A gun in the first act always goes off in the third

“It’s everywhere and always been recognized: an armed society is a primitive society.”

“An Oklahoma woman arrested Monday on drug charges had a loaded handgun hidden in her vagina, according to police.”

“Not only did police canine Ivan discover a stolen handgun, he fired it too.”

“Police arrested a 61-year-old Florida woman for allegedly pointing a gun at Walmart employees, threatening them after the store refused to honor her coupon for $1 off of a purchase and later attacking authorities.”

“The Tyler Morning Telegraph has learned that a Van Independent School District employee accidentally was shot during a district-sponsored concealed handgun license class on Wednesday.”

“The school district was sponsoring the class as part of its program to arm teachers and other school employees, in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre and the NRA’s call for America to arm its schools.”

“A school district in New York has put a program to put armed officers in schools on hold after a policeman’s handgun went off at Highland High School.”

“The National Rifle Association’s field representative for New York was barred from having guns after an altercation with his wife.”

“A 3-year-old boy from Manchester, Tennessee was left in critical condition over the weekend after being shot while handling a small gun that an adult left sitting on a nearby counter-top.”

“Family and friends in Michigan are mourning the death of a 4-year-old Jackson County deputy’•s son, who accidentally shot and killed himself over the weekend.”

I’m very much on the conservative side of politics, but I just saw this as one of those things that demanded the use of the authority of my office to try and change.”

I know my father is watching us on this journey … to make our community, our state, and our country a safer place.”

You folks in Chicago want me to get castrated because your families are having too many kids. It spells out exactly what is happening here. You want us to get rid of guns.”


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  • fredgiblet

    The purpose of the second amendment is the defense of the country, they are restricting weapons that have little value in crime but great value in defense of the country.  Hence anti 2nd Amendment.  If they were going after handguns they’d be not only on better legal footing they’d also be more likely to accomplish some actual good.  Yet IIRC even after the Virginia Tech shooting which was perpetrated solely with pistols the only thing most people were proposing was an AWB.

  • Carstonio

    Switzerland is not comparable because of its militia system.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Would Trayvon Martin have been alive the following morning if he had been armed?

    No. Zimmerman might have thought better of shooting Martin, but the cops would have shot Martin if Zimmerman hadn’t, so it’s a wash.

  • Isabel C.

    And once again, Reading Comprehension Boy: who are we “defending the country” from?

    The Chinese? Who have nukes, and planes, and would also have to get across an ocean?


    ZOMG BLACK HELICOPTER GOVMINT TYRRANEH? Because: see the bit earlier about nukes and planes. Also drones. If the government goes all jackboot on us, our hope in rebellion will be getting the military on our side: if we do, we get weapons from them, and if we don’t, all we accomplish is a lot of senseless violence.

    Canada? Because I, for one, am really okay with surrendering there, what with the same sex marriage and the universal health care. Also I feel like their chocolate is generally better. And they have poutine, which is controversial, but I’m gonna support it anyhow.

    More to the point: your paranoid need to be prepared for a scenario that *hasn’t happened in over two hundred years* is causing a lot of actual murders of actual people who, you know, exist. Or did before people started “exercising their Constitutional rights” in the direction of toddlers. 

    That’s a monstrously piss-poor set of priorities you’ve got there. 

  • VMink

    Yeah, that’s where I start to back away slowly.  The Red Dawn WOLVERINES-in-their-own-minds worry me.  Their wet nightmares are being played up and played upon and played hard.

    That segment of the population has already been conditioned to see government employees as non-human parasite Others, and government law-enforcement agents as Enemies.  They’re well primed to start something stupid.

  • Isabel C.

    Pretty much, yeah. 

    It’s odd: “freedom” is supposed to be a positive word, yet anyone who uses it these days is going to make me take a step or two back. 

  • fredgiblet

    No it’s not.  I forget where it’s from but it wasn’t written by him.

  • Nicestep

    I remember seeing a button for sale at a Science Fiction convention.  It read:

    “An armed society is a polite society.  Ask any Iranian.”

    It was John Campbell who came up with the first part of that, not Heinlein.

  • Isabel C.

    That’s because your buddies in the NRA and Survivalist Shitheads ‘R’ Us have made it impossible to introduce and pass effective gun control legislation. 

    Seriously: don’t flap your arms about how we “should be going after handguns” and “need to enforce existing laws” when your goddamn side is the one obstructing just that. I’d say it makes you look stupid, but the phrase “gilding the lily” comes to mind there. 

  • fredgiblet

    I’m interested to know why that makes a difference?  Most of the people who commit crime in America are young males, the SAME people that Switzerland issues assault rifles (not “assault weapons”) to.  So in Switzerland not only is gun ownership high the proportion of people who own the guns that are targeted the most by grabbers is high as well, yet according to The Wiki they have the 13th lowest murder rate in the world.  Below places like Australia and Britain.

  • OriginalExtraCrispy

     I clenched my legs together when I read that.

  • misanthropy_jones

    all i have to say is that after 50 years on this earth i have yet to find myself in a situation where having access to a handgun or other firearm would have improved.  after almost 20 years working in an emergency room, i have witnessed exactly one case where a firearm was used constructively by non law enforcement people to end a criminal act.
    the need for a handgun, much less an assault rifle, for self-defense is highly overrated.

    (saying that, let me say that i have numerous friends who are avid outdoorspeople and who treat their hunting weapons with great respect and care.  i have no difficulty recognizing their right to indulge their hobbies safely.)

  • fredgiblet

    The answer is “it depends”.  There’s way too many variables to give an accurate guess.  I think that they would stand a much better CHANCE, but there’s no assurance they would still be alive.

  • Isabel C.

    Because issuing an assault rifle* to someone under disciplined and controlled circumstances, training him or her in its proper and responsible use, and having a pretty good idea of who’s been issued and thus owns what is a very different case from selling that same assault rifle** to anyone who has forty bucks and something to prove.

    You festering idiot. *Yes, I’m going to keep calling it that? Why? Because it irritates gunfapping little pedants, and I like that in a phrase.**And now, every time I type “assault rifle”, I smile, because I know I’m making you a little sadder. So thanks!

  • Isabel C.

    And for “assault rifle” substitute “assault weapon.”  Should not ragepost on Disqus. 

  • SergeantHeretic


    Or whatever.

  • Carstonio

    Fair question. My understanding of Switzerland’s militia system is that the men undergo regular military training, and are expected to maintain their rifles for the defense of the state. Although that’s still technically private ownership, it has little resemblance to the situation in the US, where little training is required and where protection is defined as personal.

  • P J Evans

     They aren’t countries with as many guns as people, either.

  • SergeantHeretic

    To rebut:

    A civilian black man holding a gun in public in the United States of America is a walking corpse. If some racist vigilante prick doesn’t murder him the cops will. fredgiblit’s failure to realize that is an indictment of white privelidge.

    Two, in real life no civilian militia group in the U.S> has a snowball’s chance in hell against a proffesional army playing for keeps. Red Dawn was just a movie and it was a really fucking stupid one at that, both versions.

    Three, fredgiblet no one is talking about making the You Ess of Aye a “Gun free zone” not even the most left-leaning democrat wants to do that.

    But would it be kind of neato if it was just a little harder for a schizopheric armed robbery convicted parolee to get an AR15 with a thirty round clip?

    I think that would be awesome.

  • stardreamer42

    More to the point, Trayvon Martin was in exactly the kind of situation the “Stand Your Ground” types postulate — he was in his own neighborhood, being threatened by a predator with a gun. But if he’d had a gun and shot Zimmerman, do you think for one instant that he’d have been allowed to even bring up the Stand Your Ground defense? Not on your life — or his.

  • stardreamer42

    Could have been from Instant Attitudes — I think that’s where I got mine.

  • AnonymousSam

    Right. There doesn’t seem to be a positive correlation between owning guns and violence at all — except that it appears the United States is the entity throwing off these figures. :p


    “Rate” refers to homicides per 100,000 people.
    Data collected from

  • EllieMurasaki

    Yeah, I know, because Marissa Alexander got a jail sentence for shooting her abusive husband when she thought Stand Your Ground would protect her.

  • Carstonio

    My point was limited to the US, and was referencing figures I’ve seen that compared different areas of the nation.

  • Swiss gun culture is nothing like US gun culture.

    For one thing there’s a lot of guns at home, but far less ammunition.


  • stardreamer42

    IME, anyone whose primary reason for wanting to own a gun is to shoot another person (yes, all you people talking about “self-defense” or “home invasion”, I mean YOU) is de facto unqualified to own one at all. And anyone who doesn’t feel “safe” in public without packing scares me much more than the threat they think they’re “defending” against.

    Guns don’t solve problems. People solve problems.

  • P J Evans

     I don’t know, but he actually did recommend getting a shotgun for protection, for those who really think that having a firearm would be a good idea.

  • SergeantHeretic

    The “Stand-your-ground” defense was written by and for middle aged white men, everyone else can go fuck themselves.

  • fredgiblet

    I’m not sure I follow.  Essentially what you’re saying is that the murder rate in Switzerland is lower despite them issuing weapons to very people most likely to commit crimes…because they’ve been trained?  I would personally expect that training someone in the proper use and care for their weapons would make them MORE effective at using it, not less.

  • Rhubarbarian82

    And I’ve heard that the best thing for saving your life in the event of home intrustion isn’t a gun – it’s a dog.

    Frankly, I really don’t want to encourage a lot of these people to own dogs, either. If they can’t even lock and store firearms properly when children are present, I highly doubt they can take care of a dog responsibly.

  • AnonymousSam

    There are those of us who would strongly consider a total gun ban. I gave it serious thought and decided that I’m relatively okay with the police and military being armed, so long as they’re always held strictly accountable to their actions.

    (Which isn’t the case at present. They police their own and that’s the goddamned problem. I’ve yet to see any major organization in the world which did its own internal investigations that wasn’t guilty of letting the worst shit happen without punishment of any kind. Hell, I’ve seen plenty of small organizations guilty of a lot of shit that resulted in nothing worse than slaps on the wrist, no matter how much harm they’d caused.)

  • EllieMurasaki

    I would personally expect that training someone in the proper use and care for their weapons would make them MORE effective at using it, not less.

    Well, yes–but part of gun safety training is learning when NOT to use it. Which is a lot more often than certain elements in the US would have one believe.

  • fredgiblet

    But the weapons are still openly available.  A Swiss Adam Lanza would have nothing preventing him from grabbing his rifle out of his safe and taking it to a local school, or taking it to a gang fight or robbery for someone else.  Additionally they’d be trained in it’s proper use professionally rather than by moms crazy uncle.  Professional training would seem to INCREASE effectiveness, not reduce it.

    Training COULD reduce accidental deaths, which is why I’m not opposed to requiring safety training and proper storage of weapons that aren’t in use.  But the idea that availability of guns inherently means a high murder rate seems counter-factual to me.

  • fredgiblet

    The statement “There is a regulatory requirement that ammunition sold at ranges must be used there.” that could mean that they can’t purchase ammo to keep in their homes, but it doesn’t actually SAY that.  All it says it that they aren’t ISSUED a lot of ammo.

  • SergeantHeretic

    fredgiblit I spent two decades in the U.S. army and was rigourously trained i nthe use of the Beretta nine mm pistol and the Model sixteen alpha deuce assault rifle. presently I don’t own guns because as a civilian I don’t need them. any civilian who thinks they DO need a gun to protect them from other civilians and or “Evil nasty bad furrinerz and or evil nasty bad gubbermit peeple by definition should not have one simply BECAUSE they want a gun so they can KILL PEOPLE WITH IT!

  • Isabel C.

    What Ellie said. Also, in addition to training, see “controlled circumstances,” “proper and *responsible* use,” and that whole bit about the government having a pretty good idea who owns what when. 

    By which I mean: read the *whole* post, Bozo. 

  • A few random thoughts:

    *Why an assault weapons ban instead of a handgun ban? Because the Supreme Court struck down handgun bans in two different cities as unconstitutional, but didn’t strike down the Assault Weapons ban. So as it stands, any handgun ban is unconstitutional. 

    *Annursa’s link (“Gun Ownership at All Time High,  Nation’s Murder Rate at all time Low”) is a telling example of trying to have your cake and eat it too. The NRA is insinuating that increased gun ownership leads to lower murder rates. However, it’s worth digging into the footnotes on that piece: the violent crime rate of the U.S. hit a high in 1991, and gun ownership hit a high in 1993. More crime = more gun ownership… makes sense, right? A higher risk of violent crime means a rational consumer would want to have protection.
    But, in 2011, the violent crime rate rate hit a 41-year low, while the gun ownership rate hit an 18 year high. So a much, much lower risk of violent crime means rational consumers will… want to own guns to protect themselves? Either the high gun ownership in ’93 was caused by the high crime rate of ’91, or the low crime rate in ’11 is caused by high gun ownership, but it can’t be both. 

    Ask Diane Feinstein if she’s willing to give up her concealed handgun and  armed bodyguards.

    I’m sure that little soundbite sounded a lot better before Gabrielle Giffords was shot. Don’t let the reality of U.S. Senators receiving hundreds of explicit death threats along with mentions of “watering the tree of liberty” get in the way of your attempted snark. It’s perfectly reasonable to compare the role of a highly visible public official targeted for harassment and worse by nationally recognized hate groups with the daily life of the average citizen.  Obama’s kids have armed bodyguards, so why shouldn’t yours, right? It’s totally the same situation!

    You know, like how Freedom of Speech means you can should “fire” in a crowded theater, or advertise that your new drug cures all cancers, or that Bill O’Reily blows goats in his free time! Or how Freedom of Religion means that Child Protective Services can’t take away your children if you refuse to get them medical treatment or start marrying your 10-year-old daughters to 40-year-old men. 

    It’s almost like there’s a common principle at work, an idea that rights need to be offset from harms, like restricting the rights of police to search in order to prevent innocent people from going to jail, even if it means potentially guilty persons might go free.  Too bad there’s no possible way it could be applied to an Amendment talking about well-regulated militias ensuring public safety…

  • fredgiblet

    I would point out that the vast majority of gun enthusiasts also treat their sport shooting weapons with great respect and care and indulge their hobbies safely.

  • VMink

    No. Zimmerman might have thought better of shooting Martin, but the cops would have shot Martin if Zimmerman hadn’t, so it’s a wash.

    I agree completely.  It says a LOT about our society, and none of it good.

    (I ask this question when I can, not for a yes/no answer, but for how it’s answered in addition to the answer itself.)

  • Carstonio

    I suspect that the Swiss military screens out potential Lanzas during training, but I don’t know. In any case, no one here is arguing that “availability of guns inherently means a high murder rate” – I simply mentioned a correlation. Also, “murder” is somewhat misleading because the shootings that stem from fights in homes and bars might, in the US, be prosecuted as voluntary manslaughter.

  • SergeantHeretic

    fredgiblit baby honey sweetheart no one is talking about banning guns. NO ONE! The problem as we have repeatedly tried to explain to you mr TL:DR Prince of subliteracy and reading comprehension deficiancy is that we cannot figure out why anyone needs a goddamned Msixteen in the fucking zone interior of the United States of AMerica!

    More to the point we’re trying to point out that someone in real life who even thinks they NEED one when they’re not in the U.S. Military is probably by definition screwy and shouldn’t have one.

    But whatever man, go back to what you were saying and oh yeah, WOLVERIIIINSEEEE!!!!

  • Isabel C.

    “Indulging their hobbies safely”, at this point, means being willing to support extra precautions (like a registry of gun-owners, like waiting periods and bans for people with records of assault, like trigger locks and fingerprint checks, like ammo clip restrictions) in order to make sure their hobbies don’t hurt anyone.

    And seriously? If I had pretty convincing evidence that LARPing or reading or video games were causing thousands of deaths a year, I’d be willing to accept some restrictions on my hobbies too. Opposing safety measures because it might make my drunken weekend fun times a little less extreme and manly just makes me look like a selfish dick. 

  • Isabel C.

    Oh yeah: and like restrictions on assault weapons.

    I just felt like throwing that one in there. ;)

  • fredgiblet

    As I stated before I think that a handgun ban actually has better legal footing than an AWB, so I don’t see how trying for an AWB seems productive.  It seems to me like the political capital being spent on that would be much better spent on programs intended to reduce crime rather than annoy sport shooters.

    The extra high gun ownership now is likely due to a combination of fear-mongering on the right and the very real likelihood of restrictions being passed. I’ve seen gun stores calling Obama the best gun salesman in the country, and it’s true.  My personal expectation is that the crime rate and the gun ownership rate are largely (though not entirely) unconnected.  If the AWB is soundly defeated I expect the crime rate to continue to drop, if the AWB passes I expect the crime rate to drop at the same rate it would have if the AWB didn’t pass (much like how the crime rate continued to  drop after the expiration of the first despite the shrieking about how we were all going to DIE if it was allowed to expire).

    As for your last bit we DO have reasonable restrictions (for the most part) right now.  The laws that are proposed will have little to no effect on crime, we know this because they’ve been in place before and they’ve expired before to no effect.  So what is being proposed is legislation that restricts a right while providing little to no benefit to public safety, exactly what you AREN’T supposed to do.

  • You are aware that semi-automatic handguns have been standard since the mid to late 1800s, and semi-automatic rifles since the late 1940s, yes?

  • fredgiblet

    Would you happen to know if that shows up in Homicide statistics or not?  Because I don’t.

  • SergeantHeretic

    Fredgiblit I am still waiting for a good justification of why people in the real world, civilians who are neither cops nor military personel need military grade weapons.

    The answer is always “Home Defense” translation, they want it so they can kill people.

    The next answer is always “To help me stay free from (Wingnut conspiracy imaginary Hitler)” again, they want it so they can kill people with it.

    That being so why in the hel would anyone sane sell such a person a gun?

  • fredgiblet

    “no one is talking about banning guns.”

    No, they’re just talking about ineffective restrictions on weapons that aren’t commonly used in crime.

  • The_L1985

     In re: bears, I heard from author Gary Paulsen once that a bear’s metabolism is so slow that it takes it a few minutes to die even after you shoot it in a lethal spot.  So even if it did take 15 rounds, would it really do you any good to have those extra shots?  The bear is either going to run away scared or keep attacking until it dies, and more ammo isn’t going to change that.

  • It’s really irritating to me when I see my friends hand wringing on facebook about gun control. They either don’t know or don’t care that the regulations that are being proposed on a federal level are the same ones we’ve had in CA for decades.