Sikh Temple Gunman Identified As 40 Year-Old Ex-Military Member, Motive Unclear

The gunman in yesterday’s shooting at a Sikh temple outside Milwaukee has been identified:

(CBS/AP) OAK CREEK, Wis. – The suspect in a shooting that left six people dead at a Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee on Sunday has been identified as Wade Michael Page.

Authorities confirmed to CBS News on Monday that Page was the suspect in the shooting. He was killed outside the temple in a shootout with police officers after the rampage that left terrified congregants hiding in closets and others texting friends outside for help.

Multiple sources tell CBS News that Page was a former member of the U.S. military, but he was no longer serving actively. It was not immediately clear under what circumstances Page left the military.

Officials had previously described the suspect as a heavy-set, 40-year-old Caucasian with numerous tattoos.

Sources tell CBS News some unspecified evidence suggests race or ethnicity may have played a role in the violence, but no links to extremist groups have been confirmed.

Local police called the attack an act of domestic terrorism, but other sources tell CBS News correspondent Bon Orr it may be more accurate to refer to “an investigation into a possible hate crime.”

Neither the local nor the federal sources provided further details or suggested a possible motive, including whether the suspect specifically targeted the Sikh temple

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has more details about the state of the investigation but there’s not much new information at the moment, that will have to wait until the police talk to the press later this morning.  Until then, we should probably not jump to any conclusions about motive and such other matters, but this information doesn’t sound good at all.

FILED UNDER: Crime, Law and the Courts, Quick Takes
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed for too young in July 2021.

Comments

  1. Bob Beller says:

    He’s from the Tea Party, just ask Brian Ross 🙂

  2. JKB says:

    Well, we know, by Department of Homeland criteria, he was a domestic terrorist. He isn’t a muslim and he was in the US military. If he were a muslim, this would be reported as a zoning dispute or something.

  3. Well folks, here is a simple test for racial and religious tolerance.

    Just think back for your prescriptions following Colorado, and see if they apply, or if you stand by them, with this group. If for instance you thought theater goers should be armed, do you think the Sikhs should have been armed? etc.

    Of course JKB, going there, with seven dead and in the second comment, fails miserably.

  4. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @john personna: Nearly every single mass shooting in the US over the last 50 years has taken place in a “gun-free zone.”

    Considering the Sikh warrior tradition (their holy symbol is a dagger), I would wager that the temple was not declared a “gun-free zone,” and this would be an aberration from that trend.

    I sympathize for the Sikhs. They not only get persecuted by Muslims around the world, but I think more “anti-Muslim hate crimes” have been committed against Sikhs than against actual Muslims. They tend to be fine folks, and they don’t deserve that.

  5. @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Nearly every single mass shooting in the US over the last 50 years has taken place in a “gun-free zone.”

    What. behind airport screening? Past the metal detectors?

    Considering the Sikh warrior tradition (their holy symbol is a dagger), I would wager that the temple was not declared a “gun-free zone,” and this would be an aberration from that trend.

    Seriously? You would “wager” guns will be found in the temple?

  6. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @john personna: <i.What. behind airport screening? Past the metal detectors?

    Movie theatres, shopping malls, schools — declared and posted “gun-free zones.” I think the Texas Tower shooting is the sole exception in the last 50 years (prior to this one, possibly).

    And the Sikh faith is a warrior ethos. With their mindset, I would not be surprised if there were no rules against coming to the temple armed.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Neither the local nor the federal sources provided further details or suggested a possible motive, including whether the suspect specifically targeted the Sikh temple

    That has to be the stupidest thing I have read all year. What, he shot up St.Mary’s Catholic church, the B’nai Brith Synagogue, the 31st Freewill Baptist Church, and a Mosque on his way to the Sikh temple???? I know what they are trying to say, but g’damn!!!

  8. @Jenos Idanian #13:

    And the Sikh faith is a warrior ethos. With their mindset, I would not be surprised if there were no rules against coming to the temple armed.

    And you don’t think guns in the temple would be reported by now? What, is the MSM in a secret pact with Sikhs, because they are all liberals or something?

    Piling your prejudices into a fantasy story line is another epic fail.

  9. JKB says:

    @john personna:

    Why on earth shouldn’t the Sikhs be armed under the Constitution? I hope they do arm up and vote out any politician or church leader who tries to interfere with their self defense.

    I”m not sure about your comprehension of my comment. I was speaking of the US government’s refusal to call domestic terrorists that are muslim, terrorists while they are eager to label ex-military as such. Heck, even when the muslim is an active duty officer with direct ties to muslim terrorist groups who murders other service members they label it “workplace violence.”

  10. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @john personna: And you don’t think guns in the temple would be reported by now? What, is the MSM in a secret pact with Sikhs, because they are all liberals or something?

    It’s not even 24 hours, and the local authorities are maintaining a news blackout for a little longer. These kinds of details take time to emerge.

    And no rebuttal to my elaboration about the gun-free zones? I’m so hurt.

  11. @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I think “gun-free zones” is more fantasy crap.

  12. @JKB:

    First of all, that’s a sick concern. Second, I doubt it connects to reality. What, you think there was some Muslim killer in America who was not correctly “scored?”

  13. Just Me says:

    This is a real tragedy.

    Too soon to say much, but I am going to go with this guy suffering from mental illness of some kind.

    I think in just about every mass shooting, mental illness has been involved. The safer bet for why seems to be mental illness.

  14. Andy says:

    Looks like the shooter was in the Army from 1992-1998 and did not receive an honorable discharge when he left. That means he did something bad while in the service and was kicked out (administratively separated is the technical term). Some in the MSM are already playing up the veteran angle, but it’s not clear that has any relevance at all to this crime, especially considering he hasn’t been in the Army for 14 years.

  15. Andy says:

    I don’t understand this “gun free zones” debate. Unless they are enforced by some kind of security they pretty much are only there to let people who are legally carrying know they can’t bring their weapons onto the property. Whether or not the Sikhs allowed weapons on their property is irrelevant.

  16. @Andy:

    Didn’t realize his service was that long ago. I was anticipating that someone was going to bring up the PTSD issue.

  17. Also, CNN is reporting that “a source at the Pentagon” said that this guy was discharged in 98 for “a pattern of misconduct”

  18. JKB says:

    @john personna: I think “gun-free zones” is more fantasy crap.

    Your thoughts do not do you credit.

    However, it a manner you are correct. There are no “gun-free zones” regardless of the sign on the door. They also like to add, “For safety,” but that also is a lie. What is labeled a gun-free zone is actually a “Helpless Law-abiding Citizen” (HLC) zone. Criminals and murders walk right past the sign with impunity and use their firearms in the safety of the HLC zone. Secure in the knowledge that politicians and proprietors have disarmed a large pool of victims for the criminal’s predations.

  19. Andy says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Doug, just heard that he was “reduced in rank” before discharge. That means that he was, at a minimum, subject to an article 15 punishment, but it might also mean he was court-martialed for criminal activity. I suspect we’ll know the full details in short order.

  20. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @john personna: I think “gun-free zones” is more fantasy crap.

    I. Could. Not. Agree. More.

    Folks keep proclaiming places as "gun-free zones," like schools, malls, and whatnot, and then are astonished when predators look at the posted signs and think "hey, guaranteed unarmed victims!" instead of "whoops, no guns allowed, better go shoot up some other place."

    A certain church in Colorado wasn't a "gun-free zone" when one gunman came calling.

    A nutjob with a knife in Colorado was recently stopped on his stabbing spree by a citizen with a gun.

    A jewelry store owner — an elderly woman — chased off five young would-be robbers because she had a gun.

    An elderly man broke up a robbery of a cybercafe recently because he had a gun.

    Funny how those don't get the attention, though…

  21. @Andy:

    I agree with your comments, pretty much, but on whether there were or should have been guns at this place of worship, remember that post-Colorado some did pretty much suggest “armed America” as a safeguard against killers. If they wanted theater goers packing, then they’d want armed guards at the doors of our churches.

  22. @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Dude, we’d all feel better about gun ownership if people arguing for it weren’t so messed up.

  23. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @john personna: Perhaps, “dude,” you ought to weigh the arguments on their own merits, and look beyond your own prejudices.

    Besides, I suspect part of your prejudice is that you don’t accept that someone can be in favor of the 2nd Amendment without being “so messed up.” That the former requires the latter.

  24. walt moffett says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Read over this essay on the kirpan at Sikhs.org. Despite a blood curdling reputation, Baba Deep Singh, The Battle of Saragarhi, Southall during the Uk riots, in the US, they have been mostly pacifist. Finding a firearm in the gurdwara seems as likely as finding a virgin in a college town.

  25. C. Clavin says:

    Indiana Jones talking about fantasy crap.
    Funny.

  26. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @walt moffett: I read the first sentence, and I’m already having trouble with that essay.

    The Kirpan (ceremonial sword) worn by followers of the Sikh religion sometimes raises questions or concerns among people who are unfamiliar with the religion or it’s tenants.

    “Tenants?” The author can’t tell “renters” from “religious doctrine.” The word is “tenets.”

    I’ll keep reading, but the author shot himself in the foot pretty thoroughly right off the bat.

  27. Mikey says:

    @john personna:

    If they wanted theater goers packing, then they’d want armed guards at the doors of our churches.

    That’s already the case in some places. Perhaps you recall Jeanne Assam, a security guard at a Colorado mega-church whose quick action with her own weapon stopped what would have been a horrible massacre, as hundreds of people were in the church preparing for services.

    http://articles.latimes.com/2007/dec/11/nation/na-shoot11

  28. @Mikey:

    That is a sad story. Good that they had a guard there, sad that they needed one, sad that someone showed up with an assault rifle and 1000 rounds of ammunition.

  29. stonetools says:

    I see the usual kabuki is bewing followed.

    1. Crazy person uses legally obtained semi-automatic weapon ( which couldn’t be obtained in any other civilized country) to commit mass murder.

    2. Numerous conservative authorities rush to claim the mass murder as a “senseless act” , implying that like earthquakes , they cannot be prevented.

    3. Other conservatives decry any attempt to bring up handgun control as “an attempt to exploit a tragedy for partisan political gain”.

    4. Still other conservatives blame the victims for not being armed and being sheeple who won’t protect themselves.

    5. Liberals cave, ineffectually wave their hands and subside.

    Let’s be blunt. AS a society we are all responsible for what’s happened. Crazy people DON”T get to routinely and legally acquire high powered weaponry and slaughter other citizens in other civilized societies. We CAN prevent this and it is only the mendacity of the NRA and conservatives that prevent us from doing this.

  30. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @walt moffett: OK, it’s turning into a pretty good read.

    Guru Hargobind introduced Sikhs to the concept of being a Sant-Sipahi (Saint-Soldier). A Sikh must be a Saint always meditating and remembering God. At the same time a Sikh is also expected to be a soldier, a person taking part in their social responsibilities to their family and community. Following the path of law, order and morality as laid out by the Sikh Gurus.

    I’d agree that Sikhs tend to be quite peaceful, but hardly pacifist.

  31. Liberal Cap says:

    “Motive unclear”.

    Really?

    REALLY ???

    Seems to me it was pretty farkin clear.

    I’m heavily armed, and I’m gonna shoot the shite out of a bunch of folks.

    It’s the new normal.

    —–

    Want to end this?

    Pass a new law: Commit a crime with a gun, death.

    You are willing to take a life, we take yours.

    Will it be 100% effective? Nope.

    But what law is.

  32. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @stonetools: Let’s be blunt. AS a society we are all responsible for what’s happened. Crazy people DON”T get to routinely and legally acquire high powered weaponry and slaughter other citizens in other civilized societies. We CAN prevent this and it is only the mendacity of the NRA and conservatives that prevent us from doing this.

    Let’s be blunter: we keep having massacres in “gun-free zones,” and the solution is to make even more gun-free zones? You’re nucking futs.

    But sure, let’s put other rights up for approval by the authorities. Let’s make sure that people speaking freely aren’t crazy, that women wanting abortions are in their right minds, and those who don’t want to incriminate themselves are sane and competent. That’ll work out well.

  33. @Liberal Cap:

    I think “life, in solitary, with only NPR for company, without possibility of parole” is both more humane and more effective as a deterrent.

    The only way out for a capital crime should be something like the invention of DNA tests, which proved innocence for some convicted.

    (There have been a couple people, already executed, cleared by DNA. The government has decided not to test any further already-executed cases.)

  34. Lib cap says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Sorta like “onward christian soldiers”, eh?

    Yeah… I can’t even say that christian tend to be peaceful… that would be a lie.

  35. @Jenos Idanian #13:

    So I guess, while I was sleeping, “gun-free zones” became a set of code words for “armed America” types.

  36. JKB says:

    Gun control is like trying to reduce drunk driving by making it tougher for sober people to own cars.

  37. PJ says:

    @Mutt Williams #13:

    Let’s be blunter: we keep having massacres in “gun-free zones,” and the solution is to make even more gun-free zones? You’re nucking futs.

    Should kindergartens and schools be gun free zones?

  38. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Liberal Cap: I like it, but I don’t love it. It does nothing to stop those who are willing — or eager — to die.

    Those might be deterred by the possibility that they might fail, and die in the process. In the Jeanne Assam case, apparently she only wounded the gunman — who then took his own life. The key point: she stopped him — but your law would have been no deterrent to him.

    Giving would-be predators “game preserves” in the form of places where they know they will be the only one armed (at first) is insane. The Virginia Tech shooter went from building to building secure in the knowledge that he would not find anyone who could shoot back.

    I don’t blame the victims. I blame those who create these “gun-free zones” and make the implicit promise that people will be safe there.

  39. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @JKB: For even more examples, look at what Bloomberg is doing. “Some people are fat, so no one can have large sodas.” Same with unsaturated fats, baby formula, and so on.

    A very few act up, so all must be punished.

  40. @john personna:

    The only way out for a capital crime should be something like the invention of DNA tests, which proved innocence for some convicted.

    Problem is that in the vast majority of cases, there is no DNA evidence one way or the other. But if our experience in cases where there is DNA evidence is any guide, there’s probably a huge number of innocent people in prison with no hope of proving it.

  41. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @PJ: Excuse me, but I said that.

    How would things have turned out if Liviu Librescu had been carrying a gun the day he died?

    If some of the teachers in Beslan had been carrying?

  42. mattb says:

    Just out of curiosity, of the people who keep pushing for the use of guns in self defense, how many of you actually:

    (a) own a pistol,
    (b) have gotten your concealed carry permit, and/or
    (c) have done any regular self defense training with your sidearm?

    Not being snarky… just curious.

  43. @Stormy Dragon:

    I was really just contrasting there with execution, where there is no way back on the decision, and should you find later evidence of innocence all you are left with is government liability.

  44. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @mattb: I’ll answer you: I’ve considered owning a gun several times in my life, and have always decided against it. I won’t bore you with my reasons, but every now and then I reconsider. There is absolutely no legal reason why I should be denied my right, but I’ve never felt comfortable with the responsibilities that go with exercising that right. For one, I’d be lousy at keeping it clean.

    The most recent temptation was “just to piss off the gun-grabbers.” But that wasn’t good enough for me.

    But I reserve my right to change my mind. And I respect the rights of others to make their own choices.

  45. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Considering the Sikh warrior tradition (their holy symbol is a dagger), I would wager that the temple was not declared a “gun-free zone,” and this would be an aberration from that trend.

    If only those who were attending the Temple on Sunday morning were armed, this tragedy could have been prevented.

  46. C. Clavin says:

    “…I’ve considered owning a gun several times in my life, and have always decided against it. I won’t bore you with my reasons, but every now and then I reconsider…”

    Indy’s mother told him he couldn’t have guns in her basement.

  47. stonetools says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Who mentioned ” gun-free zones? ” That’s your sick propaganda. I’m for passing legislation to keep semi-automatic weapons out of the hands of criminals and mentally ill people. Lots of civilized , modern countries have been able to do just that. We can do so too.
    Frankly, I don’t want to live in a society where you have armed guards at kindergartens and where you have to carry a gun to go to worship or a theater, or its your fault if you get shot. That way lies madness.

  48. Mikey says:

    @john personna: Having a security guard on duty seems to be fairly common at mega-churches. It is sad that it’s necessary, but they seem to understand large gatherings of people present attractive targets.

    There’s a Sikh temple nearby that I run past on my long Sunday runs. I expect to see either security guards or police at that one the next time I go by.

  49. sam says:

    Dave Weigel seems to have the goods on the shooter: The Sikh Temple Shooter and His Lousy, Racist Hardcore Bands. Do read the interview Dave cites.

  50. @Jenos Idanian #13:

    The most recent temptation was “just to piss off the gun-grabbers.” But that wasn’t good enough for me.

    The thing that’s sick about this is that there are plenty of really excellent, traditional guns, that are not on the “gun-grabber’s” radar. And so people who buy guns for “political expression” buy guns that are least useful, or safe, for them to own.

    People who might enjoy a nice double-shotguns and skeet shooting end up with an AR-15 clone in the closet.

  51. @Mikey:

    Yeah, and now some almost-mega churches are probably worried about whether they should follow suit.

  52. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: Prevented? Doubt it. Lessened? Maybe. History has shown that armed people at the scene of mass shootings tend to act responsibly. See Jeanne Assam, the Gabby Giffords shooting (two armed people on the scene, chose to NOT draw their guns in the confusion, helped pile on and stop the shooter), and the Appalachian School of Law shooting (two off-duty cops who were students retrieved their guns from their cars — they weren’t allowed to carry them — and subdued the shooter).

    On the other hand, the “high noon at the OK Corral” scenario posited by so many anti-gun people, where gun owners start shooting back at the gunman and end up killing and wounding even more innocents, has happened… hey, can someone cite an example of that?

  53. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @john personna: I once held a 9mm Beretta, and damn if it didn’t fit perfectly in my hand and feel sweet. It was like it was made just for my hand. I’ve also been told that I’d be a good candidate for the classic M1911 Browning.

    But never could come up with enough good reasons…

  54. @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Armed America, and shootouts, is the future you want, not the reality we’ve enjoyed.

  55. @Jenos Idanian #13:

    By now the 1911 is considered a traditional, and low capacity, handgun.

  56. sam says:

    Why is it that the 4F fvcks are always the most blood-thirsty?

  57. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @john personna: You keep saying that, but I just cited three very recent examples where it could have happened, theoretically, but didn’t. I think I’ll go with the established history and not your paranoid fantasies, thank you. I’ll put my faith in the majority of my fellow citizens, and let you take up the “I don’t trust myself, so you can’t be trusted, either” argument.

  58. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    @al-Ameda: Prevented? Doubt it. Lessened? Maybe. History has shown that armed people at the scene of mass shootings tend to act responsibly.

    Do you have any example of this history?

  59. @Jenos Idanian #13:

    No, you’ve named situations with our current restricted carry rules and extrapolated them to broader carry.

    You’ve suggested broader carry.

  60. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @john personna: Yet another reason why I just taking the “just say no” option: I’m not knowledgeable enough on the matter.

    The gun expert was going on my build and hand size. Plus, he was pretty prejudiced in favor of the M1911 — called it “the perfect pistol” and said it had never been matched.

  61. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: You mean, apart from the three examples I cited right after the part I quoted?

  62. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Jenos is really happy today. Whenever there’s a mass murder, he knows he can put up his “everyone should have a gun!” crap, and it will annoy many more people than it would on another day.

    It’s so nice that Jenos can find joy in the slaughter of so many innocent people.

  63. @Jenos Idanian #13:

    What, you don’t want it now that you know it’s ok?

  64. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “The most recent temptation was “just to piss off the gun-grabbers.” But that wasn’t good enough for me. ”

    What’s more pathetic than some loser who makes decisions like this based on the delusion that anyone cares enough about him to be “pissed off” by his consumer choices?

    One who thinks that, but is too lazy to get off the couch and actually do it.

  65. PJ says:

    @Mutt Williams #13:

    @PJ: Excuse me, but I said that.

    Yes, you did.

    How would things have turned out if Liviu Librescu had been carrying a gun the day he died?

    If some of the teachers in Beslan had been carrying?

    Should teaching require extended firearm training too?
    What kind of weapons should a teacher carry? Just an handgun? Because I doubt keeping a shotgun in the teacher’s desk is a good idea.
    Should the children be armed too? Because after the gunman shoots the teacher, it will take a while before another teacher will arrive. Maybe the hall monitors should be armed too?

  66. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @PJ: Boy, the totalitarian is strong in you, isn’t it? You swing from one extreme — an absolute ban — to the other — mandatory carrying.

    Here’s a concept you might have heard of before: choice.

    I realize it’s a bit of a foreign concept to most liberals in areas outside of sex, but it’s kind of important for matters where you have your pants on, too. Some would say even more important.

  67. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @wr: Shut up before I point my finger at you and shout “BANG, BANG!” really loud.

  68. anjin-san says:

    Who mentioned ” gun-free zones?

    Indeed. And how did Muslims get into the conversation?

  69. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: The “Muslim” thing came up because there have been prior cases of attacks on Sikhs by hate-filled idiots (but I repeat myself) who mistook them for Muslims. I wouldn’t be surprised if that was a factor here.

  70. JKB says:

    @mattb:

    I can neither confirm nor deny that I carry in accordance with the law. Nor would I ever unless you were a law enforcement officer with which I was personally interacting (as required by law) or a trusted friend.

    I will say, I remain cognizant of the signs marking areas as helpless law-abiding citizen (HLC) zones and make conscious decisions about my personal security when entering such. I can tell you when I visited my brother in the hospital, I felt so much safer once I got behind the “no firearms” sign. Knowing that if someone did come in and start shooting up the place, they’d be charged with a violation of firearm control laws.

    Oh and you’d be surprised how many people are carrying right now.

  71. anjin-san says:

    Here’s a concept you might have heard of before: choice.

    When you come out for gay marriage with no ifs, ands, or buts, you might have some credibility with statements like that. Until then, we know that you are full of it.

    Freedom for me, but not for thee – the battle cry of the right.

  72. mattb says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    The “Muslim” thing came up because there have been prior cases of attacks on Sikhs by hate-filled idiots (but I repeat myself) who mistook them for Muslims. I wouldn’t be surprised if that was a factor here.

    Given the bits of information that are coming out about the shooter, it seems like this might very well be the case. Or simply that the shooter was going to go after any non-white, non-christian target.

    It’s definitely the case that assaults on Sikhs have greatly increased in the wake of 9/11. And there’s a significant amount of evidence that, in those attacks, they are regularly mistaken for Muslims (in part because they match the media’s traditional portrayal of Muslims).

  73. PJ says:

    @Mutt Williams #13:
    @PJ: Boy, the totalitarian is strong in you, isn’t it? You swing from one extreme — an absolute ban — to the other — mandatory carrying.
    No, I’m asking you. You don’t seem to think gun free zones is a good idea.

    And considering that kindergartens and schools are filled with young people who probably shouldn’t be allowed to carry firearms (who knows, maybe you disagree?) and that the idea about not having gun free zones is that someone will be able to promptly fire back at the attacker? But if only one, clearly identifiable, person is allowed to carry a firearm, isn’t that person going to be the first target?

  74. mattb says:

    @JKB:
    I just like to know where people are coming from.

    Look, I have no issue with people CCW. As I’ve said in other threads, I am all for people doing regular self defense training with their weapon (or training stand in).

    I do have issues with people acting as if they know what they are talking about when it comes to using a gun in self defense situations. See G.A. rantings about how guns would have made everyone safer in the Colorado theater situation (which was an absolute nightmare from any sort of applied self defense perspective).

    I also have a special aversion to puffed up poofs, like Eric F, who complain about unarmed sheeple who don’t have guns and yet come up with tons of excuses as to why they don’t carry or haven’t taken the chance to do basic self defense with a firearm.

    As far as the situation you linked to… I have to say, if I saw a person open carrying into a movie theater that I was in, I would probably exit and request to exchange my ticket for another showing or complain. Not necessarily because I think that person would open fire, but rather because I’d probably not be able to completely focus on the movie (as I’d be devoting some attention to that individual for the showing). But I’ve been wired to pay attention to threat variables within a given space and a stranger with an openly accessible gun is typically a threat variable.

  75. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “Shut up before I point my finger at you and shout “BANG, BANG!” really loud. ”

    Why should today be different than any other day?

  76. mantis says:

    Jay Tea/Jenos loves nothing more than a bunch of senseless deaths so he can prattle on about gun free zones that virtually no one knows or cares about.

    Tell us, Jay, if you believe that gun-carrying citizens are essential to keeping us safe from other gun-carrying citizens, why are you such a coward that you do not carry one yourself? Just another goddamned armchair warrior…

  77. Rob in CT says:

    JKB to JP:

    Your thoughts do not do you credit.

    JKB in comment #2:

    Well, we know, by Department of Homeland criteria, he was a domestic terrorist. He isn’t a muslim and he was in the US military. If he were a muslim, this would be reported as a zoning dispute or something.

    Shall we laugh or cry? Laughter is healthier, but harder and harder to muster.

  78. anjin-san says:

    helpless law-abiding citizen (HLC) zones

    You know, one thought that I never have, in the best areas or the worst (the worst I visit anyway) is “I am helpless”…

  79. JKB says:

    @anjin-san: You know, one thought that I never have, in the best areas or the worst (the worst I visit anyway) is “I am helpless”…

    Most people don’t until it is just them and their good looks facing a man with a gun. Then they have that thought, often their last.

  80. anjin-san says:

    Most people don’t until it is just them and their good looks facing a man with a gun.

    I dated a woman once who’s husband had been shot and killed by a mugger. In 53 years, that is the only person anywhere in my universe that died by gun violence outside of combat. And I never met the guy. Meanwhile, the list that has died in car and motorcycle accidents or from smoking/drinking/drugging is pretty darned long.

    If you want to live in fear, go for it. After all, you can’t have conservative politics without constant fear. I will pass.

  81. JKB says:

    @mattb:

    Your points are valid but you misapprehend the value of carrying a firearm. It is a self defense weapon, it gives you an out if the bad guy decides to press the point. But most of the valuable use comes from staring down the bad guy with the knowledge that if he is one of the type who will press their violence you can resolve the matter in your favor. 99.9999% of firearm value comes from this type of protection. Seldom, even for police, does the firearm need to fired with intent to stop a threat.

    The private citizen should not reveal his firearm until it is time for it to be used. Using a firearm as a threat to stop someone from non-imminent threat behavior is inappropriate for a private citizen and can lead to prosecution. The bad guy when he become an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury should go down with a searing penetrating feeling in his chest and a surprised look on his face.

    This serves two purposes, 1. you avoid brandishing your firearm and startling the public unnecessarily and 2. the bad guys realize they will not receive prior notice of their imminent death if they become a threat to life and limb.

  82. wr says:

    @JKB: “@anjin-san: You know, one thought that I never have, in the best areas or the worst (the worst I visit anyway) is “I am helpless”…

    Most people don’t until it is just them and their good looks facing a man with a gun. Then they have that thought, often their last. ”

    I wonder if JKB and Jay Tea are aware how much the constant, drooling repetition of these scenarios comes to sound like they’re spinning out their private masturbation fantasies.

  83. mattb says:

    @JKB:

    Your points are valid but you misapprehend the value of carrying a firearm.

    I really don’t think I do. But perhaps it didn’t come across in the my comments.

    It is a self defense weapon, it gives you an out if the bad guy decides to press the point.

    I would revise that to: it gives you an out if it’s easily accessible, you have the will to draw and fire, and you are in a “talking” situation with the proverbial bad guy. Things become much more messy if the physical part of the confrontation has started.

    But most of the valuable use comes from staring down the bad guy with the knowledge that if he is one of the type who will press their violence you can resolve the matter in your favor. 99.9999% of firearm value comes from this type of protection. Seldom, even for police, does the firearm need to fired with intent to stop a threat.

    I am sure this is where we will start to disagree, but this is exactly the sort of mind set that scares me a bit when I hear it come from gun owners. Basically I read this as “gun muscles” — i.e. you’re doing something you wouldn’t do if you didn’t have the confidence of having the gun.

    You’re completely correct about the police and guns. But there are a lot of caveats there — including that the police regularly train in situation control and verbal deescalation. And more importantly, the person engaging with the police knows that they are dealing with an armed LEO and someone who can use deadly violence.

    That isn’t necessarily the same scenario when we’re talking about civilian and CCW (unless the gun in produced). And, btw it is one of the reasons I ask about doing regular self defense training with your firearm. If you’re not practicing those deescalation and draw-under pressure skills, then you can’t be sure they will be there.

    The private citizen should not reveal his firearm until it is time for it to be used.

    Two points here.

    First that demonstrates my point about the difference between an LEO and a private citizen.

    Second, in the case you linked to, the thing that set off the call to police in the movie theatre was someone open carrying into the movie. And btw, open carry is completely legal in TN, providing you have a license. So clearly people don’t agree with the point you are making (and people have a legal right to ignore what you’re writing).

    This serves two purposes, 1. you avoid brandishing your firearm and startling the public unnecessarily and 2. the bad guys realize they will not receive prior notice of their imminent death if they become a threat to life and limb.

    Again, you realize that a number of gun rights organizations push for open carry laws (negating 1 — and again, in the story you posted, it all started with a completely legal open carry) and that in the case of 2, not warning the “bad guy” that you have a gun negates at least part of the entire deescalation value of the gun. That isn’t to say you need to disclose that you are carrying at the beginning of a confrontation. But the fact is you should draw (but not fire) at the moment when you think your life is threatened.

  84. mattb says:

    Crap… last part should have read:

    This serves two purposes, 1. you avoid brandishing your firearm and startling the public unnecessarily and 2. the bad guys realize they will not receive prior notice of their imminent death if they become a threat to life and limb.

    Again, you realize that a number of gun rights organizations push for open carry laws (negating 1 — and again, in the story you posted, it all started with a completely legal open carry) and that in the case of 2, not warning the “bad guy” that you have a gun negates at least part of the entire deescalation value of the gun.

    That isn’t to say you need to disclose that you are carrying at the beginning of a confrontation. But the fact is you should draw (but not fire) at the moment when you think your life is threatened.

  85. mattb says:

    @mattb:

    Basically I read this as “gun muscles” — i.e. you’re doing something you wouldn’t do if you didn’t have the confidence of having the gun.

    Just to be clear, I see this sort of behavior (combined with little-to-no self defense training and, relatedly, not knowing the difference between an ass-kicking and a life threatening situation) as leading to events like Zimmerman/Martin.

  86. anjin-san says:

    @ wr

    I doubt it. That crew is not big on self awareness.

  87. JKB says:

    @mattb: Basically I read this as “gun muscles” — i.e. you’re doing something you wouldn’t do if you didn’t have the confidence of having the gun.

    Well, I was thinking of it more as having the proper safety equipment so that you could reach a bit further over the cliff to end some danger.

    See you can stare down someone when unarmed but it is always nice to know you have a fall back position. Not to mention, you are less likely to have the moment of indecision that predators sense and use to select you as their victim.

  88. Nikki says:

    I have no problem with hunting. I have a problem with hunting humans. I would prefer that those human hunters have less weapons available to them, not more. Mental health and fewer weapons of mass killing will do so vastly much more to contain the human hunters than any amount of arming the citizenry.

  89. JKB says:

    @mattb:

    I’m not sure what you are getting at but if you carry, deescalation should always be on your mind. Getting in a fight or argument that you are an equal aggressor is very bad legally when you are carrying a firearm. Of course, you are not required to acquiesce to some thug, either. You be nice until they become an imminent threat, then you be not nice.

    And more importantly, the person engaging with the police knows that they are dealing with an armed LEO and someone who can use deadly violence.

    Poor selection of victim is a common risk for criminals and thugs, I’m not sure why I should care about their professional short comings.

    If you can draw your firearm but not fire it, the threat is not imminent. In various scenarios, you may unholster your weapon but keep in inconspicuous. As a citizen, showing your weapon can lead to escalation rather than deescalation. But coming to bear, the threat must be reasonably imminent and the reason you don’t fire is the person takes immediate action that penetrates your perception to stop that imminent threat.

  90. Islamic center in Joplin, Missouri a month after a previous attempt at arson failed:

    http://news.yahoo.com/joplin-mosque-razed-fire-2nd-blaze-summer-160342127.html

  91. G.A. says:

    Just out of curiosity, of the people who keep pushing for the use of guns in self defense, how many of you actually:

    (a) own a pistol,
    (b) have gotten your concealed carry permit, and/or
    (c) have done any regular self defense training with your sidearm?

    Not being snarky… just curious.

    Pushing? You mean trying to keep and get or rights back to the way they was meant to be?

    a)no.
    b)no.
    c)yes but the side arms and shotguns belong to family and friends and this was some time ago.

  92. grumpy realist says:

    @JKB: yes, and how many people will interpret someone pointing a gun at them as an imminent threat?

    As a woman, I wouldn’t wait any further if I were armed.

    If more women and gays become armed, a lot of men might become far more wary about some of their behaviors, especially in states like Florida.

  93. PT says:

    @wr:

    I wonder if JKB and Jay Tea are aware how much the constant, drooling repetition of these scenarios comes to sound like they’re spinning out their private masturbation fantasies.

    Winner.

  94. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    Gun control is like trying to reduce drunk driving by making it tougher for sober people to own cars.

    More like: Attempting to further regulate gun possession is like trying to reduce drunk driving by making it tougher for drunk drivers to use their automobiles.

  95. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: More like “let’s put these breathalyzers in EVERYONE’S car, whether or not they’ve ever been convicted of drunk driving!”

    Generally, new laws only affect those who are inclined to obey the law in the first place. People who plan mass shootings tend to not fall into that category. And the killer in this case is already dead, so new laws won’t affect him.

  96. grumpy realist says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: that’s sort of like saying “well, people murder other people, so we shouldn’t have any laws against murder.”

  97. The Q says:

    Well the village idiots of the NRA are out in force today with their tiresome and trite, “well just goes to show gun laws don’t work” etc. or “see how the criminals have guns etc”.

    Lets take a look at the “logic” of their argument.

    It goes like this “criminals know that if most citizens are unarmed, they will have open season to burgle, rob, steal etc. since they know the average citizen will be defenseless.”

    Ok, if we go by that logic, explain to me what goes on in japan.

    Jenos (you are the idiot to whom I am referring), in Japan in 2006 there were 2 gun murders in Japan. Thats not a typo. They had 6 last year.

    Now you would think the amount of muggings, robberies, murders in japan would be sky high since no one owns guns but the criminals.

    Ergo, since no one in Japan is allowed to own guns, the criminals would be free to barge into any house, rob any citizen with impunity.

    And if we buy into the gun freaks argument, we would expect to see wildly high violence and murder by guns, since by definition guns don’t kill people, people with guns kill.

    So, why the non-existent murder rate by gun and low muggings/burglaries/robberies by criminals with guns in japan? Oh, I forgot, “MItts Rule” it must be they have a superior culture.

    Same with Britain which had 63 gun murders or Germany with 350 gun murders?

    You would expect their crime rates to be much higher than ours since they ban guns and we don’t.

    But that is not the case. We see that when countries make it extremely difficult to own guns, or when access to guns is highly regulated (Switzerland), the amount of crime, murders, muggings DO NOT RISE YOU ARSE HOLES. (Really is there no other way to describe these Koch suckers?)

    If a “libtard” were to suggest we should do away with Homeland security and x ray scans and ball fondlers at the airports since time and again tests show how easy it is to circumvent these measures, the wingnuts would be up in arms (no pun intended.)

    Similarly, the wingnut cry goes up to “self deport” illegals or to make it tougher for them to enter or get jobs, in short we must “crackdown” on illegals.

    But, lets put wingnut logic to work here, “hey we already enforce the border and already have laws against hiring illegals”, why not just get rid of those laws since they sure aren’t working. Just look at Arizona and California.”

    Anybody that really wants to bring down planes can do it, so why have laws which ban box-cutters and guns from airplanes.?

    Again, wingnut logic at work.

  98. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    @al-Ameda: More like “let’s put these breathalyzers in EVERYONE’S car, whether or not they’ve ever been convicted of drunk driving!”

    Actually, they probably have the technology to make it so that the ignition would not activate if a breathalyzer “key” was over a the .08 DUI limit. Would that be a good idea? Probably. Would Americans accept that? Probably not.

    Again, America has 310M people, 250M guns – why should we be surprised when an Aurora or a Tuscon happens occasionally – we’re awash in guns, it’s inevitable.

  99. stonetools says:

    @The Q:

    You are using facts against guys who are living in their own reality. The facts have always been clear that countries with effective handgun control have much lower rates of violent crime, rape and robbery, contrary to NRA newspeak about gun control. .

    The NRA and their enablers aren’t really interested in facts-they’re interested in any theory had helps them peddle their “guns are good for us” propaganda.

    I’ve talked to quite a few Law Enforcement people, including former military veterans. None of them believe that putting guns in the hands of untutored civilians will lead to a safer, lower-crime society
    My wife ( former Marine, qualified Expert in sharpshooting) is completely in favor of gun control laws and sees no reason whatever why civilians should be able to own AR 15s.
    The rule seems to be that it is those who are most familiar with firearms and their capabilities who are at also least likely to think that allowing untrained civilians unfettered access to semi-automatic firearms is a good idea.

  100. wr says:

    @The Q: “Jenos (you are the idiot to whom I am referring), in Japan in 2006 there were 2 gun murders in Japan. Thats not a typo. They had 6 last year.”

    Oh, boy, now you’ve done it. Here come Tsar and SuperD to explain how there aren’t murders in Japan because they don’t have any of them dark people out there.

  101. matt says:

    @The Q: The culture of Japan is radically different from what you see in the USA. Not to mention the radical differences in geography and ethnic compositions of the countries. Apples and Oranges doesn’t even begin to describe the differences.

    Same thing to a lesser extent holds true when comparing the USA to Europe.

  102. al-Ameda says:

    @matt:

    Same thing to a lesser extent holds true when comparing the USA to Europe.

    In other words, as I’ve suggested:

    Again, America has 310M people, 250M guns – why should we be surprised when an Aurora or a Tuscon happens occasionally – we’re awash in guns, it’s inevitable.

  103. matt says:

    @al-Ameda: One could make that declaration in relation to bombs or baseball bats or any number of items used to commit crimes.

    Even organized crime operates differently in Japan then in the USA…,