Against Gun Lies and in Support of Being More Prolife

Against Gun Lies and in Support of Being More Prolife October 2, 2015

In between whining about people who “politicize” gun slaughter by sanely wanting to prevent the next one, the Gun Cult has been politicizing to beat the band with “Haw, haw!  Dopey liberal college victims and their stupid Gun Free Zones!”

That’s a lie.  The fact is, Oregon state law allows conceal carry holders to bring their guns anywhere, even schools. The problem on that campus was not a restriction that had no force of law, but a madman whose mother bought him a gun.

Sanity says that this lunatic should never have have had easy access to a gun and that the smart thing would be for our nation to join all the rest of the developed world in adopting policies that make that harder to do and that result in lower gun death rates everywhere else in the developed world.  Insanity is to maintain the status quo at all costs, guaranteeing an annual human sacrifice rate of 32,000 victims offered to Moloch.

Sanity begins  by stopping lying to ourselves.  Also, by getting our priorities straight, especially if we claim to be prolife disciples of Jesus Christ:

The first and only instinct of someone who is prolife, Christian, or just a decent human being is, “How can we do better to prevent the next one?”

The first priority of a liar and a friend of death is to promulgate thinking like this (as the NRA does):

Sandy Hook Redux Obama officials confirm that it was a drill and no children died

I ask only the bare minimum of human decency in response to our grotesque gun slaughter rate:  Be *more* prolife.  Respond to it by asking “What can we do to bring it down to the levels of other developed nations?”, not by laboring with all our heart, mind and strength to maintain the status quo–as the NRA does.

Be more prolife.

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  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    If Sandy Hook didn’t stir us to change, I don’t know what will. The slaughter of children is just about the worst thing I can imagine as a human being. What did we do in response? A few news reports. Some speeches. Then nothing.

    Our culture is diseased.

    • chezami

      On the contrary, the Gun Cult got busy attacking grieving parents.

  • CradleRevert

    In the top ten leading causes of death in this country, gun violence doesn’t even make an appearance. However, deaths related to health-neglect account for at least 25x more deaths per year than gun deaths. So as soon as anti-gun advocates start to rail against corn syrup and pasta with the same vigor that they rail against gun violence, then I’ll start to believe that these gun tantrums are anything but ideologically driven.

    • chezami

      People die from all sorts of stuff. So what’s the big deal about murder?

      Do you even listen to yourself?

      • CradleRevert

        Not even close to what I said.

        • Stu

          You get used to it.

    • Truth Seeker

      Is corn syrup really that deadly?

    • Christian

      25x less is only a seemingly small number. If you compare that number to similar nations it is astoundingly high. Don’t you find it odd that the US is so far ahead of similar nations when it comes to gun deaths? Don’t you understand how easy guns make it to kill and injure people versus using a knife or any other instrument? We need sensible control such as the NY SAFE act and we need it now on a national level. As sad as I’d be if a relative died of a heart attack, I’d be much sadder and angrier, I imagine, if a relative was killed in a shooting, particularly if it was a son or daughter.

      • Stu

        Ye Olde Statistician has some interesting numbers last time. By comparing us with Canada, he showed that the problem is mostly one of the inner cities. Personally, I think the frontal assault on this problem has been played out. New laws won’t do much. It’s time to go after enabling problems that end up with guns involved.

  • Stu

    “The problem on that campus was not a restriction that had no force of law, but a madman whose mother bought him a gun.”

    So what new laws need to be passed?

    • Truth Seeker

      How about a ban on selling guns to ignoramuses?

    • Christian

      NY SAFE act on a federal level. This will not eliminate shootings and gun deaths–nothing will–but you can bet it all that it will reduce them

      • Pete the Greek

        Armed security would have been a better response.

        Not sure how the killer’s legally purchased firearms being registered would have prevented him from doing this.

        • Christian

          As I said, the law would not eliminate every shooting but it would definitely decrease their occurrence.

          • Pete the Greek

            In cases of these? The killer always seems to own the firearms legally. How is having them registered as well going to stop them from using LEGALLY obtained firearms to commit mass murder?

      • Neihan

        We could also declare martial law, strip the citizenship of anyone participating in organized crime, declare gang members as unlawful combatants, and then put boots on the ground in inner cities with the goal of destroying the paramilitary organizations that operate there and putting their members before military tribunals.

        I’d be willing to bet that would ultimately decrease gun violence far more drastically than repealing the second amendment and banning all fire-arms.

        But the “anti-gun cultists” don’t seem to care about the major sources or the root causes of gun violence. Judging by their histrionics it’s not the gun violence they primarily hate, it’s guns (which they fetishize) and secondarily their owners (whom they demonize and fear). And since the vast majority of firearms are owned by law abiding, peaceful citizens it never occurs to them to tackle, say, suicides or the paramilitary criminal organizations who ruthlessly and violently operate de facto petty kingdoms within our borders.

        • Joseph

          And they don’t want to look in the mirror and see where their culture is the root cause of all of this. It’s almost like they’re position is, “Ban guns so that I can continue to live like a heathen without worrying about the possibility that a spawn of my lifestyle is going to do what my lifestyle teaches and shoots me in public!”.

          Simply… ban guns and we’ll enter utopia. It’s a pretty lazy thought.

    • chezami

      Are you asking because you want to know or because you want to keep from knowing. After all, it’s not like I haven’t talked about my ideas here in the past. But your rhetorical strategy is never to say, “Agreed. After all, every other developed nation has done something about this and there is sure *something* we could attempt” but instead to ignore what I’ve said several time sin the past, demand that I say it all again, and then offer all the reasons there is no point in even trying.

      • Stu

        Well, if I agreed with your proposition, I would. But I have only seen vague assertions by you or calls for smart guns. So, yes, I do want to know. Honestly.

        What laws would you pass and how would they attack the specific problem at hand?

        How about I assume you are operating in good faith and you assume that in me? Further, I take your proposals seriously and you take any critiques or questions I might have seriously as well?

        • kenofken

          Hell, I’ll swing at this ball because it’s a good entry point to the issue.

          I would pass only one law initially: The official or de-facto bans on gun violence by the CDC would be unambiguously ended. The agency would have express authorization and funding to develop the most accurate and thorough data picture that epidemiology can produce. That science would be the starting point of legislative efforts.

          That said, there are certain concepts I would like to explore. Foremost among them is a fundamental rethink of the concept of a “background check”. Right now, that check is pretty much a one-step algorithm: Are you a convicted felon or not? That’s a useful and necessary filter, but an inadequate one by itself. A “yes” to that question tells us everything we need to know. The lack of a felony conviction tells us very little about the underlying question of whether the person has the character and competence to own and carry instruments of deadly force. It doesn’t even tell us very much about criminality. A felony conviction in this society in many cases correlates more strongly with your skin color and economic status than your proclivity to follow the law.

          Real background checks are much more comprehensive. If you apply to the FBI or for a security clearance or try to board a plane in Israel, you get a real background check. That involves using lots of little data points to fill out the big picture. Rather than asking whether you did a or b, they’re trying to answer the overarching question of “what’s this person’s deal”? The reason almost all of these mass shooters could buy their guns is because nobody was empowered to ask or act upon that big picture. In hindsight, we see that these dudes lives were full of red flags. Any one or two of those flags could be seen as personality quirks in isolation, but taken in total, they usually paint a very clear picture of a deeply disturbed individual. To my mind, a person who doesn’t have the character and temperament and mental fitness to even be considered for a law enforcement job or a White House visit or El Al flight has no business buying or owning firearms.

          Another idea that strikes me from this latest incident and other is that there is no good reason for one adult to buy firearms for another adult or to simply hand them off as gifts. If you want to get a gun, it should be acquired under your own auspices and qualifications.

          • Stu

            Calls for collecting data prior to taking action. I applaud that. And I agree. The only caveat, I would want the study done by a team with members of differing ideologies in an effort to ensure support for their findings.

            On the background checks? Maybe. I’m sure there is some room for improving the scope but I don’t believe we need to make it something that takes multiple days or overly intensive. The question to ask, is how effective is it now? Do we have data that shows it is failing and how? Now some would say that with the mental illness question it is, but that is not an easy nut to crack (no pun intended) as many people don’t show any signs of cracking. And unless we want to get a system going where neighbors are informing on neighbors to the government, I don’t know how to fix that. Then there is the whole privacy issue.

            But I still ask, what are we trying to achieve? If the issue are these massacres then most of the stuff that is offered here doesn’t even remotely address the problem. I recognize that they are offered in good faith but that doesn’t make them good ideas especially if they aren’t connected to the problem statement. But I think the massacres, as tragic as they are, are not the problem and the Pew study in 2013 affirmed that saying words to the effect that while mass shootings are rare, they capture public interest when in reality the problem lies elsewhere. Perhaps fairly typical of white suburbia to only see the problem when it hit closer to home when in reality the real victims are black males between the ages of 18-40. This would support “Ye Olde Statistician’s” post last go round that showed that gun violence rates in comparing Canada and the US were identical EXCEPT for the inner cities where our rates go through the roof. Now, of course I’m not saying it’s “black thing” but it is in my mine indicative of other shortcomings in the inner city where most black people tend to live. In that, gun violence is a symptom of a much bigger problem and truthfully violence in general is a bigger problem in the US in all forms than it is in other countries. But given our origin and being a microcosm of the World, that doesn’t surprise me. But violence seems to be the thing to go after here, not just gun. In fact, to take Mark’s rhetorical tactic, some seem to be anti-gun by not anti-violence.

            Further, according the Pew study, gun violence is down by 49% since it’s peak in 1993. Nobody know for sure why BUT it follows the trend of all violent crime going down during this time frame. Again, it’s the violence not the guns that needs to be addressed. And that violence is predominantly in the inner cities. So for me, my answer to gun violence and where I would put the bulk of my effort is in fighting crime in the inner cities and not just with more locking people up. We need to fix the cities. Create opportunities and develop new strategies for law enforcement that also don’t create so much division. I’m confident that many other symptoms would be addressed by this holistic approach rather than just calls for gun insurance, elimination of open carry, limitations on semiautomatic weapons, reduction in magazine capacity or the myriad other things that just automatically show up as fixes. Again, well intention but just not geared towards solving the problem.

            Now the other part of the 32,000 per year number in gun fatalities is suicide and accounts for about 20,000 deaths per year. This rate has not changed. But just as the rate in gun violence decreased drastically with a reduction in violent crime, the way to attack this is through a reduction in suicides. The problem isn’t guns, the problem is people who are out there who want to kill themselves and aren’t getting help. Again, let’s address the problem, not the symptom. I’m not necessarily equipped to make suggestions here.

            From you other post, you again brought up a 50% reduction in 25 years. I’m not sure yet whether I think that is realistic but I haven’t put much rigor into that yet. I would think our goal for reducing violent gun crime should be to bring that number in accordance with the rest of world BUT as we are generally more violent than other societies that might initially be a bridge to far. Reducing suicide is also a goal which I don’t have a quick answer. Suicide rates vary by country so I’m not sure what the baseline should be.

          • Stu

            And thank you for taking the time to discuss. Even in disagreement, I applaud your effort along with that of Chesire.

  • Miguel

    Stricter gun laws don’t frighten me. We may someday live in tyranny but the tyrant will be ourselves. There are only two ways to control man. On the inside by virtue and on the outside by force. As a nation we haven’t much virtue left.

  • Is there some reason to believe that gun restrictions have been reduced over the last 30 years? I’m not aware of it. And if gun restrictions have actually stayed about the same (and I suspect gun restrictions have, if anything, and like most areas, gradually increased) over the last 30 years (or longer), isn’t it reasonable to conclude that some other cause is responsible for the increase in mass shootings? Here are some possibilities: mental illness, pornography (this has exploded in the last 30 years), reduced faith, reduced morality, narcissism, continued destruction of the family.

    I’ve never owned a gun. But I remain doubtful that the answer is in reducing access to guns and giving more power to the state. (It hasn’t exactly worked for the war on drugs.) I think we have a very sick culture that is in need of deep conversion. I don’t think there are any easy fixes here.

    • Christian

      increase in mental illness + already high number of guns + easy access to guns = increased shootings
      increased mental illness and what comes with it is the reason for the increase in mass shootings. with this problem on our hands, we are a country with too many guns and too few laws controlling the guns. even if that wasn’t the case 30 yrs ago, it is now because of the mental problems. mental health outreach is happening but its effectiveness will never be able to keep up with the increase in deaths. Along with the outreach common sense gun laws need to be put into place on the federal level. this will not cure or eliminate the problem but it will decrease the number of deaths, it will save lives.

    • Excellent comment.

    • Chesire11

      Guns aren’t the cause, but they are an accelerant. Automobiles don’t cause people to get drunk, but only a fool would give a drunk a set of car keys.

      • Yet 30 (and more) years ago, the accelerant wasn’t causing these mass shootings.

    • Elaine S.

      “Is there some reason to believe that gun restrictions have been reduced over the last 30 years?”

      That’s precisely the period during which the majority of states legalized concealed carry. In 1985, only a handful of states allowed it; now all 50 states officially do, although the ease/difficulty of getting a permit varies from place to place.

      • Elaine, that’s a good response to my question. I hadn’t considered the rise of concealed carry, which did occur in recent years. That said, I don’t think the rise of concealed carry is related to the rise of mass shootings. Has any mass shooting been conducted by someone with a concealed carry permit? Not to my knowledge. And you can be certain that if a concealed carry holder did conduct a mass shooting, we’d hear about it.

        • Cypressclimber

          Of course concealed carry isn’t implicated in this; because if it were, it would be quite easy to demonstrate this (because the police would know that the shooter had a CCW permit), and the opponents of concealed carry would be ALL OVER IT.

          Who thinks for a millisecond that if concealed-carry laws could be tied to these shootings, that President Obama wouldn’t have said so by now?

  • Pete the Greek

    “beat the band with “Haw, haw! Dopey liberal college victims and their stupid Gun Free Zones!””
    – yeah, that’s why I’ve said that’s an irrelevant argument. I posted this in the last comment section:

    Pro gun people who cite the *gun free* thing, implying that, had the
    place not been a *gun free* posted zone there there would have been
    someone with a CCL there who would have ended it. This statement is
    faulty for two reasons:

    1st – people who regularly carry concealed
    legally honestly don’t give a damn if a place is posted ‘No Guns
    Allowed’. They carry anyway. They ALL do. The only exception to this is
    if it is a place that has some kind of metal detectors and/or there are
    actual SEVERE legal penalties for carrying. Otherwise, the gun is
    carefully concealed, so no one will know anyway.
    2nd – Despite the
    number of CCLs that are out there, very few people who have them
    actually carry their weapon with any kind of regularity. Most will for a
    month or two, then barely bother. There are few of us who do so every
    day without real exceptions.

    So, a place being posted as *gun free*, in my opinion, doesn’t really affect the likelihood of a shooting taking place, as the chance of running into an ACTUAL CCL holder who is ACTUALLY carrying at the time is VERY low.

    • Chesire11

      The point of gun free zones is not to appeal to the good citizenship of homocidal maniacs, but to give police grounds to intervene against an armed person in such areas prior to him opening fire. It also has the effect of deterring otherwise law abiding, but stupid people from bringing guns into inappropriate places, like schools, and churches, etc…

      • Pete the Greek

        “good citizenship of homocidal maniacs”
        – LOL! I would agree.

        “ut to give police grounds to intervene against an armed person in such areas prior to him opening fire.”
        – Hmmm, maybe that’s the way the law is written in your state, but it doesn’t work that way here. Unless it’s someplace where it’s ACTUALLY illegal (post office, courthouse, etc.) you can’t even be arrested for it. The owner can ask you can be asked to leave. If you refuse to leave you can be fined.

        “deterring otherwise law abiding, but stupid people ”
        – Heck, I WISH it had an effect on stupid people. But it doesn’t work out that way.

        I think we may be talking past either other, as I’m not talking about a place where it is actually against the law to be there with a firearm. I’m talking about businesses, places like that, where the law says it’s fine to carry, but private owners still post.

  • Pete the Greek

    “but a madman whose mother bought him a gun.”
    – Got it from his Mom, did he? Just like the kid at Sandy Hook…

  • Pete the Greek

    Crap, now I’m seeing conflicting reports. Some are saying that he bought the firearms himself. Some are saying they were gifts….

    • Stu
      • Pete the Greek

        ….AAAAaaand just like every single one I remember so far, child of a bad divorce it seems. I think I see a patter… nah, that’s just crazy talk.

        • Neihan

          It’s the fault of the Gun Cultists™. They engineered his broken family, controlled the media to fuel and ultimately reward his narcissistic obsession with being famous, encouraged an anti-religious, debauched and consumerist culture to grow his murderous hatred of Christians, and set his open tabs to 4Chan’s /pol/, /k/, and /x/ boards.

          Then they fostered an anti-gun fetishism among the university staff to the point where not even the security guards could guard the students, and made sure nobody at the location was carrying and could defend themselves or others.

          It’s all so obvious.

  • Joseph

    So far, overwhelmingly, the reports I’m seeing on all major networks and mainstream press sources indicate the use of this event to promote only one side of the political debate… and it’s not on the side of the NRA. All while doing this, the mass media has gone out of their way to *avoid* the more uncomfortable aspects of the event but also to give the shooter all the glory and fame he sought.
    .
    Rather than get drawn into their trap as they create another mass shooter with the glorification of his crimes and their affirmation of the terror he wrought, I’m going to be pro-life about it. The ex-Army student took several bullets as he charged the shooter. He was willing to lay down his life for strangers. That’s a sacrament in my book. This is a hero. Those that the shooter killed stood before him and proclaimed their faith in Our Lord before he ended their lives. Martyrs. There is too much bravery here to spend air speaking about a coward. As tempting as it is.

  • Baloney. This is nonsense. No gun law except outright banning and confiscation would have prevented this. The issue is mental health, spotting it, and resolving it. All gun laws were followed and more laws would have done nothing. Linking it with pro-life is crass demagoguery.

    • Pete the Greek

      I think it’s a little early to say this particular case is because of mental health. I haven’t seen any reports that he was being treated, was on any kind of medication that would indicate being disturbed, ie some kind of actual mental ailment or chemical imbalance.

      Unless we just say that any time anyone does something terrible it means they are mentally ill, but I think that’s a bit circular. Now, it doesn’t seem as though he’s totally normal, but actual crazy like the guy who shot Gabby Giffords? Not seeing it.

      • Well, every single case of these that I’m aware of had a mental health issue associated with the shooter. If this doesn’t then I’ll be surprised.

        • Pete the Greek

          It might still turn out that way. I just haven’t seen it in the news yet.

    • chezami

      Could you tell me where I advocated banning and confiscation, speaking of baloney.

      • I didn’t say you did. I said, “No gun law except outright banning and confiscation would have prevented this.” Meaning that no additional gun law would have had any effect on this.

        • Chesire11

          No law ever prevents 100% of the offense it prohibits (that’s why we have things like police departments, courts, and prisons), but that’s hardly a reason to abolish the law.

          • Yes, so? But that first half of your statement is actually insightful. We have tons of laws against killing people, we have police departments in every city and town, we have courts and prisons, and yet there are hundreds of murders across the country every day. Laws don’t exactly stop murders, do they? There are some things that cannot be prevented.

            • Chesire11

              Exactly my point. To criticize a proposed law because it won’t be 100% effective is just plain silly, that line of argument can be applied to any, and every law ever enacted. The point of the law is to combat, and thereby misconduct. You wouldn’t argue that laws against drunk driving are a waste of time, even though there are a thousand way for a person who wants to drink and drive to do so in spite of he law. Arguing that a particular incident would not have been prevented by a gun control law is similarly flawed reasoning.

              • Stu

                But similarly, can’t we argue that we might be at the point of diminishing returns in terms of passing laws? If passing a law isn’t 100%, why would we believe that passing more laws will get us to 100%?

                • Chesire11

                  No combination of laws will ever bring us to 100%, the question is whether a particular proposal moves us closer to 100% in a way that justifies the associated costs. The problem of violence doesn’t spring from a single cause, so it wouldn’t be reasonable to suppose that any single approach would resolve it. What is necessary is a layered approach, employing multiple measures to “put sand in the gearbox.”

                  • Stu

                    Define victory. 100% 95% Lower?

                    Is it possible we have reached diminishing returns already?

                    • Chesire11

                      It is possible, but I would suggest that it is far from probable. Gun regulations that were adequate to earlier decades, before the decline in public virtues, citizenship, community, and family and the fetishization of guns no longer suffice in our debased culture. Unless the broader cultural decline can be halted, and reversed, gun laws will likely need to be tightened apace, and yet will only be band aid solutions until we reform the culture.

                    • Stu

                      But gun violence is down by about 50% since 1993 and it’s mostly an inner city problem. Seems like we need to focus on the city life if we want to make gains.

                    • Chesire11

                      There’s no reason not to adopt a full court press on all of the factors contributing to violence.

                    • Stu

                      I would prefer to maximize my resources where I would get the best ROI.

                      Otherwise, let’s just ban them all. (Or attempt to do so).

                    • Chesire11

                      I think that the greatest ROI is only achievable through a comprehensive approach. Addressing isolated pieces of the issue is likely to be like squeezing a balloon.

                    • Stu

                      But you can’t do everything and certainly not things that aren’t aimed at anything specific.

                      I honestly believe the low-hanging fruit has been picked from the tree. We are in the much harder phase of changing hearts and minds and better addressing mental health problems.

                    • Chesire11

                      There we disagree, I’m afraid. I think that gun laws have failed to keep pace with a changing culture, and are hopelessly anachronistic, and I don’t see a multifaceted approach as beyond our capability – beyond our will, perhaps, but not our capability.

                    • Stu

                      Thank you for at least engaging me in discussion. I appreciate it.

                    • Cypressclimber

                      (If I may interject…) You raise a point I brought up the last time I commented on one of Mr. Shea’s gun-rant posts.

                      Maybe the real problem is the dissolution of society; but then, if we look squarely at it, one possible — but unpleasant — conclusion is that this dissolution is localized to particular places in the U.S. I’m pretty sure that if gun violence were charted by zip code, the results would be eye-popping, even after allowing for population density.

                      It’s offensive to some to point it out, but in this sense, we are two countries, not one. Not something I want to be true, but quite aside from the gun issue, it’s clearly happening, and I am one of many at a loss to know what to do about it.

                      So maybe it’s bigger than guns; it’s about whether some portions of our beloved country are not up to the task of the self-government ethos that underlies a generally permissive gun-culture.

                • kenofken

                  Because we’ve seen it work, time and time again over at least the last century with problems like workplace safety, fire safety, DUI, domestic violence just to name a few. In every last instance, those with financial or ideological investment in the status quo insisted nothing more could be done about the appalling statistics of the day. In every instance, huge strides were made when society came to a consensus that the status quo sucked, and that solutions can and had to be developed. It wasn’t about piling on laws for the sake of fattening the statute books. It was about changing the culture of thinking around a problem and accepting that new legislation had to be part of the tool kit.

                  None of the target problems were solved 100% by any means, but most saw reductions in fatalities of 50% or better within a generation’s time. It’s not about legislating your way to utopia. It’s about a concerted effort to make things noticeably less f**d up for the next generation coming up. I’ve thrown out a suggestion of 50% in 25 years as a target because I think it’s entirely achievable.

                  The gun lobby and culture is very invested in making us believe that gun violence is an irreducibly complex technical problem. It’s nothing of the kind. Putting men on the moon with primitive computers was hard. The work they’re doing at CERN or in cancer research is hard. Gun violence is not one of those problems that pushes the human forebrain to its limits. It’s a public health problem, and we know, in the broad sense, how to do this. The problem is hard only because we make it so. We (and I include the left on this), are working around the clock to make sure we don’t address the problem.

              • Well, it’s not a question of not being 100% effective. It’s a question of not being effective at all. There are already laws, and perhaps some of those laws have helped minimize these incidents. What additional law would you propose that would have minimized the probability of this? And keep in mind, there are plenty of gun laws on the books now.

                • Chesire11

                  Guns with high capacity, high firing rates, and muzzle velocities in excess of the fragmentation velocity of compatible ammunition, armor piercing rounds, etc.. should all be prohibited. They are necessary to no legitimate lawful purpose, but pose significant dangers to the community. All guns should be registered with law enforcement. Gun owners should be required to carry insurance. All guns should have titles, just like cars, and houses, all transfers of title should be subject to background checks, and any gun for which the owner cannot provide title should be subject to confiscation. Completion of gun safety courses, and regular refresher classes should be mandatory in order to hold title to a firearm, and local law enforcement should have wide discretion to deny licenses subject to judicial review.

                  • Cypressclimber

                    They are necessary to no legitimate lawful purpose…

                    Really? They sound like features that could make a difference between life and death in specific situations, albeit rare.

                    It always strikes me as awfully presumptuous (I don’t mean you per se) for advocates of gun restrictions to say — to others — you could never ever need this gun. The most fundamental moral case for a gun is that it enables someone to protect him/herself from harm. When politicians and advocates make these sorts of claims, I ask: what’s the cash-value of your assurance? What happens — to you — if you’re wrong. Because we know what happens to people who get shot at, but don’t have a means of self defense.

                    • Chesire11

                      An AR15 is specifically engineered to kill human beings with great effectiveness, and efficiency at long ranges. It’s capabilities far exceed what’s necessary to self defense unless the People’s Liberation Army invades your living room.

                    • Cypressclimber

                      That response made me laugh, but that doesn’t make it true. I’m not a gun owner, but I’ve fired a gun a few times, and talked with people who do own and are familiar with guns. Firing a gun accurately is quite a bit harder to do than TV makes us think. If you go into a room full of people and fire wildly, you don’t have to have good aim. But if you face one — just one person who is more of a killer than you, then you need very good aim. Or a hail of bullets.

                      As I said before, what’s the cash-value of an assurance that someone won’t need that much gun?

                    • Chesire11

                      One on one confrontations, as in home invasions, are pretty much invariably at close quarters. Long arms, like an AR15 would be at a disadvantage in that context. Also, assault weapons are only semi-automatic, so they don’t have a higher rate of fire than a semi-automatic handgun. Get into a firefight in the kitchen with an assault weapon, and you’re likely to be the one getting shot.

                    • Neihan

                      “One on one confrontations, as in home invasions, are pretty much invariably at close quarters. Long arms, like an AR15 would be at a disadvantage in that context…they don’t have a higher rate of fire than a semi-automatic handgun.”

                      Your comment strikes me as a little peculiar. How much experience do you have firing handguns, shotguns, and rifles? Is that experience from being in the police or military, or do you go out to the range weekly or monthly?

                      Personally, if you told me that in order to defend my home I could choose between a Saiga or any handgun of my choice I’d go with the Saiga. If you told me I could choose between any handgun of my choice or an AR15 I’d take the AR15 (and the accompanying permanent hearing loss).

                      If you prefer your handgun then by all means. Though why do you think you should have a say in telling me which I should go for?

                      Now, maybe Pete or Stu (both of whom I’m confident have more experience than I) would disagree, but when it comes to self-defense the only reason I’d ever pick a handgun is to conceal carry in public.

                    • Cypressclimber

                      Interesting. I admit I’ve had limited experience with such guns. I fired an AR 15 once; it was fun.

                  • First of all, those are specifications to bullets, not guns. Guns operate any type of bullet that fits in its chamber. Second I don’t see how insurance reduces gun crime or these mentally ill murder sprees. Third, all guns are already serialized and registered, all legal guns. That’s essentially the same as a title. States vary in types of safety training, but in most cases it already exists. Look, your complaints come down to a flailing attempt to do something because you don’t like guns. The majority of the people in the US support gun ownership and the second amendment guarantees it. Obama is just grandstanding. He knows a Republican House and Senate will never pass more gun laws. In fact when he had Democrats in both chambers he couldn’t pass any gun laws. The American people are convinced we have too many already.

                    • Brian

                      So, what’s a well regulated militia?

                    • I’m not a constitutional lawyer and i suppose you aren’t either.

                    • Brian

                      Oh ok, no opinions allowed then. Got it.

                    • That’s such a specific question that my opinion is meaningless. It’s not an opinion; it’s a fact established by the Supreme Court. I don’t know what that is. So if you’re such an expert, go ahead and tell me.

          • Pete the Greek

            But it DOES need to accomplish something, and it DOES need to do more good than disruption of the law abiding. If not, dump it.

            That’s why the Crime Bill was allowed to sunset.

            • Chesire11

              Agreed. A thing may be done well, or poorly. Like anything else under the sun, gun regulations need to bring greater benefit than cost.

              • Pete the Greek

                If more anti-gun people accepted that… If there were clauses added like were in the crime bill, where it will sunset at a certain time, it would allow bad laws to be gotten rid of. If they worked well, they could be reenacted.

      • Cypressclimber

        He didn’t. That’s just the point: you want to end this (as does virtually everyone); when you say it is about guns, it’s very hard to see how anything but “banning and confiscation” represents a meaningful gun-related solution.

        Then there’s the solution of the media no longer giving these shooters the sick “glory” they long for. Instead, consign them to oblivion. Never mention their names in the news reporting, and for the love of all that is holy, end the wall-to-wall coverage.

        Or, as someone at Breitbart suggested, maybe society would do well to stop treating boys as “smelly” and masculinity as “toxic.”

        It’s fine to say, “do something!” as President Obama says. But it’s reasonable to ask: will your something do anything meaningful about the actual problem?

      • kenofken

        You didn’t snap-to with “how high, sir?” when the NRA said “jump”. That means you’re an advocate for Second Amendment repeal, confiscation of all guns and probably an East Coast pinko or a secret Muslim to boot. Because there are no middle ground solutions because the NRA has decreed they can’t work and won’t work!

      • falstaff77

        Interestingly, the President suggests he is now pro-confiscation in his insipid speech just following the shooting where he references two countries who banned and confiscated.

        “We know other countries in response to one mass shooting have been able to craft laws that almost eliminate mass shootings. Friends of ours, allies of ours, Great Britain, Australia, countries like ours. So we know there are ways to prevent it.”

    • Bemused

      Very few gun laws passed day before yesterday would have prevented this. Some gun laws passed 20 years ago might have. Most laws that might get passed tomorrow aren’t preventing a tragedy the day after tomorrow, they are most likely preventing one several years from now that we would never hear about because it won’t happen. (geesh, the verb conjugation in this comment was complex.)

      • What law passed 20 years ago would have prevented this?

        • Cypressclimber

          I think he meant, laws that might have been passed 20 years ago, but weren’t.

          Nevertheless, a good question.

        • Bemused

          (forgive me, I’m going to do sociology for a bit)

          Currently in US culture gun ownership is significantly highlighted in both gun supporters and gun haters. It’s created what seems like an obsession about guns and an overuse of both myths and lies about gun ownership and heightened fear about both guns and gun control. If, 20 years ago, we had instead had a conversation about things like gun safety and required real safety and awareness training in order to obtain a required license to own a gun, it might have reduced a lot of the mystique around gun ownership. If we had required insurance for gun owners, again it might have increase awareness about gun safety. If those sorts of conversations happen often enough, it becomes part of the cultural awareness and makes a cultural change, kind of like what has happened with drunk driving (responsible car ownership 😛 ). If instead of (culturally) telling everyone that they needed the biggest, fastest gun (for their purposes) with the largest, most easily replaced clip, we had done a better job limiting who could own those (and reduced clip sizes) several tragedies might have been lessened. If there were waiting periods in every state, every sale, it could reduce other kinds of gun tragedies.

          No one or two or three laws is going to prevent every single tragedy. There isn’t an easy solution that can stop these things in a country the size of ours. There are things that can reduce the number of tragedies, and if we had done some of those 20 years ago, this could have been one that never came to pass.

          • What are you talking about? Gun safety has nothing to do with the mass murder sprees, and neither does insurance. Might’ve, shmight’ve. This is mumbo jumbo nonsense.

            • Bemused

              You seem to be looking for facile answers that are equally easy to refute. I’m sorry to have disappointed you by leaving a more complex path?

              Culture has to do with mass murder sprees and things like required gun safety classes and insurance, etc, have to do with changing to timbre of the gun discussion in US culture and, thus, mass murder sprees.

              • I didn’t offer any facile answers; you did. I agree, this is partly a cultural issue. You’re not going to change the culture regarding guns with any laws.

                • Bemused

                  I didn’t suggest that you offered facile answers, I said that you were looking for me to offer them and there aren’t any. Some laws could help change the culture (this happened with drunk driving, for instance), but they won’t do it alone.

                  • You’re the one that said there were laws we could have passed 20 years ago that would have made a difference. When I challenged you to give me some examples, you put out some “facile answers.” Obviously you’re just flailing around trying to sound like you have something of significance to say.

                    • Bemused

                      Just because you don’t like my answers doesn’t mean I didn’t answer your question. However, it is apparent from your most recent reply here that you aren’t currently able to have this discussion in a genuine way, so I don’t see how we can continue it. Good luck in your search for an argument. 🙂

                    • 🙂 Sorry. Got carried away.

  • chezami

    If the Dems came to “prolifers” and offered them a deal to outlaw abortion–as long as the second amendment were repealed too–I really wonder how many “Prolife is a core value” lip servicers would take it.

    • Stu

      Would outlawing abortion stop all abortions?

      • chezami

        Of course not. When did 100% success become the criteria for law? That’s a question only asked by people looking for excuses for inaction.

        • Stu

          “That’s a question only asked by people looking for excuses for inaction.”

          Right. Sometimes I think your rhetoric indicates a desire to not have honest discussion. At least you have posters here interested in true discussion even with differing opinions.

          • chezami

            No, Stu. It is you who is not seekng an honest discuss. Your rhetorical posture is entirely ordered toward maintaining the status quo. Knowing what I have already proposed, you ask again, not to find anything out, but to protest that it cannot be done and should not even be attempted, while offering no ideas of your own, because you have no interest in confronting our gun slaughter rate (so disproportional to all other developed nations), but only in justifying it.

            It’s not, of course, that you actively want to see 32K people killed. It’s that you regard it all as acceptable losses compared with your *real* core value, which is holding on to guns out of fear of anything they may slightly jeopardize them in your mind. Guns, in a word, are more important then the dead of Sandy Hook and Umpqua and all the other massacres. So you assume a rhetorical stance poised to shoot down any proposal as futile and to offer none of your own, while pretending that it is I, who have already offered some modest proposals, who is dishonest.

            • chezami

              It all reminds me of the years of fake puzzlement from people who pretended to want a definition of torture (while refusing every definition offered and offering none of their own). What they sought was not a way to avoid torture, but a way to stall for time and perpetuate it. That’s the strategy of the NRA.

              • falstaff77

                Don’t forget how it reminds you of the Hiroshima bombing, or the tobacco companies, or something else dissimilar.

            • Stu

              Way to malign my character. Thanks again.

        • LFM

          Actually, even a moderate success rate for any law requires some will to enforce it. Anti-abortion laws remained on the books in Canada until 1989, far longer than in the United States. However, from 1968, when the laws against abortion were made less restrictive, those laws were increasingly ignored by abortion seekers, ignored by doctors, ignored by the police, and when a few cases did make it to court in spite of all this willful blindness, dismissed by juries. I fear something similar would happen to any attempt to reintroduce abortion laws in the US.

          Better gun-laws would probably help to reduce homicide rates in the US IF society took the trouble to enforce them. Even then, I doubt very much that they would stop incidents like the one that prompted this post. [edited for clarity Sat. 5:25 p.m.]

    • Pete the Greek

      I’d take that, actually. Local states have their own constitutions that deal with defense, so it’s not like it would be that bad. And the payoff would be great!

      Heck it would also be like a return to localism.

    • Tom G

      Are the Dems offering a constitutional amendment banning abortion?

    • BillyT92679

      I think a decent amount would. Honestly a lot of NRA fans aren’t religious and don’t care at all about abortion or are even pro-abortion.

      • LFM

        That’s my observation. The same is true for the most vocal (and politically powerful) business-oriented free marketeers, who tend to be atheists or only nominally religious. And I say that in recognition of the fact that support for free markets is not necessarily mistaken, but should not be the sole principle upon which good government rests.

    • Joseph

      I’m afraid, Mark, that most Christian gun owners who support the 2nd Amendment would take that deal (I used to own a gun. If I still did I’d take that deal in a heartbeat). However, as cool as that offer would be, abortion is a sacrament on the Left. That hypothetical will never come to pass. That’s like the Catholic Church giving up the Eucharist… not gonna happen. They worship baby killing.

  • Chris W

    If guns are indeed the problem in this pro-life discussion “gun slaughter”, then maybe the solution to end abortion would be to ban the use of medical equipment.
    Doesn’t make much sense, does it…

    • Chesire11

      No it doesn’t, because it’s a false analogy. Medical equipment is ordered toward the purpose of treating illness or injury, and preserving life. That it may be turned to some other end is a perversion, not fulfillment of its ordered purpose. Guns are ordered toward killing. They can be turned to other ends, like sport, but that is not the end toward which guns are ordered.

      A ban on the use of medical equipment would therefore have the primary effect of many more lives lost to lack of medical care than would be saved by the decline in abortions. Conversely, a ban on guns (reasonable regulation of guns actually, as nobody is proposing an outright ban, which would be impractical anyway) would have the primary effect of reducing gun violence.

      But you already knew that, didn’t you?

      • Chris W

        I strongly disagree, guns aren’t ordered toward killing people any more than knives and forks or medical equipment.
        Good grief, shooting is a sport and an Olympic event. Marksmanship is a skill, it doesn’t make one a killer.
        The disorder used to be people, now I wonder if it is our society itself and the devaluing of human life.

        • Chesire11

          Sport is very clearly a secondary use to which guns are applied. Knives and forks are ordered toward conveying food, they may be used to wound or kill, but again, that is the misapplication of a tool, not the fulfillment of its ordered purpose.

          • Stu

            I’m happy to say guns are ordered toward hunting and self-defense. Those are just as good as medical implements.

            • Chesire11

              Guns are only effective in those uses because they are ordered toward killing. You are conflating the immediate intent of the gunman with the ordered intent of the gun. There is nothing in the design, or idea of a gun that orients it toward self defense rather than murder. The reason for the killing (or threat of violence) lies with the gunman, not the gun.

              • Stu

                I can used medical tools to kill as well. The knife cuts both ways.

                I can use a firearm to save a life.

                • Chesire11

                  Yes, anything can be perverted from its ordered purpose, but we evaluate the utility of a thing based upon its use, not its abuse.

                  • Stu

                    Hunting and self defense are not abuse. Killing in these instances is not sin.

                    • Chesire11

                      I was referring to your example of using medical instruments to kill. Hunting, and self defense aren’t ordered purposes of the gun, but the immediate intent of what the gun user means to achieve through the use (or threat to use) the gun for what it was intended.

                    • Stu

                      If I use a firearm to shoot an attacker who means to take the life another, my intent is to save the potential victim, not kill the perp.

                    • Chesire11

                      Again, your immediate personal intent is moderating the ordered intent of the gun. The gun was designed for lethality.

                    • Stu

                      And so are rat traps. Doesn’t make that purpose wrong.

                    • Chesire11

                      No, it doesn’t, but it does make a gun substantially different from a stethoscope, even though you could use a stethoscope to throttle someone…different also from those deadly hammers people keep bring up in these conversations.

                    • Stu

                      But a tool nonetheless which can be used for good or bad.

                    • Chesire11

                      Agreed, guns are not intrinsically evil, they are morally neutral. They do however have the potential to produce terrible effects, therefore there is an urgency involved is restricting them to mentally healthy, law- abiding, responsible parties.

                    • Stu

                      And how well are we doing that?

                    • Chesire11

                      Not terribly well, relative to how much better we could be doing through sensible regulation.

  • Stu

    Come on, Mark.

    Let’s start an honest discussion. Stop with all the “Gun Cultist” talk and all that? Do you really think the guys in this combox are that?

    Put forth a proposal. Let people put forth honest critique and if you can address their concerns.

    • Joseph

      Really, I’m for *sane* gun control laws, but Mark’s diatribes on the topic (while conveniently ignoring the culture that created the shooter and the media that promised him glory if he carried it out… which he is getting in abundance by those using this for political purposes) are starting to wear on me. I think we should coin the label ‘Anti-Gun but Not-Prolife’ since he seems to have the same delusion that some anti-abortion people have (banning guns will cure all ills).

      • chezami

        I’m quite ready to discuss the cultural and psychological and spiritual roots of gun violence. These are hugely important. But so is *keeping guns away from violent and unstable people*. You either believe that Americans are peculiarly evil and other developed nations are populated by living saints, or you face the fact that our gun laws are doing a crappy job at reducing access to guns by such people and other nations are doing a better job.

        • Joseph

          Ah, but there you go again “gun” violence. It’s like I’m talking to Katie Couric. It’s your culture! Guns or no guns! Your government advocates killing through the death penalty, through abortion, through euthanasia, through inciting uprisings in volatile areas, through funding and arming Islamic terrorists, through destroying entire nations on false premises, through attacking villages filled with innocent people using drones and cruise missles, through the use of atomic weapons… your media glorifies violence and makes careful use of it when it wants to push an agenda (no surprise considering that’s what the government does). Americans are saturated in it. They love it. Guns or no guns, look in the friggin’ mirror. Guns used in mass killings like this are symptoms of the real problem. America is f*cked up, plain and simple.
          .
          Ban guns and you still have a f*cked up society that glorifies and excuses killing and death. It wouldn’t solve your problem.

          • LFM

            Your analysis doesn’t really hold up, Joseph. European nations generally go further than the US in permitting euthanasia, many of them support American foreign policy initiatives of the type you describe, and while they don’t permit abortion up until the child is ready to be born, they are far more acquiescent towards it. There is a sickness at the heart of American culture – and, *pace* Mark, it is in some respects unique to that culture: the need for public recognition as an aspect of personal fulfillment, and indeed the idea that personal fulfillment is something that life owes to everyone. Ideas like that, in the heads of “violent and unstable” personalities, are more dangerous than guns.

            • Joseph

              This isn’t about planks and specks. Of course there are ills in European countries, but they neither have the size, unity, or federal government over the entire continent that the US has. So, you can’t really compare the two. I’m sure that, if Europe was truly united and has the same resources that the US had, they’d be killing innocent people independently without having to lean on the US to do it. No argument there. Also saying that Europeans are, in theory, more so-called liberal than the US when the US, in practice, actually is sort of makes the “You damn liberal Europeans” argument a bit stale. Abortion is totally legal for any reason anywhere in the US… and the baby body parts are up for sale. Abortion on demand is *not* legal in most European countries. I’ll stop there because I don’t think you need me to provide more examples where immorality is enshrined or protected in law in the US as a whole but not in every European country. If you want me too, I will. But you know, yourself.

              • LFM

                I wasn’t talking about planks and specks, Joseph. I was pointing out that the logic of your explanation of US violence is faulty, that it may be a “culture of violence” but not for the reasons you suggest. So your indignant diatribe is *entirely* wasted on me. And what you said about abortion laws in Europe, I already said in the comment you just wasted your time attacking for the wrong reason.

                p.s. I’m Canadian. We aren’t much inclined to grumble about European “liberalism”, for obvious reasons.

                • Joseph

                  Please tell me where my diatribe was wasted on you. I may be able to explain more clearly. Where was my logic flawed?

                  • LFM

                    In your first comment in this thread, you used the issue of America’s culture of death (war, abortion, euthanasia) in order to explain America’s culture of gun violence. In response, I said simply that Europe was not that different from America in embracing most aspects of the culture of death, but nevertheless did not suffer from a comparable culture of gun violence. Certainly the difference in levels of violence between the two is so vast that it hardly seems to be explained by the difference in their acceptance of the culture of death. I agree with you that there is a sickness at the heart of American culture, but the kind of sickness you delineate (the culture of death) is one that Europe shares, to a lesser degree no doubt, so that it cannot be primarily responsible for the enormously higher levels of gun violence in the US.

                    You thought I was pulling a “neener neener” on you and so went on about motes and planks and how Europe was not just as bad as America. You had not grasped (it seems) that I had already noted that abortion on demand was not legal in most European countries.

                    That’s the manner in which your response to me was illogical: you made an assumption about where my argument was going and ran off in a direction I hadn’t taken. You have a tendency to let your imagination jump the gun, as I’ve noticed before.

                    • Joseph

                      In your first comment in this thread, you used the issue of America’s culture of death (war, abortion, euthanasia) in order to explain America’s culture of gun violence.

                      I agree with you that there is a sickness at the heart of American culture, but the kind of sickness you delineate (the culture of death) is one that Europe shares, to a lesser degree no doubt, so that it cannot be primarily responsible for the enormously higher levels of gun violence in the US.

                      First of all America’s culture of death explains it’s propensity to violence against innocent humans in general. Gun violence is just another form of that. It’s self-explanatory. I didn’t need to *explain* anything.
                      .
                      Secondly, you’re only proving my point. Europe hasn’t totally bought in to the same degree of the death cult that exists in the US… yet. First, because it’s still struggling against a Catholic tradition (that the US never had) and hasn’t quite managed to purge it entirely (which is why abortion, euthanasia, the death penalty, war, and constant random murders with different forms of weaponry — not just guns — are not legal in most places and not as prevalent at they are in the US).
                      .
                      Europe has been much slower in saturating their media with images of death. This is just a simple fact. Most of the violent media in Europe is an American export. If anything, Europe has more of an issue with gratuitous sex in its media but not nearly as much violence. Video gaming is a recent trend in Europe as well. It’s not a multi-generational thing here.
                      .
                      So, I seriously don’t understand how you don’t see the correlation with America’s obsession with violence against innocent people and things like mass shootings, especially when the mass shooters have an obsession with violence. It didn’t come out of nowhere.

                    • LFM

                      I didn’t say that I didn’t see the correlation. I said I didn’t see a correlation nearly as strong as the one you see, because I don’t think Europe and the USA are as different as you do. You are once again not being careful with the terms of your argument, speaking of “culture of violence”, “culture of death” and “obsession with violence” as though these all mean the same things. “Culture of death” is a Catholic phrase for a particular type of violence and you should not use it interchangeably with the others. Anyway, a few points to consider below:

                      1. Our – Canada’s – per capita murder rate is lower than the United States’ but roughly equivalent to theirs if you exclude the dreadful murder rates among black people.
                      2. People of Latino descent (note that I am not referring to recent immigrants, legal or illegal but to Latino people in general) also have much higher murder rates than that of white Americans. The statistics for both these assertions, if you doubt them, are widely available online.
                      3. Given those facts, it seems likely that the high murder rate among black people is a legacy not of the US culture of death in the Catholic sense, but of its culture of slavery. Indeed, given the very high levels of violence among, variously, black Americans, Latino peoples in the US, native peoples in Canada and the US, and those in Central and South America, you could argue that the culture of slavery and colonial exploitation in the New World as a whole is the real villain here. I suppose that you could also include all that in the phrase “culture of death” but in Catholic usage those words mean something different.
                      4. Mass murders are not peculiar to the United States and the phenomenon is not worse there than anywhere else in terms of per capita deaths. The US record IS worse than any other nation’s (I think) in terms of per capita incidents (See http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2015/jun/22/barack-obama/barack-obama-correct-mass-killings-dont-happen-oth/ ).
                      5. There, in that high number of mass shootings, is that “sickness” we both agree has taken hold of the heart of modern American society. This sickness is not necessarily related to the general murder rate nor to the “culture of death”. The chart I linked to indicates Mexico’s murder rate is *much* higher than the US’s, yet it’s a Catholic country without a “culture of death” as Catholics define it, though it’s getting worse that way. Mexico also does not have a high rate of mass murder or attempted mass murder incidents. Given these facts, I would suggest (tentatively, because I don’t know) that the US mass murder rate is the result of some combination of youthful despair, anger and hunger for fame that has gripped young white Americans since the 1980s. It’s curious that, as one earlier commenter pointed out, these incidents were once more common among middle-aged men in the workplace. What changed in the 1980s?
                      [Edited Monday 2:14 EST for clarity]

        • Joseph

          And of course I agree with “keeping guns away from violent and unstable people”. *That* should be a no-brainer. If you’re telling me that the laws in America don’t do that right now then *that* is a problem.

        • Tom G

          I’m sadly unable to do anything other than appeal to my own authority here, but I can assure you that a good amount of the “failures of current gun laws” are directly attributable to the purposeful refusal to actually enforce current gun laws by those who wish to repeal the 2nd Amendment. Lawyers attempt to create self-fulfilling prophecies all the time, I can assure you.

    • chezami

      I have put forward proposals. They are ignored by people looking for all reasons nothing will work and nothing should be attempted.

      • Stu

        Thanks.

      • Joseph

        I certainly didn’t ignore them. I would even go for your dreamy hypothetical trade: abortions for guns. But we all know that abortions are more dear to the Left than guns are to the Right. I know that saying such a thing doesn’t exactly match the narrative of this post, but it’s true… at least for Christians on the Right.

      • Reader Yesterday

        But Mark, that’s just not true. I’ve read through some of these posts on the tragedy of gun violence and have seen your proposals ridiculed and dismissed, not just ignored!
        I have also seen them treated seriously and discussed by people who seem to know what they are talking about and appear to have extensive experience with law, firearms and law enforcement.
        These people you tend to ignore or dismiss, perhaps because they find your proposals lacking in some way.

    • dave1964

      No doubt, Mark sadly seems to reflexively grab the ad hominem card in all these debates. So much easier to pillory those with whom you disagree as either lunatics or disingenuous liars. He makes fun of what he lays out as their purported bombastic responses, while he reacts bombastically. Mark, you’re better than that.

  • Cypressclimber

    The problem on that campus was not a restriction that had no force of law, but a madman whose mother bought him a gun.

    “Madman” — I realize you may mean that loosely; but maybe not. Do you actually mean he had been previously determined to have a mental problem? If so, you raise an excellent point about preventing such people from purchasing guns. I agree with you that it would be good to prevent that. Do you have a concrete suggestion for doing so?

    “…whose mother bought him a gun.”

    This raises the possibility of holding individuals legally responsible if they give or loan a gun to someone otherwise legally prevented from buying a gun. That’s potentially doable. Some questions:

    1) How would the giver of the gun know that the person was disqualified from having a gun? Failing a background check isn’t public. Perhaps we could say that in order to give a gun to someone, you must ask for a certificate which shows that person passed the background check. Or, would you simply say that no one could ever give another person a gun?

    2) What about situations where the not-qualified person takes or “borrows” the gun. That seems something very easy to do, when you let a family member into your home. Would you make it a law that whenever a gun owner invites guests into his/her home, his guns must be locked up to prevent unauthorized access?

    • Pete the Greek

      Seems he actually bought most of his own firearms. He passed the back ground check.

  • It is almost certainly true that banning guns would mean less gun killings.

    It is also almost certainly true that setting lower speed limits all over the USA, and enforcing those lower speed limits, would mean far less traffic deaths, and it would be easy to make this overwhelm the above statistic, by far.

    It is not obvious that we should lower speed limits, and it is not obvious that we should ban guns. Stop calling people liars, stop saying they are in favor of death and killing. They aren’t.

  • Pete the Greek

    Wow…. this is getting messy and yelly, as my niece would say. If this were rendered in animation, everyone would be screaming at everyone else in the middle of a hurricane. I think I’ll go find something else to do.

    • Chesire11

      Sadly, most people lack the maturity to discuss things like this calmly, and respectfully.

      • Dave G.

        Welcome to the post-modern era.

  • Tom G

    The arguments on this and many issues often remind me of this scene from A Man for All Seasons:

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

  • Joseph

    The problem on that campus was not a restriction that had no force of law, but a madman whose mother bought him a gun.

    Well, I think the problem on that campus is the fact that American culture is a culture of death from the top down, on both the Left and the Right. It’s a sick culture. It’s nice and all to believe that a ban on guns will solve all of America’s ills, but that’s sadly untrue. It’s the same mentality that some anti-abortion but not pro-life people have… that ending abortion will magically make the US a just nation. Delusional. One look at what your government does, what it advocates… that’s your leadership and it’s totally reflective of the entire American culture. It’s an indictment. So, go on with the dream that banning guns is going to suddenly make murders and death disappear.
    .
    Let’s not forget the role the media has played in this. They practically jump for joy whenever one of these mass shootings occur. Evidence of this would be the one student who tweeted that she heard gunfire. Over a dozen responses flooded in from reporters asking for an exclusive… while the shooting was happening! For all they know, the chick could have been dead. The shooter himself stated that it was the fame and the glory that the media provides mass shooters that helped him make his decision. Basically, yes, I’d prefer gun laws similar to those we have in Ireland, but you’re talking nonsense if you’re saying that *guns* are the major issue. Sorry, don’t use it as a scapegoat for a wretched, bloodthirsty, unmerciful culture that kills anything and everything. He’s a product of your culture. Guns didn’t make him that way. They just gave him the ability to carry out a fantasy in a most efficient manner. And constantly repeating the tale is only giving him what he wanted: fame, notoriety.

  • dave1964

    I’m surprised this type of thing actually doesn’t happen more often. In a society in which the most innocent and defenseless among us are routinely slaughtered, what chance do you think you and I (who are NOT innocent) actually have? This is a culture of death we live in. Sadly, we may expect more of the same. Policy prescriptions don’t hold the answers – only conversion does.

    • Joseph

      Add the love of the death penalty, the love of warmongering, the love of torture, the love of meddling in the business of other nations by causing uprisings covertly, the love of funding terrorism and sitting idly by while they slaughter Christians, you know… all those things Americans love. And imagine, they’re trying to export that culture through NGOs and covert uprisings around the world. No wonder America allied with Al Qaeda so soon after 9/11. A match made in heaven!
      .
      Yeah, abortion is a huge issue and the love America has for it will shine forth when we watch Planned Parenthood get completely off the hook this month (even after ol’ Cecil was caught out with bald face lies… under oath no less – you know, ‘no we don’t do mammograms and no one has ever said we have’ when she clearly said it). ‘Merica.

      • Dave G.

        I wonder how much the fact that we had to say ‘life, it’s up to you whether it’s valuable or eve life’ has had on the other things. Perhaps it was always there, but it does make you wonder.

  • JmcBoots

    We need to ban guns entirely.
    Because THAT has proven to be so successful in our gun free zones.

  • LFM

    If *your* first reaction to shootings like this is to think about ways you can taunt conservatives for their failure to support gun-control legislation, *your* priorities are skewed.

    Gun control is one of the issues to which I’m very nearly indifferent, as a non-American. However, I think the people who believe that it will help prevent tragedies like this are deceiving themselves. Rwandans were able to do a surprising amount of damage with radios and machetes.

    These things are the result of a sickness at the heart of present-day American culture.

    • Dave G.

      Thank you. My wife noticed something. And I don’t know if this is right, since she said it last night and I probably won’t have the time to look through it. But the first round of mass shooting, usually involving workplace and restaurants, that occurred through the 80s and early 90s, (going Postal it was called), typically involved middle aged shooters. Then the school shootings started picking up – back in the early to mid 90s they picked up. Since then, most shootings seem to involve young people – under the age of 30. There aren’t as many ‘workplace shootings’. They seem to be schools, colleges, entertainment venues. And usually young people. So the first round – the 80s – were by people who would have been born in the late 40s/50s. The second round were mostly by people born in the 80s and after. Again, I don’t know the stats. She just noticed the general age of most of the recent shooters (at least the ones focused on by the media), and remembered the general age of those back in the day. I wonder if there is a connection there, assuming her observation is close to accurate. The point being, there could be so many things we could be looking at. And that’s better than just focusing on one thing, or worse, not even focusing on it if that one thing can’t be focused on.

      • LFM

        Yes, the age of the shooters. So many more young people now have been raised without any faith in either a religion or in grand politico-religious schemes like Marxism, which used to be where many youthful atheists ended up. They often come from broken families and have no hope of establishing one of their own. Addictions are rampant and creeping up the social scale. Jobs that promise either security or a sense of purpose are disappearing. Working in a coal mine was terrifying and brutal but at least you knew that everyone depended on you to do it well. The same can’t be said for working in the bowels of Amazon packing books, or sitting in a call centre listening to other people’s complaints.

        So what’s left today for the young, impatient, and hormonally-challenged to fill their minds and hearts with and give their lives some meaning? Two things: finding a scapegoat to blame for the state of the world, and the hope of becoming famous. For those who are not too embittered or hopeless, who have access to some means of expressing themselves, these attitudes emerge in relatively harmless ways. For others, well…

  • D5qwK9B8

    Here’s a quote from President Obama at today’s (Oct. 2, 2015) press conference:

    And when I hear people offering up half-baked ideas as if they are solutions, or trying to downplay the challenges involved in this situation — what I’d like to see people ask is, specifically, precisely, what exactly would you do, and how would you fund it, and how would you sustain it? And typically, what you get is a bunch of mumbo jumbo.

    Now his quote was about dealing with ISIL, not gun violence. But I think it is a fair commentary to apply to solutions offered to address the “gun violence” problem.

    Don’t offer up half-baked ideas as if they were solutions.

    Don’t downplay the challenges involved in this situation.

    Specifically, precisely, what exactly would you do?

    How would you fund it?

    How would you sustain it?

    • Joseph

      The interesting thing about that loaded speech is, first, he’s the President. What? He doesn’t have to do anything? So he only makes decisions or helps form policy when it’s something like torture, perpetual incarceration with no charges, drone strikes, when to execute someone without giving them a day in court, creating a massive government cash cow for private insurance?

      Second, he and his crackpot teams in the State Dept. and Congress sure found it easy to come up with ways to fund and arm ISIL. All of the sudden he doesn’t have a clue how to fund a counter response? I’m not buying it and neither should you.

      With regard to gun control, what ideas has this fool offered up? Not much aside from demonising his opposition, giving glory to the shooters by using them to demonise the opposition, and constantly implying an all out ban and confiscations. Other than that, and some very theatrical speeches, NOTHING, NADA, ZIP, ZERO. So, I don’t know if choosing him as a starting point for your argument is helpful. He’s no role model. You’d have been better off just asking the questions yourself.

  • Dave G.

    Actually, I’m shocked at how difficult it is to get an answer to the question “exactly what specific solutions do people propose that would have prevented this exact shooting that they are now discussing, even before we have a chance to just mourn the dead and suffering?” Like my 17 year old said, at 4 PM, he heard the news discussing gun control before he knew people had even been killed.

    But then my boys also ask questions like ‘why was it that we didn’t really discuss gun violence after the Charleston Church shooting, it was only racism and flags. Yet when the man went on a killing spree at Military Recruitment Centers, it was not even about gun control or Islamic terrorism, they looked at what kind of person he was or did being involved in certain sports lead to violence? And why is it we only hear about Blacks who are killed by cops, but never when Whites are killed? And why, when a black person kills a white person, we don’t immediately assume racism they way we do the other way around? And why, when there are other church shootings, the focus is on the shooter’s mental health, and again, seldom about gun control? And why, they ask, isn’t there more focus in the news right now on the reports that this shooter focused on Christians, and linking that to anti-Christian rhetoric? They’re mentioning it, but unlike Charleston, the focus is gun control?

    They’ve asked those things over the years. I told them I don’t have an answer, but I think they’re getting it.

    • Dave G.

      To follow up, I’m watching CNN this morning, and except for brief mention at the top of the hour, the focus has not even bothered with the shooting. It’s talked about Syria, about flooding and will it impact college football, and a ship lost in the hurricane. It has said they will talk with a hero from the shooting, but that’s later. In barely 48 hours, it’s not even a major segment in the news hour of CNN. Unlike Charleston, which dominated the news segments for over a week to the exclusion of almost any other news, and was mentioned for weeks later. This follows my son’s prediction: if the media can’t exploit this for its narratives or agendas it advocates, expect the story to fall out of major focus within a day or so, since it doesn’t appear to be the actual shootings and victims that are the priority. And based on what I’m seeing so far this morning, his prediction is looking frighteningly accurate.

      • Joseph

        I think it’s because Christians were targeted… and that’s OK to CNN. Same coverage for the Middle East Christians.

        On the other hand, it’s nice that they are spending more time on the hero vs. the gun control mantra. Are they learning their lesson? I hope so. But it is CNN after all.

        • Dave G.

          The hero story is always a part of any coverage. It’s just not hard to figure why, only a day after nine are killed, it becomes one of the few stories covered.

      • Stu

        There are approximately 12,000 gun related homicides every year. The population of the US is 318,000,000. That amounts to .003% of the population are killed by a gun every year. More than half of those deaths are black men and mostly in the inner city.

        So in reality, most of America is not affected at all about gun violence and we only get worked up when these massacres happen, which while tragic, affect very, very few of us.

        • Dave G.

          I can understand why massacres like this get coverage. For the same reason plane crashes do. What is now so telling is how the coverage has already slipped. The conversation is about gun control in general. Only a few mentions about the killing now, only a day or so after (there have been several editorials cautioning us not to read too much into the rumors that Christians were singled out). Remember Charleston? The contrast in coverage alone should give us pause about letting the media dictate the premises of the debate. The other part is that clear problems that seem to be behind the majority of gun murders in our country are never, ever mentioned at all. In a world where we really want to solve the problems, most of what you have pointed out ought to at least be part of the ongoing discussions.

    • Cypressclimber

      Actually, I’m shocked at how difficult it is to get an answer to the question “exactly what specific solutions do people propose that would have prevented this exact shooting that they are now discussing…

      Yep; non-answers seem the standard response. A whole lot of folks have asked that very question in this thread. *Crickets.*

    • Stu

      Some people are Anti-Gun but not Anti-Gun Violence.

      • Dave G.

        Some. And I think there are some who see this as a first step in other rights they would like to see curbed.

  • Andy

    As we fight” about gun control I think we are missing something. A quick Google search shows that the proliferation of mass murders in the modern US seems to follow the increase in polarization of our society – I call it “rage radio” from the 80’s and 90’s, “rage internet”, “rage religion” and “rage politics” – we rage against those not like us. We then see rage as an appropriate response to anything that “upsets” us. I see on this site and may others – in stead of speaking to one-another we attack – “You have nothing to offer” , your idea is “bullshit”, I don’t like your sources so you are a ______. We dismiss people we don’t agree with as either not important or not intelligent or not at all like us. It strikes me that our “rage society” allows people to see that others are not worth notice, that they are not worth life.
    I think that we rely on TV to help us form our ideas and have to realize that the 24 hour news cycle means that ratings are ll that matters, not news. We can find on the internet all manner of sites that support our own particular version of the world/facts. We respond with anger to what we see and hear – and that anger seems to me to lead to rage.
    How do we deal with the rage – beyond prayer and self-awareness I haven’t the foggiest. I do know that as long as we as Christians continue to rage at each other it won’t get better.

    • LFM

      Yes, precisely.

  • Stu

    Just because I want to highlight a comment below that I made. Open to anyone who seriously want to discuss.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markshea/2015/10/against-gun-lies-and-in-support-of-being-more-prolife.html#comment-2288126959

  • Stu
  • Yes, we should stop lying:

    http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/oregon-college-shooting/debate-confusion-over-oregons-gun-rules-after-deadly-shooting-n437966

    It appears that school administrators have been lying to students by passing local bans that are unenforceable and only backing down when challenged so they can avoid a court fight they know that they will lose.

    Or is that not the lying that you’re talking about Mark?

    There are security experts. They should be consulted. The security plan at this college and student/faculty personal plans were either nonexistent or inadequate to the task and need to be upgraded in order to reduce future loss of life.

    But that’s not what either side is doing. Both sides are focusing on guns and gun law whether or not it is the best road going forward to improve security to get the best effect given the likely budgetary constraints.

  • Sherry

    Amen.