the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Gun Control Demands

Posted by Jeff Id on December 23, 2012

Liberals are in a froth over a new gun ban on semi-automatic rifles (fire once per trigger pull).  While these are powerful and dangerous weapons, I flatly don’t believe this new ban will have any impact at all on violent crime.  Like so many things from the unbiased media, I cannot see any logical path that achieves their stated intent of reducing public harm.  A new regulation based on banning of one completely-fake classification of gun, can’t do much when there are so many smaller, faster, and more easily concealed weapons.   Yes, the primary design purpose of an “assault weapon” is killing, but it is also the primary purpose of any pistol ever made.  In reasonably practiced hands, pistols have more potential to be dangerous to the general public, just because of their size.

Sure you can ban “clips” or “high-capacity” magazines, but there are so many already available, how would that stop a crazy person from purchasing them? Of course it won’t.  Small magazines might limit the number of people killed in one of those rampage style slaughters, but I doubt it actually would. Motivated people are smart enough to find a way.  Mass injury is actually done quite effectively with knives in China, because gun ownership is not allowed and civilians are often too impoverished by the communist system to actually purchase an illegal gun.  Tax the ammo is another “solution” offered, and all you do is make it expensive for good people to shoot and for the insane to accomplish the same thing.

There is another relevant secret in America, which is rarely reported by the unbiased media, our jails are full of people who suffer from psychological problems.  I’m not just talking about criminal murderers, but everything in the spectrum of the low-functioning mind.  From dimwits to violent outbursts to thieves to killers, the jails are a catch-all for people who cannot “think” of a better solution to their lives.  Our jails have replaced our otherwise rudimentary mental health system, and today America imprisons more people than any other nation.  Oddly enough, it is usually conservatives who primarily support this draconian system.

Yet our crime rates are still high.  To me, it is an example of another government solution, which doesn’t really work.

Americans have a lot of money or at least that is what the world tells us.  All of us can purchase an item for $1000 — if we really want it.   We are not an island, can own boats and planes, and can travel on the ocean without restriction.  Travel across a border is as easy as finding a vehicle.  What would happen if we banned all guns in the US, not just a fabricated class of “assault weapons”?   Would that stop criminals and gangs from owning weapons?  Would that law stop anyone with intent, from finding a gun and taking revenge?  I don’t think so, I think a complete gun ban would generally empower those with criminal intent, because they know that the victim is likely defenseless.  Like the control aspect that psychologists say drives a rapist, a full ban probably even encourages some types of defective personalities to be violent.

We should never forget that despite their best intentions, the typical role of the police is not to protect you.  They usually investigate, and subsequently ruin the life of whomever they decide did something wrong, well after the event actually occurred.   Evidence of crime is perception based, so the rule of law is far more flexible than people in general typically grasp.  The protection aspect of the police is therefore primarily driven by fear of their power.  In practice, it is actually up to you to protect yourself.  People of all viewpoints often make the same mistakes on this and demand more severe punishment to maximize an already frightening deterrent, without considering what sort of people actually violate the rules.  The point is that when someone makes the decision that they have nothing left to live for, or to lesser extent that they want to commit an illegal act which they will get away with, the police and law for that matter become completely moot.

Do you need an “assault weapon” to protect yourself from what is essentially a person bent on kamakazi attack?   Nope, any gun will do the same.

Will banning “assault weapons” protect our defenseless from attack?   Nope.

Will a ban reduce the danger of the attacks?  Nope, not according to the data.

Is it ok for everyone to carry a weapon?  Nope.

This is the point where every article tells you that it is a “complex issue” and that lawmakers will be working on the solution.   Trust me, their solution will be nothing but more government spending and crap.  A useless weapons ban, with useless people to enforce it, etc…  The NRA issued a statement regarding the recent murders, which while mostly reasonable, was flatly stupid in its solution.  We cannot afford to place full time police in every school when we already overspend the government budget by stupidly large margins.

However, we do have teachers who are apparently willing to throw their bodies between guns and our children. We know that teachers are generally people who would never intentionally harm our most valuable assets, and they already protect them all day long.  The leftists insist, against all forms of logic, that these same people remain unarmed.  Amazingly, the left-leaning politicians further demand that all schools are gun-free zones, which of course applies only to law abiding citizens, including teachers and administrators.  The situation is now obviously stupid to the point were it is dangerous, yet the same leftists react by demanding “gun bans”.  How many times do you stick your finger in the empty light socket before you realize it is on?

It is obvious that America needs a proper mental health care system, as well as protection for our schools and public areas. Since a mental health system is more than a slow moving object, I demand reasonable and proper correction of the predictable outcome of the no-guns-at-school laws.  I demand that an absolute minimum of two, trained first responder, concealed carry, teachers/administrators are on property at all times.  I demand that my state-educated children are protected by armed and vetted “good guys”, whom we already pay for, at all times.

In my opinion, this is no longer a negotiable issue. When they are home, my children are protected by numerous child-safe firearms.  Both they and you are safer from harm where I am sitting, than at my son’s elementary school, and that is a completely unacceptable situation.  Even if the leftist media succeeds in creating support for a ban of all weapons including sharpened chopsticks, I demand the same thing.   Gun-free policy has made the schools, stadiums and theaters the targets of choice, because everywhere else in America is personally dangerous to the untreated psychopaths who snap and wish to maximize law abiding citizen’s anguish.

Do what you will with gun bans, but remember that until we do something reasonable to physically “defend” our children, they are nothing more than low-hanging meat-targets for the insane.

113 Responses to “Gun Control Demands”

  1. j ferguson said

    Good observations, Jeff.

    The effectiveness of the proposed measures isn’t the point. The point is to do something that looks like it is effective. Witness the TSA requirement that shoes be doffed at the check-in inspection. This requirement is enforced nationwide. Yet boarding a plane in Charles de Gaulle (Paris), where IIRC the actual shoe-bomber originated is not required, nor in Sydney, nor Heathrow.

    I don’t think it is realistic to expect to identify every person capable of a massacre.

  2. Matthew W said

    I completely and unequivocally disagree with the idea that all schools should/must have “professionals” that are armed at all times. I find the idea of fortifying schools to be not the correct solution to a problem. There are a plethora of times and places where school children will be away from the buildings in large groups that can’t be protected. By fortifying the school buildings, the target will just be move to another location/opportunity.
    The root cause of the WHY these people assault schools needs to be addressed first. Do I have the answer?? No, no I don’t. But I do know that by having the liberal gun grabbers obfuscate the real issue,it will waste time and resources.

    It’s not the gun, it’s the shooter that’s the problem.

    And going on about the biased MSM, the NRA is being ridiculed by the biased MSM and liberals (redundancy noted) for suggesting that there are cops in every school. Had NObama suggested that…………………………………. What a great idea it would have been.
    Just imagine a TSA style program of government workers at every school………………..
    I have a nine year old in a public school and worrying about a possible shooter is very low on my list. More concerned about a possible bus accident.

    • “By fortifying the school buildings, the target will just be move to another location/opportunity.”

      So what is wrong with that?

      • Having an armed guard, or a couple of armed guards, makes THEM the first target after which it is business as usual.

        The idea of gun ownership is that we can protect ourselves and those around us.

        Not knowing how many armed people you are going up against is a much stronger deterrent!! In areas where there are few who are willing to accept this personal responsibility creating school Fortresses with a few armed guards is what is left and will cost much more.

      • Matthew W said

        As I said, it would just move the target area.
        Will armed escorts go with students on bus trips??
        The people that are doing the shooting should be the topic, not the schools

      • jeff Condon said

        “Will armed escorts go with students on bus trips??”

        Maybe, they are all around us when we are not in school. Restaurants, malls, everywhere that government doesn’t say you “can’t be armed”.

        Where the people shoot is part of the topic and I’m not happy sending my kids into a “disarmed” zone.

        • DBD said

          I believe Clinton did suggest guards in schools.

          • jeff Condon said

            I don’t want to pay for guards, I want to arm the people already there. Why not let those who guide our children have the ability and training to defend them?

          • Jeff

            Are you seriously suggesting here that teachers should be armed? Or did you have some other meaning?

          • jeff Condon said

            Many people in the US walk around with concealed weapons today. Those who legally carry are not the criminals. They are not allowed to carry on school grounds, being law abiding, means that they don’t. I am suggesting that a minimum of two teachers per school carry guns, just as air marshals now travel on almost every flight. It is common sense to have some good guys around, but instead of paying a “marshal” to guard the kids, lets use the good people already there. Were I a teacher, I certainly would submit to the training and background examination. I, like many others, also would be the guy who tried to stop the badguy if ever there was one. In reality, the threat means that “badguys” would simply find another target than our kids.

          • chucker said

            We already have examples of teachers being armed in schools. I know Idaho has armed teachers and certainly Israel does. I wouldn’t mind my grandson’s teacher being armed and believe me he is one handful.

          • chucker said

            I believe if it became common practice that a few teachers and and administrators were armed in each school these mass shootings at schools would stop. Would they find other targets? Maybe, but I would prefer that.

        • Matthew W said

          jeff Condon said
          December 23, 2012 at 6:42 pm

          I don’t want to pay for guards, I want to arm the people already there. Why not let those who guide our children have the ability and training to defend them?
          Yes, that is the correct idea which is completely different than what the NRA suggested.

  3. AQ42 said

    Well, here in the UK we have some of the strictest gun control around. Ultimately, it doesn’t stop criminals getting hold of them, but fortunately for the rest of us by and large when they use them they use them against other criminals in turf wars. What it does do is constrain the crazies and the domestics; if they can’t get hold of guns then they can’t waste the sorting office, the local school or their nearest and dearest. Yes, we have a knife problem, but knives are nothing like as effective/dangerous as guns. I respectfully suggest that you Americans ought to try it before rubbishing it.

    • The UK doesn’t have the same access that the US does to guns. Our population can get them from across the southern border at a moments notice. The knives in China are highly effective. I respectfully suggest you consider what I am telling you because the media sure won’t.

      • curious said

        I thought the most recent incident involved guns taken at a moment’s notice from his mum’s cabinet?

        Re: guns – what is the shot rate of the guns used in the recent slaughter? How many rounds could an individual fire before a best case (a clear sight and on target effective shot on assailant(s)) first responder could take them out? What are the chances of a best case situation? What are the typical situations?

        IMO US should sort it’s gun laws out including border control as part of a solution to the problem. I take and agree your point about mental healthcare but I reject your analysis gun control has nothing to offer. Having said that, if you have the data you refer to (“Will a ban reduce the danger of the attacks? Nope, not according to the data.”) I’d be interested to have a look.

        Disagreement aside – Merry Christmas!

        • Curious,

          remember the pictures of Pirates with bandoliers of black powder muskets slung around their bodies?? A criminal WILL come up with a way to do major damage if they are that messed up. Are you going to ban ALL chemicals so they can’t make squirt guns with acid or other compounds?? One sharp sword against a group of unarmed people is quite effective in destroying many lives even if they aren’t killed. Seriously, what if the nut job simplky steals a large truch or tractor and starts running over people and classrooms…

          • curious said

            “Seriously, what if the nut job simplky steals a large truch or tractor and starts running over people and classrooms…”

            Got any examples? 🙂

            Seriously back – yep, point taken. In fact I think here in the UK we had a cab driver recently intentionally drive though some pedestrians. We also had a samurai sword case a while back where a chap attacked some school kids and did a lot of damage. I think this resulted in legislation controlling sword ownership and AFAIK there haven’t been any repeats.

            For me the bottom line is there are lots of ways we can inflict harm on each other – some of which involve using everyday items, some of which involve using weapons. Properly implemented weapons control ought to be able to do a lot to reduce the second case.

          • curious said

            Update to my “AFAIK”:


        • OK S. said

          From Simon Fraser University, “Some International Evidence on Gun Bans and Murder Rates” (2007):

          In sum, banning guns for the general public increases people’s vulnerability and fails to reduce violence because the law-abiding citizenry are victims of violent crime, not perpetrators.

        • richardM said

          There is a fundamental lack of understanding by people who are not US citizens and that is our Constitution. I know you may not like Piers Morgan, or even listen to him, but what he does say is enlightening. He believes we don’t understand what our 2nd Amendment actually says. By extension, that means the body of our Founders words that are not part of that document who were very clear what the intent was, were also confused. This is not as simple as you make out – the right to own and bear arms is not something you can just take away. It requires a very methodical process to amend the Constitution – and I just don’t see that happening. They can play around with the edges, but if the 2nd Amendment is fair game, then so is every other God given right (whether you believe in God or not is immaterial – these are considered Natural Rights). The only people who will have access to firearms of any kind will not be those people who abide by the law – a MASSIVE number in comparison to the numbers of people killed in this manner.

          I happen to own some of these kinds of firearms. My children never had access to them. As cliched as the saying goes, guns don’t kill people; people do. If the intent is murder, it’s going to happen. First responders won’t stop it from happening either. Invariably, they respond after the event is over, except in rare cases. The right to defend ourselves is inherent and should be practiced when needed. BTW – one of my semi-auto’s is used for hunting and I’ve taken coyote, deer and even elk with it. Thre is a massive hog problem in the southwest and it’s spreading. The favored firearm for addressing this problem (because you may need repeat shots) is the AR15 platform.

    • Brian H said

      Re: AQ42 (Dec 23 14:55), A UK blog recently noted that the incidence of violence there is about 2,000 per 100,000; in the U.S. it is about 450.

      Obviously the UK needs concealed carry laws and training. To restrain and deter and “interrupt” your crazies’ rampages!

      • Paul_K said

        Oh puhleese,
        In 2011 there were 581 homicides in England and Wales – with a population of about 50 million. Yearly average is about 550 homicides of which 6.6% are by gunshot. In the same year in the US with a population of about 5 times the size, there were 12,664 homicides, of which 8553 were by gunshot. Total deaths by gunshot in the US amount to around 32000 per year, but this does include a large percentage of suicides, accidents and criminals shot by the police. Additionally there are over 200,000 non-fatal gunshot injuries in the US every year.

        Getting punched in the nose may get recorded as a crime of violence, and it may be more likely in the UK than the US, I really don’t know – but it doesn’t quite stack up to getting shot.

        I don’t know what the answer is to violent crime in the US, but it certainly is not going to be helped by a head-in-the-sand approach.

        • Kenneth Fritsch said

          Paul, we have a constitution that would require amending if we wanted to remove guns from private citizens or a constitution to be interpreted away and in the process making it meaningless or more so than it already is. Violent crime as high as it still is in the US has been declining dramatically over the past 30 years or so and that could not be attributed to less availability to guns. We have states and local governments with very strict gun laws and ones not so strict and in fact we have some with a right to carry concealed weapons. I do not recall seeing correlations in violent crime rates with guns and the amount and degree of gun regulation.

          I would suppose, if we were willing to revoke the Bill Rights for gun ownership and to allow searches without a warrant, the government could hire people to go door to door to confiscate all guns. I suspect that that method, given that we could throw individual rights out the window, would be the only potential quick fix for the problem. Fortunately only a few people in the US would support such a tactic. I said potential fix because government programs have lots of unintended consequences.

          As a libertarian I prefer liberty in this issue, but I also have trouble with politicians who immediately think they are going to solve violent crime, and massacres as we had recently, by invoking strict gun laws. That in my judgment it has more to do with their wanting to say they did something (and then sticking their heads back in the sand) and with some of them an abiding faith that government can solve these problems.

          I am not all sure we understand why the violent crime rate, and particularly the gun homicide rate, is going down generally in the US. I have heard theories as far out as those that point to the exposure of young children to airborne lead from leaded gasoline and in particular the exposure rates for inner city kids and the effect that has had on their abilities to think. These theorists like to point to the correlation of lead reduction in the critical years for children’s brain development and the corresponding reduction in violent crime when these children became of age to commit crimes.

          The links below present much fodder for an honest and unbiased statistical look at gun regulations and homicides from guns in the US. The statistics show that the homicide rate per 100,000 people in the US rose from near 1 in 1900 to around 10 in 1933 (towards the end of the constitutional prohibition of alcohol sales) and then downward to 4.5 in the 1950s and then upwards to 10.5 in the 1970s and 1980s (during the war on drugs) and then sharply downward to around 4.8 in current time.

          The statistics show that the gun homicide rates vary greatly by state and appear not related to the strictness of the gun regulations in the states.

          • Jeff Condon said


            I have heard, but not confirmed, reports that violent gun crime in rural areas is actually less than Europe and our disgusting cities make up the difference. Concealed carry is currently allowed in all states except Illinois I believe. It has also been reported that individuals who have concealed carry licenses, have a lower crime rate than police.

          • chuckr said

            There is one statistic that directly correlates to crime and no politician left or right will quote because they can’t take credit.. That statistic is the most important predictor of crime. The percentage of the population under 25. Young men commit almost all the crime.

          • Kenneth Fritsch said

            chuckr said

            “Young men commit almost all the crime.”

            You make my point about how important it is to look at all the groupings and historical rates when we talk about violent crimes and especially those committed with guns. Unfortunately you seldom or never hear these statistics discussed by those politicians who prefer a one size fits all government “solution”. I heard someone the other day facetiously make the comment that we should be profiling white males under 25 when it comes to potential shooters like we saw at Newtown. Almost all these massacres in recent times have been committed by white males less than 25 years of age. Have you heard any of those making public comments ever allude to that statistic?

          • Paul_K said

            I’m not offering a solution. I don’t know what the best way forwards is for the US. I was only responding to the previous comment because I think that pretending that there is no problem is a pretty sure way to avoid finding any improvement at all.

          • chuckr said

            Nobody is saying there is no problem. Statistics show little correlation to gun laws. Other more significant policy decisions, as Kenneth has shown, are much more important.. Our nation is getting older. Crime will continue to trend down as long as this continues.

            If we eliminate gun ownership in the U.S. we could dramatically reduce gun violence. Of course laws would have to be passed. The constitution changed or reinterpreted. Then you need to confiscate weapons…good luck with that. You also have keep smuggled weapons out. The very nature of our national identity dramatically altered. So we could eliminate most gun violence. But at what cost? There are some countries that have followed that path. What people forget or do not understand is that the U.S was founded on principles of individual rights and responsibilities. This mindset it seems is uniquely American.

            Bottom line, it ain’t going to happen, not in the U.S.A. Any minor changes like the assault weapons ban will have no effect. I am amazed how many people do not understand that an “assault weapon” is no different than a typical hunting rifle and banning semiautomatic weapons will not happen. So the changes will be superficial and actually when crime continues to drop credit can be taken. That’s assuming some policy we are currently embedding in our national economic/cultural structure doesn’t inspire increased violent behavior.

            Real problems that can and need to be solved are put on the back burner. There are parallels between the gun control arguments and the GW debate. A problem ….. supposed solution we will never do but people wish we would do…. without concern for the unintended consequences….but we’ve got to do something…. even though it won’t really do anything….we’ll feel better about ourselves.

          • Kenneth Fritsch said

            chuckr said

            I think you summarize the situation well.

            Paul_K said

            My point to made with you was that those ignoring the real problem and the details of that real problem were those who might appear to be very much aware of a “problem”. I agree with Chuck R that there are similarities with the issue of AGW and those who would exhort those who they think are ignoring the problem.

          • chuckr said

            Thanks Kenneth. I thought my post was kind of rambling and I apologize for not capitalizing Constitution. It deserves it.

  4. omanuel said

    Thanks for this report, Jeff. I agree with your analysis.

    Climategate and official responses to it revealed a much greater problem than simple manipulation of global temperature data: The shadow of a tyrannical one-world government.

    People are frightened. Private weapons are not the solution: Probably another cataclysmic event, like the birth of Christ, will again confirm “Might does not make right.”

    What will happen? I have absolutely no idea. The Sun’s pulsar core could reveal itself at any time by such an unexpected event.

    • omanuel said

      Gun control is a thinly veiled attempt by those losing the AGW debate to control the newly awakened public.

      Why not resolve the issue, the AGW debate, and avoid violence by openly and rationally following scientific principles?

      1. A Hungarian astronomer asked an important question in 1977about Earth’s heat source in Nature:

      2. A Japanese scientist suggested the answer in 1945, as noted in a one-page reply to the question in Nature:

      3. After Nature publishes the experimental basis for the question, the answer, and an open discussion, then

      4. The AGW debate can be settled by scientists with demonstrated ability to forecast the future behavior of pulsars and other ordinary variable stars like the Sun.

      • “Gun control is a thinly veiled attempt by those losing the AGW debate to control the newly awakened public.”

        I don’t agree. It is an issue that people reasonably have disagreement on. In my opinion, there is a lack of understanding on both issues but taxation, immigration, the role of government, all fall into the same category. AGW is a secondary attack on the same freedoms though.

        People have fallen for the media description of American success. It is just an attack on the freedom of people in general. Liberals don’t understand that free people worked fine. Government didn’t need to make all of these “reasonable” laws. Humans thrive under minimal government- the SEC zones of China are the latest proof. They are future proof that people need to make their own decisions – that statement is before its time.

        We don’t need others to think for us. Humans need the tough love of nature (math) to drag us to find our potential. Liberals take away the danger of failure at societies great peril. A safety net encourages us to try, a cradle encourages us to sleep.

        • omanuel said

          You may be right, Jeff.

          Literally hundreds of observations and experimental measurements indicate the Sun is a pulsar whose behavior nobody, absolutely nobody, can forecast.

          Those measurements and observations have been avoided like the plague. If Nature publishes our note, promoters of AGW and SSM (standard solar model) will be forced to address observations they have successfully avoided for decades.

          The US military brought the Japanese scientist who first visited Hiroshima after the A-bomb, P. K. Kuroda, to the United States after WWII ended. Kuroda became my research mentor in 960 and assigned this research project: “The origin of the Solar System and its elements.”

          By 1983 analysis of elements implanted in lunar soils from the Apollo mission had shown iron (Fe) is the most abundant element in the Sun. The Galileo probe of Jupiter confirmed that finding. The matter would have been settled in 1995 if NASA had released the data then.

          By a strange coincidence, this CSPAN news report recorded evidence of NASA’s deception in 1998, eleven years before Climategate emails surfaced in 2009:

    • omanuel said

      Here’s a longer list of unacceptable findings from Nuclear and Space age:

  5. curious said

    Reply to threaded 2

    “In reality, the threat means that “badguys” would simply find another target than our kids.”

    Won’t they just find other ways to get them? Why don’t they just bomb school buses?

    • jeff Condon said

      School bus bombing happens in other countries. In the US it is quite literally impossible to completely disarm the public under current law and it is a happy fantasy to consider our situation differently. We have the reality that people can get guns, make guns, steal guns, buy guns, all at will because of our freedoms. Now these freedoms came at a high price and they continue to exact some price which most here are willing to accept – even knowing full well that people do dumb things. Where it becomes seriously problematic, is when a single public zone is legally deemed unprotected. The current situation represents an incomplete understanding of the forces which guide human life in general and too many consider school anti-gun rules in a free access society reasonable.

  6. Lynn Clark said

    “gun-free zone” == “free-fire zone”

    Why liberals don’t get that is beyond me.

    I agree with the gist of the NRA’s suggestion about putting armed guards in all the schools. I like Jeff’s idea better. I have no doubt that there are gun-friendly teachers/administrators in every school who would be willing to step into that role. I also have no doubt that there are many retired or unemployed persons (like me, for example), who would be willing to receive the training and certification to be able to volunteer their protective services at a local school one or two days a week.

    For the past couple years I’ve watched a couple hundred Asian movies (lots of them on Netflix). I commented to my brother a couple weeks ago that one of the recent movies I’d watched was a good argument against gun-control laws in a somewhat perverse way. In the movie, the organized crime gangs used knives, swords, clubs, baseball bats, two-by-fours, pipe, and all kinds of similar weapons. The carnage was stupefying. Yes, it was a movie. But I’m sure it reflects the difficulty that even criminals in some Asian countries (this particular movie was Korean) have in getting their hands on guns. Or maybe not. I have a suspicion that the penalties for using guns in certain Asian countries are so severe that few people — even criminals — risk it.

    Let’s not forget that the Columbine shooters, Klebold and Harris, brought propane tank bombs to the school, but fortunately, the detonators were poorly designed and didn’t go off. And let’s also not forget that the Columbine shootings happened in the middle of the 1994-2004 “assault weapons ban”.

    The worst school massacre in the U.S., in terms of deaths, was by bomb in Michigan, in 1927. (

    It’s also been reported by more than one commentator on Fox News that the Aurora (Colorado) theater shooter skipped two theater complexes that were closer to his home because those two complexes allowed concealed carry, whereas the Aurora complex did not (thus making it a free-fire zone).

    And we still don’t know exactly which of the reported three weapons that Adam Lanza took into the Newtown school were actually used to commit the murders of the 26 children and adults. AFAIK, the police still haven’t reported that information.

    What we don’t need are more laws that punish only law-abiding citizens. And we don’t need solutions that ignore the very real risks of government-mandated free-fire zones.

    • Lynn Clark said

      I’m also sick and tired of non-gun-owners pontificating about what types of firearms are suitable for civilians to own or use. The simple fact is that when the founding fathers were fighting off the British, the muskets they had were the most modern and lethal firearms of the day. If that struggle had happened today instead of 235 or so years ago, they all would have been armed with AR-15 or equivalent weapons, or their full-auto military counterparts.

      Discovery channel has been running a series called Yukon Men, about the men and women living in the Yukon and living a largely subsistence lifestyle. At least two of the men featured in the series routinely carried AR-15 type rifles with them wherever they went. In fact, in one episode, one of them killed a grizzly bear with his AR-15 when it entered their fish camp intent on raiding their salmon catch. That wouldn’t have been my choice of firearm for going up against a grizzly bear, but it apparently did the job in that instance.

  7. stevefitzpatrick said

    Hi Jeff,
    Off topic: Eric is again claiming that his Nature paper is confirmed by another study. It is a “reanalysis” of Byrd station data (with no trend) which shockingly, upon reanalysis, becomes the location on Earth with the greatest rate of warming. Paywalled, of course. Funny how the manned stations that are closest do not show anything even similar. See, those skeptics are never right.

    • jeff Condon said

      I’ve been reading and plotting. If you take the newly changed AWS and patch it onto the manned data, take anomaly of the series together, you get zero difference from their reconstruction where data exists. I don’t have plots of the data in between but it seems to add about 0.1c/decade to the trend.

      • jeff Condon said

        I don’t have self made plots of the missing data but it seems to add about 0.1c/decade to the trend.

      • stevefitzpatrick said

        The warming in West Antarctica reported in Eric’s Nature paper was only part of the issue. The LACK of warming on the peninsula was just as glaring, and completely refuted by manned station data…. No gaps and no ‘reanalysis’ needed on the peninsula.

        • jeff Condon said

          ya know, that is so true. I keep seeing the guy pushing these new papers like they are proof of his accuracy, yet the peninsular trends were completely mashed flat in his result.

          I am still surprised that his work is cited in this recent paper, but it was difficult to parse.

  8. joshv said

    You children are more likely to be killed by lightening than by a gun-wielding attacker – in your house, or in their school.

    • Jeff Condon said

      Just because lightening deaths are rare, doesn’t mean I walk around on tops of hills during storms.

      • joshv said

        My point is that we do not go to any extraordinary lengths to protect ourselves from lightening – other than basic common sense protections. Neither should we go to extraordinary lengths to protect ourselves from mass shooting in elementary schools.

        You seem to think that mass arming of teachers presents no risk. To the contrary. I am absolutely certain that you or I, as a school teach, could handle the responsibility – but good lord, imagine a million+ armed school teachers. There are bound to be some idiots who pass the inspections and checks who shouldn’t. These will be the folks who get into a gun fight at school with another teacher, or accidentally blow a kid’s head off while cleaning their gun under his desk, or forget to properly secure the gun and allow it to fall into the hands of students. All the things that happen with the general population and idiot gun owners instead could start happening in our schools. Weee fun.

        • You would be amazed at how polite people are to other people who have guns. You don’t hear of a lot of police shooting police, do you.

          • joshv said

            That’s a bit of a non-answer. Stupid people do all sorts of stupid things with guns, and this stupidity results in death, regardless of how polite people might be to people with guns. If you think that any concealed carry permitting process for teachers will be able to weed out 100% of the idiots you are mistaken.

          • KuhnKat said


            yet you apparently have no issue with those same people having letter openers, scissors, gym equipment, electrical equipment, chemicals in labs, cleaning equipment, SUVs…

          • Josh,

            It would be far safer for the kids if the bad guys knew they were protected. You sound like someone who has not used firearms often. When properly handled, they are quite safe.

          • Matthew W said

            If the police would shoot at each other, there would be a good chance that no cops would get hit.
            Many,many,many cops a re very bad shots

          • joshv said

            “You sound like someone who has not used firearms often. When properly handled, they are quite safe. ”

            Great, I will concede that point, it has nothing to do with my argument, which you assiduously evading. If we permit 500k teachers to carry weapons in our schools, what percentage of them are going to handle their weapons properly? It’s not going to be 100%. And that will put your child at risk – much more risk than they face from mass shooters.

          • joshv said

            “It is a dangerous (and stupid) situation to declare any single zone “gun-free” in a society with access to weapons. Military bases, theaters, schools etc.. Your argument against arming teachers makes no sense. Why are you worried about a single teacher going nuts when they can already do that – this is why there should be at least two armed teachers per school at all times.”

            Makes no sense? Let me spell it out for you as you appear not to be able to absorb the simple logic here.

            1. The current risk to students due to mass killers is almost zero. In fact they are more likely to be killed by lightning – this despite swimming in a public sea of guns.

            2. To arm school teachers you will need to train and certify hundreds of thousands of teachers – a process which will be, given all past experience with our public schools – imperfect, resulting in improper/incomplete training, and the permitting of individuals who lack the ability to handle a gun responsibly.

            3. Thus a certain non-zero percentage of teachers with guns will use them irresponsibly – which will lead to a non-zero chance of your child dying in a gun death by a gun carried into the school by the a teacher. If you lack imagination on how such things can happen, look up some statistics on accidental gun deaths and read some news accounts.

            If you care to refute my argument, please directly address one of these points and tell me why it’s wrong. Stop just saying it doesn’t make sense – how does it not make sense to suggest that our students will be at more risk from 500k+ legal guns in their schools, than from 1 mass shooter every 10 years?

          • “The current risk to students due to mass killers is almost zero.”

            It is at least 20 and what is worse is that they were preventable.

            2. People are carrying guns in the US at millions already.

            3. “a non-zero chance of your child dying in a gun death by a gun carried into the school by the a teacher.” The teachers don’t need laws to allow them to do that right now. If that was their wish, no other teacher could stop them – because the government, by uneducated support, stops them.

            It doesn’t make any sense Josh. You are afraid of guns (as am I) but don’t understand that people in vast generality don’t want to hurt others and it doesn’t take a genius to handle a gun correctly. I grew up with them. Safe handling, proper skill, reasonable usage, and the result is safety for your family. Put them in a home in an inner city environment where nothing is taught, you get disaster. ou don’t need a six year indoctrination to do it right and in the hands of those we already trust to guide our kids, it would be a very useful deterrent against morons with other guns.

        • joshv said

          “yet you apparently have no issue with those same people having letter openers, scissors, gym equipment, electrical equipment, chemicals in labs, cleaning equipment, SUVs…”

          Tell me, which classes require a gun to be taught?

          • Matthew W said

            “If we permit 500k teachers to carry weapons in our schools, ”

            You are getting into nonsense land.

            Not every teacher would be allowed to carry.
            Only teachers that for themselves have chosen to carry (and be extensively trained) and then selected by what ever process a district would choose to be allowed.

          • joshv said

            “You are getting into nonsense land.

            Not every teacher would be allowed to carry.
            Only teachers that for themselves have chosen to carry (and be extensively trained) and then selected by what ever process a district would choose to be allowed”

            There are about 100,000 elementary and secondary schools in the US. To provide adequate protection, you’d probably want at least two staff members with a gun at any given time, perhaps three. Given that staff members take vacation, go on leave, etc, you’d probably have to permit and train 5-6 teachers per school – or about 500,000-600,000 teachers.

            So, not so much of a fantasy.

            Now, can you imagine a process that will perfectly train half a million teachers and make sure no idiots can get through the process? I can’t. There are probably at least half a million incompetent/bad teachers in our schools, and they go through a rather extensive education and training process as it is.

            Train half a million teachers to carry weapons and you are guaranteed that some of these teachers will handle their weapon irresponsibly, in a way that will endanger children.

            There’s no two ways about it, teachers with guns is the dumbest idea, bar none, to come out of this debate. And if anyone tries to put a gun in my kid’s schools I will do everything in my power to have it removed.

            And I am not some gun control nut. For the most part I am willing to accept the high tool of gun deaths as the price we pay for our relative freedom with respect to guns. I am not willing to accept guns in my kids school in order to prevent extremely rare mass shooting events.

          • OK S. said

            joshv said @ December 26, 2012,11:25 am:

            And I am not some gun control nut.

            I wouldn’t necessarily call you a “nut,” but you are denying millions of American teachers the basic human right to defend themselves. And not only that, a constitutionally protected right. And, if you believe the man who drafted the constitution, a right that no government may ever deny:

            The defence of one’s self, justly called the primary law of nature, is not, nor can it be abrogated by any regulation of municipal law. This principle of defence is not confined merely to the person; it extends to the liberty and the property of a man: it is not confined merely to his own person; it extends to the persons of all those, to whom he bears a peculiar relation—of his wife, of his parent, of his child, of his master, of his servant: nay, it extends to the person of every one, who is in danger; perhaps, to the liberty of every one, whose liberty is unjustly and forcibly attacked. It becomes humanity as well as justice.—James Wilson, Lectures on Law, Chap. XII, “Of the Natural Rights of Individuals,” 1790-91.

          • joshv said

            “I wouldn’t necessarily call you a “nut,” but you are denying millions of American teachers the basic human right to defend themselves. And not only that, a constitutionally protected right. And, if you believe the man who drafted the constitution, a right that no government may ever deny:”

            Interesting, gun bans in schools are unconstitutional? Could you point me to that Supreme Court ruling?

            Statistically schools, especially elementary schools in places like Newtown, are very very safe places. if we allowed say half a million teachers to be armed, I am willing to bet that the annual average student death rate due to guns brought legally into schools by teachers would be higher than that of mass shootings by deranged gunmen.

          • Josh,

            It is a dangerous (and stupid) situation to declare any single zone “gun-free” in a society with access to weapons. Military bases, theaters, schools etc.. Your argument against arming teachers makes no sense. Why are you worried about a single teacher going nuts when they can already do that – this is why there should be at least two armed teachers per school at all times.

            It sounds bad to have guns near the kids so you are reacting and I couldn’t disagree with you more. It is stupid to have guns everywhere in public surrounding the kids and provide the locked-in kids with no possible defense.

          • OK S. said

            Josh V.

            I fail to understand your argument. Is it your position that people do not have the right to defend themselves unless upon the permission of some authority? For if people don’t have the basic human right to defend their own lives, they have no rights at all.

            Supreme Court Justice Wilson’s statement which I furnished is not more right because he gave it during his tenure as a Supreme Court Justice. Nor is it more right because he gave it as a professor of law. Nor is it more right because he gave it as the man who drafted the constitution. Nor is it more wrong because he was a povery-striken Scotsman with a degree from lowly regarded St. Andrews. It is right or wrong only to the extent that it is right or wrong.

            Do people have certain inalienable rights (to life, liberty, and property) as Wilson states, or do they only have the rights that another human being creates and confers upon them? That should be the question argued. IMHO.

            If you want argumentum ad verecundiam, I sure can’t help you. Even high-powered lawyers can argue either way depending on the money. Doesn’t make them right or wrong either, especially judges who answer to no one but their own egos.


            What Jeff says. Gun Free means Open Season on the Defenseless to robbers, kidnappers, rapists, killers, and the (even temporarily) insane and other criminals. If teachers match the general population, there are between 100,000 and 300,000 of them already trained and armed who can’t effetively defend themselves or their students because of how the law now stands. Statistics also show criminal activity by armed private citizens to be no higher than that of the average citizen or armed policeman, so whatever concerns that seem to bother you are unfounded.

    • Lynn Clark said

      I passed on saying this a couple days ago when I first read your comment, but since the error has now been repeated a couple more times…

      The word “lightning” doesn’t have an “e” in it.

    • Mark T said

      Not sure how dangerous lightening is, but if it’s anything like lightning, watch out! 😉

  9. atheok said

    Banning high capacity magazines is sillly. Several of the recent attempts to commit mass mayhem were somewhat stymied by the failure of the large magazines to feed properly and caused the firearms to jam. Large well made magazine are expensive and the pseudo psychoshooters will not spend that kind of money when they could buy four cheaper ones.

    I’d understood from several new sources that the shooter in CT used a rifle on most of the victims.

    From personal experience with kid groups that had large numbers of troubled children signed up, “to socialize them”. Some of those kids were frightening at ages 10-13. Experiences with their paranoia episodes and attempts to NOT take their medication, (e.g. tucking the pills into their cheek and spitting them out at first chance), causes me to wonder about what their adulthood will be. Yes, incarceration is quite likely and as stated above; perhaps we are doing something wrong or incompletely.

    I disagree with anyone who tries to portray the modern rifles (called by the ignorant assault rifles) and pistols as solely for killing people. That is a blatant falsehood.

    In any target sport, whether darts, archery, bowling, pitching, horseshoes or throwing a football, consistent accuracy is the challenge and individual skill is used in competition. Most of the firearms referenced are used by civilians in some version of sport shooting, whether it is just plinking or serious range challenges. Police and other armed forces are the main components where pistols are used to enforce forcefully laws.

    Modern military rifles have reached a design breakthrough that shooters have yearned for over fifty years. Interchangeable barrels and accessories to meet the current need with minimal impact to point of aim. Shooters can purchase a new military design take off and purchase additional barrels in different lengths and calibers. The three gun sports shooters can install two sets of optics along with iron sights and depending on the target challenge, aim through the appropriate sight and shoot. It is only a matter of time before hunters utilize the same technology to solve the age old issue of close range, middle range and long distance accuracy.

    Almost every city, town, borough, county, parish, state in the United States has far more gun control laws on the books than can be believed. More gun control is certainly not what is needed. Returning full responsibility for one’s actions back to the individual is what is needed.

    Regarding the British gun control system in effect right now. I feel very sorry for you. Britain has almost, not quite yet, revoked the Magna Carta and returned to tyrannical rule. Removing the ability of a freeman/woman to defend themselves and their homes is not a step forward. It is a step back into serfdom. Britains should read their own history of the struggle to achieve civilian freedom. Also they should read about when the Germans dropped elite paratroops into Crete during WWII. Even civilians armed with crude weapons make invasion very costly.

    I sent the following in response to a request for opinions/options concerning firearms.

    Guns are tools; tools for freedom, equality, hunters, sport shooters, competitions, and government!

    People and governments that are bad, evil, criminally inclined, antisocial, cruel or tyrannically focused will misuse any tool they can get control over. Where tyrannical governments do the most damage with firearms and other tools, any person or group or persons can do horrific damage; even with items that most people consider completely benign.

    When a citizen proves themselves worthy; whether by education, record, performance, oath then the government should treat them with the respect they deserve. Including the tools they desire whether to learn, practice or improve their skills.

    It is cheap easy and simplistic to blame the government for any citizens own lapses in their ability to defend themselves and their cherished ones. Another way is to describe them as genuinely stupid, because they turn the other cheek and then blame others when they are struck.

    Allow people the freedom to defend themselves fully and in any way they choose.

    A frightened young teacher of children may not have the skills to outshoot a crazed assailant with a firearm, but if that teacher or any other responsible adult encountered could’ve defended themselves with a tazer; that crazed assailant would’ve been subdued immediately with minimal harm to others.

    That teacher who tried to protect the children had neither the tools nor the skills to actually defend herself, let alone a class of children. When the sound of shots were initially heard, any number of skilled citizens could have rushed to defend, not hide. Citizens who hid instead of helping were unable, emotionally or otherwise lacking in basic adult defense skills and tools.

    A situation that is shameful to one of the mightiest civilization ever. Might of a civilization is not based on armies, it is based within every citizens heart and soul and that citizen’s ability to utilize their abilities, tools and inner strength, for the greater benefit of their communities.

    Enable and empower individual citizens to defend themselves, families, friends, neighbors and their fellow countrymen!

    Do not hire bottom salary rental guards with guns to protect our future leaders. Encourage every responsible individual to improve their own ability for defense. Combine this effort with emphasis of physical strength and perhaps it will also become a method to control excessive weight.

    People who have the misfortune to be cursed with mental impairments need all the love and care we as a civilization can give. All too often, responsibilities for these troubled souls are dumped wholly upon people, such as their parents, who lack the skills, time and resources to properly care for them.

    Many of these impaired souls will become contributing citizens even if they still need lifetime care. A few, the very troubled souls, most dangerously the very clever ones, will circumvent any static protection to cause damage and prey upon the innocent. Only every citizen’s vigilance combined with individual ability to defend can mitigate damage when that monster in a troubled soul breaks free of self-control looking to wreak mayhem.

    • page488 said

      Beautifully written, and I agree wholeheartedly.

      I am a sixty year old woman, alone. I have had a permit to carry a concealed weapon for ten years. I take it everywhere along with the little dog in the picture (the dog doesn’t go with me in summer because of the heat, but the gun does).

      I’ve never had to use it, but it is there if I need it.

      Even with MS, I’m a fairly good shot.

  10. telecorder said


    Enough with the hypocritical obfuscation that more laws are the answer – anyone else see the irony here?

  11. Steveta_uk said

    It’s so sad for people from the rest of the world to read apparently sane Americans trying so hard to justify gun ownership. It really does appear to be a national psychosis that cannot be understood from elsewhere.

    The slightly silly idea that gun control is pointless because your borders are open makes no sense. Mexico has dreadfull gun problems, but nearly all is inter-gang, and the general public remain relatively unaffected. Canada has higher per-capita sporting gun ownership than the USA, but is almost completely devoid of the insane gun attacks that you experience regularly.

    And please explain exactly what you would say to the mother of the first child to be shot by a security guard for bringing a water pistol to schoool? Because it will happen.

    To quote an article from the Guardian in the UK by Charlie Brooker:

    All I know is that 20 children were shot at close range with an assault rifle, and that only a lunatic nation wouldn’t try everything it could think of to make that less likely to happen again.

    Seriously, why is there anything whatsoever that you would not try to prevent this from happening again? Is your freedom to kill each other really so important?

    • I don’t see what is so “hard” about justifying ownership of guns. We do have open borders and there are many killings along them – not just gangs. We do hold guns to protect our freedom as well as our family.

      I can tell you that our inner city culture driven in particular by African American society is very sick in general. Violence is a part of life, as is free money. No that is not a racist statement because other races fall into it and plenty of African Americans have avoided the culture.

      “Seriously, why is there anything whatsoever that you would not try to prevent this from happening again?”

      We just disagree about the solution, not that something needs to be done. If you don’t substantially eliminate every gun, then you have done nothing. Most of the other mass killings like columbine were actually committed with pistols and shotguns. Most gun murders happen from pistols. If you have an armed society, you cannot declare a single zone to be unarmed and expect people inside that zone to be safe …. right?

      That would be really stupid.
      But that is what we do.

      You also can’t ban one kind of gun and expect people to be safe. It does nothing and my children are still unprotected.

    • Matthew W said

      “Is your freedom to kill each other really so important?”

      It’s about protecting ourselves.

    • Curt said

      Canada has one tenth the population of the US. With equivalent per capita rates of these shootings, they would happen one tenth as often in Canada. I suspect that is close to what we see. I can remember a few of these in Canada.

      Twenty children in the US die every single day in traffic accidents. Are we a lunatic nation for not imposing a national 15 mile-per-hour speed limit, which would save virtually all of those lives?

    • So Steve,

      what have the Brits been doing to stop the gang rapes by Muslims, not to mention the attacks on everyone creating balkanized areas, like in France and other countries, where only Muslims are safe to pass??

      Yeah, those evil guns they don’t have any more wouldn’t be any good at all would they.

    • OK S. said

      Just remember, the bolt-action hunting/sniper rifle is next on the “to ban” list.

  12. M Simon said

    Myths of mass shooters:

  13. M Simon said

    What Gun Free Zones Look Like:

  14. Merry Christmas all. The AR replica in semi auto shoots at 0.8 rounds per second. The military full auto is 15 rounds per second. Banning semi-autos will not stop someone who knows weapons. A better choice is the Winchester Model 1912, sawed off to legal limits with low brass single ought buckshot. A large man can put 5 on target in under 2 seconds. Timed a Federal agent who used such a setup for his weapon when dealing with armed drug dealers who had both semi and illegal full autos back before they changed what agents could carry. I preferred a Taurus N (44) frame .357 4″ “Super” Bull barrel. I could fire 6 shots in an area half the size of a man’s chest at 20 ‘ in 1.5 seconds. I see they make an 8 shot version of this now. A good discussion was at Dr. Kahan’s blog . There are valid reasons to look at cultural backgrounds. Jeff brings up a good one: the criminal culture. I think that discussion is somewhat missing on the latest of Dr. Kahan’s. But the newest post looks interesting. I will see if it fits. As someone who became familar with certain aspects of criminals when working at a pawn shop, criminal culture is not something to ignore. Discussions with law enforcement agents yeilded the conclusion that criminals literally do not think like normal citizens, i.e. they are crazy.

  15. atheok said

    “11.Steveta_uk said
    December 24, 2012 at 1:31 pm
    It’s so sad for people from the rest of the world to read apparently sane Americans trying so hard to justify gun ownership. It really does appear to be a national psychosis that cannot be understood from elsewhere.

    …All I know is that 20 children were shot at close range with an assault rifle, and that only a lunatic nation wouldn’t try everything it could think of to make that less likely to happen again.

    Seriously, why is there anything whatsoever that you would not try to prevent this from happening again? Is your freedom to kill each other really so important?”

    Didn’t read my post huh? Decided you knew what it said and just jumped down to add your pitifull lament “…If we can save one child?… wail whine fake tears and all!?”

    It is rather amazing how far folks go to instill their fear of weapons into others…

    The truth is; guns are out of Pandora’s box for all of time. In poorer areas of the world it is not hard to manufacture firearms in any garage. The AK-47 and all of the variants are designed specifically for ease of manufacture and repair. Read the frontline reports about our, including Britain’s, soldiers finding local/homemade weapons and weapon shops in Africa and the Middle East.

    Ban legitimate citizens from owning guns and yes, only the criminal/evil intent constituents will own firearms. Firearms, including the full auto kind, are too easily made for a ban to affect anybody but the law abiding.

    Steveta_uck; I do not have a clue what you are claiming for Mexico and Canada. Personal ownership of firearms is illegal in Mexico and difficult in Canada. I don’t have a clue where you got the per capita numbers from for Canada, but I have my doubts it is correct. It seems Canada a few years back decided to emulate England’s gun laws; with much the same process of implementation. Right now the citizens are upset and they are making noise about getting those laws repealed. There seems to be some problem with crime rising as people who own and can use weapons declines.

    Which brings us to the rather silly point you are trying to skate by us. If your claim about weapons per capita is true, then you’ve just proved firearms are not the issue. Nor is it our culture as the great majority of people do not go out for a weekend of mall or nursery shootings.

    Whether you call them misfits, mentally challenged or deranged; the issue is how to cure/correct/prevent these damaged souls from seeking death and destruction of the innocent. As has already been pointed out by other commenters, even if the ‘flipped out’ are going on a psychotic malignant destruction outing, they have the presence of mind to avoid places where concealed carry is legal.

    Striking a child nowadays, often sends the adult into custody and the child into false homes; so strict discipline is out and these problem children do not fear adults. So what are the next best options?

    In other words O’ solver of man’s problems, what can be done about these poor maligned souls who so need better care? Or can we send them to your neighborhood and you can deal with them?

    • London Calling said

      Steveta_uk is typical of young lefties here in the uk – it is a “sport” among such keyboard warriors akin to firewalking, to post into what they see as “right wing” blogs. You see them all the time, and their posts are full of straw-man argument, ” righteousness-enhancing qualifiers like “Seriously,..” “Frankly,..” .They get all their ideas from certain leftwing newspapers in the mould of HufPo Wapo, and even more sad, being “Anti-American” is a badge of membership, along with anti Israel /pro Hamas, anti-capitalist, and the usual line on non-existent global warming (or whatever they call it nowadays).

      They demand a solution to every problem, especially the problem of evil – their solution is always more government, less freedom. Most eventually grow up. Of those that don’t, many go on to write in those left wing newspapers. Or worse, join the political classes.

      • atheok said

        I can not agree with you, unlesss you know him personally. I haven’t gone looking for exmples; but I’ve read posts by Steveta_uk before on other topics. Without examples of Steveta’s posts right in front of me, I can not quote him directly; but I usually read his posts as they are thoughtful, reasoned and well worth reading.

        But, on the topic of gun control, Steveta has lost sight of the problem and is blaming an inanimate object as a direct cause of evil. The perspective I think he has is the perspective of the MSM, violent action movies, and very overstated absurd history.

        What Steveta should do is to return to England’s past and review what it took to bring freedom, not only to the serfs; but also to royalty in England. Robin Hood may be a fictional composite of verbal histories, but the real truth in the drive for freedom was that the nobles of the land insisted/forced King John to sign the Magna Carta. Not that King John paid much attention to it anyway, but the Magna Carta served as a major step towards everyperson’s freedom.

        A person’s home is their castle and they have not only the right, but the requirement to defend their castle and life; with force if necessary.

        America was initialized by a number of rather courageous individuals, who were very educated on many forms of government. England’s government served as the model for America in terms of the rights of people; plus what America’s forefathers learned about the freedoms and responsibilities England denied the colonies. All this went into the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

        America has enough trouble with the internal problems of people demanding bigger government so they supposedly have less to worry about. Every MSM trumpeted disaster is another excuse to hand individual freedoms back to the government. Sooner or I hope much later, government will no longer be of the people for the people. Democracy should never be an excuse for tyranny of the majority, otherwise it is a step away from fascism where the majority no longer have any rights either.

        Other countries have already ignored centuries of mankind’s history and reverted to minimizing their populace’s ability to seriously disagree with government or an individual’s ability to take whatever force is necessary to protect themselves and their families. There is no need for people in those countries to make holier than thou sounds at us. Within the last couple of decades there are examples of gangs, thugs, pirates or whatever murdering thousands of people who lack any real ability to defend themselves.

        • Steveta_uk said

          Thanks for a reasoned response – it’s well over 30 years since anyone could have thought me a “young lefty” so the previous message was far off mark.

          I cannot place any credence in the argument that video nasties in film and game form somehow induce acts of violence in young Americans, when exactly the same films and games are played world wide apparently without the same impacts.

          And note that I don’t in any way think that the inannimate objects themselves are to blame – as others have already said, there would be no issue with gun ownership if the entire population was sane and stable and temper-free.

          The argument that seems to be missed every time is one that is exemplified by the latest tradegy (or has there been one since?). The young man involved was not one who has to travel to some inner city getto where guns are freely available to obtain the weapons he needed for this massacre. They were in his own home in a quiet New England town. No amount of screening for “mentally challenged” or “disturbed” people would have prevented his mum from being a gun nutter (though it appears in this case to have been fairly unstable herself).

          So what is the argument against allowing gun ownership while imposing access controls? Sporting guns do not need to be accessible year round, so why not insists on secure housing? Then theives and out-of-control teens would not have direct access to the weapons, and the five children shot per day while playing with guns could be saved.

  16. Scott B said

    The average child is safter at school than they are in their home. That’s plenty acceptible to me. What’s not acceptible is turning our schools into prisons and expanding government even further because a few kids got killed. Get some perspective. Kids are safter today than they’ve ever been.

  17. page488 said

    I find the idea of restricting guns for the majority to be silly.

    Let me give you an analogy.

    A lot of men commit rape. We could end rape, for the most part, if we castrated all men in the country (given today’s technology, sperm could be frozen before the castrations to ensure that the country – and even individual families – could propagate citizens). How many libs would go for that, do you think? (Well, maybe some of the ones who are the most anal just might).

    Several of the latest mass killers have been mentally ill in some way.

    In the seventies, our very liberal buddies decided that the “rights” of the mentally ill were being violated and state hospitals closed right and left; people incapable of caring for themselves were turned out to the streets, and it became nearly impossible to have a person committed against his/her will before the commission of a violent act.

    So what do people expect?

    Were some sane people committed improperly back in the old days? Probably; certainly.

    Similarly, sometimes innocent people are convicted of crimes, but we don’t try to rectify the situations by letting every criminal out of jail just because someone was convicted improperly; the courts take these incidences case by case.

    Mistakes happen. Bad things happen.

    No matter what we do, bad things will always happen!

    We will always walk a fine line between individual freedom and the right of the majority to live in safety. Restricting the populace to the point of absolute impotence in all ways will never solve any problems.

    Oh, and, IMO, no matter what kind of restrictions the government puts on guns – those intent on mass destruction will find a way.

  18. omanuel said

    Gun Control to Keep Tyrants in Control ?

    The tic, toc of the universal clock that keeps the beat for
    Lord Shiva’s endless cosmic dance appears to be just this:

    Tic: H-atoms -(reset)-> Neutrons
    Toc: Neutrons -(time)-> H-atoms

    One toc vaporized a Japanese city on 6 Aug 1945
    The UN was formed on 24 Oct 1945 to say toc is tic
    That is the historical foundation for UN’s AGW fable

    “Yes, the Sun is a pulsar,” Nature (submitted 12 Dec 2012)

  19. Corey S. said

    First, the Second Amendment says nothing about hunting. That is the bait-and-switch that has happened from the Left to switch the narrative to making people think that is what this is about. It couldn’t be further from the truth. Case-in-point:

    “[The Constitution preserves] the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation…(where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.”
    – James Madison, Federalist 46

    “To suppose arms in the hands of citizens, to be used at individual discretion, except in private self-defense, or by partial orders of towns, countries or districts of a state, is to demolish every constitution, and lay the laws prostrate, so that liberty can be enjoyed by no man; it is a dissolution of the government.
    – John Adams, A Defence of the Constitutions of the United States 475

    “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms…disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed one.”
    – Thomas Jefferson, quoting Cesare Beccaria’s Essay on Crimes and Punishments”

    Second, as stated from our forefathers, WE THE PEOPLE are the militia, not a government institution. Yes, they created the National Guard, but the founding fathers never envisioned a standing army as it was the single biggest threat to their vision. And since we are the militia, we are entitled to these ‘assault weapons’ that are so demonized. It is even stated so in the first, and only, case to look at the Second Amendment as a whole:

    “The signification attributed to the term Militia appears from the debates in the Convention, the history and legislation of Colonies and States, and the writings of approved commentators. These show plainly enough that the Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. “A body of citizens enrolled for military discipline.” And further, that ordinarily, when called for service these men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time.”

    One can easily say that an AR-15 is in ‘common use’ right now.

    Finally, as Jeff stated, handguns are the most used weapon used in homicides at 49%. But as the Supreme Court stated in the DC case, handguns are allowed because they say that they are in ‘common use’, so DC has to allow them. But, rifles only account for just over 2.5% of homicides during 2010

    And murders by knives, blunt objects, and hands/feet, each on their own outnumber the number of total rifle homicides each year from 2006-2010, with total homicides decreasing over the same time-frame.

    Bottom line, rifles are used in a SMALL percentage of killings in any given year due to the shooters inability to conceal the weapon. I don’t see it changing, either.

    Barbara Boxer is going to introduce legislation to use National Guard troops to protect the schools. If you think that arming teachers is ‘crazy’, Joshv, I am sure that this one would be, too. I for one don’t agree with using troops to guard schools, retired police, military, or even citizens trained could do it more efficiently and not instill a sense of militarization of a learning environment.

  20. atheok said

    Article in the WSJ.

    Be sure to read down to suicides; where after banning most firearms in England, suicides did not decline; just suicides by firearms declined. Guns are inanimate objects; motives are the driving factor and methods to correct the psychotic impulse use guns impropery and kill innocents (our view of the victims), by the perpretrators.

  21. TimTheToolMan said

    Do you carry a loaded gun for that random mall-shooter moment where you need to defend yourself, Jeff?

    Australia has been gun free for some time now and its becoming properly part of our culture. Sure there are some registered gun owners out there (farmers and members of gun clubs as well as police) but when I walk down the street I know with confidence that nobody in sight has a gun. Its not even a good feeling because its not something I think about any more.

    If the US was properly gun free culturally, then most of your fear about those who illegally acquire guns actually goes away. Its no longer part of the culture and the exceptions are few and far between. Having said that I dont think there is any practical way for the US to go from its current state of fully armed to fully disarmed. Ever.

    • Australia isn’t bordered by 3rd world countries, where guns are illegal, and plentiful. In Michigan, concealed carry law does not allow gun owners to carry in Malls.

      America generally has a very low crime rate. The murder numbers reflect the cultural disease which infects a portion of our inner city population, while the rest of us gun-carrying morons, live quite safe lives. The same disease elected a left-wing party bent on paying them small amounts of welfare/healthcare cash in exchange for votes.

      Did you know Mexico has a near zero gun policy too, yet guns are everywhere. Does the existence of peaceful safe culture, right next to a pistol free left-wing war zone like Chicago, make anyone stop and consider that guns are perhaps not the problem? Maybe it is the cradle to grave government enslaved population of the inner cities in the US?

      • TimTheToolMan said

        Australia has one of the longest coastlines in the world. If people wanted to import guns, they could and no doubt they do. The point is more that its a cultural change that’s needed, not simply removing the guns. The US has gone too far down the gun-toten’ track to recover from that in a practically achievable way.

        Guns in the hands of seemingly sensible people doesn’t stop accidental deaths. What about children who find their parent’s gun and kill themselves or their siblings? I cant begin to imagine how I’d feel if that happened to my daughter. And quite recently one of my partner’s friend’s daughters in the US was literally randomly shot and killed by a “stray” bullet in a carpark for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

        • chuckr said

          Thousands of children drown every year in swimming pools. Thousands every year commit suicide with prescription drugs. Totally preventable, just ban them.

          What most foreigners can’t comprehend is our gun culture is really a freedom culture. We believe that if you give individuals the maximum amount of freedom and self responsibility the country as a whole will prosper and innovation will thrive. It’s worked pretty well so far. We also believe that the more power you relinquish to government the more it will take. We believe individuals have rights and the right to defend is as important as almost any other. Protect oneself from criminals, protection from tyranny, a deterrent to both. Our founders thought it was so important that only one right came before it. We largely have the perspective that each individual is responsible for their own success and failure, If you have no responsibility to defend yourself what responsibility do you have as an individual. We believe the government should protect our individual rights. The majority here in the US still believe these principles. You see it’s part symbolic but mostly very real. That mindset of individualism is outlined in our constitution. It’s controversial and most of the world doesn’t quite get it Unfortunately there is a large and possibly growing percentage of our own citizens that also don’t get it.

          We have a murder problem in the US, and yes if we took all the guns, if that was possible, it would probably reduce the murder rate. But at what cost? We have a murder problem, but it is not the result of the principles I outlined. It is the result of a criminal culture that has been allowed to exist. That culture is our failure and our own government has largely created it.

          • I agree with you Chuckr. The government creates what are very predictable cultural problems, and perpetually adds more problems by selling irrational change as solutions.

          • TimTheToolMan said

            I’m not saying you shouldn’t have the right to defend yourself, the thing is that you’re defending yourself from someone with a gun with a gun yourself. We have that same right here in Australia but in almost all cases I’ll be defending myself from someone who doesn’t have a gun.

            And where does individual freedom stop? Is it also your right to have say a rocket launcher because if someone is attacking you in some sort of armoured vehicle, you’ll need it. Its a slippery slope when you start to rationalise “individual freedom” with an arbitrary amount of firepower.

            The only argument you have and the one the founding fathers had in mind was that if everyone is armed, then the government cant forcibly impose their will on the people. I’d like to think that the US has gone well past that possibility, though. Besides, you with a pistol are no match for defence against the military with their equipment.

        • Accidental deaths are rare in normal homes. If you don’t handle your car right, the same things happen, and a lot more often.

          These are silly arguments. The point of the post is that in an armed society, which America is, gun free zones are not “safer”, they are less safe. They are free kill zones for the bad people of the world.

          Then you get the outsiders who have been buried in endless left-wing press articles who tell us that our murder problem is because of the guns. This is a bogus argument. Washinton DC and Chicago are pistol free zones. Check out what happens there, and tell me how these corrupt, non-functioning, and brilliantly liberal people will somehow be able to conduct “safer” business. Then tell me how we stupid hillbillies in the country, can live safely next to that mess without being armed.

  22. Happy New Year!

    My wife had a couple of points about universally armed teachers. You would not need to fear for the children’s lives from the teachers. However, the parents… that is a totally different matter. 😉 The real concern is trying to account for and make available firearms. Finding a way to get around an obstacle is something children and teenagers do all the time. With firearms, it could become a competition with resulting unfortunate deaths.

    But my point is that if you can develop a culture where one does not need guns, why is it we cannot develop a culture where all are armed and no one dies from murder or accident. The problem is that JeffID is correct, the statements above supporting gun control do not form a consistant argument. It portrays a belief about humans that is not supported by the very fact that we are having a discussion about people murdering people, even themselves. Guns are not the problem, death by guns is a symptom. That is why gun control, an indirect approach, cannot be made into a direct appraoch. In other words, gun control is symptomatic relief, and not a cure.

    I used to be for more gun control until I was challenged by another gun owner, when we were bored while hunting. As we discussed the laws, his question was what reasonable gun control could we implement that had not already been implemented, that did not violate the constitution. The only one was one that affects, as pointed out above, a small number of deaths each year; and that is limiting magazine size. But note, it reduces, but does not stop death.

    More important. I would like to tell you about one of my experiences. I sold firearms in a pawn shop for years. One day a guy came in with his intended to buy her a handgun for self defense. I explained how recoil, accuracy, and firepwer are related. She stated that she only wanted one to scare off an attacker. I tried to talk her out of buying a weapon if she was not going to use it. I explained to her that I had weapons pulled on me, and LEO’s always told people that the most dangerous thing to do with a firearm is to pull it and not be able to use it. The reason is that when you face a firearm you are typically first scared and then very, very angry. The owner, my boss, and her intended started berating me about I should just sell the fire arm. He told the owner if we wouldn’t sell, he would go down the street and buy one. I sold the weapon and I asked her to please consider either putting it up and never pulling it, or if she did she had to use it. After they left, the boss tore inot me about what my job was, etc.

    About 2 weeks later, the local newspaper carried a story of a young lady that had pulled a weapon on a bugular. When he realized that she was not going to shoot him, he knocked her down, raped her, and then shot her with her own weapon. Neighbors had heard the commotion and the police were able to catch immediately at the scene. When asked why had he murdered her, since his rap sheet was burgulary, and theft, not murder, he said that he was so angry that she had pulled a weapon on him, he just lost it. It had the apartments, but no number, and the lady’s name. We looked at the federal firearm transaction record. The name and apartment matched and we wondered if it was the lady that I tried not to sell the firearm.

    A few days later, the guy came by and said he had just buried his intended. He wanted to shake my hand and thank me. He said that if he had listened to me, perhaps she would still be alive. It was to his regret that he and my boss could only see the sale, I was the only one who was thinking of her instead. From that day on, I hamdled the firearm sales to women, so I could try to make sure they understood what they were getting into. And my boss, accepted that if one left and bought from down the street, that was ok. Because, the word went out that our shop was the place where a woman should go for a firearm. Where they made sure you knew what risks were going to be, where they woud let you shoot and explain what you needed for what you wanted to do.

    So, in this season of joy and thankfulness, I will tell you that it is not that gun owners find that life is cheap, but that life is worth defending and cherishing. If you do not understand this, you will not be able to understand those of us who see that it is the perpetrator that has the problem(s), not the tool used. Yes, firearms can be dangerous; but it is the human, and the irrational part of all of us with our complex mixture of rationality and emotion that means there will be no simple answer that works. Not armed teachers, not gun control. If we want to do better, we need to consider designing better humans, and all that such a path would entail.

    • Wow. Thanks for sharing your very sad story. I’m regularly amazed by the breadth of peoples experience found at this blog. If that woman had just had a bit of training or understanding of what the weapon meant, it would have turned out differently.

      I have a much happier story which involved a confrontation with a firearm. About fifteen years ago, my wife and I lived in a quiet yet dark neighborhood with very little crime, yet we were nearby a more troubled area.

      I was sleeping on the living room couch when awakened by a large BOOM at the front door. Dead asleep, I was confused and didn’t know what the sound was about. It came again – boom. I recognized the sound was someone trying to kick in the front door which was surprising considering there were cars in our drive and lights on. I ran through the house in bare feet and grabbed my 9mm 15 round semi-auto pistol. I didn’t have a quick-open safe for it back then, so I kept the loaded clip separate from the weapon. Retrieving both from my bedroom, I ran back to the door which went BOOM again and I saw it shake. I snapped the slide hard, chambering a round and making as much noise as I could.

      The next thing I knew, I heard footsteps pounding the driveway away from the house at a hard sprint. After several minutes of quiet, I opened the steel front door, gun in hand, and there were large male footprints 3 ft up on the door’s white paint.

      The guy had to know we were home, he had to have some intent other than burglary, yet he still tried to come in. Turns out that he didn’t like my gun much, so he never came back which was good news for both of us. It was so late that I never even called the police, which was a huge mistake, but in retrospect I am very glad that we could defend ourselves, and I doubt that the law could be made which would make me give up that right.

      • TimTheToolMan said

        It must have been a frightening time. How would you have felt if you heard on the other side of the door, a similar sound?

        Not to belittle your story, but it seems to me the guy was probably put off by the metal door’s resilience as much as anything.

  23. David said

    Gppd post and comments. Almost all decent sized schools have several ex-military people well trained to carry. Most that I know are also very willing. This is the best short term solution.

    The long term solution of building a culture where far less people go off the rails is more diffficult, but I have a fair idea that the solution involves a culture imbibing self responsability, versses the “we are owed” culture of the left.

    • TimTheToolMan said

      I dont believe its necessarily possible to build a culture where fewer people go off the rails. It seems to me that people are varied and every society will have a percentage of violent types. Its in their nature. So the very best we can hope to achieve is to minimise their impact. Prison does that directly (after the fact) and law with threat of prison tempers it too.

      The idea of a utopian society is straight out of an Aldous Huxley fiction.

  24. RickA said

    President Obama said today that if even one life can be saved we should act.

    I am all for saving lives – but by this logic shouldn’t we ban cars?

    That would save at least one life.

    Maybe a ban on hammers or baseball bats could save at least one life also.

    I can think of quite a few things we could ban which would save at least one life (how about vaccines).

    I don’t like that sort of empty rhetoric.

  25. Kenneth Fritsch said

    RickA said

    RickA if you are into interpreting political speech with regards to bigger government, here is what those comments meant: In order to CYA in the liklihood that what we do will have little of no effect I need to say that we saved 1 life by our actions and if we did not act it would have been even worse than it turn out to be.

    You can say these things when you have the media in your pocket and never be brought to task with the analogies you made. I think Obama must be aware of the free pass he has been given.

  26. OK S. said

    From William Briggs. Might be of interest.

    Firearm Homicides Dropping. Assault Weapons Ban Not Correlated With Decrease In Homicides. No Need For New Restrictions

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