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April 26, 2002
7:35 AM   Subscribe

worse than littleton.
posted by HeikoH (65 comments total)

 
what is scary here is that the gunman was actually chasing all the teachers and seemed to hand-pick his victims. being the brother of a younger sister that soon will be a teacher, too, this does worry me a lot.
similar to littlton, erfurt, where this tragedy happened earlier this morning, is also a nice city with no real history of super-violent crimes. could be any town.
posted by HeikoH at 7:41 AM on April 26, 2002


FYI: Since 1949 in Germany, in order to have a handgun you need to get a permit called the schutzenrein (gun permit). In order to get the permit you need to undergo an extensive background check by the police. Once you have the permit, the gun must be locked up at all times when you aren't at the gun club. The only place where you can unlock the weapon or buy bullets is at the gun club, once you leave the gun club you have to lock up the gun.
posted by dagny at 8:00 AM on April 26, 2002


One might infer from dagny's post that if guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns? Would that be about right, dagny? Because I just want to go on record as saying that view is simplistic and wrong. This, on the other hand, is simplistic and correct, which makes all the difference:

More gun laws=fewer guns.

Fewer guns=fewer gun deaths.
posted by luser at 8:07 AM on April 26, 2002


very sad.
posted by bwg at 8:08 AM on April 26, 2002


More gun laws simply leads to fewer registered/legal guns, luser; people like this bastard manage to get their hands on them anyway.

Also, what bwg said.
posted by dagny at 8:11 AM on April 26, 2002


Stuff like this brings tears to my eyes. Very upsetting.
posted by donkeyschlong at 8:15 AM on April 26, 2002


So I gues dagny's point is that this still happened despite much stricter gun laws than what we have in the U.S., but instead of just alluding to the uselessness of gun control laws can you show that overall Germany is no safer that the U.S. in regards to death by guns? Because one singular event doesn't really prove your point. more proof?
posted by m@L at 8:16 AM on April 26, 2002


This one singular event does indeed prove my point; Germany has strict gun laws, yet that didn't stop this sick and twisted mind from acquiring one.

However, this practical evidence -- although on my side -- is not even the most important; even if countries with lax gun laws had higher violent crime rates, it would be immoral to restrict the right of self-defence for peaceful individuals.
posted by dagny at 8:24 AM on April 26, 2002


And likewise, you can't use Columbine to argue that the US should have stronger gun laws, right?
posted by smackfu at 8:26 AM on April 26, 2002


Now, I support gun ownership more than most liberals, and less than most conservatives, as it goes, but Dagny's argument is kind of like...

Anthrax is illegal. Yet, someone used anthrax a few months ago, which they acquired illegally, so therefore making anthrax illegal has no effect whatsoever on the number of anthrax deaths in America every year.

School shooting are exceptions to the rule. They're such a tiny minority of all violent crime committed, they're hardly an example for either side of this argument.
posted by Doug at 8:32 AM on April 26, 2002


Dagny's point? Dagny's argument?

The only "point" Dagny made was to give imformation. Y'all took off with the gun debate faster than, well, faster than something...really fast.
posted by Dick Paris at 8:53 AM on April 26, 2002


This one singular event does indeed prove my point; Germany has strict gun laws, yet that didn't stop this sick and twisted mind from acquiring one.

-Dagny
posted by Doug at 8:56 AM on April 26, 2002


worse than littleton.

Is it worse because of the death count alone, or any other factor?
posted by adampsyche at 8:57 AM on April 26, 2002


Doug: but you can't use Anthrax to defend yourself against a crazed Anthraxman... unless it's Scott Ian or something...
posted by techgnollogic at 9:02 AM on April 26, 2002


If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns?

More gun laws=fewer guns.
Fewer guns=fewer gun deaths.


Both of these positions are wrong. The first one is just sound-bite rhetoric. The second one is reasonable but fails because there is not a linear correlation between # of gun laws, # of guns, and # of gun-related crimes.

Here is an alternative perspective:

1. If there were zero guns there could not be gun related crime.

2. If there were precious few guns, then they'd be too difficult or expensive to obtain that there would be practically no gun related crime.

3. If guns were available but not ubiquitous then mostly criminals would have them and a few law abiding citizens. Gun related crime would be relatively high because of the proportion of guns owned by criminals

4. If society was saturated with guns, then nearly everyone including children either has one or has access to one. But, gun related crime is about the same as in #3 with only the added cases of kids/postal workers going crazy.

Right now the US is in condition #4. The rhetorical argument "if you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns" refers to the shift from condition #4 to condition #3. To make a difference we need to go at least back to condition #2 and the only way to do that is to legislate at the source: gun manufacturers. Shut them down, or limit them to a certain "precious few", tax them heavily or legislate a minimum price per gun the manufacturer has to charge, then cut gun importing completely. Then wait a couple decades for the existing guns to gradually become lost or inoperable and maybe, just maybe we might see a substantive decrease in gun violence.

Also, it wouldn't hurt to stop making toys that teach kids guns are fun and exciting and saturating the media with depictions of guns being used to solve problems. But hey, I'd settle for condition #2
posted by plaino at 9:06 AM on April 26, 2002


This isn't worse than Littleton. After all, it didn't involve Americans dying.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:25 AM on April 26, 2002


Oh, shut up, fff. It's a fucking tragedy and the last thing we need is the sarcastic RAH RAH AMERICA garbage.
posted by darukaru at 9:30 AM on April 26, 2002


dagny:

Here are gun-related deaths per 100,000 people in the world's 36 richest countries in 1994: United States 14.24; Brazil 12.95; Mexico 12.69; Estonia 12.26; Argentina 8.93; Northern Ireland 6.63; Finland 6.46; Switzerland 5.31; France 5.15; Canada 4.31; Norway 3.82; Austria 3.70; Portugal 3.20; Israel 2.91; Belgium 2.90; Australia 2.65; Slovenia 2.60; Italy 2.44; New Zealand 2.38; Denmark 2.09; Sweden 1.92; Kuwait 1.84; Greece 1.29; Germany 1.24; Hungary 1.11; Republic of Ireland 0.97; Spain 0.78; Netherlands 0.70; Scotland 0.54; England and Wales 0.41; Taiwan 0.37; Singapore 0.21; Mauritius 0.19; Hong Kong 0.14; South Korea 0.12; Japan 0.05

CDC data from guncite.com

does this data mean anything to you?
posted by m@L at 9:35 AM on April 26, 2002


darukaru:
There is this thing called sarcasm. Look into it.
posted by owillis at 9:36 AM on April 26, 2002


My stand on gun control has been mentioned here before, so I won't go into again. I will say that there is another problem: what is wrong with this person that he must go out and kill others over being expelled at school? I realize that there is a whole slew of things we don't know, but it seems to me that on a psychological level, the moral and mental compass is heading into very deep, dark and turbulent water.

This could have been worse: he could have poisoned the water, gotten his hands on some mercury, mowed people down in a car, etc. Unfortunately, I see this kind of crazy vengeful activity just escalating in severity and method.

I feel for the victims, their families and the city. I sincerely hope that this never happens again, anywhere.

On preview, five fresh fish, that was a cold thing to say. I wonder what you're really saying?
posted by ashbury at 9:39 AM on April 26, 2002


does this data mean anything to you?

Some societies are culturally more violent than others?
posted by insomnyuk at 9:40 AM on April 26, 2002


Some societies are culturally more violent than others?

i fully agree with that, but my only point was that dagny's original post about the strictness of german gun laws and the implied idea that they did no good can be easily countered by other data. I think the real problems are much deaper than just the laws, but they probably do play some part in it.
posted by m@L at 9:42 AM on April 26, 2002


The strictest gun laws will not prevent someone dead set on taking their rage out on others from procuring a weapon.

What it WILL prevent are the numerous shootings that occur in the home, between people who know one another, or are the product of crimes of opportunity.

A determined criminal/person with a serious deficit in anger management will do whatever it is they have to in order to inflict damage and get whatever it is they want.
posted by ltracey at 9:53 AM on April 26, 2002


I know plenty about sarcasm, O.Dub, and also that there's a time and a place for it. I overreacted and I apologize, but I'm with ashbury, that still sounds pretty cold.
posted by darukaru at 10:05 AM on April 26, 2002


I can take the sarcasm, but I could do without the cynicism that resorts to the same tired arguments before the bodies are even buried. Why not take a minute to let the reality of this particular tragedy sink in? This didn't happen to provide fodder for either side of the gun control issue. More from Der Spiegel. Watch the video even if you don't speak German.

Also, dangy, there's no such thing as a "schutzenrein." The word you're looking for is Waffenschein.
posted by muckster at 10:24 AM on April 26, 2002


This is horribly evil. It sickens me to think what the students are going through. Who would want to return? Man...

(But hey, if you're a moral relativist, this isn't really that bad, or bad at all, because "everything is subjective", and there isn't such a thing as moral absolutism.)
posted by aaronshaf at 10:28 AM on April 26, 2002


The NYT: "Germany's worst mass murder since World War Two."
posted by muckster at 10:34 AM on April 26, 2002


Ashbury/Darakaru: I'm just being pissy about the whinging on about mid-East FPPs. Apparently some people figure that news about Survivor is more important than a war. It's that typical self-absorbed idiot attitude that as long as one's safe and comfy in their little suburban home, the world outside the American borders doesn't exist. Shootings in Germany? Hardly a concern when there's no cream for one's coffee.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:35 AM on April 26, 2002


darukaru, wringing his shaking hands and wiping his nose on a crusty sleeve, cries out to passersby in despair from his cardboard box on the corner "It's a fucking tragedy and the last thing we need is the sarcastic RAH RAH AMERICA garbage. The LAST thing we need dammit! That, and this ashtray. The Rah Rah America garbage, the ashtray, and this paddle game..."
posted by quonsar at 10:35 AM on April 26, 2002


re: the gun control issue. why can't we just say that a society with less guns, where guns are less socially acceptable, where large chunks of the population don't fantasize about owning or shooting a gun, where packing heat isn't sexy, etc. etc. is a more pleasant place to live than one that has a major gun fetish?

that's really the argument, isn't it? if gun control laws affect the number of crimes committed by guns at all, it is only a little bit. Furthermore, it seems likely that any reduction of gun violence results not from reducing the number of illegal weapons in circulation, but from the effect of gun-control laws on social mores about gun ownership by expressing communal disapproval of the practice. After all, if the drug war has taught us anything, its that laws designed to cut off supply without attempting to reduce demand are doomed to failure. (It's instructive to compare the ineffectiveness of the drug war to the effectiveness of government anti-smoking campaigns in greatly reducing the smoking rate).

also, it is very questionable whether the correlation between lax gun laws and high crime rates among different countries is completely causal. if you look at evidence about differences in gun violence between U.S. states with differing degrees of gun control, the evidence is much more shaky. this seesm to indicate that both lax gun laws and high crime rates are symptons of widespread cultural attitudes toward violence that exist within cultures. We simply tolerate a lot more violence as a society than Britain does. one example: Britian has a "retreat rule" in its self-defense laws. Basically, if you have the opportunity to retreat from an attacker, you cannot claim self-defense as a defense if you kill him instead. The U.S. would never have such a law because we would see it as wimpy or unmanly or whatever. The point is that our crazy gun culture is both a cause AND and effect of this cultural attitude.

as long as there is a demand for illegal guns in the U.S., people are going to find a way to supply them regardless of the laws. if you have any doubt of this, just look at the effectively of the war on drugs in countering US demand for narcotics. Having said that, I think there is a place for strong gun-control laws, both to reduce accidental killings (a huge problem in itself) and, more importantly, to use the law to start to change our cultural attitudes toward violence in general, and gun violence in particular.
posted by boltman at 10:35 AM on April 26, 2002


Aaronshaf, it's 2002. We're all adults. Most of us have stopped believing in the toothfairy and Santa Clause a LONG time ago. Catch up. Hint: The earth isn't flat. There's nothing supernatural about the bermuda triangle. Pop Rocks will not make your stomach explode under ANY circumstances.

You aren't going to convert anybody here, no matter how hard you try. Please, attempt to post in at least one thread without mentioning moral absolutism or God.
posted by Doug at 10:35 AM on April 26, 2002


But hey, if you're a moral relativist,...

Just had to get a shot in there about how we're all so misguided without the shining light of absolute truth and righteousness, eh? How refreshing to see your soapbox placed on the the first moments after a tragedy in order to espouse your world view. How profound your sympathy must be.
posted by holycola at 10:39 AM on April 26, 2002


without the shining light of absolute truth and righteousness, eh?
bunnyfire quit, right?
posted by quonsar at 10:41 AM on April 26, 2002


I stand corrected. (note to self: check authors of all posts before posting.)
posted by Dick Paris at 10:44 AM on April 26, 2002


boltman - why can't we just say that a society with less guns, where guns are less socially acceptable, where large chunks of the population don't fantasize about owning or shooting a gun, where packing heat isn't sexy, etc. etc. is a more pleasant place to live than one that has a major gun fetish?

Because it isn't necessarily true.

Britian has a "retreat rule" in its self-defense laws. Basically, if you have the opportunity to retreat from an attacker, you cannot claim self-defense as a defense if you kill him instead. The U.S. would never have such a law

This principle is present in U.S. law. That's why when shooting an intruder entering your home you make sure the body falls on the inside of your home, because the accepted legal tenet is that you cannot retreat further than the interior of your home.
posted by NortonDC at 10:53 AM on April 26, 2002


A lot of people are dead. Consequently, a lot of other people's lives are in ruins. Meanwhile, please excuse the still-warm corpses, lets champion a cause and promote an agenda or two...
posted by normy at 10:59 AM on April 26, 2002


fff: I'm just being pissy about the whinging on about mid-East FPPs

Good lord, man, all of us understand that events in the Middle East are important. I just don't think MeFi members have the capacity to generate more than a few enlightening threads on the topic a week.
posted by lbergstr at 11:02 AM on April 26, 2002


After all, if the drug war has taught us anything, its that laws designed to cut off supply without attempting to reduce demand are doomed to failure.

This comparison is flawed because guns aren't grown out of the ground and harvested and illicit drugs aren't publicly marketed under brandnames. Large scale gun production can't be done in a shack in the rain-forest. It is done in large factories in public view. Because of this, cutting off the source in this case is much easier than cutting off the demand. WRT drugs, cutting of demand is easier.

In fact, it might even be easier to just cutoff ammunition production. I don't recall the constitution guaranteeing the right to own ammunition for the arms we bear...
posted by plaino at 11:06 AM on April 26, 2002


boltman sez: Britian has a "retreat rule" in its self-defense laws.
Basically, if you have the opportunity to retreat from an attacker, you cannot claim self-defense as a defense if you kill him instead. The U.S. would
never have such a law because we would see it as wimpy or unmanly or whatever.


Not true; there is a duty to retreat in US law. I have not surveyed every state, but in general, you must retreat (flee, whatever) if you can do so safely. The only exception to this is the "castle doctrine" which states that you do not have to retreat in your own home. This limit for this is literally within the confines of the doorways and windows; your yard, deck, the sidewalk, whatever, do not count.

Here's a link to a document from the Florida state goverment; the duty to retreat is covered about 1/3 the way down, starting with the question "Q. Can't I protect myself if someone starts hitting me? "


http://licgweb.dos.state.fl.us/weapons/self_defense.html


The mantra to remember is: You may use lethal force only in the case of an immediate and otherwise unavoidable threat of death or grave bodily harm to the innocent.

Also, the old saw about "making sure the body falls inside" is a lot of hooey. If they're breaking in, and meet the above criteria, it doesn't matter where the body ends up. It doesn't even matter if they're breaking in; where the body lands does not alter the criteria for justification. The only difference for your home is that you don't have to retreat from inside (although it may still be a good idea, e.g., if they're stealing the TV and you run upstairs and wait for them to leave rather than shooting them).

The technology of crime scene investigation is good enough to determine what really happened, so if you, e.g., drag the body inside and lie about it, you're going to be in a very bad place.
posted by doorsnake at 11:08 AM on April 26, 2002


> More gun laws=fewer guns.

Exactly as more drug laws=fewer drugs.

Heh heh. After such an overwhelming success in the drug war, how could anyone possibly resist trying the same passing-laws-against-dandilions strategy to thin out the guns?
posted by jfuller at 11:14 AM on April 26, 2002


> Large scale gun production can't be done in a shack in the rain-forest.

Ask the Afghans. AK47 manufacture by peasants on flat rocks has long been one of their two primary industries (drugs being the other ones.)
posted by jfuller at 11:18 AM on April 26, 2002


five fresh fish, I get tired of tragedy, no matter where it happens, and tired of the ability of myself and most of the people I know to appear to be upset about it and then forget about it almost immediately. Perhaps it's human nature, but I find that if it doesn't happen directly to a person, they just don't care too deeply about it. Maybe it's all part of the malaise that allows everything from anger at being expelled from school, to Littleton, to the WTC, to mid-East war, to anger at mid-East FPP's.

So, should I commend you for being honest about your feelings or should I be disgusted?

Or is it just me who has this problem?
posted by ashbury at 11:24 AM on April 26, 2002


doorsnake: according to my trusty Criminal Law casebook (Kaplan, Weisberg, Binder 2000) the retreat rule is used in a minority of U.S. jurisdictions. It is in the Model Penal Code, but most states have refused to adopt it.

plaino: while true that guns aren't grown out of the ground, they are still legal in many parts of the world. If the U.S. were to shut down the gun factories, what would prevent them from moving to somewhere else that would welcome them with open arms?
posted by boltman at 11:25 AM on April 26, 2002


Eh? I don't really think the Germany tragedy is unimportant because it didn't happen in the USA. I was mocking the attitude of those who, because a tragedy didn't happen to them or their fellow citizen, want to pretend it doesn't exist or isn't important.

On the whole, I'm becoming entirely discouraged about the human race. There's nothing more important than living: life should be a valued joy, and the taking of a life should be the an unimaginably heinous crime.

Yet we have people killing each other every day. Casually. Not out of self-protection of their own life, but because... because they're upset about being suspended?! Because they're a Palestinian or Israeli? Because it's so goddamn important to protect oil? Because someone's not wearing or believing or supporting the right thing?

And I keep thinking that maybe I'm the one who's out to lunch. Maybe there isn't anything precious about human life. Perhaps the real deal is to be wholly machiavellian: to completely disregard harm to others in the pursuit of self-interest. Maybe the right thing to do really is to cap that bitch who nearly killed me when she cut me off on the highway.

The world is so fucked-up.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:36 AM on April 26, 2002


I was evaluating the comparison between the actual drug war and a hypothetically identical approach to a "gun-war" in which we did target gun manufacturing on a semi-global scale. I think a "gun war" using the same strategy would be more successful because it is harder hide the infrastructure required to maintain large scale gun manufacturing.

Ask the Afghans. AK47 manufacture by peasants on flat rocks has long been one of their two primary industries

This is a joke right? There's a big difference between assembling a bunch of parts you got from somewhere else (like US or russia) and actually casting the steel, rifling the barrels, and machining the parts yourself.
posted by plaino at 11:36 AM on April 26, 2002


*big wet smooch for quonsar*
posted by darukaru at 11:45 AM on April 26, 2002


does this data mean anything to you?

Actually, yes... that in the single year cited, strictness or laxness of gun control laws had little or no correlation to rate of gun death. Of course, that limited bit of data hardly tells the whole story - effect on overall violent deaths, violent crimes, and so on.
posted by mikewas at 12:15 PM on April 26, 2002


does this data mean anything to you?
Why does the data on that page not match the data on this page on the same site?

See the table and discussion on the latter page which tells a more complete story. Firearm homicide rates for the four countries with the highest gun ownership level (percentage of households), are as follows:

US: 39.0% gun ownership, firearm homicide rate 3.72 per 100,000.
Norway: 32.0%, .30 per 100,000
Canada: 29.1%, .76 per 100,000
New Zealand: 22.3%, .17 per 100,000.

But:
N. Ireland: 8.4%, 5.24 per 100,000

Unfortunately for most countries listed the ownership percentage is unknown, but the above support the idea that cultural factors play a larger role than simply how many guns are around.
posted by beagle at 12:52 PM on April 26, 2002


...and in the end the perptrator killed himself.
Why didn't he just cut to the chase and start off with himself?

Very sad story. Lots of grief in German homes this weekend.

My condolences to the families.
posted by a3matrix at 12:56 PM on April 26, 2002


Norton DC -- My point was that the real issue underlying the gun debate is competing visions about what kind of society we want to live in: one that condones and perhaps even encourages gun use or one that condemns gun use? I'm in favor of gun control because I dislike the idea of my fellow citizens packing heat. That's just not the kind of community I want to live in. If gun control reduces crime, that's great, but that's not why I support it.

I am going to venture a guess that most people that feel strongly about gun control (one way or another) are basing their view on how they answer two related questions: 1) do THEY want the right to carry a gun? and 2) are they comfortable with OTHERS having the right to carry a gun? The (inconclusive) crime statistics thrown back and forth just mask a more intuitive moral judgment that we all make about the desireability of having an armed populace.

Let me put it another way: if everyone else is packing heat, I am going to live in fear of everyone else unless I pack heat as well. I don't want to pack heat. Therefore, in order to avoid a choice between living in fear of others and packing heat myself, I support laws that discourage others from packing heat in the first place.
posted by boltman at 1:17 PM on April 26, 2002


"This is a joke right? There's a big difference between assembling a bunch of parts you got from somewhere else (like US or russia) and actually casting the steel, rifling the barrels, and machining the parts yourself."
I saw a show about Darra Adam Khel, Pakistan and it was amazing to see this small town with 2,300 gun shops, and about 12,000 people working in the weapons industry, making any kind of gun including heavy machine guns, etc. from scratch, by hand. They say the crimerate is low there because everyone's armed to the nutz.
posted by Mack Twain at 1:34 PM on April 26, 2002


So let me see if I have this right. There is a law against guns but someone violates it and kills me is evidence that the law against guns doesn't work or is it I have a law allowing guns and in spite of the fact that I'm armed I get killed proves that allowing guns doesn't work. I think I've got it.


"because the accepted legal tenet is that you cannot retreat further than the interior of your home."

posted by NortonDC at 10:53 AM PST on April 26

No backdoor at your house?
posted by onegoodmove at 2:24 PM on April 26, 2002


Indeed, making guns is surprisingly easy. This is because the reliability of a gun's design is directly tied to its simplicity. The fewer parts there are, the less there is to break, so most guns have few parts. Many parts are currently cast in single pieces because that is usually the cheapest way to do it, but the same parts could be made in other ways. They'd be somewhat less reliable, perhaps. But you'd essentially have to ban machine shops to stop their manufacture entirely.

Organized crime its own demand for weapons, and it also has the infrastructure to manufacture and distribute weapons to fill the black-market demand if they were to be banned. You think those guys were bad when they were dealing in illicit liquor and in numbers rackets, wait until they're running guns.
posted by kindall at 2:25 PM on April 26, 2002


onegoodmove - No backdoor at your house?

No, there isn't.

And read doorsnake's link.
posted by NortonDC at 3:00 PM on April 26, 2002


whaat are dangers of guns with the horrors of tv which man faces today? it was the night of July 21, 356 BC and the Temple Diana at Ephesus was burning to the ground. madman Herostratus wanted to be famuos and to be remembered throughout history: he was... no real life anymore/replaced by virtual, ratified only by coverage on news at 11. handmade Afghani AK-47s side issue, never to be more than boutique yuppie gunshow luxuries. real enemy is tv petri dish: human monkey see, monkey do, especialy adolescent boy monkeys--after intense analysis of 'disturbing trend' aka the extreme rarity of random acts of violence (most killers know vicitimes and victims killers as in case in point) versus extreme common coverage on 20/20 and other TV brothels, e.g. littleton, watching simpering loser wants to get even, become immortal & show world in primtime--blathering idiot heads oblige at gasbag length: presto immortality. Not gun control issue--blame (oprah/dan rather/tom brokaw/miguelcardoso) ...and Rush Limbaugh and yer local televison news

y2klavdivs
posted by y2karl at 3:14 PM on April 26, 2002


Mein Gott. Have all of you gone nuts. Kindall makes the only sence here (well, a few others) Zip guns are easy, and you can make noise suppressor from a 2-liter (that would look funny though, not to mention the ribbing the fellas would give one back at minor-underworld HQ) "But you'd essentially have to ban machine shops to stop their manufacture entirely." When i had shop in HS, our teach related how in his day (mid-50s' Detroit) police would pop in once in awhile to see if the anyone was missing or was up to anything "Purple". why?

-grinders can erase fingerprints (go figure)
-zip guns are easy to make (they looked for the stock that might fit specific calibers)
-mass maufacture of picks and tension tools
-pipe for pipe bombs
-drill presses that are "poratable"
-custom jimmys
-chop shop tools and the shops themselves
-cyanide for cooling steel
-"portable" saws
-all sorts of axe and knife sharpening

"never to be more than boutique yuppie gunshow luxuries"
I know 6 people with AKs, they are a superior weapon and WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU SAYING....cause i love you karl and you might scare Mr. Wheaton.
posted by clavdivs at 5:49 PM on April 26, 2002


handmade Afghani AK-47's, clav--not industrial off the shelf ones. of which there are plenty. Far too plenty and cheap to deal with the making of them. Bogue argument--it's the modeling in tv, film, rap music, what have you, where people are shot and shot very unrealistically. There are 10 million registered guns in Germany and probably twice that many illegal ones for a population of 82 million. What do we have here? Two for each person? Way more anyway. I stand by the media vector analysis. Anorexia, teen suicide, pedophilia--what we pay attention to grows. School shootings are rare but we have live coverage whenever one happens. Yiou'd think people might take things in their own hands, if they wanted to really reduce them and turn off the tvs, lower the ratings but you know, the news, they're not throwing red meat to cows here, but to werewolves instead, Joe and Joan Q insatiable-for-spilt-blood-and-raped-child-tsk-tsk-later Public. Jeez, once you start writing like this, you can't quit.
posted by y2karl at 8:04 PM on April 26, 2002


clavdvmeme
posted by y2karl at 8:07 PM on April 26, 2002


cyanide for cooling steel

Eh?
posted by five fresh fish at 8:29 PM on April 26, 2002


sodium cyanide is used for carburising steel. cooling, was a bit misleading, it is used as part of that cooling process to temper the steel. cyanide is also used in mining and electoplating. (hydrogen cyanide i think)
and i would like to thank the folks at google for the refresher course. also a hardy hi to the folks at ft. meade, no threat here, just the facts.
posted by clavdivs at 9:00 PM on April 26, 2002


Isn't exporting American culture great?


and WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU SAYING....posted by clavdivs

ROTFL Thanks, that made my day. :)

posted by rushmc at 9:05 PM on April 26, 2002


The thing is, it's a particularly American view to argue in favour of less strict gun control laws, because of the constitution. An event like this happens in the US, and it's a mixture of overwhelming sadness and virulent debate over gun control laws. This happens in Germany, European news/discussion is 99% concentrated on what a tragedy it is - by and large, we didn't like guns and wanted strict laws against them before, now we want them more than ever. Something like this happens, and most people in Europe (generalisation, I know, but largely true) see the only way forward as to make gun restrictions as tight as possible - the only resistance being from recreational gun clubs. The only people really having the gun control debate are the Americans.
posted by kitschbitch at 12:02 AM on April 27, 2002


Erfurt, the town where it happened, is 30 minutes away from where I live. I am still unable to cope with it and I am truly offended by the fact that some trolls managed to twist the discussion towards building guns, gun control, europeans looking down to americans, etc.
Have a nice weekend!
posted by arf at 1:29 AM on April 27, 2002


Is it really relevant how close one is to something like this? I fail to see how distance decreases one's appreciation of the crime. Unless it actually happens in one's kid's school or one personally knows people involved, we're all on the outside looking in.
posted by rushmc at 8:09 AM on April 27, 2002


Is it really relevant how close one is to something like this? I fail to see how distance decreases one's appreciation of the crime. Unless it actually happens in one's kid's school or one personally knows people involved, we're all on the outside looking in.

Logically there's no reason for it. Emotionally it does happen that way. I didn't know anyone personally who died in the WTC but I lived 15 blocks away & it hit me pretty hard. Same was true of most people I knew in NY, but not of those further away (who had much more reason-based responses and were a lot quicker to get focused on "what to do"). I've been thinking about this anyway, partly in trying to work out why Peter Singer's arguments don't seem to "feel" right to most people - why we don't tend to feel obliged to save dying people on the other side of the world, but everyone "comes together" when it's something nearby. I guess it's like the face to face meeting - our emotional responses are not wired for working over cables in the ground but for things that are in direct proximity.
posted by mdn at 8:35 AM on April 27, 2002


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