Four dead from guns in Aurora, Colorado again

Four people are dead after a hostage standoff in Aurora, Colorado, the same town where 12 people were murdered in a movie theatre by a gun nut last summer.

President Obama reportedly plans a ‘broad gun control agenda‘ early in this Congress. Top of the list is closing the gun show loophole that lets criminals buy weapons without background checks, banning high capacity magazines, and reinstating the assault weapons ban.

The plan is to push hard for these measures early in the session, while memories of the Sandy Hook massacre and the insane response given by the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre are fresh in legislators minds.

The gun nuts are in denial, they want to think that the problem is caused by violent video games, mental health problems, lack of prayer, gay marriage — oh yes, and violent movies that they criticize and then glorify when they think nobody’s looking. Here is what to tell them: It’s the guns stupid.

kids gun

Kids with guns via Shutterstock

Gun massacres are not unique to the US, but no other developed country has gun massacres as frequently as the US. Every country has violent video games, every country has people with mental health problems. The US is the only developed country that had two gun massacres in 2012 with deaths in double digits.

It is possible that violent video games are a factor in the current wave of gun massacres, but without the guns there are no gun massacres. The hypocrisy of the NRA pointing the finger at video games is rank. Aren’t those games merely celebrating the same culture of gun-nut violence that the NRA and the firearms industry make their living from? For the NRA to criticize violent video games is like the Republican party criticizing Fox News, both things feed on each other.

More people in the US  play video games than will ever own a gun. LaPierre asks why government should interfere with his hobby, then suggests that the government take action against (i.e., ban) a much more popular hobby that the rest of the world enjoys with no problems at all. The UK is a big market for violent video games — 631,000 copies of Grand Theft Auto IV were sold in the UK on the day it was released, and there were 58 UK gun murders in 2010, while the US had 8,775. America is five times bigger than the UK, so the corresponding figure for the UK, were it as large as the US, would be around 290 gun murders, not the actual US figure of nearly 9,000.

Look at these gun homicide figures for the UK vs the US over a ten year period:

Screen Shot 2013-01-06 at 6.39.52 PMScreen Shot 2013-01-06 at 6.40.47 PM

Now look at the number of gun homicides per capita:

Screen Shot 2013-01-06 at 6.45.20 PMScreen Shot 2013-01-06 at 6.45.40 PM

Something is going on here, and it’s not just video games.

The gun nuts claim that gun control cannot be effective, but the facts prove otherwise. The US is not the only country in the Anglosphere with a tradition of a rugged frontier culture. Gun nuttery was just as big a political force in Australia until a massacre led to gun control. Semi-automatic rifles and pump action shotguns were banned. 700,000 guns were handed in under the government buyback scheme. Deaths due to firearms were already falling before the ban, but the trend line shows a sudden break when the ban is brought in, dropping by a third.

Gun nuts might say that their guns will be taken from their cold dead hands, but banning more guns could have a real impact.  After all, for a lot of gun nuts, what is the point of having an assault rifle if not to show it off to friends? And if the weapon is banned, you can’t take it to shoot at the gun range as every person you show it to could turn you in to the police.

There will of course be some dead-enders with bunkers filled with enough firepower to start a small civil war clinging to the delusion that they are the ultimate guarantor of the US constitution. But its not the guns buried in bunkers that worry me, its the guns being used to shoot things, and in particular it is the guns in the hands of young males with mental health issues (among other problems).

The NRA will continue the attempts to misdirect attention elsewhere, but there is only one major difference that explains the fact that UK gun deaths in 2011 were in the 50s, and the number of US gun deaths was 150 times larger: It’s the guns.

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  • joe

    I was’t talking about “your gun” personaly I am talking about America’s guns, the millions of guns. Half the worlds total guns. What happen 600 years ago has nothing to do with today. How many people in the world 600 years ago had access to a gun?

  • Butch1

    Or the worse insult is: “Subject matter may be too harmful for the viewer’s sensitive eyes so you are free to run and hide or turn it off.”

    We have a government that censures us for the silliest sexual content on the TV yet allows blood an gore in movies and war-like games Hollywood and this country is still uncomfortable with gays making love on the screen but not bloody dismemberment.

    I think all the games that have been centered around war, aliens and blowing them up with guns and other methods have desensitized our kids when it comes to killing others. The government has picked up on this and has used it to their advantage by continuing the practice by inventing more game that their soldiers can continue playing thus, destroying more of the enemy and desensitizing the soldier by teaching them how to fly these drones. It is a sanitizing way of fighting war where you do not get dirty or blood on your own hands. The psychological damage is most likely less on our own soldiers who fly these birds of death. It’s just a game to them where they can go home at night, reset and play an whole new game the next day if asked to do so.

    But what happens to these mentally unbalanced persons is another factor of this violence when they continue to watch and play these games. Add real weapons to it and you give them all the power they didn’t have before. Now they can be just like those fictional characters in the games making their own reality only becoming part of the carnage in the end.

  • JamesR

    My guns don’t do anything when I am not safely handling them, they are safe and inaccessible to anyone when I am not near them. They are associated in no way with “crazy aggression.” The first words out of Wayne LaPierre’s pie hole should have been “gun safe” not “video game.” Though they and they myths they promote are problematic.

    We have to work with what we’ve got. Guns have been around for what- 600 years? they are not going away. We have to deal with what IS and what realistically could be. There are lots of good things we can do that will help, that could include deprogramming people from the rambo / call of duty etc. mindset and can include Safety education and enforcing as intended the background check system we really do not have now. Instead of simply howling at the moon wishing society and human nature were different.

  • JamesR

    You are damaged goods and I have no idea why you write for such a fine blog, now.

    I have enjoyed your informative posts and perspective, in the past, and recognize you as highly intelligent and driven and motivated, by and large, well. Yet you’re making a common and extremely stupid typical mistake of the very intelligent, that of tone-deafness, stridency, and succumbing to an extraordinary reverberation from the bubble you inhabit. A high IQ and low EQ is a bad combination that needs constant attention. And such sanctimonious self righteousness ultimately preaches to a church of only one member.

    I am not an”NRA supporter” as my posts show. I did not kill children. Though I was waiting to be called ‘baby killer,’ I suppose “pedophile” just doubles down and goes one better? Jesus Fucking Christ.

    This is what passes for civilized blog debate? This?

    I use a nomiker easily traced to my real identity, which some here know in full. You use the name of a crazy dark age bard. From a position of national notoriety and you have just called me a pedophile. IS THIS APPROPRIATE BLOG BEHAVIOR? In any universe?

    You want a debate? You want to be heard and respected? You want to contribute something positive to this blog and to this national debate then can the ad-hominems and slander. Now. It’s not just me, I (now) don’t give a shit what you think of me. But you’re dragging my favorite blog down into the sewer and that I do give a shit about. Each response you have given me proves my original point.

    My other points as to whether we’ll have a REAL discussion of the EXACT legal nature and definition of firearms and their nomenclature, and the exact way the intent of the law(s) we;ve had for years have been twisted, and how that could be remedied via executive action as well as legislative correction – regardless that a despised and dismissable pedo makes then – stand independent from your bile associated with me. Fucking address them already.

    As with the issue of the “Right” to own firearms, you clearly do not believe in that. Yet we live in a society where passing an amendment that refuses that right is as likely as pigs flying by themselves, so deal with it. You gotta work with what you have. As unpleasant as that is. Without random strangers piling on and calling you a pedo I might add.

    Calling people pedos, and demonstration NO WORKING KNOWLEDGE of the detail of the law and it’s terminology and it’s current workings, again IS THAT APPROPRIATE BLOG BEHAVIOR? (For this blog.) You and the other writers and moderators decide. I and my 2500 or so comments to this forum will just sit here and see if anything changes. All the while not calling you a pedo.

  • JamesR

    Weirdly ironic as violent video games are used and promoted by the military for recruitment purposes. What was Wayne LaPierre thinking??

    When what most people know about guns is from Rambo movies and games, and the NRA chooses corporate spokesmanship and toadying to the krazy this is what we get. An ignorant (and effectively disarnmed) populace whose consciousness is filled with images of gore and unrealistic heroic action, enjoying it on the one hand and feeling guilty as hell about it on the other, but meanwhile subconsciously accepting lots of extremely bad and dangerous ideas about how guns work. Which does contribute to ideas for massacre for sure.

    In movies there are disclaimers about animals not being abused during stunts, even now that tobacco not be promoted, yet absolutely NO mention of how firearms and explosives are used like cartoons. Not a “don’t try this at home” but a ‘do not expect that piece of drywall to protect you,’ ‘ gee I didn’t know my bullet went a mile ,’ and ‘Oh, sorry I forgot you’ve been in physical therapy for a year after your shooting mybad I forgot,’. No – everything’s magic, nobody (good) ever gets seriously hurt, an NOBODY acts safely around firearms. And the NRA says not one word. Their original charter was all about marksmanship and safety. In a Universe Far Far Away.

    The ‘reset’ button on the game is similar to the “off” button on the newz channel, for when they do show brief snippets of real carnage we are all responsible for like in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Columbia etc. we have become desensitized to the real thing as well. That it doesn’t matter, isn’t that bad, nothing we can do.

    Lies shouted too often and unchallenged penetrate and eventually are perceived as truth.

  • Butch1

    As I read this there is an advertisement on the right about “STOP THE IDENTITY THEFT” and there is the classic thief running with a movable circle-target where you can shoot him at-will with your cursor. Is there too much gun violence? Hmmmmm. We are so used to seeing it that we even have it in our ads and think nothing about it. ;-)

    Perhaps, there is something to what is being said about the violent shooting games where a child-teen-adult gets to shoot at-will another human being in the game. These games are very surreal looking to the point that you could be looking at a real person. What is real and what is not real. Now place a disturbed mind in front of a computer playing countless hours at these types of games losing track with reality. This person is a loner; has been picked on for much of his life and has been getting revenge in this game. What happens if he decides to “kick it up a notch” and visit some of those people or the school where he experienced all of that pain?

    This is just a possible scenario that could have started from the violence generated by these games that are so real. I think they desensitize a person who commits these mass murders because they have already done them over and over before in their games. The difference was they hit the reset button in the game and in reality they end their lives if they get the chance. Some are not able to do it to themselves like the “orange-haired” person ( I think is faking his mental illness ) who calmly stood waiting to be arrested. His who scenario doesn’t fit any pattern of which I’m aware.

  • joe

    Having a gun is not nuts… believing in good guys with guns protecting people from bad guys with guns is nuts. Having so many guns laying arround is not nuts… It is just plain stupid. America does not need gun laws. It needs smarter people.

  • MyrddinWilt

    Actually I did propose just that last month.

    Take away all the guns except from the police. If there is ever a need for a 2nd amendment response then people can print the guns they need off a rep-rap.

    Now my point in making that argument was that if the NRA is going to refuse any concessions whatever we might as well just go all the way. If they are even going to treat closing the gun show loophole that is designed to let criminals get guns (no really that was the objective) the same as a total ban then the political cost of both courses of action are the same. Why not just go for the all out ban?

  • MyrddinWilt

    He could have. But much harder to do that. And we have yet to have a mass killing in a school with anything other than a gun.

    That Chinese guy stabbed 20 kids but they are all alive.

  • MyrddinWilt

    My objective is to make people think ‘pedophile’ when they see a post by a gun nut.

    I am going to tar gun supporters with the vilest filth imaginable.

    Want to know why?

    Twenty dead first graders shot through the head by an NRA supporter. That is why.

  • joe

    He could have just as easly killed her in her sleep with an axe… But driving down to the local school with and axe would have been a different story.

    The point is guns do not protect people from anything. When americans stop believing that rambo movies are real they will stop wasting their money buying guns and ammunition. Then people who are crazy will just have to go back to using pointy sticks to attack people with.

    Maybe if she locked her self in steal box at night she would be safe… Doesn’t matter, what does matter is that in America crazy people can always seem to get there hands on plenty of guns and ammunition.

    Just ask your self what good are your guns doing when they aren’t being used by crazy people acting out their agression?

  • Moderator3

    MADD?

  • Common sense

    Every day 27 people, a lot of them children, die from alcohol related car accidents. I’m sure you all are pushing for prohibition to stop this senseless loss of life?

  • JamesR

    She’s dead because she had a son with mental problems she did not lock her guns away from. She is as responsible as her son, if not more. As well as the psychiatrist who prescribed a drug to the son with known side-effects of paranoia and delusions and violence. And the son already had [problems with violence and the drug was prescribed not quite as designed as it was not for the Asberger’s the son was thought to have had, and could have, or did, react antagonistically to it. http://www.businessinsider.com/adam-lanza-taking-antipsychotic-fanapt-2012-12

    Did the psychiatrist inquire as to whether weapons were in the household and accessible to someone who might become delusional and violent? Did he care? Did the mother know? (Though she should have known enough to have locked those away years ago) It’s also the law. There’s also the father who could have done something.

    This current tragedy, highlighted / named in the title of the post, also has similar elements. Completely overlooked in the rush to exploit it as another massacre to further political pressure to make-law-now, this involves a guy who was up acting crazy for FOUR DAYS, his wife said. After she came home (?) and found her father and sister and boyfriend DEAD. Where was she the previous THREE DAYS as her nutbag mate was slowly heading towards this with full access to at least one gun? There are hotlines, there is even 911. This did not have to happen. This did NOT happen in a vacuum, as the other recent tragedies did not. We are our brother’s keeper, at times. And at ALL TIMES that includes disarming the insane. There are laws already all over the books that cover this. Tell me which ones you would add, given that A: they would be redundant and B: they might be obeyed and enforced with the same vigor??

    But to answer your question what she needed was a gun safe.

  • joe

    Don’t the good guys with guns out number the bad guys with guns yet? You would think the bad guys would all be dead with all the good guys armed in the USA.

    How many more guns do the good guys need till you get things under control.? The mother of that last shoorter had six? how come she wound up with four bullets in the head? Maybe she needed 12 guns to be safe?

  • Litterbox

    Well, if you want to blame guns for deaths due to numbers, then you really cannot ignore all the DWI deaths, which far outnumber gun related deaths.

  • JamesR

    Thanks Mike.

  • JamesR

    “My type?” Cousin to “You People??” [Response below typed after some thought and moderated emotion.]

    The point of my post is that the system is NOT working as designed so why not get what was intended back, with all the modern speed and efficiency that’s possible with computers and executive orders and a spine and a care, and that an analysis of what we have and what we could have, specifically, is what (more than I) want from news sources and blogs – it might as well be this one as it’s led in all sorts of other areas and issues. That I don’t agree with your unfocused screed containing links to popular stories with no deeper analysis than a sea monkey could live in? Please. And how could you disagree?

    Here’s a great article from Mark Ames that diagrams the batshit history of the NRA, regardless of what one may feel it’s a great piece and very informative. http://nsfwcorp.com/dispatch/newtown I wasn’t paying attention in 1978 or so when my dad joined out of the NRA because they were getting krazy-extreme, the article tells what was happening. It includes Bush’s letter in the history, fifteen years later and because his Secret Service detail was among those killed in Oklahoma City and were called “jack booted thugs” by the NRA (!?) – a mealy letter sent way too late by someone who knew better and was only acting out of pique, kinda like you appear to be…

    The article uses the term “nut” and “nuttery” but specifically, in context, and correctly. It differentiates those who are truly extreme and paranoid from those (whom their organization betrayed) who are interested on promoting safety and reasonable regulation, the balance between right and responsibility that is the American ideal.

    And it touches on the point made above by FordPrefect about the industries dependent on violence, that I am hearing crickets about from those bleating the obvious about how bad it is for children to be killed – 178 children and counting have been killed by Obama via drone, so far. We export cluster bombs and shoot nuclear waste at tanks – that we have carnage at home (we ‘should’ have so much more) is karma. Or pigeons. Or Justice. Or a wake up call.

    Yet you set your sights on me, a “gun wanker.” Heckofajob.

    How many posts have I bothered to post on this blog over the years and now I’m a small-dick gun-nut wanker? I have no compunction earning your disgust and contempt for real but I would prefer doing it based on what I actually write, think, or do rather than be lumped into a category and publicly smacked. Thanks.

    I really thought you were better than that.

    We all make mistakes. Do better.

    (Note I am not calling you a wanker, though it would only cost my reputation and self-respect if I did, even if I did think you were a wanker which I don’t.)

    I think you have indulged yourself at convenient scapegoats and I find that futile, self-destructive and disappointing. And it wastes your energy and good name attacking those who are or may be mostly opn your ‘side.’ Nobody is going to agree with another 100% all the time, or satisfy them (See Lincoln,) but that’s what blogs are for. Either that, as this one has done to great effect for years, or we go the route of the toxic freeper blogs or Huffingtonpost or Kos. Attack, ad-hominem, sanctimony and tit-for-tat. WE ARE BETTER THAN THAT.

    And my point stands – if you want a serious discussion with those with whom you disagree, can the “gun nut” crapola. I stay here because I care and find, mostly, a forum where people opf very diverse opinion can share in a reasoned fashion, share opinion and also valuable information and analysis via hyperlink. I stay to call you on your inappropriate blog behavior, how many first time readers have been repelled never-to-return? That’s a LOSS not only to this blog but to the national debate that is necessary. Think about it, moderator, and moderate yourself.

  • JamesR

    I am saying that the legal, registered, checked ownership of firearms does make a meaningful difference in some legitimate self defense situations. And that the difference between a hunting and ‘militarized’ weapon is slim to none, magazine size being about it.

    …..and were you alive during the LA riots? Google it.

  • JamesR

    DO NOT PUT WORDS IN MY MOUTH NOR TEXT ON A PAGE I CLEARLY TYPED.

    Jesus Fucking Christ. Read what I posted and just what I posted. I posted it to a seen and known quantity, “Guest,” whom I have read and had discussion with over the years to whom I was making specific points related to what she had said.

    But then calling me a “gun nut” means you can dismiss anything else I might ever say eh? This proves my point. This debate is becoming a toxic sewer of fragging and will kill itself before it begins.

    And we will not get better background checks and real meaningful regulation. Thanks.

  • Ford Prefect

    A pretty good post, Myrrdin, as far as one can go in such a short piece. There’s no arguing with the numbers. Nor is there any arguing that with more than 200 MILLION guns in circulation, it would take at least a generation to really deal with the problem. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing (it is), but it does mean we shouldn’t look at banning guns as a magic elixir to the problem.

    But rather than get into petty name calling (gun wankers?), I’d simply point out the institutional problem the arms industry represents. It’s not just the NRA. They’re a useful symbol for the problem, as most in the industry are too clever to spout off the way a loon like La Pierre does. But the problem is much larger than the NRA.

    The US is the world’s biggest arms dealer. We subsidize the arms industry more than any other nation on earth and it’s a cornerstone of our global trade, since we don’t make useful things that don’t go “boom” anymore. We export vast amounts of violence and mayhem as a result. Why, it’s the American Way!

    How can we talk about getting rid of guns when the company that made the Bushmaster used to gun down children is getting a $6 MILLION subsidy from the state, not to mention the federal government? You show me an arms manufacturer and I’ll show you massive subsidies that enable the violence as a Business Plan. Escalation is good for business! Just ask Kathryn Bigelow, who not only received federal subsidies in the making of her pro-torture apologia, but stands to personally make a cool $100 million (or more) or so for her efforts. How many psychos sitting in the audience will be enabled at the applause from the rest of the crowd?

    So it’s not just video games at issue with the culture. It’s movies, TV, the “news” and our ruling elites that not only enjoy inflicting mass violence on the world, but also make a tidy profit doing so–just ask Dianne Feinstein, whose husband has made a tidy $300 Million in blood money. For every Sandy Hook, Obama’s drones kill that many children in a month abroad. Now, most Democrats think that’s just dandy. No problem there, right? Torture, murder, resource wars that kill thousands… it’s all good as long as it doesn’t affect the kids we know!

    The games and movies don’t make murderers out of people, but those who are pathologically inclined tend to digest them differently. In a sense, our media culture seems almost designed to empower such people. It’s everywhere. The way otherwise “sane” people accept torture and mass murder ought to be viewed also as an enabling factor as well.

    If we can be so blandly accepting of the violence we do abroad, then why on earth would we expect Americans to place any value on life at home? At some point, the permissiveness comes home to roost, does it not? Or what about a military in which more soldiers die from suicide than are killed in action? Does that not speak volumes about what we are doing collectively?

    With all this in mind, I’m increasingly questioning the motivations of Liberals who focus solely on gun control–as necessary as it is– while ignoring everything else. This isn’t a technical problem. It’s a cultural failing.

  • Guest

    So you’re in favor of stricter gun regulation? Which is all anyone here is arguing for, Or what are you trying to say? You’re argument is incoherent and you’re just frothing at the mouth. Any criticism of a state of affairs that allows crazy people access to guns, and allows assault weapons to proliferate, is an attack on your “rights”. That’s what makes you a gun nut. We can’t have a rational discussion about means and ends with somebody like you. You seem to think that the only people who should have anything to say about guns are people who want guns, which is like saying alcoholics should be the only ones to have a say about drunk driving.

  • Guest

    The answer for the Korea shop owners is better police protection, not a firepower free-for-all. And you don’t have a right to be juvenile in the interest of your “happiness and liberty” when it creates an unreasonable danger to other people. Find something else to make you happy. For starters, you might look between your legs.

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    Don’t you ever wonder about what is scaring those wankers. It must be pretty bad, or they’re born cowards.

  • MyrddinWilt

    Take a look at President Bush’s letter of resignation from the NRA.

    He was disgusted because Wayne LaPierre had called the victims of the Oklahoma City Bombing ‘jack booted thugs’

    And I don’t use the term gun nut, I prefer gun wanker. Because calling you a nut does not adequately convey my contempt and disgust for your type

  • MyrddinWilt

    It is pretty much impossible to prove a negative like that. There are studies that find no link. But absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

    The point is that every other country has the same violent games. Only the US has seen two double digit spree killings last year. The rest of the developed world sees less than one gun massacre a decade.

    So if for the sake of argument we accept that there is a link, does it change the policy? Nope, the problem is not violent video games, it is violent video games *AND GUNS*.

    Where I think the violent video games are having an effect is in encouraging and glorifying gun-wanker culture. The games are ads for guns. In the UK the games are pure fantasy as you cannot buy the guns and act them out. In the US there is the NRA and Bushmaster and the whole gun-wanker industrial complex pushing the idea of buying a gun and defending the US constitution from a black socialist President.

    Its not the games, its the gun wankers.

  • JamesR

    What parts do you disagree with and why?

  • TuxedoCartman

    For what it’s worth, I disagree with pretty much everything you said. Frankly, I’m ashamed more liberal blogs aren’t pushing this issue like John is.

  • JamesR

    In the LA riots lots of Koreans shop owners, targets of some animosity, with the complete absence of police protection literally survived because of their AR-15s. There is a place for the militarized semi-auto, at times. An ugly and horrible place yet one that guaranteed the survival of those law abiding innocent citizens. ARs have other non homicidal uses, as do their legally identical sporter semi-auto brethren. We do have a right to be juvenile if it’s part of our happiness and our liberty. And our responsibility.

  • JamesR

    Obama has already let himself get pwned with the “Fast and Furious” fake scandal he inherited from Bush, he’s ignored it and let it hang as if it’s his settled documented birth certificate – it’s an internal ATF and DEA (CIA?) nest of snakes he could have done something about or at least pretended. But no. It’s Obama. He knows piss-nothing about guns and nothing more about our gun laws than he’s able to absorb from a briefing when he has to. Albeit that’s so much more than most Congressmen and women, he’s still starting from a standing stop. Four years of Stop. He could have at least beefed up the background check system and made a proposal for more MONEY to make it actually work, and included it in budget requests or even guiltings and shamings at “Fiscal Cliff” and debt ceiling extension times, best I can expect in the near future and something he can actually DO.

    But this is Obama and I expect nothing and prepare for the less-than-nothing that is the most likely. And contribute to stimulating our American firearms industry.

  • JamesR

    Enough with the “gun nut” crap. Seriously. Enough. You want to be taken seriously as a writer, commentator, thinker, rational being – especially to those whom you might want to convince or have civil discussion with?

    Can the gun nut crap. Please.

    Six times you used it (with no definition I might add.) Is is out of your system? I hope so.

    Nothing will energize the Repukes and teatards more than playing right into their hands calling them “gun nuts.” That’s their playbook. You’re doing exactly what they want. They don’t want a real discussion, calling them “nuts” conveniently relieves them of the blame for not having it. Then the blame is yours.

    Grow up.

    The word “nut” distances people, ends discussion before it begins, says You’re superior (in an offensive way,) and, ironically, projects the real issue but sideways as the common thread binding all these shootings (as much as the guns) is mental illness. Mental illness and those around the shooters knowing they are ill, in most cases knowing they have access to firearms, and doing nothing. [Not what the NRA is or should be teaching.]

    [For example, relative to the nominal subject of the thread, the (surviving) wife of this particular shooter, an itinerant painter and bong maker, had been up for four days acting krazy and she knew he had access to a gun or guns.]

    Gun law enforcement depends on INFRASTRUCTURE and FUNDING. The intent of the laws we already have was to have a decent background check and a mental health check the certainly as hell “stigmatizes” any and all who might be a danger, fuck. The fact it was left to States – and that so many are dropping the ball – would the remedy really be more laws that would be enforced the same way? How’s about some real analysis here, besides aggregate murder statistics. How about an analysis of how the Federal background check works today and how it could be improved, and what legislation might improve it or just be as useless as the rest that’s ignored? How about a Blog-wide standard that uses terms like “assault rifle” (fully automatic) and ” “assault weapon” ” (meaningless but ‘AP standard’ usage, that needs quotes around it as well as an explanation that it’s a meaningless term,) and “gun show loophole” which, in fact, is nothing of the sort – it’s private unregulated sales. Opponents will not respect you if you use terminology that’s wrong, as if you don’t care or are ignorant or both. They won’t respect you and neither will we.

    We are NOT going to be Australia, they are not us. Nothing like what happened in Australia could happen here, ever.

    Yet something more can and indeed should be done – to preserve the right to bear arms, the regulation of the arms at least keeping them out of the hands of the unqualified, as all sides admit is acceptable. Like the laws we already have but we are not enforcing… It’s the nuts with guns, not the “gun nuts” whoever they are.

    I could easily be called a “gun nut” so you can all not do it but pretend you did and we can all move on OK? It’s a barrier.

    I live in a ‘liberal’ or Progressive enlightened region. Mixed of course, but suburban to deep rural and let me tell you we are all armed. Communist-anarcho-hippie to Liberal Democrat to Progressive to Independent to Repuke and teatard survivalist we all have weapons. Whether anyone talks about it or not… Not a lot of shootings by the way either. the ignorant gun control fever that sweeps by after tragedy comes from ignorant city people, set against the rest. By and large.

    With the economy so bad for so long, real deprivation and poverty growing, futures looking bleaker and life getting harsher I am surprised as shit there have been so few shootings, so few real political shootings. Gifford’s assailant was MENTALLY ILL – so ill he was required to get a letter from a shrink certifying he was not a danger to others before re-enrolling in school a month and a half before the shooting – something that should have been entered into the database Jan Brewer chose not to maintain. (and so on.) It’s the closest thing to a political shooting we’ve had recently yet it was because he, and his parents, were nuts. (And so nuts he should have showed up on the database the ancient law mandated.) We’ve had lots and lots of guns all over for so long – and yet we can trace the acquisition of the guns used in these most recent tragedies so easily – just after the fact – it means A: it’s happening now because of something particular to now as now and before have had about the same amount of / access to guns, and B: since it was so easy to find out how these UNQUALIFIED people got guns after it should be just as easy before and prevent. If anyone, like the AG of Virginia and Governor of Arizona to name two, had given a shit.

    Wayne LaPierre is a bit nuts. The NRA has gone off the rails, decades ago. BUT not everybody who has and wants to keep their guns however they are (mostly erroneously) defined, are nuts nor “gun nuts” thankyouverymuch.

  • Jim Olson

    Its the guns first. Yes, mental health care in this country is abysmal. But, its the guns. Look at the numbers.

  • Mighty

    I don’t agree here. I don’t think the problem is the gun. I think its the lack of a mental health care system and the stigma mental illness has in this country. We need to be discussing the severe lack of mental health care. Most health plans I know of don’t cover mental illness. They are great for hospital coverage but where mental illness is concerned nada.

  • http://twitter.com/thinktank79 Matt Munson

    Without alcohol there would be no drunk drivers. :P

  • Naja pallida

    I think Guest covered it pretty well… but personally, the line of “gun nut” is crossed as soon as one refuses to admit that we, as a nation, have a problem with guns. We can debate until we’re blue in the face as to the ultimate causation; be it a fetish for violence, widespread mental illness, or simply an unacceptable level of crime, but deaths as the direct result of easy access to guns is the consequence. If you can’t even recognize that is a problem, and then feel that something needs to be done about it, sorry, but you’re a nut.

    Do I believe that simply the banning of “assault” rifles will make any real difference? No, it has to be more comprehensive than that… but I think ultimately, anything Obama will try to do will be little more than a token effort, just so he doesn’t look like a total fool on the issue, by ignoring it entirely.

  • Guest

    All right. You raise legitimate questions. First of all, nobody rational in this debate is talking about confiscating all guns. Let’s take that off the table. I know the gun fanatics try relentlessly to charicature any attempt to regulate guns like that, but that’s not anybody’s reasonable position. OK. Now that we’ve gotten beyond that, why does any civilian need an AR 15? Just for the right to blow certain things to hell and back? Sounds kind of juvenile. But I’ll give you that point. You’re a cop. Do you really want that kind of firepower freely available to anybody and everybody, regardless of how mentally unhinged they may be. I’m married to a cop, guy, in a big city, actually the biggest one. I know a lot of cops, and the last thing any cop in a real city in this country I know wants is for that kind of lethal weaponry to be out there uncontrolled. Yeah, you haven’t shot or killed anyone. Good for you. You’re lucky. I’m a lawyer, and I’ve defended cops who’ve had to shoot and kill people, on a couple of occasions when it turned out they had made a mistake in judgment. I know what that experience entails. We’re talking about reasonable efforts to keep guns, particularly guns of mass destructrive power, out of the hands of crazy people. Why should that be a threat to you, or to anyone who enjoys hunting or target practice? And what intellectual honesty is there in arguing that essential liberty depends upon owning a gun? Is that all there is to life? Were we meant to live in a perpetual bunker in which our highest aspiration should be nothing more than self-preservation in a climate of relentless, perpetual fear of threatening surroundings? Frankly, if that’s all there is to life, I’d rather die. OK. No. You’re not a gun nut. And the line is somewhere to be debated on the basis of a reasonable adjustment of means to legitimate ends. But mindless rhetoric about tyranny based upon supposed confiscation of guns, which is what the nuts keep parroting, contributes nothing to getting us where we need to go.

  • http://twitter.com/nilbud Sean O’Nilbud

    Do you have over five guns? Are you planning on killing cops, military, or census agents? Do you think CPS are Satanists? Do you think the school shooting was a scam and the parents are actors?

  • Litterbox

    Im amazed that the “progressives” here (and Im one of you) still want to refer to anyone who has a gun as a gun nut. Ive been a cop for years…am I a gun nut? Ive owned pistols and even the scary AR15 in the past….am I a gun nut? I havent shot and killed anyone nor have I gone on any kind of a rampage. Just wondering where the line is.

  • Naja pallida

    Seems to me that if there was any real causation there, violence would be even more common… considering violent video games and violent television/movies are everywhere in our society. And other societies, including in other countries. Pretty much everything that is shown in the US is also readily available in Canada. Why don’t they have the same issues?

    I know I’ve been watching violent movies for pretty much my whole life, and playing violent video games since they had little flying square pixels for spurts of blood. Yet, somehow, I’ve managed to avoid going on a homicidal rampage.

  • NCMan

    I thought there are studies that show that violent video games have NOTHING to do with these gun killings.

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