Skip to content

On Vegas, Shootings, and Gun Control

2017 October 3
by Ian Welsh

This is the first mass shooting where I’ve actually been to the place it happened. I’ve walked the strip often.

A society like the US will have these sorts of events (just as China has knife attacks), but they could be made a lot less deadly with a few simple steps.

  1. No automatic or semi-automatic long arms. Bolt, pump, or lever action.
  2. Small magazines.
  3. Handguns limited to revolvers, for everyone, including police.

This isn’t rocket surgery. Other countries have dealt with this problem. America is no longer a wild country, there are certainly rural types who need guns, but they don’t need automatic or semi-automatic weapons.


(I am fundraising to determine how much I’ll write this year. If you value my writing and want more of it, please consider donating.)


I grew up among gun owners: foresters and farmers, people who lived rural or even howling wilderness. Canada has a LOT of howling wilderness left.

None of them, some of the hardest outdoorsmen you can imagine, felt the need for more than a couple bolt action rifles and a couple shotguns (20- and 12-gauge). That’s all you need for dealing with animals and hunting. There’s a place for high-caliber revolvers in certain types of very thick bush (for dealing with bears), and I’m given to understand snake pistols are useful in parts of the US, but you can get by without them, and most did.

Of course, a determined person will find a way to kill (I am surprised that it took so long before people started crashing motor vehicles into crowds), but there are ways to make it harder and reduce the likely deadliness.

Those ways, ironically, involve less loss of real freedom. Why not simply make the guns unavailable instead of having 24/7 surveillance.

America’s not quite ready for this yet, but I think within the next ten years or so the tide will change on this, along with a lot of other things.


If you enjoyed this article, and want me to write more, please DONATE or SUBSCRIBE.

80 Responses
  1. nihil obstet permalink
    October 3, 2017

    We should probably look more closely at how we allow our fear to be aroused and directed. We won’t let our child walk three blocks to school because she might be abducted, but we accept gun presence that results in school shootings. We add hours of really silly inconvenience to air travel, but think there’s nothing we can do about getting shot in a night club, a concert, a movie, a shopping mall.

    I think something might be done now because a Congressman was shot during a ballgame practice, and just returned to Congress. When Giffords was shot, they took the lesson that they shouldn’t meet with constituents. Getting shot on an open field that couldn’t be protected was on another level. That we can get shot isn’t a problem for them, but the consciousness that they can get shot may hit home.

  2. October 3, 2017

    We will get gun control the day after a mass shooter successfully targets the conservative political class instead of a random crowd of people. As long as it’s liberals or average citizens dying, it won’t happen.

  3. Ché Pasa permalink
    October 3, 2017

    You’ll note that the High and the Mighty are never targets of the mass murderer. It is always the ordinary schmucks going about their ordinary affairs. Even when Giffords and Scalise were shot (among others in those incidents) nothing was done — rather proudly so by the do nothings — which had the effect of reducing Giffords and Scalise almost to the level of the ordinary schmucks. Almost. Giffords understood it. Scalise hasn’t yet.

    Mass murder is more American than apple pie by this point. It’s been a feature — not a bug — since the beginning of the American experience. Hotheaded folks, mostly white men (not always tho) get fired up and there’s no stopping them. Somebody’s gonna die, preferably horribly and in great numbers, the more the better.

    This is the underpinning of the “nothing to be done about it” trope. Killers gonna kill. That’s all there is to it. No reason to bother with gun control; they’d get around it, and if they couldn’t by some chance, they’d kill some other way. It’s probably true, too.

    We might think about what’s accomplished by the mass murderers and then begin to understand why nothing — much — is ever done about it (except for making mass murder somewhat easier and more efficient). Whose interests are being served? Cui bono?

    You’ll find in practically every case it’s the same interests.

  4. brian permalink
    October 3, 2017

    I always felt that if we have an amendment that says the founders made because the tree of freedom ever so often needs to be refreshed by blood of tyrants and it was put so the government can’t disarm the populace it would be good to keep it… but it seems to have been neutered anyways (can we really revolt using semi-auto’s when the government has rocket launchers and tanks?) and it may be poorly worded. Perhaps the focus should be on maintaining the militias, mandatory militia training in order to become citizens and carry guns or something like that. And then you train them and regulate the people with guns. And tanks. People should really have tanks to capture the spirit of law. Or a citizen army at least… But ya, with this my views have shifted from absolute freedom, to the damn thing needs to be regulated but to keep the initial spirit – the government should fear the citizen’s militias.

  5. October 3, 2017

    When it’s rich white dudes gunned down in the street things will change.

  6. October 3, 2017

    It was white people – this is there NY.

  7. Ché Pasa permalink
    October 3, 2017

    @TB

    But it never is. Why do you suppose that is?

  8. Hugh permalink
    October 3, 2017

    The blood of those killed and wounded in Las Vegas is squarely on the hands of the NRA and each and everyone of its cowardly members. When a horrific event like Las Vegas happens the NRA goes dark because they don’t want to draw attention to themselves and their guilt. Most of the shit politicians they own, and they own a lot, go silent too. Only a few stand up to hypocritically bemoan that NOW is not the time to discuss gun control or POLITICIZE the current tragedy. Much better to wait a few weeks until any push to action can be smothered and swept under the rug –as it always is.

    What we have in the US is an anti-social, psychotic gun culture. It is aided and abetted by the NRA, gun manufacturers, gun sellers, 535 criminally responsible members of Congress, a majority of reactionary Supreme Court justices, and the current moronic President, one in a long line. Heck, even the “sainted” Bernie Sanders luvs himself some guns. And anyone remember this photo of Obama?

    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2013/02/02/white-house-releases-photo-of-obama-shooting-shotgun/

    There is no right to bear arms in the US Constitution. This right was invented by the gun nut Antonin Scalia in Heller. The Framers parsed every word and if they had wanted to insert a personal right to bear arms they damn well would have. Instead they talked about a right to bear arms only with regard to militias, a model for defense that has not been used in this country for 180 years, i.e. no militias no right to bear arms, period, full stop. Usually it’s the conservatives who get all up in arms about inventing rights, but not I guess when it is some “right” they want. So we had the spectacle of Scalia, the original originalist on the Court doing twenty kinds of legal gymastics to avoid the black letter meaning of the Second Amendment. That is it doesn’t say what it says. It says what those caught in our sick gun culture want it to say. QED. End of argument. And to top it off, Scalia came up with this absolute right to bear arms in a case which supposedly only dealt with handguns.

    The lack of a right to bear arms does not equate to a prohibition on gun ownership. Ian has listed some common sense types of guns that people can own. But assault, semi-automatic weapons, kits that can convert to automatic use, extended clips, ammunition such as armor piercing and hollow point rounds, should be outlawed, not just the sale but the ownership. I would recommend too a tax on handguns, the proceeds of which would be used to cover the costs to society of gunshot victims. And I would place caps on the manufacture and importation of firearms into the country. We have tens of millions of guns in this country. It will take decades to work our way down to manageable, socially responsible levels of guns. This is not an argument, as the gun lobbyists and fanatics would have it, never to begin the process. Rather it is an argument to begin as soon as possible.

  9. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    October 3, 2017

    Mass shootings are great for gun sales. If I was the NRA, I would recruit some shooters for mass shootings if there weren’t any mass shootings because mass shootings are great for business and profit and that’s all that matters. Right? Profit regardless of the consequences.

    There’s going to be quite a few cases of PTSD as a result of this latest shooting and guess how the corporate model addresses PTSD? That’s right, with high profit margin medication — the same medication that may have caused Paddock, if he really was the shooter, to lose all impulse control.

    Abilified

  10. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    October 3, 2017

    As far as I’m concerned the media is complicit in terrorist bombings and mass shootings. It gets off on this shit. It’s a fetish. And it amplifies it with its non-stop coverage. The copy cat effect is a known phenomenon but the media doesn’t care. It provides inspiration for the next shooting and the next bombing and on and on it goes. And it’s all to help sell more medication, insurance, cars and retirement services to an audience that increasingly cannot afford that shit. I’m waiting for the day, which won’t be long now, that these spectacles start occurring concomitantly. That will really f*ck the media up. They won’t know which one to cover and instead they’ll start walking around in circles babbling gibberish.

  11. Hugh permalink
    October 3, 2017

    The media already goes around speaking gibberish most of the time.

  12. October 3, 2017

    It happens Che, Marie Antoinette and her cohort had no idea what was coming. I’m reluctant to say “it may take longer than we would like” but… it’ll take longer than we may like.

    I like the puritanical jihad approach. Vegas is the Mecca of the Prosperity Christian cult, the concert goers collateral damage in a suicidal assault on the golden calf, on the den of iniquity, city of vice. I haven’t seen in reports that he was particularly religious, but it is as plausable as any other speculation right now.

  13. S Brennan permalink
    October 3, 2017

    I disagree Ian, Mexico has EXTREMELY STRICT gun laws and a murder rate five times that of the US. In Mexico, drug lords murder at will, when local citizens have sought to loosen the laws so they can defend themselves they have been turned away by the government.

    https://crimeresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Homicide-Rates-for-Developed-Countries-OECD-2011-or-latest-year.png

    Norway has the dubious honor of having the most killed in single shooting [78] and the gun laws in Norway are far stricter than the US.

    England has strict gun laws and it’s had the Cumbria shootings where 12 people were killed and 11 others critically wounded.

    All these events have happened after the floodgates were opened to violence being portrayed without consequence by various media outlets. Corporate-media and the Deep/Secret-state loves the portrayal of violence, it’s almost as effective as the Nazis use of random terror to ensure that the state rules unopposed.

    Wanna stop the violence, stop the portrayal of wanton violence, we used to have standards for what was acceptable in media, now we don’t, therein lies the problem.

  14. CLOUDSHADOW permalink
    October 3, 2017

    I have heard the statement for years that”they don’t need auto and semi auto weapons” but I have a question why does my car have a speedometer that goes to 120 mph,or why are cars legal for the road that can do over 150. That is totaly illegal in the US but people have them and the number of dead and injured dwarfs what is at Vegas. Just wanted to ask and see what the reply is.

  15. different clue permalink
    October 3, 2017

    If people are suggesting plausible reasons for “why he diddit”, here is a reason that is just as plausible as any other reason.

    He was a gun control advocate who wanted to “make and present” the case for gun control.

  16. V. Arnold permalink
    October 3, 2017

    This society has always had firearms; this society has only relatively recently had mass shootings.
    The better question is; for what reason?
    When that question is answered; fix the problem (it ain’t guns).

  17. Filip, the third permalink
    October 3, 2017

    “The whole proletariat must be armed at once with muskets, rifles, cannon and ammunition, and the revival of the old-style citizens’ militia, directed against the workers, must be opposed. […] Under no pretext should arms and ammunition be surrendered; any attempt to disarm the workers must be frustrated, by force if necessary. ” – Marx, Karl

  18. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    October 3, 2017

    This society has always had firearms

    Think how much more effective the Boston Tea Party would have been with automatic weapons. Or Bacon’s Rebellion? Automatic weapons level the playing field. Every man is now an army unto himself or herself. That’s coming next too — female mass shooters. It’s just a matter of time so keep the better & more powerful guns rolling off the fully automated assembly line to sell to all those dispossessed by automation. What a great formula for depopulation.

    A Far Cry

  19. S Brennan permalink
    October 3, 2017

    Tsmband;

    The colonist at the Boston Tea weren’t armed with any firearms, they dressed as Natives, you’re welcome to your opinions*, but not your own Orwellian take on history.

    * [lord knows, you should start a blog of your own…not that anybody would read it]

  20. October 3, 2017

    I’m all for reasonable gun control laws (I don’t think people need fully automatic weapons under any circumstances), but there’s more going on here than just that. Some countries, like Norway and Sweden, have very high gun ownership rates and very low murder rates. And the countries with the highest number of gun-releated deaths are not the countries with the most gun ownership. I think cultural violence problems are just as much if not more to blame than gun ownership.

    Americans are, quite frankly, just more violent than their European counterparts. We should be talking about that alongside gun control. But it’s verboten to bring up for some reason.

  21. robert jackson permalink
    October 4, 2017

    Check the demographics. For example, Chicago, Baltimore, Camden, Los Angeles, etc., these statistics are readily available. The “whites” aren’t the ones killing folks in the US.

  22. Max Osman permalink
    October 4, 2017

    >Think how much more effective the Boston Tea Party would have been with automatic weapons. Or Bacon’s Rebellion? Automatic weapons level the playing field. Every man is now an army unto himself or herself.

    Small arms aren’t the main killer in war, and are marginal compared to artillary and heavy machine guns

    >Check the demographics. For example, Chicago, Baltimore, Camden, Los Angeles, etc., these statistics are readily available. The “whites” aren’t the ones killing folks in the US.

    Does it hurt to be that stupid?

  23. Herman permalink
    October 4, 2017

    Ian,

    I think you make good points about certain unusually dangerous kinds of guns. But I also think there is something about American culture that makes mass shootings more common than in other countries. Some Americans now believe that it is right and proper to take out their frustration and anger on innocent people that they don’t even know. That is what makes these killings so disturbing. If a man kills his wife for cheating on him people recognize it as wrong but nobody is surprised given what we know about human emotion. That is why those cases often don’t become national news unless there is some other factor like the perpetrator or victim being a celebrity. But going out and killing a bunch of random people because you are unhappy with your life is bizarre and does not really have any precedent in human history except for maybe the pogroms which is debatable.

    I don’t know why America is so different in this regard. Maybe it is the easy availability of guns or maybe it is that we have an unusually self-centered, miserable, bullying culture that produces an immense amount of profound unhappiness and misery with little or no healthy outlets. Maybe it is the fact that there is no community life in this country and relationships (not just romantic but friendships and family ties as well) are shallow and weak so people have nothing to fall back on when they become depressed. Maybe it is our dependence on psychoactive drugs to deal with emotional problems instead of more natural methods. I don’t know.

  24. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    October 4, 2017

    Small arms aren’t the main killer in war, and are marginal compared to artillary and heavy machine guns

    I’m assuming you’re assumption is that Paddock, if he was the shooter, was using small arms even though the media narrative’s implication is that the automatic weaponry is large arms.

    We’re not talking about conventional military versus military war any longer. We’re talking about one on one or one on many civilian versus civilian war. It’s inevitable in a country with many more guns than people amidst diminishing resources and economic opportunity.

    Yes, it hurts to be that stupid so therefore you’re really hurting.

    You’re not going to defend yourself against the big bad gubmint with more guns and you just proved it. That’s the most prominent reason gun freaks come up with for their own personal arsenals and you have just adroitly stated that they’re useless against the military’s heavy armaments. I agree.

  25. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    October 4, 2017

    The colonist at the Boston Tea weren’t armed with any firearms, they dressed as Natives, you’re welcome to your opinions*, but not your own Orwellian take on history.

    If you truly have worked on America’s missile defense system as you claim, I have no doubt Kim Jong-un will have no trouble hitting his targets with his missiles.

  26. Tom permalink
    October 4, 2017

    Well still no known motive. The guy wasn’t trying to off OJ who was nearby listening to the concert, but out of sight with his parole officer.

    Paddock was a multi-millionaire, no debts, no political affiliations, and by all accounts had it good.

    It reminds me of the Amish Schoolhouse shooting a decade ago where again a guy with everything just decided to kill.

    We’ll probably never know what went on in his brain.

  27. V. Arnold permalink
    October 4, 2017

    Oh god; more infantile shit from TSMB.
    Please, please, infect another blog, please…

  28. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    October 4, 2017

    V. Arnold, rabid gun rights advocate all the way from the sex slavery capital of the world, Thailand, chiming in on the latest mass shooting. He hates America but is zealous about Americans’ right to bear arms up to and including nuclear weapons one day in the not too distant future no doubt.

    Seriously, when the media & LE developed the profile of Paddock I thought it was V. Arnold. I thought to myself, considering how V. Arnold foams at the mouth with rabid hatred of America and Americans and every hour on the hour every day asserts Americans deserve what they get and he hopes they get it soon, surely he had to be the shooter considering his penchant for Asians and this guy Paddock had an Asian girlfriend.

    Maybe V. Arnold will be the next shooter. You never know. Or maybe V. Arnold wrote the script to this shooting and based it loosely on himself. You never know.

  29. Dan permalink
    October 4, 2017

    Wow, Ian, I came to this same conclusion after one of the last mass shootings (sadly, too many have happened for me to remember which it was). Given the problem of defining “assault weapons” and all the resulting loopholes of the 90’s ban, the only effective measure would be to ban any and all semi-automatic weapons, even semi-auto handguns like 1911’s and Glocks. Even that, and leaving revolvers, shotguns, etc. alone, is only slightly more likely to happen than a total firearms ban in the US.

    The biggest point of resistance is the III%/militia fantasy of resisting a tyrannical government or foreign invader. If the NRA and other organizations were really serious about that aspect of firearms ownership, they should be lobbying for the legalization of RPG-7’s and IED components. Your typical fat Midwestern or Southern “Red Dawn” LARPer with his expensive gear and AR-15 would quickly end up as a gore stain on a bombed-wall against an actual high-tech, modern army.

  30. realitychecker permalink
    October 4, 2017

    Well, in fairness, you never see both of them in the same place at the same time./s

  31. Deschain permalink
    October 4, 2017

    Maybe if we were a better society we could have loaded firearms around and not kill each other. The evidence suggests that’s not the case. It’s not complicated:

    Actual data

    The Vegas shooter used a legal firearm, modified with a bump stock. If you outlaw a particular class of weapons, people will figure out a way to get around it. You have to outlaw the guns if you want to eliminate gun deaths.

  32. Peter permalink
    October 4, 2017

    Who would have thought a year ago that we would see gay, liberal and now multi-millionaire mass shooters. This must surely be a sign that we have too much freedom and too many rights. The collectivist commies among us know that we need a strong paternal regime to mechanically weed out the ideas about rights that produce this bad behavior.

    The gun grabbing cult is well developed and their tactics are repeated every time we have this type of shooting. First they wheel out the ‘reasonable gun control’ gurus who are lying through their teeth. They open the door of the clown car full of the loony power hungry gun banners who can’t wait for the opportunity to attack and vilify gun owners and our oldest natural right to bear arms.

    These people are clever but not too bright and they quickly display their authoritarian nature for everyone to see. After reading the warped statements made by these gun grabbers it’s amazing that anyone would view giving them power to make decisions about anything as rational.

  33. Ché Pasa permalink
    October 4, 2017

    Mass murder is a bedrock American value. The targets and victims go right back to the beginning of Anglo-European colonization, and the practice has never really stopped through all the permutations of the colonies, republic, civil war, westward expansion, consolidation, imperialismand today’s neo-Imperialism.

    The United States has a deeply embedded culture of killing. It shouldn’t be a mystery, but clearly it is. No doubt the American mythos of Greatness and Goodness is part of the reason many Americans can’t recognize the killer-culture at its foundation.

    Gun culture enables domestic killing on a truly breathtaking scale compared to nearly anywhere else on earth, but gun culture isn’t the cause of the killing. It’s more deeply rooted and fundamental than that.

    Mass murder has a societal purpose, of course. It’s a useful tool to keep the Other in its place, and to keep the Rabble in line. Because it is relatively random, one cannot know when or whether one will be subject to the whims of the mass murderer. Under the circumstances, one is easily persuaded to give up basic liberties, especially to the surveillance state, while simultaneously refusing to interfere with easy access to firearms and ammunition (gosh knows, one might need to fire back, right?)

    And so it goes, round and round and round. Meanwhile:

    — The Overclass in this country is never negatively affected by routine mass murder; in fact they profit.

    — Their social control is enhanced after every mass murder.

    — Most guns are owned by a relatively few individuals and households, and because guns and ammunition are relatively expensive, guess who owns the bulk of private arsenals?

    — Dude in Las Vegas is reported to have been wealthy enough and then some to afford the private arsenal used against the crowd at the concert. (CF Adam Lanza for another example of family wealth enabling a private arsenal used to commit mass murder).

    — Targets/victims are almost always the “least among us,” those with the least power. That’s always been true. Those perceived to be least able to defend themselves are often perceived by the mass murderers to be the greatest threats… the murderer must kill them before they kill the murderer.

    — Controlling access to firearms and ammunition would be common sense but for the fact that the fear inspired in and by the mass murderer necessitates more guns (for self-defense, of course) not fewer. There are no institutions which can or will protect the killers from their fears or the victims.

    — How to break the stalemate?

  34. Dan Lynch permalink
    October 4, 2017

    Ian, I am not a fan of semi-auto rifles, and even the NRA does not defend the “bump stocks” that the Vegas shooter apparently used, but a bolt gun with a typical 5 round magazine could have killed just as many people in Vegas.
    .
    The 1966 Austin tower shooter used a bolt action hunting rifle. That incident held the record for most killed for decades.
    .
    Lee Harvey Oswald used a bolt action rifle. As the famous line in “Full Metal Jacket” says, “Oswald got off three rounds with an old Italian bolt action rifle in only six seconds and scored two hits, including a head shot!”
    .
    72 minutes passed before cops entered the Vegas shooter’s room. How many aimed shots could be fired by a sniper with a bolt action rifle in 72 minutes?
    .
    Another issue: say you outlaw sales of semi-autos and/or hi-cap magazines. What are you going to do about the MILLIONS of semi-autos already out there? Are SWAT teams going to bust down the door of every home in America looking for semi-autos? Do we have enough jails to house all the gun owners who will be arrested? Do we have enough morgues to handle all the bodies that will result from the SWAT raids? Think Waco and Ruby Ridge multiplied by thousands.
    .
    So I don’t think outlawing certain guns is a practical or effective solution. It’s a shallow strategy that ignores the social causes of violence. Homicide rates correlate to inequality, so fix the inequality. It’s not that complicated.
    .
    My state, Idaho, has never had a mass shooting (except for the mass shooting of Native Americans). Despite being armed to the teeth, Idaho’s homicide rate is similar to Europe’s and lower than Manitoba’s. Yet 72 Idahoans died of the flu in 2016. You are far more likely to die of the flu in Idaho than die from a mass shooting.

  35. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    October 4, 2017

    Lee Harvey Oswald used a bolt action rifle. As the famous line in “Full Metal Jacket” says, “Oswald got off three rounds with an old Italian bolt action rifle in only six seconds and scored two hits, including a head shot!”

    Yeah, no, I think not. He did no such thing. Someone may have, but it wasn’t LHO. If it was LHO, he wouldn’t have claimed he was a patsy. He would have been proud of his deed and boastfully proclaimed it. If it was LHO, he would have taken out JFK when his motorcade was on Houston St. heading toward the Texas School Book Depository Building because it was the easier shot. The shooter in the TSBD had to wait until JFK’s motorcade was on Elm because of the triangulation strategy in play and whoever the shooters were that day, they had been practicing every day for the event because the mission could not fail. One shot, like The Deer Hunter. They had one shot at Kennedy and if they failed it would have been disastrous for their plans.

  36. DMC permalink
    October 4, 2017

    Look at Australia. In response to a mass shooting they banned civilian ownership of semi-auto guns and haven’t had a mass shooting since. It was simple and effective. And the studies that show how effective have just recently been coming out.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/global-opinions/wp/2017/10/03/how-australia-beat-the-gun-lobby-and-passed-gun-control/

  37. October 4, 2017

    Did it take you boys all day to write that up? Is that why you’re a day late to the party? Not too mention short on facts or even anything resembles information.

  38. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    October 4, 2017

    At this point I support taking all the guns away and shutting down the gun manufacturers because if they can’t sell them in America they’ll try to sell them to undeveloped and developing countries similar to what the big tobacco companies do with cigarettes. The gun toters have proven that they are unworthy and instead of using the guns against the enemy, the corporate state and the wealthy elite, they are using them against their brothers and sisters who are barely hanging on as it is. No more guns — they are obviously not the answer and in fact only make matters worse.

    We’re not going to overcome Leviathan with guns. Wits and fortitude is what it will take. Violence will only undermine the effort and violence is what THEY want.

  39. Pelham permalink
    October 4, 2017

    With guns and the 2nd amendment it’s not at all a question of practical need, for hunting or home defense or whatever.

    The amendment instead makes it clear that the chief justification for the unrestricted right to keep and bear arms is having a wide populace that’s familiar with guns so that well-organized militias can call upon these gun owners and users as needed.

    Unfortunately, a reasonable reading of that includes all the usual general-issue arms that our military typically uses — fully automatic assault-style rifles and 1911- or striker-fired semi-auto sidearms. The fact that we’re already denied full-auto rifles may be a violation of the amendment. Certainly, some state restrictions on large magazines are in violation.

    Of course, the framers were thinking in terms of black-powder muskets. It doesn’t matter, though. The amendment says what it says. What’s required is a repeal of the 2nd amendment. But, as with the electoral college, I suspect there’s no chance of this. We’re stuck with both.

    These constraints should be the starting point for any chance at a realistic solution.

  40. Will permalink
    October 4, 2017

    A lot of posts and I didn’t see the term “mental illness” pop up once.

    I don’t know fellas, I’m not sure that we can have an honest discussion about this issue without talking about how we can help some of those who are truly going into psychotic territory. Almost all (if not all) of these mass shootings are done by people who have truly lost their grip on their own humanity.

    Would making all of these automatic weapons disappear cut down on the body count? Maybe. Probable even. But I have to believe that even if we made the scale of the tragedy smaller in terms of the number of lives lost we would still have this problem.

    Maybe we are ignoring the main issue here: We have abandoned some truly troubled people to the gentle embrace of the pharmaceutical and medical industry.

    Just saying…..

    Will

    PS: I know many of you aren’t mechanically inclined and never seen the inside of a machine shop so don’t take this as an insult. Converting a semi to a full auto is child’s play. Even making components to convert a normal single shot into an auto isn’t that tough. (Ever look at the insides of a Browning Auto 5? It was designed what, a hundred and twenty years ago?) Manufacturing a decent revolver or bolt action is a sophomore level ME lab class…. it isn’t that tough. As long as machining is as accessible as it is now it is maybe not productive to waste time talking about limiting access to some of the simpler gun designs.

  41. Jeff Wegerson permalink
    October 4, 2017

    Wait. I thought the Second Amendent covered car ownership?

  42. Frank Stain permalink
    October 4, 2017

    Mass shootings are a big bright shiny object that the media cannot turn away from. But they are a distraction from the main forms of gun violence in the United States. 10,000 or so people a year in the U.S. are victims of homocide, but more than 20,000 per year turn their guns against themselves. Since guns are a particularly efficient method of suicide, and since americans have so many guns, their rate of gun suicides are many times higher than comparable countries. Furthermore, people are killing themselves in middle age, and leaving kids behind who are going to need decades of mental health support and counseling. But at the same time, the more downscale white communities where suicides are prevalent are savaging their own health care and mental health and addiction support infrastructure. The consequence of this is simply massive social pathology in struggling communities that simply have no resources for dealing with it.

    Robert Jackson says

    Check the demographics. For example, Chicago, Baltimore, Camden, Los Angeles, etc., these statistics are readily available. The “whites” aren’t the ones killing folks in the US.

    Gun violence affects black communities and white communities in different ways. In black communities, gun violence is conditioned by the massive physical and economic insecurity in poor minority neighborhoods. But in white communities, gun violence manifests itself as self-harm and suicide.
    There’s a prevalent tendency among many, like Robert jackson, to claim that only homicidal gun violence is a problem and there’s ‘nothing you can do’ about suicide. But that’s b.s.
    And it’s absolutely shocking to me that people would seek to make excuses for the massive pathology caused by gun violence in not-so-well-to-do white communities. Do they think it’s okay to externalize the costs of that pathology on the rest of the community, while handicapping the community’s capacity to respond to it? What do they think is going to happen to kids who grow up with the trauma of a suicidal parent, without any long term mental health support? Are they really surprised that the long term consequences of this violence are taking such a toll on these communities?

  43. different clue permalink
    October 4, 2017

    Are the downscale white communities where suicides are prevalent . . . savaging their own health care and mental health and addiction support infrastructure? Or are the Upper Classes savaging all that for them, from beyond and above? And in fact, are the UpperClasses carefully engineering an addictogenic social atmosphere and pressures-grid for the downscale white communities to begin with?

    We know that the Internationalist Free Trade Conspirators began the process through deliberate mass jobicide targeted against the better-paid factory jobdoers and thingmakers. Reagan and Bush tried their hardest to get NAFTA set up, but it took Slicky Bill Clinton and the bi-coastal Latte’ Liberal Democrats conspire with the Republicans to get NAFTA passed. For example. And much despair arose to fill the vacuum left by all the jobs sent into exile.

  44. Peter permalink
    October 4, 2017

    @Will

    The gun grabbers are using their ‘assault weapon’ creation to spread fear that has little to do with the mechanics of semi-auto firearms. Visual triggers and military conflation are their tactics and they often use the term auto to help the rubes think machinegun when they see these weapons.

    My l905 Browning patent humpback would be banned under their dangerous semi-auto description and it was subject to gun control restrictions at the time it was first produced.

    The semi-auto banning frenzy is just a hyped opportunity to make gains against the evil gun owners who stand in the way of ‘progressive’ restrictions on natural rights. Under all this hoopla is the continuing push to topple the second amendment and ban all guns in private hands so that the Statists and their wise minions can inform us about what is good and proper from their safe spaces.

  45. Willy permalink
    October 4, 2017

    My gun can take out a satellite controlled commie drone. I wonder why the crazed gun nuts don’t just aim for those.

  46. Peter permalink
    October 4, 2017

    @Willy

    I saw a great screenshot showing the view from one of those commie terrorist drones at the DAPL wild Indian uprising. The picture shows a LEO on the ground shooting a rubber bullet at the drone and you can see the blue rubber round exiting the gun barrel.

    This and other video agitators were trying to film the cops during the Warrior clan’s attacks and make it appear the cops were the violent instigators during these planned incursions.

  47. different clue permalink
    October 5, 2017

    @Peter,

    “wild Indian uprising” . . . ? Are you jerking our chain here? Is this social performance satire on your part?

  48. realitychecker permalink
    October 5, 2017

    Two guarantees to hear from “control” advocates in these debates:

    Guarantee #1—-Not even a bare pretense of giving a damn about how the weak and helpless (women, the aged) are to be able to defend themselves from criminal violence when they dare to leave their houses.

    Guarantee #2—Not even a bare pretense of understanding what it means to have more than 300,000,000 firearms already in circulation, and that they do not age or deteriorate significantly over time.

    Fifty years I’m hearing the same nonsensical, emotion-driven drivel.

  49. October 5, 2017

    The questions that should be asked are:
    *How was one private individual able to come by so many sophisticated military-grade weapons?
    *Was this guy some kind of passionate (or fanatical) gun collector?
    *Where did he get the money to purchase all those weapons? (Remember: he was a retiree who worked for the post office for a brief period. Just what are the wages of an average postal employee?)
    *Why have these types of attacks become so prevalent in the past decade or two?
    *Are these individuals REALLY acting alone, or are they affiliated with some kind of underground cult organization(s)?
    *Who—or what—is behind the training and brainwashing of all these apparent “martyrs”? Just what is the agenda and purpose of this (or those) cult organization(s)? What are they trying to achieve by initiating all this discombobulation of the collective social climate of prominent western countries?
    *Can one really believe it to be the norm for a typical gun owner to possess enough arsenal with the potential to practically form a small rebel militia? Doesn’t the average gun owner have, maybe, one or two handguns for personal safety? Or one or two hunting rifles for hunting deer, or duck, or whatever’s currently in season?

  50. Frank Stain permalink
    October 5, 2017

    Are the downscale white communities where suicides are prevalent . . . savaging their own health care and mental health and addiction support infrastructure? Or are the Upper Classes savaging all that for them, from beyond and above? And in fact, are the UpperClasses carefully engineering an addictogenic social atmosphere and pressures-grid for the downscale white communities to begin with?

    differentclue: The alliance btw the right wing elite and the white majority is pretty transparent. The elite have adopted a radical libertarianism that denies the reality of social solidarity per se. Unfortunately, libertarianism is a non-starter for the masses because they understand the reality of their dependence on strong public institutions and tax transfers. However, the masses can be persuaded to be functionally libertarian if they are made to swallow the idea that govt. has been refitted to serve other, undeserving people, rather than the true, loyal citizens. Of course, the elites have spent decades heightening the contradictions and exploiting the ugliness that was already there. But let’s not pretend the white majority has not been ready and willing participants in a revanchist project.

    Also, you blame the ‘free trade conspirators’ for ‘jobicide’. But when the well paying jobs left the rust belt, they didn’t go first to China. They went to the low-tax, low-wage, union-busting, impoverished U.S. States where they could pay much lower wages. Capital has always taken advantage of uneven geographic development to lower wages and reduce rights and benefits. People in low-tax, union-busting states didn’t complain until they started getting undercut.

  51. Ché Pasa permalink
    October 5, 2017

    A relative handful of Americans own nearly all the guns in “circulation.” Actually, there’s little circulation; it’s mostly about accumulation. A tiny percentage of Americans own half the guns in private hands, meaning each of these owners has an arsenal — somewhat like Stephen Paddock’s — which can be employed for just about any purpose that strikes the fancy of the arsenal owner. Sometimes that fancy is mass murder.

    The self-defense argument is largely moot, even silly, given the precipitous decline in violent crime over the past couple of decades. Most of these private arsenal owners will never, ever be faced by armed criminals out to steal their stuff and rape their women. Some of these private arsenals are clearly intended for offensive purposes as we saw in Las Vegas this week and hundreds of other times so far this year, thousands of times over the last decade.

    Most of the people at the concert in Las Vegas weren’t armed, but even if they had been, there was essentially nothing they could have done with their guns to protect themselves from the mass murderer on the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay. The idea that they could have/should have is absurd.

    People who frightened to death of the armed criminals roaming free and believe they need to be armed for self-protection have lost faith in institutions that are supposed to protect them and keep the peace. Rather than spreading more guns around, it might be better to look toward reforming and reviving failed and failing institutions.

    Or maybe not.

  52. October 5, 2017

    Another question: How was Mr. Paddock able to bring all those assault rifles into his hotel room? Remember, this is a hotel/casino in Las Vegas—-sure to have plenty of security and surveillance. Surely SOMEONE must have thought it “Odd” that one guest should be hauling a plethora of luggage or boxes into a hotel room, considering that one stays in such a place on for only a temporary amount of time.

    And, having learned Mr. Paddock was, actually a retired accountant, that puts the financial question in a different light in terms of how he could afford such an pricey array of guns and ammunition.
    However, I STILL think all these mass shootings are all part of some secret underground social-engineering conspiracy just the same.

  53. Peter permalink
    October 5, 2017

    @TalH

    Perhaps you can explain why some gun banning nuts fixate on the number of guns someone owns as if it’s some kind of indicator of deviant behavior. There are millions of Americans who own many guns for various reasons including the one deviant shooter in Vegas. The number of guns in someone’s collection has no real significance because only one or two guns can be used at a time. Initial reports said that the Vegas shooter had three rifles set up on tripods with scopes but he could only shoot them one at a time.

    Most people in the US are not allowed to own military grade weapons and all the weapons mentioned were sporting models with a rugged military appearance and their performance is identical to other conventional appearing semi-auto rifles.

    @Che P

    The natural right to bear arms stands alone not dependent on its uses or present needs. The snowflake gun grabbers yammer about what gun ownership can’t do while every day someone’s family or life is saved because this right exists.

    You should go to Chicago and other Clintonite inner cities to see how low the violent crime rate is there, 58 shootings each month in Chicago. The national crime rates were falling but that trend seems to have reversed. It’s true that trustworthy institutions and police departments can reduce crime but the Statist phony promise that they can or will protect you individually from crime is collectivist propaganda. Police spend most all of their energy and time responding to crimes after the fact.

  54. realitychecker permalink
    October 5, 2017

    @ Che Pasa

    In recent years, violent crime had a big increase. So, you are citing statistics in a disinformational way.

    Try this: As inequality increases, more hard times for the poor, so they will turn more to crime.

    Get it?

  55. October 5, 2017

    All the right-wing simpletons who comment here really need to read Caleb Keeter’s statement about the massacre. There were lots of “good guys with guns” at that concert, and none of them could do a damn thing to stop someone shooting at them with automatic rifles from 30 stories up.

  56. Willy permalink
    October 5, 2017

    Why is an establishment accountant who’s planning on killing himself anyways, shooting at common citizens instead of corrupt power players?

  57. Ché Pasa permalink
    October 5, 2017

    Tell us why so many rich white folks think they need — and have — private arsenals. The poors are not attacking them. No one is. In fact, everything is being done to protect them and enhance their wealth and power.

    So what are their arsenals for?

  58. October 5, 2017

    Reading further about this situation I learned Mr. Paddock was quite a well-to-do individual.
    But, still, the idea of spending ALL THAT MONEY ON weapons? Clearly it denotes a type of mindset.

    By the way: Gun ownership makes perfect sense for self-defense and hunting. Provided the owners are well-trained in handling said firearms. And have a good head on their shoulders as well.

  59. Ché Pasa permalink
    October 5, 2017

    FTR, violent crime is at a near all-time low (contra Jefferson Beauregard Sessions) even in blood-soaked Chicago.

    So what are all these private arsenals for anyway?

  60. Willy permalink
    October 5, 2017

    @Ché Pasa

    I think it’s a cultivated cultural value. The rich and powerful used to be seen for what they are: a motley mix of deserving business wizards and players and self-entitled alphas who’d step on anybody to get ahead. Back in the day everybody hated Mr. Potter and loved George Bailey. They could separate out the deserving businessman who added value to society from the narcissistic asshole that took it away. But in more recent times, disrespecting the weak seems to have turned into an outright hatred for their being that way, regardless of circumstances. Those kind of cultural values are fully sociopathic. And they came from somewhere.

  61. Peter permalink
    October 5, 2017

    @CP

    This may be difficult for you to understand but the number of guns someone owns and the reasons for legally owning those guns are none of your business. This fact is frustrating for the snowflake gun grabbers because they need to find reasons to undermine legal gun owning rights. They can[t find enough weak minded and easily led rubes to vote them into power so people who vote for gun rights supporting candidates are targeted with their favorite tool the personal smear.

    The gun grabbers are puffing up like toads again showing their self centered certainty about what’s best for everyone else. Nancy Pelosi the creepiest of the California collectivists has revealed a little more of their true agenda with her authoritarian statement that background checks even universal ones will not be enough to satisfy their gun grabbing agenda.

  62. realitychecker permalink
    October 5, 2017

    @ CP

    Most thoughtful persons understand that the most recent numbers are the most useful for seeing what’s coming next. The long decline in violent crime rates bottomed out and reversed several years ago. You can get the numbers at the FBI website.

  63. Ché Pasa permalink
    October 5, 2017

    RC — fear of the Other coming to steal your stuff and rape your women is noted.

    Peter — who’s talking about “grabbing guns”? Not me. The point is to understand what drives so many rich white weirdos to amass such arsenals of weapons that are sometimes utilized to slaughter concert goers or anybody else that’s handy. And to counter whatever it is that impels such behavior.

    And yes it very much is “my” business.

  64. wendy davis permalink
    October 5, 2017

    mass murders of a certain sort are often known as ‘pseudocommandos’. The “Pseudocommando” Mass Murderer: A Blaze of Vainglory’, psychiatric times

    http://alturl.com/totkp

    alice miller might say a psuedocommando is the result of ‘poisonous pedagogy’; i suspect she’s correct.

    female mass murders (rare in the US) have generally found to be quite mentally ill, and are more generally in some sort of rage state during their sprees, thus opportunistic, not revenge planners as pseudocommanders are, not that mentally ill might not fit them as well.

  65. wendy davis permalink
    October 5, 2017

    for posterity in the event that this is a dead thread. re: Poisonous Pedagogy: this is the simplest synthesis of her theme that i could find:

    Polish Ph.D. and author Alice Miller (1923-2010) rejected her lengthy practice of Freudian analysis and spent the next decades of her life immersed in the childhood causes of psychopathic violence and cruelty later in life, as well as early experiential causes of simple neuroses and personality disorders.

    It’s Miller’s belief that most all psychiatric models fail mightily in rejecting childhood treatment as the key to later mental health status and interpersonal relationships, which has allowed parental and institutional cruelty to flourish for far too long.

    Essentially, she believed that when children were either neglected, abused physically and/or emotionally, and reared in accordance with a ‘might makes right’ authoritarianism, they weren’t able to build authentic selves, the natural ones that were instead stifled, preventing the victimized children giving voice to their emotions, personal truths and creativity. She described how personally empowering the simplest loving kindness is, and how toxic the long term effects of withholding it, or worse, being ruled by punishment, rather than simple discipline, meaning teaching…or learned personal developmental accountability…is
    .
    Of course there are varying degrees of silencing or manipulating children to bend their wills through coercion and deception, but she and her mentor Katharina Rutschky named both the individual and institutionalized practices poisonous pedagogy. She explains that since children are pretty much hard-wired to love their parents, they tend to internalize abuse or neglect as their own fault, and repress their anger, hurt and indignity where unless one day let out into the light of day, it brews more poisons that will one day be heaped on others, as in bullying, coercion, revenge, and violence, either latent or actual, and/or turned inward, creating depression, shame and guilt, most of which stays buried and unrecognized (repressed), ‘poisonous perpetrators and voices’, unidentified.

    https://shadowproof.com/2012/12/21/poisonous-pedagogy-and-our-culture-of-violence/

    tonight la luna bella is full, a harvest moon that i hope will make the coyotes out in the field yelp and howl.

  66. Willy permalink
    October 5, 2017

    As a kid in a hood packed with happy kids I lived two houses down from what had to be a young psychopath. She was bookended by an older normally friendly sister, and a younger normally friendly sister. Both played well with others. But the middle one was strictly off limits on orders of our parents. She only knew how to hurt others, create real trouble, and occasionally expose herself. Daughter of a cop, she ran away from home as a teenager and was never seen again.

  67. Ché Pasa permalink
    October 6, 2017

    So the question is whether Americans want to limit or eliminate mass murder — or whether they can be convinced to want it.

    Mass murder goes right back to the origins of Euro-colonization and settlement of the Americas. It has never stopped; in one form or another it continues throughout the Western Hemisphere, most prominently in the United States — as well as wherever the United States projects its power.

    Of course there are deep seated cultural, historical and psychological reasons for it, but it doesn’t have to be this way. I argue that it is this way, and it continues to be this way because certain interests — including the government and many businesses — benefit from periodic incidents of mass murder. So long as they benefit (more power, more profit!) they will do nothing substantive about the problem that largely afflicts someone else, not them. Not only will they do nothing substantive about the problem, they will actively thwart anyone else doing anything about it.

    We’ve seen this pattern before, and we’ve seen it changed before. A couple of examples come to mind: campaigns against drunk driving and tobacco use, eg.

    Neither was considered a serious social problem — until it was. Laws were ultimately passed to partially control those problems, but as important, maybe more important, was/is the social pressure against driving under the influence and tobacco use. That social pressure was brought to bear in part through persistent campaigns by advocates against very powerful forces opposed to any substantive change.

    We can point to quite a few issues that have been successfully dealt with in a similar way. When it comes to guns, though, the persistent advocacy campaign has always come from the opponents of controlling the problem of mass murder and other forms of gun violence.

    It doesn’t have to stay that way. Turn it around.

  68. realitychecker permalink
    October 6, 2017

    @ Che Pasa

    “RC — fear of the Other coming to steal your stuff and rape your women is noted.”

    You know, sometimes your out-of-touchness with reality is really quite remarkable.

    In an earlier comment, you casually dismissed the very notion that self-defense might be needed by anybody. Very remarkable.

    In the quote above, you repeat one of your favorite memes, i.e., fear of MY women getting raped.

    Are you actually denying that women get raped? Do they not deserve the right to defend themselves from rape? Really?

    I look forward to watching you get eaten alive now by all the good lefties who support women and their very right to go outside their homes without getting raped by predatory men. Not to mention the old and the disabled.

    Oh, the conundrum!

  69. realitychecker permalink
    October 6, 2017

    ” NR permalink
    October 5, 2017

    All the right-wing simpletons who comment here really need to read Caleb Keeter’s statement about the massacre. There were lots of “good guys with guns” at that concert, and none of them could do a damn thing to stop someone shooting at them with automatic rifles from 30 stories up.”

    Yes, yes, NR, from now on, all self-defense situations will be ones where the attacker is 32 floors up with multiple automatic weapons. Jeez, sometimes sarcasm is inadequate.

    Who was that “simpleton” you referred to? Got mirror?

  70. Ché Pasa permalink
    October 6, 2017

    The topic of doing something about mass murder and gun violence in the US does not interest RC. Got it.

  71. October 6, 2017

    @realitychecker

    Oh, nothing I say could possibly compare to the sheer stupidity of your contention that the only reason little old ladies can walk down the street without being attacked is because they’re allowed to carry assault rifles.

  72. realitychecker permalink
    October 7, 2017

    @ Che Pasa

    Au contraire, the topic interests me very much. I would just like to see the discussion show some respect for the hard realities that are built in to the situation.

    You are stuck in denial of the reality that some people are targets on the street, so you pretend they do not need to even think about self-defense.

    That makes you an idiot.

  73. realitychecker permalink
    October 7, 2017

    @ NR

    And you, as usual, are showing yourself to be another idiot.

    You want to talk about old ladies with assault rifles? Really? Is that where you think the meat of this issue is?

    Hard to discuss complex issues with simple minds.

  74. Ché Pasa permalink
    October 7, 2017

    “Self-defense” is a separate issue. But you knew that, you’re just trolling to derail.

  75. October 7, 2017

    @realitychecker

    You’re the one who brought it up, not me. You said we can’t have gun control because women and the elderly won’t be able to defend themselves–ignoring the fact that they aren’t defending themselves with automatic weapons in the first place.

  76. realitychecker permalink
    October 8, 2017

    Life and death issues deserve to be discussed with more understanding and seriousness about reality than you two are capable of.

  77. realitychecker permalink
    October 8, 2017

    C-Span is doing a segment right now on the latest FBI violent crime numbers.

    There has been a 22% increase in homicides over the last two years worth of statistics.

    Stop talking about the “decline” since the 90’s. This is the current reality.

    Pull your heads out of your asses, why doncha?

  78. Ché Pasa permalink
    October 8, 2017

    Homicides with guns. Do you ever listen to yourself?

    Nah. Why bother…

  79. realitychecker permalink
    October 8, 2017

    Same guy from C-Span has an op-ed in the New York Times today. Educate yourselves a little.

Comments are closed.