50 plus dead in Las Vegas mass shooting
October 2, 2017 5:25 AM   Subscribe

More than 50 people have been killed and 200 injured in a mass shooting at the Route 91 Music Festival near the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. This is the worst mass shooting in United States history, exceeding the 49 in the Orlando Nightclub Shooting.

Currently the details are sketchy, but the shooter has been named as Stephen Paddock, a 64 year old resident of Mesquite, Nevada. He was shot dead in a room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel. Police have named his roommate, Marilou Danley, as a person of interest.

Please give warnings if directly linking to graphic coverage.

Washington Post.
New York Times.
Guardian.

Buzzfeed list of hoaxes (sadly necessary).
posted by MattWPBS (1187 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
 
Mods - made this as per Taz's comment here. Feel free to delete if better options come up.
posted by MattWPBS at 5:26 AM on October 2


It took only one year to pass the previous record of 49.
posted by Talez at 5:35 AM on October 2 [27 favorites]


Apropos the Buzzfeed link, good lord is Twitter full of horrible people.
posted by ardgedee at 5:35 AM on October 2 [14 favorites]


Some more info via the Guardian live updates:

-Las Vegas police have announced: "We have located the vehicles that I had put out in the first briefing. We are confident but not 100% sure that we have located the female person of interest."

-Trump and Pence have tweeted condolences, as have foreign leaders. Jason Aldean, the country musician who was performing when the attack happened, has also released a statement.

-Two off-duty police officers (one LVPD) were among the killed. At least two on-duty officers were injured.
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 5:36 AM on October 2 [1 favorite]


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posted by runcifex at 5:39 AM on October 2


Every time I see a "thoughts and prayers" today, I'm replying with David Frum's When Prayer Alone Does Not Suffice from the Congressional baseball shooting this summer.
Like ancient villagers, Americans accept periodic plagues as a visitation from the gods, about which nothing can or should be done. The only permitted response is “thoughts and prayers”—certainly never rational action to reduce casualties in future. Even to open the discussion as to whether something might not be done violates the taboos of decency: How dare you politicize this completely unpredictable and uncontrollable event! It is as if gun violence were inscrutable to the mind of man, utterly beyond human control.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:40 AM on October 2 [246 favorites]


(Warning: the NYT article linked above has a picture of someone lying on the ground bleeding.)
posted by skycrashesdown at 5:40 AM on October 2


..................................................
posted by 4ster at 5:40 AM on October 2 [1 favorite]


. . . . . . . . . .
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50 people enjoying music who should be at work, at school, or at home today. Friends and family will never see them again.

Hundreds more fighting for their life in the hospital. Just beginning to deal with this unfathomable trauma.

Thousands suffering from the loss of their loved ones.

Because of 1 man? Yes and no. One man pulled the trigger. Many more are complicit in creating the conditions that made this possible. Gun manufacturers, lobbyists, law makers, and voters continue to insist that weapons of mass destruction are necessary for a free and civilized society.
posted by blairsyprofane at 5:42 AM on October 2 [99 favorites]


God Angrily Clarifies 'Don't Kill' Rule
Somehow, people keep coming up with the idea that I want them to kill their neighbor. Well, I don't. And to be honest, I'm really getting sick and tired of it. Get it straight. Not only do I not want anybody to kill anyone, but I specifically commanded you not to, in really simple terms that anybody ought to be able to understand.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:46 AM on October 2 [40 favorites]


At the risk of sounding too depressed, this will change nothing, re gun laws. If Sandy's Hook couldn't change laws, if Orlando couldn't change things, nothing, as long as the nra holds congress by the balls, we are just going to get used to massacres like we got used to security at airports.

Clearly, corporate donations are worth more than constituent lives.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 5:46 AM on October 2 [103 favorites]


I'm so exhausted. Already the right is screaming, hoping he wasn't one of "theirs".

But you know what? Regardless of the nominal motivations for this sort of insanity, only one political party is responsible for this fucker's access to a weapon that could kill 50+ people in a matter of minutes.

And I'm going to lay 95% chance there was a domestic violence charge or call somewhere in this guy's past. There always is, and apparently he was known to local law enforcement (but not the Feds).

We are stuck in a county with a bunch of violent, delusional, authoritarian, lunatic abusers. I just...
posted by schadenfrau at 5:46 AM on October 2 [150 favorites]


Not that it will do a lot of good, but I'm calling my congress-critters this morning and asking them not to let this terrible tragedy cause them to ignore the ongoing tragedy in Puerto Rico.

It just seems like there's some new horror every day. I don't even know how to process it all.

And you know, it would be cool if this would end the whole "the only solution for bad guys with guns is good guys with guns" narrative, because good guys with guns are powerless against some dude who is shooting down at them from the 34th floor. But nothing is going to change, because this is America.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:49 AM on October 2 [28 favorites]


And yeah, have to agree nothing will change. Because political power is structured in this country in such a way that a minority can rule effectively over a majority. It's not sustainable. It's not tenable. There are a number of ways it can end, most of them terrible, but it will have to end eventually.

The Federalist No. 10 is looking uh...prescient.
posted by schadenfrau at 5:50 AM on October 2 [8 favorites]




I'm curious why this doesn't happen more often. I can only think of three high ground mass shootings - the U of Texas tower shooting, last years sniper attack on police at a BLM protest and this one.
posted by srboisvert at 5:50 AM on October 2 [5 favorites]


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posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:51 AM on October 2


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posted by Proofs and Refutations at 5:52 AM on October 2


And I'm going to lay 95% chance there was a domestic violence charge or call somewhere in this guy's past. There always is, and apparently he was known to local law enforcement (but not the Feds).

From the Guardian:
Paddock, 64, was a resident of Mesquite, Nevada, a retirement and golf community of about 20,000 people, a police spokesman confirmed....“We don’t have a lot on Mr Paddock,” Mesquite police spokesman Quinn Averett said. Mesquite PD records held no report of any contact with Paddock, Averett said. No calls for service, no arrests, not even a record of a traffic stop.


But, more darkly...

At the risk of sounding too depressed, this will change nothing, re gun laws.

“We were under a big spotlight and someone said, ‘Turn off the light,’” William Walker recalled. “They shut it off and you could see and hear bullets hitting the ground. People piled up behind cop cars and ex-military guys were saying, ‘Give me a gun, I’m going to get these fuckers.’”
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:52 AM on October 2 [7 favorites]


I'm curious why this doesn't happen more often.

Because for almost anyone the idea of murdering random strangers is unthinkable.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:52 AM on October 2 [90 favorites]


Thank you, T.D. Strange. I just popped that piece on my Facebook.

There is so much I want to say about this latest shooting, but it all sounds cold and mean. I guess I'll futilely call my representatives again and hope this guy had an angry Twitter account to bring to the attention of @jack and @biz. Two birds, one stone.
posted by kimberussell at 5:53 AM on October 2


Huh. I saw something on either abc or NBC indicating he was known to local, but it was a throw away line, not a quote, so...go with the quote.
posted by schadenfrau at 5:53 AM on October 2


Adoration of Moloch permeates the country, imposing a hushed silence as he works his will. One cannot question his rites, even as the blood is gushing through the idol’s teeth. The White House spokesman invokes the silence of traditional in religious ceremony. “It is not the time” to question Moloch. No time is right for showing disrespect for Moloch.

-- Our Moloch (2012)
posted by Western Infidels at 5:57 AM on October 2 [42 favorites]


schadenfrau, I also saw an earlier report citing local law enforcement that he did have a criminal record. Details still developing, I guess.

(He also was reported earlier as the "oldest mass shooter" but I can't find those headlines now.)
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 5:57 AM on October 2 [2 favorites]


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posted by sukeban at 5:57 AM on October 2


If this incident doesn’t put to rest the bullshit-macho response of “if only there had been a good guy with a gun” argument I don’t know what will.

Once again, the 2nd amendment has been perverted to be nothing more than a death pact.
posted by photoslob at 5:59 AM on October 2 [13 favorites]


Once again, the 2nd amendment has been perverted to be nothing more than a death pact.

And an advertising campaign.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:00 AM on October 2 [9 favorites]




I'm so exhausted. Already the right is screaming, hoping he wasn't one of "theirs".

Says a lot that they're worried about that even for a dude shooting up a country music festival. It's almost as if mass shooters are practically always right wing nut jobs, and that that tendency is strong enough to trump any other cultural association or allegiance.
posted by Dysk at 6:01 AM on October 2 [3 favorites]


Yeah, there's still a NYPost story making that claim, but the NBC story it cites has been edited to remove it. So...don't know if that's normal reporting practice, but developing story stuff is terrible, I guess. (And also probably makes these threads more difficult -- sorry, mods.)
posted by schadenfrau at 6:01 AM on October 2 [2 favorites]


via Guardian, update: Sheriff Lombardo says gunman killed himself prior to police entry
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 6:01 AM on October 2 [1 favorite]


Per the press conference going on right now, the girlfriend / person of interest was possibly out of the country and they have spoken with her. He seems to have used her id or something.
posted by double bubble at 6:01 AM on October 2 [2 favorites]


(without taking away from the awfulness of what happened, describing this as the "the worst mass shooting in United States history" ignores mass murders of black people and Native Americans; I hate being a pedant at times like this, but words matter)
posted by retrograde at 6:01 AM on October 2 [183 favorites]


Number of wounded being treated in hospital revised upwards to 406; suspect committed suicide in his hotel room, according to latest updates.
posted by Sonny Jim at 6:02 AM on October 2


For our well-being and sanity, let us remind ourselves with the key messages from The Breaking News Consumer's Handbook
  1. In the immediate aftermath, news outlets will get it wrong.
  2. Don't trust anonymous sources.
  3. Don't trust stories that cite another news outlet as the source of the information.
  4. There's almost never a second shooter.
  5. Pay attention to the language the media uses.
    • "We are receiving reports" - sources are claiming something has happened, but it has not been confirmed.
    • "We are seeking confirmation" - the news outlet is confident, but still can't confirm.
    • "We can confirm" - information has come from multiple sources, and the news outlet feels confident that it can claim something as an actual fact.
    • "We have learned" - how a news outlet declares it has a scoop. As Andy Carvin says "on the one hand, it could mean that they’re the first ones to confirm something. Or they’re going out on a limb and reporting something that no one else has felt comfortable reporting yet."
  6. Look for news outlets close to the incident.

  7. Compare multiple sources.

  8. Big news brings out the fakers. And Photoshoppers.

  9. Beware reflexive retweeting. Some of this is on you.

posted by runcifex at 6:02 AM on October 2 [142 favorites]


Clearly, this is the fault of tall buildings. Ban tall buildings!

/nra
posted by lmfsilva at 6:03 AM on October 2 [10 favorites]


I'm a Las Vegas native. I haven't called it home in years, but many friends and family are still there, and a number of them haven't checked in yet.

.
posted by mystyk at 6:03 AM on October 2 [4 favorites]


retrograde, I was thinking similar thoughts and noticed that many of the headlines have switched to "worst mass shooting in MODERN United States history"
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 6:03 AM on October 2 [12 favorites]


I hate being a pedant at times like this, but words matter

War crimes and racial pogroms are usually discussed separately than "mass shootings," which is a specific reference to this kind of phenomenon rather than a purely literal compound noun. The time for advocacy groups to leverage the point is probably not while a fresh horror is unfolding.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:04 AM on October 2 [30 favorites]


I’m staying at this hotel in 6 days for a conference that’s at this hotel. What am I supposed to do???
posted by oceanjesse at 6:07 AM on October 2 [1 favorite]


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posted by drezdn at 6:07 AM on October 2


I’m staying at this hotel in 6 days for a conference that’s at this hotel. What am I supposed to do???

Go.
This won't affect the running of the hotel, especially after six days.
If you're really concerned, call the hotel and make sure. I'm sure their operators already have instructions to allay concerns.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:10 AM on October 2 [24 favorites]


Every time I see a "thoughts and prayers" today, I'm replying with David Frum's When Prayer Alone Does Not Suffice from the Congressional baseball shooting this summer.

Every time I see a "thoughts and prayers" all I'll be able to think about is Bojack Horseman ripping into the ritual.
posted by Talez at 6:10 AM on October 2 [32 favorites]


[Okay, the historical correction on "worst mass shooting" has been politely made, and a response to that has been made, and we can now leave it at that. Thank you.]
posted by taz at 6:11 AM on October 2 [31 favorites]


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posted by grumpybear69 at 6:12 AM on October 2


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posted by Barack Spinoza at 6:13 AM on October 2


BBC news saying that over 400 people have been taken to hospital and they are calling for blood donors in the Las Vegas area.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:14 AM on October 2 [1 favorite]


“Thoughts and prayers, thoughts and prayers.”
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:14 AM on October 2 [6 favorites]


I have the displeasure of listening to this live commentated on cable news, and of course they're splashing the shooter's name all over the place, talking up the death toll, and giving the whole event the celebrity treatment. They're also calling it unthinkable. To the contrary, I believe that this is currently extremely thinkable in America since it happens once per week, and these jackals always gladly give hours of coverage to them.
posted by codacorolla at 6:18 AM on October 2 [63 favorites]


If there are future historians, they'll look back on this as being our version of the Meso-american flower wars, the Gladiatorial games- a horrible and pointless ritual of blood sacrifice.
Romans and Aztecs at least offered a pretense of fairness in the combats. We just let madmen kill at random.

American Moloch, hard at work. And nothing will change, no matter the grief. God, damn this country.
posted by LeRoienJaune at 6:18 AM on October 2 [18 favorites]


I see he was a white guy. So 'lone wolf' then as opposed to 'terrorist'.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 6:20 AM on October 2 [130 favorites]


Well it looks like the name and photo of the perpetrator has been released to mainstream media. White guy with white name.

If there are future historians, they'll look back on this as being our version of the Meso-american flower wars, the Gladiatorial games- a horrible and pointless ritual of blood sacrifice.

They'll wonder how we could ban entire countries from entering the United States on the basis of racial profiling while simultaneously letting white men own guns.
posted by Talez at 6:20 AM on October 2 [76 favorites]


Looking forward to seeing how Trump manages to make this all about himself. He did tweet his "warmest condolences" which sounds like it was written by a Markov chain sympathy bot.
posted by saturday_morning at 6:21 AM on October 2 [35 favorites]


Best regards to the Mandelay Bay! Great media exposure! Or something equally dim, no doubt
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:23 AM on October 2 [3 favorites]


No calls for service, no arrests, not even a record of a traffic stop.

And that's how I knew the guy was white before seeing a picture of him. That and "gunman".
posted by Artw at 6:26 AM on October 2 [55 favorites]


Clearly, corporate donations are worth more than constituent lives.

It's the political power of the gun lobby, of which corporate donations are only a part. But:

Currently, no background check is required for gun sales on the secondary market.

A huge majority of Americans, including 75 percent of Trump supporters and 74 percent of current and former NRA members favor requiring such checks.

After the slaughter of 20 children, the Senate voted 54-46 against background checks.

Maybe this time will be different....
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 6:28 AM on October 2 [20 favorites]


'No way to prevent this,' says only nation where this regularly happens.
posted by triggerfinger


Epony-tragic.
posted by Rykey at 6:28 AM on October 2 [9 favorites]


I can't help but see it everywhere. It's like this media driven feedback loop. How much of this kind of tragedy is inspired by the media coverage of previous tragedies? For terrorist ideologies this is a PR success.

It could just be for the infamy, for now I'm programming my browser to replace their name with NULL.
posted by adept256 at 6:29 AM on October 2 [3 favorites]




Fucking Google - twitter thread on how they are top ranking all the disinformation.
posted by Artw at 6:32 AM on October 2 [10 favorites]


[One deleted. I think we can wait for actual verified information before continuing further with whether the murderer was known to law enforcement or not. Thanks. ]
posted by taz at 6:32 AM on October 2 [3 favorites]


The disinformation went up almost immediately too, almost like they have a template for this shit.
posted by Artw at 6:33 AM on October 2 [34 favorites]


When Will Politicians Start Offering More Than Their 'Thoughts and Prayers'?
According to the Gun Violence Archive, Sunday night was the 273rd mass shooting in 2017. There have been 11,572 gun deaths on U.S. soil in 9 months. There have been 23,365 injuries. Most of these barely register as news. They are just the quiet drumbeat of human misery that make up the gun violence epidemic in America.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:36 AM on October 2 [34 favorites]


Adoration of Moloch permeates the country, imposing a hushed silence as he works his will. One cannot question his rites, even as the blood is gushing through the idol’s teeth. The White House spokesman invokes the silence of traditional in religious ceremony. “It is not the time” to question Moloch. No time is right for showing disrespect for Moloch.

-- Our Moloch (2012)


Considering that our current president worships Mammon, it seems like it's springtime for old-testiment gods.
posted by Groundhog Week at 6:36 AM on October 2 [7 favorites]


According to the Guardian, there were 22,000 people attending the event. This could have been much, much worse.
posted by notyou at 6:36 AM on October 2 [1 favorite]


Jim Sciutto: House slated to vote this wk to ease curbs on silencers which critics say makes it harder to detect source of gunfire in mass shootings
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:42 AM on October 2 [14 favorites]


Every time I see a "thoughts and prayers" today, I'm replying with David Frum's When Prayer Alone Does Not Suffice from the Congressional baseball shooting this summer.

Almost always followed by admonitions not to "politicize" the shooting, which has been defined down to "talking about any form of gun control" and "noticing that race and religion determine both the police and media characterization of the shooter."
posted by zombieflanders at 6:43 AM on October 2 [24 favorites]


Fucking Google - twitter thread on how they are top ranking all the disinformation.

This kind of thing has gotten even worse with the news story feed on Chrome for Android's new tab page. On Google News and those news story cards in Google Now (or whatever Now is called now), you can block sources - you can not do this in the Chrome feed. So you get things like popular but wildly/willfully inaccurate "news" stories bubbling up to the top, and you get the firehose of Fox and Breitbart right along with valid sources. There's no curation, you can't do your own curation, it's a massive fuckup on Google's part that lends credibility to right wing propaganda by placing it alongside news.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:43 AM on October 2 [56 favorites]


Kind of amazing that they can actually be more fucked up that Facebook in that regard.
posted by Artw at 6:47 AM on October 2 [10 favorites]


I think we should start declaring a Day of Fear after every mass shooting, when we keep our kids home from school, work from home (if possible), and refuse to visit public venues or spend any money at public locations. Because school, work, public locations, that's where you get shot. So we just won't go there. We won't spend money. And the US Chamber of Commerce and the US Department of Education and all their allies can start panicking about the fact that fears of gun violence are destroying education and cutting into corporate profits. And then maybe, maybe, with their corporate overlords upset enough, Congress might take some kind of teeny baby step to address gun violence and mass shootings.

I mean I honestly don't know what to do except boycott society.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:47 AM on October 2 [258 favorites]


To echo a Twitter comment:

"If you're nervously waiting to learn the shooter's religion and voting record before deciding how to react, you don't understand the problem"

https://twitter.com/pashulman
posted by WinnipegDragon at 6:48 AM on October 2 [97 favorites]


...and Alex Jones is already calling it a left-wing false flag this morning and a 'precursor to war'.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 6:50 AM on October 2 [1 favorite]


good thing he has a white house press pass
posted by localhuman at 6:52 AM on October 2 [13 favorites]


Trump will be addressing the nation at 1030.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:54 AM on October 2


Jim Sciutto: House slated to vote this wk to ease curbs on silencers which critics say makes it harder to detect source of gunfire in mass shootings

@brianbeutler: They’ll pass it anyhow. Only question is whether they’ll bump it in the hope that people will lose interest later in the calendar. And naturally, because it's being written and defended by the gun nuts, the "silencer bill" is about much more than silencers, it's also a huge giveaway to Bundy-type soverign citizen and militia groups (emphasis mine):
On a broad basis, the 144-page bill seeks to loosen restrictions on hunting and shooting on public lands. It would, for example, reverse an Obama administration ban on lead tackle and ammunition from most federal lands; amend the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to allow shooting of birds over unharvested cropland; ease fishing restrictions in marine sanctuaries; remove Endangered Species Act protections for Great Lakes gray wolves; and ban the purchase of new wetland and bird habitat.

It would also legalize the sale of armor-piercing bullets so long as the manufacturer claims the ammunition is made for “sporting purposes.”

The legislation is a top priority for the National Rifle Association, while environmental groups and those pushing greater gun regulation are strongly opposed. A number of city police chiefs have signed a letter of opposition.

In their letter, the police chiefs said the main market for silencers now is “military tactical teams who use silencers to confuse the sound of gunfire and confound an enemy’s response to surprise attack.”

“The widespread and uncontrolled distribution of silencers to an unwary civilian population, combined with the sheer number of firearms freely available in America,” the letter said, “is a step in the wrong direction and will result in tragedy, including violence directed at police officers that will be difficult or impossible to investigate effectively.”
posted by zombieflanders at 6:55 AM on October 2 [55 favorites]


I can't really agree with that post WinnipegDragon. The things that motivate people to do this matter. The fact that gun control in America lets them do so easily also matters. But I remember after Pulse, when my feed was full of people arguing about whether this was bad because of guns or bad because of Muslims and no one but gay people seemed to care about the fact that Pulse was part of a specific tradition of anti-gay violence. That mattered, and this guy's motives matter too.
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:55 AM on October 2 [22 favorites]


Because all those other left-wing false flag operations resulted in left-wing martial law and left-wing complete and total bans on private gun ownership and left-wing pacifist dictatorship. This is just the final piece in the left-wing puzzle that will lead to left-wing totalitarian control of what will be a left-wing society.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:55 AM on October 2 [39 favorites]


I am watching with grim interest to see what the new "Banning guns wouldn't stop mass killings" meme is in the wake of this. Because I don't think the "They could've used a baseball bat" argument is going to work out. And I don't think re-posting that mass knife attack from China a few years back is going to seem particularly relevant. And I don't think the "Good guys with guns" argument works in the wake of a sniper from the 32nd floor.

But don't you doubt it... somehow they will find something they find satisfying.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:56 AM on October 2 [11 favorites]


Trump will be addressing the nation at 1030.

Fuck, does he have to?

"If you're nervously waiting to learn the shooter's religion and voting record before deciding how to react, you don't understand the problem"

Pretty sure we all do that to determine how much more fucked up society is going to get as a result.
posted by Artw at 6:57 AM on October 2 [38 favorites]


At this point, Trump *has* to open up the Strategic Thoughts and Prayers Reserve, doesn't he?
posted by tonycpsu at 7:00 AM on October 2 [40 favorites]


Several interviewees said that they could not tell where the shots were coming from. In addition to ramping up the panic and confusion it will really disturbing if some of the injuries are from "defenders".
posted by sammyo at 7:00 AM on October 2


The proposed bill is being touted by the NRA as a) a safety measure, to protect the hearing of sports shooters, and b) supportive of hunters who have seen their traditions eroded in the past decade.

Just thought I’d give you a glimpse from inside the chamber, so to speak, for those of you who don’t live there.
posted by Superplin at 7:00 AM on October 2 [7 favorites]


Just remember, Alex Jones will reverse course on the false flag immediately if it's revealed he was a democrat voter.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 7:01 AM on October 2 [5 favorites]


Looking forward to seeing how Trump manages to make this all about himself. He did tweet his "warmest condolences" which sounds like it was written by a Markov chain sympathy bot.

Seriously, I don't even know what "warm condolences" are. Not really a shock, but: Trump doesn't seem to understand how to express empathy, and munges together words he's seen before in his attempts at hiding this fact.
posted by tocts at 7:01 AM on October 2 [31 favorites]


The NRA's calls to action have recently centered around calls for outright racewar, so I guess the hunting excuse is merely an implausible lie by comparison.
posted by Artw at 7:03 AM on October 2 [18 favorites]


Pretty sure we all do that to determine how much more fucked up society is going to get as a result.

Pretty much. The sad thing is that when it's a white male perpetrator at least we know things can't get any worse.
posted by Talez at 7:05 AM on October 2 [4 favorites]


Pretty sure we all do that to determine how much more fucked up society is going to get as a result.


Not to mention because we’re worried about being targeted for social violence if it turns out the shooter had something superficially in common with us, like a mental disorder or cultural identity marker of some kind. Things get worse for all Muslims in America, for example, immediately when one shooter’s Muslim. Hopefully he’s a white supremacist or Christian fanatic so that maybe for once it’ll get through that there’s a real, ugly and indefensible doublestandard here, but I won’t be holding my breath.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:05 AM on October 2 [23 favorites]


Let me guess: now's not the time to discuss gun control, right?
posted by Paul Slade at 7:06 AM on October 2 [28 favorites]


Apropos the Buzzfeed link, good lord is Twitter full of horrible people.

No, it's full of gullible people who are quick to react.

It's 4Chan that's full of the horrible people who generate the bullshit hoaxes that the gullible people on Twitter fall for and believe.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:07 AM on October 2 [9 favorites]


.

The shooting will be investigated, will the twitter trolls? Some of it is just attention seeking but some seems malicious efforts to divide and inflame. idk
posted by Anchorite_of_Palgrave at 7:07 AM on October 2 [4 favorites]


this shooter's motivations : weather :: availability of firearms : climate
posted by monju_bosatsu at 7:08 AM on October 2 [42 favorites]


Story on CNN right now that gun stocks are up this morning. Sturm Ruger up 3%, former Smith & Wesson up 4%.
posted by mochapickle at 7:10 AM on October 2 [7 favorites]


Much better than thoughts and prayers: U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, of Connecticut, who knows something about mass shootings:

“This must stop. It is positively infuriating that my colleagues in Congress are so afraid of the gun industry that they pretend there aren't public policy responses to this epidemic. There are, and the thoughts and prayers of politicians are cruelly hollow if they are paired with continued legislative indifference. It's time for Congress to get off its ass and do something."

Full statement here.
posted by martin q blank at 7:11 AM on October 2 [147 favorites]


Story on CNN right now that gun stocks are up this morning. Sturm Ruger up 3%, former Smith & Wesson up 4%.

I saw some dumbshit who was in the crowd talking about how foolish he felt for not having brought a gun, and... I mean, what, was he going to aim vaguely in the direction he thought the shots were coming from and fire wildly?
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:11 AM on October 2 [55 favorites]



Story on CNN right now that gun stocks are up this morning. Sturm Ruger up 3%, former Smith & Wesson up 4%.


But I bet Alex Jones wouldn't call that a conspiracy .
posted by Liquidwolf at 7:11 AM on October 2 [5 favorites]


No, it's full of gullible people who are quick to react.

It's 4Chan that's full of the horrible people who generate the bullshit hoaxes that the gullible people on Twitter fall for and believe.


No, they are actually horrible, not gullible. Gullible would be if they believed everything they read. They don't. They selectively believe one type of reactionary bullshit.
posted by Dysk at 7:16 AM on October 2 [31 favorites]


We are stuck in a county with a bunch of violent, delusional, authoritarian, lunatic abusers.

At all levels of society, including corporate.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:18 AM on October 2 [10 favorites]


I saw some dumbshit who was in the crowd talking about how foolish he felt for not having brought a gun, and... I mean, what, was he going to aim vaguely in the direction he thought the shots were coming from and fire wildly?

The police had to go up into the building and went in through the door. I'm guessing if some other approach was feasible they they would have done it.

So yeah, this guy wanted a gun so he could panic fire in a crowd or as a security blanket.
posted by Artw at 7:21 AM on October 2 [18 favorites]


Are there good (or even OK) gun-control advocacy groups mefites recommend?
I'd like to donate something instead of thinking or praying.
posted by device55 at 7:22 AM on October 2 [6 favorites]


> I mean I honestly don't know what to do except boycott society.

My wife and I don't travel to the United States any more. My parents and my sister live in Sarnia, across the border from Port Huron, Michigan, and for a brief period of time after Trump's election they expressed reservations about crossing the border, but now they're back to planning vacations in Michigan and Florida and going over regularly to shop and eat dinner. Personally, we feel like the U.S. is in the process of tearing itself apart and don't want to be there when and if something really big goes down, i.e. an event that - who knows? - could make it difficult to get back into Canada. We also no longer wish to subject ourselves to U.S. border security and everything that entails. Lastly and least importantly, I want to limit the amount of money that I spend on American goods and services. I guess you could call that a boycott, but our avoidance of the United States is motivated less by a desire to vote with our wallets, so speak, than it is by fear. The United States frightens me now. I don't want to go there.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:24 AM on October 2 [140 favorites]


So many, far too many .
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 7:24 AM on October 2 [1 favorite]


@ardgedee: Apropos the Buzzfeed link, good lord is Twitter full of horrible people.

@EmpressCallipygos: No, it's full of gullible people who are quick to react.

I can spend all day on citations for ardegee's argument if you like.

I mean, I read your whole comment and I see the point you're making on 4chan. But "Twitter is full of horrible people" still ranks right there with "water is wet" as a known fact.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:24 AM on October 2 [9 favorites]


From the Guardian live feed a new take on “I’m stunned, he was always so normal:”
Florida Today spoke to residents of Heritage Isle retirement community in Viera, where records show Paddock owned a two-bedroom house from 2013 until 2015. Mick Anderson, who bought the house from Paddock, said he never met or spoke with Paddock during the transaction.

“It was all done through my realtor and his realtor,” Anderson told the newspaper. “The only thing I can tell you is that the documents were regularly late.”
posted by notyou at 7:26 AM on October 2


I mean I honestly don't know what to do except boycott society.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:47 AM on October 2

There are so many arguments against banning guns: there are too many, they just make small changes to get around the bans, this guy's guns were already banned, etc. So I propose we go right to the source: we start massively fining manufacturers. If you produce and make a profit on machines that kill people and they kill innocent people you will be held responsible. Maybe if we made them responsible and the suppliers responsible we would see a lot fewer guns being held by private citizens.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:28 AM on October 2 [28 favorites]


"So I propose we go right to the source: we start massively fining manufacturers. If you produce and make a profit on machines that kill people and they kill innocent people you will be held responsible. "

That's specifically forbidden by law. We can't even hold gun manufacturers liable for routine torts. That is like the NRA's red line: no gun manufacturer will ever be held financially responsible for manufacturing guns, even if they're faulty and any other manufacturer would be liable for a faulty product. They're definitely not going to allow gun manufacturers to be held liable for manufacturing a WORKING product. They learned from cigarettes.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:33 AM on October 2 [63 favorites]


In case you wondered how a "semi-automatic" rifle sounded like full-auto in the Vegas audio.

It's called bump-firing, you pretty much just jam the trigger closed, and it cycles until out of ammo.

Jungle-clip a pair of mags together and... Here we are.

We have to make sure everyone with one of these passes a written and practical safety exam, and license and register their weapons. Having them insured in case they get stolen will force people to secure them properly ( UL Listed safe... )
posted by mikelieman at 7:33 AM on October 2 [11 favorites]


I saw some dumbshit who was in the crowd talking about how foolish he felt for not having brought a gun, and... I mean, what, was he going to aim vaguely in the direction he thought the shots were coming from and fire wildly?

Yes. Exactly.
posted by odinsdream at 7:33 AM on October 2 [10 favorites]


Single payer health care. I am fairly confident that one of the reasons that single payer and gun restrictions go hand in hand is because of the medical costs associated with rampant gun violence.
posted by nanook at 7:33 AM on October 2 [4 favorites]


The United States frightens me now. I don't want to go there.

I hear ya. I don't especially want to live here, but I have no way to leave.
posted by JanetLand at 7:35 AM on October 2 [46 favorites]






That's specifically forbidden by law. We can't even hold gun manufacturers liable for routine torts. That is like the NRA's red line: no gun manufacturer will ever be held financially responsible for manufacturing guns, even if they're faulty and any other manufacturer would be liable for a faulty product.


Laws can change.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:36 AM on October 2 [14 favorites]


T.D. Strange: "House slated to vote this wk to ease curbs on silencers which critics say makes it harder to detect source of gunfire in mass shootings"

Critics are mostly wrong; silencers don't work like pictured by Hollywood. What they do do is make recreational shooting safer and less intrusive. Banning silencers in a environment with widespread gun usage and daily mass shootings is like banning white panel vans as a reaction to child abductions. It's a counter productive distraction.

Of course the rest of the bill is actively exchanging public safety for increased profits and bat shittery.
posted by Mitheral at 7:37 AM on October 2 [7 favorites]


We can't even get tiny restrictions passed. There is no way the NRA is going to allow manufacturer liability.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:37 AM on October 2 [2 favorites]


T.D. Strange: Every time I see a "thoughts and prayers" today, I'm replying with David Frum's When Prayer Alone Does Not Suffice from the Congressional baseball shooting this summer.

You're a better person than I, because my first thought was BoJack Horseman (rough episode transcript)

My thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families.
- Of course.
- Yeah, thoughts and prayers.
- Thoughts and prayers.

"Thoughts and prayers" becomes the knee-jerk reaction to the daily tragedies, which everyone says and then everyone moves on. (There's more than that in the episode regarding guns and gun violence, but it's a tangent too far for this thread.)
posted by filthy light thief at 7:38 AM on October 2 [7 favorites]


ISIS also claimed the recent attack in the Phillipines was theirs when it was a botched bank robbery.
posted by PenDevil at 7:38 AM on October 2 [18 favorites]


Reset the counter. Over here in Australia we banned guns twenty years ago and we haven't had a mass shooting in twenty years. Call me crazy but it seems like such an obvious thing to do. People are shooting people with guns, so ban guns. You have to get rid of the guns.
posted by adept256 at 7:38 AM on October 2 [142 favorites]


Please remember that ISIS routinely claims responsibility for shit it had absolutely nothing to do with
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:38 AM on October 2 [44 favorites]


There are so many arguments against banning guns

There aren't any that are actually rational, though. "But the right to bear arms!" is a religious belief; the Second Amendment is an outdated archaism written by men who thought that standing armies led to tyranny and that a citizen militia was the best check against that (and the armed citizenry made a certain sense at a time when the nascent United States had an army of eight hundred men and land borders with three potentially hostile European colonial powers and dozens of potentially hostile Native American tribes). Nearly two hundred and thirty years on? The US has a standing army comprised of over a million troops, counting the National Guard (who supplanted the militia) and reserves. The arguments for an armed citizenry, whatever they were, are long since irrelevant. But since there's more than one gun for every person in the US any efforts to restrict or ban broad categories of weapons are probably doomed to failure.
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 7:39 AM on October 2 [31 favorites]


Not to sound flippant, but anyone with a room in a tall building near a crowd could do this with a deer hunting rifle. It's a bit of a false equivalency to talk about the gun laws, or 2A issues because chances of banning deer rifles are nil. The underlying problem is mental health. Why can't we focus on mental healthcare access as a right? Talk about a way to get single payer leverage...
posted by HyperBlue at 7:40 AM on October 2 [5 favorites]


The hell it's about mental health. You don't have to be mentally ill to do this.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:41 AM on October 2 [93 favorites]


I'm not going to believe that this guy "converted to Islam" until I see actual documentation. Claiming that it was an ISIS shooter is almost as advantageous as actually having one, and much easier to do. All they want is to sow more and more [ignorant, bigoted ]hatred of Muslims in America and other non-majority Muslim countries so that your average Muslim will be pushed to the right as a way to survive. ISIS is the 4chan of terrorist orgs.
posted by Frowner at 7:41 AM on October 2 [25 favorites]


Can a deer hunting rifle shoot 180 rounds in a minute ?
posted by Pendragon at 7:41 AM on October 2 [87 favorites]


Please remember that ISIS routinely claims responsibility for shit it had absolutely nothing to do with

I usually say any claim of authorship news report should be followed by "Please keep in mind ISIS would claim a fart in an elevator if they knew it existed"
posted by lmfsilva at 7:41 AM on October 2 [22 favorites]


What kind of "deer rifle" did he use?
posted by Artw at 7:41 AM on October 2 [8 favorites]


The underlying problem is mental health.

Mental health issues exist in other countries. Regular mass shootings do not. Do the fucking math.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:42 AM on October 2 [154 favorites]


No, you (as in the USA) really need to do something about the sheer number and variety of guns you can access.
posted by h00py at 7:42 AM on October 2 [23 favorites]


Please remember that ISIS routinely claims responsibility for shit it had absolutely nothing to do with
Kind of like how evangelicals take credit when natural disasters strike the US.
posted by JohnFromGR at 7:42 AM on October 2 [9 favorites]


Why can't we focus on mental health access as a right?

Whoa, slow down there - that sounds a lot like politicizing this tragedy!
posted by thelonius at 7:42 AM on October 2 [3 favorites]


WaPo Las Vegas gunman liked to gamble, listened to country music, lived quiet retired life before massacre
For several years, he appeared to live in Mesquite, Tex. But property records show he chose to move to another town named Mesquite in Nevada, where he bought a home in 2013, and he has been living there ever since.
That's a little weird.
A retired man, Paddock often visited Las Vegas to gamble and take in concerts, his relatives said. Public records show he was a licensed pilot who owned two planes. And he had a hunting license from Alaska.[...]

Mesquite police have no recorded interactions with Paddock.

Las Vegas police said the same.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:42 AM on October 2 [2 favorites]


Story on CNN right now that gun stocks are up this morning. Sturm Ruger up 3%, former Smith & Wesson up 4%.

Fuck guns. Fuck guns and fuck the media and the lobbyists and Hollywood and right-wing and "moderate" politicians and every other shitbag entity that lines their pockets by gaslighting the American public into believing that private firearm ownership is the natural order and that owning a firearm for defense is a reasonable course of action rather than a good way to improve the odds that you or your family members die by a piece of lead ripping your innards apart. I've been an expat for four years, and you know what, it's been really fucking hard but goddamn if I haven't felt a real and tangible sense of freedom now that I no longer have to worry that I am making myself a target by attending any public gathering or entertainment event, weigh up the risk that unbalanced people who try to strike up a conversation with me on the street are packing heat, or consider whether I'm putting myself at risk by visiting the home of a right-wing family member or acquaintance. My heart goes out to all the family and friends of the victims that have senselessly lost their lives because their countrymen (including plenty of my own relatives and loved ones) have been sold an obscene man-boy cowboy fantasy of shooting the bad guys and riding off into the sunset.
posted by aerobic at 7:42 AM on October 2 [39 favorites]


Live feed for President's remarks on Las Vegas [YouTube, TIME Magazine]
posted by Rykey at 7:42 AM on October 2


anyone with a room in a tall building near a crowd could do this with a deer hunting rifle

Fast enough that they could kill more than 50 people before the cops bash the door down?

If you don't need semi-automatics to kill 50 people in quick succession, you sure as hell don't need semi-automatics for recreational purposes.
posted by BungaDunga at 7:43 AM on October 2 [27 favorites]


The man had a goddamn arsenal, I feel like a little bit of gun control probably would have helped.
posted by palomar at 7:43 AM on October 2 [35 favorites]


Reminder:

1. Choose not to hate.
2. Choose not to make baseless assumptions.
3. Choose not to be online or engage in social media.
4. Love.
5. Think.

If you find this kind of news overwhelming, distressing, and traumatic. Consider signing out of your social media/news-feeds. In a few days the news will settle and more truthful and reliable information will be out. And emotions will also not be at as high a level. Stay safe.

I hate that I've posted this exact same comment multiple times within the past few years. Too many times. Fuck.
posted by Fizz at 7:44 AM on October 2 [28 favorites]


anyone with a room in a tall building near a crowd could do this with a deer hunting rifle

The shooter didn't have a deer rifle. They had what audio seems to indicate was at the very least a very high efficiency semi-automatic and more likely a semi-auto that had been illegally converted (with a readily available kit) into fully automatic. This was a substantially more effective way to kill people and led to a substantially higher number of people shot and people killed.

I will never as long as I goddamned live understand the popularity of the argument that because the shooter could have--even with some restrictions on weapons--have managed to kill some people, we may as well not spend energy trying to enact any restrictions at all on items that would let him kill many more people with the same amount of effort/opportunity.

Seat belts don't prevent 100% of all automobile crash deaths, but they drastically cut the number of them and that is a good thing.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:44 AM on October 2 [157 favorites]


Live feed for President's remarks on Las Vegas yt [YouTube, TIME Magazine]

Let the healing begin.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 7:45 AM on October 2 [10 favorites]


I think it's pretty clear that access to guns, culture around guns/violence/masculinity and lack access to health care are all factors that perpetuate mass shootings, and all reinforce each other. Other countries that don't have mass shootings also tend to have fewer guns, more healthcare and a different culture around violence. Hard to ban guns without changing the culture, hard to change the culture when there's so many guns and so much money involved, etc.
posted by Frowner at 7:45 AM on October 2 [26 favorites]


As if the tragedy itself wasn't enough, now we have to fucking brace ourselves for whatever awful nonsense Trump is going to spout? There's fucking less than zero chance that anything he says will make anything better or say anything useful. Probably he's just about to make the news cycle all about him with whatever ill-informed, blustering bullshit he says.
posted by yasaman at 7:46 AM on October 2 [7 favorites]


Not to sound flippant, but anyone with a room in a tall building near a crowd could do this with a deer hunting rifle.

(on preview, this: )

he shooter didn't have a deer rifle. They had what audio seems to indicate was at the very least a very high efficiency semi-automatic and more likely a semi-auto that had been illegally converted (with a readily available kit) into fully automatic. This was a substantially more effective way to kill people and led to a substantially higher number of people shot and people killed.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:47 AM on October 2 [1 favorite]


Maybe Trump could dedicate another golf trophy to the victims
posted by BungaDunga at 7:47 AM on October 2 [62 favorites]


You can absolutely have a deer hunting rifle in the UK, albeit with some restrictions, and shit like this never happens there. Turns out the restrictions actually do something.

(you're shit out of luck if you want an AR-15 legally, but who the fuck needs one of those?)
posted by Artw at 7:47 AM on October 2 [36 favorites]


The shooter didn't have a deer rifle. They had what audio seems to indicate was at the very least a very high efficiency semi-automatic and more likely a semi-auto that had been illegally converted (with a readily available kit) into fully automatic

I posted a link to AR-15 "Bump Firing" earlier. You just jam the trigger back. No 3d printing or gunsmithing needed.
posted by mikelieman at 7:49 AM on October 2 [2 favorites]


anyone with a room in a tall building near a crowd could do this with a deer hunting rifle

This is wrong. This is not a mental health issue. Gun laws will limit these kinds of incidents and limit the death tolls.

Can a non-crazy person commit this type of crime?

This is an incredibly unhelpful and useless way of thinking about this kind of violence. "The killer was crazy" is used almost exclusively to diffuse blame and shut down any meaningful conversations about how to prevent the act from happening again.
posted by AtoBtoA at 7:49 AM on October 2 [52 favorites]


I'm beginning to think it's more likely I'll live through an era where the gun lobby tries to make a case that law-abiding citizens have a right to and need for automatic weapons than one in which semi-automatic weapons are actually restricted.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:50 AM on October 2 [9 favorites]


Look guys, the issue isn't guns. We all know that this 68-year old declining failson could just as easily have left his retirement community home with a knife to stab 50 concert-goers to death and injure another 400.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:50 AM on October 2 [85 favorites]


We can't even get tiny restrictions passed. There is no way the NRA is going to allow manufacturer liability.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:37 AM on October 2

We talk about pulling the Overton Window to the Right and countering with pulling it to the Left all the time. This is where we need to go Extreme. Start demanding it. We need to stop settling for small, incremental steps that never actually help.

And for sure Mental Health resources need to be increased but there will always be people who slip through the cracks. This guy may turn out to be one of those people who seemed perfectly fine on the surface. Then there is the toddler who shot two other toddlers the other day-- that was not a mental health issue. The truth is that we have a gun problem in this country that needs to be addressed.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:52 AM on October 2 [13 favorites]


[Couple comments removed. HyperBlue, this isn't the first mass shooting thread where you've come on strong with a pushy "it's not guns, it's mental health" take and you absolutely need to cut it out with that now and going forward.]
posted by cortex at 7:52 AM on October 2 [65 favorites]


He's so fucking stupid.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 7:52 AM on October 2 [4 favorites]


If you ban guns, he will just use a very long bat.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 7:53 AM on October 2 [14 favorites]


Seat belts don't prevent 100% of all automobile crash deaths, but they drastically cut the number of them and that is a good thing

I'm pretty sure many, if not most of these folks see seat belt laws as an unconstitutional restriction on their freedoms.
posted by COD at 7:53 AM on October 2 [4 favorites]


Fuck your mental health deflection. This happens in your country, and your country alone, with alarming frequency. Take some fucking responsibility.
posted by _Synesthesia_ at 7:53 AM on October 2 [73 favorites]


Fuckface at the podium now. Tip of the hat to whoever called it that he'd lead with exalting the police and not the victims or their families.
posted by Rykey at 7:54 AM on October 2 [11 favorites]


At least he's (so far) been strictly reading off the teleprompter, though.
posted by Rykey at 7:54 AM on October 2 [1 favorite]


They want the EPA dismantled so they can glue down that sweet, sweet mercury, so yes: these people are utter morons actively out to reduce everyone's safety.
posted by Artw at 7:55 AM on October 2 [3 favorites]


"The answers do not come easy."

Says the president of the only developed country in the world where mass shootings are an actual thing.
posted by Talez at 7:55 AM on October 2 [28 favorites]


Maybe, just maybe, it's important to improve mental health care in this country to identify and treat potential killers but also somehow at the same time it's important that we restrict access to the most efficient tools for killing large amounts of people.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:56 AM on October 2 [20 favorites]


"We pray for the day that evil is banished." Also: God, God, pray, prayers, praying, God, prayer, praying, God.
posted by Rykey at 7:56 AM on October 2 [17 favorites]


My god Trump is just so insincere. He is reading off the teleprompter with exactly no feeling whatsoever.

About two minutes of that, done.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 7:56 AM on October 2 [4 favorites]


The man had a goddamn arsenal, I feel like a little bit of gun control probably would have helped.

I'm wondering how he got them all up to his hotel room. Was this some Ocean's Eleven shit or did he just stack them all on one of those rolling luggage carts?
posted by octobersurprise at 7:56 AM on October 2 [5 favorites]


Licensing , Registration, and INSURANCE. You can't get an insurance policy if you don't have UL Listed storage, and you have to pass written and practical licensing exams to prove you can handle the class of firearm. ( e.g.: Lever action/pump shotguns have the lowest requirements ( roughly, cycle time ))

Anything you can bump fire needs to be banned.

That'll give law enforcement the tools to get any unregistered, unlicensed gun out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them.

Then we make sure that ONLY licensed -> licensed sales/transfers happen. Probably by having a retailer or law enforcement org. do the transfer and registration paperwork.

No more unmonitored sales. And we begin getting them out of the hands of irresponsible people.
posted by mikelieman at 7:57 AM on October 2 [24 favorites]


This would've been a nice speech about Puerto Rico but calling them lazy and crapping on leaders who are begging for aid gets the same message across I guess.
posted by PenDevil at 7:57 AM on October 2 [2 favorites]


TL/DW:

Quotes scripture, thanks first responders for their incredibly fast action* which kept many alive, reads from teleprompter successfully. Flags are flying at half staff. Going to LV Wednesday. Something about common humanity and unity. Something something Reaganesque. Manages not to fart, drool, or take shots at Puerto Rico or the NFL.

He really became president today.

*The shooter committed suicide. I am not denigrating 'first responders' in anyway but the shooter unloaded for five to ten straight minutes and killed fifty people. He was firing from the middle floor in a hotel in an urban area during a music festival. He must have been hard as fuck to find and those minutes no doubt seemed like hours.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 7:57 AM on October 2 [20 favorites]


I'm going to spend this entire speech playing Thoughts and Prayers: The Video Game.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:58 AM on October 2 [10 favorites]


I saw some dumbshit who was in the crowd talking about how foolish he felt for not having brought a gun, and... I mean, what, was he going to aim vaguely in the direction he thought the shots were coming from and fire wildly

The police had to go up into the building and went in through the door. I'm guessing if some other approach was feasible they they would have done it.


So yeah, I just did a back off of an envelope calculation. The WP said the venue was ~quarter mile from the hotel. Assuming ~10 feet for every story, the guy was 320 feet up. If some fucking fool wanted to shoot back from the concert, assuming he's at the edge of the venue he had to shoot - across a divided road - ~1360 up into the right balcony in an entire line of them. That's ~450 yards. UP. With a handgun (cuz he wouldn't have carried a rifle into the concert although who knows). Many people practice with a handgun at less than 25 yards for accuracy - some 50, yeah, but a lot even at 10 yards or less. And that's knowing exactly where the target is. Doing all that, at night on The Strip. While being shot at. In a panicking crowd. In a situation where on duty cops caught shot. (As well as off-duty cops. And from what I can tell, it's unknown if the off-duty cops were getting extra money doing security - they might have been armed as well.)

That's probably a huge reason why the cops went after him via SWAT team and not shooting at him, though it's still unknown everything they tried beforehand.

I fucking hate big turds in a little bowl who talk big shit like that. And it's scary, cuz if a few more dumbfucks thought like this one, we'd be hearing reports about people in the hotel who got shot in their rooms. Or in the street. And we don't even know everything yet.
posted by barchan at 7:58 AM on October 2 [81 favorites]


Also: God, God, pray, prayers, praying, God, prayer, praying, God.

You'd think people would pick up on how stopping this kind of thing is not a priority for Him, by now
posted by thelonius at 8:00 AM on October 2 [15 favorites]


Going to LV Wednesday.

So not going to Puerto Rico...?

A woman who was interviewed said that as soon as it became apparent what was happening, off-duty LEOs threw themselves on top of people to protect them. Remarkable.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:02 AM on October 2 [12 favorites]


I'm wondering how he got them all up to his hotel room. Was this some Ocean's Eleven shit or did he just stack them all on one of those rolling luggage carts?

Some "analyst" had mentioned that there are no restrictions on the types of guns/how many you can bring into hotels in Vegas. Something about the gun shows they have there.
posted by ryoshu at 8:05 AM on October 2 [6 favorites]


Yeah it seemed like the reports of killed and wounded included lots of off duty police, and not just from Vegas, that I wondered if there was a meeting or convention in town.
posted by notyou at 8:05 AM on October 2


1360 up into the right balcony in an entire line of them.

Photos I've seen indicate no balcony. He shot straight out the window.
posted by anastasiav at 8:05 AM on October 2 [2 favorites]


Room 641-A: So not going to Puerto Rico...?

Puerto Rico Tuesday, LV Wednesday, per Hallie Jackson @ NBC.
posted by bluecore at 8:05 AM on October 2 [1 favorite]


Anything I say is just as hollow as 'thoughts and prayers' but how can you say nothing when so many people are massacred and it's all so preventable? What the fuck. No wonder it's so easy for 45 to talk about nukes, people aren't *real* anymore and nothing matters but more money for the wealthy, more cruelty for the cruel and more misery for the rest of us.

What the fuck do we do?
posted by Space Kitty at 8:06 AM on October 2 [10 favorites]


Some "analyst" had mentioned that there are no restrictions on the types of guns/how many you can bring into hotels in Vegas. Something about the gun shows they have there.

Well, and also, duffel bags exist.

Vendors presenting at LV conventions wheel all manner of giant boxes and bags around. No one is checking what's in them.
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:06 AM on October 2 [17 favorites]


If I were in the hotel, and heard gunshots, I’d likely run to the window, as I’m sure would others. Now imagine gun-toting “heroes” firing back. Achievement unlocked:Friendly Fire.

My SO’s parent retired to Vegas a few years ago. They go to the strip often. They texted us last night saying they were ok. They also added, “it was only a matter of time before they hit Las Vegas”. SO’s parents are devout Fox watchers, so you can confidently identify the definition of “they”.

(Not trying to be flippant above. Just deeply unnerved and upset that it’s happened again. Not shocked though. )
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 8:07 AM on October 2 [17 favorites]


Puerto Rico Tuesday, LV Wednesday, per Hallie Jackson @ NBC.

Maybe he'll be too busy to tweet for a couple of days.
posted by COD at 8:07 AM on October 2 [1 favorite]


It's so enraginging that this is so common that we have scripts for all of this:
1) the "thoughts and prayers" flood of meaningless messaging
2) the way that the media is 100% complicit in the racism of reporting; I checked a half dozen news reports this morning, and none of them identified the shooter's race or found a sketchy picture of him, only had quotes from police saying "they didn't know his mind," and frequent descriptions of him being a "lone wolf." That's how I knew the shooter was white. Heaven forbid a toxic white male who kills and wounds 500+ people at a concert ever accurately be described as a terrorist.
posted by TwoStride at 8:07 AM on October 2 [22 favorites]


For what it's worth, Mesquite is near the Cliven Bundy ranch and the location of the Bundy standoff in 2014. Bundy goes on trial in Las Vegas next week.
posted by JackFlash at 8:07 AM on October 2 [34 favorites]


Yeah it seemed like the reports of killed and wounded included lots of off duty police, and not just from Vegas, that I wondered if there was a meeting or convention in town.

It could be there were off duty LEOs there as security. That is pretty common. It's also not that unlikely that a country music festival just drew a fair amount of cops.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:07 AM on October 2 [16 favorites]


Also have to wonder how Paddock ended up in that particular room. Did he ask for a room with that view specifically?
posted by notyou at 8:09 AM on October 2


Aw yeah, you're right, anastasiav. Thanks. That makes it even harder.
posted by barchan at 8:09 AM on October 2


> I mean I honestly don't know what to do except boycott society.

My wife and I don't travel to the United States any more. My parents and my sister live in Sarnia, across the border from Port Huron, Michigan, and for a brief period of time after Trump's election they expressed reservations about crossing the border, but now they're back to planning vacations in Michigan and Florida and going over regularly to shop and eat dinner. Personally, we feel like the U.S. is in the process of tearing itself apart and don't want to be there when and if something really big goes down, i.e. an event that - who knows? - could make it difficult to get back into Canada. We also no longer wish to subject ourselves to U.S. border security and everything that entails. Lastly and least importantly, I want to limit the amount of money that I spend on American goods and services. I guess you could call that a boycott, but our avoidance of the United States is motivated less by a desire to vote with our wallets, so speak, than it is by fear. The United States frightens me now. I don't want to go there.


I haven't been back in 8 years. I let my green card lapse in Oct 2015
posted by infini at 8:13 AM on October 2 [1 favorite]


Well this is some added horror to the horror, from the Guardian's update: Police were able to quickly locate the gunman in the hotel because his gunfire, so persistent and fast, set off the smoke alarm in his room.
posted by TwoStride at 8:14 AM on October 2 [35 favorites]


The presence of off-duty LEOs at a country music festival is about as expected as a high number of female attendees wearing sundresses and cowboy boots. Nothing about that seems odd to me. White people who are really into a specific performance of gendered roles and "traditional" American values are the bread and butter of the country music industry... kinda stands to reason that that sort of milieu would appeal to the kind of person who wants to be a cop.
posted by palomar at 8:15 AM on October 2 [11 favorites]


I have a really trite observation that struck me at the...right? time. Forgive me for shoe gazing here, I’m trying to make sense of it as I type.

I was scrolling through Twitter, as one does to try to digest the info, and the experiences, and I came across a tweet of Maxine Waters I think, fighting with Joe Walsh maybe? And it seemed familiar and not on topic for the days events. I had seen it yesterday. Checked posted time, 18 hours ago. Why was it showing up in my timeline now, as I’m trying to get new information. Oh, because people I follow had liked it at some point since I had first read it. So it was retweeted because sometimes likes are retweets. Because twitter needs to throw junk at you to keep you interested. Activity activity activity.

It’s the least important event of today I can think of but it made me realize this: almost every system is crumbling or polluted or diverted from its original purpose. The places we use as Commons are gleefully running in the direction on tragedies. Misinformation on google news, rumors all over Facebook. Everything is crumbling. Everything.
posted by Brainy at 8:16 AM on October 2 [36 favorites]


It is extraordinarily depressing to my family to see people say that because of the poisonous political climate, rising income inequality, sharp upturn in naked racism, and generally increasing instability in the US that they either don't want to live here anymore or will retreat to another country where they have ties and feel safer. This is because the only other country where we have ties is Romania, and holy shit, that place is not the solution to any of those things. We are stuck here.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:16 AM on October 2 [14 favorites]


Ah, Vegas, where you can "feel the rush of lighting off hundreds of rounds downrange" or get a Humvee to pick you up for "the ultimate adrenaline rush" with fully auto ex-military weapons as part of the tourist experience.

Get ready for lots of discussions about how best to restrict people's everyday activities in public spaces without hurting the feelings of those guns.
posted by holgate at 8:18 AM on October 2 [16 favorites]


I fucking hate big turds in a little bowl who talk big shit like that. And it's scary, cuz if a few more dumbfucks thought like this one, we'd be hearing reports about people in the hotel who got shot in their rooms. Or in the street. And we don't even know everything yet.

Cops trying to figure out who is killing people and every motherfucker has a gun. Do they not realize how stupid that is? Worse, someone is mass killing people, some motherfucker sees someone firing a gun at another person, shoots, kills that person. Turns out the person who was firing that gun was firing at someone who was firing their gun. Then the person who just shot the other guy gets shot by yet another well meaning Good Samaritan.

It's instantaneously obvious how stupid it is for everyone to have a gun in the middle of a mass shooting.
posted by Talez at 8:19 AM on October 2 [77 favorites]


What the fuck do we do?

- right now: give blood. Also, give money to orgs like Sandy Hook Promise, Everytown for Gun Control, The Brady Campaign, The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.
- speak up on social media to say that you are in favor of strict gun control laws. Social media debate isn't really action, to be sure, but it is important that we talk about this NOW and are not cowed by "thoughts and prayers" and "now is not the time".
- Work for strict gun control laws in your home town and your state. State laws, in some ways, can be more effective than Federal regulations. Educate yourself about what the laws are in your city, county, state. Contact your hyper-local officials to urge stricter laws, particularly about automatic or semi-automatic weapons, licencing, and open carry.
- Add gun control to the list of issues you call your Federal elected officials about.
posted by anastasiav at 8:20 AM on October 2 [34 favorites]


the way that the media is 100% complicit in the racism of reporting; I checked a half dozen news reports this morning, and none of them identified the shooter's race or found a sketchy picture of him

They were very quick to tell us the race of his partner though.
posted by vanar sena at 8:20 AM on October 2 [51 favorites]


This man's actions were terrorism. Mass shootings are intended to cause others to feel terror.

All I can think to do is to write up an script for contacting legislators, while our country mourns for even more innocent people being murdered in an another act of terror. I will be contacting my federal legislators to oppose H.R.3668 - Sportsmen's Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act of 2017 (aka. The SHARE Act). These shootings must not continue. Here are my talking points that you can use:
Given the horrifying mass shooting in Las Vegas on October 1st and the long history of deadly mass shootings in the United States, I am completely opposed to HR 3668 ever becoming law. I expect you to vote against it. This bill would:
  • Make it easier to obtain gun suppressors, making it more difficult for Law Enforcement to find the source of gun fire
  • Allow ammunition manufacturers to sell armor piercing rounds, which have no legitimate hunting purpose
  • Allow hunters to pollute our federal lands with lead slugs which poison humans and animals
It's time to enact common sense, protective fire arm regulation in the United States, so terrorist shootings like last night's are much harder to carry out. We need background checks for all sales and restrictions on high capacity magazines. These regulations are favored by the vast majority of Americans and would make our lives much safer. I expect you to support such protective regulations.

[For gun-happy legislators: If you think I'm politicizing this tragedy, you're damn right I am. It's time for real protective gun regulations, so all people in our country feel safe participating in public life. At least 50 people have died because we do not have effective protective regulations on firearms. We need protective regulations on guns, and we need them years ago. Easing regulations means the blood of victims of mass shootings is on your hands.]

Sincerely,
[your name]
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 8:21 AM on October 2 [34 favorites]


They were very quick to tell us the race of his partner though.

Who it turns out is overseas.
posted by Talez at 8:21 AM on October 2 [7 favorites]


They were very quick to tell us the race of his partner though.

I'm glad I'm not the only one bothered by that. That sat really poorly with me- you have the white suspect, dead, but instead of releasing his name you release a photo of a non-white person you suspect is an accomplice, who turns out probably not to be. Like it really feels like they were hoping there would be a POC hook to this shooting, which is gross as hell.
posted by corb at 8:22 AM on October 2 [102 favorites]


I've said this before, but future presidentisl debates must include segments where the specific problem of white domestic terrotists is brought up. Anything else is too easily turned into a referendum on non-whites and non-christirism or 2nd amendment protections.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:24 AM on October 2 [4 favorites]


I have nothing to say and nothing to offer but sadness and disgust. 50 .s don't begin to cover it.
posted by Gelatin at 8:24 AM on October 2 [3 favorites]


.
posted by meinvt at 8:25 AM on October 2


I'm not sure what it means to "politicize" something, but it seems to me that talking about common-sense practical solutions to limit access to deadly firearms regardless of political motivations seems like the opposite of that.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 8:25 AM on October 2 [5 favorites]


re: thoughts and prayers.

I don't give a shit about the prayers but I'd like people to start asking politicians what specifically are the "thoughts" they claim to be having.
posted by srboisvert at 8:25 AM on October 2 [32 favorites]


I had to take a criminal history check before being placed doing some charity work. My only complaint with it was that it cost 40$ and took a week to come back. The position involved working with children though, and I fully understand the potential of the very worst person taking that role was infinitely more important than some petty inconveniences it caused me.

I guess I'm in a bitter mood now, but only a pedophile would seriously object to such a background check.
posted by adept256 at 8:26 AM on October 2 [8 favorites]


Trump's statements make my stomach turn.
posted by Brocktoon at 8:26 AM on October 2 [10 favorites]


"We pray for the day that evil is banished." Also: God, God, pray, prayers, praying, God, prayer, praying, God.

Maybe religion is a problem after all.
posted by sour cream at 8:27 AM on October 2 [5 favorites]


They were very quick to tell us the race of his partner though.

That's how you know he's not a white supemecist!

...even though such things absolutely happen.

I expect DV revelations will be the next thing to turn up.
posted by Artw at 8:27 AM on October 2 [8 favorites]


.
posted by Bob Regular at 8:27 AM on October 2 [1 favorite]


The Las Vegas sheriff, Joseph Lombardo, and President Donald Trump are expected to give respective briefings within the next half hour.

Authorities have so far stressed that they know nothing about the shooter’s motivation. Lombardo said he was not yet ready to label the shooting terrorism.


Like, I just throw my hands up at this. WHAT THE FUCK ELSE IS IT WHEN YOU SHOOT AT UNSUSPECTING MASSES.
posted by TwoStride at 8:29 AM on October 2 [30 favorites]


Not to get all weird, but can I just say I love you guys and I'm glad you're here? You make stuff like this possible to endure.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:30 AM on October 2 [45 favorites]


[A few more removed. Folks, this is a horrific fucking situation and as much as I understand the desire to find a way to frame it as inherently an outlier, not-normal thing, doing so in terms of mental illness does a humongous disservice to the millions and millions of people just living day to day with mental illness as part of their normal, every day lives. If you want to talk about this being a fucked up, wrong, unconscionable deed to commit, that's fine and understandable, but take care not to throw a whole great big pile of good people including your fellow MeFites under the bus with poorly-considered framing.]
posted by cortex at 8:31 AM on October 2 [122 favorites]


IT HAS BEEN 477 0 DAYS SINCE THE WORST MASS SHOOTING IN AMERICAN HISTORY
posted by OverlappingElvis at 8:33 AM on October 2 [28 favorites]


> I'm not sure what it means to "politicize" something [...]

I know you can't politicize something that already is inherently political.
posted by farlukar at 8:34 AM on October 2 [1 favorite]


"We pray for the day that evil is banished."

Isn't this idea categorically impossible in Christianity? Satan exists and will always exist right? Eventually, Jesus returns to earth and takes the believers with him somewhere better.

I mean, I'm atheist, so I don't believe any of it, but I thought that was the general idea.
posted by COD at 8:34 AM on October 2 [10 favorites]


Charles Whitman had:

-- Remington 700 ADL (6mm)
-- Universal M1 carbine
-- Remington Model 141 (.35-caliber)
-- Sears model 60 Semi-automatic shotgun (12 gauge)
-- S&W Model 19 (.357 Magnum)
-- Luger P08 (9mm)
-- Galesi-Brescia (.25 ACP)
-- Knife

In three hours on the University of Texas tower he managed to kill 17 people, if you include an unborn child.

In three hours, our Vegas shooter killed 50-plus people, most of them likely in the first 20 minutes.

Don't give me this shit about deer rifles.
posted by maxsparber at 8:35 AM on October 2 [90 favorites]


I'm not sure what it means to "politicize" something, but it seems to me that talking about common-sense practical solutions to limit access to deadly firearms regardless of political motivations seems like the opposite of that.

Calling things "political" is a stall tactic - conservatives know that, if they can weather the initial aftermath of scrutiny of their inaction by saying "this is not the right time to be talking about this" then the media will lose interest before the right time comes.

See: things they perceive as "terrorism" and how they're scrambling over one another to ban, deport, or otherwise persecute people. It would be nice if even one of the media outlets who are covering this non-stop and hear someone say that it's wrong to politicize death to remind them how quickly it's fine to talk about changes the country needs to make when the person is possibly Muslim.
posted by notorious medium at 8:38 AM on October 2 [9 favorites]


Get ready for lots of discussions about how best to restrict people's everyday activities in public spaces without hurting the feelings of those guns.

Well, guns already have more rights than women, PoC, LGBTQ, those with physical/mental/emotionally disabilities, Muslims, and any of a number of marginalized groups in this country. Americans have more right to a gun than affordable healthcare (let alone universal and/or single-payer), clean food and water, a place to call home, a job with a livable wage, a way to safely immigrate, and so much more. Even the supposedly safe n' sane gun owners seem to have no problem with this, positing that a gun is more than just a civil right, it's a human right.

Just think about that: it's safer and to most Americans much more acceptable to love a machine (and yes, the "tool" distraction is as heartless and ghoulish as it is wrong) designed explicity to destroy living things than it is for them to love many of their fellow humans.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:39 AM on October 2 [48 favorites]


Ever read the Christian homily "I Sent You a Rowboat"? I'm thinking that when my southern conservative family/friends start in with the "thoughts & prayers" I'm going to point out that God did give them something they can do about this flood of shootings. It's called gun control and you need to get in the boat right frigging now.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:39 AM on October 2 [76 favorites]


All things considered, Trump's words so far have been surprisingly free of stupidity. I'm certain that won't last.
posted by davebush at 8:40 AM on October 2


58 confirmed (another close) and 515 injured.
posted by sammyo at 8:40 AM on October 2


No, it's not. Spend too much time in the echo chamber of the internet and yes, it will seem like the world is coming to an end, but for the vast majority out there, life is pretty good.

Unless you're in Puerto Rico. Or if you're one the 60% of americans without $500 in savings. Or in daily fear of being murdered by police. Or at risk of dying from an easily-treated medical condition. Or, or, or. Or.

{...} There is something very broken with our modern world that goes far beyond racism, gun control, Trump or Obama.

Pay more attention to this part.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:40 AM on October 2 [37 favorites]


Trump's words so far have been surprisingly free of stupidity. I'm certain that won't last.

The first is because we now have a Presidential script in response to a mass shooting. I'm too angry/exhausted to look, but I wouln't be surprised if it's pretty much the same as what Obama said after Pulse, or Sandy Hook, etc.

But yes. I'm sure by the 3am Tweetrage cycle, he'll be blaming Puerto Rico's mayor for this.
posted by TwoStride at 8:42 AM on October 2 [4 favorites]


58 confirmed (another close) and 515 injured.

These numbers are incomprehensible. I can't imagine the trauma the survivors will endure, seeing people fall around them while they run.
posted by AFABulous at 8:43 AM on October 2 [15 favorites]


Given that we don't yet have universal health care in the USA, I propose we require all gun owners to carry gunshot insurance, to pay for medical care, funeral expenses, therapy, etc. for victims of shootings.

According to Congressional research, there are over 300 million guns in the US. There were 73,505 nonfatal injuries 33,636 deaths from firearms in 2013.

Taking these numbers as a rough guide, and picking the arbitrary number of $100,000 per person to cover expenses, then 107141*$100000/300000000 = $35.71. Round up, let's call it $50 per gun, per year.
posted by fings at 8:45 AM on October 2 [28 favorites]


wapo is reporting shooter spent a 2-3 years for lockheed-martin (85-88) but i have not heard anything about employment prior/after that
posted by entropicamericana at 8:45 AM on October 2


I can't imagine the trauma the survivors will endure, seeing people fall around them while they run.

Couple that with the trauma they have yet to feel as they go broke from hospital bills. The victims really are in a hell of a bad place.
posted by maxsparber at 8:45 AM on October 2 [38 favorites]


The only mental state observation I have is that my Spidey sense tells me that his "companion" being out of the country is that it had something to do with their ... companionability. Perhaps that will be an unreported domestic violence link.

Slightly related is why there are so few of these sniper-style shootings (I will add as,examples the DC Interstate snipers, and at least one school shooting involving two boys who shot at classmates from a hill). Primarily these take the narrative form for the shooter of suicide-by-cop. The victims are lessentially targeted than literally in the way. Holing up delays the gratification phase. 'Sall I got though.

As to the cop question, Bakersfield confirmed early in the incident that they had a number of officers at the concert as fans (one was wounded).

Finally, as to "horrible" social media accounts, it's very clear that a good number of bots are in the mix, some very potentially Russian. It's purely cold-blooded disinformation.
posted by dhartung at 8:46 AM on October 2 [4 favorites]


515 injured.

Any wound from a high powered rifle, anywhere on your body, is likely to be life-changing. 515. JFC.
posted by Rumple at 8:47 AM on October 2 [10 favorites]


This man thinks that it's acceptable to deliberately kill over 60 people in order to make some sort of Statement About Society.

Kindly, no. We don’t know that yet.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 8:47 AM on October 2 [2 favorites]


I'm honestly glad some of you are able to feel something about this. I'm trying and nothing's coming, and I think a lot of it is just that these events happen with enough regularity here that it's not even particularly shocking to me anymore. And the inability of the country to deal with it isn't even enraging, it's just... resignation.

I mean, I'm whole-heartedly, full-throatedly gonna support anyone who works for gun control, greater accessibility to medical care, etc., etc., etc., but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. I don't see how it's going to happen with the current regime.
posted by anem0ne at 8:48 AM on October 2 [16 favorites]


Any wound from a high powered rifle, anywhere on your body, is likely to be life-changing. 515. JFC.

A lot of these are likely trampling injuries, although I don't know that that is any better.
posted by maxsparber at 8:48 AM on October 2


"We pray for the day that evil is banished."

Isn't this idea categorically impossible in Christianity?


Good point. I quoted that bit in particular because it sounded extra inane and hollow—a cheap rhetorical way to juxtapose Trump's obviously sincere Christianity and abstract, other-ized evil, maybe—but yeah, it's not theologically sound either. Surprise.
posted by Rykey at 8:48 AM on October 2


[Quick reminder to reload the thread if you're surprised at a comment that seems like it shouldn't be there. Fast moving thread and terrible situation, and y'all are doing a pretty good job of flagging and that's helping me stay on top of this and I appreciate that a lot. But I also need you to try and avoid chaining on a bunch of responses to deleted or about-to-be-deleted stuff if possible.]
posted by cortex at 8:52 AM on October 2 [22 favorites]


I think we should start declaring a Day of Fear after every mass shooting, when we keep our kids home from school, work from home (if possible), and refuse to visit public venues or spend any money at public locations.

If you go with the standard definition of mass shooting (four or more victims, selected indiscriminately, are killed) then almost every day would be a Day of Fear and we would never get anything done. America had 273 of those in the first 275 days of this year.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 8:54 AM on October 2 [42 favorites]


It is extraordinarily depressing to my family to see people say that because of the poisonous political climate, rising income inequality, sharp upturn in naked racism, and generally increasingly instability in the US that they either don't want to live here anymore or will retreat to another country where they have ties and feel safer. This is because the only other country where we have ties is Romania, and holy shit, that place is not the solution to any of those things. We are stuck here.

DirtyOldTown - My family feels the same way. We would so like to leave, but our only familial connections are in unstable areas of the Middle East. We are exhausted. There are so many fronts/causes/issues to fight for/against that it's just overwhelming.

NPR broadcast trump's speech and even in audio-only form it was devoid of sincerity. Gun control is the answer, not 'thoughts and prayers'.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 8:54 AM on October 2 [4 favorites]


WHAT THE FUCK ELSE IS IT WHEN YOU SHOOT AT UNSUSPECTING MASSES.

Terrorism has a specific definition, which requires that it be intended to promote political aims. The Virginia Tech killings were not terrorism, for example. As awful as this is, until a political goal is known, it's important not to jump to the label terrorism, because other problems arise when we let the word become corrupted to mean just evil or things we don't like.
posted by Candleman at 8:55 AM on October 2 [21 favorites]


Round up, let's call it $50 per gun, per year.

As a gun owner, I'm completely okay with this. Hell, double it. $100/yr/gun.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 8:55 AM on October 2 [4 favorites]


These numbers are incomprehensible.

They're insane.

By all accounts so far, there is no background check that would have caught this guy up. He's you're stereotypical NRA gun owner - white, middle class, no criminal history...

Really, if we want to prevent this sort of thing - or at least put barriers in the way - easily modifiable semi-autos should be banned. Yes, people can do a lot with bolt action or what have you. But, cars and busses exist, too - and IEDs are very easy to make. Anyway, good luck with any sort of ban. Short of repealing the second amendment, there is no way to do that.

Here's where we are. All I have left is the snark that the tree of liberty must be refreshed, from time to time, with the blood of tyrants schoolkids, ex-wives, college students, batman fans, concert goers.....

Besides, Nevada is an open carry state. The M.A.D. inherent in widespread small arms proliferation was supposed to be an absolute deterrent to this sort of thing.

Witness how polite our armed society is.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:56 AM on October 2 [33 favorites]


It is extraordinarily depressing to my family to see people say that because of [reasons] that they either don't want to live here anymore or will retreat to another country where they have ties and feel safer. [...] We are stuck here.
My family came over on the Mayflower. We fought in the Revolution. We don't have family ties anywhere anymore, not for many generations, and those bridges were burned anyway.

But I'm just so sickened and embarrassed and shamed by my country and my countrymen that I really don't want to stay. It's too emotionally painful. I'm sick all the time about it.

I don't want to identify as "American" and can't identify as anything else.

I can't imagine how anyone who isn't white, cis, straight, male can feel to live here. I can't imagine how anyone who got shot at last night and survived can feel to live here. I can't imagine how the families of the dead can feel to live here.

The older people here on MeFi keep talking about how America has been rotting and tearing itself apart for the last 40 years. I am younger than that. This rot is all I know. What must a reasonable, stable, healthy society look like, I ask myself? How can I even go and find out, without anywhere else to go to?

All I can feel is a deep sense of regret and loss. I hope the victims can find peace again, somehow. I don't know if I could.
posted by ragtag at 8:57 AM on October 2 [43 favorites]


"Banishing evil." Because it's easier to banish evil altogether than it is to exert even the smallest amount of gun control.
posted by mochapickle at 8:57 AM on October 2 [32 favorites]


ragtag: Turchin predicts widespread civil instability for 15-40 more years. So in your old age, things will get better, if you buy his line of reasoning.
posted by hleehowon at 9:00 AM on October 2 [2 favorites]




"Warm condolences" are cold comfort this morning.

Gah. I had to do a bit on one of the local media's morning shows for a fundraiser for my organization, and of course the segment was right after the live update from Vegas. I felt awkward, but for the host it was apparently all just grist for the mill; I hate that it feels that way - that it seemed that normal, just another segment to work into the midst of the usual show routine of weather, traffic, and local fluff.

Anyways. It's surreal for me, but I can't stop thinking about the poor people who were there and have to deal with the personal consequences alongside the media circus that will move in, generating noise and fury to no particular end.
posted by nubs at 9:02 AM on October 2 [1 favorite]


Can a deer hunting rifle shoot 180 rounds in a minute

There's no definition of "deer hunting rifle". The local shop I've used has this gun as a "package deal" : Keymod Scout - 100 Round Magazine which I'd only need a government photo ID to purchase.

I suppose the exact answer to your question is that it might be pushing it to do 180 rounds a minute, but only cause of a magazine change. Modifying weapons to be fully automatic is extremely easy, though, and that would put the answer squarely into "of course" territory.
posted by odinsdream at 9:04 AM on October 2


It is extraordinarily depressing to my family to see people say that because of [reasons] that they either don't want to live here anymore or will retreat to another country where they have ties and feel safer. [...] We are stuck here.

When I was in my twenties I worked in Shanghai and Beijing. I loved my time there but fundamentally did not regret returning - the distance made things harder with my family and although I had good friends, there were a lot of isolating aspects about being there. For my entire thirties I was basically happy to have come back rather than made my career there. Now I regret it. If I were younger and my family situation were different, I would leave. There's no good future here for ordinary people, and there's lots of potential disaster.
posted by Frowner at 9:06 AM on October 2 [16 favorites]


The local shop I've used has this gun as a "package deal"

Oh sure, the Norseman Package. No subtext to that name at all.
posted by contraption at 9:08 AM on October 2 [24 favorites]


I woke up this morning to a text message. Fairly innocuous, but a friend asked if I was awake. It was 3AM my time when he sent it, but my buddy was travelling for work. Would have been 1AM for him. So when I got up, I answered that I was up, and to call when he got up, and he called immediately.

The conversation that happened after that was a lot of word salad, a lot of sad noises, and a texted picture after the fact. He was in the hotel behind the concert venue. He heard the gunshots, the screams, the death happening. The picture was of the barricade he made for himself in his bathroom of his hotel.

My friend, who was not at the concert, and just staying in Vegas for work for the week, heard and saw all these things. He's not one of the 50 dead, he's not one of the 400 injured, but he's one of tens of thousands who are not okay, and may never be okay again after seeing and hearing the events of last night.

Something has to be done about guns in this country. And that something has to be done now. Often, we think it's terrible, we think that changes must be made, but we're fairly lax about actually making them. It's a step up from the "thoughts and prayers" lip-service, but it's never enough to quash the problem. Friends, that time is over.

Before I ended my call to start my day, I told my friend I loved him. He is my brother if not by blood, by life. He said the only good part of all this was that he didn't get a ticket to that concert, but had entertained the idea. After I hung up, I was glad for one thing only. That he hadn't, and I still had my friend to talk to today.
posted by deezil at 9:08 AM on October 2 [179 favorites]


Terrorism has a specific definition, which requires that it be intended to promote political aims.

Not intending to disagree with the premise that mass shooting =/= terrorism, but I'd also point out that there really isn't a firm and commonly-accepted definition of terrorism, and that you can kill a bunch of members of a group in order to cause terror in that broader group without your aims being explicitly political.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:08 AM on October 2 [9 favorites]


Paddock's family said there was nothing in his past that would suggest violence.

How about buying 10 guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition?
posted by srboisvert at 9:09 AM on October 2 [114 favorites]


Not to sound flippant, but anyone with a room in a tall building near a crowd could do this with a deer hunting rifle. It's a bit of a false equivalency to talk about the gun laws, or 2A issues because chances of banning deer rifles are nil. The underlying problem is mental health. Why can't we focus on mental healthcare access as a right? Talk about a way to get single payer leverage...

This comment is really off the mark. We're somehow the only nation on the planet where this happens, and you are daring to suggest what makes us unique is mental health?

Naw, dude.
posted by odinsdream at 9:10 AM on October 2 [25 favorites]


There are lots of people saying stupid things. But for the people who experienced the shooting, shock interferes with reason, so I have no interest in piling on. People feel helpless because as individuals we are helpless here, so they offer their thoughts and their prayers. I don't believe in god, but some people do and some people believe that prayer may have a positive effect.

I just watched the news conference, and the politicians all wanted to get their faces on tv and make their statements and assure everyone that they should still go to Las Vegas and spend money. That made me gag.
posted by theora55 at 9:10 AM on October 2 [4 favorites]


Aaron Blake: Terrorism or not? Las Vegas reignites a real — and really important — debate.
[I]f an attacker is a white supremacist seeking to stoke a “race war” — as Charleston shooter Dylann Roof claimed to be — isn't that attempting to further a “political or social objective?” Roof was charged with hate crimes, but not domestic terrorism. Similarly, the alleged perpetrator of the attack in Charlottesville certainly had a political point of view on race issues and arguably was trying to instill fear in other would-be opponents of his movement. The shooter at the congressional GOP baseball practice asked whether the lawmakers present were Republicans before launching his attack, making it seem possible he had a political ax to grind — and a message to send.

It's all very complicated and open to interpretation, but that interpretation is often made rather quickly in the case of attacks by Muslims. Conversely, oftentimes the ruling out of terrorism in attacks like Las Vegas seems to be equated with the ruling out of international terrorism or Muslim extremism.

And the act in Las Vegas does seem to fit at least one definition of terrorism: the state of Nevada's. Nevada defines an act of terrorism as “any act that involves the use or attempted use of sabotage, coercion or violence which is intended to ... cause great bodily harm or death to the general population.”
posted by zombieflanders at 9:11 AM on October 2 [26 favorites]


So we still don't have a declared motive yet?
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:11 AM on October 2


How about buying 10 guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition?

Fact is, there are probably tens of thousands of people in this country with all of that stuff, most of whom haven't used it on other people. Not that that's not a problem, but it's not a slam-dunk indicator, either.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:11 AM on October 2 [4 favorites]


Please people, please don't give up. The way we get ourselves to a better place, if not for us, then for the generations that follow us, is by staying and fighting for a better society. It's by pushing again and again against the NRA. It's by signing up disenfranchised people to vote and then going back to drive them to their voting place, no matter how inconvenient. It's about doing our little part, because every little part does help. I have to believe there will be a tipping point. Maybe not this morning and I'm still stunned that it wasn't Sandy Hook, but I believe that we are a majority and we need to stay here to remain in the majority.

Please don't give up.
posted by Sophie1 at 9:12 AM on October 2 [14 favorites]


Terrorism has a specific definition, which requires that it be intended to promote political aims
Since the NRA stands behind all gun owners no matter the actions taken with those guns, and the NRA is a major political contributor and lobbying group, all mass shootings are de facto promoting political aims.
posted by JohnFromGR at 9:14 AM on October 2 [21 favorites]


Oh sure, the Norseman Package. No subtext to that name at all.

You could also go with the October Gun of the Month which literally just got posted after I made my prior comment. Comes with a carrying case and it breaks down so easy you can take it anywhere!

See, this is something I really honestly don't think progressive folks who aren't around guns understand. Literally, you can go to a gun store (as a white dude, natch) and explicitly ask for the best weapon that's easy to conceal and can shoot thousands of rounds really quick and they'll hook you up. Often without anything more than a driver's license.
posted by odinsdream at 9:15 AM on October 2 [7 favorites]


My Mass Shooting Ritual (Josh Marshall, Talking Points Memo)
I spun around to get a handle on the scope of the attack, the death toll and other basic facts. Then I started thinking through what has now become a basic ritual.

Who was the suspect? I hoped it wasn’t a Muslim. I also hoped it wasn’t an African-American man. Obviously, the identity of the shooter doesn’t make anyone more dead or alive. For the particular crime, the identity and even the motive is basically irrelevant. As a journalist, I shouldn’t really ‘hope’ it is or is not anyone. It is whatever it is. Is this liberal guilt or race fixation? I don’t think so. I do so for a pretty simple reason: mass violence by Muslims or black men are immediately political – and wrapped into storylines they have relatively little connection to – whereas as mass violence by whites just is. They are individual acts and unfathomable, no more addressable by policy or societal action than the obvious and inevitable fact that we will all one day die. [...]

Fundamentally, we are stuck. All the massacres matter. But they’re only readily politicized along our existing paranoia about Muslim terrorists and white fears of black criminality. Since any action on guns is ruled out, we’re left with more or less emotive versions of “thoughts and prayers.” The easy availability of military style weapons is obvious and immediate cause of these massacres. Human nature contains violence, evil, senseless aggression. But that’s true in every country. We’re the only place where anything remotely like this happens on a regular basis.

But beyond guns – which are absolutely, absolutely necessary to address and dramatically restrict access to – we need to recognize that we don’t have mass violence only because of guns. We have so many guns because America is a deeply violent society. That goes back generations. We have recurrent massacres because we are awash in firearms and also because we are a deeply violent society. Nothing so deeply rooted in our culture can be easily changed. But we could change it. We cannot and do not because at the end of the day we accept it.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 9:15 AM on October 2 [50 favorites]


.
posted by Splunge at 9:15 AM on October 2


Have the police given more info on the guns used? It really just seems like he got some standard AR-15 style guns, kitted them out with sniper position gear available anywhere (without any sort of check), a bunch of high-capacity magazines (also available without any checks) then got some 3d printed parts to make them fully auto. Plenty of vectors for sensible gun control there beyond thoughts and prayers.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:17 AM on October 2 [1 favorite]


Since the NRA stands behind all gun owners no matter the actions taken with those guns

Not all gun owners.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:17 AM on October 2 [37 favorites]


> I'm just so sickened and embarrassed and shamed by my country and my countrymen that I really don't want to stay.
ragtag, I'm with you. I see my country making wrong decisions that hurt and kill and destroy, here at home and all over. I love the US; but we seem bent on destroying ourselves. However, I'm too old at 62 to pass most entry qualifications, and while I have some retirement savings, not nearly enough to buy a permanent visa someplace I want to live.
posted by theora55 at 9:18 AM on October 2 [4 favorites]


Serious question, how does Australia balance its gun ban with legit uses, e.g. vermin, wildlife attacks? Or are those not a real problem there? I cannot see getting rid of all guns here, because some people genuinely need them. If I were living in the mountains, I'd probably buy one tbh.
posted by AFABulous at 9:18 AM on October 2 [1 favorite]


Literally, you can go to a gun store (as a white dude, natch) and explicitly ask for the best weapon that's easy to conceal and can shoot thousands of rounds really quick and they'll hook you up. Often without anything more than a driver's license.

And - in many states, you can literally just straight sell it to the person who first responds to your CL ad. It's actually more involved to sell your old iPhone to some internet rando than your gun.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:18 AM on October 2 [3 favorites]


Fact is, there are probably tens of thousands of people in this country with all of that stuff, most of whom haven't used it on other people. Not that that's not a problem, but it's not a slam-dunk indicator, either.

Investing thousands of dollars in guns and ammunition absolutely indicates that someone is capable of mass murder. The only purpose of those weapons, in those quantities, is mass murder.

No, most of them won't commit mass murder, but they are prepared for it. Happily so.
posted by Laura Palmer's Cold Dead Kiss at 9:18 AM on October 2 [12 favorites]




I mean AFAIK there aren't any bears in Australia, but there must be other legit uses.
posted by AFABulous at 9:19 AM on October 2


AFABulous: there's a wikipedia summary that's a good starting point. Overview of Gun Laws by Nation

in fact, there are many places in Europe where I could own and use my entire goddamn arsenal and those places don't have half the problems we have here. We could do so much better if we ... like... tried just a little.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 9:21 AM on October 2 [5 favorites]


This gets worse and worse. I have no political voice, thus I weep.
posted by sety at 9:21 AM on October 2 [2 favorites]


For what feels like the hundredth time, I have to wonder why the ghost of the chance of the possibility of welfare fraud and voter fraud results in swift, decisive, punishing action from politicians of all stripes but repeated mass killings with guns results in "thoughts and prayers" and absolutely nothing else.

A constant barrage of bills and proposals to strip all manner of protections away from the environment and consumers and to cancel research programs, an endless stream of right wing think tank proposals on how critical it is to allow corporations unfettered rights to do anything they wish to the environment and their workers, "angels dancing on the head of a pin" level discussions of Democrat emails, but strident resistance to any sort of deep investigation into the causes and effects of gun violence and the effects of stronger firearms control.

Lionization of police and insistence that their word is sacrosanct on all matters related to their jobs, but police organizations that warn against things like the silencer regulations are totally ignored.

Dr King was right: This country is sick.
posted by lord_wolf at 9:23 AM on October 2 [57 favorites]



Paddock's family said there was nothing in his past that would suggest violence.

How about buying 10 guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition?


I was watching NBC's coverage a few minutes ago and they ran footage of the shooter's brother being interviewed in his front yard. Dude seemed to be in shock, was very apologetic to the victims, said flat out that whatever happened is the fault of his brother (no handwaving about "we can't know his mind", just straight up "this was his fault, he chose to do this"), and as for the weapons he's baffled at the amount of artillery his brother had and said "find out who sold him those weapons". So... kinda seems like his family is as appalled as everyone here about the arsenal he had and what he did with it, maybe we could try not to vilify them simply because they share DNA.
posted by palomar at 9:23 AM on October 2 [97 favorites]


Just awful.
posted by Guy Smiley at 9:23 AM on October 2 [2 favorites]


CNN interactive map and list of deadliest attacks in US since 1949. It's telling that I don't even remember most of the ones that have happened in my adult lifetime.
posted by AFABulous at 9:24 AM on October 2 [7 favorites]


If you find this kind of news overwhelming, distressing, and traumatic. Consider signing out of your social media/news-feeds. In a few days the news will settle and more truthful and reliable information will be out. And emotions will also not be at as high a level. Stay safe.

I think lots of the craziest fakenews is believed by people because trolls mobilize to get their message out there, but not-trolls sometimes just wait it out and then check back in once they're reasonably sure that enough time has passed for the truth to come out. If you can bear it, consider staying on social media and news feeds to call bullshit on the fakenews - you might want to take a break for a couple days, but trolls sure won't.
posted by 23skidoo at 9:24 AM on October 2 [4 favorites]


My heart goes out to your friend, deezil. I've also had the experience of barricading myself in a room during an active shooter event (that room was my own basement, the event resulted in "only" three dead). And I think we're fast approaching a place in this country where we are experiencing trauma en masse. Those of us who have witnessed mass violence in person, and many more who see it after the fact on TV and the internet, kids who grow up learning how to silently shelter in place so they can't be seen from the doorway--they know why that's necessary by the time they're in middle school, basically anyone with the power of empathy and an internet connection is experiencing that helpless, sick, numb feeling multiple times a year.
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:25 AM on October 2 [17 favorites]


If you insist on owning guns in America, you are part of the problem. I'm not saying you are completely to blame. I'm not saying you have direct blood on your hands. But you have some of it. This isn't a grey-shaded issue to me anymore. You -- yes, you -- are to blame. If that makes you feel uncomfortable, do something about it every day that you insist on owning guns or your blame increases with every death.,
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:25 AM on October 2 [49 favorites]


I was sickened just now thinking about the notoriety this piece of crap will have as the "most prolific mass shooter in US history."

And then I had the even more sickening thought that, things being as they are, he may not hold that record for too long.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:26 AM on October 2 [6 favorites]


God, Trump's statement is *awful* ... just so lazy. Who the fuck wrote this, and oh my god the camera work is so bad. And, has he had a stroke? What the fuck is up with his right eye?
posted by odinsdream at 9:27 AM on October 2 [1 favorite]


Attacks like the one that killed 50 concertgoers Sunday night simply should not happen. Our streets should not resemble battlefields; our criminals should not be armed liked soldiers; our police should not have to act like SEAL teams to face down criminals. And yet they do, because the proliferation of sophisticated weaponry makes them impossible to prevent.
Phillip Carter, Nightmare Scenario: The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun in a high-rise building at night is to make sure he doesn’t have a gun, Slate (2 October 2017).
posted by Sonny Jim at 9:27 AM on October 2 [21 favorites]


America's First Mass Shooting Since Vegas - Lawrence, Kansas, about an hour later

This is incorrect. The shooting in Lawrence happened about 24 hours before the Vegas shooting.
posted by rewil at 9:31 AM on October 2 [1 favorite]


Very few (no?) other countries ban all guns of all kinds across the board. People hunt pretty much everywhere. Farmers live in rural areas with livestock that needs to be protected from predators pretty much everywhere. In most places you can have a long gun if you take some classes, get a license, register it, lock it up when not in use, and aren't seen waving it at people. You can often also keep your granddaddy's sidearm from the Great War and other historic armaments, if that's your thing.

What you can't have in most places is military-style weaponry, unlicensed, unregistered, for no legitimate reason whatsoever, walking around with it like you're fucking Rambo.
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:33 AM on October 2 [121 favorites]


Adam Gopnik in the New Yorker on Trump's tweet:

[Trump] speaks empathy as a foreign language and makes the kinds of mistakes we all make in a second language that we have barely mastered, placing adjectives in places that no native speaker ever would. Who sends warmest anything to the families of murder victims?
posted by thursdaystoo at 9:35 AM on October 2 [115 favorites]


Terrorism has a specific definition, which requires that it be intended to promote political aims.

Well, by the State of Nevada's specific definition, it is terrorism.
NRS 202.4415 "Act of terrorism" defined.

1. "Act of terrorism" means any act that involves the use or attempted use of sabotage, coercion or violence which is intended to:
(a) Cause great bodily harm or death to the general population; or
(b) Cause substantial destruction, contamination or impairment of: (1) Any building or infrastructure, communications, transportation, utilities or services; or (2) Any natural resource or the environment.
2. As used in this section, "coercion" does not include an act of civil disobedience.
posted by chris24 at 9:35 AM on October 2 [10 favorites]


I work in a northeastern city and the building security guy was lowering the flags when Mr. Llama and I got back from our walk. I imagined all over the country, building security/ops staff going out, lowering flags. Some wondering why they weren't asked to do this under x, y, and z conditions, some feeling solemn, some resentful about the sandwich they'd been planning on eating, some just 'eh, fuck it, I was going to wipe down the windows in the revolving door but it's a nice day'. Schools, courthouses, car dealerships, banks and other capitalist monuments like our building.

I remember when life wasn't like a long floaty dream. Sort of?
posted by A Terrible Llama at 9:36 AM on October 2 [12 favorites]


Has anyone heard/reports of more shooters in other hotels? My friend’s brother was in the Planet Hollywood casino and says he heard shots and saw people covered in blood while running away. I’m guessing the psychosis might've made many people “see things” and people could be hurt or strampled from the running everywhere.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 9:36 AM on October 2


Fact is, there are probably tens of thousands of people in this country with all of that stuff

Nor-mal-i-za-tion is the word needed in this discussion. The entire purpose of the NRA and the entire aim of the gun industry, manufacturer to retailer to tent-show reseller, is to normalize gun ownership, make it seem benign, and spread it as widely as possible.

In WI, one of the things they've been doing through the state is bemoaning the loss of the "tradition" of deer (and other kinds of) hunting, something it's grand to pass on from father to son (it's almost always gendered), and important not to be "lost". Nor-mal-i-za-tion.

As to the type of gun and kit, do we know that yet? I saw a couple of allegedly knowledgeable assertions (e.g. Malcolm Nance, and either Linda Tirado or Defending Cville passed on a veteran's) that the gunshot volleys were "unmistakably" AK-47 fire, as opposed to the more easily obtained AR-15/M-16. So presumptively an AK could pass the grandfather test, although supposedly still illegal to sell uncrippled, but is it any easier/harder to make it fully automatic again? I've always understood this is relatively trivial.
posted by dhartung at 9:37 AM on October 2 [8 favorites]


Has anyone heard/reports of more shooters in other hotels?

There's a reason that one of On The Media's rules for breaking news events is "there is almost never a second shooter." In a mass shooting situation, gunshots can be heard from multiple locations and echo off of walls. People will hear them and run, other people will see those people and run; people will call 911 and report the sound of gunshots from places blocks apart. In the aftermath, the vast majority of the time it turns out that the 'other shooters' were just the sound of the lone shooter heard from far away.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:41 AM on October 2 [22 favorites]


CrazyLemonade, as far as I know all those other reports were not of shooting incidents but of people (completely justifiably) freaking out at other loud noises. Blood can happen due to running into or being pushed into things, falling in a panic, etc... Or, someone gets into a totally unrelated fight (which must happen dozens of times a night in Vegas), is seen fleeing with a bloody nose, and everyone else, knowing what just happened a mile away, takes that as evidence that there is another shooter, and begins to panic.

Like I say: mass trauma.
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:41 AM on October 2 [7 favorites]


CrazyLemonade, the LVMPD stated pretty explicitly they do not believe there were any more shooters. They also stated that although they investigated a suspicious package at the Luxor (?), the only explosives in the incident were the ones used to breach the hotel room door during the SWAT operation. It is entirely possible that bloody and panicked people in one location moving to another could lead to a new panic, &c., in an incident of this magnitude.
posted by dhartung at 9:42 AM on October 2 [1 favorite]


This rightwing radio host, Fox News contributor, columnist for Adelson's LV Review-Journal and motherfucker was tweeting this last night while it was happening and still has them up. And is now all in on the ISIS claim.

@WayneRoot
Shooting victims everywhere. Shots fired at Mandalay, Trop, Bellagio, NYNY, Luxor, Hooters, Stratosphere. This is real thing. Muslim terror.

@WayneRoot
This is real thing. Clearly coordinated Muslim terror attack. PRAY for our Vegas police. PRAY for victims. VERY bad. Awful.
posted by chris24 at 9:43 AM on October 2 [17 favorites]


Serious question, how does Australia balance its gun ban with legit uses, e.g. vermin, wildlife attacks? Or are those not a real problem there?

The "genuine reason" criteria for licensing.

Something that bumps around my head is the structural inability of the US to change stuff on a national level any more. It seems trivial and tangential, but the persistence of the one cent coin and the dollar bill tell you a lot about what is not doable in America, and why. Per dhartung's comment, the invocation of tradition and heritage and resistance to "loss" can be used to justify the abnormal as simply the contemporary manifestation of the normal.
posted by holgate at 9:43 AM on October 2 [42 favorites]


Has anyone heard/reports of more shooters in other hotels?
Nope. I would say with 99.999% certainty that this didn't happen. However, it's definitely possible that he saw people running from the actual shooting. It's not that far, and panicked people might have just kept running even when they were out of harm's way.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:43 AM on October 2


Someone in my facebook feed shared this:

NRA's number: (800) 672-3888. They are open from 9am to 5pm EST. Select option #6 and then #2 to get connected to their PAC in Fairfax, VA.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:43 AM on October 2 [10 favorites]


Okay, I should have checked on the gun laws first before I commented but I constantly hear Australians saying "we took away all the guns" and I don't see how that's practically possible.

I don't see how it would work here to take most guns away. The people who have the "bad" guns are almost by definition dangerous people and many will fight to the death. We'll have a lot of ill-fated standoffs like Ruby Ridge or Waco. Maybe we'll decide that's worth it, I don't know, but it won't come without a high price. And obviously we're either going to have to have millions of warrants (based on what?) or violate the 4th amendment. I'm guessing the Vegas shooter has had a hidden cache somewhere for awhile.

I'm not necessarily saying we shouldn't do it, just that I'm not sure how it would work in practical terms in the US where there are far more guns per capita than there were in Australia. I think the first steps should be banning manufacturers from selling certain types of guns, taxing the shit out of other gun sales, requiring background checks for private sales, stricter licensing, and gun insurance.
posted by AFABulous at 9:44 AM on October 2 [4 favorites]


We need to retire the term "lone wolf". I suggest "lone hyena" or "lone dwarf mongoose".
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:46 AM on October 2 [16 favorites]


Why don't all the self-proclaimed "reasonable" members of the NRA ever have the balls/ovaries to stand up to their own organization? I hear a lot from these people but don't really see any action. If the majority of the gun owners are indeed reasonable and if "75% of the NRA" support background checks, why can't these fine people form their own organization (National Association Responsible Gun Owners NARGO) and outspend the NRA?

I think there is a kind of learned helplessness with certain sectors of gun owners and I would very much look to leadership from them via NARGO or something similar.
posted by Rumple at 9:46 AM on October 2 [13 favorites]


AFABulous, they did a trade in thing for guns and those who lived in farms/rural areas got to keep shotguns or small arms needed to put animals down or shoot things like a coyote etc.

The problem is that too many people in the US would not turn in their guns at all.
posted by sio42 at 9:47 AM on October 2 [4 favorites]


I've read that the shooting started at 10pm and ended at midnight, about 2 hours. But I've also read that the shooting was stopped quickly. 2 hours doesn't seem fast. Any clear definitive timelines out there?
posted by PHINC at 9:47 AM on October 2


"Reasonable" NRA members don't stand up because the NRA has brainwashed them into believing that the only two options are zero gun laws whatsoever, and complete confiscation of all weapons.
posted by 0xFCAF at 9:48 AM on October 2 [12 favorites]


This man's actions were terrorism. Mass shootings are intended to cause others to feel terror.

Maybe - as with Charles Whitman, though, sometimes this is just a misanthropic lashing out that has no greater purpose, and resists any meaningful interpretation.

William Carlos Williams said it in the 20s - "The pure product of America go crazy." We keep trying to assign meaning to things, but a lot of what happens in this country is, in the end, really just insane. And it has been that way for a long time.
posted by ryanshepard at 9:48 AM on October 2 [4 favorites]



Why can't we focus on mental health access as a right?

Whoa, slow down there - that sounds a lot like politicizing this tragedy!


tying this to mental health care "access" is not only wrong because there's no information yet indicating that this man had any mental illnesses; it's also wrong because every one of those guns cost more than a self-paid consultation with a pricey psychiatrist. I don't even know how many doctor visits a plane could have paid for. And I don't know about Mesquite, but they have psychiatrists in Vegas. This man had access to mental health care. He had all the means to shop around for a good doctor if he felt he needed one, and the leisure time as well.

Whether he chose to avail himself of the care he had access to, whether it would have helped, or whether he had any need or desire for it, I do not know. but he had access. the many people who do actually lack access to medical treatment of all types don't have fucking multi-thousand-dollar arsenals or multiple properties. because they can't afford it. that is what lack of access means in the U.S: lack of money or lack of geographical proximity to a practitioner. Neither of these things were this man's problem, whatever else may have been. making shit up doesn't help anybody and especially not people who are ill, poor, and uninsured.
posted by queenofbithynia at 9:49 AM on October 2 [49 favorites]


I think stopping selling any more of those types of weapons would be a good start.

We can deal with the Bundy Ranches of the world after we stop making more of them.
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:49 AM on October 2 [10 favorites]


I recommend this NRA documentary by Frontline to understand how the NRA got and has so much power. May not be available outside the US.
posted by AFABulous at 9:50 AM on October 2 [13 favorites]


As with income inequality, for gun ownership, it's all about the top few percent.

Households that own guns have declined slightly in recent decades to around 40%. Most of these households have one or two guns. But half of all 250 million guns in the U.S. are owned by the top 3%, the super-owners, that have 8 to 140 guns each. That's 8 million gun owners with an average of 17 guns each.

The U.S. is a strange country with some strange people in it.
posted by JackFlash at 9:51 AM on October 2 [24 favorites]


A gun rack... a gun rack. I don't even own *a* gun, let alone many guns that would necessitate an entire rack. What am I gonna do with a gun rack? -- Wayne, Wayne's World

I grew up in a state where hunting is definitely a common activity and I think it's a great way to get outdoors, feel self-sufficient, get food, and keep the deer population down.

Having said that, since I don't hunt I have managed to make it to age 48 without holding or firing a gun and I have a hard time visualizing myself wanting to. I've been held up at gunpoint and also endangered with others' guns (police, acquaintances showing off theirs) and at no point did I think, "Man, I really need to get me one of those." I don't think it's healthy that we normalize the idea that guns solve problems or are some kind of bullshit rite of passage. The older I get the less I even feel comfortable watching action movies or shows that use guns to solve problems. For media excitement I've moved to stuff like Broadchurch, where police tramp all over and knock on suspects' doors with nary a gun in sight.

I want to live in a country where seeing a gun in a non-hunting setting or hearing about a gun used in violence is an extreme rarity. The NRA needs to fucking die in a fire. When I see an NRA bumper sticker these days I give the same side-eye I would if I saw an openly racist one. Legit sport hunters need to make themselves heard by publicly and loudly giving a big middle finger to these bastards and admitting that the 2nd amendment is a steaming pile of confusing crap. Then we go to the table and write something that makes sense. I'm sure I could whip up a better statement in a couple of hours. People need to not be fucking man-babies about it though.
posted by freecellwizard at 9:51 AM on October 2 [17 favorites]


Okay, I should have checked on the gun laws first before I commented but I constantly hear Australians saying "we took away all the guns" and I don't see how that's practically possible.

Because for all practical purposes we took the guns away. You only get a gun if you're a farmer who needs to shoot pigs or a legitimate sportsperson who actually has to show up to competitions so many times a year.

For you to to obtain a gun in Australia requires that you have multiple safes (gun, firing pin, ammo) and it's practically impossible for anyone but Olympian level shooters to get semi-automatic rifles at all. Police do random spot checks on gun security and will confiscate them if you do not follow the laws and regulations to the letter.

Seriously. The police will show up to your house to inspect your gun security. If you're not there but leave the safe keys on a keyring in the house and your spouse offers to show the police your guns they will take the keys, open the safes, they will take your guns and ammo, and you will lose your license. They do not fuck around.
posted by Talez at 9:51 AM on October 2 [83 favorites]


We need to retire the term "lone wolf". I suggest "lone hyena" or "lone dwarf mongoose".

Lone roach.
posted by Squeak Attack at 9:51 AM on October 2 [7 favorites]


PHINC, WaPo has a pretty good timeline, and it's from 10:08 to 10:13.
posted by barchan at 9:52 AM on October 2 [5 favorites]


Tom Toles, WaPo: We prefer catastrophe
We know how we got here. We act as those each of these disasters was somehow unforeseeable. The trail of blood from a tsunami of oversize weapons leads directly to the Las Vegas tragedy. The hurricanes, the flooding, the droughts, the wildfires, the tornadoes are all there in the scientific work that has been done on climate change. The deliberate falsehoods that have been swamping our information and political systems have all been known, or knowable. And still we rest, assured. Somehow crazily assured that this is the best we can do.

And so, catastrophe. That is what we have chosen. We have decided that continuous mass carnage from firearms is a sane way to fight tyranny (at the same time, we cut slack for the a president who shows every inclination to authoritarianism). We continue to close our eyes to the deliberate disinformation campaign that has hamstrung rational efforts to check runaway climate change (at the same time, we cut slack for a president who is now trying to undo much of the modest progress we’ve made). We allow ourselves to be whipped into a frenzy of arguing with one another instead of working together to secure our common interests. And yes, there are people deliberately whipping.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:53 AM on October 2 [39 favorites]


I was thinking that the Vegas attack is an attack at one of the most visited tourism spots in the world. The cynical side of me thinks maybe this attack will make the billionaires that own the Mandalay Bay and other hotels and casinos in Vegas realize that enacting gun control isn't just some bleeding-heart-liberal issue that will save lives, it will also protect their investments.
posted by FJT at 9:54 AM on October 2 [8 favorites]


This morning on CNN they played a video clip of the scene at the concert with all the requisite warnings that it was graphic and disturbing. Then they bleeped out the audio every time one of the panicked concertgoers said "fuck".
Because family values, I guess.
posted by rocket88 at 9:54 AM on October 2 [63 favorites]


This time yesterday I was naively assuming that the worst thing I would hear about this week was the terrorist attack in Edmonton this weekend (truck drove into crowd, police officer stabbed repeatedly, no deaths). Now everything said about that attack is coloured by this one - specifically, everyone is quietly saying to each other, almost ashamed for thinking it: Well. At least he didn't have a gun. It could have been so much worse.
posted by btfreek at 9:54 AM on October 2 [1 favorite]


8 to 140 guns each

Jesus fucking Christ
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:54 AM on October 2 [5 favorites]


America - Guns, Money, Religion
posted by growabrain at 9:55 AM on October 2 [4 favorites]


Whoa they located him in 5 minutes? That's astoundingly fast, probably due to the smoke alarm, and look how much damage he did anyway.
posted by agregoli at 9:55 AM on October 2 [1 favorite]


Whoa they located him in 5 minutes? That's astoundingly fast, probably due to the smoke alarm, and look how much damage he did anyway.

Imagine how much less he would have done if he only had access to bolt action rifles.
posted by Talez at 9:56 AM on October 2 [17 favorites]


"Reasonable" NRA members don't stand up because the NRA has brainwashed them into believing that the only two options are zero gun laws whatsoever, and complete confiscation of all weapons.

But is that true? I've seen multiple stories like this one over the years that sizeable portions of the NRA membership support more gun control. Gotta know your enemy.

A strong majority of gun owners and non gun owners support stronger restrictions on firearms, according to a national survey conducted by Johns Hopkins University.

A sizable 89 percent of all respondents, and 75 percent of those identified as NRA members, support universal background checks for gun sales. Similar surveys by Pew Research Center and Gallup have also found background checks to be by far the most popular gun control proposal in the aftermath the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

posted by Rumple at 9:57 AM on October 2 [2 favorites]


We need to retire the term "lone wolf". I suggest "lone hyena" or "lone dwarf mongoose".

eh... I mean, if, any time some shit goes down and it's a brown person, it immediately becomes "Muslim terrorist", why not just be as broad brush? Nix "lone wolf" and "lone" anything, just call it "white man"?
posted by anem0ne at 9:57 AM on October 2 [2 favorites]


My apologies to The Onion:

Not Knowing What Else to Do, Woman Makes American-Flag GIF.
posted by tzikeh at 9:58 AM on October 2 [5 favorites]


He recently owned a private airplane worth somewhere between $300,000 and $500,000. I don't think lack of access to mental healthcare is the issue in this case.
posted by JackFlash at 9:59 AM on October 2 [38 favorites]


Not to sound flippant, but anyone with a room in a tall building near a crowd could do this with a deer hunting rifle.

The picture that's emerging is: one person caused nearly 600 casualties in about 5 minutes.

That's about two bullets entering human flesh every second. For five minutes.
posted by Western Infidels at 9:59 AM on October 2 [23 favorites]


Serious question, how does Australia balance its gun ban with legit uses, e.g. vermin, wildlife attacks? Or are those not a real problem there? I cannot see getting rid of all guns here, because some people genuinely need them. If I were living in the mountains, I'd probably buy one tbh.

I know Canadian gun law better than Australian, and neither as any sort of expert, but they have common principles:
  • Owning any gun is a privilege requiring substantial licensing - a background check, 8 hour training course, a waiting period.
  • Safe storage is required (e.g. in Australia, you have to submit a photo of your storage space, with room for the gun) and safe transport is also required (e.g. in Canada, to take a handgun from place to place, it needs to be unloaded, disabled and in a locked container).
  • Guns and magazines are not treated equally; there is a hierarchy where the sort of gun you need to go hunting (a non-automatic rifle or shotgun) is at the low end and the easiest to obtain. Handguns are higher up; magazines with higher capacities are higher up on the hierarchy.
  • More restricted guns require more substantial licensing; there are stricter rules for storage and transportation, stricter licenses. You need to prove you have a need for a gun at the more restricted level. In Canada, for example, non-cops can basically only carry a handgun if you are a licensed trapper, in a remote wilderness area, or on duty for an armoured car company -- all with the appropriate licensing.
It's not rocket science, but then again, neither are universal healthcare or fair elections.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 10:00 AM on October 2 [81 favorites]


That's about two bullets entering human flesh every second. For five minutes.

Some percentage of injuries are almost certainly from mass panic.
posted by Slothrup at 10:01 AM on October 2 [5 favorites]


Police were able to quickly locate the gunman in the hotel because his gunfire, so persistent and fast, set off the smoke alarm in his room

I don't think you'd need to fire a lot of shots to set off a hotel smoke alarm. Hell, they go off if you smoke a joint near them.
posted by thelonius at 10:01 AM on October 2


JackFlash: He recently owned a private airplane worth somewhere between $300,000 and $500,000. I don't think lack of access to mental healthcare is the issue.

If it helps, feel free to replace "lack of access" with either "ignorance of/adamant that there is no need for," or the equally detrimental "incredible stigma against."
posted by tzikeh at 10:02 AM on October 2 [8 favorites]


The picture that's emerging is: one person caused nearly 600 casualties in about 5 minutes.

This is bomb-on-airplane or bomb-on-subway scale murder and assault. I wonder how it would be framed if a bomb were the weapon used?
posted by Rumple at 10:02 AM on October 2 [6 favorites]


Some percentage of injuries are almost certainly from mass panic.

Injuries yes. Fatalities, probably not.
posted by scalefree at 10:04 AM on October 2 [1 favorite]


Hell, just having guns being locked in a safe (either at home or in a car trunk) when not at a venue and actively shooting stops kids from accidentally shooting each other.
posted by Talez at 10:05 AM on October 2 [3 favorites]




Okay, I should have checked on the gun laws first before I commented but I constantly hear Australians saying "we took away all the guns" and I don't see how that's practically possible.

I don't see how it would work here to take most guns away. The people who have the "bad" guns are almost by definition dangerous people and many will fight to the death. We'll have a lot of ill-fated standoffs like Ruby Ridge or Waco. Maybe we'll decide that's worth it, I don't know, but it won't come without a high price.


It is infuriating sometimes to watch American exceptionalism work even among people who seem on the same page as you - you admit to not checking on any of this ahead of time, but assume despite not knowing what people did or how they did it, that whatever has worked elsewhere can't possibly work in America because America is different.

It's the same argument that makes getting universal health care an impossible task - not learning from literally everyone else's experience and needing to design a custom solution that will work for exceptional America is so, so much harder than advocating for models that have an actual history of working. Evidence matters.

We have militias, compounds, bad guys with guns, stand-offs, and all the stuff you're worried about elsewhere in the world. The difference is - rarely do those people have AR-15s or AK-47s and thousands of rounds of ammo, and particularly the next generation of them will have a harder time replacing their aging semi-auto weapons with the newest versions because they're vastly harder to get. The guns out there today will not last forever, and in fact Australia proved that many of them will show up if you buy them back or make it no-fault to turn one in.
posted by notorious medium at 10:05 AM on October 2 [112 favorites]


Moloch indeed.

Death culture.
posted by ryanshepard at 10:06 AM on October 2 [8 favorites]


That they were able to use the smoke alarm system to find the shooter in minutes, instead of having to search for the right room/floor, no doubt saved lives; he might have been banking on a lot of extra time to find him, hence the arsenal. If you do the math, ~2.6% of all the concert goers were injured - in some way - in that 5 minutes. Every second here truly counted. (Rumple, of interest to your comment, is that the Guardian reported: The Clark County district attorney, Steve Woodson, takes the podium. “This was a classic WMD. This was a weapon and a man of mass destruction,” he says.)

I don't know about laws regulating the sophistication of the systems in place, which surely helped here, but smoke alarms and fire detection systems in hotels/motels are regulated by all kinds of laws. . . local, state, and right up to the the federal level with laws like the Hotel and Motel Fire Safety Act, which mandated all properties that supply public accommodation must have a smoke detector and sprinkler system in each room. Many of these came about due to mass casualty events. One could say that regulations intending to save lives. . . do.
posted by barchan at 10:07 AM on October 2 [38 favorites]


The guns out there today will not last forever, and in fact Australia proved that many of them will show up if you buy them back or make it no-fault to turn one in.

Plus once semis are outlawed even if people keep them you just confiscate them and melt them down if you discover them. Collector item? Weld a piece of steel into the barrel, present it to the cops to verify.
posted by Talez at 10:09 AM on October 2 [3 favorites]


Talez: Plus once semis are outlawed

ahahaahahahahahahaahahahahaahahahha

ahahahahaahahahahahahahaah

ahahahahaha

ahahaa

ha
posted by tzikeh at 10:11 AM on October 2 [6 favorites]



It is infuriating sometimes to watch American exceptionalism work even among people who seem on the same page as you


And Bowling for Columbine was literally about this, like how many years ago? Canada has a gun culture, Canada has LOTS of hunters and lots of fire arms per capita. There's already a movie about how Canada has guns (lots!) but Canada doesn't have mass shootings on the daily.
posted by soren_lorensen at 10:13 AM on October 2 [36 favorites]


he might have been banking on a lot of extra time to find him

It hasn't been widely reported yet, but he apparently had rigged cameras to watch the hallway approaches (GoPros or the like, perhaps with a laptop in the room). So there was a whole end-game scenario blocked out in his mind.
posted by dhartung at 10:13 AM on October 2 [6 favorites]


I woke up to this email this morning.

I figured it was just something like a fight and someone pulled a gun and someone got shot. I didn't really think much of it. Then I made breakfast and turn on the tv. I was not expecting this.
posted by johnpowell at 10:13 AM on October 2 [2 favorites]


I am a "gun person". I made a living for parts of my life with guns (armorer on motion pictures). I've never been an NRA member (fuck them). I had a large collection of guns at one point in time (20+) but currently I only have four guns and actually don't even have ammunition for one of those. But I will be the first person to say that we need MUCH stricter gun control laws. It will never be possible to completely ban guns in America (a very sad truth but a truth nonetheless) but by jeebus's prancing palomino pony, there is no goddamn reason that people need 5k rounds of ammunition. Nor more than two or three weapons. Nor fucking armor piercing ammo. For that matter, why do we allow ammunition sales to Americans of ammo that is expressly banned in all international warfare treaties? It should NOT be easier to get a gun in America than it is to get a driver's license. Hell, if we can't get any significant gun control laws, maybe Chris Rock's bullet tax would be a step in the right direction.

Fucking guns and the fucking gun manufacturers who profit from them. There is no torment that I could wish on them that would offset the evil they have propagated on the public for far too long.

I am so sorry for all those killed in this horrendous murder spree. My hope is that all those affected by this tragedy will get the help they need and will be able to move forward with their healing. The horror of this all and the sad fact that it keeps continuing unabated just for some more profit.

.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 10:14 AM on October 2 [62 favorites]


Investing thousands of dollars in guns and ammunition absolutely indicates that someone is capable of mass murder. The only purpose of those weapons, in those quantities, is mass murder.

Then wow, I've got some terrible news: there are *millions* of white dudes just waiting to commit mass murder. (this actually might be true, of course...but...i dunno)

Like, oh my god, mefites, I know ya'll are as a group kind of not-gun-peeps, which is TOTALLY understandable. Do me a favor though, go to YouTube and search for "concealed carry" and "concealed weapon storage" and then just keep clicking recommended links. Observe how insanely terrified white gun-owning men in this country are. I MEAN PLEASE.

I took a basic handgun class and our teacher was this older white lady who started off the class (which was also mostly old white ladies) about how "y'know your neighborhood, it's probably ... changing" and recounted how she relied on her five-round pistol to get her from her house to her car safely in Miami.

Seriously. Terrified. TERRIFIED.
posted by odinsdream at 10:14 AM on October 2 [51 favorites]


Currently, no background check is required for gun sales on the secondary market.

A huge majority of Americans, including 75 percent of Trump supporters and 74 percent of current and former NRA members favor requiring such checks.


In addition to this, here's (actually not so) fresh horror from Defense Distributed, the same group behind Hatreon, neither of which I will dignify with a link, but here's the gist:
THIS "GHOST GUN" MACHINE NOW MAKES UNTRACEABLE METAL HANDGUNS

The new code allows the 1-foot-cubed tabletop machine—which uses a spinning bit to carve three-dimensional shapes with minute precision—to not only produce untraceable bodies of AR-15s but to carve out the aluminum frame of an M1911 handgun, the popular class of semiautomatic pistols that includes the Colt 45 and similar weapons. Wilson says he plans to follow up soon with software for producing regulation-free Glocks and other handgun models to follow.

that frame is the only regulated part of the pistol: Under current US law, every other part of the gun, from its barrel to its slide to its tiny firing pin, can be ordered online with no questions asked.
!!!!!!!!! Wtf good do background checks do us when we have a giant gaping loophole like this? Second amendment be damned, anyone caught with one of these things needs to be put in prison for decades, and if we can't ban guns, we need to ban bullet sales outside of like one shooting club (word up Hong Kong gun control) and make them prohibitively expensive, ban the sale of gun parts (and the specialized tools to make them, like rifling drillbits) in ANY form, and do a national Australia-style no-questions-asked mandatory buyback NOW. These things do not belong in the hands of anyone other than the army and an elite national police force like China's People's Armed Police who can and do shoot to kill if you so much as show a convincing gun replica or aggressively wave a knife around in public.

Either that or you can safely assume everyone everywhere will be armed in 15 years.
posted by saysthis at 10:17 AM on October 2 [2 favorites]


Then wow, I've got some terrible news: there are *millions* of white dudes just waiting to commit mass murder.

This is absolutely true. See the NRA's race war bullshit.
posted by Artw at 10:18 AM on October 2 [46 favorites]


I don't see how it would work here to take most guns away. The people who have the "bad" guns are almost by definition dangerous people and many will fight to the death. We'll have a lot of ill-fated standoffs like Ruby Ridge or Waco. Maybe we'll decide that's worth it, I don't know, but it won't come without a high price. And obviously we're either going to have to have millions of warrants (based on what?) or violate the 4th amendment. I'm guessing the Vegas shooter has had a hidden cache somewhere for awhile.

Perfect is the enemy of the good. You don't take them away all at once and in most cases, don't take them by force. You make certain kinds illegal. You offer buy back programs. You stop selling ammo for them. You limit the amount of ammo you can buy for any gun. You take the guns when you find them. You institute an enormous public education campaign to make gun ownership unappealing. Think about the anti-smoking campaign. It's not 100% successful. People still smoke. But there's been an enormous decrease. It would work.
posted by Mavri at 10:18 AM on October 2 [50 favorites]


For "terrified" please read "racist".
posted by allthinky at 10:18 AM on October 2 [54 favorites]


“This was a classic WMD. This was a weapon and a man of mass destruction”

That was once a useful term, that referred to chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons. But people had to decide that it also meant "doubleplusungood".

These killings were done with ordinary firearms, not with "classic WMD". Let's deal with that.
posted by thelonius at 10:18 AM on October 2 [7 favorites]


Economic anxiety.
posted by Artw at 10:19 AM on October 2 [7 favorites]


The other side of the permitting/regulation/enforcement equation in Australia and Canada is that policing is much more consolidated than in the US, and while there's a difference of emphasis in policing the outback/boonies vs the cities and suburbs, there's a degree of hierarchy and collective organisational accountability which doesn't apply when every municipality and county and campus and whatever has its own little autonomous force.
posted by holgate at 10:21 AM on October 2 [7 favorites]


This is absolutely true. See the NRA's race war bullshit.

I'm not disagreeing at all!
posted by odinsdream at 10:21 AM on October 2 [1 favorite]


Serious question, how does Australia balance its gun ban with legit uses, e.g. vermin, wildlife attacks? Or are those not a real problem there? I cannot see getting rid of all guns here, because some people genuinely need them.

As far as I understand, you need a very good reason. If you drive one of those trucks that delivers cash to ATMS, you can have a handgun. If you need a gun to control animals that's OK too. Many introduced species have bounties, you can make some money shooting foxes. And really, fuck foxes, they're eating all the cute hoppy marsupials that make our land special.

Our laws were created in response to a mass shooting. What is banned are automatic weapons which can shoot a mass of people very quickly. Those guns are only available to the military.

Self defense is not a reason to own a gun. You can have one because you think it's cool, but you can't just keep it on the coffee table. It needs to be locked up when it's not at the range.

One concession I will make is that there are cultural differences, and I'll share an anecdote; the first time I shot a gun was at school. Our school had a rifle range in suburban Brisbane. It was a boarding school which hosted many students from rural areas, where managing the land and pest control requires being a good shot. The educational opportunities in the outback are slender, but the richest families could afford this school in the city. So at the elite private school I went to, there was a school shooting club. But, we also had a golf course.

In short, yes we have guns. The truly destructive ones are outlawed though.
posted by adept256 at 10:23 AM on October 2 [7 favorites]


It's remarkable that they located him and were able to get to the room within 5 minutes. I don't know how casinos or SWAT teams work -- would the casinos have a team on-site?
posted by amarynth at 10:25 AM on October 2 [1 favorite]


The only way any of this gets better is if self-described "gun people" are the ones leading the charge. I'm not sure that's even sufficient at this point, but it is necessary. Sandy Hook Promise, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the Gaby Giffords group I can't remember the name of right now -- they all can help at the margins to help retain people that are already open to gun control, and I think they can be part of the solution in the long term in helping push specific legislation, but none of that can happen when so many are opposed to the mere idea of anything that could restrict access to guns.

The first inch of progress has to come from fellow gun owners, speaking to fellow gun owners. Come get your boys, gun people, because they sure as shit aren't listening to us.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:31 AM on October 2 [30 favorites]


Critics are mostly wrong; silencers don't work like pictured by Hollywood. What they do do is make recreational shooting safer and less intrusive. Banning silencers in a environment with widespread gun usage and daily mass shootings is like banning white panel vans as a reaction to child abductions. It's a counter productive distraction.

Let's hit this in reverse order to hit the most important things.

One, silencers are not currently banned. I know someone who has several. He's not law enforcement or in the gun business. When we worked together he was a software tester. All he had to do to be able to have those silencers was (a) fill out paperwork (b) write a comparatively large check as government fees go (c) and wait.

This law working its way through the congress doesn't suddenly make silencers available when they weren't before. The reality is that you can already get silencers. You just can't get them willy-nilly and you need to lay out the cost of an average revolver to get the permit. Here's a writeup of how it goes down. It's only marginally more difficult and expensive than getting a passport.

So, this claim that any action re: suppressors needs to happen to make them available to people with some remotely reasonable case for having them? Complete horseshit.

Second, as far as "how they really work," the idea that there's some major difference in people's perceptions of them versus how they really work? Doesn't bear out with my experience. I fired my coworker's suppressed 22, which is admittedly a smaller caliber. But pulling the trigger on that thing made a noise that was not that different than making an aggressive PSST noise. You can hear what they sound like on a 9mm in this video, the most common personal handgun caliber in the US.

If you're going to claim that the suppressed noise on those, as viewable above, is one that would make people pay much of any attention out in a common crowd then you're a disingenuous liar. It is superficially obvious that a mass shooting with the aid of a suppressor would increase the amount of time for people to realize what was going on.

Is it nice for folks to be able to do recreational target shooting without needing to wear ear protection? Sure. But, as said above, if they care enough - and the cost of permitting is not notably different than the cost of quality active noise reduction headgear - they can already get em. Making these more available with lower cost & proofing is a stupid idea. It is absolutely a move that has notable possible downsides with regards to public safety in order to solve a "problem" that already can be overcome in 80% of the US.

The first inch of progress has to come from fellow gun owners, speaking to fellow gun owners. Come get your boys, gun people, because they sure as shit aren't listening to us.

Plenty of us are talking, plenty of us refuse to be members of the NRA or have anything to do with them. I consistently vote for politicians who claim they want to have more restrictions. Don't think we're not here just because the huge manufacturer advocacy organization masquerading as a citizen's organization has all the money and politican ears.
posted by phearlez at 10:35 AM on October 2 [47 favorites]


Like, oh my god, mefites, I know ya'll are as a group kind of not-gun-peeps, which is TOTALLY understandable. Do me a favor though, go to YouTube and search for "concealed carry" and "concealed weapon storage" and then just keep clicking recommended links. Observe how insanely terrified white gun-owning men in this country are. I MEAN PLEASE.

Many of whom transform into securely powerful idiots once they own a gun and have learned basic handling skills. Half of whom have only managed to learn how not to shoot themselves by accident.

Fear has a lot to do with it, but gun ownership in the US is cultural and is promoted through fearmongering and conspiracy theories. The NRA perpetuates a myth that guns are required for self-defense. That gun-toting bystanders are needed to save the unarmed sheeple from random acts of violence. That guns make us safer. None of these things are true. Guns tend to beget more gun violence. More guns means more gun murders and more suicides. Owning a gun actually makes you less safe (especially if you are a woman,) and studies have shown that people who carry a loaded gun are more likely to get into confrontations. There's no evidence that carry laws prevent crime, either. In over 30 years, not one single mass shooting has been prevented or ended because an armed civilian bystander took action.
posted by zarq at 10:36 AM on October 2 [17 favorites]


It's remarkable that they located him and were able to get to the room within 5 minutes.

The smoke detector angle must have been an enormous help. Of course, the next guy can iterate on this approach by taping a cardboard box over the detector and putting a suppressor on the gun.
posted by contraption at 10:37 AM on October 2 [2 favorites]


she relied on her five-round pistol to get her from her house to her car safely in Miami.

Yeah, well, I do note that Miami is a place that had a lot of carjackings for a while. And maybe as someone who lives in a neighborhood that has had some drug and gang problems, and who has twice been a victim of violent crime on the block where I grew up fuppitysake [note, in between I have lived in NYC and Chicago and been other places, lending me crucial perspective], I don't want to totally discount a fear of crime. There was some open selling and a lot of associated loitering, street-blocking, hostile glowering, craps games and stuff like that a couple of blocks over that caused one family to move out because they were tired of locking not only their front door but their bedroom door and keeping a loaded gun by the bedside to give them just a few more moments to prepare in case they had to use it. But while I am a bigger and at least then younger guy I never saw the negative problems in quite that way or the people (who were of all races) involved in them as a direct personal threat (which may have played into how I got victimized myself but there's a lot to unpack there). I think the wires in them went straight from people doing annoying things like selling drugs out front of your own house to bad people who will kill me if I look at them sideways pretty directly, and that had a lot to do with skin color.

The thing is, for them, this very primal kind of personal-and-home-security fear got expressed in a very individualistic way -- by becoming the kind of person who buys a gun to protect themselves. I believed that buying a gun would make me that kind of person and then I would take on traits that would make me less safe like relying on the gun instead of my wits and social wiles [think Tommy Lee Jones in No Country for Old Men], and lead me to owning a hammer that makes everything look like a piece of wood to be nailed.

Instead I have consciously channeled my concerns into joining with other neighbors to do what we can to make the neighborhood better, to pressure the slumlords who rent to one drug dealer after another, to create things that make the neighborhood more attractive (like our upcoming Halloween block party) to people who will be invested in it instead of bringing crime and in some cases violence. That is, I chose to look outward instead of crawling into my shell and aiming a gun out.

(Even though we have things like this happen very close by, I don't actually feel like those are people who are coming after me personally -- more like they create a risk of stray gunfire and similar hazards. We did have some incidents where shots were fired closer to home, once while I was standing out front of my house, as well as other things like finding a handgun stashed at the base of one of our trees.)

I wish I could share this insight with every gun owner out there, but it's unlikely to be received well.
posted by dhartung at 10:38 AM on October 2 [14 favorites]


"Pack of Lone Wolves" has a ring to it.
posted by Artw at 10:40 AM on October 2 [3 favorites]


I was watching NBC's coverage a few minutes ago and they ran footage of the shooter's brother being interviewed in his front yard. Dude seemed to be in shock, was very apologetic to the victims, said flat out that whatever happened is the fault of his brother (no handwaving about "we can't know his mind", just straight up "this was his fault, he chose to do this"), and as for the weapons he's baffled at the amount of artillery his brother had and said "find out who sold him those weapons". So... kinda seems like his family is as appalled as everyone here about the arsenal he had and what he did with it, maybe we could try not to vilify them simply because they share DNA.

I am not vilifying his family so much as the absurd denial of preparatory violent behaviour in society (BTW they knew he had guns - their surprise was about how many). Gun ownership is very close to universal in mass murders. It's absolutely a link in the causal chain and it's absurd for people to look at gun owners as if they are peaceful when they are preparing to do violence (whether it is justified or not).

In my opinion owning a gun is one of the most violent things you can do short of killing someone.
posted by srboisvert at 10:40 AM on October 2 [12 favorites]


Right. I just came from making a series of phone calls.

* My Congressional representative's office had no wait time, and a live human picked up the phone right away. I asked how he was voting on the Hearing Protection act. They said they couldn't comment becuase there was no public statement yet and they encouraged me to check his web site. I said I would, and asked that they take down my name as someone who was calling to request he vote "no". they did. Done.

* I couldn't get through to one of my senators (no one was picking up). The other Senator's office answered pretty quick too, and we had a similar conversation. They only asked for my zip code instead of my full name to take down that I asked that they vote "no."

* ....then I called the NRA.

Using the voicemail tree responses I was quoted sent me to their legislative/public affairs office. There was the option to just leave a message, but I wanted to speak to a human, and waited for that. I was connected to one of their legal aids.

I warned him that I'd just come from calling my reps about voting against the Hearing Protection Act, and advised that listen, this is the time for the NRA to be cooperating more with Congress about gun control laws. He countered that the hearing protection act was actually only a 30 decible reduction in noise, and would not dampen the noise to the point that passersby wouldn't hear the gun - while still preserving the hearing of the shooter. I countered that my concerns were more with the victims and bystanders. He said that they were trying to protect sportsmen. I asked what sportsmen were using automatic weapons. He admitted that it certainly was PROBABLE the gun in Vegas was an automaic weapon, but cautioned that "it's too soon to tell."

I let it pass, and then redirected to a more general "this is the time for the NRA to be cooperating with congress". I did throw him a bone and say that Congress could cooperate with the NRA as well. He said that there were other options to focus on aside from gun restriction - "such as mental illness reporting." He cited a law that the NRA supported in several state legislations which called for a database of the mentally ill being kept so gun vendors could run a background check. However, when I pointed out that such a bill could certainly be taken federally, he said that "that would mean that the federal government would have a list of all gun owners, and we can't support that."

"And....we're right back to my advice that the NRA cooperate more with Congress," I said. And then thanked him took my leave.


Total time of phone calls - about 10 minutes.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:41 AM on October 2 [52 favorites]


Get on the horn, y'all.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:41 AM on October 2 [8 favorites]


If you insist on owning guns in America, you are part of the problem. I'm not saying you are completely to blame. I'm not saying you have direct blood on your hands. But you have some of it. This isn't a grey-shaded issue to me anymore. You -- yes, you -- are to blame. If that makes you feel uncomfortable, do something about it every day that you insist on owning guns or your blame increases with every death.

Quoted for agreement. I've heard so many people say they don't agree with the mass gun culture, but they're a good gun owner and their gun is special. No. It isn't. You do not need guns. You are doing nothing but adding to the normalisation of easy access to murder devices. If you want to help, get rid of your guns. Make it weird and creepy and socially awkward to own guns. Even if you are sure that you and your friends are the Good gun owners.
posted by Cheerwell Maker at 10:41 AM on October 2 [28 favorites]


You know, I'm not a gun owner, nor do I ever plan to be one, but is it possible that painting all gun owners as inherently bad people is kind of unhelpful? Maybe? Just a smidgen?
posted by palomar at 10:44 AM on October 2 [49 favorites]


Adam Shell, USA Today: Gun stocks on rise after Las Vegas mass shooting
The move higher in gun stocks is due to the perception that there is bigger potential for tighter gun controls, as well as a belief that gun buying will pick up as Americans look to better protect themselves.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:45 AM on October 2


> Plenty of us are talking, plenty of us refuse to be members of the NRA or have anything to do with them. I consistently vote for politicians who claim they want to have more restrictions. Don't think we're not here just because the huge manufacturer advocacy organization masquerading as a citizen's organization has all the money and politican ears.

I'm not saying any one specific gun owner has to fix it all. I know people like you are out there, but there aren't enough of you, and there's no visible organization that you all are donating to, volunteering for, or promoting to take on the NRA. I'm not saying it's easy to get a word into the debate edgewise when they, GOA, and other groups have so much power and money to control the debate, but it's not my job to figure it all out, either. The push for change has to come from inside of gun culture. Keep doing what you're doing, but I do hope you and your peers can find a more effective way to do it.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:45 AM on October 2 [8 favorites]


ESPN will show national anthem on Monday Night Football, reverses decision due to Las Vegas massacre

The stupidity stacking on top of stupidity is getting almost too much to bear.
posted by rosswald at 10:47 AM on October 2 [39 favorites]


is it possible that painting all gun owners as inherently bad people is kind of unhelpful?

Gun owners do not need to own guns.
posted by Cheerwell Maker at 10:50 AM on October 2 [29 favorites]


Gun owners do not need to own guns.

And yet, there are many other places in the world where they can own guns, and those places are not violence infested hellholes. Why is that?

It's long past time for responsible gun owners to advocate for restrictions on obtaining and using firearms. I cannot and will not argue that. But it will take a hundred years and a decline in machinist skill to remove them from our population if we banned them all tomorrow morning. Something else is fundamentally wrong with AMERICANS. It's not "why are there so many guns?", it's "why are we such a violent people, and why do we turn them on ourselves so often?"
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 10:57 AM on October 2 [29 favorites]


If you insist on owning guns in America, you are part of the problem. I'm not saying you are completely to blame. I'm not saying you have direct blood on your hands. But you have some of it. This isn't a grey-shaded issue to me anymore. You -- yes, you -- are to blame. If that makes you feel uncomfortable, do something about it every day that you insist on owning guns or your blame increases with every death.

Quoted for agreement. I've heard so many people say they don't agree with the mass gun culture, but they're a good gun owner and their gun is special. No. It isn't. You do not need guns. You are doing nothing but adding to the normalisation of easy access to murder devices. If you want to help, get rid of your guns. Make it weird and creepy and socially awkward to own guns. Even if you are sure that you and your friends are the Good gun owners.

You know, I'm not a gun owner, nor do I ever plan to be one, but is it possible that painting all gun owners as inherently bad people is kind of unhelpful? Maybe? Just a smidgen?


I also just wanted to say this: As an American who has spent most of my adult life in cultures where the gun ownership rate is nil for all practical purposes (mostly east Asia, but I've visited other places), when you hear the refrain "if you outlaw gun ownership, only outlaws will own guns", well...yeah. In Japan, China, Indonesia, Thailand etc., if someone hears or even suspects you have a gun, you can expect a visit from the police and the good lord help you if they find one. It's stigmatized and fundamentally alarming to own a gun. Shooting ranges exist in all of these places, and anyone can pull a trigger can go shoot there, but outside of that one context, it's a universally understood sign that you're an inherently bad person.

There are legitimate reasons to own a gun. In cultures with low to no gun ownership, no one but specialists has any idea what they are.
posted by saysthis at 10:59 AM on October 2 [46 favorites]


why do we turn them on ourselves so often

"ourselves"? There is no "ourselves" in America. There is "me and mine" and "you people", which is a view strongly enforced by he NRA and its lickspittles in Washington.
posted by JohnFromGR at 11:00 AM on October 2 [18 favorites]


jim in austin: “I've always been partial to the term loon. With the proper adjectives it covers a lot of bases...”

I've used that word a lot in these situations, too – just out of sheer lack of any way to get a handle on how this kind of monstrosity can happen – but lately I've gotten more and more uncomfortable with it. The more I say someone who did something horrific like this was a "loon," the more I feel like I'm implicitly saying two very big things:

First, when I say a mass shooter was a "loon," or "nutso," or "crazy," I'm saying that these acts lack the key component of real, competent intent, which makes them easier to deal with – "nobody really sought out to murder 58 people, some guy was just off his head" – but I suspect I'm sweeping something important under the rug when I do that, particularly in a time when people kill large numbers of people and say explicitly that there's a reason they're doing it. Second, I'm saying that mass shootings are always and only the act of a person who is mentally ill, and that the connection between mass shootings and mental illness is so obvious and direct that I don't even need to know much about the person who did it to conclude that they're "crazy," "nuts," or a "loon." And that assumption – that mental illness equal violence, and violence equals mental illness – strikes me as incredibly dangerous in a world where the mentally ill are stigmatized every day.

So I'm not using that word for people who do these sorts of things anymore. I'm not saying nobody is allowed to use that word, but it's probably worth thinking about – there are a lot of people who have been told that they're "crazy" or "nuts" or a "loon" before because of their mental illness. That was bad enough, but when a person who commits an atrocity gets the same label, I think it gets much worse.

Just some food for thought.
posted by koeselitz at 11:01 AM on October 2 [10 favorites]


[A couple things deleted, I need y'all to cool it a bit in here. It's frustrating that in the face of yet more gun violence there's not a hell of a lot new to say about it but spoiling for familiar fights isn't gonna improve anything. Please think about what specifically you're trying to accomplish in this MetaFilter thread when you choose to comment, because we're all here together and it's gonna be a long day.]
posted by cortex at 11:02 AM on October 2 [23 favorites]


but I do hope you and your peers can find a more effective way to do it.

I mean, I do too. But I'm not sure it's possible to create a group with remotely as much power and money as the NRA. Because, as said, they're not an organization for gun owners. They're an organization for gun sellers who are using every possible force to work towards deregulation to maximize their profits. This push on suppressors is a perfect demonstration of that. This is a "problem" to absolutely nobody in the gun owner world beyond the basic human desire to get more for less money. But people who make these things want to sell an order of magnitude more of em.

You are beyond question correct that gun owner voices need to support these things but I don't think it passes the sniff test to say these measures will have to start with us. Basic math demonstrates that the force would be smaller than folks who want to create restrictions. Twice as many households don't have a gun in em. If you want to create a coalition with pull I don't think this is the way to go.

IMNSHO the best thing we non-ammosexual gun owners can do is what a lot of us have been doing: speak out against the NRA, refuse to be a member, point out at every opportunity that they do not represent us: they represent gun makers and whackos. Sorta thankfully (other than the fact that they're out there polluting the culture) they're making this a much easier message to sell with their rising frothing and preaching to the extremes. But they know this resistance is a thing and they are doing their best to make associating with them practically mandatory; the number of ranges where you can't go there unless you're an NRA member is not insignificant and for some people represent their only practically accessible range.
posted by phearlez at 11:03 AM on October 2 [2 favorites]


Yes, the problem with gun violence is systemic. Yes, the problem with gun violence is racism. Yes, the problem with gun violence is American exceptionalism. Yes, the problem with gun violence comes from fear-mongering. Yes, the problem with gun violence is caused by the almost pornographic way in which America worships firearms. Yes, the problem with gun violence is due to a very old document that, in many ways, can't really be used to govern the modern America. Yes, the problem with gun violence is SWCMs feeling like their "due" is being taken away from them, and they have felt this way since the late 50s. Yes, yes, yes.

Each of these problems can only be solved by multiple, long-term solutions.

But TAKE AWAY THE FUCKING GUNS, and we won't have to worry about multiple mass shootings while we work on all the other shit.

Jesus, this is NOT rocket science.
posted by tzikeh at 11:07 AM on October 2 [37 favorites]


A while ago I was at a party with a bunch of (young, liberal, female, pro gun control, mostly white) Americans and one young Scottish woman. We were surprised to hear that she'd never actually SEEN a gun in real life, much less touched one. We then figured out that of our group, about half of us had fired a gun at least once before, including me. She was gobsmacked by this.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:07 AM on October 2 [12 favorites]


Owning five guns should be at least as weird as owning five realdolls.
posted by theodolite at 11:08 AM on October 2 [84 favorites]


I recommend this NRA documentary by Frontline to understand how the NRA got and has so much power. May not be available outside the US.

Here's another interesting article on how NRA has gone off the rails and other issues.
posted by Melismata at 11:08 AM on October 2


plenty of us refuse to be members of the NRA or have anything to do with them.

/

IMNSHO the best thing we non-ammosexual gun owners can do is what a lot of us have been doing: speak out against the NRA, refuse to be a member, point out at every opportunity that they do not represent us: they represent gun makers and whackos.


...Maybe what is called for, then, is for more gun owners to join the NRA and wrest control of the organization away from the gun makers and whackos. Get it back under control so that it does represent you.

You'd be taking back that political power and money and turning it back into the hands of responsible gun users, without having to drum up your own, and you'd be de-fanging the whackos.

(Disclaimer: I know it's not as easy as that. My grandfather hunted, but I don't believe he was in the NRA; I know that to choose whether or not to be a member is a complicated thing. But it strikes me that this is an obvious option.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:09 AM on October 2 [1 favorite]


I live on the opposite side of McCarran (about three miles from the scene) and it sounded like fireworks (as opposed to "normal" gunfire). At the time, I was just like "huh, fireworks?", but didn't think much else about it. Then I woke up to a bunch of messages asking if I was okay. I can't imagine what it must have been like to be out on the Strip then (like deezil's friend). The noise would just be just coming from everywhere. Just terrifying.
posted by bonje at 11:10 AM on October 2 [6 favorites]


It's not just gun ownership. It's gun fetishism. These are people who don't collect stamps or baseball cards or coins or sport memorabilia. They choose to collect guns -- instruments of death. And this isn't about sport hunting -- handguns aren't about sport hunting -- it's about collecting instruments of death and fondling them.

And they will spend hours animatedly bending your ear about fire rate and bullet grains and calibers and trigger action and muzzle velocity and auto vs semi-auto. Out of all the things in the world they could direct their attention to for entertainment, they choose machines of death. This is fucked up. These people are fucked up.

If you had a next door neighbor who fetishized poisons -- collected vials of poisons, displayed them on shelves in their home and spent hours talking about lethal doses and quickness and their pretty colors and their detectability and their ease of use and carried them around with them -- you would reasonably say that person is fucked up and have nothing to do with them.

That is gun fetishism. I want to have nothing to do with them.
posted by JackFlash at 11:12 AM on October 2 [133 favorites]


there is no goddamn reason that people need 5k rounds of ammunition.

I've only been a gun owner for the past several years, so my knowledge may be distorted by the time period I've witnessed, but it seems like one of the main things driving people to this kind of ammunition (and firearm) stocking is actually the gun speculation cycles that occur as a result of fearing bans that really only profits the gun companies. In some ways, it's similar to the housing bubble, except if real estate agencies were an immensely powerful lobby.

I don't know if it's possible to stop, but I wonder if there are any tools that we could take from the one to the other? After the housing crash, were there any regulations on house flipping? Or I wonder if there would be any political will for buying back guns and accessories at cost? Sometimes people wind up sitting on these stockpiles that are actually larger than they would like, because they bought during a scare when prices were high, so they have to wait for another scare to sell them. Buybacks usually offer 1/4 the cost of the weapon, so people mostly turn in junk guns.
posted by corb at 11:14 AM on October 2 [1 favorite]


And tomorrow we'll start seeing dozens, perhaps hundreds of gofundme's being launched because those hundreds of victims are not only expected to pay the emotional and physical cost of the pornographic dreams of die-hard second-amendment supporters, but also the financial ruination of their cause too.
posted by Static Vagabond at 11:15 AM on October 2 [29 favorites]


Charles Pierce: If Newtown Wasn't Enough, Why Would Las Vegas Be Enough? Our leaders are afraid to tolerate limits on Second Amendment "freedoms."
Subsequent events have proven that LaPierre had the right of things and that William Lloyd Garrison and Robert Jackson were wrong. The Constitution is not a pact with the devil, nor is it a suicide pact. It is a formalized, legalistic ritual of blood sacrifice. There are some things that we as a society, alas, must tolerate in order to stay true to our founding beliefs and to remain free. Schoolchildren shot to pieces is one of those things. The massacre of country music fans is another one of those things, the 273rd blood sacrifice to that one provision of the Constitution this year.

We hear serious arguments about all the other parts of the Bill of Rights: that the First Amendment has limits on what T-shirts high-school students (“Bong Hits 4 Jesus!”) can wear; that the Fourth Amendment has limits that allow wiretaps without warrants; that the Fifth Amendment has limits that allow drug-testing without cause; that the Sixth Amendment has limits that allows the states to poison convicts to death. But only with the Second Amendment do we hear the argument that the only tolerable limit on its exercise is that there are no limits. Only with the Second Amendment do we hear that the price of freedom is the occasional Stephen Paddock, locked away in his own madness on the 32nd floor of a luxury hotel and casino, deciding coolly whose brains he will blow out next a few blocks away in the 273rd such unfortunate exercise of Second Amendment rights this year.
posted by homunculus at 11:16 AM on October 2 [41 favorites]


If you can alter the course of the NRA via membership then there's nothing restricting that to those of us who are gun owners. They don't make you send in a picture or serial number when you join; you just fill out a postcard sized form and pay them. I'm skeptical that you can do that; clearly the manufacturers' pull isn't related to the number of paid memberships they have. Unless you could alter the composition of the steering board I don't think they would work. After all, someone posted a link above showing that there's plenty of support for gun control even among NRA membership.
posted by phearlez at 11:16 AM on October 2 [4 favorites]


There is no "ourselves" in America. There is "me and mine" and "you people",

I.... this doesn't ring true to me, at least not in this particular context. This guy, Stephen Paddock... aging white guy, used to be a defense contractor, likes playing video poker, flies private airplanes, probably likes country music. shot up a country music venue. This isn't "us" vs "them". He shot up his own tribe.

Likewise, as much as we all seem to love to make the story about white people shooting black people or black people shooting white people; that almost never actually happens, given how often people shoot other people in this country. It's almost NEVER "us" vs "them" for gun violence. We shoot ourselves, for the most part, or people closely related to us.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 11:17 AM on October 2 [17 favorites]


I mean, I do too. But I'm not sure it's possible to create a group with remotely as much power and money as the NRA. Because, as said, they're not an organization for gun owners. They're an organization for gun sellers who are using every possible force to work towards deregulation to maximize their profits.

That's passing the buck.

Gun sellers only have power and money if gun buyers keep showing up to buy their wares. If gun owners organize in large numbers and say "we're not buying another gun or ammo from you until you advocate for meaningful regulation", then gun sellers can either adapt or starve. We've seen this in industries that used to employ slave or near slave labour (knowing there are still some who do) - corporations will respond to customer ethics if forced to for their bottom line.

It's your profits that the gun sellers are using to fund deregulation and that should make you angry enough not to want to support them, even if it means never buying another gun or ammo again.
posted by notorious medium at 11:17 AM on October 2 [7 favorites]


Sarah Huckabee Sanders at her press conference said that now was not the time for a political debate on gun control, before noting that Chicago has the strictest gun laws in the country and it hasn't helped them. Unmentioned: Chicago borders Indiana, which, um, does not have the strictest gun laws in the country.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:19 AM on October 2 [41 favorites]


Out of all the things in the world they could direct their attention to for entertainment, they choose machines of death. This is fucked up. These people are fucked up.

While not exactly disagreeing with you, I think it's important to keep in mind that the symbolic meaning of guns is different for different people, and what you see and imagine when you look at a gun is not the same thing that these people see.

I worry that people will take this as a justification or excuse. That is not how I mean it at all. But this difference is real and I believe that "knowing your enemy" is important for creating real change, so I felt like this had to be said.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:19 AM on October 2 [3 favorites]


.
posted by limeonaire at 11:20 AM on October 2


Gun sellers only have power and money if gun buyers keep showing up to buy their wares. If gun owners organize in large numbers and say "we're not buying another gun or ammo from you until you advocate for meaningful regulation", then gun sellers can either adapt or starve.

Doesn't the industry make its money from a pretty small group of people who buy a disproportionate amount of guns and who personally and violently oppose even meaningless regulations?
posted by OverlappingElvis at 11:20 AM on October 2 [3 favorites]


Indemnification! I really really like the idea of all gun and ammo purchasers paying a surcharge into an insurance pool to help defray the cost of medical help for shooting victims. This is an actual do-able baby step towards what many people upthread seem to think is an impossible dream. Plus, we get America's second favorite obsession: a new bureaucracy to bitch about and demonize.
posted by Chitownfats at 11:21 AM on October 2 [21 favorites]


I'm going to start being super-noisy at Catholic right-to-life events that I object to the organization endorsing any candidates who don't support comprehensive gun control, because Catholic right-to-life people are also required to be anti-death penalty and anti-violence (and pro-family wage and pro-universal health care), and what is the point of stopping abortions if those children are just going to get murdered at school because people love their recreational guns?

I think there's an entry point there. Not on the evangelical side, maybe, but on the Catholic side, yes. (And it'll super-fuck with some GOP politicians if they have to reject abortion AND guns to get a pro-life endorsement.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:22 AM on October 2 [39 favorites]


Everyone talking about how if Sandy Hook wasn't enough, then nothing will be enough, seems to be leaving out "for this Congress." We need a new Congress. We need the kind of serious will to change that can only come from a massive popular uprising and an equally massive electoral house-cleaning.
posted by contraption at 11:25 AM on October 2 [41 favorites]


Just shouting this into the void: fuck your prayers, fuck your silences.
posted by madamjujujive at 11:25 AM on October 2 [28 favorites]


Gun sellers only have power and money if gun buyers keep showing up to buy their wares. If gun owners organize in large numbers and say "we're not buying another gun or ammo from you until you advocate for meaningful regulation", then gun sellers can either adapt or starve.

Maybe? Gun ownership is hugely lopsided.
A 2004 survey found that the average gun owner owned 6.6 firearms, and that the top 3 percent of gun owners owned about 25 guns each. More recently, a CBS News poll taken in March of this year found that roughly 1 in 5 gun owners owned 10 guns or more.
Those folks will NEVER sign on to a boycott. I have bought exactly two guns in 18 years, both used and the last one about... 7 years ago? So my refusal to play along is not interesting to them.
posted by phearlez at 11:27 AM on October 2 [2 favorites]


Sarah Huckabee Sanders at her press conference said that now was not the time for a political debate on gun control

Of course it's not! Perish the thought. It just would not be fair to the guns, having that debate right after another senseless massacre.
posted by thelonius at 11:28 AM on October 2 [6 favorites]


If you had a next door neighbor who fetishized poisons -- collected vials of poisons, displayed them on shelves in their home and spent hours talking about lethal doses and quickness and their pretty colors and their detectability and their ease of use and carried them around with them -- you would reasonably say that person is fucked up and have nothing to do with them

I would be fascinated by this person and I know that makes me bad.
posted by Annika Cicada at 11:29 AM on October 2 [45 favorites]


If you can alter the course of the NRA via membership--

The rank-and-file membership didn't turn the NRA into what it is now -- a toxic combination of industry lobbyists, race-war scaremongers and Republican bankrollers -- which suggests that changing the membership won't change it from what it is now.
posted by holgate at 11:29 AM on October 2 [2 favorites]


> You are beyond question correct that gun owner voices need to support these things but I don't think it passes the sniff test to say these measures will have to start with us. Basic math demonstrates that the force would be smaller than folks who want to create restrictions. Twice as many households don't have a gun in em. If you want to create a coalition with pull I don't think this is the way to go.

Your "basic math" assumes that the pull me and my peers have with these people is equal to the pull you and your peers do. Given our experience with so many iterations of this debate, that assumption is entirely without merit. Cultural affinity between hardcore gun nuts and moderate gun owners who share gun ranges, game lands, etc, with them is one factor that undermines this assumption. Another is the derailing tactic that gun enthusiasts often use when those of us who support stricter control aren't steeped in the precise jargon of gun features. Another is simply the fact that activists on one side of an issue are going to be more easily swayed by moderates on that issue than activists on the other side of it.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:30 AM on October 2 [12 favorites]


Is it nice for folks to be able to do recreational target shooting without needing to wear ear protection? Sure.

It's also nice for people who aren't doing recreational target shooting who happen to be within earshot of the people who are. When I lived out in the boonies, I'd have occasionally preferred silencers to be mandatory.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:33 AM on October 2 [4 favorites]


Sarah Huckabee Sanders at her press conference said that now was not the time for a political debate on gun control, before noting that Chicago has the strictest gun laws in the country and it hasn't helped them. Unmentioned: Chicago borders Indiana, which, um, does not have the strictest gun laws in the country.

Same with DC and Virginia (home of the NRA), but the special thing about Chicago is that to members of gun culture, it's a straight-up racist bogeyman, up there with "thugs" and "welfare queens" and "urban populations." Anytime someone mentions Chicago and guns as a way to discredit gun control, they're almost certain to be acting on white supremacist propaganda, and it needs to stop fucking pronto. If you see someone making the claim and you think they're just misguided, send them one of the many articles about interstate gun sales and trafficking. That's pretty much their one chance IMO: if after that, they still natter on about Chicago and how it's a failure of gun control policy, it's fairly safe to assume that the reason they're upset has little to do with actual effective gun control, and more with anger and/or fear aimed at ~45% of Chicago's population. I've seen a lot of so-called "moderate" gun owners here and elsewhere do it, and until they stop engaging in and even parroting it themselves, I won't consider them moderates at all.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:35 AM on October 2 [25 favorites]


Hey I'm just gonna throw in here that I'm a trans woman who bought guns after this fucking election cause I'm legit worried about being hunted. Even so I keep them off-site in actual-fucking-safes behind multiple layers of locks and feel really shitty about this being my new normal.

Also unrelated to that, I'm really pissed off by Trump's constant appeals to Christianity in his statements.
posted by odinsdream at 11:36 AM on October 2 [47 favorites]



Doesn't the industry make its money from a pretty small group of people who buy a disproportionate amount of guns and who personally and violently oppose even meaningless regulations?


but they make their political power not only out of money but also out of the fact that, as cited somewhere above, around 40 percent of American households are gun-holding. that is: about twice as many American households are headed by guns as by single mothers. and guns, like vast expanses of empty land, vote. by custom and through human proxies.

One fewer gun may seem insignificant to you because of those ownership numbers; one fewer gun owner or gun house isn't. not if it's part of a trend. people read these polls and think about these percentages, when they're considering whether or not valuing human lives is going to cost them at the next election.
posted by queenofbithynia at 11:37 AM on October 2 [5 favorites]


Sarah Huckabee Sanders at her press conference said that now was not the time for a political debate on gun control

Fuck her and fuck this idea. Last year I photographed saxophonist Jimmy Greene who's 6 year old daughter Ana was killed at Sandy Hook. His wife is Nelba Marquez-Greene, who has been very active ever since in fighting for gun control and has spoken out this morning, blaming congress. If there's one thing I've learned from their example since their loss, it's that "don't politicize this tragedy" is bullshit. Trying to figure out why your house burned down and change things so it doesn't happen again isn’t political, it’s common sense. The vast majority of Americans support sensible gun regulations and its past time we have them. Thousand of lives each year literally depend on it. If the Greenes are okay with speaking out after what they've suffered, then I'll listen to them and not fucking Sanders or any other R covering for the NRA and their agenda.
posted by chris24 at 11:38 AM on October 2 [63 favorites]


Why doesn’t everyone just join the NRA and change their policy and politics from the inside?
posted by blue_beetle at 11:39 AM on October 2 [1 favorite]


Why doesn’t everyone just join the NRA and change their policy and politics from the inside?

Because that costs money, money that the NRA will spend electing more hard-line 2A politicians.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 11:41 AM on October 2 [15 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos: ...Maybe what is called for, then, is for more gun owners to join the NRA and wrest control of the organization away from the gun makers and whackos. Get it back under control so that it does represent you.

You'd be taking back that political power and money and turning it back into the hands of responsible gun users, without having to drum up your own, and you'd be de-fanging the whackos.


The West Wing was way ahead of you.
posted by tzikeh at 11:41 AM on October 2


Just shouting this into the void: fuck your prayers, fuck your silences.

Saw someone posted this Bible verse in response to a "thoughts and prayers" thing on Twitter and I've adopted it:
When you spread out your hands in prayer,
I hide my eyes from you;
even when you offer many prayers,
I am not listening.
Your hands are full of blood!

(Isaiah 1:15)
Why doesn’t everyone just join the NRA and change their policy and politics from the inside?

I am pretty sure you're being sarcastic, but I'm thinking that hey, that isn't a bad idea.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:42 AM on October 2 [35 favorites]


[Some comments removed. I don't give the least shit what latest dumbfuckery Scott Adams is up to, let's not waste time on it. Unrelated: TreeRooster, quit reposting that comment and stop the brain tumor thing.]
posted by cortex at 11:42 AM on October 2 [30 favorites]




Doesn't the industry make its money from a pretty small group of people who buy a disproportionate amount of guns

Sort of. So the gun industry is interesting in that through serious pressure, they must make products that do not have errors, or immediately replace them with better products. So a well made firearm will last decades and sometimes even a century, meaning under normal circumstances, you have no need to buy more unless you decide to start hunting a new animal or something.

So they started appealing to /hobbyists/, by creating all sorts of crazy personalizations and modifications you could throw onto your gun. And they created different categories of sport shooting, so that you can't just bring your regular rifle to a rifle shooting contest, so now you need a competition-eligible firearm for the right category. And of course the panic buying.

I would be really interested to see, in the absence of the unholy bargain between NRA and gun manufacturers, what the "natural state" of gun ownership is. I strongly suspect it's much fewer.
posted by corb at 11:43 AM on October 2 [13 favorites]


.

I am terribly sorry that you have to keep experiencing these nightmares.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 11:45 AM on October 2 [1 favorite]


My late father had guns. In his bedroom right now is a locked cabinet with some rifles, a handgun, a shotgun, maybe nine or ten in all.

He grew up in bumfuck Maryland, in a sufficiently rural area and different time that teenagers with rifles was not unusual. He went hunting occasionally when he was younger, including one gun heavy enough for bear hunting. "If I'm going near a bear I'm not carrying something that'll just piss him off" is how he put it. Many of these guns were passed down from my grandparents and beyond, more family heirlooms than anything else. He certainly never spoke of home defense with them -- though he did describe his grandfather keeping a loaded shotgun in his house "just in case" when Dad was just a kid.

This gun cabinet hasn't been open, far as I know, in perhaps thirty years or more. The key is likely on top of it but I would have to search for it. I don't have an accurate manifest of which is which, which have ammo, or if any of that ammo is still good. I know some of them are worth substantial money -- a local acquaintance has a standing offer if Dad ever wanted to sell one in particular -- but I have no idea of the legalities involved with private sale. And where they are now, they will remain unused and untouched and forgotten, not out in circulation where someone might have other ideas for them.

I have no idea what to do with these.
posted by delfin at 11:49 AM on October 2 [2 favorites]


Also, re: Chicago, the WH statement (and anybody else ranting about their gun control in the last 8 years) is itself a lie, one that has been repeated by essentially the entire conservative political establishment and their voters. And I'm sure you're all shocked to find out Sanders' statement is essentially a repeat of Trump's lies from that article.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:50 AM on October 2 [20 favorites]


Why doesn’t everyone just join the NRA and change their policy and politics from the inside?

Also because the NRA is now a wholly owned subsidiary of gun manufacturers and functions a trade lobbying group for those manufacturers, who co-opt gun owners to support the agenda of the manufacturers. It doesn't matter what the membership wants; the money comes from the industry, the board members are supported by and frequently come from the industry; the staff comes from the industry. The membership exists to be mobilized to fight for industry conditions favorable to gun manufacturers, regardless of whether they're good for gun owners. That's why you have the stats that 75% of NRA members support background checks, but the NRA flatly refuses to even consider the issue. That's also why the NRA spends shit-tons of money fighting corporate tort liability laws that the average gun owner gives zero shits about and very little money on, say, hunting access programs or environmental support of hunting lands that are of interest to actual gun owners.

The NRA isn't there for gun owners. Gun owners are all just useful idiots the NRA uses to advance a corporate agenda. It's the largest astroturf organization in the world. Millions of us could join, and it wouldn't matter, because the membership doesn't matter and the organization doesn't serve the membership. The membership is there to astroturf for the gun manufacturer's lobby. That's it. It makes no difference at all what gun owners or NRA members want.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:50 AM on October 2 [77 favorites]


Gun control never took root in America because the people see themselves not as a potential victims, but as temporarily embarrassed action heroes.
posted by borkencode at 11:51 AM on October 2 [161 favorites]


delfin: I have no idea what to do with these.

Maybe hand them over to the authorities? or destroy them on camera, with local press reports? Might start a movement.
posted by dhruva at 11:52 AM on October 2 [2 favorites]


delfin, maybe make sure that cabinet is actually secure? You don't even know where the key is, and it could be right on top?
posted by agregoli at 11:52 AM on October 2 [8 favorites]


Why doesn’t everyone just join the NRA and change their policy and politics from the inside?

The NRA is the way it is because of such a takeover. I'd be surprised if they didn't change bylaws and such to guard against it happening against them.
posted by odinsdream at 11:55 AM on October 2 [9 favorites]


borkencode: Gun control never took root in America because the people see themselves not as a potential victims, but as temporarily embarrassed action heroes.

Oh, that's good.
posted by tzikeh at 12:00 PM on October 2 [16 favorites]


The NRA is the way it is because of such a takeover. I'd be surprised if they didn't change bylaws and such to guard against it happening against them.



Iirc you have to be a member for five years before you can like vote or something. I'd have to check.
posted by tilde at 12:02 PM on October 2 [2 favorites]


On social media, maybe I'll just respond to all the thoughts and prayers with those same posters excuses and victim blaming from other shootings like
"they shouldn't have run"
"maybe he panicked and thought they were attacking him"
maybe someone at the concert was selling loose cigarettes or had an unpaid parking ticket, maybe a kid in the crowd had a toy gun... all those horrible things people say when the shooting victim is the focus of the story.

Or maybe i should just get off social media
posted by Anchorite_of_Palgrave at 12:02 PM on October 2 [12 favorites]


I had a look, and some gun experts onlline have been saying the weapon sounds like a semi-automatic AR-15 which is being triggered by a GatCrank, since the rate of fire is high but inconsistent.

Knowing nothing about firearms I looked it up. A GatCrank is a $40 crank handle that can be bolted onto the trigger mechanism of a semi-auto rifle and makes the rifle fire 3 shots for every turn of the handle. A total end-run around the assault weapon ban, it is currently legal despite have no real use case other than this kind of massacre, since it is almost impossible to keep the rifle aimed accurately while the user's right hand is cranking a little handle rather than helping to hold the weapon.

Apparently the killer lived in Nevada, was rich, and owned a machine-shop, so I'm not sure why he wouldn't have instead illegally modified his rifles to be full-auto, or bought actual automatic weapons (possible in Nevada but apparently expensive).

Anyway, it's still mostly speculation at this stage. I see no reason for civilians to have whatever kind of weapon he had, even if the crank ultimately responsible was the one holding the weapon.
posted by w0mbat at 12:03 PM on October 2 [8 favorites]


Seconding the comment above about the current anti-smoking campaign. It seems to be very effective in public schools. It is partly funded by the results of the huge settlement from the tobacco companies. Could it be time to sue the gun manufacturers? Maybe if it can be argued that they know about and support the "full auto" conversion techniques?
posted by TreeRooster at 12:06 PM on October 2 [1 favorite]


delfin, maybe make sure that cabinet is actually secure? You don't even know where the key is, and it could be right on top?

That is a very good point and I will check on this after work. Though the cabinet is wood with a plexiglass front so if someone wants into it badly enough, the key would be irrelevant. No one is living there at the moment and only I have his house keys, at least, so in that respect they are fairly secure, but he never owned a safe big enough for long guns and outside of this circumstance I will never need one.

I certainly have no desire to house these guns in my own apartment. But at some point soon they need to go somewhere.
posted by delfin at 12:06 PM on October 2


Knowing nothing about firearms I looked it up.

This is why I keep arguing with progressives who don't know nothing about nothing about guns. It leads to these kinds of things being surprising facts. Not picking on you specifically w0mbat, but just this general thing where only white men gun nuts actually know all about how useless even our barely-functioning regulations are.

It's Really. Really. Bad.
posted by odinsdream at 12:07 PM on October 2 [2 favorites]


Might be best to just wait to see what the cops say about the weapons they found. Suffice to say, there are lots of ways for average joes to easily acquire solutions to make semi-automatic weapons full auto or a close approximation. Bullets in flesh is bullets in flesh.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:08 PM on October 2 [2 favorites]


"We pray for the day that evil is banished." Also: God, God, pray, prayers, praying, God, prayer, praying, God.

Maybe religion is a problem after all.

Reminds me of lyrics from Arrested Development that seem relevant...
Sitting in church hearing legitimate woes
Pastor tells the lady it'll be alright
Just pray so you can see the pearly gates so white
The lady prays and prays and prays and prays
And prays and prays and prays and prays it's everlasting
"There's nothing wrong with praying ?" It's what she's asking
She's asking the Lord to let her cope
So one day she can see the golden ropes
What you pray for God will give
To be able to cope in this world we live
The word "cope" and the word "change"
Is directly opposite, not the same
She should have been praying to change her woes
But pastor said "Pray to cope with those"
The government is happy with most baptist churches
Coz they don't do a damn thing to try to nurture
posted by el io at 12:08 PM on October 2 [8 favorites]


Gun Stocks Rise As America Prepares To Shoot Itself In The Foot Again
posted by freecellwizard at 12:12 PM on October 2 [3 favorites]


Could it be time to sue the gun manufacturers?

Again, they have been indemnified via law, and were even immune to Sandy Hook parents with actual wrongful death claims. This law may be, but probably isn't, unconstitutional, and in any case the situation simply underscores that this is a problem that needs a political solution.
posted by dhartung at 12:12 PM on October 2 [12 favorites]


Also because the NRA is now a wholly owned subsidiary of gun manufacturers and functions a trade lobbying group for those manufacturers, who co-opt gun owners to support the agenda of the manufacturers.

If we referred to it as "the arms dealer lobby" instead of the NRA, it might help disperse the cloud of patriotic sanctimony and reveal the wet heap of blood money inside.
posted by Iridic at 12:12 PM on October 2 [36 favorites]


.

After Sandy Hook and Newtown, I have no hope left and no reason to even think "Surely this..." - but this historical comparison from Josh Marshall gives me pause:

... The Second Battle of Fallujah (November-December 2004) is viewed by many as the bloodiest and most intense battle of the Iraq War. According to Wikipedia, 95 Americans died over 6 weeks; 54 between November 7th and 16th.

The current death toll out of Las Vegas is 58.


This time, it seems really hard to blame Muslims, black people, urban youth, or the victims (who were at a country music concert). And I seem to remember a certain candidate talking about "American carnage", but that was a long time ago now.

I'm pretty sure I have no reason to hope for a legislative response.
posted by RedOrGreen at 12:18 PM on October 2 [18 favorites]


When you spread out your hands in prayer,
I hide my eyes from you;
even when you offer many prayers,
I am not listening.
Your hands are full of blood!


Worth quoting the following two verses as well.

Wash and make yourselves clean.
Take your evil deeds out of my sight;
stop doing wrong.
Learn to do right; seek justice.
Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
plead the case of the widow
posted by Lutoslawski at 12:25 PM on October 2 [46 favorites]


Seconding the comment above about the current anti-smoking campaign. It seems to be very effective in public schools. It is partly funded by the results of the huge settlement from the tobacco companies. Could it be time to sue the gun manufacturers?

You can't sue them. It's the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, passed in 2004. It was an issue in the 2016 election because Clinton promised to work for repealing the law that Bernie Sanders voted for.
posted by JackFlash at 12:30 PM on October 2 [17 favorites]


************************************************************
I think we should start declaring a Day of Fear after every mass shooting, when we keep our kids home from school, work from home (if possible), and refuse to visit public venues or spend any money at public locations. Because school, work, public locations, that's where you get shot. So we just won't go there. We won't spend money. And the US Chamber of Commerce and the US Department of Education and all their allies can start panicking about the fact that fears of gun violence are destroying education and cutting into corporate profits. And then maybe, maybe, with their corporate overlords upset enough, Congress might take some kind of teeny baby step to address gun violence and mass shootings.

I mean I honestly don't know what to do except boycott society.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:47 AM on October 2
[173 favorites −] [Flagged]
******************************************************************
I agree! I want to organize something like this
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 12:32 PM on October 2 [19 favorites]


> Police do random spot checks on gun security and will confiscate them [Australia]

This is one of the things that hardline gun-rights folk in the US claim would be a slippery slope to mass confiscation. However, the ATF already has a (warrantless) inspection regime for Federal Firearms Licensees. It also inspects explosives users which was a sore point with high powered rocketry enthusiasts for years because the ATF classified Ammonium Perchlorate Composite Propellant (APCP) as an explosive (and conducted inspections) until Tripoli & NAR won in court.
posted by ASCII Costanza head at 12:35 PM on October 2 [1 favorite]


I agree! I want to organize something like this

How about if we all just start boycotting every company that sells, or is owned by a company that sells handguns or assault rifles? Like, say, Walmart. Or whichever major retailer it is, I'm forgetting atm.
posted by snuffleupagus at 12:39 PM on October 2 [2 favorites]


Slippery slope is something I usually think of as a logical fallacy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slippery_slope.

I'm not sure what evidence there is that gun registration or limiting types of weapons is followed up by black helicopters invading. It seems like the pro-gun lobby doesn't believe in democracy and the ability to reach a compromise via elected government. Why do they hate America so much?
posted by freecellwizard at 12:43 PM on October 2 [4 favorites]


Looks like Walmart may have agreed to stop selling ARs a couple years ago. Due to that kind of pressure.
posted by snuffleupagus at 12:44 PM on October 2


Gun Stocks Rise As America Prepares To Shoot Itself In The Foot Again

Maybe. After reading the shooter's profile, maybe America is becoming a thrill kill cult.
posted by uraniumwilly at 12:45 PM on October 2 [1 favorite]


Sarah Huckabee Sanders at her press conference said that now was not the time for a political debate on gun control, before noting that Chicago has the strictest gun laws in the country and it hasn't helped them. Unmentioned: Chicago borders Indiana, which, um, does not have the strictest gun laws in the country.

Chicago had the toughtest gun laws. Past tense.

The Illinois state court overruled Chicago's laws and forced the city into allowing concealed carry in 2012. Coincidentally, I'm sure, Chicago's murder rate has climbed pretty dramatically since 2014 (the lag is because of deliberately slow implementation).

Now it probably isn't licensed carry people who are the shooters - there have only a couple of killings involving permits that I know of - though I stopped reading that news for the most part - too depressing - but it does change the police culture. A gun is no longer immediate evidence of criminality so the police need a reason to suspect someone they see carrying a concealed weapon of not having a permit or they can't even touch them.

Of course the people who could most make a defensive weapon argument are precisely the people the concealed weapon law would keep from getting a permit. In Chicago they are pretty much the domain of the well off and the suburban commuters working for private employers who can either carry at work or keep their gun in their car because everyone else will run into situations where you are not allowed to carry - public transit, public buildings, schools, universities and colleges, most chain restaurants and stores... - and you have nowhere to temporarily store your gun. (There has been a surprising amount of highway shooting in Chicago of late.)

It is all just so fucked up.

I'm not scared for myself. I live in a pretty safe neighborhood. But I am scared of the fact that I am now the kind of person who says that.
posted by srboisvert at 12:45 PM on October 2 [11 favorites]


And now there's reports coming out of LA that there's an active shooter situation at USC.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:45 PM on October 2


FYI, there's some reports emerging of a different timeline than the one I linked above - which hasn't changed - which changes the narrative considerably (an hour an a half response; problems finding the room) but the spokespersons involved haven't confirmed anything yet so, unfolding news warning, etc.
posted by barchan at 12:45 PM on October 2 [1 favorite]


Sounds like the USC reports are a false alarm.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:47 PM on October 2 [1 favorite]


From last year: a Mother Jones article about the men who profit from the blood tax. The inevitable Putin/NRA connection.[WaPo]

After reading the shooter's profile, maybe America is becoming a thrill kill cult.

There's studies concluded exactly that.

http://edition.cnn.com/2015/08/27/health/u-s-most-mass-shootings/index.html

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/10/media-inspires-mass-shooters-copycats/
posted by Buntix at 12:48 PM on October 2 [6 favorites]


FYI: Gun manufacturers receive tax incentives in every state in which they operate. State and local elections matter, contacting your local reps matters. There are ways your state can disincentivize gun manufacturing, like preventing use of R&D credits related to firearms and accessories, or imposing an excise tax on the manufacture of firearms and accessories. Even just passing gun purchase and ownership restrictions can lead a gun manufacturer to leave your state. You can advocate for restricting the use of tax incentives or credits by any entity that sells firearms as well (e.g., Wal-Mart), or for a steep excise tax on a seller's gross receipts from the sale of firearms (more politically feasible than a sales tax on gun sales, even if the result is the same). Make it HARD for these manufacturers to do business in your state.
posted by melissasaurus at 12:49 PM on October 2 [10 favorites]


LAPD south bureau radio feed: just gave an all clear over a clear channel. They did do a lockdown, but there was no shooting.
posted by snuffleupagus at 12:49 PM on October 2


Suffice to say, there are lots of ways for average joes to easily acquire solutions to make semi-automatic weapons full auto or a close approximation.

WAY earlier up there, I posted a link showing "Bump Firing", and in the demo video, the shooter hooks his finger in a belt loop, fires from the hip, and since the trigger remains depressed, empties a 30 round magazine as fast as the AR-15 will go.

Cost: Zero.

Anything that can be "bump fired" needs to be banned.
posted by mikelieman at 12:50 PM on October 2 [3 favorites]


but there was no shooting

There may be someone hiding who made threats, which sounds like it's being handled on a secured frequency. So it's not completely cleared yet, according to the most recent announcement on the open frequency.
posted by snuffleupagus at 12:50 PM on October 2


'No way to prevent this,' says only nation where this regularly happens.

The Onion has finally updated this story...

Americans Hopeful This Will Be Last Mass Shooting Before They Stop On Their Own For No Reason
posted by gwint at 12:53 PM on October 2 [73 favorites]


This is a quick reply to different comments about Australian firearms legislation, as I understand it.

For you to to obtain a gun in Australia requires that you have multiple safes (gun, firing pin, ammo) and it's practically impossible for anyone but Olympian level shooters to get semi-automatic rifles at all.

Self-loading rifles, as the Australian National Firearm Agreement terms them, fall into two categories, Category C and D. I'm most familiar with NSW, so there may be slight variances with implementation in the other states.

Category C covers rimfire (i.e. low power) rifles, magazine capacity of 10 or less, and shotguns (self-loading and pump action), magazine of 5 or less. (There was a recent kerfuffle over lever action shotguns - I think it ended up with them in Category B if the magazine capacity was less than 5.) Category C are prohibited except for limited purposes: clay target shooting through a club, or primary producers (i.e. farmers) who can demonstrate a special need (i.e. lots of varmints). You can also get them on a collector license, but the firearm must be rendered temporarily inoperable.

Category D is centerfire (i.e. high power) self-loading rifles, lever action shotguns with a magazine capacity >5, and everything in Category C that exceeds specified magazine limits, or is to be used for non Category C purposes. The only accepted Genuine Reason for a legal Category D is Vertebrate Pest Animal Control: you're a professional contract shooter (i.e. kangaroo culler or similar), employed or authorized by a government agency (ditto), or a primary producer involved in an authorized eradication campaign (ditto, with the proviso that you must return the weapon to the dealer at the conclusion of the campaign.). If they're permitted to have them, collectors must render Category D weapons permanently inoperable.

Safe storage is required (e.g. in Australia, you have to submit a photo of your storage space, with room for the gun)

I'm more familiar with direct inspection by police officers, followed by random audits afterwards.

As far as I understand, you need a very good reason. If you drive one of those trucks that delivers cash to ATMS, you can have a handgun. If you need a gun to control animals that's OK too. Many introduced species have bounties, you can make some money shooting foxes. And really, fuck foxes, they're eating all the cute hoppy marsupials that make our land special.

Our laws were created in response to a mass shooting. What is banned are automatic weapons which can shoot a mass of people very quickly. Those guns are only available to the military.

Self defense is not a reason to own a gun. You can have one because you think it's cool, but you can't just keep it on the coffee table. It needs to be locked up when it's not at the range.


Correctly licensed security guards can use pistols and shotguns, but they belong to and must be stored by their employers. You don't get to have one at home, and if you do have one for a different Genuine Reason, you're not allowed to use it for work. If I remember right, fully automatic and other military weapons are technically illegal, but you're not guilty of an offence if you use them as part of your police or military duties. Thinking it's cool isn't a valid Genuine Reason to have a functioning firearm. Collection is a valid reason, but they must be disabled, and stored safely.
posted by zamboni at 12:59 PM on October 2 [15 favorites]


I caught this on the news as it was happening last night. It's one of the most horrifying things I've seen. I woke up to an even higher casualty count than the already-horrifying one I saw before I went to bed. Absolutely monstrous.

I feel weird because I was literally in the process of buying a rifle for target shooting. The only reason I hadn't bought one already was that I hadn't had a chance to yet.

I don't agree with the "all gun owners are in love with violence" line. Look, I just want to shoot at targets because I like competing with myself. I'm not under any illusion that it's about self-defense, or preparing for the oncoming revolution. I seriously just want to shoot targets.

I'm not sure where I stand on buying a gun for myself at this point. I'm not saying I won't still buy one, but I'm also not looking at anything that would be inconsistent with the kind of gun control I want to see. I really want to see hard limits on the types and calibers of guns that can be puchased. There are many, many countries where it's possible to hunt and practice marksmanship, that don't have the problems with mass violence that we have. I've never supported an outright ban, but I'd be perfectly happy if our gun laws looked more like gun laws in Europe. I'm sure it's a real blast to fire a machine gun, but it's not worth it. There are even minor changes that could make a difference. Make licensing harder (you only need to get a 75% on the permit test, which is a solid C -- maybe have a higher standard, people?).

I want to be self-aware enough to ask if what I'm interested in is neatly self-serving, allowing the stuff I like and restricting the stuff I'm not interested in. But something's got to give, and it is ridiculously easy to get a gun in this country. It does not need to be this easy, and I'm in California where it's relatively difficult. And honestly, my need for target shooting doesn't trump the need for public safety, no matter how convinced I am that I'll do it safely. I don't want my hobby to come at the expense of people's lives, and while I don't agree that's the case currently, I'm not going to fight too hard for it, either. It is ridiculous that we are the we are the only nation on Earth where this happens regularly. We can do something, anything about this, and yet we don't. Fuck the NRA, and fuck Congress.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 12:59 PM on October 2 [9 favorites]


before noting that Chicago has the strictest gun laws in the country and it hasn't helped them

Chicago Isn’t Even Close to Being the Gun Violence Capital of the United States
Chicago, with roughly 2.7 million residents, is the third-most populous city in the country. On a per capita basis, its shooting epidemic is not nearly as severe as the violence in many other large American cities.
...
Chicago’s homicide rate over the last five years was 16.4 per 100,000 residents. In St. Louis and New Orleans, the homicide rate from 2010 to 2015 was three times as high, on average.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:00 PM on October 2 [20 favorites]


Somehow Max Landis has wound up in my Twitter mentions arguing about the timeline of the shooting and I don't know how I feel about this, except that he has been accurate in his clarifications, but I didn't really need this day to get weirder.
posted by maxsparber at 1:01 PM on October 2 [3 favorites]


I've been twisted in knots since I read about this at 7 this morning. Have been trying to get news about my cousin who lives in Las Vegas. Finally heard back from my aunt, and she's fine. She actually had a ticket to the concert, but she traded it to a coworker in return for an extra shift. She can't get in touch with the coworker. :(

This is now officially the first mass shooting that has affected me personally, in that someone I care about was one decision away from potentially being a victim. It feels weird to say "wait until it happens to you," but it also seems like basic math that we'll all have a first time sometime. Which is why yes, this is very much the time to start having the fucking gun control discussion, for fuck's sake.
posted by mudpuppie at 1:02 PM on October 2 [10 favorites]


I didn't really need this day to get weirder

Well, the news just confirmed Tom Petty died, so it's definitely going somewhere crappy.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:03 PM on October 2 [22 favorites]


I mean AFAIK there aren't any bears in Australia, but there must be other legit uses.

Only the most lethal of ALL ursinoids, the ruthless murder machine known only as... the drop bear.

(Sorry, I kid when I get uncomfortable.)

.
posted by Samizdata at 1:06 PM on October 2 [8 favorites]


As I think some of you know, Newtown is my hometown (though I've not lived there for years) and the slaughter there really shook me up. Everyone in town was impacted directly or indirectly. Its not the same place it was before the horror.

As a result, I often stay out of post-massacre discussions because I can't discuss them rationally. I'm barely rational right now and I'm filled with anger at the Congressional Republicans, sympathy (for the families, victims, responders and bystanders) and despair because I don't believe anything will ever be done to prevent these mass murders from happening. When I think of America's attitude towards guns, I can't help but think of this Mr. Show sketch about a deadly roller coaster. A bunch of people who just can't tell the roller coaster is what is obviously killing them, but terrified of the death toll yes still letting the ad campaign convince them to get on the roller coaster. I'm also reminded of this Tom Tomorrow This Modern World cartoon.

I was in Canada when the Pulse massacre happened and at the time Trump was just gaining steam and I remember thinking "Well, maybe I just won't fly home." But, you know, despite the despair and anger and sadness and depression, I can't just not do anything.

I made another donation to Sandy Hook Promise today. I faxed my rep and senators again. Set up a rally against guns and I'll happily be there. To what end? I don't know, but I have to do something.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:08 PM on October 2 [20 favorites]


If you need a second to look for the helpers: People Are Waiting In Line For Hours To Donate Blood In Las Vegas.

In general, I feel pretty dead inside about this latest mass shooting, like my emotional response vending machine is just returning "EMPTY, PLEASE WAIT FOR RESTOCK," but one thing that gave me a brief surge of "okay, gonna get through this," was Lin-Manuel Miranda's tweets this morning:

You can give blood.
You can help Puerto Rico.
You can help the Virgin Islands.
You can help Mexico.
No shortage of ways to do good today.

You can volunteer.
You can call your representatives.
You can find a place to send supplies.
No shortage of ways to do good today.


So. There are ways to do good today. That is what I can do, today, so that is what I will do.
posted by yasaman at 1:09 PM on October 2 [39 favorites]


PSA: Archery is a fun cheap way to shoot stuff without endangering yourself and your loved ones or supporting a billion-dollar industry built on paranoia.
posted by theodolite at 1:12 PM on October 2 [85 favorites]


.
posted by SonInLawOfSam at 1:14 PM on October 2


There is a gun show scheduled for Oct 21-22 in Las Vegas, at Cashman Field Center. Now we will see who wants to do the right thing, who wants to do the wrong thing, and who simply do not care.
posted by Room 641-A at 1:14 PM on October 2 [13 favorites]


McSweeney's list: Things More Heavily Regulated Than Buying a Gun in the United States. Matches my current mood of bleak despair.
posted by RedOrGreen at 1:18 PM on October 2 [18 favorites]


What an absolute horror.

.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:19 PM on October 2 [2 favorites]


Mass killings involving pelting people with Kinder Suprise are totally out.
posted by Artw at 1:20 PM on October 2 [4 favorites]


delfin, many communities have 'Turn In Your Guns' events, where they give away grocery store gift cards and the like. There might be something like that in your community.
posted by ApathyGirl at 1:22 PM on October 2


I'm not sure where I stand on buying a gun for myself at this point.

I have negative interest in guns, though I do have a recently-developed interest in another hobby that involves equipment that can kill you, and also some other people if you use it creatively. If I woke up tomorrow in the timeline where the equipment my hobby utilizes was being manufactured by companies not-really-that-subtly encouraging purchasers of their equipment to use it to kill people instead of to shape big pieces of wood into little pieces of wood, and if they were producing equipment that was much better at killing humans but not any better at doing what it was originally intended for, and if literally hundreds and thousands of people all across the land were taking them up on it and everyone else just kind of went, "Welp."

...I think I'd have to give up the hobby. The other option would be to find a mom-and-pop manufacturer who isn't part of the Kill People Moar Better Lobbying Organization and produces only equipment that is for its original purpose and not the new improved killing people purpose. But I think I'd still feel like I was engaging in that thing that most people associate with killing other humans, even though that's totally not what I am into. It would suck the enjoyment out of my hobby to have to preface every story of what I did last weekend with "But I'm not into killing people, really!"

There are other hobbies. I could learn to, idk, paint still lifes or blow glass or sew elaborate cosplay. At least until the sewing machine manufacturers start re-engineering sergers to spit needles at random passersby.
posted by soren_lorensen at 1:25 PM on October 2 [36 favorites]


"There are other hobbies"

Exactly! Any hobby that requires gun ownership comes with massive baggage and non-zero complicity, because you have to buy your equipment from someone.

"I need entertainment" is not a good enough reason to contribute to this totally preventable shitstorm.
posted by Tarumba at 1:33 PM on October 2 [11 favorites]


You can't sue them. It's the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, passed in 2004. It was an issue in the 2016 election because Clinton promised to work for repealing the law that Bernie Sanders voted for.

Right, and it was taken as yet another way that Corrupt Hillary was being unfair and mean to Sanders.

If we want this kind of thing to stop this has to be an issue you don't budge on. Refuse to support candidates who vote incorrectly, including people you might otherwise really like such as Sanders. If you're willing to overlook the issue change won't happen any time soon because the other side sure isn't willing.

Obama called for the same thing after... Sandy Hook? No one listened once the bodies were cold.
posted by Justinian at 1:40 PM on October 2 [14 favorites]


Already the right is screaming, hoping he wasn't one of "theirs".

if you support the NRA, he's one of yours
posted by philip-random at 1:42 PM on October 2 [12 favorites]


I'm already seeing right-wing articles about how this is likely the left hiring someone to do this, or how the facts have been reported wrongly, or that all of this is absolutely the doing of Muslim extremists. This insanity never ends.
posted by agregoli at 1:49 PM on October 2 [3 favorites]


This guy and the asshole who shot up the Republican baseball practice (which only didn't become one of the defining moments of modern political history through the shooter's abject incompetence) were both in their mid 60s. That's very much outside the usual profile for mass shooters. Two in a row like that could be a statistical anomaly but it could also be a real change in what we should expect. I hope we don't find out.
posted by Justinian at 1:54 PM on October 2 [15 favorites]


There is a gun show scheduled for Oct 21-22 in Las Vegas, at Cashman Field Center. Now we will see who wants to do the right thing, who wants to do the wrong thing, and who simply do not care.

They will cancel it and postpone it to December, when there will be no controversy or protest.
posted by rhizome at 1:55 PM on October 2 [11 favorites]


Me too, agregoli. And that dreck doesn't have to be convincing or even sane-sounding. It just has to out there and available so that members of the base can use it as a fig leaf. Ugh.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 1:55 PM on October 2 [1 favorite]


They will cancel it and postpone it to December, when there will be no controversy or protest.

Or they will refuse to cancel it and compare themselves to Washington, Churchill and Leonidas rolled into one.

Also, probably, Jesus. Somehow.
posted by snuffleupagus at 1:57 PM on October 2 [6 favorites]


Or they will refuse to cancel it and compare themselves to Washington, Churchill and Leonidas rolled into one.

Not likely
posted by rhizome at 2:01 PM on October 2


Alexandra Petri, WaPo: When white men turn into lone wolves
There is an epidemic ravaging America. Not gun violence. These mass shootings, as the president so sagely points out, are simply “pure evil,” not the work of human hands and cannot be stopped by human efforts.

I am talking about the wolves.

All across America white men, some young, some of middle-age, are turning into wolves. Always, after they commit acts of terror, it is revealed out that these perpetrators were not men after all. They were beasts, mindless monsters whose evil was abstract and cold and terrible.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:09 PM on October 2 [38 favorites]


What do most mass shooters have in common? Hint: It isn’t politics, video games or religion.
Similarly, while many mass shooters may threaten or even physically harm other people before taking up a gun, they are rarely found guilty for crimes that would bar them from buying or possessing a firearm. Domestic violence, one particularly common precursor to mass shootings, is notoriously difficult to prosecute. Other kinds of antisocial behavior may not actually be crimes, or only low-level misdemeanors, even if clinicians consider them glaring red flags.
...
Some states have created so-called Gun Violence Restraining Orders. These orders allow family members or police to petition a court to temporarily seize a person’s guns if they pose a threat to themselves or others. They are issued in civil, not criminal, courts, so they do not require a criminal court’s much higher burden of proof. These proceedings also allow the gun owner redress. They can appeal the order, or wait a given length of time to come back to court, demonstrate they are no longer dangerous and get their guns back.

These are highly targeted interventions based on empirical research that respect due process. They would not affect the vast majority of gun owners, or those who mouth off online, for that matter. Nonetheless, the National Rifle Association has repeatedly opposed the expansion of policies like these. It applauded Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s suggestion that the federal ban on gun possession for people convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence is unconstitutional.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:11 PM on October 2 [17 favorites]


Is there some reason to believe Paddock fits that profile that I missed? Or is that a non sequitur.
posted by Justinian at 2:12 PM on October 2


Here's the Guardian live blog, which is starting to have more details. Several victims have been identified. Then there's this:
According to the Wall Street Journal, citing an unnamed official, police found 18-20 guns in the room, including automatic rifles and guns in the style of AR-15s and AK-47s.
posted by AFABulous at 2:14 PM on October 2


Is there some reason to believe Paddock fits that profile that I missed?

He's a man who committed a mass shooting.
posted by melissasaurus at 2:16 PM on October 2 [4 favorites]


This guy and the asshole who shot up the Republican baseball practice (which only didn't become one of the defining moments of modern political history through the shooter's abject incompetence) were both in their mid 60s. That's very much outside the usual profile for mass shooters. Two in a row like that could be a statistical anomaly but it could also be a real change in what we should expect. I hope we don't find out.

There's been a lot of anecdata the past couple of years that I'd like to see real data on about people's parents in the 50+ age group suddenly going to this extreme misanthropic political outlook, where before even if they had strong political views they would at least be decent and not just in a perpetual rage. It's shocked a lot of people I know, and I've heard it online on mefi and elsewhere. And though it's tempting to lay it all at the feet of right wing media, part of me wonders if that's an enabling factor and the root could be side effects from common medications for that age group that might be overprescribed or something - like the whole Chantix rage thing, or certain antidepressants and suicidal ideation in teens, but maybe with a drug that doesn't stick out as much? Like I said, it's anecdata... but it's been really noticeable, and I'd love for someone to dig into it with real research.

Ditto for studies looking into the intersection of American right wing political rage and untreated drug and alcohol addiction, because of too many experiences where that's stuck out as a pattern. I actually expect it's ultimately a trivial factor, but I'm very very curious to know.
posted by jason_steakums at 2:19 PM on October 2 [15 favorites]


1,516 mass shootings in 1,735 days: America's gun crisis – in one chart

...there is a mass shooting – defined as four or more people shot in one incident, not including the shooter – every nine out of 10 days on average.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:20 PM on October 2 [15 favorites]


The suspect’s brother, Eric Paddock, has told television networks that their father was a bank robber who spent time on the FBI’s “Most Wanted” list, but that he was not a part of the family’s life.

“My father was on the top 10 list for a while. His name was Benjamin Hoskins Paddock. We didn’t know him. I didn’t know him. He was in jail and broken out of jail.”

[...]

Archived newspapers from the 1960s show that Benjamin Paddock was wanted for bank robberies in Arizona. [...]

A 1971 clipping from the Tucson Daily Citizen said that the bank robber was named to the FBI’s list after he escaped a Texas prison in 1968. [...] An FBI poster from the era names Benjamin Hoskins Paddock [...] as an “armed and dangerous” suspect convicted of bank robbery, automobile larceny and “confidence game”.
wait what?
posted by AFABulous at 2:20 PM on October 2 [5 favorites]




> Police do random spot checks on gun security and will confiscate them [Australia]

This is one of the things that hardline gun-rights folk in the US claim would be a slippery slope to mass confiscation.


And yet, the fact that Border Patrol sets up checkpoints dozens of miles from any border to hassle drivers is totes cool. Or at least cool enough that those folks almost unanimously vote for people who support the existence and expansion of those sorts of policies.
posted by phearlez at 2:22 PM on October 2 [9 favorites]


This guy and the asshole who shot up the Republican baseball practice (which only didn't become one of the defining moments of modern political history through the shooter's abject incompetence) were both in their mid 60s.

Also, Robert Dear (Planned Parenthood) was 57 at the time of that shooting (Nov. 2015).
posted by melissasaurus at 2:24 PM on October 2 [11 favorites]


Domestic violence, one particularly common precursor to mass shootings, is notoriously difficult to prosecute.

Domestic violence is only difficult to prosecute because prosecutors don't want to actually do the work to prosecute, and I think in many parts, because they sympathize with the abuser rather than the abused.

When these murders happen, they will go house to house. They will interview everyone who ever encountered the murderer. They are checking in with a company that hired the murderer twenty years ago. They will investigate every aspect of his life. They will check his facebook messages, his telephone history.

Imagine, just imagine, if they did that for domestic violence cases. Imagine if they put the manpower on domestic violence cases, checking the history, neighbor's accounts, the messages in his shitty woman-hating forums. Imagine if they took domestic violence seriously as a crime, and then prosecuted it.
posted by corb at 2:25 PM on October 2 [105 favorites]


The Paul Ryan thing is from The Onion, fellow travelers.
posted by rhizome at 2:26 PM on October 2 [8 favorites]


> Ah yes, here's Paul Ryan advocating passing some law that will no doubt beat up on the mentally ill, rather than doing anything about guns.

Uh... At least hover over the link.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:27 PM on October 2 [5 favorites]


He's a man who committed a mass shooting.

No, I meant was he a guy who committed domestic violence? I was responding to a comment linking an article saying the that what most mass shooters have in common is domestic violence. But I don't think this guy fits that pattern, which is why I said the last couple of old white guys seem to either be statistical flukes or the start of a new trend of old white guy shooters.
posted by Justinian at 2:28 PM on October 2 [1 favorite]


Alas, corb, the current initiative to do the same to immigrants is making all of the arguments against it preordained.
posted by rhizome at 2:28 PM on October 2


I wonder if the aging of mass shooters is coincident with the aging of the last folks getting all the lead exposure?

yes I know lead exposure is still a thing but the removal of it from gas made a huge society-wide impact don't @ me.
posted by phearlez at 2:29 PM on October 2 [8 favorites]


I don't really know how to describe this chart about how the way America views gun violence depends on the color of the perpetrator's skin, but I thought it was very worth sharing.
posted by lalex at 2:30 PM on October 2 [9 favorites]


Ok, an hour and 10 minutes to breach the door makes much more sense than the Post's timeline of 5 minutes.
posted by amarynth at 2:32 PM on October 2 [3 favorites]


Why such a wide early timeline disconnect?
posted by agregoli at 2:33 PM on October 2


I don't know if the last year has broken me or what but I half expect some Republicans to come out and say the solution to mass shootings is tax cuts.
posted by Justinian at 2:34 PM on October 2 [29 favorites]


According to the Wall Street Journal, citing an unnamed official, police found 18-20 guns in the room, including automatic rifles and guns in the style of AR-15s and AK-47s.

This is a casino hotel. There must be hundreds of cameras. The videos are going to be interesting. How many trips did he take? Did he use a bellhop? He's been there for five days -- no maid service?
posted by JackFlash at 2:35 PM on October 2 [7 favorites]


I just have to put this here: I just spent literally the entire day at Auschwitz, and then came back to my hotel room to read this. And instead of putting things into perspective, my visit to a living hell just made me so, so angry about this. Which...is possibly putting things into perspective? But this makes me so angry and sad and tired and scared for my country.
posted by mynameisluka at 2:35 PM on October 2 [29 favorites]




Certainly my comment will be buried away in all of this, but I just want to remind people that Las Vegas is a real home to so many people, including myself. Our beautiful city is mourning today. What everyone may or may not be hearing is how wonderfully our community has pulled together to donate blood, food, water, money to the victims and their families, and more. Our police and first responders have been exemplary. I have never been more proud to be a Las Vegan. If you're so inclined, send good vibes/prayers/meditations, etc. Everyone has an opinion, but please remember that there are good, innocent people who are facing a very tough road ahead.
posted by chatelaine at 2:38 PM on October 2 [82 favorites]


I wonder if the aging of mass shooters is consistent with the aging of the folks getting all the lead exposure?

The primer for most cartridges is lead styphnate:

Lead styphnate is mainly used in small arm ammunition for military and commercial applications. It serves as a primary explosive with gunpowder, which will not ignite upon a simple impact.[9] Lead styphnate is also used as primer in microthrusters for small satellite stationkeeping.[10]

Being a gun nut for a long time is a royal road to lead poisoning -- and any associated erratic behavior.
posted by jamjam at 2:48 PM on October 2 [8 favorites]


For those outside the U.S., just to give an appreciation of gun culture in America, a short story. I worked for a brief time at a company with about 300 employees. One of the employees happened to have a Federal Firearms License (FFL) that allowed him to deal firearms. He was buying and selling guns and ammo - in the parking lot - during lunch hour - out of the trunk of his car - to fellow employees.

After a few concerned reports, the employer banned the possession of guns on company property. You should have heard the howls of protest from some employees that America was no longer free because you could no longer buy and sell guns and ammo - in the parking lot - during lunch hour - out of the trunk of your car - to fellow employees.

That's gun culture in America.
posted by JackFlash at 2:49 PM on October 2 [129 favorites]


Here is a long-form article from the Seattle Times in 2014 on issues related to lead poisoning at shooting ranges. It's terrible.
posted by just_ducky at 2:54 PM on October 2 [14 favorites]


phearlez: “You can hear what they sound like on a 9mm in this video, the most common personal handgun caliber in the US.”
I watched the linked video incognito because I didn't want it screwing up my recommendations. Since I wasn't logged into my account, before it ran I saw an ad for an online concealed carry course. They say that you can complete the course and take the test online (“as many times as it takes you to pass”), send it in with some identity documents, and get issued a concealed carry permit in Virginia that due to reciprocity allows you to carry in all 50 states. They show a smiling woman with a badge that says "Concealed Carry Qualification." What the hell are we even doing in this stupid country? Do people really want to have to go around strapped all the time?

I put on SportsNation to switch off for a while, but they lead with this story because they didn't feel up to sports banter this afternoon. Michele Beadle, with tears in her eyes and her voice breaking, says, “I think I've come to the conclusion — and tell me if this is an unhealthy way — if this is our just new reality, then just tell us that. If nothing is ever going to change, then just tell us that. Because I would have a lot easier time dealing with this every single time if I just knew this was it. There is no change coming. Accept it for what it is. It's the new reality.”

Oh, how I loathe the 21st century.
posted by ob1quixote at 2:54 PM on October 2 [26 favorites]


When you get into older adults and their DV history, you have to look back at reporting rates during the time they were youth which is remarkably different than the rates for younger mass shooters.
posted by AlexiaSky at 2:59 PM on October 2 [10 favorites]


Matthew Strauss, Pitchfork: Guitarist Who Performed at Festival in Las Vegas Before Shooting Issues Statement Supporting Gun Control
Caleb Keeter is a guitarist for Josh Abbott Band, one of the acts that performed at this past weekend’s Route 91 Harvest Festival—the Las Vegas country music event where over 58 people were killed in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. In a statement this morning, Keeter writes, “I’ve been a proponent of the 2nd amendment my entire life. Until the events of last night. I cannot express how wrong I was.” He continues, “We need gun control RIGHT. NOW.” In addition, Keeter tweeted, “I’ll not live in fear of anyone. We will regroup, we’ll come back, and we’ll rock your fucking faces off. Bet on it.”
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:09 PM on October 2 [26 favorites]


Now 59 dead, 527 injured, from a "wide variety" of wounds: gunshot, shrapnel, trampling, and egress (i.e. jumping fences)
posted by barchan at 3:09 PM on October 2


Whenever I hear about yet another mass shooting in the United States, I wonder where all the third amendment cowboys are. You know, the ones who claim they need to be armed in order to defend themselves against precisely this sort of thing. As near as I can ascertain, Nevada is an open carry state. I guess the militants didn't have good enough holsters to pull their sidearms in time?
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:10 PM on October 2 [1 favorite]


I don't agree with the "all gun owners are in love with violence" line. Look, I just want to shoot at targets because I like competing with myself. I'm not under any illusion that it's about self-defense, or preparing for the oncoming revolution. I seriously just want to shoot targets.

Have you considered paintball? Or an air rifle? If nothing else, the ammunition would be an order of magnitude cheaper.
posted by NMcCoy at 3:10 PM on October 2 [15 favorites]


Nothing new to say.

I'm really sad.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 3:15 PM on October 2 [2 favorites]




As near as I can ascertain, Nevada is an open carry state. I guess the militants didn't have good enough holsters to pull their sidearms in time?

Johnny Wallflower just linked to the piece about Caleb Keeter, who performed last night, but here's part of his statement:
I've been a proponent of the 2nd amendment my entire life.

Until the events of last night. I cannot express how wrong I was. We actually have members of our crew with CHL licenses, and legal firearms on the bus.

They were useless.
posted by lalex at 3:16 PM on October 2 [40 favorites]


Checked dad's gun cabinet: eight long guns, mostly rifles, all quite old. No handguns; I think I was remembering an old pellet gun he had. The keys are now in a different building and that much is right with the world.

I do not want them anywhere near my sister's house, who has children in the house around 13 and 9. Sorry, Sis, but them's the breaks. I don't think SHE'D want them there either but it's a matter of principle. My mother and her husband have turned into MAGA-hat-wearing gun nuts, so they're not going THERE, especially since my late father would climb out of his urn and throttle me if I even considered it. And I'm certainly not keeping them myself for long.

If I can find someone who will treat them like antique artwork and mount them on a wall and never fire them, great. But one way or another they're leaving my de facto ownership once I work out the appraisals.
posted by delfin at 3:18 PM on October 2 [10 favorites]




If I can find someone who will treat them like antique artwork and mount them on a wall and never fire them, great. But one way or another they're leaving my de facto ownership once I work out the appraisals

Delfin, depending on how old/intricate/historical they are, they may be of value to a museum - I'm not sure if a museum would buy them or not, but you might be able to get tax credit for their appraised value. Additionally, if you know what period they're from, they might be of interest to a collector of that period, who might not focus on firearms, but might consider it a part of a broader collection and would be extremely unlikely to fire them.
posted by corb at 3:21 PM on October 2 [2 favorites]


...I wonder where all the third amendment cowboys are.

Not putting up with soldiers being quartered in their homes during peacetime, that's for damn sure.
posted by The Tensor at 3:23 PM on October 2 [55 favorites]


Second amendment. My mistake. Amended.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:24 PM on October 2 [4 favorites]


"The rate of fire of a muzzle-loading musket and/or rifle at the time of the American Revolution...was about 2-3 shots per minute in the hands of someone who really knew what they were doing."

How to fire a Brown Bess musket

The Inaccuracy of Muskets
The musket itself is not accurate for a variety of reasons. One reason is the aerodynamics of the big roundball itself. When it leaves the muzzle of the musket at a velocity of 1000 fps it immediately begins to drop due to the force of gravity. At 25 yards it drops only one inch but at 50 yards it drops over 4 inches. At 75 yards it drops 10 inches and at 100 yards it drops over 18 inches. For a target at 125 yards the roundball drops 30 inches. These, of course, would be the figures if the musket could be properly aimed with sights – which as we have seen it is impossible as it has no sights.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:27 PM on October 2 [4 favorites]


Nothing new to say.

wow, this. I just posted a couple of things I thought were worth sharing, but I'll be honest and say I haven't read this thread and I am surprised by that because usually I am all over threads that have some relationship with U.S. politics.

I already know exactly what everyone's saying, from the good, smart stuff people here are surely writing, to the terrible and awful things coming from the other side. I know this because it's all been said before in every other thread about a mass shooting in America, and there have been a lot of those.

Why bother? Nothing will change. No action will be taken. I'm really fucking tired.
posted by lalex at 3:27 PM on October 2 [8 favorites]


I wonder where all the third amendment cowboys are.

Alas that our Constitution prevents us from enacting effective measures to stop these mass shootings. I imagine deploying the US military to the residences of gun owners would be quite the deterrent -- "the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun", after all.
posted by NMcCoy at 3:27 PM on October 2 [4 favorites]


@byHeatherLong: There are therapy dogs in the waiting room at Sunrise Hospital, visiting with concert goers and family members awaiting news of friends/fam (photo)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:34 PM on October 2 [18 favorites]




More than 500 people injured.
And 59 people confirmed dead.
And I don't really think I'll feel safe going to an open-air concert again.

Terrorism is "the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims."

I have no idea if these murders were terrorism. But by limiting regulation on gun access, I now believe that the NRA is a terrorist organization.
posted by samthemander at 3:42 PM on October 2 [12 favorites]


I know where all the 5th Amendment cowboys are, but I ain't sayin'.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:44 PM on October 2 [20 favorites]


Why bother? Nothing will change. No action will be taken. I'm really fucking tired.

While I absolutely understand this sentiment, this defeatism really bothers me. The whole "we did nothing after kids were massacred at Sandy Hook, we'll never do anything" is all over Twitter and FB and yeah, that's right, it won't thinking like that. The people who lost their children at Sandy Hook haven't given up. Gabby Giffords hasn't given up. People thought cigarettes would never be stopped. The tobacco industry owned politics for decades. And people kept fighting and working and now you can't smoke practically anywhere. Things like this should not cause despair, but strengthen our resolve that what is right must be done, and we must keep fighting to make it so.
posted by chris24 at 3:46 PM on October 2 [43 favorites]


That's gun culture in America.

A racist email scandal in Chicago's Water Department broke because one of the racists, a supervisor, was using his department email to conduct gun sales.
posted by srboisvert at 3:49 PM on October 2 [8 favorites]


I really don't know what we're supposed to do, but I wrote this on Facebook today:

12 Steps to Deal with Mass Shootings and Gun Violence (Without Taking Everyone's Guns):
  1. Admit that the massive gun violence problem in the United States, including sensational events like the Pulse or Mandalay Bay shootings, has gotten completely out of our control and cannot be handled at the individual level.
  2. Realize that the law can be used to compel group solutions to big societal problems.
  3. Decide to change the laws.
  4. Collectively look in the mirror as a culture and try to understand why we're so consumed by anger and so fascinated by violence. Don't ban violent movies, music, and video games, but try to understand what it is about ourselves that makes us love them.
  5. Apologize to all the victims of gun violence. Understand that domestic abuse can become murder with a gun in the picture.
  6. Figure out measurable and deliverable (SMART) legal and other policy solutions that can be reasonably implemented (mass confiscation is a no go for obvious reasons), and give them a chance.
  7. Call your legislators. We're all tired of calling our legislators, but we don't get to stop.
  8. Build a national memorial to the victims of gun violence.
  9. Restore the right to sue gun dealers and/or manufacturers, and create a fund for financial restitution to victims of gun violence.
  10. Continually evaluate progress and adjust policy as needed.
  11. Educate yourself about institutional issues, and start thinking about other parts of society that might be fueling this and problems like it.
  12. Share successful approaches with the other wealthy industrialized countries dealing with massive gun violence. Oh, wait...
posted by OverlappingElvis at 3:54 PM on October 2 [29 favorites]


Brother says Las Vegas shooter was multi-millionaire real estate investor

Explains how he could afford all of those weapons.

This kind of stock piling costs a lot of money. This kind of violence is a natural extension of the rich, insulated "prepper" mentality. It's stock piling for a death fantasy future until it suddenly becomes a death fantasy present.

Those who treat the 2nd Ammemdment like religious gospel have no interest in defending themselves against governmental overreach. All their huff-puffing about "the government coming for our guns" is a lie. Their show boating and military role-playing is a clear signal that they side with governmental/white power. The violence they dream of is never in defense of injustice against the general population, it's always mimicking the types of racist/classist violence you see coming out of such institutions as the police and military.

Look at who does the most aggressive open carrying at protests. They're not challenging the State, they're representing how they believe State should be.

The GOP supports this. They benefit from this. Mass casualties are an accepted price for their financial gain and political power.

This all so depressing, frustrating, and feels like a waste of time. Just venting. Preaching to the choir.
posted by AtoBtoA at 4:04 PM on October 2 [47 favorites]


That's about two bullets entering human flesh every second. For five minutes.

Some percentage of injuries are almost certainly from mass panic.


Apologies if this has been linked/discussed but from the statement made by one of the guitarists performing, it sounds like a lot of injuries were from shrapnel due to the high powered nature of the rounds used. So when one person was shot, several people near them got shrapnel injuries.
posted by threeturtles at 4:05 PM on October 2 [1 favorite]


related: Tower is on netflix. It is *harrowing*. tw: mass shooting, UT, 1966. protect your psyche if ya should.
posted by j_curiouser at 4:06 PM on October 2 [7 favorites]


Look at who does the most aggressive open carrying at protests. They're not challenging the State, they're representing how they believe State should be.

Every so often people make the argument that the 2nd amendment is there to defend against government tyranny. Boy are they dumb and wrong.
posted by Artw at 4:12 PM on October 2 [14 favorites]


Earlier I heard someone (maybe Senator Richard Blumenthal-D) make the best excuse for banning silencers: it is the sound of the gun firing that cues people to run for cover.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:21 PM on October 2 [14 favorites]


When you're protecting you and your family from the revenuers, every decibel counts.
posted by rhizome at 4:24 PM on October 2


I just feel like crying most of the time.
posted by milarepa at 4:24 PM on October 2 [24 favorites]


Look at who does the most aggressive open carrying at protests. They're not challenging the State, they're representing how they believe State should be.

Yeah, when the cops side with you and beat up the peaceniks, maybe your sense of oppression is misguided.
posted by rhizome at 4:26 PM on October 2 [14 favorites]


Artw: “Every so often people make the argument that the 2nd amendment is there to defend against government tyranny. Boy are they dumb and wrong.”

I wouldn't call the Black Panthers "dumb," but I guess that – insofar as they can be said to have failed – you could say they were "wrong," at least.

Still, I can't say I disagree with the many thinkers of color who tend to point out after these sorts of tragedies that the biggest threat to Americans is government violence – and that general gun control should happen after, not before, a broad disarmament of the police and a rescinding of the white supremacy that animates government policy today.
posted by koeselitz at 4:27 PM on October 2 [17 favorites]


Why bother? Nothing will change UNDER THIS CONGRESS. No action will be taken UNDER THIS CONGRESS. They're not going to act, so they need to be removed.
posted by contraption at 4:28 PM on October 2 [10 favorites]


I know Andy Borowitz has a mixed reputation on the blue, but once in a while he knocks it out of the park:
Out of respect for those who died in a fire, now is not the time to discuss installing sprinklers. #NRALogic
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:36 PM on October 2 [57 favorites]


general gun control should happen after, not before, a broad disarmament of the police and a rescinding of the white supremacy that animates government policy today

I agree with this but gun regulation is a concrete step that can be taken while we work on the more complicated issues. No need to divide between before/after.
posted by AtoBtoA at 4:49 PM on October 2


Hmm.
posted by Artw at 4:54 PM on October 2 [5 favorites]


The NRA has pulled its ads in the VA governors race until Oct 10. So if you want to know how long the NRA thinks it will take people to forget, it's 8 days.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:03 PM on October 2 [71 favorites]


While I absolutely understand this sentiment, this defeatism really bothers me. The whole "we did nothing after kids were massacred at Sandy Hook, we'll never do anything" is all over Twitter and FB and yeah, that's right, it won't thinking like that. The people who lost their children at Sandy Hook haven't given up. Gabby Giffords hasn't given up. People thought cigarettes would never be stopped. The tobacco industry owned politics for decades. And people kept fighting and working and now you can't smoke practically anywhere. Things like this should not cause despair, but strengthen our resolve that what is right must be done, and we must keep fighting to make it so.

Not to be a (total) dick, but your resolve really bothers me. It seems really unrealistic, especially since, as you mentioned, we already have examples in America's past that show how long it takes to get a dangerous problem under control. Like, I'm in my 40s - I could literally-literally be dead from natural causes before meaningful gun control happens in this country. Seems like enough reason to feel despair to me. Let the people who feel hopeless feel hopeless for a while.
posted by 23skidoo at 5:05 PM on October 2 [13 favorites]


People thought cigarettes would never be stopped.
They haven't been stopped. Now we just force people to kill themselves out of our sight. So you will forgive me if I do not find this analogy hopeful.
posted by xyzzy at 5:12 PM on October 2 [9 favorites]


They just showed a clip on the news from an interview Steve Scalise did with 60 minutes last week. Where he says his views on guns (A+ rating from the NRA) haven't changed, and the interviewer (forgot who it was) says "even though you are now a victim of gun violence?" and he says "I don't want to have people lose the right to protect themselves."

Tribalism is a sickness and a rot.
posted by triggerfinger at 5:17 PM on October 2 [19 favorites]


Tobacco use has been drastically curtailed as a source of chronic illness in most situations, and moreso it is vilified and taxed to the extent that it's demise is reasonably assured, or at least its continued decline in the US at least. But I think the nihilism and venality of the right, and their constituency frankly, is such that you could have a mass shooting every day in their home district and neither they nor their represented populace would change their views on gun control.
posted by docpops at 5:19 PM on October 2 [8 favorites]




But I think the nihilism and venality of the right, and their constituency frankly, is such that you could have a mass shooting every day in their home district and neither they nor their represented populace would change their views on gun control.

it's like ISIS/Al Qaeda attacks, mass shootings just reinforce the views they already hold. In the former case, it reinforces that Muslims are terrorists and should be restricted or banned. In the latter, it reinforces that people need guns to protect themselves.
posted by AFABulous at 5:24 PM on October 2


They haven't been stopped

That isn't fair. Tobacco industry revenues are half what they were 30 years ago when cigarettes were 8x+ cheaper.
posted by rhizome at 5:25 PM on October 2 [16 favorites]


I smoke cigarettes. I know they will kill me, and I don't mind being forced out of sight. Smokers find smokers, and we should be taxed and pushed outdoors and far away. When Bloomberg banned smoking in bars and clubs in NYC we thought nightlife was doomed. We were wrong. We just went outside. Tax and regulate smoking as much as you can. Smokers are addicts, they will still smoke. The idea is make it as difficult, costly, and lonely as possible. You can't save everyone but you can keep people from starting.

end rant.
posted by vrakatar at 5:29 PM on October 2 [32 favorites]


"Every so often people make the argument that the 2nd amendment is there to defend against government tyranny. Boy are they dumb and wrong."

I got banned from a gun rights group a couple years ago when old white conservatives (who subscribe to that interpretation of the Second Amendment) were flipping their shit over black people murdering white cops in Texas and I asked them what did they think armed resistance to tyranny would look like?
posted by Jacqueline at 5:29 PM on October 2 [217 favorites]


Jacqueline that's awesome.

I know they will kill me

Hey now, you could be Harry Dean Vrakatar.
posted by rhizome at 5:32 PM on October 2 [2 favorites]


Regarding the domestic violence / mass shooter connection, I will not be surprised if we learn that the reason his girlfriend is out of the country is that she just left him.

Women are most likely to be murdered immediately after leaving their abusers, and with her out of reach he turned to substitute victims.

Just speculation, but it would fit the profile and what we know so far.
posted by Jacqueline at 5:33 PM on October 2 [36 favorites]


I needed that laugh today. Thanks, Jacqueline.
posted by ragtag at 5:34 PM on October 2 [4 favorites]


Just to end the derail - John Oliver did a pretty great bit on Tobacco a while back. They're actually as profitable as ever, mostly because tobacco use is only growing in the developing world and Big Tobacco has the money and resources to destroy any attempts to regulate its use in developing markets.
posted by absalom at 5:35 PM on October 2 [8 favorites]


Jaquline, that's been my theory all day. She left him, he decided he'd show her and it would be all her fault.
posted by vrakatar at 5:39 PM on October 2 [10 favorites]


FWIW, even my most hardcore "temporarily embarrassed action heroes" gun friends are all in agreement that in this situation, not only was there nothing that a "good guy with a gun" could have done to stop this but that any attempts to shoot back would have likely resulted in the loss of more innocent lives. Only one person even tried to start with "less gun control might have saved lives" and he immediately retracted a few minutes later once he was caught up on the facts.
posted by Jacqueline at 5:42 PM on October 2 [8 favorites]


I'm using the following in my arguments with people who claim that gun laws never work (with the caveat that it's only one study):
Over the past quarter-century, intimate partner homicide rates were 9.7 percent lower in states with domestic violence gun laws that kept offenders from getting or keeping firearms, and firearm-related intimate partner murder rates were 14 percent lower . . . “Half of murdered women are shot and killed by their spouse, ex-spouse, intimate partner or ex-partner,” said Dr. Joslyn Fisher of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, co-author of an accompanying editorial. “If we can get guns, weapons with the greatest lethality risk, out of the hands of potential perpetrators, we can reduce murder by guns and thus make a dent in the total number of women killed by their partners”
"Or keeping" is the operative phrase here, because the article emphasizes, "Laws that prohibited the possession of firearms by people subject to restraining orders but didn’t require the surrender of guns didn’t appear to have a statistically meaningful impact on intimate partner homicide rates, the study also found."
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 5:49 PM on October 2 [20 favorites]


[A couple deleted; let's leave the deeper-into-the-weeds discussion about tobacco for another time.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 5:50 PM on October 2 [2 favorites]


I got banned from a gun rights group a couple years ago when old white conservatives (who subscribe to that interpretation of the Second Amendment) were flipping their shit over black people murdering white cops in Texas and I asked them what did they think armed resistance to tyranny would look like?

Hahahahahaha, thanks for one happy moment today. Oh yes, they are all about armed resistance to a tyrannical government, they're so so so so so tough guy and anti-authoritarian and civil libertarian and rugged individualist. . . .

until a black guy takes a knee during the national anthem, when they immediately wet their pants.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:50 PM on October 2 [67 favorites]


I will not be surprised if we learn that the reason his girlfriend is out of the country is that she just left him.

That rings so true. One last time to the casino and everybody loses.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 5:51 PM on October 2 [7 favorites]


and I asked them what did they think armed resistance to tyranny would look like?

Sometimes, +1 just isn't enough praise.
posted by Dashy at 5:53 PM on October 2 [29 favorites]


"Taking 20,000 people with me" is kind of the ultimate shitty expression of privilege, really.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:54 PM on October 2 [8 favorites]


you invest in gun control, public health, foodstamps, roads and education to improve society; you invest in guns, MREs, 4wheelers and hoard supplies if you want society to end, or fear that it will. If you are an certain kind of aging white male and looking at the writing on the wall you either think or want society to end before it becomes not your country.... thats why the larger political debate is fucked. some % of the country is prepping to live mad max instead of startrek.

this guy, i think its odd that he has made no campaign donations, no manifesto, maybe the girlfriend left, maybe he got a terminal diagnosis, but maybe hes a bored rich guy who decided to killhimself and his 0 sympathy meant mass murder was just for kicks? we may never know... but the mad max folks just look at this and think, we're almost to thunderdome, better arm up.
posted by Anchorite_of_Palgrave at 6:02 PM on October 2 [8 favorites]


[A couple deleted. Folks, I understand the temptation but still let's hold off on inventing a whole backstory for this guy before more is actually known.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 6:04 PM on October 2 [17 favorites]


K. Sorry.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 6:06 PM on October 2 [3 favorites]


But I think the nihilism and venality of the right, and their constituency frankly, is such that you could have a mass shooting every day in their home district and neither they nor their represented populace would change their views on gun control.

I agree that Republican politicians are craven, but even Republicans voters want some sensible regulations. It's their elected officials in thrall to the NRA that stops even these small steps. This is from June 2016 after Pulse.
The support for tougher gun laws rose to 55% in the newest poll -- the highest number since just one month after the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, in January 2013.

But support for specific gun control measures was very strong, with 92% saying they wanted expanded background checks, 87% supporting a ban for felons or people with mental health problems and 85% saying they would ban people on federal watchlists from buying guns. Among Republicans, that number is even higher -- 90% say they favor preventing people on the terror watch list or "no fly" list from buying a gun. That number is at 85% for Democrats.
As others have mentioned, it's not impossible, it's impossible with these elected officials. We need to take back Congress with Democrats that will vote in opposition to the NRA.
posted by chris24 at 6:07 PM on October 2 [12 favorites]


"Sometimes, +1 just isn't enough praise."

Ah, MetaFilter, the one place I can count on to appreciate my mouthing off to old people. Everyone I know IRL is horrified and wants to know "WTF is wrong with you, Jackie, you can't say things like that!" I get in so much trouble for embarrassing people by association... :(
posted by Jacqueline at 6:11 PM on October 2 [36 favorites]


We had some gun control laws in the US; they've been overturned. The US is hellbent on embracing guns and violence. A couple years ago, I went shooting because I had never held or fired a gun. I get that some people enjoy target shooting. I didn't enjoy it much, too much arthritis in my hands. I live in Maine, people hunt, there's a certain amount of stupidity, but as a meat eater, I respect people who are willing to kill the animal themselves. I don't vilify gun owners.

But the other side? In 1988, in Maine, Karen Ann Wood was killed in her back yard by a hunter. The hunter was not convicted of negligence, but was at least tried. About once a week, I read about a child killed because a gun owner had an unsecured weapon. The owners are never prosecuted. In most states, you're in a lot more trouble with some pot than being careless with a loaded gun and causing the death of a child.

I've been reading about dominance behavior in baboons. Guns in the US seem to me to be a way of beating one's chest and announcing alpha status. Protection from someone who might invade your territory. Protection from losing face. Look at Pres. Pants-On-Fire's sons, who like to hunt animals just for sport. They are deeply invested, like their Dad, in being at the top of the hierarchy, albeit with no understanding of what to do if/when the get there. Other countries have guns but not as much violence. How do they do it? It's out of control and it feels like it's just getting worse.
posted by theora55 at 6:17 PM on October 2 [12 favorites]


Looking forward to seeing how Trump manages to make this all about himself. He did tweet his "warmest condolences" which sounds like it was written by a Markov chain sympathy bot.

Seriously, I don't even know what "warm condolences" are.

Not many people know this, but if you visit the Trump Grill on 5th Ave in New York and present Trump's warmest condolences, your server will sing the first verse of 'Amazing Grace' and give you a coupon for 5% off your next stay at any Trump property. (Some terms and conditions apply, offer valid at select Trump properties only, condolences must be presented before ordering, see your server for further details or for additional verses.)

Seriously, fuck that guy. Warmest condolences. Fuck him right in his goddamn eye.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 6:22 PM on October 2 [10 favorites]


One day you're running a simple honest minigun-rental business, the next you're accidentally selling the worst shirts in the world.
posted by theodolite at 6:25 PM on October 2 [11 favorites]


Specifically, this one.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:27 PM on October 2 [11 favorites]


Question - in cases like this (maybe this is better as an askme, mods please let me know) are the victims expected to pay for medical care? Are they sent a bill? Does the hospital ask for insurance information? Most plans require members to pay for out of network service (at least mine does). Man, America is so fucked up that victims need to even worry about this!
posted by ramix at 6:28 PM on October 2 [6 favorites]


Specifically, this one.

Oh dear.
posted by Artw at 6:31 PM on October 2 [4 favorites]


Enough about that guy, anyway. Here's a worthwhile story from the LA Times about some of the lives lost.
posted by Dashy at 6:34 PM on October 2 [3 favorites]


Speaking as someone who lived in a neighborhood where my home actually was broken into (with me in it), I did not require a gun to drive the dude out. Not sure where this puts me on the "gun as alpha baboon" status.
posted by Archelaus at 6:38 PM on October 2 [2 favorites]


are the victims expected to pay for medical care?

There's no "mass shooting" exemption from the health insurance system. The victims will all be using their own insurance, employer, Obamacare, Medicaid, Medicare, with that many victims there will be representatives of every corner of the health insurance system. The uninsured victims won't magically get insurance as the victims of an attack, they'll be treated on an emergency basis like everyone else, and when the dust settles, they'll get the bills in the mail. Welcome to America, where guns and bullets are a right, but health insurance is a privilege for those that can pay, including the victims of gun violence.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:38 PM on October 2 [113 favorites]


If you can alter the course of the NRA via membership then there's nothing restricting that to those of us who are gun owners.

This is a quote from way up in the thread, but I want to highlight it to simply say:

This is a really large if, and one that evidence seems to show is not the case. As stated above, huge numbers of NRA members (a majority) favor gun control laws that the NRA nonetheless fights tooth and nail against as unconscionable restrictions on freedom (read: profits).

The NRA is 100% captured by the arms dealers. They should be fought against, but not in a way that gives them money and perceived power over legislators. Joining to fight from the inside will just inflate the numbers of voters in their sway that they can wave at legislators who dare propose gun control laws.
posted by tocts at 6:42 PM on October 2 [10 favorites]


We had some gun control laws in the US; they've been overturned.

No, they haven't, at least not all of them. Even the Heller decision did not completely outlaw restrictions on gun sales, and several cities, such as Chicago, New York and Boston, still have and enforce gun-control laws. The problem for these cities, as somebody mentioned above in relation to Chicago, is that it's just too easy to buy guns in neighboring states.
posted by adamg at 6:43 PM on October 2 [3 favorites]


In 1988, in Maine, Karen Ann Wood was killed in her back yard by a hunter. The hunter was not convicted of negligence, but was at least tried.

Priorities. From a 2013 article on the 25th anniversary of her death, about Maine state law in 1988: "Shoot and wound somebody by hunting, [a Maine deputy wildlife commissioner] said, and a hunter faced a mandatory 10-year license suspension. Shoot a moose illegally and you got a $2,000 fine. But if you [shot and killed a person] and you said you thought it was a deer when you shot them, it was a $200 fine and there wasn’t even any jail sentence imposed.”
posted by LeLiLo at 6:45 PM on October 2 [17 favorites]


The front page of tomorrow's Washington Post.

Editor Mark W. Smith: See the line that extends down the page on the right side? That's part of the graph that shows the deaths and (in this case) injuries in U.S. mass shootings. It extends through the story below it.
posted by rewil at 6:45 PM on October 2 [22 favorites]


I can't even. Every time I think about repatriating something happens. After much discussion with my spouse actually emailed my dad the other day to see if he wanted to maybe move to Portland (OR) with us. A resounding "YAY". We were so excited...and now this. We would love to do this, but... how? We have a three year old. I want so much to be closer to my family, in a place that feels like home, that would give us a bit of wiggle room but... how can I ask my spouse and child to potentially subject themselves to this? And I can't get my family out, either. Jesus.

And so many victims weren't even locals. So what now? Never go home, even to visit? Go, but don't leave the house?

And of course, all those nice people - not this time, but every time. All those young people, all those kids. This happened once in Australia - ONCE. And they cracked down. It is not a "thing" here, and it definitely is not normal - unless, I suppose, you live in the US.

I'm practically in tears at my desk now. At least I already have a therapy appointment lined up for next week.
posted by jrobin276 at 6:49 PM on October 2 [10 favorites]


I just listened to this very moving interview with Heather Gooze, the bartender who held Jordan McIldoon's hand as he died and stayed with him for five hours. It made me tear up (along with the interviewer) and it's a good example for anyone looking for the helpers.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 6:52 PM on October 2 [15 favorites]


It's possible to own a lot of guns and ammo without being a psychopath just waiting to snap and go on a rampage.

Speculating on price fluctuations, accepting them as barter payments, becoming known as someone who owns a lot of guns so when your acquaintances need cash they come to you instead of a pawn shop, etc. And the more responsible you are, the more they tend to accumulate because you're not comfortable selling your extras to just anyone.

My husband has an "arsenal" that used to be a comparable size to the Vegas shooter's (with the exception that we had an order of magnitude fewer magazines). We're definitely members of that tiny minority of gun owners that own most of the guns.

So, from the perspective of a member of your more recalcitrant demographic, here's two "gun control" measures that we'd actually love:

1) Easy access to background checks for private party sales. Or like a way to check online that someone's concealed carry permit hasn't been revoked, like how you can verify a notary commission.

2) A buyback program that paid market value or at least close to it, instead of just a small fixed amount that's the same for all handguns or all rifles. That would provide an incentive to also sell back our better guns that are far more capable of being used in a mass shooting instead of just the cheap pieces of shit that are always jamming anyway.

We can't be the only "gun nuts" who would support these things. You just got to spin it as "we're making it easier to safely sell your extra guns" instead of "we're making it harder you to buy more guns."
posted by Jacqueline at 7:00 PM on October 2 [32 favorites]


Ramix yes, people will get bills. Some states (such as IL) have a crime victims application to apply for to cover some costs, but I'm not sure how effective it is, and the depth of the coverage.

I have no idea if NV has a similar program.

Out of network costs generally have an exception for emergency services that must be rendered at the closest available facility... With the expectation that you are transferred to another hospital in network when stable.
posted by AlexiaSky at 7:01 PM on October 2 [2 favorites]


Question - in cases like this (maybe this is better as an askme, mods please let me know) are the victims expected to pay for medical care? Are they sent a bill? Does the hospital ask for insurance information? Most plans require members to pay for out of network service (at least mine does). Man, America is so fucked up that victims need to even worry about this!

They should shop around and make an informed decision about what trauma center to go to.
posted by thelonius at 7:03 PM on October 2 [35 favorites]


I'm so godamn tired of this shit. I'm especially sick to death of analyzing the motives of the shooter. It was when the San Bernardino shooting happened and I was waiting to find out if it was a terrorist act or "only" a workplace shooting that the utter morbid ludicrousness of the situation hit me. What difference does it make why some dude (it's always a dude) grabs a weapon and kills a bunch of strangers? Really, in the end does it matter whether he did it because he's pissed at his girlfriend for dumping him, because he's a terrorist, because he got fired from his job, or what? The people who got killed are still dead. Nothing changes.

The body count gets breathlessly splashed all over the place (this is the most important thing right? How many people died? Is it the most ever? The second most?), the shooter gets the in depth coverage and dissection of their psyche their narcissism would have been gratified by, and the victims are largely receded into the background. Congress will continue to sit on it's ass and refuse to implement even the most common-sense gun control legislation and continue to pass on their oh so useful "thoughts and prayers" while accepting NRA and weapons manufacturer money. They don't give a shit about the victims of gun violence. The American public will still refuse to look in the mirror and figure out why the hell we're so angry and violent and frightened by everything, and why so much of our society is powered by raging wounded egos and toxic masculinity. Til the next time. And the next. Same as it ever was.

And personally, I'm sick to death of "looking for the helpers." The helpers are lying dead in the fucking street. I get the impulse to point out that there's always more good people than bad fucked up people in the world, and I don't want to take that away from anybody else, but to me it feels completely hollow at this point. It would be like letting buildings burn down over and over again and pointing out that there are firefighters. I mean yeah I guess so.

Every time I think about repatriating something happens.

I hear you jrobin276. I'm in exactly the same boat. Every time I think about moving back to the USA something fucked up happens with either healthcare or gun violence. I feel like I would be a bad irresponsible person at this point to ask my family to move to a place with such grotesque priorities. But yeah what's the solution, I guess never ever live in the United States again as long as I live?
posted by supercrayon at 7:11 PM on October 2 [38 favorites]


1) Easy access to background checks for private party sales

Every private transfer I've done, including the ones in "gun-grabberc states, has been easy-peasy. And every public transfer scheme proposed, both in public and here on Metafilter gets rules-lawyered to death while the definition of "easy" fades away over the horizon.

But maybe this time it'll work!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:17 PM on October 2 [3 favorites]


I forgot to add that these transfers were with background checks.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:24 PM on October 2


I'm going to name my next kid Muhammad Lone-Wolf, just in case.
posted by BinGregory at 7:38 PM on October 2 [12 favorites]


You could probably even achieve near-universal voluntary participation in a background check system for private party sales with a little tweaking of the incentives:

You do your due diligence and run a background check before transferring a firearm, you're immune from civil liability for anything the buyer does with your old gun.

You choose not to run a check, fine, but you can be held liable if they use it in a crime or fail to adequately secure it from thieves or children.

Then you're spin is that you're not trying to impose a mandatory background check system that would be a violation of MUH GUN RIGHTS (politically unviable), you're just offering a valuable service/benefit to responsible gun owners (and everyone thinks they're responsible).
posted by Jacqueline at 7:39 PM on October 2 [10 favorites]


It's possible to own a lot of guns and ammo without being a psychopath just waiting to snap and go on a rampage.

This sounds too close to #notallpeoplewhoownlotsofguns. It's a major problem regardless of how many non-psychopath people-who-own-lots-of-guns there are.
posted by 23skidoo at 7:42 PM on October 2 [15 favorites]


Yeah, I'm with you, supercrayon. So many of the "sensible" proposals I hear would allow people like this guy to slip through the net. Background checks? He passed them. His fully auto weapon(s)? Already illegal without an expensive stamp. His contact with law enforcement has apparently been minimal.

I keep going back to the various iterations of 2A that were scaled back that made it completely clear that 2A was NOT an individual right but a mandate for national defense via militia. There were carve outs for conscientious objectors ffs.

Original 2A:
A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, being the best security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; but no one religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.
I REALLY REALLY wish they hadn't struck that clause.
posted by xyzzy at 7:44 PM on October 2 [10 favorites]


"I forgot to add that these transfers were with background checks."

Where/how are you getting these done? Because last I checked, here you and your buyer have to make an appointment with a FFL license holder in town and then they charge you up the butt.

There would be much higher participation if you could do it cheaply via an app on your phone.
posted by Jacqueline at 7:45 PM on October 2 [1 favorite]


You choose not to run a check, fine, but you can be held liable if they use it in a crime or fail to adequately secure it from thieves or children.

Meh, the family guns were purchased awhile ago, I'm not too worried about getting tracked down.
posted by edeezy at 7:47 PM on October 2 [2 favorites]


In Rhode Island it is illegal to hunt deer with a rifle... as there is this HOUSE right over THERE and kids LIVE IN IT.

Buckshot is called buckshot as it is a load of projectiles that would kill a guy deer with antlers ("Buck") without killing innocents a quarter mile off, just trying to do their homework, and this buckshot round works very well at harvesting venison while also sparing kids from croaking it.

Oh, wait, this just in. Hunters and anglers are now free to poison their fish and fowl with lead. They now have the freedom to poison their children and prey with lead, and wonder why the ducks don't flock to their secret site as thickly as they used to, or at all, and how their kids get so angry and can't figure out pre-school...
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:48 PM on October 2 [6 favorites]


A couple of interesting statistics.

There are twice as many retail gun stores in the U.S than there are Starbucks stores - in the entire world. Think about that the next time you stumble upon yet another Starbucks, it represents two gun stores.

There are almost as many firearms dealers in the U.S. as there are gas stations.

That's gun culture in America.
posted by JackFlash at 7:51 PM on October 2 [65 favorites]


"So many of the "sensible" proposals I hear would allow people like this guy to slip through the net."

But isn't that true of rich psychopaths and most laws in general?
posted by Jacqueline at 7:52 PM on October 2 [5 favorites]


So many of the "sensible" proposals I hear would allow people like this guy to slip through the net. Background checks? He passed them. His fully auto weapon(s)? Already illegal without an expensive stamp. His contact with law enforcement has apparently been minimal.

All of these things are necessary, but not sufficient. There also has to be an aggressive buy back program. Make it "fair market value", fine, but the problem is the number of guns out there. Making it harder to transfer might help, but won't solve the underlying supply issues. The Australian buy back worked. It could work here too in conjunction with all of the above measures, as well an aggressive crackdown on the manufacturers limiting new sales to almost nothing. It might not work immediately, and might take many years of people looking at those gun arsenals and deciding they need $2000 in hand more than a semi-auto right now, or the original gun nut dying off and leaving a small fortune of illiquid death machines to their kids, but over time it could work.

Solving this problem is not hard. Deciding we want to solve it is.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:53 PM on October 2 [14 favorites]


There would be much higher participation if you could do it cheaply via an app on your phone.


So, about what I said on watching "easy" retreat over the horizon ...
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:56 PM on October 2 [2 favorites]


I'd love to verify you aren't a convicted criminal before I sell you this murder machine but there's not an app for that so whatevs.
posted by edeezy at 7:59 PM on October 2 [14 favorites]


A buyback program that paid a reasonable amount would also be waaaaaay more appealing than a private party sale because presumably they'd buy anything so you could just take whatever you didn't want to a buyback location for immediate cash instead of fucking around with finding a buyer. That reduces the non-financial transaction costs considerably.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:01 PM on October 2 [3 favorites]


A gun shop owner in Mesquite confirmed to ABC News that he sold guns to Paddock, but he did not specify how many and whether they were the ones used in the shooting.

"We mourn for this tragedy and our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the lost and injured," said Christopher M. Sullivan, the general manager of Guns & Guitars, Inc."


Guns and Guitars, Inc.
posted by JackFlash at 8:03 PM on October 2 [10 favorites]


I agree that getting rid of unwanted firearms isn't easy enough. My dad had a pistol that he'd used when he was a raccoon trapper in the 70's. Many of the other (lazy and horrible) people working trap lines would allow trapped animals to linger for days, so my dad got licensed and bought a pistol to kill suffering animals he encountered while he checked his own traps twice a day. That gun rolled around in the house for decades and he really wanted to get rid of it. He wanted to bring it to the local police, but didn't feel like calling and dealing with the hassle of arranging for surrender and he isn't in town during our annual buyback day. So he just gave it to a friend of his. I'm sure there are thousands of lost opportunities to reduce the lingering supply like this where owners aren't even necessarily interested in fair market value but are frankly too lazy to do anything more complicated than dropping it in a secure bin somewhere without getting harassed by police.
posted by xyzzy at 8:06 PM on October 2 [7 favorites]


Fuck.

I was going to write a note about how - for self-care reasons - it's important to keep some perspective. Your chances of dying by mass shooting are vanishingly small. Which is true! It's like 1 in 15k, which is more than 3x less likely than from "bicycle". (Which isn't to say that we shouldn't do something about this, just that if you were seriously upset about the odds of dying in a mass shooting and numbers are a comfort to you, this might be a comfort.)

But then I noticed that "Accidental gunshot" is about 1 in 7k - twice as likely, and "Assault by gun" is about 1 in 370 WHAT THE FUCK. It's in the top 20, higher than Fire, Drowning, or Motorcycle.

I don't understand how you can look at numbers like that and shrug and be all "Welp, nothing we can do. Clearly no law can save us."

(Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/gun-death-statistics-assault-mass-shootings-accidents-2017-10)
posted by Imperfect at 8:07 PM on October 2 [20 favorites]


Buy-back is one of the things Australia did (along with, you know, implementing reasonable restrictions). It worked really well. I don't know the details, but I suspect they made it easy to do, too.

There are so many things about the US I love and miss. I just wish they'd pull their act together, mostly about guns, but healthcare would be nice too. Stuff like this makes it really hard to move, especially when your spouse is used to, you know, feeling safe going to movies and school and stuff and is used to having access to healthcare.

Imperfect - my dad quotes numbers like this all time. It's good to remember, as these "mass events" are so much more dramatic than an "average" assault (I'm wondering if this number includes domestic partnership violence?). And I do bike my kid to daycare every morning.

The world is not a safe place, and very little highlights this as much as having a kid.

Thanks for your comment supercrayon. Good to know I'm not alone.
posted by jrobin276 at 8:11 PM on October 2 [2 favorites]


"I'd love to verify you aren't a convicted criminal before I sell you this murder machine but there's not an app for that so whatevs."

You guys want to know how to get gun owner support for gun control measures, I'm telling you what would work on me and my gun-nut friends. The easier you make it to do something, the more people will choose to do that thing.

My overall point is that there are ways to tweak or spin a lot of gun control proposals so that they're perceived as valuable services instead of as restrictions of rights.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:11 PM on October 2 [16 favorites]


"annual buyback day"

Like for starters, turn these into year-round programs instead of a single day and you'd capture a lot more guns even without paying full market rates. You just have to be less of a rip-off than a pawn shop.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:17 PM on October 2 [10 favorites]


You guys want to know how to get gun owner support for gun control measures, I'm telling you what would work on me and my gun-nut friends

On the one hand, I really appreciate your comments--and have for some time. Even when you've told me I haven't a clue what I'm talking about.

On the other hand, I don't really care because I don't think most people who would call themselves "gun-nuts" are half as reasonable as you are.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:27 PM on October 2 [12 favorites]


Yeah I think we're better off simply working to elect Democrats who will enact some broadly supported gun control legislation. If 2016 proved anything it's reaching out to supposed moderate Republicans is futile (and the vast majority of "gun nuts" are Republicans or possibly not Republican because Republicans aren't extreme enough for them). A small fraction will show some moral backbone without prompting while the rest will gladly ride this train straight to hell.

Unfortunately you need 60 votes in the Senate since it isn't budgetary.
posted by Justinian at 8:35 PM on October 2 [9 favorites]


I want someone to explain to me why any person possibly needs 42 guns. Seriously, there's a type of "sensible gun control" that might help. I mean, the town down the road from me has a zoning law that you can't have more than 3 dogs on one acre of land even if said dogs are chihuahuas. But anyone anywhere can fucking stuff their house full of firearms and ammo.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:36 PM on October 2 [11 favorites]


Regarding buyback and turn-in programs, especially the Australian model, here's what the NRA has had to say about them lately:

June 26: Nationwide Firearms Turn-In Not Enough For Australia's Gun Haters
It's the country's fourth federal firearms turn-in since 1987.

August 13: Guns Trickle In to Australia Turn-in
Firearms amnesty program aims to rid country of illegally possessed guns.

August 16: Dana Loesch: Questioning Gun Buyback Programs
Dana Loesch joins Grant to discuss the problems with gun buyback programs as a Democrat calls for them on a national level. Dana also responds to a call by Senator Kamala Harris to renew the "assault" weapons ban.

August 17: Dave Kopel: Australia's Gun Grabbers Fear Lever-Action Shotgun
Gun Control Australia is complaining that the country's compliance with the 1996 Port Arthur Agreement is falling away in the wake of continued political gains by pro-gun rights legislators. The Independence Institute's Dave Kopel says it would be more accurate to say that it's really about the Adler lever-action shotgun. Gun grabbers are upset that the states aren't banning the five-shot along with the already banned seven-shot. Farmers use the lever-action Adler to defend themselves from feral hogs. Dave says that the 150-year-old technology is considered to be too "rapid fire."

September 4: Australia's Pro and Anti-Gun Researchers Agree, Gun Turn-Ins Don't Work
Pro and anti-gun researchers agree: gun turn-ins don't work

So, to make this happen, you would have to do it without NRA support. Easier said than done.
posted by Superplin at 8:36 PM on October 2 [3 favorites]


I don't think most people who would call themselves "gun-nuts" are half as reasonable as you are.

Hence my emphasis on "here's how you spin this to appeal to this group."

I'm not just a gun nut myself, I also have a bunch of gun nut friends and we talk amongst ourselves. So if you don't know many yourselves, you can run an idea past me and I can give you an honest answer as to whether I think it's likely to get a positive, neutral, or MUH COLD DEAD HANDS reaction from my friends and other co-ideologues.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:38 PM on October 2 [9 favorites]


You have to do everything without NRA support. The only thing the NRA supports is any person being able to get any gun any time anywhere with no delay or background check or restriction of any type. They would support putting guns in vending machines or being able to buy them at the drive-through with a burger.
posted by supercrayon at 8:39 PM on October 2 [27 favorites]


The idea that the Islamic State simply scans the news in search of mass killings, then sends out press releases in hope of stealing glory, is false.

Contrary to what is often believed (and has been stated in this thread a few time), ISIS do not usually claim unrelated attacks. There continuing claims around Las Vegas despite lack of video claims to back it up are causing some speculation among informed ISIS watchers, as in the Atlantic piece above and more from Rukmini Callimachi here.
posted by roolya_boolya at 8:43 PM on October 2 [2 favorites]


I was reading an article about the shooting in the Bakersfield Californian and noticed this at the bottom.
The Kern County District Attorney’s Victim Services Unit is offering assistance with funeral expenses, medical bills and counseling to the Kern County victims of Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas.

People who were at the Route 91 Harvest festival when the shooting took place can call (661) 868-2400 to learn more about help available through the State of Nevada and the State of California victim compensation programs.
I had no idea that victim compensation was a thing and now I'm sad that it has to exist.
posted by elsietheeel at 8:49 PM on October 2 [5 favorites]


Well the NRA is the gun manufacturers' lobby and manufacturers should like gun buybacks just like how book publishers would like a program that bought up a bunch of used books and burned them. If someone is in the market for a gun and there are few used options available, they are more likely to buy a new gun which is revenue for the manufacturer.

Decouple buybacks from a
ban and see how the NRA likes it then.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:53 PM on October 2 [1 favorite]


I want someone to explain to me why any person possibly needs 42 guns. Seriously, there's a type of "sensible gun control" that might help. I mean, the town down the road from me has a zoning law that you can't have more than 3 dogs on one acre of land even if said dogs are chihuahuas. But anyone anywhere can fucking stuff their house full of firearms and ammo.

Because that is the law, as dictated by the NRA. There is no national record of gun purchases. Firearms dealers are required to do a background check, but the federal government is required to delete any records of a gun purchase within 24 hours.

People outside the U.S. may think this crazy, but the federal government is forbidden from maintaining any records of gun
sales. If you buy 42 guns, no one is the wiser. That's the law, according to the NRA. Nobody knows how many guns anyone has, by law.
posted by JackFlash at 8:59 PM on October 2 [19 favorites]


Decouple buybacks from a
ban and see how the NRA likes it then.


Um... the NRA still hates them. You may be right about supply and demand economics, but they're more terrified of the suggestion that fewer guns might be a good thing.
posted by Tsuga at 9:02 PM on October 2 [3 favorites]


One might think that gun enthusiasts, being the people that would be most negatively impacted by gun control, would be eager to lead the charge for these more moderate reforms, so as to preserve their hobby / way of life / whatever firearms ownership means to them personally.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:05 PM on October 2 [6 favorites]


They don't need to! They've achieved total victory, they see no need to compromise.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:09 PM on October 2 [29 favorites]


> You guys want to know how to get gun owner support for gun control measures, I'm telling you what would work on me and my gun-nut friends. The easier you make it to do something, the more people will choose to do that thing.

I've been reading what you have to say about gun culture and your own experiences with your slice of gun-nut culture for a long time, and I appreciate your insights and trust your assessments.

But it does not inspire trust in me, because on the one hand, you talk about how responsible people are in storing and handling their guns, and they always check if they're loaded before they're handled, and so on - and on the other, how people will always take the easier path. I am supposed to trust they would only take the easier path when it comes to selling their guns, or registering them, or using buy-back programs, but not in the handling and storing of them. I do not trust that.
posted by rtha at 9:09 PM on October 2 [14 favorites]




@onlxn describes this Twitter thread as a "must read", and he's right:

I almost posted this earlier and couldn't decide how credible it was. tl;dr, the primary evidence in the legal precedent underlying arguments for unfettered gun rights may be a complete forgery.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:15 PM on October 2


> They don't need to! They've achieved total victory, they see no need to compromise.

Yeah, you're right, and that may be why I'm struggling with how to take this advice that proposals meet certain criteria in order to be deemed worthy of consideration by gun enthusiasts, particularly when the focus is on making gun transactions easier and more profitable for them.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:18 PM on October 2 [5 favorites]


Because that is the law, as dictated by the NRA. There is no national record of gun purchases. Firearms dealers are required to do a background check, but the federal government is required to delete any records of a gun purchase within 24 hours.

People outside the U.S. may think this crazy, but the federal government is forbidden from maintaining any records of gun sales. If you buy 42 guns, no one is the wiser. That's the law, according to the NRA. Nobody knows how many guns anyone has, by law.


Yes, I'm aware of how and why it happens and why it will continue to happen. It's just not reasonable. It's fucking crazy.
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:21 PM on October 2 [4 favorites]


So, to make this happen, you would have to do it without NRA support. Easier said than done.

Right now the NRA is literally advocating race war on a daily basis. Gleefully. They're salivating at it.

They are not a good faith partner in anything. They are a malignant force that must be overcome. Rational policy solutions are still faniciful, because Republicans. But even in the event of a political sea change, the NRA's opinion is not something that should be entertained.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:23 PM on October 2 [18 favorites]


Jimmy Kimmel, whose hometown is Las Vegas, gave an emotional monologue tonight about the shooting. I really do appreciate that he keeps speaking out.
posted by yasaman at 9:33 PM on October 2 [21 favorites]


Yeah, you're right, and that may be why I'm struggling with how to take this advice that proposals meet certain criteria in order to be deemed worthy of consideration by gun enthusiasts, particularly when the focus is on making gun transactions easier and more profitable for them.

Aren’t you the person who said it was necessary for reforms to come from the gun owner community? How can you say that on one hand and on the other pooh-pooh making programs that they’ll be on board with? Personally I’m not sure I buy either idea; I think we should just put in place reasonable certification and training programs and sensible limits on magazine size and ammo sales and the ammosexual 3% can suck it. But I don’t think you’re being consistent here.
posted by phearlez at 9:48 PM on October 2 [5 favorites]


I want someone to explain to me why any person possibly needs 42 guns.

The first step to understanding this is to realize that for a lot of people, guns are a hobby. People spend a lot of wasteful money on their hobbies.

I will use one of my hobbies, playing the drums, as an example. For the most part, no one really cares what a snare drum sounds like. They just hear it in a song and forget about it. But in every song that you hear (assuming that it is not just an 808 or something) there is a slightly different sound. If a good part of your waking hours is spent worrying about drumming, that snare sound means a lot to you.

You start off with a metal snare drum, and then wonder what a wood snare drum sound like, so you buy one. Then you wonder about the different kinds of metal snares: aluminum, steel, or brass. Then you wonder about painted aluminum, spun aluminum, nickel over brass, etc. You don't have any way of testing the difference where you live, so you end up buying all of them, promising yourself that you will sell them eventually. Then you have poplar, maple, mahogany, oak, and a bunch of other wood species to listen to as well.

It really doesn't take some people too long before they have 42 snare drums. None of this has any relation to how many hours of practice they have spent at the drums. It's just an obsession on the minutiae of the differences between snare drums.

People with guns can be the same way. I don't believe that the amount of guns a person has is a true indicator of whether they will hurt people or not. Their actions are not out of line of any middle-class to wealthy hobbyist, whether it be guns or drums or fly fishing or amateur aircraft.

Many people kill people with the only gun they own. Many people kill people with one of the many guns they own. I don't think that the number of guns a person owns is a good indicator for how many people they will kill.
posted by Quonab at 9:52 PM on October 2 [34 favorites]


It's probably a good thing that my friends with guns moved out of state and they don't talk to me all that often since they moved--I don't even know what I'd say right now if the topic came up. I am usually pretty much Switzerland (as one of said friends dubbed me) when it comes to guns. I've shot one with said friend and enjoyed it but don't plan on getting one, I'm generally fine with people having guns if they practice proper gun safety, stick to target practice and/or hunting and oh, don't go around doing mass killings. I'd rather shoot (har) towards stopping mass killings and keeping guns out of the hands of people who want to shoot me because I went to work so I could live. But of course we can't do that.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:53 PM on October 2 [1 favorite]




> Aren’t you the person who said it was necessary for reforms to come from the gun owner community?

No, I said: "The only way any of this gets better is if self-described 'gun people' are the ones leading the charge." To me, "leading the charge" doesn't mean telling others what to do to solve a problem that impacts all of us negatively.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:07 PM on October 2 [3 favorites]


Jacqueline: the NRA is the gun manufacturers' lobby

That's a reductive description of the NRA. It is a lobby organization, yes, but it's also an interest group for gun enthusiasts, a PAC, a media conglomerate, and a social movement. There are a lot of moving parts, and the core notion that holds all of them together as a unit is that Guns Are Good And There Should Be More Of Them, With No Restrictions.

Current legislative priorities are constitutional (permitless) carry, interstate reciprocity (recognition of permits/right to carry across state lines), the SHARE Act (the aforementioned legislation to allow suppressors, among numerous other provisions), and campus carry. They refuse to cede a millimeter in any direction that could possibly compromise any of these objectives.
posted by Superplin at 10:13 PM on October 2 [7 favorites]


I want someone to explain to me why any person possibly needs 42 guns.

Honestly, that's mostly gun speculators, I think - which encompasses a wide range of people, from people who are essentially acting as pawnshops for their friends, like jacquilyne, to people who are aggressively buying during stable times and selling during scares.

The gun issue is in the middle of being used as a wealth holding pattern, in part to avoid estate/gift tax/probate, and in part as a get rich quick scheme. If you can eliminate these needs, you eliminate a lot of the ridiculous panic buying.
posted by corb at 10:16 PM on October 2 [3 favorites]


> They refuse to cede a millimeter in any direction that could possibly compromise any of these objectives.
"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice, and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue." -- Barry Goldwater

Guess that's their vibe.
posted by runcifex at 10:19 PM on October 2 [3 favorites]


I thought Estate Tax in the USA didn't kick in until the estate was worth several million dollars.
posted by Rumple at 10:34 PM on October 2 [1 favorite]


5.5M for 1 person, 11M for a married couple.
posted by Quonab at 10:39 PM on October 2 [1 favorite]


in part to avoid estate/gift tax/probate

One of the reasons I'm not wealthy is that I had no idea if I used up my $5 million exemption for estate taxes, I could avoid the rest by buying guns. (I.e.: this is either a "strategy" for those have no idea what estate taxes actually are, but read on some talking point somewhere that ESTATE TAXES ARE TERRIBLE THE LIBS WILL TAKE EVERYTHING FROM YOUR CHILDREN, or it's intentional misdirection.)
posted by maxwelton at 10:39 PM on October 2 [4 favorites]


[Hello friends, let's not get drawn into some kind of "what if estate tax repeal could stop guns" debate, that way lies madness, thank you.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:42 PM on October 2 [24 favorites]


Their actions are not out of line of any middle-class to wealthy hobbyist, whether it be guns or drums or fly fishing or amateur aircraft.

I'm pretty sure that if the Vegas guy had taken his massive stamp collection or huge array of lures to his hotel room, we'd be having a different conversation right now, but that's just me.
posted by FelliniBlank at 10:51 PM on October 2 [27 favorites]


Yeah, I'm just saying you can't extrapolate what he did to every dumbass who bought a bunch of guns.
posted by Quonab at 10:59 PM on October 2 [3 favorites]


Oh yeah sorry, I should have clarified that people's beliefs on whether that is true or not are not always aligned with reality. The fanciest guns I've ever seen anyone own are all less than 400k. What would need to be fixed there is the uncertainty, not an actual problem.
posted by corb at 11:00 PM on October 2 [1 favorite]


The point is that literally millions of your fellow Americans own one or more guns whose ownership or use thereof will cause no harm to any person. Asking they be inconvenienced to help somewhat with the problem of mass shootings is fine and accepted by the vast majority, gun owner or not.

Asking that they hang their heads in shame is unproductive. The real problem is the bought and paid for nature of our legislators, who continue to ram more shit that only serves gun manufacturers down our throats despite public opinion. That and some really shitty ideological jurisprudence.

All of us here want the same thing, so sniping at each other just makes us part of the problem. Understandable, but still actively unhelpful in reaching the goal of gun control sufficient to curb mass shootings that still respects the need that some of us have for them.
posted by wierdo at 11:11 PM on October 2 [4 favorites]


All of us here want the same thing

I'm not sure what thing you are referring to but I'm pretty sure everyone doesn't want it.
posted by JackFlash at 11:19 PM on October 2 [3 favorites]


you can't extrapolate what he did to every dumbass who bought a bunch of guns

Except that every dumbass who buys a bunch of guns has the means to commit mass murder at their immediate disposal, which is not true of someone who decides to spend their money on first edition books or porcelain figurines or antique furniture or any of the thousands of other things you can direct the collector impulse towards.
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 11:21 PM on October 2 [25 favorites]


There would be much higher participation if you could do it cheaply via an app on your phone.

and

The point is that literally millions of your fellow Americans own one or more guns whose ownership or use thereof will cause no harm to any person. Asking they be inconvenienced to help somewhat with the problem of mass shootings is fine and accepted by the vast majority, gun owner or not.

Asking that they hang their heads in shame is unproductive.


59 people are dead today because of what you can do with a gun when you get hold of one. 59 people who will never get up in the morning, kiss their loved ones, pet their dogs, see the sun, love their families and friends... and this is where we're at?

We need apps to make the task of transferring a lethal instrument, whose function is to kill things, even if it is not always used that way, easy for people who have invested their fortunes in them and can't be economically disadvantaged for reasons? We need not to shame people for owning tons of guns and helping a system where guns are used regularly to kill ordinary people just out for a night, wanting to enjoy themselves?

This isn't a rational approach to me. It's also the one that has been used in America to no success at all for years and years.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 11:24 PM on October 2 [15 favorites]


A friend of mine put it this way. I love knitting: it's an artistic outlet, a personal source of comfort, and a major way I express love and affection to my friends and family. But if a major epidemic of knitting-needle stabbings broke out across the country and the best way to stop it was to confiscate all the needles in America, I would step up and do my duty without another thought, as would the hundreds of other devoted knitters I know. Savings thousands of lives is worth switching hobbies.
posted by chortly at 11:36 PM on October 2 [31 favorites]


So the issue is whether a person owns guns or not. It is not that if a person owns guns, their responsibility is multiplied by the number of guns they happen to own at a certain point in time. Is a person who owns two guns half as responsible as one who owns four?
posted by Quonab at 11:48 PM on October 2 [1 favorite]


My sympathies. Unfortunately even as this is the most brutal in a long line of shootings, it won't be the last. It is extraordinary in part because it isn't.

Reading the commentary around the web what stands out to me is the particularly strong reaction from 2nd amendment folks. It leaves you with a despondent feeling. Beneath their "thoughts and prayers", you get a sense that, in the final analysis, they don't actually comprehend a massacre like this as intolerably grotesque and unhinged. You get the impression that they share a sense of overall badness of the act, but there also seems to be a tacit understanding that the world is a crazy place in which people get shot up, and that's just how it is.
posted by dmh at 11:55 PM on October 2 [9 favorites]


I wonder if there's a way to estimate the average cost of being a mass shooting victim, if you survive but are injured.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:05 AM on October 3


Is a person who owns two guns half as responsible as one who owns four?

Obviously if you buy enough guns than you fund the construction of a new factory or fund the founding of a new company manufacturing guns, you're having a substantially greater impact than a person who buys one gun. So there's clearly some degree of proportionality.

We're like meteorologists calculating the energy of air masses here, but sure, why not go with a linear model and gauge it as four guns contributing twice as much to the problem as two. The issue is that "well it wasn't my straw that broke the camel's back" is no longer an adequate assessment of one's responsibility, once breaking the camel's back has become a regular everyday thing. At this point we just have to stop dumping straw on camels, period, even those of us whose most beloved hobby is transporting straw via camel.
posted by XMLicious at 12:33 AM on October 3 [5 favorites]


There are more guns in the USA than people, and the people are getting more paranoid, divided, and trigger happy by the month.

How does this end well?
posted by Pouteria at 12:33 AM on October 3 [4 favorites]


Reading the commentary around the web what stands out to me is the particularly strong reaction from 2nd amendment folks.

Keep in mind that a lot of that is automated through bot accounts.
posted by rhizome at 12:37 AM on October 3 [4 favorites]


Yeah, um, I feel like #notallguns might not go over super hot in this thread. Like, it's cool if it's just a hobby, but at its core it is a hobby built around devices explicitly designed to maim or kill.
posted by DoctorFedora at 12:42 AM on October 3 [18 favorites]


I didn't mean it to be #notallguns, I just wanted to say that the number of guns a particular person has doesn't define how evil they are. If we took an inventory of the number of guns a given person owns, we couldn't extrapolate their evilness.
posted by Quonab at 12:50 AM on October 3 [2 favorites]


I am usually pretty much Switzerland (as one of said friends dubbed me) when it comes to guns.

Interestingly, Switzerland is one of the most heavily armed nations in the world (this of course depends on both what exactly you're measuring, and where you're getting your statistics from, but the Small Arms Survey suggests that Switzerland is 3rd in the world, behind the US and Yemen and very slightly ahead of Finland, with about 47 guns / 100 people). That's because it's a small country and effectively every working age male Swiss citizen has to be in the army, and has to keep their gun at home.

But really this shouldn't be followed as any kind of example for the US - Swiss society is different in almost every single possible aspect, including rates of homicide by firearm (one of the lowest in the world; per Wikipedia, 0.21 / 100k vs 3.60 / 100k for the US).

Until the US gets the rest of its shit in order, it needs gun control.
posted by chappell, ambrose at 12:59 AM on October 3 [4 favorites]


The Small Arms Survey list is well worth looking at, by the way. It's a fairly random collection of conflict-ravaged, low-security failed states and prosperous European countries (with the US sitting in top position, of course). Some obvious differences that I can think of between the two groups of countries - for the sake of convenience I'm putting the US in with the failed states - might include overall living standards, the types of guns owned, the purpose for which they're held, and social attitudes towards firearms.

Or, more bluntly, the problem isn't so much gun ownership as gun culture, and how gun culture is a part of wider culture. You know that guns are important when you visit America. When you visit Switzerland, you might assume that people spend a lot of time worrying about... Types of bread? Trams? Cows?
posted by chappell, ambrose at 1:20 AM on October 3 [10 favorites]


I've been reading up on gun laws around the world. I would be 100% on board with gun laws that looked like those in the UK or Australia. Tightly control calibers and firing mechanisms. Ban semi-automatic weapons. Ban handguns, with possible exceptions for target handguns (and I like the idea of having to use a club-owned pistol during a six-month probationary period). Basically, regulate the shit out of guns. Gun violence isn't a problem in these places. It doesn't need to be a problem here.

Since I've been in the process of buying a gun, I've learned a lot about gun control as it currently exists, and I've gotten a lot of perspective that I didn't have before. In some ways, I do think people sometimes misunderstand many things about guns -- like that a .22 is not, and was not designed to be, a murder machine. I've also I've been shocked by how easy it is to get a gun. You take a 15-question safety test, and you only need to get 12 questions right. They say you need to do a basic safety demonstration, but as far as I can tell, you don't. You don't need to demonstrate proper firing positions. There's only a single page advising you not to use guns when you're drunk or angry. Basically, the way it works now is just paying lip service to real instruction on safety and awareness, no doubt thanks to the NRA whittling everything down to the bare minimum.

To drive a car in this country, you need to get a temporary learner's permit while you're accompanied by an experienced driver. You need to take written tests, vision tests, and you need to give a demonstration, in person, of your driving ability. It takes months and months. Why can't we do that with other dangerous machines?

We're being held back by political groups that need guns to be an American value. I'm furious about right-wing takes on the second amendment the same way I'm furious about their takes on the first amendment: "any restriction whatsoever is an infringement on my rights! I'm going to get even more extreme!" I like the suggestions that the best way to move forward is to point out the benefits for gun owners, but I'm cynical that the gun lobby won't just twist everything and make it out to be a culture war instead of a fight for public safety. I'm not sure what we can do when there's a ton of money and influence pushing back on even the gentlest reform.

But reading about how the laws in other countries gives me hope that there's a way to do things differently. It's just getting there that's the problem.

(Incidentally, I just remembered that I wrote a paper in high school arguing that we should model our gun control legislation on the UK's. It turned out that the teacher had been a champion skeet shooter, and she also supported the UK model.)
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 1:35 AM on October 3 [6 favorites]


[One deleted. I understand that people are feeling a great deal of frustration, but let's try to keep things as non-inflammatory as possible, resist getting into one on one spats, and avoid "this is why the left sucks" sort of expanded arguments. Thanks.]
posted by taz at 1:35 AM on October 3 [3 favorites]


I'm a nurse. I spent a few years in a major urban trauma ER. I have no idea how many gunshots I saw, but far, far too many to count. Some minor, some major; many lethal, some not, but often in some way permanently disabling. Targeted killings, accidental shootings when playing with guns; drive-by shootings with dozens of victims, some coming by ambulance, some coming in on foot, some dropped off by friends. And yes, sometimes just dropped in the pickup area and left for staff or other patients to find. We even had threats of gun violence in the ER itself. I've seen children, teens, and adults die from gunshots. I've seen frequent flyers, I've seen patients with multiple gunshot wounds from different occasions, who view it as a cost of living. It is probably unsurprising to you that almost all of the victims were not white. And of course, I have seen countless family members in the ER, who have lost a daughter, son, husband, father, mother, partner to gun violence. I have seen my colleagues faces when another--yes, another, perhaps even several in just one night--victim dies, when we fail to resuscitate someone despite our best training and effort. The glazed look in the eyes of the doctor leading the code when we call it, announce the time of death. That 13 year old boy was not long for this world, and we are back to the next trauma bay, to assist the one that wasn't so critical, to assess the heart attack or the car crash who's just come in, or just to change our scrubs because there's blood on them again. And the hospital porters, who sometimes don't even have enough time to clean the trauma bay before the next one comes in. It was a war zone.

And so guns and gun ownership are completely senseless to me. No amount of hobby enjoyment justifies the torture inflicted on people, families, societies by guns. No other "hobby" has the potential to inflict such damage on so many people in so little time. And, yes, the gun violence seen in most urban ERs is different than this sort of targeted killing, but the tools are the same (and daresay the victims of the urban slaughters well outnumber, by orders of magnitude, the victims of mass shootings, but that is a different post for a different day). The fact is that guns kill people and people with guns kill people. In London, three attackers with knives killed EIGHT people in half an hour. If they'd had guns, they likely could have killed hundreds, but thankfully didn't.

In looking at the gun violence archive statistics, it appears that eight children were KILLED and twelve children were INJURED by gun violence in the last week of September. That's right, 20 kids in seven days. How many of those did you hear about? My guess is none, because they don't make the news. They don't shock because they're purely commonplace, normal, and static. Whether it's a kid killing another kid, or a mom killing her kids and then killing herself, we are unsurprised. This is completely, definitionally, tragic.

What other "hobby" is so hallowed that murder is permitted in its name? Why have politicians become so inured to this? It's absurd to me that we enshrine the right to own weapons to harm and kill others, but we don't guarantee the right to access medical care to treat those wounds.

This is kind of all over the place, but I really struggle to make sense of any of this. You just can't, until you get rid of guns.
posted by stillmoving at 1:42 AM on October 3 [144 favorites]


You're more likely to be shot by a toddler in the USA than a terrorist.
posted by PenDevil at 1:52 AM on October 3 [11 favorites]


If we took an inventory of the number of guns a given person owns, we couldn't extrapolate their evilness.

You could extrapolate their contribution to American gun culture and this gun problem, though, which is kinda like extrapolating their level of evil within a particular domain.
posted by Dysk at 1:56 AM on October 3 [12 favorites]


There are more guns in the USA than people, and the people are getting more paranoid, divided, and trigger happy by the month

That's mostly white people? And specifically older white people. Gun ownership in the USA maps fairly well onto Trumpism, based on surveys re the demographics of gun ownership; gun owners comprise approximately 30% of the population, and the majority are over 50, white, male, rural, and self-described "conservative" Republicans. The stridency of Second Amendment defenders is probably inseparable from the general sociopolitical undercurrents driving right-wingery in general, and a very large part of that is ethic/racial fear and resentment (just who do you think your average ruralish conservative white person who thinks they need a concealed-carry permit or an arsenal in their house to defend from a hypothetical burglar/armed robber/rapist/etc imagines is going to be committing violence against them? Fifty bucks says they probably aren't imagining another white person.) See this for instance (study finds correlation between gun ownership in the US and likelihood of having racist attitudes).
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 2:47 AM on October 3 [7 favorites]


I don't think that the number of guns a person owns is a good indicator for how many people they will kill.

Pretty sure it is, when that number is zero.
posted by the_blizz at 2:55 AM on October 3 [23 favorites]


All of us here want the same thing, so sniping at each other just makes us part of the problem.

That is some unfortunate phrasing right there.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 3:14 AM on October 3 [7 favorites]


This Guardian story about Kathy Shorr interviewing and photographing people who have been shot is compelling.
posted by bendy at 3:23 AM on October 3 [8 favorites]


It's not just gun ownership. It's gun fetishism.

And that the country is stocked with violent assholes, who view getting the chance to shoot someone as the greatest moment in their lives, an assertion of their power and manhood.
posted by thelonius at 3:41 AM on October 3 [29 favorites]


This Guardian story about Kathy Shorr interviewing and photographing people who have been shot is compelling.

That article and the linked gallery really do illustrate how the negative freedom to own what is essentially (in most cases) just a privileged man-blankie is bought with the absolute theft of the positive freedoms of many others. The system itself is a crime.
posted by Buntix at 3:57 AM on October 3 [17 favorites]


fearfulsymmetry: 1,516 mass shootings in 1,735 days: America's gun crisis – in one chart

The Guardian continues to do excellent work in tracking our Jacksonian "suicide pact." Of curiosity, I looked to see which, if any, states weren't yet part of 2017's bloodletting. There are five: Hawaii, Idaho, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and Wyoming. Good luck to you in staying off the list.
posted by bryon at 4:07 AM on October 3 [7 favorites]


Like everyone else, I'm horrified that this keeps happening. The solutions exist, and they're worth fighting for. Here's an interesting article by two expat Americans who describe the process for getting a license for and purchasing firearms in New Zealand. Gun laws were tightened following our own tragedy in Aramoana in 1990.
posted by Start with Dessert at 4:09 AM on October 3 [5 favorites]


Look, I know it's not cool to blame the media for any of this, but do we really think it's a coincidence that such a huge slice of our pop culture (and nearly all that is targeted at boys) is all about guns and murder and serial killers? I feel like my life is so much better since I stopped consuming that shit. It has side effects.
posted by rikschell at 4:44 AM on October 3 [18 favorites]


This Vox "The state of gun violence in the US, explained in 18 charts" video makes it clear how much gun availability drives gun deaths -- homicides and suicides. This includes both in international comparisons and inter-state comparisons.
posted by spamandkimchi at 4:50 AM on October 3 [7 favorites]


Hey, after reading about genocide and civil wars in other countries, you know what's really fucking scary?

The existence of large weapons caches in bugfuck crazy racist partisan hands.

People are talking about this like it isn't a known contributor to terrible things. Like it's normal. It only looks normal because the NRA has spent a lot of money to normalize it over the past 50 years (or whatever).

It is not normal. It is a crime against humanity waiting to happen.
posted by schadenfrau at 5:20 AM on October 3 [56 favorites]


In Virginia, I have to go to to a government run "VABC" (Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control) store to buy a bottle of bourbon. All stores close at 9 AM, and most are closed on Sundays. Meanwhile there are three stores within a mile that sell guns, and all are open 7 days a week.
posted by COD at 5:23 AM on October 3 [21 favorites]


In Virginia, I have to go to to a government run "VABC" (Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control) store to buy a bottle of bourbon.

As yet the closest I can find online for people upcycling guns into distillation equipment are:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/21/raw-tools-gun-garden-tools_n_6914636.html

&

http://www.npr.org/2014/01/25/265794611/artist-transforms-guns-to-make-music-literally

could be a nice project for someone looking to dispose of a cabinet full of old hardware...
posted by Buntix at 5:30 AM on October 3 [2 favorites]


There's been a lot of anecdata the past couple of years that I'd like to see real data on about people's parents in the 50+ age group suddenly going to this extreme misanthropic political outlook, where before even if they had strong political views they would at least be decent and not just in a perpetual rage. It's shocked a lot of people I know, and I've heard it online on mefi and elsewhere.

I have also noticed this. Mostly with people here in Britain, but there is often a big degree of cross-pollination with US media and US groups (particularly on Facebook for some reason) so along the usual UK right-wing talking points there's "oh Trump is pretty good and Hillary Clinton is a murderer." It goes far beyond standard "Dad's got a bit grumpy now he's retired, hey?", it's a full-on pitch into insularity, extreme views, conspiracy theories and misanthropy, leaving a lot of confused children and friends staring down over the brink and wondering wtf just happened.

I have definitely heard people use the word "radicalised" to describe it - usually half-jokingly but still while seriously asking for help on how to deal with it. I think it's a fair term to use. This paper is about terrorism but sees actual terrorism as the top of a pyramid which relies on larger groups below it providing support for the general goals, and radicalisation as the process that moves people up the pyramid. One of the models it discusses is "group polarisation":
Groups of strangers brought together to discuss issues of risk taking or political opinion show consistently two kinds of change: increased agreement about the opinion at issue, and a shift in the average opinion of group members. The shift is toward increased extremity on whichever side of the opinion is favored by most individuals before discussion.
Of course we know so little about this particular murderer still. Maybe none of this applies to him. But there is something broader going on, and he might end up being part of a broader pattern than just a one-off "huh, mass murderer who isn't a young man, that's unusual" blip.

Whatever the pattern and whatever his motives, though, I hope media outlets don't ever use the glamorous-sounding "lone wolf" to describe him or any murderer ever again. And I hope we never see "he just snapped" to describe a carefully premeditated murder ever, ever again.

I can't even imagine what the people there went through, and what so many hundreds are still going through and will continue to for a long time to come. I'm not even going to rant about guns, it's not my country and you can all guess what I think about US gun culture as someone from a country that doesn't have it. Just, this is awful, and may this be the last time it ever ever happens however depressingly unlikely that seems right now.
posted by Catseye at 5:30 AM on October 3 [18 favorites]




I wonder how much being less savvy about what is real and what is fake and having Facebook put right wing propaganda on blast is a factor.
posted by Artw at 6:01 AM on October 3 [11 favorites]


Yeah, I feel like that age group grew up when you could basically trust the news, and has suffered accordingly, whereas my age group grew up thinking you could google to check the news because it might be wrong.

The people I see sharing stupid shit about the LV shooting are almost all older than 50.
posted by corb at 6:04 AM on October 3 [15 favorites]


Still applicable.

@kibblesmith
Your parents in 1996: Don't trust ANYONE on the Internet.

Your parents in 2016: Freedom Eagle dot Facebook says Hillary invented AIDS.
posted by chris24 at 6:09 AM on October 3 [109 favorites]


So, I come from a a family with a strong streak of obsessiveness/accumulativeness when it comes to our hobbies. My great-aunt was a hoarder. My grandparents filled the basement of their house with 'in case we need it' stuff that they virtually never needed. I have more craft supplies and vintage clothing than anyone could possibly need; when my mom learned to knit a few years ago, she immediately started a good-sized yarn stash.

My dad's obsessive hobby was guitars, for most of my life. (Also cigars, for a while.) He still owns more than a dozen, down from more than 20 at one point. He still plays guitar and occasionally buys or sells them. But now he also owns a lot of guns.

He definitely engages with gun ownership in the same way he has with his other hobbies, and a similar way I and my mom do with ours. He goes to internet forums (like the guitar forum he still moderates, like the fandom forums I spent my teen years on), he meets up with fellow collectors, he geeks out about new acquisitions. But. There are a few differences, and they worry the hell out of me.

For one thing, his interest in guns tracks pretty closely to the rightward swing in his political beliefs, and the same kind of meanness and misanthropy others here have observed in their relatives who fell down the Fox News hole. The media he consumes and the people he talks to as part of his hobby only encourage and entrench that. I'm not sure I like or respect the person he's become in recent years, sometimes.

I'm not worried that he's going to stage a mass shooting. That would require a much more drastic change in his temperament and personality. But. He has a concealed carry license, in an area where those are difficult to get. He got his, as far as I can tell, out of stubbornness-- he is such a contrarian that 'the government' telling him he shouldn't have something makes him jump through however many hoops it takes to get it. Where we live, you have to have a reason to need a concealed carry permit. So he said that as a doctor he wants to be sure he won't be mugged for his prescription pads or for medications. This has never happened to him in 30 years of practicing medicine, of course.

But the way things are going, I am genuinely afraid that he is going to be the next white guy in the news whose unthinking racism and NRA-encouraged irrational fear leads him to shoot someone for no good goddamn reason. I really am. And I don't know what the hell to do about it.
posted by nonasuch at 6:21 AM on October 3 [28 favorites]


I've also I've been shocked by how easy it is to get a gun. You take a 15-question safety test, and you only need to get 12 questions right. They say you need to do a basic safety demonstration, but as far as I can tell, you don't. You don't need to demonstrate proper firing positions. There's only a single page advising you not to use guns when you're drunk or angry.

Something to think about is that this represents pretty much the high-water of gun regulation in the US. Most states do not require any of the above items for buying a gun; some states don't even require that much for getting a concealed handgun license. I've never had to do more than pass the basic federal background check, same as the Las Vegas shooter did to buy his guns, and nothing at all for private sales. If you are smart enough to answer "no" to the right questions and don't have a bunch of felonies on your record, you are guaranteed to pass the background check. It is nothing like the New Zealand process described in the link just above, with in-person interviews and so on; it's a system set up to facilitate access, not prevent it.

I'm not sure what the right model is for US gun laws, given that the current system is a joke. Canada seems to do pretty well at regulating firearms while supporting uses such as hunting and collecting; so apparently do places like Finland. I have trouble seeing the UK or Australian models getting much traction here, but I guess anything is possible.

Watching the recent health care repeal attempts was interesting in part because of how little influence the health care industry seemed to have this time around. It makes me wonder how different gun control would be if a similar shift resulted in the NRA being just one voice among many, instead of the political powerhouse that it is currently.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:31 AM on October 3 [5 favorites]


//Begin Ramble

I think it comes down to fear and anger. The people who are gun owners/ccl holders tend to be people who live in a default state of fear from other people. Burglars, Homeless people, Home invasions, anyone different.

It's living in the default state of everyone you meet being a threat until proven otherwise.

I feel like it's a fucked up way to live, and something that seems to metastisize into bouts of horrific violence like this.

As a society we seem to encourage it too. When we went through the JCC threats earlier in the year, my son was going to the JCC preschool. I suddenly had to consider the reality of a mass shooting there. And I was afraid.

Fortunately the thought process of "How would I change our lives to stop being afraid" was irrational and untenable, so I accepted it. Yes, terrible things can happen. Terrible things might happen. Do I want to live my life in perpetual fear to avoid that? Is it worth that exchange?

I feel like this perpetual fear in American Society really started after 9-11. Before that, culturally, we could handle this more effectively. 9-11 scared the fuck out of us, and we simply never recovered.

//End Ramble.
posted by Lord_Pall at 6:32 AM on October 3 [10 favorites]


I think it comes down to fear and anger. The people who are gun owners/ccl holders tend to be people who live in a default state of fear from other people. Burglars, Homeless people, Home invasions, anyone different. It's living in the default state of everyone you meet being a threat until proven otherwise. I feel like it's a fucked up way to live, and something that seems to metastisize into bouts of horrific violence like this.

Basically, this was the message behind Michael Moore's Bowling For Columbine. I'm now thinking I may be due for a rewatch.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:42 AM on October 3 [5 favorites]


i'm sure people have examined the relationship between the rise of suburbia / decline of social capital versus mass shootings... anyone read anything on the results?
posted by entropicamericana at 6:46 AM on October 3 [4 favorites]


It goes far beyond standard "Dad's got a bit grumpy now he's retired, hey?", it's a full-on pitch into insularity, extreme views, conspiracy theories and misanthropy, leaving a lot of confused children and friends staring down over the brink and wondering wtf just happened.
To help put Catseye's comments in perspective: ten years ago, my parents were pretty normal, middle-class suburban folk. My dad collected coins and wine and built models. My mom liked to read detective novels. They raised me Christian, but on the "Sermon on the Mount" side of Christianity, where we have a duty to be forgiving and kind and meek and help people, since judgement is reserved for God alone. Having a gun in the house would have been completely out of line with what they believed the Bible teaches.

Now they own a dozen guns, barely know how to use any of them, and crow loudly about how Islam is evil and how Trump is saving America and how I'm a horrible son who is going to hell. They don't have any hobbies any more. They don't understand why their kids and siblings don't really interact with them any more. They mostly seem to be empty shells housing anger and resentment. If it continues on this trajectory, in another year I'm going to start getting worried that they know where I live and that they think I'm raising their grandchild poorly.

Something happened. I just wish I understood what it was.
posted by ragtag at 6:47 AM on October 3 [78 favorites]


I disagree with that as the explanation. Or at least as the whole explanation. I'm a trans woman. I live my life in a perpetual state of fear. It's justified by horrific stats that are continuing to get worse. Our murders are gruesome, and they often go unpunished. As I mentioned up-thread, I am literally hunted. Every day I fight anxiety that I'll not make it back alive to my three kids, and if I make it back dead at all, it'll be in disfigured pieces in the midst of my surviving family being harassed for loving me.

No, the difference here is privilege, or more specifically entitlement. These people fear, perhaps, but the additional layer of righteousness and entitlement gives them license to carry out these murders.
posted by odinsdream at 6:49 AM on October 3 [31 favorites]


Something happened. I just wish I understood what it was.

Do they watch Fox News?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:52 AM on October 3 [26 favorites]


What happened is talk radio, Fox News, and the poisoning of the white American mind. That toxin must be drained and expelled, but to do so properly would also require reconsidering the Bill of Rights...
posted by anem0ne at 6:52 AM on October 3 [12 favorites]


Something happened. I just wish I understood what it was.

Talk radio. Fox News. The Internet. Fox and Friends. Conservative evangelical Christianity. Advertising targeting fear and possible tragedy. Lots of free time to soak it all up. I mean...Old people go to the doctor a lot. Lots of doctors' offices have tv's tuned to Fox News. The crap becomes inescapable.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:53 AM on October 3 [26 favorites]


Do they watch Fox News?

This was word-for-word my exact and complete comment. Good thing I previewed for once.

I think it is the answer.
posted by Justinian at 6:54 AM on October 3 [18 favorites]


Something happened. I just wish I understood what it was.
I don't know your parents, and I could be really wrong about this, but the big thing that happened in the past 10 years is that a black man was elected president. I think a lot of white Americans caught a glimpse of a future where the world would not automatically revolve around people like them, and it triggered a lot of racial resentments that they hadn't previously felt the need to express.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:55 AM on October 3 [52 favorites]


Some people use fear as a drug. People who have never felt real, true fear get a rush from injecting it on purpose, because they know deep deep deep down that it's not real. It makes them feel important and special. For people who were brought up to believe that they are truly important and special but who reach middle age and realize actually, uh, no, they're not that special at all, becoming a fearaholic puts them back in the center of their personal mythology. Once again, it's all about them. They are being personally targeted, they are being personally hunted, they are in on secret, special knowledge that all those other people don't have. No longer are they just a faceless middle manager at the widget factory, now they're a true hero--persecuted, hunted, wise, special.

The only reason it works is that their lizard brain is fully aware that it's all a lie.
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:56 AM on October 3 [15 favorites]


Alternatively, who knew that Logan's Run and the TNG episode "Half a Life" were asking the wrong question about obsolescence?
posted by anem0ne at 6:56 AM on October 3


What happened is talk radio, Fox News, and the poisoning of the white American mind.

The white American mind seemed to be just as willing and able to commit and justify horrific violence before Fox News and talk radio existed.
posted by melissasaurus at 6:56 AM on October 3 [9 favorites]


"you talk about how responsible people are in storing and handling their guns, and they always check if they're loaded before they're handled, and so on - and on the other, how people will always take the easier path"

And the easier path for people wanting to sell their guns responsibly is to just not sell them, which leads to the large accumulation of guns that all y'all are so concerned about.

Make selling guns/ammo easier than storing them and I think a lot of people will voluntary choose to reduce the size of their arsenals.
posted by Jacqueline at 7:00 AM on October 3 [1 favorite]


I don't disagree, but I do feel like it's... resistant to treatment this time. There's no naloxone for it.
posted by anem0ne at 7:00 AM on October 3 [2 favorites]


Unfortunately you need 60 votes in the Senate since it isn't budgetary.

On one hand, this is true and accurate for all practical purposes, on the other hand, it isn't supposed to be true. We didn't always filibuster the hell out of everything. Not very long ago in America's past, even fairly controversial legislation passed with 51 votes. The Senate was not designed to be a super-majority only chamber. But now that's broken. Combined with the "every state gets two senators, no matter how small or large its population is" rule, we have a lovely system in which the 21 least-populous states can shut down any proposal, no matter how many Americans support it. Most Americans support stricter gun laws, but it doesn't matter. It only matters what Arkansas and Oklahoma and Utah think, because they and their other red-state friends get to decide for everyone.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 7:02 AM on October 3 [31 favorites]


Old people get cranky and conservative. It’s amplified today by our modern mass communication but mostly I think it’s demographics: there are a lot of Boomer retirees and a lot more on the way.
posted by notyou at 7:06 AM on October 3 [2 favorites]


Certainly the world is going to get closer to sanity once the boomers die off a little - I only fear that too much damage will have been done.
posted by Artw at 7:08 AM on October 3 [5 favorites]


Last night I woke up at 1am. I went to check on my daughter, pulled the blanket back over her that she had kicked off. Thought of how many parents will never pull a blanket over their child again, due to gun violence. Wondered how many were sitting in hospitals, watching their children. I went back to bed and started trying to count how many people were impacted by this, traumatized. First-hand, by being there or witnessing it from an adjacent hotel or as a first responder or someone in the hospitals? Tens of thousands. Probably 30,000. Maybe more, I have no idea how many people could see it from above. How many people were one step away - family or friends or coworkers or neighbors of someone hurt or killed? Can you assume 50 or 100 for every person killed? So that's another 6,000. And for the 500 wounded - that's another 50,000. Are we at 100,000 directly impacted yet? And for everyone there, who was uninjured, that's another 22,000, and their loved ones.....if you assume 100 people for each of them, which maybe is generous for some and not for others, you get up to 2.2 MILLION. This is the kind of event that affects witnesses forever, and has ripple effects from their trauma. So you know, we could easily estimate 2.5 million people are impacted by this, either directly or one step away.

How much trauma is too much? Isn't this enough yet?
posted by john_snow at 7:08 AM on October 3 [16 favorites]


>Make selling guns/ammo easier than storing them and I think a lot of people will voluntary choose to reduce the size of their arsenals.

I agree that having barriers to getting rid of one's stuff makes it less likely that people will get rid of stuff, but 'making guns easier to sell' (in isolation) would be hard to do without also making guns easier to buy and without either (1) concentrating guns in the hands of different people who do want tons of guns and won't get rid of them voluntarily, or (2) putting more guns in the hands of people who did not previously own them -- in other words, who are you selling to, if you make selling easier?

If the underlying goal is to reduce the total number and concentration of guns around, without creating an absolute bar to ownership, making guns easier to sell to other individual citizens would not seem to accomplish that goal; rather, the reverse.

Buyback programs exist, imperfectly, and could stand to be improved and expanded. Making it easier for people to remove their guns and ammo from the market would be helpful; selling them back into the market would not.
posted by cjelli at 7:14 AM on October 3 [4 favorites]


Something happened. I just wish I understood what it was.

The terrorists are winning.
posted by Bovine Love at 7:19 AM on October 3 [6 favorites]


Buyback programs exist, imperfectly, and could stand to be improved and expanded.

Yeah, in many cases this is a thing where this could be improved by simply increasing buybacks to market value.

My family has extra guns and parts, that we won't use even in our worst case scenario. They're mostly guns we got before we figured out what really worked well for us - so they're sized inoptimally or using expensive ammunition or we don't like the way they shoot.

I eyeroll a lot about buybacks, but if someone was offering me market value for guns and accessories - which as someone upthread pointed out, can be used to construct actual guns, like I have barrels and triggers and various parts just in my house that I don't even want anymore - I would walk with a duffel bag into a police station and walk out with my check.

The thing is, I'm not sure police actually want to buyback weapons - I think what they want is to buy back weapons from desperately poor people, who are willing to take 1/5 of the value, because they think that those are the ones that commit the crimes.
posted by corb at 7:31 AM on October 3 [13 favorites]


I eyeroll a lot about buybacks, but if someone was offering me market value for guns and accessories - which as someone upthread pointed out, can be used to construct actual guns, like I have barrels and triggers and various parts just in my house that I don't even want anymore - I would walk with a duffel bag into a police station and walk out with my check.

This sounds like a set-up that would incentivize people to acquire more guns on the assumption that they could get market value for them from the government. That seems...not ideal?

Why do gun owners think that their obsolete/old purchases deserve to be treated differently than an old laptop? I truly do not understand. It reminds me of people who are still angry that investing in Beanie Babies didn't pan out as a retirement plan. Sometimes you buy things and they depreciate in value when it turns out no one else wants them.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 7:43 AM on October 3 [27 favorites]


Creepy coincidence - British singer, Robbie Williams (he never got big in the US but if you don't know him, he's sort of like a Justin Timberlake of the UK - part of huge boy band who went solo and became even bigger) released a song in 2002 called "Me and My Monkey".

It is widely interpreted to be about Williams visiting Vegas and dealing with his cocaine addiction ("my monkey") but it contains references to the Mandalay Bay, cleaning a gun, staying on the 33rd floor and hoping not to shoot anyone.
posted by Jaybo at 7:45 AM on October 3 [4 favorites]


Can someone please ask Wayne LaPierre how one acquires a nuclear weapon for self defense purposes and, if we can't obtain these valuable self preservation tools, when his organization is finally going to stand up to Washington and their suppression of my god given right to bear arms.
posted by Talez at 7:53 AM on October 3


I could quite possibly staring down the barrel of government tyranny involving thousands of men with automatic weapons. A tactical nuclear strike would be my only feasible deterrent to stop said tyrannical government.
posted by Talez at 7:54 AM on October 3 [1 favorite]


I just got a marketing email from the gun shop where I took my class. Free tickets to some country music concert!

I am not even kidding.
posted by odinsdream at 7:58 AM on October 3 [27 favorites]


The thing is, I'm not sure police actually want to buyback weapons - I think what they want is to buy back weapons from desperately poor people, who are willing to take 1/5 of the value, because they think that those are the ones that commit the crimes.

As long as buying guns is easy and unchanged from the status quo, it doesn't make a ton of sense to peg buyback values to be equal to market prices -- at that point you're effectively operating a low-interest loan program for gun buyers, not a buyback program, since people could (1) buy a gun, (2) use it for a while, (3) go to the police and sell it for full price. There would be no financial risk in buying new guns, which would (in isolation) encourage sales.

There's definitely a price-point issue where, below a certain threshold, people feel it isn't worth doing, and raising that price would help people be willing to participate in a program; I definitely agree with that. But absent restrictions on gun sales to make buying harder, that should look more like going from (for example) 1/5th value to 2/5th value; and restrictions (of some type) on gun sales shouldn't be absent.

In a totally non-monetary sense, I think it would also help if buyback programs were just -- easier? Make it a national push rather than a regional one, make it something that's A Thing for people to participate in, and reduce the non-financial barriers to engagement. I don't have the actual data to back this up, but my sense is that -- in my area of the country, at least -- gun buybacks are an occasional thing. If you miss an event, then you just...can't participate? Holding out buyback programs as an ongoing thing would also help fence-sitters, by making them able to act on the impulse to sell whenever they felt like it, rather than creating a scheduling hurdle.
posted by cjelli at 8:04 AM on October 3 [11 favorites]


Certainly the world is going to get closer to sanity once the boomers die off a little - I only fear that too much damage will have been done.

C'mon, this is such crap. I can just as easily assert that once we boomers die off the world will get palpably worse, with just as little justification, and, sadly, a higher likelihood of being correct. It will just be ... different. A new bad!
posted by Chitownfats at 8:05 AM on October 3 [11 favorites]


I could quite possibly staring down the barrel of government tyranny involving thousands of men with automatic weapons. A tactical nuclear strike would be my only feasible deterrent to stop said tyrannical government.

You could always get into near earth asteroid mining too.
posted by Slackermagee at 8:05 AM on October 3


Why do gun owners think that their obsolete/old purchases deserve to be treated differently than an old laptop?

Because it's a durable good that actually gains in value as it ages. The lever action 30-30 I've got was my great-grandfather's rifle and is worth far more now than he paid for it.

But also, flies and honey.

Granted, not all firearms are in that class. I have a 20ga pump shotgun that is simply unsafe, like this. I've had it to several gunsmiths and it's just a flawed design. I won't sell it - it's an accident waiting to happen. It needs to be destroyed - but many buyback programs don't destroy the weapons, but instead resell them at auction. Anyway, I know it won't hurt anyone sitting in my gunsafe, and there is basically zero cost to keeping it there, so there it sets.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:12 AM on October 3 [6 favorites]


many buyback programs don't destroy the weapons, but instead resell them at auction


Wh-haaaaaaaat?
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:14 AM on October 3 [15 favorites]


Market price? So gun owners can upgrade unwanted stuff? Now normal people are subsidizing your bloodstained hobby/preparations for mass murder?
posted by Artw at 8:15 AM on October 3 [7 favorites]


Saying "I can't wait for everyone in a certain age group to die off" is rather shitty, and it ignores the fact that younger people can be sociopaths and mass murderers, too.

I've actually heard this from a few Democratic pundits in the past - when all the old white people die off, demography will be in our favor and we'll have it made in the shade! I doubt it will work out quite that way. After all, much of the neo-Nazi alt-right and its spawning grounds, MRA and Redpill forums, are populated by young people, aka Our Fyooture.

It's not as simple as "young = good, enlightened, woke" and "old = racist, narrow-minded, reactionary." Now I think that Fox News has done more to corrupt our country than practically anything else - certainly it's in my top five of malign influences - and yes, most of its audience is elderly, but Not All Older People, etc.

I would like to know just what is making some older people into hate-filled shells of their former selves just so I can prevent it happening to me. Maybe there are prescription drugs at fault. I do know that even if I go to someplace where Fox is blaring in the background, it's easy for me to tune it out - hooray for headphones and podcasts!

tl;dr: I don't think our problems as a society will be solved just by having certain demographics die.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 8:16 AM on October 3 [28 favorites]


Fortunately the thought process of "How would I change our lives to stop being afraid" was irrational and untenable, so I accepted it. Yes, terrible things can happen. Terrible things might happen. Do I want to live my life in perpetual fear to avoid that? Is it worth that exchange?

I feel like this perpetual fear in American Society really started after 9-11. Before that, culturally, we could handle this more effectively. 9-11 scared the fuck out of us, and we simply never recovered.


I think your age and/or optimism are showing. I'm 47 and the only thing that I can see has really changed is the definition of what we're scared of. When I was getting close to high school graduation age in 86-87 I remember a lot of fear of gang violence (and the inevitable growing up of the now-debunked crack babies who would murder us all) and Mom and Pop Suburb's kiddo getting shot. I think it was in Dear Abby or maybe Ann Landers (which I read; I was a weird kid) where someone mentioned their intention to buy jackets for their kids, made out of kevlar. And the response wasn't "draping your kids in bullet-proof fabric isn't the way to go through life, bub."

As crime and violence have decreased the expectation and fear of it haven't kept pace. Where folks used to tell themselves that they could be safer by just staying out of what they imagined as urban war zones, now they have a more generalized fear that it's all coming to get them. I think if you want to point at anything it's media coverage looking to sensationalize and it well predates 9/11.
posted by phearlez at 8:20 AM on October 3 [16 favorites]


The people who are gun owners/ccl holders tend to be people who live in a default state of fear from other people.

From The Trace on "super-owners":
Fred, a 39-year-old truck driver from Ocala, Florida, has about 40 guns — roughly 24 pistols and 14 long guns. He said his firearms collection began to grow after he became a father. He had a “catastrophic knee injury” that he worried would make it hard for him to protect his wife and child, and when he researched his neighborhood, he saw crime was going up.

“I want everyone in my home to be able to defend themselves at a moment’s notice if a violent criminal decides he wants to break down the door,” he said.
I've spent time around people who fit the description "grew up with guns, always had them around, inherited them and they're sitting in a cabinet, being guns." If I were part of that kind of tradition, I'd probably be in the same situation feeling the emotional weight and wanting an easy way to be rid of them without it somehow feeling like I was discarding an inheritance.

I've also spent time around people who went from no guns to "sufficient personal arsenal to equip a small town" in a matter of months. Internet communities of interest are extremely good at turning casual interests into competitive obsessions, whether it's guitars or vintage watches or old typewriters or military-grade firearms -- more so than a pre-web era of local enthusiasts and monthly publications and annual conventions. You can be a completist, you can search out "grails", you can become master of a particular subdomain and earn the kudos of others. With guns, it inevitably gets tangled in various home defence / self-reliance / prepper narratives.

Why do gun owners think that their obsolete/old purchases deserve to be treated differently than an old laptop?

At this point, if it's a choice between tax cuts for kajillionaires, Tom Price's private jet habit, or the cumulative social costs of the latest massacre, and paying over the odds for a bag of assorted gun crap, then just stuff their mouths with gold. Yeah, it can't simply be a de facto rental / upgrade voucher situation. But the US is rich enough to test just how much money it takes to cure someone of firearm acquisition syndrome.
posted by holgate at 8:23 AM on October 3 [6 favorites]


I like being alive and having a planet. I would like my children to experience the same when they grow up, rather than die in a blasted war-riddled hellscape. We know who is voting for the later option, and that they have structural and demographic advantages over sane people who want to keep living.
posted by Artw at 8:25 AM on October 3 [5 favorites]


Wh-haaaaaaaat?
Since 2009, at least 11 states have passed laws that either encourage or require police departments to sell seized or recovered guns -- with some banning police from destroying guns altogether, according to an exclusive CNNMoney analysis of state laws.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:26 AM on October 3 [18 favorites]


>many buyback programs don't destroy the weapons, but instead resell them at auction

Wh-haaaaaaaat?


I'm not sure about 'many,' but certainly some: it's a Republican-backed subversion of buyback programs that should be changed. From 2013:
City- or county-sponsored gun buybacks — often used in larger cities to entice people to give up their handguns — have become effectively pointless in Arizona with legislation signed by Gov. Jan Brewer.

The bill prohibits cities and counties from destroying any guns that come into their possession; instead, the firearms must now be sold to federally licensed dealers.
That's, in other words, the state-level Republican legislature clamping down on experimentation by cities.
posted by cjelli at 8:26 AM on October 3 [14 favorites]


Well that's worthless. Thanks Republicans.
posted by Artw at 8:27 AM on October 3 [2 favorites]


Hey Artw, please don't be so quick to wish us dead. Most of the torch carriers in Charlottesville looked pretty young to me.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:27 AM on October 3 [19 favorites]


Because it's a durable good that actually gains in value as it ages. The lever action 30-30 I've got was my great-grandfather's rifle and is worth far more now than he paid for it.

This is where I am at with my dad's collection. If someone wanted guns with which to actually shoot people, they could easily obtain better and newer guns requiring less maintenance and TLC at a far cheaper price than what I would ask for these 50-100 year old models.

Are they still dangerous objects, designed to kill, requiring respect and discretion? Damn right. I do not look at them lightly. But I have little fear that if I sell these to collectors they will end up being used to kill someone. Their being in working condition adds to their value, but shouldn't matter if they are being passed to new owners who don't plan on using them. Form over function in this case.

If he had, say, a case full of generic modern handguns they'd be headed to some disposal option as fast as I could get them there.
posted by delfin at 8:28 AM on October 3 [1 favorite]


As long as buying guns is easy and unchanged from the status quo, it doesn't make a ton of sense to peg buyback values to be equal to market prices -- at that point you're effectively operating a low-interest loan program for gun buyers, not a buyback program, since people could (1) buy a gun, (2) use it for a while, (3) go to the police and sell it for full price. There would be no financial risk in buying new guns, which would (in isolation) encourage sales

The thing is, this is kind of what's happening now. Because guns don't depreciate much at all once you take them "off the lot", as it were, the only real financial risk in buying a gun is that you won't be able to immediately sell it for most of what you paid for it. So you can generally buy a gun, use it for ten years, and if you kept in good repair, sell it for at the very least 5/6 of your original price within a few months. Often, it will be more like 11/12.

And the instant that you significantly limit the new sales of a particular gun, its value shoots through the roof, thus meaning for buybacks to get any meaningful participation, you would need to pay the new increased price, and you still wouldn't get many takers as people, paranoid, started really hanging onto their guns. If you started increasing taxes or otherwise changing the price of a new gun, it would only make the used guns increase in value.

This is why it's really hard to get people who aren't desperate to reduce inventory, because you're essentially throwing away money - serious money. Gun prices are way more like what people thought Beanie babies would be than their reality.

So you could absolutely reduce the amount of guns in the United States, but it would probably be very expensive and would probably take a generation. Each individual 'high owner' would probably cost anywhere from 5-10K at the very least to get rid of their unwanted inventory - but that also means that the inheritances they pass down are more likely to be cash, and the normalization of enormous gun stashes would drop way down. You'd essentially be removing the "cover and concealment" - so that people with large gun stashes would no longer be 'I don't want to deal with the hassle of selling' and would be more 'I actively am interested in keeping 40 guns.'
posted by corb at 8:30 AM on October 3 [7 favorites]


Where folks used to tell themselves that they could be safer by just staying out of what they imagined as urban war zones, now they have a more generalized fear that it's all coming to get them.

I once read a book about the psychology of people living in gated communities, and it was really striking: the more people surround themselves with objects and structures intended to keep them safe from [threat], the more they are faced with everyday visual reminders of the existence of [threat], and the more paranoid they become. The gate symbolizes not safety, but the thing you're scared of and need to be kept safe from. So then they take MORE safety measures, and they get MORE paranoid, and it becomes a feedback loop where people are living in an extremely safe place and yet are constantly terrified. I'm certain it's the same thing with guns.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:33 AM on October 3 [37 favorites]


Here's what a Rhode Island gun buyback program did with the guns. The artists has done a few of these in other cities.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:34 AM on October 3 [2 favorites]


Hey Artw, please don't be so quick to wish us dead. Most of the torch carriers in Charlottesville looked pretty young to me.

I will now play my Trump card in this argument...
posted by Talez at 8:37 AM on October 3 [2 favorites]


Since 2009, at least 11 states have passed laws that either encourage or require police departments to sell seized or recovered guns -- with some banning police from destroying guns altogether, according to an exclusive CNNMoney analysis of state laws.

That doesn't make sense at all.
In fact, I can't even see this being in the interest of the gun lobby. Wouldn't the NRA want all these guns destroyed, so you can't buy a used, confiscated, evil-person gun (= no profits for gun manufacturers), but have to buy a shiny, new, patriotic-American gun (= $$$ for gun manufacturers)?

Where's the gun lobby, when you need it?
posted by sour cream at 8:37 AM on October 3 [1 favorite]


But also, flies and honey.

I'm sorry, but this is ... just, ugh.

All this talk about how to appease gun owners so maybe they'll take the minimum steps to avoid future mass shootings is frankly analogous to talk about how we need to appease white people so maybe in the future they'll deign to let us have fewer violations of civil rights against people of color -- which is to say in both cases it's total bullshit.

We should not have to plead and abase ourselves at the feet of gun owners to have sane gun regulations in this country. We should not have to beg for or pay for unnecessary and over-stocked weapons of mass murder to kindly be turned over. I'm fucking aghast that gun owners in this thread think that the default stance should be that they made financially whole, as if that's more important than the death and destruction being caused because of our insane gun culture.

"The solution to this problem is to bend over backwards to appease those causing the problem" is pretty much a hard no in all scenarios.
posted by tocts at 8:42 AM on October 3 [35 favorites]


The thing is, this is kind of what's happening now. Because guns don't depreciate much at all once you take them "off the lot", as it were, the only real financial risk in buying a gun is that you won't be able to immediately sell it for most of what you paid for it. So you can generally buy a gun, use it for ten years, and if you kept in good repair, sell it for at the very least 5/6 of your original price within a few months. Often, it will be more like 11/12.

Simple solution: Tax the hell out of guns. Make gun owners pay 500$/year for a simple handgun, 1000$/year for a hunting rifle etc. Don't pay the taxes and have your gun taken away or go to jail.

Hey, you have the right to bear arms, but it doesn't say anywhere that you can do that for free. After all, you don't get the guns for free either.
posted by sour cream at 8:46 AM on October 3 [19 favorites]


We should not have to

I don't disagree, but how many solutions that could get approved and implemented have been discarded over time because of "should not have to?" I always think back to my saying something about what my obligations actually were versus other drivers and my father asking me what good it did me to be the most in-the-right person in the morgue. At some point we do what we can do and right now I have 59 justifications fresh in my mind for picking the possible over nothing, even if I find it distasteful.
posted by phearlez at 8:46 AM on October 3 [3 favorites]


"The solution to this problem is to bend over backwards to appease those causing the problem" is pretty much a hard no in all scenarios.

Well it's a viable short term survival strategy when living with a violent abuser. But it means you keep being abused, and maybe they kill you tomorrow anyway.

The long term survival strategy is to get out. The analog to that for the republic is...I mean. It's war. Because they won't just let the blue states and cities leave. And even if they did (they can't, we have all the money and stuff they want), then we'd be abandoning all the POC, women, and LGBTQ folks who live in red or purple states.

So yeah, I don't know.
posted by schadenfrau at 8:47 AM on October 3 [4 favorites]


In fact, I can't even see this being in the interest of the gun lobby. Wouldn't the NRA want all these guns destroyed, so you can't buy a used, confiscated, evil-person gun (= no profits for gun manufacturers), but have to buy a shiny, new, patriotic-American gun (= $$$ for gun manufacturers)?

Buyback programs reduce the number of guns owned by private citizens (and also devalues the guns themselves in the minds of the public) and therefore set a dangerous precedent.

The NRA typically frames those programs as "confiscations" by the police. They may also argue that buybacks are misguided attempts to reduce violence. Or that destroying guns removes a valuable source of revenue for law enforcement.
posted by zarq at 8:47 AM on October 3 [3 favorites]


I'm fucking aghast that gun owners in this thread think that the default stance should be that they made financially whole, as if that's more important than the death and destruction being caused because of our insane gun culture.

If you wanted to demolish my house to build an galactic hyperspace bypass, you'd have to pay market value. If you wanted to recall my car because the manufacturer lied about the emissions capabilities, you'd have to pay market value.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:49 AM on October 3 [4 favorites]


Simple solution: Tax the hell out of guns.

Even better, tax the hell out of ammo, too. And as the article suggests, require that a portion of the tax money go towards public health research into guns.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:50 AM on October 3 [9 favorites]


If you wanted to demolish my house to build an galactic hyperspace bypass, you'd have to pay market value. If you wanted to recall my car because the manufacturer lied about the emissions capabilities, you'd have to pay market value.

That it's normal to consider a gun equivalent to a necessity like shelter or a vital commodity like transportation is itself part of the problem. Guns are neither to all but a tiny minority of people.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:53 AM on October 3 [27 favorites]


If gun violence is the price of freedom, then if you get wounded by a gun, you should get universal healthcare for the rest of your life. If you are a minor, you get full boat tuition too. If you don't survive, then your next of kin (provided they did not pull the trigger, natch) gets a payout equal to what would have been spent on you if you had lived.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:53 AM on October 3 [4 favorites]


When did fanfiction become one of the stages of grief?
posted by phearlez at 8:55 AM on October 3 [12 favorites]


Tangentially,is there a link betwen firearm ownership/usage and lead exposure? Even around range usage vs outdoor/hunting?

This is curiosity, not giving society coverage for this shit
posted by Lord_Pall at 8:55 AM on October 3


If you wanted to recall my car because the manufacturer lied about the emissions capabilities, you'd have to pay market value.

I am 100% okay with gun manufacturers having to pay back the fair-market value of all the guns they've sold. That would be fine.

Which is why that's not really a great parallel to what's being discussed.
posted by cjelli at 8:56 AM on October 3 [1 favorite]


If you wanted to demolish my house to build an galactic hyperspace bypass, you'd have to pay market value.

Was something like your house used to murder more than 50 people yesterday?
posted by maxsparber at 8:56 AM on October 3 [13 favorites]


If one really wants to despair about how fucked up this country is, consider that the Mandelay Bay shooting victims will not only be financially responsible for their own wounds and medical care, but if Congress passes their health care bill, they will have pre-existing conditions and be vulnerable to not even being able to get insurance coverage. All they need to do is lose their job as a result of their injuries.
posted by Autumnheart at 8:57 AM on October 3 [55 favorites]


When did fanfiction become one of the stages of grief?

when we began talking about gun regulation with the Trump regime in power and the Republicans anywhere near government?
posted by anem0ne at 8:58 AM on October 3 [7 favorites]


Tangentially,is there a link betwen firearm ownership/usage and lead exposure? Even around range usage vs outdoor/hunting?

I once made a post about dangerous/toxic lead exposure at firing ranges.
posted by zarq at 8:59 AM on October 3 [5 favorites]


Simple solution: Tax the hell out of guns.

Better yet. Require insurance.

Think on this - all of those victims are now stuck with substantial medical bills both for current treatment and for the injuries going forward. The perpetrator is judgment-proof - he's dead, and any assets he had will be dwarfed by the number and size of claims.

There is no reason that a victim's ability to be made whole should be limited to the shooter's ability to pay. This isn't a situation we allow for, say cars, or home ownership.

NRA gun types hate government tyranny, but they never seem to mind the micro-tyrannies of their employers, cable companies, or churches. Registering the guns with the feds would be a crime against jesus, but registering with State Farm...


Also, negligent discharges should be a goddamned felony. I don't care about jail time, but felonies prevent lawful gun ownership - and if you are stupid, you should be grounded from your toys.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:00 AM on October 3 [31 favorites]


Tangentially,is there a link betwen firearm ownership/usage and lead exposure? Even around range usage vs outdoor/hunting?

Yes, there are very serious health concerns around lead poisoning from lead dust and environmental concerns bout spent ammo/casings in locations where guns are used. Of course, again thanks to the NRA, it's really hard to research the true extent of the harm even legal guns not used for crimes are doing to people and places.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:01 AM on October 3 [3 favorites]


Re: all the fear, I think Fox News is degree, not kind. Mass media figured out that fear sells sometime in the 1970s and we've been off to the races ever since (Barry Glassner wrote The Culture of Fear in 1999). To me, this all seems to be an apotheosis of something brewing for decades, and it's definitely not just old people.

My brother-in-law is a victim of the ready availability of firearms: had he not had handguns easily available, I do not think that his mental illness would have been fatal. But moreover, his gun and ammunition hoarding directly greatly contributed to one of the primary drivers of his depression (financial debt, which was the specific catalyst for his downward plunge and suicide).

It's pretty clear to me that many (all? would we be able to tell?) of us human beings are ill and unwell in significant ways that we have not clearly recognized and defined, and most of those ways are caused in some fashion by mass media. It really looks to me like we have a massively-adopted set of tools whose effect on mental health is fundamental, poorly considered, and increasing. Might be time to start talking about that more, except that the things that need more careful consideration are the things that poisoned our discourse and thus our collective ability to do that. Ha, irony.
posted by LooseFilter at 9:07 AM on October 3 [9 favorites]


A Fiendish Thingy: Why do gun owners think that their obsolete/old purchases deserve to be treated differently than an old laptop?

Because old laptops don't kill people...?

The exceptionalism is valid and works both ways. Gun owners have no right to complain about getting judged by non gun owners for owning things designed to kill people, non gun owners don't have a right to complain that guns are treated differently to old laptops or Beanie Babies. They are different.
posted by MattWPBS at 9:08 AM on October 3 [2 favorites]


We should not have to plead and abase ourselves at the feet of gun owners to have sane gun regulations in this country. We should not have to beg for or pay for unnecessary and over-stocked weapons of mass murder to kindly be turned over.

But, alas, this is America under discussion here. The car in front of you on the highway should have a bumper sticker reading "I'm Irrational, Self-Absorbed, Impulsive, Easily Manipulated and Dangerous AND I VOTE!" because its owner generally is, was, will be and does.

We should not have to plead and beg. But a big chunk of Americans assert just as strenuously that their guns are none of your business. No one thinks that they're the Crazy Gun Person until the day that they are. And the vast majority of gun owners ARE responsible... at least until the day that they aren't. But they listen to the Mirror Universe Media Machine loons howling over and over that leftists are wannabe dictators that want all guns destroyed so they can then impose their Communist way of life on everyone. That guns are American to the core and vital to its future. That the Second Amendment is the only one that counts.

And those fuckers vote.
posted by delfin at 9:10 AM on October 3 [3 favorites]


You'd think that with the sheer number of guns, and the fact that they have a longevity cars and other items don't, at some point there would have to be a glut that would limit the number of new guns people were buying.
posted by drezdn at 9:13 AM on October 3 [1 favorite]


I am 100% okay with gun manufacturers having to pay back the fair-market value of all the guns they've sold. That would be fine.

Which is why that's not really a great parallel to what's being discussed.


Guns are property. The constitution forbids uncompensated seizures without due process. The second amendment means you can't mandate it (a la eminent domain). We can quibble about what price we should offer gun owners to voluntarily give up their arms, but think about it - if I can do better selling them on craigslist, then why wouldn't I do that instead. You're up against the constitution on one side, and the market on the other.

Anyway, I don't think a buyback is likely to work - if the guns aren't destroyed universally, then beancounters will just realize the tax savings inherent in putting those arms back into the market. And - like with my 30-30; there's a ton of sentimental value there. That gun is ~100 years old and put a lot of food on families. If you really want that "off the street" then... what should I expect to get in return ?

The best bet is to push the cost of ownership back on the gun owners via insurance regulations and increased responsibility for negligent discharges (which incidentally, are often not even illegal anyway).
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:14 AM on October 3 [4 favorites]


I'm fucking aghast that gun owners in this thread think that the default stance should be that they made financially whole, as if that's more important than the death and destruction being caused because of our insane gun culture.

I think it's important for them to name their price. Is the all-American promise of cash-money-dollars sufficient to make a difference here if the price is right? If so, we can talk about money. If not, we can't.
posted by holgate at 9:14 AM on October 3 [4 favorites]


It's stunning to me how pervasive neoliberal myths about gun control are. All it takes is another hideous tragedy like this, and here we all are talking again about all kinds of blind liberal "gun control" which can't and won't stop any gun violence whatsoever. It's pretty clear to me at this point that "gun control" as Americans envision it isn't about stopping violence; it's about making Joe Gun Owner fill out a few more annoying forms when he's buying his hunting rifle so that Joe Liberal can feel smugly superior while the poor and desperate go on dying on the street.

To put it another way: there are (maybe?) between two hundred and four hundred million guns in this country. A very large proportion of those are (probably?) illegal weapons, part of the largest black market in weapons the world has ever seen. There is no way to really take guns off the street in America. Not only that – you can't even just take enough off the street to be effective in stemming gun violence. If we could wave a magic congressional wand and take a million guns off the street tomorrow – which would make it the most effective gun control program in US history – we wouldn't even put a sizeable dent in the number of guns on the street in the US. There would still be hundreds of millions of guns out there! We'd just make business slightly better for illegal gun dealers.

The assumption that this is easy is comforting, because it lets us believe that with a few calls our representative in Congress can just pass a bill which requires an extra form and suddenly things will get a little better and we can go back to living our happy lives and not worry about the people this violence affects. But that is a lie. This is difficult, and it will take work. Most of all, it will take knowledge. And we don't have any of that in America. It's virtually illegal to even study guns at this point. That's what we should be working on changing, frankly. Not until we actually know the dimensions of the gun problem in America can we talk about solutions.
posted by koeselitz at 9:18 AM on October 3 [8 favorites]


If you wanted to demolish my house to build an galactic hyperspace bypass, you'd have to pay market value.

And yet if the government wanted to demolish your house because it was a danger to all in and around it, they're not going to pay you "fair market value" for it. Which of these things sounds more like someone sitting on a dangerous stockpile of weapons?
posted by tocts at 9:22 AM on October 3 [1 favorite]


(I mean, to take a few examples here: taxing guns more? Requiring gun insurance? These are probably pointless measures that would do nothing but boost the already-thriving black market. Are you sure that people are usually shot by legal weapons? Why are you sure of that? It's fun to act like legal gun owners are the problem – it's fun to have a nice, well-defined cohort to blame – but who the hell knows? Seriously, nobody knows. That's the problem. And it's extraordinarily difficult to find out – government studies of this kind of thing are already effectively illegal in the US.)
posted by koeselitz at 9:23 AM on October 3 [3 favorites]


That’s bullshit, and yes there is a way to do it, because other countries do it just fine. It would entail passing laws and enforcing them, which means organizing and focusing on long-term plans to seed the government with our candidates, which takes will and effort on the part of liberals. Do we have the energy for a 10-year or 20-year plan like Republicans have done, or not?
posted by Autumnheart at 9:24 AM on October 3 [22 favorites]


but think about it - if I can do better selling them on craigslist, then why wouldn't I do that instead.

Because you don't want your gun sale to be a proximate cause of someone else's death or maiming? Sure, there will be people who prefer to make money at the expense of human lives - we all live in a capitalist society, so that's a fact of the economic system we have right now. But we can incentivize some people to give up some guns. Not every cost and benefit in decision-making is financial, and for any given person, the financial benefit of selling a gun to a private party may not outweigh the moral benefit of safely disposing of the gun through an established program.
posted by melissasaurus at 9:25 AM on October 3 [7 favorites]


(And, if it needs saying, gun byback programs are never going to work. If we had three billion dollars we could pay ten dollars per gun and hope to buy back all the weapons in the US, but that wouldn't be very likely, would it?)
posted by koeselitz at 9:26 AM on October 3 [1 favorite]


Not until we actually know the dimensions of the gun problem in America can we talk about solutions.

That's, practically, a great way to do nothing at all for years and years and years while we legalize research and fund it and let it happen and gather results.

I agree that the lack of research is a real problem; but other countries have studied gun violence and other countries have instituted their own programs. It's not as though America is the first country to tackle this problem, and it's not as though no research exists at all. We can start enacting solutions based on what other countries have seen work, conduct our own research in parallel to that, and then course-correct if other countries' solutions aren't working in America.

We need to start on solutions because it is hard, not because it is easy.
posted by cjelli at 9:27 AM on October 3 [21 favorites]


You'd think that with the sheer number of guns, and the fact that they have a longevity cars and other items don't, at some point there would have to be a glut that would limit the number of new guns people were buying.

Ah, that's why there's a whole ecosystem of magazines, websites, YouTube channels, etc all designed to convince gun owners that they need the latest and greatest model.

In the handgun context in particular: since the vast majority of handguns never get used for their intended purpose (i.e. killing people), gun buyers have no personal experience to counter a review. If the review says 'this will make you safer', then the gun buyer can't really say 'nah, the guns I already have are good enough at killing people.' And so they buy another one. Which they never use. And so it hasn't really made them feel safer (and in fact statistically has made them less safe). And so they need another, newer, better gun. And on and on.

There's also the issue that there are a lot of different kinds of guns: pistols, revolvers, rifles, shotguns, all of various calibers, sizes, loading & firing mechanisms, aiming mechanisms, etc. Gun culture convinces gun buyers that they need one of each major type, which can easily lead to owning 5-10 guns.

And that's before you even get in to the collectors, hoarders, and militia types.
posted by jedicus at 9:28 AM on October 3 [9 favorites]


Simple solution: Tax the hell out of guns. Make gun owners pay 500$/year for a simple handgun, 1000$/year for a hunting rifle etc. Don't pay the taxes and have your gun taken away or go to jail.

In other words, only the mostly white rich get to have guns.

I'm all for taxing, regulating, etc. But making it egregious so as to benefit the wealthy who can already afford to stockpile exotic weapons doesn't sound like a solution; in fact, it sounds like it would cause far bigger problems (or really, exacerbate existing ones, seeing as even the NRA won't back an NRA member like Philando Castile).

As an aside, California charges a tax per firearm sale via the DROS (unlike the federal government, the state does keep a record and it's even digital). Every five years you also have to re-register for a license to purchase firearms, which involves taking a test and paying a fee. You can build on that, make the test more than just multiple-choice and require safe handling and even a range test.

Even better, tax the hell out of ammo, too. And as the article suggests, require that a portion of the tax money go towards public health research into guns.

Same as above, too high a tax will disadvantage a segment of society that is already disadvantaged. Guns aren't going away anytime soon, and doing something like this, which I think will cause more social disparity, can only lead to more racial/socioeconomic strife.

Meanwhile, California starts taxing ammunition sales on January 1st, 2018: $1/transaction and background check. Now that $1 may be considered too small, and it can certainly go up over time, but it 1) performs BCs on ammo sales, not just firearm sales, 2) it is a small enough fee that you won't cause mass hoarding, 3) the tax goes to a health and safety fund, and 4) it does not disadvantage the 99%.

The law also requires out-of-state/internet purchases to be shipped to a licensed dealer in the state, where they then charge the $1 tax plus the dealer's processing fee, making it prohibitive to purchase online and guaranteeing a California background check for out-of-state purchases.
posted by linux at 9:29 AM on October 3 [13 favorites]


Not until we actually know the dimensions of the gun problem in America can we talk about solutions.

Well, no.

. It's virtually illegal to even study guns at this point. That's what we should be working on changing, frankly.

But that absolutely needs to change.
posted by Artw at 9:30 AM on October 3 [4 favorites]


Frankly, koeslitz, not only are you factually wrong about the ability, but the tenor of this thread. If anything, the sentiments lean far to the side of how monumentally difficult things are t change. Also, the problem with illegal guns can, in large part, be traced back to legal gun resellers and sketchy owners.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:31 AM on October 3 [18 favorites]


Not until we actually know the dimensions of the gun problem in America can we talk about solutions.

This is a stupendously ridiculous statement.

We may not know nearly what we'd like to about specifically the US (because the NRA has ensured we can collect basically no data), but we know we have a problem. Additionally, other countries have tackled this. It is not easy, but it is not impossible. To act like we need to just ride out another couple decades of gun violence (assuming we can even get the right to study it in the first place) before doing anything is so far beyond "perfect being the enemy of the good" that it would require a new phrase to describe it that I can't even conceive.

Solutions that work elsewhere don't suddenly not work because of geography. Fuck this kind of American Exceptionalism.
posted by tocts at 9:33 AM on October 3 [22 favorites]


I've wondered if it would be possible to set up for a underground buyback option where guns could be bought out from pawn shops or off craigslist and then destroyed so the second-hand market gets depleted. The pawn shops would make money off this system, but maybe if someone set up a contract with "right of first purchase" for a discount. They are effectively setting a buyback price, anyway, and the reduction of used guns would likely push the second hand price up, hopefully meaning more people will divest, and others not have the ability to purchase used guns.
Doing it as a NGO/billionaire's whimsy means that it could be done without a lot of media attention, but the money is probably better spent on legislation reforms.
Insurance requirements are needed, more/easier background checks are needed, FEWER GUNS are needed.

I'm going to be contacting my reps about removing the policy rider that prevents the CDC from researching gun deaths. There are H.R. 1478: Gun Violence Research Act of 2017, or S.834: appropriating money to the CDC to study gun deaths. They probably have a snowballs chance, but it might have a better chance in this congress than a large scale overhaul.
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 9:35 AM on October 3 [9 favorites]


".. shooting victims will not only be financially responsible for their own wounds and medical care"

While that is largely true, there is some help. Nevada Victim Assistance will pay up to $35,000 for medical, hospital, dental and counseling bills, and more, if eligible. Members of deceased crime victims may also be eligible for assistance. (It's not clear to me if you have to be a NV resident - it says "victim of a violent crime in Nevada).

Many states have similar programs and it's worth knowing about them in case you or a loved one ever needs that help.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:38 AM on October 3 [2 favorites]


$35,000 for medical, hospital, dental and counseling bills, and more, if eligible.

That will barely cover the ambulance ride, god help them if they needed a band-aid on the way.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:41 AM on October 3 [6 favorites]


We may not know nearly what we'd like to about specifically the US (because the NRA has ensured we can collect basically no data)

This is...not true. The NRA and their pet Republicans have ensured that federal funding cannot be used to collect data. However, several huge studies about guns have come out within the last five years, and more come out all the time. Studies about the costs of gun violence, the effects of gun legislation in CT after Newtown, the impact of gun ownership on suicide, the effects of reducing neighborhood blight on rates of gun violence, the racial disparities of people exposed to gun violence, the likelihood of women being murdered by their partners if there are guns in the house, the lethality of trauma from gun violence, the willingness of police departments to temporarily hold onto firearms for people going through a mental health crisis, and on and on and on.

This is "there is no US data" is a meme that is counterproductive, because it requires ignoring the important research that is being funded by non-federal sources. It would be better if there were many many more studies, obviously, but the idea that no research exists is untrue and unhelpful.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 9:42 AM on October 3 [14 favorites]


(Previously submitted a much saltier-worded version of this comment. This is a low-sodium version. Apologies to the mods.)

All it takes is another hideous tragedy like this, and here we all are talking again about all kinds of blind liberal "gun control" which can't and won't stop any gun violence whatsoever.

The deadliest mass shooting in the UK was in 1996, when a man killed 16 kids and one teacher at a school in Dunblane, Scotland before killing himself. In response, the British government passed the Firearms Amendment (No. 2) Act, which banned high-calibre handguns and cartrige-ammo guns, with the exception of antique guns whose specific ammo is no longer available.

The same year as the massacre in the UK, there was a similar massacre in Australia. Their tactic was to begin a massive gun buyback program, coupled with bans on types of automatic and semi-automatic weapons, and a 28-day waiting period before purchase of a gun.

The rate of death from firearms has dropped 59 percent in Australia, and the death rate has similarly dropped in the UK.



Don't tell us that "gun control can't and won't stop gun violence" when have two examples of countries where it has.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:47 AM on October 3 [62 favorites]


me: “Not until we actually know the dimensions of the gun problem in America can we talk about solutions.”

tocts: “This is a stupendously ridiculous statement. We may not know nearly what we'd like to about specifically the US (because the NRA has ensured we can collect basically no data), but we know we have a problem. Additionally, other countries have tackled this. It is not easy, but it is not impossible. To act like we need to just ride out another couple decades of gun violence (assuming we can even get the right to study it in the first place) before doing anything is so far beyond "perfect being the enemy of the good" that it would require a new phrase to describe it that I can't even conceive.”

I'm sorry, but I'm frustrated and appalled that we're still trying to pass the kind of useless gun control we've been using for decades and expecting it to work. Other countries don't do this. Why do we expect it will work for us?

In any case, what I mean is not that we need endless studies. I'll try to explain what I mean better below.

cjelli: “That's, practically, a great way to do nothing at all for years and years and years while we legalize research and fund it and let it happen and gather results.”

Not necessarily; I agree completely that "doing studies" is probably the most commonly a government euphemism for "purposefully wasting time," but studying guns and gun crime doesn't just mean hiring think tanks and having them write white papers. It means actually empowering government to collect data at every level. That's what government should be doing. If it were, we could take guns off the street in a way that was effective.

“I agree that the lack of research is a real problem; but other countries have studied gun violence and other countries have instituted their own programs. It's not as though America is the first country to tackle this problem, and it's not as though no research exists at all. We can start enacting solutions based on what other countries have seen work, conduct our own research in parallel to that, and then course-correct if other countries' solutions aren't working in America.”

I agree with all this, but let's take the first step. What's the difference between those other countries and the United States? Why were they able to tackle this, whereas we just seem to keep enacting pointless, toothless gun control, and we can't even seem to figure out what the realities of gun violence are? What starting point did they have that allowed them to control guns effectively, in a way that reduced violence and made it possible to control crime?

Here's the main thing those other countries had that we don't have: information on guns, collected by the government, at every level. That means: they tracked guns, by serial number and by owner, from manufacture to sale all the way down the line. Which is illegal in America. Australia was able to safely and effectively draw down gun ownership because they knew where the guns were. We can't even say with any precision how many guns are in this country. We can't say who owns them, we can't say where they got them. That means we can't say how many guns used in crime are illegal or legal weapons. And it means that, if we wanted to have buyback programs or anything like that, or if we wanted to target the weapons most used in violent crime, we wouldn't know where to start.

“We need to start on solutions because it is hard, not because it is easy.”

I agree wholeheartedly. I genuinely believe that a nationwide gun registry and well-kept database of gun ownership is the only effective place to start on this. That's the kind of thing that even most legal gun owners are at least vaguely in support of – heck, in my experience most legal gun owners actually think we already have that (because we love making them fill out pointless forms.) This would be hard, and it would only be a first step, but I'm confident it's the only place to start.

a fiendish thingy: “This is ‘there is no US data’ is a meme that is counterproductive, because it requires ignoring the important research that is being funded by non-federal sources. It would be better if there were many many more studies, obviously, but the idea that no research exists is untrue and unhelpful.”

Studies are not going to help. But the difference between the US and countries where gun control is effective is simple: government-mandated data collection at point of manufacture and point of sale. They have it; we don't.
posted by koeselitz at 9:47 AM on October 3 [7 favorites]


If you want to go down the road of seizure in the US, there's only one way to do it and remain constitutional. Civil forfeiture. Seize and melt down every gun used in a crime, negligently discharged, or stored/transported improperly. Don't even need new laws, just aggressive prosecutors and a PD willing to forgo the cash infusion of selling them.

There was a time this happened in some places.
posted by wierdo at 9:50 AM on October 3 [7 favorites]


It's fun to act like legal gun owners are the problem – it's fun to have a nice, well-defined cohort to blame – but who the hell knows? Seriously, nobody knows. That's the problem. And it's extraordinarily difficult to find out – government studies of this kind of thing are already effectively illegal in the US.

Not only do we actually know the problem (if not the full extent of it), legal gun owners are, in fact, a huge part of the problem.

How Gun Traffickers Get Around State Gun Laws (emphasis mine)
The economics are straightforward: A low-quality handgun that sells for $100 in an Atlanta store might sell for $500 or $600 in New York City, researchers say — and it can be transported cheaply. By contrast, the majority of guns used in crimes in Texas, Georgia and other states with more lenient gun laws are purchased in-state.

The New York Times examined gun trafficking by analyzing nine years of data compiled by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, as well as an index of state gun laws developed by researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

Law enforcement officials express frequent frustration that they are not able to track every gun that crosses state lines, which means the estimates here are conservative. When the police do recover a gun tied to criminal activity, typically after an arrest, they can trace the gun to where it was last sold through a federally licensed dealer.

Chicago offers perhaps the starkest example of trafficking. There are no retail gun dealers within city limits, because Chicago has some of the tightest municipal gun regulations. Yet bringing a gun into Chicago can be as simple as driving less than an hour to a gun show in Indiana, where private sales are not recorded and do not require a background check.
[...]
According to an anonymous survey of inmates in Cook County, Ill., covering 135 guns they had access to, only two had been purchased directly from a gun store. Many inmates reported obtaining guns from friends who had bought them legally and then reported them stolen, or from locals who had brought the guns from out of state.
So yes, legal gun owners are indeed a large part of the problem. Also, we not only know the problem, we know exactly how it came to be. From the same article:
Most gun trafficking patterns have remained remarkably constant over time. But some researchers point to a significant shift in Missouri as evidence that changes to one state’s laws can have broad implications.

Before 2007, Missouri required gun buyers to get a state permit and to undergo background checks on private sales, two restrictions strongly associated with states that provide fewer guns to interstate traffickers, according to research by Daniel Webster, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research. At the time, nearly half of the guns used in crimes and recovered in Missouri were traced to other states, largely from neighboring Kansas and Illinois.

But when Missouri relaxed its gun control laws in 2007, the flow started to change. The number of guns traced to other states decreased, while the number of guns from within Missouri increased to nearly three-quarters.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:51 AM on October 3 [21 favorites]


As Piers Morgan pointed out, I can't buy a Kinder fucking Surprise in this country but guns? Knock yourself out, head down to Walmart and grab a few!

When Piers Morgan is making sense you are on the wrong fucking side of any argument.
posted by Talez at 9:51 AM on October 3 [14 favorites]


It's stunning to me how pervasive neoliberal myths about gun control are. All it takes is another hideous tragedy like this, and here we all are talking again about all kinds of blind liberal "gun control" which can't and won't stop any gun violence whatsoever. It's pretty clear to me at this point that "gun control" as Americans envision it isn't about stopping violence; it's about making Joe Gun Owner fill out a few more annoying forms when he's buying his hunting rifle so that Joe Liberal can feel smugly superior while the poor and desperate go on dying on the street.

To put it another way: there are (maybe?) between two hundred and four hundred million guns in this country. A very large proportion of those are (probably?) illegal weapons, part of the largest black market in weapons the world has ever seen. There is no way to really take guns off the street in America. Not only that – you can't even just take enough off the street to be effective in stemming gun violence. If we could wave a magic congressional wand and take a million guns off the street tomorrow – which would make it the most effective gun control program in US history – we wouldn't even put a sizeable dent in the number of guns on the street in the US. There would still be hundreds of millions of guns out there! We'd just make business slightly better for illegal gun dealers.


New York State and to an even greater degree New York City has some of the strongest gun safety laws in the country. Our state licensing requirements for handguns are infamous. We require an interview, background check, fingerprinting, photos and character references. NYS has banned certain kinds of guns, including assault weapons and high-capacity mags. The state also maintains an ownership database. We even require universal background checks at gun shows and for private sales.

If you've been arrested for a felony, you can't get a license. NYC has passed laws that make carrying certain kinds of guns illegal within its borders that are legal to carry in the rest of the state. And we have statewide gun buyback programs. Making it harder for people to obtain a gun license is only one step in the process, but it's an important one. And it can be effective.

All of this, combined with intense targeting of gangs and the arrests and convictions of gang members in NYC have given us decreased gun violence rates.

In 2015 we were ranked the third lowest state for gun violence in the country. Massachusetts and Hawaii came in second and first, respectively. In 2016, we recorded our lowest number of shootings in modern history and the second-lowest homicide total.

A large majority of illegally trafficked guns began their existence as legally owned guns. Tracking them when they are legal allows us to figure out the journey they take from legal to illegal, as well as how guns are trafficked into the state. See the Target on Trafficking report for more info. We know where our trafficked guns come from. It ain't New York. People go elsewhere to get their guns, to states where it's easier to obtain one. And then they bring here from elsewhere.

Imagine for a moment what would happen if our rules became the gold standard and universally applied across the United States. If guns could not be easily obtained and licensed anywhere, and confiscation and arrests for gun violence were aggressively pursued.

Violence would eventually drop.
posted by zarq at 9:51 AM on October 3 [42 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos: “The deadliest mass shooting in the UK was in 1996, when a man killed 16 kids and one teacher at a school in Dunblane, Scotland before killing himself. In response, the British government passed the Firearms Amendment (No. 2) Act, which banned high-calibre handguns and cartrige-ammo guns, with the exception of antique guns whose specific ammo is no longer available. The same year as the massacre in the UK, there was a similar massacre in Australia. Their tactic was to begin a massive gun buyback program, coupled with bans on types of automatic and semi-automatic weapons, and a 28-day waiting period before purchase of a gun. The rate of death from firearms has dropped 59 percent in Australia, and the death rate has similarly dropped in the UK.”

The difference between the situation in the US today and the situation in the UK and Australia in 1996 is very simple. In the UK and Australia, guns were required by law to be registered and tracked, and the government could easily say who owned a gun, where it was kept, and whether they were licensed to have that gun. In the US today, there is no such requirement, and in fact such a requirement is against federal and state law in most places.

All I'm saying is: you have to change that before we can hope to achieve the results achieved in the UK and Australia.
posted by koeselitz at 9:51 AM on October 3 [4 favorites]


One of the victims is a woman who was one of those people that aren't close, but are still a part of one's life--she was the other stylist in a little two-person salon owned by the woman who does my hair. When I'd go in for a cut, she'd usually be there--sometimes she'd have one or both of her kids with her.

She was a big personality--physically tall and striking. Big laugh, lot's of beautiful hair (I always thought that was appropriate given her business). The bits an pieces I was privy to of her life--as she talked on the phone, chatted in the salon or talked to her kids, had me forming the opinion that she was one of those Moms who keeps the world turning.

She was involved in her kids' sports, she kept animals (always adding to the herd, losing some, gaining others), she was always part of organizing fund raisers, parties, vacations, etc.) A big part of our community.

My life and our community is diminished by her loss.
posted by agatha_magatha at 9:54 AM on October 3 [58 favorites]


But the difference between the US and countries where gun control is effective is simple: government-mandated data collection at point of manufacture and point of sale. They have it; we don't.

Respectfully, you're confusing cause with effect. The US prohibition on federal research into gun violence is recent and did not arise from nothing. Why does that difference in government mandate exist?
posted by cjelli at 9:56 AM on October 3 [3 favorites]


The difference between the situation in the US today and the situation in the UK and Australia in 1996 is very simple. In the UK and Australia, guns were required by law to be registered and tracked, and the government could easily say who owned a gun, where it was kept, and whether they were licensed to have that gun. In the US today, there is no such requirement, and in fact such a requirement is against federal and state law in most places.

All I'm saying is: you have to change that before we can hope to achieve the results achieved in the UK and Australia.


Registering and tracking guns is part of gun control, isn't it? Well, then, there you go.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:57 AM on October 3 [2 favorites]


Another thing that would reduce gun violence (even if not this specific incident) would be allowing gun owners access to the same database that gun stores have access to to perform background checks for private sales. Even if you haven't made universal background checks required, you've still greatly increased the amount of owners who are able to do due diligence before selling. It's essentially a website-based tool and could be performed from any smartphone, if they just expanded access to it. It doesn't even require the app development jacquilyne was talking about, just let people use what's already there.
posted by corb at 9:59 AM on October 3 [4 favorites]


All I'm saying is: you have to change that before we can hope to achieve the results achieved in the UK and Australia.

Maybe so. But perhaps we could FIRST aim at the results of US states that have passed more moderate gun control, and then had significant reductions in gun violence.

That doesn't have to be an endpoint. But we have the evidence to show that it is an effective beginning. I know that incrementalism is a dirty word for some, but using it as a first step works in this area. We have the data that shows that. It can save hundreds of lives while we work on saving thousands of lives. It can normalize gun control as "reasonable restrictions" instead of "the gubmint" for people who are currently on the fence. It is a first step.

Pretending that people who want to take the first, imperfect step are going to take it and say "okay, we're all finished!!!" seems bizarre to me.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 10:00 AM on October 3 [3 favorites]


I'm pretty sure that the US is the only one of the above mentioned countries where owning firearms is in its founding legal documents right next to the basic right to freedom of conscience and expression. Am I wrong about that?
posted by soren_lorensen at 10:00 AM on October 3 [2 favorites]


I want to reduce the number of legal gun owners. I want all gun owners to be illegal gun owners. That doesn't mean I want possession to be a prosecutable crime, but it does mean I don't want gun ownership to be a constitutionally protected personal right (I disagree with the Heller decision, for example). If a gun is found in possession of anyone, it should be confiscated and melted down. Sure, everyone can find some exception or reason they're a special snowflake who needs one. Sorry, but I don't think your reason is more important that the lives lost or harmed by gun violence. I fully do not expect most people to agree with me on this, and that's ok.

There are plenty of liberals who aren't coming for your guns (most, I'd guess). I am not one of them. I am coming for your guns. It might take a while, but I think our society can get there through the hard work of dedicated people. We've changed the constitution before, we can do it again.

If you don't want people like me making the gun control laws, then get involved, join a gun control advocacy group that promotes policies you agree with, call your reps, elect people who support your gun control policies. If legal gun owners want to remain legal gun owners, they can do the work. If you leave it to us non-gun owners, we may not prioritize your desire for gun ownership.
posted by melissasaurus at 10:01 AM on October 3 [24 favorites]


If we had three billion dollars we could pay ten dollars per gun and hope to buy back all the weapons in the US, but that wouldn't be very likely, would it?

Structuring the question in a daft way makes it look like a daft question. The question is this: how much money would it take to get a certain number of gun owners to become non-gun-owners? That might not stop the next personal-arsenal massacre, or the next half-dozen of them, but it would probably cut into the number of suicides and other small-scale tragedies that happen on a daily basis.

The GOP is looking at multi-trillion-dollar tax cuts to the ultra-rich. I would be absolutely fucking fine with showering cash on the parts of the US that are awash in excess guns. Trade in a gun and pay your rent. Trade in multiple guns and pay off your car. Trade in your contents of your gun safe for a downpayment on a home. Make de-acquisition more lucrative than acquisition. Make it seem dumb to hold onto guns that are sitting around your house, in the most American way possible -- with money. Let's put your NRA-cultivated distrust of government and love of Freedom® on one side of the scale, and a wad of $100s on the other, and see where it balances out.
posted by holgate at 10:01 AM on October 3 [12 favorites]


The United States could surely come up with a market based solution.

Every gun from this day forward gets a cryptographic serial # with a QR code to authenticate. Gun mfg signs the serial with their private key, dumps it on a QR code. You scan the QR code through an app, find out if it's a dupe serial, find out if it's listed as stolen, etc.

Everybody who asks gets a Federal Firearm License with address and photo. No may issue, shall issue. You want a gun, you get a license. The municipality gets to decide whether you get firearms and how many. The gun serial is matched to your license. The private seller goes to the transfer website, puts in their FFL#, the serial, the new owner's FFL# and the transfer website comes back with the yay or nay (i.e. the local cops or the state has prohibited them from owning a weapon).

You are now responsible for that weapon. You get a safe for it. You get liability insurance for it.

If your weapon is stolen and used in a crime the victim reimbursement of your state happily pays out to the victim and then rocks up to your insurer with the bill.

When the transfers take place a whole bunch of checks take place on the backend to look for duplicate serials, look for people who shouldn't have weapons, alert local authorities to rectify those edge cases as per state law (i.e. get a new serial and recerfity it).

You're found with a gun without a serial? Federal firearms crime. Five years at Club Fed. Found with a gun that you don't own in public that isn't a shooting range? A year at Club Fed for the person in possession, confiscation of the weapon, permanently disqualified from having a FFL.

How fucking difficult is this? Really?
posted by Talez at 10:02 AM on October 3 [9 favorites]


Every gun from this day forward gets a cryptographic serial # with a QR code to authenticate.

IT'S THE MARK OF THE BEEAAASSSSTTTTT

(Note: I am also coming to take your guns. I do not care about your hobby. Learn to knit.)
posted by soren_lorensen at 10:04 AM on October 3 [10 favorites]


If you want to go down the road of seizure in the US, there's only one way to do it and remain constitutional. Civil forfeiture. Seize and melt down every gun used in a crime, negligently discharged, or stored/transported improperly. Don't even need new laws, just aggressive prosecutors and a PD willing to forgo the cash infusion of selling them.

Notably, this would be in keeping with one of the proper purposes of civil asset forfeiture: confiscating the instrumentalities of a crime.

I could see an argument for seizing all of the (convicted) defendant's guns, whether actually used to commit the crime or not, on the theory that guns are largely fungible.
posted by jedicus at 10:05 AM on October 3 [1 favorite]




The difference between the situation in the US today and the situation in the UK and Australia in 1996 is very simple. In the UK and Australia, guns were required by law to be registered and tracked, and the government could easily say who owned a gun, where it was kept, and whether they were licensed to have that gun.

The national gun registry and tracking in Australia began in 1996, it didn't exist before the Port Arthur shootings.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:08 AM on October 3 [24 favorites]


a fiendish thingy: “Maybe so. But perhaps we could FIRST aim at the results of US states that have passed more moderate gun control, and then had significant reductions in gun violence. ¶ That doesn't have to be an endpoint. But we have the evidence to show that it is an effective beginning. I know that incrementalism is a dirty word for some, but using it as a first step works in this area. We have the data that shows that. It can save hundreds of lives while we work on saving thousands of lives. It can normalize gun control as ‘reasonable restrictions’ instead of ‘the gubmint’ for people who are currently on the fence. It is a first step. ¶ Pretending that people who want to take the first, imperfect step are going to take it and say &lsqo;okay, we're all finished!!!’ seems bizarre to me.”

That would be an option if the results of US states that have passed more moderate gun control were possible to isolate and understand. But at this point I'm of the opinion that state-level gun control has between very little and almost nothing to do with violent gun crime levels. This is the lesson of Chicago, which has pushed hard to control guns but which has been a victim of the permissive gun control laws of neighboring states. Individual states don't work as test cases because they don't have the border security that the United States as a whole has.

And there is limited energy for gun control initiatives. Usually gun control is a way for politicians to placate voters until they forget about the crisis of the moment; ban guns longer than 30 inches, require an additional day in the waiting period, etc, and most voters upset about a mass shooting will be satisfied. (Or maybe just try to do those things and most voters will be satisfied). We have to use the limited momentum we have to take a decisive step. Mandating gun tracking would be that decisive step. It would not only allow the US in general to consider more thoughtful gun control in the future – and more easily, since, for example, legal gun owners could keep their guns while illegal dealers are targeted – but it would allow individual states to consider what kinds of gun control would make the most sense for them, given the movement of guns across state lines.

I just – I feel some urgency about this, and I don't want the urgency others feel to be squandered on a craven ploy by politicians to placate us temporarily.
posted by koeselitz at 10:08 AM on October 3 [2 favorites]


The national gun registry and tracking in Australia began in 1996, it didn't exist before the Port Arthur shootings.

The federalization of gun control laws and personal firearms licensing didn't start until 1996.
posted by Talez at 10:10 AM on October 3


You feel urgency about what? Stridently convincing everyone that absolutely no measures will help and that nothing will be done? Noted.
posted by Autumnheart at 10:10 AM on October 3 [17 favorites]


The primary victims of gun violence are poor young black men. If the primary victims were rich old white men, we'd have gun control tomorrow. Like everything else, the law is entirely a function of class and race.
posted by cell divide at 10:19 AM on October 3 [22 favorites]


That would be an option if the results of US states that have passed more moderate gun control were possible to isolate and understand. But at this point I'm of the opinion that state-level gun control has between very little and almost nothing to do with violent gun crime levels.

This is flatly untrue. Your opinion is not supported by the evidence, regardless of the problems of Chicago (which are based far more on a blatantly evil and white supremacist police force and rampant and intentional racial disparities than anything else).

States that pass laws requiring waiting periods see reductions in gun violence. States that enforce the otherwise unenforceable federal request for perpetrators of domestic violence to have their guns taken away see significant reductions in gun violence. States that pass permit-to-purchase laws see significant reductions in violence.

The fact that you want more than this (and so do I!) doesn't mean these reductions are imaginary.

If passing these laws didn't have an impact, then the NRA wouldn't spend so many millions on trying to prevent them.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 10:20 AM on October 3 [8 favorites]


Autumnheart: “You feel urgency about what? Stridently convincing everyone that absolutely no measures will help and that nothing will be done? Noted.”

That's not what I've said here. What I've said is that we need to be careful not to pass toothless laws that won't do anything beyond helping us feel better about ourselves – the kind of laws the United States Congress passes every day. What I've said is that schemes like trying to take guns off the street blindly are and always have been a ploy by politicians to keep us happy, and they have never really worked.

If you want me to go further: gun violence is not the paramount problem in the United States, and when I call our discussions of gun violence "neoliberal" (an admittedly vague term, and I apologize for using it) what I'm saying is that we're letting our shock at this violence blind us to institutional violence. Generally, gun control is very easy for police to twist into an excuse to arrest more black and brown people. And mass incarceration is generally a bigger problem than gun violence in America – I'm sorry, but it effects more people, and it threatens more lives. (And – let's not neglect to note – full half of gun deaths in the United States are suicides. We should consider that before flatly empowering police departments, and the carceral state by proxy.) Still, these are intersectional problems. Gun violence is most often a danger to the people in disadvantaged communities who are also at risk of being caught up in the carceral state. For decades, from Nixon to Reagan to Clinton and onward, we've done things in the name of the most disadvantaged that have actually harmed them most.

I want us to think about all these things together and try to come up with solutions that actually benefit America as a whole. We need to balance our concern about gun violence against the fact that, given the power of the carceral state, maybe it would be best to put up with an increase in gun violence for the sake of an increase in freedom and a reduction in slavery and incarceration. But if we were to do that, I think we'd have to come back around to trying to figure out how to help out those communities most at risk of gun violence; we can't make ideological moves like this and blindly destroy the very communities we're trying to serve.

All these problems are intertwined in America. They are not simple and separate. The fact that I believe this doesn't mean I think nothign will be done and absolutely no measures will help. It means I'm skeptical of the machine that's been feeding us "possible solutions!" for a long time now, with the hope that we can be placated and the really hard work won't have to be done. It means I'm skeptical of the Democratic party and its half-baked approaches to gun control that are more and more transparently not even remotely designed to solve any of our problems, but merely exist so that Democrats can claim to be part of the solution at least.
posted by koeselitz at 10:26 AM on October 3 [6 favorites]


Matt Taibbi: The Gun Lobby Is Down to Its Last, Unconvincing Excuse: Las Vegas rips apart the "good guy with a gun" justification, leaving only a flawed constitutional take to justify the madness
I heard someone today say that if the person in the hotel room next to the shooter had had a gun they could have ended the shooting quickly. I've spent a lot of time this year arguing and talking to right wingers. Their logic is preposterous : Poor people caused the banking crisis, there's no connection between human activity and climate change, racism doesn't exist in America...
There's a point where all I can do is sigh and think- I'm sharing my country with these people- and no amount of "look at this data, look at this study" will ever change their minds. It's a bizarre amalgam of parts of Christianity, individualism, free market whatever, racism and in my mind a lack of compassion. That's a big ass chunk of America, these people. They're here, there's tons of them and they're not going anywhere. All this shit way predates Fox news.
posted by PHINC at 10:27 AM on October 3 [11 favorites]


cell divide: “The primary victims of gun violence are poor young black men. If the primary victims were rich old white men, we'd have gun control tomorrow. Like everything else, the law is entirely a function of class and race.”

Exactly. Exactly. And those poor young black men also just happen to be the most at risk of being enslaved by the carceral state. These facts are not unrelated.
posted by koeselitz at 10:28 AM on October 3 [5 favorites]


But at this point I'm of the opinion that state-level gun control has between very little and almost nothing to do with violent gun crime levels.

And yet, New York.

And yet, Massachusetts. Which also has strong gun control laws and averages about a 60-70% lower gun death rate than the national average.

They aren't an anomaly. It took years of work for those states to stem gun violence.
posted by zarq at 10:28 AM on October 3 [17 favorites]


Bob Vulfov, McSweeney’s: YES, THE RABID WOLVES IN OUR NATIONAL PARK KEEP MAULING HIKERS, BUT THE WOLVES ARE ALL ACTING INDIVIDUALLY SO WE’RE NOT REALLY SEEING A PATTERN HERE
First off, our thoughts and prayers go out to the latest hiker who was mauled by a lone wolf in our national park. The rabid wolf in question acted completely on its own. This foaming-at-the-mouth wolf was part of a one-wolf cell of resistance. We have no reason to believe the attack perpetrated by this specific bloodthirsty wolf can in any way be linked to the hundreds of other wolf-related and rabies-related incidents reported in our national park over the past few years.

To be clear, we do not currently have a problem with a growing population of killer, deranged wolves slowly taking over our park and eating everything in sight. It may look like we do based on the facts and the evidence, but that is a straw man argument. There’s no pattern here from which we can learn and prevent further maulings, so stop looking for one among the countless rabid wolves terrorizing our park.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:28 AM on October 3 [37 favorites]


What I've said is that we need to be careful not to pass toothless laws that won't do anything beyond helping us feel better about ourselves – the kind of laws the United States Congress passes every day.

Really? Congress has been passing toothless gun control laws every day?

What I've said is that schemes like trying to take guns off the street blindly are and always have been a ploy by politicians to keep us happy, and they have never really worked.

Has our Congress (or any Congress in the past..7? years) shown any indication that they're interested in taking any actions to "keep us happy"?

Where is this mythical Congress that cares about making us happy and takes action on gun control daily (even if toothless) in pursuit of that aim? Can they replace our actual Congress?
posted by melissasaurus at 10:32 AM on October 3 [7 favorites]


What I've said is that we need to be careful not to pass toothless laws that won't do anything beyond helping us feel better about ourselves – the kind of laws the United States Congress passes every day. What I've said is that schemes like trying to take guns off the street blindly are and always have been a ploy by politicians to keep us happy, and they have never really worked.

And yet we have pointed to two instances of cases where it did work, and you attempted to "no but" that argument by somehow saying that registring guns was somehow different from gun control so it didn't count (an argument which was refuted later, and didn't make sense to begin with).

You claim that you're advocating sensible approaches to gun control, but instead you've been shooting down all of the suggestions of those very approaches.

Pun very much intended.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:33 AM on October 3 [9 favorites]


The primary victims of gun violence are poor young black men.
That's only true if you don't count suicide in the gun violence stats, for what it's worth. White men are more likely to die by gunshot than any other demographic, but it's overwhelmingly by their own hand.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:33 AM on October 3 [6 favorites]


Has our Congress (or any Congress in the past..7? years) shown any indication that they're interested in taking any actions to "keep us happy"?

Well, some of "us."
posted by zarq at 10:34 AM on October 3 [1 favorite]


(I want a Congress that makes me happy...)
posted by XtinaS at 10:34 AM on October 3 [1 favorite]


zarq: “And yet, New York. And yet, Massachusetts. Which also has strong gun control laws and averages about a 60-70% lower gun death rate than the national average. They aren't an anomaly. It took years of work for those states to stem gun violence.”

It took years of work – and the incarceration of millions upon millions of disproportionally-non-white people. That's why I'm ambivalent about this; I have a hard time drawing a straight line between gun laws and a reduction in gun violence. Please keep in mind that – particularly in New York – gun control laws are the chief pretext for the police dragnets and "stop and frisk" policies that end up leading directly to that kind of mass incarceration.

That doesn't mean that those gun control laws are evil – absolutely, it doesn't mean that. It doesn't even mean they aren't effective. It means that the whole thing is complicated by other factors, though, and that's why I'm skeptical about using them as a simple template for national gun control.
posted by koeselitz at 10:34 AM on October 3 [5 favorites]


koeslitz, I 100% percent agree that most legislation is triage at best, I'm merely suggesting that triage as a first measure is more effective than waiting for a collective cultural decision to undo our many forms of cultural Stockholm Syndrome. (Still needs to happen, but it doesn't mean the piecemeal work isn't worth doing.) Most effective measures are being passed on the state level, because congress won't touch them.

You reminded me of a twitter thread I saw yesterday from @Hermit_Hwarang:

-Gun control absent abolition will only expand the prison industrial complex and the relative power of police vis a vis occupied communities.
-The US' problem is a lot bigger than mental health services and guns - it's the relationship to violence promoted by our culture & politics.
-We discuss mass shootings as distinct category of violence bc of the spectacle. But really they only differ from individual murders in scale
-The US has countless murders contextualized by gender violence, white supremacy, and poverty-driven desperation occurring daily--all against the backdrop of endless war and mass incarceration.
-The violence sanctioned by the state and the dominant culture eventually cycles back to us all. That's the real trickle-down effect.
-The violence that our necropolitics empowers people to propagate with impunity doesn't end with the elimination of those who are "supposed" to be marked for death.
-Kyriarchy doesn't just target people who occupy oppressed geographies. It also instructs oppressors in the logic and modes of violence.
-White men aren't uniquely violent by nature, but rather uniquely instructed in and empowered to carry out violence.
-That instruction and empowerment have their roots in White men's positionality as the main perpetrators and beneficiaries of state violence.

This links into the fact that white men are the primary victims of gun violence if we include suicide. When your only answer to dysfunction is violence, then even your own dysfunction gets the same treatment.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 10:35 AM on October 3 [17 favorites]


Another thing that would reduce gun violence (even if not this specific incident) would be allowing gun owners access to the same database that gun stores have access to to perform background checks for private sales.

No. What would reduce gun violence is prohibiting private sales, period. No sales that don't go through a licensed arms dealer and recorded in a national database. This is hardly adequate, but it's a start.
posted by JackFlash at 10:37 AM on October 3 [4 favorites]


What's your point? What's your goal? What policies do you propose?

We all are aware that writing laws is difficult. That making policy is difficult. That the criminal justice system overwhelmingly targets black people and any use of it as a tool will overwhelmingly target black people. We know that eminent domain requires compensation, which would require congressional appropriation of funds. We know that these laws won't solve 100% of the problem and to the extent harm is reduced, it will be slow and over time. We know that not everything will work, and that we might have to repeal or undo the things that don't work. This is just lawmaking 101. You're not saying anything new. You're basically not saying anything at all.
posted by melissasaurus at 10:38 AM on October 3 [12 favorites]


Yeah except you'd started this-all with:
All it takes is another hideous tragedy like this, and here we all are talking again about all kinds of blind liberal "gun control" which can't and won't stop any gun violence whatsoever. It's pretty clear to me at this point that "gun control" as Americans envision it isn't about stopping violence; it's about making Joe Gun Owner fill out a few more annoying forms when he's buying his hunting rifle so that Joe Liberal can feel smugly superior while the poor and desperate go on dying on the street.
This isn't a complex viewing of a complex matter where you wish we'd look beyond simple solutions. This is you dismissing gun control measures because it's just about making liberals feel smug. Despite clear and present evidence that gun control has already worked in places. "can't and won't stop any gun violence whatsoever" doesn't really stand up to that.
posted by XtinaS at 10:41 AM on October 3 [31 favorites]


This is difficult, and it will take work. Most of all, it will take knowledge. And we don't have any of that in America. It's virtually illegal to even study guns at this point. That's what we should be working on changing, frankly. Not until we actually know the dimensions of the gun problem in America can we talk about solutions.

That sounds exactly like Donald Trump. "Who knew healthcare was so complicated?" It's not lack of knowledge. It's lack of will and frankly, just plain obstinance, and a cheap excuse for doing nothing.

Gun control is like healthcare. Every other civilized country in the world has figured out how to make it work. This notion of "American exceptionalism", it can't be done here, is a disturbingly Republican view.
posted by JackFlash at 10:47 AM on October 3 [10 favorites]


If you really want that "off the street" then... what should I expect to get in return ?

This gives me goosebumps. What a weird, misplaced-value way to look at things.
posted by Dressed to Kill at 10:50 AM on October 3 [15 favorites]


"...if the person in the hotel room next to the shooter had had [full ballistic plate armor, a door-breaching kit, flashbang grenades, years of tactical training and experience, and] a gun they could have ended the shooting quickly."
posted by Iridic at 10:53 AM on October 3 [11 favorites]


This notion of "American exceptionalism", it can't be done here, is a disturbingly Republican view.

And nearly half of voting America is disturbingly Republican.

Making gains in places that have sufficient will and political might to pass gun legislation is a good thing. The trick is to carry that over to places that are far more suspicious of governmental reach, especially since THOSE places are pushing for their own concealed-carry laws to be forced to be honored elsewhere.
posted by delfin at 10:59 AM on October 3 [1 favorite]




me: “All it takes is another hideous tragedy like this, and here we all are talking again about all kinds of blind liberal "gun control" which can't and won't stop any gun violence whatsoever. It's pretty clear to me at this point that "gun control" as Americans envision it isn't about stopping violence; it's about making Joe Gun Owner fill out a few more annoying forms when he's buying his hunting rifle so that Joe Liberal can feel smugly superior while the poor and desperate go on dying on the street.”

XtinaS: “This isn't a complex viewing of a complex matter where you wish we'd look beyond simple solutions. This is you dismissing gun control measures because it's just about making liberals feel smug. Despite clear and present evidence that gun control has already worked in places. ‘can't and won't stop any gun violence whatsoever’ doesn't really stand up to that.”

That comment was animated by one fact: while violent crime in general, and gun violence specifically, has decreased for most Americans over the past few decades, Black people and people in poor and disadvantaged neighborhoods face the same atrocious rates of violence that they did in the 1970s, and in some cases it's actually gotten worse. That's why I'm convinced that us mainline liberal Democrats (of whom I am one, let there be no mistake) have helped ourselves while ignoring those who actually need help most. And in fact we've been "helping ourselves" by incarcerating people by the millions, people in those same communities that face the most violence.

So, yeah. I think our national conversation about gun violence is simplistic. I think that, like most political debates, we've broken it down into two sides (Democrat and Republican) and simplified it into terms that we're familiar with. I think that we are, as usual, ignoring the real problems in favor of the problems that shock us most or seem most personal to us.
posted by koeselitz at 11:02 AM on October 3 [5 favorites]


I have a hard time drawing a straight line between gun laws and a reduction in gun violence.

Luckily there are actual scientists whose job it is to determine this exact thing. For instance: What Do We Know About the Association Between Firearm Legislation and Firearm-Related Injuries?
Evidence from 130 studies in 10 countries suggests that in certain nations the simultaneous implementation of laws targeting multiple firearms restrictions is associated with reductions in firearm deaths. Laws restricting the purchase of (e.g., background checks) and access to (e.g., safer storage) firearms are also associated with lower rates of intimate partner homicides and firearm unintentional deaths in children, respectively.
And there's even more evidence when it comes to correlations between gun ownership and gun violence: The Relationship Between Gun Ownership and Firearm Homicide Rates in the United States, 1981–2010
Results. Gun ownership was a significant predictor of firearm homicide rates (incidence rate ratio = 1.009; 95% confidence interval = 1.004, 1.014). This model indicated that for each percentage point increase in gun ownership, the firearm homicide rate increased by 0.9%.

Conclusions. We observed a robust correlation between higher levels of gun ownership and higher firearm homicide rates. Although we could not determine causation, we found that states with higher rates of gun ownership had disproportionately large numbers of deaths from firearm-related homicides.
Both of these stress the need for more research, but it's undeniable that there is a connection. They're certainly more convincing than pretty much the entire corpus of studies from the pro-gun side, most of which have serious, unacknowledged flaws; or in the case of shills like John Lott, are fatally undermined by the gun lobby in the first place.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:05 AM on October 3 [26 favorites]


That's why I'm convinced that us mainline liberal Democrats have helped ourselves while ignoring those who actually need help most.
...
think that, like most political debates, we've broken it down into two sides (Democrat and Republican)


That is a bizarre reading of the political history of the last few decades. Democratic efforts to pass reasonable gun control measures have been blocked, repealed, or impeded by the Republican party for years and years -- and you're blaming the side that's pushing for gun control, rather than the one that opposes it wholesale.

Earlier, you were citing the lack of federally-funded gun research as the major problem with American efforts to fight gun control: that was and is a Republican-led prohibition. One party wants that ban. One party does not. And you're repeatedly blaming the party that wants more research, which you claim is of paramount importance.
posted by cjelli at 11:10 AM on October 3 [21 favorites]


I think that we are, as usual, ignoring the real problems in favor of the problems that shock us most or seem most personal to us.

There's a politics thread over here if you want to talk about problems in the US other than gun violence. There are a ton of articles that could form a new FPP on the problem of mass incarceration. This thread involves gun violence, so that's why we're talking about that issue here. If you don't think it's a "real" problem, then maybe you're in the wrong thread.
posted by melissasaurus at 11:10 AM on October 3 [20 favorites]


me: “This is difficult, and it will take work. Most of all, it will take knowledge. And we don't have any of that in America. It's virtually illegal to even study guns at this point. That's what we should be working on changing, frankly. Not until we actually know the dimensions of the gun problem in America can we talk about solutions.”

JackFlash: “That sounds exactly like Donald Trump... This notion of ‘American exceptionalism’, it can't be done here, is a disturbingly Republican view.”

America might be the most hideously bloodthirsty and vile nation that's ever existed. We stole half of the things we cherish and hold dear at gunpoint before wantonly murdering the people we stole them from when we decided their lives were inconvenient to us; the other half, we built on the bloodied backs of black and brown people, grinding them up in the gears of our machines. After a few hundred years we had mild prickings of conscience, so we pretended to "free" them for a moment before getting right back to work enslaving them by whatever legal fictions we could invent. When they succeeded in gradually improving their lot through their own stamina and a pride in their cultural heritage, we robbed them of that heritage, too, and threw them in prison by the tens of millions, and eventually empowered our "peacekeepers" to virtually shoot them on sight. At this point we're so surrounded by convenient legal fictions designed to destroy the lives of people who don't happen to be white that we are hideously shocked when white people are killed, though black and brown people die at much higher rates all around us, very often at the hands of our own police forces.

If this is "American Exceptionalism," then I'm an American Exceptionalist. I'll happily carry that label around. America is Exceptionally Evil.
posted by koeselitz at 11:13 AM on October 3 [6 favorites]


So I'm sensing that prison reform is a problem that is most personal to you.
posted by XtinaS at 11:15 AM on October 3 [2 favorites]


koeslitz, it's clear that you fancy yourself a bold truth-teller here who wants to attack the REAL ROOT CAUSES of the problem instead of the DISTRACTIONS and SIDESHOWS that you feel others are focused on, but you don't own any monopoly on the truth here. There are a lot of ways to attack the problem of gun violence, some of which would also help with other problems. There are certainly causal arrows between different societal problems that we can't put solid numbers on, but can generally sense the existence of. These are all facts, but the way you're making your case is not nearly as data-driven and airtight as you seem to think it is.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:17 AM on October 3 [31 favorites]


I sell alcohol for a living.

To get my liquor license I was required to be fingerprinted, have my finances verified, and have no felonies. If i get a felony, I will have my licenses revoked. If I have one of my liquor licenses revoked, I am not allowed to keep any of my other liquor licenses or be issued any new licenses, ever. If I accumulate too many violations on any of my liquor licenses (in the subjective opinion of the NYS liquor authority) I will not be issued any new liquor licenses.

I am required to buy liquor for my bars only at licensed distributors. They are allowed to deliver the liquor only to actual physical bar within the establishment. I'm not allowed to store liquor outside of the establishment, and inside the establishment I can store it only in rooms previously approved of by the SLA.

I am required to keep onerous records, and store them on premises. I am required to make sure customers are of legal drinking age. I am not allowed to serve any person who seems inebriated. My staff have to take certified courses in the safe service of alcoholic beverages.

I pay very large insurance premiums because I serve alcohol.

If I make any changes whatsoever to the method of operation (say wanting to close earlier or have some form of regular entertainment), I need to get permission from the SLA first.

If I make any substantial change to the actual premises (for example, move the bar from one wall to a different wall, or add a bathroom or additional seating) I need to get SLA approval first.

All this (and too much more to go into) because alcohol is potentially dangerous.

I guess this was just an exercise to point out the contrast between the powerful gun lobby and apparently far less powerful liquor industry lobby...
posted by newpotato at 11:18 AM on October 3 [92 favorites]


If you really want that "off the street" then... what should I expect to get in return ?

This gives me goosebumps. What a weird, misplaced-value way to look at things.


Like all pro-gun arguments it has the sound of a protection racket.
posted by Artw at 11:24 AM on October 3 [15 favorites]


Perhaps we should change the legal definition of what a 'gun' is.

When the 2nd amendment was written, guns were muskets and could fire only a few rounds per minute at best. Now it's trivial to get weapons that fire several rounds per second. Modern guns are to muskets as say, cars are to horses—I'm sure someone can come up with a better analogy; not my strong suit—but my point remains, that modern weapons are fundamentally not what was in mind when our constitution was drafted. Like cars versus horse and buggy, they are so different in my mind as to require different rules.

Hell, if guns=muskets, you could even get behind gun control as a strict constructionist. It will of course never happen, I'm just so tired of this never-ending feeling of helpless despair each time a new atrocity is committed.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 11:57 AM on October 3 [1 favorite]


Through my hobby I have met a Vegas EMT, one of the brightest lights around, who was dealing with victims yesterday. Seeing her face and hearing her message yesterday hurt bad. Her main message? Carry a tourniquet. Be a realist that this (among other injuries to be sure) can happen, and be prepared.
posted by yellowbinder at 12:05 PM on October 3 [11 favorites]


There's an utterly fake repeating flintlock the NRA can point at to counter this argument.
posted by Artw at 12:05 PM on October 3 [1 favorite]


Very few people actually believe in unrestricted weapon ownership, even if in gun-form. Most people have some line at which they think gun ownership should be restricted. What if we invent a gun that can fire a nuclear weapon? What about a gun that, instead of shooting bullets, shoots bubonic plague everywhere? What about a gun that makes a really high pitched noise and causes massive brain hemorrhaging in a mile radius or something? What about a gun that fires surface to air missles? What about a gun that can kill 60 people and wound 500+ in the span of minutes from hundreds of yards away?

If you think there should be some limit on the weapons available for non-military use, then, congratulations, you support gun control! We may disagree on where the line should be drawn today, but that's not the same as arguing no line should exist. My line is for pretty much any firearm, maybe yours is handguns or automatic weapons or nuclear weapons - and those differences have huge policy implications, for sure. But we all agree that a line should be drawn somewhere; anyone arguing that there can be no line at all (NRA) is either lying, a sociopath, or both. The types of firearms available and the destructive potential of those firearms is only going to increase over time, just as we have technological advancements in every other area. These problems aren't going to magically disappear, they're going to get worse. Drawing lines in the law is messy and imprecise and has negative consequences, yes. But we have to do it.
posted by melissasaurus at 12:32 PM on October 3 [13 favorites]


What about a gun that makes a really high pitched noise and causes massive brain hemorrhaging in a mile radius or something?

Given how relatively cheap/easy it is to get handheld lasers far in excess of Laser Control limits which would easily blind someone (potentially permanently) off of reflections (much less direct view), this seems more pertinent than as just a pure hypothetical. I mean, *enforcement* hasn't been well-funded, but we're at least willing to say "Yeah, if you're going to have a 1W laser, you need to have safety protocols in place".

Then again, maybe the issue is that manufacturers have been marketing them as industrial devices and mock-lightsabers, rather than "non-lethal pulsed optical guns" (or some such), at which point the NRA would start protecting hobbyist rights to blind passers-by when using said lasers for sporting purposes. (It really is by the grace of most people not having subject-knowledge and malicious intent that we haven't seen cases of someone trying to blind a football stadium crowd with these things, I'm somewhat surprised there haven't been more incidents beyond blinding airplane pilots.)
(And also-incidentally, pointing a laser-pointer at a plane or helicopter is *a really bad idea*, which is very strongly responded to if someone catches you doing it.)
posted by CrystalDave at 12:49 PM on October 3 [2 favorites]


If you really want that "off the street" then... what should I expect to get in return ?

In a better world, you won't have to pay annual registration and insurance costs going forward. Depending on underwriting guidelines and class of firearm, that could be significant savings.
posted by mikelieman at 1:01 PM on October 3 [2 favorites]


Gorilla Sales Skyrocket After Latest Gorilla Attack
SAN DIEGO—Following the events of last week, in which a crazed western lowland gorilla ruthlessly murdered 21 people in a local shopping plaza after escaping from the San Diego Zoo, sources across the country confirmed Thursday that national gorilla sales have since skyrocketed.

“After seeing yet another deranged gorilla just burst into a public place and start killing people, I decided I need to make sure something like that never happens to me,” said 34-year-old Atlanta resident Nick Keller, shortly after purchasing a 350-pound mountain gorilla from his local gorilla store. “It just gives me peace of mind knowing that if I’m ever in that situation, I won’t have to just watch helplessly as my torso is ripped in half and my face is chewed off. I’ll be able to use my gorilla to defend myself.”
posted by tonycpsu at 1:08 PM on October 3 [27 favorites]


And yet, Massachusetts. Which also has strong gun control laws and averages about a 60-70% lower gun death rate than the national average.

Yeah, just to reiterate: this.

I live in Massachusetts. Our gun laws are generally viewed as a total nightmare scenario by the arms lobby and gun nuts alike. And you know what? I went through the process of getting a permit*, and I honestly think it was more work to get a driver's license or register an LLC, the latter of which is at least pretty unlikely to have me in danger of killing anyone. Our laws aren't perfect. I'm sure they'd be more effective if every other state was similarly restrictive. Nonetheless, shockingly: yes, laws can have an effect -- even when still allowing relatively easy private ownership of firearms.

(* at the last step I dropped out, deciding that I couldn't justify owning a firearm even as much as I enjoy target shooting. )
posted by tocts at 1:17 PM on October 3 [9 favorites]


Unbearably sad piece from Wesley Lowery: Two strangers bond over country music and beer. Then the gunshots started.
posted by acidic at 1:24 PM on October 3 [21 favorites]


I am so goddamn done with this conversation.

"But I like guns"
"I'm a collector, it's my hobby"
"My 2nd Amendment rights"
"Guns don't kill people"


Fuck that.

Look. We, as a nation, we're sick. We've been sick a long time. We are obsessed with death, with killing. We spend trillions of dollars as a nation on finding new and novel and more efficient ways of killing people, even as we kill each other slowly by stripping away money from the systems and services that keep a lot of us alive, just so we can throw a few extra dollars into the 'kill people' fund. We're so deeply immersed in this shit, and we have been for so long, than we don't even see how bad it is. People in other countries can only shake their heads at us, like you do when your acquaintance with the terrible hacking cough lights up yet another cigarette on his way to chemo. Except in this case everyone else has chemo. Bullets are the most lethal second-hand smoke around.

This isn't a conversation any longer. This is thousands of innocent lives lost every year because Congress is in bed with corporations who sell tools for killing people, but it's okay because a handful of white guys said something vague about well regulated militias two hundred years ago and besides it's fun to fantasize about being the Punisher and killing all the bad guys, bang bang bang.

Fuck that conversation. I'm done with this both-sides bullshit. It's bullshit when we're talking about healthcare, and it's bullshit when we're talking about gun control. In both cases, we've got a minority of people who don't give a flying fuck about the lives of other people, and the rest of us are all like, well, that's a valid point, and we want to be fair to everyone, and let's hear what you have to say, and gosh I hope we can find a good compromise here, so maybe we'll only kill *some* of the people, maybe you'd be willing to accept that? and in the meantime people are just fucking dying in the streets every day, by ones or twos and sometimes dozens at once, just like they were last year and the year before and the year before that.
[h/t LM, sorry]
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 1:29 PM on October 3 [35 favorites]


The domestic abuse connection, speculated upthread, is supported by employees at a Starbucks where the couple were regulars:
“He would glare down at her and say—with a mean attitude—‘You don’t need my casino card for this. I’m paying for your drink, just like I’m paying for you.’ Then she would softly say, ‘OK’ and step back behind him. He was so rude to her in front of us.”
posted by acidic at 1:34 PM on October 3 [32 favorites]


Alexandra Petri, WaPo: A good time to talk about gun laws
It must be on a day when there has been no recent gun violence. So not today, and not tomorrow, and not the day after that. But someday. There is not a horrible Catch-22, where because there are not sensible gun laws, it is always too soon after a major gun tragedy to talk about sensible gun laws. No.

There is a perfect moment that exists for such a conversation, just after the moment of silence and just before life resumes. If you slice time thinly enough you will find it, like plucking an atom of gold from the air. It lasts only a millisecond, but it is the right time, and words spoken then will not fall on deaf ears. (The discussion must be brief. Just a second too late and it will be the wrong time again.) But it is possible.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:35 PM on October 3 [22 favorites]


I just got done (as in we decided to stop arguing because there was no resolution) with a fb argument where an acquaintance basically said it's just what will happen now because nothing can be done to prevent this specific case. His points were:
- "[Guns] are heavily regulated and the laws are enforced as much as possible, but I agree that there should be more people available to do more enforcement. But If you have no criminal record or otherwise, what due process would be involved in barring you from owning a firearm? Are you proposing thought crime laws?"
- "And what it says about my hobby (and also my constitutionally protected right to self defense) is no different than what it says about the ammonia and chlorine under my sink. Which is to say both have deadly potential, but I'm perfectly sane and therefore neither will most likely ever be used in that manner. What're you trying to twist that into saying? Do you not watch the news? Weren't terrorists on the other side of the pond using vans and trucks to commit mass murder? "
- "Have you ever looked into the actual concerns of a registry? Not just rhetoric? And how would a registry stop this? They'd pick up Stephen Paddock's rifle off his corpse and do what? "Shit guys, we *knew* he had this one! Why, oh why were we not clairvoyant!?" Ya know you can still buy large quantities of ammonium nitrate and diesel fuel without raising any flags, right? Do you not see the absurdity in your proposal yet?"
- [after I pointed out this terrorist didn't have mental problems] "You'll NEVER prevent all of it, we're evolved from chimps, not bonobos, we're a violent species by nature (see: literally all of recorded history). The best you can do is try to help people to prevent this. But guns are just the chosen tool in this country because they're easier to get here than in most other countries. Although as the rest of the civilized world has shown in numerous examples, it would still happen even without guns."

like, I can't even anymore with people like this. basically why regulate guns because people will just keep killing each other.
posted by numaner at 1:35 PM on October 3 [1 favorite]


But, I'm from orangutans!
posted by Burhanistan at 1:37 PM on October 3 [1 favorite]


Leah Libresco, WaPo: I used to think gun control was the answer. My research told me otherwise.
Before I started researching gun deaths, gun-control policy used to frustrate me. I wished the National Rifle Association would stop blocking common-sense gun-control reforms such as banning assault weapons, restricting silencers, shrinking magazine sizes and all the other measures that could make guns less deadly.

Then, my colleagues and I at FiveThirtyEight spent three months analyzing all 33,000 lives ended by guns each year in the United States, and I wound up frustrated in a whole new way. We looked at what interventions might have saved those people, and the case for the policies I’d lobbied for crumbled when I examined the evidence. The best ideas left standing were narrowly tailored interventions to protect subtypes of potential victims, not broad attempts to limit the lethality of guns.
This is annoyingly earnest but hand-wavy; expect to see it cited widely by the NRA crowd. Well done, Washington Post! 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:45 PM on October 3


There is a perfect moment that exists for such a conversation, just after the moment of silence and just before life resumes. If you slice time thinly enough you will find it, like plucking an atom of gold from the air. It lasts only a millisecond, but it is the right time, and words spoken then will not fall on deaf ears. (The discussion must be brief. Just a second too late and it will be the wrong time again.) But it is possible.

Of a piece with this is how the various mouthpieces of the Trump administration and the GOP are vociferously arguing that it's the wrong time to talk about gun violence and we simply don't know enough to talk about legislative solutions, while simultaneously saying it's obviously mental health issues.

We're not allowed to jump to any conclusions here, except the conclusions the NRA's lapdogs have in their script.
posted by tocts at 1:50 PM on October 3 [3 favorites]


> Unbearably sad piece from Wesley Lowery: Two strangers bond over country music and beer. Then the gunshots started.

Oh goddamn it all. That is so fucking wrong and sad.
posted by homunculus at 1:50 PM on October 3 [7 favorites]


I have a hard time drawing a straight line between gun laws and a reduction in gun violence.

Two states have been given to you as examples of gun control policies and laws that have worked to help reduce violence. Both of them have rates way below the national average, and the reason for that is gun control is not a single policy but a veritable web of laws and policies that work synchronously to help make guns harder to legally obtain, register and get licensed for. Massachusetts has 70+ laws on the books regarding different ways access to guns are restricted in some way.

These laws and policies are used in concert to help track down illegal guns and allow law enforcement the ability to prosecute owning one as a crime.

The NYPD also made a concerted effort to go after the one group of people who accounted for around 50% of gun violence in NYC: gangs. In New York, as in the rest of the nation, gangs are disproportionately made up of PoC. Which further complicates things.

It took years of work – and the incarceration of millions upon millions of disproportionally-non-white people. That's why I'm ambivalent about this; I have a hard time drawing a straight line between gun laws and a reduction in gun violence. Please keep in mind that – particularly in New York – gun control laws are the chief pretext for the police dragnets and "stop and frisk" policies that end up leading directly to that kind of mass incarceration.

It's a bit more complicated than that.

Stop and frisk is a racist policy that is used to harass and intimidate PoC. It's a failure that multiple NYC mayors and the NYPD refuse to acknowledge. Around 90% of people who are detained and searched have no contraband on them. No guns. No drugs. They're doing nothing illegal. Statistics show quite clearly that White people are more likely to be caught in possession of contraband than any other ethnic group. Despite this, the NYPD continues to profile and detain PoC in disproportionate numbers. So does the BPD in Massachusetts. Both states disproportionately incarcerate Black men over other minority groups. So do most of the remaining 48 states.

However, in NYC, the Stop and Frisk policy was enacted by Giuliani along with 'broken windows policing' as a crime reduction measure. It is not and has never been strictly about gun control. If gun control laws did not exist, (and let's be perfectly clear here, many of the more recent gun control laws were enacted during the Bloomberg administration,) Giuliani and Bratton would still have enacted Stop and Frisk and they still would have lied about its success rate.

That doesn't mean that those gun control laws are evil – absolutely, it doesn't mean that. It doesn't even mean they aren't effective. It means that the whole thing is complicated by other factors, though, and that's why I'm skeptical about using them as a simple template for national gun control.

I was not suggesting simplifying the template. That wouldn't be possible. There's nothing simple about gun control in either state. The goal here is to reduce gun violence. To be workable anywhere else, gun control would have to be enacted thoughtfully and carefully, one step at a time. Just the way it happened in New York and Massachusetts. Plus you'd have to do it state by state, tailoring new laws to states, municipalities and police departments. It would definitely require some re-education of the police. What works in Baltimore may not work in Chicago.

We have two states in the Union where gun control has worked to some degree, albeit imperfectly.

Better to try and fail than not try at all. Lives are at stake.
posted by zarq at 1:54 PM on October 3 [17 favorites]


I'm sorry, but I'm frustrated and appalled that we're still trying to pass the kind of useless gun control we've been using for decades and expecting it to work.

Much of the less useful - I don't buy "useless" - gun control has been less useful because it's been at the state level here in a country with nearly totally porous borders between states. There's very little gun control at the federal level that we've been using for decades and what there has been has often been effective, like the magazine size restrictions that expired. You're welcome to claim it hasn't been all that big a payoff and I won't necessary agree, though a lot of that is because of what weak sauce it ends up being.

But I think you and Libresco make a common mistake in only focusing on gun deaths. A sizable portion of those five hundred plus people injured at the Vegas incident are going to suffer permanent impairment. I bet all of them would prefer not to have experienced this. Is a non-zero cost in implementation and hassle unacceptable to avoid their type of non-fatal suffering?

David Waldman regularly tweets out these #gunfail incidents and a lot of them are non-fatal. Doing a quick scan down I find this one.
@KargoX: Nope, not the first shooting at an in-home daycare. Not even close. #GunFAIL https://twitter.com/FOX2News/status/913156563963076608
The kids in that linked story will probably live, so they don't show up in the dataset Libresco used. What would avoiding that incident have been worth? Would it have been a kind of useless gun control if the owner of that day care had been required to go through an evening of training before purchasing?

I have a concealed carry permit (though I don't carry because I think it's more likely to be a problem than a solution) and if I'm pulled over the VA police who run my plate get a heads-up that I am. A nation-wide registry and purchase tracking system could enable that sort of thing for everyone who has purchased a gun, not just CCW people.

If there was such a system the people who do inspections on in-home day cares could make showing where and how the owned firearms are stored part of the process. We're still friendly with the woman who ran our first son's in-home day care and the county was so far up her ass about almost everything that I'm sure she could taste their shampoo. If there was a federal level registry they could add this to their suite of shit they look into.

If there was a federal level registry that maintained purchasing information then those guns bought in Virginia and taken to NYC could be traced back to the original purchaser and they could be blacklisted, preventing them from being 'smurfs.'

If it can be that much of a fucking hassle TO BUY SUDAFED we can try requiring that much scrutiny for the purchases of weapons that cost 10-1000x as much.
posted by phearlez at 2:13 PM on October 3 [13 favorites]


The GOP is looking at multi-trillion-dollar tax cuts to the ultra-rich. I would be absolutely fucking fine with showering cash on the parts of the US that are awash in excess guns. Trade in a gun and pay your rent.

That was my thought, too. "Sounds like a more effective economic stimulus than the Recovery Act... Why don't we drop $831B on that?"
posted by Coventry at 2:14 PM on October 3 [3 favorites]


@timothycsimons (Jonah, VEEP)
When a 64 year old white man kills 58 and wounds 500 in fifteen minutes from 1200 feet with a knife, I will absolutely call for knife control. Until then, you've made the world's shittiest point.
posted by chris24 at 2:18 PM on October 3 [45 favorites]


Mass Shootings Don't Lead to Inaction—They Lead to Loosening Gun Restrictions:
“After Newtown, nothing changed, so don’t expect anything to change after Las Vegas.”

How often have you heard that said? Yet it’s not true. The five years since a gunman killed 26 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, have seen one of the most intense bursts of gun legislation in U.S. history—almost all of it intended to ensure that more guns can be carried into more places.
Just Days After Las Vegas, Gun Laws in the Nation’s Capitol Are About to Get Weaker:
In 2014, the local government in Washington, DC passed a law that requires those applying for a concealed carry permit to provide a “good reason” in order to carry a gun in the nation’s capital. In late July, that provision was struck down by the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit in July, and last week the appeals court declined to rehear the case. Unless the DC government appeals to the Supreme Court and asks for a stay on the ruling, the lower court ruling will go into effect before Friday.
posted by peeedro at 2:27 PM on October 3 [17 favorites]


NBC News has obtained White House talking points distributed to Trump administration allies following Las Vegas shooting:

Greatest hits:
-Thoughts and Prayers.
-We can't have a debate before the facts
-The 2A is a right
-Gun laws won't stop a madman
-Good guys with guns
-Chicago and Baltimore have gun crimes (Gee, wonder why they picked those cities?)
-The laws on the books don't work

Sounds a lot like the excuses made right here in this thread.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:28 PM on October 3 [36 favorites]


Ya know you can still buy large quantities of ammonium nitrate and diesel fuel without raising any flags, right?

Anyone know whether that's true? Surprising to me.
posted by Coventry at 2:35 PM on October 3


> Unbearably sad piece from Wesley Lowery: Two strangers bond over country music and beer. Then the gunshots started.

This was just a bit too much for today.
posted by RedOrGreen at 2:36 PM on October 3 [3 favorites]


-The laws on the books don't work

No shit. The fact that there isn't a verifiable chain-of-custody for every single firearm manufactured from manufacture through licensed owners is a problem that legislation can fix immediately.
posted by mikelieman at 2:38 PM on October 3 [6 favorites]


Nevada voters approved a new gun control law – so why was it not enforced?
Last November, Nevada voters narrowly approved a new gun control law that would have required private sellers to conduct the same criminal background check on buyers that licensed gun dealers already use. Closing the loophole was one of the lone bright spots for gun control advocates in an election that put the National Rifle Association’s chosen candidate, Donald Trump, in the White House.

But Nevada’s new gun law has never been enforced. Days before it was slated to go into effect, the state’s Republican attorney general released a legal opinion concluding that citizens were “excused from compliance”, calling the new law unenforceable.

The attorney general who made the decision, Adam Paul Laxalt, spoke at the NRA’s annual meeting this year, where he was hailed by the NRA’s chief lobbyist for ensuring that Nevada’s new background check legislation for private sales was still not the law of the land. Laxalt had publicly opposed the background check measure before it passed, a mark of opposition the NRA had publicized in its fight against the measure.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:43 PM on October 3 [12 favorites]


Anyone know whether that's true? Surprising to me.

It's bullshit. To even buy ammonium nitrate you need to be registered with the government and approved for it by DHS.
posted by Talez at 2:44 PM on October 3 [4 favorites]


Of all places, MAD Magazine's blog has a take that is "on target".
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:45 PM on October 3 [7 favorites]


Because, you know, authorities looked at WTC '93 and OKC and said "well how can we make that never happen again" and cracked down to shit on the precursors.
posted by Talez at 2:47 PM on October 3 [4 favorites]


There's an alternate universe where you can buy grenades over the counter at Wal-Mart and people just throw their hands up and say "Look, the founders wanted us all to have bombs so we could overthrow the government, we just need to accept that sometimes an M67 is gonna get tossed into a security line at an airport every now and then" while not even noticing that no one is allowed to own handguns or semiautomatic rifles.
posted by 0xFCAF at 2:52 PM on October 3 [12 favorites]


To even buy ammonium nitrate you need to be registered with the government and approved for it by DHS.

That is absolutely not at all the case. There is a *proposed* DHS program to do that -- though even then, only at the manufacturing level -- but it has yet to be implemented.

Ammonium nitrate is better known as "fertilizer." Anyone can get it virtually anywhere (including Home Depot, chicken farms, and batcaves) with no fuss whatsoever.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:53 PM on October 3 [3 favorites]


Huh. I remember that as a plot to an X-Files. Possily not the best source of information on the FBI.
posted by Artw at 2:54 PM on October 3 [2 favorites]


So how would you respond to someone that says "why regulate guns more when you can readily kill with ammonia and chlorine and vehicles, all of which have no real limits."?
posted by numaner at 3:01 PM on October 3


So how would you respond to someone that says "why regulate guns more when you can readily kill with ammonia and chlorine and vehicles, all of which have no real limits."?

Probably with a "Fuck you clown," but I'd add that ammonia, chlorine and vehicles all have on-lethal uses while guns are pretty entirely meant to harm.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:04 PM on October 3 [20 favorites]


> So how would you respond to someone that says "why regulate guns more when you can readily kill with ammonia and chlorine and vehicles, all of which have no real limits."?

With the many available statistics that show gun deaths far exceeding deaths from those things used as instruments of death, rather than as household cleaner, pool cleaning, and driving to/from work, respectively.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:04 PM on October 3 [5 favorites]


Remember that connection between domestic violence (abetted by toxic masculinity) and mass murder? found it again.
posted by suelac at 3:13 PM on October 3 [5 favorites]


"why regulate guns more when you can readily kill with ammonia and chlorine and vehicles, all of which have no real limits."?


How about, "The moment you weaponize ( that's something defined in the previous section of this hypothetical law ) anything, you're in trouble with the law. ( I expect the specifics of levels of trouble and associated penalties to be worked out later. )
posted by mikelieman at 3:15 PM on October 3 [1 favorite]


A Fox News data point (i.e. what the mainstream far right (and yer ma) is being informed by):

Psychiatrist featured on Fox News blames CNN for mass shootings (Fox did later quietly state the compliance required yada yada)).



NRA tactical silence.

I was horrified by the obvious bot accounts actively spreading disinfo during the attack (especially the massive pro-racist pile on when the person-of-interest was less than white, the LVPD fucked that press release up in a big way. if she had been in the country she would have been lynched).

But as bad as it is to work in a psy-ops call centre where your job is to consciously and deliberately lie in a way that causes harm and distress to others (as in it's your actual job description...)

How much worse is it to work for the NRA, where it's your career.

The entire sum and worth of your existence is to actively appease the unnecessary end of the lives of others. Terrorism apologism.

You rob people of their legs, their lovers, their progress, their breath, their moments, their freedom, their everything.

That's your job. That is what you do with your fourscore and ten.
posted by Buntix at 3:18 PM on October 3 [6 favorites]


So how would you respond to someone that says "why regulate guns more when you can readily kill with ammonia and chlorine and vehicles, all of which have no real limits."

we regulate motor vehicles (admittedly not as well as we should)
posted by entropicamericana at 3:18 PM on October 3 [5 favorites]


why regulate guns more when you can readily kill with ammonia and chlorine and vehicleS

Why do anything ever if we're all going to die someday anyway? Why do we have seatbelts? Why do we regulate medicine? Why do we require children to have schooling? Why do we play sports? Why do we have friends? Why do we write stories? Why do we laugh? Why do we exist?

If the opposition to gun regulation is "death will still happen though" - that's not much of an argument. We aren't trying to achieve immortality here, we're just trying to have fewer people get shot by guns.
posted by melissasaurus at 3:31 PM on October 3 [33 favorites]


Ammonium nitrate is better known as "fertilizer." Anyone can get it virtually anywhere (including Home Depot, chicken farms, and batcaves) with no fuss whatsoever.

It's also not uncommon for farms to have large tanks of red diesel.

It's also way more non-trivial than the TV suggests to make an ANFO bomb, which may be why the LV mass murderer had a couple of pounds of it unused in his car. It's actually harder to commit mass murder via chemistry than with guns.
posted by Buntix at 3:38 PM on October 3 [2 favorites]


How about, "The moment you weaponize ( that's something defined in the previous section of this hypothetical law ) anything, you're in trouble with the law. ( I expect the specifics of levels of trouble and associated penalties to be worked out later. )

Pretty sure bomb-making is already illegal.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:39 PM on October 3 [1 favorite]


People can easily obtain ammonia, chlorine, or vehicles, some might argue more easily than a gun, and yet the majority of suicides are from guns. Why is that? We already know people prefer to use guns rather than those things.
posted by nakedmolerats at 3:43 PM on October 3 [3 favorites]


Vox: Republican senator blames the culture of “sanctuary cities” for mass shootings
Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) on Tuesday reiterated a normal Republican talking point that gun laws don’t affect gun violence, with a twist: It’s the existence of "sanctuary cities" that creates a lawless culture fostering mass shootings like the one in Las Vegas, he said.

Two days after a lone white American gunman killed more than 58 people in Las Vegas, what is now considered one of the deadliest mass shootings in modern US history, Inhofe said the country is “inundated with permissive laws” — like those in “sanctuary cities” where local law enforcement doesn’t enforce all federal immigration laws — perpetuating the “cultural problem” behind mass shooting.

“That has a lot more to do with [mass shootings] than gun owners laws,” Inhofe told me. “You can go ahead and break a law and you can come to a sanctuary city, and they wouldn’t enforce the laws.”
posted by chris24 at 3:45 PM on October 3 [4 favorites]


Wut?
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 3:46 PM on October 3 [6 favorites]


what the everloving FUCK
posted by entropicamericana at 3:46 PM on October 3 [27 favorites]


Republican senator blames the culture of “sanctuary cities” for mass shootings

They're just going to be trying to muddy the water. Republicans have zero credibility on the issue and they know it, so the only strategy they have is to crowd out the real issues with bullshit. The news cycle is in many ways a zero-sum game.
posted by rhizome at 3:47 PM on October 3 [16 favorites]


FLAMES ON THE SIDE OF MY FACE
posted by corb at 3:47 PM on October 3 [13 favorites]


“That has a lot more to do with [mass shootings] than gun owners laws,” Inhofe told me. “You can go ahead and break a law and you can come to a sanctuary city, and they wouldn’t enforce the laws.”

Problem: Rich white man with a huge arsenal murders dozens.

Republican solution: Blame immigrants

I mean, surely you can see the logic.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:47 PM on October 3 [22 favorites]


Also: Democrats are shit at pushing back on Republican lies and taking the news cycle for a ride.
posted by rhizome at 3:48 PM on October 3 [10 favorites]


what the everloving fuck

It's ok, there was a snowball in the Senate, so global warming don't real.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:48 PM on October 3 [2 favorites]


we regulate motor vehicles (admittedly not as well as we should)

That's my preferred model. You can't legally buy a gun until you pass the licensing requirements for the class. ( Eg, lever action 30-30 deer rifle, 2-3 rounds a minute, maybe, lowest requirements and insurance premiums. -- IIRC, up to fairly recently Pennsylvania ran on this "Bolt/Lever/Pump" action == not all that much hassle.

Semi-autos, given the ability to 'bump-fire" ( AR/M platform ) will, of course have stricter licensing, underwriting, and registration requirements.

Hey, if you can pass the tests, and pay the premiums, you want a tommy-gun? Knock yourself out.

BUT, I am sick and tired of gun enthusiasts not paying for the risks of their hobby any longer. You want to play with guns? Fine, but not with MY TAX DOLLARS subsidizing you.
posted by mikelieman at 3:50 PM on October 3 [12 favorites]


Salon: GOP Senator John Thune to shooting victims: To survive, “get small”
Following the country's largest mass shooting in modern history, Thune was faced with questions on gun control measures, and whether or not Republicans will take action.

"It sounds like [the shooter] used conversion kits and other things, you know, to make the weapons more lethal," Thune reportedly told MSNBC's Hallie Jackson. "We’ll look at the facts when we get them all in here. I think a lot of us want to do everything we can to prevent tragedies like that from happening again." [...]

In his interview, Thune wouldn't directly address efforts to increase gun control. "It's an open society and it’s hard to prevent anything," he said. He instead talked about how potential victims should act if faced with a similar situation. "I think people are going to have to take steps in their own lives to take precautions," he said. "To protect themselves. And in situations like that, you know, try to stay safe. As somebody said — get small."

Not-so ironically, Thune is quite friendly with the National Rifle Association and has raked in at least $852,000 from the organization in donations. Thune also voted "no" on a bill to ban high-capacity magazines of over 10 bullets, and voted "yes" on allowing firearms in checked baggage on Amtrak trains.
posted by chris24 at 3:57 PM on October 3 [19 favorites]


Just read a comment elsewhere about how we should legislate buying a gun exactly the same way that we legislate acquiring an abortion. Mandatory waiting periods, psychological and physical examinations, require the applicant to watch a video about gun violence, require written permission from parents and/or spouses, no federal tax dollars going to any organization that sells guns, excessive regulatory oversight, and systematically shutting down businesses that sell them.
posted by Autumnheart at 4:03 PM on October 3 [39 favorites]


"permissive laws”

Um. That's not how laws work. Laws are restrictive. I suppose what he meant is that he does not like the government being restricted by the laws that protect the people from it, and would rather be permitted to wreak authoritarian havoc willy-nilly, i.e. that the laws that apply to him ought to be more permissive.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:06 PM on October 3 [1 favorite]


(I mean, entirely aside from the whole *that is not what sanctuary city is you fucking dumbass* issue.)
posted by Sys Rq at 4:08 PM on October 3 [5 favorites]


Take note of the bullshit over the next few days -- mental health, sanctuary cities, lack of preparedness among the concert-going public, better education in how to "get small" -- because when the NRA emerges from its traditional publicity bunker, that's what Wanker LaPierre, Pope of the Holy Gun, will incorporate into his official response.

And maybe there'll be a change in how the fucker is received from all the other times. I suggest rotten vegetables. And per Joey Michaels, maybe Dems can ride the news cycle and be absurdist about it. "Let's ban concerts", "let's concrete over hotel room windows", etc.
posted by holgate at 4:23 PM on October 3 [15 favorites]


I'm not sure I'm the one who suggested that, but I completely support absurdism.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:26 PM on October 3 [7 favorites]


I'm... somehow still not done arguing with this dude. He can't go along with regulations that would affect his 2nd amendment rights in any way, because he "doesn't trust the government (especially now with Cheeto in charge)".

So it comes down to not wanting your guns taken away because if the crazy asshole in charge wants to become a dictator, citizens can use guerilla warfare to fight back. And that's worth the lives being lost to gun violence.

My attempts at convincing him that
A) Our current military wouldn't go along with that
B) Do all the gun-owners really have enough guns to pull off a protracted guerilla war against the biggest military in the world?
have failed to move him towards any sort of agreement on any kind of regulation unless "it would pass constitutional muster".

* sigh *

If this is how gun-owners look at things the minute you mention the word "registry". I really don't see any hope of getting their votes where it counts.
posted by numaner at 4:29 PM on October 3 [1 favorite]


Just read a comment elsewhere about how we should legislate buying a gun exactly the same way that we legislate acquiring an abortion. Mandatory waiting periods, psychological and physical examinations, require the applicant to watch a video about gun violence, require written permission from parents and/or spouses, no federal tax dollars going to any organization that sells guns, excessive regulatory oversight, and systematically shutting down businesses that sell them.
posted by Autumnheart


I know given the internet that this is totally unverifiable and the author doesn't want credit (she is relieved that someone is now crediting Gloria Steinem) but believe me Metafilter, I am friends with the person who originally posted this! Sadly, she posted this around one year ago in response to another gun tragedy. It's unreal that it will continue to be relevant.
posted by agregoli at 4:45 PM on October 3 [8 favorites]


"doesn't trust the government (especially now with Cheeto in charge)"

Mkay, well, I guess my response here is I wish a motherfucker would. Like, is this guy volunteering, or is it all going to just be some hypothetical some day fable that he tells himself to justify putting his idle hobby above the welfare of fellow citizens and fucking children on. the. daily?

(I'm extra pissed now because my husband is in the kitchen crying because he just found out that a guy he knew from back home was killed in LV, so come at me gun-humpers.)
posted by soren_lorensen at 4:45 PM on October 3 [18 favorites]


like what really barks my tree is that we actually agree on almost everything else politically but this, and just nothing will convince him that they are not COMIN' FOR MUH GUNS.
posted by numaner at 4:53 PM on October 3


Ah yeah, it was rhizome's comment, but inspiration comes in different forms. I mean, Dems can say "stop being so fucking stupid" to people like Thune and Inhofe, but the GOP has an endless supply of shite to clog up the news cycle during the "too soon to talk about guns" week that follows every gun massacre until the NRA makes a grand re-appearance from its blood-drenched crypt, so fill the space: always-on surveillance cameras in hotel rooms and gun stores, a registry for white men in their sixties with younger non-white partners, etc.
posted by holgate at 5:10 PM on October 3 [2 favorites]


So it comes down to not wanting your guns taken away because if the crazy asshole in charge wants to become a dictator, citizens can use guerilla warfare to fight back. And that's worth the lives being lost to gun violence.

There was a bit of insanity on Twitter yesterday where someone criticizing people who hoard guns for alleged self-defense was somehow declared racist/transphobic because how dare he stop marginalized people from defending themselves?

I just can't handle this shit any more. Really? Fucking really? The numbers, the raw simple numbers how that owing a gun means you are more likely to die violently than less. More likely to be killed accidentally. More likely to commit suicide. More likely, in a confrontation, to be shot if you've got a gun yourself. How is that helping marginalized people? Fuck off.

What about defense from the police? If we have learned anything in the last few years, it's that while white men can walk around the streets waving AR-15s, black people get shot if the police have the barest weakest suspicion they may be armed. It will not help you.

And finally - yes, if you maintain some fantasy of armed uprising - against the United States military - your hand guns aren't going to help you.

People are utterly detached from reality.
posted by Jimbob at 5:27 PM on October 3 [24 favorites]


Ammonium nitrate is better known as "fertilizer." Anyone can get it virtually anywhere (including Home Depot, chicken farms, and batcaves) with no fuss whatsoever.

It's also not uncommon for farms to have large tanks of red diesel.


The Soil Conservation Service (the precursor to the NRCS) and state agriculture extension agents used to print guidebooks and teach classes for farmers on how to make fertilizer explosives for digging ponds and ditches, removing stumps, and clearing beaver dams. (I mean, check out a local newspaper in 1965.) Your local library will have plenty of guides to this in the archives, not that it would be hard to find instructions online these days. The barrier to this is not finding instructions or getting the materials; it's that it is heavy, smelly, and difficult, and people blow themselves up fairly often.

like what really barks my tree is that we actually agree on almost everything else politically but this, and just nothing will convince him that they are not COMIN' FOR MUH GUNS.

In fairness, there are plenty of people commenting here and elsewhere who are proposing that someone come for his guns (without a fake hick accent, even) and suggesting that the UK and Australian models of gun control are what we should be doing. Personally I am not in the slightest worried that someone is going to come for my guns; I'm also not at all opposed to a long list of common sense gun control measures (like robust background checks, or limitations on military hardware, say) that the NRA so fervently opposes. We could make it a lot harder and more expensive (though far from impossible) for someone to perpetrate this kind of mass killing without in the slightest impacting your average gun owner like myself, and it is shameful how effectively the gun lobby has captured the political sphere on this.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:30 PM on October 3 [1 favorite]


soren_lorensen: (I'm extra pissed now because my husband is in the kitchen crying because he just found out that a guy he knew from back home was killed in LV, so come at me gun-humpers.)

I'm so sorry, soren_lorensen. So many lives have been affected by this tragedy; it's gonna leave a deep mark.
posted by Superplin at 5:31 PM on October 3 [3 favorites]


Leah Libresco, WaPo: I used to think gun control was the answer. My research told me otherwise.

Perhaps leave the research to, well, those who do research.
Firearms account for a substantial proportion of external causes of death, injury, and disability across the world. Legislation to regulate firearms has often been passed with the intent of reducing problems related to their use. However, lack of clarity around which interventions are effective remains a major challenge for policy development. Aiming to meet this challenge, we systematically reviewed studies exploring the associations between firearm-related laws and firearm homicides, suicides, and unintentional injuries/deaths. We restricted our search to studies published from 1950 to 2014. Evidence from 130 studies in 10 countries suggests that in certain nations the simultaneous implementation of laws targeting multiple firearms restrictions is associated with reductions in firearm deaths. Laws restricting the purchase of (e.g., background checks) and access to (e.g., safer storage) firearms are also associated with lower rates of intimate partner homicides and firearm unintentional deaths in children, respectively. Limitations of studies include challenges inherent to their ecological design, their execution, and the lack of robustness of findings to model specifications. High quality research on the association between the implementation or repeal of firearm legislation (rather than the evaluation of existing laws) and firearm injuries would lead to a better understanding of what interventions are likely to work given local contexts. This information is key to move this field forward and for the development of effective policies that may counteract the burden that firearm injuries pose on populations.
Julian Santaella-Tenorio, Magdalena Cerdá, Andrés Villaveces, Sandro Galea, "What Do We Know About the Association Between Firearm Legislation and Firearm-Related Injuries?" in Epidemiologic Reviews Volume 38, Issue 1, 1 (January 2016), 140–157, https://doi.org/10.1093/epirev/mxv012.

Open access, available here: https://academic.oup.com/epirev/article/38/1/140/2754868/What-Do-We-Know-About-the-Association-Between
posted by standardasparagus at 5:34 PM on October 3 [21 favorites]


Fred, a 39-year-old truck driver from Ocala, Florida, has about 40 guns — roughly 24 pistols and 14 long guns. He said his firearms collection began to grow after he became a father. He had a “catastrophic knee injury” that he worried would make it hard for him to protect his wife and child, and when he researched his neighborhood, he saw crime was going up.

I've been curious about this aspect of the American male psyche for a while. The notion that before his 'disability' he would have been able to defend his family is interesting. It smacks of the high school or college glory days bullshit that so many alpha male gorrila wannabes or hasbeens throw around. I know college football benches are pretty deep but it feels like every single American macho man is a former college football player just like Johnny Fever claimed he was a vietnam vet.

I was really short and small in high school came late to puberty. I don't have glory days to look back on. I've never been an 'alpha male'. I've always known just about anyone could beat me in a physical contest either through strength, skill or luck. I know this because i have lost some fights. But I've also won some. Because random luck plays a part.

So I don't own a gun because I am comfortable with the knowledge of my vulnerability. It informs who I am and how I act. I don't initiate violence, I don't respond to violence. I'll leave. You want my stuff enough that you threaten to hurt me? It's yours. It's just stuff. Because I know one punch can change a life forever. Mine or theirs I am not up for that.

But this guy? His gun gives him back his alpha male status. His illusion of invulnerability. His talisman against bad luck. His ability to project himself into the world as someone who is capable of and can handle violence. Someone not afraid to confront or initiate. Someone who will do whatever it takes.

He is defending his family from his own reflection in the mirror. Which is probably why he is scared and feels he needs a gun because he sees something really bad in that reflection.
posted by srboisvert at 5:46 PM on October 3 [31 favorites]




I don't know if it's just that I've been busy and not obsessively following the news, but it feels like this time the media has done a better job following the recommendations for reporting on mass shootings by not focusing obsessively on every detail of the perpetrator's life. Focusing on victims, not perpetrators, is supposedly less likely to inspire copycats.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:13 PM on October 3


I have a slightly more direct take on the truck-driver gun-hoarder: his injury gave him a lot of spare time and the internet, and the guns gave him an online community instead of having to go beyond "research" and discover who was actually living around him. Plus there's this line: "He spent five years as a civilian truck driver during the Iraq war making deliveries between military bases in southern Iraq." That's a gift that keeps giving back to America. But that's all an aside.

it feels like this time the media has done a better job following the recommendations for reporting on mass shootings by not focusing obsessively on every detail of the perpetrator's life.

I think that's accidental. There's no manifesto, no social media traces, a few fragments based upon public records and personal encounters. It's a holding pattern with the expectation that something more will emerge. And in its absence, the pretty little diagrams of the killing grounds don't help.
posted by holgate at 6:21 PM on October 3 [8 favorites]


> Focusing on victims, not perpetrators, is supposedly less likely to inspire copycats.

Got a cite for that? I think the focus should be on the victims because it's the right thing to do, and I know there's compelling evidence that the reports of the attacks themselves inspire copycats, but I've never heard specifically that the content of the coverage and how much it focuses on victims vs. perpetrators has any bearing.
posted by tonycpsu at 6:22 PM on October 3


Got a cite for that?
These guidelines have been widely circulated.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:34 PM on October 3 [6 favorites]


Worth reading: Why Mass Shootings Keep Happening, by Tom Junod for Esquire (originally published in the October 2014 issue).

"Are we helpless to stop mass shootings? Is anyone even trying to stop them? The good news is that the answers are No and Yes. The bad news: The person loading up hasn't gotten the news."
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:39 PM on October 3 [1 favorite]


So I don't own a gun because I am comfortable with the knowledge of my vulnerability.

This. This right here is maybe the most concise statement of cause for this phenomena I've ever heard. Would explain why it appears to track so well with toxic masculinity.

Which doesnt mean there aren't other reasons people own guns. But I bet theyre not super common.
posted by schadenfrau at 6:43 PM on October 3 [8 favorites]


I am all for burning any manifestos unread as soon as they are found. We know everything about this asshole we need to know.
posted by Artw at 6:44 PM on October 3 [2 favorites]


Americans: individualism. self-reliance. frontier spirit. bootstraps. etc.
Also Americans: ugh, getting rid of my dozens of guns is harrrrd why won’t the government help?

jfc go find an outfit that runs an industrial waste shredder those things will tear anything apart yes you lose a lot of money maybe buying the guns was stupid?
posted by um at 6:46 PM on October 3 [7 favorites]


dunno if this has been linked upthread, but there was another active shooter incident in Barberton OH near the high school.

It has currently been resolved.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 6:48 PM on October 3 [1 favorite]


Guys, I bought a 50 gallon drum of cyanide because I thought it would protect my family from some vaguely defined threat. Now I'm having second thoughts about whether this is a great idea, though -- do you think congress could institute some sort of buyback program? I know my kids are playing in the basement around it all the time, but I just can't bear to let it go for less than market value ...
posted by tocts at 6:54 PM on October 3 [25 favorites]


These guidelines have been widely circulated.

"Talk about the victims and their stories." "Avoid putting photos of the perpetrator side by side with a victim." "There is no such thing as a 'suicide bomber' or 'suicide attack.'"

Maybe media should also consider these guidelines when reporting on domestic "murder suicides".
posted by Ralston McTodd at 6:54 PM on October 3 [4 favorites]


@mattdpearce
Wow. ATF: Las Vegas had 12 "bump-fire" stocks on guns in his hotel room.
- In English, that means the gunman had legally modified a *lot* of guns to fire bullets as fast as they could.
posted by chris24 at 6:56 PM on October 3 [7 favorites]


I don't know if it's just that I've been busy and not obsessively following the news, but it feels like this time the media has done a better job following the recommendations for reporting on mass shootings by not focusing obsessively on every detail of the perpetrator's life

I dunno entirely about that--Black Twitter has been pointing out how headlines describe him like an OKC profile (" gunman liked gambling, country music, and planes") versues, you know, the Mike Brown and Trayvon Martin "no angel/thug" descriptors when a victim is Black...
posted by TwoStride at 7:01 PM on October 3 [21 favorites]


The barrier to this is not finding instructions or getting the materials...

Nope. The barrier is the booster charge and blasting caps. You used to be able to get dynamite at your local farm store. The Organized Crime Control Act of 1970 ended that. There's been several rounds of tightening since, but that's what killed off blasting stumps and ponds.
This is clearly effective regulation. There's been a few high-profile bombings with high explosives, but for the most part people resort to things like pipe bombs. The Boston Marathon bombing killed 3 people. High explosives are orders of magnitude worse, like you can see in bombings overseas.
posted by netowl at 7:44 PM on October 3 [2 favorites]


I don't know if it's just that I've been busy and not obsessively following the news, but it feels like this time the media has done a better job following the recommendations for reporting on mass shootings by not focusing obsessively on every detail of the perpetrator's life
I dunno entirely about that--Black Twitter has been pointing out how headlines describe him like an OKC profile (" gunman liked gambling, country music, and planes") versues, you know, the Mike Brown and Trayvon Martin "no angel/thug" descriptors when a victim is Black...
For instance, this is Washington Post.

The current headline is
Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock was a high-stakes gambler who 'kept to himself' before massacre
but the headline as originally written was
Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock enjoyed gambling, country music, lived quiet life before massacre
That first headline is preserved in the URL, as well:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/10/02/las-vegas-gunman-liked-to-gamble-listened-to-country-music-lived-quiet-retired-life-before-massacre/
And the first lines in the original report:
Public records show he was a licensed pilot who owned two planes. And he had a hunting license from Alaska.

For several years, he appeared to live in Mesquite, Tex. But property records show he chose to move to another town named Mesquite in Nevada, where he bought a home in 2013, and he has been living there ever since.
posted by anem0ne at 8:03 PM on October 3 [7 favorites]


In English, that means the gunman had legally modified a *lot* of guns to fire bullets as fast as they could.

Bump fire modifications are not legal when last I checked, but that may be for my jurisdiction. If they are, that's a ban I would support - they're not useful for anything besides being an asshole, and in this case, a murderous one.
posted by corb at 8:29 PM on October 3 [2 favorites]



I am all for burning any manifestos unread as soon as they are found. We know everything about this asshole we need to know.


It really is this.

All the psychopathology texts in the world, all the clinical expertise we have available, couldn't have prevented this. The guy's wealth and lifestyle precluded any scrutiny of his behavior, no coworkers, no kids, no family that he couldn't avoid, etc. We'll never know the "reason" because there couldn't possibly be any reason for what he did. The tabloids will be all over "motivation", but it is just noise. He did it to impress Jody Foster type of bs. If there is anything left of his skull, there might be a tumor or something, but that still falls short of "reason".

The cops are fascinated by the meticulousness of his plan, which is interesting, I guess, but, yeah, drop this fucker in an unmarked hole and blot him out. There isn't anything there to know.
posted by Chitownfats at 8:34 PM on October 3 [9 favorites]


You'd think that with the sheer number of guns, and the fact that they have a longevity cars and other items don't, at some point there would have to be a glut that would limit the number of new guns people were buying.

Some people want a 1986 CB450, some people want a 2017 Triumph Bonneville.
posted by bendy at 8:43 PM on October 3 [2 favorites]


Is there a general "support the victims' medical expenses" fund that has been established yet?
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:07 PM on October 3


Joey Michaels, this GoFundMe was set up for the victims by Clark County Commission Chair Steve Sisolak. It's already at $8.2 million.
posted by yasaman at 9:13 PM on October 3 [3 favorites]


they're not useful for anything besides being an asshole, and in this case, a murderous one.

The formal justification to the ATF for the SlideFire bump-fire stock mod -- "an exhilarating experience that will keep you smiling for days” -- was that it was "intended to assist persons whose hands have limited mobility" to fire an AR-15. As noted on Twitter, reporters should FOIA the original submission. It would not surprise me one bit if they had invoked disabled vets in doing so.
posted by holgate at 9:35 PM on October 3 [6 favorites]


One counterintuitive result of Australia's gun laws is that fewer people committed suicide. You would think that people denied access to a gun would simply commit suicide by different means, but that turns out not to be the case. I think a big part of this has to be the mental state occasioned by having guns in the house: for some people it's a constant reminder that they could kill themselves; and while their thoughts might temporarily engage with the idea of poison or asphyxiation, they're constantly brought to thoughts of suicide by the poisonous presence of guns.

Suppose that I'm right about this, that guns can increase suicidal ideation. Why wouldn't you think that they increase homicidal ideation too? That there are unbalanced people who don't have poison or explosives on hand and whose thoughts therefore only briefly engage with the idea of a bombing or mass poisoning, but who have guns and see them sold and carried and wielded by media heroes, and whose thoughts consequently keep returning to the idea of mass murder.

This is just speculation, but it might explain why there are so many massacres in the USA. Maybe it isn't just that guns make it easier to kill people; maybe having guns makes people more likely to indulge their homicidal thoughts until they become an obsession.
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:00 PM on October 3 [46 favorites]


So I don't own a gun because I am comfortable with the knowledge of my vulnerability.

Yup, this. YOU ARE NOT SAFE. YOU WILL NEVER BE SAFE. A gun increases the amount by which you are not safe, not decreases it.

I tell two stories to people I am trying to get to accept this. First, my mom was mugged. It was 3PM in an upscale neighborhood and she stopped at the grocery store to get a couple of things. She was walking to her car in a crowded parking lot filled with people when a man came up behind her, choked her, threw her to the ground and demanded her wedding ring. Less than a minute later he was in a waiting car and gone. They were a ring of professional diamond thieves that had hit a bunch of women in the same way all over town. My dad owned lots of guns. He had a CHL and always went strapped. He wasn't there. My mom wasn't armed, but even if she had been, there's no way she could have even reached for a gun without at least having one pulled on her by the guy who attacked her or one of his (at least two) accomplices or having him (he outweighed her about double) take it away from her. After this event she started keeping one in her glove compartment, despite the fact that it wouldn't have helped her. (She also stopped wearing diamonds or anything but plain gold jewelry.)

Story the second: An acquaintance of mine was shot in her apartment when her alarm went off in the morning and she was getting out of bed. The bullets came through the wall that separated her apartment from the one next door and she was hit three times (luckily none were life-threatening). The person in the apartment next to her had serious mental health problems and PTSD and had been sitting with a loaded, cocked gun all night and when her alarm went off he just started firing.

Those are both stories where the victims couldn't have done anything different to change what happened whatsoever. Nothing they could have done would have changed a thing. No amount of firepower could have stopped those events. Having a gun, being a fucking expert marksman and trick shooter wouldn't have helped. Sometimes bad shit happens and you can't prevent it. No amount of living in a safe gated community like my mother keeps you from being a victim of crime. No amount of personal prowess keeps you from being a random victim of someone who's mentally unwell with a machine of murder in his hand.

We are all vulnerable. Americans are a LOT more vulnerable than most people who don't live in warzones because we have failed to address safety issues in our communities. This is NOT an issue that individuals can address effectively. It's like the tap water is poisoned but people are determined to just keep rigging up their own personal water filters that don't actually work. This isn't a problem you can solve on your own.
posted by threeturtles at 10:00 PM on October 3 [58 favorites]


I think a big part of this has to be the mental state occasioned by having guns in the house: for some people it's a constant reminder that they could kill themselves; and while their thoughts might temporarily engage with the idea of poison or asphyxiation, they're constantly brought to thoughts of suicide by the poisonous presence of guns.

I'm waiting for that WaPo article to load....but generally suicide by gun is the most successful method of suicide, and people with access to guns and no access to guns attempt suicide at the same rate, but are far more successful with guns. It's why more women attempt suicide than men, but men more frequently die of suicide. Women favor overdose, men are more likely to use guns or hanging.

And yeah it just says that non-firearm suicides didn't increase, but it doesn't say anything about attempts. Guns make suicide more effective and give people fewer chance to change their mind than other methods. I would expect a a few fewer overall suicide attempts without access to guns, because some people won't attempt if they don't have an "easy" way and some people may change their mind or fail without it being reported, but I don't think it's been proved scientifically that just not having guns around decreases overall suicidality.

(Source: I did suicide intervention for years.)
posted by threeturtles at 10:13 PM on October 3 [6 favorites]


I just found out from a friend of mine (one of the few people my cat Peggy really likes)-- the daughter of my formerly landlady-- that her cousin had just been seriously injured in Vegas. She's a teacher who'd been shot in the face. FUCK. I'm so upset by this. I'm glad she's alive, but she's got a GoFundMe for her medical expenses. If any of my conservative friends try to engage me on this, and give the same old "oh there's nothing that can be done" or "good guy with a gun" excuses, I'm going to fucking scream.

Seriously, what sort of fucking country is this? Where guns are a right but health care is a privilege? Fuck gun nuts. Fuck Republicans in the pocket of the NRA. We live in country held hostage by a death cult.
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 11:06 PM on October 3 [30 favorites]


xyzzy: "I agree that getting rid of unwanted firearms isn't easy enough. "

A minute with a hack saw can render any gun worthless for firing projectiles. At which point they are finely machined paperweights and can be disposed of as such.
posted by Mitheral at 11:48 PM on October 3 [1 favorite]


IMHO the real problem here is that the Republicans treat the lone wolf white guy with a gun as a target voting demographic .... until that changes nothing else will
posted by mbo at 12:11 AM on October 4 [12 favorites]


Re: the guys that think that they will overthrow a future tyrannical government with their stash of guns should realize that a shitton of guns is the least important factor in an insurgency. Successful insurgencies depend on support in the population at large, covert or overt support from external actors, political savvy, logistics, communications, recruitment, training etc etc. Having all the firearms in the world is not going to help when it's each man for himself on his own little hilltop.

"Amateurs talk about tactics, but professionals study logistics". Shitheads dream of single-handedly overthrowing democratically elected governments to protect their hobby.

(*Use of gendered pronouns intentional)
posted by Harald74 at 1:06 AM on October 4 [15 favorites]


> Re: the guys that think that they will overthrow a future tyrannical government
Some thoughts on this started last night before going to bed (OK, I really shouldn't have.)

Those people believe that firearms are a defence against a tyrannical government. However those firearms are part of the tyranny. They are the means to control and manipulate by fear. The institutional violence is a constituent of the continuum of tyranny.

And they believe that there will be a tyrannical government lying in ambush in the future. This is not the truth. The tyranny is not the future, but the past and the present. It's grammatical aspect is continual. It has always existed. The armed citizenry enforce the normative and hegemonic Governmenthood, precisely through the means of believing that they have control. As long as they are Armed, it is secondary who controls the Supreme Court, the Congress, and the Presidency. The Tyrant whispers to the citizens at night. You are Armed. Only you can prevent tyranny. You are as American as bald eagle and cherry pie. The NRA is your friend in liberty.
posted by runcifex at 2:15 AM on October 4 [12 favorites]


looking at the history of insurgency, i'm not convinced that the us right is incapable of fighting a tyranny - it's a mistake, however, to think that their real target would be the us government

the real target is US

i still wonder if it's a good idea for us to be unarmed in a country where our political opponents are armed to the teeth

i think it's obvious that no one should have the kind of firepower this guy had - and i think it's just as obvious that the republicans don't care and aren't going to change that

we're going to have to have a civil war in this country if we want gun control - i'm sorry, but this is what it's going to take
posted by pyramid termite at 2:41 AM on October 4 [5 favorites]


Shooting for gun control makes about as much sense as warring for peace, fucking for virginity, or drinking for sobriety.
posted by Dysk at 3:13 AM on October 4 [4 favorites]


we're going to have to have a civil war in this country if we want gun control - i'm sorry, but this is what it's going to take

You'd think it would require a civil war to get a Russian agent installed in the White House, and yet here we are.
posted by XMLicious at 3:24 AM on October 4 [19 favorites]


i still wonder if it's a good idea for us to be unarmed in a country where our political opponents are armed to the teeth

[...]

we're going to have to have a civil war in this country if we want gun control - i'm sorry, but this is what it's going to take


If it comes to that, that's when you become a refugee. I feel like I would rather live in a camp than be compelled to murder or be murdered.

Ya know, we have terms for "rule by the few" and "rule by theft"… but what's the associated "-ocracy" for "ruled as basically a hostage of psycho neighbors who will coat the earth with blood if their weapons of war are so much as threatened"?
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 4:00 AM on October 4 [1 favorite]


I believe you call that an insurgency.
posted by Autumnheart at 5:29 AM on October 4


Ya know, we have terms for "rule by the few" and "rule by theft"… but what's the associated "-ocracy" for "ruled as basically a hostage of psycho neighbors who will coat the earth with blood if their weapons of war are so much as threatened"?

Anarcho-capitalism, aka the people that believe that slavery is a "property rights" issue and that might always makes right. Of course, they would call your psycho neighbors "protectors" and you would be considered a craven weakling for not having the bootstrappy gumption to stand up for yourself.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:59 AM on October 4 [1 favorite]


Re: the guys that think that they will overthrow a future tyrannical government with their stash of guns should realize that a shitton of guns is the least important factor in an insurgency.

No, but they're necessary for genocidal madness.
posted by schadenfrau at 5:59 AM on October 4 [3 favorites]


Every Member of Congress Who Took Money From the NRA and Tweeted 'Thoughts and Prayers' to Las Vegas.

Thanks Doctor Zed. The things that always bother me about lobbying is how little it seems to take to influence a politician, and that so many are open to it.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:32 AM on October 4 [5 favorites]


I've been studying the Twitter feeds of those congressmen who took money from the NRA, and if they tweeted a "thoughts and prayers" message, I tweeted back a quote from the book of Isaiah that goes something like "there is blood on your hands, God will ignore your prayers". If nothing else, it's been really satisfying.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:52 AM on October 4 [16 favorites]




gulags, now
posted by entropicamericana at 8:40 AM on October 4


Yeah, somebody needs to pull Eric Paddock aside and explain to him that he's not actually doing anybody any good by doing these interviews. He's saying things that I'm sure I would feel in his situation, but – there are things you feel privately that you do not tell the whole world because it is not appropriate in a situation of this enormity.
posted by koeselitz at 8:43 AM on October 4 [2 favorites]


Yeah, it sounds shitty out of context. Lots of things do.
posted by wierdo at 8:46 AM on October 4 [1 favorite]


honestly the whole family sounds bananas and whenever i hear someone being interviewed like a neighbor or his brother they're basically saying "i can't believe a well-off old white guy is capable of evil" which makes me me want to through stuff at walls
posted by entropicamericana at 8:50 AM on October 4 [10 favorites]


honestly the whole family sounds bananas and whenever i hear someone being interviewed like a neighbor or his brother they're basically saying "i can't believe a well-off old white guy is capable of evil" which makes me me want to through stuff at walls

see? it makes me so angry that i even make stupid typos
posted by entropicamericana at 9:18 AM on October 4 [2 favorites]


Can I just vent here with a "Lord save me from completely idiotic so-called 'Constitutional absolutists' who conveniently seem to forget, from their surname/picture, that the original Constitution certainly wouldn't have considered them a citizen or, you know, given them voting rights." SIGH.
posted by TwoStride at 9:20 AM on October 4


It's also not uncommon for farms to have large tanks of red diesel.

Just as a general bit of info for anyone who doesn't know (because I think it's interesting), it's red diesel because it's dyed to clearly communicate that it is not to be used for vehicles on the road because it has not been taxed as automobile fuel. What gets referred to as "fuel oil" is just diesel that isn't taxed to pay for roads. Which I had to find out the hard way when my furnace ran out on Thanksgiving day while I had a house full of people during an unusually cold November.

So aside from that funny little bit of factoid, from a using-it-to-build-bombs perspective there's nothing special about it other than it being a little cheaper and a little less scrutinized than if you were to top off your trailer full of fertilizer with diesel at the gas station.
posted by phearlez at 9:21 AM on October 4 [3 favorites]


Yeah, it sounds shitty out of context.

tbh it sounds pretty shitty in context too
posted by OverlappingElvis at 9:30 AM on October 4 [5 favorites]


Shooting for gun control makes about as much sense as warring for peace, fucking for virginity, or drinking for sobriety.

I appreciate the examples of dissonance but I have to say the last two sound like programs I would support.
posted by phearlez at 9:33 AM on October 4 [2 favorites]


What's likely to emerge is that despite the brother's lament that they had no idea this was coming, you'll see in his account that there were all sorts of things that were red flags about his behavior.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:35 AM on October 4 [9 favorites]


"Condemn Steve for gambling. Steve took care of the people he loved. He made me and my family wealthy."

Condemn him for gambling???

This is a Trumpian level of logical contortion. Yes, sir. Quite right. *That's* what he's getting condemned for. His gambling.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 9:44 AM on October 4 [11 favorites]


What's likely to emerge is that despite the brother's lament that they had no idea this was coming, you'll see in his account that there were all sorts of things that were red flags about his behavior.

Right? The Starbucks staff saw red flags in his behavior toward his girlfriend.
posted by salvia at 9:47 AM on October 4 [18 favorites]


What's likely to emerge is that despite the brother's lament that they had no idea this was coming, you'll see in his account that there were all sorts of things that were red flags about his behavior.

But being a white, middle-class man with a good job, these were never scrutinized. Driving while white, buying guns while white, and so on, is just "going about one's business."

I do not want to live in a police state where everyone is under the gimlet eye of law enforcement or anything like that - one of my wishes is for the US to adopt a more sane criminal justice system like Norway's - but a little more attention to what "respectable" white guys get away with is in order, I think.

As for the shooter's brother - I realize that family members don't want to believe that their brother is capable of mass murder - that's human! that's normal! - but if Eric believes this he needs to keep his mouth shut and not give interviews, out of respect for the victims and bystanders.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 9:48 AM on October 4 [7 favorites]


But being a white, middle-class man with a good job

Owning property as a landlord in several states and having a couple of private planes is not middle-class.

Just saying.
posted by linux at 9:54 AM on October 4 [36 favorites]


me, reading a Buzzfeed article about Danley:

huh, so it wasn't about domestic abuse.

[26 paragraphs later]

oh.
posted by AFABulous at 10:08 AM on October 4 [7 favorites]


ah sorry, I see the Starbucks connection was mentioned above.
posted by AFABulous at 10:10 AM on October 4


I do not want to live in a police state where everyone is under the gimlet eye of law enforcement or anything like that - one of my wishes is for the US to adopt a more sane criminal justice system like Norway's - but a little more attention to what "respectable" white guys get away with is in order, I think.

Don't gotta be government oversight. More of us men need to give this behavior the look of disgust it warrants. I think a lot of it happens because it gets the shrug and turn doesn't involve me treatment, and that enables a lot more stuff - like this poor woman living a life where she comes to view that as just the price of admission. Why wouldn't she? Nobody acts like it's at all inappropriate and she probably grew up watching people not act like it's at all inappropriate.
posted by phearlez at 10:14 AM on October 4 [3 favorites]


When thinking about the potential for better gun laws, particularly in the rural, open west, consider this: New Mexico doesn't have helmet laws for (motorcycle) riders and passengers over 18, because state lawmakers fear there would be too much of a push back in this, (one of) the "Easy Rider" state(s).

More tragic local perspective: when a man in Albuquerque shot a four-year-old girl, most stories focused on his "road rage", and I didn't see any stories asking why he had a gun in the first place. Now, a memorial to the little girl are focused on "ending road rage," with no mention of reducing the access to guns.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:20 AM on October 4 [6 favorites]


threeturtles: Those are both stories where the victims couldn't have done anything different to change what happened whatsoever.

Thanks for sharing those. For a fuck-ton of tragic stories, see Childhood Firearm Injuries in the United States, in the journal Pediatrics from June 2017.
RESULTS: Nearly 1300 children die and 5790 are treated for gunshot wounds each year. Boys, older children, and minorities are disproportionately affected. Although unintentional firearm deaths among children declined from 2002 to 2014 and firearm homicides declined from 2007 to 2014, firearm suicides decreased between 2002 and 2007 and then showed a significant upward trend from 2007 to 2014. Rates of firearm homicide among children are higher in many Southern states and parts of the Midwest relative to other parts of the country. Firearm suicides are more dispersed across the United States with some of the highest rates occurring in Western states. Firearm homicides of younger children often occurred in multivictim events and involved intimate partner or family conflict; older children more often died in the context of crime and violence. Firearm suicides were often precipitated by situational and relationship problems. The shooter playing with a gun was the most common circumstance surrounding unintentional firearm deaths of both younger and older children.

CONCLUSIONS: Firearm injuries are an important public health problem, contributing substantially to premature death and disability of children. Understanding their nature and impact is a first step toward prevention.
Emphasis mine, because damnit, how the hell can you see that and say "well, taking away guns makes us all less safe"? That's what I wanted to shout at the radio this morning when listening to an NPR piece titled Why The Gun Debate Goes On And Nothing Changes, where NRA member Chris Buskirk of the conservative site American Greatness got to repeat the line "the cure (of taking away guns) would do more damage (by reducing people's ability to defend themselves) than good." [Audio only at the moment, transcript due up later today]
posted by filthy light thief at 10:29 AM on October 4 [7 favorites]


huh, so it wasn't about domestic abuse.

[26 paragraphs later]

oh.


I don't know if domestic violence is an inciting or indicating factor for this type of mass murder - like, if unchecked DV makes someone believe they can get away with murder, or if someone who doesn't care about human life won't care about even the intimate lives he is associated with.

I do know that once again, domestic violence shows itself far before the murder scene begin, and that if we took domestic violence seriously, this man would have been either in jail or therapy by now.
posted by corb at 10:33 AM on October 4 [20 favorites]


and that if we took domestic violence seriously

HAHAHAHAHAHOHOHOHEE

*cry*
posted by Melismata at 10:35 AM on October 4 [8 favorites]


Yeah, we as a culture do not give a fuck about the lives of women.

I heard this interview with a Dad who talked about his daughter and her recovering from the Vegas massacre with a bullet near her spine and started to feel more and more triggered and angry and screamy. I haven't gotten over it. And the underlay of heart-tugging music is a total goddamn nightmare. This isn't "Story Corps," NPR, this is bros-before-hos mentality even when that includes your daughter. He seriously sounds like just a nice guy. A good Dad. A guy who, naturally, of course, feels some sympathy for the murderer. And would not support any gun reform. None. His daughter lives. He's a regular American disaster.
posted by amanda at 10:41 AM on October 4 [13 favorites]


Yeah, we as a culture do not give a fuck about the lives of women.

Yep.
Femicide, the homicide of women, is the leading cause of death in the United States among young African American women aged 15 to 45 years and the seventh leading cause of premature death among women overall. American women are killed by intimate partners (husbands, lovers, ex-husbands, or ex-lovers) more often than by any other type of perpetrator. [...]

[T]he 8-fold increase in intimate partner femicide risk associated with abusers’ access to firearms attenuated to a 5-fold increase when characteristics of the abuse were considered, including previous threats with a weapon on the part of the abuser. This suggests that abusers who possess guns tend to inflict the most severe abuse. [Risk Factors for Femicide in Abusive Relationships: Results From a Multisite Case Control Study, Am J Public Health. 2003 July; 93(7): 1089–1097.]

It's not just in the context of domestic violence either:
[T]he rate of female nonstranger homicide in a state can be predicted well simply by using the prevalence of firearm ownership in that state. In controlled analyses, we found that, for each 10 percentage point increase in state-level firearm ownership in a state, the female firearm-related homicide rate increases by 10.2%, the female nonstranger homicide rate increases by 7.8%, and the overall female homicide rate increases by 7.3%. There is a specific risk of nonstranger, firearm-related femicide associated with the prevalence of firearm ownership in a state. [Firearm Ownership and the Murder of Women in the United States: Evidence That the State-Level Firearm Ownership Rate Is Associated with the Nonstranger Femicide Rate, Violence and Gender. March 2016, 3(1): 20-26.]
posted by melissasaurus at 10:50 AM on October 4 [26 favorites]


(From the Buzzfeed article)

"I know that she doesn't know anything," said one sister, who chose to remain anonymous.

(pedantic) How is she choosing that, exactly?
posted by Melismata at 10:51 AM on October 4 [2 favorites]


New Mexico doesn't have helmet laws for (motorcycle) riders and passengers over 18, because state lawmakers fear there would be too much of a push back in this, (one of) the "Easy Rider" state(s).

I take it no legislators in New Mexico have actually seen Easy Rider? Both protagonists wear helmets throughout.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:56 AM on October 4 [10 favorites]


They even tell Nicholson to wear one, and he gets an old football helmet.
posted by maxsparber at 11:00 AM on October 4 [1 favorite]


Although now that I think about it, Hopper wears a snap-sided Australian bushman hat, and Fonda, for some reason, often rides with his helmet tied to the back of his bike.
posted by maxsparber at 11:03 AM on October 4 [1 favorite]


In fact, here's a job listing for a high limit host at Club Paradise at the Atlantis Resort in Reno -- which is where Ms. Danley worked, and the position she held.

I really wish people weren't trying to frame this woman as a gold-digging temptress who caused this whole situation but I suppose that's too much to ask of America.
posted by palomar at 11:13 AM on October 4 [18 favorites]


Hopefully, not a gold-digging temptress but perhaps an awful misogynist who had it in his head that Asian women are more submissive and therefore easier to control, and taking advantage of a woman who perhaps saw a way out of poverty by moving to other countries (she seems pretty smart, from what I've read so far). Again (and again), disappointed in the media for not pointing out this asshole for what he was, or at least putting this info before the 27th paragraph.
posted by Melismata at 11:34 AM on October 4 [4 favorites]


Video of Don Jr. advertising gun silencers that help ‘get little kids into the game’
“It’s about safety. It’s about hearing protection. It’s a health issue, frankly, for me,” Trump Jr. said.

SilencerCo’s product, Trump Jr. said in the clip, would help get “little kids into the game” because “it greatly reduces recoil.”

“It’s just a great instrument,” the president’s eldest son said. “There is nothing bad about it at all. It makes total sense, it’s where we should be going.”
[real]
posted by zakur at 11:42 AM on October 4 [15 favorites]


Video of Don Jr. advertising gun silencers that help ‘get little kids into the game’

what

the

actual

hell
posted by XtinaS at 11:46 AM on October 4 [17 favorites]


Don Jr. missed his calling as a Robocop villain.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:51 AM on October 4 [3 favorites]


Video of Don Jr. advertising gun silencers that help ‘get little kids into the game’

Let's take a moment to ponder that at the same time as we ponder Filthy Light Thief's link about children and gun violence. That sound you hear is me screaming in rage forever.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:55 AM on October 4 [1 favorite]


that's not fair, the card cheat

dick jones, clarence bodicker, and cain all had charisma
posted by entropicamericana at 11:56 AM on October 4 [5 favorites]


[A few comments deleted; not seeing a lot of benefit to reproducing in this thread gross comments from elsewhere.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:01 PM on October 4 [1 favorite]


The cops are fascinated by the meticulousness of his plan, which is interesting, I guess...

Yeah it seems totally reasonable that they'd want to study in detail what happened exactly, even if the benefit of doing so is not immediately clear. Maybe it can help stop another atrocity one day, somehow.
posted by thelonius at 12:11 PM on October 4 [1 favorite]


Since he apparently didn't leave a note or manifesto, I also am very curious about basically everything leading up to him opening fire. Because why the fuck does someone spray bullets on a huge crowd of strangers like that?
posted by Burhanistan at 12:16 PM on October 4 [6 favorites]


He may have left some kind of note. The rumor is that he set up a camera to record him in the room. Since he did commit suicide once the security guard at the hotel got to him, it seems likely that he didn't expect to ever leave the room. So.. what did he say on the video?

Also, there's an article on ZeroHedge that shows one of the leaked photos from the room, one of which is highlighted to show a note on the table near the body. I do not recommend seeking this article out, because that photo is immediately preceded by a photo of the face of the killer post-suicide. You don't need to see that.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 12:27 PM on October 4


Gun Buyers Grab Up ‘Bump Fire Stocks’ Used In Las Vegas Massacre

Look, they're just buying them as an investment. Like Beanie Babies.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:30 PM on October 4 [13 favorites]


Because why the fuck does someone spray bullets on a huge crowd of strangers like that?

Number one, because he can.
posted by amanda at 12:31 PM on October 4 [1 favorite]


Look, they're just buying them as an investment. Like Beanie Babies.

Same damned thing happened after the shooting involving Rep. Giffords.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:36 PM on October 4


Video of Don Jr. advertising gun silencers that help ‘get little kids into the game’


Local (conservative) talk radio was discussing regulation of silencers today, and the host said he didn't see the need for anyone to have them. Someone called in and after the obligatory "silencers only drop the sounds about 30db" discussion, said that he uses silencers when target shooting on his land to be a courteous neighbor.
Talk show host: Did your neighbors even complain about the noise from your shooting before you used the silencers?

Caller: Well, no.

Talk show host: See, I'm just not convinced.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 12:46 PM on October 4 [18 favorites]


Las Vegas investigation focuses on Paddock's finances and travel
As authorities search for a motive, Paddock’s finances have become a significant focal point — most notably, 200-plus casino or wire transactions by Paddock that were flagged for review by FinCEN, the U.S. government’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, which collects data to identify potential money laundering or covert terrorism financing. The FBI is also reviewing transactions by Danley that were flagged by FinCEN. According to a source familiar with the probe, the various transactions date back to 2014 and are being vigorously investigated. The sources said one transaction that has drawn significant attention is a $100,000 transfer to the Philippines by either Paddock or Danley prior to Sunday’s shooting. Danley was in the Philippines when Paddock opened fire on the crowd in Las Vegas.
posted by Coventry at 12:48 PM on October 4 [1 favorite]


Did your neighbors even complain about the noise from your shooting before you used the silencers?

Point of order: it's country courtesy not to complain to your neighbors about things that aren't really a problem. It's also country courtesy to try not to do things that annoy the neighbors. Sometimes these things overlap, sometimes they don't. Courtesy is a land of contrasts.

I have a neighbor that likes to go out at dusk and waste ammo a lot. I wish they had a silencer. It's annoying and frightens my cats if the windows are open. But, that's one of the things you just kinda accept as part of country living. When their animals are attacking your livestock you go over and complain. When they're making a bunch of unnecessary gun noise, you shake your head and call them an asshole under your breath. If it's particularly bad, you go over to their side of the lot at the crack of dawn the next day and start chainsawing wood for the winter.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 12:58 PM on October 4 [14 favorites]


If they cared that much about their neighbor they could already probably get a silencer. 80% of states allow them. This is just a move to save people the $200 fee & process and - much more significantly as far as the motives of the NRA - make them available to a larger audience who won't go through that hassle and thereby help sales of them.
posted by phearlez at 1:01 PM on October 4 [2 favorites]


As a kid growing up in a gun-saturated rural area, I liked that the guns were loud. It let me know that hunters/target shooters were out and I probably shouldn't go wandering aimlessly around the woods that morning.
posted by melissasaurus at 1:09 PM on October 4 [20 favorites]


This is just a move to save people the $200 fee & process and - much more significantly as far as the motives of the NRA - make them available to a larger audience who won't go through that hassle and thereby help sales of them.

Yes, and. I don't even think it's that, it's the equivalent of erecting a confederate statue. Fuck you, gun control advocates. We're going to keep demonstrating that you're powerless to do anything until you give up trying.
posted by ctmf at 1:14 PM on October 4 [2 favorites]


Yeah, right now the low hanging fruit is ANY AR can be converted to full auto trivially, for free. So there's no effective difference between a semi-auto with a high capacity magazine and a full auto.

So, we need to regulate the hell out of any semi-automatic vulnerable to this hack.
posted by mikelieman at 1:17 PM on October 4 [1 favorite]


And the hell of it is that in many uses a shooter will be more deadly with semi-automatic because full-auto has crazy recoil that reduces accuracy. Though in this instance full-auto was why the death count was so high given he had a giant mass of a target to easily pepper. I'm certainly not saying that the full-auto hacks shouldn't be regulated, but that semi-auto rifles that already have 30 shot or higher magazines are super deadly to begin with. Anything short of restricting semi-automatics themselves is already a weird numbers game.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:23 PM on October 4 [2 favorites]


Point of order: it's country courtesy not to complain to your neighbors about things that aren't really a problem.

Yeah, that's definitely true. The bigger point that I didn't really spell out in my comment is that one of the two major conservative radio stations in the area spent an afternoon talking about how "maybe there's no legitimate need for silencers." Kinda caught my ear.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 1:25 PM on October 4


As has been said to death, general citizen support for many gun control measures is high. Even among NRA members and gun owners. The fact that this person would go out and say this stuff is less significant, I think, than what may happen afterwards. Is the NRA and their goons going to come down on this person like a pile of bricks?
posted by phearlez at 1:32 PM on October 4


They've already walked back the silencer bill, because the optics aren't real good right now. I presume this conservative radio host was just helping set the tone so the wingnuts don't lose their minds.

They'll circle up the wagons, convince the ATF to reverse their decision on "bump stocks" making them the scapegoat for this particular mass murder, and then everyone will clap each other on the back and go home, tabling the discussion until the next mass murder comes around.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 1:37 PM on October 4 [1 favorite]


Just a quick additional note on current silencer paperwork stuff; the wait list is often *really* long. Like 2 years long. Which is *not a bad thing*.
posted by odinsdream at 1:37 PM on October 4 [1 favorite]


3% of Americans own 50% of the guns. 78% of Americans don't own a gun.

given those numbers how can gun control be hard?
posted by mbo at 1:41 PM on October 4 [15 favorites]


Because gun nut voters vote on guns. Non-gun nut voters vote on issues besides guns. Plus lots of sweet NRA money. That's about all there is to the story.
posted by Justinian at 1:43 PM on October 4 [6 favorites]


given those numbers how can gun control be hard?

Given the numbers why did we invade Iraq?
Given the numbers why try to eviscerate the ACA?
Given the numbers why try to give tremendous tax cuts to billionaires?
posted by phearlez at 1:46 PM on October 4


well it was a rather rhetorical question :-) But you can see why the gun lobby is so scared of the govt gathering statistics about guns, if the rest if us realise we're in the vast majority we might do something
posted by mbo at 1:48 PM on October 4 [6 favorites]


As I posted on another thread, Senator Dianne Feinstein has announced a bill to outlaw devices that can be fitted to semi-automatic firearms to increase the rate of fire. It covers bump stocks and gat cranks as discussed above.
posted by w0mbat at 2:18 PM on October 4 [2 favorites]


Point of order: it's country courtesy not to complain to your neighbors about things that aren't really a problem. It's also country courtesy to try not to do things that annoy the neighbors.

it's also country courtesy to hold a little target practice once a month so your neighbors will know you're armed and will tell the whole township about it and any local criminals will have fair warning

well, that's what my old boss at the country grocery told me - she was a character ...
posted by pyramid termite at 2:22 PM on October 4 [1 favorite]


> Leah Libresco, WaPo: I used to think gun control was the answer. My research told me otherwise.

The research is clear: gun control saves livesThe Washington Post’s viral anti–gun control piece gets a lot wrong.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:54 PM on October 4 [8 favorites]


3% of Americans own 50% of the guns. 78% of Americans don't own a gun.

given those numbers how can gun control be hard?


1% of the country owns 40% of the wealth, the bottom 80% own 7% of the wealth. Monied interests have an outsized control of the U.S.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 3:28 PM on October 4 [5 favorites]


3% of Americans own 50% of the guns. 78% of Americans don't own a gun.

given those numbers how can gun control be hard?


Most of those 22% who are gun owners are one-issue Republicans who absolutely will not vote for a Republican if they don't oppose gun control. No Republican can afford to lose 22% of the vote - or even 10% of the vote. So Republicans in congress are 100% opposed to gun control and they hold a majority.

Heck, even Bernie Sanders has had to knuckle under to the NRA in rural Vermont. Sanders won his first election to Congress in 1990 by gaining the endorsement of the NRA by opposing a waiting period for hand gun purchases and against an opponent who supported a ban on assault rifles.

The NRA can turn elections because their members will vote exactly as directed.
posted by JackFlash at 3:51 PM on October 4 [4 favorites]


I should also point out that as a result of that election, Republicans learned the lesson that they could be beaten even by a socialist if they got on the wrong side of the NRA.
posted by JackFlash at 3:55 PM on October 4 [2 favorites]


Prepare to hear about how bump sticks are needed for hunting.
posted by Artw at 4:12 PM on October 4


Prepare to hear about how bump sticks are needed for hunting.

Since they banned mutated anthrax the duck population has soared.
posted by Talez at 4:24 PM on October 4 [3 favorites]


So having had a couple of days to process this horror, something has really, really been bothering me about how a number of people are talking about it. The consistent invocation of "mental illness" as an explanation for this shithead's behavior and the equivocation of "mental illness" and "unfit to own firearms".

A couple of caveats before proceeding. First, I am not in favor of more people owning firearms at this point, irrespective of their mental health status because access just makes mass killings way too easy. Second, I identify as someone coping with mental illness. Third, I absolutely want to see a much better funding model and system for empowering people to manage their mental illness.

What irks me about the continual invocation of mental illness into these situations--even by well intentioned folks like Jimmy Kimmel or Rep. Earl Blumenaur--is that so little violence in our country is really attributable to severe mental illness. Consider this piece by Julie Beck in The Atlantic from last year:
“We have a strong responsibility as researchers who study mental illness to try to debunk that myth,” says Jeffrey Swanson, a professor of psychiatry at Duke University. “I say as loudly and as strongly and as frequently as I can, that mental illness is not a very big part of the problem of gun violence in the United States.”

The overwhelming majority of people with mental illnesses are not violent, just like the overwhelming majority of all people are not violent. Only 4 percent of the violence—not just gun violence, but any kind—in the United States is attributable to schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or depression (the three most-cited mental illnesses in conjunction with violence). In other words, 96 percent of the violence in America has nothing to do with mental illness. [...]

But stories connecting mental illness with mass shootings specifically increased from 9 percent between 1994 and 2004 to 22 percent between 2005 and 2014.

Perhaps this can be partially attributed to high-profile shootings like the Tucson shooting in 2011, in which the killer did have schizophrenia. “That’s an event that is newsworthy, but the fact that it was linked to mental illness is not representative of most people who have schizophrenia, or most violence,” says Emma McGinty, the lead author on the study and a professor of health policy at Johns Hopkins University. “[And yet] that link pervades the public psyche.” [...]

“This is one of the hardest distinctions to make,” McGinty says. “Anyone who kills someone else in a mass shooting scenario or otherwise is not what we would consider mentally healthy. But that does not mean they have a clinical diagnosis and therefore a treatable mental illness. There could be emotional regulation issues related to anger, for example, which are a separate phenomenon. There could be underlying substance use issues. There could be a whole host of other risk factors for violence going on.
Unfortunately, by linking mental illness and gun violence, as many people and media outlets do, the stigma around mental illness is increased. Furthermore, "mental illness" is such a nebulous phrase, as to be nearly useless in these cases. Imagine if we talked about how people with "physical illness" should not be allowed to operate or own cars (which are top another source of premature fatality in our country)--lumping people with asthma, broken bones, and seizure disorders together in a way that is not actually useful for making policy decisions about who should not be able to operate a motor vehicle. Now, there are definitely physical conditions which preclude people from driving (e.g. vision and seizure disorders) and there may be mental conditions which should exclude folks from owning firearms, but I think we need to be extremely careful about how we talk about "mental illness" and gun violence, lest the stigma surrounding mental illness be further exacerbated.

Instead of looking at someone's "history of mental illness", how about we look at their histories of domestic violence, public records of violent behavior, and talk to the people around folks interested in purchasing guns regarding the applicant's history and ability to manage their anger?
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 4:49 PM on October 4 [45 favorites]


Prepare to hear about how bump stocks are needed for hunting.

You say this, but the official explanation of them by the manufacturer to the relevant authorities was that they're meant for people with motor function disabilities to be able to keep hunting when they wouldn't otherwise be able to pull the trigger.

So... their justification is already out there, and according to them, banning these tools would be anti-ADA.
posted by CrystalDave at 5:07 PM on October 4


If you could invent a wheelchair that kills ten people a minute I'd want that fucker banned too.
posted by Artw at 5:16 PM on October 4 [11 favorites]


> So... their justification is already out there, and according to them, banning these tools would be anti-ADA.

A Venn diagram:

( Assholes using this logic )      ( People who support the existence of the ADA )
posted by tonycpsu at 5:16 PM on October 4 [10 favorites]


If you could invent a wheelchair that kills ten people a minute I would be so tempted to buy one and use it to patrol the handicap spaces in parking lots. (But then, I have become much more of an asshole the more I need to use a wheelchair)
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:27 PM on October 4 [8 favorites]


according to them, banning these tools would be anti-ADA.

There are some gun modifications that genuinely help people with disabilities- but if someone has hand strength issues, they can modify the trigger weight, they don't need a bump stock.
posted by corb at 5:31 PM on October 4 [5 favorites]


You say this, but the official explanation of them by the manufacturer to the relevant authorities was that they're meant for people with motor function disabilities to be able to keep hunting when they wouldn't otherwise be able to pull the trigger.

A bump stock still requires one pull of the trigger to initiate the action. Was their argument that the person becomes disabled after the first trigger pull?

Slide Fire makes no claims on their site about the disabled. They market it as "fun, exciting and entertaining" and "an alternate shooting technique whereby safe, reliable rapid fire is possible."
posted by zakur at 5:46 PM on October 4 [2 favorites]


The people who invoke mental illness when a mass shooting happens care as much about providing comprehensive services for people struggling with mental illness as those who bring up rape victims of dangerous illegal immigrants are interested in providing rape crisis counseling and victim support - which is, not at all. It's disgusting and a completely transparent attempt to change the subject at the expense of vulnerable people who are being used as props in a political argument. The only time gun enthusiasts talk about mental illness is when gun control is brought up. If they actually cared about mental illness they would be advocating for better services all the time (or at all) rather than only bringing it up when it's a convenient red herring.

Further, if 2nd amendment purists actually cared about gun control they would pick a gun control issue they are in agreement about and go to town lobbying for it. However they would rather sit back and agree that in theory some gun control measures might be a good idea but then poke holes in everything and never actually do anything at all, like not even write a single letter or make a single phone call to congress about gun control, even though their voices would likely be given more weight than non-gun owners. They leave that work to everyone else. It becomes very hard to take gun owners seriously when what it appears is that they want their dangerous toys and don't want to really have to do any work to protect themselves or anyone else, or think about it much, or be even mildly inconvenienced.
posted by supercrayon at 5:47 PM on October 4 [8 favorites]


Ah, here we go, apologies for not finding it initially. This isn't where I first saw it (Some lawyer on Twitter who was suggesting that the initial claim should be reviewed, but it's not showing up in my immediate history), but this is reportedly the FOIA-requested letter approving bump-stocks with reference to the intent being "to assist persons who have limited mobility".

I'm definitely not saying this is actually the case, just noting that this appears to be what the pre-existing justification is in use, so I'm guessing we're going to see it trotted out as a talking point in short order as smokescreen.
posted by CrystalDave at 5:55 PM on October 4


How about if we can't talk about gun control after a mass shooting, we also can't sell guns after one. Only a short moratorium, like 5 days or so.
posted by ckape at 5:55 PM on October 4 [18 favorites]


While I think it's a good idea, ckape, given that we have one... if not every day, then very nearly, by the legal definitions (even if most don't make the front page), then what you have there is really a proposal to shut down gun sales entirely.

Mind, I also am kinda fine with that, too, right now, but it's probably not something we can see legislated easily.
posted by Archelaus at 5:57 PM on October 4 [1 favorite]


Well the mass shooters will just have to learn a bit of self-control. And since the Supreme Court has upheld that our not-technically-indefinite copyright law is counts as "limited times" I'm sure they'll apply the exact same consistent logic here.

also, that was kinda my point
posted by ckape at 6:04 PM on October 4 [2 favorites]


Oh my god I think that's actually the most fantastic idea?
posted by odinsdream at 6:20 PM on October 4 [3 favorites]




XtinaS: No searchable database of America's gun owners.

Except for, you know, the NRA's (probably) searchable database of gun owners.
posted by emelenjr at 6:36 PM on October 4 [18 favorites]


Thank you for writing all that out, Excommunicated Cardinal. It's been hard for me to put that into words. I hate that mental illness comes up in this context. I hate it every time. I can't even describe how it makes me feel except, despairing.

And especially in this context, it's always brought up to dehumanize the shooter and imply that he was sick. It's meant to say that normal Americans don't do that. So we don't have to examine ourselves. We don't have to examine the conditions under which it happened, or the path that led this man to do this thing - he just did it because he was sick, end of explanation. And none of us need to worry about becoming the sort of person who would do that, because we're normal Americans.

but A LOT OF NORMAL AMERICANS have perfectly normal mental fucking illnesses, for one. Last number I saw was 20% of the country? There's a huge group of people hearing you say "yeah we're all gonna be scared of you." And everyone else is hearing "be scared of them". One time I mentioned my own mental illness in a workplace - people fucking flinched, and then they asked if it was the "going postal" kind of thing. I've never talked about it again.

And for two, this guy was a normal American. Right up until he wasn't. He hugged his sisters, he petted dogs, he shared every inch of the common humanity that binds us together. He betrayed that common humanity in the end - god only knows why. But he was ours. And he still is.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 7:13 PM on October 4 [10 favorites]


From Reuters:

She was sympathetic in dealing with Paddock’s allergy-driven quirks, Eric Paddock told Reuters.

Paddock often wore brown cloth gardening gloves to prevent rashes from contact with cleaning chemical residues, the brother wrote.

He was also allergic to many pills and was unable to renew his pilot’s license — he had flown planes since he was a teenager — because he could not take the pills needed to reduce his blood pressure. At casinos where he was a regular, he was such a valued customer that staff obliged his requests to wash his room’s carpet with plain water.

“The reason Mary Lou looks so plain in that picture they keep posting of her is because for him she would not wear perfumes or hair sprays or anything with scents in it because it affected him,” Eric Paddock wrote, referring to a passport-style photo of Danley that has been widely circulated by news outlets.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:26 PM on October 4


Thank you, Excommunicated Cardinal. I tried expressing my feelings on that last night and I was not so good at getting my point across. I've been working on a Facebook post around this article.

And, of course, the only reason people are talking about mental illness in the first place is because the shooter was white. As someone who struggles with mental illness myself, I'm not going to make room at my table for white male anger.
posted by Ruki at 7:31 PM on October 4 [3 favorites]


She was sympathetic in dealing with Paddock’s allergy-driven quirks, Eric Paddock told Reuters.

Yeah, a bunch of that stuff isn't "allergy driven quirks". He sounds halfway to Howard Hughesville. 'Course Hughes didn't, you know, go on to murder a bunch of people so that's not in any way an excuse.
posted by Justinian at 7:38 PM on October 4


but A LOT OF NORMAL AMERICANS have perfectly normal mental fucking illnesses, for one.

You're right obviously. But it's also important to look at risk factors and correlations and so on to at least try to get an understanding of the underlying causes. Like the "domestic abuse" angle that was linked earlier.

A lot of people do seem to want to write off any mass killing by a white dude as a lone-wolf mental-illness fluke though. I'm trying to think of the last one where that didn't happen at all. McVeigh, maybe? Probably because he was so blatant in his political radicalization.
posted by Justinian at 7:42 PM on October 4


So apparently one of the windows he knocked out was in direct line of sight with jet fuel tanks at the airport. He shot but didn't puncture them. I wonder if this was a means to an end (attempt to blow them up to kill more people) or if he specifically wanted to hurt the airport (the article up thread mentioned he couldn't renew his pilots license because of a medication problem.)
posted by bluecore at 8:10 PM on October 4 [2 favorites]


Slide Fire makes no claims on their site about the disabled. They market it as "fun, exciting and entertaining" and "an alternate shooting technique whereby safe, reliable rapid fire is possible."

Wow. I had been vaguely aware of the term "bump-stock" but hadn't really known what they are. After watching the videos on that site, how can that possibly be considered legal? That is such a transparent work-around. It's like selling cocaine, but because you spell it "ko-kane" and add blue food dye, you are somehow legit.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:27 PM on October 4 [3 favorites]


A sensible proposal:
Ladies bear with me I haven't slept enough this week but if we hide all the guns in our vaginas, Congress will HAVE to regulate them!!!
Also, it's pretty fucking awful how a few billboards on the strip showing info for counseling and assistance change the mood. Fuck everything.
posted by bonje at 8:30 PM on October 4 [4 favorites]


We shouldn't ignore any specific illness this dude may or may not have had. We shouldn't exclude mental illness from study, you're right.

But the public discourse about it, in general, is not exactly in the spirit of scientific fucking inquiry. It's not neutral, it's not evidence-based. Especially when people bring mental illness into the conversation before anything is known about the shooter - when all that's known is that he shot a lotta people - there's no causal link being investigated. It's just stigmatizing.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 8:44 PM on October 4 [4 favorites]


Jesus Christ that Slide Fire site, wrapping full-auto in "freedom" and "liberty." What can we come up with to counter it that punches a button just as visceral? "Dead children" isn’t good enough.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:21 PM on October 4


What can we come up with to counter it that punches a button just as visceral?

I came up with a visceral image in about a minute in photoshop. I almost linked it. However, I didn't want to traumatize or upset anyone here. Especially now while everything is so raw. If anyone wants it, I'll memail it.

But I really don't have to email it. It's simple enough anyone could make it. The "killing field" photo from Las Vegas + Slide Fire's Logo + their motto: "FREEDOM UNLEASHED!"
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 10:54 PM on October 4 [1 favorite]


I too have been waiting to learn more about the shooter's motivation but have begun to appreciate the absence of that information. What if it turned out that there really were few behavioral red flags? If we could theoretically prevent gun violence by means such as identifying and getting treatment for people with violent fantasies, (I realize that the idea of compulsory treatment is a huge can of worms and that the system for getting help for people via 5150-type holds is really flawed, but if we theoretically could just identify and get help for the folks likely to commit mass shootings) then why do we need gun control?

The media focused on the Sandy Hook shooter's mom's knowledge of his thoughts, and on the Aurora shooter's journal. But here, so far, the narrative is that nobody knew, nobody could have prevented it, he's basically just an average guy. To me, that leads to the conclusion that the only solution is making guns harder for everyone to get. I've always been theoretically in favor of gun control, but I find that this period of not being able to blame the violence on anything else (anything but his possession of guns) has shifted my feelings on it.
posted by salvia at 11:15 PM on October 4 [7 favorites]


if we theoretically could just identify and get help for the folks likely to commit mass shootings) then why do we need gun control?

American toddlers are still shooting people on a weekly basis this year
posted by AFABulous at 11:42 PM on October 4 [15 favorites]


Yeah. God, that's awful. And just to be clear, because I'm realizing that my comment wasn't, I wasn't making an argument against gun control. I was trying to articulate why this mass shooting has me thinking so much more about gun control than I did after past tragedies. Other times, some part of my thinking has tended to latch on to the other pieces. E.g., when the terrible Charleston church shooting happened, I thought about how Dylann Roof was racist and how white supremacy groups are promulgating hate, and wondering what could be done to slow their spread and prevent hate crimes. I thought about guns, but I thought a lot more about what made him pick up the gun. Here, it's just a person and their guns, with nothing else. So my thoughts have focused much more on gun control itself.
posted by salvia at 12:03 AM on October 5 [2 favorites]


I'm just going to post some more on-the-ground feelings/experiences, since it's, you know, a thing here. In the last few days, I've overheard or have actually had discussions about:
  • A trainer at my gym (and his wife) ran from the gunfire.
  • A cousin of a trainer at my gym was generally injured by jumping fences/obstacles while evading gunfire.
  • A sibling-in-law of a client of a trainer at my gym was shot in the leg.
  • A bartender said that his sister was working a bar next to the stage and had to run (she wasn't injured).
The latter bartender was explaining to me how, despite the size of the city, Las Vegas is like a small city in the sense that everybody knows each other. My general sense is that people are showing a stiff upper lip (all over town, regardless of tourists), but that deep down everybody is hurting.

I also just remembered (in the most fucking macabre way) that I was only a few blocks away during the 2014 SPU shooting in Seattle. Nothing changed. Las Vegas in 2017? Pretty sure nothing will change.
posted by bonje at 2:41 AM on October 5 [5 favorites]


if we theoretically could just identify and get help for the folks likely to commit mass shootings) then why do we need gun control?

Because theories don't always catch all the people.

Theories about who is "most likely" are guesses. There will be false positives, and there will be people we don't spot because they hide it real well. There will also be people who don't show any of the signs and just snap one day.

Trying to spot the people who are "likely" to commit mass murder is still a good idea, you know. It's just that it's not going to catch everyone, and so having the additional failsafe of gun control will then stop the people we don't catch from easily being able to kill gobs of people.

I am in a Twitter discussion with a guy who is trying to talk me into the notion of figuring out the "why he did it" first, and hang gun control. "People are still going to kill," he said, and pointed to the guys who use IEDs out of pressure cookers. He pointed at an incident in NYC last year where 29 people were injured by a guy who made such a device. I pointed out that that incident only injured 29 people as opposed to killing 58 and injuring about 500. "But what if he set up ten of them?" he said. I asked him to think about precisely how easy setting up 10 such bomb-like devices in a highly-secure area would have been.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:36 AM on October 5 [2 favorites]


if we theoretically could just identify and get help for the folks likely to commit mass shootings) then why do we need gun control?

Because 60% of gun deaths are suicides not murders.
posted by chris24 at 4:43 AM on October 5 [10 favorites]


Because theories don't always catch all the people.

I don't think we even try. Maybe some magical thing where everyone gets psych services as part of some national health-care plan would be a good start.
posted by mikelieman at 4:47 AM on October 5


Because 60% of gun deaths are suicides not murders.

Ha, I saw someone arguing that teh liberals never mention that, so as to make gun violence seem worse than it actually is. As if it's no big deal!
posted by thelonius at 5:50 AM on October 5 [5 favorites]


Maybe some magical thing where everyone gets psych services as part of some national health-care plan would be a good start.

Maybe some magical thing where people can't easily acquire a massive arsenal would be an even better start; all of this "but mental health!" talk is nothing more than a distraction from the actual problem, which is the ready availability and ease of acquisition of semiautomatic firearms with high-capacity magazines. Even trying to frame the discussion in terms of access to mental healthcare rather than the obvious problem of guns is letting the NRA and their Congressional lickspittles set the terms of the debate. Please just stop.
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 5:54 AM on October 5 [6 favorites]


Sure, I'd love getting nationwide licensing of firearms and manufacture-to-destruction tracking via Firearm Id Number and holding the last-registered-licensee responsible for any crimes committed with their weapon.

But really, I think we got a better chance of getting universal medicare with psych services. Of course, I'm all for "All of the above"...

Tug on every thread you can to get their scheme to unravel, I guess is my point.
posted by mikelieman at 6:13 AM on October 5 [1 favorite]


Oh, and not sure if was here or elsewhere, a third tactic is tying the 2nd Amendment to racism, like this great article,