Blah! Another pointless death…

In Britain today…

If you haven’t heard about the brutal assault taking the life of a British soldier it is saddening and appalling. I didn’t plan on writing a post like this and I don’t have much input. It’s another ideological religious crusade taking the life of a service member. It matters not what religion was involved to me…any one is equally as bad as the other.

After the Boston bombings and now this on the international headlines I begin to think this is more than mere coincidence. It’s something I anticipated happening many years ago, actually. Big attacks will never work with our intelligence and information network. It seems the extremists may be coming to the same conclusions.

al-Qaeda has now told Muslims in the West who are sympathetic to their cause to instead launch small-scale attacks, without talking to others, “maybe do it alone, or with another friend; get a knife, get a machete.


A loss for words…

I don’t really have much else to say.

It really sucks that this happened at all….let alone to some random vet who was walking the streets.

I don’t have much inspiration tonight….

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  • hotshoe, now with more boltcutters

    I’m sorry, It does suck. The man killed didn’t deserve to die and especially not because some religiously-inflamed berserker picked him at random as a symbol. Yes, pointless, even to the perpetrators, They murdered and have not gained a thing except a random death.

    What a horrible waste.

  • TheOnlyKarsh

    Reminds me of the quote below and how accurate it is.

    “An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.”

    Robert A. Heinlein

  • hotshoe, now with more boltcutters

    Reminds me of the quote below and how accurate it is.

    “An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.”

    Robert A. Heinlein

    Goddamn, that’s stupid.

    An armed society is a society of streets stained with the blood of innocents caught in the crossfire.

    Doubly stupid for you to blindly apply Heinlein’s nonsense to this particular circumstance of religiously-deranged terrorists.

    • Paul Loebe

      An armed society is not always littered with death. To say that is the only outcome is utterly disingenuous. It all depends upon society as a whole. Their are certain civilized nations that require veterans to keep their issued weapons after discharge. Their homicide rate is no higher.

      I understand the pro-regulation stance as well as the pro-gun stance. I count myself as a member of both. I think people should have guns but there should be restrictions and checks in place. It is a right, but not an unfettered one.

  • TheOnlyKarsh

    Actually no its not. While the US has tripled the number of privately owned firearms in the last decade violent crime has dropped to 35 year low. The number of Concealed Firearm Licensed holders has grown dramatically with every state but I think one allowing it.

    While we can’t say that this drop in violent crime is directly related to firearm proliferation, we can definitely say that an increase in firearm proliferation is not directly linked to increased violent crime. More guns do not equal more crime, that’s a fact not an opinion.

    A firearm is not the answer to all violent circumstances but it is an option that could be used when needed by those most directly in the know of the details of that situation. Why limit our options for no good reason?

    So long as private citizens have the ability to defend themselves with a tool that equates the young to the old, the strong to the weak, and the small to the large all must be reasoned with as intimidation and violence are not viable options for the criminal or the tyrant.

    Stop letting your emotions cloud your vision of the facts.


  • Barry P

    Since the man killed was run down by a car before the assault with knives I rather doubt the relevance of Heinlein’s comments. The off duty soldier could have been in full battle rig , he would still have died.

    Part of the shock involved in this killing is that most people in the UK are Polite by choice, not fear of guns. The two murderers were an abberation even to their own Religion, let alone the freedom loving majority.

  • Randomfactor

    An armed society is not always littered with death.

    The one I live in, is.

  • VeganAtheistWeirdo


    Stop letting your emotions cloud your vision of the facts.

    The fact* is that being armed wouldn’t have done him any good at all, because he was run down with a vehicle. The fact is that your entire comment was completely irrelevant to this crime, and I find people who throw this argument out the way you did to be just as biased and close-minded as the people who think the 2nd Amendment needs to go. This wasn’t a new talking point for the NRA. This was a heinous act of terrorism.

    *According to the Telegraph article linked in the OP

  • brive1987

    OK then, “An American armed society is one littered with death”.

    Now that’s out of the way and back on topic isn’t it a bit disingenuous to say “i don’t care which religion it was” when there was such an obvious correlation between motive and action?

    Recognising this doesn’t then brand all Moslems murderers but it does force us to perhaps brand all extreme Islamists as a potential threat, greater than, oh say, extreme Mormons.

    I’d say this is at least as logical as the “all men are (potential) rapists” extension of patriarchy and rape culture.

    The scary question becomes “what then are the next pragmatic remedial actions that flow from his premise – if such elements are the antitheses of our society?”

    Or we can just pretend there is no momentum building and these are “just” standard issue sick criminals.

  • Paul Loebe

    The one I live in, is.

    I’ll bet it’s rife with religion….

    The problem is not entirely guns. It’s extremism.

    Nonetheless guns do need to be regulated. The fact that people can buy guns in this country without any safety training or background checks whatsoever… That is a failure of epic proportions.

    If a Marine is even THOUGHT to be a danger to himself or others then his rifle is taken from him and he is not allowed to train until he is cleared by a medical professional. Where did the rest of the country lose its common sense?

    But back to the topic of religion. If we want to talk about guns I’d be more than happy to write a blog about it later.

  • TheOnlyKarsh

    In response to Barry P and VeganAtheistWeirdo: Had others around been armed they might have been able to act in a positive manner. Either detaining the attackers or at least stopping them from mutilating the body after the vehicle attack. There might have even been the possibility for them to have take action before the vehicular attack. The emotional knee jerk reaction of “Gun bad!” isn’t one based on fact. It’s an irrational fear of an inanimate object.

    You are correct it was a heinous act of religious extremism, that might have been prevented had the populous had an option other then passively watching as the attack happened and the attackers calmly waited around to give an impromptu interview.


  • brive1987

    TheOnlyKarsh FFS.

    I assume vigilantism is of no concern to you, so let’s park that deal killer for a moment.

    Can you provide some form of direct support that an armed population has actually, in practice, intervened successfully (outside of movies) in the manner you suggest? I’m “not young”, but I can’t even pull anecdotes out of my head let alone something approaching evidence.

    At best I have a picture of armed parents “storming” a Russian school where their children were being held and Texans firing at the Uni Tower in the 1960s. Neither particularly edifying pictures for a structured society (or effective).

    If you can pull something together please then compare this to gun related accidents, suicides and murders. That way in a debate seemingly devoid of humanist values we can at least apply some form of consequentialist logic.

  • brive1987

    Sorry Paul #10 Missed the warning – happy for you to take down #12 as off topic.

  • lorn

    Does anyone in their right mind want to enjoy this armed society? Careful cultural examination of rural Pakistan and Afghanistan shows that many of their cultural/religious abominations are artifacts of both societies being overrun with highly armed individuals without any countervailing central/judicial/police powers. Shakedowns, bribes, tribal favoritism/conflict, use of females as tokens are ways to placate armed people in your proximity for the short term. In these countries they are a way of life. In such cultures there is little or no long term thinking or planning. And it shows.

    It is not a polite society. Any slight or perceived insult, real or imagined, can mean that someone completely unconcerned with dying starts unloading their weapons in the least helpful way possible. And it is off to the races from there with accusations, grudges (serious business where vendettas last for hundreds of years) being leveled and foul oaths made.

    A similar culture takes root, according to some sociologist, in areas taken over by gangs. Residents experience life in a war zone where the only goal is to get through the day.

    Of course the answer is central authority and power. Of course the NRA claims:

    ” So long as private citizens have the ability to defend themselves with a tool that equates the young to the old, the strong to the weak, and the small to the large all must be reasoned with as intimidation and violence are not viable options for the criminal or the tyrant.”

    Which is bullshit. small-arms are typically useless in defending against most crime simply because such crime in a civilized nation is unpredictable. The case where four police were shot in a doughnut shop shows ho it can go down. All four were armed and trained. The difference is that in a gun fight he who has murderous intent and draws first has a huge advantage. Pulling out a gun in that situation is a waste of time. guns don’t stop bullets. You could be running. At least the shooter has to hit a moving target.

    Of course you have guns to protect your home. Those guns are in the cabinet waiting to be stolen and you are at work.

    But what about that vital role in fighting tyranny? It is an illusion. Everyone with a room temperature IQ who isn’t programmed by the NRA and/or a fluffy-hearted romantic understands this. Shortly after the revolutionary war there were several rebellions. Faced with rebellion what did the central government, as weak as it was, do? It sent in the army and put down the rebellions. Odd that.

    According to mythology it was militia and citizen soldiers, the so-called minutemen, not the regular army, who defeated the very powerful and well equipped British army. Certainly the colonial army, relatively poorly equipped and financed, couldn’t put down those all-powerful citizen soldiers. Particularly seeing as that civilians of the day frequently had the same, often more advanced, arms.

    Of course anyone who knows the history knows that the regular army had no particular trouble containing or putting down the rebellions. The power of an army isn’t in the particular type of arms carried. Its main strength is doctrinal, organizational, logistics. Yes, they can pick off a few here and there but untrained and poorly organized militia, unbacked by an outside power and lacking a safe area where they can rest and regroup, simply cannot stand against a real army if that army is backed up with intelligence and logistical fortitude.

    Anyone citing Vietnam as a counter example simply doesn’t understand how large and effective the North Vietnamese logistical system was. Or how few battles the North actually won on the ground. Both the American revolutionary war and Vietnam were political/logistical/economic defeats for the larger power made possible by the intervention of much larger powers. The colonials would have lost the war without the French navy, artillery, training, officers, troops, and finance. Similarly the North Vietnamese only had a chance because the USSR and China supplied arms, training, and a whole lot of money.

    Anyone thinking that you can stop for very long police, much less a real army, with what arms you can stuff into your basement is fooling themselves. Get yourself a few billion dollars worth of backing, and a secure logistical link, with a major nation, and a safe zone to work out of, and you have some shot but lacking those assets you are doomed.

    After the revolutionary war there were several rebellions. The rebels didn’t have external backing, finance, logistics, and the central authority within the US knew it. They got stepped on and the memory lost down the memory hole. Which ought to tell you why the powers that be are not afraid of your guns. Guns, and the emphasis on guns, speaks volumes about irrational fear, inadequacy, lost potency and a childish unwillingness to face the fact that are ineffectual against tyrants, and nearly useless in anything but a very narrow circumstance against common criminals.

  • Barry P

    To Karsh:- My reaction to Guns is not knee jerk or from fear. It is from experience. Although I have always lived in England I have owned and handled various weapons, and guns since childhood. During my Police service I was part of the local equvalent to a Swat team, with training from both Military and Police sources.I believe that I was the last Officer to fire a shot ‘in anger’ in the county of Hampshire, and that was in 1983! Hopefully that will establish my credentials.

    As pointed out elsewhere a Gun is a reactive tool. Both in Law and practically it cannot stop actions before they commence or are known. Firing a gun at a moving car is problematic at best, esp, in a busy city street. It is worth mentioning that the street in which this murder took place has stop start traffic, nose to tail, all day. It is surprising that enough speed was reached to carry out the initial run down. According to reports the first few people on the scene thought the assailants were rendering First Aid for a while. No thoughts of intervention to prevent them!

    The comment by Mr Heinlein was of course written in a Science FICTION story in 1942, about a disfunctional world, I suggest written in Irony not as a truism.

    When I read that the NRA fear for their freedoms if Guns are controlled even fractionally, I wonder what freedoms they have that I do not. I can travel where I want in the UK without fear, my risk of being involved in an armed incident is microscopic. I can Vote, shop, drive, walk the streets late at night, travel abroad, and so on.I can worship any God, or none. I can marry who I want, of any Race colour or creed, or sexual orientation. I can have a gun for hunting.

    The only restriction I seem to have is that I cannot own a Gun for ‘self defence’, although even that rule has been lifted for a few high risk people.

    But then Living in Polite society such as the UK I do not feel the need for a Gun.

    This is not a diatribe against the USA. I appreciate that you have a different history and different circumstances. I simply point out that there is another way.

    It might be of interest to consider Europe in 1945, It was awash with Guns, there were 4 million machine pistols (Stenguns) dropped to the resistance in France alone. Many returning Soldiers in the UK brought home guns and ammunition. Over the years by use of restrictions in gun ownership combined with rigourous Police action, and Public Opinion, those guns have been removed from circulation.

    Yes we have a small Gun problem, but on the whole even our criminals abhor guns. My local Liquor store does not need an armed guard, nor my Bank, nor corner shop. My local Police Officer does not need a Gun.

    It is surely not beyond the wit of the USA to pursue a policy that ensures personal freedoms whilst removing the un-necessary restrictions that a Gun Owning Society suffers.

  • I will only say that correlation does not equal causation.

    There is precisely and exactly zero evidence that the drop in violent crime is in any way connected to the increase in gun ownership.

  • TheOnlyKarsh

    Response to brive1987: At no time did I advocate for suggest that I supported vigilantism.

    This took all of a single Google search for “mass murder prevented by citizens” and is a short list of incidents that were stopped by private citizens with firearms. It’s estimated that there are as many as 2.5 million defensive uses of firearms in the US each year.

    Response to lorn: I would counter that these are examples of arms being concentrated in the hands of a tyrannical ruling group.

    The rest is just so…wrong that I’m not real sure where to start in response.

    At best the US army can field a million man standing army. There is no way that a million soldiers can control a 300 million armed populous. We won’t get into discussions regarding the number of soldiers who would either not take part on or actively switch sides in such cases.

    The problem with your example of four police officers shot in a doughnut shop is that it’s not about the police being armed it’s about the populous and those not the target of such actions. Had the store clerk been armed at the very least the possibly would have existed that heshe could have intervened and saved maybe one life.

    The minute men and the later Colonial Army were one in the same. They were drawn from the private citizens who because of their above average skill and better equipment (namely rifled barrels) were able to defeat a much larger and better supplied British army. It was their unconventional warfare that also contributed to their victory. The fact that they did not fight as a conventionally trained force was their advantage.

    Response to Barry P: I would simply point out that Brittan was considered the most violent in the EU until this year. That violent crime numbers were even higher then the US where guns are common place. Can you own a firearm without restriction? I’m not so sure that I would consider the UK to be the polite society. Two of your citizens just ran over a third, beheaded him and all while many witnesses just watched powerless to act. The criminal felt so safe that they stood around to give interviews to bystanders.

    Response to everyone: No such data exists that proves that increased or decreased proliferation has any substantial effect on violent crime. Countries with dramatic number of firearms in private hands have relatively low violent crime rates (US and Switzerland) & countries with no legal private firearms ownership have extreme violent crime rates (Mexico & Brazil). This being the fact I can see no reason to advocate for removing rights or privileges from the law abiding.

    Ultimately what we are left with is a decision about whether to limit firearms or not for valid, logical and proven reasons or for emotional reason not based in fact. I can see no reason for the latter.


  • brive1987

    #17. TheOnlyKarch

    Thank you for the anecdotes. The 2.5mill figure of defensive uses of guns comes from the kleck/gertz phone survey whose methodology has been questioned.

    I guess the only point I’d make is that there appears to be 2 main world views in opposition here. One says “America is a violent partly broken society where the rule of law doesn’t work and where you need to be ready to self deploy fatal force thru concealed weapons at a moments notice” vs. “We need to address Amercica’s culture which celebrates violence and the rights of the individual over that of the greater society because I don’t like where we are heading either on a practical or values basis. And the attitude to guns is both symtomatic and causal to this problem”

  • TheOnlyKarsh

    Thank you for your emotional straw man attempt to say tht I am advocating for vigilantism.

    No study is completed without detractors. The presence of such does not prove it incorrect. I will point out that he had more support then detractors.,_Less_Crime

    A good response to your specific assertion.

    I don’t see the US as “a violent partly broken society where the rule of law doesn’t work and where you need to be ready to self deploy fatal force thru concealed weapons at a moments notice” I see that the government in any of its incarnations simply cannot protect me as they cannot be present universally and continuously to do so. I also question the wisdom of abdicating ones right and responsibility for self protection to another entity, government or otherwise. How can an entity that has nothing at risk ever act truly in another’s best interest? What gives me the right to demand that another risk their life for mine?

    Again, no data exists that conclusively proves that increased gun proliferation is directly linked to an increase in violent crime. The thought that the “attitude to guns is both symtomatic and causal to this problem” simply isn’t being born on in the data. The populous is overwhelmingly good and in an overwhelming number of instances do no wrong with the firearms they possess. While I can see a certain validity to your thought of “Amercica’s culture which celebrates violence” I find this to be a concept that is extremely subjective and nearly impossible to define in any meaningful manner.

    Given that the statement “more guns means more crime” is false, I can see no logical reason to limit the rights or privileges of the citizens who have shown they are no danger to society to own any kind of firearm. We can all agree that something needs to be done but lets do things that actually can help and not things that just make the uninformed feel better.


  • Paul Loebe

    Well this took off on another topic entirely. I’ll be writing a blog specifically relating to guns, gun control, and gun legislation this weekend.

    As it was thank all of you for remaining civil and not resorting to name-calling and ad hominem attacks.