I told you I was hardcore
March 26, 2006 9:20 AM   Subscribe

Dead ravers littered the floor. A gunman/rave kid walked into the Capitol Hill house Saturday morning during an after party for the 'Better Off Undead' rave. With a pistol grip shotgun he killed 7 men, two women, and then himself.
posted by The Jesse Helms (212 comments total)
 
Blame X
posted by caddis at 9:24 AM on March 26, 2006


"now"?
posted by matteo at 9:28 AM on March 26, 2006


"Don't eat the brown acid; I repeat, don't eat the brown acid."
posted by boaz at 9:28 AM on March 26, 2006


This was two blocks from my house. My wife and I awoke to gun shots yesterday morning. I can't begin to imagine what those people were going through just down the street. It sounds trite but my thoughts and prayers are with them.

(Incidentaly, if any MeFi-ers know of funds set up for the vicitims families or other ways to help I'd love to hear about it).

Als
posted by lucasks at 9:30 AM on March 26, 2006


There's something particularly horrible about this:

Clemente was getting ready for his morning bike ride when he heard the gunfire, ran downstairs and found his front door open and a shooting victim – dressed all in black - fallen inside. The man was bleeding profusely from his side.

"I was shot," the man told Clemente.

Clemente said the man was wearing clear plastic gloves with blinking lights at the tip of each finger. "He was saying 'take these off me."Clement said he didn't want to remove anything police might deem important, so he left the gloves on the man.

posted by digaman at 9:31 AM on March 26, 2006 [1 favorite]


(ugh... Als was the start of an also I meant to delete. Please ignore)
posted by lucasks at 9:31 AM on March 26, 2006


Local Seattle news video.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 9:37 AM on March 26, 2006


This is horrible.
Anyone wanna bet this gets spun into some sort of "anti-rave" legislation?
posted by Thorzdad at 9:47 AM on March 26, 2006


what a seriously fucked up thing for someone to do

.
posted by pyramid termite at 9:56 AM on March 26, 2006


.
posted by trip and a half at 10:01 AM on March 26, 2006


.
posted by nola at 10:04 AM on March 26, 2006


Thorzdad writes "Anyone wanna bet this gets spun into some sort of 'anti-rave' legislation?"

Certainly. There's nothing a pointless law can't fix.
posted by brundlefly at 10:12 AM on March 26, 2006


Oct 20, 2000: "George W. and Laura Bush were warmly welcomed to Grand Rapids, ... with a light show as the Bushes walked in, people were given glow sticks while Bush greeted the fanatical crowd."

April 16, 2003: The "RAVE" Act ... passed both the House and the Senate despite the fact there had been no public hearing, debate or vote in Congress this year. Due to overwhelming opposition to the "RAVE" Act, legislators were forced to remove some of the most egregious language before it passed. ... the original bill suggested that prosecutors should view the sale of water and the presence of glowsticks or massage oil as evidence of drug use.
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:20 AM on March 26, 2006


digiman, that was disturbing, and this was too.
"He put his weapon to his mouth and he fell down," Lowe said. "The guy has a shotgun and puts it in his mouth. It's not something you want to see every day." (emphasis mine)
posted by dabitch at 10:24 AM on March 26, 2006


More here, here and here.

A post at the the MySpace-page for the group "Seattle Ravers" has party pictures of several of the people that were killed.

---

The real story here isn't about ravers, but about a hunter and gun collector, leading a quiet life with his twin brother, until he snaps and kills six young people.

The local TV station KOMO4 reports:
"A Seattle Police SWAT team and bomb squad raided a North Seattle apartment Saturday night looking for evidence that neighbors say is tied to the shooting on Capitol Hill that morning which left seven dead.

KOMO 4 News has learned that inside the apartment, police found guns, ammunition, and a hand grenade.

Officially, police say they were just there to issue a search warrant, but the people who live here told us, police tell them there was a connection to the Capitol Hill shooting.

Police came to search an apartment where twin brothers have lived for the past four or five years. When one of them came home, police put him in handcuffs and took him away.

"Well, they said it was in connection with the shootings down on Capitol Hill that happened," said apartment manager Regina Gray.

The folks who run the apartments tell us police told them little else. But, we do know, officers evacuated the entire third floor of the complex where the brothers lived.

We've also been told, police collected weapons, numerous rounds of ammunition and a grenade out of the apartment.

On top of that, apartment managers tell us one of the brothers drove a black pick-up truck similar to the one police say the shooter drove to the Capitol Hill murders.

Those who knew them can't believe one of the brothers may have murdered six people and injured two others at a Capitol Hill house party, before turning the gun on himself.

"I wouldn't suspect them of anything," said assistant manager Jim Pickett, adding he would be shocked to hear if they were involved in the shootings.

"I couldn't see them hurtin' a thing," added apartment manager Gordon Gray. "I mean, they like to hunt. But other than that, hey, they're not harmful."

posted by iviken at 10:24 AM on March 26, 2006


My heart goes out to the families, but:

"We're all asking the same question, how could this happen in our city?"


Err....something about the 2nd amendment comes to mind.

Awaits flamewar
posted by lalochezia at 10:37 AM on March 26, 2006


"dead ravers littered the floor"? "a gunman/rave kid"?

It was a "zombie party" not a "rave". Shouldn't that say "dead zombies littered the floor" and "a gunman/zombie?". Not trying to split hairs, but I'm dubious of the political spin "The Jesse Helms", for reasons known only to himself" has chosen to put on this tragedy.

Personolly I feel several million times more threatened by the fact that it's allright to have and sell weapons intended only for "hunting people", than I am by the fact that some people like to listen to repetitive music and dance all night.

But the intention of this FPP as well as the first link would seem to be to draw a connection between this apparently senseless mass murder and the phenomenon of the "rave". Whyzzat?
posted by dinsdale at 10:38 AM on March 26, 2006


dinsdale: he did have glowy thingies on his fingers.... just sayin'..
posted by trinarian at 10:44 AM on March 26, 2006


No matter what kind if party these folks started out at, the tragedy occurred at somebody's house afterwards.

This site is collecting articles and info about the incident, including links to crisis hotlines and such for those affected. Lucasks, I bet the links you're looking for will show up there.
posted by jdfalk at 10:47 AM on March 26, 2006




*shudder*
posted by darkstar at 10:51 AM on March 26, 2006


Not far from where I used to live. Seattle has so little violent crime, too, so this is doubly strange.

a weapon Kerlikowske said was designed "for hunting people."

Sensationalistic tripe. The point of a pistol grip shotgun is to more easily manuever it inside confined spaces - it's pretty much the perfect weapon for home defense. The thing is, the big argument against handguns is that they're easily concealed. A shotgun - regardless of whether it has a buttstock - is not. Why didn't people start running and screaming the moment they saw him coming with it?

My real question, though, is how in the hell did he have access to a hand grenade? That sets off all kinds of alarm bells because I was under the (possibly mistaken) impression it was flat out impossible to legally possess one, regardless of what kind of licence you have. Civilians with access to weapons for home defense is all well and good, but access to high explosives/fragmentation devices is not.
posted by Ryvar at 10:51 AM on March 26, 2006


It was a "zombie party" not a "rave".

Uhm... well, from the post by a guy who went:

"I went to a rave last night. Better Off Undead."
posted by Auz at 10:57 AM on March 26, 2006


you know man, when the zombie muslim islamofascist hijackers crashed into the big buildings there was an inferno and it was raining people onto the plaza below, and, like, dude, people explode like watermelons when that happens. talk about your littered crime scene. this raver thing was awesome, but, jesse, dude, like, 9/11 ruled.
posted by quonsar at 11:00 AM on March 26, 2006


Err....something about the 2nd amendment comes to mind.

So...you're kind of an idiot?
posted by radiosig at 11:00 AM on March 26, 2006



posted by isopraxis at 11:02 AM on March 26, 2006


Man, this is going to reflect poorly on creepy, introverted gun collectors everywhere.
posted by jenovus at 11:06 AM on March 26, 2006


heh. regardless of what the seriously flawed "live preview" shows, isopraxis, img tags must be closed.


posted by quonsar at 11:06 AM on March 26, 2006


Why didn't people start running and screaming the moment they saw him coming with it?

My guess is that they, um, did.

If you're talking about people on the streets, it was 7AM. Most people were probably just waking up, or hadn't awakened yet.
posted by baphomet at 11:14 AM on March 26, 2006


It was a "zombie party" not a "rave". Shouldn't that say "dead zombies littered the floor" and "a gunman/zombie?". Not trying to split hairs, but I'm dubious of the political spin "The Jesse Helms", for reasons known only to himself" has chosen to put on this tragedy.

Don't be a jackass. I WAS a raver for years (TripleX crew REPASENT [sorry about that]), and that's what these kids were, too. Just about everyone there could probably be pretty accurately identified as a raver [one of the victims], even if they wouldn't self-identify that way. Did you bother to read the posts at all? The kid in the image I linked to gave the kid who wrote the mySpace blog post a light show. Just about all their mySpace pages feature gigantic-beat trance. The blog post author mentions that he hopes "the scene can come together and help the families out." What scene do you suppose that is, the zombie scene?

All that said TJH is certainly a bit heavy-handed with the "Raver/killer shoots other ravers at a rave while raving" nature of his post, but that's how just about everybody who's unfamiliar with the scene talks about it.
posted by ChasFile at 11:14 AM on March 26, 2006


I'm a little put off by Seattle Times reporters attempting to troll for tips by contacting people on MySpace. Didn't reporters used to use social networks to get stories, rather than randomly contacting people on social networking sites?
posted by VulcanMike at 11:19 AM on March 26, 2006


when the bodies hit the floor they went "PLUR"!
posted by quonsar at 11:23 AM on March 26, 2006


Why didn't people start running and screaming the moment they saw him coming with it?

From the first article:
Some witnesses reported the killer made a statement just before opening fire, but police wouldn't say what he may have said and hadn't confirmed the report.

People ran inside screaming and tried in vain to keep the door closed, but the killer forced it open.
posted by nev at 11:23 AM on March 26, 2006


Sushi's My Space.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 11:23 AM on March 26, 2006


It looks like at least one MySpace user died last night, as did a LiveJournal user.

Be careful what you wish for, I guess.
posted by insomnia_lj at 11:26 AM on March 26, 2006


As a creepy, introverted, gun collector, that used to go to raves back in the day, I can say with confidence," It's not the hobby, it's the person."
I'll bet this guy used to play violent video games, and has listened to Iron Maiden, too.
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 11:31 AM on March 26, 2006


I'm a little put off by Seattle Times reporters attempting to troll for tips by contacting people on MySpace.

They did the same thing on LiveJournal's Seattle community too.

That said, I've been arguing for quite some time that reporters should use LiveJournal and other sites like them to gather together unfiltered news and opinions from those on the scene of major events, so I think the idea of doing this isn't bad, per se.

The method kind of sucks, though.
posted by insomnia_lj at 11:34 AM on March 26, 2006


As a creepy, introverted, gun collector, that used to go to raves back in the day, I can say with confidence," It's not the hobby, it's the person."

True enough. However, one certainly does have to wonder: if the shooter didn't have such ready access to firearms, might this whole thing have never happened?
posted by ChasFile at 11:36 AM on March 26, 2006


From the Seattle P-I article:

"Kerlikowske said there was alcohol and marijuana at the party, but he didn't say whether that contributed to the shooting."

Fucking American media. Seriously. Since when does marijuana contribute to violence? To quote Robin Williams, "you're lucky if you can find your feet," much less emotionlessly open fire on a house full of people. Alcohol, yes, contributes to more pain and violence than probably anything else. But weed? Fuck no. Conflating the two is just yet another mistake in the so-called War on Drugs which is contributing to its failure.

And a much more balanced view from the NYT:

"Police said they did not know if drugs or alcohol were a factor, though Kerlikowske said marijuana and alcohol were found in the house."

It's nice seeing that the messageboard instantly jumped on trying to put together a list of who's okay and who's not. It would be nice if any of the articles had been amended to show that fact. But I suppose that doesn't fit with the spin of equating Rave with All Night Dance Parties of Death. Saying something like "The members of a local messageboard for ravers have already started calling in, looking after each other, making sure that they know who the victims were, and who is safe," wouldn't really fit the fucking Gestapo atmosphere in the USA when it comes to raves.

A telling point is this quote, also from the Seattle P-I:

"Clemente said the man was wearing clear plastic gloves with blinking lights at the tip of each finger. "He was saying 'take these off me."Clement said he didn't want to remove anything police might deem important, so he left the gloves on the man."

Anyone else know why? Because laws have been passed throughout the USA that define such things as drug paraphernalia. I shit you not. In many jurisdictions, fucking glowsticks are considered drug paraphernalia, and are cause for search without a warrant. A bong I can understand, or a crack pipe, or IV needles (depending), or even (at a stretch) rolling papers. But glowsticks? Pacifiers? Feh.

lalochezia >>> "My heart goes out to the families, but:

"'
We're all asking the same question, how could this happen in our city?'


"Err....something about the 2nd amendment comes to mind."


Yes, precisely. If people didn't have easy access to guns, they couldn't shoot other people. It's fairly simple.

dinsdale >>> "But the intention of this FPP as well as the first link would seem to be to draw a connection between this apparently senseless mass murder and the phenomenon of the 'rave'. Whyzzat?"

Because the events are tangentially connected to a rave. Call it a zombie party, call it whatever--I'm a raver, it was a rave.

quonsar >>> "when the bodies hit the floor they went 'PLUR'!"

HAHAHAHAHA. OMG, quonsar... totally inappropriate, but totally fucking funny. My favourite is "PLUR is the sound a candy raver makes when you kick it."
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:38 AM on March 26, 2006


This was posted yesterday here at mefi as a comment to a FPP (which has vanished) titled: "Only in New York. Only in Texas. Only in Japan"...or something close to that. A comment with a link to "Only in Seattle" pointed to this. There's a rash of disappearing posts here in the last few days. Wonder why.
posted by sluglicker at 11:45 AM on March 26, 2006


Yes, precisely. If people didn't have easy access to guns, they couldn't shoot other people. It's fairly simple.

Right. Because for the type of person willing to put that much energy into collecting weaponry, firearms are the only available means with which to kill 7 people. As opposed to some household chemicals and a box of nails.
posted by Ryvar at 11:50 AM on March 26, 2006


More about the gunman:
"Jim Pickett, the assistant manager of the Town & Country Apartments Roosevelt Way, said police raided the second-floor apartment at about 6 p.m. saturday. (...) "They were very respectful," Pickett said about the brothers. "They practiced their drums and did it at a decent hour." Pickett said the brothers delivered pizzas in the area. The brothers are in their mid-twenties and were "big and beefy."
(...)
Pickett said the brother questioned by police is a "big, fluffy teddy bear" of a young man. The suspected killer he described as "the more purposed, the more focused. If he didn't like something he'd tell you." The brother suspected of being the killer attended the Art Institute of Seattle and then North Seattle Community College, Pickett said."
posted by iviken at 11:54 AM on March 26, 2006


People with guns can kill other people. People with guns can also not kill other people. Guns sure as hell make it easier, but I could see this guy laying folks to waste at an after-rave party with a katana, knife, or with a number of carpentry instruments as well.

In any event:

.
posted by moonbiter at 11:56 AM on March 26, 2006


a little context:

ANOTHER CIVIL RIGHTS VICTORY:

After years of failed efforts, vetoes and political wrangling, Kansas will join most of the nation in allowing concealed weapons permits, starting this year.
The Kansas House voted Thursday to override Gov. Kathleen Sebelius’ veto of a concealed weapons bill, following a similar vote in the Senate on Wednesday. The action makes law a plan to allow citizens who pass a background check and training course to carry concealed weapons. The first applications can be filed July 1.
The House vote was 91-33, seven more votes than necessary to reject Sebelius’ veto.
“The people of Kansas have waited a long time for this,” said Sen. Phil Journey, a Haysville Republican who has worked for the bill for more than a decade, first as a citizen and then as a lawmaker.
Estimates are that 20,000 to 48,000 Kansans will apply for permits in the first four years. It will be up to Attorney General Phill Kline to work out rules for implementing the law, including whether Kansas will honor permits issued by other states.
Gun rights groups were ecstatic about crossing another state off the list of those that do not allow concealed weapons. Now, only three states have no right-to-carry law.

I hope that those backward states will catch up with the modern trend.

posted by matteo at 12:01 PM on March 26, 2006


one certainly does have to wonder: if the shooter didn't have such ready access to firearms, might this whole thing have never happened?

I'd be willing to bet that once a person decides to do an insane act like this, they'll do it with anything they can get their hands on. A kitchen knife, an axe or machette,a hammer or rake, drive their car through the front room, etc.

If people didn't have easy access to guns, they couldn't shoot other people. It's fairly simple.

True, and if people didn't have access to knives, they couldn't cut other people. If they didn't have access to draino, they couldn't splash it into people's eyes.

Crazy people won't care if they can get a gun or not.
There are plenty of perfectly good, safe, legal reasons to have a gun, draino, an axe or a car.

Go after the people, not the stuff.
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 12:05 PM on March 26, 2006


matteo, a shotgun is pretty hard to conceal. That said, people are dead, and you're grinding your axe. Not very classy.
posted by bardic at 12:06 PM on March 26, 2006


And what shnoz-gobblin said. This is a pretty awful fucking event by all standards, but a person who decides to go out of this life while taking people with him could just as easily drive a car into a nursery school.
posted by bardic at 12:08 PM on March 26, 2006


shnoz-gobblin >>> "True, and if people didn't have access to knives, they couldn't cut other people. If they didn't have access to draino, they couldn't splash it into people's eyes."

Sure. But it's a lot easier to get away from a person with a knife--or overpower them--than one with a gun.

Guns kill people, period. Welcome back to reality.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:11 PM on March 26, 2006


Car kill people. We should ban driving.

Planes kill people. We should ban flying.

Fatness kills people. We should ban donuts.
posted by bardic at 12:15 PM on March 26, 2006


Two of my friends came by just last week to show off their new Colorado Concealed Weapons permits. It took $75 to take a special 3 hour pistol training/safety class, then fill out the paperwork for an FBI background check with the sherrif's office, fingerprints, picture, "Are you now, or have you ever been a member of the Comunist Party?","Have you ever been arrested for Domestic Abuse?", and another $150.

Two weeks later, they both had them. The police/FBI know who they are, where they live, their fingerprints, etc. Those are not the people who are going to go out and commit crimes. They are the ones who you read about in the third paragraph of the story about the foiled bank robbery, that helped the security guard subdue the suspects.
A crazy person will go out and do crazy things reguardless, whether he is homeless, a raver, a soldier, a CEO, or the president.
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 12:20 PM on March 26, 2006


My wife and I have both been wanting to get our permits for quite a while, but we can't justify spending the $450 right now.
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 12:21 PM on March 26, 2006


But, as my bf just pointed out, any gun other than a hunting rifle is specifically designed to kill people. It's not designed for anything else. Just killing people. And before you go off on a tangent about target shooting, that's a secondary purpose derived from the first.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:22 PM on March 26, 2006


Lots of background and breaking details at the Stranger blog and the NWTekno thread.
posted by newton at 12:26 PM on March 26, 2006


Dollar-for-dollar you can kill a lot more people with ten minutes of Googling and some judicious shopping at Home Depot than you can with any gun a civilian can legally get their hands on. Doubly so when it comes to very crowded, enclosed environments like raves (or their after-parties) where high-explosives + shrapnel is simply catastrophic, but a lone gunman has a high chance of being overpowered.

That said, I'm definitely opposed to the proliferation of easily concealed firearms, or laws permitting said concealment. That's just begging for the perpetuation of bank robberies and dead convenience store clerks.

dnab - the requirements for killing a deer and killing a person a so similar that the same weapons and calibers used by hunters are the most commonly used by SWAT snipers. The various semi-automatic civilian versions of the assault rifle wielded by American ground forces are also some of the most common varmint-removal weapons for ranchers trying to keep their cattle from getting crippled by burrow holes. Shotguns used for hunting fowl also happen to be the perfect home defense against aggressive humans. The weapons of choice at every range have purposes other than killing - with handguns being the big exception.
posted by Ryvar at 12:35 PM on March 26, 2006


I've never killed anyone with mine. I've never killed anything with them. I shoot at paper targets, and steel plates that go "Ping!". That's all I ever bought them for, and I have a blast taking them camping with my friends. There IS the off chance that they may , one day, be used to defend my life (and Liberty) from someone, or a group of someones, who would try and take those things away from me.

I used to think (back in my longhair-hippie days) that guns were dumb. That it was too easy. That you could terminate a life from 300 yards away with a twitch of a finger. I thought that if you were going to kill someone, you should get right up in their face and do it. See their eyes glaze over, feel their last breath on your cheek, smell their soul as it leaves their body. You know, let them know it was you.
Bu then I started to realize that guns are one of those things that, if you don't get now, there will be a time when 'They' won't let you have them anymore. So I bought one, it was crappy, so I bought a better one. I found out that taking pop cans and lining them up on a rock and plinking them off and watching them fly is a HELL OF A LOT OF FUN!
Especially when you can do it with friends. Heck, I've even bought my dad a .22 rifle. It was a great bonding moment I had with my father, camping and shooting, before he lost his eyesight.

Guns are not all bad. This is something you have been taught by 'Them', and you believed it without question.
Think about it critically. There are things that can have great worth, even if it's not your personal cup-of-tea.
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 12:38 PM on March 26, 2006


So if kitchen knives and homemade explosives are so effective how-comes American spree-killers always use guns?
posted by Artw at 12:47 PM on March 26, 2006


Guns have no worth. This is not something I have been taught by 'Them', it is something I have (shockingly) figured out for myself. Why is it that gun nuts always blame propaganda when there are people who think that nobody should be allowed to have such dangerous obscenities?

Guns kill people. Sure, people can kill each other with other weapons, and have done so since Ug hit Thog with a rock. But guns make it easier. Take a look at actual statistics. People who own guns are not only more likely to die by gunfire, but they're more likely to be injured or killed by their own weapon.

You know what? Forget it. You're typically American--"Bu [sic] then I started to realize that guns are one of those things that, if you don't get now, there will be a time when 'They' won't let you have them anymore."--and won't give up your shiny killing machines any more than Bush will give up the War on Terrorism.

It's sad.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:48 PM on March 26, 2006


From this video, Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske said:
He was carrying a 12-guage pistol-grip shotgun. And of course as everyone knows, a pistol-grip shotgun is designed not for hunting purposes, but for hunting people. He also had a semi-automatic handgun, and he fired multiple rounds with both weapons.
Go buy a gun. Shoot soda cans with it, shoot deer, I don't give a fuck. Your chances of dying by GSW increase exponentially if you own one, but that's your problem.

But get this shit off the streets.

Cars are legal. Tanks are not. Nitrate-based fertilizers are legal. Semtex is not. We can draw distinctions like this for just about everything else, but why not for guns?
posted by ChasFile at 12:48 PM on March 26, 2006


I read somewhere, by a war veteran, that the only reason to have a pistol was to fight your way back to your rifle, that you should have never set down in the first place. /derail

A pistol is a tool, and like all hand tools, it is just an extention of the hand. It pokes holes. It doesn't kill people. You need a person to kill people, you need a hand to direct it. There are good hands and bad hands. Prosecute those who do bad things with malice, not inanimate objects.
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 12:50 PM on March 26, 2006


Artw >>> "So if kitchen knives and homemade explosives are so effective how-comes American spree-killers always use guns?"

Precisely. Guns make killing easier and more clinical. I could stab you to death if I really wanted, but that means getting up close and personal. With a gun, I just pull a little metal lever, and bang! You're dead. It's like magic.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:50 PM on March 26, 2006




Chalk me up as another former gun ban advocate. Growing up in the DC area in the 1980's, handguns and crack almost literally mowed down an entire generation. As a jurisdiction, you aren't allowed to own a handgun in DC, and it didn't make a wit of difference. And I'm familiar with "straw purchases," but still, if you're a criminal, you will find a way of getting a weapon regardless. If you want to own a handgun legally, register, take some classes, and let the police and FBI know where you live. Makes perfect sense to me.

(And I don't own a gun, but have been thinking about getting one given the mood and direction of America. A police state is a police state, Democratic- or Republican-controlled.)

(Aside: Am I an old fart for wondering why people still go to raves? I went to them in the early 1990's, and at the time was told by hardcore ravers that they had jumped the shark.)
posted by bardic at 12:55 PM on March 26, 2006


Artw, you've heard of Timothy McVeigh, right?
posted by bardic at 12:56 PM on March 26, 2006


There might be a day when I'll use my guns to defend your life and liberty. You can thank me then.
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 12:56 PM on March 26, 2006


Fortunately, the victims of this crime have all recovered and staggered out of the morgue. Police are quoted as saying that they are "puzzled" by the raver kids not staying dead.

posted by nlindstrom at 12:57 PM on March 26, 2006


(Aside: Am I an old fart for wondering why people still go to raves? I went to them in the early 1990's, and at the time was told by hardcore ravers that they had jumped the shark.)

Totally. Of course, I had this same experience in 1998. I think that as long as there are 22 year olds, there are gonna be people saying the scene is dead and its nothing like how it was when they were 17. People still go to jam-band concerts wearing tie-dye and Birkenstocks.
posted by ChasFile at 1:00 PM on March 26, 2006


ChasFile, there are plenty of regulations on guns. As I mentioned, in a city like DC, handguns are actually illegal, and the murder rate is quite high (although it's lower than it used to be, thankfully). Responsible people can own them, but they have to register with local authorities for a handgun, unlike criminals. What are you trying to say?
posted by bardic at 1:02 PM on March 26, 2006


> there will be a time when 'They' won't let you have them anymore."--and won't
> give up your shiny killing machines any more than Bush will give up the War on Terrorism.

What's more, if the government didn't have such easy access to all those guns they could never have invaded Iraq. See, it's not Bush, it's those darn guns. Your outrage at poor Bush is soooo misdirected.
posted by jfuller at 1:02 PM on March 26, 2006


People still rave? Ugg. I used to live next door to a party house that blasted drum and bass all night (read: morning) and I swear if I owned any firearms, there would have been a masacre there fo sho.
posted by hellameangirl at 1:04 PM on March 26, 2006


Artw: the Columbine killers planted a bomb on their school's boiler - it's just that they were incompetent.

The man behind the Bath School disaster, however, was not.

bardic: my dislike for handguns comes from the fact that not being able to effectively conceal your weapon makes committing a crime with it far more difficult. I realize that regardless of legislation criminals will still get their hands on pistols, but if we legislate against handguns now we can start reducing the total supply for future generations.

I have no problem with a semi-automatic civilian version of an assault rifle in every home. None. Our government is starting to make me wish that there were. But, guns that you can carry around in public without anybody knowing? Not cool. If there's someone packing in my vicinity that's one thing, but I want to know.
posted by Ryvar at 1:09 PM on March 26, 2006


If the gun laws weren't so restrictive in US metropolitan areas, odds are one or two of the ravers would have been armed, himself. The number of deaths could have been much lower.

Gun laws only affect the law-abiding.
posted by knave at 1:11 PM on March 26, 2006


Oh, remember Columbine was a "Gun-free zone". No one at the school was armed, and thus no one could defend the students.
posted by knave at 1:11 PM on March 26, 2006


Ryvar, how you feel is understandable. I know I'm going to catch hell for these comments. I wish all guns could just disappear too, but that's a fantasy. We have to deal with the world as it exists, and the best solution is to allow people to defend themselves.
posted by knave at 1:14 PM on March 26, 2006


Gunman named.
posted by iviken at 1:15 PM on March 26, 2006


ChasFile, there are plenty of regulations on guns. As I mentioned, in a city like DC, handguns are actually illegal, and the murder rate is quite high (although it's lower than it used to be, thankfully). Responsible people can own them, but they have to register with local authorities for a handgun, unlike criminals. What are you trying to say?

I'm trying to say that exactly the kinds of patchwork regulations and local legal variations produce the legal loopholes that allow criminals to have guns. You're right: if I can purchase a handgun legally in Virginia and than bring it into DC, why go through the hassle of dealing with the DC red tape? It is clear, as you say, that leaving it up to states and municipalities creates a confusing morass of laws and loopholes. It does nothing to discourage criminals, and communicates nothing about the meaning behind the laws.

I am trying to say that what we need is a nation-wide ban on guns whose primary purpose is killing people.

Pistol-grip shotguns, handguns, the works. Anytime a cop found a person with any type of this kind of weapon, they go to jail. This would clear up the "criminals don't bother with licenses" registration problem you mention, and furthermore would send the clear message that we, as a society, are against the concept of killing people, and will not allow you to own something that makes it so easy. Surely the pro-lifers can get behind that!

Ideologically, I am against ALL guns, just like I'm against violence. Realistically, they are tools that do serve legitimate functions, and we can't put the toothpaste back in the tube on this one. But if we outlaw weapons like anti-personell fragmentation grenades, we should we not outlaw anti-personell automatic weapons, concealable handguns, and shoot-from-the-hip shotguns?

There might be a day when I'll use my guns to defend your life and liberty. You can thank me then.

Here at the big kids table, we use our words to settle disputes.
posted by ChasFile at 1:17 PM on March 26, 2006


We have to deal with the world as it exists

No, just America. Other places seem to just fine without an armed populace.
posted by Artw at 1:17 PM on March 26, 2006


2nd amendment aside for a moment, I'm sad these kids had to die because of some self-absorbed crazy gun nut.

Now, having said that, I support the 2nd amendment, but it is also asinine to argue against the truism that fewer guns = fewer shootings. I think licensed guns should be legal, but they should be far more difficult to obtain than they are. And the punishment for illegal guns should be draconian.

Possession of an unlicensed firearm should be punishable by life in prison. So, carry heat if you feel like a gangster, but do it illegally, and be prepared to suffer the consequences. (Although this guy's gun was probably legal, so that of course would not have helped in this situation.)

Or, do like Chris Rock says. Make guns legal. All the guns you want. But make bullets cost $5000 each. "Man, i'm gonna go get a job, save up some money, go buy a bullet, and come back and put a cap in your ass!"

And yes, you can kill someone with a spoon. But guns are certainly many orders of magnitude more effective at killing people than sticks, knives, or poison. That is, well, their purpose.

shnoz: I don't want to take your (legal) gun away, but the idea of protecting your liberty with your gun is a fantasy, and you should know that. You have a slight chance of once in your life defending your property with a gun, depending on where you live of course, and a fantastically remote chance of once defending your life. But defending your liberty? That's simply a gun nut masturbation fantasy.

Statistically, you are many more times likely to either shoot yourself or shoot a family member though. So good luck.

On that linked page, this absolutely floored me:

In 1998 (the most recent year for which this data has been compiled), handguns murdered:

373 people in Germany
151 people in Canada
57 people in Australia
19 people in Japan
54 people in England and Wales, and
11,789 people in the United States


Again, I don't want to take everyone's guns away, but no reasonable person could look at those statistics and not think SOMETHING was wrong in the Home of the Brave.

on preview: knave: you "wild west" types are exactly the problem with gun owners. What makes you think any 17 year old would have a legitimate reason, or the innate ability, to have or use a firearm under combat conditions?
posted by Ynoxas at 1:17 PM on March 26, 2006


Cultures where concealed-carry is legal actually benefit you, too, Ryvar. This is because a potential criminal is going to be much more wary of mugging you when it's possible you're carrying a gun. Open carry is less useful, because it's obvious who's armed and who isn't, so a criminal can easily pick his targets. If you disagree, I can dig up some of the research I've read on the topic for you.
posted by knave at 1:17 PM on March 26, 2006


ChasFile, the first step a government needs to take to enslave its people is to disarm them.
posted by knave at 1:19 PM on March 26, 2006


knave: no, you're right - we live in the world we live in, and that being the case I have no problem with law-abiding people existing on a level playing field. I guess my problem is that I want an honest playing field.
posted by Ryvar at 1:19 PM on March 26, 2006


I'm done with this; its stupid and quickly becoming cliche.
posted by ChasFile at 1:20 PM on March 26, 2006


Ynoxas, yay, the "wild west" card.
posted by knave at 1:21 PM on March 26, 2006


knave: it's OK, I'm familiar with much of the research on this topic - it's been a few years, but I remember the conclusions (which is the other reason I'm so down on handguns). On thinking it over some more, I realize that you're right and my position is pretty naive.
posted by Ryvar at 1:22 PM on March 26, 2006


Jesus fucking christ that's horrible. Fuck.

Fuck guns.

.
posted by Drexen at 1:23 PM on March 26, 2006


By the way, notice how nobody in fact whipped out their handy dandy six-shooter and shot this guy, saving the day? Maaaaybe guns make more problems than they solve. But, heh, I really don't know why I'm even diving into this argument. It already turned stoopid.
posted by Drexen at 1:25 PM on March 26, 2006


Ryvar, this being the internet and all, I can't tell if you're being sarcastic! (No one ever changes their mind in these kinds of debates.. lol) But if you're serious, I appreciate it.

I used to be on the anti-gun side, myself. I was pretty left-leaning, then, but I've done a lot of soul-searching and reading and I've ended up deciding that the less govt, the better.
posted by knave at 1:27 PM on March 26, 2006


I was serious.
posted by Ryvar at 1:29 PM on March 26, 2006


Last one, because this is insane. I'm going to inline it, because that's what we're talking about here. The gunman owned and used on people something like this:


Take a good, hard look at that picture.
posted by ChasFile at 1:29 PM on March 26, 2006


So why exactly is this more deadly than this? For the record there is no law against owning tanks, I know several people that do. As for high explosives, while their possession and use are highly regulated (much like guns) they are not illegal. I don’t think the distinctions are quite as clear as you may think.

Now back to the topic of the post. I spent last Friday at another house in Capitol Hill dancing with many of these same people. It was an amazing time with friendly and welcoming people. I wonder how much that has changed.
It’s a shame this dipshit didn’t just start with himself.
posted by Tenuki at 1:30 PM on March 26, 2006


I was debating making a post; I was a few blocks away from there that night, getting a book from a friend's house. Little did I know I was on the scene of a mass fucking murder. Also, what's with the "killed seven men" in the post? He killed four men, two women, and himself for a total of seven (7) dead.

I'm not getting involved in any pro/anti raver stuff, nor any gun control stuff. I've had this argument before.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 1:31 PM on March 26, 2006


ChasFile, it's a slightly shorter shotgun. With a flashlight. Give me a break.
posted by knave at 1:32 PM on March 26, 2006


Plus it should be noted that this was a gabber/hardcore event, which is usually a different kind of atmosphere than the trance and house type "raves". Heavier, faster, scarier beats. Generally that crowd frowns upon the old plur-and-glowstick ideals of traditional rave culture.

It shouldn't matter of course, since this was just people hanging out at somebody's house...
posted by First Post at 1:33 PM on March 26, 2006


Appeal to emotion
posted by knave at 1:34 PM on March 26, 2006


How come whenever someone goes on a killing spree people freak out and start rabidly defending their right to stage a killing spree?
posted by hellameangirl at 1:36 PM on March 26, 2006


Yesterday morning I was out making the rounds of the yard sales with my friend Vera and her daughter. We went to a sale on 22nd Avenue East about 9 AM yesterday and when we left there, we drove south on 22nd, turned up Roy street and went to 19th. We were busy talking and laughing, and when we crossed 21st, one block north of where that house is, we never glanced south, never saw the police cars, aid cars or the crime scene tape.

We split up not long after than and neither of us heard the news until sometime around six yesterday evening.
posted by y2karl at 1:38 PM on March 26, 2006


RE D.C Gun laws:

The gun laws seem to completely stop these sorts of bezerk mass murders. I can't think of one in the area in the last 30 years. Also, having a city with strict gun laws right next to a state with very lax gun laws (Virginia) doesn't really help.
posted by destro at 1:39 PM on March 26, 2006


destro, that's a pretty ridiculous argument given the fact that DC has hundreds of handgun murders per year. (I mean, Bush is fighting a war on terror, and there hasn't been a suicide bombing in America, so America is winning?)
posted by bardic at 1:46 PM on March 26, 2006


destro, I think they're just rare in general. We get one or two of these a year in the entire country. They are high profile news because of their rarity.
posted by knave at 1:47 PM on March 26, 2006


Better link to crime info in DC.
posted by bardic at 1:48 PM on March 26, 2006


So if kitchen knives and homemade explosives are so effective how-comes American spree-killers always use guns?

Lack of imagination/motivation/patience, maybe.

A minimally trained, grimly motivated, patient killer with a fishknife could lay waste, pretty badly, too.

Anyway, this episode is grotesque. I sympathize with the folks that lost their loved ones in the killing.
posted by darkstar at 1:48 PM on March 26, 2006


> Take a good, hard look at that picture.

A 12-gauge with no shoulder stock? I sure don't want one. Nobody less than Rambo could hold it and fire it.
posted by jfuller at 1:49 PM on March 26, 2006


.
posted by Richard Daly at 1:50 PM on March 26, 2006


They are high profile news because of their rarity.

Also because, apparently, the last time Seattle had a multiple-homicide firearms killing was in 1999 when two guys were shot.
posted by Ryvar at 1:50 PM on March 26, 2006


After all the guns are collected and destroyed, the biggest guy with the biggest sword will rule. How many people can you kill with one knife? All of them.
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 1:51 PM on March 26, 2006


the first step a government needs to take to enslave its people is to disarm them.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! ALL IT REALLY NEEDS TO DO IS GIVE THEM BREAD AND CIRCUSES. TV AND IPODS. VIDEO GAMES AND NOOKIE.
posted by quonsar at 1:56 PM on March 26, 2006


ChasFile, the first step a government needs to take to enslave its people is to disarm them.

In a normal liberal democracy people needn't worry about being enslaved, because, you know, there is open society, civil discourse, policy debate, elections, all that good freedom stuff...

Seems like you might be right to be worried in the States though. Ffear up, lock and load dudes.
posted by Meatbomb at 2:00 PM on March 26, 2006


As one of MetaFilter's token libertarians, I feel I should argue for the freedom to be armed. But this thread is a memorial to the dead, and no place for an argument.

If there is a MetaFilter member who supports a firearms ban, I propose we negate each others' future arguments. I won't make mine, if you don't make yours. That way, we can both focus our attentions where we really should, these poor dead kids.

Rave in Peace
posted by Richard Daly at 2:02 PM on March 26, 2006


"This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration! Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!" -(You know who) 1938
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 2:04 PM on March 26, 2006


Well met, quonsar.
posted by knave at 2:05 PM on March 26, 2006


But this thread is a memorial to the dead, and no place for an argument.

No, it's an internet discussion forum, not a memorial to the dead.
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 2:07 PM on March 26, 2006


shnoz-gobblin: Wow. Classy.

How about this:

373 handgun deaths in Germany, 1998.
(At that rate, if Germany had the same population as the US the figure would be about 1,340).
11,789 handgun deaths in the United States, 1998.
posted by Drexen at 2:09 PM on March 26, 2006


Maybe they have nicer people in germany, or whatever other country you want to choose.
I've met my share of Americans, and plenty of them are nasty, mean, scumbags. It's the people. It's not the guns.
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 2:17 PM on March 26, 2006


You can't kill someone with meanness.
posted by Drexen at 2:19 PM on March 26, 2006


shnoz-gobblin
All right....
Perhaps it should be. There is a MetaFilter tradition of respectful obituary threads. Sometimes I think the only way to escape the merciless snark, hereabouts, is to die.

Anyway, this argument is destined to create more heat than light. Is anyone going to change their minds with their adrenaline or their grief this high?
posted by Richard Daly at 2:22 PM on March 26, 2006


But more to the point: if Americans are meaner, all the more reason to take away their guns - yes, prying them from as many cold, dead fingers as are necessary (though I suspect there wouldn't *really* be that many). Yes, I'm aware that that many people, especially criminals, would retain them, but they will eventually stop working or run out of bullets and hopefully that would be the first step to a less paranoid, violent society. Having guns around breeds that kind of mindset, I'd contend.
posted by Drexen at 2:23 PM on March 26, 2006


But what happens when you have a country full of mean, nasty people, and you take away their guns? You are left with a country full of mean and nasty people.
The guns may be part of the equation, but they certianly don't solve the problem. Blaming guns themselves is just as bad as blaming Judas Priest or goth raves or video games. You're not addressing the problem.
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 2:24 PM on March 26, 2006


Car kill people. We should ban driving.

Planes kill people. We should ban flying.

Fatness kills people. We should ban donuts.


Yes, all objects are equivalently dangerous. You can't ban rocket propelled grenades unless you're willing to ban scotch tape and q-tips as well.

Thank you for completing this site's transition to Fark.
posted by dreamsign at 2:25 PM on March 26, 2006


the first step a government needs to take to enslave its people is to disarm them.

Hello there, propaganda.

So at what point are you armed Americans going to get serious and rise up against your government? Isn't that the whole point of having those damn guns?

Interesting that everyone passed over the statistics on American handgun deaths without a word. Perhaps this is how you keep your population growth under control?

RIP, ravers.
posted by Hildegarde at 2:25 PM on March 26, 2006


Richard Daly, I get what you're saying, and I do feel kind of a heel for continuing to post to the argument. But I think we owe it to these dead kids to at least try and get facts and arguments out there that might lead to this kind of thing happening less. Even if the other side doesn't listen to a word of it.
posted by Drexen at 2:26 PM on March 26, 2006


Why didn't people start running and screaming the moment they saw him coming with it

Well as someone who was in a high-school shooting, I can tell you that when you see someone with a gun, it just doesn't register that he's going to shoot a bunch of people. Your brain just assumes that it can't be real. Especially if you're young and you've probably never been in a life-threatening situation.

As for everyone who's saying "you can kill with anything", "it's not the guns, it's the people", I call major bullshit.

If you can kill with anything, why bother to get a gun? It's not cheap. This happened five blocks from my house, and I'm a little freaked out by it. I would not be nearly as freaked out if it was a guy with a knife. Because he can't kill me from across the street. Furthermore, when I was still in NY, a guy went ballistic on New Jersey Transit during rush hour with a sword. How many people dead? None. How many would be dead if that was a shotgun? I shudder to think.

It doesn't matter if you can kill someone with a toothpick, that's not the point. Guns make killing easy. You spare yourself the work and danger. I have been in a few situations where someone at a party pulled out a non-gun weapon of some kind. What resulted was not a massacre, but a pile-on. Usually, the person drawing the weapon ended up in the hospital.

I have mixed feelings about the second amendment, but I know that the need for a well-regulated militia to defend the country went out about the time ICBM's were perfected. I recognize the right of self-defense, but you know, tasers and pepper spray work too.
posted by lumpenprole at 2:27 PM on March 26, 2006


You are left with a country full of mean and nasty people.

... without guns. Or maybe I'm supposed to be calling them "killing tools".

Blaming guns themselves is just as bad as blaming Judas Priest or goth raves or video games. You're not addressing the problem.

You can't kill someone with a rock band or a goth rave or a video game. What's more, they have all those things in non-violent countries. So, yes, I think I am addressing the problem.
posted by Drexen at 2:30 PM on March 26, 2006


Game blamed for hammer murder
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 2:41 PM on March 26, 2006


Would you rather the police know who owns guns, how many they have, and where they live? Or just let the (already thriving) black market do its thing? A horrible event like this reaffirms my belief that a) gun violence is a terrible thing and b) government regulations are totally ineffective in preventing it. I think drugs should be legalized for roughly the same reasons, so call me crazy.
posted by bardic at 2:42 PM on March 26, 2006


If games are making kids more violent (dubious) then, again, all the more reason to take the guns away from them.
posted by Drexen at 2:43 PM on March 26, 2006


and hammers
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 2:44 PM on March 26, 2006


dirtynumbangelboy writes "any gun other than a hunting rifle is specifically designed to kill people. It's not designed for anything else. Just killing people. And before you go off on a tangent about target shooting, that's a secondary purpose derived from the first"

I wonder what the target:human shot by gun ratio is? 1000:1? 10,000:1? 1,000,000:1? My personal ratio is at least 20,0000. That "secondary" purpose dominates.

ChasFile writes "Cars are legal. Tanks are not. Nitrate-based fertilizers are legal. Semtex is not. We can draw distinctions like this for just about everything else, but why not for guns?"

Lots of guns even in the US are so restricted as to be essentially illegal. Many high explosives are legal for anyone with a license. The issue isn't that cut and dried.

ChasFile writes "There might be a day when I'll use my guns to defend your life and liberty. You can thank me then.

"Here at the big kids table, we use our words to settle disputes."


I wonder how that is working out for the Iraqis?

Ynoxas writes "but it is also asinine to argue against the truism that fewer guns = fewer shootings."

Only asinine if it was a truism. Almost every adult male in Switzerland has access to fully automatic and selective fire combat weapons and ammunition for same and is encouraged to practice with same regularly. Yet there aren't roaming battles in the streets. Maybe the US's problem is cultural and not merely access?
posted by Mitheral at 2:44 PM on March 26, 2006


I can buy all the dynamite I want, at $2.50 a stick, with a three day permit. All I have to do is say I have some property that I need to blast a stump out of to grade it for a road. Done. My mother got issued real live m-80's for free from the forrest service to scare bears off her property.
In the right hands, any tool can do good. In the wrong hands, any tool can do bad. It's not the tool.
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 2:48 PM on March 26, 2006


I've met my share of Americans, and plenty of them are nasty, mean, scumbags. It's the people. It's not the guns.

Has the possibility ever crossed your mind that they might be nasty, mean scumbags because they believe they've got a divine right to carry around tools that make it easy to take a life at a distance and on a whim?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:49 PM on March 26, 2006



Has the possibility ever crossed your mind that they might be nasty, mean scumbags because they believe they've got a divine right to carry around tools that make it easy to take a life at a distance and on a whim?


But that's where we are. You can either become a victim to those people, or you can choose to defend yourself. Right now, we still have the choice. I'd prefer the option is open to everyone, rather than reserved for the select few. Less enslavery-repression that way.
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 2:53 PM on March 26, 2006


shnoz-gobblin: and [we should ban] hammers

You can easily find or make something as deadly as a hammer. You can just about make a crappy gun by yourself, but that doesn't generally happen.

Mitheral: I wonder what the target:human shot by gun ratio is? 1000:1? 10,000:1? 1,000,000:1? My personal ratio is at least 20,0000. That "secondary" purpose dominates.

If you want to shoot targets, you don't need a deadly weapon to do it - and even if you did, target-shooting doesn't justify access to deadly weapons.

Lots of guns even in the US are so restricted as to be essentially illegal. Many high explosives are legal for anyone with a license. The issue isn't that cut and dried.

Not completely cut and dried, but still pretty cut and dried. Dangerous things should be regulated, really dangerous things should be banned - but this might be mitigated if they serve an important, non-deadly function.

I wonder how that is working out for the Iraqis?

Right, Iraq is a really good example of how guns are harmless.

Almost every adult male in Switzerland has access to fully automatic and selective fire combat weapons and ammunition for same and is encouraged to practice with same regularly. Yet there aren't roaming battles in the streets. Maybe the US's problem is cultural and not merely access?

Maybe. But if so, it's still going to be a vicious circle with gun-availability as a major aggravating component. It's much easier to take away the guns (even if it does take time) than it is to fix a society's psyche.
posted by Drexen at 2:55 PM on March 26, 2006


Why is this being made in an argument about 2nd amendment rights? I understand that guns are obviously a factor in this, but this is not really the place to argue about it. If I had my way, there would be a MetArgue and NewsFilter section, but w/e. Please don't make a thread about 7 dead kids into an argument about your/others rights(or lack there of) to guns.
posted by Suparnova at 2:56 PM on March 26, 2006


Is anyone going to change their minds with their adrenaline or their grief this high?

Well, I did just upthread.

yes, prying them from as many cold, dead fingers as are necessary (though I suspect there wouldn't *really* be that many).

How much time have you spent in America? Particularly south of the Mason-Dixon line. There's a reason the NRA is one of the top five lobbying groups in the US, Drexen, and there's a reason why there's such a large pro-gun contingent on a site as leftist as Metafilter.

The problem is not just one of weapon proliferation - all that does is marginally lower the barrier-to-entry of violence. The problem is that this nation is a melting pot of frankly barely compatible cultures that rub shoulders daily, with a massive population, sense of entitlement, economic disparity on a scale that simply does not exist elsewhere in the first world, and most importantly a culture nearly defined by its disregard for human life. Let's not forget the social impact of widespread extremist religion which casts ideological associations in black and white, an educational system which is the embarrassment of the industrialized world, a penal system which takes in harmless dope dealers and spits back hardcore criminals with a penchant for rape and violence of any form, systematic mistreatment and disenfranchisement of lower classes that are worked nearly to death in comparison to your own . . . I could go on all day. The fact that America had only 11,800 handgun fatalities in 1998 is nothing short of fucking miraculous. That you even consider firearms as being the real problem only serves to highlight the degree to which you exist purely within an enlightened monoculture.

Almost every adult male in Switzerland has access to fully automatic and selective fire combat weapons and ammunition for same and is encouraged to practice with same regularly.

Exactly. Not only do they have access to fully-automatic firearms, but they are reqiured to have training in the proper use of firearms, which makes a huge difference.
posted by Ryvar at 3:00 PM on March 26, 2006


quonsar writes "ALL IT REALLY NEEDS TO DO IS GIVE THEM BREAD AND CIRCUSES. TV AND IPODS. VIDEO GAMES AND NOOKIE"

Hey, I haven't got my iPod! Where's my iPod!

lumpenprole writes "If you can kill with anything, why bother to get a gun? It's not cheap."

Something fancy like that piece of eye candy ChasFile posted might be expensive (but I wouldn't be surprised if it was less than a set of 20" rims for a slammed Honda). Your run of the mill sawed off shotgun or semi auto rifle is less than a couple car payments + tags and insurance; brand new. Enough ammunition to get semi-proficent? Less than a months worth of fill ups for a SUV.

What's interesting to me is this guy didn't use the grenade he apparently possessed.
posted by Mitheral at 3:00 PM on March 26, 2006


Plus they're all Swiss.
posted by Artw at 3:02 PM on March 26, 2006


I’d take the grenade report with a grain of salt. From the Seattle Times:

“Police raided the apartment Huff shared with his twin Saturday evening. They arrived at the Town & Country Apartments on Roosevelt Way with a battering ram and a shield, but were apparently let in to the apartment by the suspected killer's brother, said Jim Pickett, assistant manager of the apartment.

Police brought out three rifles and what appeared to be a grenade, Pickett said.”


I haven’t seen any confirmation that it was an actual live grenade but adding it to a news story sound good. You can buy deactivated practice grenades at any army surplus store but real ones are a bit harder to come by.
posted by Tenuki at 3:09 PM on March 26, 2006


"Since when does marijuana contribute to violence?"

Well, it does - a lot of the grow operations are run by criminals. We've had Federal agents & park rangers getting shot because they stumbled upon a grow on public lands.

Gah. And I love how some of you people are quoting crap from a clearly biased anti-gun site, which is also parroting facts from the Brady Campaign.
And it looks like some Canadian & his boyfriend are (as many Canadians are) woefully clueless about life in the US. "People who own guns are not only more likely to die by gunfire, but they're more likely to be injured or killed by their own weapon."
I've heard that drivel spewed by the anti-gun folks, but the data doesn't back it up. There are many stories that you *don't* hear about folks that DO own firearms defending their own homes & family members. Many of those stories are left out of your typical 9pm newscast. I don't pretend to know about how life is in Canada, but there is sure no shortage of Canadians telling us how much America sucks and how to run our country.
Either way that you look at it, it's an emotional issue. But day in & day out, cars kill far more people. Fact. And falls & drowning kill WAY more children. Firearm related deaths for children are actually #6-#8 on the "top 10" lists. Some years, guns aren't even on the top 10.

"* Firearms are involved in 0.7% of accidental deaths nationally, and in 1% among children. Most accidental deaths involve, or are due to, motor vehicles (41%), poisoning (16%), falls (15%), suffocation (5%), drowning (3%), fires (3%), medical mistakes (2%), environmental factors (1%), and bicycles (1%). Among children: motor vehicles (44%), suffocation (16%), drowning (16%), fires (9%), bicycles (2%), poisoning (2%), falls (2%), environmental factors (1%), and medical mistakes (1%)."

Bicycles kill more children than guns do.
posted by drstein at 3:09 PM on March 26, 2006


the first step a government needs to take to enslave its people is to disarm them.

If only you people (Americans) would get upset about your government taking everything else away from you. "Fuck democracy! Fuck privacy! They don't matter, I'm still permitted to own a gun!" Get your friggin priorities straight, why don't you?
posted by dobbs at 3:12 PM on March 26, 2006


“they're more likely to be injured or killed by their own weapon.”

This is true simply by the fact that the majority of gun deaths in the US are suicides, not (as is often implied) because a criminal takes your gun and shoots you with it.
posted by Tenuki at 3:13 PM on March 26, 2006


posted by ChasFile I am trying to say that what we need is a nation-wide ban on guns whose primary purpose is killing people.

I didn't realize guns had purposes other than killing people.
posted by fandango_matt at 3:20 PM on March 26, 2006


cars kill far more people. Fact. And falls & drowning kill WAY more children.

Bicycles kill more children than guns do.


Of course, many of the deaths you are referring to are accidents, but you don't seem troubled by the distinction. Do you want to maybe break that down in terms of murders by bicycle and swimming pool, dr?
posted by dreamsign at 3:33 PM on March 26, 2006


The gunman owned and used on people something like this:


http://home.comcast.net/~kingstree/tacgun2.jpg


Funny, I own one of these. I've since replaced the pistol grip buttstock with a full buttstock with a pistol grip and removed the pistol grip front grip. The main reason is 'cause it was a bitch to shoot. After about ten rounds, your hands hurt (and I'm a big guy, 6' 1--240lbs).

My point is, these are not concealable weapons. They are heavy, large and bulky, even with pistol grips. While I understand people's abhorrence of guns, I don't think that attempting to ban weapons is the most wise course. Its never gonna happen in this country. Remember all of those red states, those are the same states that have large amounts of people who belong to the NRA and religiously subscribe to the "Right to bear arms". I'm originally from West Virginia, which is normally a Dem. state, however it has an enourmous gun/hunting culture. These are people who would never advocate banning guns.

A more sensible, fair and reasonable option is to take politicians to task for the loopholes that are allowed to exist in prosecuring violent offenders who use guns, and those that posses, sell and distribute illegal guns. Law enforcement/governments' singleminded pursuit of the War on Drugshttp://home.comcast.net/~kingstree/trademark.jpg, and the War on Terrorhttp://home.comcast.net/~kingstree/trademark.jpg siphon off precious resources and manpower that could be used to enforce the myriad gun laws that currently exist. Shut down unliscensed sales at gun shows, cracj down on assholes selling illegal guns that fuel gang violence, etc.

Aside from that, ny deepest sympathies go out to the families and friends who have lost someone in this atrocity.


.
posted by anansi at 3:36 PM on March 26, 2006


well, apparently I have no idea how to post images, even though I read the wiki. . .
posted by anansi at 3:39 PM on March 26, 2006


anasi: <img src="http://myserver.com/filename.jpg">
posted by Ryvar at 3:43 PM on March 26, 2006


/\ thanks. . .
posted by anansi at 3:48 PM on March 26, 2006


I can't help but read all the anti gun comments and think to myself that in the UK they banned guns and now when anything violent happens, they talk about banning knives. There was a post here a few months back that talked about how the latest safety recommendation was that knives with pointed ends should no longer be sold.

This can be boiled down to beyond absurdity but it is safe to state that regardless of the weapon a person has access to violent acts will continues to happen and restricting access to guns would not have prevented this event from happening.

The firearms rights in the Constitution have nothing to do with common sense or the safety of others. They have to do with the balance of political power in the country. When people call for their elimination after events like this the analogy of people calling for greater security at the expense of liberty after the terrorist attacks isn't hard to draw. And no one here like the PATRIOT ACT.
posted by 517 at 3:55 PM on March 26, 2006


Well, according to these guys, your lifetime odds of dying in the US from several external causes as of 2002 are:

Transport Accident: 1 in 77
Intentional self-harm: 1 in 118
Accidental poisoning: 1 in 212
Falls: 1 in 229
Assault by firearm: 1 in 315
Accidental drowning: 1 in 1081
Inhalation of objects: 1 in 1267
Legal execution: 1 in 55597

So in the US, anyway, you're about three times more likely to kill your own sweet self than be shot dead by someone else. You're also about twice as likely to die by slipping on ice and falling down stairs or falling off your roof trying to clean the gutter or something.

Yes, shooting deaths are tragic, but we could probably save a lot more lives by simply taking the bus. (I know I'm sure glad I do).
posted by gregor-e at 4:00 PM on March 26, 2006


Holy crap, that's two blocks from where I used to live in Seattle.
posted by zardoz at 4:15 PM on March 26, 2006


I think the 2nd Amendment discussion is an inevitable tangent to random shootings. The human mind always wants to put meaning into senseless acts and one way to find meaning is to try to work out ways to prevent it from happening again. Totally natural.

The US per capita murder rates are roughly four times higher than other first world nations. (http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/cri_mur_percap) I'm pretty sure that these types of senseless mass murders happen much more often in the US than elsewhere. I think our problem has cultural roots, but gun culture is a part of that.

Talking about culture in America is further muddied because any time one group disapproves of another group, somebody wants to legislate it. There are certainly some things that I wish would be culturally, but not legally, discouraged. I'm not 100% decided on gun control.

That said, I usually tend to side with "Our National Guard Fulfills the Well Regulated Militia Clause And Individual Ownership Does Not" interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. I don't know much about it, but I'm assuming the appeal to the Swiss having firearms access is because of mandatory conscription? Well, that's a well regulated militia and not individual gun owners.

Judging from the items found in the murderer's apartment, I think it's safe to say that he and his twin brother subscribed to a gun collection culture. Unlike video games, guns are the tool and the mindset. The guy was also crazy. As population increases, the number of mentally ill murderers increases. As technology improves, the number of people that any one crazy murderer can kill increases.

The prospect of tyranny worries me greatly, but it's certainly a fantasy to think that untrained individuals with the type of firearms that are freely available/affordable to individuals would stand a rat's chance against the US military or any foreign military capable of invading US soil.

Furthermore, I put a lot more stock in 2nd Amendment supporters when they also stand up for all civil rights. I'd be really interested to see the demographic overlap of NRA members and ACLU members. My understanding is that it's pretty much nil.

I'd argue that the "an armed society is a polite society" philosophy is just a means of transferring the power of tyranny from the government to the multitudes of individuals. It's not just a tyranny of the majority, it's a tyranny of whims. An armed, polite society is not a free society.

Also, I agree with the "saving lives by taking the bus" argument above. I think guns are just a piece of the culture of entitlement problems going on in the US right now.
posted by Skwirl at 4:16 PM on March 26, 2006


I have known a lot of really cool people who live on Capital Hill.

.
posted by Skwirl at 4:19 PM on March 26, 2006


I'm wondering if the shooter had been taking prescribed mental health related medications.
posted by chowder at 4:22 PM on March 26, 2006


To be honest (and hopefully not disrespectful), the whole zombie/rave thing seems kind of a waste of time. Now that some of these kids have been confronted with a gruesome reality, I wonder how many will continue to be interested.
posted by hoborg at 4:31 PM on March 26, 2006


"but it's certainly a fantasy to think that untrained individuals with the type of firearms that are freely available/affordable to individuals would stand a rat's chance against the US military or any foreign military capable of invading US soil."

Hint hint.
posted by techgnollogic at 4:33 PM on March 26, 2006


Ryvar : The fact that America had only 11,800 handgun fatalities in 1998 is nothing short of fucking miraculous. That you even consider firearms as being the real problem only serves to highlight the degree to which you exist purely within an enlightened monoculture.

You're probably right, not that I want to pretend Britain is perfect: it's true that, sure enough, an American-style gun culture is building up in the inner cities of the UK, especially London, where conditions are more like you describe. Luckily, there are fairly effective measures (specialist police units etc) in place to contain this - and at this stage, most people in the UK don't want to own a gun and are in favour of gun control. A mostly unarmed police force helps in this. The influence of American culture doesn't - I don't want to sound like a dick by saying that, but I think it's true.

That, and the fact that I abhor guns and the culture surrounding them - but that's just my preference - are why I'm trying to argue this position. Perhaps it's true that it would be impossible to disarm Americans - certainly it isn't even vaguely politically feasible right now. But I still think that for all America's cultural.. issues, allowing it to be flooded with guns and tolerating the (IMO, ridiculously thick-headed) threat of lethal resistance to disarming is not going to make things any better.

Well, I've said my piece, and I've learned some things. Like I said, I'm sorry to the people who disliked this discussion, but I do think its as important as ever. This was an awful occurence and I feel for the bereaved families. Hopefully the big afterparty in the sky is going a bit better.

.
posted by Drexen at 4:34 PM on March 26, 2006


Though having signed off:

the whole zombie/rave thing seems kind of a waste of time. Now that some of these kids have been confronted with a gruesome reality, I wonder how many will continue to be interested.

... riiiight.

That is all.
posted by Drexen at 4:36 PM on March 26, 2006


Best blog comment of the day (from the Stranger's blog):

I strongly urge all you gun nuts, when YOUR time comes to go bonkers, to reverse the usual order of things in your murder-suicide, and get the suicide part out of the way first. You'll save the rest of us a ton of grief that way.
posted by Surfurrus at 4:50 PM on March 26, 2006


knave >>> "ChasFile, the first step a government needs to take to enslave its people is to disarm them."

wtf. Take a look at governments all over the world, countries whose citizens are unarmed. Are the Swedes slaves? Canadians? The French?

Come on.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 4:57 PM on March 26, 2006


Furthermore, I put a lot more stock in 2nd Amendment supporters when they also stand up for all civil rights. I'd be really interested to see the demographic overlap of NRA members and ACLU members. My understanding is that it's pretty much nil.

That would be me. Although I am not an NRA member, I am a gun owner (handguns, rifles, and shotgun). I am also a registered Green Party Member and find that I am philosophically/politically a libertarian socialist.
posted by anansi at 5:11 PM on March 26, 2006


dirtynumbangelboy
Uh, the Canadians aren't unarmed.
posted by Richard Daly at 5:13 PM on March 26, 2006


I'm with anansi, too. While I'm neither a member of the NRA nor the ACLU, I generally support both.
posted by Richard Daly at 5:18 PM on March 26, 2006


I knew at least one of the victims. He was a good guy. We're talking about a group of intelligent and creative people.
posted by bingo at 5:18 PM on March 26, 2006


The prospect of tyranny worries me greatly, but it's certainly a fantasy to think that untrained individuals with the type of firearms that are freely available/affordable to individuals would stand a rat's chance against the US military or any foreign military capable of invading US soil.

you're right, those iraqis don't have a chance ...

i live in deer hunting country ... the government taking guns away is a non-starter here ... period ... it's NOT going to happen

this is one of the issues that democrats are losing votes on ... the average rural citizen can't understand why he should have to give up his guns just because people in the cities are going crazy with them ... "i'm behaving myself", he says ... "why don't you go after the people who aren't?"

and yes, many of them do believe that an armed populace is a deterrent to an overreaching government ... especially seeing as many of the soldiers they would be opposing might think twice about having to fight their fellow citizens, especially if they sympathized with their views

Are the Swedes slaves? Canadians? The French?

the swedes hang on to neutrality like a security blanket ... canadians are more armed than you believe they are ... and the french could have used an armed populace about 65 years ago

are the swiss slaves? ... it's funny how hitler's forcible unification of the german people ended at the swiss border, isn't it?
posted by pyramid termite at 5:22 PM on March 26, 2006


The prospect of tyranny worries me greatly, but it's certainly a fantasy to think that untrained individuals with the type of firearms that are freely available/affordable to individuals would stand a rat's chance against the US military or any foreign military capable of invading US soil.


WOLVERINES!!!
posted by anansi at 5:29 PM on March 26, 2006


.
posted by kyrademon at 5:38 PM on March 26, 2006


Howard Dean's record is approved of by the NRA. Just sayin'.
posted by bardic at 5:40 PM on March 26, 2006


Overreaction?
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 5:53 PM on March 26, 2006


.

I live 2 blocks away from the scene of the murder, and it's still impacting me emotionally. It happened in a house I pass every day on my comute to and from work.

Please have a moment of respect for the victims, and stop turning this into yet another gun ownership penis-fest.
posted by spinifex23 at 5:56 PM on March 26, 2006


Isn't it strange that seven metafilter members all lived exactly two blocks from this?
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 6:15 PM on March 26, 2006


"Why is this being made in an argument about 2nd amendment rights?"

That's pretty much what we do in America about in any high-profile news story about more than a single person being shot in one sitting. We cope by immediately trotting out our hoplophobes and hoplophiles alike and have them joust at one another. Both sides get a temporary boost in their numbers and, more importantly, their tax-deductible contributions; politicians will, some months down the road, add some more legislation into the nationwide patchwork muddle of firearms regulations that ultimately doesn't much matter one way or the other. Both sides overestimate the amount of political traction and danger the whole thing actually has, danger being defined differently per side of course.

Hoplophiles like to cling to the bulwark-against-tyranny angle because it's a fine and good myth, and America loves its myths about the capacity to project power. Among the appeals of this kind of fable is the illusion that the everyday work-a-day citizenry can Do Something, but safely in a hypothetical zone, which is more reassuring than the more steady reminders that voting--also built around the illusion that the citizenry can Do Something--keeps throwing up in our faces.

Hoplophobes like to cling to the simplistic fact that guns are by definition a causal factor in gun deaths because it boils things down to a comfortable certainty that taking a hard and potentially unpleasant look at cultural factors that simply don't provide answers that are nearly as easy, rarely comforting, and sure as shootin' (ahem) aren't certain.

Seven futures have been amputated. That's a horrible thing; part of its horror is the generally unspoken realization that futures are horribly amputated every single day and only a handful ever get splashed all over the news. It's the kind of thing that people want to Do Something about. Thus, the jousting.
posted by Drastic at 6:33 PM on March 26, 2006


Dammit, nine futures. And arguably the shooter's own; it's not that extending compassion there is difficult, it's more that it's profoundly unsettling. How many very quiet and unassuming people, the kind that neighbors would never have thought capable of, have been near some kind of psychotic break, but then passed it? How many are simply waiting for whatever timebomb of converging factors triggers such a thing in a person?
posted by Drastic at 6:37 PM on March 26, 2006


Quonsar is right
posted by isopraxis at 6:49 PM on March 26, 2006


I'm torn. I live in the area where this happened, and I come from a country with fantastic gun control - if you wanted a rifle and don't have a license, you have to jump through some hoops, but it's not so bad. No-one carries guns to use against people, including criminals - criminals actively avoid guns because having a gun drastically lowers their chance of success, for reasons I won't detail here, but which escape the notice of the "only outlaws will have guns" crowd who universally never seem to have actually lived in a society with working gun control. I've lived it, and it works so well I love it.

So anyway, that's my background, but I'm not there anymore. There was a fight last night. Back home, I would have known that no-one was armed - as long as you are further than someone can throw a chair, you're safe. Here, you kind of have to assume that someone is packing.

And so there is this temptation that the only "defense" against that is to be packing too. Of course, it comes down to the weakest link - as soon as someone wavers and pulls their gun, almost everyone else's guns are going to come out. And because you cannot defend yourself with a gun, you can only threaten to (or actually) assualt someone before they get the chance to assualt you, when you're in a room with a lot of yelling and guns out, the situation has every chance of being pretty much fucked from the start.

And on the cycles goes.

I am tempted to get me some handguns purely because of the lack of the gun control here - it's so easy to get em, so why shouldn't I have some? I have no reason to own any, (other than the standard silly "self defense" fantasy), but the ease of getting them is persuasive at a non-rational level.

Incidentally, the statistics that show you are at raised risk of gun death if you own a gun, that were upthread incorrectly dismissed as conflating suicide-by-gunshot figures; the increased risk is real, even with suicide figures taken out, however the bulk of it is not criminals taking your guns, it's typically from when domestic disputes escalate and people are batshit emotional and there is a gun Right There, plus the odd incident where the kids find and operate it, accidents, stuff like that.

So yeah, I know from experience that gun control, implemented well, (long enough and consistantly enough to get guns out of circulation and let the culture surrounding them change), works wonderfully, but hell, I'm not there anymore. So I'm torn as to do as the Romans do :)
posted by -harlequin- at 7:17 PM on March 26, 2006


As has been pointed out, the violence is cultural, not just due to guns being so easy to get to.

I remember when no-one throught twice about driving drunk, it was normal behaviour. Now, people will almost skin a drunk driver alive, and will restrain their friends from driving drunk, against their friend's will. The entire frame of reference has changed.

This cultural change was engineered and entirely deliberate. Gun culture can be changed the same way. It need not generations, there just needs to be the will to stay on message. (fat chance)
posted by -harlequin- at 7:20 PM on March 26, 2006


Arguing about gun control isn't showing disrespect to the victims, jeesh. And what exactly do you imagine our online gushing is going to do for the victim's families and friends? Yes, we're really horrified that it happened; I think pretty much everyone has expressed that. I'm with Drastic; it's not as if this argument is unrelated, or is even a little bit disrepectful. It's our reaction to hearing about these things. We want to make sure it doesn't happen again. Sadly, that seems like an impossible task.
posted by Hildegarde at 7:27 PM on March 26, 2006


Best op-ed piece thus far about the shootings.
Now, of this chilling massacre, what is the one detail that keeps popping up in stories and conversations around town? That the victims (and possibly the killer) were at a "rave" on Friday night.

For one second, let's assume that they were. SO WHAT?
posted by arielmeadow at 7:28 PM on March 26, 2006


I'm a member of the Ryvar fan club now. Most willing to debate! MWD!
posted by anthill at 8:04 PM on March 26, 2006


But that's where we are. You can either become a victim to those people, or you can choose to defend yourself. Right now, we still have the choice.

I think you've missed my point. I'm not talking about some criminal 'other', but a generally law-abiding bunch who have this swollen-headed sense of arrogance and entitlement. And when the stress and the anger gets too great, it's just too easy to reach into your gun cabinet and pull out your arsenal.

We have seen the enemy, and it is us.

However, I am curious about the extent to which people (other than gangbangers) actually get the opportunity to pull out their gat and defend themselves in shootings. I read a lot about people getting shot dead, but I read very little (in fact, not at all) about people using firearms to defend themselves. I'm guessing that most people think that it would be upping the ante in a way that is just far more likely to get them killed than simply handing over your wallet or whatever.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:14 PM on March 26, 2006


However, I am curious about the extent to which people (other than gangbangers) actually get the opportunity to pull out their gat and defend themselves in shootings.

in small towns and rural areas, any criminally minded neighbors are going to know that you're armed once you do a little target practice in your back yard or show the guys the deer you shot ... word gets around ... and so your opportunities to defend yourself decrease because your criminally minded neighbors aren't going to want to mess with you

I read a lot about people getting shot dead, but I read very little (in fact, not at all) about people using firearms to defend themselves.

that's because "man gets shot dead" is a major news story ... "man runs away from burglarizing house when he hears owner announce that he's got a gun and is going to use it" might make a paragraph in a small town newspaper on a slow news day
posted by pyramid termite at 9:12 PM on March 26, 2006


I read a lot about people getting shot dead, but I read very little (in fact, not at all) about people using firearms to defend themselves.

that's because "man gets shot dead" is a major news story ... "man runs away from burglarizing house when he hears owner announce that he's got a gun and is going to use it" might make a paragraph in a small town newspaper on a slow news day


"man shot dead while possesing a gun" is quite common too.
posted by destro at 9:27 PM on March 26, 2006


he first step a government needs to take to enslave its people is to disarm them.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! ALL IT REALLY NEEDS TO DO IS GIVE THEM BREAD AND CIRCUSES. TV AND IPODS. VIDEO GAMES AND NOOKIE.
posted by quonsar at 1:56 PM PST on March 26 [!]
----------------------------------
Let them keep their gun to suck on the barrel, let them change their di-dies when they get soiled, watch their FOX news and team sports and. . . everything's right as rain. . . Nothing to see here citizen, move along, just another wife-beating, domestic abuse, gang shooting (they probably deserved it.), etc. etc.

I was in downtown the night before and saw the kids walking around in their costumes, they were all having a lot of fun. I wished I could be that young again instead of the 40'ish curmudgeon that I am now. I feel so bad for them, as well as their friends and families. I also don't live to far from there. . .
posted by mk1gti at 9:28 PM on March 26, 2006


However, I am curious about the extent to which people (other than gangbangers) actually get the opportunity to pull out their gat and defend themselves in shootings.

It happens
posted by Tenuki at 9:35 PM on March 26, 2006


Possible first hand account, sorry if this has already been linked upthread, just too many comments to look through. . .
posted by mk1gti at 9:36 PM on March 26, 2006


Wonder if shotgun pellets feel good going through your skull if you're on e. Probably not.
posted by Football Bat at 10:17 PM on March 26, 2006


Mk1gti,

Those were people from Sakuracon, an anime convention. I don't know if people from there went to the rave, but that's who the downtown people were.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:12 PM on March 26, 2006


How come whenever someone goes on a killing spree people freak out and start rabidly defending their right to stage a killing spree?

Because people like Ryvar are some sort of nutty.

I single him out solely because he made the first angry comment about how it was "sensationalistic tripe" to say it's for hunting people... but then repeatedly pointed out that it's a fantastic weapon for shooting people. ("home defense", "aggressive humans", etc.)

Here's to people like Ryvar, who do a better job promoting gun control than the anti-gun crowd could ever do.
posted by I Love Tacos at 11:19 PM on March 26, 2006


you're right, those iraqis don't have a chance ...
Iraqi insurgents are fighting a war of attrition right now. A war on US soil versus a tyranny would look very different.

Despite a few datapoints here and there, I've yet to see a mainstream movement to support the entire bill of rights. Libertarians, maybe, but they carry a lot of extra baggage. People just have their pet issue (guns, abortion, taxes, whatever) and they ignore horrible violations everywhere else. Maybe it's not tyranny, but Bush is undoubtedly consolidating Federal power. I just kinda expected the anti-tyranny paranoia crowd to start showing some signs of unease. It just seems like they love the guy to death.

Same thing with the urban/rural divide. Guns are great for Joe Rural and Joe Rural doesn't care if the streets of the city run with blood. Cowboy diplomacy sounds great to Joe Rural and Joe Rural doesn't care if the streets of the city run with blood. Yes, there are rural issues that city dwellers stick their noses in, but the rural values that are uniquely rural are 1) tradition and 2) independence. For better or for worse, the city is the future and humans need to learn to 1) adapt to changing times and 2) work together.

Artistic subcultures are one of the experiments in the city's melting pot that push tolerance forward.

It will be quite sad to learn more details about the shooter and his delusional motives. I wonder if a clash of cultures might still prove to be a part of this.

Aside from blame placing, I think another reason why people obsess about the "rave" aspect to the story is because it gives you that irrational "phew, I'm not a raver so this could never happen to me," feeling. Remember when we were all so glad to not work at the post office?
posted by Skwirl at 11:22 PM on March 26, 2006


(I don't give a shit about gun control, but I did want to respond to Ryvar, and let him know what I thought of his decision to derail this into a gun control debate thread.

To be succinct, it was a pointless derail that will win absolutely nothing from anybody, unless your goal is to be perceived as a lunatic with no sense of decency.)
posted by I Love Tacos at 11:24 PM on March 26, 2006


Just as an FYI, and to give another perspective on this ...

For a number of years I lived in Seattle (primarily on Capitol Hill) , and I still have a number of friends that live there.

One, Sven, just happens to be a DJ, still lives on the hill, and used to live right around the corner from this house.

In an email to me he said the following:

"Hey-

I drove by the house (as close as you can get) and there's a big altar
with candles and flowers all over the place.

Needless to say, when I heard about this, my heart skipped a beat
because I know a few kids into the trance scene (not my cup of tea but
have partied with them) and am well aware of the parties at CHAC which
is a block away from my loft.

It's really just sad ... and it has more to do with this kid who
clearly had psychological problems than the Seattle rave scene,
although the choice of parties seems to make me think it was planned. A
party for the undead with a discount if you dress as a zombie? What
better place to take out a bunch of kids and then kill yourself. I'm
sure Fox News had a heyday with that one. ..."
posted by Relay at 11:25 PM on March 26, 2006


I Love Tacos maybe you missed this post and this post before mine, which I was clearly responding to? I certainly didn't help, but putting the blame on me for this thread turning towards a 2nd amendment debate is absolutely disingenuous.

Equally disingenuous is your decision to completely ignore what I was responding to - the idea that there exists a certain class of weapons solely for "hunting people", with all that the word "hunting" in that context implies. Namely, stalking and gunning down people in cold blood. Maybe you missed my post here where I point out that most weapons have functions outside of killing people.

Put bluntly, you're either blind or willfully ignoring that the phrase "2nd amendment" appears in this thread before I posted in it, and burning strawmen on a point where I was terribly clear in a pathetic attempt at character assassination. You want to disagree with my politics? Fine, disagree with my politics. But at least be honest when you do so and stop playing dumb.
posted by Ryvar at 12:24 AM on March 27, 2006


Interesting that the poster for the rave/zombie party/whatever, is a rip off of Michael Alig's Blood Feast flyer. Not that I'm suggesting that brain-eating images on promotional materials inevitably lead to the murder of nightclubbers, obviously...

And I might as well chime in on the gun law derail: if guns were strictly controlled in America, this wouldn't have fucking well happened, would it?
posted by jack_mo at 5:02 AM on March 27, 2006


Isn't it strange that seven metafilter members all lived exactly two blocks from this?

I don't know where you got that seven metafilter members all lived exactly two blocks bullshit out of this thread.

I, for one, mentioned that I and a friend unwittingly went within a block of the scene of the crime a couple of hours after the shooting happened. While I live in Seattle and in the general neighborhood, I do not live within even a mile of that house.
posted by y2karl at 7:17 AM on March 27, 2006


When it comes down to the bare facts, there was a mentally unwell man who was violent toward others. I don't need to personally know any of these people to be sympathetic -- no one rationally performs an act like this. Instead of questioning why he was able to find the tools to do what he did, I'd question the motivation. Even in a society that is open to social and psychiatric counseling we still have events like this. I hope that the families and friends of those who were there will not be afraid to seek out help if they need it.
posted by mikeh at 7:52 AM on March 27, 2006


The inanity of the NRA/pro-gun at all costs arguments are well summed up by this exchange from "All in the Family":
GLORIA: Do you know that sixty percent of all deaths in America are caused by guns?
ARCHIE: Would it make you feel any better if they was pushed out of windows?
Of course part of the joke is how badly Gloria has mangled her facts.
posted by caddis at 8:52 AM on March 27, 2006


There's actually three different 'altars' by the scene.

The entire 2100 block of Republican was taped off until Sunday evening. So, there's a group of flowers on the corner of 21st and Republican. There's another group of flowers on the corner of 22nd and Republican, as well as a shrine (candles, records, bracelets, food) set up by the original vigil holders.

Since the road was reopened, another shrine has been erected on the sidewalk right to the right of the house. The house is still taped off, and will be for some time. Vigilkeepers are maintaining both shrines with candles and offerings, and last night, people milled between the two as they exchanged condolences. Neighbours are also helping those grieving by providing food and company.

For the record, I live on 19th and Republican, and walk down Republican to 23rd nearly every day as part of my commute. Also, there's going to be an Interfaith Prayer service in front of 2112 E Republican (the house where this occured) tomorrow at 6pm.
posted by spinifex23 at 10:30 AM on March 27, 2006


Just to clarify, it looks like 2 people on this thread live 2 blocks away from the scene of this crime (lucasks, spinifex23), 1 person lives 5 blocks away (lumpenprole), 2 people had unknowingly traveled to within blocks of the house within hours of the incident (BlackLeotardFront, y2karl).
posted by chowder at 10:53 AM on March 27, 2006


are the swiss slaves? ... it's funny how hitler's forcible unification of the german people ended at the swiss border, isn't it?


funny...I always thought the Alps had something to do with that.
posted by juv3nal at 11:16 AM on March 27, 2006


chowder: Another in the last list over here. :-/
posted by -harlequin- at 11:33 AM on March 27, 2006


Ok, in response to this as an obituary, I'd like to make clear that I am sorry for the loss of life in this terrible, random killing. I'd also like to note that a similar shooting scenario happened this weekend in my neck of the woods, where a father was killed while throwing a party for teenagers. article here: http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/03/27/MNG9DHUKF61.DTL (sorry, I'm new here and I'm not sure how to post links here)....

In response the the "rave" thing, I'm sure that its not a real issue. Everyone knows that while they tend to do X and listen to cod-awful music, ravers are mostly non-violent folk, and this is an isolated incedent.

In regards to gun-control, I do believe in it, but I dont believe in gun bans. I know individuals with guns and while some have a chip on their shoulder, I do believe their only interest is target practice. (my closest friend who owns a gun is a rape victim and target practice is carthardic for her). I also believe that you are for gun ownership freedom then you MUST be for other freedoms like gay rights and abortion rights, otherwise you are full of shit.
posted by hellameangirl at 12:12 PM on March 27, 2006


ravers - cod awful music
zombie party - dead cod music?
posted by caddis at 12:51 PM on March 27, 2006


You know, we should at least get all the facts before we start the pro/anti gun debate. For all we know, the shooter was using an illegal gun. Certainly the grenades were illegal. If this is the case, then futher legislation wouldn't have prevented this. I think the push should be to increase enforcement of existing laws rather than throw new ones on the books.

Also, anti-gun crowd, the reality is even if you get your wildest dreams and all private ownership of guns are made illegal, there are too many guns in existence now to get rid of all of them. Besides, aren't most gun deaths either suicide or violent criminals shooting each other?
posted by clockworkjoe at 1:04 PM on March 27, 2006


hellameangirl writes "(sorry, I'm new here and I'm not sure how to post links here)...."

MetaFilter just uses regular HTML for links (and everything else). Your Story. There are buttons below the posting box (on most browsers) to help you out.
posted by Mitheral at 1:35 PM on March 27, 2006


Nobody said he had any grenades. Somebody reported that something was carried out by the police that looked like "a grenade" for all we know it could have been an egg timer.
posted by Megafly at 6:50 PM on March 27, 2006


funny...I always thought the Alps had something to do with that.

wouldn't mean a thing if there weren't armed people in them ready to fight off invaders

in other words, as marx pointed out, the lord alps those who alp themselves
posted by pyramid termite at 8:36 PM on March 27, 2006


Ryvar: If you don't understand what's different between your post, and the one's you responded to (particularly taken in the context of this thread), then I have no idea how to communicate with you. Honestly, I haven't a clue, except that if you really believe it, I think you need a psychiatrist.

If you want to rant about guns, and the ease that you could kill people with a visit to Home Depot, start a fresh FPP on that topic. At that point there'd be a number of interesting places to take the discussion.

In this thread, it can lead to no good.

And it wasn't an attempt to assassinate your character, it was just my best assessment. As near as I can tell you're Rabid Internet Gun Nut Model B. You care so much more about your guns than about people, that you can't even stop for a second to decide whether or not it's an appropriate forum to split hairs over terminology.

I thank you again for your incredibly inapproprate and off-topic rants. I greatly appreicate your continuing help making gun nuts appear to be socially crippled psychopaths.
posted by I Love Tacos at 2:57 AM on March 28, 2006


Oh, and the really dumb part of the gun nut rants, is that the gun nuts already won. And yet you still bitch like fucking babies whenever somebody mentions that your precious killing machines can (and often are) used to attack innocents.

So what? It's true.

You complain that some reporter says "hunting people", right after it's ACTUALLY USED to hunt people.

Can you see where some people would think that you're picking an incredibly bad time to split hairs, and that you're nothing but Stereotypical Gun Nut?
posted by I Love Tacos at 3:01 AM on March 28, 2006


the first step a government needs to take to enslave its people is to disarm them.

I don't care what you've got in your little bunker, you are unarmed compared to the police, the regular army, navy, air force, and marines, the various special forces, and the loons working in the spy services. You're never going to win that arms race, pal, so give up or go under like the Soviet Union. The argument that you and your pals will take on the US government with your hunting rifles is a silly Boy's Adventures fantasy. (Or it is a lie, a piece of faux patriot-rebel propaganda dragged out only for arguments like this.) Your whole house, your whole neighborhood, and everyone in it could be flattened or incinerated or poisoned in a few seconds if that's what the US government wanted. The only revolution that could win in the US would be one backed by and fought by (not fought against) the US armed forces, and then you wouldn't need your anti-army weapons.

People who want to buy deadly weapons for "home defense" should have to show that they have put adequate investment and effort into safe, passive home defense against their more likely enemies: burglars. Before you can even think of getting a people-blaster, you should have to install alarms (that automatically notify private or government security forces) and solid bullet-and-burglar-resistant doors and windows. Prove that you're actually deadly afraid of break-ins and really trying to keep the bastards out, and that you're willing to do it without risking anyone's life if possible.

Then, if the character and frequency of crime in your neighborhood makes it apparent that, despite your reinforced home, you are still likely to need a very deadly weapon to protect your toaster oven from drug addicts, go ahead and apply for a permit, take the first of your required yearly training courses for gun owners, pay the high annual insurance that each gun should require, and maybe, if you aren't nuts and don't have a violent record and you get good annual reviews from your neighbors and the people you went to school with and the people you work with, maybe get a gun.
posted by pracowity at 4:22 AM on March 28, 2006


pracowity writes "Your whole house, your whole neighborhood, and everyone in it could be flattened or incinerated or poisoned in a few seconds if that's what the US government wanted."

Rarely does fighting a war mean glassing the whole country side over. You may want to reflect on why the US, with all this awesome god like force at it's disposal hasn't applied it in Iraq. Funtionally there isn't that much difference between a select fire rifle and a semi auto hunting rifle (except even a wal-mart special .308 is probably more accurate than a AK-47). In fact in a civil war I'd much rather have a quality rifle backed by a semi auto shotgun than an AK-47 or even a M-16. But then I'm not worried about logistics like a army needs to be.

pracowity writes "solid bullet-and-burglar-resistant doors and windows"
Not very cost effective compared to a pump shotgun. Even one security door capable of stopping a rifle bullet is going to cost more.
posted by Mitheral at 8:49 AM on March 28, 2006


Not very cost effective compared to a pump shotgun.

It depends how much you value the lives of your family, I suppose. Putting up strong doors and windows makes them more secure. Getting a gun makes them more likely to be shot.
posted by pracowity at 10:41 AM on March 28, 2006


I don't care what you've got in your little bunker, you are unarmed compared to the police, the regular army, navy, air force, and marines, the various special forces, and the loons working in the spy services. You're never going to win that arms race, pal, so give up or go under like the Soviet Union. The argument that you and your pals will take on the US government with your hunting rifles is a silly Boy's Adventures fantasy. (Or it is a lie, a piece of faux patriot-rebel propaganda dragged out only for arguments like this.) Your whole house, your whole neighborhood, and everyone in it could be flattened or incinerated or poisoned in a few seconds if that's what the US government wanted. The only revolution that could win in the US would be one backed by and fought by (not fought against) the US armed forces, and then you wouldn't need your anti-army weapons.

Just for the record, as a gun nut, we KNOW that we will loose every fight that the Government shows up to.
There is no way my house will stand up to anything the military decides to throw at it. We know that it is useless to stand up against any sort of military force. If they want to kill us, they will.
It's an issue of pride. And, I guess, Patriotism. It's the same thing that is fueling Iraq. If someone pulled the same stunt here, I'd be an insurgent until dead. It's better to die on your feet, than live crunched under a boot. And I would hope that, if our military started "cracking down" on unregulated militias, and show you news stories nightly of whatever weapons cache was found after the deceased 'provoked aggressions' against a team of 12 masked men with MP5's that heard rumors of nonconformity, That people wouldn't cheer.
America will have many more martyrs before it's all through.
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 1:18 PM on March 28, 2006


Not sure if anyone linked to these yet...articles from the Stranger, Seattle's alternative weekly, here and here.
posted by bingo at 5:35 PM on March 28, 2006


The argument that you and your pals will take on the US government with your hunting rifles is a silly Boy's Adventures fantasy.

While I agree most militia types are delusional Gun-Trekies, the facts about guerilla warfare are clearly against you. I feel I must clear up this muddled thinking before going on. Small arms do work.

It ALL depends on HOW you fight and what your goal is. You can do it for a good long while.

IE: The Iraqi Insurgents have no Heavy or Mobile, Armor, no Navy or Airforce and no big weapons they aren't taking apart and using as IED's. They can use small arms tactics to negotiate a political voice. Perhaps not indefinitely. But it will likely work.

There are any number of successful rebellions through out history where one group was highly out classed, out manned or out gunned. Yet the underdog prevailed by virtue of attrition and tenacity.

But this is moot. And discussing it here and now I find rather perverse.

Here I sit about eight blocks from this weekends' shooting. I know the house. I use to walk my dog to the park past that house. This makes my stomach ache. I think how terrible it must have been for those kids and the horror the parents must be going through. That is what I think about. I think "what if my kids had been there?"

What I DON'T think about is grand-standing on or stomping my feet over fucking guns. Either FOR or AGAINST the goddamned things. What I think is "how can I help those kids and their parents with their suffering?"

And you know, screaming "Gun Nut!" twenty times doesn't really help much. Granted the person who did this was obviously and sadly mentally disturbed and he acquired guns. So I guess he was a gun nut. But equating any gun ownership with his level of deranged behavior is not only insulting. It's missing the point and completely counter productive.

There is something wrong here in America (and other places where children murder children all too frequently). And it isn't guns. Maybe it's a dangerous blend of our institutional glorification of barbarism and a desperate hollow loneliness unique to our young men here. Young men who no one wants or needs.

Mostly. Again. I think "what if my kids had been there?"
posted by tkchrist at 5:44 PM on March 28, 2006


What I think is "how can I help those kids and their parents with their suffering?"

There are two separate funds set up already; one for the families of the dead, and one for the surviving housemates. Anyone who is really intererested; contact me and I will provide more information.
posted by bingo at 7:27 PM on March 28, 2006


"You may want to reflect on why the US, with all this awesome god like force at it's disposal hasn't applied it in Iraq."

It hasn't? I think it has. You can level blocks and obliterate towns, but that still won't win a war, especially a guerilla war. I really don't have an opinion on whether or not the ubiquity of small arms in the US would make a real difference if people here fought a guerilla war on their own turf. It could make a huge difference, or none at all. Probably a deciding factor is how available weaponry is to these people from other sources. Most of the guerilla wars we're familiar with have the insurgent faction being supported and armed by some external power. Maybe the ones that weren't, didn't last long. Correlation is not causation.

As something near a 1st Amendment absolutist but someone who favors gun control, when I discuss this with like-minded people, I try to do my part in making this debate more thoughtful by pointing out the inconsistency of being maximalist on speech and minimalist on firearms. How people feel about this is a very nice, little litmus test of people's true, practical position on legal Constitutional theory. The first and second amendments push in opposite directions in the context of the US's generalized politics, and the result is that you can be a maximalist on one and a minimalist on the other and you're stuck with having to defend how that makes sense. If you're a Scalia, you claim to simply interpret the Constitution very literally and ahistorically, and you'll find that theory pleasing with regard to the 2nd, but problematic with the 1st. It seems to me that if we reduce the various Constitutional legal theories to literal vs. historically contextual, the literalists will have a problem not taking a maximalist position on both the 1st and 2nd. On the other hand, if you believe that the Constitution should be interpreted contextually, you'll need to argue how the present context determines the "correct" interpretation of the 1st and 2nd. My sense is that neither side really does this—they both take, implicitly or explicitly, the theory that conveniently supports any particular case.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:53 AM on March 29, 2006


Ethereal Bligh writes "It hasn't? I think it has. You can level blocks and obliterate towns, but that still won't win a war, especially a guerilla war."

The US has the capability to reduce Bagdad or any other town in Iraq to rubble in its entirety where the largest piece is smaller than a Volvo. They wouldn't even need to break out atomic weapons. They haven't yet done this for any population centre above village as far as I know. And as you said even doing so won't win a guerilla war. If nothing else the US in Vietnam and Russia in Afganistan has taught us this.
posted by Mitheral at 9:55 AM on March 29, 2006


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