Monster Hunter Nation

An opinion on gun control

I didn’t want to post about this, because frankly, it is exhausting. I’ve been having this exact same argument for my entire adult life. It is not an exaggeration when I say that I know pretty much exactly every single thing an anti-gun person can say. I’ve heard it over and over, the same old tired stuff, trotted out every single time there is a tragedy on the news that can be milked. Yet, I got sucked in, and I’ve spent the last few days arguing with people who either mean well but are uninformed about gun laws and how guns actually work (who I don’t mind at all), or the willfully ignorant (who I do mind), or the obnoxiously stupid who are completely incapable of any critical thinking deeper than a Facebook meme (them, I can’t stand).

Today’s blog post is going to be aimed at the first group. I am going to try to go through everything I’ve heard over the last few days, and try to break it down from my perspective. My goal tonight is to write something that my regular readers will be able to share with their friends who may not be as familiar with how mass shootings or gun control laws work.

A little background for those of you who don’t know me, and this is going to be extensive so feel free to skip the next few paragraphs, but I need to establish the fact that I know what I am talking with, because I am sick and tired of my opinion having the same weight as a person who learned everything they know about guns and violence from watching TV.

I am now a professional novelist. However, before that I owned a gun store. We were a Title 7 SOT, which means we worked with legal machineguns, suppresors, and pretty much everything except for explosives. We did law enforcement sales and worked with equipment that is unavailable from most dealers, but that means lots and lots of government inspections and compliance paperwork. This means that I had to be exceedingly familiar with federal gun laws, and there are a lot of them. I worked with many companies in the gun industry and still have many friends and contacts at various manufacturers. When I hear people tell me the gun industry is unregulated, I have to resist the urge to laugh in their face.

I was also a Utah Concealed Weapons instructor, and was one of the busiest instructors in the state. That required me to learn a lot about self-defense laws, and because I took my job very seriously, I sought out every bit of information that I could. My classes were longer than the standard Utah class, and all of that extra time was spent on Use of Force, shoot/no shoot scenarios, and role playing through violent encounters. I have certified thousands of people to carry guns.

I have been a firearms instructor, and have taught a lot of people how to shoot defensively with handguns, shotguns, and rifles. For a few years of my life, darn near every weekend was spent at the range. I started out as an assistant for some extremely experienced teachers and I also had the opportunity to be trained by some of the most accomplished firearms experts in the world. The man I stole most of my curriculum from was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Special Forces, turned federal agent SWAT team commander. I took classes in everything from wound ballistics (10 hours of looking at autopsy slides) to high-speed cool-guy door-kicking stuff. I’ve worked extensively with military and law enforcement personnel, including force on force training where I played the OpFor (i.e. I got to be the bad guy, because I make an awesome bad guy. You tell me how evil/capable you want me to be, and how hard you want your men to work, and I’d make it happen, plus I can take a beating). Part of this required learning how mass shooters operate and studying the heck out of the actual events.

I have been a competition shooter. I competed in IPSC, IDPA, and 3gun. It was not odd for me to reload and shoot 1,000 rounds in any given week. I fired 20,000 rounds of .45 in one August alone. I’ve got a Remington 870 with approximately 160,000 rounds through it. I’ve won matches, and I’ve been able to compete with some of the top shooters in the country. I am a very capable shooter. I only put this here to convey that I know how shooting works better than the vast majority of the populace.

I have written for national publications on topics relating to gun law and use of force. I wrote for everything from the United States Concealed Carry Association to SWAT magazine. I was considered a subject matter expert at the state level, and on a few occasions was brought in to testify before the Utah State Legislature on the ramifications of proposed gun laws. I’ve argued with lawyers, professors, professional lobbyists, and once made a state rep cry.

Basically for most of my adult life, I have been up to my eyeballs in guns, self-defense instruction, and the laws relating to those things. So believe me when I say that I’ve heard every argument relating to gun control possible. It is pretty rare for me to hear something new, and none of this stuff is new.

Armed Teachers

So now that there is a new tragedy the president wants to have a “national conversation on guns”. Here’s the thing. Until this national conversation is willing to entertain allowing teachers to carry concealed weapons, then it isn’t a conversation at all, it is a lecture.

Now when I say teachers carrying concealed weapons on Facebook I immediately get a bunch of emotional freak out responses. You can’t mandate teachers be armed! Guns in every classroom! Emotional response! Blood in the streets!

No. Hear me out. The single best way to respond to a mass shooter is with an immediate, violent response. The vast majority of the time, as soon as a mass shooter meets serious resistance, it bursts their fantasy world bubble. Then they kill themselves or surrender. This has happened over and over again.

Police are awesome. I love working with cops. However any honest cop will tell you that when seconds count they are only minutes away. After Colombine law enforcement changed their methods in dealing with active shooters. It used to be that you took up a perimeter and waited for overwhelming force before going in. Now usually as soon as you have two officers on scene you go in to confront the shooter (often one in rural areas or if help is going to take another minute, because there are a lot of very sound tactical reasons for using two, mostly because your success/survival rates jump dramatically when you put two guys through a door at once. The shooter’s brain takes a moment to decide between targets). The reason they go fast is because they know that every second counts. The longer the shooter has to operate, the more innocents die.

However, cops can’t be everywhere. There are at best only a couple hundred thousand on duty at any given time patrolling the entire country. Excellent response time is in the three-five minute range. We’ve seen what bad guys can do in three minutes, but sometimes it is far worse. They simply can’t teleport. So in some cases that means the bad guys can have ten, fifteen, even twenty minutes to do horrible things with nobody effectively fighting back.

So if we can’t have cops there, what can we do?

The average number of people shot in a mass shooting event when the shooter is stopped by law enforcement: 14. The average number of people shot in a mass shooting event when the shooter is stopped by civilians: 2.5. The reason is simple. The armed civilians are there when it started.

The teachers are there already. The school staff is there already. Their reaction time is measured in seconds, not minutes. They can serve as your immediate violent response. Best case scenario, they engage and stop the attacker, or it bursts his fantasy bubble and he commits suicide. Worst case scenario, the armed staff provides a distraction, and while he’s concentrating on killing them, he’s not killing more children.

But teachers aren’t as trained as police officers! True, yet totally irrelevant. The teacher doesn’t need to be a SWAT cop or Navy SEAL. They need to be speed bumps.

But this leads to the inevitable shrieking and straw man arguments about guns in the classroom, and then the pacifistic minded who simply can’t comprehend themselves being mandated to carry a gun, or those that believe teachers are all too incompetent and can’t be trusted. Let me address both at one time.

Don’t make it mandatory. In my experience, the only people who are worth a darn with a gun are the ones who wish to take responsibility and carry a gun. Make it voluntary. It is rather simple. Just make it so that your state’s concealed weapons laws trump the Federal Gun Free School Zones act. All that means is that teachers who voluntarily decide to get a concealed weapons permit are capable of carrying their guns at work. Easy. Simple. Cheap. Available now.

Then they’ll say that this is impossible, and give me all sorts of terrible worst case scenarios about all of the horrors that will happen with a gun in the classroom… No problem, because this has happened before. In fact, my state laws allow for somebody with a concealed weapons permit to carry a gun in a school right now. Yes. Utah has armed teachers. We have for several years now.

When I was a CCW instructor, I decided that I wanted more teachers with skin in the game, so I started a program where I would teach anybody who worked at a school for free. No charge. Zip. They still had to pay the state for their background check and fingerprints, but all the instruction was free. I wanted more armed teachers in my state.

I personally taught several hundred teachers. I quickly discovered that pretty much every single school in my state had at least one competent, capable, smart, willing individual. Some schools had more. I had one high school where the principal, three teachers, and a janitor showed up for class. They had just had an event where there had been a threat against the school and their resource officer had turned up AWOL. This had been a wake up call for this principal that they were on their own, and he had taken it upon himself to talk to his teachers to find the willing and capable. Good for them.

After Virginia Tech, I started teaching college students for free as well. They were 21 year old adults who could pass a background check. Why should they have to be defenseless?  None of these students ever needed to stop a mass shooting, but I’m happy to say that a couple of rapists and muggers weren’t so lucky, so I consider my time well spent.

Over the course of a couple years I taught well over $20,000 worth of free CCW classes. I met hundreds and hundreds of teachers, students, and staff. All of them were responsible adults who understood that they were stuck in target rich environments filled with defenseless innocents. Whether they liked it or not, they were the first line of defense. It was the least I could do.

Permit holders are not cops. The mistake many people make is that they think permit holders are supposed to be cops or junior danger rangers. Not at all. Their only responsibility is simple. If someone is threatening to cause them or a third person serious bodily harm, and that someone has the ability, opportunity, and is acting in a manner which suggest they are a legitimate threat, then that permit holder is allowed to use lethal force against them.

As of today the state legislatures of Texas, Tennessee, and Oklahoma are looking at revamping their existing laws so that there can be legal guns in school. For those that are worried these teachers will be unprepared, I’m sure there would be no lack of instructors in those states who’d be willing to teach them for free.

For everyone, if you are sincere in your wish to protect our children, I would suggest you call your state representative today and demand that they allow concealed carry in schools.

Gun Free Zones

Gun Free Zones are hunting preserves for innocent people. Period.

Think about it. You are a violent, homicidal madman, looking to make a statement and hoping to go from disaffected loser to most famous person in the world. The best way to accomplish your goals is to kill a whole bunch of people. So where’s the best place to go shoot all these people? Obviously, it is someplace where nobody can shoot back.

In all honesty I have no respect for anybody who believes Gun Free Zones actually work. You are going to commit several hundred felonies, up to and including mass murder, and you are going to refrain because there is a sign? That No Guns Allowed sign is not a cross that wards off vampires. It is wishful thinking, and really pathetic wishful thinking at that.

The only people who obey No Guns signs are people who obey the law. People who obey the law aren’t going on rampages.

I testified before the Utah State Legislature about the University of Utah’s gun ban the day after the Trolley Square shooting in Salt Lake City. Another disaffected loser scumbag started shooting up this mall. He killed several innocent people before he was engaged by an off duty police officer who just happened to be there shopping. The off duty Ogden cop pinned down the shooter until two officers from the SLCPD came up from behind and killed the shooter. (turned out one of them was a customer of mine) I sent one of my employees down to Trolley Square to take a picture of the shopping center’s front doors. I then showed the picture to the legislators. One of the rules was NO GUNS ALLOWED.

The man that attacked the midnight showing of Batman didn’t attack just any theater. There were like ten to choose from. He didn’t attack the closest. It wasn’t about biggest or smallest. He attacked the one that was posted NO GUNS ALLOWED.

There were four mass killing attempts this week. Only one made the news because it helped the agreed upon media narrative.

  1. Oregon. NOT a gun free zone. Shooter confronted by permit holder. Shooter commits suicide. Only a few casualties.
  2. Texas. NOT a gun free zone. Shooter killed immediately by off duty cop. Only a few casualties.
  3. Connecticut. GUN FREE ZONE. Shooters kills until the police arrive. Suicide. 26 dead.
  4. China. GUN FREE COUNTRY. A guy with a KNIFE stabs 22 children.

And here is the nail in the coffin for Gun Free Zones. Over the last fifty years, with only one single exception (Gabby Giffords), every single mass shooting event with more than four casualties has taken place in a place where guns were supposedly not allowed.

The Media

Every time there is a mass shooting event, the vultures launch. I find it absolutely fascinating. A bunch of people get murdered, and the same usual suspects show up with the same tired proposals that we’ve either tried before or logic tells us simply will not work. They strike while the iron is hot, trying to push through legislation before there can be coherent thought. We’ve seen this over and over and over again. We saw it succeed in England. We saw it succeed in Australia. We’ve seen it succeed here before.

Yet when anyone from my side responds, then we are shouted at that we are blood thirsty and how dare we speak in this moment of tragedy, and we should just shut our stupid mouths out of respect for the dead, while they are free to promote policies which will simply lead to more dead… If the NRA says something they are bloodthirsty monsters, and if they don’t say something then their silence is damning guilt. It is hypocritical in the extreme, and when I speak out against this I am called every name in the book, I want dead children, I’m a cold hearted monster (the death threats are actually hilarious). If I become angry because they are promoting policies which are tactically flawed and which will do the exact opposite of the stated goals, then I am a horrible person for being angry. Perhaps I shouldn’t be allowed to own guns at all.

But that’s not why I want to talk about the media. I want to talk about the media’s effect on the shooters.

Put yourself in the shoes of one of these killers. One nice thing about playing the villain and being a punching bag for cops, soldiers, and permit holders is that you need to learn about how the bad guys think and operate. And most of the mass shooters fit a similar profile.

The vast majority (last I saw it was over 80%) are on some form of psychotropic drug and has been for many years. They have been on Zoloft or some serotonin inhibitor through their formative years, and their decision making process is often flawed. They are usually disaffected, have been bullied, pushed around, and have a lot of emotional problems. They are delusional. They see themselves as victims, and they are usually striking back at their peer group.

These people want to make a statement. They want to show the world that they aren’t losers. They want to make us understand their pain. They want to make their peer group realize that they are powerful. They’ll show us. The solution is easy. It’s right there in front of your nose.

If you can kill enough people at one time, you’ll be on the news, 24/7, round the clock coverage. You will become the most famous person in the world. Everyone will know your name. You become a celebrity. Experts will try to understand what you were thinking. Hell, the President of the United States, the most important man in the world, will drop whatever he is doing and hold a press conference to talk about your actions, and he’ll even shed a single manly tear.

You are a star.

Strangely enough, this is one of the only topics I actually agree with Roger Ebert on. He didn’t think that the news should cover the shooters or mention their names on the front page of the paper. So whenever the press isn’t talking about guns, or violent movies, or violent video games, or any other thing that hundreds of millions of people participated in yesterday without murdering anybody, they’ll keep showing the killer’s picture in the background while telling the world all about him and his struggles.

And then the cycle repeats, as the next disaffected angry loner takes notes.

They should not be glamorized. They should be hated, despised, and forgotten. They are not victims. They are not powerful. They are murdering scum, and the only time their names should be remembered is when people like me are studying the tactics of how to neutralize them faster.

 

Mental Health Issues

And right here I’m going to show why I’m different than the people I’ve been arguing with the last few days. I am not an expert on mental health issues or psychiatry or psychology. My knowledge of criminal psychology is limited to understanding the methods of killers enough to know how to fight them better.

So since I don’t have enough first-hand knowledge about this topic to comment intelligently, then I’m not going to comment… Oh please, if only some of the people I’ve been arguing with who barely understand that the bullets come out the pointy end of the gun would just do the same.

 

Gun Control Laws

As soon as there is a tragedy there comes the calls for “We have to do something!” Sure, the something may not actually accomplish anything as far as solving whatever the tragedy was or preventing the next one, but that’s the narrative. Something evil happened, so we have to do something, and preferably we have to do it right now before we think about it too hard.

The left side of the political spectrum loves it some gun control. Gun control is historically extremely unpopular in red state and purple state America, and thus very hard to pass bit stuff, but there’s a century’s accumulation of lots and lots of small ones. There have been a handful of major federal laws passed in the United States relating to guns, but the majority of really strict gun control has primarily been enacted in liberal dominated urban areas. There are over 20,000 gun laws on the books, and I have no idea how many pages of regulations from the BATF related to the production and selling of them. I’ve found that the average American is extremely uneducated about what gun laws already exist, what they actually do, and even fundamental terminology, so I’m going to go through many of the things I’ve seen argued about over the last few days and elaborate on them one by one.

I will leave out the particularly crazy things I was confronted with, including the guy who was in favor of mandating “automatic robot gun turrets” in schools. Yes. Heaven forbid we let a teacher CCW, so let’s put killer robots (which haven’t actually been invented yet) in schools. Man, I wish I was making this up, but that’s Facebook for you.

We need to ban automatic weapons.

Okay. Done. In fact, we pretty much did that in 1934. The National Firearms Act of 1934 made it so that you had to pay a $200 tax on a machinegun and register it with the government. In 1986 that registry was closed and there have been no new legal machineguns for civilians to own since then.

Automatic means that when you hold down the trigger the gun keeps on shooting until you let go or run out of ammo. Actual automatic weapons cost a lot of money. The cheapest one you can get right now is around $5,000 as they are all collector’s items and you need to jump through a lot of legal hoops to get one. To the best of my knowledge, there has only ever been one crime committed with an NFA weapon in my lifetime, and in that case the perp was a cop.

Now are machineguns still used in crimes? Why, yes they are. For every legally registered one, there are conservatively dozens of illegal ones in the hands of criminals. They either make their own (which is not hard to do) or they are smuggled in (usually by the same people that are able to smuggle in thousands of tons of drugs). Because really serious criminals simply don’t care, they are able to get ahold of military weapons, and they use them simply because criminals, by definition, don’t obey the law. So even an item which has been basically banned since my grandparents were kids, and which there has been no new ones allowed manufactured since I was in elementary school, still ends up in the hands of criminals who really want one. This will go to show how effective government bans are.

When you say “automatic” you mean full auto, as in a machinegun. What I think most of these people mean is semi-auto.

Okay. We need to ban semi-automatic weapons!

Semi-automatic means that each time you pull the trigger the action cycles and loads another round. This is the single most common type of gun, not just in America, but in the whole world. Almost all handguns are semi-automatic. The vast majority of weapons used for self-defense are semi-automatic, as are almost all the weapons used by police officers.  It is the most common because it is normally the most effective.

Semi-automatic is usually best choice for defensive use. It is easier to use because you can do so one handed if necessary, and you are forced to manipulate your weapon less. If you believe that using a gun for self-defense is necessary, then you pretty much have to say that semi-auto is okay.

Banning semi-automatic basically means banning all guns. I’ll get to the functional problems with that later.

We should ban handguns!

Handguns are tools for self-defense, and the only reason we use them over the more capable, and easier to hit with rifles or shotguns is because handguns are portable. Rifles are just plain better, but the only reason I don’t carry an AR-15 around is because it would be hard to hide under my shirt.

Concealed Carry works. As much as it offends liberals and we keep hearing horror stories about blood in the streets, the fact is over my lifetime most of the United States has enacted some form of concealed carry law, and the blood in the streets wild west shootouts over parking spaces they’ve predicted simply hasn’t happened. At this point in time there are only a few hold out states, all of them are blue states and all of them have inner cities which suffer from terrible crime, where once again, the criminals simply don’t care.

For information about how more guns actually equals less crime, look up the work of Dr. John Lott. And since liberals hate his guts, look up the less famous work of Dr. Gary Kleck, or basically look up the work of any criminologist or economist who isn’t writing for Slate or Mother Jones.

As for why CCW is good, see my whole first section about arming teachers for a tiny part of the whole picture. Basically bad people are going to be bad and do bad things. They are going to hurt you and take your stuff, because that’s what they do. That’s their career, and they are as good at it as you are at your job. They will do this anywhere they think they can get away with it.  We fixate on the mass shooters because they grab the headlines, but in actuality your odds of running in to one of them is tiny. Your odds of having a violent encounter with a run of the mill criminal is orders of magnitudes higher.

I do find one thing highly amusing. In my personal experience, some of the most vehement anti-gun people I’ve ever associated with will usually eventually admit after getting to know me, that if something bad happened, then they really hope I’m around, because I’m one of the good ones. Usually they never realize just how hypocritical and naïve that is.

We should ban Assault Rifles!

Define “assault rifle”…

Uh…

Yeah. That’s the problem. The term assault rifle gets bandied around a lot. Politically, the term is a loaded nonsense one that was created back during the Clinton years. It was one of those tricks where you name legislation something catchy, like PATRIOT Act. (another law rammed through while emotions were high and nobody was thinking, go figure).

To gun experts, an assault rifle is a very specific type of weapon which originated (for the most part) in the 1940s. It is a magazine fed, select fire (meaning capable of full auto), intermediate cartridge (as in, actually not that powerful, but I’ll come back to that later) infantry weapon.

The thing is, real assault rifles in the US have been heavily regulated since before they were invented. The thing that the media and politicians like to refer to as assault rifles is basically a catch all term for any gun which looks scary.

I had somebody get all mad at me for pointing this out, because they said that the term had entered common usage. Okay… If you’re going to legislate it, DEFINE IT.

And then comes up that pesky problem. The US banned assault rifles once before for a decade and the law did absolutely nothing. I mean, it was totally, literally pointless. The special commission to study it said that it accomplished absolutely nothing. (except tick a bunch of Americans off, and as a result we bought a TON more guns) And the reason was that since assault weapon is a nonsense term, they just came up with a list of arbitrary features which made a gun into an assault weapon.

Problem was, none of these features actually made the gun functionally any different or somehow more lethal or better from any other run of the mill firearm. Most of the criteria were so silly that they became a huge joke to gun owners, except of course, for that part where many law abiding citizens accidentally became instant felons because one of their guns had some cosmetic feature which was now illegal.

One of the criteria was that it was semi-automatic. See above. Hard to ban the single most common and readily available type of gun in the world. (unless you believe in confiscation, but I’ll get to that). Then what if it takes a detachable magazine! That’s got to be an Evil Feature. And yes, we really did call the Evil Features. I’ll talk about magazines below, but once again, it is pretty hard to ban something that common unless you want to go on a confiscatory national suicide mission.

For example, flash hiders sound dangerous. Let’s say having a flash hider makes a gun an assault weapon. So flash hiders became an evil feature. Problem is flash hiders don’t do much. They screw onto the end of your muzzle and divert the flash off to the side instead of straight up so it isn’t as annoying when you shoot. It doesn’t actually hide the flash from anybody else. EVIL.

Barrel shrouds were listed. Barrel shrouds are basically useless, cosmetic pieces of metal that go over the barrel so you don’t accidentally touch it and burn your hand. But they became an instantaneous felony too. Collapsible stocks make it so you can adjust your rifle to different size shooters, that way a tall guy and his short wife can shoot the same gun. Nope. EVIL FEATURE!

It has been a running joke in the gun community ever since the ban passed. When Carolyn McCarthy was asked by a reporter what a barrel shroud was, she replied “I think it is the shoulder thing which goes up.”  Oh good. I’m glad that thousands of law abiding Americans unwittingly committed felonies because they had a cosmetic piece of sheet metal on their barrel, which has no bearing whatsoever on crime, but could possibly be a shoulder thing which goes up.

Now are you starting to see why “assault weapons” is a pointless term? They aren’t functionally any more powerful or deadly than any normal gun. In fact the cartridges they normally fire are far less powerful than your average deer hunting rifle. Don’t worry though, because the same people who fling around the term assault weapons also think of scoped deer rifles as “high powered sniper guns”.

Basically, what you are thinking of as assault weapons aren’t special.

Now, the reason that semi-automatic, magazine fed, intermediate caliber rifles are the single most popular type of gun in America is because they are excellent for many uses, but I’m not talking about fun, or hunting, or sports, today I’m talking business. And in this case they are excellent for shooting bad people who are trying to hurt you, in order to make them stop trying to hurt you. These types of guns are superb for defending your home. Now some of you may think that’s extreme. That’s because everything you’ve learned about gun fights comes from TV. Just read the link where I expound on why.

http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2007/09/20/carbine-vs-shotgun-vs-pistol-for-home-defense/

I had one individual tell me that these types of guns are designed to slaughter the maximum number of people possible as quickly as possible… Uh huh… Which is why every single police department in America uses them, because of all that slaughtering cops do daily. Cops use them for the same reason we do, they are handy, versatile, and can stop an attacker quickly in a variety of circumstances.

When I said “stop an attacker quickly” somebody on Twitter thought that he’d gotten me and said “Stop. That’s just a euphemism for kill!” Nope. I am perfectly happy if the attacker surrenders or passes out from blood loss too. Tactically and legally, all I care about is making them stop doing whatever it is that they are doing which caused me to shoot them to begin with.

The guns that many of you think of as assault rifle are common and popular because they are excellent for fighting, and I’ll talk about what my side really thinks about the 2nd Amendment below.

We should ban magazines over X number of shots!

I’ve seen this one pop up a lot. It sounds good to the ear and really satisfies that we’ve got to do something need. It sounds simple. Bad guys shoot a lot of people in a mass shooting. So if he has magazines that hold fewer rounds, ergo then he’ll not be able to shoot as many people.

Wrong. And I’ll break it down, first why my side wants more rounds in our gun, second why tactically it doesn’t really stop the problem, and third, why stopping them is a logistical impossibility.

First off, why do gun owners want magazines that hold more rounds? Because sometimes you miss. Because usually—contrary to the movies—you have to hit an opponent multiple times in order to make them stop. Because sometimes you may have multiple assailants. We don’t have more rounds in the magazine so we can shoot more, we have more rounds in the magazine so we are forced to manipulate our gun less if we have to shoot more.

The last assault weapons ban capped capacities at ten rounds. You quickly realize ten rounds sucks when you take a wound ballistics class like I have and go over case after case after case after case of enraged, drug addled, prison hardened, perpetrators who soaked up five, seven, nine, even fifteen bullets and still walked under their own power to the ambulance. That isn’t uncommon at all. Legally, you can shoot them until they cease to be a threat, and keep in mind that what normally causes a person to stop is loss of blood pressure, so I used to tell my students that anybody worth shooting once was worth shooting five or seven times. You shoot them until they leave you alone.

Also, you’re going to miss. It is going to happen. If you can shoot pretty little groups at the range, those groups are going to expand dramatically under the stress and adrenalin. The more you train, the better you will do, but you can still may miss, or the bad guy may end up hiding behind something which your bullets don’t penetrate. Nobody has ever survived a gunfight and then said afterwards, “Darn, I wish I hadn’t brought all that extra ammo.”

So having more rounds in the gun is a good thing for self-defense use.

Now tactically, let’s say a mass shooter is on a rampage in a school. Unless his brain has turned to mush and he’s a complete idiot, he’s not going to walk up right next to you while he reloads anyway. Unlike the CCW holder who gets attacked and has to defend himself in whatever crappy situation he finds himself in, the mass shooter is the aggressor. He’s picked the engagement range. They are cowards who are murdering running and hiding children, but don’t for a second make the mistake of thinking they are dumb. Many of these scumbags are actually very intelligent. They’re just broken and evil.

In the cases that I’m aware of where the shooter had guns that held fewer rounds they just positioned themselves back a bit while firing or they brought more guns, and simply switched guns and kept on shooting, and then reloaded before they moved to the next planned firing position. Unless you are a fumble fingered idiot, anybody who practices in front of a mirror a few dozen times can get to where they can insert a new magazine into a gun in a few seconds.

A good friend of mine (who happens to be a very reasonable democrat) was very hung up on this, sure that he would be able to take advantage of the time in which it took for the bad guy to reload his gun. That’s a bad assumption, and here’s yet another article that addresses that sort of misconception that I wrote several years ago which has sort of made the rounds on firearm’s forums. http://www.northeastshooters.com/vbulletin/threads/45671-My-Gunfight-quot-Thinking-Outside-Your-Box-quot  So that’s awesome if it happens, but good luck with that.

Finally, let’s look at the logistical ramifications of another magazine ban. The AWB banned the production of all magazines over ten rounds except those marked for military or law enforcement use, and it was a felony to possess those.

Over the ten years of the ban, we never ran out. Not even close. Magazines are cheap and basic. Most of them are pieces of sheet metal with some wire. That’s it. Magazines are considered disposable so most gun people accumulate a ton of them. All it did was make magazines more expensive, ticked off law abiding citizens, and didn’t so much as inconvenience a single criminal.

Meanwhile, bad guys didn’t run out either. And if they did, like I said, they are cheap and basic, so you just get or make more. If you can cook meth, you can make a functioning magazine. My old company designed a rifle magazine once, and I’m no engineer. I paid a CAD guy, spent $20,000 and churned out several thousand 20 round Saiga .308 mags. This could’ve been done out of my garage.

Ten years. No difference. Meanwhile, we had bad guys turning up all the time committing crimes, and guess what was marked on the mags found in their guns? MILITARY AND LAW ENFORCEMENT USE ONLY. Because once again, if you’re already breaking a bunch of laws, they can only hang you once. Criminals simply don’t care.

Once the AWB timed out, because every politician involved looked at the mess which had been passed in the heat of the moment, the fact it did nothing, and the fact that every single one of them from a red state would lose their job if they voted for a new one, it expired and went away. Immediately every single gun person in America went out and bought a couple guns which had been banned and a bucket of new magazines, because nothing makes an American want to do something more than telling them they can’t. We’ve been stocking up ever since. If the last ban did literally nothing at all over a decade, and since then we’ve purchased another hundred million magazines since then, another ban will do even less. (except just make the law abiding that much angrier, and I’ll get to that below).

I bought $600 worth of magazines for my competition pistol this morning. I’ve already got a shelf full for my rifles. Gun and magazine sales skyrocket every time a democrat politician starts to vulture in on a tragedy. I don’t know if many of you realize this, but Barack Obama is personally responsible for more gun sales, and especially first time gun purchases, than anyone in history. When I owned my gun store, we had a picture of him on the wall and a caption beneath it which said SALESMAN OF THE YEAR.

So you can ban this stuff, but it won’t actually do anything to the crimes you want to stop. Unless you think you can confiscate them all, but I’ll talk about confiscation later.

One last thing to share about the magazine ban from the AWB, and this is something all gun people know, but most anti-gunners do not. When you put an artificial cap on a weapon, and tell us that we can only have a limited number of rounds in that weapon, we’re going to make sure they are the most potent rounds possible. Before the ban, everybody bought 9mms which held an average of 15 rounds. After the ban, if I can only have ten rounds, they’re going to be bigger, so we all started buying 10 shot .45s instead.

You don’t need an assault weapon for hunting!

Who said anything about hunting? That whole thing about the 2nd Amendment being for sportsmen is hogwash. The 2nd Amendment is about bearing arms to protect yourself from threats, up to and including a tyrannical government.

Spare me the whole, “You won’t be happy until everybody has nuclear weapons” reductio ad absurdum. It says arms, as in things that were man portable. And as for the founding fathers not being able to see foresee our modern arms, you forget that many of them were inventors, and multi shot weapons were already in service. Not to mention that in that day, arms included cannon, since most of the original artillery of the Continental Army was privately owned. Besides, the Supreme Court agrees with me. See DC v. Heller.

Well we should just ban ALL guns then! You only need them to murder people!

It doesn’t really make sense to ban guns, because in reality what that means is that you are actually banning effective self-defense. Despite the constant hammering by a news media with an agenda, guns are used in America far more to stop crime than to cause crime.

I’ve seen several different sets of numbers about how many times guns are used in self-defense every year. The problem with keeping track of this stat is that the vast majority of the time when a gun is produced in a legal self-defense situation no shots are fired. The mere presence of the gun is enough to cause the criminal to stop.

Clint Smith once said if you look like food, you will be eaten. Criminals are looking for prey. They are looking for easy victims. If they wanted to work hard for a living they’d get a job. So when you pull a gun, you are no longer prey, you are work, so they are going to go find somebody else to pick on.

So many defensive gun uses never get tracked as such. From personal experience, I have pulled a gun exactly one time in my entire life. I was legally justified and the bad guy stopped, put his gun away, and left. (15 years later the same son of a bitch would end up murdering a local sheriff’s deputy). My defensive gun use was never recorded anywhere as far as I know. My wife has pulled a gun twice in her life. Once on somebody who was acting very rapey who suddenly found a better place to be when she stuck a Ruger in his face, and again many years later on a German Shepherd which was attacking my one year old son. (amazingly enough a dog can recognize a 9mm coming out of a fanny pack and run for its life, go figure) No police report at all on the second one, and I don’t believe the first one ever turned up as any sort of defensive use statistic, all because no shots were fired.

So how often are guns actually used in self-defense in America? http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcdguse.html

On the high side the estimate runs around 2.5 million defensive gun uses a year, which dwarfs our approximately 16,000 homicides in any recent year, only 10k of which are with guns.  http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/homicide.htm Of those with guns, only a couple hundred are with rifles. So basically, the guns that the anti-gunners are the most spun up about only account for a tiny fraction of all our murders.

But let’s not go with the high estimate. Let’s go with some smaller ones instead. Let’s use the far more conservative 800,000 number which is arrived at in multiple studies. That still dwarfs the number of illegal shootings. Heck, let’s even run with the number once put out by the people who want to ban guns, the Brady Center, which was still around 108,000, which still is an awesome ratio of good vs. bad.

So even if you use the worst number provided by people who are just as biased as me but in the opposite direction, gun use is a huge net positive. Or to put it another way, the Brady Center hates guns so much that they are totally cool with the population of a decent sized city getting raped and murdered every year as collateral damage in order to get what they want.

Doesn’t matter. I don’t like them. We should ban them and take them all away like a civilized country.

Well, I suppose if your need to do something overrides all reason and logic, then by all means let’s ban guns.

Australia had a mass shooting and instituted a massive gun ban and confiscation (a program which would not work here, which I’ll get to, but let’s run with it anyway.). As was pointed out to me on Facebook, they haven’t had any mass shootings since. However, they fail to realize that they didn’t really have any mass shootings before either. You need to keep in mind that mass shooting are horrific headline grabbing statistical anomalies. You are far more likely to get your head caved in by a local thug while he’s trying to steal your wallet, and that probably won’t even make the evening news.

And violent crime is up in Australia. A cursory Google search will show articles about the increase in violent crime and theft, but then other articles pooh-pooing these stats as being insignificant and totally not related to the guns.

So then we’ve got England, where they reacted swiftly after a mass shooting, banned and confiscated guns, and their violent crime has since skyrocketed. Their stats are far worse than Australia, and they are now one of the more dangerous countries to live in the EU. Once again, cursory Google search will show articles with the stats, and other articles saying that those rises like totally have nothing to do with regular folks no longer being able to defend themselves… Sensing a trend yet?

And then we’ve got South Africa, which instituted some really hard core gun bans and some extremely strict controls, and their crime is now so high that it is basically either no longer tracked or simply not countable. But obviously, the totally unbiased news says that has absolutely nothing to do with people no longer being able to legally defend themselves.

Then you’ve got countries like Norway, with extremely strict gun control. Their gun control laws are simply incomprehensible to half of Americans. Not only that, they are an ethnically and socially homogenous, tiny population, well off country, without our gang violence or drug problems. Their gun control laws are draconian by our standards. They make Chicago look like Boise. Surely that level of gun control will stop school shootings! Except of course for 2011 when a maniac killed 77 and injured 242 people, a body count which is absurdly high compared to anything which has happened America.

Because once again, repeat it with me, criminals simply do not give a crap.

That mass killer used a gun and homemade explosives. Make guns harder to get, and explosives become the weapon of choice. Please do keep in mind that the largest and most advanced military coalition in human history was basically stymied for a decade by a small group using high school level chemistry and the Afghani equivalent to Radio Shack.

The biggest mass killings in US history have used bombs (like Bath, Michigan), fire (like Happyland Nightclub) or airliners. There is no law you can pass, nothing you can say or do, which will make some not be evil.

And all of this is irrelevant, because banning and confiscating all the scary guns in America will be national suicide.

You crazy gun nuts and your 2nd Amendment. We should just confiscate all the guns.

Many of you may truly believe that. You may think that the 2nd Amendment is archaic, outdated, and totally pointless. However, approximately half of the country disagrees with you, and of them, a pretty large portion is fully willing to shoot somebody in defense of it.

We’ve already seen that your partial bans are stupid and don’t do anything, so unless you are merely a hypocrite more interested in style rather than results, the only way to achieve your goal is to come and take the guns away. So let’s talk about confiscation.

They say that there are 80 million gun owners in America. I personally think that number is low for a few reasons. The majority of gun owners I know, when contacted for a phone survey and asked if they own guns, will become suspicious and simply lie. Those of us who don’t want to end like England or Australia will say that we lost all of our guns in a freak canoe accident.

Guns do not really wear out. I have perfectly functioning guns from WWI, and I’ve got friends who have still useable firearms from the 1800s. Plus we’ve been building more of them this entire time. There are more guns than there are people in America, and some of us have enough to arm our entire neighborhood.

But for the sake of math, let’s say that there are only 80 million gun owners, and let’s say that the government decides to round up all those pesky guns once and for all. Let’s be generous and say that 90% of the gun owners don’t really believe in the 2nd Amendment, and their guns are just for duck hunting. Which is what politicians keep telling us, but is actually rather hilarious when you think about how the most commonly sold guns in America are the same detachable magazine semiautomatic rifles I talked about earlier.

So ten percent refuse to turn their guns in. That is 8 million instantaneous felons. Let’s say that 90% of them are not wanting to comply out of sheer stubbornness. Let’s be super generous and say that 90% of them would still just roll over and turn their guns when pressed or legally threatened.   That leaves 800,000 Americans who are not turning their guns in, no matter what. To put that in perspective there are only about 700,000 police officers in the whole country.

Let’s say that these hypothetical 10% of 10% are willing to actually fight to keep their guns. Even if my hypothetical estimate of 800,000 gun nuts willing to fight for their guns is correct, it is still 97% higher than the number of insurgents we faced at any one time in Iraq, a country about the size of Texas.

However, I do honestly believe that it would be much bigger than 10%. Once the confiscations turned violent, then it would push many otherwise peaceful people over the edge. I saw somebody on Twitter post about how the 2nd Amendment is stupid because my stupid assault rifles are useless against drones… That person has obviously never worked with the people who build the drones, fly the drones, and service the drones. I have. Where to you think the majority of the US military falls on the political spectrum exactly? There’s a reason Mitt Romney won the military vote by over 40 points, and it wasn’t because of his hair.

And as for those 700,000 cops, how many of them would side with the gun owners? All the gun nuts, that’s for sure. As much as some people like to complain about the gun culture, many of the people you hire to protect you, and darn near all of them who can shoot well, belong to that gun culture. And as I hear people complain about the gun industry, like it is some nebulous, faceless, all powerful corporate thing which hungers for war and anarchy, I just have to laugh, because the gun industry probably has the highest percentage of former cops and former military of any industry in the country. My being a civilian was odd in the circles I worked in.  The men and women you pay to protect you have honor and integrity, and they will fight for what they believe in.

So the real question the anti-gun, ban and confiscate, crowd should be asking themselves is this, how many of your fellow Americans are you willing to have killed in order to bring about your utopian vision of the future?

Boo Evil Gun Culture!

Really? Because I hate to break it to you, but when nearly six hundred people get murdered a year in beautiful Gun Free Chicago, that’s not my people doing the shooting.

The gun culture is all around you, well obviously except for those of you reading this in elite liberal urban city centers where you’ve extinguished your gun culture. They are your friends, relatives, and coworkers. The biggest reason gun control has become increasingly difficult to pass over the last decade is because more and more people have turned to CCW, and as that has become more common, it has removed much of the stigma. Now everybody outside of elite urban liberal city centers knows somebody that carries a gun. The gun culture is simply regular America, and is made up of people who think their lives and their families lives are more important than the life of anyone who tries to victimize them.

The gun culture is who protects our country. Sure, there are plenty of soldiers and cops who are issued a gun and who use it as part of their job who could care less. However, the people who build the guns, really understand the guns, actually enjoy using the guns, and usually end up being picked to teach everybody else how to use the guns are the gun culture.

The media and the left would absolutely love to end the gun culture in America, because then they could finally pass all the laws they wanted.

Let’s take a look at what happens when a country finally succeeds in utterly stamping out its gun culture. Mumbai, 2008. Ten armed jihadi terrorists simply walked into town and started shooting people. It was a rather direct, straight forward, ham fisted, simple terrorist attack. They killed over 150 and wounded over 300. India has incredibly strict gun laws, but once again, criminals didn’t care.

That’s not my point this time however, I want to look at the response. These ten men shut down an entire massive city and struck fear into the hearts of millions for THREE DAYS. Depending on where this happened in America it would have been over in three minutes or three hours. The Indian police responded, but their tactics sucked. The marksmanship sucked. Their leadership sucked. Their response utterly and completely fell apart.

In talking afterwards with some individuals from a small agency of our government who were involved in the clean-up and investigation, all of whom are well trained, well practiced, gun nuts, they told me the problem was that the Indian police had no clue what to do because they’d never been taught what to do. Their leadership hated and feared the gun so much that they stamped out the ability for any of their men to actually master the tool. When you kill your gun culture, you kill off your instructors, and those who can pass down the information necessary to do the job.

Don’t think that we are so far off here. I recently got to sit down with some fans who are members of one of the larger metro police departments in America. These guys were all SWAT cops or narcotics, all of them were gun nuts who practiced on their own dime, and all of them were intimately familiar with real violence. These are the guys that you want responding when the real bad stuff goes down.

What they told me made me sick. Their leadership was all uniformly liberal and extremely anti-gun, just like most big cities in America. They walked me through what their responses were supposed to be in case of a Mumbai style event, and how their “scary assault weapons” were kept locked up where they would be unavailable, and how dismal their training was, and how since the state had run off or shut down most of the gun ranges, most of the cops couldn’t even practice or qualify anymore.

So now they were less safe, the people they were protecting were less safe, the bad guys were safer, but most importantly their leadership could pat themselves on the back, because they’d done something.

Well, okay. You make some good points. But I’d be more comfortable if you gun people were force to have more mandatory training!

And I did actually have this one said to me, which is an amazing victory by internet arguing standards.

Mandatory training is a placebo at best. Here is my take on why.

http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2008/05/20/mandatory-training-for-ccw/

 

In conclusion, basically it doesn’t really matter what something you pick when some politician or pundit starts screaming we’ve got to do something, because in reality, most of them already know a lot of what I listed above. The ones who are walking around with their security details of well-armed men in their well-guarded government buildings really don’t care about actually stopping mass shooters or bad guys, they care about giving themselves more power and increasing their control.

If a bad guy used a gun with a big magazine, ban magazines. If instead he used more guns, ban owning multiple guns. If he used a more powerful gun with less shots, ban powerful guns. If he used hollowpoints, ban hollowpoints. (which I didn’t get into, but once again, there’s a reason everybody who might have to shoot somebody uses them). If he ignored some Gun Free Zone, make more places Gun Free Zones. If he killed a bunch of innocents, make sure you disarm the innocents even harder for next time. Just in case, let’s ban other guns that weren’t even involved in any crimes, just because they’re too big, too small, too ugly, too cute, too long, too short, too fat, too thin, (and if you think I’m joking I can point out a law or proposed law for each of those) but most of all ban anything which makes some politician irrationally afraid, which luckily, is pretty much everything.

They will never be happy. In countries where they have already banned guns, now they are banning knives and putting cameras on every street. They talk about compromise, but it is never a compromise. It is never, wow, you offer a quick, easy, inexpensive, viable solution to ending mass shootings in schools, let’s try that. It is always, what can we take from you this time, or what will enable us to grow some federal apparatus?

Then regular criminals will go on still not caring, the next mass shooter will watch the last mass shooter be the most famous person in the world on TV, the media will keep on vilifying the people who actually do the most to defend the innocent, the ignorant will call people like me names and tell us we must like dead babies, and nothing actually changes to protect our kids.

If you are serious about actually stopping school shootings, contact your state representative and tell them to look into allowing someone at your kid’s school to be armed. It is time to install some speed bumps.

EDIT: I have been stunned by the level of response on this post. I wrote it so that it could be shared, but I had no idea just how much it would be, so thank you. I have received hundreds of comments, emails, and I don’t even know how many Twitter and Facebook messages. It is heartening that this made many people think about the issues in a new way.

I will try to respond and answer questions as I can, but there are a LOT of them, so I will probably take the most common ones and do another blog post when I have the chance. If your comment doesn’t appear immediately, that is because I have to approve first time posters manually to make sure they are not spambots.

 If I had realized 30,000 people would read this today I would have proof read it. When you find a typo or something that seems a bit rough, I wrote this 10k word essay from 9pm to 1am and posted it the next day at lunch. 🙂

For those of you who haven’t been here before, I make my living as a novelist. If you click any of the Amazon or B&N links off to the right side it will take you to one of my books. Thank you for your support, encouragement, and honest debate.

EDIT2 After two straight days of responding to as many debate posts in the comments as possible, I’m fried, and hanging it up for Christmas. I’ll still be approving posts periodically, but that’s it for me as far as arguing (and it has rapidly turned into the same thing over and over again)  This post has been read 150,000 times now, gotten national media attention, and been reposted all over the internet. Awesome. I was sincerely hoping people would share it, so thank you very much.  Have a Merry Christmas.

EDIT3 A month later and this post has been read about a million times and has received an unexpected amount of attention including national media coverage. Thank you to everyone for sharing it. For new visitors, if you would like to check out my regular work, you can click on any of the book covers linked on the right side of the page. Thanks.

And now for something fun, the cover of WARBOUND!
Geeky Hobbies, Sunday Afternoon painting finished Monday Night. :)

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2628 Comments on "An opinion on gun control"


Guest
Allen Frommelt
3 years 5 months ago

I don’t hear alot about this in the media, but Connecticut already has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country and the federal assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 was on the books in Connecticut in 1993 and is still in effect. I’ve lived in Connecticut since 2001, and this has been devastating for our state, but the gun laws here are already stricter than anything that would happen with a reauthorization of the federal ban on “assault weapons”.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

You won’t hear that at least from the mainstream media due to the fact then Obama and company can’t scare the public in to agreeing we need more gun laws.

Guest
Ryan
3 years 5 months ago

Do Connecticut gun laws prevent people from bringing guns in from the greater New England area?

Guest
Jeremy
3 years 5 months ago

Not sure if legitimate question or troll………..but if you are curious:

http://tinyurl.com/Connecticut-Gun-Laws

Guest
Hardware
3 years 5 months ago

Right. Connecticut is surrounded by states with some of the strictest gun laws in the nation. Nice strawman.

Guest
RegT
3 years 5 months ago

I was a police officer in CT years ago. I could not buy handgun ammunition (for my off-duty weapon) in Massachusetts, believe it or not.

Yet, Vermont permits concealed carry for anyone who isn’t otherwise prohibited (such as felon, mental patient, etc.) When was the last time you heard of a shooting massacre in Vermont?

Guest
Pman5k4u
3 years 5 months ago

It is also against federal law to purchase a handgun in another state or a weapon that is illegal in your state of residence. In every state they will not sell to a resident of another state unless that state AG approves such sales, it only applies to long guns, and even then some states have an outright ban to sales to residents of other states.

Guest
Trap Canterbury
3 years 5 months ago

Ryan,
By law the only person who could introduce a new firearm meeting the criterea of the Connecticut ban into the state would be a military member who was order into the state. It would then have to be registered, but I am not certain on the time frame. Key point to recognize here is the rifle was leagally owned in the state of CT by his mother. A federal ban would have had zero impact on this.

Guest
AK
3 years 5 months ago

Yes…the gun must meet CT law if it falls under the AWB.

Guest
3 years 4 months ago

I think the more pertinent question would be, if the gun laws in states surrounding CT were indeed more 2nd Amendment-friendly, then why would such a shooting be more likely to occur in the gun-banning state rather than the states surrounding it?

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

One estimate, based on preliminary reports when the shooting in CT first happened, put the number of law violations, from the shooter first picking up the gun to finally offing himself, at 47 counts. And yet, somehow, a hypothetical 48th violation is supposed to have dissuaded the shooter. “Hey, I’ll be violating the law 47 times, including killing myself at the end, but 48 times is just too far, man.” Yeah, right…

Guest
Mama Wrench
3 years 5 months ago

What’s even worse is the number of people I’ve heard claim that the shooter bought the gun legally. Never mind that 1: His mother bought the gun and he stole it (his first violation), or that 2: Had HE been the one to attempt to buy it, he wouldn’t have been able to under CT law (since he was using psychotropic drugs).

Guest
quincy
3 years 5 months ago

Actually, he tried to buy a gun at Dick’s Sporting Goods a few days before but was turned down.

Guest
DaveintheD
3 years 5 months ago

It’s not a matter of dissuasion. It’s a matter of physics. There are too many guns in mass circulation today, particularly the exceedingly dangerous type that can roll off 10, 15 or 20 rounds in moments, all within the very easy grasp of the monsters among us. Now, I’m in 100% support of responsible, law-abiding citizens having the right to carry their own weapons so that these monsters might get stopped before they kill so many, or any. For schools, this includes (in my world) teachers, principles, custodians, and parents. I’m also in favor of placing 2 armed security guards in all public schools. If a small jewelry store can have 2 armed guards on duty around the clock, then surely we can do something in public schools. We eagerly and recklessly spend trillions to prop up Wall Street, the auto companies, the “green” companies, the unions, Obama’s friends,at Golden Stinks, JPMorgan and Citibank and everyone else with their hand out in this country, but we can’t protect our kids in school? Utter BS. Cut elsewhere and make it happen. The LIBs would NEVER allow it. There are at least a dozen things that can be done to improve upon public school safety, including decreasing the number of mass murder tools readily at hand for every satanic slob who wants one. I’m not sure if new gun laws are necessary but we sure as heck better do a better job of enforcing the ones we have and keeping our arsenals OUT of the reach of maniacs, which, in the tragic Newtown case, the mother had an epic fail. I’d like to ask the “all or nothing” gun crowd where the line actually is and should be drawn. We already have laws against certain types of arms, so should we abandon those laws too and allow us all to carry machine guns or more? And if a line can be drawn (and clearly it can be), then why can’t we have the discussion on whether or not the line currently drawn is working. This is about our kids’ safety, not taking away all of the guns from law-abiding citizens. Not for me, anyway. The LIBs, another story. Yes, carry your weapons to stop the madmen, but is it really necessary for us all to have an arsenal of automatic or “semi-automatic” weapons in our basements? Too many nutbags are reared on violence and destruction today. Many people raise their kids with lower or no standards, morals or values. And we glorify and make readily available guns of all sorts. There’s more to it all, but the role of the sheer volume of guns in mass circulation today, and the relative ease with which anyone can get 1, 2 or 10 of them, is evident to me. I know the sliippery slope argument. But that’s what civil society is all about…drawing lines…making distinctions, learning and evolving. We can do a lot better than we do at “controlling” guns, as well as controlling psychopaths and criminals. Like I said, there’s a lot to it. I’m not suggesting that gun control is “the answer” or the big thing that needs to be done. It’s down the list, but it’s on the list, imo. Who has an arsenal in their home? Raise your hands. Do you need all of those? Why? God willing, no one will seek to use one someday for evil purposes.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

You might want to be careful about invoking physics; there are bona-fide physicists who hang out here.

“There are too many guns in circulation today.” An assumption. Not a matter of “physics.”

“particularly the exceedingly dangerous type that can roll off 10, 15 or 20 rounds in moments”

Um. No. “in moments” implies fully automatic weapons. Legal ownership of fully automatic weapons has been completely registered since 1934 requiring a detailed background check, a $200 tax stamp, a “sign off” by local head LEO, and, incidentally, none that were not already registered by 1986 may be registered (and thus legally owned) causing prices to start at around $5000.

The firearms that get the media and gun grabbers so “het up” are semi-automatic weapons. That means one trigger pull, one round fired. To get another round, you need to pull the trigger again. They might resemble military weapons like the AK-47, or the M-16/M-4 family but the resemblance is purely cosmetic. One trigger pull, one round.

“all within the very easy grasp of the monsters among us.”

So are ammonia and bleach. Mixed one way they make a highly toxic gas. Mixed another, they make high explosive. No, I’m not going to tell you how to do either mix–do your own googling (a bad guy wanting to kill a bunch of people certainly would).

But none of this has anything to do with physics. Physics would tell you that the “military-style assault weapons” (whatever that term means this week) are actually rather modest in terms of power. The 5.56 NATO cartridge has a muzzle energy of about 12-13 hundred foot pounds. A 30-06 has a muzzle energy of about 38-40 hundred (more than 3 times as powerful). A .375 H&H Magnum (pretty much the minimum for “big game”) has 45-46 hundred foot pounds (4 times as much. A semi-automatic copy of an AK-47 (what’s available in the US)at 15-16 hundred foot pounds is closer to the 5.56 NATO than any “high power” round.

For comparison, Clint Eastwood’s 44 Magnum (no longer the “most powerful handgun in the world” if it ever was) has from 7.6 to 15 hundred foot pounds of muzzle energy, overlapping with these supposed “high power” rifles. A handgun.

That’s the physics. The “exceedingly dangerous” nature of these guns is pure hype, designed to create hysteria to fuel anti-gun fervor.

Can an evil person of evil intent use one to kill a lot of people? Yes. Can said evil person of evil intent do the same thing with half a dozen revolvers (without reloading once)? Also yes. Can said evil person of evil intent do the same with ordinary household chemicals and a half hour or so (if on the slow side) of research on the internet? Also yes. Can said evil person of evil intent do the same with inflammable materials and some matches? Also yes. Can said evil person of evil intent…. Well, by now you should get the idea.

Note the common thread on those things where someone could kill a lot of people: “evil person of evil intent.” That’s what one needs to work on controlling, not the various tools they might choose to use.

Guest
floYd r turbo (american)
3 years 5 months ago

@DavintheD. I am thinking that what you mean by “physics” is something along the lines of the gas law (pv=nrt) whereby if you double the number of guns in the system the “vapor pressure” of guns doubles and the number of gun homicides doubles. I don’t think it works that way – I think it is more like an enzymatic reaction where the role of the enzyme is played by the murderer. Doubling the number of guns does not double the number of gun homicides because the system is already saturated with guns and the enzyme (murderers) are already working as fast as they can. The population of murderer’s is the limiting factor. The best way too disrupt this system is to inactivate the enzyme. Either by jailing the murderer’s or by increasiing the likelihood that the enzyme will encounter a substrate that they cannot processes (ccw holders).

Guest
nhpollack
3 years 5 months ago

David Burkhead,
As they say across the pond, “Good show!”

I spend more than 1000 hours/year researching and reading online, listening to audiobooks and reading books. I like to stay informed and, realizing that truth is flexible, seek out facts and evidence.I gave up all TV news as well as newspapers 31 Oct ’08 and never listened to talk radio. I spend some time ever day on Yahoo! news to see what the mainstream media is “reporting” and what the audience has to say and have to confess that I take perverse pleasure in replying to Leftist Lilliputian Liars and Passive-aggressive Progressive Propagandists until they ultimately either give it up or call me a “poopy head” and leave the field in a huff.

Since everything that appears on the Internet is there, more or less, forever, I entertain the hope that someone who may be undecided on one of the important issues reads one of my exchanges, notes that I present factual arguments, verifies them and, hopefully, comes over to the side of light. Sometimes prevailing in the fight is like eating an elephant–one bite at a time.

Again, you did a masterful job.

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Stephen Barrett
3 years 5 months ago

I agree with you David Burkhead. However Chuck Hawks reports the 223 Rem (civilian version of the 5.56 NATO) at 1300 foot pounds. The 44 Magnum at 600 to 800 foot pounds. A 9mm Parabellum ranges from 400 to 500 foot pounds of energy.
http://www.chuckhawks.com/rifle_ballistics_table.htm
http://www.chuckhawks.com/handgun_power_chart.htm

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lovemyar-15
3 years 4 months ago

DaveintheD, you said “Who has an arsenal in their home? Raise your hands. Do you need all of those? Why? God willing, no one will seek to use one someday for evil purposes.” It’s not a matter of whether or not I need them, I am given the right by the 2nd Amendment to own my “arsenal.” I don’t always buy guns just because I need them; is everything you buy a “need” that is essential for bodily sustenance? To quote Alan Ladd in Shane, “A gun is a tool, and it’s as good or as bad as the man using it.” The 2nd Amendment isn’t about hunting or personal self defense per se, it is to ultimately provide protection for law-abiding citizens against a tyrannical government and leaders who usurp their authority. As for “who needs semi-automatic weapons in their basement?” again, it’s not a matter of whether or not we “need” them. We have the right to own them, and actually they are useful. It seems you are under the misunderstanding that automatic and semi-automatic are synonymous. That is by no means the case, and automatic weapons are already banned. Automatic means that you pull the trigger once, hold it down, and the gun fires until you release the trigger or you run out of ammo. Semi-automatic means you pull the trigger, and it fires one round, and chambers another. To fire another round, you must release the trigger, and pull it again.

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Nathan
5 months 8 days ago

I know that I am way late coming to the comments on this article, but I feel like I need to clarify. The 2nd Amendment doesn’t give us the right to guns. It curtails the power of the government from taking away the right _I already have_.

I believe that it is a fundamental misunderstanding of a lot of people on both sides of this conversation that the Constitution _gives_ rights to the people. Instead, it is a _limiting_ document on the government. ie, we, the people, are telling the government what it is allowed to do and not to do, not the other way around.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Another thing the media hasn’t said is that teachers actually train and practice for these events. The horrific nature of reality overwhelms and we are defenseless against a killer…even a single outraged noncustodial parent.

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Harold Mayo
3 years 5 months ago

You’re saying that we can’t stop such a killer because we are too horrified? B.S. on that.

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Kristophr
3 years 5 months ago

Israel used to have a problem with horrific terrorist assaults on grade schools. The government started training volunteer teachers how to put down terrorists, and armed them.

The terrorists stopped attacking schools with gunmen after terrorists started dieing at the hands of teachers before they could inflict harm.

The “horrific nature of reality” only threatens people who aren’t mentally able to own a gun in the first place … which is why this program is voluntary in Israel.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Senator Thomas Dodd, Connecticut, was involved in ‘The Nuremberg Trials’. He ‘borrowed’ the Wiemar 1938 ‘Disarming’…. of Commoners laws from the German designers of a utopian Disarmed Society and used them for Connecticut’s gun (pertaining to commoners) restrictions. We know history enough to understand how that worked out…

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MJMK
3 years 5 months ago

I’m not a fan of Chris Dodd, but he was only a year old when the Nuremberg Trials began. The Wiemar gun law of *1928* actually loosened the previous total prohibition of guns, imposed by the Versailles Treaty and reintroduced legal (albeit by permit only) gun ownership. The Nazi gun law of 1938 restricted who could get the permits somewhat (except that Party members and govt. workers didn’t need permits) and completely banned Jews from gun ownership.

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floYd r turbo (american)
3 years 5 months ago

We may be talking about two different dodds. The Versailles treaty applied only to the military. The Luftwaffe for example subverted the Versailles treaty by training military pilots at civilian flight schools.

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markm
3 years 4 months ago

MJMK: Or you could have searched for “Thomas Dodd” in Wikipedia. Thomas J. Dodd, Sr.: Chris Dodd’s father, Nuremberg trial counsel, Senator for Connecticut (1959-1971), and introduced the 1968 poor black disarmament (“Gun Control”) Act. Also, censured by the Senate for converting campaign funds to his personal use – and AFAIK, the last Democrat on a national level to be run out of the party for corruption.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Destroy all democrats (communist terrorist) and the problem is solved. 😛

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Peacenik
3 years 5 months ago

YEAH!

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

For a different perspective, Read; http://gunlawidea38.weebly.com . We at H.E.G.I.C. wrote this a while back and is directed at street shootings but has some value in the mental health paragraph for long term reduction of the “sandy Hook’ type of shootings. I really don’t think people will want guns in schools and find it very interesting that many schools do have guns now. I honestly don’t think that makes one bit of difference to the shooter, usually armed with many guns an has a bullet proof vest as well.
Bob Biehn
302-528-4115

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Troy
3 years 5 months ago

I would have read through your website, but you disqualified yourself from serious consideration by your statement in this post ” I really don’t think people will want guns in schools… I honestly don’t think that makes one bit of difference to the shooter, usually armed with many guns an has a bullet proof vest as well.” In any endeavor, no matter how misguided, a judgement is made as to how successful it will be. The shooter would have to take into account how quickly he might meet resistance in his attempt for infamy. That is why “gun free zones” is the overwhelming choice of these sickos!

I would bet if you poll the parents at Sandy Hook, right now, they would be in favor of more good guys armed in that school. Regardless of the things that led up to the bad guy being there, what was or was not addressed regarding his mental health… once he is there… the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun, is with a good guy with a gun, period.

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Lailah
3 years 5 months ago

Bullet proof vest? The dude has a head. It can be shot.

I live in Utah where teachers are allowed to CCW in the schools. Guess how many school shootings we’ve had? None.

Guest
3 years 3 months ago

I came a bit late to this debate, but the HEGIC web-site and the material there is so far off base I could cry. The major causes of crime, both with and without guns are well known. A smallish percentage of people, no matter what their up-bringing, are crime prone and very little can be done with them. They end up in drug dealing and crimes, join gangs, corrupt politics, and errorism. There is also a very small subset, which seems to be growing somewhat, of mentally dysfunctional, violent people. They used to be in hospitals but various changes to the laws have made it very difficult to get them into safe care now.

There are a few basic causes of why the rest of the criminals do their deeds:
1) Brought up in a single parent and/or dysfunctional family, particularly without a father present.
2) Lack of active parenting to teach them responsibility, and provide them with a loving caring home that teaches them self-respect.
3) Lack of a moral up-bringing. I nearly broke out laughing at the “respect for law” page. While a moral person will obey the law, the law has nothing to do with morality, but legality. Currently the public school system has been turned into a nearly totally amoral indoctrination into self love. It takes a tremendous amount of parental guidance to get children through it withwith help from righteous teachers that teach around the system if needed and give a child a sense of personal responsibility, self-respect, and personal worth.

The proposed law is so full of constitutional infringements it can never be enforced.

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John
2 years 2 months ago

So, faced with having a gun (Chance) or not, you’d rather not have a gun (Chance).

I’d rather have a chance than you just lie down and die.

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Greg "Blotto" Garrett
2 years 2 months ago

I’m not sure what bumped this back up to the top of the heap, but I’ll pitch in. Having read H.E.G.I.C.’s website, it brings up a couple of frequent (misguided) beliefs of those ignorant of guns and crime.

You’re operating under the common liberal, ignorant misconception that reason trumps force. It doesn’t. When the mugger demands your wallet, you can lay out the most logical, air-tight argument as to why you should not do that, but that won’t stop him from braining you with a crowbar and taking your wallet. If you want to counter criminal
violence, fight back. Nothing changes the dynamics of a gunfight faster than trained, accurate return fire. If you can’t bring yourself to defend yourself, then you’d better keep tabs on the nearest sheepdog who will do that for you.

Paper will not protect you. Three strike laws haven’t stopped crime…they’ve made criminals with two strikes fanatically determined not to be caught for the thrird time. Your proposed strict, non-negotiable laws, billboards, education programs and legislative attempts to “manage” criminal violence won’t deter the mass shooters you’re trying to address. Understand this; THEY DON’T CARE! Criminals break multiple laws buying guns, and break more laws using the guns. I’m pretty sure they knew that at the time. So, you’re either proposing something that will not affect the criminals sparking your attention, or you’re allowing yourself to be manipulated in to supporting the ignorant beliefs of the gun-grabbers, riding the emotional coat-tails of tragedies to promote a gun-control agenda
that would have no affect on those tragedies. Do you really think you can dissuade criminals through ADVERTISING!?! I know you want to help, but please get out of your insular suburban bubble and go learn from beat cops and (legal) gun owners and instructors. There is no critical mass of ignorance that will generate knowledge spontaneously. I’m all for education and training, but only if you’ve got knowledge worth passing on, and only when presented to a
receptve audience. Pulling it out of your ignorant ass won’t help, and neither will nagging or shaming criminals. Again, they just don’t care, no matter what you believe. Your proposed abolishment of the appeals process for second and subsequent offenses also runs in to Constitutional problems, as well as creating a tool just waiting for an authoritarian to abuse.

As far as today’s laws not working as well as in past decades, again your beliefs and perceptions are in conflict with reality. Violent crime has been on a steady decline since the 90’s. What has changed is the MSM coverage of violent crime, which is now ever-present.

Comparing cars to criminal violence is specious. Massive advertising hasn’t lowered automobile fatalities so much as has making cars more idiot-proof. Drivers in America are just as unskilled and uncaring as they ever were, they’e just protected by more airbags and electronic nannies than in the past. Cars are not concealable, nor are they a Constitutional right. Criminals use cars too, but nobody is suggesting a universal background check for cars. A credit card is all you need to mow down people walking on the sidewalk. As to cars largely not being lethal weapons, tell that to the families of the 34,000 people killed in 2012 with cars.

Understand that “It is all well and good to tighten up areas like Gun Show Loopholes, Large Capacity Magazines, Discarding of Apprehended Guns, Gun By-Back Programs, Gun Registration and Background checks”, is not in fact all well and good. Laws such as these simply do not inhibit criminals. Registration did make it easier for Great Britain and Australia to confiscate the guns of those law-abiding citizens compliant enough to register them. That they still had them to be confiscated tells me that they’d committed no crime with them prior to confiscation. I also doubt that criminals in those countries voluntarily surrendered their guns. Buy-back programs fail for similar reasons.

Mental health is a factor in criminal violence, and the headline-grabbing (though infrequent) mass shootings. However, mental health has a notoriously poor compliance rate among its patients already, and turning health care providers into tattletales (either voluntary or mandatory), won’t exactly encourage the mentally ill to seek treatment. Doctor-patient confidentiality is more than just a catch-phrase, it has a clinical purpose. It also puts you on the wrong side of the fence compared to your ACLU buds, so good luck with that.

I don’t know if Newtown parents oppose or favor concealed carry permit holders being allowed to carry in public schools. I know that I am opposed to gun-control advocates asking only the victims of gun violence for input. Gun owners and law enforcement officers also have relevant knowledge and experience, but we’re consistently ignored or shut out by the gun-grabbers, because we tell them things that offend their beliefs. Principal Dawn Hochsprung certainly displayed the spirit of a sheep dog in confronting Lanza at Sandy Hook, though she lacked a firearm and training. I do not know if she had an opinion on lawful firearms in schools, but I think it’s fair to say that the shooting would have been much less tragic had she been armed. A lawful, legally armed concealed carry permit holder is certainly a more pragmatic solution than trying to make criminals harmless through impotent legislation that they alone will ignore.

I used to be as ignorant as you apparently still are, parroting the same ignorant crap that I picked up from equally ignorant friends. The difference is that I sought out those who knew more about guns and crime than I did, and I listened to them. I suggest you do the same. Gathering all of your ignorant friends together and giving yourselves an unpronouncable acronym like H.E.G.I.C. won’t cut it.

“Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.” – John Kenneth Galbraith

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scott
2 years 2 months ago

Greg, not to detract from your well written and cogent response, but as you summed up in your closing quote, anti-gun people just don’t care about differing points. I have found that hands on experience is the only cure of fear of weapons. My 22 year old daughter grew up with firearms (and is one great sporting clays shot). she lives in NYC near 3 aunts who were scared to even touch a gun. On a visit to our ranch last year, we broke down both shotguns and handguns to pieces, reassemble in front of them, all the while discussing gun safety.

i had three annie oakleys after a couple of hours.

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thisfrickinguy
3 years 5 months ago

Unfortunately, the case studies that exist strongly suggest that “gun free zones” don’t work. Banning all guns might work, and laying off the bans might work, but it’s very clear that having specific areas that are labelled as “gun free zones” fail to deter gun violence.

We’re more likely to see a decrease in the incidence of violence by propping up our social safety nets and reforming our criminal justice and penal systems. This would cut down on crimes of desperation (assault, robbery, gang activity…these represent most gun violence), and would be far more likely to make a dent in our violence problem than stricter gun control.

Unfortunately, real solutions to our violence problem would require stronger social safety nets, which would require higher taxes, and will likely incite outrage from the “other side.” Just as there are justifiable complaints about many liberals’ automatic opposition to guns, there are justifiable complaints about knee-jerk ideological responses from conservatives when trying to make progress on social issues. There’s evidence that gun bans don’t do anything, so let’s not do that. There’s also evidence that making serious efforts to decrease the levels of despair and hopelessness in impoverished neighborhoods would result in less violence.

Ultimately, the author is correct in asserting that the entire discussion that’s occurring in the mainstream media is nothing short of idiotic and unsubstantiated. We’ve got bigger discussions we need to be having, and which would be far more likely to yield actual results.

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Peacenik
3 years 5 months ago

Interesting that both you and the author make “sane” assessments regarding the shooter’s strategy while noting how damaged and demented the shooter is. In most cases, the target is not selected because of strategic ease, but to factors relating to the shooter’s personal relationships. So: gun free zones don’t matter. Security guards don’t matter. If I’m deranged and want to kill someone, an armed teacher won’t matter either.

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Jerry L Brown
3 years 4 months ago

Inpoint of fact the guy was not wearing a bullet proof vest it was a tactical chest rig. Here in Jax. Fl. we already have armed police officers in every school. As far back as I can remember there has never been a shooting at any school here.

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MarineCorpsVet
3 years 4 months ago

I might inject here that a wise man has said that a safety net can easily be turned into a hammock.

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diehard316
3 years 5 months ago

Well said as always.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Bless you, Mr. Correia, for taking the time to write this. Our Florida representatives will be hearing from me.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Wow, thank you

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LepusKhan
3 years 5 months ago

Folks, we need to share this as widely as possible…

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Lazy Bike Commuter
3 years 5 months ago

Very, very well said. The only possible thing I can take issue with it that the “shoulder goes up” moron was Carolyn McCarty, not Dianne Feinstein. Although I bet she doesn’t know what a barrel shroud is either.

It is INSANE to me that so many people think that a teacher shouldn’t be trusted with a gun, but somehow should be trusted to be alone in a room full of children.

Thanks for fighting the good fight and saying what we all know is true better than we say it ourselves.

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dgarsys
3 years 5 months ago

Heh. I know a teacher I otherwise respect (band, at our local school) who, under arming teachers, said “are you nuts?” in a “they’re nto capable of doing so they’re so flaky” way.

Sounds like the best argument for homeschooling yet, straight from an NEA rep’s mouth. If they can’t be trusted to be cautious with dangerous things and point the bangey end at teh shootey guy, they’re not mature and wise enough to teach my kids.

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Kristophr
3 years 5 months ago

Projection.

The NEA union rep knows he cannot be trusted with sharp objects, so he assumes no one else can be trusted with sharp objects.

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Travis
3 years 5 months ago

Actually, Dianne Feinstein probably would. She’s a CCW holder in a state that they’re neigh impossible to get, and speaks knowledgeably about firearms every time I’ve heard her open her mouth on the subject.

Which makes it all the stranger to me that she wants to pass stricter and stricter gun laws.

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Lazy Bike Commuter
3 years 5 months ago

I can’t reconcile “speaks knowledgeably about firearms” with “wants to ban scary-looking ones”.

There are only a few ways to get CCW permits in may-issue states like CA and NY.

Usually it’s pick two from:

Be rich
Be white
Be in office

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Travis
3 years 5 months ago

@LBC If you can’t reconcile that, think about “I’m a priest, and I don’t want people to marry because I don’t like them”

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Knowledgable? You mean when she swept an entire audience with a full auto rifle with her finger on the trigger. Her permit is political. I bet she has never had any training. She doesn’t need it…she already knows everything.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

The reason she wants to pass Gun control laws id the same reason she was so willing to pass the affordable healthcare act and higher taxes. Congress will more often than not exempt themselves from such laws.
Those laws are for YOU, not her…

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Triplanetary
3 years 5 months ago

Because she already has hers. There are liberal hypocrites too.

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PlaidZebras
3 years 5 months ago

How can I confirm that Diane Feinstein is a CCW holder? How do you know that? And Larry, I read the ENTIRE article. It was a bit rough around the edges, and confusing sometimes, but educational, and well said. THanks.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

She no longer has a CCW. It expired long ago.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

We need more liberals like Feinstein in office. Strictly for target practice.

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Kristophr
3 years 5 months ago

Not strange at all.

She wants to be able to run your life for you. If you are armed, she can’t do that effectively.

Peasants with firearms are dangerous to bossy politicians, so of course she wants to disarm us cousin-humping redneck retards. Criminals are merely a road hazard, and are not as dangerous as armed peasant.

If you fear criminals, you should join the inner party, and Big Brother will assign a soldier/slave to protect you, or give you a firearm if you ar a DIY kinda person.

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Avid Reader
3 years 5 months ago

Actually, he correctly cited McCarthy in the essay.

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AndyC
3 years 5 months ago

Anti-gun Chuck Schumer (D) apparently has an “unrestricted” NYC permit – Animal Farm is alive and well.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Yes he did and I learned a few things from this article.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Hi Larry,

Thanks for the good article. I think people get a little extreme when things like this happen in our country.

I’m for tight regulation of guns, but I don’t feel they should be banned at all, so I was just wondering what it takes today to buy a gun. Is there a waiting period, or background checks, or what? I’m interested to know, since everyone’s always talking about gun control, but no one ever mentions how tightly the actual purchase of a handgun is controlled.

One last thing. I know that you’re not a psychologist, but I don’t know that it’s in good taste to call these killers scumbags, losers, broken, evil, etc. I’m not saying what the latest killer did was right, and I 100% agree that they should not in any way be publicized after the fact, but I find myself feeling pity more than anything for these people and their victims. If someone had been able to reach out to this person and get them help, then maybe it would have never happened. If anything, we should be taking a good look at mental health after something like this happens, not gun control.

Anyway, great article, and here’s hoping that you can clear up what it actually takes to get buy a handgun today, just to feed my curious mind. 🙂

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Eric Hepner
3 years 5 months ago

Purchase laws vary from state to state. For example, here in Illinois, we are required to have a firearm owners Id card, issued by the state police. We still have to pass a background check at the time of sale, so I’m not sure what the point of the FOID is, but I do live in the state that produced the Chicago Combine form of politics. There is a waiting period, which has been shown to be nearly as effective as gun bans in reducing crime (not at all) and you have to produce your FOID to buy ammo.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Thanks for the info. I’ll have to see what the laws are like here in PA. Appreciate the response 🙂

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LepusKhan
3 years 5 months ago

Also, *Federal* Law requires a mandatory FBI background check for anyone purchasing from a licensed FFL holder (Federal Firearms License). You fill out your 4473 and they call in to check up on you….

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Jim Foster
3 years 5 months ago

FOID was instituted for one reason only: to deny minorities access to guns. That’s why it’s structured the way it is. The “right kind” of people would still get guns, the “wrong sort” wouldn’t get a permit.

Another example of a law passed due to irrational fear (“Oh no! Race war!”) which was at root about politicians getting more control.

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David
3 years 5 months ago

FOID is effectively a 30-day waiting period for your first (legal) gun, and also a 30-day waiting period for even being allowed to fire someone else’s gun (eg. a rental at a range or a friend’s gun), because when firing it, you are “in possession” of it, which is illegal without a FOID, even on private property. A FOID is easy to get (if you are eligible) and costs $10.

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Owen Glendower
3 years 5 months ago

“For example, here in Illinois, we are required to have a firearm owners Id card, issued by the state police. We still have to pass a background check at the time of sale, so I’m not sure what the point of the FOID is,..”

It is a bit puzzling at first glance. I think that the main reason for the FOID (which I got recently) is to control in-state purchases of ammo. I suppose we should count ourselves lucky that all we have to do is show the FOID before we pay. The card isn’t swiped or recorded.

Also, Illinois has some picky regulations about transporting firearms and ammunition. The FOID allows the LEO to determine that you are in legal possession of that cased firearm he just spotted in your trunk.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Google is your friend MAR. It varies from state to state I..and in some cases…city to city. Follow the trials and tribulations of Emily Miller and all the unmitigated crap she had to put up with in D.C.
http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/guns/2011/oct/5/miller-emily-gets-her-gun/

Here articles is just one version of City to City…let alone state. Another good example is to look at the laws on the books for Aurora where the shooting happened a few months ago. IIRC there were 3 people in the theatre that night that were CCW holders. Also IIRC 2 left their guns at home because…Gun Free Zone. The other brought it with him and locked it in the trunk of his vehicle when he went in…which did him no good when Joker wannabe boy walked in and started shooting people.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Okay, I’ll admit that I was lazy. Normally I’m on the other end of this discussion, so I guess now I know what it feels like 🙂 Thanks for the info, and the quick response.

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Owen Glendower
3 years 5 months ago

Thanks for this info. News stories at the time indicated that at least three military veterans were in the Aurora audience. A pity they weren’t carrying. One of those vets died shielding the woman he was with, even though she wasn’t his wife.

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D Wilhelm
3 years 5 months ago

At the moment in Colorado as long as you can pass the NICS background check and are over 18 you can buy a rifle or shotgun (21 for handguns). NICS is is the National Instant Criminal Background Check run by the FBI. http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/nics.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Sandy Hook did not happen because of inadequate gun control — it simply illustrates how gun control is an utterly failed and discredited policy that results in innocents being slaughtered.

Instant background checks are the law of the land for all handgun purchases from dealers, with some exceptions for people like other federally licenses dealers or collectors.

CT has a two week waiting period, at least on “assault weapons” (again, the term just means “scary looking to the ignorant”).

CT has STRICTER laws concerning “assault weapons” than the previous federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994, and it was in place BEFORE the 1994 AWB was.

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Paul Birnbaum
3 years 5 months ago

If there was an AWB in effect in CT, how did Mama Lanza become an owner of an AR-15

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Mark C.
3 years 5 months ago

CT rilfe laws are odd. An AR-15 is allowed (can you say Colt), and so is a Mini-14 (can you say Ruger). AK-47’s are banned by type. You can’t buy an FN-FAL, but you can a STG-58 (same thing, different name). You are nixed on the H&K rilfes too. Also, you cannot possess the rifle when you move in from another state.

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tyroneb
3 years 5 months ago

I volunteer at a homeless shelter here in Montana. If I were to mention I wanted a gun, those ex-cons would have me a trunk full in about one hour!

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Karen
3 years 5 months ago

I hate to speak ill of the dead, but as the mother of an adult son with disabilities similar to those allegedly suffered by the shooter at Sandy Hook, I am appalled that Nancy Lanza chose to keep weapons in her home, and to allow her son access to those weapons. To me,that was the height of irresponsibility and bad judgment. My husband does his shooting in another city, my son has never seen a gun (for many years we had to keep all sharp objects padlocked in a fishing tackle box and had to use a key to access it for food prep). When you are the parent of a child or grown adult with these kinds of issues, you must make sacrifices; when the threat lives with you in the form of mental illness and lack of self-control, be it bipolar disorder, intermittent explosive disorder or schizophrenia, guns do not belong in the same building. If you want to feel safe at home, large dogs work well, and training them can take every bit as much dedication and effort as learning to shoot.

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Kristophr
3 years 5 months ago

Karen: The axtive killer’s mother was in the process of trying to have him committed for being a danger to herself and others.

He revenged himself on her by acting calm enough to get close to her and murder her, and then he took her self-defense weapons, and shot up the school she was volunteering at instead of helping him feed his delusions.

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Wes D
3 years 5 months ago

By contrast, here in Virginia you have used to have (until this year, awesomely enough) a 1-gun-a-month limit unless you were a concealed carry permit holder. There are no registrations, no limitations on ammo other than age, and age requirements are 21 for handguns, 18 for everything else.

There are stricter local ordinances closer to DC, but Virginia sticks to its rural roots everywhere else.

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Michael
3 years 5 months ago

Hey, Awful. I can’t speak for other states, but I can tell you that in Florida, assuming everyone involved us doing things legally and you are not a CCW permit holder, there is both a waitg period and a background check. The background check is not anywhere near as in-depth as for a security clearance, but it does ensure that the prospective purchaser isn’t a felon.

Thwaiting period is in place to makeertain that the purchaser doesn’t run right out and become a felon. It may also mean that “temporary insanity” don’esnt hold any water as a defense, if you then run out and murder someone with your brand new firearm.

As a CCW holder, I no longer have a wait time. I believe I still have to undergo a background check, but the cost us negligible, and so is the time it takes for the firearms dealer to run it.

There is also a mandatory training portion to Florida’s CCW classes, to ensure that the applicant knows which way to point and how to operate the firearm properly. There us also a background check involved here, and it’s much more in-depth I believe, not to mention having to wait for the actual permit to arrive via mail.

I know, just through some cursory research, that each state has laws that are stricter or looser than Florida’s, but also that Florida has one of the mist widely accepted carry permits in America, while many states with very strict firearms laws find it difficult if not impossible to have their permits acknowledged in other states, because the staunchly anti-gun governments in these states refuse to acknowledge other states’ permits.

Hope this helps!

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

I’ve been of the opinion that if someone kills a dozen or so children wilfully, my empathy for their particular personal issues disappears. Which is more important? The feelings of a mass murder? Or the feelings of the victims, families, and other Americans traumatized by his actions?

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Meg
3 years 4 months ago

Of course the feelings of the victims families are more important than considering the feelings of the murderer. To acknowledge one is not to diminish the other. We are all, as human beings and as fellows of the same country, capable of empathizing with all of the affected. Up to and including the murderer. Do I feel bad that he’s in hell now, paying for what he did? No, he is responsible for his actions. But it is possible for me to also weep for the innocent child he once was, and to pity him for whatever happened to him that robbed him of that innocence.

Guest
Harold Mayo
3 years 5 months ago

Not in good taste to call them bad names? I wasn’t “in good taste” to kill 20 children, either.

I’m not a mental health pro but a friend of mine (now deceased) was a psychiatrist and his rather cynical but realistic take on mental illness was that, if someone was truly messed up, you really never “get over it”. He said people truly messed up were that way permanently and you basically prescribed drugs to keep them under control and institutionalized them if they were truly a threat to others. Most people who were “curable” he said you prescribed meds to in order to let them cope while they either got used to the situation(s) which caused their distress and were no longer distressed or until the situation went away. This was all in response to my innocent question of “how many people do you cure”?

Bad guy with a gun is a bad guy with a gun, regardless of how he got that way. The cure is a good guy with a gun.

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Brewer Perkins
3 years 5 months ago

What if a good guy turns bad? Oops, another bad guy with a gun! Oh wait… gun addicts will always be the good ones, right?

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Or another bad guy with a can of gas (Happy Land Fire) or another bad guy with fertilizer and fuel oil (Oklahoma City), or another Bad Guy with an internet connection and access to knowledge of how to make poison gas (Tokyo Subway Attack).

“What if a good guy turns bad?” So blame all gun owners because some tiny percentage might turn bad?

I presume you’re a “good guy”. Are you really that close to slipping that you think “what if a good guy turns bad” should drive policy to the point of depriving people of self defense against the large number of folk who are already bad?

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Lauren
3 years 5 months ago

Lets outlaw the internet because someone might hack into your computer. Lets outlaw roads to prevent drunk driving. Lets outlaw the mail system to prevent fraud.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Here’s one reporter’s story on buying her first gun in Washington DC, the utopia of gun control law:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jan/6/emily-gets-her-gun-part-2/

Here’s the official page on how to buy a gun in Vermont, the original free constitutional carry state:

http://www.parros.com/FAQs.php#4

Now here’s a page you can use to compare the gun death rates of those two places:

http://www.statemaster.com/graph/cri_mur_wit_fir-death-rate-per-100-000

Does all that gun control mummery make you feel safe yet?

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Jason
3 years 4 months ago

All other things being equal, it’s disingenuous to compare the gun deaths rates for a low-population, largely rural state like Vermont to that of the District of Columbia.

I largely agree with this article, but hauling out comments like that just looks dishonest (because it is).

Guest
3 years 4 months ago

“All other things being equal, it’s disingenuous to compare the gun deaths rates for a low-population, largely rural state like Vermont to that of the District of Columbia.”

So what you’re saying is that factors other than gun control are responsible for the differences in violent crime? Good. We agree then.

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Princess Mom
3 years 5 months ago

“Good taste” does not enter into it. What you’re arguing is that anyone who has a mental illness should be absolved for killing 26 people. Do you know how many Americans are schizophrenic or bipolar and *don’t* kill anyone? People who can be helped don’t shoot first-graders in the back. Evil murdering scumbags do.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

I call troll.

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Sean McLaughlin
3 years 5 months ago

I don’t know of any better adjectives to call people who bring death, torture, to others irrespective of the “reason”. Sure, one can feel sorry for Hitler, but a monster is a monster is a monster.

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litg
3 years 5 months ago

For what it’s worth, myawfulreviews, I fully agree with your comment on the mental health thing. It does no good to demonize someone suffering a debilitating mental illness. Do that enough (and it is done very frequently and very publicly) and future sufferers (in earlier stages) won’t come forward to seek help because of the stigma mental illness carries in this country. Simplifying the causes of these tragedies to “evil” or “bad guys” is a sop and a crutch to make us feel better. After all, if it wasn’t caused by pure, incurable evil, then there might have been something we could have done about it and that makes it more of a complex mess than a black and white issue. You want to get to these guys who go on to shoot up schools or movie theaters before they pick up a gun, not after. Then you reduce the casualties to zero.

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Joseph Baptist
3 years 4 months ago

Let me get this straight – some evil, scumbag, broken, criminal, nut-job kills a bunch of kids, and you not only want to impose more restrictions on law abiding gun owners, but you also think we should pity the guy who killed the kids? Remember, this is the killer who is already getting all the media hype in death that he wanted when he planned this stunt killing.
That’s typical libtarded thinking – blame the gun owners, not the criminal.

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NH-TT
3 years 4 months ago

myawfulreviews (and others on this posting),

First, full disclosure up front: I am a conservative male who has grown up owning and using firearms. However, since moving out east several decades ago, I’ve found neither the time nor interest in owning and using firearms. What’s really driving my interest in this debate is that a friend of mine lost her son in the Sandy Hook shooting; my wife and I attended the wake and seeing her son in that little casket was truly life altering. How could this happen? As a parent of two girls and a husband to a kindergarten teacher — and as a friend of a recent victim — I am probably a bit more emotionally biased than others. There, that’s where I’m coming from.

Second, an observation: Larry’s article and those responding to his article have some of the most well thought out, cogent, and solution-oriented discussions that I have seen. Based on what I read so far, Larry and you responders are more solution-oriented than what many of us (us = folks who don’t own guns, believe in others’ right to bear arms, and don’t see responsible gun ownership as the issue) see in the media.

I encourage all of us to work from a common ground: senseless violence is a problem we need to address. And, as I see it, there are two kinds of senseless violence. One is perpetrated by sane criminals with weapons. Perhaps by tightening up the ways in which these criminals get their weapons we can reduce their availability; close gun show and private sale loopholes; track each gun; share databases; prosecute those who carry guns in crimes as if they used the gun…. I think we have more than enough laws and legislation to deal with this type of senseless violence.

The second kind of senseless violence is perpetrated by someone who is — at least for the moment — insane/whacked/evil. Such is the person at Sandy Hook or Columbine. No law is going to prevent this person from acting out. It’s THESE situations that I see as the crux of our dilemma. It’s these types of situations where we look to control the CIRCUMSTANCES because we know that the person can’t be controlled.

No law would have prevented Sandy Hook. But are there things that we could have done — can do for tomorrow — that would have acted as “speed bumps” (as Larry calls them) to this person acquiring and using weapons against those who are so vulnerable. Part of the equation is looking at “those who are so vulnerable” and making them less vulnerable. Perhaps a trained armed guard might have slowed or stopped the shooter. We’ll never know. Perhaps a tighter school security system (i.e., no windows; double doors; automatic lock-down) might have slowed the shooter down. Perhaps exterior access would have allowed children to flee. Perhaps a “bunker” in the classroom would have allowed children to hide (my wife, a kindergarten teacher, has a bathroom that can hold 8-10 children securely)….

But part of the equation is also looking at “acquiring and using weapons.” We MUST consider tighter gun registration systems, gun ownership databases, sharing of gun owner information, etc. We’ll always have the whackos, but if there’s something we can do to prevent the next whacko from grabbing a lethal combination of high power with rapid fire, we should at least consider it.

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Alligosh
3 years 4 months ago

NH-TT: “But part of the equation is also looking at “acquiring and using weapons.” We MUST consider tighter gun registration systems, gun ownership databases, sharing of gun owner information, etc.”

No. Wrong.

Benjamin Franklin: “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

The road you suggest leads to very bad places, in every case in history. Honest leaders would not use this information for bad, and I appreciate the world view you have that allows you to believe that this would only be used for the good of the citizens of this country. The problem is that history tells a different story, and the Founding Fathers were actually quite brilliant in the system they setup.

We MUST find a solution that does not abandon our very freedoms and liberties. I think Larry has the right path here, and the only one that does not end in anarchy and eventual revolution.

Guest
2 years 4 months ago

NH-TT

I would agree with you on gun registration and databases if I trusted the government to stop there. Fortunately and wisely, I don’t. Neither did our founding fathers even when they WERE the government. They also found it necessary to make sure God and His plan was recognized: something not done very well in schools today.

NL in Alaska

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steve
3 years 5 months ago

Larry,

You left out what happens when total gun control is implemented by an armed force. I know a Green Beret who was in Haiti. They had a paid informant program to collect ALL the guns in the country. And, amazingly, they did.

The result was gangs of male teenagers with machetes terrorizing everyone. It was really, really ugly. They would, in order, terrorize, rob, rape girls while forcing males to watch, butcher males, enslave females. This went on until the town elders’ tearful begging convinced the soldiers to look the other way when the old men got shotguns.

There was a time when widespread perfect gun control existed and worked. It was that beautiful, peaceful, happy go lucky safe time known as the middle ages, before guns were small enough to carry. Oh, what a utopia that was! Women were property because strong men could simply take anything they wanted. And unarmed women were there for the taking.

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Ryan
3 years 5 months ago

I’m not arguing that we should remove all guns as a solution but this argument seems to equate Haiti culture with American culture. That we’d have machete-wielding teen gangs doing the same things.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

You would get the US equivalent. Go to New York City or Chicago sometime and you can meet some of them now.

Guest
Dmac
3 years 5 months ago

I would add that their is a country that is more heavily armed than America and strangely enough they have never had a mass shooting that country as a matter of fact arms every male citizen between 18 and 65 with a true miltary assault weapons (in other words A select fire weapon capable of full automatic fire). In addition the country I speak has an extremely low crime rate what is the name of this country Switzerland. Another country that had a ten year rash of mass shootings and terrorist attacks on their schools has not had a single incedent in 35 years that country is Isreal how did they do it you ask. They armed and trained their teachers, volunteer parents and grandparents. So the evidence shows that arms control makes it more dangerous and armed citizens reduce crimes and mass shootings But If you realy want to prove it here take four cities of similar crime rates,, population densities, and current arms control regulations keep the restrictions in two of them and in the other two issue CCWs and arm the Teachers that are willing and qualify. Monitor these four cities for two years and then compare the results objectively and publicly before discussing any changes to the federal law. That is the logical a scientific way of proving what I already know but it ends all the arguments and proves it to non believers

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Brian
3 years 5 months ago

MS-13 gangs have already been known to use machetes to butcher people in this country.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Well, guns appeared in the Middle ages and gave the aristocracy quite a scare. They began to say “wait! These peasants can kill our armored buts in battle too easily!” So they implemented gun control and began to wear more exuberant clothing to compensate for their lack of battle prestige. What kind of world is this where a peasant can kill a noble? Geez!

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steve
3 years 5 months ago

If you’re going to blog about this, you might note that the English Longbow was able to kill armored opponents extremely well. The longbow was the weapon of choice for quite some time, and after Agincourt, the English archer was terrifying.

I hear that the French started chopping off the bowstring holding fingers of prisoners, and the English palm facing salute was to show off the continued possession of said fingers.

I’m further given to understand that archery practice became mandatory by law, and practice was often in the churchyard on Sundays. I think Scientific American once did some articles about recovered bows and arrowheads from a shipwreck being able to do unbelivable penetrations of period plate armor, from insane glancing angles. Also, that the bows recovered showed that a lifetime of practice must have created absolute gorillas, as the had extreme draw weights.

Later on, the crossbow was invented and the ability to store up energy to be released with just a trigger/lever pull caused the Pope to outlaw crossbows from warfare.

Again, you’ll want to fact check anything above before mentioning it in your excellent blog Minimum Wage Historian. Your three parter on Malta was fantastic.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Larry, I agree with everything you’ve said here… but I notice that it’s more about discussion points, rather than offering up potentially viable solutions. What are the odds you’d throw up some ideas for the non-gun owning folk to consider, INSTEAD of banning everything up to and including blunt objects? I agree with eliminating the ban on CCW in schools, and offering free training to teachers – I’m not a certified instructor, but a teacher I met on the flight home last night is going to the range with me on Sunday for some familiarization and training in the basics of firearms.

Another option I’ve seen several places, is the use of veterans organizations; they’re already trained – although refresher training is always a good idea – and they’ve already displayed the ability to put themselves ‘in harm’s way’..

Yet still another option I’ve seen is to use the National Guard – although I have concerns about that; a fatherly or grandfatherly-type in school is a much different visual to a younger child, than a rifle-wielding soldier in uniform.. plain-clothes NG troops, maybe?

Thanks as always; I love the perspective you put so ably into words.

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Mike In Seattle
3 years 5 months ago

Honestly? The answer is to move the topic of discussion away from ‘feel good’ kabuki like Gun-Free Zones to encouraging teachers to CCW. The other, FAR more complicated answer (which generally gets TL;DRed) is to reopen a conversation on the effects of the de-Institutionalization experiment in the Mental Health field we’ve been running since the 70’s.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

“reopen a conversation on the effects of the de-Institutionalization experiment”

twang!!!…..zzzzzttt……>>——>……thunk!

Bullseye.

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Jake
3 years 5 months ago

I’m not convinced anything SHOULD be done, beyond allowing teachers who don’t suck to have the option of concealed carry.

No, seriously.

What happened is tragic, and illuminates some serious flaws in how we do things, to be certain – but the perpetrator was a lunatic who had no problem starting the day by murdering his own mother in cold blood, and getting progressively darker from there. This is not a typical situation, as Larry pointed out. It’s a freak disaster, like getting struck by lightning. Any measure that attempts to address the specifics of this situation directly – banning guns to one degree or another, that sort of thing – would be like outlawing electrical storms.

Every high school I attended had a resource officer, a cop assigned specifically to the school. I attend a university whose campus police are sworn officers – guns and badges, not rent-a-cops in school colors – and generally more competent than the surrounding city police. I have nothing but admiration for these professionals, and have no doubt that they and others (like the National Guardsmen and -women mentioned) would be more than happy to patrol schools, but I’m not convinced such measures are necessary. Two reasons, both of which boil down to sending the wrong message.

First, it sends the message that you are not responsible for your own safety. If something is dangerous, armed men will come and save you from it. If they haven’t done so, then it must not be dangerous. I’m not saying a six-year-old should try to stare down armed lunatics. I’m saying we should be teaching people to recognize dangerous situations and understand how to A, get out of them safely, and B, not get into them in the first place.

Second, it sends the message that this situation is so far gone that the only remaining option is to deploy armed troops to keep order in our elementary schools. It’s like nuclear waste. The disposal plans are so elaborate, so stuffed with fail-safes and backups and hundred-thousand-year plans, that people get the impression that the stuff is instantly lethal without such measures. It’s dangerous, sure, and you wouldn’t want to eat it or swim in it, but the same can be said for gasoline and antifreeze. As a practical matter, those are more dangerous, since they can be lethal within hours (or minutes, if you burn the gas) with the right exposure.

Similarly, taking steps out of such concern begs the questions, “Am I in that much danger?” And “Are there other steps that could be taken (by someone else) to ensure my safety?” The answer to the first is, well, no, not any more or less than you were yesterday. To the second, sure, there are always more steps, but most of them aren’t practical.

The simplest, most expedient, and likely most effective is relaxing restrictions on CCW for teachers and better training on how to respond in violent situations. Keeping open eyes, recognizing danger signs, and having the means to respond effectively – and immediately – are simple, practical steps that cost basically nothing and can be started immediately. Like, “training completed before Christmas Break is over” immediately.

But no, the narrative is that guns are the problem, so expansive, intricate federal intervention and drastic action are what the (loudest) people want. And if they don’t want it, well, they’re knuckle-draggers who need it anyway, and to hell with their [rights]opinions.

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Boo
3 years 5 months ago

The solution for non-gun owning folks is to put yourself in a position where it is very likely that if some sick individual were to try and start killing people, they would be confronted by an armed good guy as quickly as possible.
The way to implement this solution is to abolish any rules that stop the good guys from being armed, wherever you are.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Jake makes a good point — this guy was a freak one-man disaster, on a par with multiple lightning strikes. There’s an IT maxim — you don’t design for edge cases.

Guest
Sam
3 years 5 months ago

But if these are truly one-off events, then why do they seem to be occurring with increasing frequency? I’m not saying a total ban on guns is the answer but the US already has by far more guns per capita than any other nation in the world. However, the frequency of such mass shootings seems to be an American invention.

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Mike In Seattle
3 years 5 months ago

1. Correlation is not Causation.
2. “If it Bleeds it’s a lede”
3. Because it sells print.

And so it goes.

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Dmac
3 years 5 months ago

Sam, you are incorrect there is another country who has more gun per capita then the US, Switzerland in fact the government Issues all males who are physically and mentally capable a real (capable of selective fire between semi automatic and full atomatic like a machine gun) that they must maintain and are responsible for till there 65 when weapons are updated they can either trade it for the newer model or pay a nominal fee to purchase it. Also women who volunteer for military or police service are also issued to same as the men their issue however is not obligatory

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Kristophr
3 years 5 months ago

Switzerland also has extensive marksmanship classes in schools, with prizes like Bicycles and computers for top shooters.

A nutter intending harm in a Swiss high school is going to die very quickly.

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Steve
3 years 5 months ago

Darryl, once the Gun Free Zone law in your state is repealed or modified to allow CCW in schools, you have several choices. School Resource Officers (SRO) are sworn police who have to be paid by the county or city. Armed volunteer teachers are already being paid, although the School District could opt to cover their training and certification expenses. Volunteer CCW holders could be cost free or have expenses reimbursed. State Defense Force members in the 24 states that have them could be provided as volunteers, but the states I’ve researched dont provide weapons or training. National Guardsmen could be used with the Governor’s concurrance, but pay or volunteer status would need to be worked out. I can see where some or all of these approaches would be used in the same state, with weathier counties and cities using SRO or paid commercial guard companies, and rural counties with more veterans and hunters going the Volunteer CCW route. One interesting observation. In Virginia, an Open Carry state, once the Gun Free Zone issue is resolved, volunteers could concievably open carry 12 ga shotguns, a formidable deterrence. Open vs Concealed Carry would, of course, need debate.

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joecrouse
3 years 5 months ago

I would LOVED to have seen some one pull that at my school.

Our ROTC Teacher (not that i was in but he was a cool guy) was what John Ringo Called Gods gift to the marine corp. A Samoan, 2nd or 3rd Generation, BALD as a billiard ball, Marine Corps Gunnery sargent.
I WATCHE him break up a fight once. 1 hand one shirt collar on each of the marjor assailants (wading through 5 or 6 skirmishers daring them to even think to hard about even brushing lint off his uniform.) and a he just hoisted them off the ground by thier Shirts

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Doug K
3 years 5 months ago

Darryl,

The thing is, the author already gave the reason why he didn’t offer viable solutions: Most of the viable solutions involve mental health, something he admitted he was wholly unqualified to comment on. The others, such as banning gun-free zones or arming teachers just net the emotional responses such as “You want more dead babies” from the anti-gun crowd. The same crowd that ignores the usage of arms to legitimately protect safety, life, and property. The same crowd that would rather a woman be raped than her having the means to protect herself from her attacker.

You see, if you have someone intent on killing a large number of innocent people for some reason or another, and this person has at his disposal an AR-15 style carbine rifle, a couple of handguns, a baseball bat, several large knives, his own fists, a crowbar, a single-shot shotgun, a car, and a container of gasoline, it is incredibly unreasonable to think that this person will decide NOT to carry out his intended attack because you take away the AR-15. The point here is, there are many things in which a person intent on causing harm can use to cause a devastating amount of harm, many of which we are either unwilling or unable to legislate out of existence. There are many toxic or explosive substances that can be made with common household chemicals. Are we going to ban ammonia and bleach because they COULD be used to cause harm? Are we going to ban cars because they COULD be used to cause harm?

If you look at the mass shootings over the past years, relatively few of them employed firearms that would fall under an “Assault Weapons Ban”. Most of them used handguns. Also, the deadliest school massacre in US history didn’t use a single firearm. It used dynamite, and happened in 1927 if I recall correctly. While we are talking history, it is interesting to note that violent crime has actually been declining for over 20 years. It just doesn’t seem like it as much because society as a whole is more connected than ever. I can and do instantly communicate with someone across the globe, whereas even 10 years ago this wasn’t all that normal. We can hear about something happening pretty much anywhere in the country the very instant it happens. This instant access makes things appear worse than they truly are.

A viable solution is to deal with the people with the kind of mental problems that then carry out these atrocities. Like the author, I am not a psychiatrist and am lacking in the necessary qualifications to offer much more than that. It is my opinion that working to remove some of the negative stigma that surrounds mental illness would help a lot. I think there are a lot of people who avoid any kind of treatment purely because they don’t want to be labelled as “Mentally ill”. Making mental health care more affordable and more accessible would also help. The biggest thing, however, is identifying and neutralizing potential threats before the person making the threat is able to carry out their threat. There was a girl in Arizona who had been planning another attack, She posted something on a message board somewhere in Canada. Someone saw this message and notified the authorities, and the authorities arrested this girl before she could carry out her plans. This isn’t making national news because it doesn’t fit into the agenda that those who wish to ban firearms are trying to push. Identifying these individuals BEFORE they attack, and getting them the help they need (or removing them from society to somewhere where they are contained) OR making it so people who might otherwise be threats are able to get help to treat themselves are the ONLY ways to prevent another massacre. Arming teachers is a deterrent, or as the author of this article said, “Placing speed bumps”. Someone intent on harming others will still do so, they will either move to a “softer” target or work around the protections of their intended target. People will still be harmed in either case.

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rlrapp
3 years 2 months ago

problem with using National Guard is the Posse Comitatus Act which prohibits military forces being used for law enforcement in the U.S.

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RetroGrouch
3 years 5 months ago

I am passing this along to everyone I know. Don’t know if it will make a difference, but we have to at least try to educate those willing to listen.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

I wish you luck. All I got was “His logic is sound, but…” or “He’s bordering on paranoid.” Bottom line: If someone is anti- gun, nothing’s going to change their mind short of a personally-witnessed armed civilian intervention in a situation that is endangering THEIR life.

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Dave Orwig
3 years 5 months ago

I had a very similar experience. My Gunny acquaintances loved it but the one or two sane liberal friends had difficulty. Honestly they wanted this thing cited like Larry was writing a term paper. At least the conversation was civil and I think a glimmer of light might have been seen.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Actually, I might have been one of the knee jerk folks clamoring for gun control, until I stumbled across this article. I read it, thought about it, read it again and thought some more. I don’t know that I agree with everything, but I do agree that gun control is not the only answer to the problem, maybe not even a good part of the answer. I’m ready to listen and learn. I am open to hearing why gun control doesn’t work and ready to ask, “ok, what have you got?” I hope to hear more well thought out responses and not more” cold dead hand…” Let’s talk about what will get results.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Hi Karen,
Please allow me to jump in. Gun Control doesn’t work because only the law-abiding will conform while the criminal element will not register their firearms or apply for permits to purchase or to Carry (Concealed or Open). We do not need Gun Control; we need Criminal Control.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Reblogged this on Knight of the Geek Realm and commented:
This article by Larry Correia goes great with this article a friend showed me.

http://m.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2F8minutesoffame.com%2Famerica-freedom-vs-freedom%2F&h=9AQHavAww&s=1

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Tommy Jordan, in the article you linked, sounds like a Fudd, an enemy of the 2nd Amendment and freedom. As if he’s trying to kiss butt and compromise away even more of our rights, which are not subject to discussion anymore.

His views are nowhere near those expressed by Larry. Not here, not in hios books, nor on WTA or anywhere else I have seen him. OK?

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

(Of course, that typo is “his”, not “hios”.)
Regardless, that “8minutesoffame” guy, Tommy Jordan, calls for 7 day waiting periods, giving all your 4473 info up front if you just ASK about buying a gun, more Gov’t databases and regulations on you, eliminating gun shows, and 10 round mags! (SPIT!)

If Larry believes in that shit, I’m burning my MHI books and never buying another.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Well said, Larry.

Guest
bclewis
3 years 5 months ago

I thought Obama was serious about this until he put Joe Biden in charge of this commssion.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Bravo, Larry, Bravo.

(One more nit-pick: it was 1986 when we saw the Hughes Amendment forever fix in time the number of transferrable machine guns…)

Guest
elbowsfleet
3 years 5 months ago

Larry,

I read your books and I also find your opinions well reasoned and even handed. Bravo! I think this is the Best single article written I have found anywhere on the internet.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Well said Mr. Correia. I must admit though, that I tend to disagree with a lot of your politics, simply because I am a Liberal. On this issue though, I completely am in agreement.

Another great article that you may enjoy is this one: http://8minutesoffame.com/america-freedom-vs-freedom/

Its highly informative and basicaly goes side by side with what you have said.

I also reblogged your post on my blog as this is an issue I truly believe in.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Once again, NO! It DOESN’T! Two different mindsets. Go read it again.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Reblogged this on and commented:
I don’t normally get into political stuff on this blog, but my right to self-defense is a topic that is very important to me, and in the wake of Sandy Hook things have gotten a little crazy…
It’s a well-known fact that criminals do not and will never follow laws (only the law-abiding do), and it’s also a well-known fact that they target those who cannot defend themselves. Whether you’re looking at a rabid animal, a mugger, a rapist, or a deranged and homicidal maniac, self-defense is NEVER a right to be taken for granted.
This writer has presented the entire argument better than any article I’ve read thus far. Please read.

Guest
Gayl Stockman
3 years 5 months ago

I believe we need to learn self defense. But I also believe we are not the only ones learning self defense. I am trying to understand your rules for engaging people in the carrying of firearms. I too believe the teachers are defenseless from “cooks”. But I also believe that teachers should not have to worry about when to pull a gun in their classroom. I also realize that you must have great knowledge as to the laws of gun control and the lack there of. I also realize that we are not stopping them by instituting more “laws”. The reality is that only some believe the laws apply to them. That true law followers realize the importance of realizing people’s “space issues” and respecting those spaces. I too have had my space issues challenged. But they put something over my face and rendered me unable to defend myself. If I had had a gun next to me on the night stand, I wouldn’t have been able to use it. Your points are valid and reasonable but I am not sure that the “thugs” won’t learn self “attack” modes. I am not sure what the answers are. But I do know that God should be our first consult. We have gone away from His rules so much that the rules have become maligned from their original intent. I really appreciate your extensive lesson on gun issues. I hope to enroll in a self defense class that wakes me up when someone puts something on my face to put me out. God Bless you in your quest to enlighten people in gun laws and the ability to learn defensive tactics to defend their very “space”.

Guest

[…] Larry Correia covers all the bases in the gun control “discussion.” […]

Guest
McBugbear
3 years 5 months ago

Larry, you might also read some of Dr Gary Mauser’s papers on the efficacy of gun control laws. He’s published one or two with Dr Lott I believe.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Australia and England both have official anti-gun websites (although I can’t remember the names at this point). Go look.

“We’re all safe now because there are no guns, but crime is up! We must get the rest of the guns! If there are no guns, there would be no crime!” (paraphrased) Of course this was a few years ago. The rant may have changed by now.

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Kristophr
3 years 5 months ago

Good luck on “getting the rest of the guns”.

Norinco in China will sell anyone anything. Period. Do you want a container full of 106mm Recoiless Rifles, and a mix of ammo? Sure. Cash up front.

They can also sell you a container full of Glock copies if that is what you wish to “import”.

They will post a guard on the container until you get it loaded onto your ship and out of Chinese territorial waters.

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Phil D
3 years 5 months ago

I live in Oz and the rates of crime are increasing. We are currently experiencing a spate of shootings between “Gangs” in the south western areas of our largest city using, im the most part guns that have been illegal since Howrad government’s knee jerk reaction to Port Arthur.

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/100-shootings-and-counting-merrylands-tops-driveby-list-20120911-25psc.html

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Reblogged this on Stuff From Hsoi and commented:
Larry Correia discussing gun control. Long but interesting addressing of many points.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Hats off my man. I’ll stand shoulder to shoulder with you anytime.

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Erik
3 years 5 months ago

Excellent article. Great job!

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Reblogged this on Jesse Talks Back and commented:
Amazing, wonderful article. Though I am not as he is a fan of law enforcement, his write up does the scene justice!

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

In the wake of the tragedy, the media has tried to blame three things:

1. Guns
2. Violent videogames/movies
3. Autistic People

You’ve made the arguments against the first point, now let me add a few brief comments about the other two.

Violent videogames have been proven, in study after study, to not contribute to crime. They just don’t make people become violent. In fact, in most countries with high video game consumption, gun violence is low. The United States is an exception, but as you pointed out, there are still a lot more good guys than bad guys here. Banning violent videogames will not do any more to prevent violence than banning guns.

Lastly, Autistic People. All Americans should be familiar with the idea of a witch hunt. Bad things are happening, so let’s blame a certain group of people—a minority who doesn’t have the numbers to vote us out of office if we offend them. If you meet an Autist on the street, you probably won’t know it. In nearly all respects, they are ordinary people. They sometimes get scared by the world around them, but, except in cases where they are seriously abused during their developmental years, they never become violent criminals.

There are some politicians now who would like to keep guns out of the hands of Autistic people. In other words, if you are a non-Autist, you have a right to defend yourself, but if you have Autism, then when a dangerous person tries to kill you, you are required, by law, to just lay down and die. And the sad part is that so few people today know anything about Autism that, if put to a vote, a lot of voters would allow the government to do just that. The media are working day and night now to convince the American public that Autism is some kind of mental disease (instead of a neurological condition). They imply that Autism is just a fancy word meaning a violent temperament or a propensity to hurt others. “Dangerous people”—that’s what Autists are now being called, and I am afraid that a lot of people are going to buy it.

I now fear for the lives of every Autistic boy and girl in America. This frenzy of emotion, where people’s judgment is clouded by their knee-jerk response to this tragedy, could result in these innocent people being imprisoned, institutionalized, or even killed.

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NKR
3 years 5 months ago

My son is on the spectrum. I get chills when I see comments and articles that mention the CT shooter’s autism like one thing follows the other. I also have a family member with chronic depression for which he takes anti-depressants. He’s pretty much been on them for 20 years. It’s like heart medicine. So, although I know depression is over-diagnosed and over-medicated, I worry that the drug that keeps my loved one functioning in the real world is going to be pulled. And then, of course, our 2nd amendment rights. I don’t have a gun because of the two aforementioned issues in my family, but I’m darn glad that I live in a pocket of Los Angeles county that exudes individualism and the likelihood that someone nearby is armed, so I don’t have to be.

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Ralph S. Hoefelmeyer
3 years 5 months ago

What is bad is this is too broad a brush. Many engineers are in this spectrum. The govt would disarm us because we might be a threat? Wait until they see the anti-Fed worm some one writes. No paychecks for months.
Also, depression. My son died in a senseless car wreck. Hell yes I was depressed and got counseling right away.
I also take a very effective anti-muscle spasm medication which is also used for depression. Am I going to be screwed by muscle spasms? While not as big as Larry,. if I hit you in the throat, you are toast. This is ludicrous. It is the “precrime” of the movies ….
Ralph

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NKR
3 years 5 months ago

I’m sorry for your loss, Ralph.

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Harry the Horrible
3 years 5 months ago

For what it is worth.
Videos Games – While I doubt that violent video games cause an increase in crime, they may make it easier to kill. Dave Grossman in “On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society” documents how violent media replicates the methods used by the military to enable soldiers to overcome any reluctance to kill in combat.

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Rob Crawford
3 years 5 months ago

And Grossman remains full of excrement.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

They don’t.

Grossman was making that up.

They use the games to teach tactics and teamwork, there has never been a study linking video games with violence.

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Sam
3 years 5 months ago

Grossman talks about video games being “combat conditioning” not psychopathic murdering bastard conditioning.

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David
3 years 5 months ago

Here is something that is funny to me about violent video games. For me if I have a tough day, or for what ever reason i’m feeling more violent……..I start up my video game console and play a violent video game. And you know what happens to me??? I don’t feel like going out and hurting someone, I feel better, more relaxed and LESS inclined to do violence. Now i’m not saying that this will work for anyone else, but it sure does work as an outlet for me.

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Kevin
3 years 5 months ago

Grossman based his entire premise presented in “On Killing” on the studies done by SLA Marshall’s and reported his book “Men Against Fire”. It turns out that SLA Marshal just made up everything. Hence the entire premise of “On Killing” is BS. http://www.americanheritage.com/content/secret-soldiers-who-didn%E2%80%99t-shoot

Grossman has done some very useful things, but his video game thesis is not one of them. A very pertinent and useful talk he gave is discussed here and is worth looking at: http://www.policeone.com/active-shooter/articles/2058168-Active-shooters-in-schools-The-enemy-is-denial/

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Harry the Horrible: How does Grossman explain that, per the FBI, our society is less violent now that in the 1970s before video games came along? How does he explain the warriors in pretty much every army in history being able and willing to fight without being “enabled” by video games?

Our ground level soldiers, sailors and marines while better trained and have better armaments, technology and such, are not as a warrior any better than our soldiers of any pre-video game era.

Grossman, et al, reports what they want to report. While criminal violence has decreased over the past 40 years, human integrity – especially in academia – has decreased and become hopelessly politicized.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

If I was involved in mental health (my experience was survivors of sexual assault and other violence, so I dealt more with emotional issues) and I was watching how government and the media is treating gun owners and sexual “predators” (lifetime listing and shunning for people who as a teenager were reported for having a consensual affair with another teen) I’d be scared to death of how the government would provide the help mentally ill people and their caregivers desperately need.

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Rachael Hocieniec
3 years 5 months ago

Larry, I love your books, but this has to be one of the best & most important collection of words that you’ve written! My respect for you knows no bounds. God bless you & your family!

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Awaterujin
3 years 5 months ago

That was a very long read, and quite informative. Now I want to get CCW.

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Diane Singer
3 years 5 months ago

Fantastic! As a teacher, and as someone who is licensed to carry a concealed weapon, I’m all for allowing teachers to have guns on campus. My own campus (University of Alabama in Huntsville) had a shooting two years ago, with three wounded and three dead. So this is a topic near and dear to my heart. Thank you for stating the pro-gun side so eloquently.

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LepusKhan
3 years 5 months ago

And it’s not just pro-gun: it’s pro logic too! ;D

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Ahmed F Hosny
3 years 5 months ago

Thank you, Diane, for proving that “some” teachers can view the problem from the angle of “how can we best protect the children”?

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

“It is not an exaggeration when I say that I know pretty much exactly every single thing an anti-gun person can say.”

This. Oh, this.

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Kristophr
3 years 5 months ago

You can make a numbered list and refer to it as needed.

Oh, a number 2 argument again. Please go to this FAQ, look at entry number 2, and see why we think you are an ignorant retard.

Thanx for playing.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

“This. Oh, this.” That. Oh, that… Did you disprove Larry’s assertion? Did you even try? Nope and no and not the least bit surprising.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

??? I was agreeing with Larry.

“This.” As agreement. “Oh, this.” as emphasis.

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M Gucciard
3 years 5 months ago

This is the most exceptional piece of work I’ve read this year.
Bravo! Very well stated and I’ll be linking people back here.

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dave
3 years 5 months ago

Missouri is also considering legislation to allow teachers and administrators to carry on school grounds. There isn’t much chance of passage since I doubt there is enough support to override the governors inevitable veto, but it has at least been prefiled

http://www.house.mo.gov/billtracking/bills131/biltxt/intro/HB0070I.htm

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Sam
3 years 5 months ago

“and once made a state rep cry.”

That is a story you will have to share with me sometime

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Jon Fidler
3 years 5 months ago

Email the story to me too… I want the details about the crying legislator.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Me too! I’d love to hear it.

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Sjonnar
3 years 5 months ago

same here.

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BenD
3 years 5 months ago

Please share!!

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Scott deering
3 years 5 months ago

Larry…don’t share it…put it in an future MHI book and have Earl do it…:-)

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Joe in PNG
3 years 5 months ago

And let’s not forget the “founders never envisioned weapons that can kill so many people quickly”. Truth is, they would be more horrified by a government monopoly on the use and ownership of weapons.