NRA’s Post-Parkland Tone Deafness

Personal attacks on teenagers whose friends were murdered is a strategy sure to backfire.

The National Rifle Association has managed, through a combination of lobbying and persuasion, to ward off significant gun restrictions in the wake of dozens of mass shootings that captured the national attention. Their handling of the post-Parkland protests, however, has been anything but politically savvy.

WaPo (“NRA host taunts Parkland teens: ‘No one would know your names’ if classmates were still alive“):

As they’ve stepped out of the hallways of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and into the national spotlight, the Parkland, Fla., teenagers have become Twitter influencers, TV news show mainstays and the stoic-faced subjects of a Time magazine cover.

But they’ve also increasingly become targets: Their most prominent critics are people who see them less as survivors of a tragedy and more as pawns in a larger effort to influence gun policy.

The latest attack came from Colion Noir, a host on NRATV who took to the airwaves on the eve of the Parkland teens-led March on Washington, telling them: “No one would know your names” if a student gunman hadn’t stormed into their school and killed three staff members and 14 students.

While true that these students are getting a national spotlight because their friends were murdered, it’s an incredibly callous and stupid thing to say. Especially when the students would certainly prefer that their friends hadn’t been murdered, obviating the impetus for the protests.

“To all the kids from Parkland getting ready to use your First Amendment to attack everyone else’s Second Amendment at your march on Saturday, I wish a hero like Blaine Gaskill had been at Marjory Douglas High School last month because your classmates would still be alive and no one would know your names, because the media would have completely and utterly ignored your story, the way they ignored his,” Noir said.

Colion Noir is a pseudonym for Collins Iyare Idehen Jr., a lawyer and gun rights activist from Houston who has nearly 650,000 subscribers on YouTube. The man he references, St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Deputy Blaine Gaskill, is the 34-year-old SWAT-trained officer who engaged a teenager who shot his ex-girlfriend at Great Mills High School in Southern Maryland. Noir and others have said Gaskill’s intervention illustrates that the solution to school gun violence is more “good guys with guns.”

That’s a rather nonsensical argument. It would be near impossible logistically to have SWAT-trained officers patrolling every school in America, let alone in sufficient quantity to spot potential spree shooters ahead of time. And, even with Gaskill’s presence, a 16-year-old girl is dead and a 14-year-old boy severely wounded.

Noir is the latest of a growing number of people who’ve criticized the teens. An aide to a Florida legislator was fired after he called the school shooting survivors crisis actors who travel from tragic place to tragic place making impassioned but bogus political pleas to take away gun rights. Donald Trump Jr. liked a tweet saying one of the most vocal students had been coached by his FBI-agent father to peddle “anti-Trump rhetoric and anti-gun legislation.”

And several people have criticized the teens for smiling on the set of CBS’s morning news show, saying the students were “posing for the photos like they are partying rock stars.”

But Noir accuses the teens of being downright un-American in creating a march he says is designed to promote stripping others of their Second Amendment rights.

It’s perfectly reasonable to argue that the rights of gun owners, 99+ percent of whom are law-abiding, should not be taken away in overreaction to tragedy. Dave Schuler does just that:

Have you noticed that the solutions to school shooting being proposed by the young people who will be marching this weekend are maximalist ones that impinge upon other people’s freedoms and force other people to change their behavior rather than more narrowly tailored changes that impinge on their own freedoms and cause them to change their own behavior?

I’m in favor of ending or even curtailing school shootings. If we really wanted to accomplish that, we’d be looking at solutions like metal detectors at school entrances, guards, and searching those who enter schools rather than disarming millions of people who are merely exercising something they consider a fundamental right and will never go into a school and shoot them up.

But attacking the teenagers themselves? That’s simply tacky—and a strategy sure to backfire on the NRA and its supporters.

FILED UNDER: Guns and Gun Control
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. MarkedMan says:

    Gaskill responded admirably and did the best thing he could have done in a bad situation. But there is no evidence that I know of that Rollins intended to shoot anyone other than his ex-girlfriend and, perhaps, the male student he shot. Details have been scarce but it seems he was in the hallway for about a minute without firing another shot. We will never know if Gaskill’s heroic action saved more lives or not.

    What we do know is that Rollins lived in a gun owning household. I assume his father, who bought the gun used in the shooting, thought he was making his family safe by bringing guns into his house, despite the evidence that households with guns are significantly more likely to see them used for suicide or for violence within the family than to defend it from criminals.

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  2. TM01 says:

    First, let’s compare the full quote:
    I wish a hero like Blaine Gaskill had been at Marjory Douglas High School last month because your classmates would still be alive and no one would know your names, because the media would have completely and utterly ignored your story, the way they ignored his,”

    To the misleading, biased snippet from WaPo:
    “No one would know your names” if a student gunman hadn’t stormed into their school and killed three staff members and 14 students.

    I’m still trying to figure out what exactly is wrong with the full quote.

    And at 18, Hogg is an adult. He’s thrown himself into this full steam ahead, vulgarity, communist salutes and all. He doesn’t get to hide behind the Child Shield anymore.

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  3. beth says:

    I’m in favor of ending or even curtailing school shootings. If we really wanted to accomplish that, we’d be looking at solutions like metal detectors at school entrances, guards, and searching those who enter schools

    I can walk up to the guard sitting at the metal detector at my kid’s school with an AR-15 hidden behind my coat and take him out before he can even get up out of his seat. You just don’t get it – it’s the guns, it’s the guns, it’s the guns.

    These kids are changing hearts and minds – good for them.

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  4. drj says:

    Wow. That Dave Schuler guy really comes off as a giant dick.

    He is, in effect, whining that schoolchildren expect to be accommodated so that they won’t be shot to death in their classrooms.

    What on earth is unreasonable about that? Seriously?

    But it gets worse.

    …and force other people to change their behavior rather than more narrowly tailored changes that impinge on their own freedoms and cause them to change their own behavior?

    And what are some of these “narrowly tailored changes?”

    metal detectors at school entrances, guards, and searching those who enter schools

    So every day, tens of millions of schoolchildren will have to be watched by armed guards, pass metal detectors, and could possibly be searched so that gun owners won’t have to give a flying fuck about others?

    This is not an example of some reasonable viewpoint. This is entitled selfishness taken to the extreme.

    These kids are absolutely right to put forward maximalist demands.

    If people want to own guns they should join a well regulated militia.

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  5. wr says:

    So according to Schuler, restricting access to guns is a maximilist approach that impinge on people’s freedoms and force other people to change their behavior while turning every public space into a hardened prison patrolled by armed guards, with entrance and exit monitored and restricted, civillians armed at all times, everyone subject to search is a narrowly focused change that will merely instruct the potential victims how to change their behavior.

    As always, the tiniest restriction on any weapon is a massive repudiation of freedom, while the virtual imprisonment of the law-abiding is a mere inconvenience.

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  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    If we really wanted to accomplish that, we’d be looking at solutions like metal detectors at school entrances, guards, and searching those who enter schools rather than disarming millions of people who are merely exercising something they consider a fundamental right and will never go into a school and shoot them up.

    Yes, lets turn our schools into armed camps where students no longer have any 4th Amendment rights so that gun fetish absolutists can continue to parade around with military weapons in a vain attempt to bolster their flagging manhood due to a fundamental misreading of the 2nd Amendment pushed by a propaganda machine whose sole reason for its continuing to exist is for the bolstering of profit margins for firearms manufacturers.

    I am sick to death of people who think the 2nd Amendment is absolute while all the other amendments are conditional.

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  7. MBunge says:

    It would be nice if people wouldn’t attack these kids. It would also be nice if people didn’t use these kids to try and emotionally short-circuit the gun debate. It’s been pretty well documented that there are plenty of adults behind the scenes of what’s going on with these kids and plenty of evidence out front that any kid who doesn’t conform to the “correct” opinion is being written out of the story.

    That their classmates were killed doesn’t mean these kids know anything about guns, any more than a Jimmy Kimmel having a sick kid means he knows a blessed thing about health care policy.

    Here’s a suggestion: If you want a world where no one attacks these kids, make it a world where the Washington Post doesn’t try to take a reasonably defensible statement and twist it into something outrageous.

    Mike

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  8. Rick DeMent says:

    I think the NRA has finally gotten to the point where the ram has touched the wall. The NRA radicalized in late 70’s when they went from being a largely non-partisan group that promoted hunting, marksmanship, conservation, and gun safety to a “civil rights” organization. From that point on, the NRA has gone all in on the culture wars with a predictable and stake out an absolutist interpretation of the 2nd amendment. Anytime any gun restrictions were proposed, they went on an all-out assault with lobbying, lawsuits, and ads. They even opposed background checks arguing that a three day waiting period was an intolerable infringement on the RTKABA. Other things were opposed like 30 round magazines, silencers and bump stocks.

    Now shooting as a hobby has been in slow decline for a long time but even at its height gun ownership was only about half the US households. Some gun owners were staunch singer issue voters who responded to the scare tactics and the fear mongering and an overall narrative where any restrictions on gun ownership was a one way ticket to a totalitarian police state. The rhetoric got more and more radical and heated and was brought to a fervor pitch when a Black man was elected president.

    The gun nuts were animated and enraged all the time, but most people just didn’t care. So they didn’t pay any attention to the gun nuts. The rhetoric was over the top, sure, but most people didn’t really hear it. It wasn’t for them. It was aimed at the single issue voters and culture warriors. So what changed? Well, the election of Trump and the far right wing agenda is now on center stage. No more hiding in the shadows, it’s now out there front and center. We have a dangerous psychopath in the white house spouting insane nonsense daily, and a feckless congress so craven in pushing through their agenda at any cost they were willing to do whatever it took, even if it meant outright procedural witchcraft to shove it though. Then Parkland happened.

    Yes, there had been shootings before and the Las Vegas shooting was much bloodier. Most people thought, well not at least we might get Bump stocks banned. Then the NRA when to work, “Too early to talk about it” they said. “Guns aren’t the problem”, they said. “Why punish law abiding gun owners”, they said. And above it all, their solution was more guns.

    Meanwhile, most people were thinking to themselves WTF? We can’t even get bump stocks banned? And gun control supporters were sitting around suffering from political PTSD over notion that anytime they mentioned even the most incremental restrictions, the full weight and fury of the NRA and it culture worriers would be brought to bear.

    In the wake of Parkland, and the usual round of thoughts and prayers, the White house starting talking about more guns in schools, and maybe bump sticks and raise the age of owning an AR-15. Bur NRA said No, No, and No! But then these teens who didn’t have anything to lose from the NRA said: STOP! Enough of this shit.

    But the NRA went right back to their tried and true playbook and put out this utter piece of crap which capsulated every gun nut, culture war, fear mongering, end of the world troupe they could think of and finally most of us just sat back jaws on the floor and said, fuck that.

    NRA Black art propaganda

    And to put an even finer point on it the NRA finally got it’s wish. Finally, a good guy with a gun stopped a bad guy in Maryland. And the gun lobby rejoiced. But they find out that it was too little too late. But for those playing along at home let’s look at the differences in this situation and why it didn’t change the conversation.

    First of all, it was largely a domestic dispute between the shooter and his girlfriend, not a bloody rampage. Second, the shooter had a pistol, not an AR-15, which by the way, are banned in the State of Maryland. Sure if he really wanted one he could have gotten one, but he had access to a pistol that that’s what he used. Third, the officer was a trained in SWAT tactics, not a teacher moonlighting as a gun-slinger. And finally a girl ended up dead anyway and one more wounded. Thank god the kid only has a pistol and not an AR-15.

    So yes the world would never know the names of Emma Gonzalez, Cameron Kasky, Jaclyn Corin, David Hogg, and Alex Wind had they not lived through the horror of the Parkland school shooting. But by golly, the world knows their names now.

    Conversely, the only reason I know the name of Colion Noir is became he is the last dying breath of an idea is now being buried under the weight of its own irrelevance.

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  9. michael reynolds says:

    It’s just pure, Grade A bullsh!t to say the student’s demands were ‘maximalist.’ What nonsense. They don’t want to be shot in their schools. They don’t want to be shot in their neighborhoods. They don’t want to be shot, I don’t want to be shot, I don’t want my wife to have a gun pressed to her head as happened. The problem here is guns. The entirety of the problem is guns.

    Here is the March for Our Lives website list of demands.

    1) Fund research into gun deaths.
    2) Eliminate absurd regulations on the ATF.
    3) Universal background checks.
    4) Ban high capacity magazines.
    5) Ban assault rifles.

    80% of Americans including most gun owners support this moderate agenda. You will notice that there is no call for outlawing guns, no call for repealing the 2d Amendment, no call for the ATF to start kicking in doors. The student’s agenda is rational, moderate, popular and the bare goddamn minimum they have a right to demand.

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  10. michael reynolds says:

    @MBunge:
    Fck you. Really.

    No one manipulated these kids. And charges of manipulation from a man who acts as if Trump had his tiny hand all the way up his rectum and was working him like a sock puppet is pretty rich. Fox News brainwashee objects to ‘manipulation.’

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  11. Lounsbury says:

    Queer, the buy in to a massive, fallacious red herring:

    If we really wanted to accomplish that, we’d be looking at solutions like metal detectors at school entrances, guards, and searching those who enter schools rather than disarming millions of people who are merely exercising something they consider a fundamental right and will never go into a school and shoot them up.

    while I really don’t give a fig as to what USA Land actually does in this area, this is rather absurd.

    Other advanced, developed (and indeed developing) liberal democracies with perfectly robust civil liberties track-records rather manage not to have repeated school massacres and yet as in my own child’s school, manage not to find the “only” real solution is to turn schools into defensive security zones worthy of prisons or law enforcement centres, with guards, metal detectors etc. Indeed without so much as pat-down screening.

    Since you have rather nicely multiple advanced liberal democracies across both Western and non Western cultures as control cases, it is not particularly difficult to see that the one Western nation that has fetishized – and the term is used deliberately – generally and certainly comparatively unrestricted gun-ownership has an uncontrolled security issue that goes along with that irrational fetishization.

    Well, in any case the irrational fetishization and rather pitifully absurd gun-hero fantasies are clearly not going to change chez USA (and that’s perfectly fine, a choice to tolerate as you lot wish), but really it would be nice to see less absurdly illogical arguments.

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  12. Lounsbury says:

    @michael reynolds: Troll, mate, troll. Not even worth the f-off.

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  13. TM01 says:

    @michael reynolds:
    Define Assault Rifle, tool.

    Seriously. Because I really don’t think you have any what you’re talking about, and just like to spew out taking points.

    Democrats have already called for banning all semi automatic guns, so stop with the BS about no one wanting to ban all guns.

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  14. James Pearce says:

    If we really wanted to accomplish that, we’d be looking at solutions like metal detectors at school entrances

    I hate this “metal detectors at school entrances” idea. It’s like we’ve decided that we’re going to subject everyone to unreasonable searches –I’m just trying to get to math class, man– because we can’t subject the relatively few gun owners in our country to rather mild restrictions. Like, what freedom calculator came up with that result? Throw it out.

    How about instead of treating everyone like a potential shooter, we just treat the shooters like potential killers? I know, I know, you’re a law-abiding gun owner and you don’t want to be treated like a potential killer.

    Well, I don’t even own a gun, and I don’t either.

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  15. michael reynolds says:

    @TM01:

    “a lightweight rifle developed from the sub-machine gun, which may be set to fire automatically or semi-automatically.”

    Though of course the real issue is the punch of the ammo. We should be able to design a simple test having to do with muzzle velocity.

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  16. Stormy Dragon says:

    One has to remember that the NRA often acts like the R stands for Republican, that is, more and more their goal is just to get Republicans elected for their own sake rather than protecting gun rights.

    Example:
    FCC chair gets ‘courage under fire’ award for overseeing net neutrality repeal

    Seen in that light, this tone deafness is pandering to the Trumpistas. Long run, this is likely to end up being a penny smart, pound foolish strategy on their part.

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  17. James Pearce says:

    @TM01:

    Define Assault Rifle, tool.

    If you want to get stuck on definitions, we can play that game too.

    Any reusable weapon that fires more than one bullet and is longer than 2 inches, we’ll call that an assault rifle. Now what?

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  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MBunge:

    That their classmates were killed doesn’t mean these kids know anything about guns, any more than a Jimmy Kimmel having a sick kid means he knows a blessed thing about health care policy.

    They know more about the price society pays for unlimited gun rights than you ever will (if you’re lucky) because they have paid that price. WTF do you know about it? Have you ever seen somebody get shot? I have. Do you have a clue how much blood a human body contains? I do. Can you even imagine what a dying man with no brains sounds like? I don’t have to imagine, I know. Do you know how the screams of children just coming upon the scene of their newly minted orphanhood tears thru one? I do. Do you know the helplessness of trying to shield those children from that unexplainable horror? I do.

    I will never forget. I can’t forget. No matter how much I might want to never again hear those screams they still echo thru my memories. Is it emotional? You DogDamned right it is. Funny how it is only those who have felt the pain and suffered the losses of gun violence who are not allowed their emotions to fuel their arguments, but the 2nd Amendment absolutists are allowed to be consumed by their basest urges to just blow sh!t up. Like that contributes to society more than the children of MSD high school ever would have.

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  19. TM01 says:

    @michael reynolds: great.

    Now explain how that apples to an AR15.

    And now you’re on to muzzle velocity, as if you think that makes you sound smarter.

    Maybe you should think about why the AR15 has become the weapon of choice for police department and swat teams. One answer, which I’m sure you already know based upon your Superior Intellect, is that the bullets tend to not penetrate walls, which is actually a good thing when overall safety of other officers and bystanders is taken into consideration.

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  20. TM01 says:

    @James Pearce:
    I think that you just completely destroyed michael reynolds’s assertion that No One is talking about banning all guns.

    So thanks for that.

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  21. TM01 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: funny how only SOME victims are allowed to speak.

    What about Kyle Kashuv ?

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  22. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @TM01: Any auto or semi auto firearm with a detachable magazine or non detachable magazine capable of holding more than 5 rounds.

    Don’t like my definition? Fine. Come up with another that accomplishes the feat of removing weapons of war from the streets of our country.

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  23. Stormy Dragon says:

    @TM01:

    I think that you just completely destroyed michael reynolds’s assertion that No One is talking about banning all guns.

    Reynolds himself has repeatedly spoken about his desire to ban all guns here. The “reasonable gun control” canard is the motte of a motte-and-bailey fallacy.

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  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @TM01: You are right. The DEAD never get to speak again.

    Fish in a barrel.

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  25. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    The NRA is fvcking up…because instead of compromising even a little bit , they fight every single little piece of common sense regulation every time there is one of these shootings…so that when the pendulum swings, it is going to swing hard. It might not be this time. But it’s coming. You can’t look at 800,000 people in DC yesterday and think the status quo is going to last forever.
    Most of the NRA membership is for background checks yet the NRA spends tens of millions to fight background checks. They aren’t serving their members and they certainly aren’t serving the general public. They are only serving the gun manufacturers.
    So here’s my question to Paul Ryan; if one of these tragic events happened at your children’s school, would that finally be enough for you to choose the safety of children over the millions that the NRA gives you and your party? Or not?

  26. TM01 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: you idiots on the Left keep talking about fully automatic rifles as if everyone has one.

    Saying Weapons Of War again makes you sound like a raving lunatic.

    AND you’re saying to make practically all guns illegal.

    When you gain some intelligence and stop lying about what you want to actually do, then we can have a discussion about guns and some actually common sense ideas.

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  27. TM01 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: also, what about fish in a barrel?

    Like watching them, or what?

  28. michael reynolds says:

    @TM01:
    Spare me the Priesthood of the Gun posturing, OK? I’ve fired .22 rifles and handguns, several .38 and .357 handguns. Used to own a Colt .45 Commander. Used to own a .410 shotgun. Used to own a lever-action Marlin .32. The first gun I fired was a Ruger Blackhawk .44 magnum (the blued steel.) .12 gauge shotguns of course. Let’s see, a .270 hunting rifle don’t recall the make, the M1 Garand rifle and the carbine, the Thompson submachine gun and the Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR.)

    So, sorry, I’m not your NRA fantasy of a pansy Berkeley professor type. I’ve even made my own ammo – right from melting the lead. And before I had to go to progressive lenses I was not a bad shot. But, see, I’m like a guy who does coke a few times and shrugs it off. You’re the addict with the Swiss cheese septum. You were weak enough to be sucked in, I wasn’t. And do you know why? Because I realized owning guns made me vulnerable and weak. It made me dependent. You know: like on drugs.

    In other words, translating from Gun Nut to Normal Human, you know I’m right about muzzle velocity. It is the kinetic power in the slug that causes the catastrophic damage. That’s just physics. It doesn’t matter what the weapon looks like, it matters how much power is behind the slug.

    And that, my little friend, is quite easy to regulate.

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  29. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    Look…I am a certifiable gear head. If it’s a machine I’m all for it. I have eight bicycles, 5 motorcycles, a boat, and about every tool imaginable.
    I’ve got nothing against guns; they are machines…tools. I’m currently in the market for a good deal on a Colt 1911. My brother has 68 guns at last count.
    Not so long ago nobody could have imagined walking into Walmart and buying an AR-15. Today we cannot imagine what you are going to be able to buy in Walmart 10-15 years from now.
    We need to stop trying to piecemeal this and start making the ability to own a gun commensurate with it’s purpose…killing. Leave the guns alone…but regulate the fvck out of people who want them. Make the requirements for owning a gun commensurate with it’s purpose…killing people.
    I design buildings for a living. In order to get a license to do that I had to get a masters degree. I had to spend a good deal of time (years) training under another person who was licensed. Then I had to pass a test that took 9 days, all together, to get thru. Still I have to complete 18 hours of continuing education each year. Getting a license to practice law, or medicine is even worse.
    Yet all I need to do in order to have a machine, whose sole purpose is to kill people, is to fill out a couple forms. I might have to wait a couple days.
    Well-regulated in the second amendment means well-trained, well-disciplined. We need to make rigorous training, testing, and ongoing training and testing a requirement to owning a machine designed and intended to kill people.
    And for people who would fight that…I ask why? Why are you not for the Second Amendment? Why are you not willing to be well-trained?

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  30. michael reynolds says:

    Here, just for you, @TM01: me firing a Thompson.

  31. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @TM01:

    you idiots on the Left keep talking about fully automatic rifles as if everyone has one.

    OOOOhhhh burn…. Not. Saying fully automatic weapon is necessary if one is trying to inclusively define “assault weapons”. But then, if you were engaged this discussion in anything like a serious matter, you’d have figured that out.

    Saying Weapons Of War again makes you sound like a raving lunatic.

    No, defending the possession of them by civilians makes you a lunatic.

    AND you’re saying to make practically all guns illegal.

    BS, the fact that you said that only shows how truly ignorant of guns you are. I own 5 guns. Only one of them, my 10-22 ruger would meet that definition and I would gladly give it up and buy a bolt action to save a human life.

    When you gain some intelligence and stop lying about what you want to actually do,

    You dumb fvck, I own guns. Unlike you, I actually use them on a not infrequent basis for the purposes they were made for.

    then we can have a discussion about guns and some actually common sense ideas.

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA….. you say as you cowardly slink away from my challenge to come up with a definition that will accomplish the feat of removing these weapons from civilian hands.

    As for fish in a barrel, this just proves my point.

  32. michael reynolds says:

    @Lounsbury:
    I was watching comic Jim Jeffords at the Edinburgh Fringe some years back with my British publicist and his wife. A scuffle broke out in the audience, a drunk presumably. Enough that Jeffords had to suspend until the guy was taken out.

    Because my publicist was a Brit, he was annoyed by a display of bad manners. Because I’m an American I was deciding whether to hit the deck or go for the side exit when the shooting started. Given my job I’ve been in and out of many, many British schools. They almost all have security in the form of a locked door and a sign-in procedure. Not a single one had a metal detector. Nor do they have armed guards.

    The United States is sick in the head when it comes to guns. The whole world sees it.

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  33. @TM01:

    Define Assault Rifle, tool.

    I am so tired of this retort. Yes, any law would have to define whatever the law was governing. And maybe a real debate about how to define the term (which yes, I know is more a popular term than a term of art) would be helpful.

    It is not unreasonable to suggest that making commercially available versions of weapons that were initially designed for combat might be a bad idea.

    One can “protect one’s home” with a handgun. One can hunt with a bolt-action rifle. One does not need an AR-15 or similar weapon. And even if we can’t agree on that, one clearly does not need high capacity magazines.

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  34. @TM01:

    Saying Weapons Of War again makes you sound like a raving lunatic.

    Except that the Ar-15, for example, is a version of a weapon used in combat. It was not developed to hunt deer. It was developed to kill people in war. You can complain about the labeling all you like.

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  35. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    one clearly does not need high capacity magazines.

    They have argued against that statement, so to them, there is nothing clear about it.

  36. @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    We need to stop trying to piecemeal this and start making the ability to own a gun commensurate with it’s purpose…killing.

    We seem incapable of admitting this fact: that guns exist primarily as tools to facilitate killing. We should, therefore, make policy with this in mind.

  37. James Pearce says:

    @TM01:

    I think that you just completely destroyed michael reynolds’s assertion that No One is talking about banning all guns.

    Your welcome.

    Make no mistake: We are coming for your guns. But you’re in luck. Unlike the NRA maximalists, we’re reasonable people. We can be assuaged with “common sense” gun control measures.

    @Stormy Dragon:

    The “reasonable gun control” canard is the motte of a motte-and-bailey fallacy.

    Hmmm…I’m not sure that’s accurate, but I can understand how and why you came to that conclusion. It can be summed up in two words. One of them is bad, and the other is faith.

  38. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: My stepdaughter’s FIL has a sticker on his SUV that says, “Guns Save Lives”. It doesn’t mention “by Killing”.

    FTR, I actually know someone who had to defend himself and his wife from an armed intruder. Both he and his wife got shot. Like me, he lives way out in the boonie woods. The assault was preceded by months of criminal complaints being filed, Orders of Protection being attained, countless phone calls to the Sherriff’s dept telling them that this individual with multiple arrest warrants was at his home so they could come and arrest him, etc etc too many breakdowns in law enforcement to mention.

  39. Andy says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Here is the March for Our Lives website list of demands.

    1) Fund research into gun deaths.
    2) Eliminate absurd regulations on the ATF.
    3) Universal background checks.
    4) Ban high capacity magazines.
    5) Ban assault rifles.

    This is the sad irony of what passes for the modern gun control debate. Neither side offers solutions that would have actually prevented this or most other mass shootings. The March for our Lives list of demands, had they been implemented, would not have impacted the Parkland shooting much less prevented it. The NRA’s “good guy with a gun” didn’t stop this shooting either.

    I keep going back to efficacy, which is sorely missing from this debate. If one seriously and actually wants to stop mass shootings like Parkland, then I think one needs to propose solutions that would actually have stopped mass shootings like the one at Parkland. These incidents should be looked at similarly to how we look at airplane crashes – an investigation to find the specific causes and faults, followed by specific fixes that, had they been in place, would have prevented the incident in the first place. Instead, the pro-and anti-gun crowds throw the same dogmatic “solutions” back and forth after each incident, regardless of circumstance.

    My own view is that there are few short-term fixes and gun control could work, but only over the long term. However, for short-term fixes, Parkland is another clear example of the deficiencies in our background check system. It’s also past time to reconsider the circumstances, particularly in gray areas, that could get someone added to a no buy list. Demanding “universal” background checks won’t do much as long as the system remains a balkanized mess.

    Over the long-term, I think the only gun control measure that will actually have an effect is to ban all semi-automatic weapons with detachable magazines. But even then we would still have to be realistic about the effect that would have, and how long it would take for existing guns in circulation to be retired before we’d see any appreciable decrease in gun violence or mass shootings. After all, Charles Whitman primarily used a shotgun and bolt-action rifle in the UT tower shooting.

    But to get there, you have to convince people and there is precious little of that these days.

    The bottom line for me, again, is about effective solutions, not dogmatic ones. For all their good intentions, the March for our Lives movement, the gun control movement generally and the NRA and their supporters continue to focus on the dogmatic over the effective.

  40. @OzarkHillbilly: The point is: the reason guns can be used as protection is because they present the threat of fairly rapid death. It is their primary function.

    To note that they exist as a tool of death is not to obviate the notion that they can be used for protection.

  41. Mike in Arlington says:

    I was watching the Godfather I and II recently and something struck me, almost all of the characters used revolvers or shotguns. I can think of one case where the weapons presumably had a removable box magazine, but it was off screen (at the beginning of II during the attempted assassination of Michael). There may have been others, but this was the only case I can think of. This struck me because now everybody is portrayed using a handgun with a removable magazine.

    The reason I make this point is that semi automatic rifles with removable large capacity magazines in use by civilians weren’t terribly common until the mid to late 80s. Sure, they existed, obviously, and they were sold to the civilian population well before the 80s, obviously, but even police were using revolvers for a long time.

    So my question is this: is it possible that these mass shootings were less common not because of something happening in the population but because weapons with high capacity magazines weren’t as common until the 80s-90s? So, isn’t a part of the potential solution not banning “assault rifles” but banning high capacity removable magazines?

  42. gVOR08 says:

    VOX today has a good summary of how we went from a “collective right” view of the 2nd to an “individual right” in a short period of time.

    That changed with Heller, when Justice Antonin Scalia concluded in the Court’s opinion that “the Second Amendment conferred an individual right to keep and bear arms.”

    The change started with the RWNJ take over of the NRA in 1977. It was eventually embraced by a Republican Party eager to find any cultural issue to campaign on rather than mention policy.

    As Republican strategist Grover Norquist said in 2000, “The question is intensity versus preference. You can always get a certain percentage to say they are in favor of some gun controls. But are they going to vote on their ‘control’ position?” Probably not, Norquist suggested, “but for that 4-5 percent who care about guns, they will vote on this.”

    Precedent is supposed to carry a lot of weight in the law, but somehow IOKIYAR wipes out a hundred years of “collective right” interpretation of the Second.

  43. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Andy:

    Over the long-term, I think the only gun control measure that will actually have an effect is to ban all semi-automatic weapons with detachable magazines.

    Agreed.

    But even then we would still have to be realistic about the effect that would have, and how long it would take for existing guns in circulation to be retired before we’d see any appreciable decrease in gun violence or mass shootings.

    First, finance a serious gun buy back program. 2nd, make penalties for possession with some serious bite (5 yrs minimum in the federal pen? YMMV) 3rd, Make the penalties for madifications/manufacturing even more severe (25 yr minimum? YMMV). 4, the sale of any such weapon- 25 yrsminimum (again YMMV). 5, bump stocks and expanded mags too.

    Those 5 steps would go a long way towards incentivizing the turning in of assault weapons. Those that would not get turned in (yes, some would hang onto them in preparation of the fight against their tyrannical democratically elected govt) would stay hidden away never even being brought out for practice. This would go a long ways towards reducing the lethality of mass shootings.

    After all, Charles Whitman primarily used a shotgun and bolt-action rifle in the UT tower shooting.

    No, it would not end them. Anyone who took up a sniper’s position as Whitman did would cause considerable damage. But would the Las Vegas shooter have been able to kill 59 and causing injuries to 500 more with a bolt action 30-06 deer rifle? No.

  44. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    To note that they exist as a tool of death is not to obviate the notion that they can be used for protection.

    I thought I made that clear by referring to my Business Reps experience, and intimating that I own a couple handguns for the same reason.

  45. Mikey says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Except that the Ar-15, for example, is a version of a weapon used in combat. It was not developed to hunt deer. It was developed to kill people in war.

    This is true beyond any doubt.

    I served 20 years in the military, of which 13 were in one of the four USAF enlisted specialties classified as “Battlefield Airmen.” I’ve fired pretty much every individually-carried weapon in the US arsenal and a couple of the crew-served ones, and several from foreign militaries. I qualified as “expert” in both the Air Force and Army courses of fire, on both handgun and rifle, more than once. I am a combat veteran. I know about guns.

    The AR-15 type rifle exists to kill humans. Period. It is optimized, in form and function, for that purpose. That it can be re-purposed to kill varmints on Western ranches, or for some other purpose, is irrelevant to what it was created to do. The AR-15 was created solely to kill people. All the gun fetishists’ pedantic dancing around the “definition” of “assault rifle” is simple and stupid distraction. It is a weapon of war, meant to kill the enemy as quickly and efficiently as possible. The difference between the military-issued variant and the civilian-available AR-15 is that the former has a selector for three-round burst.

    If you think “that’s not much of a difference,” you’re right. It’s not.

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  46. michael reynolds says:

    @Andy:
    I largely agree. Contra the two idiots upstream I’ve never called for a ban on guns. In fact I must have written 50 times that I see this as a hearts and minds campaign. I want gun ownership stigmatized except in the case of necessary hunting weapons, cops, military. I want to do to guns what has been done so successfully with cigarettes. It isn’t law that primarily moved the tobacco debate, it was a change in the zeitgeist.

    And that is exactly what the marchers accomplished. They changed hearts and minds. The changes to the law are secondary. By the time we pass laws resistance will already have been broken. Republicans are stupid but even they must be able to see the yawning gulf opening up between millennials and Gen Z on the one hand, and their septuagenarian Foxbot voters. The GOP is on the wrong side of past vs. future, and that is not a winning position.

    So, we are winning the fight for hearts and minds. We’ve broken the NRA’s wall of total rejection – in Florida, no less. There’s no getting away from the fact that thanks to these teenagers we’ve moved the ball further forward than at any time in my memory.

    I’m not calling for banning anything. My one specific suggestion is that schools keep a registry of all student homes where guns are present, so that parents can decide whether or not to let their kids visit those homes. School districts can do that right now, today. Easy peasy. That’s a practical way to have a real effect, because if there’s one thing a middle schooler does not want it’s to be singled out, and in the vast majority of schools the homes with guns will be a small minority.

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  47. @OzarkHillbilly:

    Anyone who took up a sniper’s position as Whitman did would cause considerable damage. But would the Las Vegas shooter have been able to kill 59 and causing injuries to 500 more with a bolt action 30-06 deer rifle? No.

    Exactly.

  48. @OzarkHillbilly:

    I thought I made that clear by referring to my Business Reps experience, and intimating that I own a couple handguns for the same reason.

    I was unclear on your point, so I further clarified mine.

  49. Mister Bluster says:

    More words of wisdom from Ricky Dink.

    Washington (CNN)CNN commentator and former Pennsylvania GOP Sen. Rick Santorum on Sunday suggested students protesting for gun control legislation would be better served by taking CPR classes and preparing for active shooter scenarios.

    “How about kids instead of looking to someone else to solve their problem, do something about maybe taking CPR classes or trying to deal with situations that when there is a violent shooter that you can actually respond to that,” Santorum said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

    Why doesn’t he just say Death to High School students! and be done with it.

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  50. Back to the specific topic of the post: the NRA may be strengthening their positions with their base, but their reaction to the students in particular are stunningly tone deaf. While I still do not expect major policy changes from this political moment, the reality is is that this shooting has generated a substantial public response. The NRA could have taken a more compassionate approach, but instead are doubling down on the crazy.

  51. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Got it. My point is only that they seem to go to great rhetorical lengths to avoid acknowledging the fact that a death is still the result, and to the point that they do acknowledge it, it is always the bad guys who die.

    I remember confronting a guy who was attempting to “steal” my truck. He was, as far as I could tell as drunk as a skunk. Or maybe he was just pretending to be. Either way, how’d he get into my truck? (99% sure it was locked, habit in that neighborhood) At one point he said, “I got my gun and I’m ready to go.” At that point, in a “Stand your Ground” or Castle Doctrine” way, maybe I would have been justified in shooting him? As was, it never even occurred to me to do anything more than to just keep talking to him until the cops got there.

  52. Andy says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I agree with you that a hearts-and-minds campaign is the only thing that will work in the long run. I’ve frequently said the gun control movement should adopt the strategies of successful movements in the past, notably the Temperance and Civil Rights Movements. They haven’t and have instead gone for the Washington-centric donor-lobby-equivocation approach. I don’t think it’s working well for them and I don’t think it can succeed long-term.

    I do agree that this march may have moved the bubble somewhat – but that comes after many decades of retrenchment and failure. It remains to be seen whether it is lasting and whether the gun control movement can capitalize on it in some meaningful way. I’m skeptical.

    And that’s why I focus on efficacy. People, eventually, can smell bullshit. Attempting to sell a program purported to solve a problem (mass shootings) that doesn’t actually solve that problem (the gun control movement’s dogmatic list of proposals) is bound to fail eventually. The Temperance and Civil Rights movement, by contrast, did not equivocate when it came to their goals and the methods necessary to bring them to reality.

  53. Modulo Myself says:

    Gun-lovers and the NRA don’t want gun control to be effective. The reason you get into guns is because you hate being wrong, and if gun control works, then you’re wrong. And that’s wrong and your dad will claw his way out of the grave and call you a sissy. Plus, there’s uppity teens, women, and black people, and let’s not forget about the elite havens on the coast.

  54. @OzarkHillbilly:

    My point is only that they seem to go to great rhetorical lengths to avoid acknowledging the fact that a death is still the result, and to the point that they do acknowledge it, it is always the bad guys who die.

    Exactly–and agreed.

  55. Stormy Dragon says:

    @michael reynolds:

    So, we are winning the fight for hearts and minds. We’ve broken the NRA’s wall of total rejection – in Florida, no less.

    Notice how the measure of success at “fighting for hearts and minds” is legislative action? Because you’re a liar. You do want to ban all firearms; you just recognize you currently don’t have the political power to do that. Everything you propose short of that is purely an incremental strategic step toward that ultimate goal.

    And if you were at least open about your goals, I could probably respect that opinion even if I disagree with it. Instead what we get is you trying to gaslight people with this “no one wants to take all your guns” charade.

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  56. michael reynolds says:

    @Andy:
    I’m generally skeptical of progress on anything. I was here for the last election. I yield to no man in my disregard for the intelligence of the average voter. And I’ve been skeptical of demographic solutions (majority minority) since, despite being barely at 5th grade competence in math, I can still manage it better than most on the Left.

    That said, the polling among millennials is catastrophic for Republicans. Millennial women pick team blue 70 to 23. Even millennial men are blue by 8 points, which means Dems have a 20+ point edge among that cohort. I am not aware of any polls of the 17+ demo who will be eligible to vote in 2018, but I’ll hazard a guess that it’s even wider. That’s not some majority/minority fantasy, that’s a rising demo that cannot be gerrymandered, a demo that exists in every district. So the polls may show only a slight shift in current voters, but there’s a new crop coming and I don’t think they like guns.

  57. MarkedMan says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: many years ago, when the big three auto companies were fighting tooth and nail to prevent legislation that required them to equip all cars with seatbelts, Daniel Patrick Moynihan told them, “You can regulate yourselves, or Congress can regulate you, and do a clumsy job of it. But either way, you will get regulated so the choice is yours.” Years later, and now a US Senator he wrote that it was a real eye opener that the execs were so arrogant and so certain of their power that they simply could not imagine what was coming.

    I’m perfectly content if we ban everything but bolt action rifles and revolvers. So when the gun nuts start blathering on about we are so stupid we can’t even define what an assault weapon is, I remember that seat belt story. By refusing to participate in the debate the regulation will be left to people like me, who are happy to paint with a broad brush.

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  58. Stormy Dragon says:

    @michael reynolds:

    So the polls may show only a slight shift in current voters, but there’s a new crop coming and I don’t think they like guns.

    Millennials Are No More Liberal On Gun Control Than Elders, Polls Show

    Polling by the Pew Research Center last year came to similar conclusions: 50 percent of millennials, between the ages of 18 and 36, said gun laws in the U.S. should be more strict. That share was almost identical among the general public, according to Kim Parker, director of social trends research at Pew.

    Pew did find significant differences between millennials and older generations on two gun control proposals — banning assault-style weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. The results showed that a greater share of millennials — both Republicans and Democrats — are more conservative when it comes to those bans compared with Generation Xers, baby boomers and members of the silent generation.

    “What we’re hearing now in the immediate aftermath of Parkland might not be representative of what a whole generation feels,” Parker says.

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  59. Andy says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Young people often change their politics as they get older. Also, coalitions and parties change – just look at the massive changes to both in the past three decades.

    I think this notion by many Democrats and affiliates that “demographics is destiny” is a mistake. The future won’t play out in a linear fashion.

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  60. michael reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    Don’t call me a liar. I don’t lie. Used to, in fact I guarantee you my total lifetime output of lies is bigger than yours. But in large part because of that, I do not lie now. Not some moral stand, just that I began to have an almost physical revulsion to it. My lies now are limited to, “Yes, I totally noticed your new hairdo.”

    My daughter’s recent boyfriend (we’re on to another one now) a nice kid, I liked him a lot. He wants to be CHP when he gets through college. He works on a ranch up in Humboldt County* as a ranch hand. I don’t want to take his rifle away, it’s a tool of his trade. He has a valid reason to have one. Hunters, ditto. I have no objection to you shooting ducks.

    The laws I see as the end state are in line with those in the rest of the civilized world. I want licensing, background checks and purchases that match legitimate needs. I want no more large magazines, and loads appropriate to use. I don’t want handguns unless a person can make a case, in court or before an appropriate authority, for a need.

    But first, we are going to change the culture in this country and educate people to the fact that 3% of American gun owners own 50% of the weapons. That has nothing to do with hunting or self-defense. We’re going to stigmatize guns and gun owners. In fact, we’ve made a damned good start. Then we will pass effective, reasonable, world-standard gun laws.

    *Yes, I can guess what a ranch in Humboldt is growing.

  61. MarkedMan says:

    Oh, and as far as the idiocy about metal detectors in schools goes, I recommend that fine educational film “The Matrix” to see what can happen when someone armed with military style guns comes upon a metal detector manned by a couple of bored security guards.

  62. michael reynolds says:

    @Andy:
    No, it won’t be linear, but the research suggests strongly that people end up roughly where they started out politically. Guns are linked with positions on a host of social issues the young despise. They are not going to change their positions on gay rights or the rest.

  63. Two thoughts:

    1) Changing hearts and minds is about as democratic (small “d”) route to policy change as you can get.

    2) While demographics are not destiny, generational change on policy can very much be a real thing. The examples are long and include shifts on race, gender, gay rights, and smoking.

  64. Stormy Dragon says:

    @MarkedMan:
    The symphony I go to recently started making everyone go through metal detectors coming into the concert hall, which seems complete security theater to me given that none of the people running the metal detectors are armed.

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  65. James Pearce says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Contra the two idiots upstream I’ve never called for a ban on guns.

    Oh, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen you call for a ban on guns, dude…

    It’s kind of funny how you’re always the reasonable one, even when you’re barking at the moon. (To be fair, I’ve seen you use the term hearts and minds too, but I’ve also read through threads where you’re the idiot everyone is arguing with, and in those threads, you have, in fact, called for blanket gun bans.)

    @Andy:

    Attempting to sell a program purported to solve a problem (mass shootings) that doesn’t actually solve that problem (the gun control movement’s dogmatic list of proposals) is bound to fail eventually.

    First, thanks for presenting a view that a person thinking about this based on their own experiences and beliefs would come up with. It’s not just some nonsense regurgitated from some better coifed figure on TV.

    Second, gun control isn’t just about stopping mass shootings. It’s about reducing suicides, murders, police shootings (by and on), and a whole host of other social problems that are not caused by guns, but are made infinitely worse by them.

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  66. michael reynolds says:

    @James Pearce:
    Tell you what. I’ll donate $1000 to your favorite legitimate charity if you can show me where I called for a ban on all guns. You agree to pay my favorite charity just, oh, $100 for every time I’ve said it was a hearts and minds campaign. That’s fair, right?

  67. Andy says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    1) Changing hearts and minds is about as democratic (small “d”) route to policy change as you can get.

    Agreed. I maintain that is the most effective approach – and one that is much better than lobbying and the usual Washington-centric political action.

    2) While demographics are not destiny, generational change on policy can very much be a real thing. The examples are long and include shifts on race, gender, gay rights, and smoking.

    I think you’re right when it comes to discrete policies, there are major generational differences in these examples. What I think is a mistake is to assume that one party (in this case, Democrats), will inevitably benefit from future changes.

  68. Stormy Dragon says:

    @James Pearce:
    I don’t think he’s ever said the specific words “I want a ban on all guns”, but he has said things that make it clear that’s what he actually believes, like saying firearm ownership is the same as drunk driving (does he think we should legalize drunk driving?).

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  69. Andy says:

    @James Pearce:

    First, thanks for presenting a view that a person thinking about this based on their own experiences and beliefs would come up with. It’s not just some nonsense regurgitated from some better coifed figure on TV.

    Thank you. I gave up TV several years ago and it was a great decision.

    Second, gun control isn’t just about stopping mass shootings. It’s about reducing suicides, murders, police shootings (by and on), and a whole host of other social problems that are not caused by guns, but are made infinitely worse by them.

    The rhetoric after every mass shooting implies otherwise.

    For me it’s really simple – those who advocate solutions to problems (whatever that problem might be) have an obligation to demonstrate how their proposed solution would either solve or materially impact the problem in a positive way.

    When it comes to mass shootings, the gun control movement has consistently failed to meet that test and Parkland is no exception.

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  70. @Andy:

    What I think is a mistake is to assume that one party (in this case, Democrats), will inevitably benefit from future changes.

    Agreed.

  71. @Stormy Dragon:

    like saying firearm ownership is the same as drunk driving (does he think we should legalize drunk driving?).

    Drunk driving is an abuse of alcohol, and wanting to stop drunk driving is not a call for prohibition of alcohol.

    As such, if that is your evidence then you are undercutting your argument.

  72. James Pearce says:

    @michael reynolds:

    That’s fair, right?

    No, it’s just stupid. But okay….

    Took me all of five minutes to find this thread, which includes this:

    Guns should not be in private hands except in rare cases.

    and then there’s this thread, with this quote:

    A lot of picking around the edges doesn’t solve the real problem, because the real problem is gun ownership, period, full stop. People should not own guns.

    Although to be fair, you did say this in the same comment:

    Now, obviously changing the constitution in this regard is effectively impossible. And the Supremes are senile old folk who are in no danger of seeing sense. Which leaves voluntary action, social pressure as means to deal with this.

    So yeah, you do favor a hearts and minds approach, inexplicably with generous doses of name-calling, to what would effectively be a ban on guns.

    And no offense, because despite often tussling with you I have a lot of respect for you, but this “I support gun bans in the abstract, but I don’t have the moral courage to actually call for them” is one of the reasons why Emma Gonzalez stood on the podium in silence.

    (If you want, you can make the check out to Brent’s Place. Don’t do it for me. Do it because you apparently have a thousand bucks to waste on an idle bet and those families don’t.)

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  73. michael reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    I have also never said “guns are the same thing as drunk driving.” That would be a stupid analogy, and I don’t make stupid analogies. One is an object and the other is an action. I’ve certainly compared guns to cars since both are objects which take thousands of lives, and pointed out that an 18 year-old has an easier time getting an AR-15 than he does a driving license.

    What’s the matter, Stormy, was it my suggestion of schools making and circulating lists? Or is it just frustration that a bunch of teenagers have assumed moral leadership in this country and pushed the needle toward gun control?

  74. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    He didn’t say using a gun irresponsibly is the same as drunk driving. He said having a gun in your home is the same as drunk driving.

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  75. Stormy Dragon says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I have also never said “guns are the same thing as drunk driving.” That would be a stupid analogy, and I don’t make stupid analogies.

    @michael reynolds:

    Owning a gun in a home with a child is morally equivalent to drunk driving.

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  76. James Pearce says:

    @Andy:

    The rhetoric after every mass shooting implies otherwise.

    From who? Every single time, lefties call for gun control and righties call for more gun rights.

    So this “obligation to demonstrate” only applies to the one side? Gun massacres have become a common occurrence and most of them have come after the Heller decision.

    That, to me, demonstrates quite well the failure of the maximalist gun rights position.

  77. michael reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    Owning a gun with a child in the home is the moral equivalent of drunk driving. But you’ll notice that the analogy is between actions – owning and driving. Also, the qualifier ‘with a child in the home’ by definition excludes the majority of gun owners.

    So, let’s flip it, shall we? One could reasonably infer from my statement that most guns kept in most homes are not ‘drunk driving.’ Right? Right. And that is not what you accused me of while unjustly calling me a liar.

  78. Stormy Dragon says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Also, the qualifier ‘with a child in the home’ by definition excludes the majority of gun owners.

    Since roughly 60% of US households have children under 18 living in them, I’m betting a majority of gun owners do have a child in the home.

  79. MarkedMan says:

    @Stormy Dragon: I long ago came to the conclusion that most “security” just annoys the honest.

  80. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    “it’s an incredibly callous and stupid thing to say”

    Well, certainly. But it was NRA TV, so I’m not sure that we should have been expecting different. Republicans in general (and some significant number of Libertarians, also) say incredibly callous and stupid things on this type of topic all the time. It helps my resolve to never make the mistake of supporting Conservatism and Libertarianism ever again, so I thank them for their service.

  81. Andy says:

    @James Pearce:

    So this “obligation to demonstrate” only applies to the one side?

    I never said or implied that. The efficacy standard, in my view, applies to any proposal on any subject.

  82. DrDaveT says:

    @Andy:

    When it comes to mass shootings, the gun control movement has consistently failed to meet that test and Parkland is no exception.

    After thinking about this, I have concluded that it’s not quite right. The burden of proof is now clearly on 2nd Amendment absolutists to explain why no nation with significant controls on gun ownership has nearly as many mass shootings, but that this is not because of the gun restrictions.

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  83. Andre Kenji de Sousa says:

    The same people that are opposed to gun safety regulations are also opposed to traffic safety regulations. In fact, there is a bizarre argument on some libertarian circles in favor of allowing drunk driving.

  84. Andre Kenji de Sousa says:

    People that went to kindergarten after Sandy Hook are more likely to have endured active shooters drills. That’s why there plenty of opposition to guns among people younger than 21. That’s different from the rest of the so called millennial.

    You could not have a gun and not be annoyed by them. These active shooters drills changed that.

  85. James Pearce says:

    @Andy:

    I never said or implied that.

    However, you did say the Parkland kids failed to meet your efficacy standard, even though none of their proposed solutions have even been tried. So you have no basis to say “the gun control movement has consistently failed to meet that test,” because it hasn’t even been tested.

    At any rate, if you think gun control is just about mass shootings, think again. It’s not.

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  86. Andy says:

    @DrDaveT:

    After thinking about this, I have concluded that it’s not quite right. The burden of proof is now clearly on 2nd Amendment absolutists to explain why no nation with significant controls on gun ownership has nearly as many mass shootings, but that this is not because of the gun restrictions.

    The burden of proof is always on those advocating a policy. Full Stop. If you say that X will prevent Y then it is up to those making the claim to show that X will actually prevent Y.

    The marchers have a specific list of demands (see Michael’s comment near the top of this thread for the list and link), and we can evaluate those in terms of effectiveness.

  87. James Pearce says:

    @Andy:

    we can evaluate those in terms of effectiveness.

    How can we evaluate those in terms of effectiveness?

  88. Andy says:

    @James Pearce:

    However, you did say the Parkland kids failed to meet your efficacy standard, even though none of their proposed solutions have even been tried. So you have no basis to say “the gun control movement has consistently failed to meet that test,” because it hasn’t even been tested.

    If one believes that these proposals would have prevented Parkland – or any other mass shooting – then one is obligated to explain how. Stating “they haven’t been tried” is a cop-out and a bad argument. After all, if that is going to be the standard for evaluating policy, then there are a ton of things we also haven’t tried yet – like arming teachers, arming students, armed guards, stationing dementors on school grounds. Should we try those because they haven’t been tried yet?

    It’s easy to estimate cause and effect in this case. Assume these proposals had been in place and determine if they would have prevented an individual from committing a mass shooting. You’ll find that the answer is “no” in the vast majority of cases.

    Note that I’m not against these policies – some I think are prudent and reasonable. I’m simply saying that they won’t have the effect on gun violence or mass shootings that gun control advocates claim.

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  89. Andy says:

    @James Pearce:

    How can we evaluate those in terms of effectiveness?

    Like we do with any other policy proposal in any area.

    But a more simple measure is this – we go back and see if a proposal would have impacted a past event and estimate the potential impact if any. We have a lot of information on past mass shootings – it’s not hard to see which policies would or wouldn’t have stopped a previous mass shooting.

    Some things we don’t know or don’t have good data for – one of the reasons I support repeal of the “ban” on CDC research as well as a better federal standard for crime statistics reporting along with incentives to get state and local jurisdictions to comply.

    More broadly, public policy experts use eight criteria when evaluating policy proposals:

    – Effectiveness
    – Efficiency
    – Equity
    – Liberty/Freedom
    – Political Feasibility
    – Social Acceptability
    – Administrative Feasibility
    – Technical Feasibility

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  90. James Pearce says:

    @Andy:

    If one believes that these proposals would have prevented Parkland – or any other mass shooting – then one is obligated to explain how.

    It’s not just about the mass shootings. It’s about shootings in general. Every day cops in this country have to kill someone brandishing a weapon, or they kill someone they think is brandishing a weapon, and sometimes it’s the cop who gets killed. Every few months we have these mass shootings, dozens of people are killed and hundreds are traumatized, permanently scarred.

    1) Fund research into gun deaths. – This will allow us to determine the pathology behind gun deaths, not just mass casualty events, but murders and suicides and even accidents.
    2) Eliminate absurd regulations on the ATF. – ??? I’m sure they have something specific in mind here, but I don’t know what it is. I’m going to skip it.
    3) Universal background checks. – Making sure the “bad guy” doesn’t get the gun in the first place seems like a good start in reducing gun deaths, but for me….universal background checks is a relic of a Clintonian “triangulation” strategy of half-measures and “gotta do something” thinking. I think it will have a marginal effect on gun violence, but I support them in principal because “if you can save just one life.”
    4) Ban high capacity magazines. – This will almost certainly reduce rampage-style mass casualty shootings like Aurora, Vegas, and Sandy Hook. It will not stop rampages or shootings, but killers will find their capacities much diminished. High capacity magazines are basically PEDs.
    5) Ban assault rifles. – I understand how annoying it is for a law-abiding gun owning sportsman to hear this one, since the weapons they own may qualify as “assault rifles,” but even they must acknowledge the revealed preference of these spree killers is for a certain style of weapon with a certain capability. These guns are fun to shoot for the sportsman, and are almost the ideal self-defense weapon. But in the modern world, most people don’t need to defend themselves with “assault rifles;” a locked door and a call to 911 will often do, and if not, there are other weapons that will*. And for the sportsman, I mourn the loss of yet another bauble of masculinity, precious as it may be to some, but it too is unnecessary in the modern world. That can be simulated now, and probably should be.

    So take this weapon away and the only ones who will be severely disadvantaged by this is the spree killers, who will now have to practice reloading under fire. What’s the harm?

    * I saw a tweet the other day that said, “If you need an AR-15 for self-defense, you need to rethink how you’re living your life.” It’s kind of true, right?

  91. Brooklyn Dave says:

    @Andy:

    You say “prevented Parkland” is the standard. I don’t think most increased control advocates are claiming that, despite appearances. Shootings of innocent civilians, especially school children, seems to be here to stay. I think many would agree that the goal is to reduce the number of killed and wounded. A shooter with a bolt action rifle with an internal magazine of 5 rounds that has to be reloaded 1 round at a time is very likely to kill fewer since he (it will almost certainly be a he) will have to shoot more slowly, firing will be more awkward in many situations and reload time will be much slower thus giving others the chance to get away or for someone to get close enough to stop him.

  92. TM01 says:

    Universal background checks. Because there aren’t background checks now?

    Maybe you should be calling for accountability for those in govt who have failed to maintain those databases. And those who willfully kept dangerous people out of the system.

    I swear, it’s almost like you guys want these things to happen so you can achieve your wet dream Utopia where there’s no violence ever.

    Just don’t let anyone ever accuse you of wanting to ban all guns. Just the ones you don’t like. Or are scary looking.

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  93. Andy says:

    @James Pearce: @James Pearce:

    It’s not just about the mass shootings. It’s about shootings in general.

    Ok, what, specifically, is the goal these measures are trying to achieve? Policy proposals need to have clearly identified goals. That’s the standard these proposals need to be evaluated against. If it’s not to prevent mass shootings at schools then what is it? No one can determine if these proposals will work at achieving some goal if we don’t know what that goal is.

    I looked at the website and it wasn’t clear what their goals were besides protecting children. Here’s a piece of their petition:

    We support the right of law-abiding Americans to keep and bear arms, as set forth in the United States Constitution.

    But with that right comes responsibility.

    We call on all the adults in Congress elected to represent us, to pass legislation that will protect and save children from gun violence.

    …followed by the proposals we’ve been discussing here.

    So if the goal is legislation ” to protect and save children from gun violence” how effective will their proposals be at accomplishing that goal? This isn’t an academic question.

    There is a ton of research about gun violence and children, it’s not like we don’t know what causes these deaths. For example, the vast majority of children are killed by handguns, yet handguns are not mentioned.

    BTW, I was confused about the ATF thing too. I looked it up on their website and it says this:

    The gun industry has operated mostly unchecked for far too long. ATF, the only federal agency with jurisdiction to regulate the gun industry, has been operating with one hand tied behind its back – unable to even digitize records of gun sales – or require gun dealers to conduct annual inventory checks to make sure they aren’t missing any guns. The ATF needs to become a modern agency, one capable of keeping receipts and efficiently regulating this massive industry.

    Still pretty vague. No explanation of how better record keeping will save and protect children either.

    These incongruencies strike at the credibility of these proposals because they fail to link means and ends.

  94. Andy says:

    @James Pearce:

    It’s not just about the mass shootings. It’s about shootings in general.

    Ok, what, specifically, is the goal these measures are trying to achieve? Policy proposals need to have clearly identified goals. That’s the standard these proposals need to be evaluated against. If it’s not to prevent mass shootings at schools then what is it? No one can determine if these proposals will work at achieving some goal if we don’t know what that goal is.

    I looked at the website and it wasn’t clear what their goals were besides protecting children. Here’s a piece of their petition:

    We support the right of law-abiding Americans to keep and bear arms, as set forth in the United States Constitution.

    But with that right comes responsibility.

    We call on all the adults in Congress elected to represent us, to pass legislation that will protect and save children from gun violence.

    …followed by the proposals we’ve been discussing here.

    So if the goal is legislation ” to protect and save children from gun violence” how effective will their proposals be at accomplishing that goal? This isn’t an academic question.

    There is a ton of research about gun violence and children, it’s not like we don’t know what causes these deaths. For example, the vast majority of children are killed by handguns, yet handguns are not mentioned.

    BTW, I was confused about the ATF thing too. I looked it up on their website (link is in Michael’s comment above, I can’t put any links in without ending up the spam queue) and it says this:

    The gun industry has operated mostly unchecked for far too long. ATF, the only federal agency with jurisdiction to regulate the gun industry, has been operating with one hand tied behind its back – unable to even digitize records of gun sales – or require gun dealers to conduct annual inventory checks to make sure they aren’t missing any guns. The ATF needs to become a modern agency, one capable of keeping receipts and efficiently regulating this massive industry.

    Still pretty vague. No explanation of how better record keeping will save and protect children either.

    These incongruencies strike at the credibility of these proposals because they fail to link means and ends.

  95. wr says:

    When cities started banning smoking in work spaces, the pro-tobacco lobby said it wouldn’t stop cancer, and they were right.

    When cities took a step further and banned smoking in restaurants and bars, the pro-tobacco lobby said it wouldn’t stop cancer, and they were right.

    When airlines banned smoking from their flights, the pro-tobacco lobby said it wouldn’t cause cancer, and they were right.

    In fact, no individual step was ever going to stop cancer. Or even greatly slow it.

    But with each step’s public acceptance, another step became possible, and smoking was pushed out of public spaces one by one. And after a very short while, most people realized that life was actually much better without having to breathe someone else’s smoke… or get it out of their clothes and hair.

    And as time went on, fewer and people smoked. And lung cancer rates — at least that attributable to smoking — did go down.

    No one step is going to fix all gun crimes in this country. But anyone who objects to a single step because it isn’t going to solve all the problems immediately doesn’t actually want to see the problem solved at all. He just wants to keep playing with his guns.

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  96. @TM01:

    Or are scary looking.

    The talking points are tiresome.

    Again, as I noted above, guns like the AR-15, whether scary looking or not, are designed for killing humans. Can we at least deal with that fact?

  97. Andy says:

    @wr:

    No one step is going to fix all gun crimes in this country. But anyone who objects to a single step because it isn’t going to solve all the problems immediately doesn’t actually want to see the problem solved at all. He just wants to keep playing with his guns.

    Not sure if this comment is directed at me, but I’ll respond anyway.

    I don’t expect any gun control measure to solve all problems. I’m also not opposed to incrementalism. As I said in my previous comment, policy proposals need to have clearly identified goals and the proposal should reasonably be expected to achieve those goals. In other words, proposals are evaluated against what proponents claim they will achieve, not some strawman I create.

    What I am is skeptical that these proposals will do what gun control advocates claim. It’s great you’re here arguing incrementalism, but that’s not how these proposals are advertised and promoted by those who sponsor them. Whenever there is a mass shooting, there is a lot of noise about how we must enact “common sense” reforms to stop these atrocities, but when you look at the actual reforms they would not, in fact, stop these atrocities or even impact them in a significantly positive way. So the issue is the stated ends don’t match the stated means.

    If gun control advocates would be willing to admit that these are incremental steps in a bigger effort to contain gun violence, I’d have no issue with that. But they don’t and I think we both know why.

    This gets back to what I wrote upthread about equivocation and the comparison to the Temperance and Civil Rights movement. The gun control movement isn’t doing itself any favors through equivocation.

    Finally, I don’t oppose the proposals but I would need to see the details of a”universal background check” system and also the “assault weapons” ban. For reasons that I won’t belabor here (but are widely known and acknowledged), these to proposals have a lot of practical problems separate from any legal, constitutional or ideological issues. Also, the constant equivocation makes me question motives.

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Again, as I noted above, guns like the AR-15, whether scary looking or not, are designed for killing humans. Can we at least deal with that fact?

    In what way should we deal with that fact?

    I think you are making a distinction without a difference. If guns like the AR-15 are designed for killing humans, then presumably there are guns that are not designed for killing humans. Is there a way to tell the difference in a clear and definable way, or is it like the Justice Potter Stewart standard? How are we to treat human-killing guns from other guns in terms of policy?

    I don’t see where this line of reasoning leads or how it’s useful in terms of policy.

  98. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I’ll be frank about what I want:

    Complete federal preemption of all state gun control laws

    A federal ban on concealed carry everywhere, no exceptions. If you feel you just have to carry a gun, you must do it openly, where the other people you’re putting at risk can see it and be aware.

    Federal bans on any assault type weapon derived from anything used by the military

    Regulation of maximum muzzle velocity for civilian ammunition

    Regulation of ammunition type for civilian ammunition

    Cradle to grave gun licensing at the federal level AND a federal personal license as a precondition to purchase and continuing ownership

    Federal preemption of civil immunity waivers and assumption of explicit civil liability as a precondition of licensing

    Mandatory training requirements, with periodic mandatory retraining required to maintain the personal license

    Mandatory proficiency testing, with periodic mandatory recertification required to maintain the personal license.

    Mandatory liability insurance with mandatory minimum coverage requirements and priced per gun owned required to maintain the personal license

    Mandatory certification of sound mental health signed by a licensed physician qualified to make such a determination, and mandatory periodic recertification of the same as a precondition to maintaining the personal license

    Owning any type of firearm, after a grace period, without the appropriate license is a Class I felony, and upon conviction the violator loses eligibility for life.

    Mandatory transfer documentation requirements for EVERY transfer of ANY gun throughout its life until it ceases to exist

    Coliability for the registered owner of any gun used in any crime, if nothing else for failure to secure, unless reported stolen in an official police report with a signed affidavit PRIOR to the event occurring. Your gun gets used to kill someone and you didn’t report it stolen? Welcome to court.

    Any gun in a motor vehicle must be unloaded and physically out of reach of the occupants.

    The above applies to every single type of gun in existence

    And, I’ll gladly be frank about it, I really don’t give a good GD if any of the above upsets gun owners fetishists. Not even one tiny little damn.

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  99. DrDaveT says:

    @Andy:

    The burden of proof is always on those advocating a policy. Full Stop. If you say that X will prevent Y then it is up to those making the claim to show that X will actually prevent Y.

    Presumably, then, you are a fervent advocate of actual research into the relationship between gun policy and various gun-related crimes? The NRA has been effectively blocking funding to such research for decades now. If they cared about facts, they would not.

    Do you care about facts?

  100. DrDaveT says:

    @Andy:

    Ok, what, specifically, is the goal these measures are trying to achieve?

    Fewer people needlessly dead? That works for me…

  101. DrDaveT says:

    @Andy:

    If gun control advocates would be willing to admit that these are incremental steps in a bigger effort to contain gun violence, I’d have no issue with that. But they don’t and I think we both know why.

    OK, I’ll bite on both halves of that. Who are these people who won’t admit that the goal is to incrementally reduce gun violence, and what is this reason that apparently you know but I don’t?

  102. DrDaveT says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Nice list, but at the moment I’d settle for “at least as much licensing and training requirement for guns as for a driver’s license.”

  103. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @DrDaveT:

    I was a prosecutor. You indict on every possible charge, and consider yourself lucky if you get a conviction on something.

    I wouldn’t expect to get all of the above, but it’s where I would want negotiations to START. Demand everything, settle for most of it.

    The bright point is that these kids are coming into political power. They already outnumber baby boomers. They stay motivated and none of the above will be difficult on a 10 to 15 year horizon.

  104. Andy says:

    @DrDaveT:

    Presumably, then, you are a fervent advocate of actual research into the relationship between gun policy and various gun-related crimes? The NRA has been effectively blocking funding to such research for decades now. If they cared about facts, they would not.

    Do you care about facts?

    Clearly, you didn’t read my earlier comments in this thread. Here’s one example.

    OK, I’ll bite on both halves of that. Who are these people who won’t admit that the goal is to incrementally reduce gun violence, and what is this reason that apparently you know but I don’t?

    Go to the March for Our Lives website and see what it says for yourself – we’ve been discussing their specific proposals in this thread. Those proposals are not advertised as “first steps” or incremental proposals.

    Go to the Brady Campaign website and note that their key legislative proposals, intended to reduce gun deaths by 50% by 2024, are expanded background checks, an assault weapons and high capacity magazine ban, and extreme risk order protection laws. Nowhere are these advertised as incremental or first steps with more legislation or restrictions to follow.

    It’s the same with Everytown and Gabby Gifford’s organization.

    As for the reason, it’s the political reality. A fuller explanation of my position on this can be found in my earlier comments in this thread.

  105. Jim Brown 32 says:

    Poor Andy, steps in the middle of the usual clown car battle asking the hard questions that legislation would have to be crafted around to yield results….and gets no love. The clown car is not the place of solutions Andy…it’s where you virtue signal and shout down.

    I’m curious though of why the needless deaths of gun massacres are more dire to Liberals than say the needless deaths of drunk drivers? At least a hundred times more needlessly die from impaired drivers per year that gun massacres…yet not a peep.

    Frankly, the Lefts fettish with only Gun violence is one of the most stunning displays of stupidity in their entire platform. Common sense would dictate that it’s probably more feasible to implement measures that reduces Big V violence, which in turn reduces all the other buckets of violence.

    Andy gave great advice, you’d have to ban semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines to have any hope of effectiveness. An AR is not a weapon of war. It’s the equivalent of have a consumer version of a NASCAR with a 8 cylinder engine. No soldier would deploy with an AR in lieu of his M-16 or M-4.

    Oh…and let’s not gloss over the fact that 3-D printing technology is making all this talk of gun and magazine bans archaic. Deal with the problem, which is…why do Americans like to shoot people to solve problems? We are frequently compared to nations with stricter gun control but rarely with nations that have as many or more guns per capita…but far less shooting. Frankly, those countries would be a better model than gunless nations.

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  106. James Joyner says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    I’m curious though of why the needless deaths of gun massacres are more dire to Liberals than say the needless deaths of drunk drivers? At least a hundred times more needlessly die from impaired drivers per year that gun massacres…yet not a peep.

    I don’t know that MADD was a particularly ideological organization but a similar protest movement led by mothers who had lost children to drunk drivers started when I was a high school freshman. By the time I’d graduated, we were already passing a spate of laws toughening our policies. Within the decade, the whole public attitude toward drunk driving changed. We continue to tighten laws on this front. What more is it that you’re asking for?

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  107. James Pearce says:

    @Andy:

    Ok, what, specifically, is the goal these measures are trying to achieve?

    To reduce incidents of gun violence in the United States. That’s the goal. Which is a stark contrast with Santorum’s “learn CPR” and Trump’s “more guns in schools,” ideas that rely on us accepting gun violence as a part of every day American life.

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Demand everything, settle for most of it.

    I’m in. Let’s do this.

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Oh…and let’s not gloss over the fact that 3-D printing technology is making all this talk of gun and magazine bans archaic.

    You talk about the clown car but then act like gun laws are archaic because some nerd made a zip gun out of plastic on his computer? C’mon, man.

  108. Mikey says:

    @James Pearce:

    So you have no basis to say “the gun control movement has consistently failed to meet that test,” because it hasn’t even been tested.

    Well, yes, it has, pretty much everywhere else on Earth. And the results have been clear and indisputable: gun control means far fewer deaths by guns. It’s not even remotely debatable at this point, yet here we are debating it, as if the rest of the world doesn’t even exist.

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  109. @Jim Brown 32:

    An AR is not a weapon of war. It’s the equivalent of have a consumer version of a NASCAR with a 8 cylinder engine. No soldier would deploy with an AR in lieu of his M-16 or M-4.

    Of the problems with this sentence is that the consumer version of the NACAR vehicle is not a consumer version of a machine designed to efficiently kill human beings in a war setting.

  110. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @James Joyner: 10,000 people die per year from impaired drivers. Is your point that the laws passed were sufficient to make this an acceptable number whereas 1000-ish mass shooting deaths are somehow unacceptable? What is the acceptable number of mass shooting deaths per year that would make you comfortable that the right mix of legislation, enforcement and resources have been applied to the problem? Because those outcome goals will determine what type of legislation and resources are directed towards the issue. “Common sense regulations”, “ban assault rifles”, and “Universal background checks” are cousin campaign slogans to “build a wall”

  111. @Jim Brown 32:

    why do Americans like to shoot people to solve problems? We are frequently compared to nations with stricter gun control but rarely with nations that have as many or more guns per capita…but far less shooting. Frankly, those countries would be a better model than gunless nations.

    I think you will find that humans resort to violence across cases, but and use the most ready tools. In some countries there are mass stabbings (which are far less deadly than mass shootings). This is a broad observation not meant to be comprehensive.

    More to your point: if you want to compare the US to high per capita gun cases that lack mass shootings, look to places like Switzerland. You will find that their gun regulations look a lot more like the list Harvard92 gave than they do to our guns laws.

    Gun advocates often cite Israel as a case they like: but again, the rules to get a gun in Israel look more like the Harvard92 lists than they do like US rules.

    Even if you want to dismiss an AR-15 as a “consumer versions” of a weapon of war, why shouldn’t* there be extensive licensing and training required to buy and own one?

    *edited to add the missing “n’t”

  112. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @James Pearce: There are 3d printed weapons out that have close to 2000 rounds put through them before failure. 3d printed high- capacity magazines are already here.

    There is a world outside of political blogs…find it.

  113. @Jim Brown 32:

    From the NIH:

    In the mid 1970s, alcohol was a factor in over 60% of traffic fatalities. Traffic crashes were the leading cause of alcohol-related deaths and two-thirds of traffic deaths among persons aged 16 to 20 involved alcohol.

    […]
    Since the early 1980s, alcohol-related traffic deaths per population have been cut in half with the greatest proportional declines among persons 16-20 years old.

    Today alcohol is involved in 37% of all traffic deaths among persons aged 16 to 20.

    And:

    Reductions in driving after drinking saved more than 150,000 lives between 1982 and 2001 — more than the combined total saved by increases in seat belt use, airbags, and motorcycle and bicycle helmets.

    In other words, public outcry led to policy action that made real improvements to a real problem.

    Did it eliminate the problem? No. But since when was perfection the standard by which we judge these things?

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  114. @Jim Brown 32: Yes, 3d printers (and the black market) would mean these items would still be available. That doesn’t mean they have to be readily available for consumers.

    Why does the public need easy access to high capacity magazines?

  115. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: That’s irrelevant to policy regarding them. It’s also a tool that is overwhelming used properly by the people that possessing it. One could also argue the need for and design of alcohol which has sentenced many a family to a miserable existence.

    I would add that killing people is a secondary purpose of a gun. The first, for everyone except sociopaths is to deter attempted physical harm to the possessor of the weapon.

    The bottom line is gun policy is but one piece of a remedy that needs to be applied. The best bang for the buck would be addressing the factors that motivate young white boys to shoot up schools so they never decide that as a viable solution to their problems. The second would be mitigating casualty after an attack has commenced….which is where gun control could be useful.

  116. Mikey says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    But since when was perfection the standard by which we judge these things?

    Since one side wants to apply an impossible standard and use it as an excuse to do nothing.

  117. James Pearce says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    There are 3d printed weapons out that have close to 2000 rounds put through them before failure.

    So what?

    If the only gun crime we had to worry about in the US was that committed by nerds with 3D printers, there would be almost no gun crime at all.

  118. James Pearce says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    I would add that killing people is a secondary purpose of a gun. The first, for everyone except sociopaths is to deter attempted physical harm to the possessor of the weapon.

    A gun would deter absolutely nothing without the ability to kill. It’s primary purpose is to kill.

  119. @Jim Brown 32:

    I would add that killing people is a secondary purpose of a gun. The first, for everyone except sociopaths is to deter attempted physical harm to the possessor of the weapon.

    The reason that guns act as a deterrent is because they are designed as tools whose main purpose is killing people.

    Why can’t we be honest about this obvious fact?

  120. @Jim Brown 32:

    That’s irrelevant to policy regarding them.

    BTW: the idea that these tools are designed to kill is extremely relevant to policy regarding them. To state otherwise is ridiculous on its face.

  121. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: That wasn’t magic that cause that decline. That was dramatic application of resources to aggressive education, enforcement, stiffer penalties for gateway offenses, etc. All without requirements to install breathalyzers in all new vehicles, etc. The same could take place with regards to gun education, penalties for assaults, threats with weapons etc. Makes we wonder why we’ve not seen a similar push from those that claim to care about action but are stopped by the mean ole NRA

    @James Pearce: Siiiiiighhhhhhh. Really.

    @James Pearce: Thank you Captain Obvious. For most people…the deterrence problem IS the ideal. Everyone lives.

    @Steven L. Taylor: Sure, as we can be honest that deterrence is a preferable outcome as well.

    @Steven L. Taylor: I will agree that it is relevant at A factor in policy…not the ONLY factor in policy.

    The bottom line is that, as Andy and HL92 have stated, the only functional policy to be had is to ban semi-automatic weapons with detachable magazines. I feel that’s a non-starter. In additional to that….I know how bans work in America. It means that black and brown people get to die for the right to make money on the inevitable black market that results. We’re barely surviving the war on drugs. Now you want the War on Guns?

    For the record, Im not for doing nothing. I think there are things to be done that will have some effect but not a dramatic one. I just happen to believe that the lefts fetish of “gun” violence over reducing violence writ large is ill thought out and will not have much of an impact. The problem remains the same…most people and most guns are overwhelmingly used lawfully. Why can’t you acknowledge the fact that that presents a challenge when crafting a policy around civil rights. Frankly, almost anything short of semi-automatic rifle with detachable magazine bans will fall short of the mark. That is an extremely tall order. The gun manufacturers adapted to the previous bans…they’ll adapt to any ban focused around cosmetics.

  122. Jim Brown 32 says:

    Let me out of the moderation clink

  123. the Q says:

    Why do the gun nut original intent freaks gloss over the “well regulated” phrase of the 2nd amendment regarding”regulating” the militia? According to you gun freaks, shouldn’t you be able to own a General Electric GAU-8/A Avenger 30mm hydraulically driven seven-barrel Gatling-type cannon that is typically mounted to the United States Air Force’s Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II that is capable of firing 4,200 rounds per minute?

    Why can’t this “arm” be put on my front porch to shoot at the Russkies or marauding Indians or worse, Mexicans crossing the border if I belong to a militia? Obviously, this type of “arm” is banned so the 2nd amendment isn’t an absolute as so many of you freaks maintain.

    If we can ban that type of GAU 8/A “arm”, we can certainly ban the AR 15 “arm”.

    Also, the NRA may survive Parkland, but it won’t survive the inevitable next school massacre carried out by a gun toting nutcase with a semi automatic.

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  124. MarkedMan says:

    @MarkedMan: Just to follow up on some previous comments, the Sheriff just announced that the Maryland school shooter actually killed himself. So although Officer Gaskill was most certainly a good guy with a gun, he didn’t bring down an active shooter and he didn’t stop a mass shooter.

  125. @Jim Brown 32:

    That wasn’t magic that cause that decline.

    I don’t think anyone claimed magic.

    That was dramatic application of resources to aggressive education, enforcement, stiffer penalties for gateway offenses, etc.

    Indeed–how is that not what is being talked about here in regards to guns?

  126. @Jim Brown 32:

    The problem remains the same…most people and most guns are overwhelmingly used lawfully. Why can’t you acknowledge the fact that that presents a challenge when crafting a policy around civil rights

    I readily acknowledge that most gun owners are law-abiding.

    That doesn’t change the fact that certain weapons and accessories to those weapons are too easy to acquire.

  127. DrDaveT says:

    @Andy:

    Clearly, you didn’t read my earlier comments in this thread.

    You’re right, I didn’t — I came late and skimmed the thread. My apologies for the dumb question.

    We agree on the measures of effectiveness, though the “would it have helped in the past” rubric doesn’t take into account the effects of culture change. I have no more patience than you with people who think that bump stocks are an important part of this debate.

    On the other hand, I think you underestimate the importance of people demanding that something be done, even if they have skewed notions of what that something should be. Step One of the 12 step program, and all that…

  128. DrDaveT says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    I’m curious though of why the needless deaths of gun massacres are more dire to Liberals than say the needless deaths of drunk drivers?

    Now I’m hurt — you’ve apparently never read any of the dozen times I’ve raised this point in these very forums. Guess I’ll get kicked out of the Librul tree fort.

  129. Andy says:

    @DrDaveT:

    On the other hand, I think you underestimate the importance of people demanding that something be done, even if they have skewed notions of what that something should be. Step One of the 12 step program, and all that…

    In another comment upthread, I criticized the gun control lobby for equivocating and also for acting as Washington-centric lobby organizations. The reality is that for gun control to be effective, it requires big changes in existing laws and such changes require a movement that can change people’s minds over time. Such a movement needs to be on the scale of the Temperance or Civil Rights movements – which weren’t centrally directed from K-street offices.

  130. engineerman says:

    @drj: can we impose a tax on all guns and ammo to pay for all the metal detectors and armed guards that will be required so we don’t infringe on other peoples hobbies?
    or will the sc rule that that’s some kind of infringement?

  131. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: There is always a translation layer between the law and activities related to the enforcement and promotion/awareness of law. In the drunk driving example, legislation was not the decisive facto– neither would have been approaches that treated every driver as a potential drunk driver (i.e. every new car produced has mandated breathalyzers that the operator must pass before the car starts. )

    What’s being talked about, primarily, is bans and several other solutions regarding background checks, which, when run against past attacks would not have proven an impediment to the attacker. Why would anyone sane person take these as serious proposals for the future?

    There are 2 parallel pathways that must be addressed…. 3 if you want to throw in mitigation of lethality. Reducing the motivation to attack and the means to attack. Neither of these can have conclusive results in a vacuum…but by developing an attacker profile and targeting said matches with solutions in each category (with the weight of effort in reducing motivation) an impact CAN be made. Magazine bans and cosmetic bans live in lethality mitigation which is where the least bang for the buck is.