Yet Another School Shooting in America

Alas, it's unlikely to change the policies that enable them.

Hours after the latest massacre in an American schoolhouse, President Biden spoke to the nation pleading with lawmakers to take action. WaPo:

President Biden, in remarks that intermingled despair and anger, attempted to shame Congress on gun control Tuesday while openly questioning why the country he now leads has been incapable of coming up with an antidote to the mass shootings that show no signs of abating.

A father who has lost two of his own children, a man who has delivered perhaps more eulogies than any living politician, and a president who is confronting numerous challenges was forced, once again, to console a country reeling from tragedy.

“Why are we willing to live with this carnage? Why do we keep letting this happen? Where in God’s name is our backbone?” he said during a seven-minute address from the Roosevelt Room at the White House after news of the mass killing at a school in Uvalde, Tex. “It’s time to turn this pain into action.”

Biden delivered the remarks less than two hours after returning from Asia and just seven days after he last spoke about a mass shooting that had upended America. It was the second time in the course of 10 days that an 18-year-old in body armor carried a rifle into a building full of unsuspecting people, interrupting everyday life for everyday Americans with terror, mayhem and bloodshed.

For some Democrats and activists, it was a moment of expletive-filled frustration, of helplessness turning to rage. It was a moment of demanding change, of attacking Republicans who boast of their love of guns, of pointing to the children that, they say, Congress is failing.

For Biden, and for the nation as a whole, the massacre in Uvalde was a painful echo of the 2012 shooting in Newton, Conn., that killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School, bookends to a decade filled with mass shootings.

“As a nation we have to ask: When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?” Biden asked, his voice rising. “When in God’s name do we do what we all know in our gut needs to be done?” He added, “I am sick and tired of it. We have to act. And don’t tell me we can’t have an impact on this carnage.”

That “we do what we all know in our gut needs to be done” is obviously not clear. While there are Democrats who would ban private firearms outright, that’s an outlier position in Biden’s own party. And it’s certainly not Biden’s position. On the Republican side of the aisle, which increasingly represents rural America, there’s broader support for gun culture. There, even criminal background checks and simple registration requirements are too much for most.

There are conservatives who support reasonable measures. David French urges, “Pass and Enforce Red Flag Laws. Now.” His argument is nuanced so I’m excerpting more than I normally would:

To understand the need for red flag laws, it’s important to back up and understand the different categories of American gun deaths and the tools we have to defeat gun violence. The first category is what one might call common crime. Think of gang violence. Think of domestic violence. The majority of our meaningful gun control laws are aimed at common crime. We prohibit felons from possessing guns. We prevent “straw” purchases (when one person buys for someone who’s legally prohibited from owning a gun). We escalate punishment when criminals use guns to commit crimes.

But our nation’s gun control laws are much less effective at addressing the next two categories of gun deaths—suicides and mass killings. Enormous numbers of otherwise law-abiding citizens die by suicide using guns in this country. These are people who could pass any background check. And forms of gun control aimed at limiting a weapon’s lethality (such as restrictions on magazine size) are irrelevant to the suicide crisis. This is where our nation’s strained mental health system most shows its flaws.

Mass killings are their own thing. Mass shooters are frequently law-abiding, right up until the moment when they commit mass murder. Mass shootings are often meticulously planned, which means that they can circumvent common gun control laws. For example, the Buffalo shooter legally purchased the weapon he used and then illegally modified it to make it more lethal. 

So when we talk about common gun control proposals after mass shootings—whether we’re referring to expanded background checks, assault weapons bans, or limits on magazine capacity—the general rule is that none of those measures, even if implemented, would have actually prevented any recent mass shooting. 

In 2015 the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler famously fact-checked Marco Rubio’s assertion that assault weapons bans and magazine limits would not have prevented any then-recent mass shooting and found it to be true. Here was Kessler:

This is certainly a depressing chronicle of death and tragedy. But Rubio’s statement stands up to scrutiny — at least for the recent past, as he framed it. Notably, three of the mass shootings took place in California, which already has strong gun laws including a ban on certain weapons and high-capacity magazines.

Gun-control advocates often point to the experience in other countries that have enacted gun laws that heavily restrict gun ownership; as we have shown, quantitative measures of cross-comparative crime statistics, especially where the crime is not consistently defined (i.e., “mass shooting”), usually end up being apples-to-oranges comparisons. It is possible that some gun-control proposals, such as a ban on large-capacity magazines, would reduce the number of dead in a future shooting, though the evidence for that is heavily disputed. But Rubio was speaking in the past, about specific incidents. He earns a rare Geppetto Checkmark.

But since Kessler’s fact check, a new idea has emerged, one that’s directly designed to address both gaps in our mental health system and is tied to patterns we’ve seen in mass shootings. It’s the red flag law. It goes by other names, including extreme risk protection order, gun violence restraining order, or severe threat order of protection. 

The idea is simple—if a person exhibits behavior indicating that they might be a threat to themselves or others (such as suicidal ideation or violent fantasies), a member of his family, a school official, or a police officer can go to court to secure an order that permits police to seize his weapons and prohibit him from purchasing any additional weapons so long as the order lasts.

A well-drafted red flag law should contain abundant procedural safeguards, including imposing a burden of proof on the petitioner, hearing requirements, and a default expiration date unless the order is renewed through a clear showing of continued need. But its potential effectiveness (unlike the gun control measures Kessler analyzed in 2015) is crystal clear. 

French rightly notes that laws aren’t self-executing and we would have to train law enforcement officials and the public for this to have much impact. And it presumes that parents, spouses, and others close to potential spree shooters would actually report their loved ones in time for intervention.

I don’t know how many shootings universal passage of red flag laws would prevent but it would be more than zero. While there’s always potential for abuse by a vindictive ex, it seems like a more than reasonable measure.

David Frum hails from Canada, so he’s much less interested in the maximalist view of gun rights so common among American conservatives.

Every other democracy makes some considerable effort to keep guns away from dangerous people, and dangerous people away from guns. For many years—and especially since the massacre at Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School almost a decade ago—the United States has put more and more guns into more and more hands: 120 guns per 100 people in this country. The years of the pandemic have been the years of the greatest gun sales in U.S. history: almost 20 million guns sold in 2020; another 18.5 million sold in 2021. No surprise, those two years also witnessed a surge in gun violence: the spectacular human butchery of our recurring mass slaughters; the surge of one-on-one lethal criminality; the unceasing tragic toll of carelessness as American gun owners hurt and kill their loved ones and themselves.

Most of us are appalled. But not enough of us are sufficiently appalled to cast our votes to halt it. And those to whom Americans entrust political power, at the state and federal levels, seem determined to make things worse and bloodier. In the next few weeks, the U.S. Supreme Court will deliver its opinion in the case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, a decision that could strike down concealed-carry bans even in the few states that still have them. More guns, more places, fewer checks, fewer protections: Since Sandy Hook, this country has plunged backward and downward toward barbarism.

In his memoir of his career in the gun trade, the former gun-industry executive Ryan Busse writes of the effect of mass shootings on gun sales. They are, to put it bluntly, good for business. People think that perhaps the authorities might do something, and race to the gun stores to buy weapons before the “something” happens. The gun in the gunman’s hand multiplies to more guns in more hands. Most of those hands do not mean to inflict harm. But the harm follows, even so.

[…]

Whether any particular killer proves to be a racist, a jihadist, a sexually frustrated incel, or a randomly malignant carrier of sorrow and grief, can Americans ever break the pattern of empty thoughts, meaningless prayers, and more and worse bloodshed to follow?

“Ever” is a very long time. But I doubt I’ll live to see it.

FILED UNDER: Democracy, Guns and Gun Control, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies 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. drj says:

    That “we do what we all know in our gut needs to be done” is obviously not clear.

    Oh yes, it is.

    Why else the standard calls to “not politicize” the latest tragedy?

    That’s because everyone knows what needs to be done.

    It’s just that some people prefer not to talk about it. Which is an entirely different thing.

    ETA: Why not make Republicans defend school shootings? These are the result of their policy preferences, after all.

    15
  2. James Joyner says:

    @drj: There is simply nothing close to a consensus on this, even among Democratic Party leadership. There’s next to zero support for a complete ban on firearms. Taking guns out of the hands of those likely to be violent is much more popular. But how to make that happen is far from settled.

    4
  3. Kathy says:

    There’s no one single and simple solution does not equal there is no solution.

    12
  4. BugManDan says:

    Because the Supreme Court will probably not allow any real bans, why don’t we (as we do for automobiles) require liability insurance for every gun a person owns. The insurance companies can decide which will have higher rates (sports cars, assault rifles). This might limit the types and number of guns most people have.

    11
  5. James Joyner says:

    @Kathy: I don’t think anyone is saying otherwise. I’m simply saying that it’s not true that everyone agrees on what the solution is.

    4
  6. drj says:

    @James Joyner:

    There is simply nothing close to a consensus on this, even among Democratic Party leadership.

    That’s besides the point. We all know what needs to happen: fewer guns in the hands of fewer people.

    Whether there exists political leadership with the required courage to make it happen is a different thing.

    Again, we know what needs to happen.

    Arguing that nothing can be done (as opposed to wanting to get it done) is a cowardly cop-out.

    As to the political consensus among Democratic leadership, I’m sure that those who would want to ban guns entirely would also vote for less far-reaching measures.

    We don’t need complete consensus (another red herring), we need steps in the right direction.

    14
  7. Mikey says:

    @James Joyner: 90% of Americans support universal background checks for gun purchases. 90%. But the 50 GOP senators who represents 36% of Americans won’t even bring the bill the House passed over a year ago to a vote.

    The problem isn’t a lack of consensus among Americans.

    19
  8. Scott says:

    My wife is an elementary school counselor here in San Antonio. Just left for work. It will be a busy day dealing with parents and children traumatized by the shooting so close to home. She’s been a grief counselor so she knows what those folks in Uvalde are going through.

    No, nothing will change. The gun rights fanatics only argument is to armor up. Turn schools into fortresses, arm the teachers, run lock down drills. The other fatuous arguments: ” Only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun” or “An armed society is a polite society” have been proven false. No good guy ever shows up and we are not a politer society.

    On a side, tangential note: This is the time teachers declare their intentions to stay on or leave. They have until 30 Jun to sign contracts but already the indication that it will be a mass exodus. This will not help.

    4
  9. Scott says:
  10. James Joyner says:

    @Mikey: We agree. I was just making the narrow point that we don’t all agree on what needs to be done. Background checks would stop very little of this madness but it’s certainly one of many reasonable checks and balances that I’d support. I’d require marksmanship training and a gun safety course, for example. I don’t think it unreasonable that we’d place the same restrictions on deadly weapons that we do motorcycles. But, even if there was broad support for that, as @BugManDan notes, SCOTUS would strike those down.

    3
  11. Argon says:

    Well thank goodness we have an originalist Supreme Court that realizes the 2nd amendment was only intended to cover the right to own muzzle-loaded flintlocks by people in well regulated militias…

    13
  12. Scott says:

    I’m pretty sure Steve Kerr will be told to stick to basketball:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPvf5RgCU08

    1
  13. SC_Birdflyte says:

    Nothing will be done. We are damned.

    1
  14. Michael reynolds says:

    There is a solution: vote out Republicans. Pro gun Dems are adopting defensive positions against Republicans. Eliminate Republicans until they moderate. Hard to do but not hard to analyze. Solves most of our problems as a matter of fact. The GOP is the focus of evil in America.

    20
  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Just now seeing this. SNAFU.

    Read this at the Guardian:

    Law enforcement officers “engaged” the suspect when they saw him emerge from his crashed vehicle carrying a rifle and a handgun. But the gunman nevertheless managed to charge into the school building and open fire, Texas department of public safety (DPS) Sgt Erick Estrada said on CNN.

    I guess the “good guys with guns” couldn’t stop the “bad guy with a gun” after all. Fuck you Paxton.

    13
  16. grumpy realist says:

    I cynically suspect that nothing will happen until black people start self-arming across the board and practice open carry at all times. Then all of a sudden there will be a big tizzy about “we need to control guns!”

    And SCOTUS won’t do anything until they’re the ones regularly in the crosshairs.

    12
  17. gVOR08 says:

    The GOPs fought to repeal Roe v Wade for fifty years and failed and failed and failed. And now they’re about to win. And in the meantime they got reelected again and again and again on fighting Roe. Ds don’t have to win this year. But they have to fight.

    Pick something popular, like universal background checks, and force votes on it. And every time Moscow Mitch defeats it, hang it on him and his buddies. And keep doing it, again and again and again. And ask every SCOTUS nominee about well regulated militias. Fight, damnit.

    12
  18. CSK says:

    I’m waiting for someone like Alex Jones to start screaming about “false flag operations.” After all, that’s what Sandy Hook and the Boston Marathon bombing were. Right?

    1
  19. Jen says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Jesus. If that timeline/scenario proves to be accurate, that’s damning. The cops were there before he slaughtered all of those kids???

    1
  20. MarkedMan says:

    Ok, for the sake of argument let’s accept that politics prevents any meaningful laws. But it’s not just the laws, it’s the culture and gun culture in the US is horribly deranged. The casual acceptance that playing with guns is a normal “hobby” is deranged. Buying a 16 year old an assault rifle is deranged (see Buffalo). An adult buying an assault rifle because they are “cool” or “fun” is deranged. Fantasizing about how “when the shit comes down I’ll be packing and ready to take down those zombies/criminals/”urban youth” is deranged. Sitting around with buddies calmly discussing the killing power benefits of this gun over that one, or this ammo load over this other one, is deranged. If you are doing these things, no matter how much you see yourself as a pillar of the community, you are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

    If you keep a gun in your home and it is used to shoot someone, it will most likely be because you or a family member used it to commit suicide. Second most likely is that you or a family member, perhaps under the influence of alcohol or drugs, killed another family member, friend or coworker in anger. A very distant third is that it will serve to stop a criminal intent on violence.

    7
  21. Hal_10000 says:

    I think enhanced background checks are great. Maybe limits on weapons. I don’t think security measures are the answer: are schools are already like prisons and the last few shootings happened at schools with lots of security.

    But all of that, to me, is trying to fix this problem around the edges. There is something deeply unwell in our society when we have people who decide to blow away a bunch of strangers. These incidents are increasing and not because guns are increasing and not because schools are less safe and not because of video games. There is a sickness out there that we can not comprehend and don’t know how to address.

    4
  22. Kathy says:

    @Jen:

    More from The Guardian, quoting Lieutenant Chris Olivarez, spokesperson for the Texas Department of Public Safety

    At the Uvalde police department we received a call of a crashed vehicle and an individual armed with a weapon making his way into the school.

    At that point we had local law enforcement, school officers, as well as state troopers, who were first on scene and were able to hear the actual gunshots inside the classroom. They tried to make entry into the building. They were met with gunfire by the suspect, by the shooter. Some of those officers were shot.

    So, it wasn’t one “good guy” with a gun, but several. By GQP logic, they must have stopped the shooter and this sacrifice of human children to the 2nd amendment gods never happened.

    5
  23. Scott says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I found it really odd last night that the “press conferences” held around 6pm were just press updates and the only participants were school officials including the school district chief of police. No local town police, no county sheriff, no state trooper, no Texas Ranger, etc.

    More will come out.

    1
  24. Scott says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: According to the San Antonio Express-News, the LEO were

    Police officers with the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District saw the shooter and tried to engage him, Estrada said. That’s when he entered the school.

    School district cops. They were out of their league in this situation.

    4
  25. Slugger says:

    Before the Mavs-Golden State game last night, they had a moment of silence for the victims of the school shooting. Coach Kerr is right in being sick of moments of silence. Let’s have moments of rage, moments of weeping! This must stop!

    4
  26. Jen says:

    @Scott: Yep, thanks, I just saw that.

    An interesting factoid in the CNN article:

    At least 213 mass shootings had been recorded this year as of Tuesday, the 144th day of the year, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

    That’s 1.479 mass shootings per day.

    3
  27. gVOR08 says:

    I said above @gVOR08: Dems need to fight. Here’s a basketball coach who’s better at it than Chuck Schumer.

    I ask you, Mitch McConnell, and ask all of you senators who refuse to do anything about the violence, the school shootings, the supermarket shootings, I ask you, ‘Are you going to put your own desire for power ahead of the lives of our children, our elderly and our churchgoers?’ Because that’s what it looks like.

    People keep saying ninety percent want universal background checks. Making Dr. T’s point for him, the remaining 10% who oppose any restrictions are GOP primary voters. Screw ’em. They’ll never vote for a D. Ds need an enemy. It works for GOPs. Make these “deplorables” the enemy. If Chuck Schumer won’t do it, make Chris Murphy Majority Leader.

    5
  28. Paul L. says:

    2nd amendment was only intended to cover the right to own muzzle-loaded flintlocks by people in well regulated militias…

    1st amendment was only intended to cover the right to printing presses and yelling in the town square.
    Democrats support gun registration and confiscation. All gun laws should only apply to registered Democrats.

    1
  29. drj says:

    @Paul L.:

    Democrats support gun registration and confiscation. All gun laws should only apply to registered Democrats.

    Anything to distract from the actual dead kids, right?

    You are so broken that you can’t even bring yourself to recognize the issue at hand.

    13
  30. drj says:

    @Paul L.:

    I mean, if you had some actual guts you would simply say it:

    “I want my guns and I don’t give a fuck if that means that a bunch of kids need to die.”

    But you are far too cowardly to do so.

    Go crawl back under that rock you came from.

    15
  31. Modulo Myself says:

    I find it hard to believe that gun hysteria is not connected to the pervasive sexual abusive that goes on in Evangelical Christianity. And from what we know about this kid right now is that his mom had drug problems and he was bullied and spiraled into violent behavior. These places in middle America were just mowed down by the opioid epidemic, which was a corporate plot. And all of the talk about red flags for mental health–for poor people about to be evicted from their home there’s no system to red flag you. Normal America is just so shitty and sleazy that there’s just no there there when it comes to actual care for humans.

    Politically, the same people who scream about groomers would lose it if mental health care for teenagers became common. Absolutely lose it. There’s no way these people want their kids talking about their feelings to liberals. I mean, give me a fucking break. It’s not happening.

    3
  32. Jay L Gischer says:

    I like French’s proposal. I like the idea of finding a way to intervene in the life of a young man who is troubled (which describes most mass shooters, though not all). Over and over again we see the suggestion that the point of the spree was to get people to pay attention to them.

    I like background checks, but I like this even better.

    1
  33. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: School district cops.

    The school district has it’s own police force?* Here, and most other places AFAIK, have cops from the local police force working in the schools. Mind you, small town cops really aren’t all that well trained or disciplined. For that matter, the same can be said of a lot of large city police forces.

    *it’s common for universities to have their own police force, the same for airports.

  34. Tony W says:

    I just wish we would stop pretending, as a country, that we give a shit about life or kids.

    Clearly, we don’t care.

    Columbine was our Port Arthur moment, and we failed spectacularly.

    It’s exhausting.

    5
  35. Tony W says:

    @Paul L.: What’s your solution?

    Every other country in the world has figured this out.

    6
  36. Tony W says:

    @Hal_10000: — There is a sickness out there that we can not comprehend and don’t know how to address.

    Why don’t other countries have the same sickness? What is unique about the United States that ONLY we have this problem?

    Let’s be honest. It’s about the fucking guns.

    6
  37. Tony W says:

    @Paul L.: Mexico does not have troubled teenagers shooting up schools.

    7
  38. Scott says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yes, most of the school districts do. Our district is 60,000 students spread across 70 campuses. This is bigger than most colleges and universities. As far as what they do there is this vague mission statement:

    As school district officers, the NEISD Police Officers answer calls for service throughout the district as well as other functions as needed. There are officers assigned to a particular school campus, while others are assigned to patrol. The campus officers provide police services to the campus during school hours as well as support to the school administration. The patrol officers respond to various locations throughout the school district and provide support to the campus officers as needed. All officers work as a team and are committed to providing a safe and fear-free learning and working environment for the NEISD community.

    More specifically, there is traffic control at the schools and stadiums, crowd control at sporting and other events, response to calls involving threatening parents, response to students of all ages that are out of control for whatever reason, K-9 drug sniffing, all the while trying to be non-threatening to parents and students.

    As a point of comparison, Uvalde CISD has about 4100 students spread across 8 campuses.

  39. Modulo Myself says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    The thing is 99% of troubled people don’t go on to be mass shooters. Helping troubled people doesn’t mean stopping school shooters. It means reaching and financing an effort to help people with their problems, and with varying degrees of success. People with troubles often just go on being troubled. Mental health issues are not solvable in some bogus Coach-Dumbass-taught-me-some-good-lessons-way-and-now-I’m-my-dad. And as far as red flags go–America is the red flag here. Parents angry about indoctrination are the red flag. Powerful abusive Christian cults are red flag. Millions of weapons tricked out to look like toys are the red flag.

    A guy like David French needs Christian cults, guns, and angry abusive parents. He does not want to stop anything.

    2
  40. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Scott:

    It takes time to coordinate the response of different departments and officers.

  41. gVOR08 says:

    @Scott: A few years ago in Cincinnati it was a big accomplishment when they got most of the area police departments to use common radio frequencies and coordinate dispatch. And the University of Cincinnati shut down their department after an outrageous, off-campus, shooting incident. WIKI says there are 17,985 police agencies in the country. There are 900,000 sworn officers. That’s an average of 50 cops per shop. This is ridiculous. It’s no wonder training and management suffer. Maybe Ds could stop campaigning on defund the police (which they don’t actually do) and campaign on “Professionalize Our Police”. Consolidation of departments would have to be a big part of that.

    2
  42. Jen says:

    @Paul L.: Paul, do SUVs serve a purpose outside of this reference? Now, do guns.

    Take all the time you need to think about this.

    8
  43. Scott says:

    Yesterday was voting for primary runoff spots here in San Antonio and Texas. Many of the schools are voting sites so a lot of schools had lax security to accommodate strangers who come to vote. I wonder if they will rethink that given the increased tension and violence around the basic act of voting these days.

    2
  44. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Modulo Myself: What I’m saying is that the opportunity to just stop and talk to people about what’s going on could have an impact. And yeah, most of the people you stop won’t be the ones you care about. The point is some structure that might find them.

    I support stuff like background checks, right? You must know that? I don’t hold much hope for that stopping spree killing. Most of these kids have no records or anything else that would show up on a background check. I’m saying we spend the money and time to talk to people, not run it through a computer.

    Though now that I say that, neural nets are getting really good at looking at Facebook or Twitter and predicting the mood of people. Neural nets know when a person is bipolar and starting to enter a manic phase. It’s kinda scary in and of itself. Spree killers are such a needle in a haystack, and yet …

    1
  45. DK says:

    @Paul L.:

    Now do the Waukesha Christmas parade SUV of peace and love.

    Now do Columbine, Aurora, Las Vegas, Sutherland Springs, Parkland, El Paso, Sandy Hook, Buffalo, the New York Subway, Orlando, Virginia Tech, Uvalde, San Bernadino, Binghamton, Isla Vista, and Tucson.

    You don’t have to keep deflecting. You can just say, “Like the soulless, lying, selfish radical right ammosexual extremist and NRA whore I am, I am in lockstep support of the Republican plan to slaughter children and civilians by turning all of America into a corporate gun lobby shooting range.”

    Will save you a lot of time writing increasingly stupid and desperate comments that are convincing no one. Cheers.

    13
  46. wr says:

    @James Joyner: “I was just making the narrow point that we don’t all agree on what needs to be done.”

    That’s true. Some of us are insane gun nuts. And some of us accept huge amounts of money from gun manufacturers laundered through the NRA.

    Pretty much everyone else does, though. At least some starting points.

    5
  47. wr says:

    @CSK: “I’m waiting for someone like Alex Jones to start screaming about “false flag operations.””

    After the recent verdicts, pretty sure Alex Jones won’t be weighing in on this one…

  48. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Paul L.:
    Paul, and every other person who votes for Republicans, put the gun in this kids hands and allowed those children to be murdered. And now they will do nothing, except give more murderers guns and allow more children to be murdered. And the cycle will continue. And their hands will get bloodier.

    5
  49. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Jen:

    Paul, do SUVs serve a purpose outside of this reference? Now, do guns.

    Take all the time you need to think about this.

    My father fed our family for months by using his guns. The local (small) slaughter house processes–and donates to food pantries–about 2.5 tons of ground venison every year. That’s part of the larger Wisconsin program for donation.

    Venison from donated deer is processed and distributed to food pantries across the state. Since the program began in 2000, hunters have donated over 94,000 deer which were processed into over 3.8 million pounds of ground venison.

    (emphasis added)

    I fully support common sense gun control measures, but it should be remembered that the vast majority of guns–especially long-guns–are not used to commit crimes. And, yes, guns can be used for peaceful, beneficial activities.

    ===
    Edited for grammar

    3
  50. charon says:

    https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1529412219808759809.html

    Anyway, the common thread in these school shootings is toxic masculinity and access to guns. Just some thoughts on the way that rural life in particular exacerbates those underlying issues and makes violence of all sorts, not just mass shootings, more common.

    snip

    Most kids that face these challenges find a way forward. But you definitely see kids, especially the boys, who become monsters that are totally alienated from other human beings and themselves. And when they turn 18, our Republican leaders invite them to “man up” with guns.

    Obviously, drug addict parents and school bullies are everywhere. What I think the rural life makes worse is the isolation. A lot of kids really don’t have a full view of how big the world is and how many opportunities lay beyond your small town, and that creates hopelessness.

    snip

    And now our schools are under a multi-pronged assault. Loose gun laws that make school shootings common is a huge part of it. But Republicans are also banning books, defunding schools, and otherwise trying to wreck public education.

    That’s just not irresponsible and bizarre in the 21st century, where education in the linchpin of our economic system. It’s taking away the only lifeline that many, many, many kids have. Which I assume is the GOP’s goal.

    Lots more at the link of course.

    3
  51. CSK says:

    @wr:
    Not Jones himself. But someone probably will. According to Politifact, InfoWars recently ran a headline saying: “Alex Jones Predicted the White Supremacist False Flag Shooting at the [Buffalo] Grocery Store.”

    2
  52. Mikey says:

    @Paul L.: Are you ever going to talk about the actual issue at hand instead of just vomiting out a bunch of whataboutism bullshit? All you’re doing is handwaving and deflecting. 19 kids between the ages of 6 and 10 are dead today because of people like you for whom 19 or 190 or 1900 or 19,000 dead kids is a small price to pay as long as you can indulge your need for a surrogate penis.

    Hence finger wagging at Republicans instead of legislation.

    90% of Americans support universal background checks so House Democrats passed a bill last year mandating universal background checks but Senate Republicans won’t even allow it to come to the floor. So fuck off with this lie.

    12
  53. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    The situation won’t get fixed until our culture changes for the better. And the gun culture in this country is just sick. At some point it morphed from a tool into a fetish object and (false) icon. Until that culture changes, this will continue to happen.

    Highly recommend Jim Wright’s (Stonekettle Station) take on the subject (sorry, I can’t post a link at all without the post getting eaten). Particularly the Bang Bang Sanity article. In some ways it’s depressing because the type of changes he talks about will not magically fix anything (especially mass shootings). But I think they would start to address the culture around guns by having the laws emphasize the responsibility around owning one and putting the accountability there. Over time that should make them less of a cultural touchstone and move them back into being a tool.

    I kind of think of it like seatbelt laws. It took decades to change that culture (and it’s not complete yet), but today, almost everyone belts up automatically. I’ve got a niece and nephew who literally won’t start the car until everyone has their belt on. My wife won’t take her seatbelt off until the car engine is off, even after I’ve parked. That’s the best we can aim for, and it sucks it will take decades of slow cultural change to happen, but I don’t see anything else working.

    6
  54. Jen says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Guns are designed to kill is my point. Yes, they are used to kill animals used for food. But they are a single-job tool. This is not true for SUVs.

    3
  55. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Paul L.:

    Run on repealing the 2nd Amendment.

    Dude, you’re delusional. Seek professional help. Obamacare will cover it. Seriously. Find help.

    8
  56. Mikey says:

    Garry Wills wrote this after the Sandy Hook massacre of schoolchildren. It has remained relevant in the nearly 10 years between that abomination and yesterday’s, and the fact of its continued relevance proves how terribly we as a nation have failed.

    Our Moloch

    Milton represented Moloch as the first pagan god who joined Satan’s war on humankind:

    First Moloch, horrid king, besmear’d with blood
    Of human sacrifice, and parents’ tears,
    Though for the noise of Drums and Timbrels loud
    Their children’s cries unheard, that pass’d through fire
    To his grim idol. (Paradise Lost 1.392-96)

    Read again those lines, with recent images seared into our brains—“besmeared with blood” and “parents’ tears.” They give the real meaning of what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School Friday morning. That horror cannot be blamed just on one unhinged person. It was the sacrifice we as a culture made, and continually make, to our demonic god. We guarantee that crazed man after crazed man will have a flood of killing power readily supplied him. We have to make that offering, out of devotion to our Moloch, our god. The gun is our Moloch. We sacrifice children to him daily—sometimes, as at Sandy Hook, by directly throwing them into the fire-hose of bullets from our protected private killing machines, sometimes by blighting our children’s lives by the death of a parent, a schoolmate, a teacher, a protector.

    4
  57. RaduR says:

    @Jen: @Jen:
    I am a gun-owner, and found it convenient to buy both a long rifle and a revolver for target shooting as a hobby (22LR, the smallest and cheapest caliber). I also own 7 other inherited guns of various calibers. I only go shooting at an outdoors target range about once a month, usually with friends. I live in a safe area, so the thought of carrying a gun never crossed my mind.

    As far as gun control, I wish it weren’t so, but the current Supreme Court will likely invalidate any reforms. In an ideal world, these measures could reduce mass shootings by 90% :
    1) disallow any gun sales to people under 21. If not old enough to be responsible to drink, why would they be responsible with guns?
    1) A) corollary: teenagers can drink at family events under the supervision of adults, as long as the adults in charge take responsibility to avoid abuse, ensure there won’t be drunk driving etc. Just as the buyer of alcohol in this context assumes liability, so it would be with teenagers going hunting or at shooting ranges with their family
    2) owning handguns (as opposed to hunting rifles or shotguns) should probably require liability insurance, like cars. People over 25, with clean records, and keeping their guns stored in locked safes would probably find this very cheap. In effect it would disallow handguns for people under 25. Criminals would still get pieces on the black market, but over time it would result in a reduction in school shootings as has been seen in Canada, Australia, Scotland, etc.

    3
  58. Matt Bernius says:

    @Hal_10000:

    I don’t think security measures are the answer: are schools are already like prisons and the last few shootings happened at schools with lots of security.

    This. In fact, I just posted on it:
    https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/more-police-in-schools-is-not-the-answer/

    3
  59. DK says:

    @Paul L.: Now do the verboten subjects for the Trump trash NRA whore community that you keep trying to defect from: Columbine, Aurora, Las Vegas, Sutherland Springs, Parkland, El Paso, Sandy Hook, Buffalo, the New York Subway, Orlando, Virginia Tech, Uvalde, San Bernadino, Binghamton, Isla Vista, and Tucson.

    Do these too:
    – Millions dead because Trump threw out Obama’s successful Ebola playbook, ignored COVID warnings, lied, attacked mitigation measures, held superspreader events, and told Americans to inject disinfectant.
    – The lynching of Ahmaud Arbery
    – The MAGABomber
    – The Unite the Right Charlottesville tiki torch murder of Heather Heyer
    – The Jan 6 QAnon #MAGATerrorist attack
    – The Charleston church shooting
    – Murder of George Floyd
    – Botham Jean shooting
    – Hundreds of millions dead across history to colonialism, genocide, chattel slavery, witch hunts, segregation, warmongering, and economic calamity perpetrated by yt male politicians

    Go on Rethuglikkklans. Run on helping the corporate gun lobby slaughter schoolchildren. Keep alienating youth voters while your Boomer base dies off. Run on pretending to care about embryos so you can impose your extremist religious views on an unwilling public and enslave women with forced birth.

    Run on Great Replacement Theory white supremacy. Run on banning books, canceling black athletes, and erasing history. Run on cutting healthcare. Run on blocking childcare and paid leave. Run on climate disaster. Run on sore loser election lies.

    Run on Trump’s love letters to communist North Korea and selling out America and its allies to Putin. Plaster the airwaves with ads praising your master Trump for mocking a disabled reporter, bragging about grabbing the crotches of other men’s wives, and tweeting a White Power video on June 28 2020.

    Ultra-MAGA is gonna work out as well for GQP as it’s working out for Tesla’s stock price. Good luck to your unpopular, extremist, radical right Big Lie candidates in November.

    5
  60. Jen says:

    @RaduR: Target shooting is indeed a hobby, and my husband goes fairly regularly. My posts have nothing to do with regulation–I am well aware of the climate and legal issues. I have worked in lobbying and politics, and was the legislative aide to a very pro-gun state senator in what is now a deep red state. I live in a rural area, plenty of my friends hunt. My mom grew up poor on a farm. I am well familiar with guns and hunting.

    Paul L. made the ridiculous comparison between guns and SUVs when he said “Now do the Waukesha Christmas parade SUV of peace and love.” Some idiot always makes this comparison–well, what about [cars, knives, axes, etc.], that can be used to kill people too…

    SUVs are, of course, manufactured and sold as methods of transportation. That’s what they are designed to do. Guns are designed and manufactured as weapons. That is their purpose.

    2
  61. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    My father fed our family for months by using his guns.

    This is just deflection. Hunting is not the reason why most people own guns in the US. Almost no one is calling out hunters on this. Most people own guns in the US either because it gives them a (mostly false) sense of security or because they are giant man boys fantasizing about being the tough guy. People are not buying assault weapons and ballistic vests to take down a deer. They are buying these things because they are deep into the gun derangement syndrome that has swept the IS as a collective madness.

    9
  62. Mu Yixiao says:

    Just a note for those who have stated that “every other country has handled this problem”:

    The US is currently #76 for homicide rate, at 4.96/ 100,000. El Salvador tops the list at 52.02 per 100k. *

    Yes, we have a long way to go before we’ll look like Norway or Luxembourg, but we’re not that far behind the bottom half of the list. As much as horrid events like this (rightfully) outrage us, we need to look at facts and act accordingly, not push agendas based on outrage (isn’t that we we accuse the GOP of doing?)

    There are a lot of common-sense laws that can help to reduce and prevent this sort of tragedy (background checks, waiting periods, safety training, the insurance idea might work). But at some point we have to understand that the United States is a violent country. It’s in our DNA. We have to look at the sources of the violence as well as the obsession with guns that drive some people to go to extremes.

    ==========
    * Of note: We’re #24 in suicides–one slot above Finland, and seven below Belgium.

    1
  63. Gustopher says:

    @MarkedMan:

    An adult buying an assault rifle because they are “cool” or “fun” is deranged.

    Are you serious? Guns are genuinely pretty fun. I’m not a gun person, but even I can see that having that much destructive power is going to be fun. Not as much fun as a shoulder mounted rocket launcher would be, but fun. The rocket launcher is going to have a big explosion at the end, and explosions are very cool.

    Should I be allowed to have a rocket launcher lying around my home? Probably not, but that’s an entirely different issue from the fun.

    (My issue with guns is that they don’t seem fun enough… no explosions)

    2
  64. CSK says:

    I mentioned this at the tail end of yesterday’s forum, but there have been 27 school shootings this year alone.

  65. wr says:

    @MarkedMan: “But it’s not just the laws, it’s the culture and gun culture in the US is horribly deranged. ”

    MR used to talk about this a lot. As I recall, his point was that anti-gun people should be trying to change the conversation the same way anti-smoking people did. Long before there were any laws against public smoking, public sentiment had turned against it, so there was little pushback when the laws were passed.

    Guns are bad. Guns are for cowards. Guns are for guys with little penises. Only losers want automatic weapons.

    Change the culture, then you can start changing the world.

    Wasn’t that your point, Michael? It always surprised me that you seemed to be the lone voice in the wilderness on that.

    2
  66. Mu Yixiao says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Most people own guns in the US either because it gives them a (mostly false) sense of security or because they are giant man boys fantasizing about being the tough guy.

    [citation needed]

  67. gVOR08 says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Compare apples to apples. We look pretty bad compared to other economically developed countries.

    6
  68. Modulo Myself says:

    @Gustopher:

    People buy sports cars because they’re fun. They just do not pretend the car is necessary to their lives. “I’m a urologist so I need to get to work real fast,” is not why a urologist is driving a Porsche. It’s the delusion about guns being necessary that makes them so obscene.

    5
  69. Tony W says:

    One other idea – sell guns only to women.

    4
  70. Modulo Myself says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    I agree. We need real mental health care. Not a posteriori invocations of a red flag law that would, in retrospect, clearly keep a troubled teenager from buying a gun, but in the present, without knowing anything, would what exactly? According to the Washington Post, he had a really bad life where he fought with his mom, acted out, cut himself, got in fights, and idealized guns. Oh yeah and he said he wanted to join the Marines so he could kill somebody. And it seems he was more creepy than normal. I don’t even know how a law functions like that. Having someone declared mentally unfit is very hard. And being ‘very creepy’ is not in the DSM-V.

    People like David French might be like cutting yourself is PSYCHO because they don’t know anything, but the real world doesn’t work that way. It’s like saying the Buffalo shooter was a psychopath. What does that even mean?

    2
  71. Modulo Myself says:

    @Gustopher:

    People buy sports cars because they’re fun. But nobody pretends they’re necessary. Doctors don’t drive Porsches because need to get the ER real fast. It’s the deception that makes guns so obscene.

    1
  72. Mu Yixiao says:

    @wr:

    Only losers want automatic weapons.

    Nobody owns automatic weapons. They’ve been functionally illegal since the National Firearms Act, passed in 1934

    1
  73. wr says:

    @Mu Yixiao: “But at some point we have to understand that the United States is a violent country. It’s in our DNA. We have to look at the sources of the violence as well as the obsession with guns that drive some people to go to extremes.”

    Ah, yes. The old “the problem is far more complicated than you think, and we must explore every aspect of the human condition before we can begin to take any action to fix it” shuffle.

    Right up there with “it’s far too soon to politicize the issue/why are you dredging up ancient history” as a dodge to make sure nothing is ever done.

    5
  74. wr says:

    @Gustopher: ” Guns are genuinely pretty fun.”

    I have been assured, by someone who was a user in her teens, that heroin was genuinely pretty fun, too. Oddly, people don’t seem to claim that we should legalize it because of that.

    2
  75. wr says:

    @Mu Yixiao: “Nobody owns automatic weapons. ”

    Oh, goodie. You’re on a roll today. How many of the standard deflections can you work in to a single thread?

    4
  76. Mister Bluster says:

    @Jen:..[cars, knives, axes, etc.]
    We all remember Stephen Paddock. The citizen who used a hammer to break the windows of his hotel rooms in Las Vegas in 2017. He had stocked his rooms with suitcases full of screwdrivers and kitchen knives and axes. He then proceeded to throw at least 1000 of these screwdrivers and kitchen knives and axes more than a quarter of a mile down at the attendees of the Route 91 Harvest music festival killing 60 and injuring over 400.
    Clearly we must regulate these screwdrivers and kitchen knives and axes as we all know from the actions of citizen Paddock that screwdrivers and kitchen knives and axes are exactly like guns.

    4
  77. DK says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    The US is currently #76 for homicide rate, at 4.96/ 100,000. El Salvador tops the list at 52.02 per 100k. *

    …As much as horrid events like this (rightfully) outrage us, we need to look at facts and act accordingly, not push agendas (isn’t that we we accuse the GOP of doing?)

    Lame red herring bs.

    The US should not be comparing itself to poor, third world, underdeveloped nations. We are 100% right to be outraged that no wealthy, highly-resourced, developed Western nation is higher on that list than the US. It is embarassing that the countries higher are names like Russia, Ukraine, Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan, and similar.

    No, Americans should not be satisfied with mediocrity in any arena, especially not in murder. Our goal is not to catch Luxembourg’s rate: it’s to stop innocents from being slaughtered in schools, churches, stores, and subways.

    If the US had the world’s lowest murder rate, we should still be outraged about someone turning schoolkids into target practice. That has nothimg to do with any “agenda”: it’s called decency, humanity, and morals.

    No, I’m never going to just complacently and complictly accept violence and the mass murder of elementary school kids. Not just no: hell no. We are going to stay woke and stay outraged. We are not going to become numb to this preventable evil. Violence may be in your DNA, but speak for yourself. No, no, no.

    9
  78. Modulo Myself says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    There are a lot of common-sense laws that can help to reduce and prevent this sort of tragedy (background checks, waiting periods, safety training, the insurance idea might work)

    None of these would have worked in this case, though.

  79. gVOR08 says:

    In NYT this morning Nick Kristoff reprinted a column he wrote in 2017 after 26 people were killed in a rural TX church. He shows the overwhelming correlation between gun deaths and quantity of guns. He suggests taking a public health approach to guns. He lists nine things that could be done under such an approach.

    It’s a good column and good proposals, but there are a couple problems. He starts by comparing guns deaths to car deaths and notes all we’ve done successfully to bring down car deaths. But he doesn’t propose licensing or liability insurance for guns. And five years and a couple hundred thousand deaths later, there still isn’t a one of his proposals that Moloch McConnell and his accomplices would support.

    A boss of mine taught me a valuable lesson in project management some years ago. If you have a goal, but you can’t see a good plan to get there, start pushing in the right direction and see what develops. Use this opportunity to push universal background checks. It polls hugely well even with Republicans and gun owners. If it passes, great. If McConnell and his caucus stop it, hang it on them and bring it up again. And again. Will it stop mass shootings? Will it reduce the homicide rate? No. But it’s a start. It’s a first chip in undermining our insane gun culture. And it would show Democrats can fight.

    4
  80. DK says:

    @Paul L.:

    If you compare white populations, we have the same murder rate as Belgium.

    Guess your KKK newsletter hasn’t updated the murder rates with the 2+ million Americans killed by the coronavirus lies and incompetence of Trump, King of Great Replacement Theory White Supremacists such as yourself.

    5
  81. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Mu, this thread is not among your finer arguments, it is pathetically troll-like. You’re a contrarian and many of us here can appreciate that, but we do expect better of you.

    6
  82. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao: In 2017 only just over a third of Americans claimed hunting was the reason they owned a gun. I know a lot of gun owners. I know very few hunters. And I know people who hunt and also are giant man boys running around with ballistic assault gear, so being a hunter doesn’t automatically mean you aren’t part of the problem.

    You seem to be implying that the only guns you own are associated with hunting. Is that correct?

    1
  83. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao:Spare me the pedantic nonsense

    4
  84. Scott says:

    I’m so effing depressed. These conversations are going nowhere and will go nowhere. Every word, every sentence is going down a preordained path. And I see no way out.

    2
  85. Jen says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    (background checks, waiting periods, safety training, the insurance idea might work)

    None of these would have worked in this case, though.

    It would probably depend on how these items were enacted. From what I’ve read, the shooter turned 18 in mid-May and almost immediately purchased the weapon(s) he used in this shooting. A comprehensive background check would have revealed the routine disturbances at his home, a waiting period would have delayed him long enough that school would have been out, and an insurance requirement–let’s assume that the risk assessment would be similar to vehicles insofar as a young person=less experience=high insurance rates would have made the total endeavor very expensive. I would assume that proof of insurance would have to be presented prior to purchase, so less money on hand for the weapons/ammo.

    Of course, it’s all hypothetical, but I don’t think that we should discard solutions just because they aren’t immediately perfect–any of these factors could have made a difference in this case.

    4
  86. Modulo Myself says:

    @Jen:

    Background checks are just background checks. They aren’t going to reveal the cops went to his mom’s house when he was a minor, right? And this sounds like something he was planning. He could have gone to any crowded place after the waiting period. Same goes with insurance. He would have saved money.

  87. DK says:

    @Paul L.:

    …and still somehow got more Covid deaths than Trump.

    No, those COVID deaths are still Treason Trump’s. Had the obese pathological lying birther bigot focused on preventing COVID instead of tweeting White Power videos and sending well wishes to his fellow sex predator Ghislaine Maxwell, COVID would have been over before Biden booted Trump’s fascist orange rump from office.

    Dealt the mass death and record unemployment Dementia Donald left him, Biden got the country vaccinated and ended the lockdowns, while creating record jobs, ending the endless Afghan war and passing the historic infrastructure investment that twice-impeached, two-time popular vote loser Trump failed at like he’s failed at everything else.

    It’s not Biden’s fault you dumb, racist, science-denying Trump slave antivaxxers insisted on killing yourselves off. That Trump counties continue to suffer a COVID death toll far higher than Biden counties is another demographic problem for your party of geriatric trailer trash and GRT incels. It’s not hurting Democrats.

    7
  88. DK says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    None of these would have worked in this case, though.

    Universal healthcare coverage + background checks + waiting periods + the assault weapons ban would have helped in this case.

    Republicans and the corporate gun lobby are lying.

    7
  89. Scott says:

    Past gun control in the United States.

    Gun Control Is as Old as the Old West

    Contrary to the popular imagination, bearing arms on the frontier was a heavily regulated business

    It’s October 26, 1881, in Tombstone, and Arizona is not yet a state. The O.K. Corral is quiet, and it’s had an unremarkable existence for the two years it’s been standing—although it’s about to become famous.

    Marshall Virgil Earp, having deputized his brothers Wyatt and Morgan and his pal Doc Holliday, is having a gun control problem. Long-running tensions between the lawmen and a faction of cowboys – represented this morning by Billy Claiborne, the Clanton brothers, and the McLaury brothers – will come to a head over Tombstone’s gun law.

    The laws of Tombstone at the time required visitors, upon entering town to disarm, either at a hotel or a lawman’s office. (Residents of many famed cattle towns, such as Dodge City, Abilene, and Deadwood, had similar restrictions.) But these cowboys had no intention of doing so as they strolled around town with Colt revolvers and Winchester rifles in plain sight. Earlier on this fateful day, Virgil had disarmed one cowboy forcefully, while Wyatt confronted another and county sheriff Johnny Behan failed to persuade two more to turn in their firearms.

    When the Earps and Holliday met the cowboys on Fremont Street in the early afternoon, Virgil once again called on them to disarm. Nobody knows who fired first. Ike Clanton and Billy Claiborne, who were unarmed, ran at the start of the fight and survived. Billy Clanton and the McLaury brothers, who stood and fought, were killed by the lawmen, all of whom walked away.

    3
  90. gVOR08 says:

    @Paul L.: Seriously? Your link is to a Southern Poverty Law Center article quoting a racist lie by Ann Coulter.

    FYI, the homicide rate (not gun homicide, homicide) is 1.69/100,000 in Belgium, 4.96 in the U. S.

    2
  91. Mister Bluster says:

    We pray that God comfort and offer compassion to the families of these little ones whose pain is unbearable. They must know that we are with them and for them. May the Lord have mercy on us all.
    Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller

    You Cannot Petition the Lord with Prayer!

  92. Modulo Myself says:

    @DK:

    What would help is if everybody had the right to own one shotgun and one normal bolt-action hunting rifle by the state for hunting purposes about about 50 rounds of ammo so you shoot deer and ducks and whatever other creature you desire. And everything else is not allowed. You can’t buy an RPG and you can’t buy an assault rifle. If you don’t like it, fuck you. You don’t need the RPG, an assault rifle, or whatever other toy thing you think you want.

    2
  93. Mu Yixiao says:

    @wr:

    Ah, yes. The old “the problem is far more complicated than you think, and we must explore every aspect of the human condition before we can begin to take any action to fix it” shuffle.

    No. The “Hey, this is complicated, so let’s look at how we can attack it from multiple angles.” argument. The US is a violent country. We have to acknowledge that and work on that before anything will change.

    That does not mean “don’t do anything until we’ve got all the answers”–and putting words in people’s mouths doesn’t help the situation.

    There are no simple answers to this situation–so let’s start working on more of the complexities and try to narrow things down to where they might be manageable, and maybe we can prevent these things from happening.

    2
  94. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    None of these would have worked in this case, though.

    Unfortunately, I’m am aware of that. Which is why I’m saying that we need to look at the reasons behind the acts and work on attacking the problem from that direction (as well as the reasonable restrictions on the other end).

  95. Jen says:

    NYT has a piece up with this subhead:

    Officials said the 18-year-old gunman stormed past an armed guard, carrying a rifle purchased days before the attack.

    An *armed guard* was on site. I really don’t want to hear any more about more cops in schools, or arming teachers.

    @Modulo Myself: I agree, no person needs an AR-15 to hunt deer.

    3
  96. Modulo Myself says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Yeah, there is a simple solution. Completely reduce the access to guns and ammo and regulate it completely, and give everyone the ability to shoot at a deer about once every minute. I’m sorry that you and your gun buddies are going to cry like children if you can’t own 10 guns with a huge clip that’s very cool looking. Adulthood is painful.

    3
  97. Jen says:

    That Onion piece, which certainly came to my mind almost immediately yesterday, has now been used 21 times since it first ran in 2014:

    ‘The Onion’ has republished a grim headline about mass shootings 21 times since 2014

    2
  98. Mu Yixiao says:

    @MarkedMan:

    You seem to be implying that the only guns you own are associated with hunting. Is that correct?

    I don’t own any guns*. Never felt a need for one (I don’t have the patience for hunting). I’m objecting to the “all gun owners are man-boys” BS that’s nothing more than scream “I don’t like ‘those people'” and does nothing to approach a solution to gun violence. Not to mention is just makes our side look bad (yes, I actually am on the side that wants the obsessive gun culture to fade away).

    If we’re going to tackle this, we have to acknowledge that most guns are not used for mass murder. There are 15M register hunters. There are 10M registered competition sport shooters. And there are who knows how many people that just enjoy going to the range every so often and popping a box at some paper targets. An estimated 8.7 Billion rounds fired every year, and around 16,ooo homicides (not just with guns). That last number is, obviously, way higher than anyone would like, and we should do whatever is reasonable to bring it down as low as we can.

    But if you’re going to push for gun laws, you’re going to have to approach it in a way that doesn’t put the hunters and poppers in with the whackos and extremists. You need former on your side in order to pass those laws.

    Saying “everyone with a gun is a man-boy with a tiny penis” alienates the responsible gun owners who actually agree with you on most of this already. That’s not going to help you win the battles you need to win.

    =========
    * I do, technically, own a gun–it’s a tiny antique that should never have a cartridge anywhere near it, for fear that the shrapnel would shred my hand.

    2
  99. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    I’m sorry that you and your gun buddies are going to cry like children if you can’t own 10 guns with a huge clip that’s very cool looking. Adulthood is painful.

    And that, right there, is where you lose any credibility. Ad-hominem attacks on someone who actually agrees with your goals and most of the proposals to get there. Because anyone who doesn’t have blind faith in your preaching must obviously be a “man-baby who love guns and doesn’t care if kids die”.

    Keep on pushing your allies away. I’m sure it’ll do you wonders.

    And with that I’ll walk away from this circle-jerk.

    3
  100. Michael Reynolds says:

    @wr:
    It was exactly my point and I would expand on it but I am at Dishoom in Carnaby street waiting on some Biryani. But yeah what you said.

    2
  101. DK says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Saying “everyone with a gun is a man-boy with a tiny penis” alienates the responsible gun owners who actually agree with you on most of this already. That’s not going to help you win the battles you need to win.

    Oh please with this tired and fake “you forced me to be a fascist” nonsense. Principles do not budge. Nobody can be “alienated” from their morals: either we believe in doing the right thing or we don’t. And when we don’t, that is our choice and our responsibility and nobody else’s. We must own it and cut the “somebody hurt my triggered wittle feewings on Facebook so now I’m voting to get kids slaughtered in schools” crap.

    Sick of Americans and our selfish, lame excuses. Time we grow up and take responsibility for our choices

    Kids are dying. Innocent people are being murdered. Sorry but f— your feelings.

    7
  102. Modulo Myself says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    To be honest, if I thought there was a single person like you who was not 100% full of shit, I would go at it differently. But I don’t.

    4
  103. DK says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Keep on pushing your allies away.

    Nope. People who walk away from doing what’s right because they got their feelings bruised from an online comment were never real allies. Centering ego above ethics and blaming others for your lack thereof is not allyship.

    Fairweather allyship is phony, fake, and not needed. It’s useless. I believe the rape of women is wrong. All the time, not just up to the point where some woman hurts my feelings.

    Principles. Do. Not. Budge.

    6
  104. TJ says:

    @Mu Yixiao: that’s a shame, you were being so productive.

    2
  105. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Saying “everyone with a gun is a man-boy with a tiny penis” alienates the responsible gun owners who actually agree with you on most of this already.

    Sure. Which is why I don’t say that. Hell, when I lived in a rural area with a huge overabundance of deer wandering into the road and causing accidents I always was bemoaning the decreasing popularity of hunting. I’ve known a decent number of serious hunters in my time and I can’t think of any that weren’t responsible, decent people.

    But if you are buying Street Sweepers and Kevlar vests and armor piercing bullets? Then you are either a psycho or have a maturity problem. There used to be an annual gun show near where I lived at the time and that was crazy-town. Violent paranoid conspiracy theorists. Not just one or two, but pretty much the whole show. Even the antique gun dealers would have pamphlets and stuff about the UN. At the time, my brother and I were friends with a couple of PA good old boys and they were out of their minds when it came to this stuff. The local stop signs had some numbers stenciled on the posts and they were convinced they were codes that would direct the UN to the houses that had guns when they came to establish one world government. According to them, black helicopters roamed the skies at night, practicing the takeover. And I met some of their VFW hall buddies. More of the same. Don’t get me wrong, I liked these two guys and they were people you could depend on. But coddling and humoring them, as you propose, would not be beneficial to them or anyone else. We didn’t talk about this stuff very often but when we did I called them out on it.

    I’ll tell you what gets us nowhere. Being afraid to hurt the fee-fee’s of grown men who have become fantasists. THEY are the problem. And not just them, they infect their teenage children with the same violent fantasies.

    5
  106. Jen says:

    They aren’t going to reveal the cops went to his mom’s house when he was a minor, right?

    This is an interesting question, and again, I think I need to know what “background checks” would entail.

    I would envision something along the lines of what I went through for a TSA pre-check. Fingerprinting, and a records run-through, which, in my head, would include any police incidents at the home address provided. In this case, there were plenty, and considering the fact that these were altercations between the teen and his mom, it’d be a pretty clear red flag. Kid turns 18, and as soon as he’s legally able to purchase a weapon he does so, and there’s a clear police record of violence in the home? That’d better effin’ be a reason to halt a sale.

    I really don’t think that we can continue to discard good ideas because they don’t fit each and every case. We need to start small.

    That includes entertainment, in my mind. The reason that so many people think guns are going to save them is because that’s what they see on TV/in movies. It’s a pervasive but I think incredibly false notion that people believe that somehow–despite a lack of training (no, a few rounds at the range aren’t the same) and in the midst of the scariest f&*king thing they’ve ever been through that they will magically have the presence of mind–and stability–to stop an event in progress is such…vanity? Overconfidence? Delusion? I’m not sure exactly what.

    The AR-15 is a civilian version of a military weapon. I don’t spend a whole lot of time analyzing which guns are used in TV and movies, but it’s become a bit of a parlor game for my husband and I to watch how frequently the “good guys” carry on through a hail of bullets without getting hit, while the bad guys are felled with a single well-placed shot from a handgun. It’s ridiculous, but people can see themselves in these silly settings.

  107. Gustopher says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    People buy sports cars because they’re fun. They just do not pretend the car is necessary to their lives.

    But, it’s not “deranged” to want a sports car. They go “vroom, vroom” and we have been conditioned to like that (electric vehicles really would be better with a sound).

    Nor is it “deranged” to want a gun because they go “bang, bang” and are fun and cool.

    If you want to change hearts and minds, you have to meet people where they are. “Guns are fun, because they go ‘bang, bang’, but…”

    1
  108. Gustopher says:

    @DK:

    Oh please with this tired and fake “you forced me to be a fascist” nonsense. Principles do not budge.

    There’s a big difference between “you forced me to be a fascist” and “you were an asshole so I stopped listening.”

    I don’t think the body-armor crowd is reachable, but there’s a good chunk of people who might be that get pushed away by the insane and insulting rhetoric. It’s why the folks on the right amplify the most insane left wing rhetoric, and claim that it’s what everyone on the left thinks and that the government is coming to take everyone’s guns away and paint them pink.

    The right wing gun jumpers wouldn’t amplify it if they didn’t think it would bring the medium gun aficionados into their camp.

    3
  109. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds: If I recall, and I might recall incorrectly, you are in favor of basically shunning gun owners. Which, is understandable — they’re not cool, you don’t want your kids playing with their kids in a house with guns, they smell bad, etc. Just a social expectation that there aren’t guns around, or gun people.

    Totally understandable, but the shunning goes both ways. And they probably don’t want their kids around you — Jewish-ish liberal with a trans kid who believes in science and all that.

    I’m not sure they are outnumbered enough that the shunning becomes a negative motivation for them. I might even be willing to believe that the current belligerent behavior of the Republicans is to create this gulf so their kids don’t interact with others and get corrupted by ideas like equality, empathy, white privilege (Black Tax would be a much better phrase), etc.

    Not that I would recommend anyone hang out with Republicans, mind you. I certainly wouldn’t. It’s just not going to be easy to turn them around with social disapproval if they are depending on that disapproval for their own ends.

  110. Gustopher says:

    @Paul L.:

    Ammonium nitrate and Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) have other uses but are banned and regulated.

    Pretty sure you can still buy fertilizer, and I know you can still buy Sudafed (I have some upstairs, just not enough for a meth lab).

    Democrats (Sen. Chris Murphy) claims school shootings does not happen in other Western Countries.
    2011 Norway attacks

    He clearly means it doesn’t happen in other western countries on a regular basis. The fact that you have to go back years elsewhere, but days to weeks here (we have a flurry right now, usually a few weeks between big shootings) proves that point.

    5
  111. DK says:

    @Paul L.:

    Democrats (Sen. Chris Murphy) claims school shootings does not happen in other Western Countries.
    2011 Norway attacks

    Oh you found one example from 11 years ago? Well, clearly that proves that mass shootings happen as often in Norway as often as they do in the US. Gosh, you’re so smart. /sarc

    Not at all strange that radical right extremist ammosexuals like Paul L. want to flood American streets with guns, block universal health coverage that would give everyone access to mental healthcare, and make it as easy as possible for nuts like Salvadore Ramos to get their hands on AR-15s without restriction or regulation.

    You Republicans enjoy seeing innocents gunned down in schools, churches, concerts, streets, and subways. Anything to serve your corporate gun lobby masters. #VoteBlue

    4
  112. wr says:

    @Mu Yixiao: “There are no simple answers to this situation–so let’s start working on more of the complexities and try to narrow things down to where they might be manageable, and maybe we can prevent these things from happening.”

    Or… let’s start doing some things that will help in limiting the amount of guns available to psychopaths while we also start working on more of the complexities.

    4
  113. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Enjoy yourself. You don’t need to be thinking about this fuckery while you’re on vacation.

    Oh, but be careful. My wife is in London on a Royal Horticultural Society tour. You might have seen her. Apparently she is the only person in Britain wearing a mask. She was supposed to fly home tomorrow, but she can’t, because she got Covid — thanks, Boris! — and is stuck there until, well, someday.

    The only thing she wants to do more than come home is kick Boris Johnson in the balls. Oh, wait, that was yesterday. Now she’s added kicking Ted Cruz in the balls to the top of the list.

    4
  114. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: By the way, if you’ve got another night in London, go to Nopi on Warwick Street. Some of the best, most fun, most exciting food I’ve eaten anywhere — and at a price point that’s much closer to “hey, let’s pop bye and grab a bite” than “I mortgaged my house to go to the River Cafe.”

    Not that the River Cafe isn’t worth it…

    2
  115. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: Thanx for your reply. I checked out today for… reasons.

  116. Jen says:

    @Paul L.: In a thread about yet another shooting at an ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, you pull the “butwhataboutSUVs” nonsense. I point out that SUVs, and cars in general, aren’t solely designed to kill things, but guns are. In response to this, you note other things that kill people are regulated.

    I don’t believe that this is the zinger of an argument you think it is.

    4
  117. Jen says:

    @wr: I have the Nopi cookbook and going there is a “maybe one day” list item. Good to hear that it’s worth it!

  118. Jax says:

    @Jen: I am firmly on the side of “Regulate allllllll of the things that kill people!” As Paul so helpfully pointed out, we already regulate so many other things, why should guns get a pass? I mean, FFS, we also regulate that baby formula shouldn’t have cockroach pieces in it!

    4
  119. DK says:

    @Gustopher:

    There’s a big difference between “you forced me to be a fascist” and “you were an asshole so I stopped listening.”

    I don’t think the body-armor crowd is reachable, but there’s a good chunk of people who might be that get pushed away by the insane and insulting rhetoric.

    If after they “stopped listening” they went out and voted for fascism then yes “you were an asshole and that’s what made me fascist” is indeed the same lame blame-shifting trying to justify the unjustifiable.

    Black people, gay people, trans people etc haven’t just faced “insulting rhetoric,” we’ve been bashed, murdered, lynched, segregated and brutalized. Yet we still manage to not go out and vote to destroy the environment, strip fellow citizens of rights, worsen poverty and despair, and make it easier to kill schoolchildren. So, no, I’m still not impressed by this whack “I can’t do the right thing because somebody else was mean” falderal. If you are making garbage political decisions, you and you alone and nobody but you has ownership of that. Funny how it’s all Party of Personal Responsibility till round come time to take responsibility for their terrible votes.

    Nobody has to “reach” me or be nice to me to get me to vote for democracy, truth, and sanity. If they were reachable, it would be the dead bodies littering classrooms, churches, concerts and stores that would reach them. The reality about this “good chunk” of “medium gun aficionados” is they aren’t reachable: they’re selfish and amoral, they’ve been radicalized, and they’re voting for right wing extremism because they agree with right wing extremism.

    It’s long past time to stop aiding their ridiculous deflections about “liberal rhetoric” and hold them to account. What is this insane liberal rhetoric that’s controlling their actions? That climate change is real and that people shouldn’t die for lack of healthcare? Give me a break.

    Do the right thing or don’t. But spare me the tortured rationalizations and lame excuses while innocent people are suffering and dying, I’m sick of it. “Someone insulted me.” Cool story. And after the insult, you still had a choice. You made an unethical choice, that’s on you. Someone else’s rhetoric didn’t force you to do something you didn’t want to do.

    6
  120. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Anything short of realistic regulation – be that licensure, liability insurance, criminal prosecution for failure to appropriately control your weaponry – is nothing more than a field dressing over a gaping wound requiring air-evac to a trauma center.

    As long as the injured/killed are “others” and not “us” it’ll never happen. And at the Senate/Congress level, “us” is limited to their immediate clan/family. And their corporate masters at a distant second.

    2