Is it Time to Ban All Automatic Weapons?

Submitted by Guest Blogger, Lawrence Rafferty

In light of the tragic shooting today in Arizona, I have to wonder aloud if automatic weapons should be banned by this country.  I realize that the 2nd Amendment right to own a gun is strongly defended by the NRA and other right-wing groups, but I am sick and tired of reading about all of the shootings the past couple of years.  Whether it was the shootings earlier this year at various United States Marine sites around the country or the California shootout in July with the guy who was trying to attack the ACLU and the TIDES non-profit organization; the vitriol seems to be on the rise.  http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40978517/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/  And with politicians fanning the flames, this vitriol is not bound to be diminished anytime soon.

The Second Amendment is a very concise Amendment.  “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.”  http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html#Am2  We have seen various attempts over the years by the Feds and many States and municipalities to restrict gun ownership.  The recent Supreme Court case of McDonald , et al vs.  City of Chicago, Illinois, et al affirmed the fundamental right of Americans to own a gun by a 5-4 decision.  http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/09pdf/08-1521.pdf  The McDonald decision did not give us any guidance on what kind of restrictions to that fundamental right the Supreme Court would allow.  However, how can automatic weapons or high-powered rifles be exempt from an outright banning of their ownership or at least significant restrictions on their use? Can a good faith argument really be made that an automatic weapon is necessary for personal protection? 

The Supreme Court Justices do not live in a bubble and they must see what damage these weapons have already brought to families across the nation.  Don’t they?

370 thoughts on “Is it Time to Ban All Automatic Weapons?

  1. I thought I might hear from you Former Fed. Is there a legitimate need for automatic weapons that can be used to kill and maim many people at one time?

  2. Does this proposal include banning automatic weapons used on thousands of innocents in Iraq and Afghanistan?

  3. raff,

    I’m with FFLEO on this one to this point:

    There is a huge difference between semi- and fully automatic weapons or semi-autos that can be converted to full auto.

    Semi-automatic is fine. Semi-automatic pistols have civilian (and LE) utility.

    Fully automatic weapons or convertibles like AR-15’s? Not so much.

    However, at this point, this looks like a crime committed with a semi-automatic handgun with an extended clip.

    An armed citizenry is the last bulwark against tyranny, but let’s be honest about human nature. Some people are just too batshit crazy to be allowed to have a fully automatic weapon. We’d be looking at twice the number – minimum – of dead if this guy had had a full auto anything.

  4. There was a headline on HuffPo that an automatic weapon was used in the Arizona shootings, but the text of the article had the weapon(s) used as semi-automatic. A semi-auto is a far cry from an automatic weapon, commonly called a machine gun. A semi-automatic weapon must have the trigger pulled for each shot. Full-auto weapons fire multiple times on a single trigger pull. To own a full-auto weapon, one much jump through all kinds of legal hoops and pay a very large tax to the Feds. Then you need to mortgage your house and sell all your belongings to just afford to buy a fully automatic weapon.

    As far as high powered, I must ask what is defined as high powered? If it is being shot at you, some air-rifles would appear to be a high powered weapon. Hunting rifles, most pistols and even my antique muzzle loading rifle and pistol are powerful weapons. The chances of making them illegal is whistling past the graveyard. Not gonna happen.

  5. puzzling,

    Since I noticed your comment, I owe you an apology when earlier I somewhat rebuffed your suggestion that the guest bloggers should post their names in a very clear manner to ensure that they could not be confused with Professor Turley’s or other guests’ remarks. It was/is a very good suggestion.

  6. I think this is inflammatory and prejudicial timing to ask about (FULLY-)AUTOMATIC weapons within hours of a horrific crime apparently committed by a SEMI-AUTOMATIC weapon. A lot of people are confused (and perhaps intentionally confusing) on the differences between them but there is a “difference in kind” here.

    On the semi-auto question remember that you can also fire a revolver quickly, reload it quickly with the right loader, etc. The only real difference between revolvers and semiauto pistols is that some, not all, of the latter are ‘double pull’ and second (and later shots) require less trigger pressure than the first shot.

    If you take out semi-auto pistols and revolvers, what’s left? Single shot derringers? Is that going to sufficient for self-defense?

  7. Would that effort if tryed,be as successful as the War On Drugs or Stopping Illegal Immigration?

    Just asking.

  8. Chris,

    I disagree. This is the time and place. Please provide us with your knowledge and experience regarding this subject.

  9. It looks like we poked a hole in the hornets nest with this topic. OS, I really don’t know how I would define high powered. In the recent shootings at the Marine facilities the media reports stated that the authorities thought it was a high powered rifle. I take that to mean long distance and large caliber, but I do not know much about guns. I only know what damage they can do.
    Chris, I agree with Former Fed. This issue has festered for years and politicians of all stripes have taken advantage of the gun lobby and the NRA to whip people into a frenzy. The latest example of that is the false, but continual claims by the Right that Obama was going to “take away your guns”. If we don’t get these weapons of personal destruction out of peoples hands, many more innocents will die or be maimed.
    eniobob,
    I can only hope that these efforts would be more successful than the War on Drugs.
    Buddha,
    I don’t believe that I claimed that the latest shooting was done with a fully automatic weapon. I just used the term automatic. I understand the difference, but to me if it has teh ability to run off many shots without reloading, it is troublesome. I don’t think a ban or restriction on these weapons would prevent the law enforcement agencies from stocking whatever weapon they need to protect society, but it may reduce the number of them on the market.

  10. naive question fron non-lawyer: could one of you lawyers succinctly explain (or suggest a reference that would do so) how the courts of our land got us from “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State…” to everybody should have a right to carry a gun?

  11. Bill g.,
    You are not naive. It is a long story. I would check out the case that I linked to and you will see various earlier cases that will give you some history. I am not a criminal law expert by any means, but there are others here that may be able to give you a better answer.

  12. This is my take, and I hope it’s not too convoluted, but my answer to whether or not full auto should be banned in general has to be no. In 1936 Himmler was put in charge of all German civilian police. These police used gun control laws to gather up, and annihilate those of Jewish faith living in Germany.

    The purpose of the 2nd Amendment is to leave “the people” the power to fight back against “a well regulated militia” if that militia were to become tyrannical. I guarantee to you, that our current well regulated militias will not hesitate to use fully automatic weapons on you, the people, if given the order. This is why my answer to the question must be no, there should be no ban.

    In contrast, I believe most violent crimes happen because the citizens have gone lazy on our responsibility to protect our most valuable piece of property… our lives. You guys know that guy at work, who constantly tells you that whatever you want him to do is “not his job”, then continues to lower the productivity of that workplace? Well we are much the same as that guy… protecting ourselves is “not our job”… but I have news… it IS your job. If everyone did their job, the second shots are fired by a crazy person, he/she would be dropped by a responsible citizen protecting him/herself, or others.

    This is of course a terrifying concept if you believe that most of the people in the world are “bad”, and for that I can say nothing to change your minds. I could appeal to your sense of logic, and try to explain that if everyone did their job, there would be a great system of checks and balances etc, but instead, the loudest voices will insist that our government legislate us all as though each and every one of us are insane psycho killers… Except LEOs, for whatever reason we seem to trust them explicitly, as though they are not people too… Or we delude ourselves into thinking in 1938 Germany, the LEOs weren’t responsible for the gathering, and sometimes instant killing of an entire race of people.

  13. I am with FF LEO on this one….when you regulate one area you by definition regulate many unintended areas…..I am not for abortions either…but I think that the state or federal government has no right to regulate what is essentially a moral issue between the person having a procedure performed and their conscience…..the same with guns and knives…its a personal choice…

  14. YES, but it won’t happen in this country that is filled with gun nuts and the politicians that kowtow to them.

  15. Expertly said, savaship.

    Of course, calls for legislating during the so-called crises like these is the modus operandi for a government continually seeking to seize rights and property. Patriot Act, TARP to name two very costly and recent examples.

  16. AnonY,

    Yours is a good way of stating a main issue/concern I have.

    Swarthmore mom,

    I know that you do not know me and this is very likely an unfair question. However, do you think that I am a gun nut simply because I oppose “a ban on all automatic weapons”?

  17. Thanks Puzzling! This might be a question for Professor Turley, but how come no one has prosecuted members of the Supreme Court, Congress, or even members of their state governments that have denied them any of their rights under USC Title 18 Sections 241-242? I used to live in Illinois, and would have loved to see my mis-representatives imprisoned for denying me the right to “bear arms”.

  18. Canada has much stricter gun laws and far fewer shooting deaths per capita. I grew up in Detroit and saw guns all the time then I lived in Canada for over a quarter century…I prefer the Canadian approach.

  19. It was not an automatic weapon, it was a semi-automatic weapon, but its a moot point, it only takes a single shot weapon for a deranged human being to kill another human being.

    I do not advocate banning all weapons, just figure out a way to ban deranged criminals and deranged extremists.

  20. A 9 year old girl decided to visit her Congresswoman today outside her neighborhood grocery store and a 22 year old man shot her dead with his semi-automatic pistol complete with extended clip. She wasn’t his target … she was collateral damage.

    You all want to explain to her why it was so important that that 22 year old man be permitted to own that gun? Tell her about a well regulated militia. Talk to her about the Constitution. Inform her as to the joys of hunting. Educate her as to what the Germans did to the Jews … and tyranny.

    Go ahead … I dare you!

    Let me know how she responds.

  21. “Is it Time to Ban All Automatic Weapons?”

    No.

    I have no citations for that and it does not rely on any legal argument. While I dislike guns viscerally since their purpose can be none other than killing I advocate their dispersal throughout the citizenry.

    When I was fairly young I read an interview with a Russian defector. This was during the cold war and the defector was, as I recall a real ‘catch’ for the USA in that he was a pretty high ranking official of the government, perhaps KGB. He was asked about the prospect of war with the US from the Soviet point of view and specifically invasion of the US. He said that would never happen, the only war would be one of total destruction, never occupation. Why? Too many guns in America.

    Also, as a baby boomer the second world war was a thing I grew up hearing about from the people that were there, family and their friends that saw action in many theaters. It was a topic of conversation. One question that was posed routinely was what would have happened if the Jews had been armed, if the French and the Poles had been armed? These were not to my knowledge serious questions. They were wistful. But they came up in conversations I heard often. I also suspected later they were talking about handguns, not long guns because many people in Europe did have long guns. ‘If every person could take out one nazi when they came to their door…’ I heard that also.

    I thought about these things for about 10 years, from the mid 60’s to the mid to late 70’s along with the various other arguments made in the wider culture regarding gun control. I was also reading about the pogroms in Russia and China at that time. The Gulags and first Cultural Revolution.

    I decided that the only good reason to have guns was possibly personal protection (but really,who carried a gun?) but absolutely in case your government went mad and you needed to resist. As long as there were governments the citizenry needed to be armed. Nothing I read about Iran, Argentina, the Philippines, Cambodia, El Salvador etc. in the 70’s and later persuaded me that my decision had been wrong.

    Now, I see our own government virtually at war against the Bill of Rights and all of the tools to become as repressive as any of those named countries have been put into place and given a veneer of legality. I see how black and brown people and dissidents are treated under color of law and/or the war on drugs. That all worries me so I want a well armed citizenry, automatic weapons included.

    It’s strange to take that position on a day like today.

  22. Blouise:
    Sorry, but that is a strawman argument. Lets look at it from another angle. In our community, a drunk crossed the center line and killed a mother and her eight year old child. Perhaps we could say that automobiles should be outlawed until we can keep them out of the hands of drunks. Of course, my argument is ridiculous, but it is the logical equivalent of the one you make. All I did was change “gun” to drunk in an automobile.

    There are some things that are not workable in practice. It would be a wonderful world if we could outlaw mental illness, crime and the need for firearms. But not gonna happen in any instance.

    As for Raff’s proposition that automatic weapons be outlawed: Frankly, I have been in this business for four decades and have never heard of a crime committed anywhere around here where somebody was shot by a fully automatic weapon. I do know of a few cases where an Uzi or Tech9 was brandished, but not fired.

  23. Blouise,
    That was a highly emotional, but terribly illogical argument. Ask a dead victim? Should I ask my dead friend why distracted soccer mom’s are allowed to drive, because that’s how he died? Should I become so emotionally tied up that I argue that because HE got killed by a person, that no person should be allowed to drive? Should I make a media campaign and call minivans “Assault Vans” and request they be restricted based on the number of passengers they can hold or what they look like? No, because all of that would be extremely stupid, make a real argument please!

  24. Blouise, your point is impossible to reconcile with an ideological position. I have analogies with which to make an argument but why bother? For that child, no argument can ever be good enough.

  25. Unfortunately, the piece of data we need isn’t tracked by the DOJ. They track handguns, “other” guns, knives, blunt instruments and “other weapons”. If they have the raw data on fully automatic assault weapon attacks, they are sitting on it.

  26. Otteray Scribe
    1, January 8, 2011 at 10:08 pm
    Blouise:
    Sorry, but that is a strawman argument. ….

    ==========================================================

    I wrote those words and then debated for approx. 5 minutes whether or not to click “Post Comment” for I knew that at least one of the responses would be “strawman arguement”.

    I did not post an argument … I did not posit a hypothetical … I gave a factual accounting of an event that took place this morning involving a 9 year old girl and a 22 year old man both living under the Constitution and enjoying the rights that Constitution gives.

    Tonight the girl is dead. Don’t insult my intelligence with a story about a drunk!

  27. No.

    When I read the headline “automatic weapons” I anticipated that accuracy was not a priority and may have been inherited from other careless reporting. Personally, I am very disappointed the Left doesn’t embrace the freedom to protect oneself from violence – with a gun if necessary. Of all the liberties championed, this one is intentionally neglected. There are times when such force is necessary and beneficial to the welfare of many.

    For all of the just accusations of sensationalism leveled at the Republicans, gun rights are an area which similarly affects the Democrats.

    A reason the Ft. Hood shooting was so bad was that, ironically, the base was a gun free zone and no-one could immediately respond in kind. Regarding the gun used by Laughner in Arizona, the people officially responsible for the security of Rep. Giffords and the others would have had a very similar gun as an issue sidearm.

    Bad things do happen. Especially when good people aren’t willing or able to stop it.

  28. Let us all remember that this issue wells up a great deal of emotion to which none of us is immune—pro or con.

  29. Blouise,

    Perhaps if more of the citizens gathered had been armed Loughner would have been stopped before the 9 year old was shot. Laws will be as effective for guns are they are for drugs.

    Thousands of children die every year in auto accidents. Should cars be electronically governed to not go over 45 MPH in order that thousands can be saved? Why not? At our hands thousands of unseen children have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, although sometimes we simply call them insurgents and pretend we are a force for great good in the world.

    Arguing for seizing arms from citizens faced with a rogue, dangerous, warmongering government is almost unfathomable.

  30. Lottakatz
    1, January 8, 2011 at 10:14 pm
    Blouise, your point is impossible to reconcile with an ideological position. I have analogies with which to make an argument but why bother? For that child, no argument can ever be good enough.

    ======================================================

    Exactly … I wanted to take the discussion out of all that ideological bull crap and put it smack dab where it belongs!

  31. “Bad things do happen. Especially when good people aren’t willing or able to stop it.” (Robert)

    =======================================================

    Maybe, if the 9 year old had a gun and knew how to use it, she could have saved herself! There you go … problem solved … Constitution secure!!

  32. “Arguing for seizing arms from citizens faced with a rogue, dangerous, warmongering government is almost unfathomable.” (puzzling)

    ================================

    See above answer to Robert

  33. Blouise
    The other driver wasn’t drunk… she was “distracted” but driving very legally up until the stop light. I also gave a factual account on something that I could argue is not being legally restricted enough. Because I am talking about a normal woman driver, my strawman argument is laughable, but because it is easy to demonize guns, I guess your strawman wins!

    Swarthmore mom.. I would argue people who answer those polls calling for stronger gun control are recording their violation of Title 18 USC section 241, Conspiracy to oppress the free exercise of any right secured by the constitution.

  34. Savaship, An argument based on pathos is valid. It may or may not be persuasive but it is a valid argument type and effective when arguing many subjects that touch on the Bill of Rights for instance. An argument regarding slavery for instance based entirely on logic and economics would be (IMO) un-winnable and frankly, beneath contempt. I though make many pathetic appeals/ arguments because I feel the way I feel and haven’t found any logical argument I trust enough to change my view so I give them validity even if I disagree. An argument based on pathos isn’t stupid, just a different lens with which to view the situation.

    http://courses.durhamtech.edu/perkins/aris.html

    “… Pathos (Emotional) means persuading by appealing to the reader’s emotions. We can look at texts ranging from classic essays to contemporary advertisements to see how pathos, emotional appeals, are used to persuade. Language choice affects the audience’s emotional response, and emotional appeal can effectively be used to enhance an argument.”

  35. Blouise,

    What would you suggest? Banning all gun ownership?

    1) That’s unconstitutional.

    2) Gun ownership is truly the last line of defense from state sponsored tyranny. As ugly and unpleasant as that is, it is the truth.

    3) It’s like putting toothpaste back into a tube. If you round up legal guns, what’s going to happen to those not gathered? You think illegal drugs created a hot black market, it’s nothing compared to what outlawing guns would do.

    Have you ever wondered why I, a person with a stated preference for non-violent solutions, takes the middle road on the 2nd Amendment?

    Those would be the reasons why.

  36. “Conspiracy to oppress the free exercise of any right secured by the constitution.” (savaship)

    =================================================

    Is that what happened to the 9 year old girl?

  37. Blouise, no your argument is based on emotion and not logic. I am a logician by training. The little girl–and her mother–in that car crash are just as dead as those in Arizona today. Your appeal to ask the dead child (rhetorical) questions can as easily be asked of that dead little girl in Putnam County about drunk drivers being allowed to drive cars.

    Neither of those appeals solves anything. They are specious argument to emotion rather than logic. Problems are solved by using logic, not emotion. Some examples of problem solving by emotion brought us the Patriot Act and the TSA body gropes.

    Millions of people own and use firearms without incident. A handful of criminals use them in criminal ways. The odds of being shot while out in public by a terrorist or criminal on a crime spree is very remote. Consider that out in Tucson, practically every household has at least one gun. One mentally unstable individual targets a politician. Now all gun owners in Tucson are now suspect.

  38. raff,

    As a sidebar:

    Excellent topic choice to stir the conversational pot. Good show. The Prof. choose you wisely.

  39. Buddha,

    I’m not advocating anything … I’m standing up for the 9 year old child that died today. She was killed by a bullet from a gun. The man shooting the gun didn’t even have to aim at her … she got “sprayed” while waiting to talk to her Congresswoman … or maybe even while talking to her Congresswoman. Who protected her from the man exercising his Constitutional right to own and thus shoot a gun?

    Yeah team!

  40. Is it time to ban all automatic weapons? No, not in my opinion. It is bullets that kill people, not the guns. lol. :)

  41. Blouise: I am with you. Why is it always about HIS rights? Remember Scarecrow and HIS rights to have five wives?

  42. Blouise,

    Then you are truly letting your emotions control you.

    The 2nd Amendment has consequences, not all of them good, but would you rather live in a country where the government has the only guns and therefore the ability to repress the people free from challenge?

    Yes, the Founders didn’t anticipate fully automatic weapons, but they did anticipate something we are seeing play out across the news every day: every increasing tyranny.

    I’m as angry and sad about that little girl’s death as anyone but her relatives, but the alternatives to gun ownership in this fading and torn democracy are far worse.

  43. Blouise-
    I can link you to the story of an elderly Illinois woman who was raped in her home. She did everything right, reported the crime, provided the police with plenty of details, etc. One week later, despite extra patrols around her house, her rapist returned. She called 911, but despite rapid response by the police, her attacker was breaking down the door separating them. She killed him with a shotgun.

    I’ll ask you to tell her about how horrible guns are. And you might have a chance to do so, since unlike in your maudlin appeal to emotion, this woman is alive, probably because she used a gun.

    So now we are even in emotional anecdotes. Where do we go from here?

  44. Blouise,

    You know you are one of our all-time favorites here and you will always be that to me. We understand your thoughts. However, please read and reflect upon what Otteray Scribe wrote. He stated the context better thus far than all of us before him combined..

  45. “Blouise, no your argument is based on emotion and not logic.” (Otteray Scribe)

    ==================================================

    Horrors upon horrors … no logic … well, I guess it’s okay then … sorry kid … guns rule … can’t let the nuts ruin things for the rest of us. Yeah … that’s sound logic.

  46. Otteray Scribe,

    “Problems are solved by using logic, not emotion. Some examples of problem solving by emotion brought us the Patriot Act and the TSA body gropes.”

    I wish all our problems could be solved by using logic. Unfortunately, drunks will drive cars and mentally unbalanced people will own and use guns–and all the logic in the world won’t stop them. That’s a fact of life.

  47. Swarthmore mom: “Polls show women generally favor stricter laws regarding gun ownership.”


    Women think differently about dispute resolution and maintaining alliances than men. They have over millennia developed different strategies for goal realization. It comes I’m sure from (in the main) being cut out of the power structure for those same millennia. I would venture to guess that resorting to gunplay is about last on the list for most women as an effective method to accomplish anything.

    And then there’s that whole ‘mourning their dead children and husbands’ killed indiscriminately and in wars thing. Killed by guns since the day after guns were invented. Maybe they’re just quicker on the uptake.

  48. Former Federal LEO
    1, January 8, 2011 at 10:52 pm
    Blouise,

    You know you are one of our all-time favorites here and you will always be that to me. We understand your thoughts. However, please read and reflect upon what Otteray Scribe wrote. He stated the context better thus far than all of us before him combined..

    ==============================================

    That would require a certain kind of logic which I hope I never develop … when it comes to guns, consider me a lost cause :)

    I don’t mind being in the minority on this issue.

  49. Jason … good for you … somebody had to bring rape into the discussion … especially when a woman is saying something your disagree with. Well done bucko!

  50. I have a question for those who want to outlaw private ownership of guns. Given the number of guns in this country, and the fact that ownership is a visceral issue for most of the owners, how do you plan to implement the kind of gun control you advocate?

    I would like to see your game plan for going into the hills and hollers of Appalachia to tell the folks there you have come to take their guns from them. Would you be willing to go there yourself to be the “gun confiscator?” Who would you send, considering most law enforcement officers in the area would support the gun owners. Do you see yourself going up a narrow dirt road up in the hills to take guns from the residents there?

    There is idealism, and then there is practicality.

  51. Why is it that people who are in favor of gun control and present arguments are called emotional–but those who are against any kind of controls being imposed on people’s rights to own any kind of high-powered weapons aren’t?

    *****

    FF Leo,

    He said: Logical
    She said: Emotional
    Isn’t that the way it goes?

    *****

    All I know is if my generation hadn’t gotten mad as hell about the Vietnam War, that conflict may have gone on for many more years. Being emotional shouldn’t always be perceived as a negative.

  52. Blouise-
    I honestly wasn’t considering the type of crime or that you are a woman – I was simply citing an equally emotional and true story. I could have asked why you chose to highlight the nine year old child’s death rather than that of any of the adults. In any event, I’d be happy to give you a long list of self defense stories not involving rape or women if it will make you feel better.

    So I ask again, why is your emotional anecdote more compelling than mine?

  53. Elaine,

    I don’t think that being emotional is always a negative.

    It just is in this instance.

    It leads to an unconstitutional solution that’s impossible to implement and has other, subsequent and consequent consequences that can even further negatively impact our already eroding Constitutional rights.

  54. “I’d be happy to give you a long list of self defense stories not involving rape or women if it will make you feel better.” (Jason)

    ========================================================

    thanks, but I feel fine

  55. Blouise,

    I’m not trying to get you to stop conversing. It’s on topic and robust, but by the same token, you’ve chosen a path of futility both legally and as a matter of practical implementation. I admire the emotion behind it, though. It’s a good human and humane response to a terrible thing. As long as you are having fun and not bloodying your head against the wall, I’ll not try to stop you.

  56. Ms. EM wrote:

    “Being emotional shouldn’t always be perceived as a negative.”

    ____________________

    I completely concur.

  57. Elaine,

    It was OS who called me emotional … if one can belittle the other person’s opinion then one can intimidate said person into submission.

    Uh huh, Uh huh … I liiike it .. Uh huh, uh huh

  58. FF Leo,

    Ms. EM wrote:

    “Being emotional shouldn’t always be perceived as a negative.”

    ____________________

    You respnded: “I completely concur.”

    *****

    Was that a response from your logical or your emotional self?

    ;)

  59. Elaine,

    “The gun proponents are just as emotional about the subject of gun ownership as the gun control advocates are about gun control.”

    Yes, some are. However, I think OS and myself have been quite unemotional about this issue.

  60. Buddha,

    I haven’t made any recommendations other than to tell the dead 9 year old girl why guns were so important. And guess what … the poop hit the fan!

    Come on … surely you see it.

  61. I see the spoon and the pot, Blouise.

    I’m just saying the spoon leads to an untenable and unconstitutional answer.

  62. Swarthmore mom
    1, January 8, 2011 at 11:30 pm
    Elaine; You make a good point. Many of the gun proponents are very very angry men.

    ========================================================

    Yes … Yes … look at what I said and then at the responses I got … they attributed all kinds of things to me that I never said and then chastised me for saying them … it was pure emotionalism about GUNS

  63. Elaine,

    No. I’m for reasonable restrictions but I spelled that out above. There are guns adequate for self-defense – even from government – that aren’t the purposefully designed mass human killing machines are fully automatic weapons. No one needs to own an AR-15 or an AK-47 when a shotgun and a .45 will keep you just as safe unless you anticipate fighting hordes of zombies.

  64. I admit, I am a bit emotional about the issue. Simply put, my family has just fled from a state where our rights don’t exist. Fought a 2 year court battle around a charge called “aggravated unlawful use of a weapon” simply for attempting to take an unloaded, cased, under the back seat handgun to a repair shop… and that was a felony. After the plea bargain and sentence was served, and over $50,000 later, we decided to flee Illinois for good. We were victims of the gun control movement, and I am at times very quick to try to quash the rhetoric, because the effects of gun control on people attempting to be lawful… they’re devastating to their lives – devastating to my life. Gun control advocates have ruined my life, and I’m still rebuilding, years later… Should I be angry, or not?

  65. one arguement used by gun control opponents is that a crazed person with a gun wouldn’t get very far against an armed populace.

  66. to Rafferty: afraid i am “that naive”. i was looking for a brief account of the key decisions that got us from the actual words in the second amendment to where we seem to be now, something like what professor turley might present in a few minutes on maddow or olbermann. jurists such as scalia claim to be reading the original intent of the words in the constitution. i just don’t understand how one could understand the words in the second amendment to mean that anybody ought to be able to carrynhand guns around, much less to mean that we need guns to protect us from the government. maybe we do, but i don’t think that is what the words say. i do appreciate your providing the link embedded in your original query, but it will take a while to slog through. thanks.

  67. Now … final approach:

    That 9 year old girl had a stronger right to live than that 22 year old man had to own a gun. But guess what … the gun won. And that is America!

  68. Blouise sez: “It was OS who called me emotional … if one can belittle the other person’s opinion then one can intimidate said person into submission.”

    I went back an looked at what I said. What I said was that you were making an argument based on emotion rather than logic. That is a true statement, and quite different from calling you emotional. Frankly, I have no idea if you are an emotional type person or not–I do not know you.

    I am, however, waiting for someone to offer a workable plan for going up into the Appalachian mountains and taking guns from the residents there. Now I will be the first to admit that most of those folks with whom I am acquainted are rather emotional about their guns. Where would you like flowers sent for your memorial service? There will only be a memorial for the “gun collector,” because I think I am safe in saying the body will never be found so there won’t be a real funeral.

  69. savaship,

    Is there more information about your case within your website? Consent/illegal search, et cetera?

  70. Thanks Buddha for rthe kind words. I have been thinking about this subject for awhile and I couldn’t wait any longer after the horrible news today.
    Jason,
    you mentioned earlier the story about the elderly woman who eventually killed her assailant with a shotgun. Was that a semi-automatice shotgun? My point is that banning or restricting one type of gun is not the same as removing all guns.
    Ladies, et al; keep up the good fight. This really shouldn’t be a male vs female issue. It is a life and death issue that revolves around something that even Scalia agreed with in one of the gun cases. That reasonable restrictions on guns may be possible. Of course, the devil is in the details of what reasonable, but effective restrictions can be agreed upon to reduce or eliminate the deadliest of weapons that have little or no self defense purpose.

  71. “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” – Thomas Jefferson

  72. savaship,

    My family had a “gun” situation last year. We cleaned out and sold my mother’s house. One of the objects that she kept down in the basement was a German luger that my father had brought home after WW II. Because of the gun laws in my state, my brother-in-law was afraid to transport the gun to a gun dealer–so he had to have the dealer come to my mother’s house. I, too, think that some gun laws may be too restrictive.

    That said, the victims of gun violence–and the families and friends of victims of gun violence have a right to be angry and emotional too.

  73. F FedLEO, I didn’t post anything… I just escaped Illinois a week ago, and until I escaped I was afraid to post anything… I will put the whole story up soon… but as far as we know, we have no legal recourse as a result of the plea bargain… After seeing what happened to Brian Aitken, it was probably the better move.

  74. Blouise wrote, in part:

    “Was that a response from your logical or your emotional self?”

    __________

    Um, er, I plead the 5th. I am afraid I might get ‘shot down’ in the Venus v Mars War of Words crossfire…consider me an innocent bystander since I stated I wanted others to reply before I did.

  75. “I went back an looked at what I said. What I said was that you were making an argument based on emotion rather than logic. ” (Otteray Scribe)

    ========================================================

    Semantics, darlin’, semantics but if it helps you feel good about your tactics then, by all means, obfuscate away.

    ********************************************************

    “I am, however, waiting for someone to offer a workable plan for going up into the Appalachian mountains and taking guns from the residents there.” (Otteray Scribe)

    ===================================================

    I’m 100% of Scot’s descent … many of my relatives live up in those mountains and all along “the Runs” … they won’t give up their guns, or their knives, or their clubs … wouldn’t have done it before the Constitution was written and wouldn’t do it now. But good luck to ya!

  76. Thanks Elaine,
    I agree, victims of any crime have every right to be angry. On this issue, I simply wish they’d be more angry at the criminal people who commits the murders, and less angry at their chosen implements… and I definitely wish they’d stop asking the government to ruin my life because of criminals.

  77. savaship,

    Thanks. I ask that once you think it is appropriate, please let us know since I think your case would be a good topic to discuss when (not if) we have another gun debate.

  78. Ms. EM & Blouise,

    Uh, sorry, but can I get by with an excuse thst all women sound the same to me regarding gun control and…?

    Seriously, I am sorry for that mistake.

  79. The right wing answer to this problem of mass shootings is for everyone to be armed, that way the shooter can only kill one or two before being killed by armed persons nearby.

    It’s not a particularly sane point of view, but it’s understandable that an insane person would support it.

  80. Regarding the emotion behind the deaths, especially of the young girl, I think that no male can ever sense the same depth of emotion that a female senses when dealing with death. Women have intrinsic mechanisms that guide them to nurture life at all costs; attributes further reinforced by the investments required of them through childbirth and rearing.

    Goodnight…

  81. Rafflaw-
    I don’t know the exact make of the woman’s shotgun and I don’t think it’s relevant. We should have access to the most effective tools to defend ourselves.

    I have to respectfully disagree with Buddha is Laughing regarding guns such as the AR-15/M-4. They are used for sport and hunting and are well suited for home defense. They are light-weight, and have very low recoil. A carbine as opposed to a handgun offers a better sight picture while being easier to handle than a shotgun. Most deer rifles are a great deal more powerful than the typical AR.

    Lastly, they are rarely used in crimes. Long guns in general comprise less than 10% of the guns used in crime, and so called assault weapons are a tiny fraction of that. Bad guys like their guns cheap and easy to conceal.

  82. Wow, It looks like about 250 postings have been generated on 2 threads in the last 8 hours as well as the posters having to take care of normal business in their 3d life. It’s been an emotional day (for me) and I’m tired so I’ll bid you a good night and have a beer before going to bed.

    The threads have been interesting and enlightening (thank you all!) and even the threads that got pretty much ignored were interesting while they were active. Thanks to the guest blawgers; the Professor left his blawg in capable hands.

  83. Buddha Is Laughing
    1, January 8, 2011 at 11:55 pm
    “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” – Thomas Jefferson

    =============================================================

    Mr Jefferson lived a long and rewarding life. Perhaps he and our little 9 year old will meet and he can explain tyranny to her. I’d love to hear that justification, wouldn’t you. :)

  84. If one can envision this society as a table, carved over the decades for functional purpose, then I submit it’s only logical to recognize one of the four legs propping us up, is violence. And our propensity for pissiness runs all the way to the bone.

    From the Sumerians till now, practically every true power of its era, invariably spawned an appalling capacity to draw blood in the blink of an eye, and call it justified. Many, of course, murder over lines in the sand. Many more, probably, kill over which invisible man in the sky is the “real” ghost deserving worship. Some – as the Romans and Carthagenians – apparently fight for no better cause than than the other guy seems a little different, and not only that, he’s breathing air.

    I will gleefully leave it to future historians, to decide how America rates with other bloodthirsty societies. I’d guess, however, that as U.S. foreign policy tallies something like 50 military actions in seven decades, we’ll rank as effective at Homicide as any humans extant.

    But in light of the yet another senseless shooting today in Arizona, I suspect the price of our warlike DNA goes well beyond the treasure spend and teenage soldiers in the sand. War and weapons teaches our young – on a visceral level – that we really only have to compromise so far.

    The fellows who initially put this grand experiment called America to paper, were brilliant indeed, and their vision was truly extraordinary. But I submit they never envisioned the ungodly firepower that exists today, nor would they tolerate the ease with which madmen could murder strangers and children.
    I suspect they would bring some wisdom to our table, perhaps by sawing off all four legs just a bit. Reign in the madness. Rethink the matter of “militias.” Figure ways to protect both sides, without the ugliness we now have.

    Humankind appears to have reached the edges of a perfect storm: our loners can now spend countless hours communicating more with strangers than their own families. They can mine more data in an afternoon than a library might provide in a month. They can absorb more vile content, formulate faulty decisions quicker, be more resolute in their derangement.

    In the year 2011, pulling a trigger is not all that dissimilar from hitting the Ipod “send” button.

    And scarcely more personal.

  85. Everyday we read here about police crimes and military atrocities. Yet by banning automatic weapons we’d have a society in which only the police and military have them.

    Start instead Prof. Turley by advocating the banning of automatic weapons at the Pentagon. Foreign policy is an extension of domestic policy. It’s absurd & naive to imagine a society can slaughter Iraqis abroad with virtual impunity without domestic consequences. A society reaps what it sows. Ban war not weapons.

  86. Some point about the US second amendment.

    At the time that the 2nd amendment was passed, the height of small arms technology was the muzzle loading musket. Imagine a single deranged individual trying to conduct a massacre with muzzle loading weapons, the idea is absurd.

    I have seen it written somewhere that the 2nd amendment was passed at the insistence of the slave states who needed well regulated militias to keep the Niggers from getting uppity.

    The idea that citizens armed with small arms are able to prevent the takeover of government by totalitarians is laughable. Governments as well as armies of well trained infantry better able to use their small arms than can untrained citizens also have heavy weapons, tanks and air forces capable of obliterating the dissenting citizens with fuel air bombs. In any case, the actual armed citizens are the ones likely to be on the side of a fascist government. This Arizona shooter is a good example, no doubt he is a good Republican and most decent Republicans will cheer that he whacked a Democrat. If the judge was Democrat appointed all the better.

    Australia was lucky in that Martin Bryant offed enough people at Port Arthur to create a enough backlash against guns that Prime Minister John Howard was able to introduce effective gun laws over the objections of the usual demented agriculturalists and gun looneys. Of course Martin Bryant is in solitary in Risdon prison, but in my view he deserves an order of Australia medal. Far more credit for Australia’s clamp down on guns belongs to him than to John Howard, the third unprosecuted war criminal of the Iraqistan wars.

    You Americans are not going to get rid of your permissive attitude to guns that enable lone persons to commit sizable massacres until someone does you the favour of committing one that is big enough.

    It would seem to me that the 2nd amendment should be restated to allow citizens access to any small arms technology that was widely available in the eighteenth century and to carry no more than one piece of it at a time. That should be enough for those wanting to blow away burglars or the occasional deer. Come to think of it maybe the police should be restricted as well, Amadou Diallo might still be alive if the four NYPD cops each had one muzzle loading pistol.

  87. It is a great pity that the 2nd amendment of the US constitution does not get some of the contemptuous legal violence meted out to the fourth. The drug and terrorism exceptions have effectively abolished the fourth amendment, but the 2nd is still allowing right ring crazies to whack Jews and Democrats.

  88. The difference between fully automatic and semiautomatic weapons is irrelevant. The fact is that a semiautomatic pistol such as a Glock 9mm is has far more killing power than anything available to an Eigteenth century soldier. A single person in a crowd with a 9mm weapon can whack quite a few people before he is stopped or everyone runs away. I am not sure that a fully automatic gun would be much worse, it may in fact be less bad in that an inexperienced user would tend to exhaust his ammo pretty quickly. Probably the training of the gunman would be critical to its relative effectiveness.

    Compare the massacre effectiveness off these four weapons types:-

    1/ A muzzle loading pistol;
    2/ A six shot revolver;
    3/ A 9mmm automatic with clips holding sixteen bullets;
    4/ An Uzzi or Heckler and Koch machine pistol.

  89. It is not time to ban semi-automatic weapons, it is time to ban the leftists that use them to commit crimes.

    The shooter in Arizona apparently is a member of some group that is anti Jewish and the shooter is a follower of Hitler and Karl Marx at least in regard his reading material.

    So it would seem from the Holocaust shooting to this shooting the common denominator is Mien Kampf and the Communist Manifesto.

    Which makes perfect sense since most politically motivated shootings have been undertaken by leftists:

    “In the interests of time, I have chosen to use Wikipedia as my first source. Wikipedia has a few problems with both bias and reliability, but if you know how to navigate and use their list of citations, you can usually get relatively decent information.

    So let’s just proceed down the list together. I am doing this as I write, so I do not know what the final results will be. Let’s get started.

    Assassinations:

    President: Abraham Lincoln (R)
    Assassin: John Wilkes Booth
    Political identity and motive:
    Booth was a Democrat, angry that Lincoln had freed the slaves and preserved the Union.

    President: James A. Garfield (R)
    Assassin: Charles J. Guiteau
    Political identity and motive:
    Guiteau was frustrated that he did not receive a political appointment in the Garfield administration, and he believed “that God had commanded him to kill the ungrateful President.” Since we can assume that God did not, in fact, command him in this way, we must deem Guiteau mentally unstable.

    President: William McKinley (R)
    Assassin: Leon Czolgosz
    Political identity and motive:
    Czolgosz was an anarchist who believed that “there was a great injustice in American society, an inequality which allowed the wealthy to enrich themselves by exploiting the poor,” and that he had to do something about it. Mimicking the assassination of King Umberto I of Italy, done for similar reasons, he shot and killed McKinley. Oddly, Czolgosz had earlier voted Republican, but the assassination motive was clearly as described above.

    President: John F. Kennedy (D)
    Assassin: Lee Harvey Oswald
    Political identity and motive:
    Defector to the USSR. Earlier attempted to kill General Edwin Walker, who was “an outspoken anti-communist, segregationist and member of the John Birch Society.” Controversy about the assassination continues to persist, and Oswald was killed before any real digging could be done, so we are primarily left with his identity (as a defector to the USSR) as the prime indicator.

    Attempts:

    President: Andrew Jackson (D)
    Would-be assassin: Richard Lawrence
    Political identity and motive:
    Lawrence was mentally ill, suffering from polymorphous delusions.

    President: Theodore Roosevelt (R and Bull Moose)
    Would-be assassin: John F. Schrank
    Political identity and motive:
    Schrank was mentally ill; he claimed “that it was the ghost of William McKinley that told him to perform the act.”

    President: Franklin D. Roosevelt (D)
    Would-be assassin: Giuseppe Zangara
    Political identity and motive:
    “In the Dade County Courthouse jail, Zangara confessed and stated: ‘I have the gun in my hand. I kill kings and presidents first and next all capitalists.'” From Zangara’s own words, much can be taken. However, he may also have been mentally ill. (Perhaps anyone who wants to kill a president is a touch deranged.)

    President: Harry S Truman (D)
    Would-be assassin: Oscar Collazo and Griselio Torresola
    Political identity and motive:
    Oscar Collazo and Griselio Torresola were members of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party. Puerto Rican Nationalists, represented by Marxist terrorist groups such as FALN, who were responsible for scores of bombings in the U.S.; they were arguably the most active terrorist group in U.S. history. (Interesting side notes: President Carter freed Collazo in 1979, and President Clinton pardoned several FALN terrorists. Il nn’y a aucun ennemi du cote gauche?)

    President: John F. Kennedy (D)
    Would-be assassin: Richard Paul Pavlick
    Political identity and motive:
    Pavlick was anti-Catholic, and he was also upset by “the close 1960 U.S. Presidential election, in which Kennedy had defeated Republican Richard Nixon by 118,000 votes.” However, “Judge Emmet C. Choate ruled that Pavlick was unable to distinguish between right and wrong in his actions.” He was kept in a mental hospital for three years. Will this be the closest we get….?

    President: Richard M. Nixon (R)
    Would-be assassin: Arthur Bremer
    Political identity and motive:
    Bremer is an interesting case, one that would require more research than we’re doing in this admittedly surface analysis. He hated Nixon, but apparently, he also hated segregation and bigotry, and he did shoot Democratic candidate George Wallace. He also clearly had mental instability. Why did he hate Nixon, and also Wallace? He stated “It is my personal plan to assassinate by pistol either Richard Nixon or George Wallace,” and that his purpose was “to do SOMETHING BOLD AND DRAMATIC, FORCEFUL & DYNAMIC, A STATEMENT of my manhood for the world to see.” These are deep waters, and we’ll have to give this one a pass for now.

    President: Richard M. Nixon (R)
    Would-be assassin: Samuel Byck
    Political identity and motive:
    Byck “began to harbor the belief that the government was conspiring to oppress the poor.” He attempted to join the Black Panthers. However, he was also “diagnosed with manic depression, a mental disorder characterized by both depressive ‘lows’ and (less frequently) manic or euphoric ‘highs.'” He had left-wing motives, but he was also mentally unstable.

    President: Gerald R. Ford (R)
    Would-be assassin: Lynette Fromme
    Political identity and motive:
    Insane member of the insane Manson Family.

    President: Gerald R. Ford (R)
    Would-be assassin: Sara Jane Moore
    Political identity and motive:
    Revolutionary leftist political activist.

    President: James E. Carter (D)
    Would-be assassin: Raymond Lee Harvey
    Political identity and motive:
    Harvey was possibly mentally ill, but also, charges were dismissed for lack of evidence. This one doesn’t count.

    President: Ronald Reagan (R)
    Would-be assassin: John Hinckley, Jr.
    Political identity and motive:
    Mentally ill, no apparent political motive (despite some absurd references to his connections to the Bush family).

    President: George H.W. Bush (R)
    Would-be assassin: Operation of sixteen men working for Saddam Hussein’s Iraq
    Political identity and motive:
    Geopolitical attack/act of war.

    President: Bill Clinton (D)
    Would-be assassin: Francisco Martin Duran
    Political identity and motive:
    From Wikipedia:
    “Duran pleaded not guilty and mounted an insanity defense, claiming that he was trying to save the world by destroying an alien ‘mist,’ connected by an umbilical cord to an alien in the Colorado mountains. He also claimed to be incited by conservative talk show host Chuck Baker, who spoke on air about ‘armed revolution’ and ‘cleansing’ of the government.

    In both cases, these are claims made by Duran. We would need more external information to make a judgment.

    President: George W. Bush (R)
    Would-be assassin: Vladimir Arutyunian
    Political identity and motive:
    Georgian national who threw a grenade towards President Bush. Not quite sure yet what his motivation was. Pass for now.

    Totals:

    Clearly mentally ill (5)

    Guiteau
    Lawrence
    Schrank
    Fromme
    Hinckley, Jr.

    Anti-catholic (and possible Republican) motivation, coupled with mental illness (1):

    Pavlick

    Left-wing motivations, coupled with mental illness (1):

    Byck

    Unclear/more info required/weak evidence–pass (4):

    Bremer
    Harvey
    Duran
    Arutyunian

    Left-leaning political motivation (7):

    Booth
    Czolgosz
    Oswald
    Zangara
    Collazo
    Torresola
    Moore

    Remove the people who are clearly mentally ill, to leave the people who had a political motivation. That gives us an eight (left) to one (right) ratio of political motivations behind presidential assassinations and attempts.

    To be fair to the two among that number who also suffered from some mental illness, one from the left and one from the right, we can remove both of them from the figures.

    That leaves us with the following:

    Of the successful and attempted assassinations of U.S. presidents where there was a political motivation and no blatant mental illness, the political motivation behind the act was left-leaning 100% of the time.

    We will grant that this is a somewhat surface analysis, and that detailed research and nuanced analysis may produce slightly different results. But still, don’t you find the conclusion of even this surface analysis somewhat striking? It’s 100%, after all.”

    To paraphrase “guns don’t kill people, leftists or the mentally ill do” but then leftist and mentally ill is a redundant expression.

  90. Wonder why these guns end up on the news always featuring inner city shootings.Or if there is a raid on a so called drug den.

  91. Learn your History…new Nome de plume….eh?

    The old republican party is the new democratic one…read the history of both….that’s the problem with generalizations of labels….but propaganda is easier to sell when you can classify what is good, bad and evil….the best criminal defense attorneys that I have ever come into contact with were great profiler’s, they knew the target and went after them…

    But then again…most would never work for a corrupt system as they are trying to right the wrong…it is like coming to the conclusion that people that have a certain “Classic Rock” bumper sticker on the vehicle makes them more likely than not to smoke weed…..labels are good…just remember “No Child Left Behind”…..the final assault on the public school education….they work well…don’t you think when you are trying to achieve a certain political identity…

    Take for example people that support abortions….are they the same ones that support the death penalty? My experience says no….

  92. Sam Colt,
    ….
    “To paraphrase “guns don’t kill people, leftists or the mentally ill do” but then leftist and mentally ill is a redundant expression.”

    =======================================================

    uh huh … another gun lover speaks … the Second Amendment serves him well.

  93. I’m with Patric, Karl, and Carlyle. The societal/institutionalized violence of American culture is what makes the usual “defense against tryanny” interpretation of the 2nd amendment appear rational rather than emotional itself. The situation is contextual, not unlike the Adelson squares post by Nal.

  94. At last … the Second Amendment is being put in perspective and rationally discussed …

    Buddha …. mission accomplished

  95. I was just pondering this Sam….are you as smart as you will ever be? The public library is still available in most city’s…depending on the area of the country…hours may be limited due to republican economic….but then again….be careful of what you ask for….you might just get the opportunity to stop thinking for yourself….

  96. Elaine M.
    1, January 9, 2011 at 9:34 am
    Blouise,

    Good morning to you. I hope your “emotionalizer” is well rested and raring to go today! :)

    ==========================================================

    That was a lot of fun. Testosterone and guns … no emotionalism there! :)

    I read you have a bad cold. There is some nasty stuff going around. I’m just getting over the worse cold I’ve had in years. Take care of yourself.

  97. Good Morning to all….

    and to Blouise a Texas A Dew to you…..how is it going…….I saw the shoot out at the OK Corral….Apparently someone was pissed that Billy didn’t get pardoned….I am too…seems that he was just misunderstood….but then again…the people had to do something after the conflict between the states….really not much different way of life…for those Yankee plunders…..and probably just taking away from the Jewish bankers…you know they have all of the money…..or at least thats what I have heard……(attempt at humor)

  98. AY,

    You are usually here too early in the morning for me to say “hey” … so I took this opportunity … just know I’m sayin’ it every morning!

  99. thank you, carlyle moulton. your point about the state of arms technology back at the time the second amendment was passed may not sway modern originalist minds, but it should.

  100. Thank you….I have gotten hooked on “Words with Friends” like I have any….lol….and truly anonymous phone scrabble….its been a pleasant diversion….

    I hear tell you have had some recent family matters to attend to…I hope all is well…email and tell me what you wish…

  101. Carlyle,

    “…but the 2nd is still allowing right r[w]ing crazies to whack Jews and Democrats.”

    And right-wing politicians like Dick Cheney to nearly take out one of his own!

  102. Elaine M.
    1, January 9, 2011 at 9:58 am
    Carlyle,

    “…but the 2nd is still allowing right r[w]ing crazies to whack Jews and Democrats.”

    And right-wing politicians like Dick Cheney to nearly take out one of his own!

    ==============================================

    Oh yeah … all Second Amendment lovers line up behind Dick (pun intended)

  103. That was ok Elaine….he was a Real Estate attorney….and part time bank owner….he owns a lot of the Austin landscape….so one wouldn’t be missed…then again….Cheney does not quite have the style that LBJ is remembered for in Austin….sometimes people went golfing at midnight and that was one powerful shot on the 9th hole….this was long before lighted golf courses….

    Blouise…I hope all turns out well….keep me apprised…

  104. SAM COLT’s long-winded screed flows from the same twisted teabagger logic that shouts “Obama’s a Marxist!”

    Trying to lump Hitler & Marx together has a long history but it’s never withstood scrutiny as fascism & social democracy are antithetical and only somebody steeped either in historical ignorance or intellectual dishonesty would attempt to claim otherwise.

  105. FFLEO & Buddha,

    This is not one of the best threads I’ve read here. In fact, it’s one of the least informed; evidenced in part by your efforts to clarify the debate.

    As a life long shooter & “gun owner” I’ve always been aware of the ‘laws’ against (what I always referred to as) machine guns (i.e. fully automatic weapons).

    Thus the question “Is it time to ban all automatic weapons” completely ignores the laws already in place since 1934 and 1986.

    While a debate about gun laws is indeed a sexy topic, it pales in comparison to my disgust for the proclivity of knee jerk commentary by people with such ‘strong convictions’ that they appear to remain ignorant by design as to the actual facts upon which any meaningful debate must be grounded.

    Even more annoying, this is a trend in many other debates; not an anomaly.

  106. Sam Colt:

    I think you are wrong about that and I also think it wrong to post something calling for a ban on “automatic” weapons after a shooting of this kind. It is politically motivated as is your attempt to distort and redirect.

    However an automatic weapon was not used, it was a semi-automatic pistol.

    here are a couple of cases from the 30’s after the passage of the national firearms act:

    http://usgovinfo.about.com/library/bills/blusvmiller.htm

    http://usgovinfo.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http://caselaw.findlaw.com/cgi%2Dbin/getcase.pl%3Fcourt=US%26amp%3Bvol=300%26amp%3Binvol=506%23513

  107. I would personally prefer to live in a society where guns were less available, where I didn’t have to worry that the angry driver behind me who thinks I’m going too slow might have a gun in his pocket. I don’t intend ever to shoot anyone or anything. On the other hand, I live in a rural area where many normal, responsible people enjoy hunting.

    Rather than arguing fruitlessly about whether certain types of guns should be legal or not, perhaps we should focus instead on the the way using guns is increasingly suggested in political rhetoric. Sarah Palin uses gun sight crosshairs to “target” the districts of politicians she doesn’t like. The congresswoman’s opponent apparently had on his website, “Get on target for victory in November. Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office. Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly.” Can anyone seriously argue that the use of gun images and the juxtaposition of Ms. Gifford’s name with an M16 don’t carry the implication that maybe guns should be used? Not to mention all the references by various tea party candidates to “second amendment remedies.” I was under the impression that inciting violence was a crime, not legitimate free speech. Perhaps that is where we should be focusing our attention.

  108. If one is tired of the violence caused by guns, then severely restricting the guns of law-abiding citizens would be the last thing to do.

    The biggest mass murderers last century were governments with unarmed citizens (not lone wackos). The only way to ban guns and for a country to remain safe is for even the government to not have them.

    That isn’t going to happen.

    The Swiss are all armed. They don’t have these problems. They have western civilization values, similar cultural beliefs, and are not multicultural.

    All of this matters.

  109. The Swiss were also bankers for the Nazis, Tootles.

    And the Nazis weren’t multicultural either.

    You “Culture Warriors” have a lot in common with other cultures. Unfortunately it’s all cultures that grow in a Petri dish or in solid waste fermentation ponds.

  110. Elaine,

    Critics are those who stand behind the lines and shoot the wounded as they return from battle.

    (Fitting, don’t you think?)

  111. blouise; I hope your husband’s medical issue has a favorable outcome. Keep us “apprised” as AY said.

  112. The Swiss….and are not multicultural

    why yes, yes they are, certainly not to the extent of the U.S. but most definitely multicultural.

    (hint: 4 official languages)

    Switzerland also has a population less than that of New York City, I’m not so sure that’s an apt analogy.

  113. Elaine: “What facts can you add to the discussion to help ground the debate and to make it a more meaningful one?”

    Elaine,

    Aside from attempting to make a case for appeals to emotion in this “debate,” I have no idea what your argument here is.

    That aside, let me ask you a few questions:

    Do you think debates should be framed in a clear and concise manner; i.e so that the debaters are at least familiar with the terminology and actual topic over which they are debating? (e.g. was a congressman shot with an automatic weapon?)

    Do you know what an automatic weapon is?

    Did you know what an automatic weapon was before reading this thread? If so, did you have a problem with the title of this thread and the alleged nexus to the incident in question (which did not involve an automatic weapon)?

    Do you believe you can just walk into a gun store and purchase a machine gun (i.e. an automatic weapon)?

    Is it your belief that there are no FEDERAL laws regarding the purchase and ownership of machine guns? (Hint; 1934 & 1986)

    Would you believe me if I told you that if you wanted a machine gun, the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco & Firearms just might have the final say?

    Would you consider conducting a debate regarding gun control immediately in the wake of a shooting incident an act of deliberation based in principle or hasty commentary made in the heat of the moment?

    So to answer your question: “What facts can you add to the discussion to help ground the debate and to make it a more meaningful one?”

    How about argument from emotion sans any attempt at clarification or grasp of the current status of what is being debated inevitably results in meaningless chatter that resembles an engine without a drive train; spinning endlessly and going nowhere.

  114. The guy who tackled the shooter was carrying. He decided just to physically overpower the shooter instead. It was the right choice. Even if someone close by was carrying a semi automatic, for them to try and hit the shooter while he was shooting may have caused even more innocent deaths. And the fact that these things happen in a matter of seconds when talking about semi automatic weapons-the damage is done before anyone can react.

    Arizona is absolutely nuts for guns. Lets hope now that we might be able to get some common sense rules for gun licensing-ie, required gun safety courses, special license for these semi automatic weapons that includes psychological screening, etc.

    We can go too far in either direction. We have all sorts of laws to protect the innocent, as much as possible, from the damage that can be done by reckless drivers. We should do the same when it comes to lethal weapons.

    Fat chance though, when the right wing and the NRA are absolutely insane when it comes to this issue and they have lots of lobbyists and money supporting this gun orgy of a free for all.

  115. Bob,Esq.,

    Elaine: “What facts can you add to the discussion to help ground the debate and to make it a more meaningful one?”

    Bob,Esq.: “How about argument from emotion sans any attempt at clarification or grasp of the current status of what is being debated inevitably results in meaningless chatter that resembles an engine without a drive train; spinning endlessly and going nowhere.”

    *****
    Now that’s what I’d call adding a lot of factual information to the debate. You asked me a lot of questions–but failed to provide the facts that I requested. Why is that?

    Did I state anywhere in my comments on this thread that I think guns should be outlawed?

    Did you read this earlier comment that I addressed to savaship?:
    “My family had a ‘gun’ situation last year. We cleaned out and sold my mother’s house. One of the objects that she kept down in the basement was a German luger that my father had brought home after WW II. Because of the gun laws in my state, my brother-in-law was afraid to transport the gun to a gun dealer–so he had to have the dealer come to my mother’s house. I, too, think that some gun laws may be too restrictive.”

    *****

    BTW, I did know what an automatic weapon was before the debate began. Maybe I should note that my father was an expert marksman and won a significant number of competitions when he served in the military.

    P.S. After reading your comment to me, I’d say you’re the one who’s getting agitated/emotional about the subject.

  116. Bob,Esq.
    I am sorry if you do not agree with the timing of this discussion or how the issues were framed, but I have to respectfully disagree with you. This latest tragedy is just one of many over the past few years and eventually people need to discuss the idea that gun control might need to be increased or improved. I am not sure where the machine gun came into the discussion, but I could have easily missed it. Whether someone can shoot 15-20 times by individually pulling the trigger rapidly or just spray 15-20 shots with an automatice weapoon was not the issue. The issue of deadly weapons that many think are not necessary for home defense or hunting should be discussed. When current events provide everyone the ability to understand the carnage that can be brought by a semi-automatic handgun, it is a proper time to discuss it in my opinion becasue it shows everyone what the stakes are.

  117. guns are already heavily regulated. how much more regulation is needed? Maybe more effective enforcement of existing regulations would be a more germane topic?

  118. When I was in the military I read a book titled “On Killing”, written by a retired Lt. Col. It mostly dealt with the psychological toll killing takes on a person.

    One of the topics discussed at length was the increasing popularity of video games where the main character is a first person shooter, and how such games desensitize youth to killing. The author argues that these games are a large contributor to situations such as this one in Arizona and others such as Columbine.

  119. It’s okay Bob,Esq., you can blame me for I purposely hi-jacked the discussion.

    Usually I stay away from the issue because, quite frankly, I’m not a Second Amendment fan. (I know, I know … sacrilege) I don’t like guns but I’m always interested to see how far people who do like guns will go in defending their precious weapon.

    In my opinion, the gun-loving train is without a rational engine as it whirls down the tracks leaving carnage and death in its wake. There really is nothing to debate …

  120. Blouise,

    Must I remind you that some people’s opinions are based on logic–while some people’s are based on emotion.

    Maybe you and I should hire a logician to tutor us in the art of “non-emotional” debating.

    ;)

  121. SM,
    That link lists the Oathkeepers as an Anti-governmental group… I do not think this is accurate at all. This brings into question the veracity of the rest of the information which I can’t verify appropriately due to lack of exposure personally to the subject matter. The fact that anti-governmental ideals are assumed, and spoken in a negative light exposes the bias of the person compiling the information, and therefore invalidates the entire document on its face, unless someone wants to set up a large peer review group on those facts.

  122. Hard to fathom how quickly time passes. Maybe the “quickening” of life inversely guarantees how pathetically slow we are to improve our lot. Pity,there seems no clear way to slow it all down.

    So today I realize it’s been a quarter-century since my partners & I responded to the San Diego McDonald’s bloodbath in July, ’84. It was there another tweaked freak took up arms in his rage against the “government.” He walked into a restaurant, and with the fortitude of his best buds (think Uzi & shotgun & automatic handgun) he butchered 40 people. Of the 40, I seem to recall half of those we assessed were dead as they lay. And wonder of wonders, not one of the bleeding worked for any government at all.

    Like many, I suppose, I’m cursed by seeing both sides of this tortuous issue. Make no mistake, I find myself in a cold, silent rage over the liberties this government has taken, in the gouging of human rights, one by one by another. The very term ‘Patriot Act,’ for one, makes me want to puke.

    On the other hand, I find it almost – but not quite – hilarious, that those of survivalist bent envision themselves actually defending their rights by shooting it out with a dastardly SEAL team. In the darkest of times, can’t you just imagine you & your righteous neighbors firing away at an F-14 Tomcat?

    We ain’t the Taliban, folks, and how many of your friends are willing to hunker down in a cave in a protracted, 10-year war with the U.S Marines? I mean, minus our flat screen TVs and all.

    If one’s basic reasoning for retaining a weapon is self-protection,then I see a micro-argument in favor of that. But I can fairly report that in my 12,000 EMS responses, precious few victims of gunshots (and 19 of them were cops) had any response time at all. And every one of them carried a weapon for a living.

    But if one’s core reason for weapons is “battling a tyrannical government” I suggest you go take another pill. Because like the admonished little leaguer told his dad one day, “I had a no-hitter going, till the big kids got in the game.”

    My take is, it’s time we all create another fantasy.

  123. How come when illegal immigrants kill people, we don’t see a bunch of liberals calling for tighter border/immigration controls?

  124. “On the other hand, I find it almost – but not quite – hilarious, that those of survivalist bent envision themselves actually defending their rights by shooting it out with a dastardly SEAL team. In the darkest of times, can’t you just imagine you & your righteous neighbors firing away at an F-14 Tomcat?

    We ain’t the Taliban, folks, and how many of your friends are willing to hunker down in a cave in a protracted, 10-year war with the U.S Marines? I mean, minus our flat screen TVs and all.” (PatricParamedic)

    ========================================================
    And that my dear is where I and the Second Amendment just don’t see eye to eye. A foreign power trying to billet their redcoated buddies in my house then and a contingent of Marines bent on capturing my house now. There I stand with my trusty six-shooter when out of nowhere a drone zaps me and my house.

    Or I could pull a Ruby Ridge and end up with a dead spouse, dead kids and sitting in jail talking to my buckskin lawyer.

    Somehow the Second Amendment just doesn’t do it for me.

  125. Elaine M.
    1, January 9, 2011 at 2:51 pm
    Blouise,

    Must I remind you that some people’s opinions are based on logic–while some people’s are based on emotion.

    Maybe you and I should hire a logician to tutor us in the art of “non-emotional” debating.
    :)

    =====================================================

    I noticed a whole lot of transference going on but that was probably emotional … or logical … or testosterone run amuck.

    I wrote earlier that I debated with myself after writing the initial post as to whether or not to hit “post comment” … not because I didn’t believe in what I had written but because I didn’t know if I wanted to spend the time answering all the wailing that I knew would be coming. Some things are just plain predictable. :)

  126. Elaine: “Now that’s what I’d call adding a lot of factual information to the debate. You asked me a lot of questions–but failed to provide the facts that I requested. Why is that?”

    The ‘fact’ is Elaine that you haven’t clarified any ‘argument’ on your part due in no small part to your inattention to facts.

    One fact you ignored from the get go was that my post focused on procedure and took no side in this debate whatsoever.

    Elaine: “Did I state anywhere in my comments on this thread that I think guns should be outlawed?”

    If I’m discussing procedure, rather than taking a side, why would I care?

    Unless you consider my pointing out that justifying appeals to emotion instead of discussing some relevant facts, as alluded to in my general questions, does somehow constitute taking a side…?

    Elaine: “Did you read this earlier comment that I addressed to savaship?”

    Yep. And I read your other posts too.

    Elaine: “BTW, I did know what an automatic weapon was before the debate began.”

    So then you’re generally familiar with the current laws that make them effectively inaccessible to consumers. And the reason you couldn’t so much as allude to those ‘facts’ was… what? You had to wait for me to bring them up? If you knew what an automatic weapon was, then why didn’t you clarify that such a weapon had nothing to do with the shooting in Arizona? My job again? Argumentation via waiting for the phone to ring?

    Elaine: “After reading your comment to me, I’d say you’re the one who’s getting agitated/emotional about the subject.”

    Yes, guilty as charged. I do in fact have a low threshold tolerance for bullshit. However the ‘subject’ has nothing to do with my annoyance at a complete disregard for clarity of debate for measly sake of expressing emotion.

  127. Rafflaw,

    Automatic weapons are INCREDIBLY DIFFERENT from other guns; thus the reason they’ve been treated differently since the early 1930’s.

    Further, it’s always time to discuss this issue; discussing it now merely focuses attention to appeals to emotion. I think Lottakatz discussed this as being an ‘acceptable’ rhetorical device; but it’s far from principle centered.

    For the record, I don’t own, nor care to own, hand guns or machine guns and I do think that the laws in effect regarding such weapons (in New York) are more than satisfactory.

  128. C.Everett

    They (the different groups) still have the same culture/values: Western. The small size is a good point, though their form of government/constitution is modeled after our own!

    But they have avoided war for about 200 years (the opposite of what we do). It seems our leaders are the source of the violence in America.

    They have a very low crime rate though fully armed. Amazing.

    They took a good track years ago and built bomb shelters everywhere (took about 30 years to do it). They did that instead of investing in nukes and such.

  129. Carlyle Moulton-
    “At the time that the 2nd amendment was passed, the height of small arms technology was the muzzle loading musket. Imagine a single deranged individual trying to conduct a massacre with muzzle loading weapons, the idea is absurd.”

    Equally absurd is the notion that the founding fathers thought that firearms technology would be locked in place for eternity. They weren’t stupid. They saw significant advances in the technology in their lifetimes, and well under 50 years after many of them were still alive, practical and reliable repeating weapons were in use. The logical evolution of firearms would be that they get smaller, more powerful, and faster.

    “The idea that citizens armed with small arms are able to prevent the takeover of government by totalitarians is laughable.”

    This argument is also laughable and tired.

    “Governments as well as armies of well trained infantry better able to use their small arms than can untrained citizens also have heavy weapons, tanks and air forces capable of obliterating the dissenting citizens with fuel air bombs.”

    No one who thinks of defending himself from his government imagines taking potshots at main battle tanks with his deer rifle. The idea behind an armed populace is insurgency. Two psychos with a single rifle terrorized the entire D.C. region. Imagine if it was 10,000 people with rifles nationwide.

    I must say that fighting my government is the reason farthest down the list for my owning a gun as the probability of such an event is too low to calculate (though not zero).

    “You Americans are not going to get rid of your permissive attitude to guns that enable lone persons to commit sizable massacres until someone does you the favour of committing one that is big enough.”

    That train has left the station. We had our largest gun massacre ever at Virginia Tech, and the only significant calls for change were keeping guns from the mentally ill (something we all support, but that is hugely impractical), and closing the so-called gun show loophole, even though the perpetrator didn’t get his guns at a gun show. Surveys show that the national view on gun control is going the opposite way.

    “It would seem to me that the 2nd amendment should be restated to allow citizens access to any small arms technology that was widely available in the eighteenth century and to carry no more than one piece of it at a time.”

    What good would that do? Do you think someone looking to kill people would follow such a rule?

    “That should be enough for those wanting to blow away burglars or the occasional deer.”

    It would not be enough. I do not wish to blow up any living thing, I wish to have the means to defend myself, my wife, and my child in the unlikely event that it is necessary.

    rafflaw-
    “This latest tragedy is just one of many over the past few years and eventually people need to discuss the idea that gun control might need to be increased or improved.”

    I’m all for improving screening. How can we do it? Also, the national trend over the last 20 years has been to loosen restrictions. Shall-issue concealed carry has spread from barely half the states to where now 42 states allow normal people to carry. The “Assault Weapons” ban expired. And during that time, gun crime plummeted. I do not think that the loosening of gun control laws is responsible for the drop in crime, but it seems reasonable to question the more guns=more crime equation.

    Chris-
    “One of the topics discussed at length was the increasing popularity of video games where the main character is a first person shooter, and how such games desensitize youth to killing. The author argues that these games are a large contributor to situations such as this one in Arizona and others such as Columbine.”

    On Killing is, to put it mildly, controversial among the relevant fields. And anyone who is familiar with the mechanics behind the Columbine event knows that at least in that case, the hypothesis is idiotic.

  130. Bob,Esq.,

    You wrote:

    “The ‘fact’ is Elaine that you haven’t clarified any ‘argument’ on your part due in no small part to your inattention to facts.

    One fact you ignored from the get go was that my post focused on procedure and took no side in this debate whatsoever.”

    *****

    You’re the one who made the complaint about the discussion on this thread. I simply–in good faith–asked if you could provide facts in order to help ground the debate and to make it a more meaningful one. It seems you have chosen to avoid providing facts that would be pertinent to the discussion and prefer to question me instead.

    What is “my” side in this debate? I didn’t know I had made an argument. I didn’t know that there was a set procedure for blog discussions. Please pardon my ignorance of such.

    Have a nice evening. My husband and I are taking my daughter and her husband out to dinner. I’ll be back later to check to see if you have some more questions for this little old lady who is inattentive to facts.

    ;)

  131. PatricPara:

    Your comments are disturbing. Why would Tomcats be attacking citizens? If that happened, there would be every reason to attack government.

    It is impossible for government to be good if it doesn’t ultimately fear the people.

  132. Jason,
    I never implied that improving on our restrictions on guns would be easy, but it seems obvious to me that too many people with issues or health problems are getting their hands on guns. The only place to start is at the beginning. I do not agree with you that crime has gone down since the Assault Weapon ban expired. Please provide a link to the site that backs up that claim. Thanks.
    Bob,Esq.
    I know that automatic weapons are much different, but the issue to me is how much damage can be done. A semi-automatic weapon is also very dangerous. I still don’t understand where the machine gun issue came from. Bob, for the record, I was not attempting to use a rhetorical device here. I was merely trying to get people to talk about what I saw as an important issue.

  133. “I was merely trying to get people to talk about what I saw as an important issue.” (rafflaw)

    ============================================

    and it worked … and then some :)

  134. “You’re (Bob,Esq.,) the one who made the complaint about the discussion on this thread. I simply–in good faith–asked if you could provide facts in order to help ground the debate and to make it a more meaningful one. It seems you have chosen to avoid providing facts that would be pertinent to the discussion and prefer to question me instead.

    What is “my” side in this debate? I didn’t know I had made an argument. I didn’t know that there was a set procedure for blog discussions. Please pardon my ignorance of such.” (Elaine)

    =======================================================

    Bob,Esq., -“life long shooter & “gun owner”

    “I think in regard to some gun enthusiasts–there’s never a “good” time to discuss gun control.” (Elaine)

    Perhaps his being a life long shooter & gun owner has something to do with it … does that sound logical?

    Enjoy dinner.

    I, too, await his response for the experiences of a life long shooter and gun owner would be helpful in separating that which is logical from that which is merely emotional.

  135. Blouise: “I, too, await his response for the experiences of a life long shooter and gun owner would be helpful in separating that which is logical from that which is merely emotional.”

    Blouise,

    What point was I making when I said I was a life long shooter and gun owner? It couldn’t be that I was making a sarcastic remark regarding the common knowledge regarding laws against machine guns; could it?

    Let’s see:

    “As a life long shooter & “gun owner” I’ve always been aware of the ‘laws’ against (what I always referred to as) machine guns (i.e. fully automatic weapons).”

    Whadda ya know.

    You don’t suppose that in a debate regarding whether it’s time to ban all automatic weapons someone might mention the laws already on the books effectively banning them already; do you?

    Like I said; engine without a drive train; spinning endlessly and going nowhere.

  136. Rafflaw: “I know that automatic weapons are much different, but the issue to me is how much damage can be done. A semi-automatic weapon is also very dangerous.”

    Sharp sticks can also be very dangerous Rafflaw. Surely you can appreciate the need for precision when discussing the source and type of danger per the laws to be promulgated regarding such.

    Rafflaw: “I still don’t understand where the machine gun issue came from.”

    An automatic weapon, as in the term used in your query, is in fact none other than a machine gun. That type of gun has been subject to an entirely different set of legislation since 1934.

    Rafflaw: “Bob, for the record, I was not attempting to use a rhetorical device here. I was merely trying to get people to talk about what I saw as an important issue.”

    I understand; but did you really expect a clear and thoughtful debate in the midst of all the emotion of the moment?

  137. rafflaw,

    I wonder whose “emotion of the moment” Bob was referring to???

    *****

    Blouise,

    We had a delicious dinner at the restaurant where my daughter had her wedding reception.

  138. Otteray Scribe 1, January 8, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    I have a question for those who want to outlaw private ownership of guns. Given the number of guns in this country, and the fact that ownership is a visceral issue for most of the owners, how do you plan to implement the kind of gun control you advocate?

    I would like to see your game plan for going into the hills and hollers of Appalachia to tell the folks there you have come to take their guns from them. Would you be willing to go there yourself to be the “gun confiscator?” Who would you send, considering most law enforcement officers in the area would support the gun owners. Do you see yourself going up a narrow dirt road up in the hills to take guns from the residents there?

    There is idealism, and then there is practicality.

    ————————————————————–

    Otteray Scribe,

    First of all, I am in no position what so ever to suggest the outlawing of private ownership of guns, but, I have a few ideas that as a non-lawyer and non-politician will bring howls of condemnation. So be it. I also know that there are three things Americans are passionate about. Sex, guns and money. (not always in that order)(and sometimes drugs)

    1. Leave the second amendment alone. This is the most valuable tool that any politician in the country can have in his/her arsenal… You see we are all politely disagreeing with one another about its benefits and pitfalls. During the course of our discussions not one of us has brought up the fact that there probably is close to 20 per cent of the population unemployed. We never spoke of the housing crisis, nor health care nor the Wall Street robbers. So politically, keep it intact so we will be fighting with one another. It works very well to keep our minds off other important issues.

    However,

    2. If ammunition is not considered a weapon by definition under the second amendment, then ban any future sales of ammunition (to non military/police organizations)(or at least control it in some way). I know one bullet will still kill. That transition would take many years.

    3. As a pilot, we must pass medicals once or twice a year depending on our licenses and ratings etc. Anyone that owns a gun could be compelled to visit a doctor for a physical and general discussion as to a persons ability to have a firearm. You know and I know that either of us could lose our pilot’s licenses in a New York second if we don’t meet all the health standards all the time. It seems prudent that gun owners meet some standard as well.

    4. Make all gun owners responsible… How? With insurance payable to Uncle Sam. I have no idea how many millions or billions of dollars are sought after in courts every year for damages resulting from firearm lawsuits. But, by forcing gun owners to purchase 1 or 2 million dollars worth of liability insurance (like cars) depending on the number of weapons and/or skills and the gun owners past history would establish a premium. Make every gun owner qualify and take an annual or semi annual course to ensure safe practices. Bring every gun you have to your course, because if you fail any of the requirements you will lose your guns and your license on the spot.

    Does this answer your question? Probably… It just doesn’t answer it very well.

    Proper balance is the only answer.

    Sorry, but I totally forgot how the sex and drugs was to work into my discussion.

    Greatest respect to all.

  139. The second amendment allows gun ownership, but it does not guarantee the freedom to fire the gun.

    It also specifies a minimal amount of power and lead, but does not guarantee the right to any more than that.
    It also specifies the reason for ownership as directly related to the formation, by the government of militia to protect the community or nation. That is not the same thing as being able to pack a weapon, in a peaceful setting, to make one feel good about one’s self.

    Try that on the literalists like Scalia and see what happens.

    At some point the Supremes are going to have to make a determination of whether the right to own a gun is greater or lesser than the right for citizens to be safe from being frightened, intimidated, and murdered either directly or, like the 9 year old yesterday, as collateral damage to some sort of sick political assassination.

  140. Bud,

    No howls of condemnation from this citizen. I like everyone of your ideas.

    Well, ok, maybe not that keen on leaving the fantasy builder otherwise know as the Second Amendment alone but I accept the political reality of what you write … and survivalists might run amuck without their beloved Second to take to bed at night. (Seriously, I take your point and grudgingly agree)

    Hot damn my man … I don’t know you well but there’s some very real depth and common sense to you.

    Sex, drugs, and rock&roll usually take care of themselves … at least that’s been my life experience.

    Thanks for the ideas.

  141. Blouise,

    Thanks.

    I just can’t see this issue being one way or another.
    Politicians won’t/can’t scrap the second.
    Gun owners won’t allow them to.

    I just hope someone really really smart comes up with a real honest to goodness reasonable and fair solution for everyone.

    To have an innocent child killed, tells the world horrible things about the USA. It shouldn’t happen again.

  142. Bob,Esq.,

    I wasn’t attempting to blunt your sarcasm about knowing the laws regarding machine guns … I was highlighting your life long shooter & gun owner status and the expertise that spending one’s life shooting and owning guns could bring to those of us who have never participated in such activities. Thus hoping you could bring the cold, hard facts of logical reality to the warm, mushy, feebleness of the emotional moment.

    Now in the fairness of full disclosure, I have to admit to knowing a bit about hunting. (If hunting was part of your shooter experience) My relatives and their friends hunted all the time and I went on my first hunting trip at a young age. But my relatives stated most emphatically that guns were for sissies. We hunted with bow and arrow and we ate what we shot. My fletchings are still pretty good and I can still notch well but the arm … well not so great anymore. Oh, I also have a truly wicked knife that my uncle bought me 40 years when he was visiting Spain … great for skinning.

    I’m armed … but not particularly dangerous though my tolerance for pure bullshit is similar to your own. There’s a distinctive aroma to it … wouldn’t you agree?

  143. Bud,

    This child made the news but ask any cop, any emergency room nurse, any paramedic … we have an epidemic of little ones falling victim to random gun violence … they are just as innocent, just as sweet and loved just as much … it’s a national tragedy and should shame us all.

    But your ideas were constructive … they’re good ideas and they are workable!

  144. As the owner of a FULLY AUTOMATIC thompson sub machine gun and a card carrying member of the ACLU, I must interject my thoughts.
    The National Firearms Act of 1934 was instituted to regulate ownership of fully auto weapons, silencers, short barrel weapons and destructive devices. The act came about due to the flood of criminals using stolen and legally purchased(a fully auto Thopmpson with drum magazine and carrying case would set one back around $250 in 1922) auto weapons (Model 1921 or 1928 Thompson SMG’s and Browning BAR’s immedlately come to mind) The ’21 or ’28 Thompson is a submachine (“submachine” as it uses a pistol cartridge, the 45 auto colt pistol)gun . In order to purchase a fully automatic weapon in 1934 or today in 2011, one must pass a series of metrics such as be a law-abiding citizen as verified by the county sheriff or other chief law enforcement authority in your domicile. Other data such as the reason why a fully auto weapon is needed, criminal background questions, mental issues, are attested to, etc. Then the filled out document is forwarded to the BATF in West Virginia (shades of the late Sen. Byrd’s pork projects)and a FULL bankground check is done. Four months later you recive an up or down decision. If approved, your document, with its’ $200 stamp attached (hasn’t gone up since ’34) is sent to the dealer and you receive your weapon. Since Fully auto weapons are very expensive, think mid $30K for a good thompson, you are NOT going to see them in illegal venues. If you take your weapon out of state you must notify the BATF or it can be siezed and you end up in the can plus a hefty fine, and finally the weapon destroyed. These items are for collectors and represent an interesting and fascinating part of american history. Of the 15,000 Thompsons made by Colt in the 20’s, perhaps a thousand or less are legally available for purchase and enjoyment today. So why shouldn’t I have one if I jump through all the hoops? A Thompson is a beautiful piece of precision machinery and woodworking, capable of firing 800 rounds per minute, or about a drum of 50 rounds in 3 seconds. (I shoot pumpkins at 25 yards.). So it goes.

  145. Elaine,

    Excellent … was it as good as your own?

    I’m so glad you are back as I miss your posts when your off having fun!

  146. Bda,

    I have no problem with collectors for a well made gun has a certain beauty … an acquaintance of my husband collects cannons … the regulations are incredible but he loves ’em so he pays his money and follows the rules

  147. Blouise,

    My husband and I rarely cook steak at home. I ordered the Grill of My Dreams–a grilled 8 oz. filet of beef tenderloin with potatoes au gratin, asparagus, and brandy peppercorn mushroom sauce. My daughter had the same. Our male companions had the grilled Black Angus sirloin with onion strings, garlic mashed potatoes, and cabernet shallot sauce. We all shared a plate of Oysters Danielle (oysters on the half shell baked with garlic butter and bacon).

    BTW, my husband cooked up a big pot of his fabulous Italian wedding soup for me today. It’s so hearty and so tasty–especially served with freshly grated Romano cheese.

    I hope your husband is doing well. I will keep him in my thoughts.

  148. “BTW, my husband cooked up a big pot of his fabulous Italian wedding soup for me today. It’s so hearty and so tasty–especially served with freshly grated Romano cheese.” (Elaine)

    Oh … one of my favorites … I should send you my recipe and you can compare … this recipe is not a quick one but it is superb.

    Thanks for the thoughts concerning Tex … tomorrow they will shock his heart and then, hopefully, he will be able to come home on Tuesday. It has been a most horrendous New Year.

    I must sign off now and get to bed … up early tomorrow.

    How’s your cold … steak helps :)

  149. I’ll bet that if the Laws were changed to require every American to possess a loaded weapon at all times, the crimes against the average citizen would drop to a stand-still.

  150. Bob,
    I will respond to your last point first. I did expect a meaningful discussion even in these hard times and for the most part I think we had one. That emotion of the moment that you mention has been repeated over and over again throughout my life and that is why I wanted to have this important discussion.
    Bob, I do understand that an automatic weapon is technically a machine gun, but when I read machine gun I think of the Tommy Gun discussed above or the 50mm machine gun from the military or the BAR from the WWII movies or Uzi’s or the SAW that the Marines use now. For what it is worth, I think of AK’s and M-16’s as automatic rifles. I am not a gun purist, and I made that clear early on in the discussion. Finally, and to be fair, don’t you think the sharp stick comment is carrying it a little too far. I do agree precision is good, but I think the point got across to most of what I was trying to convey. Thanks for explaining your thoughts! I appreciate it.
    Bud,
    I like your ideas, but maybe Bob,Esq. can check me on this, but some of what you suggest is already being done in some localities. I like the insurance idea, but if people call providing affordable health care for all to be socialism, I can only imagine what your idea of insurance to the government in order to own a gun will be called. Thanks for sharing.

    Blouise and Elaine, it is too late to be talking about food. You will make have to raid the refrigerator! Have a great week!

  151. Bud: Some very good observations that I cannot disagree with. Unfortunately Raff, in his comment just above, hits on the biggest bump in the road. Insurance is a good idea, an excellent idea in fact, but in practice it is unworkable. Now, I have insurance–seven figures worth of insurance–however we all live in a real world of folks who ignore laws. Case in point; while interviewing a fellow the other day, I asked him how he got to my office. He told me he drove, so I asked if he had a current and valid driver’s license. His reply was, “Naw, I ain’t had one since ’87 when they took ’em from me.”

    Then I asked him how much he owed in fines and he said, “Somewheres about twenty or thirty thousand, I ain’t sure exactly.” Then I asked him if he had insurance on his car and he said he could not afford it. This fellow has repeated DUIs, no license, no insurance and he continues to drive. My point is that this is exactly what will happen if we require insurance on guns, training, licensing or other similar regulation. As for ammunition, it is easy to reload used brass and make your own. I can cast lead bullets and make my own ammunition by recycling brass cartridge casings. Heck of a lot cheaper than buying them new.

    In point of fact, if the 2nd Amendment were repealed tomorrow and new gun control regulations were implemented, the vast majority of gun owners would ignore them just like my guy the other day. And BTW, I have heard that same identical story too many times to count.

    Funny gun story from about a few years ago. I had a guy in my office tell me that if he was able to get his guns back from that G**D*** Sheriff he would shoot the SOB. So as soon as as I finished interviewing him I called the Sheriff to get the rest of the story. Seems the guy pointed a gun at our Sheriff during a domestic violence call and ended up getting very lucky because the Sheriff just arrested him instead of killing him. Then took his guns. Sheriff told me the guy was not going to get his guns back. They were in the evidence room and that was where they were going to stay.

  152. Perhaps I missed them but in all this fascinating discussion it seems to me little attention as been given to “self-defense.” There are a few items but most entries seem to deal with aggressive use of guns when I suspect, but have no facts to prove, most of the estimated 200 million guns in private hands in the US are owned for defensive purposes and that leads me to another point.

    Even if you call 911 on an intruder the police may not be able to get to you before something terrible happens to you, the intruder or both (threats do have their place). it is worth remembering that the police have no duty to protect you, the individual citizen, but to protect the “public safety.” If they do not come to your aid, you have no recourse. (I understand that if you are dead, recourse is not a big worry.) I do not have the citation for the Supreme Court case holding this but I think I can find it and I don’t think it’s anything recent (i.e. reflecting the current make up of the Court).

    And lastly, trying, as at least one comment does, to suggest that semi-automatic and automatic weapons are effectively the same thing merits just trying them to see for one’s self. As a Vietnam vet, who carried an M-16, military equivalent of an AR-15, with a selector to change it from semi-automatic to full automatic, I believe I can attest that those two settings are different with quite different effects.

    Treating semi-automatic and automatic as effectively the same just contributes to the Second Amendment supporters’ ire and vitriolic response (as does talk of “assault weapons” as if they differed from semi-automatic weapons other than cosmetically).

    All of this comment is really meant to argue for dealing with these controversies with precise language and careful thought, in part to “get it right” and in part to lower the heat in our contemporary debate.

  153. I understand the next two days will be critical for Ms. Giffords. May God bless her and her family.

    ———————————————

    The government controlled media (in this case the NY Times)is now blaming the Libertarians for the pot-smoking leftist scum-bag (they didn’t call him that) accused of murdering 6 two days ago (including one child). I’ve provided a link to the story via Lew Rockwell, a Libertarian website.

    Libertarians loath murder. I guess that doesn’t matter to the jerks at the NY Times.

    It is the Democrats (along with the NY Times) who led the nation to a century of bloodshed and war in the 20th century, and it’s the Libertarians who want such imperial bloodshed stopped. Yes, the NY Times stills beats the wardrums as we speak.

    Who then supports violence? Certainly not the Libertarians.

    And how odd it was that CNN jumped right into insinuating Tea Party types into the Arizona tragedy before they knew more info on the shooter.

    Okay, so it’s not odd about CNN doing that since they are generally a bunch of anti-intellectual, totalitarian, police-state pigs.

    Among the young man’s favorite books (supposedly) is the Communist Manifesto. You know, that’s the same stuff Obama and his Marxist totalitarian friends like Van Jones and Anita Dunn are so fond of. Oh, and there is Mr. Obama senior. Don’t forget him.

    He was fond of Marx too.

    I’m sorry, but Tea Party people don’t like that book. Neither do Libertarians. Democrats and the accused assassin do.

    He liked Mein Kampf. Hitler was a National Socialist. Call me surprised. In fact he was leader of their party. Technically, it was the National Socialist German Workers’ Party or the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei.

    Sure, he used the socialists for his own police-state purposes until they could be eliminated, but that’s what is always so bad about all Marxists/Marxism. It destabilizes governments and leads to subjugation, dictatorship, or tyranny.

    Obama knows this exceptionally well. He was schooled on this topic. He is even familiar with the redistributive French Revolution. It was there also that forced economic “equality” led to dictatorship (via the destabilization it always causes).

    Obama is no dummy. Or so they say. Yet, honestly, isn’t it kinda stupid to whack the goose that is laying the golden eggs?

    Anyway.

    The Marxist contemporaries continue to portray Hitler as a crazed right winger like Christians are in America. Yes, I know, it’s insane, because Hitler couldn’t even stand Christianity. But, no matter. The lie has to be told as many times as the Marxists pigs can tell it.

    And so it was that the Marxists in America would write the official history of WW2 and its aftermath. It was written by the Marxists at the NY Times and the Marxist intellectuals in academia. Our colleges and universities have been riddled with these monsters for nearly half a century. They are guilty of pointing the finger at Hitler while trying to get us to not see the three fingers pointing back at themselves, Mao, and Stalin.

    They taught this coverup to several generations of American school children (including me) who grew up thinking Hitler was the worst man last century. He wasn’t: Mao and Stalin were worse.

    And low and behold these are the ideological playmates of Obama, Reid, and Pelosi, the NY Times, and virtually all of the Ivy League colleges and universities in Ameria. And, now, perhaps our alleged murderer.

    But it’s the Libertarians fault.

    Just like Hitler, the American left loathes Western Civilization. It was the left that chanted on campus “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Western Civ has got to go!”.

    And go it is.

    It appears our assassin isn’t much fond of WC either considering his alleged fondness for the Manifesto and Mein Kampf. Both strike at the roots of WC.

    On the otherhand Libertarians uphold the best of Western Civilization’s values, especially liberty and freedom. You won’t see Obama or the Democrats upholding these either. Nope. Certainly not the ones that count in terms of government policy. It’s not part of their plan.

    It never is for the Marxist. Ergo: sexual assault of innocent civilians by government officials at transportation “checkpoints” in keeping with the best traditions of Mao and Hitler.

    Tea Party folks, on the other hand, disagree with that. And they disagree with Hilter and the Democrats about Western Civilization. They like WC. In fact, they prefer it. And they don’t want it to go.

    Libertarians don’t care, they just like free markets (a very western value) and liberty. Oh, yeah, that is real scary stuff. Scarier than being surveilled by the Marxists totalitarians in the Obama admin as I write.

    Uh huh.

    Hitler was a tree-hugging vegetarian as well. Tea Partiers are not too much into that sort of thing. Libertarians don’t care what you do. They are into freedom.

    Say, when will the Marxist food shortages begin anyway? You do know they always begin sometime or another? Right?

    How else will government get your guns if they cannot give you a loaf of bread in return for it? Just don’t let them touch your junk in the process. That will get them all excited and we don’t want that.

    So perhaps this action yesterday was an attempted Marxist purge from the bottom up (purges are a tradition among Marxists). Perhaps it is a warning by the grassroots Marxists on the left. It is unlikely that you will see a DHS warning go out against the Marxists.

    Ms. Giffords was, by all reasonable standards, a moderate, pretty, and polite Marxist. And perhaps this didn’t sit well with the accused assassin.

    There was the nitwit sheriff who spoke on Saturday and scolded folks about media people allegedly inflaming the public and causing such tragedies.

    The old buzzard sherriff didn’t seem to think that public officials like him could ever be guilty of inflaming the public with their own comments about inflaming or their own conduct as government officials.

    Perhpas he thinks that would be impossible.

    Perhaps, only if you are a government official like a cop does it become impossible to inflame. Strange, but, I think such an attitude by cops would indeed inflame the public.

    What appears to have been inflamed on Saturday was a discontented Marxist–a fellow ideological traveler of the president. Will we see CNN or the NY Times report that?

    And now we might know why the president wants to label loyal Americans as dangerous extremists (though Harry Reid did that real well the other day in an essay he wrote). He has to to distract from how bad disloyal Americans like himself are.

    This is all the same old Marxist trick of labeling others as being bad so as to take the attention off yourself, who is worse.

    Yet the Tea Party folks are relatively harmless. They, infact, dearly love America and spent virtually their whole lives as law abiding citizens following the rules and working hard.

    What they don’t like is government not following the rules. And they don’t like it when government pretends others are overthrowing the government when it is really the government that is overthrowing the government.

    But that doesn’t count for anything to the despots at the Deparment of Homeland Security or the knuckleheaded neanderthals at CNN. They’ve a Marxist revolution to attend to and nothing should stand in their way.

    So to cover up their own villiany, the Marxist media and politicians must demonize and portray relatively harmless individuals who REALLY support the government, as anti-government monsters.

    If anyone, it is the Marxist totalitarians in government and media (mostly Democrats) who are inflaming the American people. Everyone else is just responding to it.

    If the leftists/Marxists at the NY Times, CNN, and in government don’t like the verbal sparring going on in public then they should stand down and stop dividing the country. It takes two to Tango and they started this dance a long time ago.

    They should man-up and tolerate the raging discussion which they provoked decades ago when they chanted that Western Civ has got to go. It’s the original provocation for which they don’t seem to have the stomach for seeing through without being dishonest about who is really causing all the trouble.

    Apparently, screaming and shouting that Western Civilization needs to be eliminated and being committed thereto for over a generation thereafter is not inflaming anything we need to worry about.

    Uh huh.

    If Libetarians are inflaming, then so are the Marxist pigs at the NY Times.

    Friedrich Hayek wrote:

    “We have progressively abandoned that freedom in economic affairs without which personal and political freedom has never existed in the past. Although we had been warned by some of the greatet political thinkers of the nineteenth century, by De Tocqueville and Lord Action, that socialism means slavery, we have steadily moved in the directions socialism. And now that we have seen a new form of slavery arise before our eyes, we have so completely forgoten the warning that it scarecely occurs to us that the two things may be connected…

    …The Nazi leader who described the National Socialist revolution as a counter-Renaissance [Hey, hey, ho, ho Western Civ has got to go!] spoke more truly than he probably knew. It was the decisive step in the destruction of that civilization which modern man had bult up from the age of the Renaissance and which was, above all, an individualist civilization.”

    Road to Serfdom. Page 16 and 17. Paperback. University of Chicago Press 1994.

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/74977.html

  154. Otteray Scribe 1, January 10, 2011 at 5:31 am

    You mentioned two very interesting cases. The first case of a guy who wants to buy another gun after his are ceased by the sheriff. Wowww. Something is very very wrong here. This is the type of person that should be given a psych test, and black listed.

    The second guy wants to blow the sheriff away… These are the people that the public must be protected from.

    The insurance idea is simply this. Unless he or she can afford the insurance when they buy the gun and/or the ammo, they can’t have the goods. Why did I say pay it to Uncle Sam? So that money would go into a protected fund (paid for only by gun owners) to partially protect innocent victims… Not to make another government program. Although I admit that’s what it looks like.

    The majority of gun owners are responsible people. I don’t see my views as punishing those people. Yes they are an inconvenience, but reasonable might agree that these are reasonable measures. Not intrusions.

    The conceal/carry law that Arizona has recently passed must just scare the hell out of every law enforcement agent in Arizona. I would really like to hear what FFLeo thinks about that.

    Thanks for your response Otteray.

  155. My questions.

    Why didn’t the college notify the sheriff and he notify all gun stores to not sell to this guy? Might have helped stop him.

    Why did the first Walmart that turned him down because of his behaviour not call the second Walmart and alert them and the sheriff’s office? Might have helped stop him.

    Why shouldn’t high volume clips be banned – again? Might have limited the damage. VA Tech massacre – 100 bullet holes and that was just in the victims.

    Surely there are some things to change that can be agreed on by a majority of gun owners.

  156. Bud, you may have misread. The first guy is just a scofflaw. Habitual DUI offender with no insurance tooling around in a car for more than twenty years, racking up added fines and some occasional jail time. But still driving a 3,500 pound potentially deadly weapon.

    The second guy has no sense and a short fuse. Sheriff seized his guns, and says if he ever gets them back from the Sheriff, then he is going to use them to shoot the Sheriff.

    My point was there are people like the first guy who could give a rat’s patoot what the law says, they will just do what they want to. Register guns or buy insurance–not a chance. And will not until they are get caught like the second guy. Most of the ones who would ignore the law are otherwise fully law abiding citizens who are not about to do anything they perceive as risking their guns being taken from them, or tracked by the “gummint.”

  157. Buckeye: I don’t know if anything can be agreed upon when you have congressional leaders like Michele Bachman calling for the citizenry to be “armed and dangerous”. One thing one would think that could be agreed upon would be not to sell guns to the mentally ill. Even that might be too much to hope for.

  158. rafflaw,

    Here’s something that has gotten me to thinking: On Saturday, you wrote this post about banning automatic weapons–and I wrote one about the loss of civil liberties. You got quite a discussion going with a lot of different people commenting. I got maybe a half dozen comments about the topic of my post. What does that say? Does it mean that people care much more about their right to own guns than they do about their other rights? Look at all the people who own guns and yet the government is still eroding and undermining many of our other liberties. The government hasn’t needed weapons to do that, did it?

    PatricParamedic wrote the following: “Like many, I suppose, I’m cursed by seeing both sides of this tortuous issue. Make no mistake, I find myself in a cold, silent rage over the liberties this government has taken, in the gouging of human rights, one by one by another. The very term ‘Patriot Act,’ for one, makes me want to puke.”

    *****

    It seems to me that people on both sides of the “gun” discussion are emotional. Maybe it would be good if we could get our citizens as riled up about the government taking some of our other liberties away. Maybe we could start another organization called NRA2–National Rights Association. I wonder if anyone would join??? And I wonder why we Americans only get “up in arms” about certain of our Constitutional rights and not others.

  159. Buckeye:

    This is no time to cool the rhetoric. Obama wants to pull the plug on dissent, the internet, talk radio, and cable news (that which is not favorable to him, of corse). He continues apace to skirt congress and issue dictatorial edicts. It couldn’t be any more dangerous except if all this were true by the end of the day.

    As much of the truth has to be gotten out now. Once he pulls the plug, it will be too late.

    I’m sorry that Americans elected a dangerous, extremist, seditious, subversive, and power-hungry creep for president (again!). But I didn’t vote for him. I voted for a man who cherishes liberty.

    I cannot say this enough; the most dangerous group of people in human history (outside of the whole human race itself) is government, not lone wackos. When this much absolute power accrues to government it is almost too late.

    According to how hysterical the goverment gets regarding dangerous civilians, and according to their own psychotic ways of responding to them, by their own maniacal standard, it is the government who should always be most suspect, most monitored, most detained, and most surveilled.

    By the government’s own standards, the US government is a terrorist organization.

    Government is the most dangerous group of people among us. And our government no longer represents what the people have understood our government should be or what the Constitution says it cannot be. They could stop their totalitarian assault on the people, but they are not.

    Over 100 million innocent civilians were slaughtered last century and many more than that who lived were enslaved. This was done mostly by Marxists–Marxist government officials.

    Obama is a Marxist. I’m very sorry to say that because I risk my life and future saying so. Obama will try to destroy people like me. He views me as an enemy. And he is the one usurping! I’m the one demanding he obey his sworn oath to uphold he Constitution and still he tramples it.

    I wish I could be making this up, but I’m not. I have young people in my family and I don’t like to think this is the America they will inherit.

    And so, as tragic as this situation was in Arizona, it is no time to mince words. In fact, these are the most important times to get them out in very large chunks. Already some absurd Democrat politician wants another law (how insane is this guy? ANOTHER LAW!) against words and symbols uttered against government officials. Never mind that the Constitution says congress has NO authority to abridge speech or press.

    All the Democrats who died in Saturday’s slaughter lived longer lives than the people Democrats have prevented from living through abortion. So I hope they enjoyed the time they had on this earth, because, outside of the little child who died, most of them likely contintributed to denying the right to life for millions of others. These had no chance even for the smallest amount time here on earth precisely because Democrats have determined that they lawfully be denied such a chance.

    When Democrats and leftists witness the unjust taking of life, it could serve to teach them how cavalier they are about taking the lives of others through their own warped policies. But I’m afraid they are too depraved to learn this lesson.

    These are times that also try mens souls.

    Women’s too.

  160. Rafflaw: “Finally, and to be fair, don’t you think the sharp stick comment is carrying it a little too far. I do agree precision is good, but I think the point got across to most of what I was trying to convey.”

    Not at all. All guns are ‘dangerous.’ Machine guns, i.e. automatic weapons (which includes weapons that switch between semi and fully automatic; e.g. AK-47’s) have been kept in an ultra unique category since 1934.

    Read Buckman’s post above and adjust for inflation since $200 dollars during the depression was a lot of money to pay for a ‘sharpened stick.’

  161. To Swarthmore Mom: The WEAPON (Glock) was NOT banned. the Magazine that holds the cartridges was BANNED, then re-instated.

    I would hope that this tragedy would move COngress to readdress the lack of a national database on firearms owners and guns themselves

  162. buckman: You are right about the magazine. I don’t know much about guns but am in the process of learning more.

  163. One other nasty little item on semi auto (each trigger pull shoots a cartridge) vs. auto (cartrideges discharge until pressure on the trigger is released) is the concept of “bump fire”. Bump fire is a method of manipulating the trigger to allow full automatic on a semi automatic designed weapon. I suggest those interested in this google “bump fire on Youtube”

    The most modified weapon around is the Ruger 10/22 rifle. It can be purchased at any K-mart or Wal-mart. It can be ‘modified’ by bump fire, or internal modifications to fire fully automatic burst. The weapons’ 10 round magazine can be augmented with 50 or 100 round drum magazines for its’ 22 cal cartridges. It can easily be modified into a suppressor-equipped (silencer) weapon with throw-away plastic water bottles and is virtually silent when used with low velocity ammo.

    Methods for illegally modifying this popular gun can be found on the internets too.

    We are swimning in a ocean of legal and illegal firearms. The only country with more weapons per capita is Switzerland–I am told anyway.

    Easy reloading of ammo (save rim fire 22’s) would negate any type of restriction on the supply of ammunition. As Pogo said, “we have met the enemy and he is us”.

    enough

  164. Tootie: your knowledge of political ideaologies runs almost as deep as your knowledge about Switzerland

    pot smokers don’t go on gun rampages, they sit on the couch, eat doughnuts and watch Spongebob

  165. Blouise,

    Tom Tancrado recently ran for governor here in Colorado. As part of his campaign he ran a particularly racist and nasty ad against the Democratic candidate, who happens to own a brew-pub.

    It turns out that a man committed murder while employed by the restaurant. The man was an illegal alien. The ad told the story and ended with a line about “illegal aliens ARE criminals DEADLY criminals.”

    On the other hand, I bet money I could find at least one news story in Denver in the last 10 years about someone who was in the country illegally saving a life.

    Anecdotes are infinitely important to the people who live them. That doesn’t mean that policy should be based on which story has the most visceral impact.

    Now, if you want to show studies that show that banning a certain type of gun in the U.S. would lead to less deaths, I’m game. We’ve got an entire world out there with different gun control laws. Heck, we’ve got a huge spectrum here in the States. I’m sure we can find comparable statistics. When it comes to limiting human actions, my default setting is “not without a good reason.”

    Otherwise your argument holds just as much weight as Tancrado’s.

    By the way, Go to just about any gun discussion in the last 3 years, and you’ll see me making the same request of people who claim “guns save lives.”

    Individual events are each part of the truth, not the whole.

    To those who say the difference between semi-and fully is not important,

    The form follows function. Fully automatics are designed to increase the ease of inflicting large amounts of damage with the weapon.

    The set up of my semi-automatic rifle is designed to be as precise and limited with the damage as possible.

    I’d say that’s a difference worth noting.

  166. RE: Former Federal LEO, January 9, 2011 at 12:44 am

    “Regarding the emotion behind the deaths, especially of the young girl, I think that no male can ever sense the same depth of emotion that a female senses when dealing with death.”

    I was given one x and one y chromosome at conception. Do I need to get my birth certificate and all other gender-labeling records corrected from male to female?

    Or does one of your thoughts misrepresent me as among those plausibly, albeit perchance mistakenly, based on mere chromosomes, labeled male?

    From time to time, I check my pistol. Healthways TopScore 175. I accept the constitutional mandate that I be prepared to defend my country, my civic duty as part of a well regulated militia.

    The constitution does not mandate my having any ammo, and so I don’t. I store my TopScore 175 with the safety set on “SAFE.”

    Release barrel latch, swing barrel to the limit of its rotation, swing barrel down, latch it, all the time with the safety set on “SAFE,” and, leaving the safety on “SAFE,” squeeze the trigger lightly. “POP” goes the SAFE air pistol, safe because I have no ammo.

    Sometimes a safety is itself not SAFE.

    One day, while we lived in Oak Park, Illinois and our adopted son, Michael was not yet 18, I noticed some dents in the plaster of the walls of his room.

    A few gentle words with him, and he showed me where he had hidden his TopScore 175, and then he asked me to keep it for him.

    I am still keeping it for him. I keep it as an icon, that I may remember to keep alive in in me a depth and breadth of raw affect (emotion to those not well versed in my language) I have been advised few people can experience, tolerate, or even imagine.

    The TopScore 175 story is real, the names have not been changed, to protect the innocent.

    The TopScore 175 is as real as is any other weapon. Hatred is as real as is any other weapon.

    As I write this, I pause every few words, the emotions I experience while writing this are as though like hydrogen bombs bursting in air.

    To paraphrase and augment some words found the libretto of Handel, “Messiah”:

    Why do the people so furiously rage together, tearing themselves apart as a way of striving toward wholeness?

    Could striving be the conundrum which drives us into hatred?

    What would carry us away from hatred?

    What is the antithesis of striving?

    Wei wu wei?

    Could the way from hatred be wei wu wei? Why not learn, why not begin today?

    We have a cat, named Lucy when she adopted us when she was sharing space with other cats at the Door County Humane Society.
    Lucy, in the way of cats, lives her name.

    My wife and I have seen no reason to change Lucy’s name to something else. As cats go, Lucy was already something else before she adopted us.

    “Lucy” is what she lives, wei wu wei is how she lives it.

    Is humans living in wei wu wei the path for saving humanity’s future day?

  167. For the record, last night I responded to Rafflaw’s request for evidence that crime went down after the AWB expired. The post is still sitting there listed as awaiting moderation. I’ve never seen that here on this board, is the post showing and if not, what in it is keeping it from being shown?

  168. Jason,

    If your comment had more than two links, it will remain in moderation limbo forever. If it did have more than two links, I suggest you repost your comment in two parts. That’s what I do now.

  169. C Kook:

    Look, I wouldn’t doubt that the government is lying about the kid. But I understand he failed a drug test (by the military). And the article I linked to said a judge called the kid a left-wing pot head. So we have probably established the young man smokes pot.

    He might do other drugs. He might drink. None of this means he won’t murder. It doesn’t mean he would. The point of bringing it up is to indicate the guy is a LEFTIST (like the woman he tried to assassinate.)

    And the only reason I brought that up is because the insane people on the left immediately started to blame the Tea Party and members of the right.

    In otherwords it isn’t about the biological effect of pot. It is about the fact that left wingers (and also Libertarians) are usually the biggest fans of pot smoking.

    Maybe he ran out of weed. Who knows.

  170. Elaine-
    That was the problem. Thank you very much!

    Here’s part one:

    rafflaw-
    “I never implied that improving on our restrictions on guns would be easy, but it seems obvious to me that too many people with issues or health problems are getting their hands on guns. The only place to start is at the beginning.”

    I was sincere when I asked how we can accomplish this. No one wants violent mentally ill people getting guns. But there’s a whole trainload of issues that have to be dealt with. What conditions get you on the banned list? Where does the diagnosis come from – does your psychiatrist have to violate privilege and report your condition? And on and on.

    “I do not agree with you that crime has gone down since the Assault Weapon ban expired. Please provide a link to the site that backs up that claim. Thanks.”

    Sure. The ban expired in early 2004. Violent crime declined that year by 1.2% (http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/cius_04/documents/CIUS_2004_Section2.pdf). In 2005, violent crime was up 2.3% (http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/05cius/about/crime_summary.html). It went up an additional 1.9% in 2006 (property crime declined both years).

    Part 2 next….

  171. Jason,
    I am sorry to take so long to respond. I actually had to do work today! I didn’t say that I had all of the answers, but something certaintly has to be done to prevent mentally ill people from being able to buy guns. And maybe it is time to reinstitute the assault weapon ban so these large capacity magazines can also be banned. Jason, take a look at the murder component of the violent crime statistics that you linked to. The murder results were not as good and that strikes to the heart of our discussion.

  172. Gyges,

    I don’t have much time tonight to respond in depth other than to say I agreed with Bud’s post as to possibilities …

    I always … when I have the time to respond … dramatize the deaths of children when such deaths are caused by random gun violence. I’m fascinated by the lengths to which people will go in defending their guns even in those situations. If you read the responses you will find lots of assumptions as to what I was arguing and lots of answers to claims I never made. It’s fascinating. (I never wrote about semi-automatic or automatic banning … I momentarily hi-jacked the thread away from that … on purpose so that I could identify the gun-lovers)

    Guns are firmly embedded in our culture and where the subject of guns is concerned I run counter-culture. No one will ever mount an argument good enough to sway my view and I know I will never mount an argument good enough to move the culture in the direction I believe it should go … all at once. I’m content to go step by step … no matter how small each step may be.

    I simply tweak the conversation with a tsk … tsk, gun-lover, there’s another dead child.

    I was struck momentarily dumb by the brilliance of Bud’s response. I am quite sincere about that. I have copied his suggestions and sent them to numerous friends who actively work to change the gun laws and save children’s lives.

    Step by step …

  173. rafflaw-
    “And maybe it is time to reinstitute the assault weapon ban so these large capacity magazines can also be banned.”

    Even if we assume that it’s a good idea to restrict high capacity magazines (despite there being tens of millions already in circulation), why would you need to put the entire AWB back on the books?

    “Jason, take a look at the murder component of the violent crime statistics that you linked to. The murder results were not as good and that strikes to the heart of our discussion.”

    There’s two problems here. First, you moved the goal posts. I said that violent crime has gone down since the ban expired. I proved that true with the FBI stats. You then changed the topic to only murder numbers. So you dodged the main issue, which was that despite an explosion in concealed carry, the expiration of the AWB, and many millions more guns in circulation, violent crime went down and went down substantially.

    But worse than that, unless my math is really bad (a distinct possibility), you aren’t even right about the decline in violent crime vs murder rates. I show violent crime down 12.9% over the seven year period we discussed. I show the murder rate down 15.5% over the same period.

    Blouise-
    “No one will ever mount an argument good enough to sway my view”

    That’s sad. You are admitting that no facts, no data, nothing, will change your mind. Your position on guns seems to be based on faith.

    “and I know I will never mount an argument good enough to move the culture in the direction I believe it should go”

    You could. I can’t speak for all or even most pro-gun people, but my mind can be changed. It already has been, not only on guns, but other major issues. I’ve changed the minds of a number of people whose hearts bleed as liberal as mine.

  174. Jason,
    I did not move the goal posts. By bringing up stats that had no bearing on crime with a semi-automatice weapon, you moved the goal posts. I merely pointed that out to you. Show me the connection that this alleged reduction in crimes has to the concealed carry laws. You are making the assumption that there is a statistical causal relationship between the two. Your links do not make that connection. Your comment that it would be hard to remove all of the large capacity magazines is not a valid reason to refuse to take the necessary steps to bring them under control. If I read the links incorrectly as to the murder rates going up(maybe it was just one section of the country?) I still ask the question, murder rates in general are not related to assualts with these ridiculous weapons.
    The Assault Weapons ban needs to reinstituted and this latest murder spree is just one more sad example why. Please let me know what legitimate use these high capacity magazines have other to kill and maim people? Especially with a hand gun.
    Are you not in favor of doing something constructive to make it more difficult if not impossible for unstable people to purchase guns?

  175. “Blouise-
    “No one will ever mount an argument good enough to sway my view”

    That’s sad. You are admitting that no facts, no data, nothing, will change your mind. Your position on guns seems to be based on faith.” (Jason)

    =====================================

    Oh dear Jason, my faith is in life … not in death

    But I don’t want you to be sad …

  176. rafflaw-
    “By bringing up stats that had no bearing on crime with a semi-automatice weapon, you moved the goal posts.”

    I stated that violent crime had decreased. You disagreed and I gave you the numbers. Then you said, not good enough, I want murder numbers, which I also supplied. You’ve been dead wrong twice now.

    “I merely pointed that out to you. Show me the connection that this alleged reduction in crimes has to the concealed carry laws.”

    I’ve said it in previous gun threads and I’ll say it here, again: I do not think the loosening of gun laws, including concealed carry, caused the drop in crime. Most reputable research has shown that gun laws don’t seem to have much effect one way or the other, and mere correlation between concealed carry laws and the drop in crime isn’t even close to proving causation (and I would be surprised if it ended up true).

    “You are making the assumption that there is a statistical causal relationship between the two.”

    I absolutely am not. The numbers I gave were to debunk the notion that liberalized gun laws lead to more crime. Unless you think that crime/murder would have gone down at astounding levels without these liberalizations, I think the point stands.

    “Your links do not make that connection.”

    Because I wasn’t trying to make that connection.

    “Your comment that it would be hard to remove all of the large capacity magazines is not a valid reason to refuse to take the necessary steps to bring them under control. If I read the links incorrectly as to the murder rates going up(maybe it was just one section of the country?) I still ask the question, murder rates in general are not related to assualts with these ridiculous weapons.”

    I confess I’m not really clear what you are saying. “These ridiculous weapons” are known to be used in a tiny fraction of all gun crime, certainly under five percent. Had the idiot in Arizona had a standard 15 or 18 round magazine, would that have been too high? He certainly would have still done horrific damage. How low a capacity is sufficient for you? Even in gun crime, it’s incredibly rare for more than a few shots to be fired. The Arizona incident is the rare exception rather than the rule.

    “The Assault Weapons ban needs to reinstituted and this latest murder spree is just one more sad example why.”

    Why does the full AWB need to be brought back just to regulate high capacity magazines?

    “Please let me know what legitimate use these high capacity magazines have other to kill and maim people?”

    Their purpose is to allow more shots without reloading. Since a tiny fraction of 1% of all guns are ever used in crime, their existence would appear to be for something other than killing and maiming. The purpose is user dependent. If I go to the range, my thumbs thank me the less I have re-load. I kill and maim paper targets. The burden is on you to show that these magazines are making a measurable difference in crime/murders. And as rare as they are, I can link you to stories of self-defense where high cap mags did make a difference.

    “Are you not in favor of doing something constructive to make it more difficult if not impossible for unstable people to purchase guns?”

    Absolutely. I’m just waiting for someone to explain how we get around the problems that would stop it. Violating doctor/patient privilege, a chilling effect on those who need treatment but may not get it, the denial of firearms to people who would otherwise be law abiding but who have met an arbitrary definition of “unstable”, and on and on. It also doesn’t address private sales, which are practically unstoppable, nor does it address the many weapons illegally available.

    The best means to reduce crime overall have to do with constructing better social safety nets, fixing the inequities in our public school systems, re-constructing the middle class, changing the national culture (we looooove violence), improving early child care and teaching people how to parent. Unfortunately, all of that isn’t going to make a good sound bite or a one page press release.

    As for gun crime, the single biggest thing we could do to get guns out of the hands of bad guys is to aggressively prosecute straw purchasers. It’s often the case, when caught, that they get plead down to help put away whoever they bought the gun for. We need to make straw purchases a major offense. Also increase the penalties for illegal possession or carry.

    And END THE GODDAMNED DRUG WAR.

  177. In case anyone cares heres what the father of the poor girl you all seem to be arguing about had to say.

    “This shouldn’t happen in this country, or anywhere else, but in a free society, we’re going to be subject to people like this. I prefer this to the alternative.”

    – John Green, father of nine-year-old Christina Green, who was killed in Saturday’s Tucson shootings

  178. Blouise,

    There are two ways to achieve your goal. You could convince everyone that they dont need their guns and to dispose of them peacefully and voluntarilly. If this is your goal and methodology than i would applaud you. Non-violence is always a respectable end to be achieved.

    On the other hand if you wish to do away with gun ownership politically i see a few problems. The first being that the people you want to go round up everyone else’s guns, will need guns themselves. Good luck convincing them to give up theirs once they have everyone else’s. Second even if the gun confiscators are truly angelic and relinquish their weapons, how do you stop more from being produced, sold, and acquired illegally? Arent you going to have to keep a few guns around for precisely these circumstances?

  179. ekeyra,

    One step at a time for patience is required when dealing with issues so deeply embedded within the culture.

    Read Bud’s post.

  180. From Huffington Post (1/11/2010)
    Peter King, Leading Republican, To Introduce Strict Gun-Control Legislation
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/11/peter-king-strict-gun-control_n_807323.html

    Excerpt:
    Rep. Peter King, a Republican from New York, is planning to introduce legislation that would make it illegal to bring a gun within 1,000 feet of a government official, according to a person familiar with the congressman’s intentions.

    King is chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. The proposed law follows the Saturday shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and a federal judge that left six dead, including the judge, and 14 wounded.

    New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, one of the nation’s most outspoken gun-control advocates, is backing King’s measure and is expected to put the weight of his pro-gun-control organization behind it.

  181. In a similar vein to Bdaman’s link to Hupp’s testimony, I’d like to link to Nicole Goeser telling her story.

    http://www.youtube.com/ohioccwdotorg#p/a/f/0/VEIv308PQ1Q
    http://www.youtube.com/ohioccwdotorg#p/u/4/kvFR5M-ini8

    A stalker walked into a restaurant and shot her husband dead. Despite having a high amount of training for a civilian and a concealed carry permit, she had to leave her gun in her car because it was illegal to carry it anywhere that served alcohol. Needless to say, her stalker wasn’t impressed with that law.

  182. An excellent story provided by Maddow, the best from her I can remember seeing from her. Thanks so much for the link. As far as the issue of guns and the controlling and prevention of access and possession of guns, I believe the issue of regulation of any sort has to be in the focus of ready-availability of the ammunition. That is the issue to begin to attempt to lessen the inappropriate use of firearms, which has not even been looked at yet. While anyone can load their own ammunition, the ready-access to an unlimited supply of bullets by familiar locations such as even WalMarts needs to be the first step in reducing the probabilities of these crimes since the issue of ammunition does not appear to be covered in the Bill of Rights or the Constitution.

  183. King’s proposed legislation is completely pointless. It would have had no effect on the Arizona incident, and anyone who wants to shoot a federal official sure as hell isn’t going to care about such a law. “Yeah, I was going to assassinate that guy, but they don’t allow guns around his building, so I was foiled.” Good god.

    michellefrommadison-
    “While anyone can load their own ammunition, the ready-access to an unlimited supply of bullets by familiar locations such as even WalMarts needs to be the first step in reducing the probabilities of these crimes since the issue of ammunition does not appear to be covered in the Bill of Rights or the Constitution.”

    What regulations are you proposing? The Arizona murders required a single box and most day to day criminals rarely if ever fire their guns, so large amounts of ammo aren’t needed. And if they can get a gun illegally, a box of cartridges would be laughably easy to acquire.

    As for the constitutionality of such a regulation, really, do you think the 2nd protects possession of a weapon but allows infringement on the ability to make it functional? I’m no scholar, but I don’t think they were interested in protecting the right to own a club.

  184. Michellefrommadison: One must be aware that bullets (the moving part of the cartridge) are easily cast from lead. Ban bullets, then you must ban the brass shell casing, the primer and of course, the powder. But these can be stored, in controlled environments for up to half a century. As for a 1000′ no gun zone, modern firearms can go out to 333 yards without to much trouble. In fact at our shooting range, there is one bench set at 400 yards +. this proposed legislation is certainly no answer to this, just another dumb law that should not see the light of day…so it goes…

  185. From Bloomberg
    Glock Pistol Sales Surge in Aftermath of Arizona Shootings
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-11/gloc

    Excerpts:
    After a Glock-wielding gunman killed six people at a Tucson shopping center on Jan. 8, Greg Wolff, the owner of two Arizona gun shops, told his manager to get ready for a stampede of new customers.

    Wolff was right. Instead of hurting sales, the massacre had the $499 semi-automatic pistols — popular with police, sport shooters and gangsters — flying out the doors of his Glockmeister stores in Mesa and Phoenix.

    “We’re at double our volume over what we usually do,” Wolff said two days after the shooting spree that also left 14 wounded, including Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who remains in critical condition.
    ***

    Sales Jump

    One-day sales of handguns in Arizona jumped 60 percent to 263 on Jan. 10 compared with 164 the corresponding Monday a year ago, the second-biggest increase of any state in the country, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation data.

    Handgun sales rose 65 percent to 395 in Ohio; 16 percent to 672 in California; 38 percent to 348 in Illinois; and 33 percent to 206 in New York, the FBI data show. Sales increased nationally about 5 percent, to 7,906 guns.

  186. For those that did not understand my previous comment, I suggest that those would re-read it several times while accompanied by someone with a very high-level of education. Then, after reading it again, discuss it with the higher-educated person to the point that you will finally understand that if you cannot readily-access ammunition for any firearm, then gun crimes would eventually become non-existent in the general sense. The Laws do not appear to require to provide ready-access for the public’s ammunition needs, only the right to possess them. Check it out for yourselves (with all due respects to those that still don’t get it). If ready-access is impacted for ammunition, the most that potential offenders could do is to threaten someone with an unloadable gun or to try to beat you with the unloaded gun, which would likely save more lives that people actually being shot with bullets fired from a gun.

  187. Lord, I apologize if my previous comment offended anyone, I am truly sorry. Please forgive me. Amen. (inspirited by Larry the cable guy)

  188. michellefrommadison,

    As Jason pointed out, your assumption that the government can constitutionally ban all ammunition as a method of making firearms ineffective is laughably wrong. If you want to ban firearms, start talking constitutional amendment or sea change on the Supreme Court. While you’re at it, how about leaving your undeserved attitude behind?

  189. And in the meantime, to millions of thoughtful intelligent citizens in dozens of less socially frenetic countries throughout the planet . . .

    We Americans must certainly resemble chimpanzees on chocolate.

  190. Guns with no readily or easily-available bullets may help to save lives. If it’s more difficult for people to have loaded weapons, that may help to curtail the use of some guns, simple as that, no matter how many guns people may actually possess. If it takes more steps to access bullets, hopefully less people will have immediate access to them, while still maintaining their actual right of possession of the guns.

  191. (Karl Friedrich)

    “Everyday we read here about police crimes and military atrocities. Yet by banning automatic weapons we’d have a society in which only the police and military have them.”

    Yes, but when is the last time you heard of a righteous citizen vs cops shoot-out, where law enforcement lost?

    How hard must you try, to imagine a scenario where a SWAT team gone awry surrounds some innocent guy’s house; ducks a few bullets; then says, “Whoa! This dude shoots back. Come on, everybody. Fall back and go home. He’s got a weapon, for God sake.”

    Sorry. Whether we like it or not, it’s time for a more realistic fantasy.

  192. PP,

    Indeed, the same argument can be used to justify personal ownership of heavy ordinance and letting Bill Gates have tanks and the ability to call in air strikes.

  193. PatricParamedic-
    “How hard must you try, to imagine a scenario where a SWAT team gone awry surrounds some innocent guy’s house; ducks a few bullets; then says, “Whoa! This dude shoots back. Come on, everybody. Fall back and go home. He’s got a weapon, for God sake.” ”

    No, that scenario hasn’t happened. However, on more than one occasion, no-knock raids gone wrong have resulted in dead cops and living home owners.

    It is debatable as to if those citizens “won”, since in many cases, they end up railroaded and in jail. Regardless of the circumstances, it is very difficult to kill a cop and not do time for it.

  194. michellefrommadison,

    “For those that did not understand my previous comment, I suggest that those would re-read it several times while accompanied by someone with a very high-level of education. ”

    ====================================================

    ROFLOL

  195. From Columbia Free Times (1/11/2011)

    S.C. Company Sells Engraved “You Lie” Component For AR-15 Rifle
    http://www.free-times.com/index.php?cat=1992209084141467&act=post&pid=11861101110850039

    Excerpt:
    A South Carolina gun and accessories company is selling semi-automatic rifle components inscribed with “You lie” – a tribute to the infamous words of 2nd District Republican Congressman Joe Wilson when he shouted at President Barack Obama during a congressional speech about national health care reform in the fall of 2009.

    “Palmetto State Armory would like to honor our esteemed congressman Joe Wilson with the release of our new ‘You Lie’ AR-15 lower receiver,” reads a portion of the company’s website.

    The product “is neither endorsed nor affiliated with Joe Wilson or his campaign,” according to a line of text at the bottom of the page. A picture of Wilson holding a rifle and standing in the company’s gun shop appears on the same page. The company offers the components, marked “MULTI to accommodate most builds,” for $99.95 apiece.

  196. Jason –

    I absolutely agree with what you say. I have twice in my adult life responded to inner city homes where innocent people lay bleeding on the floor, injured in raids – in both cases, it was the wrong house.

    I am completely dismayed with the way various segments of our government abuse its citizens. I also have no confidence that it will get better, in any foreseeable future.

    But in my regretful opinion, we have as a nation evolved??? to the point where the consideration of “taking up arms” in case a government-gone-bad starts smashing down doors, and expecting to survive the onslaught?

    That seriously strikes me as cartoon fantasy.

    Whatever the decent citizenry hopes to do to prevent such carnage, it best happen way, way before the shooting starts.

  197. This is a very interesting and heated discussion and I find myself being swayed this way and that by the various arguments.
    I would like to point out one thing though about this tragic story. I would say that if 1% of the population (very conservative figure) is psychotic/schizophrenic/narcissistic,
    or any combination thereof, that would account for 3 million people running around the country who are mentally impaired. If 5% of those (also highly conservative figure)are homicidal than there would be about 150,000 homicidal people walking around. The likelihood of many of those committing such a heinous crime is very high, after all that is where serial killers come from. In the end I think that until science discovers a sure way to identify/isolate these psychopathic killers, then all the legislation trying to prevent this kind of incident is futile. bob, Esq. amply made the point in his recounting of the John Lennon murder.

  198. Mike S.,

    “In the end I think that until science discovers a sure way to identify/isolate these psychopathic killers, then all the legislation trying to prevent this kind of incident is futile.”

    I agree completely.

    Is there any kind of low-cost, basic, reliable, psychological test that could be used to effectively weed out those who have a high potential to use a firearm in an unlawful manner?

  199. Everyone, psychologically impaired or not, is capable of killing under the right conditions and circumstances. Now what?

  200. Michellefrommadison:

    good tack on trying to cut back on gun violence through making bullets harder to get.

    It doesnt wash legally. The right to own a gun being primary and all would imply the legality of owning “bullets”. The proper term for “educated” :) people is cartridges.

  201. Michelle:

    you must think our founders were a bunch of dumb asses. The right to bear arms, they didnt say guns. They said arms. Arms would include powder and shot (bullets, etc.). See how smart they are, they even anticipated you.

    Your reading may as well be taken as we all have the right to bear arms as in the big furry animal with teeth.

  202. No one can “imply” Law, at least not in the United States. And, as far as I can interpret, there is no right to bear ammunition, at least according to the current Laws.

  203. michelle:

    what are “Arms” then? The right to bear arms includes the right to powder and shot. Else the weapon is a club and of no real use against someone who is armed.

    Are you serious? If the founders meant guns they would have specifiec pistols and rifles but they said “Arms” which is a catch all phrase.

    Hell, they were so smart they may have anticipated lasers and death rays.

    Old James probably thought “we better say arms or someone named Michellefrommadison is going to say bullets (she doesnt know the difference between brass and lead, although cartridges havent been invented yet but nevertheless) arent included and she would be wrong.”

  204. Everyone has the right to bear arms, most have two already before the issue of guns is even in the picture. I have no problem with that. But, to allow “crazy people” to possess the ability to harm or kill innocent people at-will is something I don’t believe is correct Hobart. Why you believe it is OK for people like this shooter to do what he did is something beyond the focus of minimizing these such tragedies in the future.

  205. They also didn’t say muskets and black powder and lead balls. They said arms. They knew about muskets and they knew about the Kentucky Rifle so they were aware of the changes in weapon technology and would have said specifically what they meant if they were not looking into the future.

    They said arms, they did not say Kentucky long rifle and powder and .50 cal rifle balls.

    Your interpretation does not comport.

  206. michellefrommadison,

    No one can “imply” Law, at least not in the United States.

    No one can “imply” a law, but laws do have clear implications.

  207. michellefrommadison,

    But, to allow “crazy people” to possess the ability to harm or kill innocent people at-will is something I don’t believe is correct Hobart.

    You’re confusing what you think the law should be, with what the law actually is.

  208. Michelle:

    I think what he did is beyond words; it is outside the boundaries of a civilized, rational human being. He was a lunatic and there were multiple opportunities to send him for psychiatric evaluation. The system failed as it did with the Virginia Tech shooting.

    The clerk at the first Wal Mart he went to did not sell him ammo. The clerk should have called the cops. He scared people at his school, he was kicked out. There were many occasions for this man to have been sent to jail or for evaluation.

    The sheriff didn’t do his job but it is the fault of ammunition? I don’t think so; it is the fault of a system that refuses to make people accountable for their actions. The perps and the elected and appointed people who are responsible for our safety are not held accountable.

    These deaths are an indictment of our current system of law and order. No wonder people don’t feel safe and want to carry a weapon for self protection.

    Maybe we ought to outlaw lawyers and other bleeding hearts? Seems more rational than outlawing guns and ammo.

  209. Mike S.,
    I understand that it would be difficult, and maybe impossible to prevent one more mentally ill person from acquiring a gun to use against innocents, but I refuse the notion that we should not attempt to find that prevention tool. To not try is to give in to the fear spread by the NRA and others that Obama is going to take away your guns and that we need to exercise “our second amendment remedies”. It is only a futile if we do not try to take reasonable and educated measures to control excessive guns or firepower.
    Blouise and Elaine, you are right about the Palmetto State Armory story!. Very sad, but it is going on all over the country. I wonder why? How were gun sales before the 2000 and 2004 election cycles? Were the same fear tactics used then to gin up sales of guns?

  210. Why you, Hobart, would just accept more casualties without a care is something that makes no sense to me. I want people to be protected and to not be harmed, or killed by anyone; crazy or not. I know you think that is “crazy” concept in-itself, but I believe people have rights and people should not be harmed or killed just because they may go into the public. Brandish all the powder and rifle-ballss you want, but I believe bullets would be superior to that approach even though no one to guaranteed the right to possess them. Good luck to you if you ever end up in a fire-fight trying to protect someone or yourself.

  211. For those still confused, if the shooter had no bullets that fateful day, those victims may not be injured or dead right now, at least from my perspective.

  212. Hobart Thorenson,

    Thank you for your contributions to this topic. Reasonable people need exposure to all sides and all aspects of the issues surrounding “guns and ammo” and/or “Arms.”

  213. michellefrommadison,

    No one is confused about your position. You seem to be confused about how the Supreme Court would approach your idea to ban bullets.

  214. No bullets, no dead or injured victims that fateful day. Right to bear arms is not a problem for me, there is not, however, a right to bear bullets, at least according to United States laws. Ex., a side-arm is nothing to do with bullets. Sorry James M.

  215. Blouise,
    The gun lobby is one of the largest “players’ in Washington and they are not going away. They know that tragedies like this will cause more fear and cause more guns sales.

  216. rafflaw
    1, January 12, 2011 at 1:44 pm
    Blouise,
    The gun lobby is one of the largest “players’ in Washington and they are not going away. They know that tragedies like this will cause more fear and cause more guns sales.

    ========================================================

    Yep … one of the corporate monsters that rule this nation and lead the frightened populace around by the nose.

    It’s all manufactured. First the guns and then the fear that sells the guns.

    The “gun lobby” knows it’s business and for them it’s as easy as shooting fish in a barrel … or children on the streets.

  217. Blouise,

    Since you posited the term “gun lobby”, please list the names of those people posting within this thread who you consider are “members” of your stated “gun lobby.” Thanks.

  218. Yes, I can cite many Hobart, but it may be easier for you to understand this issue better if you just read the Bill of Rights and the Constitution instead of reading through all the specific Laws governing these issues you don’t understand. No bullets are guaranteed to any American in any Law, at least in the U.S.A.

  219. FFLEO,
    Seeing your comments here made me think about something. I live in a gated, secure community and so personally feel I have no need of a handgun and I’m not into hunting so I don’t need a rifle or a shotgun. Having worked for many years in the dangerous areas of NYC, unarmed and alone, I feel I haveenough street smarts to avoid problems when i’m out and about.

    However, it’s my impression, correct me if I’m wrong, that you live in a rather rural area. If so and it was me living rurally I would not only have a Sig Sauer handgun, but also a powerful shotgun and perhaps an AK47. In the 2nd Amendment debate sometimes it comes down to whose oxe is being gored.

  220. michellefrommadison,

    Repeating it just doesn’t make it so. You’re starting to come across more and more like a troll.

  221. How many of the same outraged thinkers here, who believe the “system” OUGHT to have weeded out such a predator, wouldn’t also scream bloody murder, if the “system” were indeed invasive enough to shut him down before he acted?

    Be sure to think “Minority Report” (a Tom Cruise movie) before you answer:

    Film blurb: “In the future, criminals are caught before the crimes they commit even happen.”

    (J.Hoberman, the Village Voice writes)

    “The unexpectedly topical premise, taken from a 1956 story by sci-fi master Philip K. Dick, posits a future in which mutant “pre-cogs” dream of murders before they occur, thus allowing the police to arrest killers in advance of their crimes. “The guilty are arrested before the law is broken,” per the movie’s sell line. Spielberg himself has expressed support for the extra-legality of the current Bush war on terror.”

    We are not really very far away at all. The city of Portsmouth, England is already 3 years into a CCTV network that tracks how slowly some people walk around town. (Researchers have convinced them that slow walkers are invariably up to no good)

    I posit that if we don’t go up in smoke prior to the “Minoirty Report” eventuality, are we not pretty far along in the process already?

  222. James M, you are not alone in your current thinking because there are many uninformed and ill-informed people just like you. Still though, it doesn’t change the fact that had that shooter not possess a gun on that tragic day, those victims would not have been harmed or killed.

  223. There were some slight foul-ups in the entire process PatricParamedic, but I believe the necessary steps are adequate enough right now, if properly followed, to avoid most instances such as this massacre from ever occurring.

  224. Former Federal LEO
    1, January 12, 2011 at 1:51 pm
    Blouise,

    Since you posited the term “gun lobby”, please list the names of those people posting within this thread who you consider are “members” of your stated “gun lobby.” Thanks.

    ==================================================

    Anyone who uses a “fear” tactic similar to “they are coming to take your guns so they can then take your (fill in the blank).” That, for me, is the (excuse the expression)dead give-a-way.

    Fear mongering is the tool that reveals the association with the “gun lobby”. But try to research gun lobby or gun laws on the internet … Ms. Maddow was right … very, very little information considering the size of the gun industry.

    If you will forgive the simplicity of the following: I have yet to meet a hunter who fears that deer and rabbits are going to take over the world.

  225. Hunters don’t fear, imo, that deer and rabbits are going to take over the world, at least not here in the U.S.A.

  226. Mike Spindell,

    I live in a very rural area. I have owned/used firearms of various types since I was about 6 years old and I began hunting with my family at about the same age. I have experience with *fully automatic* firearms through military service and law enforcement. I was an ‘Expert Marksman’ with all hand/long gun weapons during my LE career.

    I own firearms for protection, although I would prefer that I could live in a world where such firearms were not required; however, that world will never exist.

  227. michellefrommadison,

    D.C. v. Heller recognized a personal Second Amendment right to not only possess a firearm, but to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.

    McDonald v. Chicago incorporated the Second Amendment against the states.

    Using a firearm requires bullets, QED, the government cannot ban bullets consistent with current Supreme Court interpretation of the Second Amendment.

    As I stated above, a constitutional amendment or sea change on the Supreme Court would be required to make your plan constitutional. Your misplaced argument that this tragedy would not have occurred if your idea was implemented has no bearing on the constitutionality of that idea.

  228. “As I stated above, a constitutional amendment or sea change on the Supreme Court would be required to make your plan constitutional. Your misplaced argument that this tragedy would not have occurred if your idea was implemented has no bearing on the constitutionality of that idea.” (James M)

    ===================================================

    That seems to be a misrepresentation of the argument she presented.

  229. James M., I didn’t bother to even read your latest comment before posting this because you convinced me already that you just ‘don’t get it and that you don’t understand or accept proven fact. That said, and to further explain something very simplistic for you, it’s just my viewpoint to stand up for the rights and the protections of people, instead of believing it is best to limit or eliminate the possession of guns which would only allow such massacres from occurring. Makes no sense, imo.

  230. Blouise,

    She’s repeated that argument while simply asserting that bullets are not protected by the second amendment. The one argument can’t substitute for the other.

  231. FF Leo,

    “I own firearms for protection, although I would prefer that I could live in a world where such firearms were not required; however, that world will never exist.”

    But isn’t there a conundrum here? If fewer people owned guns, wouldn’t this be a safer society?

  232. Elaine M.,

    I think that old hoary NRA adage that if guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns applies. We aren’t starting from a blank slate — the guns are out there and criminals can get their hands on them. I do think that making certain types of guns much harder to get makes a lot of sense.

  233. I have still not been successful at discharging any potential deadly-projectile from any firearm without the use of a bullet. Without bullets, I suspect that most firearms with no bullets would become less lethal. Perhaps a revamping of the bullet-availability issue needs some closer scrutiny. Simple at that.

  234. michellefrommadison,

    I didn’t bother to even read your latest comment before posting this

    I don’t believe that for a second. Where’s the fun in trolling if you don’t read what the other guy posts in response?

  235. michellefrommadison:

    “Yes, I can cite many Hobart, but it may be easier for you to understand this issue better if you just read the Bill of Rights and the Constitution instead of reading through all the specific Laws governing these issues you don’t understand. No bullets are guaranteed to any American in any Law, at least in the U.S.A.”

    here is the definition of Arms from Webster’s 1828 dictionary:

    arms
    ‘ARMS, n. plu. [L. arma.]

    1. Weapons of offense, or armor for defense and protection of the body.

    2. War; hostility.

    Arms and the man I sing.

    To be in arms, to be in a state of hostility, or in a military life.

    To arms is a phrase which denotes a taking arms for war or hostility; particularly, a summoning to war.

    To take arms, is to arm for attack or defense.

    Bred to arms denotes that a person has been educated to the profession of a soldier.

    3. The ensigns armorial of a family; consisting of figures and colors borne in shields, banners, &c., as marks of dignity and distinction, and descending from father to son.

    4. In law, arms are any thing which a man takes in his hand in anger, to strike or assault another.

    5. In botany, one of the seven species of fulcra or props of plants, enumerated by Linne and others. The different species of arms or armor, are prickles, thorns, forks and stings, which seem intended to protect the plants from injury by animals.

    Sire arms, are such as may be charged with powder, as cannon, muskets, mortars, &c.

    A stand of arms consists of a musket, bayonet, cartridge-box and belt, with a sword. But for common soldiers a sword is not necessary.

    In falconry, arms are the legs of a hawk from the thigh to the foot.

    Your assertion that arms do not include cartridges is absurd. Any judge who would come down against “bullets” would either be ignorant or have a political agenda.

    Seems to me arms includes “bullets”.

  236. HT, didn’t read that one either. I get it, you don’t. No need to keep making your silly arguments and attacks against things you have proven you just don’t understand.

  237. Innocent people should not be harmed or killed just because of the issue of readily-available bullets are so darn easily accessible.

  238. James M.

    I’m reposting a portion of a comment that I left on the Palin thread: “Shouldn’t we be questioning why ours is such a violent society? I’m sure there are deranged/mentally disturbed people in other countries. Why do we have so many more of the types of mass shootings that happened in Tuscon and Virginia Tech in this country than they have in other countries?”

    Can you prove to me that guns aren’t one of the contributing factors to our violent society?

    I’m not suggesting that all guns should be banned. I just don’t understand the fixation so many Americans have for guns. I often think it has less to do with safety and more to do with helping to make some men feel more “manly.”

    Chris Matthews posed a question on his program more than once this week. I’ll paraphrase: Why do people feel the need to bring guns to political events/rallies?

    Why indeed? Why are so many people in this country so fearful that they feel the need to always carry a gun?

  239. I believe that in reality, it is more women that actual own guns than men, just from my own perspective. While the gun may be registered in a man’s name, I believe the real reason for the weapon is for the issue of the women in-general. As far as the violence issue, I believe that one of the better ways to reduce violence both with guns and with physical attacks is to require something like mandating all school students to attain the level equal to or greater than TaeKwonDo Black Belt before graduating high-school, or some other measurable level before children have unsupervised interaction within the general public domain before attaining the age of majority. That, alone, would reduce, significantly, the issue of violence and the bad usage of guns. When is the last time you heard of a blackbelt being gunned down? I never have, plus most trained students have proven to be academically better off in school. A win-win situation for the students and the scholastic abilities within our schools. Society would be better off imo. Plus, it’s a less expensive way to go. Plus, no readily-accessible bullets, no potential massacres or at least significantly reduced.

  240. michelle:

    now you are mandating martial arts training? What part of freedom dont you understand?

    so much for martial arts training.

  241. michellefrommadison,

    Re martial arts (or something similar) training. I have 2 daughters and 5 granddaughters. All, except the 2 year old, have taken several different courses in self-defense, situational awareness, etc. There are several fine programs provided by many groups. The programs my daughters and granddaughters most enjoyed were those provided by the Cleveland Police Department.

    One of their friends became so “enchanted” with a course she first took with my granddaughter that she is know some kind of “Master” (I’m sorry but can’t remember the Discipline off the top of my head)and competes on a national level.

    And yes indeed … there is a certain discipline of the mind taught in these courses that carries over in a most positive manner to academic achievement.

  242. Well Ms. EM,

    I suppose you think Mr. Selleck needs guns to feel more “manly”?
    ___________________

    http://www.nra.org/Article.aspx?id=7918

    QUOTE: “Actor, NRA Board member and avid gun collector Tom Selleck has donated seven rifles and revolvers used in his films to the NRA National Firearms Museum.”

    “Commenting on the most recent donation, Mr. Selleck told NRAnews.com, “It got to the point where I had these guns in storage, and I just wanted people to see them, to share them. And I hope people think of the National Firearms Museum if they have something special they want to share, as well as The NRA Foundation for other kinds of gifts. It’s very satisfying.”

    “We deeply appreciate Tom Selleck’s continued support of NRA and the freedoms we defend,” said NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre. “Thousands upon thousands of Americans visit the museum each year, and with the opportunity to display more of Tom’s personal firearms, we expect even greater public interest.” END Quote

  243. If one cannot defend themselves while in public, they should not burden society with trying to defend their threats. Too costly and there’s no reason why society should protect anyone. For those against being prepared, I suspect those complaining are not BlackBelts themselves. It’s just an applicable suggestion to help people protect themselves from the fate some had at getting gunned down. If there were BlackBelts in the crowd that day, I suspect the injuries and life losses would be much less than they are today. It is not societies problem or burden to protect it’s citizens from every negative possible negative scenario. Get instruction, take some classes, and quit burdening society because of your ignorance or laziness if you are not skilled enough to defend yourself. And, stay in your residence until you choose to become proficient enough to not be our burden.

  244. FF Leo,

    I said the following: “I often think it has less to do with safety and more to do with helping to make some men feel more ‘manly.'”

    Please note my use of the word “some” in that statement.

    I don’t think all men who own guns belong in that category.

  245. I’m sure someone already pointed this out, but automatic weapons are already so tightly regulated as to effectively be illegal.

    Oh, I’m sorry, did you mean semi-automatic weapons, like the one used in last weekend’s shooting?

    Here’s an idea: do basic research before suggesting policy.

    This article is a giant stinking piece of lazy fail far, far, far beneath the usual quality of this blog and its author should be ashamed of himself for publishing it.

  246. Howard Johnson:

    “Do not disarm the people unless you are willing to disarm the tyrannical government first.”

    You & your neighborhood plan on taking on a errant, up-to-no-good Marine division, do you?

    Best find another fantasy. The day of a few good patriots taking on tyranny went out a long, long time ago.

    The only battle of choice remaining to the citizenry, against perceived (or real) tyranny, is brainpower.

    You & me & our little pipsqueak guns ain’t gonna get it.

  247. Sam D.,
    Miss a little, miss a lot. Days ago I explained to one of the earlier commenters that I knew the Glock was a semi-automatic weapon and I was more concerned with the firepower than the label. Automatic weapons are still available in this country and semi-automatic weaons can be very dangerous, especially when you allow clips of 30+bullets as used in the Arizona shooting. This type of magazine was previously outlawed under the Assault Weapons Ban that expired during the GW Bush administration. You are free to make your comments almost one week after it was written, but at least read all of the previous postings and comments. Thanks.
    Patric P.,
    You are right that if the there was a revolt and people were trying to overthrow the military backed government with their own weapons,it would be a very quick revolt.

  248. Rafflaw –

    Thanks for the comment. I appreciate the clarity of your observations in this and other threads.

    And just for the record, I get no joy whatsoever in expounding that we citizens of decent intent, had better come up with a brighter fantasy than to think our neighborhood good-guys-with-guns would be much of a match for pilotless drones & body-heat-finding missiles.

    Much as I thrilled to the righteous victory of Mel Gibson’s merry band in the movie, “The Patriot,” I believe it’s time the modern-day patriots face reality.

    And the reality is, we, all of us, have allowed our “fearless” leaders to create the most rapacious military machine in human history. And like any other machine, our “deciders” chomp at the bit to use their shiny, expensive toys. Thus far, it has always been directed – shamefully, at times – elsewhere.

    Anybody who seriously thinks citizens with weapons would alter the directive – or outcome – of a heinous martial law, is too weak of mind to be safe with a weapon in the first place.

  249. Raff/Patric,

    You’re thinking in a linear fashion.

    The scenario unfolds as you suggest when you say “revolt”.

    Too much uncoordinated action to be effective.

    It does not when you say “guerrilla action”.

    Fools rush in where angels fear to tread, but a wise man sucker punches the devil.

  250. None of us are visionary enough to see how it might ever play out.

    My assertion is that there would be nothing resembling success, by citizens who might try to take up arms against our military.

    So again, let’s all make up a better fantasy.

  251. Patric,

    That depends upon how you define success. The face of victory changes endlessly. Sometimes success is simply harrying the enemy until external forces can intervene. Ask the French Resistance.

  252. PatriP,

    Have you ever read any recent military History?
    ___________

    Buddha,

    You were correct with your “guerilla action” comment.
    ___________

    Interview with Vo Nguyen Giap, Viet Minh Commander

    Quote:

    “So the lesson is that however great the military and economic potential of your adversary, it will never be great enough to defeat a people united in the struggle for their fundamental rights. That’s what we’ve learned from all this.”

    “Giap: Well, everyone at Diên Bin Phû, from the French generals and representatives of the French government to the American generals and the commanding admiral of the Pacific Fleet, agreed that Diên Bin Phû was impregnable. Everyone agreed that it was impossible to take. The French and then the Americans underestimated our strength. They had better weapons and enormous military and economic potential. They never doubted that victory would be theirs. And yet, just when the French believed themselves to be on the verge of victory, everything collapsed around them. The same happened to the Americans in the Spring of ’65. Just when Washington was about to proclaim victory in the South, the Americans saw their expectations crumble. Why? Because it wasn’t just an army they were up against but an entire people — an entire people.” End Quote

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/peoplescentury/episodes/guerrillawars/giaptranscript.html

  253. PatricP, wrote:

    “Anybody who seriously thinks citizens with weapons would alter the directive – or outcome – of a heinous martial law, is too weak of mind to be safe with a weapon in the first place.”

    ____________

    What a silly, outrageous statement.

  254. RE: Hobart Thorenson, January 12, 2011 at 12:02 pm:

    “The right to own a gun being primary and all would imply the legality of owning “bullets”. The proper term for “educated” :) people is cartridges.”

    #######

    I am not very educated, alas, about real guns. I have never owned one.

    Perhaps that is why I think that controlling bullets might work, if it were possible in any way.

    Pardon my ignorance, but I was told, years ago, that a cartridge was made of a bullet, a case, explosive powder, and a primer (or detonator?).

    Without a bullet, what is left is a blank?

    I cannot imagine a practical way to control bullets. Anyone with an old house with lead pipes and a way to replace the pipes and melt the lead can make bullets?

    Plumber’s lead seems to be stocked in some hardware stores. Why bother with the pipes?

    Anyone have a flint-lock muzzle-loader? I do not know, I don’t have one. Do they use cartridges?

    How many symptoms of a problem does it take to figure out that the symptoms are not the problem?

  255. Buddha,
    I understand the guerilla actions that you suggest. I just don’t see that type of response being successful, if the military is in support of the renegade government in this hypothetical.

  256. Anyone know how easy it is to make a zip gun? I don’t.

    But I lived in a neighborhood where people who knew more than I did said the popping noise came from a zip gun.

    Perhaps, if we were to learn what it is about people that allows some people to fire a gun at another person, and fix that problem?

  257. Raff,

    Guerrilla tactics are designed for exactly such a scenario, Raff. There is also the problem that not all military are going to attack American civilians, ordered to or not, simply because they won’t. A bunch of Generals issuing orders from the safety and sterility of the Pentagon simply aren’t going to be able order shooting women and children of servicemen by servicemen and not have that backfire on them at some point. And if they use mercenaries like Xe? That would be even worse for morale. We aren’t talking about invading a foreign country. We are talking about occupation of America by American troops. Dissension within the military ranks would grow rapidly as guerrilla attacks and civilian death tolls mounted. It could even force a junta. These tactics have been used repeatedly from the Romans to the Mohawks to the Iroquois to the South Africans to the French to the Vietnamese because they work. While I’ve never served in the military, I do understand how they operate tactically and strategically from playing war games since I got bored with chess at the age of seven and from reading a boatload of history. Feel free to disagree with me. You are an intelligent and well spoken man who I both like and respect. However, I think history backs my assertion about the tactic.

  258. You are 100% correct about Giap. Half my life ago I worked at the U.S. Embassy in Vientiane, Laos. It was an amazing time, because both the non-communist and the Pathet Lao pretty much respected the royalty, and the Kingdom’s holy places & times. I can accurately report that with a nasty war raging all around, the city of Vientiane was probably safer than most large cities in America today. It was a common but weird occurrence, in fact, to sit down for dinner in one of the numerous French restaurants, with North Vietnamese or Pathet Lao warriors, dressed in their Sunday best, just across the room. Laos was a fascinating microcosm of that very strange war. And as I became semi-conversant in the language, my embassy compatriots & I had dozens of fascinating conversations with folks who would be firing weapons at U.S. jets the next day.

    The short of it is, I once knew people who worked for General Giap. My team spent time with his Hmong counterpart, Vang Pao. I heard first-hand his vision, and that of Ho Chi Minh. The longer I was there, the more evident it became that the U.S. could not win. And in 1973, I am not aware of any embassy staff – from Ambassador Godley to the drivers – who expected a non-communist victory.

    So in your critique of my viewpoint that righteous civilians taking up arms against the U.S. government could not possibly have a livable outcome, you either accidentally or on purpose omitted the major differences between the Vietnamese and American citizens – THEY were united; THEY didn’t have the juvenile attention span that we do; their concept of “worth” is considerably different that ours; THEY respect their government to a degree we can only imagine.

    As this thread makes depressingly clear, we Americans can’t agree on whether the sun is shining or not.

    “Because it wasn’t just an army they were up against but an entire people — an entire people.”

    The last 5 words are all you need to know about why civilian s fighting the U.S. government is madness.

    Sorry Fed LEO, you’re generally right. But not on this subject. With the neighborhood power out, with no TV and friends eating stored food out of cans? With cash rewards for turning in the righteous? You’d be fighting a very lonely war, and it wouldn’t last very long at all.

  259. PatricP wrote:

    “…you either accidentally or on purpose omitted the major differences between the Vietnamese and American…”
    ________________

    I did consider that and your rebuttal comments are very good. However, I know that the majority of gun owners/hunters/NRA members would simply not stand for a situation as occurred in Iran, although it would take a major event to initiate any action.

  260. Buddha,
    I would agree that I would find it hard to imagine that US troops would allow a junta to control the government, but money buys a lot of friends. I hope you are right and even more importantly, I hope this is all a fantasy. Good night and see you tomorrow.

  261. I can say that I have come to look at the reality of the Second Amendment in the same manner that I view our health care delivery system:

    Is it – at its core – a fair-minded attempt to protect the welfare of the citizens? Absolutely.

    Has it evolved into a strange, Catch-22? A creature with faces that were not originally visible? Have parts of it become so distorted that at times it’s nearly unrecognizable? I would say so.

    At its best, does it provide a level of comfort that nothing else can? It certainly does.

    Does it spawn a fertile breeding ground for abuse; kill thousands unnecessarily; attract those of a sociopathic bent?

    Without question.

    In the end, I just wish those killed in Arizona had an inkling that web-groups such as this one, are living proof that thousands of us give a damn, and good folks on both sides are pained that it happened.

  262. The lack of knowledge of gun control advocates is astounding. “Full auto” weapons are already banned. Since being banned, there had not been a single instance of a crime with a registered full auto weapon (those weapons that were grandfathered in to the owners prior to the Gun Control act of 86.) But lets not let the facts get in the way. The purpose of the second amendment was to allow for the militia (there is only one) to resist the government. The militia consists of every able bodied man. Please read the Federalist papers and commentary. Accordingly, the members of the militia are entitled to posses the same weapons as the “government”, which would include fully automatic weapons. To think otherwise would be the equivalent of King George forcing the colonials to use swords against the red coats. Lastly, gun control advocates never want to admit, that the other laws they want to pass once the populace is disarmed, requires that the agents of their government posses guns. Lots of them. Fully automatic guns. So the idea that progressives are wanting to “save lives” is a total lie, they simply want more control. (Gun ownership is at an all time high, yet violent crime has fallen. Strange isn’t it?)

  263. From my point of view ( a proud gun owner) I honestly don’t think gun laws need to be any stricter, especially for full auto weapons. First off, to even obtain a full auto gun legally, is quite tough, and the expenses on top of that, I can’t see someone bothering using that for a crime after all of that hassle. Truth is most crimes are committed with a small, concealable weapon such as a pistol. High powered rifles such as an Ar-15 are not only great for home defense, they are also great for sport shooting as are many other high powered rifles. I honestly believe that making gun laws stricter would not change a thing, i’m sure most of the guns used in crimes were illegally obtained to begin with, so what makes it any different how easy it legally is to get one. Also, if more people would be armed and knew how to properly use their fire arm and when to use it, couldn’t the world possibly be a safer place, knowing that if something happens, there is probably someone armed around you, how may very well save your life, and many others. I think the major problem is, criminals are one of the only people who are willing to use their guns on another human being, but for all the wrong reasons. We, the civilians, should all be familiar with a self defense weapon, and use it in instances above.

  264. Does anyone have a list sources for reliable statistics about the dimensions of the gun problem in the US? I have found it very difficult to find sources that were not identified with one or the other point of view over guns. I don’t know how to examine so contested an issue without knowing the facts underlying it.

  265. Is it time to ban alcohol and driving? Because people killed by that are also murdered in my book and you have higher change of being killed by some lush in his car than some nut with a gun.

  266. ATF Accused in Congressional Report of ‘Arming’ Cartel for ‘War’ Through Operation Fast and Furious

    The failed federal anti-gunrunning program known as Operation Fast and Furious got so out of control in November 2009, it appeared the U.S. government was single-handedly “arming for war” the Sinaloa Cartel, documents show, even as U.S. officials kept lying to fellow agents in Mexico about the volume of guns it helped send south of the border.

    Those shocking allegations are revealed in the latest congressional report investigating the operation.

    http://grassley.senate.gov/judiciary/upload/ATF-07-26-11-Report-on-Impact-on-Mexico.pdf

  267. The Obama administration sought to intimidate witnesses into not testifying to Congress on Tuesday about whether ATF knowingly allowed weapons, including assault rifles, to be “walked” into Mexico, the chairman of a House committee investigating the program said in an interview Monday.

    House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell E. Issa, California Republican, said at least two scheduled witnesses expected to be asked about a controversial weapons investigation known as “Fast and Furious”received warning letters from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to limit their testimony.

    Mr. Issa’s committee is set to hear testimony from six current or former ATF employees, including agents and attaches assigned to the bureau’s offices in Mexico, about the operation — in which, federal agents say, they were told to stand down and watch as guns flowed from U.S. dealers in Arizona to violent criminals and drug cartels in Mexico.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jul/26/issa-atf-warns-witnesses-to-limit-testimony/?page=all#pagebreak

  268. A gunrunning sting gone fatally wrong

    Phoenix — They came from all over the country, agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, brought here in a bold new effort to shut down the flow of U.S. guns to Mexican drug cartels. It was called Operation Fast and Furious, after a popular movie about street car racing.

    But from the beginning, much of the fury was inside the agency itself.

    On his first day undercover, John Dodson, who had been an ATF agent for seven years in Virginia, sat in a Chevy Impala with Olindo Casa, an 18-year veteran from Chicago. They watched a suspected gun trafficker buy 10 semiautomatic rifles from a Phoenix gun store and followed him to the house of another suspected trafficker. All of their training told them to seize the guns.

    The agents called their superior and asked for the order to “take him.” The answer came back swiftly, instructing them to stay in the car. The message was clear: Let the guns go.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/us-anti-gunrunning-effort-turns-fatally-wrong/2011/07/14/gIQAH5d6YI_story.html

  269. NPR – is now reporting that the Department of Justice inspector general is launching an investigation into whether or not the DOJ illegally retaliated against one of the agents that revealed the gunwalking plot:

    The Justice Department’s inspector general has opened an investigation into possible retaliation against a whistleblowing agent at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, according to two people briefed on the inquiry.

    Watchdogs are examining whether anyone at the Justice Department improperly released internal correspondence to try to smear ATF agent John Dodson, who told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last month that he repeatedly warned supervisors about what he called a reckless law enforcement operation known as “Fast and Furious.”

    The inspector general is attempting to determine if Obama’s Justice Department leaked one of Dodson’s internal memos to reporters in order to discredit him.

    Senator Charles Grassley has warned the Department of Justice repeatedly not to attack whistleblowers, apparently with little effect:

    “I’ve warned the administration several times not to retaliate against the whistle-blowers who speak to Congress,” Grassley wrote in an email to NPR Thursday. “Unfortunately, there are indications that the administration leaked Privacy Act-protected documents to the press in an effort to discredit Mr. Dodson with half-truths even though those documents had been withheld from Congress. It’s a very serious matter that should be thoroughly investigated.”

    The Justice Department has been ruthless in dealing with the whistleblowers, who have blown the lid off an operation that saw the director-level involvement of every law enforcement entity within the DOJ, in addition to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and likely the State Department.

    http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/gunwalker-justice-dept-inspector-general-opens-investigation/?singlepage=true

  270. Carlyle said: –

    “You Americans are not going to get rid of your permissive attitude to guns that enable lone persons to commit sizable massacres until someone does you the favour of committing one that is big enough.”

    I wish to Buddha you were wrong.

    But you aren’t.

  271. Patric,
    Just what is “Big Enough” to convince Americans that reasonable gun control is necessary? I don’t know if there is anything big enough to deter the NRA.

  272. The problem will never be solved by laws. We have laws against killing and people choose to ignore those, so why would it be any different with guns? If guns are illegal then all law abiding citizens would surrender their guns….leaving the criminals the only ones with weapons…..Im going to need some drugs if thats the world we will be living in….can you at least argue to repeal the drug laws then?

    Or I guess I could just grab some drugs from the nearest “nigga in the alley” and thus give up my title as law abiding citizen leaving me free to procure all the guns my rapidly beating heart desires!

    AMERICA!

  273. My point is laws will not make guns just magically go away. Laws didnt make alcohol go away, murder, theft, hate crimes…etc. etc….and guns will not go away either. You can preach on all you want about the “ifs” as they pertain to gun laws but that person didnt give a hoot about the laws against murder and I would be willing to bet my donuts to dollars (current economic situation calls for a change in saying) that he probably wasnt even a legal gun owner. You think guns are dangerous now? HAAA!! wait till they are manufactured underground (much like what has happened with drugs) and they no longer have the accuracy or quality build that legal guns have. Youre pushing more danger than you realize with your ideas. Besides whats next? No more knives, Louisville sluggers, sacks of door knobs?

  274. At this time it appears like WordPress is the preferred blogging platform out there right now.
    (from what I’ve read) Is that what you’re using on your blog?

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