about what they are arguing. If “someone is found to be mentally unstable for gun carrying purposes” then they are a danger to themselves and others based on concrete evidence they cannot safely operate a gun. If you are seriously arguing that this should not be an allowed impediment in order to prevent a slippery slope, then you have, quite frankly, lost your marbles.

  95. KM says:

    @grumpy realist :

    whole Peeple thing

    Do I wanna know? I’m deliberately not googling in case it makes me want to dive headfirst in my bourbon…..

  96. robz says:

    “US gun violence and murders declined *more* sharply than Australia since they passed their big anti-gun law.”

    It looks like Australia had a reduction of 50%+ in gun homicides. You telling me that the USA has done better?

    “And please don’t cite Australia and then tell me you don’t want to take everyone’s guns, since that’s what Australia did.”

    Australia did not take everyone’s guns. They had a gun buyback which probably doesn’t account for more than a third of the guns that they had. And they also passed some laws concerning automatic and semi-automatic weapons.

    As it happens, I own two shotguns and unless I happen to go insane, I think there is very very little chance that anyone will be taking them away from me.

  97. Hal_10000 says:

    @robz:

    In 1991, the US hit a peak homicide rate was 9.8. By 1996, it was already down to 7.4. It is currently at 4.5. That’s a 40% reduction since 1996 and 55% reduction over the past twenty years.

    In 1993 (earliest year I can find on Aussie website) the Australian homicide rate was 1.7. In 1997, it was still at 1.7. In 2012, the latest year I can find on their site, it is 1.1 (gun homicides are down a bit further, but “other means” are up). That’s a 36% reduction.

    I wish I knew how we could reduce it further, since 4.5 is obviously still WAY too high. But I don’t think gun control is the answer. The scary thing about that huge decline in violence is no one knows why it happened. I’ve heard broken windows policing, lead, imprisonment, more cops, less gun control, more abortion, better economy … just about every theory. None of them really hold water. I think ending the War on Drugs could help a great deal since we saw a big reduction in violence the last time we ended a prohibition.

  98. Bob @ Youngstown says:

    @Jack:

    Then are you only speaking for those with concealed permits?

  99. Pinky says:

    @Hal_10000: And the pattern shows up across first-world countries with very different policies, and different changes in policies. Weird.

    I don’t know if other countries are experiencing this, but the US seems to be on a murder spree this year.

  100. Stonetools says:

    @Jack:

    Ah, no to you , mate. Roof went through a background check which failed to reveal his criminal record. Your explanation is an excellent argument for a better criminal background check that doesn’t have o be completed in less than 3 days. Had there been a better background check system in place, nine people would be alive. That would be less convenient, so of course you are not concerned with that, but non gun worshippers would happily take that trade off.

    I’m going to ignore what the shooter’s defense attorney said nand go with the salient fact that the background check prevented him from using his proffered weapon – an AR 15 and a handgun- and limited him to using a shotgun, thus saving lives.
    Again, saving lives is less important to you than scoring points, but us non sociopaths see things differently.

  101. Jc says:

    @Hal_10000:

    So we have the U.S. at 4.5 now
    and
    Aus at 1.1
    Can at 1.6
    France at 1.0
    UK at 1.0
    Italy at .9
    Spain at .8
    Sweden at .7
    Switz at .6
    China a 1.0
    Japan .3

    Maybe we should do what they do, except we will never do what they do – but seriously of all these countries, ours is the worst – that is sad – We should do everything and anything to be on par with at least 1.0

  102. Stonetools says:

    @Hal_10000:

    Interesting as your nitpicking may be to you , there is really far too much evidence that arms Control-including the specific form called gun control- works including evidence from the rest of world. Looking at you cite Australia, I have to laugh. Australia has a gun homicide rate that the USA would die for and you are nitpicking the effectiveness of Australian gun control?

    I think that you would better off admitting that gun control works, and arguing for your preferred method. That’s a less ideological, more evidence based approach. Just a suggestion.

  103. robz says:

    @Hal_10000

    From http://www.factcheck.org/2009/05/gun-control-in-australia/

    In the seven years prior to 1997, firearms were used in 24 percent of all Australian homicides. But most recently, firearms were used in only 11 percent of Australian homicides, according to figures for the 12 months ending July 1, 2007.

    In any event, Australia passed their laws because of series of mass shootings, culminating with the Port Arthur massacre. Since then, I believe they’ve had just one shooting spree(where there were just two people killed.)

    Violence is down pretty much everywhere in the Western world. You referred to the decline of lead in the environment in your list of possible causes. That’s where I’d put my money.

  104. Grewgills says:

    @Hal_10000, given how low the Aussie rate was to start it, it is amazing that they managed better than a 30% reduction. Contra that the US rate was astoundingly high at the point you chose to begin the comparison, so it doesn’t exactly say what you are saying it does.

  105. Jc says:

    @Hal_10000:

    I’ve heard broken windows policing, lead, imprisonment, more cops, less gun control, more abortion, better economy … just about every theory.

    Also, don’t forget, we are a much much older population nowadays than in the past. Quite significantly

  106. Pinky says:

    @Stonetools: A more evidence-based less ideological approach is to ignore the data and make an assertion about policy that may not be supportable?

    @Grewgills: If one number is bigger than another, you can still compare the percentage change.

  107. Grewgills says:

    @Pinky:
    If one number is ridiculously low at the beginning there isn’t much room to decrease. There is going to be a floor, no country of any size and diversity is going to reach 0. When the other number is near an all time high for all industrialized countries with functioning governments, then comparisons become more tricky.
    Comparisons are tricky for a variety of societal and geographic reasons, but saying that Australia dropping from 1.7 to 1.1 while the US dropped from 9.8 to 4.5 indicates the Australian approach was less effective doesn’t wash.
    Both countries made changes in that time that lowered violent crime, both were effective in lowering overall levels of violent crime. That doesn’t in any way invalidate the effectiveness of any of the measures used by either country.

  108. Mu says:

    @KM: This is the fallacy

    If “someone is found to be mentally unstable for gun carrying purposes” then they are a danger to themselves and others based on concrete evidence they cannot safely operate a gun.

    Someone is FOUND to be mentally unstable. They FOUND people in the south to be illiterate and therefore unable to vote, they FOUND people to be mentally handicapped therefore they needed to be sterilized. All of these are judgements by people that only in the rarest of cases were qualified to make these statements.
    Now, if you propose that anybody whose mental capacity to hold a gun is in doubt that person has to undergo an evaluation by a qualified, neutral specialist, I think it’s perfectly reasonable (just like I think registration, safe storage rules etc are reasonable as long as they’re not used punitively). It’s the “you have to pass our board” before you get to do it that I have an issue. I’d trust a NY or CA gun safety board just as much to give everybody a fair evaluation as I do a Mississippi literacy board ca. 1950.

  109. Lenoxus says:

    @Mu:

    I’d trust a NY or CA gun safety board just as much to give everybody a fair evaluation as I do a Mississippi literacy board ca. 1950.

    Honestly curious — do you think they’d be biased for/against something that’s independent of mental stability? Such as religion, race, political beliefs?

    When you bring up literacy tests it blurs two issues. One is that those tests were applied for clearly racial reasons, but the other is that they’re a bad idea in themselves. When you started out bringing in voting rights, it sounded an awful lot like you genuinely thought mental stability shouldn’t be a factor at all, but I guess that’s not the case.

    If mental-fitness tests are actually a facade for some form of prejudice, or if they have been used that way, that should be part of the national discussion. But it’s much harder to argue that literally any not-currently-imprisoned adult citizen who can physically operate a gun should be permitted to have one. (By contrast, that is my feeling about voting — some states have mental-fitness tests that I think should be abolished entirely.)

  110. Tillman says:

    It wouldn’t catch every maniac, but I think anyone the Army lets go of probably should be flagged in background checks.

    If the military thinks there’s something wrong enough with you to keep you out of the service…

    @Mu: That’s self-defeating reasoning. Those neutral specialists would be chosen by the same board in that instance.

  111. Mu says:

    @Tillman: True, but if you at least make e.g. board certification in psychology mandatory it limits the pool of people who’re in it strictly for political reasons.
    Of course, my dad (MD, DDS) always claimed the reason psychologists love wearing lab coats is so they’re clearly distinguishable from their patients.

  112. Pinky says:

    @Grewgills: That could be right, or it could be an argument for buying elephant repellent.

  113. bill says:

    @Jeremy R: he was obviously insane if he thought all those groups were compatible with his views. (plus he killed a bunch of people….’nuff said?)
    the ira is based on religious drama , nazi’s are against religion and conservatives are pro-religion in this country. plus, wasn’t he half black? i’m not joining the masses who acknowledge his existence by googling anything about him.

  114. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @michael reynolds: Gonna be hard to make this one about hearts and minds when most of the conversants either don’t have hearts or don’t have minds (or don’t have both).

    You’re talking about impulse control to sex addicts And you’re talking to them about it while they are watching porn. While I still hope for your success because of your skill as a wordsmith, I think the +4/-7 score says…

  115. gVOR08 says:

    @Jack: I don’t want to take your gun. (Assuming you’re not a convicted felon, under a restraining order or have a history of violence or mental issues.) I’m with Reynolds. I want your kids, if any, to think you having a gun was so 20th century. I support small, incremental laws because they might do some good at essentially no cost, but also because they help send that message.

  116. ernieyeball says:

    Boy, 11, Reportedly Shoots Dead 8-Year-Old Neighbor After She Said He Couldn’t See Her Puppy

    Another day in second amendment America.
    http://news.yahoo.com/boy-11-reportedly-shoots-dead-211512315.html

  117. gVOR08 says:

    @ernieyeball: My conservative friends think there’s a big Obama led liberal conspiracy to not mention black on black crime. Try to convince them it’s not reported because neither they nor the supposedly liberal MSM care about black on black crime. And this sort of thing is even worse under-reported. Local story or nothing. Why? Because it’s dog bites man, it’s depressingly common, it’s not news.

    Turns out the boy’s father owns the shotgun the kid used. He apparently left a loaded 12 gauge where the kid could get to it. How’s this for a small, incremental change that won’t inconvenience “responsible gun owners”? The father goes to prison. You fail to maintain control and someone has an accident or commits a crime with your gun, you go to prison for negligence.

  118. ernieyeball says:

    @gVOR08:..And this sort of thing is even worse under-reported. Local story or nothing. Why? Because it’s dog bites man, it’s depressingly common, it’s not news.

    Well. I guess you have to go to England to read about killings in Hopkinsville, Kentucky.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2353522/Boy-4-shot-sister-6-face-picking-grandfathers-gun.html
    Here’s another totally preventable child on child killing.

    “It was God’s will. It was her time to go, I guess,” she told WLEX. “I just know she’s in heaven right now and I know she’s in good hands with the Lord.”
    http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/01/us/kentucky-accidential-shooting/

    Google:
    https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=brother+kills+sister+with+father%27s+gun
    to read more about “god’s will”.
    Some people are just sick fvcks.