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.

2,618 Responses

  1. 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”.

    • 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.

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

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

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

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

      • 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?

      • 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.

      • 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.

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

      • 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?

    • 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…

      • 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).

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

      • 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.

      • 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.

      • @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).

      • 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.

      • 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

      • 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.

    • 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.

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

      • 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.

    • 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…

      • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

    • Destroy all democrats (communist terrorist) and the problem is solved. :P

    • 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

      • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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

      • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

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

  2. Well said as always.

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

  4. Wow, thank you

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

  6. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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

      • @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”

      • 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.

      • 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…

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

      • 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.

      • That has been a long time since that was discussed, but I believe it was a matter of record and she even talked about it… I want to say probably around 97 or 98? Hang on… Googling. And here we go:

        http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/12/19/Flashback-Dianne-Feinstein-s-own-conceal-carry-permit-story

        Oops, 1995. I was close.

      • All of us gun people had a great laugh at that, because it is pretty well known that in California (where I am from originally) CCW is given on a county by county basis, all left up to local discretion (to keep out the riff raff you know) and in most counties you need to be a rich white person (or a politician or security for a movie star) to even be considered.

        Oh yeah, that’s right. Many of the new visitors here aren’t aware of the extremely racist roots of the gun control movement. When I say it is about people control, I’m not joking. California for example allows CCW, but permits are decided on a county by county basis. My home county (Merced) was farily lenient (no idea bout now), but just south of us was Fresno. It was a dirty little secret (but not a particularly well kept one) that you could get a permit in Fresno, but only if you were white, everybody else got denied, and they weren’t required to tell you why. The only reason this finally go attention was when a rich Portuguese guy got denied becasue the sheriff’s department thought he had a Mexican last name.

        My wife is from Santa Clara County. That whole county only has a handful of permits (this was several years ago, no idea about now) but all of them are for politicians or people who guard politicians. Apparently the peasants don’t need self-defense.

        That is what inevitably happens when you have to justify a “need” to exercise a right.

      • As for being rough around the edges, you go write a 10,000 word essay in four hours (wrapping up at 1am) and post it on the internet without proof reading (because you didn’t expect 50,000 people to read it in one day) and get back to me about how that works out for you.

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

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

      • 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.

    • Actually, he correctly cited McCarthy in the essay.

      • I did originally have Feinstein, and went back and corrected it. But in my defense I wrote this in four hours one night, and wrapped up at 1am, so I mixed up my anti-gun politicians. :)

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

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

  7. 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. :)

    • 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.

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

      • 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….

      • 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.

      • 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.

      • “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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

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

      • Read the blog post about what makes something an assault rife…

      • 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.

      • 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!

      • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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!

    • 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?

      • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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?

      • 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?

      • 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.

    • 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?

      • 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).

      • “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.

    • “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.

    • I call troll.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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

  8. 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.

    • 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.

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

      • 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

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

    • 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!

      • 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.

  9. 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.

    • 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.

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

        twang!!!…..zzzzzttt……>>——>……thunk!

        Bullseye.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

      • “But if these are truly one-off events, then why do they seem to be occurring with increasing frequency?” Because they are not? http://www.theblaze.com/stories/associated-press-story-believe-it-or-not-mass-killings-are-not-on-the-rise-they-are-on-the-decline/

        I wonder why the media, which absolutely loves gun control, would possibly want to sensationalize every single horrific gun related event it can, while never reporting any defensive gun uses?

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

        And so it goes.

      • 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

      • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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

    • 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.

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

  10. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

  11. 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

    • 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?

      • (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.

  12. Well said, Larry.

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

  14. 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…)

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

    • 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”.

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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

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

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

  23. Excellent article. Great job!

  24. 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!

  25. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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

      • I’m sorry for your loss, Ralph.

    • 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.

      • And Grossman remains full of excrement.

      • 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.

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

      • 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.

      • 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/

      • 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.

    • 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.

  26. 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!

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

  28. 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.

  29. “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.

    • 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.

    • “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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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

  32. “and once made a state rep cry.”

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

  33. 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.

    • Yeah, that argument always makes me smirk. Sure, the founders might not have envisioned GAU-8 30mm Avenger Gatling cannons or… Well, actually, Gatling guns, Claymore mines, flamethrowers, body armor, and grenade launchers could readily have been envisioned by the founding fathers, come to think of it. It’s relatively non-combat things like GPS and heavier-than-air flight, and their applications, that would have surprised them. See Larry’s link to Minimum Wage Historian for excellent historical perspectives on this sort of thing.

      The point is, though, that they had no problem with 20-pdr cannons firing canister and chain shot, or high powered rifles with bayonets, or .75-caliber pistols in private hands. So yeah, founders-based gun control advocates: tell me again how a jumped-up .22 rifle is an existential threat to society at large.

      • For those of you who don’t know, the AR-15 and the military versions (the M-16 series) are essentially a “jumped-up .22 rifle”. In my opinion the 5.56x45mm NATO rifle cartridge is just a .22 caliber bullet with a larger casing (thus more powder) behind it.

    • Let’s also not forget that although the Founders could not have possibly envisioned the Internet, weblogging is still free speech protected under the First Amendment. Saying the Second Amendment only protects knives and muskets is equivalent to saying the First only protects oral speech and printing presses, or that because the Third and Fourth specify “houses”, you’re screwed if you live in an apartment or condo.

      Just because they couldn’t envision the means or tools doesn’t automatically make the right irrelevant or unprotected. I believe you’re correct: the Founders would be horrified by a government-controlled monopoly of force/violence.

      • Silly! There are plenty advocating for just that. Look at the fallout after Benghazi as just one example. Surely a surprise to no one that old media, as they fade in import and power, would fight to restrict the freedom of the press to themselves.

  34. Reblogged this on 4 of Wands and commented:
    Some very valid points on the whole gun control issue…from one who knows

  35. Excellent article, Larry. I know you’ve already devoted a ton of time to this but I’d like to ask another question: what are your thoughts on laws regarding the securing of guns, either in safes or with trigger locks? I’ve heard many people say that migh have stopped Adam Lanza (though, obviously, we don’t have all the facts yet…)

    • I personally don’t know any folks with a gun safe and/or trigger locks that have successfully managed to keep the combo/key away from their boy(s) (and many girls too) above 12 years old (and lots of kids below that age). I know I had that stuff figured out by age 8 just because it was forbidden.

      Gun safes can slow burglars down or even stop them, they can slow you down in an emergency. Trigger guards can slow kids down (or you again). Adam Lanza wasn’t pressed for time before he arrived at the school. He had all the time he would need to deal with such items.

      • The best “trigger lock” or “safe” is between your ears and the ears of your family living with you. You educate them properly regarding all types of firearms you have; take away the child’s natural curiosity. Educate them to the point where you KNOW that your kid would never touch a firearm that you leave unlocked. But also to the point where you know that, if attacked and you’re not there or there but unable to defend them, they know how to try and use that firearm in self-defense. We all have read (even though the Mainstream Liberal Media tried to hush it down as much as they could get away with) of kids who defended themselves or their home by shooting intruders. These are kids who have been brought up RIGHT (not as political right or left but brought up properly.)

    • I have a safe… several, actually. When home, I keep a carbine leaning against my nightstand. The way I look at it, the safes are for secure storage and have no bearing on my ready use weapon.

      Granted I do not have children in the house so that is not a consideration. But even if I did, I’d still want a firearm ready to hand.

    • It’s kind of a moot point; the US Supreme Court ruled in Heller that laws requiring guns to remain locked up at all times were unconstitutional.

      • A gun that’s locked up is useless for its primary purpose: defending human life.

      • Our daughter was 9 when we decided to start keeping guns in our home. We have a safe, but it’s only used when we aren’t at home and we never had an issue with the daughter trying to get at them … mainly because we removed all curiosity by teaching her to shoot and clean/care for the guns. She is now nearly 30 with an infant and has decided to keep guns in her home as well … which her father and I completely support.

        As for Lanza … he was determined to acquire a gun. Tried to buy one from a sporting goods shop before stealing his mother’s weapons. If her guns had been unavailable to him I don’t doubt that he’d have managed to find one somewhere. So I’d suggest that while a safe or trigger lock may have kept him from his mother’s guns, it wouldn’t have averted the tragedy he perpetrated.

  36. So. I don’t normally respond to political blog posts. I’m responding to this one.

    I’m a moderate liberal. I’m in favor of same sex marriage, want other people’s religion AND my religion kept out of politics as much as possible, etc.

    And I am absolutely in favor of trained, responsible people having guns. I don’t like to hear about or see *irresponsible* people with guns. Don’t leave your self defense weapon on top of a CPU under your desk when you have a three year old. For example.

    I am in favor of sustainable hunting, entirely in favor.

    I am in favor of, when I go into a wilderness area, having people in the group packing heat just in case…a shot over the head of a bear WILL make that bear go somewhere else, for example, and I don’t want to tangle with a bear – they’re big!

    And I am in favor of allowing those willing to demonstrate their responsibility to carry weapons. Heck, I’ve considered it, but unfortunately I live in the DC area…not a good place for guns. If I lived somewhere more rural, then…

    In other words, it’s not a strict conservative/liberal split. Admittedly, I’m not what I could call a strong or extreme liberal, but I’m certainly no kind of social conservative.

    • So what is trained in your opinion? What part of the Right shall not be infringed do you not understand?

      • I’m saying people should be responsible.

        Responsibility *in general* is something we should do our best to teach our children. Besides, we generally don’t allow somebody to get into a car without knowing how to drive. Why would it be wrong to discourage somebody from picking up a gun who doesn’t know how to use one? If you encourage people to be responsible in general and make access to proper training easy…keep prices reasonable, make sure people know which way to go to get to a range with instructors. That’s not infringing on a right at all. If you think about it, somebody who doesn’t know how to use a gun does not *have* the full second amendment right, because bearing arms is useless without the correct knowledge of how to use them.

        If I walk into a tack store and ask where I can get riding lessons from a reputable instructor, I’ll get a good answer. Although I’ve never done it, I’d imagine that somebody who walked into a gun store and asked where they could get lessons would get a good answer too.

      • JenniferR, thank you for your open-minded comments! Your decision on whether or not to carry is yours, and the decision stops with you. Or should, at any rate. Not forcing your decision on anyone else, gunners will respect, no matter what choice you make.

        As for training, I’m not an expert on the matter by any means, but if I’m not mistaken, every CCW/CHL holder has gone through training (10 or so hours here in Texas) to qualify for their license. In the states that allow open carry, I believe I’ve read that you are required to have gone through at least a basic handgun safety course in order to carry legally, and most likely need to present proof of said course if requested. Its the same thing as getting a drivers’ license. Sure, anyone can hop behind the wheel and speed off, but the consequences are usually pretty severe if you’re stopped and don’t have proof (ie, your license). So there is training required. Will that stop someone from just picking up a firearm (a friends or a family members, or someone robbing a house, etc)? No it won’t. There will always be those who don’t care about the laws. They’re called criminals. What we do need, though, is a nation-wide standard of training, same as for operating heavy equipment, motorcycles, watercraft, or automobiles. One set standard that’s recognized throughout all 50 (or is it 57 now? LOL) states, so that if someone wanted to carry while on vacation, they could, and cops in the vacationing state would know that they are licensed and have gone through at least the standard training.

        Another thing is that everyone who trains, instructs, or is around firearms much will always recommend more training. You can never have enough. So yes, the basics will get you by. But the more you train, the more confident and knowledgeable you will be about your firearm, as well as various scenarios you may possibly encounter and when/where to draw, as well as legal ramifications of your actions.

      • Jennifer, Do you think a half blind, wheelchair bound octogenarian should be denied the right to adequate self defense by being prohibited from carrying a gun because they cannot hit a piece of paper at 10 yards?

        Sorry, but anyone who is not a VIOLENT felon and can poke a gun into a muggers chest and squeeze the trigger should be allowed the use of the reliable defensive tool called a gun.

      • Joseph – I’m pretty sure the second amendment guarantees the right to maintain a well-regulated militia. The text reads: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” So I don’t think mandatory training falls outside the scope of the Constitution.

        And, frankly, I believe we *already* have a well-regulated militia. Only now we use the word “police” instead of “militia.” When you have a crisis you call 911.

        And Sam, I don’t think a half-blind octogenarian in a wheelchair will be helped by having a gun. Either a criminal will easily take the weapon and now be pointing your own weapon back at you, or you will make a tragic mistake, being, you know, half blind. As mentioned above, these mass killings are being committed with weapons legally acquired from relatives of the killers. These killers aren’t part of any criminal or gang networks with access to black market purchases, they are simply grabbing what’s easily available to them.

        I attended one of the shooter high schools, so I’ve spent a long time dealing with this. After the shooting we had a police officer permanently assigned to the campus. A trained professional who would know how to respond in a crisis. That is great! Our shooter got his guns from a relative. I don’t see how more parents buying guns that their kids can get hold of would help prevent kids from getting hold of guns.

        Anyway, just thought I’d add my own moderate liberal two cents. I know there are a lot of responsible gun-owners, but I’m afraid it’s the many, many irresponsible owners who are ruining it for you.

      • Amanda T. I’ll let Penn and Teller explain this. The comma is there on purpose. It has a reason for being in the document. Penn does a far better job of explaining this than I do though. The video is only 90ish seconds and worth anyone’s time.

      • Amanda, you obviously don’t know what you are talking about. There are somewhere along the lines of 94 million gun owners in the United States. Besides this shooting, where the killer killed his own mother first, it doesn’t happen how you think it does.

        The police are not the militia. You also obviously have no knowledge when it comes to history. The militia was the people. The Founding Fathers understood the need for the Citizen to be armed.

        As to the wheelchair bound person. A criminal will usually disengage if there is a chance of resistance. They want an easy target. Why would they want to risk getting shot or possibly die?

        E

      • Thanks Spencer, I love Penn and Teller. Although now I’m really conflicted, because P&T are arguing that the sentence structure implies the people need protection *against* the militia, and Joseph C. (and others) are arguing that the people *are* the militia. So should I amend my statement to be: the exact meaning and historical context of the amendment is unclear, so both sides are going to interpret it in the way they like best?

      • Amanda to me the differences in our current interpretation of militia or people are the same a saying 2+2=4 or 2+2=2^2(that is 2 squared). The intent of the clause is to allow the citizens (people) to keep and bare arms. Historically the founders fought a militia, and were a militia themselves.

        Since the whole militia vs people is shaky and are both interchangeable and separable I go with what comes after the comma. That is the “people” can keep and bare arms.

        The founders would not have made it a requirement to be in the militia/military to have access to a weapon as that would not have allowed for equal access. The Bill of Rights is mostly about equal access across the board, not special individualized access for specific classes of people.

        Since the spirit of the Bill of Rights is equality, going with the simpler definition of “people” is more accurate and avoids the interchangeability of the word militia across the years. “People” is now and has alwayse refereed to all of us equally, where as militia could be construed as a subset of the “people”.

        I hope that clears things up for you.

      • Amanda – would a recent US Supreme Court decision help?

        Google “DC vs Heller” – here are some conclusions (in part, not the entire thing):

        “The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.”

        “Interpretation of the Second Amendment by scholars, courts and legislators, from immediately after its ratification through the late 19th century also supports the Court’s conclusion”

      • Amanda – just for your information, here is the United States code defining “Militia”. It’s very obvious that *all* citizens are by definition “the militia”, so the whole argument about weapons only being available to the militia are irrelevant, because most of us are already in the militia.

        http://uscode.house.gov/download/pls/10C13.txt

        10 USC Sec. 311 01/03/2012 (112-90)

        -EXPCITE-
        TITLE 10 – ARMED FORCES
        Subtitle A – General Military Law
        PART I – ORGANIZATION AND GENERAL MILITARY POWERS
        CHAPTER 13 – THE MILITIA

        -HEAD-
        Sec. 311. Militia: composition and classes

        -STATUTE-
        (a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied
        males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section
        313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a
        declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States
        and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the
        National Guard.
        (b) The classes of the militia are –
        (1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard
        and the Naval Militia; and
        (2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of
        the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the
        Naval Militia.

    • Thanks for taking my question seriously. I’m going to consider this. I don’t think we’ll ever end “spirit” versus “letter” of the law debates but I appreciate hearing thoughtful reasons for choosing one or the other. Letter of the law debates tend to spiral down into matters of vocabulary and punctuation, while spirit arguments are all over the place based on interpretations of founders’ intentions. The fact that we have amended the Constitution 27 times just shows that we periodically need to analyze our foundations and update them to support our current beliefs. For all its use of “people” and “equal,” the Constitution isn’t always applied equally, and some of our most important amendments met a great deal of resistance before being passed.

      Yes, Joseph, I have studied history. But I’m sorry, that doesn’t mean I automatically agree with everything you say. Ultimately it doesn’t matter what the Founding Fathers intended. They couldn’t predict how our society would evolve over time, so it is up to us to determine what is worth enforcing and what is worth changing. Right now civil rights and gun rights are the major topics of contention. Who knows what the next generation will be arguing, and what they’ll take for granted?

      • Ah, sorry for clicking the wrong thread link. >.<

      • I agree. Perhaps we should look at removing freedom of the press; they’ve always annoyed me with their ignorant babbling – or religion. How about getting rid of freedom from illegal search and seizure?

        Thing is, you can’t pick and choose which rights you like and which you don’t – the Bill of Rights is a guarantee of specific rights. It’s important also to note that it doesn’t grant them – it guarantees them. In other words the government has no authority to grant – or deny – anybody those rights.

      • Your statement ” The fact that we have amended the Constitution 27 times just shows that we periodically need to analyze our foundations and update them to support our current beliefs.” stands out to me as an error in methodology. Do you honestly think that our beliefs, unexamined and unconnected to the facts of reality, should dictate the content of our laws? This is an “anything goes as long as you believe it” mentality and has NO place in a country that should be governed by principles derived from facts and logic. By this method, any form of government will do as long as you believe in it. Imagine the Nazis taking over and implementing their plans by Constitutional amendment based on their belief in a certain form of human sacrifice.

      • I could be wrong but as i understand it Texas is the only state actually allowed to have a standing militia. And the founding fathers actually did write things with an understanding that society would evolve quite a bit and worded things in terms to continue to be relevant.

    • Are you willing to require “proper training” to be able to own and use a computer attached to the internet?

      Bad opinions and bad voting have killed far more people than any fully automatic M-16.

      Surely you can see the need for simple training requirements before allowing people to disseminate political opinion to the public?

  37. So good. So, so good. Thank you. I didn’t have time to read the whole thing but I sat here and did. Now I’m late. But it’s worth it. Will share with everyone I can. Thank you so much for posting this organized, well-informed piece.

  38. What mechanism do you think explains how the ban of handguns led to an increase in violent crime?

    Even prior to the banning of handguns after Dunblane, the use of legally held guns for personal protection was almost non-existent – onl a very small minority of the population had guns, and they had to be stored separately from the ammunition and locked away.

    • After the ban, criminals KNEW that they had the upper hand. Before then, it was possible that someone had a pistol. Not likely, but the possibility existed. After the ban, criminals felt a lot safer. The police are a known quantity – you can calculate with a fair degree of accuracy how long it will take for them to respond, and how they will do so. A victim’s ability to defend themselves was unknown and unknowable, until the ban.

      When Florida went CCW, it was having a rash of robberies of old folks. The criminals knew their victims were unarmed, and so it was easy to pick folks that could not fight back. Afterwards, robbers switched to concentrating on tourists – a smaller group, but one that has been disarmed and is safer to prey upon.

      • The restrictions on how guns and ammunition could be stored meant that even before the ban, the chance of a legally held handgun being used in self-defence was negligible.

      • Florida had just accepted boatloads of criminals from Cuba. These criminals would target rental cars coming from the airport. Ram the rental car, and the driver would pull over to exchange insurance information. At that point, they are at your mercy, far from help. The Feckless response of Florida was to remove the special license plates and stickers on rental cars, so that the rental cars would be harder to find.

    • Criminals do not necessarily study the law to the extent they would know exactly what the storage requirements are. Nor do they necessarily expect everyone to always obey laws like ones dictating how ones guns can be stored. People in general are often terribly misinformed about the laws in effect, especially if they are not especially law-abiding types (like legal firearm owners), and if the law in question does not directly concern them. In other words, the average person on the street – or the average criminal on the street – may not know much about the legal situation of firearms in any given country, beyond the fact that some people do have them. Their beliefs are often more colored by Hollyweird fantasies than actual reality of their country. The mere knowledge of existence of firearms is a deterrent in this situation, whereas a massively public general confiscation/ban of the same is a big signal to criminals that “okay boys, now they are helpless – have fun!”

      • Which is exactly what Gun-Free Zones are. “Hey you criminals, you can come and shoot without fear here. No one is allowed to be able to defend this Zone!”

  39. Great. Now I want to go out and get my own CCW permit. At least my husband will be happy. ;)

  40. Well written article, thank you.

    I never imagined you getting death threats, that is like a mass murder wanna-be choosing a popular shooting range as the target during the busiest part of the day. Somehow, I cannot imagine anti-gun activist as capable of issuing a valid death threat.

    • Amazing how those who are hell-bent on ending the violence are so quick to resort to violence to meet their goals. The irony is strong with that one…

    • They still issue death threats.

      It make them feel big, and they know full well a conservative gun owner will just watch them with a poker face on while they posture.

  41. Reblogged this on Spice Up the Right and commented:
    One of my favorite local authors has a long-but-fantastic post about gun control and what would work better. Larry Correia’s one of the best authorities I know of on firearms (having been a Conceal-Carry Instructor and the owner of a gun store) and he knows what the hell he’s talking about. Not to mention that most of what he says is the same stuff I’ve heard from my dad since he took me out target shooting (I was six at the time).

    If you’ve got idiots giving you grief about guns, direct them to Mr. Correia and he’ll set them straight (then check out his Monster Hunter International and Grimnoir Chronicles series – always a great read).

  42. [...] the whole thing. I had to quote his section on gun free zones – it was too good not to [...]

  43. Larry-Thank you for your candid and concise stance on Gun Control. Too much happens when the tension is high, we need clear thinking on this. This article will help me and others who have not considered all the facets of Gun Control.

  44. Here’s another, well reasoned reply that is better stated than I could do myself. Copied from Facebook.

    Thoughts on the Sandy Hook shooting from my son, Brennan Kai Kaneshiro:

    One of the first things I saw on facebook Friday after the Sandy Hook shooting was a meme suggesting that if only we armed our teachers, this tragedy never would have taken place.

    Right. Because our teachers aren’t underpaid and overworked as is. Now you want to give them guns and have them be trained security as well.

    But I thought about it, and the idea has merit. See, what we do is this: We roll the Department of Education into the Department of Defense, and use military spending to fund our public school system. All teachers will be military trained, and with the limitless budget reserved for Defense, we can pay teachers what they’re actually worth, decrease the size of the average classroom, buy textbooks from this century, equip classes with current technology, and actually make the children of this country a priority for once.

    So…I ranted a while back about the 2nd Amendment and gun control, and invited debate. This weekend, I didn’t comment about the shooting or the debate that followed, rather I decided to just watch other people’s reactions to the event and allow those reactions to influence what I wanted to say here.

    This post is in no way up for debate. I don’t recommend commenting on my post, as I most likely will delete anything you have to say. I’m not looking to argue this point anymore. If you disagree with me, that’s fine. I don’t care. Keep it to yourself. Oh, and I may offend some of you out there. If so, sorry, but again, I don’t care. There was a time for polite discussion, and Friday was a stark realization that that time is long past.

    1. I have seen posts stating this wouldn’t have happened if we hadn’t banned God from our schools. Please. Disregarding the whole idea of God actually tangibly getting personally involved in stopping this tragedy being stopped because He was told He wasn’t allowed in school nonsense, teach your religion at your home and in your church. That should be enough, or it would be if you actually taught compassion, kindness, community, and love rather than emphasizing anti-gay, anti-poor, anti-muslim, racist hate propaganda. I don’t intend this as a universal church bashing, as I think there are many Christians out there who live Christ’s teaching admirably, but I think they get shouted down by a vocal minority of Christians who champion the religion of Christianity without a second thought to the philosophy of Christianity.

    2. There have been an awful lot of memes going around touting the teachers of this school as heroes, which I find interesting because to hear it just a few months ago teachers are overpaid, undertrained whiny union thugs that are mooching off of society. But wait! It turns out that these people will literally take a bullet for YOUR children. Any one of you who has voted against teacher’s unions should hang your head in shame. And as I posted above, the first meme I saw suggested training and arming our teachers. Right, because what we really need is to add to a teacher’s responsibility. And where are we getting this extra funding for gun training and the purchasing of weapons? Or is that yet another expense that we’ll expect to come out of a teacher’s pocketbook? Where, pray tell, are they supposed to keep the gun? On them? That sounds like a dangerous idea, out in the open, where a kid could grab it when the teacher was distracted by another student. Locked safely away in a gun safe? What chance to react to a gunman bursting into the room, then? Stupid idea.

    3. And I keep hearing the “If only” argument over and over, every time one of these shootings occurs. “If only there was someone there with a gun, this could have been prevented.” Bullshit. As my gun-owning friends like to point out, there are over 300 million guns in this country; about 40% of us own a gun. So how come we even have these shootings? Half of us have guns. Why haven’t you all stopped these tragedies from happening? Your argument isn’t that some people should be allowed to carry guns to prevent these situations. We have the most lax gun laws in history, and yet we have so many mass shootings in this country that we can’t finish mourning one before another one happens. Your argument is that EVERYONE should own a gun and carry it at all times to prevent mass shootings.

    4. “Guns don’t kill people. People do.” You see this stupid argument all the time. Right, guns don’t kill. They’re a tool. And we don’t want to regulate the guns. Nobody is telling the guns to not shoot people. We want to regulate the people who want to own the guns. We want to regulate the people who plan to shoot other people with guns. We want to keep the guns out of the hands of the people who would kill. “But if someone wants to kill people bad enough, they’ll find some other way. They’ll use a knife, or poison, or build a bomb, or whatever.” Fine. Let them. Just because people suck and decide to become homicidally violent does not mean that we need to make it that much easier for them. If someone wants to kill me, then dammit, I want him to work at it, not just pick up a gun and pull a trigger.

    5. According to the Brady institute, it is TWENTY-TWO TIMES more likely that a gun in the home will be misused than be used for self-/home defense. Much more likely that someone will be accidentally shot, or deliberately shot, be it a domestic dispute turned ugly or a suicide, or that it gets stolen and used for criminal purposes.

    6. “Outlaw guns, and only outlaws will have guns.” First, no one’s talking about getting rid of all guns. We’re talking about regulation. We’re talking common sense. Second, it’s not the criminals who are out there committing these mass shootings. These are people with no criminal record who because of easy access were able to build arsenals with which to go out and kill. Which brings me to my next point.

    7. There is no fucking reason for anyone in the general public to own an assault rifle. Period. Or high capacity ammo clips, either.

    And here, at the end of this tirade, is my final thought. The 2nd Amendment says it’s your constitutional right to bear arms. It, however, says nothing about the right to manufacture or sell guns or ammunition. So here’s my proposal. Keep your guns, but we pass a law outlawing the manufacture or sale of guns and ammo. You want a gun? Make one. That should fit in nicely with the whole “We built that” mentality.

    • Well it’s interesting, almost everything said here was already countered by Larry with actual facts versus opinions. I don’t personally know any gun owners who’ve said anything about God here, mass shootings, despite the hype are still statistical anolimies, these shootings happen in gun-free zones so law abiding gun owners aren’t carrying in these locations, etc. Did you actually read the article here before reposting this “well thought out” response?

    • I’m pretty sure “well reasoned” doesn’t mean what you think it does.

      I’ll be quick, since Larry covered most of it already.

      1. …irrelevant. No one mentioned it, and nothing is proposed.

      2. You’re all over the place with this one. Teachers unions being a wart on the ass of society have nothing to do with the fact that teachers can still be human and act heroically. As for who pays for guns and training, it’s called personal responsibility. The proposal is to let people who already carry guns everywhere else to carry at work. Many teacher already have CCW permits, they just need to be allowed to use them.

      3. Many tragedies have happened. If you read the post, you would have noticed that these things happen where guns are prohibited. Only, believe it or not, that only works on people who aren’t intending mass murder. Also, MANY sprees have been ended early by someone with a legally carried firearm.

      4. I mean this in the nicest possible way, but whoever wrote that is retarded.

      5. Those numbers have been debunked many, many times. There is no truth to them at all.

      6. Guns are already regulated. Common sense does not mean what you think it does. And it is a revelation to me that mass killers are not criminals.

      7. Assault rifle doesn’t mean what you think it does. Clip does not mean what you think it does. Let me see if I can list some reasons for normal capacity magazines:
      Hurricane Katrina
      Hurricane Andrew
      Hurricane Sandy
      LA Riots
      Because I fucking feel like it

    • 1. The emphasis was not on God himself stepping in (nice strawman though), but instead the religious morality that accompanies that being taken to heart. If the child is taught right and wrong, and so believes that, then they are less likely to commit mass murder. Would it actually help? Who knows

      2. Bringing salaries into it is a distraction. Why don’t we pay our police and soldiers more? They risk their lives every day. They already allow teachers to be armed in Texas and Utah, and there haven’t been any incidents yet. Concealed carry means that they keep it on them and you don’t know that they have it, so students wouldn’t know to grab it anyway. As for the gunman bursting in, if that happens then they were going to die regardless, but the teacher next door has enough warning to pull theirs and use it.

      3. Every one of these shootings has happened in a gun free zone. It’s kind of hard to shoot the bad guy if you don’t have your gun with you. The argument isn’t that everyone should have a gun (though that would be nice), it’s that we should be able to take our guns anywhere. If they wish us to disarm in a certain area, then they should take responsibility for our safety (such as the armed guards at government buildings or military bases).

      4. Sure, ban all guns. How’s the war on drugs going? You cannot keep weapons out of the hands of bad people, but you know what does make them work for it? Shooting back.

      5. according to the Brady institute there are over 100,000 defensive gun uses per year, compared to 16,000 gun homicides per year. Where’s that 22 coming from?

      6. Unless you’re getting rid of all guns, then they will still have easy access to guns. As you said, they have no criminal record, so on what grounds do you decide if they can buy one or not?

      7. The Assault Weapons Ban already tried that, and it did absolutely nothing.

      Finally, outlawing the manufacture of guns would prevent you from building one yourself (just saying), thus the manufacturing of guns cannot be outlawed. The right to bear arms necessarily includes the right to procure said arms, and forcing each individual to manufacture their own constitutes an unreasonable impedance and is therefore unconstitutional.

    • Once again, another “gun-control” advocate showing his ignorance by using the word “clip” when he should have said “magazine”. If only I had a dollar for each of these occurrences, I’d be able to afford another gun…and a few extra MAGAZINES!

      • Valerie, Merriam-Webster defines clip as follows:

        clip – noun
        Definition of CLIP
        1: any of various devices that grip, clasp, or hook
        2: a device to hold cartridges for charging the magazines of some rifles; also : a magazine from which ammunition is fed into the chamber of a firearm
        3: a piece of jewelry held in position by a clip

        As for me, I am a strong advocate *for* gun control – best achieved through a firm grip, steady breathing and smooth trigger squeeze. After 17 years in the U.S. Army (half of it as the top shot in my Battalion, and top 4 in my Division) I still occasionally use ‘clip’ for ‘magazine’, and anyone to whom I am speaking understands my usage without any hesitation or head-scratching. Please be aware that your nit-picking on this particular phrasing may tend to relegate you to the fanatical portion of the ‘gun-nut’ category, even by those of us in the “normal” portion.

    • well thought out my ass. A good portion of this is Anti Gun, Anti 2nd amendment talking points from as your son just admitted…the Brady Institute, for one. His opening of the tirade with I’m not inviting argument and I’ll delete any comments if they’re made…show he doesn’t want a debate. He wants to spew that idiocy and not be called on it. I’ll also note that’s in keeping with groups like Brady not actually inviting discussion, just shouting over anyone trying to say anything reasonable and telling them to shut the fuck up and sit the fuck down,. I PERSONALLY have been BANNED from several sites for DARING to interrupt the group circular masturbatory group think…with actual FACTS or just an opposing view point, The difference between the two sides? On the one…the PRO Gun, Pro 2nd amendment side…COLD, RATIONAL, LOGICAL, Fact based, thoughts and arguments. The other side?[as your son I'll point out AGAIN, just proved] Over wrought, emotional, knee jerk reactions, with no basis in rational thought, let alone logic.

      My response to this? Bitch, Please!

      • I’ve noticed that it’s never the rights community that says “I just can’t talk to you, I’m done!” and walks away. It’s always a member of the control community that says “you’re hopeless, a moron, I’m out!” Because they really have nothing to say. So it’s no surprise that the wonder boy who wrote that pathetic piece of nonsensical false propaganda doesn’t want anyone to comment. See, he’s just too sensitive to have to deal with all those icky, cold-hearted facts.

      • For NKR, I’m a counter example, but here’s the context: immediately after the murder, I called for a time-out on politics until the bodies were buried (effectively a call for manners). The anti-gun folks were shouting at me, and I didn’t think it was right to argue right then, so I just deleted all of their comments, posted a note saying I was ditching the Internet for a while, and did.

        In general, though, I think you’re correct, and clearly the gun-rights advocates have the vastly superior logical position.

    • Seriously, This is the anti-gun mantra and it has absolutely no basis in FACT. The ONLY thing that stops a killer with a gun is a good man with another. I’d rather be that man than the guy who gets shot waiting for one to show up! My second amendment right is just that “MY RIGHT” to protect myself, and I’ll be dead when they take that from me!

    • Recent mass shootings did not happen because there were too many guns, but because there were too few.

      We do not hate teachers. Why do you support a policy which renders them (and their students) defenseless? Read up on the elementary school in Beslan, Ossetia. They had a gun ban but it didn’t work well.

      We dislike gun free zones because they get people hurt and killed. An unpublicized fact about Clackamas Mall shooting was that the shooter’s AR-15 type rifle jammed and a patron who was armed drew his weapon, but could not get a clear shot. The shooter saw him and killed himself.

      As for banning ammunition, I reload 30-06, 243 WIN, 45 ACP, 40 S&W, 10 MM, 9 MM, 38 Spcl and 380 ACP. In the butler building behind my house, I have 80 lbs of powder, 20,000 primers, 15,000+ pieces of brass and several thousand loaded rounds. In my garage, I have a lead pot, 500 lbs of wheel weights and molds for all the pistol bullets. Between the passage of an ammo ban and its strike down in court, I stand to make enough money to trade in my 3 Series and my wife’s X5 on new models.

      As I was in Vietnam and El Salvador, I’m always armed, usually with a Model 1911 that I keep cocked and locked. I don’t own an “assault weapon,” but in my trunk I keep an M1 Garand with a round in the chamber.

      Have a nice day!

    • Here’s my proposal. “We” don’t pass any laws that contravene the intent of the Second Amendment. “You,” lovejoy and kaneshiro, can learn to live with the Constitution or you can get the Hell out of the country.

      It’s easy to see you’re just panting to confiscate law-abiding gun owners’ guns and ammo. Why don’t you just stop the “polite discussion” and FORCEFULLY take action yourselves? Come on, you can do it! Just show you’ve got the courage of your convictions!

      Little too gutless, are you? Sounds like it. Cowardly left-wing Luddites, both of you, along with any sympathizers you might have. Face it, punks, the big bad guns aren’t going to go away. You’re going to have to live in a world where those who choose to be prepared have a much better chance of surviving than those who don’t. You’re in the latter category. The biologists have a name for people like you: prey.

      Wanting to take everyone’s rights just because some have misused them is the mark of a totalitarian. You gun-grabbers would do real well to go back and read the section of Mr. Correia’s post about what would happen with attempted confiscation. If anything he understated the case. For a great many of us out there, that would be the Fort Sumter of the Second American Civil War.

      Do you really want to start that?

    • Next time read the article you’re trying to argue against. It usually helps.

    • Adam Lanza finally stopped when he was confronted by an armed cop, and he shot himself. See how that works?

      Mentally ill and criminally insane moonbats have more rights than sane people who make the logical choice to do what is necessary to protect their homes, family, and lives. I own a firearm and I guaran-goddamn-tee you that if anyone breaks into my home, they will leave in a body bag.

      Ironically, some have called for arming school personnel in response to what happened in Connecticut. Gee, won’t that involve guns?

      Bottom line: Armed criminals and loonies deliberately choose soft, unarmed targets. They couldn’t give one shit less about the idea of restrictive gun laws. Every law-abiding American citizen has the right to defend themselves from low life thugs and deranged psychos like Lanza, in spite of the Left’s fatuous politicizing.

      “pass a law outlawing the manufacture or sale of guns and ammo”? Yeah, you’re a real fucking genius, Larry. The current regime in DC would love to control guns the way it does healthcare. I prefer to have the option of getting the ammo and guns I need, if only to protect myself from our own government. But, you go right on ahead and kowtow to the whims of an out of control Fed. Just don’t expect the rest of us to follow suit.
      “A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government”— George Washington

      • You do realize Larry Correia didn’t write this comment to his post, don’t you?

      • As a retired teacher I have participated in many lockdown drills with students and I know how helpless one feels under those situations. You have given me the information I need to speak out on arming teachers, admistrators, etc, in our schools. Thank you for one of the most informed common sense approaches to this horrific problem.

    • Sorry but your son Brennan is an idiot. Even his strawmen have strawmen!
      And as much as I appreciate the good work teachers do with my 4th grade daughter, they are not ‘underpaid’ or ‘overworked’.

    • “This post is in no way up for debate. I don’t recommend commenting on my post, as I most likely will delete anything you have to say. I’m not looking to argue this point anymore.” Just put your fingers in your ears and say na na na na na while I reply.

      1. I don’t believe the mention of God had anything to do the Him swooping on a chariot to smite the sociopath lanza, I think it has to do with general attitude. Cite the number of school shootings that have occurred in Christian schools/academies vice government run public schools.

      2. There is a school district in TX that has allowed teachers to be armed since 2007. It’s the teacher’s choice, no one has forced them. As do I, apparently some of them think it’s a honor and a duty to protect the innocent. Even though your comments indicate you’re an ignorant, hysterical ass, if you were under my charge I would take a bullet for you. Believe it or not there are still many people out there with a moral code a little deeper than yours.

      3. The gun owners could not stop these incidents because they occurred in a “gun free zone”. Law abiding, responsible gun owners are not going to break the law by carrying a weapon into a gun free zone, that would make them criminals. Not a stab at law enforcement but why didn’t the police stop these incidents?

      4. I agree, this is a stupid argument, we should regulate the insane, sociopaths, and village idiots. This used to be done before a certain president decided to loose the loons to increase the democrat voter base.

      5. Pick a third party study to quote, Brady is anti-gun and will probably have statistics on their side, NRA will have the stats slewed to their side agreed? Enlighten yourself and research an independent organization such as DOJ or FBI and I suspect you will find a much lower percentage.

      6. Pretty stupid hysteria statement in my opinion, common sense has no play in the equation. If lanza had common sense he, his Mom, and 24 other souls would still be alive. “it’s not the criminals who are out there committing these mass shootings.”, yeah OK. Years ago in a mall in southwest Missouri there was a specialty shop that sold “jason” masks, I thought they were stupid but they sold like hotcakes. Guess how much the murder rate went up in the area?

      7. The frosting on your ignorance cake. The general public has not been able to own an assault weapon since 1934, quite a few years before they were even invented. There is not a clip in existence that holds more than 6-8 cartridges, WTF you talkin about Wills?

      • Why didn’t the cops stop these incidents? Honestly how do you expect them to do that. Are they going to pull you over and say to you, well i though you were going to speed so stopped you? That’s like all these arguments about racial profiling and stopping them because they look Mexican and might be illegal or middle eastern and might be terrorists. Where do we draw the line between protecting the innocent and stopping the criminals. My husband walked into a school in his uniform with his gun as is his right and duty as a leo, even in a gun free zone, to bring something my son had forgotten and the office staff asked him if it was really necessary for him to keep the gun on him. Yes. It is. He Would actually loose his job if he was caught in uniform without it. I am planning to get certified to carry. I never shot a gun before my husband became a leo, but he took me to the range and showd me some basics so i would be comfortable with it in our home and we will be doing the same with our children as soon as we can. Also because his job makes us targets. I grew up with a dad who builds and shoots his own black powder rifles. He hunts with them, and also with more modern weapons, not just guns and for defense. I have known him to kill vermin in his workshop with a shot to the head with a bb. Probably more humane than a traditional trap. He takes trophies while hunting but we also eat venison stew and bison jerky. Its not the guns that are bad, its the way some people use them. I also had a sister in law who was shot, killed, along with her two children, by a man she bailed out of jail, he was in for assaulting a woman. People, be smarter than that. Dont be victims. Cops are there to ENFORCE laws, most would rather not be heros.

    • Strangely, you wish to comment, but you tell the reader not to reply. Sounds like the Second Amendment isn’t the only problem you have with the Bill of Rights.

      • Of course he doesn’t want a reply. This is a victim disarmament bigot’s lecture, not a conversation.

        He does not want any lip out of us cousin-humping retard peasants. He thinks he is our better.

    • Same old anti gun crap we’ve seen for decades.

      Can’t you write your own anti-rights bilge, or do you need help when spewing propaganda?

    • [quote]
      3. And I keep hearing the “If only” argument over and over, every time one of these shootings occurs. “If only there was someone there with a gun, this could have been prevented.” Bullshit. As my gun-owning friends like to point out, there are over 300 million guns in this country; about 40% of us own a gun. So how come we even have these shootings? Half of us have guns. Why haven’t you all stopped these tragedies from happening? [/quote]

      Not Bullshit. These shootings take place in GUN-FREE Zones where not one of those 300 million guns is “allowed”. Gun-owners (who could have prevented such tragedies) are not allowed to be in those Gun-Free zones with their guns.

    • Your son needs another set of parents.

  45. [...] An opinion on gun control « Monster Hunter Nation. [...]

  46. Exceedingly well said, well presented, and well backed-up with facts. Thank you for writing this.

  47. Thank you for this! Thank you so much! I just had a debate with a gun grabber on Facebook, and used very similar arguments. Logical, rational and real!

  48. I would love it if you actually cited the stats surrounding Australia and UK, since from what I can find the crime rates in both countries is actually declining.

    Even if it is going up slightly, according to wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate (not the most reliable source, but the underlying data here appears legit), the violent crime rate in the UK and Australia is 1.2 per 100.000 people, compared to 4.2 in the US. So, even if crime rises a bit, it would have to quadruple to approach how unsafe the US is. (Though I do know that this is not evenly distributed, that Vermont and most of Utah, though politically quite different, are closer to the 1.2 figure.)

    So, yeah, I would rather we react like Australia and not have another of the 62 mass shootings in the past 50 years.

    • Australia’s ban had little effect one way or another, since they didn’t have much in the way of gun rights before.

      That’s like claiming the TSA has prevented hijackings, when all they have done is increase (and legalize) sexual assaults.

      As for your numbers, try again.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1196941/The-violent-country-Europe-Britain-worse-South-Africa-U-S.html

      • From the article you yourself just posted comes this,

        “There are also degrees of violence. While the UK ranks above South Africa for all violent crime, South Africans suffer more than 20,000 murders each year – compared with Britain’s 921 in 2007.” So… The US had 18,361 murders that same year. So, still not seeing how having more guns makes us safer. (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/su6001a14.htm)

        The TSA is a good point on needing smart gun safety measures, not security theater.

      • The CDC study is political bilge. Every time a Democrat is president, they spew another one of these.

        Note that the largest group in that violence rate is african-american.

        If you are willing to throw out civil rights in order to lower the violence rate, you would be better served jailing all blacks instead of banning firearms.

        Do you favor jailing blacks to prevent violence? You need only “regulate” that pesky bill of rights, and it can be done.

        I don’t suggest you try it, however. I’ll be there with my firearm, helping those same black shoot your ass off if you try.

    • Actually kilks according to a report I read recently from Britain’s version of the Dept of Justice, though I forget what it’s called right this second, has admitted that their numbers don’t cover most crimes because most aren’t reported. Why? because a good many citizens over there view the justice system to be about as useful as tits on a boar.

      • Kilks…Degrees of violence? Britain has over 2000 violent acts per 100,000 people. The US is around 450. You can’t pick and choose the specific categories that support your ‘belief.’

        Typical close-minded liberal.

      • Actually, the US has a VERY high homocide rate (roughly 2/3rds from firearms) compared to most developed countries. Latin America and Africa are higher, as one might expect, but Europe is much much lower. One other interesting fact is that the US has one of the highest suicide by firearm rates in the world. Bottom line, more guns = more dead people… period.

      • More guns = more dead people? You seem to be implying that all those deaths were of innocent folss – whereas here on planet Earth, most of those dead were the criminals, shot by a citizen who was forced into that position. I absolutely don’t mind.

      • Hey Michael … those Swiss must be just drowning in blood.

    • The dirty secret is that the Australian ban is unevenly enforced. Do some digging into what weapons turned up (and in whose hands) during the Cronulla riots.

    • Let me give you another example:

      In Switzerland, the government actually issues every able bodied 20 year old man a fully automatic 5.56 mm rifle and 100 rounds of ammunition to keep in his home. It is common to see these reservists in grocery stores and theaters with their weapons slung over their shoulders. At 30 when they are discharged, they may keep their rifle after the government has modified it to semiautomatic.

      Blood must run in the streets, right? Wrong. Swiss murder rate from all causes is 0.4 per 100,000.

      By comparison, in Birmingham, 20 miles north of where I am sitting, the rate is 54 per 100,000.

    • You also cant just compare gun crime, where there is a gun ban you will see more knife violence, and you can run out of bullets but what is the limit to a blade. How many times does a person typically get stabbed compared to the number of shots in a similar set of circumstances,ie robbery or murder. How many places are guns, or whatever, are involved but the crime is classified differently by the officials so that the statistics are read differently. I’m not anti gun by the way. You can compare apples to oranges cause they’re both fruit but without lot of manipulation ,or a politician, an orange will not be red. I have more questions than answers.

  49. Reblogged this on The Liberty Zone and commented:
    I just had a debate with a friend who is of the gun grabber variety. Made many of the same points as Mr. Correia makes in this article. It’s eloquent, well articulated and logical to a fault. If a person has a rational, open mind, they will read and understand this.

  50. [...] Larry Correia’s excellent post about gun control. [...]

  51. It may have already been said on here (there are so many comments)…

    Regarding the suggestion that teachers conceal carry, this is my take on it:

    When 9/11 and other air hijack terrorism occurred, the government didn’t put signs in airports and airplanes saying “Hijack Free Zone”.
    They hired and trained and armed air marshals.

  52. I’ve been saying a lot of the same things on certain points. The only only way to end mass shootings is to end gun-free zones. Taking my right to keep and bear arms isn’t going to make your kids at school any safer.

  53. Larry,

    only one problem with your whole argument.

    You’re being rational, not emotional.

    • Excellent Sir, why waste an expensive cup of java and waste your time learning something when you could be running through the hen house warning of the impeding disaster? :P

  54. Wow. I LOVE THIS. I am so happy there are still educated firearm advocates out there. Now how can we show the country that guns don’t kill people. Its pretty simple. If you want something to compare: how many people die in automobile accidents year round. Shouldn’t we just ban cars too?

    • hell, not just accidents. according to this site:

      http://www.deadlyroads.com/

      4 people die each day on average in hit-and-runs. that’s 1460 fatalities from hit-and-runs each year!

      BAN CARS NOW!

    • Falacious argument.. Cars are used by almost everyone on a regular basis and are inherently dangerous because they travel at a high rate of speed by individuals of varying levels of competence. The death rate in relation to the amount of overall usage is very small when compared to the death rate by firearms given their relative small usage.

      Add to that the incredible strides made in car safety over the past 25 years means that cars are getting safer every year.. which is NOT the case w/ firearms.

      Accidental deaths, many involving small children, accounted for more deaths in the US than total homicides in the UK last year.

      More guns = more dead people. Fact!

      • total UK homicides, 2011: 636
        total accidental deaths due to firearms, US, 2011: 1097

        UK population: 62,641,000
        US population: 311,591,917

        Here’s another:
        violent crime, UK, 2009, per 100K: >2000
        violent crime, US, 2009, per 100K: 464

        Try looking at rates, or build comparable bodies of population.

      • “More guns = more dead people. Fact!”

        Fact: Putting the word “fact” after something you say, does not, in fact, make it a fact.

      • More living people = More dead people Fact!
        LMAO

      • More free speech = more retards like Mike spewing nonsense

        Fact!

        Regulate free speech, and make people like Mike wait 30 days before posting.

    • That is.. accidental deaths *** from firearms*** accounted for more deaths in the US..

    • Not only Cars, but let’s find out what exactly high alcohol(caliber) drinks those DUI had and ban specific brands of Whiskey, Beer, Wine, Liqueurs. Ban some drinks by name because they look like more potent drinks. Ban dark coloured drinks (they look potent.)

      • When I was bartending and in the loop on Alcoholic beverages this actually came up. Sometimes on slow afternoon shifts we would get the preachy type people in who would complain about how different drinks get you drunk faster. Some of these people even said if they had their way I wouldn’t be able to make high potency drinks. The Zombie family for instance. It looks like it has lots of alcohol, it tastes really good and masks the flavor of alcohol, and the sugar content they said tricked people into thinking they weren’t drunk. Only thing is, Even a really strong Zombie is less potent then a boiler maker or even straight shots. The Zombie has lots of alcohol in it, but it also has a ton of juice which slows down your absorption of the alcohol. Compared to a shot, or beer(the carbonation) 1 Zombie an hour will get you drunk slower than a shot and a beer.

        The crazy Zombies look scary and are very powerful drinks people didn’t know this, or even cared as it didn’t fit their rhetoric. Just like the Assault Weapons look scary people.

        So don’t ban the drinks/guns. Educate people and expect them to take personal responsibility for their actions.

  55. Man what a great write up! I shared it to facebook and forwarded to friends and family.

    I looked at your “About me” page and see you are from El Nido and went to Merced High! I grew up in the country outside of Merced too.

    Thanks for going to all the work of such a well thought out and well backed up post.

  56. I’m new to understanding your perspective on this, but when you say that Liberals hate Lott, are you referring to the paper published in the Journal of Legal Studies written after Lott allowed Professors Dan Black and Daniel Nagin to reevaluate his data for their 1998 inquiry into the effects of concealed-carry laws on violent crime rates or the one by Yale Law School? They don’t strike me as Liberal organizations.

    http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2240&context=fss_papers

    http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.1086/468019?uid=2129&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&sid=21101582246307

    I’m sincerely trying to understand your perspective as I feel that this is the only way to have a fruitful discussion. I think you’re proposing that the US not add any additional limitations on guns or ammunition, but rather remove existing limitations to allow more people to have guns available to protect themselves. Is that accurate?

    Also, can you post where you got the info about violent crime increasing in the UK, Australia, etc after guns were banned/made more difficult to purchase? I’m hearing different things so I’d like to see authoritative data rather than what people are posting (on both sides).

    Thanks.
    - Amy

    • John Lott wrote a book called “More guns, less crime.” The thesis is that criminals strongly dislike armed victims and thus as more law abiding good guys carry sidearms for self defense, violent crime goes down (with a slight rise in property crime — likely criminals finding safer lines of work).

      The book is exhaustively researched.

      Every gun control person I’ve ever met hates it but can’t really articulate a good argument against his work other than “LOTT IS BAD! HE LIES!” Some other statisticians/economists tried to debunk it, and they were savaged (professionally speaking) for shoddy work.

    • http://www.gunsandcrime.org/auresult.html

      A report on the findings from the Australian AWB.

      Short version: Most categories were trending down before the ban, and showed no notable change in that trend post ban. Some categories increased, but again, were trending in that direction pre ban.

      • And I do believe that right in the article that I wrote here I cited that it was not as conclusive because they were arguing over whether the Australian ban had any effect…

        Not of course, that the media which loves gun control would be biased, or the politicians who love control would be biased in their reporting… Because that’s just crazy.

      • Amy, you may be able to find other reports, but that is the one that was posted in a discussion I joined.

        The guy posting it was trying to use it as ‘factual proof’ that the Aussie ban had a major impact on crime.

        Not sure if it is the report Mr. Correia was using when he mentioned the Australian ban in the piece above, but it is a good place to start.

    • Hi Amy –

      I culled data from Britain’s version of the FBI uniform crime stats.

      For 2011, the UK had a violent crime rate of 3844.92 per 100k.
      For 2011, the US had a violent crime rate of 386.3 per 100k.

      For comparison inside the US, Washington DC and Chicago, Il, beloved of liberals for their strict gun control, had the following stats:

      DC:
      Violent crime rate: 1130.26 per 100k (Nat’l: 386.3 per 100k)
      Murder rate: 17.48 per 100k (Nat’l: 4.7 per 100k)

      Chicago:
      Violent crime rate: 1044.97 per 100k (note: Chicago doesn’t report rapes, so the VC rate isn’t an exact representation) (Nat’l: 386.3 per 100k)
      Murder rate: 15.94 per 100k (Nat’l: 4.7 per 100k)

  57. [...]  So if you’re willing to step past your ignorance (the wise man will humbly do it every day) and learn something, click on over to his post and read. [...]

  58. [...]  Larry wrote a great article which he’s given me permission to republish with attribution.  Click here to see this article on Larry’s website or just keep scrolling to read the entire [...]

  59. Hi Larry,

    Thank you for this well-written article. I’m a liberal, and I proudly voted for Obama. I am generally pro gun control. I live and work in an urban area of a blue state. I have never fired a gun in my life. That said, I am not a limp-dick chicken-shit or any other one of the things I’ve been called. I also do not consider myself elitist. Before anybody reading this snorts or rolls their eyes at me, please understand that I’m trying hard to understand this side of the pro-gun debate. I deeply appreciate your blog post, Larry. It’s been educating, and cleared up a lot of the information I didn’t know.

    Also, before you write me off completely, understand that I am a big advocate of self-defense (I’m a long-time accomplished martial artist and have been in fights). I’m not interested in overturning the 2nd Amendment, despite which, I admit, I think people have misunderstood it’s actual historical use, but that’s another debate I for another blog thread perhaps. And I realize you probably have even more arguments for than I do. But anyway…)

    On the day of the Sandy Hook shootings, I wrote to my Congressman about tighter gun control laws. However, I see your points, and am actively trying to look for meaningful and practical solutions to these tragedies. While I applaud your “arm the teachers” solution, I am, for many reasons, against that idea. I won’t get into it too deeply here, but essentially it boils down to having 3 young children, and a wife who has worked in in early childhood education for 24 years. No matter which way you spin it, the bottom line comes down to that having a tool of violence in a classroom is in many ways the antithesis of a nurturing and healthy learning environment for young kids. Yes, I know it can be concealed. Yes, I realize that they may never know it’s there. But for whatever reasons, I think we both know it’s not going to be a popular decision with the national public if that’s the best solution offered up by well-meaning pro-gun advocates like yourself. Heck, it already isn’t popular. With the exception of the far right, it seems like the average American is writing off Governor Perry’s statements about arming teachers. Not just “elitist urban liberals.” You may disagree, and that’s fine. But again, maybe we can agree that the idea just won’t go over well, regardless of the actual idea’s merits, OK?

    So that said, my question for you is what _else_ can be done? You (and your readers) are intelligent, educated Americans. You know more on the topic of guns than I ever will. What _else_, besides suggesting that pre-school and elementary school teachers learn to use semi-automatic guns, can be done to help prevent mass shootings?

    Keep in mind, I’m not talking about organized criminals who import or make their own military-grade stuff. Nor am I talking about rapists in dark alleys looking for single victims. I’m looking for practical solutions to preventing mentally disturbed people (usually, but not always, young Caucasian men with at least historical signs of mental illness) from being able to walk into a school or theater or mall and shoot people up.

    Personally, I believe the answer is not tighter regulation on the types of guns and related devices that can be sold, but tighter regulation on the people who get them. (A conservative pro-gun friend of mine said we need better people control, and I agree.) You’re right that “bad guys don’t care.” They will get them anyway. But what I think we can better prevent are taking steps to ensure mentally disturbed people cannot get them.

    BTW: I’m not throwing stones at any specific group. I’m a white man myself, and one of my children (a boy) is on the autistic spectrum. So believe me when I say that I’m not on a witch hunt.

    It seems to me that we should limit those who live in a household with mentally disturbed people from being able to buy or own guns. In the Sandy Hook event, the shooter’s mother was a legal gun owner and (likely?) took every precaution she could. She allegedly trained her sons well with proper gun usage, and kept guns locked up. But the tragedy of course is that her son was mentally ill, and probably should not have been in a household with guns. (Or rather, guns should not have been in a household with a mentally disturbed kid). It’s my understanding that background checks are done on the buyer at the time of a gun purchase. But what, EXACTLY, is checked? Another friend I know recently acquired a gun… a short time after his girlfriend dumped him. Yes, he went through the cooling off period required by our state. I’m not saying I think he personally would do anything, but… maybe? He was extremely depressed. Not just sad. DEPRESSED. (I’ve also struggled with true depression and know the signs) Was it a good idea for him to be able to acquire a gun? How could the state (or whoever does the check) determine if that is a threat?

    Thanks in advance for having an open mind and considering my thoughts.

    • I’m a martial artist too. I trained for over a decade. I wasn’t the best, but I definitely think I could hold my own against anyone who didn’t have several years of training.

      Problem is, it doesn’t work against shooting. Sure, if someone is holding a gun in your face they can be disarmed (if you’re fast and lucky), but there’s nothing you can do from across a room.

      As for the resistance to arming teachers….I’m just going to have to call that a mental block on your part. Don’t know what else one could say to convince you that they are not magical talismans manufactured out of evil that will attack children whenever they are in close proximity.

      Having a child with issues is also no reason not to own guns. People who own guns and have children have extra motive to obtain a good safe.

      Unless you’re implying we should hire a bunch of psychics, the current background check is the best it’s going to get, and I’m OK with that.

      Also, don’t vote any more, you’re ruining the country for the rest of us.

      • Yes, I really don’t understand the resistance to armed, trained staff in the schools. I guess it comes down to CCW making it impossible for people to know they’re standing right next to a person with a gun. They might notice they’re not getting shot by that gun or any of the others they’ve been close to, but because it’s concealed they never even know they’re there. Hard to convince someone to change their mind when you can’t just show them that they have encountered gun carriers in many situations and not been any less safe.

      • The security of a gun in the classroom is easy. Keep it on your person or bolt one of those single-gun safes in the top drawer of the teacher’s desk. They type that can be opened with a single hand with a secret code in about 1 second.
        What is it about people that they think it’s OK for a cop to walk around a school with an exposed gun but the same gun on a teacher’s hip will somehow end in an accident? If you think kids don’t hug the resource officers, you are sadly mistaken. (saw one argument that teachers get hugged by students and the gun might be discovered. If you don’t act like you have been caught, kids pretty much ignore stuff like that)

      • Sorry, but i´m with him here. I was until recently a soldier. I’ve seen trained staff -in warzones, so being shot at should come at no surprise- panicking, others were having an adrenaline rush -causing poor judgement and impulse control (one kid suddenly bursting into the field of vision then and we have another victim). You can´t tell me teachers or weekend-course trained personnel won´t react like that as well. The only ones who are reliably chosen and trained keeping their calm under any circumstances are special forces personnel. Experienced veterans might achieve that level of competence as well.

        Also situational awareness: could panicking kids suddenly run through your line of fire? Keep in mind you could produce ricochet that hits the kids as well as you need to hold your fire if you would penetrate the surfaces in your line of fire (Victoria Soto saved many kids by hiding them in cabinets, so you should understand why it´s important). And everything possibly under difficult circumstances like in Aurora (dark room and tear gas) and as immediately as possible, no one is waiting for your evaluation.

        And of course coordination. You got a gun, run towards the shooting and find half a dozen armed guys. Who is friend, who is the assailant? Are you waiting until you have figured everything out? Cool, you are all dead now, the murderer used your confusion to put bulletts into your brains. You are going to shoot? The murderer happily accepts your help and then is going about his crime, leaving behind the bodies of the wannabe-heroes. This part is really vital to successfully handle such a situation. Lack of coordination is one of the main reasons for friendly fire. And this is for trained armed forces, don´t tell me civilians will do better.

        So you see: you are severely underestimating the difficulties involved in such a situation. Letting amateurs handle it -as speed-bump- will end up in dead kids, killed by them because they were out of their depth.

        Sure, not every situation requires a seal to deal with it. Most are rather easy and straightforward, and most assailants aren´t exactly evil geniuses, so you can take them out without being special-forces material. But the situations you were talking about: school-shootings and the Aurora-massacre, are belonging to the most difficult situations, where you need to be an absolute expert if you want to handle it without killing as many kids as the attacker.

        So this can´t be the solution, there aren´t enough ex-special-forces around to become school guards and others are likely not capable of dealing with the situations and only will make matters worse.

      • So, not doing anything, because it might hypothetically make things worse, is better… So y’all kids just die for FIVE MINUTES until the professionals (who also aren’t trained anywhere near SF levels) come to save everybody…

        The solution is right there in your 2nd to last paragraph. “most are rather easy and straightforward, and most assailiants aren’t exactly evil geniuses, so you can take them out without being special-forces material”.

        And there you go. You answered your own problem.

        Also, color me a little suspicious if you think that only SF are capable combatants… I must have missed the part where I said that teachers need to be HALO capable and dive certified and able to teach small infantry tactics in Pashtun. I’ve got a couple hundred combat vets as readers here, and though most of them aren’t scanning through all 800 comments here so probably won’t see this, I’m hoping one of them sees this and posts in order to call you on your bullshit.

        That especially pisses me off, because the guy that taught me the most about responding to school shootings and who I stole most of my teaching curriculum from was a LtCol in the Army SF, and one of the guys that I worked for as an assistant instructor was a long tab, (he’s posted in this thread too, so hope you’re still around Sam F.), and a giant chunk of my customer base was SF (we were located one block from Utah NGHQ, so it was 1st Bat 19th SFG), and all of these highly trained super soldiers who you are citing as the ONLY people capable of stopping a school shooting would call you on your bullshit.

        One reason I know this is because I’ve got a challenge coin from one of our A Teams. You know why they gave it to me? Because I was teaching FREE CCW CLASSES TO TEACHERS. I didn’t even know what was going on. I was filling out paperwork after class, looked up to see seven guys standing there waiting to talk to me, and since I knew who they were I thought “Oh, crap? Did I say something stupid? Did I say something wrong?” Nope. They wanted to thank me for helping arm the people who taught THEIR KIDS.

        You cite how many kids Soto saved because she kept a cool head. She also threw her unarmed self at an armed attacker. Brave woman. Just imagine how many other kids she might have been able to save if she’d just shot the son of a bitch.

        I am severely underestimating the dangers? Okay, wait one freaking second. You yourself admit that for most of these incidents, they are relatively straightforward events, yet you posit that becuse the teachers can’t handle something like Belsan, then we shouldn’t do anything? Screw that.

      • As a combat veteran I can safely say that you don’t have to be “special forces” to stop a lone psychopath with a gun. I personally know several civilians without any military training that could respond appropriately. I know what it’s like to be shot at. I know what I need to do to assess the situation and pick my time and target. And I’m not special forces. Much of civilian training nowadays is far more geared towards this kind of situation than most military training. Military training is usually far less discriminating while the opposite is true of the civilian training.

      • Whatever (the poster), I’m just your run of the mill 11B, but the way you describe it, it’s a gosh darn miracle half the guys in my company weren’t offing each other every time we went to the range. If the average Infantryman isn’t capable of doing his job under pressure, then I guess I wasted 16 weeks at Fort Benning for nothing.

      • Thank you for your service. When I was at Ft. Dix for Basic, I received my full grounding in the M-1 rifle and the bayonet. At Ft. Belvoir, I was on the pistol team, and I’ve been shooting ever since, and qualified as an NRA and AZ firearms instructor. There are many, many more with my experience and training, and even more advanced skills. We all could be qualified to be volunteers for a school defense program.

      • @Whatever, the fact that you claim that only special forces operators have the situational awareness and competency to deal with a situation such as a school shooting calls into serious question you claim of having been a soldier. I believe that you have about as much military experience as Jesse McBeth.

        And just so we are clear, these are my qualifications to speak on this subject. I am an Air Force veteran who served as an 81130, in other words a security specialist. I underwent Basic Training at Lackland Air Force Base in 1993 as well as MTS and then underwent advanced training on the M-60 and in Air Base Ground Defense at Fort Dix, NJ. My entire job was dealing with the security of Air Force personal and materials. Furthermore, my family has a tradition of military service to this country that has extended unbroken back to the Continental Navy during the Revolution. I grew up around sailors and Marines, many of whom were special operations operators.

        The reality is that almost nothing that you described would or did transpire in Newtown, Aurora, Tuscan, or even Columbine. Soldiers train with each other almost every day of their career. They know who their platoon mates are, who the other soldiers in their company are, and, even if it is just through recognition of uniforms, who the rest of the good guys are. Why do you think groups like the Taliban work so hard to get American military uniforms?

        By the same token, teachers and administrators at schools work with each other five days a week, they know who the”good guys” are and they know that a person in full tactical gear armed with an AR-15 is not one of them. It is a pretty straight forward determination who the “bad guy” is.

        Additionally, if teachers are taught basic tactical skills they are not rushing into a situation half blind. They are advancing slowly, using cover and concealment to assess the situation, clearing each room they pass to make sure there are no bad guys waiting for them or waiting to ambush the good guys. They are making contact with other teachers and staff, coordinating their approach, and not engaging the target unless they have a clear shot. This is all things that you would know if your military career had existed outside of CoD. These are all basic skills that I was taught long before I was ever put out in the field with live ammunition and that we practiced nearly every single day. Hell, anyone who had ever played Laser Tag or paintball learns these skills pretty quick from “on the job training.”

        So I am afraid I am going to be forced to call bull$h!+ on pretty much everything you said. We have seen from any number of recent incidents that armed civilians with basic tactical shooting skills can and do make a difference and save lives. So please crawl back into your virtual foxhole and troll some n00bs, because we know better here.

      • @Whatever, I have nine years experience as a Coast Guard Boarding Officer. I also trained a lot of young men to do that job. Your assertion that only Special Forces have the training to do this kind of work is just plain ignorance with more than a bit of misplaced arrogance. My people everyone could that job and do it well. So kindly think before you open your moth ands hove both feet in it up to your knees.

      • Whatever (The poster) is your typical “concern troll”. He says “I’m like you but I have a concern…”. And it’s all BS.

        “You can´t tell me teachers or weekend-course trained personnel won´t react like that as well.”

        Exactly how much range time does the average LEO have, genius? Yet the arrival of said officers is what almost always triggers the deranged shooter to off himself. When the threat that they will deal with an armed opponent is presented they almost always suicide. That was the lesson from Columbine and why we teach LEOs to go to the sound of the gun and not wait for SWAT. Which is exactly what teh brave officers of the Newtown PD did. And from time lines it appears he did himself when they arrived.

        “The only ones who are reliably chosen and trained keeping their calm under any circumstances are special forces personnel. Experienced veterans might achieve that level of competence as well.”

        Utter fucking nonsense. We’ve been training room to room since I went through IOBC in 1981. I trained situational awareness in MOUT training at Reaganstadt training area in Ft Bragg to thousands of soldiers, noncoms and butter bars.

        Furthermore, I can tell you even basic training prepares our soldiers for exactly this sort of combat. A man I was commissioned with was a reserve infantry officer. When the Reserve’s had their combat units pulled he went to Transportation. His unit was called up at the start of the Iraqi phase. His Transport soldiers, as untrained at weapons as they were (I led a MTT that tried to train soldiers belonging to CSS units combat skills…it’s hard) were able to defeat many an ambush. It was an IED that killed my friend.

        Finally, Whatever, have you ever been to a Practical Pistol Shoot competition, let alone a civilian range? These people take shooting far more seriously then most soldiers. They do it because they like to shoot. They try hard. All it needs is one of these in a school to run to the sound of the gun to keep our children safe.

        When confronted with the threat of violence the vast, whopping majority of these sick twists will take their own life…no second party shooter required.

      • I’m trying to respond to “Whatever’s” comments and I really take some umbrage with it. I’ve been working with ordnance all of my adult life, since enlisting at 17 and even before then. I have helped protect two Presidents and been on the sharp end more than once, and that includes hearing the frag buzz past my ears and being faster and more accurate that the other guy. My skills are enough that I have been told by a top-level operator that he would go though a door with me. If you don’t know what that means, just stop reading this.
        You don’t have to be a tier-1 trained operator to be able to fight the bad guys. Yes, tunnel-vision in a combat environment is the big thing you have to fight (funny, you didn’t mention that). Go towards the shooter and find half-a dozen armed guys? You’re either outnumbered or late for the party. And you go back and protect the kids. How many of those teachers in Israel are ex-operators? But they can handle a rifle – and they have them available!
        For a teacher, they would be protecting the kids first and foremost. If they have the means to, they take cover with the children and anyone who comes through that door firing is in a world of hurt. But you don’t expect someone in that position to go out hunting the bad guy.
        Your points are those of someone who has read a bit, trained a bit, and thinks they know it all. Until you have heard the snap go by, you can’t be positive of what you will do. But you can come damned close. No. it isn’t the best situation, a building full of kids and a gunman opening up at any and all who get in front of him. But you can harden up the target a bit.
        Oh, and if your going to talk about them, you can at least show the courtesy of knowing how to write their name. It’s SEAL.

      • @whatever “You got a gun, run towards the shooting and find half a dozen armed guys. Who is friend, who is the assailant? Are you waiting until you have figured everything out?”

        The assailant is the one who wasn’t in the faculty meeting last week.
        The assailant is the one trying to hide from everybody else
        The assailant is the one with 4 guns and magazines sticking out everywhere.
        The assailant is the one with the body armor
        The assailant is the one with the blood spatters
        The assailant is the one with the smoking gun.

        Actually I lied.

        The assailant is the dead one on the floor.

        The body will have flash burns under his chin and the top/back of his head blown off.

        ———————-

        I’m a military vet, as I felt it was my duty to put my life on the line for my country.

        I’ve only had guns pointed at me twice in earnest that I know of, and only one of those times was there shooting. Both times were civilian. The shooter fired a few of times and ran. His shooting was so bad I started walking to the side slowly, so as not to accidentally run into his aim. Random idiot, probably gang initiation or something.

        The punk non-shooter surprised me with a revolver almost in my belly button. I was scared as hell, and my stomach tried to wrap itself around my spine, but I decided then and there I wasn’t dying on my knees.

        The hammer was down, and even if it were single action, he couldn’t have pulled the trigger faster than I could slap it away. We both hung on, and when I twisted around to his face, he suddenly remembered a pressing appointment elsewhere.

        Stories of heroic bravery? I wasn’t even scared by the first guy. I was alone and it was obvious he’d only get me by accident (he was at least a couple of hundred feet away) The second time, I just did what needed to be done. I survived both, and at least know how I’ll react under fire, so that particular terror is gone.

      • @whatever

        I am a Special Forces trained soldier. I have been deployed to multiple combat zones in my nearly 26 years in my time in Special Forces. I taught at the Special Forces Qualification Course. I now teach protective security skills for the State Dept. in Baghdad. Let me tell you that there is nothing magical about Special Forces training that would make us the only ones capable of stopping the psychopathic murderer. The only thing our training really does is weed out the undesirables like you.

        There are countless examples cited of non Special Forces personnel who have actually stopped these types of events so your argument is clearly invalid. Go back you your fobbit rack and leave the discussion to people who know what they are talking about.

    • It’s easy actually. You can’t stop such things from happening if someone wants to commit such an act. All you can do is be prepared to deal with it. Larry wrote about what happens to mass shooters when they are opposed, so there is no reason to say it again.

      So in the end, either you can quiver in your shoes and be a sheep or you can be a sheepdog and not be a victim.

    • Mark,
      Very nice comment. But i would ask you this:
      When it comes down to you witnessing an atrocity in progress ( Its happening right now and every second you delay another person dies. No debate, not time to call police, no politics.), and you have the means to stop the slaughter of innocents within your grasp, the question is…do you stop the butcher in his tracks or throw away the tools to save the innocent because of personal limitations, ignorance, or political dogma, and therefore be complicit in their murder?
      Now would you also deny others that same means to stop the butcher?

    • “… the bottom line comes down to that having a tool of violence in a classroom is in many ways the antithesis of a nurturing and healthy learning environment for young kids….”

      I’ve been to a world’s fair, a rodeo, and a picnic, and that is the silliest thing I’ve heard come over a headset, even for an Obama voter.

      However, it reveals typical irrational and emotional thought, as well as the intellectual vacuity of the therapeutic culture spawned from flakey leftist drivel that has brought this country to the sorry pass we find ourselves in.

      What is sad is that you that you can only see a firearm in the liberal dogma duckspeak of “tool of violence”. Were you open minded in the least, as oxymoronic as “open minded liberal” is, you would have to admit that any firearm, as a deterrent, is as much a tool of peace as a tool of violence. Actually, given that the vast majority of firearms in the entire world will never be used to do anything more violent than to put a hole in a can or piece of paper, your argument holds less water than the aforementioned can, unless you are so degraded you think target shooting as sport (cans or otherwise) is “violence”. If that is so, you are beyond hope.

      The fact, as anathema as it likely will be to you, is that weapons of various sorts, to include firearms, have been in schools throughout much of this country’s history, to include teachers packing heat, yet without mass shootings. It is not mere coincidence that the rise in incidence of shootings has occurred during a rise in “gun free zones”, media circuses attendant to each event, abrogation of blame and responsibility, moral equivalence, “zero tolerance” asininity where kids get thrown out of school for drawing pictures of firearms, fall in academic standards and achievement, and all the other detritus your tie-dyed world view has inflicted on the civilized world.

    • Mark,

      Denying gun purchases based on association with a “mentally disturbed” individual sounds kinda like denying someone their constitutional rights without due process of law to me. Plus, how do you determine who is or isn’t “mentally disturbed”? In a nation where an estimated 17% of the population is clinically depressed at some point in their lives, do you propose that nearly a fifth of the population has their rights permanently stripped, as well as all of their friends and family? It sounds incredibly authoritarian with a lot of potential for abuse.

      As for preventing more school shootings, you’re asking the wrong questions. You’re asking “how can we keep bad guys from getting weapons?” The answer to that is, ultimately, we can’t. It is impossible to keep a truly dedicated individual from obtaining the means to kill large numbers of people. If it’s not guns, it’ll be knives, or bombs, or gasoline, or cars, or any number of things. At some point, prevention will fail. At that point, you need to ask the question “what do we do when prevention fails?” In that case, the right thing to do is call for help immediately, protect children as best as possible, perhaps by blocking doors or evacuating students out ground floor windows depending on what is feasible, and having the fastest armed response possible. It doesn’t necessarily have to be someone with a CCW, that’s just the easiest and cheapest method. A pair of armed security guards in every school would be an excellent deterrent and a much faster response than the police. You seem to understand self defense as a martial artist, but self defense only works if you can meet the attacker on equal ground. The only true way to stop an active shooter is to have a responsible adult on scene capable of responding to him or her with equivalent force.

    • My wife is a teacher and she disagrees with you because she is strongly opposed to her or her students dying. That is also not conducive to a positive learning environment.

      Look, no words persuade people like you. You’ve already stated that you are politically active and told your representatives to punish me because of what some asshole in Connecticut — a state with great “person control” and some of the strictest gun control in the country already — did. The only effective technique I’ve seen for changing the minds of people who are already politically active is (A) taking them to the range, or (B) if a horrible tragedy occurs to them or a close friend/family member. That’s tough to say, but true.

      You need to consider the outcome of your “person control,” though, as a self-described liberal. As I understand it, part of being a liberal is believing that all people deserve to enjoy specific enumerated rights regardless of color, creed, gender, etc. “Person control” in the gun world often involves giving local officials discretion to deny or revoke gun rights. CT has a discretionary “may issue” permit system where local and state officials “may issue” a pistol permit — or not, depending on how they feel.

      These systems are notorious for abuse. Guess how many poor black people living in shitty wards have pistol permits in DC in the post-Heller world? Do you think it is more, or less, than the number of rich white people in nice lofts with permits? Look back historically. Why was a bunch of gun control with discretionary permit schemes instituted in the south in the late 19th century? What could possibly have been occuring in that time frame? Buller? Bueller?

      If you’re cool with taking rights away from poor people, minorities, and so on as “collateral damage,” then sure, bring on the “people control.” Just something to think about.

    • Mark:

      No matter which way you spin it, the bottom line comes down to that having a tool of violence in a classroom is in many ways the antithesis of a nurturing and healthy learning environment for young kids.

      That is an emotional argument. You are saying that a classroom with an armed teacher is not the way you feel a classroom should be. Well, MY emotional argument is that I don’t feel a classroom should be filled with dead kids.

      And Mr. Correia’s argument is not an emotional argument at all. He’s talking about what works, why it works, and he’s pointing out that it’s been shown to work.

      So ask yourself: do you want to feel good about the nurturing environment of your child’s classroom? Or to you want to stop having school shootouts? Assume you can’t have both. Which is more important to you?

      But for whatever reasons, I think we both know it’s not going to be a popular decision with the national public if that’s the best solution offered up by well-meaning pro-gun advocates like yourself.

      That depends on whether we can move the discussion from an emotional one (“that solution bother me, so I won’t stand for letting it be tried!”) to a practical one (“let’s look at what’s worked and what hasn’t, and do more of what worked and less of what hasn’t”).

      As Mr. Correia says, several states already allow their teachers to be armed, and no doubt there will now be more. So you don’t have to do ANYTHING; just watch! Note that, as “soft” targets are hardened, the mass murderers will still go for whatever “soft” targets they can find.

      (Are you familiar with the term “going postal”? How did we get this stereotype of people going on mad shooting sprees in post offices? Well, post offices are Federally-mandated “gun free zones”. They might as well put up signs: “WARNING: no guns or illiterate people”. Illiterate people can’t read the sign, and criminals will ignore it.)

      Let me end with a suggestion. If you want to be part of the gun-control debate, go take a class, one that includes live-fire. It’ll take a few hours of your time, nothing more, and you’ll learn a lot. You should also experience what it’s like to fire a gun; all the reading in the world won’t equal the experience of actually doing it.

      Trust me. It’s worth your time to understand gun owners better. Even if your opinions don’t change a whit, they will now be INFORMED opinions… and you’ll no longer risk using the terminology incorrectly, and thereby having gun owners immediately stop taking you seriously.

      • Daniel in Brookline,

        I think you missed the elephant in the tent in that comment: the assumption that armed teachers is somehow in opposition to a “nurturing” environment.

        The message (the Left is all about “messages” isn’t it?) of an armed teacher: life is worth protecting and if someone comes to harm you I am prepared to stop them.

        It doesn’t _get_ more nurturing than that.

      • Personally, I think a big part of being a nurturing parent is protecting my children from harm.

      • “Personally, I think a big part of being a nurturing parent is protecting my children from harm.”

        Bingo!

        I would go further and say that protecting _myself_ so that my children _have_ a father to come home and be nurturing is big part of that.

        As I have said in other venues, I’m not a little guy (nowhere near you, of course. ;) ) and I’m in pretty good shape for my age (“for my age” note that), and I’m a brown belt in judo. I’m also a 51 (almost 52) year old man with bad knees. Running is not an option. And on balance I might give myself even money against some young punk who decides to try me unarmed, well, even money is not good enough. Bring a club or a knife into the equation and even if I’m similarly armed, well, the winner of a knife fight goes to the hospital. And again, we’re talking even money at best.

        Nope. Given a choice I’m not going to match muscle against muscle, knife against knife, or anything like that. I’m going to use the best means to make sure that my wife’s husband, and my daughter’s father, come home safe to continue caring for them.

        Also, I am Asatru (well, Asatru leaning agnostic). Part of my belief system is always being ready to fight evil. Courage, Honor, and Self-Reliance are three of the Nine Noble Virtues.

        So it’s not just the 2nd that’s involved but the 1st.

      • Well said,Daniel. Nothing to add but “fantastic job”.

        @ David Burkhead

        Good thoughts on the matter, which I agree with, concerning “nurturing”. And cheers from a practicing Sumerian pagan.

      • David and Anarchanonymous you do know Larry is advocating concealed carry. The students wouldn’t know that the teacher has a gun. If a whack job tries to hurt the students the teacher protects the kids. Until that moment they don’t know the teacher has a gun.

        Which would you think is more traumatic for little Timmy, seeing Bobby and Susy bleed out with blood and possibly brain splatter all over him. Or quick decisive action of a teacher who protects them by stopping the bad guy?

      • @Spencer

        Of course I’m aware that’s what he’s advocating. I am for it. I wouldn’t mind open carry either, or letting 17+ year old kids carry .25′s or .22′s after a thorough safety course and proper certification. No reason why they should have stronger guns. Minors can’t really be expected to be responsible for themselves, but for adults it should be mandatory. The .25 or .22 would be a last line of defense in case the adult in charge of safety is incapacitated.

        “Which would you think is more traumatic for little Timmy, seeing Bobby and Susy bleed out with blood and possibly brain splatter all over him. Or quick decisive action of a teacher who protects them by stopping the bad guy?”

        I have no idea. I’ve been around violence my entire life and have been the recipient of mild to severe violence throughout much of it. I’ve never been traumatized by any of it,although people around me have, so I couldn’t say. Being in my position, the idea of trauma from witnessing violence sounds like a made up condition to my mind,but it seems real enough to others. Regardless of trauma, I believe it is better to be alive than dead, and I’d much rather see an innocent come out of a violent encounter unscathed than a wicked person because I am a just person.

        I don’t believe in all this sheep-bleating about “healthy and nurturing environments” because,more often than not, in the mind of those advocating them, “healthy and nurturing environments” consist of a pedophile safe schools czar teaching 5 year old boys how to put a condom on a banana with their mouths. That, in my opinion, would be much more traumatic with far more life-altering consequences than witnessing a crazed shooter get his brains splattered all over the projector screen.

        I didn’t have a healthy or nurturing environment growing up. All it did was teach me to value peace and freedom and personal responsibility. These liberals presumably did, and they’re sexually molesting kids and having sex change operations and/or firebombing police in “anti-war” protests.

        So you tell me how well that horseshit works.

      • Anarchanonymous I think the fault in communication lies with me. There were so many posts and it looked like you were agreeing with David. The entire post was directed at him, and I mentioned you because I thought you were agreeing with him.

        For that I apologize.

        As far as upbringing I was around violence much of my life and like you I value peace, and and responsibility. Personally I go out of my way to avoid physical altercations, and never start them. I will finish them as quick as possible once one starts, once someone attacks me I don’t play around. I finish the fight as soon as possible so I can go back to not having to fight.

        That’s part of the reason why I studied martial arts so I could end fights fast. The other part is I do actually enjoy fighting but would never dream of violating another persons personal liberty and harming them. So I would spar in a controlled environment for pleasure and to prepare for when I would need to act fast and decisive.

        Again sorry you were caught in the cross fire, this thread is getting long and hard to keep track of.

      • My mom is a teacher. I would not arm her in the classroom or anywhere else for that matter. That’s not to say that teachers should not be allowed to carry on a voluntary basis, given the proper training. Our cops do active shooter training IN a local school building. It would be a great idea for them to include both armed and unarmed teachers as an exercise of what to do in that situation. Some of the volunteers who help with the training, which is led by the swat team for all the city’s personnel who would be expected to respond, bring their children to participate. They shoot paint simunitions.

    • “No matter which way you spin it, the bottom line comes down to that having a tool of violence in a classroom is in many ways the antithesis of a nurturing and healthy learning environment for young kids. Yes, I know it can be concealed. Yes, I realize that they may never know it’s there. But for whatever reasons, I think we both know it’s not going to be a popular decision with the national public if that’s the best solution offered up by well-meaning pro-gun advocates like yourself.”

      I’m of a mind that agrees and disagrees. Every teacher is not a CCW candidate, there is a protective mindset and training that one must willingly partake. Larry covers that. the bigger thing is if there are a few that can or will carry then the school is no longer defenseless and if the word is out that this is so then it does have the desired effect
      of making it a no killing zone or reducing the likelihood. The undesired effect is that crime will go elsewhere, a partial success.

      Further the concept that carrying a firearm is not a “nurturing or healthy” thing in a school is faulty. The first purpose of teachers, mothers, fathers and mentors is to teach and keep safe and healthy
      the charges in their care. Is protecting them from harm violating that?
      I think not. Like everything the confusion here is the idea that children should be kept innocent from the idea that crime and evil exist and they needs to be aware and protected from it. At some point Santa, Easter bunny and the good fairy need to become the myths they are.
      People need to grow up and understand where those myths come from and learn they are expect to integrate aspects of good, giving and protection into their nature.

      Last on this issue, It is my understanding that a few teachers and administrators put their life between the criminal and the children.
      It would have been better for all if they have the tools to be more successful in stopping the carnage rather than dead for their efforts.
      As an emotional response I call them heroes. As a logical response
      I would rather they had a bullet proof vest and combat training or a weapon effective enough to have stopped the attacker sooner and also kept their lives.

      In the end we cannot make crime and evil go away by magic, we can be effective in avoiding and stopping it if it come near. I leave offering
      a firearm is only one means but one is better than none.

      Eck!

    • “the bottom line comes down to that having a tool of violence in a classroom is in many ways the antithesis of a nurturing and healthy learning environment for young kids.”

      I see from other responses that the above phrase caught eyes other than mine. But why do you feel that way? Speaking as an NPR-listening, Harvard-trained, non-gun-owning resident of a blue state (how anti-gun should that make me?) please help me understand why the presence of a firearm would make a school the opposite of a healthy leaning environment. Is it because it will make the children think about violence or death? (Because they sure haven’t been exposed to information about that elsewhere.) Then let’s get rid of the fire extinguishers and fire hoses as well. Wouldn’t want impressionable young minds worrying about dying or being horrifically injured in a conflagration. And those eyewash stations in the chemistry lab need to go. Must protect the kids from worrying about chemical burns or losing their vision.

      A gun is just a tool like any other. Plenty of other tools have the capacity to do great harm, but most people don’t seem to have emotional responses against chainsaws, pneumatic nail-drivers or hot-water heaters set to “scald.” We won’t even get into the carnage wreaked by incompetently or irresponsibly used motor vehicles (even hybrids, hard as that may be to believe). Perhaps if we demystified firearms people would have a better understanding of what they can and can’t do, and consider them rationally instead of emotionally.

      Should we mandate arming all teachers? Of course not. They didn’t sign up for that duty, and not everyone is physically or psychologically suited to carry, or wants the responsibility. That’s fine, but please, let’s not treat firearms the way Victorians treated sex.

    • Mark,
      Thank you for at least appearing to be open to evaluating your own biases. Several other responders have already commented on the glaring flaws in your belief;

      “No matter which way you spin it, the bottom line comes down to that having a tool of violence in a classroom is in many ways the antithesis of a nurturing and healthy learning environment for young kids.”

      A firearm is a tool, a machine. Using that tool to murder is violent. Do you consider using the same tool to stop murder, especially of children, violent?
      How can a fully nurturing and healthy learning environment for children not include taking ultimate responsibility for one’s own actions and safety? Why should we protect children from visceral realities of life, and then fail to protect them from physical harm or death?

      • Appearing is the main thing here.

        He’s a concern troll.

        The first thing a concern troll does is pretend to be like the posters, and then he tries to tell us how we are all wrong.

        I wouldn’t even believe he is a vet or a martial artist without seeing his DD214 or talking to the head of his dojo.

        Even if he is, he is just spewing the “only the well trained should be allowed to use self-defense” propaganda lie.

    • Hi, Mark,

      Others have refuted various other elements of your comment, so I’ll take a couple they’ve missed.

      1. “No matter which way you spin it, the bottom line comes down to that having a tool of violence in a classroom is in many ways the antithesis of a nurturing and healthy learning environment for young kids.”

      Israel has armed teachers (heck, it has armed school bus drivers) and has no trouble maintaining a ‘nurturing and healthy learning environment’ for their children. That’s because they and their children recognize that this ‘tool of violence’ hogwash is, well, hogwash. It’s spin, to use your word. A gun is a tool, period. 100,000 times (most likely more) a year in this country, it’s a /defensive/ tool, which is pretty much the epitome of ‘nurturing and healthy.’ Which class is in a more nurtured and healthy environment, the one that knows the grown-up in the room will AND CAN protect them if a monster comes through the door, or the one that has always at the edge of their minds that even the adults are helpless and nothing can save them from the Bad Man? It’s the pearl-clutchers shrieking ‘eek! a gun!’ doing the damage to their minds, not any magically evil ‘tool of violence.’

      2. “With the exception of the far right, it seems like the average American is writing off Governor Perry’s statements about arming teachers. ”

      Guess again. Blue state urban areas and leftist mass media are not representative of average Americans. From a recent Gallup poll about preventing mass school shootings, almost 2/3rds of the respondents felt that having at least one armed school official would be either very or somewhat effective.

    • Mark,

      First, let me thank you for expressing an opposing view that is interested in learning my side of the story without branding me as a blood hungry right wing terrorist.

      Second, find a friend to teach you about how a gun works and will help you put a few rounds downrange at a safe target, I guarantee you won’t turn into a mass killer. Not sure of where you are located but I’m in BF TX where several mountain lion attacks have occurred this year. Maybe Brewster County should hire you as the non-violent animal control officer.

      “No matter which way you spin it, the bottom line comes down to that having a tool of violence in a classroom is in many ways the antithesis of a nurturing and healthy learning environment for young kids.Really? So what what tools do you teach these kids?

      Last, explain how I might have misunderstood the historical use of the 2nd Amendment, it was my understanding it was in place that I may protect myself. In the same paragraph you describe yourself as an accomplished martial artist. Not saying you’re predisposed to this type of activity but if synapses crossed in your head could you not go rogue and kill children in a school with those skills? In fact you could probably access to the school easier.

      Rick Perry is a politician, someone that panders to both sides with no real solution. There is at least one school in Texas that has given teachers the choice to carry if they so desire to do so since 2007, not a mandate, teacher’s choice,

      Your question “what_else_can be done?” How about parenting? How about knowledge? Learn about guns yourself, my kids have been educated since birth, it’s no longer a mystery or tempatation.

    • I don’t have a problem with armed teachers, but I can see why the thought of it can bring up an emotional resistance.

      How would you feel if it wasn’t teachers per se, but other school workers, such as custodians, principals, or other administrators, who don’t have direct teaching/in classroom contact? They would still be on-site, and would be seconds rather than minutes away, but wouldn’t have precisely the same cognitive dissonance vis-a-vis the reason they are there.

    • “Also, before you write me off completely, understand that I am a big advocate of self-defense (I’m a long-time accomplished martial artist and have been in fights).”

      So, you prefer a country where only fully trained martial artists can defend themselves?

      Fuck you and the horse you rode in on.

      I prefer to live in a country where a little old lady can shoot the ass off of some big, violent, and well trained gang banger if needed.

      Take your elitist martial arts attitude and shove it up your elitist liberal ass.

    • Your response comes down to two things: “it doesn’t feel good” and “it wouldn’t be politically expedient.” If those are your only arguments, you have nothing to add but emotion.

      As for the argument about mentally disturbed people–by what criteria would you deny gun permits? Based on a visit to a psychiatrist? A neighbor’s visit to a psychiatrist? A visit to a hospital? Because the person you pass on your way to work MIGHT be unstable?

      Every person in this country will, can or has had a mentally ill person living with or near them. That means that taking all the guns away is the only alternative. According to your argument.

    • As a teacher, I take exception to your idea that a concealed gun in my classroom somehow mysteriously negates any nurturing or healthy learning that will go on in my classroom. Why on earth do you assume the two are incompatible? Does having a gun in my pocket somehow make me mean and incapable of caring?
      Honestly, this is so absurd!

    • Um, watching a bunch of anime doesn’t make you a martial artist. Just saying.

      Normally I’d give you the benefit of the doubt, but so many leftists who claim to love martial arts seem to think a good enough martial artist can stop/dodge bullets/cancel out one with a timed ki blast. They never seem to figure out Dragonball Z isn’t actually real.

      • Most of the serious martial artists I know have no problem with guns, and many carry them. Why? Because real martial artists know how actual violence works, thier own personal vulnerabilities, and they understand the neccesity of tools.

      • I agree with Larry. I was alwayse taught that you should avoid using physical force as long as possible. Once it starts, if you are unable to subdue your opponent all bets are off. So if you could have a tool that would prevent violence from escalating in the first place say a gun. It would be judicious to do everything in your power as a martial artist to prevent violence. That would include holding the aggressor at gun point until the cops arrive to arrest them. In Gun-Free areas if confronted with danger/violence a martial artist has to start fighting sooner and that can include causing permanent injury or death to the aggressor. Having a gun as a deterrent is a good thing.

  60. I agree with most of your points on the impracticality of gun control and its limited effect on reducing crime, but while gun regulation may not reduce crime, your point that criminals will still have weapons fails to address the fact that thinking of school shooters and their ilk are not best thought of as criminals, but as much victims as the ones they kill. They are socially marginalized and psychologically vulnerable, almost universally bullied and abused with no hope of escape. These are not just unpopular kids, but young men with absolutely no source of validation: no friends, no group affiliations, no support networks. These shootings are a means of proving that they aren’t worthless or pathetic, of being noticed and respected the only way they can. The vast majority of the blame falls on the culture of bullying, lack of support for the mentally ill, and the cultural scripts of masculine identity and success. These are the problems that have to be addressed to fix the problem. Arming teachers will perhaps reduce the body count, but there will almost always be at least one: the would-be shooter, and I for one think we should do better. I’m not opposed to your proposal, I just think we should also work on solving the real problems.

    • Boo hoo, people might have been mean to them.

      A lot of us were bullied in school, but we don’t all turn into killers.

      They aren’t victims, they are EVIL.

      • Amen, today’s society doesn’t know what personal responsibility is and some are always looking to blame anything besides the real problem.

      • I was the bullied one in school. From a broken home. Poor (really, really poor). Spent much of my life suffering from depression. Pretty much all the stuff the Left uses as excuses for violent crime.

        Somehow I’ve managed to avoid shooting up a neighborhood. In fact, I’ve never shot anybody.

        So, not I do not buy these “he’s a victim too” excuses.

      • Insanity as a defense has to go.

        I don’t care what your reason was for being a mass murderer. The hangman is waiting for you.

      • I can’t stand to here people say that anyone committing a crime is a victim. Sorry, but in historic society if someone committed a crime against their society they were removed, usually permanently, from that society. And the modern belief that someone isn’t responsible makes no sense. WE are making excuses for people who don’t deserve them. I come from a family that has an insane person in it (bipolar individual) and I suffered with that person for years. The last thing I will ever do is tell that person that something wasn’t their fault. If they did something wrong or stupid I pointed it out to them. They might not have liked it but they learned to function within the rules, which is the whole point. If someone can’t function or learn to do it they need to be removed (to a mental hospital).

    • Serious mental illness is indeed a problem and it should be addressed.

      However, once the active shooter is kicking in the door, there’s no time to determine if they are evil or sick. You need to stop the threat. I agree that both the options are bad (option 1: Massacre. Option 2: dead sick person) but option 2 is clearly less bad.

    • “I was the bullied one in school. From a broken home. Poor (really, really poor). Spent much of my life suffering from depression. Pretty much all the stuff the Left uses as excuses for violent crime.

      Somehow I’ve managed to avoid shooting up a neighborhood. In fact, I’ve never shot anybody.”

      Same here,though I have had to defend myself numerous times.

      “The vast majority of the blame falls on the culture of bullying, lack of support for the mentally ill, and the cultural scripts of masculine identity and success.”

      If bullying causes these shootings then bullying a healthy well-adjusted heterosexual male into acting like a homosexual or a woman would be sixty gigabillion (just made that word up) times more likely to cause shootings. As far as I’m concerned, what you’re recommending here (bullying boys into acting like girls) is a form of psychological abuse that probably IS outlawed by the Geneva convention and should be considered child sexual abuse if done to a minor. You act like masculinity is a disease. Now ask yourself, is a person more or less likely to consider other human life as valuable as their own if they think their identity is the same as everyone else’s (which it is), or if they think they are some kind of freak of nature? I could easily see your form of masculinity-denigration setting up neurotic psychosis-causing stressors in a man as he struggles to choose between what is hardwired and mostly innocuous in himself and what society tells him is “good”.

      Masculinity has nothing to do with this. Some of the most prolific mass-murderers in history have been female. There’s even been an African female Hitler who ordered the genocide of hundreds of thousands of African people.

      DON’T experiment on little kids with your pet leftwing theories, it’s wrong. A child has a right to find themselves without you shoving your program down their throats. Society isn’t programming kids, you are. You assume others are doing it, because that is what you want to do. I think it should be outlawed,but I recognize that I have no right to extend any influence over another person on how they raise their children.

      • Er, maybe I missed a comment but I don’t see anybody advocating “bullying boys into acting like girls.” The comment about masculine identity is referring to the fact that many boys feel pressure to act *more* masculine, not that boys feel pressured to act feminine.

        Masculinity isn’t a disease. And neither is femininity. I agree that a child has a right to find themselves without being forced toward one end or the other. There are ways to be masculine without being violent. Unfortunately, a lot of confused boys can’t tell the difference, and try to prove their masculinity through violent, aggressive behavior.

    • As a child I was bullied all through school as well as at home, even as I aged I found myself being bullied by other adults and sometimes children. Fortunately I had strong women who taught me right and wrong and the difference between the two. I learned to respect the law and those who serve it. But most importantly I learned to value life. I will do whatever I have to in order to protect those around me, loved ones or complete strangers. But I will never kill someone because they bullied me, I most definately will fantasize about beating their asses bloody though (lol).

  61. Just gained a fan after reading your article. I come from almost the same background. Ex law enforcement officer, firearms/self defense instructor (licensed in NC). I’m so glad more people with firearms knowledge are speaking up.

  62. [...] essay on why the gun is civilization, and a much longer (but absolutely required reading) opinion on gun control. Did I mention that last link was required reading? Here, I’ll link to it again, just in [...]

  63. Sir I commend you on your post! I actually have contacted my state representative earlier this week proposing the same exact idea. Having been in law enforcement and now teaching at a local college. I believe if I am in charge of my classroom and my learning environment, that I also need to be prepared to protect my students by any means possible. The state of Kansas has been toying with this legislation for a couple of years. If it is okay with you I will share your article with my legislator.

  64. I’m a liberal, and I don’t like guns. When I first started reading this article, I almost closed it, thinking it was just going to be some closed-minded rhetoric (and I realize there’s some inherent hypocrisy there). Before I did, I noticed it was Correia’s blog I was on. I haven’t actually read any of your books yet (they’re on my list, but it’s a BIG list), but I’ve heard you on Writing Excuses, and the one thing I know about you is that you are a person who’s spent a lot of time thinking about the cause and effects of guns.

    So I kept reading, and wasn’t surprised to see some very good points being made.

    My fundamental position hasn’t changed. I don’t like guns, and I think if we could get rid of all the guns in the country, we’d be better off. Some will argue against me, but that doesn’t really matter, since we can’t get rid of all the guns in the country. It’s just not feasible.

    Your point about arming teachers was, in my opinion, the most potent. I mean, we’re already trusting these people with our children’s lives, and if this tragedy showed us anything, it’s that when push comes to shove, good teachers will die to protect the children in their care. My only concern is making sure that that there aren’t any accidents, but proper gun safety classes should be able to keep that number far lower than the amount of lives armed teachers would save.

    Ultimately, like most problems, there isn’t a single one thing that caused all this. There were likely dozens of places where this could have been stopped, and it’s foolish to go after only one.

    If we could come up with regulations that would effectively keep guns out of these people’s hands, then I’m all for that. Legislation just to look like we’re doing something (and, as you pointed out, which might do more harm than good) is less likely.

    The solution is probably somewhere in the middle (it almost always is). If we honestly want to stop this from happening again, we need politicians on both sides who can enter discussions with an open mind, who are willing to compromise, not just as a bartering tool, but because they are actually listening to what the other has to say.

    Not likely these days, but maybe someday we’ll be better than all this.

    • How would you get rid of all the guns? How would you enforce this to law to criminals who don’t obey laws in the first place?

      This is where you liberal anti-gun people just don’t connect with reality. You cannot get rid of guns. There will always be guns. The only thing that gun laws do is hurt citizens.

      • Please read that paragraph again. I address this point. I understand that it’s simply not feasible. I realize that trying to enforce an absolute “no gun” policy would get rid of far more guns used to protect than it would guns used to hurt. It’s an ideal, and like most ideals, it needs to be compromised in the face of reality.

        I disagree that the only thing that gun laws do is hurt citizens. Excessive gun laws hurt citizens, but a certain degree of regulation is necessary, like it is with anything dangerous.

      • Did you notice the point where they SAID “Since we can’t do this, it’s not feasible, it doesn’t matter”?

      • Brook: It’s an “ideal” that puts people who are physically weak completely at the mercy of those who are strong.

        As such, you need to re-examine your “ideal”. Do you really want a society where might makes right?

        I suggest you websearch for Mark Kloos’ article “Why the gun is Civilization”, and get back to us.

    • Sure, get rid of all the guns. Mr. Correia and I would be OK. We’re big and scary.

      Pity for all the small women out there though.

      • There are plenty of feasible ways for a small woman to defend herself without a gun.

      • Brook – I think you vastly underestimate the difference sheer size and muscle make in a melee of any sort. Then you need to look at the average size of men and women, respectively.

      • Brook, training helps but in the end, size does matter. If the female is not armed, she will lose the fight if she has a determined attacker. A handgun changes the equation dramatically.

        As to gun laws hurting citizens. What do you think the laws do? Criminals do not obey them, so they hurt the citizen who wants to arm themselves, makes it that much harder for them to be able to defend themselves.

      • Brook, as a small woman who doesn’t own a gun (because I’m being responsible having some of the red flags in my family), I pray someone else near me does have one if something happens. I’m trained in martial arts, but I’m a goner if some junkie tries to take me out. And if he or she has a gun, it’s over. Even if they have a bat or a lead pipe. I am in a position where I feel I have to remain unarmed and, no, I do not feel safer at all for that.

      • Brook — At 5’10″ and reasonably fit, I am not a small woman. I’m also a martial artist. A determined or hopped-up attacker is still going to give me at the very least a lot of trouble, and Goddess help me if he’s armed or there’s more than one of them. The more petite members of my gender are toast from the get go.

        I also notice you don’t list any of your ‘plenty’ of ‘feasible ways.’ Funny that.

      • I have to agree with this, and so I’m not coming across from the biased perspective of a 6’5″ thickset guy who liked to lift heavy things, my aunt is about one of the toughest females you will find short of Gina Carano. My aunt was a career prison guard at a maximum security (male!) prison in California, and she was hired as a guard back before they lowered the physical standards for female employees. She was strong, tough, and also nearly 6 feet tall. She had a few knock down, drag out, fights against prisoners who intended to murder her during her career.

        And you ask this woman about male versus females in a fight, and she will be the very first person to admit that it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, for a woman to win, just because of mass and bone density. The toughest woman can barely hold her own against an average male. Against a big, tough male, you’re screwed. She was probably the 99.99% percentile of female toughness, and in her fights against average sized male prisoners, it usually turned into holding on, not letting them get a clean shot, until her help arrived.

        She was also vehemently against lowering the physical standards for females in military and law enforcement jobs, interestingly enough, after she nearly got killed because her backup was a woman hired after the lowering of the standards who totally wussed out and couldn’t run up the stairs in time to help. :)

      • Bullshit, Brook.

        I am a 6’1″ heavy-set male with fairly extensive Karate and Kendo training.

        If I needed to fend off a small unarmed woman, I would simply hold her at arm’s length, and wait for her to run out of steam.

        If she does not have a weapon, she ain’t winning, no matter how many martial arts / dance classes she has taken.

        Weapons are what allow civilized people to prevail against brutes like me who won the size and strength lottery.

      • In response to everyone who thinks that guns are the only thing keeping women from being assaulted by men, I was not trying to suggest that martial arts training was a viable solution. There are plenty of non-lethal self-defense weapons like pepper spray and stun guns.

        Yes, there will still be violence. I never claimed that guns were responsible for all violence. But given that we don’t live in a world where every woman needs to be armed in order to get home unmolested, I don’t think that the removal of all guns would suddenly make them all walking targets.

        Rob: My statement that I don’t like guns was to provide reference for my point of view, specifically the fact that despite entering this article without much expectations, I was willing to open my mind and consider what was being said here.

        Kristopher: I don’t want a society where might makes right, but guns just change the definition of “might” from more muscles to better guns. I am not a strong man, nor do I carry a gun. I rely on the law and civilization to make right.

        Joeseph Capdepon: By your logic, there’s no point in any law.

        Chris from AK: As I said in my initial post, I already have changed my mind. Not all the way. I will likely never change my mind all the way. As I said, most solutions are found in the middle, but I learned a lot from this article, most notably what kinds of gun regulations are more likely to help than hinder. And I’ve been meaning to go to a shooting range for a while, if for no other reason than as an aspiring writer, knowing what it feels like to shoot a gun would be a good experience for me.

        Travis, LepusKhan, David Sohm, and RS : Thank you for actually reading what I had to say and not feeling the need to try to tear me down simply because I have stated I am, in general, anti-gun. As I said, we need people on both sides willing to listen to the other if we’re ever going to solve these problems for good. Like with most things, the loudest group of people are often not the majority, and it’s nice to be reminded that there are sensible people who, while they may not agree with me, are willing to actually discuss the issue.

      • “There are plenty of non-lethal self-defense weapons like pepper spray and stun guns.”

        And the police have them too. And, strangely enough, the police still carry guns for the very simple reason that when your life is on the line pepper spray and stun guns (or tasers) don’t work as well as firearms.

        The police use pepper spray and stun guns to subdue and unruly suspect for arrest, not to defend the police officer’s life.

        If they’re not good enough for the police, they’re not good enough for me and mine.

        ” I don’t think that the removal of all guns would suddenly make them all walking targets.”

        Are you familiar with the concept of “herd immunity”? Not everyone in a group has to be “innoculated” to get the advantage immunization against a disease. If enough other people are innoculated, then the disease doesn’t get a chance to spread.

        Likewise, if enough people are armed and willing to use lethal force in self defense, the “problem” for someone looking to commit violence is complicated enormously. Is that particular potential target armed or not? They don’t know. And maybe they choose a different approach.

        Also, nobody said “all”. That’s a straw man. Disarming the population (the vast majority of whom are law abiding citizens) does nothing to make my wife, or my daughter, safer. It may well put her more at risk. Maybe she’ll be lucky and never be the one the criminal “picks” to abduct, rape, and murder. Maybe. Or maybe not. No possible gun control can prevent that. Her being armed just might.

        And while it might not be my wife, it will be somebody’s. And just as gun control can’t save my wife or daughter it won’t save theirs. And just as I’d want to give my wife or daughter a fighting chance I figure they want to give theirs the same chance. And I’m willing to give them that chance because, well, if it were my wife and daughter. . . .

        It’s called “empathy.”

        “: I don’t want a society where might makes right, but guns just change the definition of “might” from more muscles to better guns.”

        Incorrect. Do you think the criminal having a “better gun” makes him suddenly bulletproof?

        While I sometimes carry a 1911 (I just like the 1911. It fits my hand well. And it points for me so naturally I can get on target with it faster than anything else I’ve shot), mostly I carry a little Kel Tec P-3AT. The thing is that the criminal can get just as dead when shot by the little .380 than by the much bigger and more powerful .45 ACP.

        It isn’t an “arms race” of who’s got the bigger gun. If you’re carrying at all you have just changed the equation for a bad guy to “am I willing to die to rob/rape/assault/kill that person?” because no matter how big they are, how big a gun they have, how many bullets it holds, what fancy bells and whistles it might have, you are their equal. The playing field, as they say, is leveled.

        This is why, far from being uncivilized, the gun is civilization. It’s what makes for the very possibility of equality. It’s very much what brought about the end of the feudal age where one had to prostrate oneself before somebody big and strong, who had the resources to get the very expensive weapons and armor and the extensive time training it took to get good at those things in order to protect yourself against the depredations of other big, strong, armed, skilled people. Sure, you had to put up with taxes and maybe the local “lord” boinking your daughter, but at least he left the daughter alive (and maybe even gave any bastards a place in his household) and left you enough to feed your family (not enough, perhaps, but some) because he expected to be back next year and the year after that. Raiders wouldn’t be so generous.

        I can understand nervousness around guns. Having that much power in ones hands is a tremendous responsibility. But the only other choice is to abdicate that power and, in so doing, you can be sure of one thing: the person or persons to whom you abdicate that responsibility will have their own interests uppermost, not yours.

        I don’t know of anybody who has a greater interest in keeping me and my family safe than I do. Thus, I don’t know of anybody I trust as much to do so as myself. And I extend that same prerogative to everyone else until and unless they prove they are incapable of handling it appropriately.

      • “This is why, far from being uncivilized, the gun is civilization. It’s what makes for the very possibility of equality.” The gods made men, Samuel Colt made them equal? :D

      • @Brook Kuhn “There are plenty of non-lethal self-defense weapons like pepper spray and stun guns”

        I know this discussion is growing long in the tooth but go back and look. Many posters have pointed out that your “non-lethal” suggestions don’t do squat. There is a reason why cops generally only use pepper spray and stun guns when there are two or more officers present(there are a few exceptions). You can’t reliably stop one attacker with those methods unless you have a means of subduing them right away. Two or more attackers forget about it. You’ll most likely just incur a more severe beating.

        There there are the technical aspects, stun guns aren’t as accurate or reliable on their own as guns. The more technology an item has the more likely it will break.

        That’s not to say these items can’t protect you, they just can’t do as good of a job as a gun. Pulling out pepper spray won’t stop someone from bull rushing you. Drawing a gun can be a deterrent without even firing one bullet.

        “I don’t want a society where might makes right, but guns just change the definition of “might” from more muscles to better guns. I am not a strong man, nor do I carry a gun. I rely on the law and civilization to make right.”

        Self defense isn’t might making right. It’s taking the might away from the criminals. As far as relying on law and civilization to protect you, I honestly hope you are never in a position to defend yourself because when you’re being attack the only laws that count are the law of the jungle and survival of the fittest. Law and Order is good as an after thought but it isn’t a deterrent.

        Lets face it there will most likely alwayse be crime and criminals. People will be mugged every day, killed, attacked for no reason. I like to turn to the old adage when it comes to protecting yourself from criminals. “How do you out swim an alligator? You don’t, you swim faster than the guy next to you”. A gun is the same as strapping on swim fins and having a power assist motor while pepper spray is a set of arm float things. Heck even the possibility of guns scares criminals that’s why all these shootings happen in known gun free zones. They don’t want to runt he risk of just one civilian being able to defend themselves.

        While I’m responding, why suggest pepper spray or stun guns at all? Isn’t that “might making right”? Why not rely on Law and civilization to protect you or others? After all any tool of self defense is a form of “might”. So how is it that you have this tier system of what is allowed in terms of self defense/protection? Shouldn’t we all just wait for the cops to show up 5+ min after the bad guys have violated our liberties?

        I’m not trying to tare you down, I just find your statements are a little disconnected. They don’t seem to line up.

        In the end you can chose whatever means of safety and survival you are comfortable with. All we ask is that you let the rest of us chose the level of safety we are comfortable with. Our(pro-gun folks) having concealed weapons for self defense that we are knowledgeable in their use and safety does not affect your safety at all. Criminals affect your safety, but law abiding citizens who just want to protect themselves does not affect your safety. It’s even possible that if a criminal even thinks we might have a gun they won’t attack and if you are in the same area you will be afforded that umbrella of protection.

    • Thank you for reading this with an open mind and actually thinking about the items it contains. You’re obviously seeking a working solution and willing to discuss it- while I don’t necessarily agree with you on all points, this is EXACTLY the sort of civil, thoughtful discussion we need. So far I’ve been very impressed with most of the responses here- whether I agree with them or not…

    • “My only concern is making sure that that there aren’t any accidents, but proper gun safety classes should be able to keep that number far lower than the amount of lives armed teachers would save.”

      And you know what Brook? Proper gun safety classes, as well as defensive shooting classes are readily available. There are a number of high-profile trainers, but there are probably a few local trainers in you area as well. The handgun classes that Larry used to teach cost $200 and took up just one Saturday. There are lots of classes like that.

    • And I sincerely hope that the majority of the portion of the country who are not gun owners would take the time to look at the issue as a whole with logic instead of emotion as you have done today. Between reasonable citizens we can agree to disagree on issues without heated rhetoric. However, the only place I’d like to disagree is being better off with no guns at all.

      Perhaps my perspective is as a sport shooter and hunter with less specific interest in self defense (I have a CHL and use it 50/50 or so but am not overly concerned about it). My introduction to guns was different than most here. I’m 25, and decided with a friend 3 years ago that I’d like to try shooting for once – so I did (he had before and helped get me started). I was immediately addicted. No, not to the “empowerment of a weapon” nor to the “feeling of security” (although the latter is certainly valid and fair) – for me, it was the activity itself. I have since branched from handguns into shotguns, which I promptly ragequitted due to sucking too much and returned to recently, then to rifles. I do not currently own an AR-15 as I haven’t had the funds yet and decided to start with the handgun games (USPSA and IDPA) for my competitive focus, and also due to deciding to hunt this past season for the first time. However, an AR-15 is my next planned purchase so that I can branch into the 3-gun and multigun competitions. Now, I have a knee-jerking portion of the country wanting to take that away from me for a nonstarter fix, and are using dead children as political advertisements towards a goal that has been tried and failed before.

    • Our side has compromised. Look at the gun laws in Connecticut. They have discretionary “may issue” pistol licenses so that rich white women can get them, and poor minorities can be denied arbitrarily. They have pistol registration. They have safe storage laws. They have closed the “gun show loophole.” THey forbid men and women under age 21 from owning a handgun. They have an assault weapons ban.

      My wife is a teacher, she holds a Concealed Weapons Permit valid in the majority of states, she is a pistol instructor certified to teach the safety class requried by CT — yet CT refuses to grant her reciprocity so when she goes there to visit friends she must be disarmed, and subject to physical assault by people larger than her. That’s just a smattering of CT specific laws which were entirely ineffective!

      We’ve tried your stupid Gun Free School Zones since 1990. They get people killed. The experiment is a failure.

      Thank you for reading Larry’s article, however, I fear you will not change your opinion unless you (A) go to the range and go shooting, or (B) become a crime victim. I know; my wife and I used to be antigun, too; she took a lady’s firearms class and I had a wakeup call overseas.

      So, no. The solution is not in the middle. We are already “in the middle.” The solution is to get rid of stupid victim disarmament zones.

    • “Don’t like guns” — this should matter to anyone because…?

  65. Larry,

    Since you do go on for some time about all of your impressive qualifications for talking about guns I have the moral obligation to point out that this is exactly why your opinion on gun control is completely invalid. You are so completely immersed in the gun culture that you are incapable of thinking anything else. If you’re a plumber, after all, every problem can be solved with a pipe wrench.

    You also fail to mention one very important point. The guns used at Sandy Hook belonged to one of those very teachers that you would have us arm. Her psychotic son shot her in the face and then took them to the school and turned them on her students.

    Now, I’m sure he would have found some way to harm others,regardless of having access to those particular weapons, but he didn’t need to find another way. He already had all the all the access he needed; the perfect arsenal. An arsenal that allowed him to gun down all those babies and poor teachers in a matter of minutes. This despite the fact that his mother reportedly knew he was unstable.

    The solution to gun violence is….. more guns. The reason that sounds so stupid is because it is. I’m not saying that we need to disarm the entire country, but aren’t there other constructive steps we could take to help avoid tragedies like this? How about a law that at least says you have to prove you own a gun safe before you can by a rifle? Would that desecrate your sacred 2nd Ammendment Rights? What about better physical security for the schools? Why can’t each school have a cop on site? How about good disaster planning or maybe a little Evade and Escape training for the teachers?

    Arming civillians who will spend the bulk of their day around little kids is total lunacy. Let the professionals handle the guns and let the teachers teach.

    -CC

    • Wow. And we conservatives get called elitists. “Arming civillians who will spend the bulk of their day around little kids is total lunacy. Let the professionals handle the guns and let the teachers teach.”

      You don’ trust regular people much, do you? Not even teachers, who’ve completed more than 16 years of education and have a college degree and who we already entrust with kids?

      • I trust teachers to teach, not to carry out counter-terrorist operations. Call me silly, but there’s a reason they went through all that education you’re talking about and it wasn’t to fight off psychopaths.

      • Ahhh… I loves me some condescension in the morning. Yup. Holding on to a gun and pointing it at a bad guy is just toooooo complicated.

        What kind of an education do you need to conflate “self defense, and safe handling of weapons” with “antiterrorist operations”? 4th grade?

        I think even Sesame Street taught how to tell when things were not the same….

      • Ok. You’re silly. But I think that was already abundantly obvious to everybody.

    • So because Larry is an expert on guns…his opinions on gun control are invalid? Is Stephen Hawking’s opinion of physics irrelevant because he is a physicist? Is Steven Spielberg disqualified from instructing people on how movies are to be filmed because he is too caught up in movie culture?

      You’re saying that his reason sounds stupid only because it is? Are you not familiar with logic? Perhaps we should ban you from saying idiotic things, because apparently you are an expert.

      • Yes Alan, that’s precisely the case. For the same reason I wouldn’t expect Stephen Hawking to be a reasonable and impartial judge of competing theories in physics or Steven Spielberg to solely decide the categories for the Oscars. They just have too much skin in their particular games to maintain any balance at all. Larry is an expert in guns. He probably isn’t an expert at reducing violence in our society.

      • It’s okay. I’m used to people who disagree with me always bringing up some reason why my opinions should be dismissed rather than debated. Usually it is because I’m not a real writer (by some arbitrary standard), or I’m part of the evil military industrial complex. But dismissing me because I know too much about the subject is a new one. :)

      • Sorry Larry, but I dismiss this particular set of your opinions because you are biased. I guess you could say that it’s because you know too much about only one side of the issue. That’s a far cry from saying that you know too much about the actual topic of your post (reduction of gun violence in our country).

        I will give those books of yours a read though. They look pretty good!

        -CC

      • So I am not an expert and a person in the middle… I fully agree with every statement made in that letter. So my opinion should be more valuable?

      • C.C. Rider, on December 21, 2012 at 2:45 am said:
        “Larry is an expert in guns. He probably isn’t an expert at reducing violence in our society.”
        Why would you trust an expert at reducing violence in our society? Obviously as an expert their opinions would be invalid because they cannot be impartial and reasonable.

      • Oh come on, Felix. There you go being reasonable. We’d totally be better off if all of our important decisions were left totally in the hands of people who don’t pay attention. I am happy to say that I am the new head of Health and Human Services. I have no idea what HHS actually does, but hey, friggin’ sweet! :D

      • CC Rider, ‘Yes Alan, that’s precisely the case. For the same reason I wouldn’t expect Stephen Hawking to be a reasonable and impartial judge of competing theories in physics or Steven Spielberg to solely decide the categories for the Oscars. They just have too much skin in their particular games to maintain any balance at all. Larry is an expert in guns. He probably isn’t an expert at reducing violence in our society.’

        This may be the most ridiculous statement I’ve ever read on the internet.

      • “I will give those books of yours a read though. They look pretty good!

        A little bit of sugar helps the medicine go down???
        lmao
        when i read this i immediately had the picture in my mind of an adult patting the head of a child.

      • To CC rider
        You wrote, “Yes Alan, that’s precisely the case. For the same reason I wouldn’t expect Stephen Hawking to be a reasonable and impartial judge of competing theories in physics”

        WTF!! Hawking is a scientist. The process of science is to evaluate evidence WITHOUT relying on emotion but purely on the validity of the facts.

        Given that preposterously ridiculous reply, I really wonder how you look at the world around you. It appears not to be based on logic and reason as such things (based on what you said) are completely suspect.

        Based on that, you definitely should not be allowed access to weapons of any sort, much less firearms.

    • You understand that there are already armed people around children everyday. There are many, many people who carry legally and illegally. To say that Larry’s opinion is invalid because he is an expert in this field is retarded. Quite ridiculous.

      • You’re right Joseph, there are too many armed people around our children already. We don’t need more. If the question were a matter of which gun to use in a particular situation, where to shoot an assailant to stop them immediately, or even how best to load a clip then I think Larry’s opinion would be of serious value. In the question of how to reduce gun violence in our society, I believe you’d have to agree that his credentials are somewhat lacking. Retarded? Well maybe, because arguing with people like you kind of makes me feel like I’m in the Special Olympics.

      • That’s an awful lot of condescension coming from a guy who can’t beat Sesame Street puzzles. Repeat after me: “one of these things is doing its own thing, one of these things is not the same.”

        I mean, really now. Even teachers are too stupid to hold a gun without killing themselves? We are retards, and we can’t seem to understand that safe gun handling and where to point the bangey end are the same thing as extensive counterterrorism ops training?

        Since we don’t find the idea that they ARE different things too hard to process, unlike you, then perhaps the fact that (per you) teachers can’t either is an excellent argument for homeschooling, as why should I let such incompetent people anywhere near my kids?

      • Actually, there aren’t enough armed people.

        Where to shoot an assailant to stop them immediately? Usually a head shot will do that, but in such a situation, head shots are a little hard to get. In some of the training I’ve done, they’ve talked about guys taking 7, 10, 14 rounds before going down. You shoot until the attacker is no longer a threat.

        I take it that you are not a gun owner.

        As to his credentials to speak one the subject, he has the best ones. Obviously you have no idea what you are speaking about. He has experience in the field, etc, etc, etc. It’s all spelled out in the blog post. You just choose to ignore cold hard facts.

        I’m always curious why people like you enjoy being sheep. Seriously, I really want to understand why you choose to be a willing victim. Why would someone not want to be able to fight back against the wolves? Why would they disarm others so that they are unable to fight back?

        Also, thanks for the insult. I didn’t call you retarded, just you assertion that Larry is not qualified to speak on the subject.

      • In fact, I am a gun owner and former Military Policeman. Never underestimate your opponent. Don’t they teach that in civvy gun school? Because that was the first thing they taught us at Fort McClellan back in the day.

        Don’t confuse the ability to think critically about a source’s qualifications/motivations/bias with being a sheep. If you bother to read what I have written you’ll see that my stated opinions refute the idea that we should arm teachers (primarily while on-campus). Not that there isn’t a place in society for guns and gun-owners.

        Right, you didn’t say I was retarded…..just that my opinion is. Well, for the record, I didn’t insult you either….under those rules.

      • Darius, come on man! If you try really really hard I bet you could squeeze out a real opinion or two. Your frail attempts at hurting my feelings aren’t really adding anything to the conversation.

      • C.C. Rider, on December 21, 2012 at 4:07 am said:
        Darius, come on man! If you try really really hard I bet you could squeeze out a real opinion or two. Your frail attempts at hurting my feelings aren’t really adding anything to the conversation.

        Nahhh… I stopped thinking of you as an adult when you proved you WOULD not differentiate between someone learning weapons handling and counter-terrorist ops. And I’m sure referring to us as retards and this place as the special olympics just added soooooooo much to the conversation.

        On top of that add in the condescension of believing that Larry, or anyone else here steeped in gun knowledge, had to pull a “Far side” style “Can I leave now, my brain is full” after learning their gun stuff and is ignorant of other sides of the argument, or incapable of learning or disqualified from discussing how to minimize violence..

        Actually, that’s a petty and tyrannical piece of kafkatrapping. You wont listen to us, because being the wrong type of people, we have nothing valid to add.

        So when you come out and say “naya nayah I’m not listening to you because you’re a bad meanie and because of that nothing you say can possibly be valid” – I’ll either mock you for being childish, or ignore you. Or be rude right back. You’ve proven you’re not interested in being civil, so I won’t be bothered dignifying petty, childish tyranny trying to define what we’re allowed to say in front of you.

        Add to that the arrogance of thinking you’re just soooooo special that we should listen to your opinion anyway, after proving that you think any opinion from people here with the wrong attitudes is pre-emptively not worth listening to.

        It’s a sign of a petty mind.

        I’m just not sure if you’re simply that arrogantly unaware of how insulting and consecending the assumptions behind your statements are, as well as some of what you flat out said, or if you’re being deliberately rude. You might even think you’re all ballsy coming here to speak “truth” – but can’t be bothered to actually process what’s being said.

        That makes you lazy too.

        There’s plenty of places in this thread to add my insight to the conversation. Responding to you aint one of them.

        Holding up a mirror to your pettiness…. priceless.

      • “In fact, I am a gun owner and former Military Policeman.”

        Of course you are.

        Which, if true, renders your opinion on this subject invalid. By your own standards.

      • In my opinion the best way for a disparate group of people to come to a logical solution to a problem is this:
        Find several “EXPERTS” (the more the merrier) and ask them to express their “OPINIONS” in an attempt to educate everyone involved. Find as much factual information on the subject.
        Attempt to make an informed, educated decision.
        Thus Larry’s opinion is more necessary than yours or ours due to the fact that he IS an EXPERT.

      • No one in the military would refer to a magazine as a clip, C.C. Rider. The last weapon the US military used that was fed with a clip was an M-1 Garand.

        Post a copy of your DD-214 please. You can redact your name and number if you wish.

        I don’t believe you were an MP.

    • Someone who is an expert on guns, gun safety, gun laws, gun statistics, gun sales, gun handling, etc has no valid opinion about guns and gun control? Instead we should value the opinions of people who have little to no understanding of how guns work, what they can do etc to make laws about guns? Do you have any idea how incredibly ignorant and idiotic you sound? I have the moral obligation to tell you to become educated on a subject before you try to argue merits for or against it.

      • That’s right, Jeff. Just like you wouldn’t trust an alcholic to hold the keys to the liquor cabinet or set the blood alcohol levels for drunk driving laws. By the way, before you pass judgement on people you don’t know anything about, my MOS in the Army was 95b, Military Police. I can assure you that I am quite well-educated on the subject.

      • So really we can’t give weight to your opinions touching on the subject of law enforcement because you’re just too close to it.

      • Absolutely, Wesley. My opinion on that subject would probably be too pro-police. You wouldn’t want to live in a police state, would you? However, I’m not claiming I’m an expert on the law enforcement or reduction of gun violence here. I’m just pointing out that we should critically evaluate our sources and look for bias before we accept anything we read.

      • Nothing you’re saying strikes me as particularly rational or well thought out. Larry gave an extensively thought out argument against restricting one of our fundamental civil rights and you say that argument is invalid because he’s too in favor of that right and to involved in the subject of arms.

      • “I can assure you that I am quite well-educated on the subject.”

        By your own standards, then, you should just STFU, as you’re too close to the subject to be trustworthy.

      • “That’s right, Jeff. Just like you wouldn’t trust an alcholic [sic] to hold the keys to the liquor cabinet or set the blood alcohol levels for drunk driving laws. By the way, before you pass judgement on people you don’t know anything about, my MOS in the Army was 95b, Military Police. I can assure you that I am quite well-educated on the subject.”

        Way to beat the hell out of that straw-man! A better example would have been a bar owner or a alcohol distributor having input on alcohol laws, since it is them that get sued when a DUI happens they might have a informed opinion.

        Also just because you were an MP over 20 years ago (MPs became 31B ~1993) doesn’t mean you know squat about civilian gun laws or regulations. Being an MP you A: Picked up your weapon when you started your shift and put it away at the end of it. B: Open carried with a huge arm band showing you were a MP, and C: Had your own RoE when you could draw and fire your weapon that has nothing to do with civilian law… Not sure how that automatically translates into understanding civilian gun laws.

      • I’m not even certain he was an MP.

        Using an obsolete MOS designation calls into question his claim.

    • So an armed cop around children is socially acceptable because he is part of the government but an armed citizen is lunacy? And you come here to call arguments invalid? Sorry, don’t even have a reply to that one.

      Also, more guns may not be the only nor even the best answer, but nobody has yet suggested a better one among the hysteria. It is certainly not the answer people want to hear, because they’ve found a banner of gun control to rally behind that doesn’t affect them but will make them feel better. There were very good points made above about how, regardless of your opinion, less guns is an unfeasible solution because it simply cannot happen and banning random features or magazine capacity is irrelevant as well due to current supply and the ease of reloading.

      Unfortunately, a large number of people have decided that these things must go because they are scary and dangerous without ever even having held one. I think it’s a VERY fair thing to ask that anyone who wants to add gun laws first get to a range and rent one (with instruction if necessary – MANY will do this for free if asked) and gain an understanding of what you want to legislate. Barring that, I’d have to conclude logically that those familiar with the objects in question have a more relevant opinion that should take priority over those who don’t, for the same reason that I’d take an engineer’s point of view on the structural details of an airplane wing over that of a restaurant owner.

    • I’m the son of a plumber whose been doing that job and growing his knowledge of it since he was 14yrs old. I find you’re opening comparison rather obtuse old boy. Actually I find it downright insultingly stupid. Larry probably failed to mention it[though I don't think he did..] because it’s been blazed across the news.
      Yep Adam would definitely have found another way to harm others. Same as suicides will always find a way to suicide.

      Actually it’s not stupid old boy. It’s rather logical. All Larry is saying is let those who wish to carry, carry. Stop putting restrictions on where…it just makes the ‘where’ a nice fat target rich environment full of lambs that can’t fight back.

      No…it’s not lunacy…lunacy is disarming the teachers, administrators etc that around our kids most of the day and are responsible for their safety while in their care.

    • CC, you dismiss Larry’s opinions because you say he’s biased — even though he provided specific facts and figures for his assertions — and you offer nothing to refute. You object to teachers being armed because they’re teachers? Leave it to the professionals? The police, in general, have far less range time than the average CCW holder. Who is better trained?

      In Larry’s post he points out multiple situations where an armed citizen stopped a potential rampage or a rampage in progress, yet you dismiss these events just because Larry’s too close to the subject? Baffling.

      You know what? If there was even the rumor that school staff might be armed a school would be much safer than one with a big old “Gun Free Zone” sign on the front. Rampagers don’t want armed responders butting in on their rampage before they’ve gotten a high body count.

      I think you are the one who is biased. I also suspect you didn’t read the post once you determined that Larry was just too darned informed on this subject to be allowed to weigh in. I think you stopped reading right there and thought yourself quite smart to do so.

      I wonder if you object to the Bradys or Carolyn McCarthy speaking out on this issue. I mean, clearly their experiences have given them a certain bias. Do you take that into account or dismiss their opinions? Somehow … I’m going out on a limb here … I doubt it.

    • Connecticut has safe storage laws. The killer exploited the “shoot your mother in the face and take her stuff” loophole.

      Imagine the problem in context of another right: the first amendment.

      Most reasonable people agree that Westboro Baptist Church (you know, the ones that picket the funerals of soldiers and AIDS victims) are compete and total assholes. With your model, we would need to put some Speech Control on them. They need some licenses to protest, right? Let’s make those expensive, require them to sit through 12 hours of Speech Training first, and issue them based on arbitrary criteria, too! OOh — they want to cross state lines to protest — I bet we can restrict that! And you know — the founders never intended to let people use electric megaphones, so we can just ban that technology. Bam! Westboro is hamstrung! That’ll show those assholes!

      But that’s not how we work in a free society. Instead, Patriot Guard Riders shows up and revs motorcycle engines to drown them out, communities literally link arms and chant, etc etc. The answer to hate speech is apparently — get this — MORE SPEECH.

      Whoa. I guess that idea just sounds stupid though. Say, I’m going to need to see your Internet Usage license first with the Interstate Blog COmmenting stamp endorsmet though first, ok?

    • “Arming civillians who will spend the bulk of their day around little kids is total lunacy. ”

      So no police in the schools?

    • “The guns used at Sandy Hook belonged to one of those very teachers that you would have us arm. Her psychotic son shot her in the face and then took them to the school and turned them on her students”

      Ah, someone else who bases their whole argument on false statements. I’ll skip the obvious Obama voter jokes.

      His mother was not, and had never been, a teacher. Therefore he did not shoot any of her students.

      I live in CT, work not far from Sandy Hook, as a matter of fact, in a job that has me working with both first responders AND school teacher and administrators on a regular basis. I’m not looking for pity, or prayers, just to point out I’m not some internet monkey across the country, this event hit me on a personal level.

      There are approximately 2.5 million people above the age of 21 in CT. Despite having some of the strictest gun laws in the country (and being one of the most liberal states), almost 180,000 of them have a permit to legally carry a weapon in public. That’s 1 out of every 14 adults, and that doesnt include current or former law enforcement who don’t need that permit, or armed security who require a different permit. In a school the size of Sandy Hook Elementary (over 600 students) the odds are at least 2-3 school employees ALREADY have a permit to carry a gun, except they were required by law to leave them home that day. I’m sure Larry can talk about this more, but in general the average police officer (with the exception of the “gun nut” cops) have little more gun training then what is required to even BUY a handgun here in CT. And after that training, most are lucky if they practice once a year. Police are great at what they do; which is respond and investigate after the fact. There has been no official timeline published, but I have been told by local LEOs that the first officer was on scene within 3 minutes of the first 911 call (police station is just down the road a few miles from the school), with backup units arriving in under 5. Much better then average. The shooter suicided as soon as police arrived.

      While the cries for MORE gun control are stronger here then anywhere else, I can assure you that there are 26 families, who at least privately wish there had been someone else with a gun, ANYONE else, 3 minutes closer then the police were.

    • ” I have the moral obligation to point out that this is exactly why your opinion on gun control is completely invalid.”
      Claiming the moral high ground quite early in your response there. Alwayse great when someone actually admits they are claiming the moral high ground. After all once you have the high ground 60% of your battle is over right?

      To use a recent example, do you think Steve Jobs regrets not seeking an Oncologists advice sooner? Or did their impressive qualifications make him think their ideas and solutions were invalid. Oh wait he actually did admit to regretting going the homeopathy route in an interview shortly before his death.

      I just love the debate tactic you use here. Larry’s points are invalid because he is over qualified… Who would be better qualified a laymen who as Larry pointed out thinks a barrel shroud is “a shoulder thing which goes up”.

      Perhaps I should visit the English department when I am struggling with my Differential Equations because when you’re a higher level math professor you think everything can be solved with a Laplace Transform or Eigen values/vectors or.(inside joke after a really long semester turns out we really needed was the two methods I mentioned everything else was the long way around to give us the foundation). Obviously the English professor could recommend a good iambic pentameter approach, besides it’s not like lives will be in danger if I get the equations wrong when working on a jet engine or buildings framework. Oh wait…

      Next time your throat hurts skip seeing the ENT doctor and see a Proctologist because the ENT doctor is completely immersed in the ear nose and throat. Let us know how that works out for you.

      Have I broken from my normally civil discourse and started using ad absurdum analogies. Yes, but there comes a point when the person you are addressing is for far out in la la land that a civil post is unable to point out how off base they are.

      • Look up “Kafkatrap”

        http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=2122

      • That is an interesting read, and I need to digest it some. I have noticed the use of the kafkatrap before though it wasn’t defined.

        Since I am still digesting this, I have a question. Are you saying that I was engaging in a kafkatrap? I’ll admit I was being absurd and completely breaking from the tone of civil discourse that I normally adhere to. I was doing this on purpose to mirror the original posters absurdity and an effort to show them what they said was hogwash. I had simply become tired of politely and correctly countering points of those who are not themselves engaging in civil discourse.

        So are you saying that while being absurd I was engaging in this new fallacy? Anyway it’s an interesting read and something I need to digest as it could give me a new blade in my debate tactics if I can effectively counter the kafkatrap. Thanks.

    • “The guns used at Sandy Hook belonged to one of those very teachers that you would have us arm. Her psychotic son shot her in the face and then took them to the school and turned them on her students.”

      Her psychotic son killed her in her sleep. Are you so dense that you believe all the teachers that we could arm would be simultaneously snoozing during a moment of crisis, or are you deliberately trying to muddy the waters out of mendacious political conviction?

      “How about good disaster planning or maybe a little Evade and Escape training for the teachers?”

      Have you ever been shot at? I have. Running away means you die. Cowering on the spot,more often than not, means you die. The fact that I am talking to you should tell you that I know what I am talking about.

      You couldn’t evacuate a team of Navy SEALS without taking casualties in that situation.

      “The solution to gun violence is….. more guns. The reason that sounds so stupid is because it is”

      The solution IS more guns in the right hands. The reason it sounds stupid to you is because YOU ARE STUPID. It worked alright for feudal defense for centuries until cannons became powerful enough to decimate entire castles in hours,at which point better guns and tactics became necessary. What is more idiotic than ignoring what worked in warfare for centuries in favor of what has never worked…ANYWHERE AT ANY TIME?

      I’d like to know how that works, being able to ignore plain naked reality,cause and effect,being able to mentally insulate yourself against information so successfully that you reach an age where you know how to read and write and can still compose something so fundamentally lacking in reason. I could think circles around you when I was a child.

      “Let the professionals handle the guns and let the teachers teach.”

      Ah yes, the “appeal to the authorities” approach. Your safety is your responsibility. I AM the authority on defense of my own hide. There is no such thing as a “professional” in a moment where lives are being snuffed left and right. EVERYONE turns to jello sooner or later. Those who survive are the ones who did so later, and believe it or not (probably not,you sound like a flaming liberal) the ones with badges or camo uniforms do not always hold up the best in those situations. In a liberal society,these people are selected on willingness to show up, not merit. If you wanted to try this approach,you should have done it sixty years ago before you destroyed the standards which ensured excellence in the field.

    • @C.C. Rider “The solution to gun violence is….. more guns. The reason that sounds so stupid is because it is.”

      At least you list some alternatives. Let’s see them one at a time.

      @C.C. Rider: “What about better physical security for the schools?”

      Meaning what? Armed guards?That’s “more guns”.

      Making it a locked prison where you have to be ‘buzzed in’? I think it already was. Locked facilities are a big problem once the bad guys is inside and help is outside, by the way. Think ‘entrance choke points’ and ‘unable to escape’.

      “Why can’t each school have a cop on site?”
      Is the cop to be armed? If so, it’s “more guns”. If not, what is he supposed to do in this situation? Call for “more guns” to arrive in 20 minutes with 911? That’s what already happened.

      @C.C. Rider: “How about good disaster planning or maybe a little Evade and Escape training for the teachers?”

      Sounds like the disaster was pretty well planned out already. Do you have anything in mind that should have been done differently than “herd the kids into a corner and stand in front of them.”?

      @C.C. Rider: “Evade and Escape” training. OK, the teachers have ‘evaded and escaped’. What about the kids they left behind? Oh, you want them to evade and escape too? remember, you have already improved ‘physical security’ and every exit is a potential entrance for a bad guy (see the Batman movie shooting – secure emergency exit opened by inside guy.)

      If you want the school full of kids ‘evading and escaping’ that means the halls are jammed so full of kids all leaving at the same time that bullets will go through multiple bodies. Even worse for higher powered rifle bullets, the last kind gun grabbers are able to snatch.

      CC, I’m unable to see where any of your suggestions are helpful in the slightest. In fact, aside of your suggestion of “cop on site” which is really “more guns”, every last one of them are already implemented and didn’t work, or would make things worse.

      By the way, “escape and evasion” training for teachers AND STUDENTS is already required by law and practiced in most places around the world: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_drill

      Your entire position is “Guns are evil, the fewer the better”. By your logic, schools would be safer if cops had no guns. You consider “The only gun was in the hands of a homicidal sociopath” to be a safer situation than “The sociopath had a gun, and so did 5 people in the principals office.”

      Your position will be vindicated once Obama announces that he’s forbidden his Secret Service bodyguards to carry guns.

      • CC rider:

        You truly need to find out what really is already going on at schools. There is not a teacher I know that wouldn’t do everything to protect the lives of all the children in a school. Bad guys don’t follow the rules and will get a gun regardless. These massacres are well-planned out and they will find a way to make it happen. As the sitting duck in a school with no recourse but to look my door and go into lockdown mode, I would prefer that there was at least an armed security guard that is well trained. As I have seen..If you unarm the secret service that protect the president , then maybe I will go along with no guns anywhere. Probably not….

    • Oh man, as a hack historian does this mean I can’t write about history because I know about history? Crap. I’ll need to change my website. So, whenever an expert witness is called on, we should ignore them. Okay, I hate to say this, but you make no sense. Someone who knows more about the subject has a more valid opinion than someone who is ignorant of it…like you for example.

      • I responded to his silliness, but your post triggered memories/knowledge. I first learned it in debate, and learned it again when I recently had to take a speech class.

        When citing expert source material you must use a qualifying statement basically giving the sources bona fides. In a debate if you are the expert source, and your expertise is not known in your opening statement you are expected to give your bona fides. In court the Lawyer who calls the wittiness will open with questions providing the witnesses bona fides.

        So by saying being an expert is a bad thing, they must not know anything about speech giving, debate, or legal testimony. Just a funny random thought that popped in my head after reading your post.

    • cc rider…. him being a gun expert is exact why this is more than valid… you dont ask your doctor neighbor about your plumbing problems no more than you talk to your plumber about your health problems. and the gun used wasnt owner by a teacher, she was just his mother period. didnt work at the school. she did however make one fatal error in not locking her guns up so her son couldnt get to them.

    • Professionals like the TSA, I suppose?

      I’d prefer more armed teachers, and less “professional” security kabuki.

      Just because you are too retarded to trust yourself with a gun does not mean that others are.

      Oh, and thanx for pointing out the “murder a gun owner and take his gun” loophole. We should also disarm police to prevent nutters from running down traffic cops with pickup trucks in order to loot guns from their bodies as well.

      • Don’t forget to take the keys off the cop’s body too, because the really good stuff is always in the trunk.

  66. Read Opinion on gun control & loved it! I call NO GUNS signs ‘Feel Good Signs’ cause poster feels good. I agree w/CCW teachers, really believe schools would be safer in that case. You write very well. I’d like to share your blog on facebook, but I’m not sure how. I am a strong Democrat, have a CCW, and carry a 32 revolver.

  67. [...] An opinion on gun control « Monster Hunter Nation. [...]

  68. I want to hear the story about you making the state rep cry!

  69. Larry, doing my best to spread this around. And I am pretty sure that the assistant principal at my kids’ school has a gun or carries. I’m okay with it. Don’t ask don’t tell.

  70. Another opinion, more from the philosophical point of view:

    http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=215107

    If nothing else, this has produced some wonderful essays.

  71. Hi Larry, a nicely reasoned and well written article, thank you. I am an Aussie, but I now live in the US. I lived through the whole debacle of the removal of semi automatic weapons but I do want to offer a perspective on the relationship between this and crime.

    Essentially it was always difficult to own a pistol and the notion that there was a deterrent between removal of firearms and an increase in crime doesn’t hold up. It did piss off a bunch of law abiding citizens but that was about it. Crime did rise during this period, but it coincided with a rise of unemployment to a peak of about 12% and around 25% in the under 20 age group.

    I play with statistics with my work so I will offer an interesting data point. There is a direct correlation between ice cream sales and shark attacks. (True!!). So, if we banned ice cream sales would we reduce shark attacks ?. Nope. Why does this correlation exist ? Because more people buy ice cream and go swimming in the hot weather.

    Same argument for the removal of semi automatic rifles and shot guns, it probably had no effect on crime. Pistols were always hard to own, unless of course you were a criminal.

    Regards, Paul

    • No, people who eat ice cream have more bodyfat and when they drip it down their chins and bellies, they smell even better to sharks.

      Duh!!!

      Correlation IS causation, and anyone who believes otherwise has never held public office.

  72. Larry,

    Thanks for that interesting, well-reasoned perspective. I’m from Australia, so I don’t feel qualified to comment directly on much of your post. However, I do have a couple of points (or really, one point and one question):

    1. You mentioned the Australian gun ban and suggested that violent crime is up as a result. In fact, the situation here is not so clear cut. Many of the top Google results are, unfortunately, rather one-sided, but Wikipedia has a fairly good overview. Briefly: (i) while there were a dozen or so mass shootings in the decade-and-a-half before Port Arthur, there have been none since. However, it’s not clear to what extent this was a direct result of the gun ban. (ii) Rates of suicide by firearm appear to have dropped significantly since the ban, although this appears at least in part to be a continuation of a trend that began before the ban. (iii) After some rather alarmist reports in the first year or two of the ban, there’s not much evidence to support the claim that the ban has led to increases in other forms of violent crime.

    In sum, the net effect of the ban is contested, and it’s not fair to characterise the ban as having clearly had a detrimental outcome.

    2. The most baffling part of all this for an outsider like me is finding an explanation for why rates of death by firearm are so high for the USA compared to the rest of the western world (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate). It’s easy for someone like me to see the correlation between that statistic and the high levels of gun ownership in America, and assume that correlation is in fact causation. Clearly you don’t believe there’s any causal link between the two. What, then, do you believe is the reason for America’s vastly higher gun death rate? This a genuine question, and one I can’t seem to find an answer to from anybody on the no-gun-control side of the debate over there.

    • For the first bit, that’s why I said that you can find stats being argued in both directions, with Australia being more unclear.

      For the second part, I can comment. If you look at where the vast overwhelming majority of our gun deaths come from, it is from America’s urban innercities, and is usually gang related violence. These areas usually have the strictest gun control in the nation. Per capita ownership of firearms is far higher in the rural and suburban areas, yet those places have much lower crime. If you pull out gang related, drug related violence, America’s murder rate plummets.

      • Continuing the question…

        But if you pull out the gang and drug related deaths in other countries, their murder rates will drop drastically too, right?? It is hard to make the case that the US does not have a higher incidence of firearm violence than other developed nations.

      • Then the question becomes how much and what is the nature of the gang and drug related crime, in say a smaller population, well off, ethnically and socially homogeneous country? Does Oslo have MS13? Or on the other hand you can compare it to the murder rate in a strict gun control high gang/crime/drug country like Mexico. (more killed than Afghanistan).

        The highest per capita gun ownership in America is in Utah and Idaho, yet we don’t have big urban innercities with racial tensions and drug crime, so Idaho and Utah are two of the safest states in America.

        Basically, unless you are capable of Mayor Bloomberg level mental gymnastics, you can’t pin your big innercity murder rates on lower crime states which own tons of guns.

      • @Bill: American gangs are pretty unique to us and their violent culture is protected. They are glorified and encouraged by the entertainment industry and exploited by political class. Their violence is romanticized and then dismissed as something no one can do anything about.

        I doubt your stats would go down as much as ours would if the gang gun violence was taken out.

      • ” American gangs are pretty unique to us and their violent culture is protected. They are glorified and encouraged by the entertainment industry and exploited by political class.”

        The inner-city political class is joined at the hip with the gangs. Chicago pays “former” gang members to run a “violence intervention” operation — whose members have repeatedly been arrested for dealing drugs while conducting their “interventions”.

        (And how successful is the “intervention”? Chicago may break 500 gun murders this year!)

      • Yep, Rob. There’s a lot of money from the gang culture going into the hands of politicians. And they’re covered by political correctness. It’s a lifestyle choice, doncha know. The president of the United States hosts gangster rappers at the White House. This is why they like to ignore gang violence, but they love to include the numbers in their stats.

    • I don’t look at per capita data myself. I tend to look at total numbers and percentages. Just for kicks here’s an interesting set of numbers for you to compare.
      America has been trending down down down…in many numbers including murders. Total population 312+ million according to current census estimates. Total number of murders. In the 14,000′s for the last couple of years. Last year it was 14,126..Down from 14,700+. By comparison…Venezeula…a country with a population density similar to my STATE of Texas. Venezuela as of this years estimates at a shade over 28 million. they will finish the year with right around 20,000 murders. How do I know this? Well because it’s been at that number or better for the last couple years. Plus they had 9500 and change, murders in the first 6 months of this year alone.

      12.5 times LESS population…than the US and yet they have conservatively…5700 -6000 more murders a year? WTF? If we had the same comparative murder rate…we’d be running right at a quarter million murders a year.

      Question for you though just because I’m curious…after guns were taken out of the picture…did the rates of suicides by other means go up and how much? I’d be not surprised if the two most popular, Suffocation [ie, hanging, taping a bag around your head etc] and chemically induced deaths..[ie mixing pills and alcohol...or just flat out purposely OD'ing..even without the mixing of the pills and booze] went up a nice chunk.

    • Thee UK and Australia have a total murder rate of about 1.3 per 100K The US murder rate excluding firearms is about 1.9 per 100K. Hence the right question isn’t “why is the US firearms murder rate so high?” but instead it’s “why are people in the US so much more willing to commit murder?”. And the answer to that requires looking into exactly who is doing the murdering and why.

      As a starting point, keeping in mind that 12.6% of the US population is “Black”, look at this FBI table: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/expanded-homicide-data-table-3

      You can also see some interesting things in the regional table. http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/table-4 For example, the murder rate in Puerto Rico is kind of amazingly high, as in > 600% of the US average. It’s possible that living in Puerto Rico inspires people to murder, but it seems to me a lot more likely that it has to do with culture.

  73. I’m a 19 year State Trooper, firearms instructor. For those who think martial arts will save them, a young man just started training at the dojo my son trains at. He won the “Grand Master” trophy at a tourney as a yellow belt because he is 6’6″ and about 300 pounds.

    • Heh. So he’s my size. :)

    • What martial art, and how was it scored? I’m assuming it’s more of a grappling/wrestling form like jujitsu, rather than fancy kicks and punches like Taekwondo.

      • Taekwondo tends to discourage full contact. Which is why I consider boxing to be better training for a real fight, even though I personally prefer Karate and Kendo for self defense.

        Get rid of artificial restrictions, partial contact, and dance form “points”, and make the bout more realistic … then bigger people tend to win.

    • The point system for tournaments is why when I was able to spar I switched from point tournaments to knock out/ submission tournaments. In point tournaments most judges look for “flare” and yelling. I’ve had opponents miss be by a mile and get a point when I’ve hit them so hard they stumble and I didn’t get a point.

      The whole being loud isn’t how I fight, I get in I get out. When I’m looking for a way in I don’t make much noise as I don’t want to telegraph anything. Once my master realized this was how I fought he changed up his sparing style and started kicking my ass again.

      God I miss sparing…

  74. The clackamas town center (the Oregon shooting) is a gun free zone. Luckily a responsible gun owner and former security guard at the mall ignored the posting and saved lives.

    • Without even firing a shot. The shooter wasn’t sure if he could make the shot without missing and hitting a bystander behind the madman. Yet the madman’s bubble of invincibility was burst and he turned the gun on himself after just a show of force.

  75. Excellent post. I am a teacher in the public school system in Virginia (high school), and I agree with your comments regarding teachers being armed. I would be among the first to volunteer if we had the capability. Until that day comes (if it ever does), we do have an armed deputy assigned to each high school in our district, so that’s at least something.

    • I take it that that armed deputy is wearing uniform. That would make him the first target for a would-be-mass-murderer. Much more effective defense would be the deputy in plainclothes (clothes that resemble–in style— those generally worn by school staff (teachers or admin or even janitorial). However, let’s take this protection a step further. Any willing teacher or school staff could also be permitted CCW (proper training would, I am sure, be provided, gratis by local professionals.)

      Just simply declare school grounds (and why not movie theatres and/or Malls) “No-longer-Gun-Free” Zones. “There be armed citizens allowed here!”

      Has anyone noticed the number of hijacked planes going dramatically down after a) Federal Air Marshalls and b) allowed pilots to “carry”?

      As has been said by others, much more eloquently: Those assailants, attackers, mass shooters are basically cowards who crumble at the first sign of armed response and usually take their own lives when they “see” a gun or hear the sirens approaching.

      Let them know that there will no longer be open Season in certain zones. No Zone will be gun-free. Expect to be met with armed (and concealed carry) citizens at any place, at any time. You will no longer have killing zones.

  76. Excellent, as always! Linked on my blog.

  77. Fantastic article! Common sense prevails as you covered every single argument the “other” side tries to come up with to take away our liberties. I WILL be sharing with all my FB friends! THANK YOU!

  78. Would you teach defensive/tactical handgun use, to teachers, for free?

    • Sadly, I can’t. I gave up my instructor certifications last year and I’m no longer insured for that. Too many novels under contract and too many deadlines. :)

      Though I’ve seen a bunch of posts on FB over the last week of instructors now doing the same thing. If you are in Utah, I believe OpsGear is doing something like that soon.

    • Front Sight offers to train school staff for free — three staff from each school.

  79. What are the logical objections to “closing the gun show loophole?” I know you must have some. That’s another hoary canard that gets played when these debates flare up.

    • That one is worth a whole post on its own. Basically the loophole bit just means that if you own a gun, you can sell it to somebody, just like you would any other private property. Same thing if you want to give a gun to one of your kids. Contrary to popular belief, any gun sold by an actual dealer always has to have a 4473 form filled out and a background check performed. Regardless of if it is at a gunshow or anywhere else, if it is through a licensed FFL, then they have to do the paperwork no matter what.

      • Larry.. I apologize to for my comments to C.C. above. It’s your house, and since I did not play nice, I’ll bow out.

      • Don’t forget that there is no current method for a private individual to run a background check in a private sale.

      • Thanks. That was my understanding too, but I have lots of liberal friends who say that when you sell your car, you have to transfer the title and register it in your name. We don’t do that with guns, and I think it would be impractical but what are you arguments against a national registry for every gun. (other than it would just be creepy.)

      • Travis: The thing about having a registration and title transfer when you sell a car is about taxation (proving who owns what property and should be paying taxes on it) and not about safety at all. You don’t need a license to buy a car, just to drive one off the lot.

      • “The thing about having a registration and title transfer when you sell a car”

        is that it’s only required if you plan to use the car on public streets.

        Back when I was autocrossing regularly I saw (and drove–on private property only) lots of cars which were neither license, titled, nor registered, nor required to be since there was no intent to use them on public streets.

      • As far as a national gun registry goes: the experiences of New York, california (repeatedly), Massachusetts, England, and Austrailia prove beyond a doubt that gun registries almost always precede gun confiscations. Sorry, no.

    • If it can be solved logistically without undue burden on private sales, I think most gun owners would be accepting of it. This logistical hurdle may be the legacy of the events last week in the end, as a new AWB is (at least seemingly) going to face a VERY difficult time getting through.

    • There is no “gun show loophole.” Federally licensed dealers (anyone engaging in the buying and selling of guns as a business) must perform background checks at gun shows exactly the same as in their normal places of business. Private individuals, selling their private guns, may do so exactly the same as they can any place else.

      The “gun show loophole” is a complete fabrication of the anti-gun crowd.

      • David and Larry-

        Yes, dealers must perform checks. That is not, and never has been, the issue.

        Private sellers can sell to ANYONE with NO background check of any sort. In quite a few states (TX, VA, FL, others) the seller is ONLY required to verify that the person is…

        1. Not a minor
        2. A legal resident of their state

        This is accomplished with a drivers license. That is the ONLY thing you have to have to buy a gun in these states.

        There is no record of these sales and no penalty to the seller if the buyer is a criminal.

        It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that, if someone has a clean record, they can buy 100 guns from a dealer and turn around and sell them off to anyone who doesn’t want to be background checked (ie: Gang members).

        Effectively, there is NO gun control because of this policy.

      • Actually your last part is already illegal. If you buy and sell a large number of firearms, then the BATF declares that you are engaging in business, and thus you have to have an FFL. If you actually conducting a business in firearms sales without a license, then the BATF squishes you like a bug. For example, at any gun show you go to, there will be BATF agents walking around, dressed in normal clothing, looking for people who are selling guns who are not FFLs. If they note somebody who is constantly buying and selling, then they will say that he is engaging in business, and that person is now in trouble.

        On that same note, if somebody comes up to you at a gunshow and asks for you to do something illegal, that’s an ATF informant. :)

      • “Private sellers can sell to ANYONE with NO background check of any sort.”

        Exactly the same as they can do anyplace else. This is not a “gun show loophole.”

        But there’s more. You are aware, are you not, that to knowingly sell or otherwise transfer a firearm to a “prohibited person” is a felony, right? You also know that “straw sales” such as you describe are illegal, right?

        Oh, and buying 100 guns and turning around and selling them would be to engage in the business of buying and selling guns which, without an FFL is _illegal_. You knew that, right? Oh, and since dealers are required to report multiple sales of handguns to the authorities, this practice would soon be found.

        You are also aware that at least larger gun shows have police _on_ _site_, aren’t you? That BATF agents wander the show _looking_ for violations. At least at the events I attend, you have to run a gauntlet of police officers checking for loaded guns, putting zipties through the actions of guns that people either have for sale or people carry. I’m sure your felon who wants a gun is confident that none of the LEOs present are going to recognize him or her as a “prohibited person” (“Hey! Didn’t I arrest you for felony battery?”)

        The gun show loophole is a myth. In order to get significant numbers of American guns into the hands of Mexican drug cartels the BATF had to _order_ gun dealers to complete sales they were going to refuse because the dealer smelled a “straw sale” such as you describe.

      • “It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that, if someone has a clean record, they can buy 100 guns from a dealer and turn around and sell them off to anyone who doesn’t want to be background checked (ie: Gang members).”

        Only the BATFE can do that without being arrested by the BATFE.

      • I know it is illegal, but is there any effective mechanism to prosecute it?

        I exagerated a bit with 100, obviously, how about this scenario.

        Person A goes to a gun show
        Person A makes 5 private purchases (no background check) with cash
        Person A takes those 5 guns home
        Person A meets Persons 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5 and sells them each a gun in a private transaction (no background check)
        Persons 1, 3, and 5 are violent felons who use the gun to commit a crime

        Is there anything to prevent this type of scenario?

        Is there any penatly to anyone in the chain of sales leading to a felon acquiring a gun to deter it from happening again?

        As I understand it, in many states, there is nothing to deter this scenario.

        Person A, as long as he verified they were a resident of his state and acquired a bill of sale, has no penalty for selling a gun to felons. And, even if there WERE a penalty, there is no mechanism for tracing the sale of the gun to Person A unless the felon says “I bought the gun from Person A.”

        Do you see this as a problem?

      • Yes, I do see that as a problem. However, as the law currently reads knowingly selling a gun to a person in order to cirmuvent a legal background check is what is known as a Strawman Purchase, and is already a felony. FFLs are required to know about Strawman Purchasing, and we are already required to notify our ATF inspector.

        Interestingly enough, it was FFL’s informing about Strawman Purchasing which started the Fast & Furious debacle, in which our Justice Department engaged in over 2,000 Strawman Purchases in a sloppy attempt to justify more new gun control laws. http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/why-eric-holder-should-being-jail-and-the-wapo-sucks-balls/

      • “FFLs are required to know about Strawman Purchasing, and we are already required to notify our ATF inspector. ”

        The scenario I laid out did not involve an FFL, so that has no impact.

        “knowingly selling a gun to a person in order to cirmuvent a legal background check is what is known as a Strawman Purchase, and is already a felony.”

        Again, yes, it is a felony, but it is unenforced.

        Take my scenario.

        Person A didn’t “KNOW” that persons 1, 3, and 5 were felons. At least, if you ask him he will say “No, I did not know or have suspicion that the buyer was a felon. I checked their drivers license and got a bill of sale, that is all the law requires.”

        Then what?? Ok…you didn’t know… it is ok then???

        There is no background check required, so there is no evidence that Person A did or did not know the buyers were felons. Unless the buyer comes out and says “Oh yeah, btw, I am a felon!” there is no requirement that the seller establishes that the person is NOT a felon.

        So, while selling the guns to the felons was illegal, sellers can do so with impunity.

        What would be the downside of requiring the sale to go through an FFL to see if they are felons with a background check?

      • Actually, no. That isn’t unenforced at all. It is enforced quite a bit actually. It is a felony to knowingly sell or provide a firearm to somebody who you know is a restricted person, i.e. somebody who could not pass a background check. So no, they can’t do it with impunity, and yes, people do get prosecuted for this now.

        In fact, it is fear of this law, which causes most regular law abiding gun owners to only sell their guns to people they are familiar with, or in the case of my state which has tons of concealed weapons permits, it is fairly common for people to only sell their guns to people they aren’t friends with who can show they have a permit.

        Are there bad, illegal gun dealers, who specialize in selling guns to criminals? Why yes. Of course. Those are the people you are concerned about. They are certainly not FFLs. I’m willing to bet you can find dozens of men on street corners in gun free Chicago who would be happy to sell you a firearm. Now, what law, pray tell, would you pass which would stop these people?

        This is actually very interesting to me. Most people like me who are known gun owners, who own lots of guns, don’t mind buying guns and filling out the paperwork. Do you know who I have found are the people who are the most likely to try to buy through a 3rd party selling their private property? First time gun owners, often people who politically come from moderate or liberal backgrounds, who are scared of filling out a 4473 and ending up on a “government list”. I find that ironic and hilarious. :)

      • The thing is that felons and criminals do not for the most part go to gun shows to purchase weapons. I take it you’ve never been to one. There are police everywhere, there are plain clothes cops and ATF looking, observing as Larry has mentioned above. Obviously you just choose to ignore the facts he presents to you.

      • Joseph Capdepon II

        Read the scenario I laid out.

        Person A goes to a gun show
        Person A makes 5 private purchases (no background check) with cash

        PERSON A TAKES THOSE 5 GUNS HOME

        Person A meets Persons 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5 and sells them each a gun in a private transaction (no background check)
        Persons 1, 3, and 5 are violent felons who use the gun to commit a crime

        You will notice, upon re-reading, that the felons in this scenario did NOT go to a gun show, they bought it from the seller in a private transaction away from a gun show.

        I understand that most criminals do not go to gun shows to buy their guns. I also feel that the phrase “gun show loophole” is a poor term, because the real problem is unregulated private transfers, not gun shows. Those transfers can happen at gun shows, but the issue is the purchase with no background check, not where it happens.

      • I appreciate that you (a highly responsible gun owner) and most of the people you know are careful about your sales. Maybe even most gunowners, as you describe. However, if I go on a site like this:

        http://floridaguntrader.com/index.php

        There are 3000+ guns for sale in my state on this one site alone, all private transactions, most only requesting that the exchange be face to face, open to anyone with an internet connection. Maybe MOST gun owners are more careful, but there plenty who are not that the options are wide open to any criminal who wants a gun.

        As I have researched this, I have seen gun owners basically BRAGGING about the fact that they can sell their gun to anyone and as long as they don’t KNOW they are a felon (which can be accomplished by not asking), they are safe from prosecution. Proving KNOWLEDGE of a previous conviction, especially about a stranger you have never met, is very unlikely in court, so the chances of prosecution are very low.

        While it may be a non-issue for most gun owners (like yourself), it is clear there are MANY people who are not particularly careful and the chance of prosecution is low. (BTW, if you can find a crime report on convictions of sellers, I’d be interested, I looked a bit and couldn’t find anything yet)

        This essentially sets up an unregulated marketplace where criminals know they can acquire guns easily.

        You say… “I’m willing to bet you can find dozens of men on street corners in gun free Chicago who would be happy to sell you a firearm.” … but I don’t know that it is true. Why would you stand on a street corner to sell a gun when you can advertise on the internet (obviously not in chicago, but in big chunks of the country)?

        Here is a simple law:

        ~~~
        Every transfer of firearms must go through an FFL.

        Every transfer is recorded in a database that is accessed ONLY when a crime is committed with a firearm

        When a crime is committed with a firearm by someone who should NOT have been able to purchase the firearm (ie: a felon who would have been barred through a proper transaction at an FFL), the firearm is traced through its sales history to the last legitimate transfer.

        That owner/seller is subject to criminal charges for an improper transfer unless the gun was reported stolen.
        ~~~

        First, yes, I know, there are a LOT of guns out there that would be “off the grid” and out of the system for a long time. Not saying this law would solve the problem tomorrow. But, over the years of application, most guns would end up on the system and could be tracked if they were used in a crime.

        Sellers would now have a real threat of prosecution if they transferred a gun to someone who should not have it.

        And, before someone replies, yes, I know that there are still other ways for criminals to get guns. Yes, I know that this would not solve every problem everywhere. But, it is a fairly easy step that over time would cut off one extremely easy source of guns for criminals.

        I see a lot of benefit to a law like this. What would be the downside?

      • The usefullness of background checks at all for stopping gun violence is up for debate, and I thank you for approaching this in such a reasonable manner. Personally, I don’t get particularly fired up about background checks, provided they are instant, however I have little, if any belief that they stop violent criminals at all. Like I said earlier, the people who are the most worried about them are the ones who want to “stay off a list”. The main concern being that they are scared of some of the things that I talked about in the confiscation portion of this blog post, and like I said, they are usually not of my political persuasion and don’t trust the government not to take their gun (ironic, that).

        Having called in a lot of background checks in my life, zero faith, whatsoever. What I have seen however is lots of good people turned away for stupid paperwork things, having a name similar to a criminal, or vindictive ex wives taking advantage of the Lautenberg Amendment. (didn’t know about that one? If you’ve got a restraining order, no gun for you, even if there was nothing violent at all, and the restraining order was merely because the divorce lawyer said that their clients should do that everytime).

        You’ve got 3,000 guns on a classified ad in Florida. Okay… So? Do you have any evidence at all that people being able to sell their property without background checks increases crime? I’ll save you time, you won’t be able to find that, because there isn’t any actual evidence that background checks reduce crime either.

        So then we’ve got school shooters who could pass background checks getting guns legally, and then we’ve got school shooters who couldn’t pass background checks getting guns illegaly, up to and including murdering their parents, but either way, they’ve proven they are going to get a weapon, or god help us, learn basic chemistry and go to Home Depot.

        Like I said, not a particular gun law that I am hung up on, but I really don’t think expanding them is going to make much difference at all. If the Closing The Gun Show Loophole people proposed legislation similiar to what you are stating then you wouldn’t meet such vehement resistence, but that’s never the law they propose. Instead it is always a Bloombergian registration scheme on a national level, and that’s just more people control.

      • Anyone have any data on how many guns used in violent crime are purchased from a legal owner by a criminal vs. how many were stolen prior to the criminal using them in a crime?

        And in Oregon you cannot buy or sell a firearm at a gun show without going through an NICS background check. This extends to sales of guns outside of the gun show but still on the property where said gun show is taking place (i.e. you can’t meet out in the parking lot to circumvent this). Every gun show has uniformed police presence. But guess what? There are still guns used in crimes here in Oregon, just a couple of weeks ago you might have seen one on the news. Where did the guy who shot up the Clackamas Town Center get his gun? He sure as shit didn’t buy it from some nefarious profiteer picking up guns at gun shows to later sell to criminals before feigning innocence. He stole it from an acquaintance.

        The “gun show loophole” is a buzz word used by those who have never been to a gun show. When you say “gun show loophole” people who do own guns immediately put you in a category and assume (often rightly so) you’re ignorant. Any point you were going to make has just been relegated to the status of “inane drivel that spills from the suck-hole of a gun-grabber.” Same goes for using the term “clip.” Unless you’re talking about something like an M1 Garand. BoomboomboomboomboomboomboomboomPing!

      • Tuco-

        “Anyone have any data on how many guns used in violent crime are purchased from a legal owner by a criminal vs. how many were stolen prior to the criminal using them in a crime?”

        No, no one has that data because there is no tracking of private sales. Again, part of the problem. If we made every gun transfer go through an FFL, we could learn information like this. Maybe we would find that this isn’t a problem or maybe we will find it is the primary source of guns. But, until it is tracked, we won’t know.

        “The “gun show loophole” is a buzz word used by those who have never been to a gun show.”

        Like I have said, the problem is unregulated private transfers, not gun shows.

      • So, pizza, you want to make a law that’s impossible to enforce? Or make a registry that leads to confiscation? Did I get that right?

      • North Carolina “closed the gun show loophole” a long time ago by requiring that EVERY handgun purchaser possesses either a pistol purchase permit (requiring a background check) or a concealed permit. As a result, as you well know, North Carolina has absolutely no gun violence whatsoever.

        What? We do?

        uh…nevermind…

      • Unregulated firearm transfers are a feature, not a bug.

        I want the government to not have a fucking clue which honest citizens have firearms.

        If someone is not allowed to have firearms, then the government needs to properly supervise that person until they are trusted with full civil rights again, and not punish citizens for the State’s failure to control felons.

      • Historian:

        “So, pizza, you want to make a law that’s impossible to enforce? Or make a registry that leads to confiscation? Did I get that right?”

        Explain how it is impossible to enforce. The NCIS system is already in place. FFLs already know how to run background checks. Databases are an easy technology to build and use. What part is impossible?

        What mention did I make of confiscation? When was the last time there was a mass confiscation of FFL Class 2 weapons? We have been registering them for 70+ years now, right?

        You need to present some darn good evidence that tracking sales in a database to be accessed only when a crime is committed leads to confiscation.

        Larry:

        What state forms 330 miles of the northern border of North Carolina? Virginia.
        What are Virginia’s laws on private transfers? Essentially unregulated
        You think people who want a gun but can’t pass a background check don’t know this?

        Good for North Carolina, but trying to regulate small pockets of the country while the rest is wide open is not effective. And yes, I agree that current gun control legislation is not effective, because every attempt in one locale is undermined by the lack of control in others.

        Kristophr:

        I don’t share your concerns about gov’t tyranny. If I was concerned, I don’t think civilian firearms are our best defense. But, even if they were, you would have to convince me that my plan in any way endangers you (or other honest citizens) possessing firearms. Call me an optimist, but we likely won’t have a meaningful conversation about that so I won’t try to dispute that point.

        Clarify what you mean by “properly supervise?”

        Give a realistic plan to “properly supervise” that is feasible. I’m willing to listen.

        Also, how does my plan “punish” citizens?

      • Larry Correia

        I know you are taking a much deserved break for the holidays, thanks for taking the time to have these conversations though and maybe we can continue at some point.

        I wish that there was more attention paid to more reasonable gun control legislation like controlling the path a gun takes to reach a criminal (as opposed to laws like “you can’t have guns in this city” or ill-fated “assault” weapons bans). But, it seems that one side goes after the easiest targets (“assault weapons”) and local laws they can control (city gov’t) which are ineffective. They target these because they can be achieved because the other side (NRA, etc.) prevents them from enacting broad reaching (national) measure that are less dramatic than bans, but might actually be effective.

        Just a frustrating system.

      • “broad reaching (national) measure that are less dramatic than bans, but might actually be effective.”

        Like what? There are already more than 300 million guns in the US, most of which are not in any way, shape, or form registered. There are antiques (my ’93 Argentine) which the Federal government doesn’t control at all being made before 1899 (note that there are several semi-automatic rifles that date from that same era).

        So what “less dramatic” proposal do you suggest that “might actually be effective”? A national registration when gun owners have a history of seeing “register your guns” being followed by “the guns you just registered, and we now know that you have, they’re prohibited now so you have to get rid of them”?

        What, exactly?

      • thewriterinblack/David Burkhead

        From my post above, an example:
        ~~

        Every transfer of firearms must go through an FFL.
        Every transfer is recorded in a database that is accessed ONLY when a crime is committed with a firearm
        When a crime is committed with a firearm by someone who should NOT have been able to purchase the firearm (ie: a felon who would have been barred through a proper transaction at an FFL), the firearm is traced through its sales history to the last legitimate transfer.
        That owner/seller is subject to criminal charges for an improper transfer unless the gun was reported stolen.

        ~~

        Aside from your fear of “registration = confiscation,” what objection would you have to a national law such as this?

        Per your comment:

        ” gun owners have a history of seeing “register your guns” being followed by “the guns you just registered, and we now know that you have, they’re prohibited now so you have to get rid of them””

        Could you expand that? When and where has that happened in the US?

      • “Every transfer of firearms must go through an FFL.”

        Does nothing to stop illegal gun trade.

        “Every transfer is recorded in a database that is accessed ONLY when a crime is committed with a firearm”

        How incredibly naive. It may start that way but . . . my Social Security Card says that the SSN is not to be used for Identification but only for Social Security Purposes. We see how long that lasted.

        “through its sales history to the last legitimate transfer”

        Unless, of course, the firearm is one of the 300 million plus that are _already_ out there that _aren’t_ in any such data base.

        “what objection would you have”

        It’s bullshit nonsense that would accomplish nothing while wasting _tremendous_ resources.

        “in the US?”
        Because “it can never happen here” right? The very folk who are pushing registration are also pushing bans but if they get the one they’ll never get the other, right?

        But consider California. While existing “Registered Assault Weapons” have not been confiscated per se (apparently California hasn’t quite gotten to the point of open violation of that part of the Fifth yet), they may not be transferred within the State of California. None may be bought and, if sold, they must be sold _outside_ of California. Thus, nobody who does not already own one, in California, may acquire one.

      • All NEW firearms take a path to reach a criminal. That path usually starts like this:

        PATH:
        Manufacturer
        Wholesaler
        FFL
        Legitimate Buyer (someone who passes FFL check)

        Once a legitimate buyer has a weapon out in the public, the possibility of it falling into criminal hands is there through one of several ways.

        1. Criminal steals weapon
        2. Legitimate buyer becomes criminal once they already own the weapon
        3. Legitimate buyer unknowingly sells the weapon to a criminal in a private transfer with no required background check
        4. Legitimate buyer knowingly sells the weapon to a criminal in a private transfer

        There may be others, but you get the idea.

        The policy I proposed addresses items 3 and 4.

        The legitimate buyer will no longer inadvertently sell to a prohibited person, as transfers must go through and FFL.
        The legitimate buyer who chooses to sell to a known prohibited person (item 4) will have to do so illegally. The gun will remain attached to their person and if the gun is used in a crime, they will be charged with a crime for an illegal transfer. This is a severe deterrent to transferring a weapon illegally that the current system does not have.

        The law I proposed effectively addresses two possible sources of weapons into illegal hands. How does that “do nothing to stop the illegal gun trade?”

        And yes, there are 300 million plus already out there. I COULD propose that all existing firearms must be subjected to the registration policy, but you would flip out if I did and it is logistically very difficult and would take massive resources to make it impractical.

        I would rather let the system catch new weapons as they enter the system and over time the number of weapons outside of the database will shrink as owners sell, weapons wear out, police collect them as crimes are committed or as law abiding citizens begin transferring weapons legally under the new system. No, this would not immediately wipe out all gun violence, nothing will. In fact I suspect it would have little impact for several years as the existing supply of weapons would remain extremely high. But it is a step that will have an impact over time.

        “while wasting _tremendous_ resources”

        What tremendous resources?? The FFLs are already in place. The NCIS system is already in place. A database is not that expensive to establish and maintain, it is just a bunch of comptuers. You just have to add a few lines to the NCIS check and record the data.

        Right now you apparently have ATF agents walking around to gun shows and trying to “sting” people through online auction sites because there is no other effective means of tracking and deterring illegal weapons sales. You think this system would take more resources than that?

        “The very folk who are pushing registration are also pushing bans”

        This is a false assumption. I am advocating for this system that involves a national database. I would oppose a ban and be very wary of a national politician who put serious weight behind a ban. I am not the only person who thinks this way.

        California:

        So what you are saying is, they BANNED assault weapons for future transfers, but did NOT confiscate them?

        Thank you for providing a case in which even a weapons BAN did NOT lead to confiscation. Was that supposed to support your claim that registration DOES lead to confiscation?

        So sum up your objections:

        1. You fear registration inevitably leads to confiscation. I don’t think this is the case and I see little evidence to support it, but I understand your fear.

        2. You don’t think it will be effective: I suspect you reflexively think that ALL gun control of any type will be ineffective. I have provided a clear description of how it would affect the gun market, why do you think it would not?

        Do you have other objections/reasons you think a law like this would be problematic?

      • “There may be others, but you get the idea.”

        5. Gun is passed from one illegal person to another again and again and is used in many crimes before it’s finally.*
        6. Guns disappear from police evidence room, later turn up at crime scene.
        7. “Zip” gun manufactured by criminals, never seen in the “legal” market at all.
        8. “Gunrunners” bring guns across the border illegally. Gun never in “legal” market at all.
        And on and on and on.

        You look at two, and only two, possibilities and even one of them fails
        4a. Legitimate buyer knowingly sells weapon to a criminal in a private transfer and then reports the gun as “missing, presumed stolen” (“What happened?” “I don’t know! I mean, it was right _there_, then I came back today and . . . gone.”)
        4b. Legitimate buyer knowingly…then reports gun “lost in boating accident”.
        4c Legitimate buyer knowingly sells one of the 300 million plus guns that isn’t currently “registered” and, thus, won’t show up later. At current crime rates, if each gun is used for one, and only one, homicide, that’s enough for close to 20,000 years of homicides.
        I’m sure you can come up with more if you really try.

        So for the single case of “legal owner unknowingly sells firearm to prohibited person” you create an expanded government bureaucracy, increase costs to buy and sell (the FFL’s do _not_ perform transfer services for free) and don’t appreciably reduce the availability of guns to criminals anyway. (The purpose of the exercise.)

        How about this instead: While it is legitimate to restrict someone’s liberty (including the liberty to exercise RKBA) as a condition of sentence as a result of “due process” (under the 5th Amendment) why must said restriction _only_ be to 2nd Amendment rights? Why not include “and for the duration of this sentence” (which may be for life in appropriate circumstances) “your person, your possessions, and your dwelling are subject to search at any time by any sword law enforcement officer or any person appointed to that task by the court, and any violation of the terms of the sentence, including possession of firearms, shall lead to your immediate return to prison for the remaining duration of the sentence plus ten years.”

        Punish the _criminals_, not everybody else.

      • *Back in the mid-80′s, when there was another “gun-control” push in the media, one of the networks (IIRC, NBC, of “Ford trucks explode–at least if you attach a pyrotechnic device to their fuel tanks” fame) did a special on the history of a gun. They “tracked” a single gun as it was used in various crimes, transferred to another criminal, then used in other crimes, through several states and over a period of time.

        The point they were trying to sell was how very dangerous a gun could be (look at all the crime that was “caused” by this one gun!).

        The “take away” I got from it was “look how few guns are required to fill criminal ‘needs.’” This one gun was used over and over again. This just goes to show how hopeless the idea of cutting off the supply of guns to criminals because not that many are needed to supply all criminal “needs”. They can keep using the existing guns and “losses” guns captured by police or taken “out of circulation” by other means, can be replaced from any of a number of sources not just “straw sales.”

      • Pizza:

        Properly supervise: Serve full term unless they can prove to be trustworthy. Serve even more time if they violate parole in the slightest. Once they are out of state supervision, they should have their rights restored.

        As for longarms vs. tyranny, both the US Military and the old Soviet army learned some hard lessons in that in Afghanistan. Nothing is harder for a tyrannical government to deal with than a completely intractable man with a rifle.

        As for registration -> confiscation, that has been exactly the case in NY, NJ, and Chicago. The dems in CA seem content with attrition, as they realized that only a fraction of the rifles in the state were registered.

  80. Superb writeup, however there is one thing I must say, where you mentioned India, India never really had a gun culture, only a tiny handful of the population could afford guns in the past. Nowadays however with the growth of the Indian middle-class there is a fluorescing gun culture there. Although this is proving to be awkward since the country is still trying to dig itself out from under decades of disastrous Fabian socialist rule and millennia of grinding corruption. A couple of years ago I heard a story about a district in India which offered men expedited gun permits in exchange for vasectomies, ugh!

  81. Outstanding. Thank you for the time and effort you put into this post.

  82. Very well written and thank you. I have 10 years educational experience including 1 year as principal. Sadly my state does not allow me to have my CC with me. Instead locked in my car unloaded across the street. While I would hope to never have this issue come up, my vehicle was always parked every day across the street. In addition, as a shop teacher I always needed WASP spray in my office. Never new when I would need to kill a few out of the wood pile, etc.

    Today I watched as a marine stood infront of his kids school for 7 hours unarmed for security. I ma glad for his service, but I only see him as victim. Pilots have guns, judges have armed guards, 300 kids have… Well a locked door and policy that calls for teachers and kids to hide in corners hoping to be found before the cops show up.

    I also remember as a student in school in 1996. We had 2 school resource officers who were assigned to the school. They would be on rotating shifts so one was almost always on grounds. My senior year I we have a perfect morning to dump some ducks. So my buddy and I skipped out… At 10:00 my mother showed up at the river and threatened sever consequences(ending of my duck season season) if I was not in the school in 20 minutes. Needless to say my decoys were tossed in and the gun in the gun rack and off we went to school.

    When we pulled into the school parking lot, we saw the officer. He promptly pulled in behind us and looked at the shot guns… Our small pile of ducks… Said we were truant and to head to the office. We had detention that afternoon. The officer showed up, as a result he went hunting with us the next weekend on Saturday morning…

    I never did and can not understand the irrational fear of a gun. I however always have a level playing field and as a result do not have nearly as much to fear as some.

  83. Agreed with everything you said, said almost exactly the same things myself in my blog post on the subject.

    On the subject of mental health reform and keeping weapons out of the hands of the mentally ill, here are my suggestions:

    1. Mandate reporting by psychiatrists to the NICS system for suicidal ideation, homicidal ideation, sociopathic or delusional behavior. This would apply to their office visits as well, but there would have to be adequate safeguards to restore those rights if or when the psychiatrist feels the patient is no longer a threat to himself or others.

    2. Computerized reporting of PEC’s to the NICS system. Fill out a PEC, 5150, mental health hold, or whatever you want to call it, you must upload it to the NICS database before that patient leaves the ED, or before that patient is discharged from the psych unit, and WITH all the safeguards mentioned in #1, and restoration of those rights has to be as timely as the denial of them.

    That does not happen now. A PEC because your girlfriend called you suicidal out of spite can dog you for years. As a medic, I see that sort of thing every single day.

    3. No more mental health techs doing intake evaluations. In fact, don’t let the ED physician do it, either. They have enough shit to deal with already. If your facility operates an inpatient psychiatric unit, you should have a psychiatrist on ED call to do PEC’s 24/7/365.

    If a patient is transported from an ED without an inpatient psych unit to a residential facility or an ED that does, the psychiatrist must countersign the PEC after his own evaluation BEFORE the patient is admitted. If the PEC was done by an ED physician, it should not be uploaded to NICS until the psychiatrist has countersigned.

    4. Government forgiveness of med school loans for any doctor entering a primary care profession or specialty area where there is a significant physician shortage. A lot of the cracks in the mental health care system are symptoms of a sick healthcare system, period, and Obamacare did absolutely nothing to address it.

    We simply don’t have enough physicians, period. The ones graduating now are going into lucrative specialties or adopting cash-only concierge practices, as are an ever-increasing number of physicians currently practicing.

    Those things would go a long way toward lessening the likelihood of the mentally ill getting their hands on a weapon, and #3 would provide better safeguards against inappropriate psych holds.

    Of course, you will still have some acutely ill (mentally, that is) patients who have access to the weapons they already own.

    And we will never be able to stop those, outside of implementing a full-on police state.

    • It was my understanding that the Aurora shooter was reported by his psychiatrist and no one did anything for fear of lawsuits, etc. If you have a reporting system and no one acts on it, what good is it?

      • Probably because it was reported to local law enforcement, as is the norm, and they never reported it to NICS because there is no legal requirement to do so.

        Usually only adjudication measures through the courts get reported, and rarely instantaneously. There is a backlog of reporting, both of new holds, and for release of holds.

    • “Mandate reporting by psychiatrists to the NICS system for suicidal ideation, homicidal ideation, sociopathic or delusional behavior. This would apply to their office visits as well, but there would have to be adequate safeguards to restore those rights if or when the psychiatrist feels the patient is no longer a threat to himself or others.”

      Disagree. This is dangerous and wrong, even if your intention is good. Re suicidal ideation, the overwhelming effect would be to seriously discourage patients from seeking help. If I were concerned about my mental health (e.g. feeling hopeless and overwhelmed, “can’t see the point of going on” yet intact enough to seek help), I’d be VERY reluctant to discuss anything with a mental health professional, for fear of literally being criminalized. Even if we had great, reproducible and predictive criteria for who will be a real danger to themselves (which we do not, DSM V or no), many people would be afraid of seeking help, thereby leading to more, not fewer, people truly losing it and harming themselves or others.

      Regarding homicidal ideation, most states (but not all) already have some version of a Tarasoff statute (where if a patient expresses a specific threat against a specific person, e.g. “I’m going to stab my boss Mr Jones in the neck with a steak knife”) there is already a duty to warn on the part of the physician. Apart from that, a remark of “man, some days I’d like to take a bazooka to those jerks who drive 60 mph through my residential neighborhood” can get you in trouble with some MDs. Usually enlightened Progressive ones of the sort who come to a bad end in Tom Kratman novels, but I’m sidetracking. And having a psychiatrist doing the evaluation does not make it better. (As a cardiologist, my response to the hypothetical “bazooka” remark would probably be along the lines of “I’ll help you carry more ammo.” The stereotypes about medical specialties and personality types are not universally true, but they didn’t come from nowhere.)

      • Great response, Mike C. While I think we do need to reform our mental health system (by digging into all the damage the ACLU did and trying to untangle that mess), I am leery of reporting these psychiatric evals in an effort to deny someone a right in perpetuity. First, you’re depending on a psychiatrist, a good percentage of whom are nutjobs themselves with deeply held biases. Second, exactly what you said. People who need help won’t go for fear of being tagged as dangerous/suicidal for the rest of their lives. 3. Psychiatrists (like one convicted in France just last week because one of his patients went off and killed someone with an axe) will be targeted by the emotionalist Do Something crowd if they have a patient and they missed bad intent. So, they will label more people dangerous/suicidal to keep that from happening.

      • It is problematic, yes.

        And it may even have the detrimental effect of making people less likely to seek help.

        I think that effect can be mitigated by building adequate statutory safeguards into the system for restoration of rights.

        For example, require an expiration date on the hold.

        Secondly, it is only going to affect new gun purchases, not confiscation of the weapons they already own. I won’t support even one step on that slippery slope.

        On that note, one of the triggers mental health professionals consider for involuntary committal of suicidal patients is the verbalization of a defined plan to carry out the act.

        Suicidal ideation alone is often not enough.

        Again, these are just ideas. Shoot holes in them, tweak and improve them if you can.

        That’s why I posted them.

  84. Yeah, just go back to universal military training. Both boys and girls this time. We’ll all be safer.

  85. “The distinction between national and state citizenship and their respective privileges there drawn has come to be firmly established.”
    “Privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States, on the other hand, are only such as arise out of the nature and essential character of the national government, or are specifically granted or secured to all citizens or persons by the Constitution of the United States.”
    “The right of trial by jury in civil cases, guaranteed by the 7th Amendment (Walker v. Sauvinet, 92 U.S. 90, 23 L. ed. 678), and the right to bear arms, guaranteed by the 2d Amendment (Presser v. Illinois, 116 U.S. 252, 29 L. ed. 615, 6 Sup. Ct. Rep. 580), have been distinctly held not to be privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States, guaranteed by the 14th Amendment against abridgment by the states…”
    Twining v. New Jersey 1908, 211 US 78

    Have you wondered why the states act like there is no Bill of Rights?

    http://www.constitution.org/ussc/211-078a.htm

  86. Larry,

    First, I think this is a great post and generally well thought out.

    However, I am one who will get labeled as “anti-gun” because I am in favor increased regulation. But, I think I have only ever made two of the arguments you cite and I actually agree with most of what you say. So I may not be your target audience. But, the two I would have disagreement with.

    Teachers:

    The issue of arming teachers is very dependent on the situation. I definitely think a rapid, armed response is the best response once an incident starts. I would prefer that response come from someone dedicated to security or another non-classroom job rather than a teacher.

    Reasons:

    1. Like you say, the shooters are not stupid. Even carrying concealed, students will pretty quickly figure out what teachers are armed. If a shooter knows Mr. Smith has a gun and is always in room 1010 at 2:30, a shooter will be able to start their action away from room 1010 at 2:30. In such a scenario, Mr. Smith’s response could possibly still be minutes away. For this reason, someone who is NOT a teacher and whose location is less fixed is a good idea. I actually like that you said you had a janitor in your training more than a teacher. That type of position is a lot more suitable to an armed response.

    2. This is not the case in all schools, obviously, but I have been in some schools where I would be TERRIFIED to carry a weapon or for anyone else outside of a highly trained individual (IE: Police Officer). The level of discipline among the students is so low that a teacher with a gun could become a target of student violence in an attempt to take the gun. I know it sounds dramatic, but there are some dramatic schools. Obviously there are other issues in that situation, but putting a gun into those classrooms creates a very dangerous situation.

    If we WERE to arm teachers, I think the level of training and screening of those teachers would need to be very high to make it safe, but it could be done in many cases.

    High Capacity Magazines:

    This is one that I WISH there were an effective way to control, but you are right that there are so many magazines out there that real regulation would be very tough.

    I understand your assessment that there are times when a large magazine would be a benefit in a self-defense situation, but I suspect those are the very rare exception.

    For most of the mass shooters (which are also the exception, but a particularly deadly one), the large magazine makes a shooter who may not be particularly experienced significantly more dangerous. The difference between being able to fire 10 rounds vs. 30 IS substantial, especially in classroom situations where the number of students is over 10 but under 30.

    On balance, and this may sound cold, but if there WERE a way to regulate magazine effectively, I would trade the possibility of rare failure in self defense because of smaller magazines in exchange for reduced death tolls in mass shooting situations.

    But, regulating them is very tough, not sure it is at all feasible, and it isn’t my biggest issue at all.

    So, on those two issues, we may have some disagreements, but I am not too worried about it.

    BUT, here is where I am hoping for a response that is as well reasoned as your article.

    Two parts:

    1. Arguments the PRO-GUN side uses that I find ludicrous
    2. Some issues that may be common ground?? Hopefully??

    Part 1

    Reading a few of the comments here, it seems there are a lot of reasonable responses, which has not always been the case trying to have this discussion.

    Pro Gun arguments I have heard that are ludicrous and the rest of you who ARE reasonable should try to squelch:

    Argument: “Knives/Bats/Spoons/Screwdrivers can also kill people, we don’t try to ban them.”

    Response: First, no one except talking heads trying to drive ratings is calling for a BAN on guns. Regulation, not bans.

    Second, as gun owners, do you REALLY think a gun = a knife/bat/spoon/screwdriver?

    I certainly understand that there are other objects that can be dangerous in life, but guns were developed over many years of technological advancement to be really good at killing people and they are capable of doing that in a manner that nothing else comes close to. They do other things also (sport, hunting, deterrent), but regardless of their other uses, guns are more efficient tools for killing people than pretty much anything else.

    If you are a responsible gun owner, you should understand that a gun is NOT like other tools. I certainly hope you don’t treat your gun like you would treat a hammer…I worked construction, I’d drop/throw a hammer from a rooftop. I would never do that with a gun. They are different. Doesn’t mean they are “evil” or anything like that, but they are something very different from basically any other object in civilian circulation.

    Argument:

    “More people die in car wrecks than from guns!!”

    Yes. They do. But what does that have to do with gun legislation? More than one object can be dangerous and worthy of regulation. I think guns and cars are both worthy of regulation.

    If there are any ideas about how to reduce traffic accidents and deaths, I would love to hear it. I am happy to talk about reducing traffic fatalities and if someone has regulations to suggest, by all means suggest it, lets discuss it.

    Why are some many pro-gun advocates unwilling to discuss regulations to reduce firearm fatalities?

    Argument:

    “People already have to get background checks and licenses and stuff to get a gun. There are too many regulations already!!”

    This one astounds me. Many pro-gun advocates really don’t know that in many states private transfers do NOT require a background check and there is no license or registration requirement. More on this in part II.

    Ok….those were just a few rants that really annoy me. Like you, I have heard them many times and, frankly, they don’t have a place in a reasonable discussion.

    Now, on to part II

    Reasonable regulations:

    I think a gun ban is a terrible idea. I think that the AWB is a pretty bad idea too for most of the same reasons you cite. BUT, I think people go after an AWB not because it is well reasoned, but because that is what they think they can get BECAUSE pro-gun advocates, and the NRA in particular, fight tooth and nail against more effective and meaningful regulations.

    For me, the biggest one is this:

    Why do we allow unregulated private transfers?

    It seems like the argument that “criminals will always have guns” comes up a lot and yes, in the current system where someone can buy a gun with nothing but a drivers license, it is exceedingly easy for criminals to get guns. I realize that criminals will always work to obtain weapons, but current regulations are SO lax that they don’t even have to work.

    Just requiring every firearm transfer to go through an FFL would, over time, have an impact on the ease with which criminals can get weapons. It wouldn’t happen immediately, obviously, but over time this very simple step would help.

    And that is just the simplest of regulations that, to me, seems like a “DUH” regulation.

    Why do pro-gun advocates fight against something that simple? What is the negative of requiring gun transfers to go through an FFL nationwide?

    Ok, enough writing for the night. Hoping for some well-reasoned replies so I can understand this better.

    • I can sell my car without a dealer, and per your post above if someone buys 100 guns at a dealer they will almost certainly get an ATF visit. Stolen guns are more prevalent among criminals than bought ones.

      • Not sure that is true, actually…

        http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/guns/procon/guns.html

        “Responding to a question of how they obtained their most recent handgun, the arrestees answered as follows: 56% said they paid cash; 15% said it was a gift; 10% said they borrowed it; 8% said they traded for it; while 5% only said that they stole it.”

        Obviously the accuracy can be questioned, but it isn’t clear cut that criminals get their guns by stealing.

      • “Paid cash”. For a legal or stolen gun?

        The link you posted does _not_ refute the idea that most guns used in crime come from stealing. The “end user” may not have stole it but buying, borrowing, or being given a stolen gun still comes from stealing.

      • A survey? Of criminals? And they payed cash to who exactly? Because I can head down to Ogden right now and I’m pretty sure I could find a guy to buy a gun from and pay cash in probably less than an hour. And want to take any bets about whether than gun was stolen or not?

        So, not that I don’t trust PBS, but http://extranosalley.com/?p=12198 and you can reconfirm that blogger’s stats in other places, but like he said, it is murky.

        Not that I don’t trust government gun stats, because Eric Holder once told us all that Mexican Drug Cartels which own their own submarines and buy whole military units are all armed by American gunshows, but he left out all the guns he shipped them to try to bolster that number of course. http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/why-eric-holder-should-being-jail-and-the-wapo-sucks-balls/

      • Definitely agree that you can’t really “trust” a survey of criminals, but the point of the article is that “criminal use mostly stolen guns” is a piece of conventional wisdom that may or may not be true.

        Regardless, stolen weapons are an issue, but one that is very difficult to address. My interest is in those issues where poor regulation allows criminals to easily exploit a system that does little to slow them getting a gun. Basically, if I were a criminal, I would never steal a gun. Way too risky when I can just go to a website, pick the gun I want, send a couple emails and meet someone and buy it for cash with no background check or real risk.

        Those are the types of issues that meaningful regulation can address.

      • I don’t think you realize just how it works. You send a couple emails to have somebody pick you up a gun and odds are they are an ATF informant. :D

      • You can sell your car without a dealer but you have to transfer the title.

      • “Title” is only necessary for registration, and registration is only necessary for operation of the car on public streets. That’s it.

        Mind you, once a car is titled for one owner it might be worthwhile for the new owner to transfer the title to avoid the original owner being able to come back and claim ownership but it’s not necessary provided you are not going to operate the car on the public streets.

        As I’ve said before, in Autocross I ran across cars not titled, licensed, or registered all the time. Folk would trailer them to the events. Drive them in the competition (on private property) and then trailer them home.

        No laws broken.

        Title, licensing, and registration are only required for operation of the cars on the public streets.

      • “I don’t think you realize just how it works. You send a couple emails to have somebody pick you up a gun and odds are they are an ATF informant.”

        I think you misunderstand. I am not sending emails to have someone buy a gun for me. I am sending emails to buy a gun myself.

        I am pretty sure that not all the ads listed here:

        http://www.armslist.com/classifieds/florida

        or here

        http://floridaguntrader.com/

        or here

        http://www.gunbroker.com/All/BI.aspx?Cats=851&PageSize=75

        are ATF agents. These sales are arranged via email. You meet the person face to face, trade the gun for the cash, and part ways. The seller should check your ID and fill out a bill of sale, but little else.

        This method of arranging and selling is legal. It is only illegal if the buyer is prohibited, but there is no requirement that the seller make any sort of check to determine if they are prohibited.

        Granted, I have not tried to buy a gun this way. I may soon and if I do, I’ll be sure to let you know how easy/difficult it was.

      • But you also have to transfer title when you privately sell a car. In California, at least, you have to report the sale to the DMV within 5 days so the new owner is on record.

      • Amanda T: Look up “farm vehicle”.

        Titles, even in CA, are only needed if you drive on a public road.

        If the car is never driven on the street, you can just send a shoebox of money to the seller, and have it delivered to your back 40.

    • Shorter translation: I don’t trust my fellow citizens, so they must bow to my fears.

    • Again: You register and title your car for taxation purposes, not for safety purposes.

    • Thank you thank you. These are the same arguments that bother me. To me, unrestricted private transfers is too lax.

      The argument that I hear is “well the criminals will get them no matter what so there’s no point regulating this”. Well… that remains to be seen. I haven’t seen the evidence that we’ve tried discouraging private sales by law. Just because criminals do break the law doesn’t mean we have to make it easier for them to legally obtain what they want.

      The other one that bothers me is “well gun control law X in state/city Y was ineffective (just look at these stats) therefore it is always ineffective”. The part that bothers me here is that gun laws vary widely and guns in state/city Y do not have to come from state/city Y. They may have just passed a law banning all sales and illegal ownership but someone can go one region over, legally register a weapon and bring it back. Yup pretty ineffective law… but if every state/city implements different laws how can we pick the ideas that would work when implemented consistently?

      I feel like we don’t really know the downstream benefits/deficits of discouraging private sales at a national level. How can we absolutely pre-judge this to be ineffective? I would welcome anyone who has statistics that debunks/weakens my position. Personally I feel it would be a good thing to try that does not burden/punish anyone. I have not seen many people pushing to abolish background checks. They seem to be an acceptable level of “burden” for law-abiding citizens.

      Here’s my current proposal (evolving as I am better informed):
      1. Make CCW legal nationally. I would like to see this licensed with some sort of training (like Texas).
      2. Make all gun transfers go through some sort of background check/registration.

      • Ryan: I don’t have to have a CCW to carry in Wyoming, and I don’t have to sell through a dealer here.

        I have an even better proposal:

        Make open carry mandatory, and required in order to vote.

        Make all people who refuse to open carry register. If they are hopeless hopolophobes, I don’t want them voting, or making other political decisions.

        I think my proposal is far more reasonable than your proposal to make adults get permission to have the tools to exercise a basic human right.

    • I treat my firearms exactly like I would any dangerous power tool with an extended reach.
      A large number of traffic fatalities can be traced to driving while impaired. Simply installing a breathalizer in the ignition circuit of every automobile would likely cut car wrecks in half. Sure it would be terribly convenient for everyone else, but hey, it’s for the children.
      Most of us familiar with the whole gun control movement believe that the ultimate goal of the Bradys and such is total confiscation, and registration is just the first step on a long slippery slope. You can call us paranoid if you please, but how then do you explain Great Britain, Australia, or for that matter California?

    • “I certainly understand that there are other objects that can be dangerous in life, but guns were developed over many years of technological advancement to be really good at killing people and they are capable of doing that in a manner that nothing else comes close to. They do other things also (sport, hunting, deterrent), but regardless of their other uses, guns are more efficient tools for killing people than pretty much anything else.”

      This is just a really ignorant idea. Biological weapons were developed over many years to be really good at killing people. They are far more effective than guns at doing it. It’s a lot easier to spread anthrax around a community than it is to assassinate them with even the scariest liberal nightmare of a gun. In sheer human carnage,bombs also trump guns with the added “bonus” of being less able to be directed towards a specific target in non-controlled situations. Your beliefs about guns are based on prejudice and emotion. You seem a lot more reasonable than others,but your beliefs are frankly ignorant. I don’t believe you are STUPID, based on the caliber of your comments, so there is the possibility of you educating yourself. I recommend you do so.

      “They are different. Doesn’t mean they are “evil” or anything like that, but they are something very different from basically any other object in civilian circulation.”

      Again,this is not true. The sugar substitute you use is probably far more dangerous. Money is a dangerous weapon in the right hands. With 10,000 dollars I could have your head bashed in with a crowbar. Would you be willing to give up your life savings to prevent something like that from happening?

      ” Many pro-gun advocates really don’t know that in many states private transfers do NOT require a background check and there is no license or registration requirement.”

      Yes, this is known as “private enterprise” and serves as the backbone of our economy. It is a healthy endeavor and should be vigorously protected unless you want to live like the average Cuban does,i.e., on about 45$ a year.

      I’ll assume you are a male,if you are female substitute ovaries. You have testicles. These testicles can get cancer and kill you. Do you cut off your healthy testicles to prevent them from becoming cancerous or do you hold onto as much of them as you can until you are forced to choose between your testicles or your life? If you’re like the typical person, you choose the latter. All forms of violent crime have continuously trended downwards for years. Our society has become safer and more peaceable over the years. We are getting healthier, not sicker. Regulating private enterprise in that environment is insane and self-destructive.

      “Just requiring every firearm transfer to go through an FFL would, over time, have an impact on the ease with which criminals can get weapons. It wouldn’t happen immediately, obviously, but over time this very simple step would help.

      And that is just the simplest of regulations that, to me, seems like a “DUH” regulation.”

      It is quite an intuitive solution that occurs naturally….to a Communist. See Cuba or the Soviet Union for examples of how well Communist economics works.

      While you’re busy running yourself ragged trying to prevent criminals from getting guns, I could make one out of a heavy spring and a ballpoint pen in about 30 minutes.You don’t even have to have a high school education to fabricate a gun. Mechanical actions are very simple. All you will be doing is (a) harming the economy and (b) hamstringing law-abiding citizens with pointless regulations.

      “Why do pro-gun advocates fight against something that simple? What is the negative of requiring gun transfers to go through an FFL nationwide?”

      How would you like to have to register with the government in order to buy the tools you need to do your job? Every time you buy a nail, you have to go through a background check and sit on a waiting list. After a while,I imagine you would find a different profession.

      My resistance to the idea is that it is irrational. I could build a gun capable of firing thousands of rounds per minute for under 100$ and no part of it would be flagged,assuming I did my own machining. So what is the point of bothering law-abiding people when you’re not even accomplishing the goal you’re setting out to accomplish?

      The reason why we need warrants to arrest people is because people who aren’t doing anything wrong deserve to not be hassled. I imagine you support that. So why can’t you support the same sentiment with regard to gun owners? Just because you’re afraid? Your neighbors could be cannibal necrophiliacs for all you know, but that doesn’t give you the right to arbitrarily search their house or steal their property.

      The solution to gun violence without heavy-handed and ineffectual meddling in the affairs of the law-abiding is neutralization of the shooter quickly and effectively after they show their intention to harm others. Yes, that requires you to stand up and be a man. That might be difficult for you,but I’m sure you saw it done on t.v. once, so you’ll manage .

      The will to live is a pretty powerful motivator.

      • You can build a full auto submachine gun with a trip to home depot, and a junkyard, and hand tools. 3 moving parts, 4 springs. No, I will not tell you how.

      • Matthew House my friend and I were each going to build a semi-auto pistol from home depot parts and test them for, reliability, accuracy, ease of use etc… We wanted to test our fabrication/engineering skills on a project neither of us have worked on before. Just for bragging rights, and to expand our knowledge. While researching how to do this we found out it would have been illegal to do this. Which is lame, we are studying to be engineers and physicists. We aren’t criminals we just wanted to test the bounds of our abilities…

      • I say guns are the most efficient tool for killing available to civilians. You reply with two items (biological weapons and bombs) that are available only to the military. I think I feel my point is proved.

        I am 100% certain that no sugar substitute or dollar bills can kill me in seconds from 30 feet away. A gun can.

        Are you really trying to argue that if we make private transfers go through an FFL, the whole US economy will collapse?

        We already require NCIS checks on firearm purchases through FFLs. Is it that dramatic a change or threat to free enterprise to say:

        “If you want to sell your gun to a friend, go to the local gun shop and run the check through them for $10.”

        You are going to have to do some pretty substantial mental gymnastics to convince anyone that this is a threat to the economy.

        It is fascinating that you a lot of you (in theory) can make a gun. If we ever reach a point where any significant number of crimes are committed with homemade guns, I’d be happy to talk about it. But, truth is, most criminals can’t make a gun and if they did, it would not be a very good one.

        I mean… “assuming I did my own machining”?? Really?? How many criminals A. have the technical expertise to machine gun parts and B. have access to the machining tools required to do it??

        You talk about “heavy handed” meddling. Is it REALLY a HUGE interference in your life that on the few occasions you want to sell or buy a gun, you go to the gun store to have them facilitate the transaction? I mean, I don’t know about you, but I have at least 5 FFLs within a few miles of my house. Not exactly a big burden.

      • pizza pinochle, said: I say guns are the most efficient tool for killing available to civilians.

        Correct. Government should fear the governed. Making government fear the governed requires that we be effectively armed.

        This is a feature, not a bug. If you want to be under the government’s thumb completely, move to Europe.

        If you are such a rabbit person that you do n ot trust yourself with the means for effective self-defense, then I pity you.

      • Kristophr-

        You may want to talk to Anarchanonymous above and get your stories straight. His response to my evaluation of guns as the most efficient weapon available to civilians was that I was ignorant, prejudiced, emotional and stupid. Yup. All four of those, just for saying that guns are the most efficient tool for killing available to civilians.

        I never said it was a feature or a bug. I just stated the fact that guns are not like other objects/tools in civilian circulation because they are so efficient when it comes to killing people. It seems you agree, which is actually a rarity among pro-gun advocates I have talked to who frequently advocate that all sorts of things (like sugar substitutes, spoons, and ropes) are just as effective at killing as guns.

        BTW, to both of you, congratulations on not stooping to name calling and personal insults…oh wait…

        “Yes, that requires you to stand up and be a man. That might be difficult for you, but I’m sure you saw it done on t.v. once, so you’ll manage .”

        “If you are such a rabbit person that you do not trust yourself with the means for effective self-defense, then I pity you.”

        Well, I guess thanks for limiting it to meaningless sniping at the end of your post?

        Try to stick with discussing facts and information, not taking middle school level cheap shots with no relevance to the conversation.

      • Blotto,

        I’ll reply to you, but it probably will be a brief exchange.

        I can find 100 anti-gun people with just as many studies and stats as WriterInBlack “proving” gun control works and that the best approach is a total ban on all weapons.

        If Writer and those people want to take turns presenting their version of the “facts” and ignoring each other while pretending they are having a debate, they are free to do so. I’m not really interested and NEITHER side in those types of broadside exchanges is remotely convincing to me.

        I’m not declaring victory. I am declaring that the exchange is of no benefit, thus, I am not going to continue. If this WAS a “logically rigorous” exchange, maybe that would be different, but there is very little that has been logical in Writers approach.

        You, of course, think that I am the one not using logic. I’m not going to get back into a full-fledged discussion, but I will give one very concrete example that Writer has been going to over and over that is a clear demonstration.

        ~~~

        Fire vs. Guns

        Writer repeatedly claims that fire is just as effective/dangerous as guns, arguing that there is no reason to have gun control because fire can do the same thing.

        He cites as evidence mass killings using fire, focusing on the Happy Land fire from 1990.

        Points he has correct:

        -In very specific circumstances, a fire can be as or more deadly than firearms and can be easier to execute. Happy Land is an example…an old building that had been repeatedly cited for fire code violations, an illegal social club, too many people in too small a space, no fire alarms, no fire suppression system, no fire exits. In very unique circumstances, fire can be an effective tool for mass murder.

        Logical failings of his position:

        - While you can find specific instances of deadly mass killings through fire, these are extremely limited and the annual rate of fire homicide is very low. The exceptional cases (Happy Land) do not indicate a widespread trend. Simply put, while arson supplies are easily and readily available, more so than guns, they are NOT used with the same frequency as guns.

        - Fire is not effective in other criminal activity (robbery, etc) where guns are frequently used, so the effectiveness of fire in mass killings has no relevance to a discussion about gun use in criminal activity outside of mass killings, which is where the vast majority of firearm violence takes place.

        - The use of fire in mass killings does not change the fact that guns are used in homicides and violent more than any other method. If fire is used in a significant number of crimes, propose legislative changes to protect from fire. Currently, guns are used in a significant number of crimes, more than any other method, so there is good cause to consider legislative changes to protect from gun violence. Both can be a problem, the fact that fire is a possible problem does not negate the problem already posed by guns.

        ~~~

        The logic of his position on fire arson vs. guns simply does not stand up. Most of his positions suffer from similar logical fallacies, but when those are pointed out to him, he simply moves on to his next poorly supported position.

        Want proof? Go back and read the section on explosives. I ask how many deaths the explosives used at Columbine caused. Writer’s response: “Irrelevant.”

        Really?? That is irrelevant?? The fact that explosives, which you claim will take over for guns if gun control is improved, have not been largely ineffective when used in an identical situation [One incident, columbine: The same people use two methods (guns and bombs) to try and kill people. One succeeds (guns) one does not (bombs)] is not relevant?

        His response: “One of the common means of killing people in job lots is arson. Why do you continue to ignore that, focusing only on “bombs”?”

        You will notice, he never even replies to a significant position (bombs have not been effective in many situations when guns have been effective), instead, diverting the discussion because he has no reply. He jumps back to arson, which, as demonstrated above, is just as weak a position.

        Blotto, if you can reply to those points with clear logic, not diverting to new subjects or ignoring, I might reply if I see some benefit.

        I would suggest you reply to those points clearly (the logic of arson fires and explosives), and then present one counter point if you like. Don’t spew out 15 paragraphs of rehtorical questions and speculation, present clear points with facts.

        The discussion probably won’t go in a direction that is useful to me or worth the time, but I’ll give you a chance. Writer has demonstrated that his primary methods are evasion and distraction, which serves to waste time and reinforce previously held positions, but serves no real purpose.

      • “I can find 100 anti-gun people with just as many studies and stats as WriterInBlack “proving” gun control works and that the best approach is a total ban on all weapons.”

        Well, you can find lot’s of people who make that claim anyway.

        But I’ll lay you odds you haven’t actually looked at the studies, how they were done, and the data behind them.

        These “studies” always . . . always . . . use some kind of “sampling” method. Total stats on what weapons are used in most crimes simply are not kept nationally. When you have sampling there’s always the risk of sample bias.

        Second, these studies generally make claims about “gun crime” as if being killed by a gun or being robbed at gunpoint or being raped with a gun used to intimidate into compliance (rare, BTW, per the DOJ), or assaulted where there is significant risk of death or serious bodily injury (“aggravated assault” by definition) is so much worse than the same crime committed with something else. A murder victim is a murder victim whether shot, stabbed, strangled, or beaten to death.

        Third, correlation != causation. They point to foreign nations with “gun control” and lower crime rates than the US but fail to mention that they had the lower crime rates before they had the gun control. They had low crime. They passed gun control. They still had low crime. (Although in many cases crime rates went up after passing “gun control”, but still could be claimed as “lower than the US.”) This bit of information, which invalidates the claim that gun control is the reason for the low crime, gets left out of those “studies”. Why is that, do you think?

        Fourth, when making international comparisons these studies are always limited to “developed nations” or “western nations”. Why? Why should that matter unless some factors other than gun control are more important? Why assume, then, that those factors stop working when the nation is “developed” or “western”?

        Fifth, the same people who trot out these studies are also the ones who predict “fender benders turning into shootouts” or “bar fights turning into gun fights” every time “shall issue” comes up in a State which doesn’t currently have it. They predict it every time. Shall issue then passes and their predictions fail to come true. If they are so consistently inaccurate here, where else are they being inaccurate? Maybe in the “studies” they conduct?

        You see, unlike you I looked at the studies, at what they claimed, at what they actually said, and at what went into them. And I made an informed assessment, not just a knee-jerk anti-gun reaction.

        When I did my study, and I did it myself because I was not taking anyone’s word on it, I took the DOJ’s own published stats, State by State for the violent felonies it tracks. I used an anti-gun organization’s assessment of the gun control in each State, the Brady Scorecard, which gave a numerical value for the strength of the gun control of each State. Then, having those numbers, I ran them looking for correlation., for whether there was a statistically significant correlation. Remember that “statistically significant” is simply a means of saying that one can be detected at all from other factors.

        There was none.

        Thus, in the US, gun control has no detectable effect on total violent crime. None.

        When I did my mass shooting study, (again, I did it because I wasn’t taking anybody’s word) I took every single one I could find, not cherry picking anything. I used an explicit, objective criterion to determine whether a particular incident should be included or not (4 or more killed as part of the same event). And, much as it might have been tempting to do so, I did not include shootings where the person was stopped (by an armed person at the scene) before the threshold of 4 or more killed was reached. Tempting as it was to include them as evidence that armed people present at the scene save lives, the criteria were the criteria and I wasn’t going to bend them in my favor either. Likewise, in categorizing “gun free zone”, “guns severely restricted”, and “guns allowed” I used the least restrictive category unless I could prove the higher restriction. And with that said more than 90% happened in “gun free” or “guns severely restricted” areas. More than 90%. Coincidence? Or could there be a reason for it?

        Again, unlike you, I looked at the actual data, at crime rates, at the “mass shootings” that are so often used to justify more restrictions on personal liberty. (Of course when one points out how data on mass shootings indicates that “gun free zones” cause more problems than they “cure”, why, then folk say “mass shootings are very rare and shouldn’t drive policy. Double standard much?)

        I looked. You jerked the knee.

        There is a difference.

      • You assure me that you can produce “find 100 anti-gun people with just as many studies and stats as WriterInBlack” instead of actually posting anything beyond your beliefs, while we’re posting data from actual sources, though they’re questionable ones like the DoJ. It’s not our version of “the facts”, that’s what you seem to be doing. We’re digging for data and coming to a conclusion, while you seem to be doing the opposite.

        Your approach to “logically rigorous” exchange seems to be to continue to circle back to the one point you feel confident about, and ignore anything counter to your beliefs. Having said that, I’ll give it a shot.

        Not trying to put words in writerinblack’s mouth, but the point I believe he was trying to make was that spree shootings (which are rare, and represent a very specific subset of criminals using guns) are not the only means of criminal mass murder. That the frequency and body counts for these two methods are not equal was never meant to be the point. Arson mass murders are even more rare than mass shootings. Why is debatable, but access to firearms (legal and illegal) is not doubt a contributing factor. Media coverage probably plays a role too. The point was not that the two were in competition, but rather that even if firearms could be magically banned, confiscated, all smuggling halted, and knowledge of how to make them expunged from the collective consciousness, there would be another means available for sociopaths to kill lots of people. The solution of banning semi-automatic rifles only makes sense if you ignore this, and assume that sociopaths are only sociopathic in close proximity to guns.

        Fire is not effective in other criminal activities like robbery or rape, but that wasn’t the point. Fire is a lot more effective in insurance fraud, but that wasn’t the point, either. Guns can be used in criminal assaults, rapes, robberies and murders, but they can also be used effectively to defend against those crimes. You only seem to be willing to acknowledge the former. The fault isn’t with writerinblack’s logic, it’s with your selective interpretation of his logic. If you were truly interested in rigorous debate, you’d do some research for numbers on both sides of the argument (as we do) instead of waiting for us to bring them up, and then either ignoring them, or dismissing them as incapable of shaking your beliefs.

        At the risk of being accused of “diverting to other subjects”, substitution is perhaps more clearly documented in suicides. While teen suicides in Canada by firearm have gone down (even before more strict gun control was enacted in 1997), other methods have filled in any dip in the curve: http://stopbullyingcanada.wordpress.com/statistic/ Take the guns away from the suicidal, and they’re still suicidal. Taking guns away from sociopaths doesn’t cure them of their sociopathy. Lantz was intelligent and determined. He tried to buy a rifle at Dick’s Sporting Goods, but didn’t want to wait for the two week waiting period. If his mom didn’t have firearms, to you really think he would have just shrugged his shoulders and gone back to his quiescent life?

        Concerning bombs (sorry, “diverting to other subjects” again), Kiebold and Harris built duds, but again, that didn’t affect their sociopathy. If you think the Feds have your back on this one since Columbine and Oklahoma City, guess again: http://www.justice.gov/oig/reports/ATF/e0505/issues.htm, specifically “The ATF lacks the authority to regulate ammonium nitrate and some commonly used explosives”. The Taliban seems to have bombs figured out, and most of them can’t read. My point is not to commit tangenticide, but to point out that you can’t bubble-wrap the world. Banning the tools of man only makes sense if you focus on the evil uses and ignore the good. Guns have good uses, first and foremost in my mind, saving my life. Taking my guns away from me won’t make you any safer, but it will make me more vulnerable. Count on hope if you want to, I’d prefer to have a more reliable game plan.

    • Every gun? My dad takes 100 or so year old barrels, rifles them, carves a stock, etc. and assembles black powder rifles. I dont have a clue how to load or shoot one of them, if i tried i would most likely hurt myself, at least. But some of these weapons will be a legacy passed on to me and my children. Should my eventual inheritance of this be scrutinised? These guns are new, fully functional. They will kill a person just like any other gun. If we say, we dont have to regulate these because they are unlikely to be used in that way, what then are the other requirements to be registered. We pick the features we dont like? That gun is scarier? That point was already made. We regulate the ar 15 cause more people use it for defense, cause it happens thats its main function for more people, not for massive shootings? Its commonly carried by law enforcement. It can be used by those who prefer to hunt small game. Im far from being an expert but i see these suggested regulations effecting the good guys more than the bad.

      • However, just how much “scrutiny” are you worried about?

        When your dad gives you the gun, go to the shop and have them transfer it. Pay the $20.

        In 50 years, when you want to transfer it to your son, go to a shop and have them transfer it. Pay $20.

        Is $40 and w trips to a gun shop really that big of a deal over 100 years of passing a legacy/inheritance from father to son to grandson?

        That said…

        I definitely think there could be some exceptions for guns that are extremely unlikely to show up in criminal activity. Single shot muzzle loading blackpowder rifles, for example, are highly unlikely to be used in a robbery as they take 45 seconds to reload.

        Don’t think that is at all unreasonable.

      • My property, be it my gun, my watch or whatever, is my property, and it’s no one else’s business if I want to pass it on to a relative or friend. Do you really want the government’s nose stuck in every aspect of your life? Why in hell should I pay a fee and fill out intrusive reports? Just to make a bunch of whiney libs feel good?

      • Peter-

        How many of your other possessions require a background check if you purchase it from a retailer?

        Did you have to get a background check when you bought your watch at the store?

        Guns are different. They are not like other possessions. They currently require background checks in many sale/transfer situations, unlike anything else you own. All I propose is extending that regulation to private transfers as well.

      • “Peter-

        How many of your other possessions require a background check if you purchase it from a retailer?

        Did you have to get a background check when you bought your watch at the store?

        Guns are different. They are not like other possessions. They currently require background checks in many sale/transfer situations, unlike anything else you own. All I propose is extending that regulation to private transfers as well.”

        Danger Will Robinson! Danger! Circular argument alert! Guns are a Special Case because there are laws around them that define their dangerousness. Because of this Dangerousness we need more Laws to contain this Special Case!.

        Wait. What? The circle is squared and divide by zero summons Cthulhu. Bring a bigger boat and more shotguns.

      • Mike-

        Ha ha…

        While I definitely appreciate the humor in the assertion, this isn’t a circular argument. Although, I can see how you might think it is one based on how it was presented.

        Here is the argument from the starting point.

        Guns are dangerous and different from other objects, because they are the most efficient tool for killing people available to civilians.

        Because guns are dangerous, we place some limits on who can own them. Prohibited persons include felons etc.

        To ensure that prohibited persons do not acquire guns, we run background checks when purchasing at FFLs.

        To ensure that prohibited persons do not acquire guns, we should make all gun transfers go through the same process and be transferred through an FFL.

        The nature of the gun (as a dangerous tool) is the starting point for requiring background checks. The nature of the gun does not change if it is sold through an FFL or sold in a private sale. Why should one require safety while the other is unregulated?

        There are points you can make arguments, but if you think background checks are a fundamentally good idea (to prevent violent offendors from owning guns), why should it only be applied in certain situations? Does the gun become less dangerous because Bob down the street is selling it instead of “Bob’s Gun Shop?”

      • “Guns are dangerous and different from other objects,”

        Different from other objects. Yes, in that they, along with other “weapons of offense or armor of defense” (legal definition of “arms”, per actual law dictionaries, at the time the Constitution was written) are the only objects possession of which by the people is explicitly guaranteed in the Constitution.

        “the most efficient tools for killing people available to civilians.”

        Assumes facts not in evidence. The largest school killing in the US was committed without guns. The largest mass murder in the US was committed without guns. Several other mass murders, larger than any committed with guns, were committed without guns.

        If guns actually were the most efficient tools for killing people then gun related mass murders would be the ones with the largest death tolls. They aren’t.

        “Prohibited persons include felons etc.”

        The FIfth Amendment says, among other things, “nor be deprived of life, liberty or property except by due process of law.”

        For convicted felons, due process has been satisfied. For those judged mentally incompetent in court, due process has been satisfied.

        The problem comes when one wants to extend restrictions on liberty to those who have not had due process.

        “To ensure that prohibited persons do not acquire guns, we should make all gun transfers go through the same process and be transferred through an FFL”

        And this is where you go wrong. By putting a requirement that all people must get government approval for the sale or transfer of their private property you are depriving them of liberty without due process of law. That is a violation of the fifth, let alone the second.

        Also, the “we should” is an assumption of the “proper” result. But that assumption is also your conclusion. Thus, circular logic.

        The practicality of using such a de-facto registration as a means of reducing criminal availability of guns has been pretty thoroughly demolished elsewhere in this discussion.

        Also, the concern about about universal registration (which is what this amounts to) being a prelude to ban/confiscation is also there, and quite justified when we have folk over on liberal boards discussing how to completely ban guns and how universal registration is a necessary step to that. It’s made even more of a concern when then Attorney General Janet Reno goes on national television (Good Morning America) and says that waiting periods are just a step, registration is just a step, that the goal is the complete prohibition of civilian ownership of firearms.”

        If you really want people to believe that registration is not just a step toward confiscation you really need to get the people proposing registration as “reasonable gun control” to stop saying that it is in unguarded moments. Mind you, that ship has probably sailed by this point–too many examples already of “reasonable gun control” proponents saying that they really want to ban them all. But that they continue to make such statements does not help your case.

      • “A 1997 U.S. Justice Department survey of 14,285 state prison inmates found that among those inmates who carried a firearm during the offense for which they were sent to jail, 0.7% obtained the firearm at a gun show, 1% at a flea market, 3.8% from a pawn shop, 8.3% from a retail store, 39.2% through an illegal/street source, and 39.6% through family or friends.” (from: http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=940 via http://www.justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp#background)

        The “Gun show loophole” gets mentioned often by the gun-control advocates, but I’m left to wonder if it’s not a case of the drunk losing his wallet in the dark alley, but looking for it under the lamp post because the light is better there.

        Others have made a point of asking why government should be involved in private sales, and I’ll leave that discussion elsewhere. My question is; If the Brady Campaign, VPC, etc. are truly committed to reducing criminal gun violence, why are they focusing the majority of their efforts on 0.7% of the criminal gun supply? If they want to reduce the numbers of guns in the hands of criminals, the most bang for the buck would seem to be to focus efforts on illegal street dealers and family/friends. That might require getting up-close and personal to armed criminals though, which might put a crimp in their beliefs, not to mention threaten their lives. Far better to bait the bear that they know is muzzled by responsibility and accountability.

      • Two quick replies:

        “ The largest school killing in the US was committed without guns. The largest mass murder in the US was committed without guns. Several other mass murders, larger than any committed with guns, were committed without guns.
        If guns actually were the most efficient tools for killing people then gun related mass murders would be the ones with the largest death tolls. They aren’t.”

        Two problems:
        One, those other mass killings were carried out with bombs/explosives or a jumbo jet, items that are NOT available to the civilian population. Yes, you can attempt to manufacture them, but the success rate is pretty low.

        Two, if you choose “body count of single incident” as your standard then yes, more deaths in one incident from explosives. If you choose “body count over a year” as your standard, then more deaths from guns.

        This is what I am talking about. Pro-gun people acting like guns really aren’t that dangerous or really aren’t somehow easier to kill people with or all that other crap when all of reality screams differently.

        Simple situation: If you take an untrained person with a average education and say “You need to kill someone, here are your choices..” and give them a knife, a pile of explosive making supplies, a gun, and anything else, they are going to pick the gun. Any idiot who can pull back a slide/bolt/hammer and point in the right direction has a pretty good chance at killing someone with a gun. Nothing else comes close. Why is this so hard for you to admit?

        Second (and very short)

        You will have to explain how transferring through an FFL for the purpose of preventing a sale to a prohibited person is depriving someone of liberty. Second, in constitutional law, rights can be infringed/burdened if the burden is outweighed by the public good. In this case, the “burden” is a trip to an FFL and $20. Not much of a burden for a very large public good.

      • “items that are NOT available to the civilian population.”

        That turns out not to be the case. For one thing several of the mass murders with higher death tolls than any mass shooting were committed with _fire_. Gasoline, Kerosene, and Matches are certainly still available to the “civilian population.”

        As for explosive, your “success rate is low” simply shows how very little you know about the subject. The largest mass murder in US history was committed using fertilizer and fuel oil–both still readily available and hardly “success rate is low.”

        As for others: you should know (since I’ve pointed it out more than once elsewhere in this discussion) the US Army has a training manual on improvised weapons which includes both firearms and explosives. It is intended for use by Special Forces to teach partisans in foreign wars how to fight resistance movements. The procedures provided in that manual work

        One downright easy high explosive is potassium chlorate. It’s trivially easy to make by not one but two different processes–both using commonly available materials. Mix it with common petroleum jelly and you have plastic explosive.

        Then there’s the case we had, just south of here where the “explosive” was apparently a removed gas valve and a microwave on a timer to serve as an ignition source–basically an improvised fuel-air explosive. It blew the house in question to smithereens, along with a neighboring house, and damaged four more.

        Now imagine the same thing only instead of a house in a suburban area it’s a warehouse near the city center. An order of magnitude more powerful explosion and lots more people nearby.

        Your assumption that the only alternative to guns is explosives is wrong.

        Your assumption about the availability of explosives to someone who wishes to cause harm is also wrong.

        You are basing your arguments on premises that just aren’t true.

        “If you choose body count over a year….” And the sound you hear is the great ripping sound of the goal posts being jerked up and moved.down the field. The argument is “most efficient means of killing” and murders that could equally well be committed with other methods don’t support that claim. You’d have to demonstrate that the killers would not use some other means if they didn’t simply happen to have guns available for that argument to be valid.

        “Simple situation:” Complete strawman. More accurate would be: you want to kill X. You don’t have legal access to guns. Can you still do it?”: Unless the answer is an unqualified “no” then “gun control” cannot help.

        This is why gun grabbers focus on “gun deaths” rather than simply “homicide” because even without firearms bad guys still kill people. This is why their are so few examples (as in none) of “country/State A had high violent crime, passed gun control, and then had low violent crime.” At best you get substitution. The murders, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults still happen, but with something else.

        But the claim was “most efficient” and history has shown that it’s not.

        “You will have to explain how transferring through an FFL for the purpose of preventing a sale to a prohibited person is depriving someone of liberty. ”

        Simple: if requiring a government background check is not a denial of liberty, you should have no problem with the government requiring you to pass a background check before making internet posts to insure that you’re not a purveyor of child porn.

        You’re not, of course, but some people are. And because some people are we need to check _everybody_ on that matter.

        “Second, in constitutional law, rights can be infringed/burdened if the burden is outweighed by the public good. ”

        No. It’s not a simple “outweighed” but “overwhelming” and there has to be no other way to accomplish the ends.

        But there are other ways to accomplish the ends. If, for instance, someone, after due process, has their right to keep and bear arms removed, why not also remove their “right to be secure from unreasonable search and seizure” as well? Any convicted violent felon may be subject to search at any time on any pretext (including pure whim)?

        Or how about a “violent offenders registry” in the model of sexual offenders registries?

        Focus on the criminals and not on the folk who never shot anybody.

        Or a background check and a $20 fee to make internet posts. Surely your posts on the internet aren’t more important than stopping child pornography.

      • Alright, a few simple things:

        1. How many people did the pipe bombs at comlumbine kill? How many people did the guns kill?

        2. When was the last mass killing in the US using improvised explosives?

        3. When was the last successful bombing of a school?

        4. Same two questions, now with guns.

        I made a quick statement and used “efficiency” as the word, you are trying to argue the minutia or rhetoric rather than meaningful, real life application.

        In real life, the easiest, quickest, least complicated, effective method for one civilian to kill another is with a gun. It is why criminals want guns, it is why YOU want a gun for self defense. It is what they were designed for.

        You can try to argue semantics all you want, but it won’t change that fact.

        “Unless the answer is an unqualified “no” then “gun control” cannot help.”

        This, is sheer idiocy.

        Basically you are saying “If gun control cannot wipe out every possibility of violence in our society, there is no reason to even think about it.”

        Frankly, I don’t care if other methods are available. Once we are killing 10,000 people a year using “other methods” I’ll admit you are right. Given that it doesn’t happen anywhere else in the world and in most civilized countries guns account for a MINORITY of killings, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for your proof.

        That is completely unreasonable. It is clear YOU are of the ilk that cannot see reason in a discussion and will twist and squirm in every way possible to give no ground on anything and throw up a thousand irrelevant arguments (child porn?? What does that have to do with anything???) because you are so convinced you are right. Basically, blind, stubborn, irrational belief. I’ll find others to talk to.

      • 1. How many did they set off? Weapons not used don’t speak to effectiveness one way or another.

        2. Irrelevant. Weapons not used don’t speak to effectiveness one way or another.

        3. Irrelevant. Weapons not used don’t speak to effectiveness one way or another.

        “In real life, the easiest, quickest, least complicated, effective method for one civilian to kill another is with a gun. ” Even if true, irrelevant. I’m pretty sure the dead don’t _care_ how they died. And even if guns are “easier” (but, funny, the gun grabbers also say that guns are so difficult that only trained professionals can use them effectively), there are still plenty of other ways to kill that are easy enough _and_ that have been _proven_ to be able to kill more people in job lots than are firearms.

        When I did my informal study on mass shootings (every incident involving four or more people killed as part of a single event) the total number killed in mass shootings from 1949 to 2009 (when I did the study) was 602. The largest single incident was Virginia Tech (33).

        Happy Land Fire: 87 killed
        Upstairs Lounge Arson Attack: 32 killed
        Whiskey Au Go Go fire: 15 killed
        Beverly Hills Supper Club fire: 165 killed (although, to be fair, arson was never proven in this case)
        Reno arson fire: 9 killed
        And so on and so on and so on.

        Arson doesn’t get the press that “mass shootings” do (and nobody keeps track nationally on “number killed by arson” as they do by people using guns) but it should be pretty clear from this short sampling that using the same standard of “mass murder” used for mass shootings, arson is just as deadly as gunfire, with quite a few more killed at the “top end.”

        And thus the whole idea that if guns were somehow eliminated (let alone any lesser level of “gun control”) that criminals still wouldn’t kill people in pretty much the same numbers.

        What it will do is render the smaller and weaker, traditionally the chosen victims of violent criminal attack, helpless against those larger and stronger than they are.

        “This, is sheer idiocy.”

        That you don’t like it doesn’t make it wrong.

        Really, that’s the sum total of your argument: that you don’t like it.

        “Given that it doesn’t happen anywhere else in the world and in most civilized countries guns account for a MINORITY of killings”

        More fallacious reasoning. The “doesn’t happen anywhere else” is false. There are plenty of nations with higher homicide rates than the US. Oh, sure, you claim “but among ‘western’ or ‘civilized’ countries…” Well, why should that matter unless other factors than the availability of firearms are not immensely more important in those homicide rates.

        Also, the “usual suspects” had the lower homicide rates before passing “gun control.” And a fairly common pattern is for passing of gun control to be accompanied by violent crime rates going up. A robbed person is still robbed if a person used a chef’s knife rather than a gun. A rape victim is still raped even if the rapist didn’t use a gun (they usually don’t, even in the US). A murder victim is just as dead if they were beaten to death with a cricket bat as if they were shot. But, hay, at least the dead person wasn’t shot. And a tire iron is a far “cleaner” weapon to intimidate a woman into submitting to rape than is a firearm, right?

        After all, it’s the _tool_ that matters.

        “That is completely unreasonable.”

        That you don’t like it doesn’t make it unreasonable.

        But we see “gun grabber argument #6″ You absolutely insist on something that has never worked (“registration” has never led to a reduction in violent crime), that is frequently used as a prelude to more severe restrictions including outright confiscation (and has many proponents, in unguarded moments admitting is a prelude to outright confiscation), and when called on it first move the goal posts, and when called on that simply declared that the other side was “unreasonable” and ran away.

        As Larry said in the OP, we’ve heard every single anti-gun argument. You never have anything new. You just keep trying them again, hoping they’ll “stick” this time.

      • Oh, and I put on the table not one but two proposals that would be at least as effective at “keeping guns out of the hands of criminals” as would your proposed registration scheme and did it without running into either Constitutional issues or adding a new burden to legal gun owners. But you never addressed those, nor even acknowledged them.

        The same results as your stated goal could, therefore, be accomplished without gun registration. Yet you won’t even consider them and simply go with registration. One has to wonder than what goal isn’t being stated that these alternate proposals don’t serve.

      • Let me put it an different way.

        If we ever get to the point that criminals are deciding that trying to build a bomb is going to be easier than just going and grabbing a gun, I will eat my shorts.

        And, don’t focus on just the mass killings. Focus on the thug who robs someone in the street with a gun. What are they going to do?? Park a fertilizer bomb next to you and say “Give me your wallet or I blow up the city block???”

        It isn’t going to happen.

      • ” Focus on the thug who robs someone in the street with a gun. What are they going to do??”

        Pick somebody who’s smaller and weaker than them and rob them with a knife, length of pipe, or just beat the shit out of them and take the money off their unconscious body.

        Kind of like they do in all these countries that already have strict gun control.

        BTW, in at least one psychology experiments a knife is more intimidating than a gun. A lot of people fear disfigurement, which a knife represents, more than they fear death.

        Robberies happen just as often in States with strict gun control as in States without. Murders happen just as often in States with strict gun control as in Sates without. Aggravated assaults happen just as often in States.with strict gun control as in States without it.

        There is a very slight negative correlation between strength of gun control (measured by the Brady Campaign’s annual “scorecard”) and rape. However, per the DOJ the vast majority of rapes do not involve use of firearms so this simply indicates how very little such levels of correlation actually mean in practical terms.

        And I’ve already proposed not one but two alternatives to “gun control” that would be at least as effective (frankly, far more effective) at keeping guns out of criminal hands. Why is it you never address those? Why is the answer only “more gun control”? What unstated goal (beyond “keep guns out of criminal hands”) is not being served by these alternatives so that they aren’t worthy of consideration?

      • Irrelevant?? So you claim bombs are easy and effective, but it is irrelevant to examine their use?? Funny logic.

        You say that bombs are as easy as baking a cake. At columbine, they had 70+ explosive devices. A few Detonated. Most failed to detonate because it turns out that making bombs isn’t easy. When the bombs didn’t go off, they grabbed their guns and very easily committed mass murder. Without the guns, no one dies because their bombs did not work. I can also point you to other stories where people ATTEMPT killings wi a bomb and fail because they don’t detonate or they had the wrong construction and it just made a bunch of smoke and fire, but no explosion.

        As for you “solutions.”

        You proposal was not clearly described, but basically it looks like you want the police to periodically search the house of every felon on parole to make sure they don’t have a gun. Do you have ANY idea e resources that it would take just to search each residence once a year, much less with enough frequency to be effective??

        That plan is completely impractical, questionable effectiveness (how hard is it to hide a handgun?) and is reactionay.

        Once the criminal has the gun, it is too late. Laws need to be preventetive, to keep them from getting the guns in the first place.

        Like you, i’ve heard all your arguments before and you continue on the same old path. You aren’t going to say anything new, but i’ll keep looking for others who might look for meaningful compromise and improvements that actually work.

      • For somebody who said he was done you certainly are loquacious.

        First, I challenged the “most efficient” claim for guns by pointing out actual examples of people able to kill more people than any mass shooter by using other means.

        One of the common means of killing people in job lots is arson. Why do you continue to ignore that, focusing only on “bombs”?

        “Often enough to be effective.”

        Doesn’t have to be very often. The mere threat of doing so can act as a strong deterrent.

        As for the “massive resources”, you have got to be kidding me. As if maintaining a database of more than 300 million firearms, their owners, and who owns what wouldn’t. And how accurate would that database be? The NFA database is already known to have major errors and it’s much, much smaller than what you are proposing.

        And you object to my proposal for being impractical and of questionable effectiveness? That irony of that claim is downright breathtaking.

        How hard is it to hide a handgun? How hard is it to keep enough of the 300 million existing firearms off the “registry”? How hard is it to hide a handgun? How hard is it to smuggle one? How hard is it to hide a handgun? How hard is it to make one. (And the violent felon doesn’t have to be the one making the handgun–just someone in the “chain” has to make one.)

        “Laws need to be preventative.”

        That is utter nonsense. You want laws to be “preventative.” (Actually, I’m not sure that “preventing crime” is anything more than an excuse–your utter dismissal of even considering anything except “gun control” as a solution suggests otherwise.) But wanting is not the same as need. Let’s use the classic example used to justify restrictions on someone’s rights, shouting “fire” in a crowded theater. By your logic, everyone should be gagged before going into the theater to prevent someone shouting “fire” and getting a lot of people killed in the stampede.

        The only “preventative” nature appropriate to law is deterrence: the threat of being caught and punished making some people “think twice” about committing crimes. Unfortunately, when a person is planning to die in the process anyway, deterrence is not terribly effective except for one thing: out of the 90 separate events I studied covering the period from 1949 to 2009 (when I did the study) there were only 9 mass shooting incidents where I could not prove (with the resources available at the time of completing the study) were at locations where the killer could be highly confident that nobody would be armed. At at least 90 percent (“at least” because if I did not have complete information I assumed the _least_ restrictive category that I could prove–they could have been more restrictive but certainly were not less) of the incidents the killer chose, for whatever reason, a place where no one would be armed.

        90 percent. Have you even considered why that might be?

      • One other thought. You are dismissive of the idea that registration leads to confiscation. Yet, we have then Attorney General Janet Reno saying in 1993 on national television (“Good Morning America” to be exact), “Registration is just a step. Waiting periods are just a step. The elimination of private firearms is the goal.”

        We have Dianne Feinstein saying “If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them . . . Mr. and Mrs. America, turn ‘em all in, I would have done it.”

        One of the Kos Kids, right now, is arguing about how to completely ban private firearms and, surprise, surprise, registration is a necessary first step in making that happen.

        Again and again in unguarded moments proponents of “reasonable gun control” admit that their eventual goal is total prohibition. And time after time the ink isn’t even dry on a “reasonable compromise” before the people who supposedly only wanted “reasonable gun control” were describing it as a “good first step” for further restrictions.

        So given that history how do you propose to allay the quite reasonable concerns that a “registration” scheme will just be used to lay the groundwork for further restrictions leading eventually to a complete ban?

        Until the proponents of such a system of registration can come up with a way to ensure that the Feinsteins and Renos and Kos Kids of the world cannot use it as a tool for confiscation, then it is simply unacceptable.

        And I don’t think any such insurance will ever be forthcoming because, frankly, the intent is to use it as a tool for confiscation and anyone who says otherwise is either . . . remarkably naive . . . or lying.

      • I should have been more clear. I am not going to discuss things that are clearly beyond reason (ex: arguing that there is no gun problem, that gun control has to solve all violence or it is meaningless, or that all those uneducated, unskilled, untrained criminals could magically start producing bombs at the drop of a hat and that those bombs are useful in most criminal endeavors). Guns are used in more crimes than anything else. Guns cause more non-accidental deaths than anything else. When something else passes guns in these categories, I’ll happily talk about those items.
        So, back to your proposal. And admittedly, my initial response was a bit short/not all the info I should have given.
        First: News flash for you – that is already the law in many places. Parolees are already subject to suspicion-less/warrantless searches and it has been upheld by the Supreme Court.

        http://www.policemag.com/channel/patrol/articles/2006/09/point-of-law.aspx

        So, if that was going to make a difference, it already would have.
        Second, your proposal is basically that the criminal justice system should do a better job of monitoring parolees. Well, I agree. There are a LOT of things the criminal justice system should do better. But, just saying “this should happen” does not mean it is feasible.
        Currently, every parolee already has an officer assigned to them. Would it be great to cut the work load of these officers in half so they could do a better job of monitoring? Yeah, of course it would. Of course, police forces are already stretched too thin and their budgets are shrinking. If you have a solution that would allow the police to meet their other obligations AND increase random searches for firearms, great, but I kind of doubt you really have a practical application as much as you like the theory.
        Now, compare to my proposal:
        Most of the system already exists (FFLs, NCIS, and even the database is already in place for states that allow it) and you are just expanding it to include all gun transfers across the country, making it a meaningful system rather than the current system that is the equivalent of trying to stop a flood with a fence instead of a dam.
        There is an easy source of funding, charge a small fee per check, a fee which people already pay when they buy from an FFL or use an FFL to make a transfer in states that require it. As the number of transfers increases, the funding/resources to maintain the database increase at the same time.

        There are no new resources to be created, just expansion of existing resources. The expansions is an easy/cheap one (more servers for a bigger database, not exactly tough with todays technology) and has a funding source built in to the system.

        If law abiding citizens (which, every time there is a gun crime I see over and over from the pro-gun crowd that 299,999,000 guns did NOT commit a crime today and are held by law abiding citizens) follow the law and transfer their guns legally, the number of “off the grid” guns will drop quickly.
        Also, as I have said, not EVERY gun needs to be on the registry. Off the top of my head muzzle loaders and single shot bolt action rifles would be pretty pointless to track, as they are used in such a tiny minority of criminal acts.
        “The only “preventative” nature appropriate to law is deterrence: the threat of being caught and punished making some people “think twice” about committing crimes.”

        When I said preventative, this is what I mean. We need to deter people from committing a crime. You are only focused on one situation:
        “When someone has a gun, my gun will deter them from using that gun on me.”

        I am focused on deterring a different crime, namely, selling a gun to a felon or someone who has a high likelihood of later committing a crime in an unregulated sale. Streaming gun transfers through FFLs and making it a crime to sell to someone without using an FFL provides deterrence to selling guns to people who should not have them. Currently, there is no deterrence for this crime (selling guns to criminals) in many places.
        There are other gun policies I would like to see enacted. I think a nationalized CCL would be good, so that CCL was available everywhere. I’d base that system off a careful study of existing CCL requirements (training, background checks, etc) to figure out what system strikes a good balance of protecting the public (Note: not EVERYONE needs to be carrying a firearm in public. I have some good, honest, friends who I would trust with a lot of things, but I would NOT trust to defend me with a gun because of their physical abilities [too clumsy to hit a target in a no-stress situation, much less an adrenaline filled self-defense situation] or personality [freak out when there is a bug…likely to turn their .45 on a spider]) and allowing competent, honest people to act as public defenders/deterrence.
        In general, I think all 20,000 existing gun laws should be wiped off the books and a nationalized system that allows any law abiding, mentally sound citizen to have a gun in their home for self-defense should be in place so that criminals don’t have “easy targets” to pick from (which is currently a problem in places like DC). I would even be in favor of a nationalized class of CCL-Plus, people (probably MOSTLY former law enforcement/military) who go through very rigorous training and background checks (renewed annually or more frequently than that) who could carry in traditional “gun-free” zones. Just like I have friends who I would NOT trust to defend me with a gun, I have other friends who I would trust to take a gun into a bar full of drunks and highly volatile situations and make good, rational, safe decisions with their weapon. I think having these people carrying is a very good thing.
        Unfortunately, the NRA and other pro-gun groups won’t let that happen. They would rather hold fast to their pockets of unregulated guns than let there be reasonable, national system that would establish a consistent environment for firearms across the country.
        If we had a system like that, I think you would see fewer locales trying to “control” guns (DC, Chicago, CA), instead, you would have a country that could have high gun ownership on a national scale without having guns flowing through unregulated markets with no consequences.
        So answer this – Would you accept legislation that does all of these things:
        1. Require all firearm transfers to go through FFLs
        2. Expands the existing firearm database to include all guns and tracks the current owner so that when a gun was used in a crime, it could be traced to a source and, if that source acted illegally, there would be corresponding punishment
        3. Establishes a national CCL and CCL-Plus program that requires licensing and training for any public carry, but is uniform across the country (no more checking each states laws when you travel across the country). Everyone who has a gun in public should be able to produce their license upon request.
        4. Removes all gun bans/hurdles in states/cities and replaces with a national system of gun ownership so that every locale has uniform gun laws that allow guns in the home or place of business with very few restrictions (by place of business I mean by the owner of the business as a tool of self-defense for the business, public carry of customers would fall under #3 above)
        What would you say to that?

        As for your registration leads to confiscation fears: We have a second amendment. It says we have the right to bear arms. I don’t really see that changing any time soon, or ever. The majority of gun control advocates do not want guns banned, they just don’t want guns being handed out like candy with no regulation. Yes, there are people on the far left who want to ban guns, just like there are people on the far right who think there should be NO regulations of any type. Those are the minority extremes. In the middle you find most people who just want the most deadly tool available to civilians regulated in a reasonable manner.

      • If background checks and registrations actually do provide a public benefit, then they should be paid for by the public at large, rather than forcing the gun buyer to pay for a service that benefits everyone by him/her. Since the buyer already knows that they are eligible or ineligible to purchase a firearm, they are the only one who does not benefit from the background check.
        The idea of having the buyer pay for a check that (supposedly) benefits the public at large is akin to requiring that crime victims be singled out to pay a special tax to pay for the police force that didn’t protect them.

        As to registration; registration is supposed to serve multiple purposes. If these purposes are imbalanced towards the benefit of society, society should be the one that pays. If they are balanced equally, then society should still pay (or at least pay the lion;s share). If, however, they are imbalanced in favor of society, and against the gun owner, it is nonsensical, immoral, and unjust to expect that the gun owner, and not the whole of society, should pay for the registration.

        On the one hand, it allows the police and other public safety workers to be aware of the likely presence of firearms in a building if they have to respond in their official capacity: Firefighters know that the home of a registered gun-owner may contain ammunition that may present certain types of dangers (somewhat like the way a home with a heating oil tank might present a serious danger in a fire), or firearms that need to be safeguarded after the fire is put out, Police know that if the home is broken into, the intruder may be armed, or if they have to serve a warrant, or enforce a restraining order against an occupant, the occupant may be armed, etc.

        On the other hand, registration is supposed to assist the authorities in returning stolen firearms to their legal owners. Sadly, this fails to happen in many cases. The gun owner also risks quite a bit by registering their firearms – such a registration could be used to confiscate the guns in the future, or charge the owner with possession of an illegal weapon if the laws change in the future (this means that the registration, if coerced or even encouraged by the government, would arguably have been a self incriminating act, compelled in violation of the 5th Amendment). Recent events indicate another risk the gun owner incurs through registration – that of having their privacy violated.

        One way that registration information is most assuredly NOT supposed to be used is to invade the privacy of the gun owners by releasing it to the public. Any agency that does that releases such privileged information needs to be sued for violating the civil rights of the registered gun owners, and those responsible must be stripped of public office and criminally charged for their part in the release.

        So registration provides several benefits for society, and practically none for the gun owner. It places the gun owner in jeopardy in several ways, without any great offsetting benefit. This is why voluntary registration programs are usually free, while most compulsory registration programs require that the gun owner pays (military registration of privately owned weapons is one case where registration is mandatory, but also free).

        So once again, if it is being done to benefit society as a whole, it is unjust for the gun buyer/owner to be the one to pay the cost.

      • Who has to pay for this?

        The impact of gun deaths and injuries go well beyond heartbreak to include billions of dollars of losses to the economy. The cost of U.S. gun violence in work lost, medical care, insurance, criminal-justice expenses and pain and suffering amounted to as much as $174 billion in 2010, according to data compiled by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation in Calverton, Maryland.

        The nonprofit organization provides cost estimates of illnesses and injuries for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Transportation Department and industry associations, said economist Ted Miller, the group’s principal research scientist.

        http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-21/shootings-costing-u-s-174-billion-show-burden-of-gun-violence.html

        The Human Cost of Each Gun is $644

        http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2012/12/human-cost-each-gun-644/60245/

      • Your suggestion seems to be to make law abiding gun owners be the only ones to pay for criminal gun usage. How is that fair or just?

        That’s like placing a special tax on women to cover the costs of rape investigations, medical care for rape victims, and rape counseling services.

        Criminals from certain ethnic groups commit far more crimes per capita than those of other ethnic groups. Should we then place a special tax on all members of those ethnic groups to pay society back for the damages? Do we, as a society, want to make the law abiding members of some sub-group have to pay for the actions of lawbreakers who happen to be in that same sub group?

        Law abiding gun owners actually save the taxpayers millions of dollars each year by preventing crimes, assisting law enforcement, and deterring foreign invasion. The value of these services far outweighs the costs of criminal misuse of firearms (even if you still want to make the law abiding members of the sub-group pay for the actions of the lawbreakers). By your argument, we should actually be giving law abiding gun owners a tax break for providing those services to society as a whole.

      • Joseph, Your reply was based entirely on an assumption. I merely asked a question, which you did not answer.

      • Since your “answer” to my pointing out that it is ridiculous, immoral, unethical, unjust, and unfair for gun buyers to have to pay for background checks that benefit everyone else in society except themselves, and that registration also benefits society far more than the gun owner, so making the gun owner pay for that is also ridiculous, unethical, immoral, unjust, and unfair was to try to claim that gun owners create costs for society, I responded to your assertion bu showing that gun owners also save a great deal of money for society – thus nullifying your cost argument. I also pointed out that lawful gun owners/users are not the ones who create the costs of unlawful gun use. You don’t seem to have any response to that.

        Why don’t you give a straight answer to my original post first? Why should a gun buyer be the one who covers the cost of a background check, since a background check is supposed to benefit society as a whole, and provides absolutely no benefit for the gun buyer? And please don;t come up with some BS line about the background check allowing the buyer to exercise their rights – because then you have justified poll taxes and other forms of government extortion to gain rights that are guaranteed by the Constitution.

        Background check fees and mandatory registration fees are clearly a way that government forces citizens to pay in order to exercise their rights. This is no different from the unconstitutional “poll taxes” that were once used to restrict access to voting rights.

      • Wow. This is also an assumption and you still didn’t answer my question.

      • You mean that you actually wanted an answer, and weren’t just asking a rhetorical question when you wrote “Who has to pay for this?”

        The obvious answer is that crime victims and society at large both have to pay the costs of crime. A better question would have been “Who should have to pay for this?” And that answer is also simple – the criminals themselves should be made to pay as much as possible.

        Of course, in your many demands for others to answer YOUR questions, you have still refused (or simple been unable) to answer just about every question put before you.

        I’ll ask again – if YOU think that making me pass a background check before buying a firearm will make YOU safer – then shouldn’t YOU be the one paying for that safety, rather than trying to force me to pay for something that makes YOU feel good, but does absolutely nothing to benefit me?

        The same goes for registration – why should I be forced to pay for something that YOU demand, and that benefits YOU far more than it does me?

        How is making me pay a background check fee or registration fee in order to exercise my gun rights any different than requiring a poll tax be paid before allowing someone to exercise their voting rights?

      • Thanks, Joseph. I posted my question as a reply to your post because of the subject of monetary fairness. I feel this might be an issue with other gun owners too in reading other posts. As you stated in answer to my question, “crime victims and society at large both have to pay…” so in other words, we ALL have to pay for the negative side of guns being a part of society. In consideration of fairness, it is not only unfair but unjust that the victims have to pay and it is unfair for those who would like to see guns banned or don’t own guns to have to pay. It is also unfair for a lawful, responsible gun owner to have to pay for the cost of gun violence, so that leads to your follow up question: Who should have to pay? And I agree with you that certainly the criminal should have to pay, even if they are killed/kill themselves in the process, but how?

        And what about negligent gun owners, for example, those that leave their guns lying around or don’t secure them when they are not home and they get stolen and then those firearms are used to commit a crime, or gun owners who cause harm or damage accidentally, etc. – shouldn’t they have to pay?

        Also on the subject of who should pay what, you asked me: “If YOU think that making me pass a background check before buying a firearm will make YOU safer – then shouldn’t YOU be the one paying for that safety, rather than trying to force me to pay for something that makes YOU feel good, but does absolutely nothing to benefit me?”

        And my answer is, background checks are a benefit to society as a whole, so there is certainly also a benefit to the gun buyer (you), being a part of society. And not all of our society even wants “you” to have a gun in the first place, let alone pay to assist you in getting one in any way. I want to own a car so I pay the required fees to own one. Liability and registration for my car ensures accountability to society if I misuse or cause damage with my car, but I don’t expect you to pay my fees because of that.

        And that brings me to a comparison of gun to car ownership. A car is a useful tool with potential to do costly damage to life and property by accident or purposeful misuse. So is a gun. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to have the same requirements for gun ownership as cars and for the same reasons, or at the very least, liability insurance that also covers intentional harmful use of a gun or a stolen firearm? If Adam Lanza’s mother had been required to buy liability insurance on her firearms, maybe the victims’ families would not have had to pay to bury their loved ones at least. Possibly costs to the community for cleaning up the school would have been covered. The same for the firearms used in the Co. theatre massacre which were legally purchased.

        I would appreciate it if you would read this article before you reply. It also covers information on how liability insurance could have increased public safety potential which would also reduce injury or loss of life and cost for damages. Once you read the article, if you do not agree with this possible solution, I have another question for you as well as anyone reading this post (especially gun owners who understand their side of the issues the best).

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnwasik/2012/12/29/gun-liability-insurance-still-a-viable-proposal/2/

        What possible solution(s) do you think would work that both sides of the gun debate would agree on to help solve the problems of gun violence in America? (Please do not include “more guns” as a solution as that is a known point of disagreement.) Thanks.

      • “And my answer is, background checks are a benefit to society as a whole, so there is certainly also a benefit to the gun buyer (you), being a part of society. And not all of our society even wants “you” to have a gun in the first place, let alone pay to assist you in getting one in any way. I want to own a car so I pay the required fees to own one. ”

        You’ve missed the point in several ways.
        I will say this again: I gain absolutely zero benefit from my own background check – because I already know that I am not a criminal or insane. It is disingenuous to claim that allowing me to buy a gun after I pass a background check is a benefit for me, because without the background check requirement, I would still be able to buy a gun, and I would be just as safe (regarding my gun purchase).
        Therefore, forcing gun buyers to pay for their own background checks is ridiculous, and since you are charging a fee/tax on a citizen before allowing them to exercise their rights, it is exactly the same as charging a poll tax before allowing a citizen to vote.

        While I do supposedly gain a benefit from background checks performed on others who seek to purchase firearms, I am not being asked to bear the full cost of those checks (nor would that be appropriate). If there is a public safety benefit as a whole, then such checks should be paid for from the portion of taxpayer funds dedicated to public safety.

        You then want to compare owning guns to owning cars. That dog won’t hunt, because there is a RIGHT to keep and bear arms, while operating (or even parking/storing) a car on the public roads is a PRIVILEGE.

        Rights and privileges are two very different things, and shouldn’t be confused.

        In terms of liability – there are already several types of laws that hold a gun owner financially liable for deaths, injuries, or damages caused by negligent use or storage of firearms. People with knowledge about gun ownership should already be aware of this.

      • You didn’t answer my last question.

      • Again, you have refused to answer many reasonable questions, yet demand answers to your “questions” that are often non-sequiters.

        For example, give a real and honest answer to my question about why you think that those who benefit from background checks shouldn’t pay collectively for them, and why you believe that the cost should be borne solely by the citizen who wishes to exercise his/her rights and gains absolutely no benefit from their own background check. Then explain how this is different than a “poll tax” (where potential voters would be asked to pay something like $20-$200 for a background check to ensure that they are a legitimate voter).
        Do not make any ridiculous and dishonest claims that allowing the citizen to purchase the firearm once they pass the background check is a benefit – since it clearly isn’t, and the background check is actually an obstacle/limitation to exercising their rights (although in the case of an “instant check”, it is generally accepted as a reasonable one).
        Do not use analogies to privileges, as we are talking about rights.

      • Although I am not against law abiding, responsible citizens having guns, a significant portion of the population would rather ban your guns than pay for your background check.

      • “a significant portion of the population would rather ban your guns than pay for your background check.”

        Luckily for us, we have a constitution that protects our rights, so it doesn’t really matter if a “significant portion” of our people are ignorant and reacting out of fear. The background check itself is a compromise to the anti-gun crowd – in return, they should be willing to pay for it (in fact, it could be argued that in a “perfect world” of fairness and justice, the full cost of background checks would be paid by anti-gun people only, and not by gun owners, gun buyers, or even the taxpayers at large, since the anti-gunners are the ones demanding that a background check take place).

        Please refrain from taking what is already a compromise position, and trying to cast it as an extreme “gun rights” position.

      • Out of all the gun rights issues I have read about on this blog, yours is the most selfish and petty. I won’t be replying to your posts again.

      • Insisting that we pay for a benefit to you to exercise our rights is selfishness on your part. Pay for your own benefits rather than demanding that other people do it for you.

        In fact that, in combination with the Supreme Court decision on Obamacare (in which it was valid for the government to pass a “tax”, in the form of a “fine” for people who did not buy a particular something from private companies) to get the benefit they say they want that they want to charge to law abiding gun owners.

        Resolved: every individual over the age of 18 who does not possess at least one firearm or who does not have insurance meeting standards afterward to be determined but covering firearm related injuries and damages shall be required to pay a fine (tax) of $1000 per year,

        There you go. Application of the precedent set by Obamacare to hae the people who want the benefit to pay for the benefit.

      • “Resolved: every individual over the age of 18 who does not possess at least one firearm or who does not have insurance meeting standards afterward to be determined but covering firearm related injuries and damages shall be required to pay a fine (tax) of $1000 per year,”

        Sounds about right, David.

        Thanks for agreeing that it is not “petty” or “selfish” to want to exercise your rights without having to pay a “poll tax” or special fee.

      • Sorry to have been away for a few day (RL issues), but I wanted to thank you for your recent posts Joseph. I too disagree with T.C.’s assessment that they are “petty and selfish”. It sounds like he’d rather not address your points because he lacks the moral and factual ammunition to do so (to use a charged metaphor), ammunition I haven’t found to exist, and would rather resort to ad hominem (I am really liking that term, too). He still hasn’t answered my guess that he is a liability lawyer…if so, I don’t think he’s a very skilled one.

        In any case, thank you for another well thought out argument.

        FWIW, to T.C., I do carry liability insurance (one of the perks of NRA membership is a good deal on firearms liability insurance), though laws to make that mandatory would have limited effect, and for the most part I would guess that the primary beneficiaries would be trial and liability lawyers. Here in New Mexico, just over 50% of drivers have liability insurance for their cars, despite this being mandated by law. Many Americans are big on liberties but short on the responsibilities that accompany them. Segue into my rant on the cost of “justice” in America, or the fiscal cliff, or…

      • “Out of all the gun rights issues I have read about on this blog, yours is the most selfish and petty. I won’t be replying to your posts again.”

        Well T.C., since you have yet to make an actual constructive reply to any posts, I won;t be crying over your declaration that you won’t be responding to my posts. I understand that you are one of those people who revels in your ignorance and has closed your mind to other ideas.

        It is hardly “petty” or “selfish” for the party that has compromised their rights to ask not to have to be the one to also financially pay for the compromise. It’s not much of a compromise if one side has to give up everything, while the other side simply makes more and more onerous demands. This is why gun rights advocates may seem unwilling to “compromise” – because whenever we have given up our rights and freedoms in the past, it has not only failed to satisfy the anti-gun, anti-freedom side, but has simply caused them to demand more from us.

        If we agree that a limited infringement on our 2nd Amendment rights (background checks) is a reasonable compromise for public safety, then the background check should be as quick as possible (waiting periods are a further infringement), and should not place a special fee, or tax on the citizen who is merely seeking to exercise their rights.

        Making the gun buyer pay for the background check is the equivalent of charging you a fee to check that you are not going to say anything controversial before allowing you to speak in public, or pay a background check fee to ensure that you are who you say you are, and that you are actually a legitimate voter before being allowed to cast a ballot. I’m certain that in either of the other two cases, you would be screaming at the top of your lungs about the injustice and unfairness of the system. – but since you don;t personally care about guns, you have no empathy for how others feel, just as you have no respect for the rights of others.

      • “What possible solution(s) do you think would work that both sides of the gun debate would agree on to help solve the problems of gun violence in America? (Please do not include “more guns” as a solution as that is a known point of disagreement.) Thanks.”

        Since “Less Guns” has pretty much proven a failure, then “more guns in more places” seems like a logical place to start. But you don;t want to allow me to make any suggestions that you don’t like – no matter what the facts are. Sorry. SO i won;t talk about adding more firearms to the mix, just about where those firearms can be.

        1) Based on the historical results of “shall issue” programs, we have seen that more people with carry permits would reduce violent crime.

        2) Based on the repeated failures of “gun free zones” as a safety measure, allowing carry permit holders to carry in more places would also reduce violent crime.

        3) There have been several high profile failures of the background check system to deny firearms sales to people whose mental health issues should have prevented them from being able to purchase firearms (VA Tech shooter, Ft Hood shooter, and the Aurora CO shooter come to mind). There is an obvious problem when mental health privacy laws prevent people from being entered into the ATF/FBI database as they are supposed to be. This needs to be addressed.

        4) All states should be required to recognize carry permits issued in other states, just as they are required to recognize things like marriage licenses from other states.

        5) Since many anti-gun laws are passed in moments of hysteria, when people caught up in irrational fear are being flim-flammed by media and politicians who lie and misrepresent facts about firearms, to capitalize on the ignorance of the American people, firearms safety training (such as programs developed by the world’s leading firearms safety training organization, the NRA) should be required in all public and publicly funded K-12 schools, colleges, and universities, just as drug and sex education are already required.

        6) Cleaning up and consolidating the over 20,000 different, often conflicting firearms laws in this country would make it possible for citizens and law enforcement to focus on “male in se” types of firearms crimes, rather than worrying about “male prohibita” infractions. There should be no more than 10 federal laws regulating firearms and/or ammunition, and each state or territory should not be allowed more than an additional 10;

      • Okay T.C., what’s your plan to hold criminals financially responsible for gun crime? You’re not a liability lawyer by any chance, are you?

      • Greg, I will be glad to answer your questions, if you would kindly answer mine.

      • “I am not going to discuss things that are clearly beyond reason ”

        IOW, anything you don’t want to deal with.

        “Ignorant untrained criminals.” You are aware, are you not that there are instructions online for making explosives? That Al Quaeda has a website full of “training tips”? That an “ignorant, untrained criminal” used nothing more than some flammables and a match or lighter to kill 90 people in the Happy Land fire. (I listed a number of arson murders.)

        You call it “beyond reason” that folk who intend mass murder will do it, yet folk have already done it. What has been done, can be done. Quod Erat Demonstradum.

        You call it “beyond reason” to take the position that the problem is not guns but other factors (i.e. that we do not have a “gun problem.”). That’s called circular reasoning, assuming your conclusion, begging the question. And it’s a logical fallacy.

        “Parolees.”

        I didn’t say just “parolees.” I said if someone can have their 2nd Amendment rights suspended, they can also have their 4th Amendment rights. That goes far beyond just “parolees” because loss of 2nd is for life.

        You consider it “beyond reason” to point out that gun control is of limited, at best, usefulness in preventing crime, and then turn around and use that other approaches are also not perfect as reasons to dismiss them as alternate approaches. Double standard much? That’s called “special pleading” and it’s a logical fallacy.

        You claim most of the system “already exists”. The system exists, and is sized, for current levels of use. It is not sized for getting the 300 million existing guns into a national registry. The existing national registry–that of fully automatic weapons, which was closed to new entries in 1986–has been shown to be full of errors. Already we have the problem of people being accused of felonies because of data entry errors. How many more such “felons” are you willing to create? How much more of the courts’ time are you going to take up with people having to “prove” that they are not felons but that somebody simply transposed some digits or dropped a letter in a name or address? Don’t believe it will happen? It has happened with a much smaller registry than you are proposing.

        Being accused even of a misdemeanor is not just some inconvenience. The simple accusation involves arrest, incarceration with the threat of violence perpetrated by other inmates (or the guards for that matter–while most are, perhaps, reasonable people just doing a job, not all of them are), the cost of bail (which can mean several thousand dollars that you do not get back), the cost of a lawyer (couple thousand more), and having all your guns taken until you “prove” that you can get them back.

        How many of the 90 million plus gun owners are you willing to subject to that?

        And that leaves aside the very real concern that registration is a step to confiscation. We still have the Reno quote. We still have the Feinstein quote. We have governor Cuomo talking confiscation. Again and again and again and again we have gun control advocates talking about complete bans as the eventual goal. In their very own words they claim that registration, waiting periods, or whatever “reasonable gun control” they are advocating is “just a step” toward that goal.

        Illinois, despite being told by the Supreme Court that the Chicago ban on handguns was unconstitutional decided to introduce legislation to ban all modern firearms. All of them. Has the Brady Campaign come out against that law as exceeding their “reasonable gun control”?

        If they really only wanted “reasonable gun control”, then there would have to come a time when they would say “enough!” If a complete ban on all modern firearms does not reach that point, then what does?

        Despite the “official” claims of groups like the Brady Campaign, prohibition is the goal.

        If you don’t see that, it is you who is “beyond reason.” Otherwise, it’s up to you as the one advocating one of the very steps they are claiming as a “first step” (although it’s about the 20,000th by now) toward confiscation to demonstrate why we shouldn’t take them at their word.

      • Most of this has been answered by others, so I’ll limit this reply to the consistent gun-control chestnut of the “gun show loophole”. According to the DOJ, “0.7% obtained the firearm at a gun show, 1% at a flea market, 3.8% from a pawn shop, 8.3% from a retail store, 39.2% through an illegal/street source, and 39.6% through family or friends.” (http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=940)

        So if the goal really is to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals, why focus on the smallest source of those guns? Self-preservation amongst gun-controllers? Law-abiding gun owners are a lot less likely to shoot nosy investigators than a street dealer.

        As to your claim; “Currently, there is no deterrence for this crime (selling guns to criminals) in many places.” Where might these places be? U.S. Code seems to say otherwise: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/922 In a contradiction between an anonymous internet poster and U.S. Code, I’ll lean towards U.S. Code.

        These facts and links are from http://www.justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp They have an admitted conservative bias, but unlike the “believers” over on the gun-control side of the debate, Just Facts footnotes their sources, and doesn’t state, let alone rely on, their “beliefs”.

      • And that took out all the spaces I had between paragraphs, making it tough to read. Oh well.

      • Very quick, since you are stuck on it…

        Homicide deaths from fire in 2009: 184

        Sorry, not going to propose massive legislative changes over 184 homicides in a year and ignore the method with 11,000+

        More later.

      • Happy Land Fire. 90 at one shot. More than any shooting incident.

        I produced a short list (really only spent a few minutes searching–nowhere close to an exhaustive list) of similar mass-murder by arson.

        That it’s not a commonly used method doesn’t mean it’s not available to those who mean to kill. One of the “substitution” methods available in the event that one could come up with “gun control” that actually works.

        Likewise with that “11,000″ is mostly “ones and twos” where all sorts of methods for murder are available. You discount “substitution” and apparently assume that most, if not all, of those would not happen if there were better “gun control.”

        Assuming your conclusion doesn’t make it so. It remains a logical fallacy.

        The usual cases cited for gun control “working” are cases which had low homicide rates before gun control has passed. For some reason gun control proponents never cite a case where a polity had high homicide and other violent crime rates, passed gun control, and subsequently had low homicide rates.

        Have you ever considered that there might be a reason for that?

      • And the simple fact remains that you can get the by-state listing of violent felony stats from the DOJ. You can use the Brady Campaign’s own “scorecard” as a representation of “gun control”. You can run an Analysis of Variance on those sets of figures and find that there is no significant variation in three of the four tracked violent felonies: homicide, robbery, and aggravated assault. That means that the effect of gun control cannot be detected compared to whatever other factors cause State to State variation in these rates.

        There is a slight correlation in the fourth (rape) at about the 97% level. However, the DOJ also reports that firearms are not used in the vast majority of rapes. This merely serves to underscore how very little such a low correlation actually means.

        Total crime statistics are about as complete data as you can get. Subsets such as “robberies with gun” “robbery with knife” etc. are not tracked the same way. The only way to estimate them is to use some form of “sampling” and then extrapolating the sample to the entire population.

        The “studies” which show low “gun violence” correlated with “gun control” then mean one of two things: either the “sampling” is flawed (deliberately or otherwise) to produce a bias or the violent crimes are simply being committed with alternate weapons. People are still being robbed, murdered, assaulted, and raped, just not with guns.

        Do you really think a murder victim feels better about being killed (presuming some kind of afterlife in which to feel anything) with a knife rather than a gun? Do you really think the family of that murder victim says “at least his throat was cut rather than him being shot”?

        The simple truth is: gun control does not work. The “usual suspects” of other countries that are cited had low violent crime before passing gun control. In the US there is no connection between “gun control” and violent crime.

        If one is actually interested in reducing crime, particularly violent crime, one has to look elsewhere.

      • I’m not going to argue whether gun control works or substitution or any of that. I believe you can have meaningful gun control that makes guns less likely to be used for criminal activity without causing undue burden to legitimate gun owners. Nothing you say is going to change that opinion.

        Likewise, you believe that all gun control is useless. You only respond to those portions to spin your own mental wheels because you know I am not going to be convinced.

        Thing is, over time, this country WILL move toward increased gun control. History suggests it at least, and I just think it will happen.

        The question is, do you want that gun control to be reasonable steps or knee jerk ridiculousness that only hurts gun owners?

        I’ll talk about policy changes and what gun control steps would be most effective or least restrictive or things like that (for example, I will reply to Joseph above), but arguing about arson fire compared to firearm homicides is a waste of time.

        So, if you want to give feedback on the policy suggestion I made, I would welcome it and I will reply to your policy suggestion. If you are going to try and convince me that gun control does not have an impact, you are wasting your time.

      • “I’m not going to argue whether gun control works or substitution or any of that.”

        Wise choice, because you can’t.

        “I believe you can have meaningful gun control that makes guns less likely to be used for criminal activity without causing undue burden to legitimate gun owners.”

        You can believe in the tooth fairy as well. Doesn’t change the facts on the ground.

        “Nothing you say is going to change that opinion.”

        Translation: “My mind is made up; don’t confuse me with facts.”

        “You only respond to those portions to spin your own mental wheels because you know I am not going to be convinced.”

        I know you’re not going to be convinced. You cannot reason a person out of a position he did not reach through reason in the first place. But you’re not the only one reading this thread. Others can see your appeal to emotion, your consistent use of logical fallacy, your complete unwillingness to consider factual data and draw their own conclusions.

        I’m not debating for you. I’m debating for the peanut gallery.

        “Thing is, over time, this country WILL move toward increased gun control. History suggests it at least, and I just think it will happen.”

        Ah, the “history is on my side” argument. Yes, that’s worked out so well in other places where it’s been made.
        You’re assuming your conclusion again. The thing is, 1993 was the “high water” mark for gun control. The Democrats got the “Brady Bill” and the first AWB and it cost them control of the House.

        Since then, “shall issue” has spread through 40 States, The AWB was not renewed. The two States that did not allow any kind of self defense carry at all has been reduced to one (Illinois). The Heller Decision affirmed that the 2nd Amendment is a right to individuals and not just some “collective right” (who is the idiot who first proposed that the 2nd allows the government to arm its own military forces and was the bigger idiot who let that argument fly?), The Heller Decision also affirmed that the 2nd is no more limited to muskets and muzzleloading rifles than the 1st applies to quill pens and lead type on hand-cranked printing presses but to arms “in common use”. McDonald incorporated the 2nd to the States.

        The anti-gun folk are getting more and more shrill (calls to murder NRA members? Perhaps that explains why they are anti-gun. They have so little control over their own violent impulses that they assume gun owners are the same way. They know that they can’t be trusted so they assume nobody can). Such shrillness is not a sign of confidence of ones position or victory.

        Somehow I don’t think the future is so certain as you think it will be.

        “The question is, do you want that gun control to be reasonable steps or knee jerk ridiculousness that only hurts gun owners?”

        You repeat yourself. But good use of the word “steps”: “Waiting periods are only a step. Registration is only a step. Elimination of private firearms is the goal.” Janet Reno, Good Morning America, 1993.

        Nice of you to admit that your proposals are “steps.”

        “I’ll talk about policy changes and what gun control steps would be most effective or least restrictive or things like that”

        You just contradicted yourself. See above “I’m not going to argue whether gun control works or about substitution or any of that.”

        You can’t discuss “most effective” without dealing with substitution or whether it works at all.

        What you mean to say is that you are going to claim effectiveness and ignore anything that disputes that.

        “So, if you want to give feedback on the policy suggestion I made, I would welcome it”

        I gave you feedback. You didn’t like it. It’s a stupid proposal that will cost a lot of people a lot of money, time, and resources, put many people at legal risk for things not their fault, will have no more effect on crime than any other gun control that has been tried, and will be used by folk like Janet Reno (not Janet Reno, herself, of course, because she’s no longer in that position of power, but people like her), Diane Feinstein, et al, as a step toward complete prohibition.

        You are not prepared to deal with actual feedback. You, in fact, reject any of the basis on which feedback would be made. You declare, ex officio, that it would have some magical effect on “reducing criminal availability of guns” and then dismiss any arguments to the contrary without basis other than that they disagree with what you claim to want.

        You don’t want feedback. You want blind agreement.

      • I could make the exact some post about your replies.

        The difference is, you cling to one extreme (that gun control has no effect and is completely meaningless) that has no basis in fact. We HAVE effective gun control (in very limited, specific cases) in the US, there is effective gun control in other countries, and there are clearly ways to improve the gun control system.

        You deny all of this, despite facts.

        I, on the other hand, take a middle ground. Some gun control is misguided and ineffective. Heck, I proposed a policy that would EXPAND gun rights. Obviously I am not a blind anti-gun zealot. I understand all your points, but you take them to an unreasonable extreme. You blindly deny everything I say. You blatantly ignore anything that does not support you and don’t refute anything or even attempt to because you have no argument. Your only method is to raise more and more irrelevant arguments to distract from the weakness of your position.

        So yes, the people who already agree with you in the peanut gallery will agree with you. The people who actually read to learn and use reason will see that you are denying reality and ignoring facts presented in a reasonable, middle ground response of someone actually trying to figure out how to improve the situation.

        I, as opposed to you, am not trying to convince anyone of anything. That isn’t my goal, although occasionally I stray that way. I am trying to find good ideas that could work. You aren’t presenting any and are not contributing to improving the ideas I suggest except to repeat claims (huge cost, huge resources, etc) with no real analysis or suggestions for better systems. Btw, now that you clarified your 5th amendment proposal, it is downright terrifying that you are so willing to suspend the rights of your non-criminal fellow citizens for no reason. If anyone is pushing for draconian, tyrannical government regulations, that is it.

        At this point, all you will prove is that yes, you are more willing to take the time to have the last word. Bye.

      • A.men.

      • “I could make the exact some post about your replies. ”

        You could make the claim. The difference is I looked.

        I looked at actual DOJ numbers on violent crime. I compared them to actual gun control laws as tabulated by an anti-gun group (the Brady Campaign). I did the Analysis of Variance. I confirmed for myself that there is no detectable effect of gun control on violent crime.

        I looked.

        I looked at the claim of “low homicide rate” in Britain. I looked at what the homicide rate was before they passed their gun control act. I looked at the “change” that came with passing “gun control.” I confirmed for myself that gun control did not improve the situation.

        I looked.

        I looked at the claim that “ready gun availability contributes to suicide.” I looked at Japan. I saw the World Health Organization’s (A UN organization, hardly biased in favor of gun owners) statistics on suicide rates. I saw that “gun free” Japan’s suicide rate was higher than our suicide and homicide rates combined.

        I looked.

        I looked at every “mass shooting” I could find. I assembled every one from 1949 through 2009 (when I did the looking). I found that out of ninety incidents in only nine could I not prove with information available to me that the events took place where the killer had good reason to believe no one was armed in self defense. The other 81 happened conclusively in some form of “gun restricted” zone. Note, this doesn’t mean that the other nine weren’t “gun free zones”, just that I couldn’t prove it. So at least ninety percent of all the mass shootings that happened over a sixty year period happened in “gun free zones.”

        I looked.

        I looked for examples of “high violent crime, pass gun control, get low violent crime.” I looked, but didn’t find any. There weren’t any to find.

        I looked.

        You, on the other hand, come in here and make pronouncements on what you “feel” should be done, ignore any counter arguments to it, present no actual facts to back up your position, and object if anybody questions your bald assertions.

        Then you claim that history is on your side. Well, the dustbin of history is full of folk who made that claim, and rightfully so. “History is on my side” is an emotional claim that people only make when they don’t have logic and reason on their side.

        You claim we have “effective gun control” in some places in the US? By what standard? Certainly not based on actual violent crime rates. The violent crime rates are just as high in places with strict gun control as in places without. Claiming it as a “fact” doesn’t make it so. Again, by what standard? Criminal violence remains.

        You claim that other nations have “effective gun control”. Yet when it is pointed out to you that their violent crime rates were as low, if not lower before they passed the “gun control” that appears to be irrelevant to you. They had the low violent crime without the gun control. How then can you claim “effective gun control” as a cause? You can’t, not legitimately.

        You call concern that “registration” will be used as a step toward confiscation a paranoid fantasy. When actual quotes from freedom-denier activists and actual freedom-denier politicians (particularly one that California keeps sending back to the Senate), your only response is to . . . well ignore it. Simple repeat the claim of paranoia.

        You have had your complete ignorance on the subject of guns pointed out to you. You didn’t even challenge that one, just claimed that your proposal should still be accepted anyway.

        You repeat the same tired old arguments that have been refuted repeatedly without addressing the refutation at all.

        So, no, you could not make “exactly the same post” about my replie except by lying through your teeth.

      • Declaring victory and marching smartly off the field isn’t exactly a logically rigorous way of demonstrating your position to be the best. Though it does make sense for a believer confronted with information that he’d rather not acknowledge or accept.

        thewriterinblack, unlike you, presented a cogent argument backed with facts (from unbiased, often government sources) to support it, while you by your own admission don’t “know”, you “believe”.
        “A belief is not merely an idea the mind possesses, but an idea that possesses the mind.” – Robert Oxton Bolt
        To admit that you’re a Kool-Aid swilling believer, and then go on to try to “prove” your belief with logical fallacies and data filtered through conformation bias doesn’t speak well for your belief, nor for your faith in it.

        But like him, I’m not trying to convince you. By your own admission, you are beyond reason, and well into belief.
        “Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it.” – Ayn Rand
        When data shows no effect of gun control other than to substitute one means of violence (guns) for another (knives, bludgeons, or simple disparity of force): http://www.aic.gov.au/statistics/violent%20crime.html
        you simply parse the data in such a way as to seem relevant without actually showing the whole picture, such as limiting your data to “gun violence”. Australian violent crime data shows an uptick in assault rate since their draconian gun restrictions. While I won’t go so far as to insist that the increase is due to restrictions on law-abiding citizens, it is a very convoluted argument indeed that violent crime would be increasing even faster were it not for those restrictions. The situation is similar in Great Britain, where homicide rates were lower before the 1997 gun confiscation than in the U.S., which gun-control advocates conveniently forget to mention when pointing out the lower murder rate (or with increased conformation bias, “gun murders”, as if being stabbed to death doesn’t count) after the gun confiscation. Violent crime rates are actually higher in Great Britain than in the U.S., again a fact that gets left out of the gun-controller’s “special pleading” (good term, that). You don’t want to address substitution because it contradicts your belief, despite rational evidence that it takes place. In a similar vein, suicide rates don’t change with gun restrictions (unless you parse the data down to “gun suicides”), so you don’t address that point.

        Registration of long guns had no effect on crime in Canada, but cost enough money to no effect that they finally abandoned the registry. More recently, gun registration has been used to violate the privacy of law-abiding NY citizens by a liberal newspaper exploiting an aspect of the registration law that should never have been allowed in the first place, as it violates privacy and the right to prevent self-incrimination. It does speak to the underlying gun-control belief that all guns are bad, and “outing” legal gun owners just contributes to public safety, despite no evidence toward that end, just belief. It is also ironically telling that the same newspaper who views guns as bad, has hired gun-carrying security to protect them. I guess guns are okay as long as the only the gun-controllers can have them. If you understand resistance to these proposals (as well as their selfish, elitist nature) as you claim, you wouldn’t be proposing them. If these facts are the cornerstone of your argument that registration is beneficial with little/no cost to law-abiding citizens, you must really not understand your position, nor the concept of debate in general.

        I don’t hang out with the gun-control crowd, so I’ve actually enjoyed reading your views. They’ve enlightened me towards the views and beliefs of that segment of society, but I can’t say they’ve been convincing. Having been raised on the liberal East Coast, I grew up being indoctrinated into similar beliefs. I left that environment, saw that the rest of the world couldn’t be explained by simply expanding my observations of life in suburban Fairfield county, and had to incorporate new experiences and knowledge into my world view. I also took instruction in firearms to learn from the experience and knowledge of those who had used firearms to defend themselves and others. If you want to transition from belief to knowledge, I suggest you do the same.

      • Ooops, hit the wrong reply button:

        Blotto,

        I’ll reply to you, but it probably will be a brief exchange.

        I can find 100 anti-gun people with just as many studies and stats as WriterInBlack “proving” gun control works and that the best approach is a total ban on all weapons.

        If Writer and those people want to take turns presenting their version of the “facts” and ignoring each other while pretending they are having a debate, they are free to do so. I’m not really interested and NEITHER side in those types of broadside exchanges is remotely convincing to me.

        I’m not declaring victory. I am declaring that the exchange is of no benefit, thus, I am not going to continue. If this WAS a “logically rigorous” exchange, maybe that would be different, but there is very little that has been logical in Writers approach.

        You, of course, think that I am the one not using logic. I’m not going to get back into a full-fledged discussion, but I will give one very concrete example that Writer has been going to over and over that is a clear demonstration.

        ~~~

        Fire vs. Guns

        Writer repeatedly claims that fire is just as effective/dangerous as guns, arguing that there is no reason to have gun control because fire can do the same thing.

        He cites as evidence mass killings using fire, focusing on the Happy Land fire from 1990.

        Points he has correct:

        -In very specific circumstances, a fire can be as or more deadly than firearms and can be easier to execute. Happy Land is an example…an old building that had been repeatedly cited for fire code violations, an illegal social club, too many people in too small a space, no fire alarms, no fire suppression system, no fire exits. In very unique circumstances, fire can be an effective tool for mass murder.

        Logical failings of his position:

        - While you can find specific instances of deadly mass killings through fire, these are extremely limited and the annual rate of fire homicide is very low. The exceptional cases (Happy Land) do not indicate a widespread trend. Simply put, while arson supplies are easily and readily available, more so than guns, they are NOT used with the same frequency as guns.

        - Fire is not effective in other criminal activity (robbery, etc) where guns are frequently used, so the effectiveness of fire in mass killings has no relevance to a discussion about gun use in criminal activity outside of mass killings, which is where the vast majority of firearm violence takes place.

        - The use of fire in mass killings does not change the fact that guns are used in homicides and violent more than any other method. If fire is used in a significant number of crimes, propose legislative changes to protect from fire. Currently, guns are used in a significant number of crimes, more than any other method, so there is good cause to consider legislative changes to protect from gun violence. Both can be a problem, the fact that fire is a possible problem does not negate the problem already posed by guns.

        ~~~

        The logic of his position on fire arson vs. guns simply does not stand up. Most of his positions suffer from similar logical fallacies, but when those are pointed out to him, he simply moves on to his next poorly supported position.

        Want proof? Go back and read the section on explosives. I ask how many deaths the explosives used at Columbine caused. Writer’s response: “Irrelevant.”

        Really?? That is irrelevant?? The fact that explosives, which you claim will take over for guns if gun control is improved, have not been largely ineffective when used in an identical situation [One incident, columbine: The same people use two methods (guns and bombs) to try and kill people. One succeeds (guns) one does not (bombs)] is not relevant?

        His response: “One of the common means of killing people in job lots is arson. Why do you continue to ignore that, focusing only on “bombs”?”

        You will notice, he never even replies to a significant position (bombs have not been effective in many situations when guns have been effective), instead, diverting the discussion because he has no reply. He jumps back to arson, which, as demonstrated above, is just as weak a position.

        Blotto, if you can reply to those points with clear logic, not diverting to new subjects or ignoring, I might reply if I see some benefit.

        I would suggest you reply to those points clearly (the logic of arson fires and explosives), and then present one counter point if you like. Don’t spew out 15 paragraphs of rehtorical questions and speculation, present clear points with facts.

        The discussion probably won’t go in a direction that is useful to me or worth the time, but I’ll give you a chance. Writer has demonstrated that his primary methods are evasion and distraction, which serves to waste time and reinforce previously held positions, but serves no real purpose.

        The area that I am really interested in is not “Does gun control work?”

        I am interested in “What changes could reduce gun violence.”

        Blotto, you could try replying to this question I posed earlier that Writer ignored:

        Would you accept legislation that does all of these things:

        1. Require all firearm transfers to go through FFLs

        2. Expands the existing firearm database to include all guns and tracks the current owner so that when a gun was used in a crime, it could be traced to a source and, if that source acted illegally, there would be corresponding punishment

        3. Establishes a national CCL and CCL-Plus program that requires licensing and training for any public carry, but is uniform across the country (no more checking each states laws when you travel across the country). Everyone who has a gun in public should be able to produce their license upon request.

        4. Removes all gun bans/hurdles in states/cities and replaces with a national system of gun ownership so that every locale has uniform gun laws that allow guns in the home or place of business with very few restrictions (by place of business I mean by the owner of the business as a tool of self-defense for the business, public carry of customers would fall under #3 above)

        What would you say to that?

      • Likewise you keep switching tracks.

        You “deconstruct” the Happy Land Fire, but ignore that I listed a number of others with similar high death tolls.

        Fire isn’t used much in mass murder? Well, neither are guns. 60 years. 90 incidents. 602 killed. Average about 10 a year.

        BTW, you might note that there was a big surge in these mass shootings during the Clinton years under the so-called “assault weapons ban” and after the passing of the “Brady Bill” with it’s (then) mandatory waiting period on handguns and the background check that went with it.

        As for “irrelevant” how often something is used has no bearing on how effective it is for killing. The question on the table was the effectiveness of something for killing people in job lots. That criminals or nut jobs bought into the same propaganda you did about “guns are the most efficient tool for killing” doesn’t make them right. The fact remains that the largest mass murders, by far, did not use firearms.

        After all, with a firearm you’re still killing people one at a time. It’s essentially a “serial” process. With fire or explosives or poison, you can go parallel and kill lots simultaneously.

        My only “logical failing” was in not letting you get away with moving the goalposts. Except, of course, moving the goal posts is what is the logical failing.

        And calling anyone for “logical failings” when you have admitted that your mind is made up and you are unwilling to be persuaded no matter what arguments are presented. That pretty much destroys any credibility you might have on the subject.

      • You see, the whole fire and explosives issue was addressed to a single claim: that guns are the “most effective” means of mass murder. It wasn’t addressed to how many people are killed in “ones and twos”. It wasn’t addressed to total death counts. It was addressed to the “effectiveness” at “mass murder”. i.e. if someone wants to kill a lot of people at once, what means has been demonstrated to kill the most at once.

        Eliminating use by states (while states have used poison gas to great murderous effect, the primary “civilian” use, the Tokyo Subway Attack, which injured more than 5000 only killed eight, but we’re talking “killed” so…) firearms come in a distant third when it comes to killing the most people at once.

        The claim was made. The claim was refuted. You then attempted to move the goal posts. The logical failing was yours.

      • Of note to anyone reading:

        I NEVER made this claim-

        “that guns are the “most effective” means of mass murder”

        Carrry on.

      • “I NEVER made this claim-

        ‘that guns are the “most effective” means of mass murder’”

        Your specific words: “because they are the most efficient tool for killing people available to civilians.”

        This was in the context of CT, which was a mass murder.

        The claim was “most efficient.” When I demonstrated that others are able to kill more, and more quickly, thus most thoroughly refuting “most efficient.” (Back in high school we had a “minority history” class–first half pretty much covered Jews, second half pretty much covered blacks, with a tiny sop given to other minorities. Anyway, one of the things that was brought up was the Nazi high command insisted on finding some way other than shooting to execute “undesireables” because shooting, being a serial, one at a time, process was too inefficient.)

        Once “most efficient” was refuted, you fell back on an argument from “most common” which was moving the goalposts.

      • Blotto,

        I just reread a few posts and found this bit that got missed in Writers attempts to state my position for me.

        “If the Brady Campaign, VPC, etc. are truly committed to reducing criminal gun violence, why are they focusing the majority of their efforts on 0.7% of the criminal gun supply? If they want to reduce the numbers of guns in the hands of criminals, the most bang for the buck would seem to be to focus efforts on illegal street dealers and family/friends. That might require getting up-close and personal to armed criminals though, which might put a crimp in their beliefs, not to mention threaten their lives. Far better to bait the bear that they know is muzzled by responsibility and accountability.”

        It is a good point and worth discussing.

        I agree, that focusing on the source of guns (dealers/family/friends) is an excellent approach. My proposal of tracking gun sales/transfers to find and punish the true sources of guns (Example, if a family member buys a gun for someone and gives it to them illegaly, then they go and commit a crime with it, LEAs would know that the gun came from a family member and the family member could be prosecuted) is targeted at that very goal.

        Obviously illegal dealers are (and probably always will be) a problem. The goal of my proposal is to reduce the available streams of weapons to those illegal dealers. Some methods (illegal manufacture, theft*, and import/smuggling from Mexico, most significantly) require further attention and will always be a problem, but those are more costly and risky propositions than simply buying a gun from a private seller without a background check. Economics are, if you cut one supply line (private sales), the supply drops and demand/“cost” goes up. “Cost” in quotes because obviously this is not a normal market, drugs and killing the previous owner are considered business transactions in the illegal gun market, so “cost” is a general word.

        * Regarding theft: I think mandatory reporting of stolen guns would also help this, so that law enforcement would have a better set of information when approaching guns. Complicated issue, that is the super short version of a thought.

        What other methods do you propose that would provide law enforcement with tools to go after the sources of guns such as friends and family?

        Obviously police already target illegal gun dealers, are there changes we could make that would make that task easier?

      • “Some methods (illegal manufacture, theft*, and import/smuggling from Mexico, most significantly) require further attention and will always be a problem, but those are more costly and risky propositions than simply buying a gun from a private seller without a background check.

        * Regarding theft: I think mandatory reporting of stolen guns would also help this, so that law enforcement would have a better set of information when approaching guns. Complicated issue, that is the super short version of a thought.”

        How is getting a gun from your criminal relative more costly and risky than “simply buying a gun from a private seller at a gun show”, which are routinely patrolled by BAFTE? http://www.justice.gov/oig/reports/ATF/e0707/exec.htm Crooks have this figured out too, that’s why the percentages are 0.7 to 40 in favor of family & friends.

        As far as your faith that the Federal Government could accurately track a firearm’s provenance through an indeterminate number of intermediaries, your credulity seems to be disposed completely on the side of gun-control. California actually requires all firearm transactions to include a background check. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5214a2.htm The CDC found that there was insufficient evidence of any affect on gun sales to criminals (of note, insufficient evidence is not evidence of insufficiency). Given that BAFTE couldn’t keep track of guns in Fast & Furious, despite being parked outside the gun stores while the guns were purchased by straw buyers, I think your faith is misplaced.

        If you’ve got an example of gun registries having a positive effect in reducing crime, I’d like to see it. Canada has had a firearms registry for decades http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Firearms_Registry but dropped it last year after spending a peak of over $66M/year (not sure if that’s Canadian or U.S.), to little effect. LE polls are horribly skewed both left and right, so there’s some politics going on there too. It turns out that criminals smuggle in most of their guns, go figure.

        The gun registry did come in handy in Great Britain though. In 1997 when the Liberal government decided to confiscate most privately owned guns, they had a list.

        As far as reducing crime in America, I’d like to focus more on responsibility, accountability and self-reliance, instead of fostering the attitude that the government is parent and will provide all our needs. That individual convenience is not more important than community safety. I’m not holding my breath for that though. When was the last time a politician won elected office on a platform of holding his constituents accountable for their actions?

        I don’t have an answer for more effective techniques to catch illegal gun buyers. I don’t have a solution for tornadoes, hurricanes, floods or HIV either. That doesn’t mean I’m in favor of legislation making tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and HIV illegal. There will always be criminals, and they will always seek out firearms, because they make their jobs a lot easier. To quote a firearms instructor, they are “the coin of the realm”. As to practical measures to mitigate armed crooks, I carry a gun. This doesn’t seem to be an option you’re considering though.

      • Piggybacking.

        “mandatory reporting of stolen guns”

        On further thought, what, exactly, is this supposed to accomplish? Once the gun is stolen, reported or not, it’s in the illegal arms pipeline and available for criminal use.

        The criminals, therefore, already have the gun. It does nothing, absolutely nothing, about keeping the gun out of criminal hands.

        Gun owners already have a strong incentive to report stolen firearms. Only by reporting it stolen will they have any chance of having it returned to them if it ever does turn up. Or if not having the firearm returned being able to recover the value of it from insurance.

        The only thing “mandatory reporting” does is attack a criminal penalty to failing to properly dot i’s and cross t’s when one is the victim of a crime (the theft in the first place).

        It does nothing, it can do nothing, to “keep guns out of criminal hands.”

        So when the stated reason is one impossible of fulfillment one again has to wonder what the real reason might be.

      • I have heard of a solution being batted around, for using technology already available, to put tracking chips in guns in a way that would disable them if tampered with in trying to remove it. Thus, when the gun is stolen, it can be tracked down. It would also make it less attractive to steal.

      • “Tracking chip”

        Pure vaporware. The idea of it “disabling a gun if removed” is ridiculous. The mechanicals inside a gun are fairly straightforward and anything an electronic “chip” could do can be replaced with a piece or two of metal. I have made internal components for firearms from scrap metal. (Note, this is entirely legal.)

        The police pretty much universally do not want these things in their guns. There are reasons for that. Those reasons also apply to any firearm to be used for personal or home defense.

        Does nothing for the 300+ million guns that are already out there. Note that guns more than a century old remain useful if given even a modicum of care (I’ve got an 1893 Argentine that was made sometime between 1893 and 1898 that is perfectly useable. That’s a minimum 114 year old rifle that’s fully functional today. A friend of mine has guns even older–rifles and handguns both–still fully functional. Thus, even if this vaporware actually materialized, worked as designed, and wasn’t simple to work around, it still would do nothing to reduce the availability of guns for criminal use.

      • This

        “This was in the context of CT, which was a mass murder.”

        is not true. It was in the context of describing why we have background checks on weapons.

      • “It was in the context of describing why we have background checks on weapons.”

        Really? We have background checks on knives? On swords? On bows and arrows? On flamethrowers? (Hint: you can buy a flamethrower, or build one–instructions are available online. No background check required.)

        You said “weapons”.

        And the context for the discussion on background checks was because of events like CT. You cannot ignore _why_ the discussion was taking place.

        And even if we allow that, “most efficient” was still refuted. You attempted to move the goalposts to “most common” which is a different argument.

        And your own admission that you are unpersuadable, that no argument will get you to change your mind, pretty much invalidates you from having any credibility in discussion the evidence or logic derived thereof. You’ve rejected both by admitting that nothing will change your mind.

        Your belief is a religious one, not a rational one.

      • Blotto,

        “As to practical measures to mitigate armed crooks, I carry a gun. This doesn’t seem to be an option you’re considering though.”

        Did you read this part of my proposal??

        3. Establishes a national CCL and CCL-Plus program that requires licensing and training for any public carry, but is uniform across the country (no more checking each states laws when you travel across the country). Everyone who has a gun in public should be able to produce their license upon request.

        4. Removes all gun bans/hurdles in states/cities and replaces with a national system of gun ownership so that every locale has uniform gun laws that allow guns in the home or place of business with very few restrictions (by place of business I mean by the owner of the business as a tool of self-defense for the business, public carry of customers would fall under #3 above)

        I’ll reply to the rest at some point, not time at the moment…

      • Sorry, missed that point. I’m for reciprocity, but a proposal for just that got shot down in the last Congress. At least I can draw some comfort from that when I start reading the “Ban all guns/Repeal the 2nd Amendment” over at Daily Kos. If reciprocity can’t survive, good luck with that whole “repeal an Amendment” thing. There’s also the issue of States’ Rights, but given that they were able to overcome this with driver’s licenses, perhaps that wouldn’t be insurmountable. I’d expect strong opposition from Illinois, D.C., New York, California, and most major metropolitan areas.

      • He didn’t say “reciprocity” he said federal standards preempting state law.

        Reciprocity would actually be Constitutional. The Constitution requires individual States to give “full faith and credit” to other States’ acts and so forth, and Congress has authority to determine what and how that applies to.

        I do wonder what set of national carry laws he would favor, however, would it be something like Indiana’s “shall issue”–fill out the form, have no felony convictions, have no current “psychiatric health care” that leads to you being a threat to self or others and they are required to issue the license, or something like California’s “have to convince the local sheriff that you have a ‘good reason’ and said sheriff can deny for any reason, including personal whim or that you didn’t donate enough to his election fund”.

        One of the line-items on the Brady Scorecard is “police discretion” in allowing carry, which comes down to that: the issuing authority doesn’t need a reason to reject. They can reject for any reason, or no reason at all.

      • Good catch, I was reading “reciprocity” into the statement. A federal law overriding state law would be the whole “states’ rights” problem I mentioned though. As much as I’d like to streamline the patchwork of state laws now on the books, a federal law is unlikely for the reasons you mentioned, and were it to come to be it would almost have to be on the stricter side of the spectrum of various state laws to have a chance of acceptance. Following Emily Miller’s quest to just own a gun legally in D.C., I keep asking myself “who are these laws intended to protect, and from what?” My wife is living in Colorado for the moment, and that state’s program is run by the county sheriffs like California, though luckily she’s in a county with a sheriff who has a clue. That system has too many opportunities for petty despots to be counted among my favorites, though at least they’re “shall issue” instead of “may issue”.

      • Another quick one…

        Blotto: “How is getting a gun from your criminal relative more costly and risky than “simply buying a gun from a private seller at a gun show”, which are routinely patrolled by BAFTE? http://www.justice.gov/oig/reports/ATF/e0707/exec.htm Crooks have this figured out too, that’s why the percentages are 0.7 to 40 in favor of family & friends.”

        I never said anything about a gun show. The transfer from friends and family is a private transfer. That is the point. Right now, there is basically nothing to stop someone from supplying their criminal friends/family with guns. Forcing all transfers to go through FFLs and having appropriate punishment for individuals who make illegal transfers address that issue.

      • It’s already illegal to knowingly transfer a firearm to a felon. “Friends and family”? You don’t know if your friends and family are convicted felons?

        Again accomplishes nothing but to add an extra burden to law abiding gun owners. The 90 million plus who don’t break the law.

      • Gunshow sales are also considered private transfers, which is the source of the whole “gunshow loop”. My mistake. Not sure how you plan to coerce criminal families and friends to submit 4473 paperwork. As thewriterinblack pointed out, once they’re in the criminal pipeline, you’ve lost all provenance. tracing it back to the last legal owner doesn’t help get the gun off the street, and punishing him for being a burglary victim seems to fall along the lines of “the beatings will continue until moral improves.” Believe it or not, legal gun owners don’t want their weapons in the hands of criminals any more than you do.

        As an example, my wife had an old five-shot Charter Arms revolver that her dad bought her way back when. When she changed stations, she had to check the weapon in with Security Police at her new base while she looked for an apartment. They apparently fired it, and jacked it up enough that the cylinder wouldn’t rotate any more. Her brother fixed it, but long story short, we didn’t feel safe firing it, and tried to turn it in to be destroyed. It took me months of phone tag with state, county and city offices before the local police agreed that they could take it and have it destroyed. When the officer responding asked “why don’t you just sell it?” I answered 1) I’m not confident it’s safe to shoot, and 2) I don’t want to be mugged with it next week.

      • I’m a bit behind, but will try to catch up Blotto:

        On California: those findings don’t surprise me at all. Same issue as everywhere else, CA shares a a huge eastern border with Arizona and NV, which have no such requirement. That is the patchwork nature of the current system that renders most gun control efforts ineffective.

        I think there is some evidence of the positive effects of gun control in the US, but not much (in response to your request for evidence that registration reduces crime). This does not mean that gun control does not work, it means that we really don’t have gun control in the US. States that have no regulation of private sales and other permissive laws undermine any attempt in other locations to control guns.

        Canada: The system i propose is much simpler than the canadian model and would have a much lower cost structure. Canada tried to have real time information being distributed to emergency personell in emergency situations. Useful, for sure, but costly and complicated. I guess i did not lay out the plan in this thread, so….

        ~~~
        Every transfer of firearms must go through an FFL.

        Every transfer is recorded in a database that is accessed ONLY when a crime is committed with a firearm (would prefer this database be secure/confidential to avoid situations like the NY “Gun owner map”)

        When a crime is committed with a firearm, that firearm is traced through its sales history to the last legitimate owner. If someone else committed the crime, the owner made an improper transfer.

        That owner/seller is subject to criminal charges for an improper transfer unless the gun was reported stolen.
        ~~~

        So, the database is a simple record of transactions. Gun 12345 is sold to Person XYZ. When Gun 12345 is used in a crime, the police know how it got there. If the gun was not reported stolen, the last owner on record made an illegal transfer and they get charged with a crime.

        With that system in place, any legal gun owner will be unwilling to risk letting a gun attached to their name “off the grid” with the threat that it very easily could lead to a criminal conviction for them if the gun is used in a crime.

        Currently, this is not the case. A legal buyer can buy a gun, make one private sale, and the gun is basically off the grid. Anyone can buy it or sell it to anyone else with no fear of repercussions.

      • Que