School Shootings No Longer Shock Students. It Shouldn’t Be Like This

We have a generation of schoolkids who aren't even surprised when there's a shooting at their school. That's a problem.


In the wake of last Friday’s shooting at Santa Fe High School that left ten people dead, including nine of students, we’ve seen the usual reactions that we’ve become used to in the wake of these events. One report, though stood out to me, and it came from the words of SFHS students who basically said they were fully expecting that this would happen at her school at some point:

SANTA FE, Tex. — A nation plagued by a wrenching loop of mass school shootings watched the latest horror play out in this small Southeast Texas town Friday morning, as a young man armed with a shotgun and a .38 revolver smuggled under his coat opened fire on his high school campus, killing 10 people, many of them his fellow students, and wounding 10 more, the authorities said.

By the end of the day, a 17-year-old suspect, Dimitrios Pagourtzis — an introvert who had given off few warning signs — had surrendered and been taken into custody. Law enforcement officials said they found two homemade explosive devices left at the school during the rampage.

It was the worst school shooting since the February assault on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., where a young man with an AR-15 rifle left 17 people dead and prompted a wave of nationwide, student-led protests calling on lawmakers to tighten gun laws.

It was barely after 7:30 a.m. at Santa Fe High School, about 35 miles southeast of Houston, when gunfire first resounded through the halls, the opening volley of yet another massacre at an American high school that would leave students, teachers and staff members shocked, and in some cases bloodied. But they were not necessarily surprised.

A video interview with one student, Paige Curry, spread across social media, an artifact of a moment when children have come to expect violence in their schools.

“Was there a part of you that was like, ‘This isn’t real, this is — this would not happen in my school?'” the reporter asked.

The young girl shook her head: “No, there wasn’t.”

“Why so?” the reporter asked.

“It’s been happening everywhere,” she said. “I felt — I’ve always kind of felt like eventually, it was going to happen here, too.”

Here’s the video, cured up to start at the relevant point in the interview:

Paige Curry is 17 years old and, by all indications, not any different from any of the other students at her school. What’s utterly depressing about what she says in this interview is the idea that we now live in a country where a teenager felt even before this incident that she had to live with the possibility that, on any given day and probably without sufficient warning, someone, be it a current or former student or someone else, would walk into her school with a weapon, open fire, and put her life and the lives of her friends, teachers, and other students in the crosshairs just as we’ve seen happen in schools from Columbine, Colorado to Newton, Connecticut to Parkland, Florida, and finally, Santa Fe, Texas. From her point of view, it was just a matter of time before it got to her High School, and there’s something about the fact that a teenager has to think that way that chills me to the bone and makes me wonder what kind of world we’ve created.

Many people reading this article will, of course, immediately jump to the easy availability of guns and the need for new restrictions on what weapons people can purchase, what they can purchase, and the steps that they should be required to go through in order to purchase them. Regardless of how you feel about the Second Amendment and the right to keep and bear arms, this is certainly a worthy debate to have, although the truth of the matter is that it often ends up being an unproductive discussion because of the fact people tend to approach this conversation from hardline positions on either side and these discussions far too often end in name-calling and division rather than agreement on any kind of compromise. Speaking for myself, as I have said in the past there are some forms of proposed changes or fixes to laws governing guns that I’m fine with, such as expanded background checks, raising the age limit on gun purchases to 21, and a much better concentration on getting and keeping weapons out of the hands of mentally ill people who are dangers to themselves or others. As for other proposals, such as banning the sale of so-called “assault weapons” or requiring things such as universal registration, mandatory insurance, and other ideas, for reasons I’ve expressed before I remain opposed or at least skeptical that they would have any practical impact, especially since it seems clear from nearly every comment thread, social media discussion, and cable news analysis, it’s basically impossible to have a civil discussion on this topic.

But this post isn’t about guns, gun control, or anything related to that debate, it’s about something more fundamental, namely that we now live in a world where teenagers have come to accept the fact that they are likely to one day have to live through a school shooting. Statistically speaking, of course, this simply isn’t true. There are millions of teenagers and pre-teens in High Schools and Middle Schools in the United States, and millions of more children in elementary school. Even taking recent events into account, the odds that one school or one group of students will be subjected to a mass shooting like Parkland or Santa Fe during their time from Kindergarten through 12th grade is infinitesimal. When you’re dealing with an emotional issue such as this, though, statistics become irrelevant. Putting it quite simply, there’s something very wrong with a culture where kids have come to the conclusion that they might be dead by the end of the day when they wake up in the morning.

I was in public schools from the early 1970s through the mid-1980s, and we certainly didn’t live like this in a community not very different from the ones where the most recent mass shooting events have taken place. Events like what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary, Stoneman Douglas High School, or Santa Fe High School simply didn’t happen back then. Although there were, apparently, some smaller scale events in both the 1970s and 1980s, I don’t recall any of these incidents making the national news at the time. Perhaps we were living in a fantasy world at the time, but the possibility that either I or my fellow students could end up being the victim of a mass shooting, or indeed any shooting, is something that just didn’t enter my mind, and I suspect this is true of most of the people who were in public school at the same time I was. Ever since Columbine at least, and perhaps starting further back after the 1998 shooting at Westside Middle School in Craighead County, Arkansas, that hasn’t been possible. And that’s a problem.

When I began writing this post, I didn’t start out with the idea that I’d be the one who could come up with a solution to this rather obvious problem, so I suppose I shouldn’t be disappointed that I’ve come to the end of it without any idea of where to even begin when having a discussion. Indeed, I’m not certain that there is one single answer to how we can step back from the world we’ve allowed to come into existence for our young people. Certainly, guns and gun control are worth talking about. So are issues such as how we approach mental illness and how we can develop rules that keep weapons out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them while at this same time ensuring that the rights of patients are protected and that we don’t end up creating a world where people avoid getting needed mental health treatment because they’re being reported to the state. We also need to talk about issues like school security and, yes, “hardening schools” to make it harder for someone to wander onto campus undetected and easier for security on site to deal with any type of shooting situation or other threat should it ever arise. Beyond this, though, it seems to me as though we’ve reached a point where we have to consider whether there’s something culturally wrong and, if there is, I’m not sure how to even begin to identify what that is and, even if when can identify it, how to fix it.

FILED UNDER: Crime, Education, Guns and Gun Control, Law and the Courts, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Mister Bluster says:

    Shouldn’t be like this.

    Depends on who you are.
    This is exactly the way the bloodthirsty zealots at the National Rifle Association and their fellow travelers in the gun industry want it.

    ReplyReply



    11



    2
  2. Todd says:

    I didn’t start out with the idea that I’d be the one who could come up with a solution to this rather obvious problem, so I suppose I shouldn’t be disappointed that I’ve come to the end of it without any idea of where to even begin when having a discussion. Indeed, I’m not certain that there is one single answer to how we can step back from the world we’ve allowed to come into existence for our young people.

    I’m right there with you Doug, I don’t know that there are any easy answers, given how many weapons are already on the streets in our country.

    Here’s something I wrote last week on my FB page (not surprisingly, my hardcore 2A friends were not willing to entertain even something like this):

    Let the free market control guns …

    Repealing the 2005 “protection of lawful commerce in arms act”, which gave gun manufacturers and dealers immunity from civil lawsuits when their products are used in a crime, would be a much more effective way of reducing the number of guns on the streets than any government imposed bans or restrictions.

    Furthermore, individuals should also be liable (civilly, and in some cases even criminally) if they allow access to weapons by someone who uses them to commit a crime … whether via a private sale, or not properly securing their own weapons (the recent school shooter in Texas used his father’s guns).

    Of course, there should be an easily accessible system for background checks, but the onus will be on the seller to decide how trustworthy the potential buyer is. I guarantee you, if a seller will be potentially liable for bad acts, they will do a much better job of screening for people who probably shouldn’t have guns than any type of government laws would.

    The one area where the government probably should have a bit more power, is that it needs to be easier for law enforcement to (at least temporarily) remove access to weapons by those who show tendencies towards violence and/or mental/emotional instability. Strong due process protections need to be in place … but I agree with something the President said after the FL school shooting, that these protections should be after the fact, especially in cases where a person shows significant risk factors. (and no, I’m not implying this would stop all, or even most mass shootings, but it could stop some … and it probably would lead to an almost immediate drop in gun related suicides).

    p.s. these liability changes would very likely make it much more difficult (for anybody) to purchase a weapon. For instance, I think many department stores (such as Walmart) would become very cautious about what type of weapons they sold, and who they sold them to; if they continued selling them at all. But there would be no 2nd Amendment issue, as it wouldn’t be the government making the purchase harder, it would be the free market

    ReplyReply



    18



    1
  3. Mikey says:

    @Todd: This seems a reasonable set of proposals. Of course, I was not in the least surprised to read this…

    (not surprisingly, my hardcore 2A friends were not willing to entertain even something like this):

    Let the free market control guns

    Don’t assume today’s so-called conservatives give a crap about the “free market” except as a pretext for allowing discrimination against people of color and LGBT people.

    ReplyReply



    12



    2
  4. PJ says:

    But this post isn’t about guns, gun control, or anything related to that debate, it’s about something more fundamental, namely that we now live in a world country where teenagers have come to accept the fact that they are likely to one day have to live through a school shooting.

    Fixed that for you.

    Teenagers in Germany, the UK, Australia, France, Japan, China, and almost if not every other country than the US have not accepted the fact that they are likely to one day have to live through a school shooting, because, for them, that is not a fact.

    For some weird reason.

    ReplyReply



    18



    1
  5. Kathy says:

    No doubt we’ll get to hear how even with rampant school shootings, the odds of a particular school being the target for a shooter is low. Perhaps also that if the media didn’t make such a big deal (!) about such things, children would feel more at ease.

    I won’t argue why that’s wrong. Instead I’ll ask something else. Let’s take 1999, when Columbine happened, as the start, and compare another activity involving large numbers of people and a small number of fatalities: air travel.

    So, since 1999 in the US, how does the rate of deaths per number of flights compare to deaths in school shootings? And also, are deaths in each case trending downwards or upwards?

    I honestly don’t know. But even including September 11th, flight-related deaths have been few even as the number of flights, and of people flying, has increased substantially.

    ReplyReply



    3



    1
  6. Todd says:

    @Kathy:

    the odds of a particular school being the target for a shooter is low.

    This does not negate the cause for grave concern about this issue, but it is none-the-less true. In other words, as a member of society I am (rightly) horrified by school shootings. Reading about them, and thinking about my own kids literally brings me to tears every time. That being said, I am not fearful (at least not due the threat of a shooting) about sending my own daughters off to school everyday; because of the extremely low probability. If I was really paranoid about activities that have a much higher (but still extremely low) risk of harming them, they definitely wouldn’t go to horseback riding lessons, and might not even ever get in the car for a trip to the store or the park.

    All of that being said, for any student to (have reason to) believe “this could happen to me” is absolutely unacceptable and profoundly sad.

    ReplyReply



    4



    0
  7. Modulo Myself says:

    Gun control works. It worked in Australia, and it’s worked in NYC. It’s not disputable. Following Columbine, America could have bought back guns, banned semi-automatics, and ‘limited’ every person to one measly handgun and one hunting rifle. Or the country could have set up state-run shooting ranges and hunting zones, where you could rent your favorite gun of all time. Guns are not a hard problem to solve. Vehicles kill thousands, but we actually need them. Guns–not so much.

    What’s also not disputable is that the gun-freaks have won. You buy a gun in a world where gay marriage wins over doubters because nobody can take a gun away from you. They can make you feel like an idiot for being a homophobe, but they can’t take a gun away from you. So we’re stuck.

    ReplyReply



    5



    2
  8. Todd says:

    @Mikey:

    Don’t assume today’s so-called conservatives give a crap about the “free market”

    I really wasn’t surprise at my friends’ objections. However, the idea of using the free market (especially repealing the 2005 immunity law) was not meant simply to try to appeal to conservatives. I honestly believe that increasing liability (for companies and individuals) would likely be a more effective way to control firearms than just about any currently proposed government action. (note: Even if it did somehow have a prayer in hell of passing, I don’t think an outright Australian style gun buyback would ever be practical in this country … way too many weapons already out there).

    ReplyReply



    1



    0
  9. KM says:

    @Kathy:

    Perhaps also that if the media didn’t make such a big deal (!) about such things, children would feel more at ease.

    This is the same logic as “if we don’t talk about sex, teenagers won’t do it as much and teen pregnancy will go down.” Teens have access to the internet, you know. Something like this would be all over Twitter, Snapchat, FB, 4chan, etc in minutes. The only thing the media not talking about this will accomplish is convincing teens even further that adults don’t give a flying crap about their safety and it’s not worth time in the 24/7 news cycle. We’ve gotten to the point where people tweet there’s a earthquake before some people actually experience it and others record disasters live so that *somebody* knows what’s going on. You can’t stop the signal if they want it seen.

    To be perfectly blunt: Just because *you* aren’t talking about it doesn’t mean *they* aren’t and they won’t feel the slightest bit safer if it’s just kids passing around the info. That’s how bad info gets passed, kids get antsier and we end up with a generation that’s deeply, deeply distrustful of anybody that they felt abandoned them.

    ReplyReply



    5



    0
  10. Kathy says:

    To be clear about my earlier post up thread, I dismissed the arguments about probability and notoriety as wrong.

    ReplyReply



    0



    0
  11. Kathy says:

    @Mikey:

    Don’t assume today’s so-called conservatives give a crap about the “free market” except as a pretext for allowing discrimination against people of color and LGBT people.

    If Conservatives gave a tiny rat’s ass about the free market, than 1) America would have the most liberal immigration laws in the world and 2) Trump would have been laughed out of the primaries early on.

    ReplyReply



    3



    0
  12. KM says:

    @Todd :

    I honestly believe that increasing liability (for companies and individuals) would likely be a more effective way to control firearms than just about any currently proposed government action.

    And that’s why it will never, ever happen. They don’t want responsibility, they want their toys.

    If they wanted responsibility, then demanding things like licensing, mandatory education classes, and proving you can actually aim the damn thing would not be in question because it doesn’t really effect ownership. Instead, that would regulate *usage* – in other words, yeah you can have it but you can’t legally fire it until you show you’re not a threat to society. That little old lady who insists on a handgun to “protect” herself? She should be able to prove she can hit the broad side of a barn. It’s a completely reasonable request yet there’s no way in hell the NRA would ever allow restrictions on use based on accuracy.

    The free market would rightly decide these people were just as much a threat as the potential robber – after all, getting shot by a thief and getting shot by someone who can’t hit their target is still getting shot. 2A nuts implicitly understand that money talks (see the NRA) and don’t want any kind of financial ties that would force reasonable expectations on their hobby.

    ReplyReply



    7



    0
  13. drj says:

    We also need to talk about issues like school security and, yes, “hardening schools” to make it harder for someone to wander onto campus undetected and easier for security on site to deal with any type of shooting situation or other threat should it ever arise.

    This alone should be sufficient for reasonable people to say: “Fuck it, let’s get rid of all the guns.”

    What benefit does the Second Amendment have that outweighs this cost? Serious question.

    ReplyReply



    3



    0
  14. Monala says:

    @Mister Bluster: Exactly. Because even their arguments about arming teachers mean that kids will still be exposed to gun battles in their schools, even in the (unlikely) event that an armed teacher can easily switch from talking about algebra to popping off a gunman.

    ReplyReply



    1



    0
  15. gVOR08 says:

    Beyond this, though, it seems to me as though we’ve reached a point where we have to consider whether there’s something culturally wrong and, if there is, I’m not sure how to even begin to identify what that is and, even if when can identify it, how to fix it.

    Reynolds used to argue often, and IIRC still occasionally, that this will change slowly as the culture changes. He’s right. We can’t confiscate three hundred million guns. But we can make it feel less and less normal to own them. Like smoking or three martini lunches or discriminating against gays.

    When I grew up in small town/rural ND, gun ownership was quite common. But there wasn’t the gun culture we now have. Like every other cultural divide they can come up with, Republicans have seized on guns as an issue they can blow up and exploit. The best place to start correcting the culture is to vote out the politicians who push the gun culture. Vote blue, Doug.

    ReplyReply



    4



    0
  16. gVOR08 says:

    @Kathy:

    So, since 1999 in the US, how does the rate of deaths per number of flights compare to deaths in school shootings? And also, are deaths in each case trending downwards or upwards?

    Deaths per passenger mile on scheduled airlines is pretty much holding steady at near zero. The woman who was sucked partially out of a window and killed a few weeks ago was the first fatality in the U. S. some years. Why? Because we heavily regulate air safety.

    ReplyReply



    4



    0
  17. Kathy says:

    @gVOR08:

    Because we heavily regulate air safety.

    Partly.

    Air safety also involves two things mentioned here: market forces (including liability), and a culture of air safety. While air crash investigations are non-punitive in nature, airlines and manufacturers can be held liable for accidents and loss of life.

    ReplyReply



    2



    0
  18. An Interested Party says:

    But this post isn’t about guns, gun control, or anything related to that debate, it’s about something more fundamental, namely that we now live in a world where teenagers have come to accept the fact that they are likely to one day have to live through a school shooting.

    We live in a country where there is a danger of contracting HIV/AIDS or having an unwanted pregnancy, but don’t talk about sex…

    We live in a country where there is a chance that innocent young black men will be killed by cops for no good reason, but don’t talk about racism…

    We live in a country with growing income inequality, but don’t talk about how the rich have worked to manipulate the tax code and gut unions…

    ReplyReply



    7



    1
  19. Lynn says:

    I volunteer teaching English at a school for adult immigrants. Every several weeks, we have an intruder drill. Given how much that upsets me, I can’t imagine what regular teachers go through when they have such drills in elementary schools.

    And when the real thing happens … well, it’s simply beyond my comprehension.

    ReplyReply



    0



    0
  20. al Ameda says:

    To me it’s a public health problem, and largely the result of an oversupply of guns.

    In economics there is Say’s Law; essentially, the production and resulting supply of a product will create the demand for that product. Well, we have about 320M people and nearly the same number of guns. Just by the numbers alone it seems inevitable that we’re going to experience a mass shooting periodically throughout any year.

    Nothing is going to change anytime soon. We, collectively do not have the will to make event the smallest reforms to start making some headway.

    ReplyReply



    2



    0
  21. Tyrell says:

    If these people were thinking this then why weren’t steps taken then such as more security, secure doors, screening, and identification of anyone who was having mental or emotional problems?

    ReplyReply



    0



    9
  22. Tyrell says:

    @Todd: Any sort of court action would have to prove that a gun owner should have reason to believe that if their gun was stolen that it would be used for a crime. That would be like charging me if someone steals my car and injures someone else. Even if I leave the keys in it: dumb, but not illegal.
    I know many people who have guns. They have never injured anyone. Why punish them? Again you are trying to pass some kinds of laws and regulations that criminals and gang members will never follow.
    Think about this: when have you heard of any shootings at sports stadiums, theme parks, or speedway? Doesn’t happen. Think about why.

    ReplyReply



    1



    10
  23. DrDaveT says:

    @KM:

    This is the same logic as “if we don’t talk about sex, teenagers won’t do it as much

    No, it isn’t. Really. Not even close.

    Teens (and adults) will have sex regardless of what they see on TV, because it’s a basic human biological drive. Exposure to porn, or sitcoms, or whatever will only affect that at the margins.

    Not only are school shootings not a basic human biological drive, they are rare. Very rare. What fraction of Americans have personally experienced one? What fraction ever will? A vanishingly small fraction — especially when you compare it against the fraction who will be involved in a fatal car accident, or who will be sexually assaulted, or who will get cancer. Or who will have teenage sex.

    So if schoolkids are not surprised when they are involved in a school shooting, it has to be because they have been given a completely false notion of how likely such a thing is. Where would that false notion come from? It’s not hard to figure that out.

    None of this is an argument against trying to prevent those school shootings that do happen, or implementing sane gun control laws. But it is an argument in favor of maybe trying even harder to make inroads into the bad events that ARE common, and to give people a better sense of the actual risks involved.

    ReplyReply



    1



    1
  24. teve tory says:

    @DrDaveT: People are irrational. I’m irrational. I don’t like swimming in the ocean without a shark knife, and I know that the number of people eaten by sharks is so small you can learn all their names.

    ReplyReply



    0



    0
  25. Hal_10000 says:

    @Todd:

    Let the free market control guns …

    Repealing the 2005 “protection of lawful commerce in arms act”, which gave gun manufacturers and dealers immunity from civil lawsuits when their products are used in a crime, would be a much more effective way of reducing the number of guns on the streets than any government imposed bans or restrictions.

    This is not the free market. This is letting political interests abuse the legal system to achieve ends they can not achieve through legislation. In no other industry is a manufacturer held responsible when someone misuses their product to commit a crime (gun makers that break the law or manufacture defective weapons are still liable). We don’t sue car manufacturers when someone drives one into a crowd. We don’t sue makers of ski masks when a mugger wears one. Be very careful with you wish for here.

    Gun control works. It worked in Australia, and it’s worked in NYC. It’s not disputable. Following Columbine, America could have bought back guns, banned semi-automatics, and ‘limited’ every person to one measly handgun and one hunting rifle.

    Gun violence fell in the United States even with those things. It is, in fact, very disputable whether gun control works. The clearest argument is the poor stats and arguments put forward as proof. If gun control indisputably worked, you wouldn’t need the kind of garbage multivariate analysis generally used to “prove” that it does.

    As to why this has become normal, assuming it has, I remain convinced that we are seeing a social contagion, a kind of shared insanity. I would make an analogy to the serial killers we had in the 70’s — who drew inspiration from each other and gained notoriety. These killers are clearly taking inspiration from each other. Almost every mass shooter — and certainly every school mass shooter — has cited Columbine as part of their inspiration. Each has carefully laid plans to try to murder as many as possible. People talk about the AR-15, but they (as usual) draw the wrong lesson. The problem is not that the AR-15 is particularly dangerous, but that they are copying each other down to the preferred gun (much as mass shooters did in the 90’s with the TEC-9).

    I don’t know how you stop that. Getting the media to pay less attention to the shooters might help but even then you’re talking about on the fringes. The simple fact is that Columbine lit the fuse and it’s still burning twenty years later. And in a nation with 50 million students, it’s almost impossible to identify that one that has the means, the opportunity and the sheer evilness to do such a thing.

    ReplyReply



    3



    5
  26. Hal_10000 says:

    Perhaps we were living in a fantasy world at the time, but the possibility that either I or my fellow students could end up being the victim of a mass shooting, or indeed any shooting, is something that just didn’t enter my mind, and I suspect this is true of most of the people who were in public school at the same time I was

    While mass shootings were rarer, school shooting overall were way more common. When we were in school, about 100-200 kids were shot to death every year (2-4 times what we get now). The reason it wasn’t talked about was because most of them were minority kids in the inner cities during the drug wars. So both our politicians and the media considered them acceptable collateral damage in the War on Drugs.

    This is one of the reasons I get angry when Republican idiots say, “Well, what about black-on-black crime?”. The giant reduction in black-on-black crime over the last thirty years — including in schools — is one of the untold success stories.

    ReplyReply



    3



    1
  27. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Tyrell:

    when have you heard of any shootings at sports stadiums, theme parks, or speedway? Doesn’t happen. Think about why.

    Because most stadiums, theme parks, speedways prohibit guns. Just like Trump rallies. Think about it.

    ReplyReply



    8



    1
  28. Rick Zhang says:

    Sadly, I think cultural normalization of mass shootings has already gone on for so long that’s it’s impossible to turn back the tide. When the UK and Australia had their mass shooting, the whole country convulsed and the politicians managed to push through stringent gun control laws relatively easily. My theory is that it happened because their countries are more homogeneous and the worship of guns wasn’t enshrined in the constitution.

    Anyway, by now much like terrorism in the Middle East, we’ve become so immune to reports of mass shootings in public spaces that it’s now thought of as a regular daily risk. Basically, by not doing anything since Columbine, we’ve normalized gun violence to the extent that I don’t think there will be enough outrage to effect such a change in the near future.

    In terms of solutions, I can see two realistic pathways for real change to happen.

    1. A mass shooting on such a wide scale that it will shake the foundations of gun lovers. I’m thinking of a coordinated and organized mass shooting of 10% of schools, hospitals, restaurants, and movie theaters such that every life is touched. Maybe it will happen as part of a far right “militia” uprising against the government. Just like with LGBT rights, people generally don’t care until it affects them personally (e.g. a family member comes out). We just have to ensure that enough of the public is touched and strongly enough to think of gun control as a priority issue.

    2. Raise the price of guns and bullets through a surtax. Gradually incentivize people not to own guns. Increase the rates of urbanization and higher education. At the same time, have a public shame campaign such that the new generation isn’t taught to be so gun loving. Then as the older generation dies out maybe you’ll get enough of a shift in the voting public’s preferences that you can amend the constitution.

    ReplyReply



    1



    1
  29. Hal_10000 says:

    @Bob@Youngstown:

    So do schools.

    ReplyReply



    0



    1
  30. Guarneri says:

    @Todd:

    You’ve made some thoughtful points. I would note, though, that when the students returned to Parkland and greatly stepped up school security, the reaction was extreme frustration on the part of the students. Easy to talk about gun control and the like. Harder to deal with efficacious policies.

    And in your first comment, second to last paragraph, you mention increased but limited restrictions. Our government and public zealots dont have a robust history of “limited.” It is precisely the inevitable overreach that causes people to be wary of “sensible” gun control measures.

    Ultimately, for those not simply reflexively and simple mindedly anti-gun, this will come down to mental health policies and public facility security measures.

    ReplyReply



    0



    10
  31. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Hal_10000:

    In no other industry is a manufacturer held responsible when someone misuses their product to commit a crime

    I’d argue that the most basic purpose of a gun is to enable its user to kill more efficiently. This is what guns – if we’re honest with ourselves – are designed to do.

    Why should we insulate gun manufacturers from, say, wrongful death suits – wherein their product was utilized exactly as designed?

    ReplyReply



    2



    1
  32. Tyrell says:

    @Bob@Youngstown: And how do they do that? Screening at the gates – bag searches and a detector walk through. In most cases it takes less than a minute. I know of some schools that have been doing this for years at school entrance and athletic events. No problems, no shootings, and no complaints.
    Entrance security!

    ReplyReply



    0



    1
  33. Hal_10000 says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Because the gun manufacturer is in compliance with the law. Because the gun manufacturer didn’t kill anyone (and 99.9% of guns are never used to kill). If you want to ban guns, ban guns. Good luck with that. But the purpose of the legal system is not to try to do through litigation what you can’t do through legislation.

    ReplyReply



    0



    1
  34. TM01 says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Depends on who you are.
    This is exactly the way the bloodthirsty zealots at the National Rifle Association and their fellow travelers in the gun industry want it.

    Right there.

    You’re the fscking problem.

    You don’t give a schitt about addressing any problems. I’m just surprised you didn’t mention Russia.

    Fsck off.

    ReplyReply



    0



    8
  35. TM01 says:

    Let’s see.

    My dad used to take his gun to school quite often when growing up. That was never a problem.

    Then the Left came along and started removing God from everything. They attack “toxic masculinity.” Bring moral relativism everywhere. Denigrate the nuclear family. Insulting and attacking anyone with a different opinion. Then throw in social media which allows people to viciously attack anyone with whom they disagree with no consequences. The virtual online mobs. Abortion and doctor assisted suicide reinforce that life is not precious.

    There’s a values problem.

    The problem has nothing to do with the inanimate object, except that it let’s you avoid difficult, uncomfortable conversations.

    ReplyReply



    1



    12
  36. Mister Bluster says:

    Then the Left came along and started removing God from everything…

    So you think that god is so weak that the Left can remove god from everything?
    Getting rid of your false idol Donald Trump should be a cakewalk!

    ReplyReply



    5



    0
  37. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Todd:

    I don’t think an outright Australian style gun buyback would ever be practical in this country … way too many weapons already out there).

    It depends on what you are trying to accomplish. Outlaw assault weapons, make the possession of one punishable by say 5 years in prison, the sale of one punishable by 10 yrs in prison, the manufacture of an assault weapon or modification of an existing firearm into one punishable by 25 years in prison, combined with a credible well funded buyback program will do a lot to get these weapons off the streets. The # that are directly removed will in all likelihood be dwarfed by the # that never leave home for fear of being caught with one and sales will drop to near zero levels and manufacturing/modifications will all but end. The # of people at risk of dying from the use of one of these weapons would dramatically decrease.

    It would not of course end gun violence, but it would have the effect of decreasing the chances of a large # of victims in any one shooting. That alone is worth the trouble.

    ReplyReply



    1



    0
  38. Todd says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Outlaw assault weapons …

    First we have the thorny issue of defining what is or isn’t an “assault weapon”. As some of my friends love to point out, many semi-automatic weapons have almost exactly the same capabilities as AR-15 type rifles, just without the military “styling”. This is why I like the idea of liability better than bans or restrictions. These mass shooters seem to overwhelming prefer the military style weapons and I think the best way to deter their manufacture and sale is for the legal system to examine how they are marketed. In other words, I don’t expect that a company manufacturing a rifle marketed for hunting, or a handgun marketed target shooting would/should have liability if their product is used in a shooting. But a company (or organization such as the NRA) that emphasizes features like high capacity magazines and promotes events like urban assault courses probably should be fearful of potential big jury verdicts when those tactics or features contribute to a lot of dead citizens.

    ReplyReply



    1



    0
  39. al Ameda says:

    @TM01:

    Then the Left came along and started removing God from everything. They attack “toxic masculinity.” Bring moral relativism everywhere. Denigrate the nuclear family. Insulting and attacking anyone with a different opinion. Then throw in social media which allows people to viciously attack anyone with whom they disagree with no consequences. The virtual online mobs. Abortion and doctor assisted suicide reinforce that life is not precious.

    Excellent fake grievance litany.
    Not to nitpick, but, you forgot ‘hates puppies and kittens.’
    By the way, when did conservatives become such whining pathetic self-proclaimed victims of … everything?

    ReplyReply



    3



    0
  40. Mister Bluster says:

    @TinyMind 0.0000000000000000000001:..Insulting and attacking anyone with a different opinion

    You mean like your boyfriend Donald Trump insults and attacks NFL players:

    It was, after all, at a campaign speech in Alabama last year that Trump attacked players who knelt during the Anthem, referred to the players as “sons of bitches” and called on the league and/or the teams to fire or otherwise discipline players who don’t stand for the Anthem.
    OTB May 24, 2018

    ReplyReply



    1



    0
  41. An Interested Party says:

    …for those not simply reflexively and simple mindedly anti-gun…

    Yes, it is just so foolish to be opposed to guns

    I’m just surprised you didn’t mention Russia.

    Well, the NRA has taken Russian money

    ReplyReply



    0



    0
  42. gVOR08 says:

    @Tyrell:

    Think about this: when have you heard of any shootings at sports stadiums, theme parks, or speedway? Doesn’t happen. Think about why.

    Much as it pains me to say this, give it time.

    ReplyReply



    0



    0

Speak Your Mind

*