Skip

Nasa shooting
April 21, 2007 8:55 PM   Subscribe

Just days after the Virgina Tech massacre and subsequent discussions on the pros and cons of gun control, a NASA contract engineer shot his coworker today on charges that his performance review was bad. A woman was held hostage by being tied to a chair during this episode. He brought the gun to work after printing out his performance review. NASA intends to increase security even as increased campus security is being discussed. How do we prevent more such shootings, asks the president.
posted by infini (156 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
But there are those who argue these incidents take place not because there are too many guns, but because there are not enough. "All the school shootings that have ended abruptly in the last 10 years were stopped because a law-abiding citizen - a potential victim - had a gun," said Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America. "The latest school shooting at Virginia Tech demands an immediate end to the gun-free zone law which leaves the nation's schools at the mercy of madmen."
posted by infini at 8:59 PM on April 21, 2007


Sure, but how often does this kind of thing happen in the armed services?
posted by b1tr0t at 8:59 PM on April 21, 2007


I read about this earlier today. I feel like someone needs to roll up a newspaper and smack every member of the NRA on the nose while saying, 'Guns are bad!'

'No! Pay attention! Guns are bad.'

'No don't look over there! Look into my eyes. Guns are bad.'
posted by Alex404 at 9:00 PM on April 21, 2007


Oh, well since we've made this post about the legality of guns again, study finds that Australia's gun-law reforms following the Pt Arthur Massacre has saved up to 280 lives a year in the decade since, and the gun buy-back paid for itself within two years.
posted by Jimbob at 9:02 PM on April 21, 2007 [3 favorites]


Maybe performance reviews are bad?
posted by b1tr0t at 9:03 PM on April 21, 2007 [3 favorites]


Less over-prescription of psychiatric drugs.

Less faceless, dehumanizing bearaucracy.

More attention to and importance placed on humans and their diverse indivuality.

Less attention to and importance placed on unfulfilling materialism and status.


In short: Modern society is hideously broken. These acts of random violence and lashing out will only increase as modern society becomes more and more dysfunctional and less and less fulfilling.

The solution? Don't be a heartless bastard. Love your fellow humans - care for them, encourage them to seek out what truly makes them happy and fulfilled and don't laugh at them or discourage them.

Or not. But enjoy the collapse and breakdown of humanisn.
posted by loquacious at 9:05 PM on April 21, 2007 [15 favorites]


It is almost embarrassing that this still needs to be said, but the old adage is true; guns don't kill people, people kill people. Somebody has to pull the trigger. If that somebody is determined enough to kill, they will find a way with or without guns.
It is also true that if one of the nearby students was armed, 30 lives could have been saved.
posted by BarePaw at 9:06 PM on April 21, 2007


How do we prevent more such shootings, asks the president.

Stop nurturing the kind of sociopolitical atmosphere that sensationalizes such incidents and lionizes the gunmen?

Or maybe we could seriously look into the effects certain antidepressants have on the human mind?

Or maybe we could start even earlier, and raise healthier, more mentally fit children as parents?

I know, let's ban Grand Theft Auto!
posted by quarter waters and a bag of chips at 9:06 PM on April 21, 2007


OMG! Yet another occidental has gone on a crazed shooting! Clearly the problem isn't gun control- it's those damn natural born citizens!
posted by yeloson at 9:07 PM on April 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


It is also true that if one of the nearby students was armed, 30 lives could have been saved.

Or they could have missed and added to the death toll. You're one smart fella.
posted by Jimbob at 9:08 PM on April 21, 2007 [5 favorites]


Regardless of whether more guns would have helped or hurt, a direct frontal attack on guns is never going to work. They are written into the US constitution, and the gun lobby is clearly prepared for this situation.

The right way to go about limiting access to guns is to setup gun licensing programs. Keep guns legal, but require that owners have formal instruction in things like cleaning, safety, and non-violent conflict resolution. Sell it to the gun lobby as another gun-related service they can sell.
posted by b1tr0t at 9:15 PM on April 21, 2007


"The science of brain exploration will dominate the 21st century." Charlie Rose science series: sponsored by Pfizer episode 1: The Brain
posted by acro at 9:16 PM on April 21, 2007


Well, I was hoping NASA would get around to making those spaceships and find some place in the universe aside from here where I could get off this godforsaken rock and away from you human beings and your guns, but apparently, NASA employees are packing too.

Obviously, gun control isn't working. Perhaps gun education would be more in order. Make sure all children carry a firearm to school, and take classes every day on the proper care and use of a firearm. Then everybody can take one to work too. So if someone shoots at you, you can shoot them back.

In theory, if the potential for lead poisoning is more probable, then it becomes less probable anyone in their right mind would induce it in others, for fear of getting lead poisoning themselves in retaliation. Except for crazy people who have no concept of cause and effect. Oh yeah, they'll be armed too.

Accept it. Whether we ban guns, control them, or let everyone wipe their own asses with them, humanity is doomed to die of lead poisoning.. or radiation poisoning... or maybe starvation! Drought! Global warming! There's all kindsa possibilities and potential opportunities for mankind's own self-destruction! Gee! It's such a great time to be alive!
posted by ZachsMind at 9:16 PM on April 21, 2007


Accept it. Whether we ban guns, control them, or let everyone wipe their own asses with them, humanity is doomed to die of lead poisoning.. or radiation poisoning... or maybe starvation! Drought! Global warming! There's all kindsa possibilities and potential opportunities for mankind's own self-destruction! Gee! It's such a great time to be alive!


Yes, because previous times in history were much safer and more civilized than today. Somehow I doubt you believe in the Garden of Eden, so I wonder when exactly you think would be preferable to now?
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 9:20 PM on April 21, 2007


Less faceless, dehumanizing bearaucracy.

When the bearaucracy finally arrives, humans will be the least of our worries.
posted by ryanshepard at 9:21 PM on April 21, 2007 [5 favorites]


Obviously, gun control isn't working. Perhaps gun education would be more in order. Make sure all children carry a firearm to school, and take classes every day on the proper care and use of a firearm. Then everybody can take one to work too. So if someone shoots at you, you can shoot them back.

Then why don't we hear of similar such incidences occurring anywhere else ? Why can't gun ownership be banned? The constitution is not carved in stone or carried down from the Mount.
posted by infini at 9:29 PM on April 21, 2007


It is also true that if one of the nearby students was armed, 30 lives could have been saved.
posted by BarePaw at 9:06 PM on April 21 [+]
[!]


One could also realize that if Cho and Phillips hadn't been armed, the victims would still be alive.

Or, alternately:

It is also true that if one of the nearby students was armed, more people could have died in the crossfire.

It's only on TV that the good guys are crack shots.
posted by lysdexic at 9:39 PM on April 21, 2007


The constitution is not carved in stone or carried down from the Mount.
posted by infini at 9:29 PM on April 21 [+]
[!]


No, but it's damned hard to change it, and IMHO, that's more of a good thing than a bad one. The key to change is respect, education and compromise.

"With public sentiment, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed." - Abraham Lincon.
posted by lysdexic at 9:43 PM on April 21, 2007


Gah! Abraham Lincoln.
posted by lysdexic at 9:44 PM on April 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


More attention to and importance placed on humans and their diverse indivuality.

Yeah, we're all beautiful special snowflakes, sure. Sadly, we're also all ruled by our base urges a lot of the time, no matter what we pretend.
posted by jonmc at 9:44 PM on April 21, 2007


If that somebody is determined enough to kill, they will find a way with or without guns.

Ah yes, but all "ways" are not equally effective and intention is not result. Do you seriously imagine Mr. Cho could have successfully knifed 32 people to death because he really really wanted to?
posted by scheptech at 9:50 PM on April 21, 2007 [2 favorites]


At some point society is going to have to learn to accept that in a free society, sometimes shit like this happens.

The hysteria about these shootings is the same as the hysteria about 9/11. Statistically, these are NON-EVENTS. Completely destroying 200 years of constitutionally protected rights to prevent future recurrences is just stupid.

Sure, take reasonable precautions to make people safer. But don't make the mistake of calling these kinds of things intolerable. Because as bad as they are, they are tolerable, and democracy can withstand them just fine.
posted by empath at 9:55 PM on April 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


The constitution is not carved in stone or carried down from the Mount.
posted by infini at 9:29 PM on April 21 [+]
[!]

No, but it's damned hard to change it, and IMHO, that's more of a good thing than a bad one. The key to change is respect, education and compromise.

"With public sentiment, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed." - Abraham Lincon.
posted by lysdexic at 9:43 PM on April 21 [+]
[!]


I ask simply because have not changes already taken place to permit a wider range of things not previously permissable? In order to secure our homeland.
posted by infini at 9:56 PM on April 21, 2007


Also, the NASA gunman lived alone and had no friends. The US, imho, is an extremely isolating society, and bonds of social, familial and community ties are probably at the weakest they have been in history. Rage, then, sees violent destruction as the only outlet, and who's to say the NASA guy didn't get hte idea from the coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings on TV or online? Be that as it may, it goes beyond respect, education and compromise - community support, social networks, friends to bitch with over a beer about the bad review, more humanity...

just rambling out loud.
posted by infini at 9:59 PM on April 21, 2007






"Bush ordered top officials to fan out across the country in search of ideas on how to avert shootings"

Said top officials will, of course, be armed to the teeth. Just for protection.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:15 PM on April 21, 2007


If that somebody is determined enough to kill, they will find a way with or without guns.

I can't believe people are still saying this, as if this point is some sort of good excuse to not tighten gun control, even if it were 100% true. And, of course, it's not. Thankfully, it's probably pretty hard for the Chos of the world to get ahold of dynamite, or he could've taken out a lot more of his fellow students, perhaps an entire building full.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:20 PM on April 21, 2007


If that somebody is determined enough to kill, they will find a way with or without guns.

That's bullcrap. In countries without widely available guns these workplace/school killing sprees simply do not happen.

These idiots always use guns. A raging idiot with impulse control issues without a gun will fume a bit and maybe punch a wall, whereas a raging idiot with impulse control issues and a gun is a murder spree/suicide waiting to happen. The gun is the great enabler of idiocy.
posted by Artw at 10:30 PM on April 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


Right, Kraftmatic. Sorry folx. Blame the root beer floats.
posted by lysdexic at 10:31 PM on April 21, 2007


I'm so happy to live in a country where it is harder to get a driver's license than a gun.

/sarcasm.
posted by landis at 10:33 PM on April 21, 2007


And while I doubt we can ever get rid of guns, Chris Rock might be on to something. (Old clip, but makes sense to me).
posted by landis at 10:38 PM on April 21, 2007


posted by homunculus U.S. Rules Made Killer Ineligible to Purchase Gun

Thank goodness we have those laws. Otherwise, killers might have access to guns!
posted by fandango_matt at 10:39 PM on April 21, 2007


"Computers allow you to make more mistakes and faster than anything else, except handguns and tequila."
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:45 PM on April 21, 2007 [3 favorites]


Thankfully, it's probably pretty hard for the Chos of the world to get ahold of dynamite, or he could've taken out a lot more of his fellow students, perhaps an entire building full.

Dude, dynamite is just nitroglycerin and diatomaceous earth. The patent has been expired for ages. It's probably easier to make than gunpowder and a working gun.

My point? None, really. I can see both sides of the argument, mainly because attempts at "controlling" any technology have more or less failed - from fire and the wheel to advanced cryptosystems and information technology - stuff comes out of the box but it doesn't go back in.

The only thing I've seen that can actually "control" information is more information. For guns, the only example I can see of how to live with them safely (like all technology so far, they don't seem to be going away) is to use more information - ideally by creating a better-informed, more empathic or less dysfunctional society. (I did use the word "ideally", right?)

But, yes, people will probably continue to be crazy. They'll still get guns, and if they don't get guns they'll make things instead of getting guns, or attack us with their own hands.

When someone breaks like that, we're not really dealing with a human anymore. We're dealing with a reactionary animal. This lashing out would occur with tooth and claw if it was all the person had. You see it happen in prisons and mental health wards all the time.

The ideal solution is not to restrict access to tools - nor to pre-judge or pre-qualify those likely to snap - but to ask why our society is causing people to snap and fall through the cracks.

Because if we don't ask these questions - and moreover, fix the problems they identify - do we really have the right to call ourselves a "society"? Or are we merely just a bunch of naked apes?
posted by loquacious at 10:52 PM on April 21, 2007


It is also true that if one of the nearby students was armed, 30 lives could have been saved.

It is also true that if we had dual .50BMGs mounted on all of the lampposts in the country and in the corners of every room not in a private dwelling, all of them set to make very large holes in anyone or anything with a firearm, that 30 lives could have been saved.

It is also true that if we had very large mutant bears, or perhaps reconstituted deinonychuses, that had been mentally altered so that they would go into an insane killing rage against anyone with a firearm, large knife, or photograph of Carrot Top, 30 lives would have been saved.

It is also true that if all public buildings had extremely large magnets mounted in the doors and hallways, they would have pinned Cho to the wall before he could have shot anyone and old men could have gummed him to death at their leisure, and 30 lives would have been saved.

It is also true that if we stopped everyone before they entered any public building, made them strip bare-arsed naked, and searched them for weapons, dropping any violators into a pit filled with rotating knives, it would have saved 30 lives.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:57 PM on April 21, 2007 [11 favorites]


Until gun violence is seen as an epidemiological issue, the matter of inviolable "gun rights" is as foolish and short-sighted as allowing people infected with TB to mingle freely with the uninfected, or encouraging those who are HIV+ to have unprotected sex with as many people as possible.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:05 PM on April 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


Until gun violence is seen as an epidemiological issue, the matter of inviolable "gun rights" is as foolish and short-sighted as allowing people infected with TB to mingle freely with the uninfected, or encouraging those who are HIV+ to have unprotected sex with as many people as possible.

Did you see that? Now that is how you set up a straw man. Motherfucker napalmed that shit like it was Da Nang, maaaan.
posted by loquacious at 11:12 PM on April 21, 2007 [3 favorites]


First time I've seen a disease described as a strawman.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:19 PM on April 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


Dude, dynamite is just nitroglycerin and diatomaceous earth. The patent has been expired for ages.

Well, it's a well-known fact that homicidal/suicidal nutbags are always woefully underinformed on the patent laws, and tend to err on the side of caution. Wouldn't want to break any patent laws!

But seriously,

It's probably easier to make than gunpowder and a working gun.

That's no doubt true. But who said anything about making a gun? The point is, it's all too easy for people to go out and buy guns. No need to make 'em!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:27 PM on April 21, 2007


It seems like it would be possible, at the same time, (1) to be pro-gun control, anti-concealed carry, and (2) to acknowledge that if one of the victims had had a gun at the Virginia Tech massacre or NASA shooting, fewer deaths might have occurred.

But you never see the gun control advocates acknowledge this. Why?

I live in a large urban area. Fairly regularly, I see articles in the local newspaper describing an armed crime victim who killed or maimed their would-be robber or attacker. It's not uncommon. I'm not sure where I stand on the issue --- I don't like the idea of a lot of hot-tempered assholes carrying pistols, even if they are licensed. But I still acknowledge that, in these tragic instances, an armed person would very likely have done some good.

Comments like these are asinine:

It's only on TV that the good guys are crack shots.

Generally, when your assailant is so close that you feel menaced enough to use a gun to defend yourself, you don't need to be a crack shot to hit them.
posted by jayder at 11:49 PM on April 21, 2007


I've come around to the point of view of the gun's rights advocates. If only those Amish school girls had been allowed to carry glock 9mm in their bookbags, none of them would have died that day. We need more guns.
posted by stavrogin at 11:53 PM on April 21, 2007


It's relatively easy to make a gun. It's quite difficult to make a gun which is highly portable and has decent accuracy, rapid fire and easy reload capabilities.
posted by maxwelton at 12:00 AM on April 22, 2007


The Second Amendment:

"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

Strict interpretation? Those who bear arms must do so in order to maintain a well regulated militia.

Gun "rights" in this country are completely bonkers. Unless a gun owner is in a militia, it's total bullshit.

The Second Amendment was implemented, not because "everyone ought to be armed", but because militias were vital to the survival of the colonists. Does anyone think guns are vital to the survival of U.S. citizens today?
posted by tzikeh at 12:04 AM on April 22, 2007 [2 favorites]


In countries without widely available guns these workplace/school killing sprees simply do not happen.

Actually, as a resident of a place without widely available guns - Canada, that is* - I'd be inclined to say that it isn't that these sprees don't happen but that it's nearly impossible in legitimate public discourse in such countries to suggest afterward that the availability of guns had nothing to do with it.

I know this'll likely get me nowhere, but I'll just mention for the record that to almost anyone who isn't American, the American gun-control debate looks completely and irredeemably insane. I don't just mean the laws themselves or the Second Amendment's vagaries or the rantings of Ted Nugent - I mean the very terms of the debate, used by both sides, seem like incomprehensible lunacy to a non-American.

(*: I know all about the famous Bowling for Columbine stat on widespread Canadian gun ownership, of which I'm deeply skeptical, but the simple fact is I only know two people in the entire country who own guns - my uncle and a guy who lives up the valley from my mother-in-law, both avid hunters - and I've never even heard tell of anyone who owned their own handgun, and I grew up on military bases.)
posted by gompa at 12:09 AM on April 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


"I mean the very terms of the debate, used by both sides, seem like incomprehensible lunacy to a non-American. "

Oh yes.

The problem is that the ink is in the swimming pool. I don't know how we'd fix you guys up -- hell, maybe issuing a .45 to every 18 year old IS the answer -- I just know that you're a terrible warning to the rest of us.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 1:12 AM on April 22, 2007


"It is relatively easy to make a gun"?
I can't program my VCR.
posted by Dizzy at 1:16 AM on April 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


Tzikeh, the text of the second amendment is unfortunately ambiguous. If the framer's had intended it to apply only to the members of a militia, they could have stated the latter half as "the right of members of the militia to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." On the other hand, by inserting the phrase "well regulated" in front of militia, they clearly grant the government some powers in the matter.

Also, you are ignoring the historical justification for an armed private citizenry bringing skills to the table when they enroll in military service, similar to when Edward I banned all sports but archery on Sunday to try to increase the amount of English longbow men.

The Supreme Court has unfortunately only ruled five times on the second amendment, but despite opportunities to dismiss it as no longer valid, have not done so. Nor have they entirely supported gun rights as an individual right.

There are obviously at least two ways to interpret the second amendment, but I think this makes for a good read on the subject.

This is all a moot point however, as the interpretation of the Second Amendment will vary according to whichever political party is currently in power (or has appointed the judiciary), and there will never be enough of a majority either way to permanently clarify it with a subsequent amendment.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:24 AM on April 22, 2007


Unless he's, you know, Tim McViegh or Ted Kazinsiki. Or pissed off Arabs with box cutters.

spread Canadian gun ownership, of which I'm deeply skeptical

Are you skeptical that the sky is blue? That is another fact that is ALSO highly and easily verifiable if you want to get off the couch and look it up.


I only know two people in the entire country who own guns


Well. You sold me. Anecdotal evidence is the best kind. I've never known anybody who has died in a plane crash. There for those must be a media creation as well.

Does anyone think guns are vital to the survival of U.S. citizens today?

Some people. But it's a thin argument.

There does exist a more substantial argument based some what more soundly on the matter of liberty and principle. Since when is a liberty all about "needs" or survival?

After all. There all sorts of dangerous things that are not strictly "VITAL."

So somebody likes guns. So they want to shoot them responsibly for fun. So what?

It depends on where you live. Where my extended family lives in SE Idaho there is no local LEO coverage for 70 miles. And they have bears and wolves. And now there are Meth labs popping up on BLM land. It's a pretty priveledged white upper middle class asumption to think everybody is equally "protected."

And aside from the rare need for self protection in these rural areas there is the traditional hunting culture. Now you want normal liberal people to join up with a bunch nutty militia types to have gun? I don't think you'd like that much better.

Let's all calm down and remember the vast majority of firearms and fire arms owners never harm anyone.

We have gun laws that are not being enforced because local LEO agencies are incapable.They can barely keep up with the OTHER million unfunded mandates. Like the fucking War on Drugs. Home land security. All this other bullshit.

We have inconsistent gun laws and loop holes. And a crazy gun lobby that in only strengthened every time some hysterical hand-wringer starts piping up about gun bans.

We need to change our violent culture. There ARE other nations with as many or more guns per-capita than the U.S. and they don't have these problems. How many times must this fact be brought up? It's like the same level of cognitive dissonance Republicans have about Iraq or Global Warming. For the last time: It's not the god damned guns. It's US! Prohibitions will not work in America. Go ahead. Keep spinning your wheels and feeling good about your selves talking about militias and banning guns. And in 30 years we will STILL be right where we are now. Maybe worse.
posted by tkchrist at 1:27 AM on April 22, 2007 [2 favorites]


The stats I've seen for Canada were something like 1.2 million handguns, vs. the US 76 million. Long guns were much closer to parity per capita.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:31 AM on April 22, 2007


jayder writes 'Fairly regularly, I see articles in the local newspaper describing an armed crime victim who killed or maimed their would-be robber or attacker. It's not uncommon. I'm not sure where I stand on the issue --- I don't like the idea of a lot of hot-tempered assholes carrying pistols, even if they are licensed. But I still acknowledge that, in these tragic instances, an armed person would very likely have done some good.


What this sort of account leaves out though, are the numbers of victims who get shot and maimed or killed for resisting the robbery.

Armed robber comes into your shop and you pull out your gun, you *might* shoot him. But on the other hand, he might shoot you. Here, when that happens, we just give them the money and wait for them to leave. He's a robber. He wants money, not to shoot you. And the widespread ownership of firearms by shopkeepers is probably likely to make him somewhat nervous and give him itchy trigger finger syndrome.

Money is replaceable. Lives aren't.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:34 AM on April 22, 2007


"It is relatively easy to make a gun"?
I can't program my VCR.


I just watched a PBS special about villages in the Kush in northern Pakistan that are THE leading traffickers and MANUFACTURES of corporate firearms in the WORLD.

They, with no formal training or education, make 9mm pistols and SKS knock-offs in hand forges. Without ELECTRICITY.

You cannot stop the production of guns.
posted by tkchrist at 1:35 AM on April 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


And the widespread ownership of firearms by shopkeepers is probably likely to make him somewhat nervous and give him itchy trigger finger syndrome.

I'd like to cites on that. As far as I know it is not demonstrable by facts.
posted by tkchrist at 1:36 AM on April 22, 2007


How nice for them.
Now how do I get the damned "12:00" to stop flashing?
posted by Dizzy at 1:39 AM on April 22, 2007


"non-corporate" Firearms... ooops
posted by tkchrist at 1:40 AM on April 22, 2007


Now how do I get the damned "12:00" to stop flashing?

Unplug it. Or shoot it with your Pakistani SKS knock off.
posted by tkchrist at 1:41 AM on April 22, 2007


Oh my, this site is depressing. Apparently, we are pretty high on the list for rapes and assaults as well as murders, and murders with firearms (all per-capita). Truly we are a violent nation.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:43 AM on April 22, 2007


Funny, it almost sounds like you're talking about my Grandpa.
posted by Dizzy at 1:43 AM on April 22, 2007


I'd like to cites on that.

I don't have a cite, but it's a fairly logical conclusion. For example, you could compare the numbers of shootings during armed robberies here in the UK with those in the USA. Though I suppose the actual numbers of armed robberies in the UK may be too small to draw meaningful conclusions.

So why do *you* think US robbers shoot store owners? For the sheer hell of it? To prevent subsequent identification? CCTV will do that for you these days, much more reliably and for insignificant amounts of money.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:45 AM on April 22, 2007


tkchrist writes 'They, with no formal training or education, make 9mm pistols and SKS knock-offs in hand forges. Without ELECTRICITY.

'You cannot stop the production of guns.'


Maybe not, but there aren't many Americans likely to go venturing up to the North West Frontier to score a 9mm. It's probably the most dangerous place in the world.

And while they don't have formal training, they do undergo the usual craft apprenticeships, passed down from father to son. Those people have been making firearms continuously since the days of the Raj.

Little Jimmy in Idaho or Utah is hardly likely to possess the skills to whip up anything more than a zip gun in his basement -- a zip gun that will explode and take off a few fingers.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:55 AM on April 22, 2007


Artw: The gun is the great enabler of idiocy.

Amen to that!

It's pretty hard to strangle 30 people or stab them all with a knife. To kill someone without a gun or explosives is a tough job ...


posted by homodigitalis at 2:17 AM on April 22, 2007


Peter your missing the point and I suspect a bit naive. People, if they can't buy guns, will make their own ammo and guns. Even the "lazy fat" American. Maybe especially them. It is not THAT refined a skill. And it is well documented and easily acquired practice.

AS far as you ideas about what is "logical" about defensive firearms use I am afriad it defies about every study I have read on the matter. This is well worn territory and links to these studies and stats have been put here before. While the most famous and over used, the Kleck study, has it's problems (in objectivity especially) it certainly raises some counter intuitive points. You look for the others on yor own and rely less on what you believe to be logical.


So why do *you* think US robbers shoot store owners?

What I THINK is as irrelevant as why YOU think they do. Frankly the "why" is irrelevant in the first place. Without any data we can agree on it's meaningless.

The fact is we DO have a fundamental right to defend your property and life in the face of a deadly threat.

This notion that "it's just property" you should just give up when threatened is a rather specious and privileged one. To some people one paycheck means the difference between having food for your kids or a roof over your head or not. Acquiescing to thuggery and violence is only asking for more of the same. If not for you then for the next person.

While I don't advocate shooting simple muggers I sure as shit won't fault somebody for doing it if a gun has been stuck in their face over and over. Living in fear sucks, bro. Count your self very lucky you don't ever have to live that way. Some people have little choice.
posted by tkchrist at 2:27 AM on April 22, 2007


It is also true that if one of the nearby students was armed, 30 lives could have been saved.

For this to happen, one of the nearby students would not just have to have been armed, they would have had to be willing to kill. Given the ridiculous amount of anti-violence brainwashing the average 22-year-old has received in school (Punch someone? That's a suspension. Threaten to punch someone? That's a suspension. Write a story in which a character punches someone? That's at least considered possible grounds for suspension.), this is fairly dubious. The modern American youth is well-programmed to see dealing with a violent peer as someone else's problem, specifically, an Authority Figure's problem.

The USA has made cultural choices about the value of other people that make letting Joe Random have guns a very bad idea. It is possible to have a society in which free access to guns is OK, because the people are well-taught to be responsible with them, a concept that subsumes in it the idea that hurting other people is bad in itself, not merely something for which you will be punished if you are caught.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 2:35 AM on April 22, 2007


posted by tzikeh Does anyone think guns are vital to the survival of U.S. citizens today?

Police officers and soldiers do.
posted by fandango_matt at 3:35 AM on April 22, 2007


tkchrist writes 'Peter your missing the point and I suspect a bit naive. People, if they can't buy guns, will make their own ammo and guns.

But far, far fewer of them.

Looking at the Kleck study though, that seems to be estimating an extremely high prevalence of defensive gun use. If I were a robber, such a statistic would be an extremely good reason to be going out well armed, and I'd also want to be sure that I shot before being shot.

Call me naive if you wish, but it doesn't seem unreasonable to extrapolate from how I'd feel in this situation to how others would feel.

'Frankly the "why" is irrelevant in the first place. Without any data we can agree on it's meaningless.

I disagree. There was a time when we didn't have data on what caused HIV/AIDS. There were people who hypothesized that it was passed on by exchanging bodily fluids. Listening to those people would have been a pretty good idea.

'This notion that "it's just property" you should just give up when threatened is a rather specious and privileged one. To some people one paycheck means the difference between having food for your kids or a roof over your head or not.

It might just be me, but I think I'd find it much harder to support my family if I were dead.

Acquiescing to thuggery and violence is only asking for more of the same.

Perhaps you should get yourself a functioning police force? The rest of the world seems to manage perfectly well devolving this role to them.

While I don't advocate shooting simple muggers I sure as shit won't fault somebody for doing it if a gun has been stuck in their face over and over. Living in fear sucks, bro. Count your self very lucky you don't ever have to live that way. Some people have little choice.'

So let me get this straight. People are living in fear because everybody is armed and dangerous, therefore the only answer is for them to be armed and dangerous as well? Again, call me naive if you want to, but there surely has to be a better way than that?

And as for the living in fear issue, I actually *do* have experience of the circumstances that you refer to. The problem for me was that if I were to resort to violence or the threat of violence to resolve it, it would have led to escalating violence, probably ending in death or serious injury. With a young family, I wasn't prepared to take that risk. But like you, I won't someone people for shooting someone in this situation either.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:42 AM on April 22, 2007


Point of interest to the people saying that if there were more guns, there would be less deaths: When these shootings happen in places where guns are illegal, it never starts a debate of how guns should be made legal so people would be safer.
posted by slimepuppy at 4:01 AM on April 22, 2007


why do people think we could get rid of guns in our society without starting a serious rebellion? ... there are people who will war against the government rather than surrender their guns

remember waco? ruby ridge? oklahoma city? that could be nothing compared to what an all out gun ban could produce

while you're going on about how many lives would be saved banning guns, don't forget that other lives would be lost in a "war on guns and gun owners" ... don't forget that the anti-terrorist legislation and tactics that many of you find so terrible would start being used against american citizens as a consequences

Little Jimmy in Idaho or Utah is hardly likely to possess the skills to whip up anything more than a zip gun in his basement

yeah, and they probably won't be able to figure out how to make meth, either ... get real, dude, if a bunch of guys in bfe, pakistan can do it, we can, too ... we're better educated and have better resources and technology

Perhaps you should get yourself a functioning police force?

why? ... it's not like our government is legally obligated to protect the people ... oh, yes, our courts have actually ruled that it wasn't

i leave the question of what the purpose of our government IS, seeing as it doesn't feel obligated to protect us, to other minds
posted by pyramid termite at 4:10 AM on April 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's too late, you know. I'm all for gun control and glad to live in Australia where it is, but I've seen these arguments on the interwebs for ten years now, and it's too late for the US. There are too many guns, it's too entrenched in the American psyche, and in their arts and their literature. Even if a contitutional amendment was enacted today, and even if the massive amounts of military spending were diverted to buy back the weapons that people were prepared to give up, too many would remain on the streets and the farms, and too many would be saying, you can have my gun back when you prise it from my cold dead hands.

So solutions need to be found for a society that is over-armed. Maybe enclaves where you strip at the gate, and all your possessions are examined before you enter. Maybe arm everyone and get used to a higher rate of accidental shootings and deliberate suicides. Maybe provide people with bullet proof vests and helmets to go to university in.

But that horse has left that stable and you won't ever get it to the water to drink. I personally can't imagine the US ever giving up the right to be armed. Not now. If some group of nerds sick of being bullied got themselves a huge collection of automatic weapons and took out an entire school population, the same arguments would be there: if the other students/teachers were armed, innocent lives could have been saved.

Hmm, I wouldn't be surprised if the gun lobby didn't arrange a coupla killings some time in the future to increase sales, to get all the innocents in and buying their own automatics.
posted by b33j at 4:44 AM on April 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


I doubt a guy with it's own hands or a knife can kill 32 people
posted by zouhair at 5:02 AM on April 22, 2007


Going after "The Guns" after every "Never Forget" episode makes as much sence as attacking Iraq after 9/11.
posted by Balisong at 5:12 AM on April 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


How do we prevent more such shootings, asks the president?

Spend more money on mental health
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:15 AM on April 22, 2007


pyramid termite writes 'why do people think we could get rid of guns in our society without starting a serious rebellion? ... there are people who will war against the government rather than surrender their guns

remember waco? ruby ridge? oklahoma city? that could be nothing compared to what an all out gun ban could produce'


Terrorists. Jail the lot of them, I say. If they resist, shoot them. After all, having a monopoly over the legitimate use of force is one of the more useful functions of the state.

while you're going on about how many lives would be saved banning guns, don't forget that other lives would be lost in a "war on guns and gun owners" ... don't forget that the anti-terrorist legislation and tactics that many of you find so terrible would start being used against american citizens as a consequences

You say that like it's a bad thing? Here's a clue: when American citizens start using terror tactics to impose their own political agenda against the will of the majority, terrorists is precisely what they are. Why wouldn't you use anti-terrorism legislation to bring them to heel?

yeah, and they probably won't be able to figure out how to make meth, either ... get real, dude, if a bunch of guys in bfe, pakistan can do it, we can, too ... we're better educated and have better resources and technology

I'm not saying that it's impossible -- I'm saying that it makes everything much more difficult for everybody concerned. While a meth lab can turn out thousands of hits of meth in a couple of days, nobody is going to be able to hand-forge thousands of firearms in a similar time. Transportation becomes a problem, because it takes up space. The fact that you can't stamp out the existance of firearms completely is no reason to assume that you can't dramatically reduce their availability.

'why? ... it's not like our government is legally obligated to protect the people ... oh, yes, our courts have actually ruled that it wasn't

So once again, perhaps you should get yourself a functioning police force?

OK, I know that this argument isn't going anywhere. I've read Richard Hofstadter, and so I know that the paranoid style is deeply ingrained in the American political psyche. Feel free to have at it, I'm done.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:59 AM on April 22, 2007


Terrorists. Jail the lot of them, I say. If they resist, shoot them.

that's working great in iraq, from what i hear

all you've done here is make an argument for fascism ... let me know how that works out for you in the u k first, ok?
posted by pyramid termite at 6:04 AM on April 22, 2007


Barepaw: It is almost embarrassing that this still needs to be said, but the old adage is true; guns don't kill people, people kill people.b

It's almost embarrassing that idiots like you still say this shit. And pretend it's obviously "true" and not a truism. And then act arrogantly superior to the wimps who don't like shooting sprees for breakfast.

People with guns kill people. Take away the guns, they don't kill people, or nearly as many people.

And whoever coined the term "101st fighting keyboardists" for the rightwing prowar chickenhawk brigade nailed it. I love all the macho, brave, Steven Seagall-esque posturing in this thread by the boys who like guns. Likely scenario, if any of you were actually involved as a victim in a scene like what happened at VT, is that you would have crapped your pants and shot yourself in the foot trying to get your gun out. And yes you do have to be a crack shot not to hit others in a crowded, panic-stricken room full of people all pushing in the opposite direction (towards you) from the shooter. I doubt any person posting in favor of concealed carry laws and free access to handguns in this thread has *ever* been fired on, or returned fire, in anger. But they sure love to imagine how tough and accurate they would be.

Bull. Shit. Mock bravery behind an anonymous screen name on the internet is pathetic. The entire issue is framed in terms of masculinity and threats thereto.

People without guns don't kill people with the guns they don't have. It's as true and obvious as the converse proposition. And in fact, people defending themselves with guns against criminals with guns are almost equally likely to kill themselves or a bystander, or have a child in the house find the gun and kill someone.

All you brave Steven Seagall wannabes, why don't you just use your super cool juditsu/karate flying leap scissor kick move the next time a stranger fires randomly into a crowd?

Meet panic. It's not a friend of reason.
posted by spitbull at 6:07 AM on April 22, 2007 [3 favorites]


All you brave Steven Seagall wannabes

feel the fury of my straw man's alfalfa fist!
posted by pyramid termite at 6:15 AM on April 22, 2007


Pretty much what's going on here, pyramid, is a passel of straw heros pretending they'd be brave when actually under fire from a madman with two semi-auto pistols in a room full of screaming students with bullets ricocheting off every surface. Yeah, I woulda whipped out my Luger 9mm semi and blown his psycho head right off and been a big hero on the news, that's the ticket.

Bullshit. Not unless you've ever trained under live-fire conditions.
posted by spitbull at 6:19 AM on April 22, 2007


Yep. Best to just leave everything to Blackwater mercs with alliances to those that pay their fees.

You know, privatization and all.
posted by Balisong at 6:23 AM on April 22, 2007


Pretty much what's going on here, pyramid, is a passel of straw heros

is that more than a posse and less than a shit load? ... or is a shitload of straw heros what you get after you pass them through the horses?

b33j has it - it really is too late ... and arguing that everyone wants to be steven seagall clones isn't a real answer to that
posted by pyramid termite at 6:31 AM on April 22, 2007


I doubt a guy with it's own hands or a knife can kill 32 people
Yea, I guess not.
posted by mss at 6:38 AM on April 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


Gun town USA V.S. Gun-free USA
posted by Balisong at 6:46 AM on April 22, 2007


My big test would be this: eliminate all of the guns. Every single one of them. Then let's see if these cases like the holdup, the Johnson Space Center shooting, Columbine and Virginia Tech would have happened by other means (pipe bombs? gas agents? chainsaw wielding murderers).

My point is this: if we remove the guns, would these people who probably already have a prediciltion for mayhem and destruction, simply find other ways of doing it?
posted by tgrundke at 6:57 AM on April 22, 2007


Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols killed 168 people and injured 800 more without firing a single shot. Maybe if they had guns instead of a truck full of legal chemicals made into a bomb fewer would have died.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 7:17 AM on April 22, 2007


I posted this in reply to the Nugent article linked to in the mammoth VT posting, but it is much more appropriate here:

The stupidity and self-serving logic embodied in Nugent's statement is staggering. If everyone is carrying concealed weapons everywhere, it is possible, theoretically, that Columbine/VT type incidents could be stopped earlier. However, it makes just as much sense to figure that whatever lives saved in those incidents would be dwarfed by an astronomical increase in fatalities across the board: road rage incidents, domestic disputes, bar fights, college and high school keg parties, workplace arguments, etc.

Just because you think you are impeccable with regard to the safety and maintenance of your own weapons does not mean that everyone else is. Fuck, most people think they are good drivers, and you tell me what the sort of stupidity and carelessness you witness on a daily basis on the nation's highways and city streets.

Also, Damn Yankees sucked ass.
posted by psmealey at 7:38 AM on April 22, 2007


Balisong, were the guns handed out willy-nilly, or were there some requirements that the owners know what they're doing with them?

Hmmm

""The crime rate wasn't that high to start with. It was 11 burglaries per 1,000 residents in 1981," he said."

It's also worth noting that not eveyone is armed. From the same article:

"Jones said the ACLU challenged the law in a federal court just after it was passed. In response, the city added a clause adding conscientious objectors to the list of those exempt."

...

"Others exempt include the physically and mentally disabled, paupers and those convicted of a felony."

And from here:

"“Greenleaf [Idaho] doesn’t really have crime ... the most violent offense reported in the past two years was a fist fight.” Rather, it’s a statement about preparedness in the event of an emergency, and an effort to promote a culture of self-reliance."

Anecdotes about small towns where the motive is to change the culture. Encourage responsibility, and keep guns away from the people who obviously don't need them. What a concept.
posted by lysdexic at 8:09 AM on April 22, 2007


So conscientiously object. But don't further erode the Bill of Rights for others, and hasten the police state.
posted by Balisong at 9:20 AM on April 22, 2007


I dunno, this is one of those endless debates. If I took both sides I'd say it's *both* a cultural and a legislative problem. My suggestion? Why not make military service mandatory a few weeks out of the year for every U.S. citizen, so when they look at a gun the first thing they think of is homeland defense? (doesn't sound fun though...)

Well, spinning the globe a little bit we can see it works for the Swiss, who's outbreaks of gun violence aren't even worth mentioning as a statistic (and of those that occur, most are not swiss citizens..44% of which do not even live in the country). However even Switzerland is questioning their policy of allowing citizens to own ammunition after the VT shooting.

Still, I watch this country in particular every time this debate occurs, as I really believe a happy country is an armed *neutral* country, that values economic prosperity for its citizens. Even if that's not the real reason, there's definitely something the Swiss are doing right.

If you go down the path of completely outlawing guns then only outlaws will have guns. Think of it this way, if you installed a fancy card-swipe system on your building to catch theives, you'd only catch the ones that compulsively use their card...you'll still have the ones that use crowbars to bypass the whole fancy thing.

And even so...In the mind of the mass shooter, he will find a way with or without guns. The next logical step is home-made explosives. And while I absolutely hate the gun violence that occurs here, I am also sadly thankful explosives are not as big of a problem here as in Iraq.

Gun prohibition is only a bandaid on a much larger sociological dilemma....just like alcohol prohibition was back in a day most of us weren't alive to remember. I find it to be incredibly lazy to advocate gun control but not take into account the bigger picture, such as the factors that motivate crazed killers. (poverty, classism, racism, etc). Sadly anyway you choose to look at this it'll take decades and decades to see results from any kind of reformation, just like many have said here. The gun issue, as well as the sociolgical problems surrounding it, are deeply routed in the American psyche. The real questions are, well, what are the roots of these problems..and what can we do now to provide future generations with a safer environment?

I think we are somewhere in the middle....If you take the U.S. out of the equation and look at Iraq, and then Switzerland...compare and contrast, I think you can find a lot of variables that promote gun violence, and a lot that makes a gun owner not even think of using a gun other than for defence. I won't take a side either way, as I am definitely not wise enough to give the ultimate answer to this debate. But I really think the answer can be found by first taking a good look at where we're coming from rather than where we're going. If we can know ourselves...and get help for those that are struggling, then we're better off. The has to be humanism amongst any laws, otherwise the laws break down society even worse....just my thoughts.
posted by samsara at 9:28 AM on April 22, 2007


Why not make military service mandatory a few weeks out of the year for every U.S. citizen

oh, so now EVERYBODY gets to go to iraq?
posted by pyramid termite at 9:39 AM on April 22, 2007


Mr.Encyclopedia: "Somehow I doubt you believe in the Garden of Eden.."

I'm a SubGenius Christian. I believe in everything, including the possibility that some things I believe in aren't there. I believe in the possibility of nothing, everything, and all variants in between. No matter what the accumulative beliefs of the we of humanity and mutanity, chances are we're all wrong, but no two are wrong in exactly the same way. I find that deliciously heartwarming. We'll all be pleasantly surprised at the end of it all to find our impression of "GOD(s)" was horrendously misinformed, we just don't know in what way. Imagine we're at least half right. Which half? That's the fun part!

There isn't a when that would be preferable any more than there is a where. So here and now is the greatest time to witness the destruction of humanity - it's like having a front row seat! We're so blessed! Viva Entropy!
posted by ZachsMind at 9:43 AM on April 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


jonmc: "we're all beautiful special snowflakes.."

To paraphrase Brad Bird: Everybody's special, which is just another way of saying no one is.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:48 AM on April 22, 2007


guns don't kill people, people kill people

You've got it. Let's get rid of all the PEOPLE!

So if someone shoots at you, you can shoot them back.

Yeah, let's just sit at our desks all day with our guns at the ready pointed toward the door. Maybe that would've saved the receptionist killed by a fired employee in Troy MI the day after Easter.

No wait, she would've had to shoot first, ask questions later, because she was hit before she knew what was happening.

And don't forget to have those guns in one hand while you drive with your other hand. And take 'em into the bank in case someone tries to rob it while you're there. And also to the unemployment office (lots of unhappy people there). And to church. (There've been shootings there.) And and and ...

The cognitive dissonance required to think that a society inundated with guns is a good thing, a safer place, just boggles my own mind.

And speaking of cognitive dissonance, the shop owner who sold the VT massacre guns said he doesn't feel any responsibility - and then added, "I don't think when he bought the guns he was planning this. He bought them five weeks ago."
posted by NorthernLite at 9:51 AM on April 22, 2007


ROU_Xenophobe: "It is also true that if we had very large mutant bears, or perhaps reconstituted deinonychuses, that had been mentally altered so that they would go into an insane killing rage against anyone with a firearm, large knife, or photograph of Carrot Top, 30 lives would have been saved."

I'd like to put in my vote for the very large mutant bears.

NorthernLite: " 'guns don't kill people, people kill people' You've got it. Let's get rid of all the PEOPLE!"

And replace them with very large mutant bears! Brilliant! And grapefruit juice!

Saying guns don't kill people is like saying a hammer doesn't build a house. It's a tool. You can build a house without a hammer. You can kill a person without a gun. It's just easier to do whatever if you have the accomodating tool.

pyramid termite: "EVERYBODY gets to go to iraq?"

Unfortunately no, but if it's any consolation EVERYBODY WANG CHUNG TONIGHT!
posted by ZachsMind at 10:01 AM on April 22, 2007


Why not make military service mandatory a few weeks out of the year for every U.S. citizen

oh, so now EVERYBODY gets to go to iraq?

I don't think that is it. I think making every US citizen have some skin in the game is a good thing. What does the US really demand of its citizens right now? Taxes? Hell, not everyone has to pay (2000). Most of us get money back.

The onus of citizenship versus the rights we demand is askew.

oh yeah, gun control. sorry for the derail.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 10:17 AM on April 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


widespread Canadian gun ownership, of which I'm deeply skeptical

Are you skeptical that the sky is blue? That is another fact that is ALSO highly and easily verifiable if you want to get off the couch and look it up.


Well, consider me humbled.

The Canadian embassy in Washington reports 2.3 million firearm owners, which out of a total population of 30 million equates to a 7.7% rate. (If you count only adults, it's more like 10%.) Wikipedia reports a rate of about 25% for American adults, and though I couldn't find a stat offhand, it's widely noted that handgun ownership is substantially lower in Canada (mainly because Canada's gun laws strictly differentiate between "long arms" for hunting and handguns which are manufactured almost exclusively for the killing of people). These stats are conflated and blurred together in Bowling for Columbine to create an impression of near-parity where none exists.

All of which detracts from my main point, which is that gun culture in the U.S. is a bewildering anachronism to non-Americans, and when you try to talk to Americans about it they tend to get very aggressive very quickly, as if you'd have to be some sort of naive head-in-the-clouds dreamer to think that a civil society could maintain security with gun laws different from America's.

I've never known anybody who has died in a plane crash. There for those must be a media creation as well.

Boy, do I stand corrected on that count.
posted by gompa at 10:18 AM on April 22, 2007


To paraphrase Brad Bird: Everybody's special, which is just another way of saying no one is.

Or it is another way to say that is something we all have in common.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 10:21 AM on April 22, 2007


Me, I think that I'll move to a remote village in a third world country without regular running water and consistent electricity. At worst, I'll be hot, sweaty and dusty. But I won't be fearful, paranoid and isolated.

hmm makes one think about what 'quality of life' really means.

As for compulsive civil service Singapore requires all males aged between 18-22 to complete two years of National Service in the armed forces. Singapore is also one of the few major world cities to be very safe for a woman alone - you can take the MRT [subway, underground etc] at 2am without feeling paranoid.

With half the civil society trained in basics of everything from emergency first aid to crisis management, I've seen accident victims on the side of the road taken care of and made comfortable BEFORE the ambulances ever arrived. I saw the regular crowd on the pavement suddenly reform into a highly trained unit [the men] who ran to the car crash site and just took over managing traffic, helping hte victims etc

That kind of concerted social and community effort also comes from the same training - 'they are all citizens together'.

And yes Singapore has very strict anti gun laws.
posted by infini at 10:28 AM on April 22, 2007


How do we prevent more such shootings, asks the president?

Spend more money on mental health
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:15 AM on April 22 [+] [!]


Wow, some sanity in a thread debating the merits of owning guns. Surely Brandon's comment is something both sides of the issue can agree on, no? Or are the mentally ill still seen as somehow broken? "Aw shucks, be a man and pull yourself up by your bootstraps and all of that?"

Surely to God some kind of answer to preventing these things is a combination of mental health services, a more compassionate society with less violent media and less of this individualist cowboy mentality - to name a few. This is a multifaceted problem with many dimensions, but there are solutions available if the populace wants them. That the President has to ask, well, doesn't really surprise me, since he and his ilk are part of the problem.

Then again, look at the illustrious company we have with other countries that have the death penalty - don't see much of the civilized West there, do you? People do what they think they can get away with - if a country sanctions the death of fellow citizens, well, is it a surprise other people see violence as a solution? The point I'm trying to make is that it feels increasingly that for all the decent, wonderful Americans out there, the people who want the right to shoot (sorry, 'protect') other people are going to continue to hold this country back from progressing into a mature member of the global family of nations - the kind that infini refers to where "we are all citizens together'.

I think spitbull is onto something. Honestly, it's the 21st century. The Second Amendment is not the law on gravity - it can be changed to reflect the needs of the times. Here's hoping America realizes it has to grow up and abandon its frontier mentality. It will be nice when that happens, if ever - you can join the rest of the civilized world which is busy trying to solve problems like adults. Guns don't kill people - people who think solving problems by killing other people when necessary kill people.
posted by rmm at 10:44 AM on April 22, 2007


The onus of citizenship versus the rights we demand is askew.

oh yeah, gun control. sorry for the derail.
posted by YoBananaBoy


No, you've got it right in a nutshell. Ask not what your country can do for you...etc.
posted by lysdexic at 10:51 AM on April 22, 2007


The onus of citizenship versus the rights we demand is askew.

so, i take it that everyone on this site would be ok with being made to serve in iraq, even though many of us are against the war?

yeah, it's a derail, but people ought to think about the consequences of what they advocate, whether it be mandatory military service or banning handguns ... ALL the consequences, not just the ones we're comfortable with
posted by pyramid termite at 11:21 AM on April 22, 2007


Not just mandatory military service, pyramid termite.

How about working in Community Centers? Or cleaning up roadways? Or working in poor county medical centers? There is more to serving your country/gob'ment/community than pulling a trigger.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 11:27 AM on April 22, 2007


The new museum will continue to be used for training when needed, McLean said. Still, the final concept is a far cry from the static exhibit-based museum.

Combining the latest technology with Patton’s inspiring story will create a site the foundation hopes will set a new standard for military museums, and reach out to a broader audience including women, children and families.

“It’s not just about tanks,” he said. “It’s about soldiers, it’s about leadership, it’s about service.”


Via
posted by infini at 11:32 AM on April 22, 2007


that's what samsara was suggesting - mandatory military service

There is more to serving your country/gob'ment/community than pulling a trigger.

such as working and paying taxes?

Amendment XIII
Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.


looks to me like you'll have to amend the constitution first
posted by pyramid termite at 11:35 AM on April 22, 2007


such as working and paying taxes?

You work for youself, pyramid, not for the country.

And dropping the First Amendment to say you don't owe the country anything but money? That is a curb-bite to the social contract.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 11:57 AM on April 22, 2007


You work for youself, pyramid, not for the country.

and i pay taxes to myself, too?

And dropping the First Amendment

learn how to read ... i see no reason to have ignorant and self-righteous people tell the rest of the country what to do when they can't even manage to tell the 13th amendment from the 1st

but you know what i should do with my time better than i do ... THAT'S a curb-bite to the notion of intelligence
posted by pyramid termite at 12:08 PM on April 22, 2007


that's what samsara was suggesting - mandatory military service

Not entirely, I was saying that we should look closely at the Swiss....who are neutral, and have their citizens armed as a militia for self defense. The policies behind the invasion of Iraq are definitely not neutral.
posted by samsara at 12:13 PM on April 22, 2007


I read that too fast. Sorry. Sometimes I knee-jerk instead of read and comprehend.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 12:16 PM on April 22, 2007


map of gun violence, worldwide


the company one keeps, etc
posted by matteo at 12:17 PM on April 22, 2007


ok ... another point ... our constitution IS part of our social contract

i have no objection to voluntary programs or even voluntary service programs that would last several years and allow the participants to have their college paid for

but this is way off topic ...
posted by pyramid termite at 12:19 PM on April 22, 2007


the company one keeps, etc

such as russia?

No handguns, no full-auto. Very rare exception -- retired high-rank officers guns given in reward, usually such guns carry rich engraving and golden plates with officer name, congratulations, etc; it's only exception when civilian given license for the rest of life;

brazil?

tighter laws ... worse rate of gun deaths
posted by pyramid termite at 12:29 PM on April 22, 2007


To paraphrase Brad Bird: Everybody's special, which is just another way of saying no one is.

To paraphrase a children's movie reduces the discussion to its maturity level.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:30 PM on April 22, 2007


Another damn "BIG SHOOTING TRAGEDY! What do we DO?!?" thread?

Dear Jesus, please send a pedophile hurricane.
posted by davy at 12:33 PM on April 22, 2007


Blazecock Pileon: "To paraphrase a children's movie reduces the discussion to its maturity level."

It wasn't just a children's movie. It was a family movie. Adults could appreciate it just as well as children. The Incredibles deals with a wide variety of subjects and is multi-layered in complexity.

I paraphrased a theme expressed by the writer of said movie. Not the film itself. The actual quote is a dialogue between two characters (Dash & his mother to be precise) and a similar sentiment is then echoed later by the show's antagonist. That alone catapults this film as far more than a mere dismissive children's movie, but I could cite a dozen other instances easily which further illustrate the magnificence of the film in question. I shall spare you the details unless you make the mistake again of dismissing The Incredibles as immature and not worthy of being referenced in an adult forum such as this.

As for the maturity level of this discussion, I dare say nothing I've done or said could reduce the discussion any way prior to my arrival to it. I'm simply not that talented.

But thank you Blazecock Pileon, for so maturely admonishing me as childish, because I happen to appreciate the work of Brad Bird and his colleagues over at Pixar as more than mere child's play.

By the way, Iron Giant RULED, man! If you disagree with me, you suck. Nyah nyah nyah nyah!
posted by ZachsMind at 12:59 PM on April 22, 2007 [1 favorite]



And dropping the First Amendment


Those are our rights granted by "Our Creator" whateverthehell that is.
posted by Balisong at 1:03 PM on April 22, 2007


It's all because of Original Sin. We're all born with teh evil in us.

ALL of us.
posted by konolia at 1:03 PM on April 22, 2007


Yeah, I fucked that up pretty good. Here, let me bend over so you do have to strain yourself.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 1:10 PM on April 22, 2007


In case any of you don't know, the UK totally outlawed all handguns in 1997. Gun crime has since more than doubled. It turns out criminals who don't respect the law don't respect a gun ban either.

Does anyone think guns are vital to the survival of U.S. citizens today?

No, probably not. But neither is habeus corpus.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 1:11 PM on April 22, 2007


In case any of you don't know, the UK totally outlawed all handguns in 1997. Gun crime has since more than doubled. It turns out criminals who don't respect the law don't respect a gun ban either

Worth remembering that we still only had 50 murders involving firearms in England and Wales, struggling to find figures for all of the UK but that gives you an idea.

And according to those figures 54% of gun crime can be accounted for by three areas, London, Manchester and the West Midlands.

So in high crime areas, gun crime is increasing, however on the whole its flat out inarguable that virtually no guns beats a fuck ton of guns hands down (except for in a fight, obviously).
posted by Reggie Knoble at 1:27 PM on April 22, 2007


Pyramid Termite: "but this is way off topic ..."

I believe this thread was supposed to be about the NASA shooting, but less than a dozen responses into it, topic had drifted deliciously. God, I love The Blue.

"Hey! No force fields!"

"You started it!"

"Mom!"

"Bob! Intervene!"

"You want me to intervene? Okay! Fine! I'm intervening!"


Many moons ago on a BBS the SysOp created a message board specifically called "Topic Drift" where anything goes and often went. Good times. =)
posted by ZachsMind at 1:37 PM on April 22, 2007




Zachsmind: and don't know how many moons ago in a now defunct community board it was titled the "Opinion's room" :) Mayhap we need MetaPoV? Say in pale pink to help us overcome our frothing irrationality? ;p
posted by infini at 2:16 PM on April 22, 2007


Newt Gingrich blames “Liberalism” for VA Tech massacre

Newt Gingrich wins asshole of the month.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:11 PM on April 22, 2007


Random thoughts: I live maybe 15 miles away from NASA's Johnson Space Center. When the incident was happening, I had just gone out in the car to run some errands, and some sketchy information about an "unidentified armed guman at NASA" came over the radio.

The first thing I thought was, "How come you never hear about unarmed gunmen?"

The second thing I though was, "It must be Lisa Marie Nowak."

Later on -- I don't have a citation, whether it was on the radio, local TV, network TV, the Houston Chronicle or the New York Times -- I heard that 10 people are killed in workplace violence every week. I believe it. There was another case in Houston just a few weeks ago, a man who was waiting in a break room to pick up his wife from work. He was shot by another employee who no one ever thought could do such a thing.

It happens every week, somewhere in the US. In an office park or a shopping mall or a warehouse or (yes) a post office.

I'm getting so weary of the gun control debates. Here in Texas, the state legislature is considering a measure to allow those who have concealed handgun permits to take their guns to work, provided that they live them locked in the car in the parking lot. The gun lobby is in favor, the business lobby is against, who knows how it will play out. Meanwhile, NASA, as a federal reservation, was off-limits for guns, buut an employee brought one there anyhow. The prohibition did not stop him.

What are we to do, put metal detectors on every office door?

I wish someone would come forward with a campaign like the anti-smoking campaigns to convince people that guns are not cool. Tell us the gun you bought because you thought it would protect you ended up in the middle of a family argument gone bad. Tell us the gun you're sure you kept locked up ended up in the hands of your fiver-year old. Tell us that you tried to kill yourself quickly and cleanly, and ended up blind and still alive. Just tell us and convince us that we don't need guns. Change our minds, and the laws will follow.
posted by Robert Angelo at 4:31 PM on April 22, 2007


- In case you were wondering who’s to blame for the Virginia Tech massacre, here's a list of over 50, with the appropriate media attribution via Barry Ritholz blog
posted by infini at 6:26 PM on April 22, 2007


provided that they live them locked in the car in the parking lot

What a dumb idea. So now we will have thousands more stolen firearms on the streets.

What a predictable knee-jerk cluster fuck this thread has become.

Peter McDermott suggested fixing our police force. Okay. Exactly. Yes. Let's start there.

But what you, and our European friends (and our white upper middle class countrymen safe in their enclaves) fail to realize is that there IS a deficit in protection across America. A safety divide in terms of class and race.

People do not feel safe in many areas of this country for legitimate reasons. That there are certain areas of our country that are very dangerous places. Gun may or may not hep them. So what. They FEEL that they do. And they feel that way for a good reason that you in your friggin safety glass towers don't see.

Sure, our media distorts this perception of where crime happens to the middle class and it fuels their paranoia. So the likely outcome of "fixing" our police force in the minds of our middle class often leads to serious Civil Rights issues. It's the easy way. It's the extension of our violent macho culture.

Given who is currently in charge of this country - unapologetic torturers - is this who we want "FIXING" our law enforcement problems? Can you guess how they would go about that?

All of the most hysterical anti-gun voices are so missing the big picture, so willing to stereotype gun owners, and so willingly ignoring important facts it's impossible to have any serious debate.

The facts are your not getting rid of guns off the planet. Those that want them are gonna get them. Bans simply will not work and are unprincipled. yes a hand gun ban would have saved a few lives at VT. But if he was as nuts as he appears he would have used a shotgun. So we ban those. So he uses a dear rifle? So we ban those. So he uses a 10 gallon gas can and chains the doors of that class room.

Okay. Maybe each time a life is saved. But at what cost down the road?

The fact is the over whelming majority of gun owners in the US never shoot anybody.

The fact is the rest of the world has NOT figured this gun thing out. Europe and Canada is what you guys mean when you say there is no "problem" with guns in the rest of the world. YOU are not the rest of the world. You are a tiny fraction of it. Wake up. The rest of the world is rife with firearms and violence.

The fact is most European states have a long, LONG, history of not allowing fire arms in hands of the masses and never developed a firearms culture. Europe never really NEEDED to develop a firearms culture. The fact is America is not god damned Europe Although, if we change our culture, I think we will be more Europe eventually.

So this irrational fear mongering of guns and gun owners is fruitless. Christ. You may as well be like Ann Coulter and substitute the word "Muslims." Guns are objects. Dangerous objects. They should be controlled. But you cannot deny them to people that have them now and feel they need them. It won't work. Address why they think they need them. And don't treat them like this "need" is irrational. Because in many cases it is not.

The fact is America has a deep seated CULTURAL violence problem. It's a very complicated thing. It's rooted in social justice. It's rooted in a class and a widening cultural divide.

We need to address how we feel about resolving our inter-personal problems and not turn to frigging deadly violence as our main solution. We need to make people safe in their homes. This is a much better way to resolve the issue than stripping away another fucking liberty. How about we legalize drugs and support equal social justice? Huh? How about that?

How many more of our freedoms must we put up for sale? How much more must we entrench the power class? How much more power you want to lend them at YOUR expense?

The rich will get Stem Cell research.

The rich will always be able to get abortions.

The rich will always have clean air and water.

The rich will always have private non-globally warm nature preserves.

And now the rich will ALWAYS be able to have armed goons and guns.
posted by tkchrist at 6:27 PM on April 22, 2007 [5 favorites]


yes, tkchrist ... and it AMAZES me that a group of people who don't trust or approve the government when it comes to war, civil rights, drug laws, sex laws, abortion laws, natural disasters, whatever, suddenly feel the government can be trusted to get rid of everyone's guns and hold a monopoly on force without abusing it

really?

People do not feel safe in many areas of this country for legitimate reasons.

one reason people might not feel safe is that they live in an area that's isolated and it might take the county sheriff's department at least a half-hour ... maybe even much longer ... just to GET there

and don't think that just because you live out in the boondocks that crimes can't happen out there

why should law abiding people give up their guns just because criminals can't behave themselves?

by the way, i live in a city and i don't own a gun, so i'm not one of those steven seagall wannabes ... i'm just a person who applies reason and common sense to things, not hysteria and wishful thinking ... and let's face it, a lot of the anti-gun arguments i've been reading ARE wishful thinking
posted by pyramid termite at 6:52 PM on April 22, 2007


and let's face it, a lot of the anti-gun arguments i've been reading ARE wishful thinking

Well, I agree it's wishful thinking to believe a country as limp-dicked and psyco about guns and violence as the US is ever going to give them up. But the other arguments are sound, and backed up by evidence. You all get offended whenever someone points out how things work in the UK or Canada or Australia - it's true these places never had the gun culture the US does, so maybe they aren't comparable, but just a look at the numbers reveals that something different is going on.

It's not "wishful thinking" to point out that giving the robber your money is completely fucking more sensible than trying to be a hero and pulling a gun on them.

It's not "wishful thinking" to point out that your average ordinary citizen would most likely be pretty useless in stopping a shooting rampage, even if they were allowed to carry their gun.

It's not "wishful thinking" to point out that those friendly, law-abiding gun owners can snap, sometimes, too. Or that they can be lazy.

It's not "wishful thinking" to point out that it's not a smart idea to make the foundation of your demoracy the theory that private citizens with weapons should be able to overthrow the powers that be with violence. It's not "wishful thinking" to point out that the powers that be happen to own cluster bombs and fighter planes and missiles and tanks, and your Glock ain't going to mean shit when you finally decide to stand up to the tyrants.
posted by Jimbob at 7:22 PM on April 22, 2007


>>...provided that they live them locked in the car in the parking lot

>What a dumb idea. So now we will have thousands more stolen firearms on the streets

To clarify, current state law allows employers to forbid employees from taking their guns onto employer property. That includes buildings and the parking lot.

The proposed change would curtail that employer right, and expand gunowner rights, by allowing guns at the workplace, but not inside the building. Presumably, a disgruntled employee could then "lose it," go out to his car and get his gun, then come back and shoot up the place. The gun lobby says that gun owners need to be able to carry their guns in their cars on the streets and highways while commuting to and from work. The business owners don't want the guns anywhere on or near their workplace. This is a "clash of the titans" between two powerful interests in state politics, and it's interesting (yet disturbing) to see how it will play out.

As I said, it didn't make a difference in the NASA case, since guns were forbidden there anyhow.
posted by Robert Angelo at 7:25 PM on April 22, 2007


I think the employers have the right to say what can be allowed on their premises or not, surely. But it's irresponsible to leave your gun in a car.
posted by tkchrist at 7:41 PM on April 22, 2007


It's not "wishful thinking" to point out that giving the robber your money is completely fucking more sensible than trying to be a hero and pulling a gun on them.

it IS wishful thinking to assume that every person who pulls a gun on you wants to rob you

It's not "wishful thinking" to point out that your average ordinary citizen would most likely be pretty useless in stopping a shooting rampage, even if they were allowed to carry their gun.

it IS wishful thinking to pretend that shooters would not notice that someone had a gun shooting back at them and would have to take cover, which would impair their ability to shoot accurately

that's not useless


It's not "wishful thinking" to point out that those friendly, law-abiding gun owners can snap, sometimes, too. Or that they can be lazy.


it IS wishful thinking to assume that the vast majority of gun owners will snap or be lazy with fatal consequences


It's not "wishful thinking" to point out that it's not a smart idea to make the foundation of your demoracy the theory that private citizens with weapons should be able to overthrow the powers that be with violence.


it IS wishful thinking to think that governments never need overthrowing or that people without weapons are very likely to do it

It's not "wishful thinking" to point out that the powers that be happen to own cluster bombs and fighter planes and missiles and tanks, and your Glock ain't going to mean shit when you finally decide to stand up to the tyrants.

it IS wishful thinking to say that when the powers that be have invaded iraq and the amateurs with glocks and whatever else they can scrape together are holding them off

yep, people with guns and such can't hold off the government unless they're in iraq, in which case they're magically able to, because the great liberal orthodoxy says so

by the way ... after katrina, why would any thinking person trust the government to protect them?

after the war on drugs and the war on terror and prohibition, why would any thinking person trust the government to win a war on guns?

wishful thinking ...
posted by pyramid termite at 7:42 PM on April 22, 2007


Yoo-hoo! MeTa! (Maybe I should use BLINK too?)
posted by davy at 7:50 PM on April 22, 2007


The fact is most European states have a long, LONG, history of not allowing fire arms in hands of the masses and never developed a firearms culture. Europe never really NEEDED to develop a firearms culture.

This is precisely why there is no German word for "shooting festival."
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:00 PM on April 22, 2007


This is precisely why there is no German word for "shooting festival.

Gewehrerscheinen?
posted by tkchrist at 8:05 PM on April 22, 2007


pyramid termite, please don't encourage him.
posted by tkchrist at 8:07 PM on April 22, 2007


Schießenfest?
posted by tkchrist at 8:09 PM on April 22, 2007


Look I'm gonna keep guessing in my bad German until you tell me.
posted by tkchrist at 8:09 PM on April 22, 2007


Feuerwaffewettbewerb?
posted by tkchrist at 8:11 PM on April 22, 2007


Der bangbangenfest? Oh. Wait I think that is something else entirely.
posted by tkchrist at 8:12 PM on April 22, 2007


farfunshooten
posted by pyramid termite at 8:14 PM on April 22, 2007


BTW. We get it ROU.

But I don't think Germany's 8% firearm ownership population constitutes the critical mass to form a "firearms culture." Except in the most trivial hobbyist sense (no insult to you rabid German gun nuts out there... Sie gehen!!). At least compared to America's 50%.

Anyhow. It was funny. But. Perhaps you did see my use of the word "most" before European.
posted by tkchrist at 8:32 PM on April 22, 2007


To paraphrase Brad Bird: Everybody's special, which is just another way of saying no one is.

This is a derail, yet timely: Brad Bird flat-out stole the theme for The Incredibles from Kurt Vonnegut's short story Harrison Bergeron.

"They keep creating new ways to celebrate mediocrity, but if someone is genuinely exceptional..."
posted by tzikeh at 8:37 PM on April 22, 2007


derailing further, the entire text of Harrison Bergeron

one of my favourite short stories
posted by infini at 8:42 PM on April 22, 2007


hang on... can I derail a thread I started? [ponders deeply]
posted by infini at 8:43 PM on April 22, 2007


hang on... can I derail a thread I started? [ponders deeply]

Don't see why not, can't run detrains without derails.
posted by lysdexic at 9:01 PM on April 22, 2007


ah yes and denial isn't just another river in egypt ;p
posted by infini at 9:25 PM on April 22, 2007


All this country needs is another Lincoln to split derails.
posted by lysdexic at 9:29 PM on April 22, 2007


This is precisely why there is no German word for "shooting festival."

Todschmerzenfestival.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:10 PM on April 22, 2007


Todschmerzenfestival

I went to that once. The schnitzengruber was dry.

And then they hit me with it.

Sooooo aptly named.
posted by tkchrist at 10:31 PM on April 22, 2007


Are there any studies that show reducing gun ownership reduces homicides effectively? I would have thought that to be the case, but I'm intrigued by the country stats that show a higher murder rate in the US than the UK or Canada even after you subtract out all the firearm murders.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:44 AM on April 23, 2007


BrotherCaine, I expect there are studies showing it both reduces and increases homicides. Gun statistics are like creation science research; both sides will happily figure out their position, then go looking for evidence that it's correct.

I do know of at least some evidence (mentioned above) that outlawing guns increases gun crime, but I wouldn't be surprised if someone came along with a link to a study showing the opposite. It seems to me that there is at best a tenuous statistical link between gun law and gun crime. That's not too surprising; you would think that banning drugs would reduce drug use, but again the evidence is all over the place.

But even assuming we had solid statistical evidence that guns were wonderful/dreadful, would that be enough to endorse a position? At some point you must make an argument from principle.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 3:16 AM on April 23, 2007


"I aim for the stars - but sometimes I hit my co-workers"

(flippant, I know - but at times like this I fear for my friends in my former workplace. Too many places use performance reviews and the like as a weapon; is it any wonder when someone decides to fight back?)
posted by Pinback at 3:19 AM on April 23, 2007


Anyone watch Medium? A similar scenario played out in an episode a couple weeks back.
posted by schleppo at 8:30 AM on April 23, 2007


Don't see why not, can't run detrains without derails.

ATTENTION PASSENGERS, this detrain will now be running as an A train. Passengers requiring detrain service are advised to change trains at Canal Street.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:44 AM on April 23, 2007


But please, please, don't step on derails. Especially that third one.
posted by lysdexic at 9:44 AM on April 23, 2007


I do know of at least some evidence (mentioned above) that outlawing guns increases gun crime.

In the Kleck and other studies that show how conceal carry effects crime rates there is indeed a very basic flaw. Other than some bias on behalf of the researchers that is always the reason people not paying attention dismiss the studies.

And that flaw is that when criminals have a place to go that is easier pickings... they go there.

So in places with conceal carry laws crime dropped. And it increased in surrounding areas without conceal carry.

BUT. What if every place had essentially the same laws? It's not like conceal carry is going to discourage the total amount of crime in any significant way. Criminals aren't going to just quit becuase it's now equally dangerous every where. It's a fact you only really impact rates of crime by good economic and social justice policies, corrections and rehabilitation reform, and efficient policing. Oh. And drug treatment.

But. Essentially hoverboards is correct. It's a principle and public health issue.
posted by tkchrist at 3:11 PM on April 23, 2007


I doubt any person posting in favor of concealed carry laws and free access to handguns in this thread has *ever* been fired on, or returned fire, in anger. But they sure love to imagine how tough and accurate they would be.

I'm in favor of both, and I have both been fired on, and fired a handgun in self-defense. I wasn't tough, that's for sure, but I was accurate - I fired in the air, which is exactly where I was aiming. It was sufficient to scare away the kid who shot wildly at me with a .22. I was scared shitless, and the entire experience was really unpleasant, to state the obvious. I'm the antithesis of a tough guy. I'm very fortunate that I wasn't hurt, and that the kid who tried to hold me up wasn't hurt either.

It's not "wishful thinking" to point out that giving the robber your money is completely fucking more sensible than trying to be a hero and pulling a gun on them.

It has nothing to do with being a hero, and everything to do with preserving your own skin. I've been held up repeatedly, and if I thought I would have a better chance by handing over my wallet, that's what I'd do even if I was armed. If someone pulls a knife on you, though, having a gun lets you keep him farther away, if you can produce it in time. On at least one occasion, I was able to get someone to leave me alone by just showing the butt of the gun.

It's not "wishful thinking" to point out that it's not a smart idea to make the foundation of your demoracy the theory that private citizens with weapons should be able to overthrow the powers that be with violence. It's not "wishful thinking" to point out that the powers that be happen to own cluster bombs and fighter planes and missiles and tanks, and your Glock ain't going to mean shit when you finally decide to stand up to the tyrants.

Cluster bombs and fighter planes and missiles and tanks are very good for conventional warfare, but not so good for pacifying a population. For that, you need men on the ground with rifles, who are just as vulnerable to getting shot as everyone else.

I've read Richard Hofstadter, and so I know that the paranoid style is deeply ingrained in the American political psyche.

It seems to me that the "paranoid style" is justified by a cursory reading of history - governments cannot be guaranteed to serve their constituents, etc.

Relying on the state for protection is simply not a viable option for many people. But the arguments on both sides of the gun-control debate are so fantastically obtuse, it simply amazes me. The idea that anyone will be able to make a gun in his home, and therefore nothing would change if guns were outlawed, is absurd. The idea that there is more training and regulation of cars than guns is absurd. If this mentally unbalanced English major wasn't able to buy high-capacity repeating pistols, he wouldn't have been able to kill thirty-two people. The fact that people with known mental issues can legally get guns with ease is criminal.
posted by me & my monkey at 3:33 PM on April 23, 2007


It's not "wishful thinking" to point out that the powers that be happen to own cluster bombs and fighter planes and missiles and tanks, and your Glock ain't going to mean shit when you finally decide to stand up to the tyrants.

Although you are probably right, it is worth pointing out that the military is not necessarily going to have a homogeneous response in support of tyranny.
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:19 AM on April 24, 2007


The idea that anyone will be able to make a gun in his home, and therefore nothing would change if guns were outlawed, is absurd.

Strawman. Nobody said "nothing" would change if guns were outlawed. Just that there would STILL be guns available to those with the motivations, cash, and will to get them. The technology is not being erased - it easily copied and firearms produced since 3rd worlders are doing it with amazing quality and efficiency without electricity—one gun at a time (BTW the guns manufactured in Pakistan DO make it here for those that said "nobody is going to the Kush to buy guns" - The Kush is coming HERE) Nor would the desire to use the technology in America be disappearing. Banning guns won't alter our culture. And we have to alter the culture first.
posted by tkchrist at 1:26 AM on April 25, 2007


« Older defensive architecture   |   It's a small town after all. Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post