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

A gun in the first act always goes off in the third March 12, 2013

“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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  •  Yes.  I do not know how to do this myself, but the people whose circles I traveled in did it, hating all the time about lily livered liberals who want to take their guns and made them have to do this in the first place.  They did not care that this was illegal, the local cops were completely complicit with it.  They did not care that it shot their accuracy to shit, accuracy was not their purpose, throwing as many rounds down range as possible in a short time as possible was their purpose.  They did not hunt to eat, they hunted to kill.  They were not safe with their weapons, they brandished them during domestic disputes and used them to intimidate.  I have attended parties where the hosts requested certain individuals bring their guns, so as to be a deterrent against others who would act inappropriately with their guns, only to have those “trustworthy” individuals pull their guns on others.  These people never claim to have them for protection, because they have mistreated pit bulls and rottweilers for that.  These people are the majority of gun owners I have met in my home state of Kentucky, home of windage.(sarcasm)  Out of all the gun owners I’ve met, there have been only two I’ve considered safe owners, one is my stepdad, the other is my partner who doesn’t even own a gun at this time, because he GREW up in the toxic atmosphere I describe. 

  • Yeah, um, the thing about this place is that there’s such a diverse array of people and cultures that between the lot of us, someone’s seen just about everything at least once. I grew up in a surprisingly seedy region of a suburban town where it was pretty much impossible to have friends and not know someone who did something horribly illegal on a regular basis.

    My favorite “no shit I swear to God this really happened” story is witnessing a balls-out blatant coverup of a crime by the local police. Did you know a man can commit suicide with an axe and even dispose of his own body? I didn’t until it happened to a video store owner who was apparently involved in some nasty business.

  • Rhubarbarian82

    No, actually they don’t sell a conversion kit for it online, and until you actually link something you’re just blowing a bunch of hot air. Converting a semi-auto to full auto with a few easy modifications was only possible on weapons where full auto was already an option that was locked out. Converting a handgun that isn’t full auto and never was full auto, into a full auto weapon takes a lot more than just ordering a conversion kit online.

    A lot of people in this thread seriously don’t understand the difference between semi-auto and full auto, and what constitutes a semi-auto weapon. The vast majority of guns in this country are semi-auto and it would take a lot more than just dropping in some conversion kit to make them into machine guns. Even if you were to manage to convert most semi-autos into full autos, you would have a truly terrible machine gun. There’s a reason even military issue M16s aren’t full auto.

    Honestly, pro-gun control advocates have plenty of facts on their side without having to make up stupid junk like this.

  • MaryKaye

    In the last ten years three people within a few degrees of separation of me have died by gunfire; two in a spree shooting, one in an apparently random National Park shooting.  We had a gun-violence lockdown here just last week; and I live in one of the safest big cities in the US.

    Overall, deaths due to gun violence are down, along with non-gun violent crime:  there is a long-term downward trend in violent crime in the US for reasons that are quite unclear.  However, spree gun killings have gone up during the same period.  I think this is legitimate cause for concern.


    I believe that is covered under “Guns are a LAST resort.”

    You’d hope that. But I’ve known people who would say “I had no other choice but to use violence! My honor was at stake!”

  •  “Looks like a pretty clear cut case of natural causes.”

    “Natural causes?”

    “Can’t live without a spinal cord. Nothing unnatural about that.”

  • Ross Thompson


    “One should be able to point the correlation between gun ownership rates and gun violence rates”

    Switzerland would beg to differ I expect.

    People like to cite Switzerland because its very low population makes for a small number of gun deaths per year. But, per capita, they have something like four times as many gun deaths per year as any other country in Europe.

    Oh, and Switzerland has some of the strictest gun regulations anywhere: The military rifle everyone is assigned has to be kept in a locked safe, and can’t be removed without written orders; the issued 24 rounds of ammunition must be kept in a different safe; ditto. The government has the right to send inspectors around without warning to ensure compliance, and can arrest people if they can’t account for every bullet. Handgun purchases are easy enough, but forensic data is taken from every gun before sale, and kept by the government. Ammunition sales are carefully tracked, except at gun clubs, where the ammo must be used on the premises.

    Despite that, Switzerland has about 6 million people, and sees 40 gun deaths a year; Britain (for example) has 60 million people as sees about 60 gun deaths a year. Switzerland is an excellent example of how more guns means more deaths, even with strong regulations.

  •  I was all set to argue at how few deaths Switzerland actually has–52 in the last year, according to my data–when I stopped and looked at the other countries.

    52 compared to 12,996 is amazing.
    52 compared to 4 is less amazing.

    Granted, Norway has had 24 intentional homicides that didn’t involve firearms, but still, wow, yeah.

  • ohiolibrarian

     I grant you that “living in fear” is an interpretation of your other statements about reasons for gun ownership. Citing criminals, invasion, and rebellion as reasonable concerns reminds me of a nervous older lady who seemed to believe that her little Ohio town was likely to be attacked by terrorists.

    People who put a lot of energy into scary scenarios that range from unlikely to absurd are spending more time on scary situations than seems healthy or wise (to me at least). They are also not using their energies on useful and solvable problems.

  • fredgiblet

    Yeah, I didn’t realize the ammo was locked down so much.  Switzerland isn’t a very good example at all.

    I would like to point that while you cite the number of gun deaths you’re missing the most important bit, they have the 13th lowest overall homicide rate in the WORLD according to The Wiki.

    I don’t know about you, but I’d rather live in a country where 100% of 10 homicides  are committed with guns than 0% of 100 homicides being committed with guns.  And I’ll note since I’ve had people complain before, the numbers I just used  are made up and have nothing to do with Switzerland or any other country.

  • fredgiblet

    Absolute numbers are only valuable when comparing year to year rates for the same country, comparing between countries by absolute numbers is worthless due to population differences.  India has more murders than the US, but a lower murder rate because they have more people.  When comparing between countries don’t bother with the absolute number unless the populations are similar.

    Yes I recognize the US has higher rates.

  • ohiolibrarian

     But the number of murders is higher than 1960 and the high water mark was 1991. Going from fewer than 10,000 to almost 15,000 in 1969 to nearly 25,000 in 1991 and back down to less than 15,000 again in 2011 … demonstrates what exactly? Probably that murders don’t track with population.

    Besides this doesn’t include accidents and suicides. Nor shootings that were not fatal. People who are concerned about gun violence include those things. And you are not accounting for them.

    This U.S. News and World Report story specifically discusses gun control efforts in 1969.

  • In other words, we shouldn’t compare any two countries at all, just our own to our own. That’s unhelpful. It seems to indicate that we’re not allowed to learn by anybody else’s experience, and since our country refuses to change its firearms laws in any meaningful way, I predict not being able to garner much data from our own experiences either.

  • fredgiblet

    When you’re comparing two countries of wildly dissimilar populations by the total number of murders you’re going to end up with skewed data.  Check here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate

    Martinique had 17 murders compared to the 12,996 in America, by absolute numbers they would seem to be light-years ahead of us, but because of their lower population their murder RATE is the same as ours, meaning you’re just as likely to die there as here.

    Non-fatal shooting probably follow murder rates pretty closely, but I can’t say for sure.  Suicides by gun are more likely to succeed, but it’s hard to say exactly how many suicides would fail without guns available making it difficult to say how many can actually be attributed to guns.

    Accidents are certainly an issue that should be factored in.  One of the things that I would support in gun laws would be requiring thorough safety classes and proper storage, that would reduce accidents though obviously they’d never be eliminated.

  • P J Evans

     From here in the US, those numbers look marvelously close to none.

  • fredgiblet

    It’s a common stereotype applied to gun owners that we’re cowering in fear of a home invasion sleeping cuddled up to our shotguns for safety.  It’s not really true.  I mean there are people who are like that sure, but a lot of people who want guns for home defense are simply being prepared.

  • I’m skeptical that removing guns from a situation makes suicide less likely. Several of the countries with low suicide-by-firearm rates are high on the list of countries with high suicide rates.

  • P J Evans

    You can compare countries with different populations quite easily. it’s called <per capita rate. Shooting deaths per thousand or per million.

  • EllieMurasaki

    It doesn’t make suicide less likely, or at least I’ve never heard any reason it would, but it does reduce access to one of the things that make a suicide attempt more likely to succeed.

  • fredgiblet

    I’ll assume I was unclear.  I’ll restate.

    When comparing countries of dissimilar population you need to use the RATES, not the absolute numbers.  Absolute numbers will not give you an accurate comparison due to population differences.  India has more murders but a lower murder RATE due to their higher population, so despite the fact that there’s a higher NUMBER of murders you’re less likely to be murdered in India than in the US.  Similarly Honduras has 6000 fewer murders than the US, but a vastly higher murder RATE due a much lower population.

    Absolute numbers are worthless unless the countries are a similar size.  Rates are useful regardless of size.

  • fredgiblet

    See previous post

  • So… you compare gun deaths per capita. Surprise, surprise.

  • fredgiblet

    Actually there’s at least one where I think it wouldn’t be difficult.  The SKS.  All you’d have to do is disassemble the bolt, push the firing pin forward, apply epoxy, wait.  My SKS had a slight tendency to slamfire the first time I dropped the bolt after letting it sit for a few weeks since the firing pin would stick forward.

    The downside is that as soon as you drop the bolt it will fire every round in the magazine uncontrollably since you’re basically bypassing the trigger.  That makes it useless as a weapon and reduces the fun value significantly, but it should be possible without a lot of effort.

    But yeah, a late model AR or AK?  That’s going to require a lot of work, not impossible by any stretch, but it would almost be easier to build your own gun at that point.

  • Isabel C.

     Prepared for…what, exactly, with assault weapons? Have you pissed off an entire drug cartel? Are you the future savior of humanity such that Skynet will send some model of Terminator after you?

    What exactly do you “like being prepared” for, and how is such preparation different from wearing tinfoil on your head so that the CIA can’t get you with their mind-control beams?

  • aunursa

    Veteran with concealed carry permit saves woman’s life without firing a shot

    Or alternately…

    A gun in the first act DID NOT go off in the third act

  • Lori


     “Are you talking about people who oppose private gun ownership of any sort? That would almost do away with hunting.”

    To which I reply “meh”.


    In fairness, this is privilege talking. There are people living within walking distance of my house who depend on hunting for a good bit of their family’s food. 

  • Lori


    there is a long-term downward trend in violent crime in the US for reasons that are quite unclear.   

    Did you see the research suggesting that switching to unleaded paint and gasoline many be a significant contributor to the this trend? It sounds sort of out there and there’s still work to be done, but the research appears pretty solid. Lead damages the impulse control centers of the brain. Increase lead exposure through having more and more cars burning leaded gas and you get more violence. Decrease lead exposure by switching to unleaded gas and violence goes down.


  • Lori

    Why are we assuming the gun was the critical element in saving the woman’s life, rather than the presence of a witness?  The gun was clearly useful in terms of keeping the Good Samaritan from getting into a physical altercation with the attacker and in keeping the attacker from getting away. Those are good things and I’m not disputing that. However, it’s not clear that the gun was necessary to stop the attack on the woman, unless the claim is that if he hadn’t had a gun the former Marine wouldn’t have stopped to help.

  • aunursa

    “I said ‘stop’ and he starts coming towards me and that’s when I drew on him.
    He started getting closer and I said ‘get down on the ground,’ ” Blackmore

    Blackmore held his gun on the suspect and called West Allis police. He says
    several times while waiting for police to arrive, the attacker moved toward

    “I mean I’ve already made it up in mind that if he came at me I was going to
    have to take him down and I told him that. I warned him multiple times not to
    come towards me because he was a big guy and I wasn’t playing around and he
    didn’t seem like he was playing around,” Blackmore said.

    Without a gun involved, the assailant would have attacked the former Marine.  He described the assailant as more than six feet tall and weighing about 220 pounds.  We don’t know who would have won that fight or whether the assailant would have resumed his assault on the victim.  What we do know is that because a gun was present, there was no fight, neither Blackmore nor the assailant sustained any injuries, the assailant immediately stopped his assault on the victim, and the assailant was arrested and will face charges.

    The handgun was the critical element in stopping the assault and preventing injury (in the case of the victim, further injury) to any party.

  • Lori

    We don’t know who would have won that fight or whether the assailant would have resumed his assault on the victim.


    And with this you make my point.

    As I clearly stated, in this case the gun prevented an altercation between the former Marine and the assailant. My issue is that the gun is being given credit for saving the woman’s life, which is not so clear. We don’t know , so we give credit to the gun because… we chose to give credit to the gun.

    And even if one goes along with giving credit to the gun in this case, incidents like this are rather more rare than gun advocates like to claim.

  • *Raises hand* When you’re poor, hunting (and even poaching) becomes very attractive. My family lived on venison and fish for breakfast and dinner for the better part of two years.

  • For that matter, while a gun may or may not be an effective deterrent to violence, there are other, non-lethal weapons which can be effective as well. Who’s to say a good dose of pepper spray or a taser shock couldn’t have had similar results?

  •  Well of course. People don’t save people: guns save people.

  • Fusina

    Been away for a while. I went with stale arguments because that seemed the order of the day. My main point is that IMO, have all the guns you want–but only if you join the National Guard. And learn how to use said guns. Semi-automatics? Only if you are in the armed forces, and you give them up when you finish your term/s.

    As I also said in my initial post, my Da has guns. I learned how to load, clean, and shoot pretty early on. I don’t love guns, but they are fun to shoot. He also taught us gun safety–you know, don’t shoot someone else unless they are trying to shoot you, don’t point a gun at anyone you don’t plan to shoot etc…

    Lastly, I don’t tend to use the text-speak type stuff, which you seem to be using here to make anyone who disagrees with you look stupid, which is insulting to say the least. And my point about the constitution is that the second part of the amendment speaks specifically to the well regulated militia–which seems to be ignored by the NRA for the most part.