Feeling Safe

This is all over the Internet already, but since we're already hearing demands for new gun laws it deserves to be mentioned here too. From the Roanoke Times, January 31, 2006:

A bill that would have given college students and employees the right to carry handguns on campus died with nary a shot being fired in the General Assembly....

Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker was happy to hear the bill was defeated. "I'm sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly's actions because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus."

With that grim irony noted, let's not forget an important fact: School shootings are rare. They're especially rare at Virginia Tech. National Review reports that in "2005, the last year for which data are available, the campus had no murders, forcible thefts, or aggravated assaults. Almost no cities of 25,000, Virginia Tech's student enrollment, ever have had a year that safe. Despite a single horrific day nothing fundamental has changed." Anecdotal evidence, even really gruesome anecdotal evidence, isn't the best argument for any sweeping policy change -- including changes, such as concealed-carry permits, that I happen to support. The Virginia Tech shootings are a lousy argument for gun control, but that doesn't mean they'll turn out to be a strong argument for anything else.

As Ilya Somin notes, "The extreme rarity of such incidents should be kept in mind as we decide what, if any, policy changes should be made in response to the Virginia Tech tragedy. Some changes may well be warranted, but we should guard against costly overreactions such as the draconian 'zero tolerance' policies implemented in many schools after the Columbine attacks in 1999."

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  • thoreau||

    Anecdotal evidence, even really horrifying anecdotal evidence, isn't the best argument for any sweeping policy change -- even those...that I happen to support.

    Well said!

  • ed||

    Does this mean we shouldn't put all the South Korean students in internment camps?

  • ||

    Some people feel safe when they have a gun.

    Some people feel safe when they pass a gun law.

    Feelings!
    Nothing more than feelings,
    At the corners of my mind...

  • shecky||

    Kneejerk reactions to such anomalous events usually make for bad policy. Seems obvious.

    Also obvious is that reason goes out the window when emotions run high.

  • Dave W.||

    Maybe anecdotes aren't the best evidence.

    After you take out the suicides and the defensive shootings there are still approximately 10,000 gun deaths in the US per year.

    That works out to 27 a day.

    What do you do with horrifying non-anecdotal evidence?

  • ||

    What do you do with horrifying non-anecdotal evidence?

    Lemme guess Dave:

    Restrict everyone's rights?

  • ||

    Speaking of unwarranted leaps of logic...

  • Cain\'s Ability||

    It's probably been asked elsewhere, but why the delay in identifying the murderer?

  • Jennifer||

    Some people feel safe when they have a gun.
    Some people feel safe when they pass a gun law. Feelings!


    Except that we've got firm evidence that the anti-gun law only makes people "feel" safe up until the second they've converted into a corpse. Whereas having actual possession of a gun, and being able and willing to use it, can make someone not merely feel safe but actually be safe, compared to the person who is unarmed when facing a gun-toting psycho.

  • ||

    Speaking of unwarranted leaps of logic...

    no we weren't....

  • Jennifer||

    "I'm sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly's actions because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus."

    Perhaps a talented medium with a Ouija board can ask the newly dead how safe they feel.

  • ||

    VA Tech had a shooting back in August of '06 when a prisoner getting treatment in their hospital escaped and shot a security guard.

  • Brady||

    What kind of moron wants to carry a concealed gun around on a college campus, especially if school shootings are rare? America's love affair with guns and violence is amazing.

  • ||

    "Except that we've got firm evidence that the anti-gun law only makes people "feel" safe up until the second they've converted into a corpse." Really? We have "firm evidence" that "anti-gun" laws have no crime-reducing effect? Would you care to link to any of it? Or do you just feel that it's true?

    "Whereas having actual possession of a gun, and being able and willing to use it, can make someone not merely feel safe but actually be safe, compared to the person who is unarmed when facing a gun-toting psycho."

    Really? We have firm evidence that people who walk around with guns are safer than those who do not?

    Care to link to any of that evidence? Or is this a feeling, too?

  • Cain\'s Ability||

    A murderer is a murderer. Even if all guns were suddenly to vanish from the earth, he'd still be a murderer. He could not have murdered as many people, but he still would have murdered. It's a much-mocked cliche, but it's true that guns don't kill people, people kill people. Anti-gun laws may reduce the number of victims, but it won't reduce the number of killers.

  • MC||

    What kind of moron wants to carry a concealed gun around on a college campus, especially if school shootings are rare?

    The type of moron who would rather fight back against a psycho than stand there waiting to die.

  • ||

    "What kind of moron wants to carry a concealed gun around on a college campus, especially if school shootings are rare?"

    Lots of people carry totems. Personally, I feel awkward all day if I forget my wedding ring.

  • ||

    "Anti-gun laws may reduce the number of victims, but it won't reduce the number of killers."

    The same could be said of carrying guns.

  • fyodor||

    It's a much-mocked cliche, but it's true that guns don't kill people, people kill people.

    Wasn't that discredited when Archie Bunker said it?

  • Andy||

    Dave W. -

    http://health.dailynewscentral.com/content/view/0002352/53/

    Hospital-administered overdoses of medications kill almost 20 people a day!!!! Quickly! Ban hospitals! No wait, ban medicine! For the love of god, just ban something!!! Think of the CHILDREN!!!

  • ed||

    No need to ban the hospitals.
    Just lock 'em down!

  • Mike Laursen||

    I know that Virginia Tech bans guns on campus, but, off campus, was it legal for a South Vietnamese guy on a student visa to own a gun/carry a concealed weapon in Virginia? Just curious.

  • B||

    What kind of moron wants to carry a concealed gun around on a college campus, especially if school shootings are rare?

    Virginia Tech is probably a bad example, but I can think of quite a few campuses situated in or near otherwise unsafe parts of town where some people might feel safer carrying--think female grad students coming and going at odd hours, for example. Johns Hopkins, Yale, Duke, USC, and Georgia Tech (though it's much safer now than when I was a student there) come to mind.

  • Brady||

    MC

    Stuff your macho fantasies up your ass, you ignorant fuck.

  • ||

    Who will be first to call for mandatory ROTC on every campus which receives federal funds? I hope nobody gets trampled in the rush.

  • ||

    "Stuff your macho fantasies up your ass, you ignorant fuck."

    If one is trained to properly employ a handgun in a defensive situation, and is mentally prepared to do such, is it really a fantasy?

  • Dave W.||

    Lemme guess Dave:

    Restrict everyone's rights?


    Some ideas:

    - strict compensatory liability for gun manufacturers to victims. let the gun manufacturers decide who is worthy, and give them incentive to be stingy in bestowing that honor.

    - make gun owners sign a Fourth Amendment waiver. If you carry a gun, then all searches are "reasonable" and consensual.

    - better enforcement of laws requiring people to secure their guns. (In conjunction with last point), random, warrantless searches to make sure the gun cabinets stay locked. On pain of jail time.

    - require open carry rather than concealed carry. I would rather know who is carrying, me.

    - make it a crime to have your guns stolen from you. Period.

    - stiffer penalties for people who allow children unsupervised access to guns.

    I could go on, but you get the point. there are plenty of ways to let people keep their guns, but to still treat gun ownership as serious business -- much more serious business than it is now treated as. Last week I wrote a story about you where you had a gun in your glovebox while you popped into the market to get milk. I half expected you to balk at that characterization. I was disappointed when you did not.

  • Daniel DiRito||

    A Symptom of our "Chain Letter Society"?

    Read an analysis of the influences in our "Chain Letter Society" that may be precipitating events like the tragedy at Virginia Tech and how our focus on winning and being number one may be fostering a generation of children with fully inadequate coping skills who have a misguided sense of self-worth...here:

    www.thoughttheater.com

  • ||

    "America's love affair with guns and violence is amazing."

    America's love affair? American-made action films depicting guns and violence are the most popular in the world!

  • Jennifer||

    Really? We have firm evidence that people who walk around with guns are safer than those who do not?

    You agreed yesterday when I said the victims would've had a chance of survival if they'd had a gun with them. Have you changed your mind since then?

  • Dave W.||

    Hospital-administered overdoses of medications kill almost 20 people a day!!!! Quickly! Ban hospitals! No wait, ban medicine! For the love of god, just ban something!!! Think of the CHILDREN!!!

    thanks for reminding me. Another idea (once again, not a ban) to add to my list:

    - make gun owners carry theft and malpractice insurance.

  • robc||

    I have suggested this idea in the past and will do so again - After a horrific event, legislatures should wait at least 1 year before considering any bills related to the event.

    Thus, as much as I would like it, VA should wait at least 1 year before allowing carry on campuses.

    Also, should wait at least 1 year before putting on more restictive gun laws.

    As much as I would favor the carry law, its in the best interests of everyone to no pass knee-jerk laws.

  • HeyPaul||

    Could somebody actually cite specific evidence for their claims please? Maybe that should be the rule for all discussions everywhere. If you can't specifically cite the study, page and verse that supports your claim, then shut the hell up.

  • So Crates||

    Some people feel safe when they have a gun.
    Some people feel safe when they pass a gun law.
    Feelings!
    Nothing more than feelings,
    At the corners of my mind...



    So how do you feel about it?

    Or are you just a dispassionate observer, motivated by pure logic?

  • Brady||

    mediageek

    I'd love to send you to Iraq after mentally preparing you for it, asshole. Gun lovers with their fantasies about taking out psychos make me want to vomit. You're all a bunch of coddled little pricks who would faint if confronted with violence that wasn't in a movie.

  • robc||

    B,

    I also would have carried at GT if it had been allowed at the time. My roommate was randomly assaulted (or maybe battered, he didnt see it coming) at the corner of Techwood and North, back when Twood dorm still existed.

  • Dave W.||

    You agreed yesterday when I said the victims would've had a chance of survival if they'd had a gun with them.

    Then again there are people who survived yesterday who probably would have died if they had had a gun. Specifically, there are people who evaded being shot, or fatally shot, because they were focusing on fleeing and hiding, rather than standing their ground. Trouble is, we don't know how many people fall into that category. We just have no way of knowing.

  • Jennifer||

    Gun lovers with their fantasies about taking out psychos make me want to vomit. You're all a bunch of coddled little pricks who would faint if confronted with violence that wasn't in a movie.

    Projection: not just for movie theaters anymore.

  • ||

    Brady,

    I hope you won't think less of me for politely inviting you to leave.

    Please leave.

  • Dave W.||

    I also would have carried at GT if it had been allowed at the time. My roommate was randomly assaulted (or maybe battered, he didnt see it coming) at the corner of Techwood and North, back when Twood dorm still existed.

    Was his wallet stolen? If he had a firearm, would that have been stolen, too?

  • robc||

    Dave,

    If they had had a gun on them, they would have had the option of standing their ground or fleeing (having the weapon doesnt prevent you from fleeing if that makes the most sense). What would the outcome have been? We dont know. But we would have increased options.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Could somebody actually cite specific evidence for their claims please? Maybe that should be the rule for all discussions everywhere. If you can't specifically cite the study, page and verse that supports your claim, then shut the hell up.

    You realize that would eliminate most blog comments, not to mention most newspaper articles...
    (no, I don't have a cite.)

  • VM||

    MC | April 17, 2007, 11:07am | #
    What kind of moron wants to carry a concealed gun around on a college campus, especially if school shootings are rare?

    The type of moron who would rather fight back against a psycho than stand there waiting to die.


    oooh! less than 10% chance of rain. Gonna walk around in a drysuit. not gonna get wet! Look! It's fucking SECRET AGENT MAN! You're as fucking lame as the guy who gets into a martial arts stance everytime someone walks by - "just in case".

    There's a better defense of concealed carry than that. That's as silly as the anti GM arguments. In fact, it doesn't need justification. It's legal. And I believe it is unrelated to this case.

    It's really fucking lame to have these faux macho fantasies.

    The image of everybody running around like James Bond is really silly. And the "judged by twelve than carried by six" argument is also really lame.

    You're not gonna be in that situation. Ever. You're not gonna win the lottery. And Penny Sue will NOT, repeat NOT, call you even though she smiled at you in homeroom.

    This asinine argument, "this proves that I should carry" vs "this proves guns are bad" don't get anywhere.

    Argue from a different perspective. By even floating these situations as your justification, you're giving the control people ammo, ahem - as it were. You don't need to justify concealed carry. At all.

    These terrible shootings have nothing to do with your right to own, possess, or carry a gun. Unrelated.

    In fact, you're the moron of the day. You're the daily equivalent to that idiot who had a toothache and figured he could stand up to Iran, unlike those "treacherous" Brit sailors. Tool.

    Brady - that's a completely misunderstood, unfair characterization of Mediageek. I suggest you understand the regulars here before you embarrass yourself more.

    Mediageek is a responsible, knowledgeable gun owner. He explains safety issues, laws, mechanics etc all the time.

    He wasn't spewing any macho shit, unlike MC.

    I take it back, MC. You're tied with Brady for moron of the day. And please heed Mr. Jake Boone's advice! He speaks clear minded!

  • ||

    "I'd love to send you to Iraq after mentally preparing you for it, asshole. Gun lovers with their fantasies about taking out psychos make me want to vomit. You're all a bunch of coddled little pricks who would faint if confronted with violence that wasn't in a movie."

    HILARIOLICIOUS!

  • ||

    Dave W said: "After you take out the suicides and the defensive shootings there are still approximately 10,000 gun deaths in the US per year.

    That works out to 27 a day."

    But you fail to take into account the 1.5-2 MILLION times every year that firearms are used to prevent crimes (including murder) most without a shot fired.

    Why is it that so many (particularly anti gun) people only count dead criminals as "successfull self defence" scenarios?

    Disarm the law abiding and there will be more blood, not less ... law abiding folk are much less likely to kill their attackers than attackers are likely to kill their victims.

    Joe said:
    "We have firm evidence that people who walk around with guns are safer than those who do not?"

    Joe, Pick up a copy of Gary Kleck's "Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America" the evidence (with footnotes and everything) is right there.

  • ||

    Dave W. says: "make it a crime to have your guns stolen from you. Period."

    Are you shitting me? Make it a crime to be a victim of a crime? 40,000+ people die in auto accidents in the US each year -- should it be a crime to have your car stolen? If not, why? Should automakers be held liable for deaths caused by drunk drivers and car thieves? If not, why not? Should anyone who drives a car have to sign a 4th Amendment waiver? If not, why not?

  • ||

    Ugh. There could be a mass shooting in every school in every city in the country and it still wouldn't change my rights. They are not dependent on the actions of others.

  • ||

    "You're all a bunch of coddled little pricks..."


    Y'all mustn't bother about Brady - he's just been coddling his own little prick too much lately. ;-)

  • robc||

    Dave,

    Actually, a gun wouldnt have helped at all in the situation I was mentioning. I was just commenting on B's much safer now than used to be. Tis true. I knew of people mugged/raped on campus by off-campus individuals - a gun might have helped them out.

    In the late 80s/early 90s, the GT campus and surrounding neighborhoods were not the safest to roam around at night. There were times I would have felt safer carrying.

  • VM||

    Thank you, Tim! exactly!

  • ||

    Okay, I can't resist feeding the troll on this. How then Brady do you explain the hundreds of thousands of Iraq vets who most assuredly did not faint under fire yet also support gun rights? By your logic everyone who ever went off to war would come back as a gun controling fanatic. Of course they don't and going to war has no correlation with your view on gun rights.

  • ||

    "You agreed yesterday when I said the victims would've had a chance of survival if they'd had a gun with them."

    And I explained yesterday the difference between this one event vs. everyday behavior.

    I haven't changed my mind; you're just continuing to fall for the "plane crashes get more press coverage than car crashes" fallacy.

  • ||

    Lemme guess Dave:

    Restrict everyone's rights?

    Some ideas:


    Followed by a list of ways to restrict everyone's rights.

    Thanks, Dave.

    And I know, I know, your list of restrictions only applies to those who choose to exercise their right to keep and bear arms. In my book, imposing penalties on those who exercise a right is a restriction on everyone.

  • ||

    Some ideas:

    - strict compensatory liability for gun manufacturers to victims. let the gun manufacturers decide who is worthy, and give them incentive to be stingy in bestowing that honor.


    How about we do the same with cars, pools, hammers, and any other thing which has ever been used to murder someone? If you're up for that, let's do it. By the way, I get to be the guy that sells you your food.


    - make gun owners sign a Fourth Amendment waiver. If you carry a gun, then all searches are "reasonable" and consensual.

    Bullshit. Are you willing to sign a waiver that since you post here, exercising your first amendment rights, all searches are consentual?

    - better enforcement of laws requiring people to secure their guns. (In conjunction with last point), random, warrantless searches to make sure the gun cabinets stay locked. On pain of jail time.

    Why? How about random, warrantless searches to ensure that your medicine cabinet stays locked? You simply don't grasp that a firearm sitting about is not going to jump up and kill someone, and there are many ways to kill someone that don't involve a gun. There has to be someone pulling the trigger. It's tragic when a kids shoots another, just as it's tragic when a kid beats another to death. The latter is more likely to happen. It's tragic when a kid gets killed with scissors, that's more likely yet.

    - require open carry rather than concealed carry. I would rather know who is carrying, me.

    Why does it matter to you that you want so much to let people know where they can steal a gun? The inference is that you're scared of people that have them, it would follow that cops scare the crap out fo you.

    I think your trust in fellow people, perhaps yourself, is quite lacking. I think your concerns would be much better addressed by saying "Anyone who has a predisposition to kill someone, wear a yellow triangle on the front of their garment". That would solve it, right? Therefore, even if someone wasn't carrying, but instead had a knife, hammer, something to kill you with, they'd be appropriately identified. By all means, pass this law, as it would undoubtably ensure safe living for all.

    - make it a crime to have your guns stolen from you. Period.

    Now this is just stupid. Someone steals your car, uses it for vehicular homocide, you want to assume liability? If yes, please do so. I don't.

    - stiffer penalties for people who allow children unsupervised access to guns.

    This is already illegal, but what would you propose? I don't particularly have a problem with this, as long as it's written precisely, so it can't be used as a broad brush attack on people.

    I could go on, but you get the point.

    No, I don't. I see a number of ill considered proposals that stem from irrational fears, not reality.

  • ||

    Dave W,

    Many countries have a prevalence of guns than the US, yet less crime, and without any of the laws you suggest.

    Some. People. Are. Bad. They will find ways around your suggestions. (if VT wasn't already a "Gun Free" zone I'm sure you would've included that)

    The other 99% of us do not need your "solutions".

  • ||

    So, joe, you support liberal concealed carry laws and policies?

  • joe||

    You are continuing to fall for the "car crashes get more coverage than guy who successful avoids crash" fallacy too.

    How many uncovered events were prevented from occurring by the existence of a gun?

  • ||

    It seems to me inarguable that if some of the Va. Tech victims had been armed, and known how to use their weapons, there would have been far fewer deaths. BUT:
    * Even if they had the right to carry, how many would have been armed in class that morning?
    * What is the minimum age for concealed carry in VA?
    * How many non--students (faculty, staff, presumably older and thus more likely to have a carry permit) had a reasonable chance to intervene before the killing was effectively over?

    Incidents such as this one are extremely rare, hence Jesse's and Ilya's warnings about making policy. I share Jesse's inclination, but just as "hard cases make bad law," terrible but rare situations are a bad basis for forming policy.

    A reaction that would effectively prevent a recurrence of this massacre would also have many, many side effects, whether the response be to encourage armed self-defense or to increase security and police intrusiveness. Overheated rhetoric doesn't help us rationally discuss what happened and what, if anything, is the appropriate response.

  • Bagger||

    "Ugh. There could be a mass shooting in every school in every city in the country and it still wouldn't change my rights. They are not dependent on the actions of others."

    Ding ding ding. We have a winner. Now move along, folks. Nothing else to see here.

  • ||

    So Crates,

    I feel sad. As far as my feelings about how gun laws relate to this, I don't really have any - which is probably for the best, because the strong feelings that follow such a tragedy make for a poor basis to formulate policy.

    I do feel somewhat disgusted at all of those people whose reaction has been "Now's our chance!"

  • Dave W.||

    Actually, a gun wouldnt have helped at all in the situation I was mentioning.

    I figured. I just wanted to point out that it was gun laws that prevented your roommate's muggers from acquiring a gun during his attack.

    the idea is that those muggers might have threatened others with that gun, or maybe even shot people with it.

  • ||

    I suggest you understand the regulars here before you embarrass yourself more

    It's "further", not "more". Misquotes make mincemeat out of meeses. ;)

  • ||

    . . .a South Vietnamese guy. . . .



    Not to quibble, but I don't think South Vietnam exists any more. The shooter was South Korean from what I've heard. Which means war, of course.

    Any way you parse this, gun banning doesn't look too good in this case. Whether one is a gun nut or not, I doubt seriously that a campus with at least a small number of armed folks wouldn't have stopped the guy a little sooner.

    Maybe I'm just so libertarian that I can't see this any other way, but I think that empowering people to make their own decisions and to protect themselves makes a whole lot more sense than waiting for the government players to take action. I'm not even saying that as an anti-government remark--it's just that we as individuals can act quicker if we have the means to do so than a centralized authority can. Government and even private-sector management have a tendency to cautious response, which can result in fatal delays in these kinds of situations. Not to mention that government has quite limited resources.

    Whether an armed population would result in more shootings is a question that I think isn't completely settled, but, as I mentioned in an earlier thread, there's always nonlethal weapons.

    If it were up to me, we'd all have to carry swords.

  • ||

    Projection: not just for movie theaters anymore.

    Thanks, Jennifer, needed a laugh there.

  • Andy||

    Dave W,

    Since you went through the admirable trouble of posting this list, I wanted to give you some thoughts on it.

    To all, sorry for any repeats to the countless people who've already answered him.


    strict compensatory liability for gun manufacturers to victims. let the gun manufacturers decide who is worthy, and give them incentive to be stingy in bestowing that honor.
    This idea strikes me as a non-starter, unless you're going to allow compensatory liability for car manufacturers and alcohol brewers as well. A gun manufacturer doesn't have any more control over who the gun is sold to than either of those (significantly more deadly, even in terms of pure "unreasonable use" deaths) products. Maybe if you wanted to talk about gun DEALERS facing compensatory liability in the face of demonstrable gross negligence, but I'm not sure that wouldn't already fly in court. And regardless, if you're comfortable with liability for responsible ownership of cars stopping with the owner thanks to extensive government licensing, I'm not sure why that changes here.

    - make gun owners sign a Fourth Amendment waiver. If you carry a gun, then all searches are "reasonable" and consensual.
    You can't waive a Constitution right. There's this pesky thing about the lack of alienability. Even if you could, this is just about the stupidest and most insulting thing I've ever heard, and I don't own or want to own a gun.

    - better enforcement of laws requiring people to secure their guns. (In conjunction with last point), random, warrantless searches to make sure the gun cabinets stay locked. On pain of jail time.
    Again with the Fourth Amendment. While I can agree with upping the penalties, neither I nor any court of record is going to get behind that being a reasonable cause of search. And at that point, of course, it just becomes another excuse to up jail time for people caught doing something else, or who can't quite be caught doing something else. Again with the "uniqueness" problem - if this is a reasonable cause for a search, so is ensuring that you've properly secured all potentially toxic cleaning chemicals from children, and that you don't have any sharp or electrical objects in a position where a child or potential visiting child could access them. It just doesn't make any sense.

    - require open carry rather than concealed carry. I would rather know who is carrying, me.
    I don't really know or care much about this. I don't really know why people want to conceal carry, so it's not really for me to speak about whether or not they should be able to. Seems odd to me though that you can be comfortable declaring someone safe to use a gun, but that you have to be able to see it anyway.

    - make it a crime to have your guns stolen from you. Period.
    This is mind-numbingly stupid.

    - stiffer penalties for people who allow children unsupervised access to guns.
    What about a trained kid who wants to go hunting? I mean, of course, on face, no one's going to argue that you should be penalized for letting a five-year-old play house with double barreled shotgun, or whatever, but in practice this doesn't make total sense.

    - make gun owners carry theft and malpractice insurance.
    Eh, no real problem with this. At least in a sense that would be equivalent to car insurance. So to say no to theft, but yes to safety insurance.

  • ||

    I'm wondering how many people out there are as sick as I am of the idiotic arguments on both sides of this.

    Nothing is going to change. Nobody is going to lose their guns and it's also pretty unlikely that 19-year old coeds are going to start packing Glocks to their American History classes just in case a firefight should break out.

    This is just one of those things that happens in America these days. Own it.

  • Misquoting Moose||

    MP:
    good call!

    So, what now? I should read up on my quotes ere I embarrass myself any further?

    Yeah. That's it!!!! :)

    *ambles back to wooded grove

  • ||

    Mike,

    I realize there are studies the purport to show that loosening gun laws reduces crime. There are also studies purporting to show the opposite. They all seem to suffer from being unable to tease out the effect of the gun laws from other influencing factors.

    But at least you didn't cite John Lott's little masterpiece. I heard someone call in to the sports talk program and pound the table with Lott this morning.

  • VM||

    joe - obviously not a Mike and Mike fan.

    :)

  • robc||

    Dave,

    he wasnt mugged, I said assaulted/battered. It was some random punk throwing an elbow into his face while running down the street. About 5-6 guys ran past us, one threw an elbow at my roommate. He bled, but wasnt a huge deal. It was a relatively minor incident for that neighborhood.

    I have no idea why you think a mugger would
    successfully steal a firearm?

  • Cain\'s Ability||

    Does this website regularly eat comments?

  • Andy||

    Pug,

    On the one hand, I understand your frustration with the "idiotic arguing," but on the other, that's one of the prices of living in a democracy. You can't take it for granted that nothing will change, because a small but vocal minority somewhere thinks something really stupid about something. And given time, money, or a mana from heaven PR tie in, they can do a lot of damage to any given cause. That's why it's important that people have these discussions, so that bullshit arguments and unverified claims go challenged, and they don't poison debate and eventually have a real negative impact on society.

    With that said, an argument like "I feel safer WITH my gun"... BUT... "I feel safer when you're not allowed to have a gun!" really aren't a lot of fun or value. But that's part of the price you pay when paying the price of having the argument that keeps a democracy reasonable and vital.

  • ||

    "You are continuing to fall for the "car crashes get more coverage than guy who successful avoids crash" fallacy too."

    Actually, no, I'm not. I haven't volunteered an opinion. Do you know why that is?

    Because I realize that opining one way or the other about the effects of concealed carry laws is talking out of one's ass.

    mediageek,

    "So, joe, you support liberal concealed carry laws and policies?" Kinda. I don't have a problem with communities that do so, nor do I have a problem with communities that choose not to do so.

    Since there isn't much reason to believe they increase crime, it makes sense to err on the side of the govenrment not screwing with people. On the other hand, since there isn't much reason to believe they reduce crime, I don't think there's much of a reason for the state or feds to impose a change of policy on municipalities, either.

  • robc||

    "Because I realize that opining one way or the other about the effects of concealed carry laws is talking out of one's ass."

    No it isnt. I dont know if they increase or decrease safety, but I do know they increase liberty.

  • ||

    OK, fair enough.

  • ||

    Hospital-administered overdoses of medications kill almost 20 people a day!!!!

    It's more like 100,000 or more each year ("adverse drug reactions"). And, depending on who's doing the counting, there's up to 2,000 iatrogenic deaths per day in the U.S. (200K to 700K+ per year; 200K is generally accepted.).

  • dhex||

    some reasonable steps in discussing this issue:

    1) separate gun deaths and gun suicides. as the high suicide rate in many countries where weapons bans are strong, as well as in a country like switzerland where guns are plentiful strongly indicates that suicide should be separated when talking about gun availability. israel has a low suicide rate - finland a high suicide rate, but their legal approaches to firearms are radically different.

    2) depending on who is doing the talking (and believing) there seems to be a huge divide on what actions cause what effects in terms of crime resistance and injury. while this is not surprising, it becomes difficult to suss out what's crap and what's not, even if we take the primary step of eliminating the demagogues and jerkoffs (i.e. the brady campaign, john lott, etc). invariably people believe what they want to believe. my take on it is that legal handgun ownership and usage seems to help certain populations (women, minorities) in certain categories of crime (rape, armed robbery and home invasion) avoid greater injury and crime completion. the rates are not tremendous, but they are somewhat more positive than passive resistance. (This data is reflected in many women's self-defense courses in the united states now, in which active resistance is stressed over passive resistance; neither is a byword for "suicide" regardless.)

    3) as a group, CHL holders seem to be extremely law-abiding, with crime rates far below the general population (outside of the obvious, like not storing their licensed guns properly and other infractions that only apply to CHL holders).

    4) keep in mind that this "debate" is dominated by fear and that's what brings it to shaivo-esque levels of insanity. so don't take it personally, and be not afraid.

    5) a question: why is gun violence considered a public health issue, at least as far as the academic reviews are concerned? that seems...odd. maybe it's a funding thing? the suicide aspect makes sense, but actual gun crimes seems to be a criminology issue, not a public health issue.


    and as requested, a partial bibliography:

    Committee on Law and Justice, National Research Council. "Firearms and Violence: A
    Critical Review." Wellford, Charles F., Pepper, John V. and Carol V. Petrie,
    Editors. Washington, DC. National Academies Press, 2004.
    http://newton.nap.edu/catalog/10881.html

    Centers for Disease Control. "First Reports Evaluating the Effectiveness of Strategies for
    Preventing Violence: Firearms Laws." October 3, 2003. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5214a2.htm.


    Kleck, Gary and Don B. Kates. Armed: New Perspectives on Gun Control. New York:
    Prometheus Books, 2001.


    Synder, Jeffrey R. "Fighting Back: Crime, Self-Defense and the Right to Carry a
    Handgun." Cato Institute, October 22, 1997. https://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-284.html.

    Texas Dept. of Public Safety. Concealed Handgun Licensing Bureau.
    http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/administration/crime_records/chl/chlsindex.htm.

    Texas Dept. of Public Safety. Concealed Handgun Licensing Bureau. "Conviction Rate
    Breakdown for CCW Licensees." http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/administration/crime_records/chl/convrates.htm.

    Texas Dept. of Public Safety. Concealed Handgun Licensing Bureau. "Demographic
    Summary." http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/administration/crime_records/chl/demographicsummary.PDF.


    Reynolds, Morgan and H. Sterling Burnett. "Carrying Concealed Weapons Reduces
    Crime." At Issue: Gun Control. Tamara L. Roleff, Ed. Chicago: Greenhaven Press, 2000.


    World Health Organization. Suicide Prevention and Special Programmes.
    http://www.who.int/mental_health/prevention/suicide/country_reports/en/index.html and http://www.who.int/mental_health/media/unitstates.pdf.

  • MC||

    VM,
    If you feel that going around carrying guns is a James Bond, macho fantasy that will do nothing to curb violence, does that mean you advocate disbanding SWAT teams?

    Also, the cops at VA Tech did nothing except collect evidence after all was shot and done.

    It only takes a quick google search to find countless examples of ordinary citizens preventing innocent deaths by brandishing a firearm.

  • Stuart Coleman||

    Please, can we not use what happened to further our political gains yet? Can't it fucking wait? I call for a day of silence.

  • Bagger||

    "Does this website regularly eat comments?"

    No, but the server squirrels sometimes will if they're not fed on a regular basis.

  • Cain\'s Ability||

    Right! I'm going to try posting this one more time, because I think I have something valuable to write--you may disagree.

    I think the gun issue is a red herring.

    Dennis Prager and his ilk would say, and have said, that the murderer was evil. I, for one, do believe that evil exists. But, that seems too hopeless. Lucifer was evil, but not even God could change that. So everyone suffers.

    "Leftists" (for lack of a better term) like the psychologists on the morning verbal diarrhea shows say that the murderer was insane/troubled/infantile/isolated/[substitute-mental-disease-of-the-month-here]. Well, granted, I think we can all agree that mass murder is not a normal reaction to anything. But that seems to excuse this behavior too readily. We've all had our problems, and many of us even have genuine mental dysfunctions, but we do somehow manage not to murder dozens of people.

    The guns are a red herring, I think, because any weapon would have served this guy's purposes. Guns just mean a higher body count, but any weapon from "Clue" would have still resulted in at least one corpse. We're still left with the problem of why the fuck did he kill them?

    Saying "he was just an evil murderer" leaves us with the very real possibility that we're overlooking a problem. Saying "there are psychological underpinnings" places us as sheep who must submit to therapy, minus free will and responsibility, from now on. Neither position, IMH(umble)O, will ever answer the question "Why?"

    I have no idea where I am with this. I still have no idea where I am with Tim McVeigh, or Jeffrey Dahmer, or Mark Chapman, or even Jack the Ripper. All I can say is that evil exists, and this is evil. Guns are irrelevant. The questions for me are not why evil exists, but rather why did Lucifer succumb to it, and why was God not more persuasive?

  • Cain\'s Ability||

    It went through! OMG!

    Seems stupid now. Wish I hadn't reposted.

  • ||

    So, now we know that the shooter was a student at Virginia Tech, living on-campus, under the same gun laws that some people and/or strawmen are demanding that the government strengthen.

    Why are they not yelling at the college for not enforcing its rules? How are harsher penalties supposed to do anything when their big example involves a guy who wasn't caught at all?

  • VM||

    MC - no I think the "man if ah had mah gun, this wouldn't have happened" is macho bullshit.

    I don't think those are related. I think it's as lame as that guy who gets into a martial arts stance.

    Nice try at the gotcha - "disbanding swat teams". I guess being a newbie here means you really don't know who's who.

    Concealed Carry is a right that is completely different from this incident. It's also unrelated to someone flashing a gun at a potential mugger. (and I don't know if that's effective or a deterrent)

    I don't know if having a gun does anything to crime rates. I agree with robc's assessment.

    I think your inflamed rhetoric violates the Jedi law. "A Jedi craves not these things".

    It's like the onion story, "passenger takes airline evacuation plans too seriously".

  • Cain\'s Ability||

    Condensing my previous to soundbites:

    "A gun simply makes a murderer a more effective murderer. It does not change the fact that he is a murderer. So why is he a murderer?"

  • dhex||

    cain: there's a lot of steps to fill in with that question, and i think it's impossible unless you're some kinda supercomputer, so i've always settled for "some people are just selfish fucks."

    their pain, their emotional needs, their financial needs, their physical desires - these things take precedence over others.

  • MC||

    VM,

    I really don't care who you are, but I think your response was assanine given that you seem like you may agree with me on the issue of concealed carry.

    I think it is very fair to point out that this is the same school whose administration fought vociferously to not allow ccw on campus but failed to provide an adequate action/response plan to violent incidents.

    Also, I never said that if some students had been armed this wouldn't have happened, I merely stated that it is possible that some of the carnage could have been averted.

    While smart people can make the choice whether to take steps to protect themselves or to count on others to do that, the students in this case were deprived of that choice and it is that fact which I find horrendous.

  • Dave W.||

    Well, I wanted a non-polarized dialogue on gun law here and now it looks like I got one. My responses to the responses:

    - strict compensatory liability for gun manufacturers to victims. let the gun manufacturers decide who is worthy, and give them incentive to be stingy in bestowing that honor.

    This idea strikes me as a non-starter, unless you're going to allow compensatory liability for car manufacturers and alcohol brewers as well. A gun manufacturer doesn't have any more control over who the gun is sold to than either of those (significantly more deadly, even in terms of pure "unreasonable use" deaths) products. Maybe if you wanted to talk about gun DEALERS facing compensatory liability in the face of demonstrable gross negligence, but I'm not sure that wouldn't already fly in court. And regardless, if you're comfortable with liability for responsible ownership of cars stopping with the owner thanks to extensive government licensing, I'm not sure why that changes here.

    Cars aren't designed to kill people and they are not particularly good at killing people. That is why I want "strict liability" for guns and not cars. To put it in commonlaw parlance, I see guns as a dangerous instrumentality, but not cars. Furthermore, the manufacturers choose who the dealers are, and they have more money to lose if some Korean goes off at all the boy engineers. This would incentivize manufactures to choose dealers who will choose responsible customers. If you place this responsibility only upon the dealer, then the dealer will just declare bankruptcy. Manufactuers don't have that option. they are well capitalized and therefore cannot easily evade responsibility if someone sells to an idiot or evildoer. their safeguards against selling to idiots and evildoers are more likely to be economically efficient because they will have a lot of transactions over which to spread the risk.

    - make gun owners sign a Fourth Amendment waiver. If you carry a gun, then all searches are "reasonable" and consensual.

    You can't waive a Constitution right. There's this pesky thing about the lack of alienability. Even if you could, this is just about the stupidest and most insulting thing I've ever heard, and I don't own or want to own a gun.

    Some searches are presumptively reasonable. Although, traditionally searches of gun owners are not considered presumptively reasonable, I think the Framers meant for what is "reasonable" to depend more on contemporary context, rather than original intent. I think that is why they used the word "reasonable" in the Fourth Amendment, so as not to put that particular amendment in a 1791 time freeze. Given the number of gun murders in the US, and also the increased safety of society otherwise, I think searches of gun owners are reasonable. Maybe someday a creative prosecutor will make this argument for SCOTUS and we will see what they think.

    Now, consensual searches are a whole nother thing. Consensual searches, under 4th Amendment law don't have to be reasonable. they just have to be consented to. You say that you cannot waive a Constitutional Right. That is just plain wrong, as a Con Law matter.

    - better enforcement of laws requiring people to secure their guns. (In conjunction with last point), random, warrantless searches to make sure the gun cabinets stay locked. On pain of jail time.

    Again with the Fourth Amendment. While I can agree with upping the penalties, neither I nor any court of record is going to get behind that being a reasonable cause of search. And at that point, of course, it just becomes another excuse to up jail time for people caught doing something else, or who can't quite be caught doing something else. Again with the "uniqueness" problem - if this is a reasonable cause for a search, so is ensuring that you've properly secured all potentially toxic cleaning chemicals from children, and that you don't have any sharp or electrical objects in a position where a child or potential visiting child could access them. It just doesn't make any sense.

    Toxic cleaning chemicals are not designed to kill people and are not particularly good at it.

    Explosives are more akin to guns because they are designed to kill and are effective at it. Explosives do entail special insurance, premises inspection and strict liability in tort, which is part of the reason that I suggest this would be appropriate for guns, too. As a matter of fact, I would not draw a categorical distinction between guns and explosives for second Amendment purposes. I think both should be considered as "arms" for Con law purposes. Which makes even clearer the Constitutional permissibility of my proposals here.

    - require open carry rather than concealed carry. I would rather know who is carrying, me.

    I don't really know or care much about this. I don't really know why people want to conceal carry, so it's not really for me to speak about whether or not they should be able to. Seems odd to me though that you can be comfortable declaring someone safe to use a gun, but that you have to be able to see it anyway.

    The idea is that if someone who you see carrying a gun about on a daily basis starts acting crazy, then you will be quicker to report him to the authorities. If the Korean who shot up VT had been openly carrying for a couple years, then he might have been reported even before he got to his ex-girlfriend's dorm room yesterday morning.

    there may also be an enhanced deterrence effect with open carry, although that is subject to debate and empirical study.

    - make it a crime to have your guns stolen from you. Period.

    This is mind-numbingly stupid.

    I know you are, but what am I?

    - stiffer penalties for people who allow children unsupervised access to guns.

    What about a trained kid who wants to go hunting? I mean, of course, on face, no one's going to argue that you should be penalized for letting a five-year-old play house with double barreled shotgun, or whatever, but in practice this doesn't make total sense.

    I have faith that a statute could be crafted to bestow criminal liability in one situation and not the other. remember, this is not one of those polarized dialogues that all those other gunnuts and bleeding hearts wanna have. this is us talking.

    - make gun owners carry theft and malpractice insurance.

    Eh, no real problem with this. At least in a sense that would be equivalent to car insurance. So to say no to theft, but yes to safety insurance.

    a tiny sliver of common ground, then. Nice grace note to end on.

  • Rhywun||

    I think the gun issue is a red herring.

    I agree. But it's easier to argue about guns than psychology, and you know you're going to have to let both sides duke it out for awhile before more thoughtful conversation can occur. Which will probably happen right about the time that the first person crawls out of the woodwork who knew the shooter, knew he was a batshit insane evil motherfucker, and wonders aloud if he should have "said something to someone".

  • Dave W.||

    So, now we know that the shooter was a student at Virginia Tech, living on-campus, under the same gun laws that some people and/or strawmen are demanding that the government strengthen.

    Tending to show that guns are indeed a form of interstate commerce. unlike some things that people say are interstate commerce, but aren't.

  • ||

    If the president of the college gets fired over this, I'd be empathetic if he went on a shooting rampage of his own.
    Everything I've read and heard indicates he responded appropriately.

    Life is unfair, isn't it?

  • ||

    What did the several hundred libertarian students at VT, banded together in the libertarian club, say or do about the "concealed carry" legislation? What are they saying or doing today?

  • Mike||

    What did the several hundred libertarian students at VT, banded together in the libertarian club, say or do about the "concealed carry" legislation? What are they saying or doing today?

    I doubt we'll hear anything about them or the legislation, most of the news networks are more focused on either the facts of the case, or on the other side of gun control, if its mentioned at all. While the concealed carry legislation could possibly get 5 minutes on Fox News I bet we won't hear anything about it.

  • Cain\'s Ability||

    Rhywun,

    I can't comment on this case, because I know so little, but to use an example I cited:

    I confess that, if I had known Jeffrey Dahmer, and I thought him a bit "weird," or even potentially dangerous, I probably would have said nothing. AND, I accept that I would have been morally culpable for not stopping him.

    Maybe not, I hope not, but I'll bet somebody on that campus was worried days before this. If true, then, as a DA, I would do nothing to him, but as a priest, I would be very harsh.

    To use my mythological example, where was Michael when Lucifer was grumbling?

  • dhex||

    "Maybe not, I hope not, but I'll bet somebody on that campus was worried days before this."

    the girlfriend, probably.

    sadly.

  • ||

    Dave W: "The idea is that if someone who you see carrying a gun about on a daily basis starts acting crazy, then you will be quicker to report him to the authorities. If the Korean who shot up VT had been openly carrying for a couple years, then he might have been reported even before he got to his ex-girlfriend's dorm room yesterday morning."

    We have no reason to believe that the perpetrator *had* ever carried a gun around on campus before, open or concealed. And given his obvious respect for the law, why do you think he would have paid any heed to legal distinctions between open and concealed carry?

  • ||

    Nobody's gonna go to school today. I'm going to make them stay at home.


    Take your pro-conceal carry or your pro-gun ban political arguments and stick them straight up your ass. Political hay-making is too ghoulish for words right now.

  • Cain\'s Ability||

    dhex

    a fair, if sad, point. still, I'll bet there were others. i'd like to think that no one besides a Carthusian hermit could be so isolated that his troubles or evils were not evident to someone.

    So, I guess my ultimate point is my last "soundbite" on this thread--I'm rather proud of it, actually--wouldn't it make a great epitaph?--

    "Where was Michael when Lucifer was grumbling?"

  • Dave W.||

    We have no reason to believe that the perpetrator *had* ever carried a gun around on campus before, open or concealed. And given his obvious respect for the law, why do you think he would have paid any heed to legal distinctions between open and concealed carry?

    Maybe he is a bad example in the sense that what the best gun policies on a campus are might be different than what the best gun laws are. But let's assume that VT had allowed carry, but only open carry.

    So there is this Korean student, who is not planning on going on a rampage. he knows that if he openly carries, then he will not have his gun taken away, but if he conceals, then he does run the risk of having his right to bear arms taken away. Given this choice, he carries openly.

    later on he starts his descent into madness, which presumably some people witness. his ex-girlfriend also realizes that extra precautions must be taken when breaking up. Ergo, there is a much greater chance he will be reported early, even if he decides to start concealing his guns shortly before the shooting.

  • poco||

    Take your pro-conceal carry or your pro-gun ban political arguments and stick them straight up your ass. Political hay-making is too ghoulish for words right now.

    So what else is there to say about all this?

  • ||

    Guns should be legal. It's loners that need to be made illegal. Lock'em all up in
    "Re-Socialization Camps."

  • ||

    I doubt this incident will affect gun laws much either way--the gun rights lobby is big and bad and alive and well.

    ...it probably presents more of a danger to the gaming industry.

  • ||

    So what else is there to say about all this?

    How about nothing?

  • ||

    De Stijl- Thanks for the well thought-out, moderately phrased post. Now, if you're done, I'd like to point out that the minute this thing happened, it became a political issue. It became a political issue because everyone with a pulse realized that it would be taken advantage of by political opportunists.

  • Dave W.||

    De Stijl- Thanks for the well thought-out, moderately phrased post. Now, if you're done, I'd like to point out that the minute this thing happened, it became a political issue. It became a political issue because everyone with a pulse realized that it would be taken advantage of by political opportunists.

    It is also a political issue because people are only interested in the issue when attention is focussed on it and not during periods when the issue is inactive. Same with bird flu or floods or terrorism or anything else.

    I mean, I didn't want people fixating on Islamic terrorism too much after 9/11 for similar reasons to why you don't want ppl fixating on gun violence here, but I realized that there was nothing I could do about it. Human nature.

    Not only that, at least this incident gives us some concrete circumstances to apply our theories to.

    If we are just talking about abstract shootings, then the bleeding hearts make up hypothetical scenarios that support gun bans, while the gunnuts make up equal and opposite hypothetical scenarios to support their view. Having an actual incident with real people on the record helps keep the discussion reality grounded and therefore more honest.

    I imagine the people who knew the victims well, or otherwise feel the need to honor their memories, are staying out of political discussion boards today and for th rest of the month. which is exactly as it should be.

  • Rhywun||

    I wrote:

    right about the time that the first person crawls out of the woodwork who knew the shooter, knew he was a batshit insane evil motherfucker, and wonders aloud if he should have "said something to someone"

    And it starts. From NBC:

    "The English major's creative writing was so disturbing that he was referred to the school's counseling service, officials said."

  • ||

    Number 6,

    I agree that it immediately became political, but what's the fucking point of that discussion?

    It's a ideological Rorschach test where everbody has the "answer" before they've seen the inkblot. It's the equivalent of blogging about abortion or evolution and expecting to change anyone's mind.

  • ||

    I don't disagree that the real tragedy here shouldn't be drowned out by the usual blame game and the gun dispute, but I don't think silence is required, either. These issues will be raised and have been raised already. Let's just remember that this sort of thing could never have been completely prevented either way.

    What a horrible tragedy for all of these people! I just wish that, for once, the killer wouldn't be publicized and analyzed to death. He should simply be despised and condemned for an appallingly evil act. But I'm sure we'll have a TV movie before too long. Sigh.

  • ||

    "It became a political issue because everyone with a pulse realized that it would be taken advantage of by political opportunists."

    It's the doctrine of Mutually Assured Distortion.

  • VM||

    MC -

    That's a damn shame that you don't care who I am. My mommie says I'm special. And the gals at "Captain Tony's Chicken Ranch and Cowboy Fantasy Camp" in Nevada say I'm their little Roy Rogers.

    I'd say those are pretty impressive credentials.

    I don't know if people being armed would help reduce carnage. I somehow suspect that it wouldn't. I do think it's irrelevant. If the school admin acted badly, fix that with relevant solutions. Pretending you're Dirty Harry meets Hopalong Cassidy (before he shot himself with the bow and arrow at Alan Stanwyk's house) has absolutely nothing to do with safety here. It's just faux macho posturing.

    The fucking cops can't shoot straight when they come running in, all hot and bothered.

    We hear shooting. We see people get hit. We're frightened. We draw. We see someone (on our side) shooting at an innocent. We think that's the bad guy. We shoot. Someone else see us shooting and they shoot. Considering how bad witnesses are, I'd think a whole bunch of lead flying around would add to the confusion. Would it make it any more or less dangerous? I don't know.

    Regardless. I don't think bringing up concealed carry is relevant to this issue. Nor do I think it has anything to do with safety in situations like these.

    Keep the concealed carry laws on the books, strengthen them, and leave out the bogus, "If I had a rocket launcher" chorus. It gives people like that twaddlenock Brady ammo. It deflects the issue.

    And since I'm the keeper of the Noam Chomsky blow up doll, you'll just have to 'bate to something else.

  • ||

    "Take your pro-conceal carry or your pro-gun ban political arguments and stick them straight up your ass. Political hay-making is too ghoulish for words right now."

    Yeah, I felt the same way after I caught ten minutes of the Today Show this morning. It was like waking up in some kind of statist nightmare.

    Liberty's enemies started using this incident as a battering ram almost immediately.

    ...Thank God the shooter wasn't a Muslim.

  • ||

    Cain's Ability,

    I really like your Michael / Lucifer thing.

    Was Lucifer a quiet, but good neighbor? Not really talkative, but he'd wave to you out on the street kind-of guy? Lots of mysterious pet disappearances in the neighborhood?

  • Rhywun||

    I just wish that, for once, the killer wouldn't be publicized and analyzed to death. He should simply be despised and condemned for an appallingly evil act.

    Well, it's human nature to search for a cause for such evil. Even if the end result is as fruitless as the never-ending gun debate.

  • ||

    So what else is there to say about all this?

    How about you let the parents mourn for and bury their children? While this discussion certainly concerns issues that are very important to a lot of people, none of it is an urgent matter.

    Now I will go back to ignoring the comments about this story.

  • VM||

    "Rhywun | April 17, 2007, 1:22pm | #
    I just wish that, for once, the killer wouldn't be publicized and analyzed to death. He should simply be despised and condemned for an appallingly evil act.

    Well, it's human nature to search for a cause for such evil. Even if the end result is as fruitless as the never-ending gun debate."

    Just put the loonie on the Imus show. Then throw the show away. That'll work.

    Mike Nifong can be his agent! (being another who was too quick on the draw)

  • ||

    Nor do I think [concealed carry] has anything to do with safety in situations like these.

    "On January 16, 2002, the Dean, Anthony Sutin, Professor Thomas Blackwell, and student Angela Dales were shot and killed by disgruntled student Peter Odighizuwa, 43, of Nigeria. Three other students were shot but survived. The abrupt ending to Odighizuwa's shooting spree is attributed to two students with personal firearms who quickly took action.[1] At the first sound of gunfire, fellow students Tracy Bridges and Mikael Gross, unbeknownst to the other, ran to their vehicles to grab their personal firearms.[2] Bridges and Gross then worked with another student, Ted Besen. The three students approached Odighizuwa from different angles. Bridges raised his revolver and pointed it at Odighizuwa who then dropped his firearm and was first subdued by Besen followed by other students.[3] Once Odighizuwa was securely held down Gross went back to his vehicle and retrieved handcuffs to help hold Odighizuwa until police could arrive. Police reports noted there were two empty eight round magazines belonging to Odighizuwa's .380 semi-automatic handgun. It is unclear whether Odighizuwa ran out of ammunition or if there was still a round in the chamber at the time that he dropped his firearm."

    Suck it.

  • Xanthippas||

    You know guys, you're right. Anecdotal evidence isn't really good evidence. But if the fact that mass shootings of ANY kind are a fairly regular phenomenon in our country, and about NOWHERE else in the world, doesn't give you pause of some kind, then you're just an idiot.

  • VM||

    what are you wearing?

    dingdingding!

    we have our first reference to John Lott! yeaaaaaaa!

  • ||

    You know guys, you're right. Anecdotal evidence isn't really good evidence. But if the fact that mass shootings of ANY kind are a fairly regular phenomenon in our country, and about NOWHERE else in the world, doesn't give you pause of some kind, then you're just an idiot.

    This is the most rediculous statement I've ever heard. Where do you define "nowhere else in the world"? Canada?

  • TJ||

    VM, your "what are you wearing" does not contradict his "suck it".
    Got anything better?

    (I'm not a John Lott "true believer", ymmv, etc. etc.)

  • ||

    "You know guys, you're right. Anecdotal evidence isn't really good evidence. But if the fact that mass shootings of ANY kind are a fairly regular phenomenon in our country, and about NOWHERE else in the world, doesn't give you pause of some kind, then you're just an idiot."

    This point gets lost on the eggheads around here sometimes. ...so I have to keep sayin' it.

    There's something really attractive about the idea that what's best for society can be analyzed and predicted using statistics and reason, etc. ...but even if some aspect of the Second Amendment or freeing the slaves or jury trials or due process or probable cause or any one of a hundred other freedoms and rights I believe in weren't in the best interest of society as a whole, I'd still be in favor of them.

    Freedom has a value all its own. ...and it doesn't lose that value just because there are costs associated with it. When most people talk about it that way, I don't think they're belittling those costs either--I think they're saying something about how much they value their freedom.

    I think you're right to suggest that a prohibitive anti-gun policy might have prevented this tragedy. ...I hope you're willing to consider the other side's arguments.

    I don't think the people in this thread who would defend their rights in spite of this tragedy are belittling the value of the people who died; I think they're just trying to express how much they value this aspect of their freedom.

  • lunchstealer||

    I'd love to send you to Iraq after mentally preparing you for it, asshole. Gun lovers with their fantasies about taking out psychos make me want to vomit. You're all a bunch of coddled little pricks who would faint if confronted with violence that wasn't in a movie.

    Huh, Brady should talk to Kwais or AynRandian about that, preferably in person.

    "I just wish that, for once, the killer wouldn't be publicized and analyzed to death. He should simply be despised and condemned for an appallingly evil act."

    Well, it's human nature to search for a cause for such evil. Even if the end result is as fruitless as the never-ending gun debate.


    That and if the gunman remains unknown that tends to heighten peoples' fear. A massacre like this is more terrifying if it comes from a faceless threat. You never know if or when it's going to happen again. Once the guy has a face and a name, it becomes a past event, rather than a current situation. It may not be rational, but it's definitely human nature.

    I'm glad to know that they know who he was and more importantly that he was responsible for both sets of shootings. I'd hate to have learned that the two were unrelated.

  • ||

    Xanthippas

    What you are claiming here is not even anecdotal, it is plainly and simply false. Though it is widely believed among people who donate to the Brady Bunch.

    But if the fact that mass shootings of ANY kind are a fairly regular phenomenon in our country, and about NOWHERE else in the world, doesn't give you pause of some kind, then you're just an idiot.

    They are neither "a fairly regular phenomenon in our country", they are in fact extremely rare. And they are certainly not unknown anywhere else in the world.

    While these are common assertions, they are simply not true.

    Australia, Britain and Canada, all with extremely tough handgun possession laws going back to the 20s and 30s, have all have shootings on this scale before. So has Switzerland with its "lax" gun laws.


    "The three worst public shootings in the Western world during...[2002]...all occurred in Europe"

    Yes I know it's the disgraced John Lott. I agree that he draws unwarranted conclusions sometimes but what he reports here are facts.

  • lunchstealer||

    You know guys, you're right. Anecdotal evidence isn't really good evidence. But if the fact that mass shootings of ANY kind are a fairly regular phenomenon in our country, and about NOWHERE else in the world, doesn't give you pause of some kind, then you're just an idiot.

    Hmm, idiot indeed. Certainly I can think of mass shootings in Canada, the UK, Switzerland, and a few other places. All with different gun cultures (Switzerland being more controlled, but arguably as pervasive, UK being far more restricted).

  • ||

    You know, Moose, I'm vaguely wondering why you're unloading on this MC guy when he hasn't said anything Jennifer and other people haven't been saying.

  • ||

    Take your pro-conceal carry or your pro-gun ban political arguments and stick them straight up your ass. Political hay-making is too ghoulish for words right now.



    No offense, but grab your mouse, move the pointer over to the "X", and click it. That's all you're going to see on a political site discussing this event.

  • VM||

    1/2 a B: d'oh! haven't read those comments (ohnoes!), that's why. I'm sorry I missed them! Thank you for the heads up! So - to all of them, too: this is not about guns. And it shouldn't be made to be so.

    TJ - his "suck it" only shows that it's an emotional issue for him, and that makes his arguments just as good as the anti gun freaks'.

    The pathetic thing is that you don't need that kind of argument. Cuz the issue here isn't the perfectly reasonable right to concealed carry.

    It should be and should remain legal. Cherry picking events to "prove" that which needs no proving, especially at such an emotional level is weak.

    Remember that lunatic who shot at the White House back in Oct 1994 - he was subdued by unarmed passers by. Does that "disprove" anything? Of course not.

    That is also irrelevant to the gun issue. To argue the merits and philosophical justifications using these anecdotes to strengthen your case distracts from the issue, and it brings the "debate" to the anti gun level. (purely emotional, relying on irrelevant anecdotes).

    So the "suck it" didn't prove anything. Except for maybe he's emotional today. Or that it's an emotional issue for him. Dunno.

    Keep the right to keep and arm bears out of these discussions. They're not relevant.

    Between his desire for sucking and MC's desire to jump around like Ninja Bond LXVIV, it distracts from the issue. It gives the appearance that guns are central to the issue (they're not - a fucking loonie is and an administration that knows not its elbow from its ass).

    People trying to link the two with "ah ha! more guns" give assholes like Brady and Xanadau (or whatever the fuck he calls himself) unintended ammo.

    All of a sudden, they have a relevant context where they can use "fewer guns fewer guns", when guns aren't even the issue! Ninja warriors and orally fixated angry people make it relevant.

  • ||

    Warty:

    Those guys who ended Odighizuwa's shooting spree at Appalachian School of Law weren't carrying concealed. They had left their guns in their cars, until they ran and retrieved them, at which point they were carrying quite openly.

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    Johns Hopkins, Yale, Duke, USC, and Georgia Tech (though it's much safer now than when I was a student there) come to mind.

    Pitt, Carnegie Mellon.

  • ||

    d'oh! haven't read those comments (ohnoes!), that's why. I'm sorry I missed them! Thank you for the heads up! So - to all of them, too: this is not about guns.



    So stuff like

    Pretending you're Dirty Harry meets Hopalong Cassidy (before he shot himself with the bow and arrow at Alan Stanwyk's house) has absolutely nothing to do with safety here. It's just faux macho posturing.



    is just your general response to people who want to defend themselves? Because, you know, I didn't see any posturing in the guy's remarks - just you venting your apparent pent-up frustration at the last few decades of NRA releases.

  • ||

    VM | April 17, 2007, 2:12pm

    Agreed.

    But when someone like Xanthippas makes a patently false statement it needs to be countered.

    Apparently the people screaming about the appeasing, cowardly ways of the Euroweenies are not the only ones who are grossly ignorant of happenings in Euroland. I love the ones who rave about gentle violence free Europe with it's free medicine.

  • ||

    Oh, not to mention culturally refined Europe so absolutely free of racial and sexual bigotry. That's a real joke.

  • Jennifer||

    As a woman, I'd like to go on the record as saying that I think people should be allowed to own guns for self-defense, and furthermore I think if law-abiding people at Tech were allowed to have guns this tragedy might have been minimized.

    (I mention the "woman" thing in case anybody wants to accuse me of being some over-testosteroned macho jerk whose gun compensates for his undersized penis.)

  • ||

    I mention the "woman" thing in case anybody wants to accuse me of being some over-testosteroned macho jerk whose gun compensates for his undersized penis.

    Her penis is not undersized.

  • ||

    No, Jen, you're just an over-testosteroned macho woman whose gun compensates for her lack of penis. ;-)

  • Jennifer||

    No, Jen, you're just an over-testosteroned macho woman whose gun compensates for her lack of penis.

    Piffle. You guys have only one penis apiece. I can get as many of 'em as I damned well want.

  • Justin M. Stoddard||

    Jennifer,
    I think I love you. Seriously.

  • ||

    Touche. You rock.

  • Jennifer||

    Also, some of the ones I've had are much, much bigger than any of yours.

  • Mike Laursen||

    The shooter was South Korean from what I've heard.

    Whoops. Thanks for the correction.

    Anyway, answering my own question, Cho was allowed to own firearms because he was a permanent legal resident. Non-immigrants who are here on student visas are not allowed to possess firearms.

  • VM||

    1/2 a b: no. it was only in response to his comment.

    I appreciate that you didn't see any posturing. I felt there was.

    So, taking your counsel, I'll drop that point gladly and will stick with the thought that gun control (either side) is largely irrelevant to this case.

    This tragedy doesn't have anything to do with guns, the correct and appropriate right to concealed carry, and taking your point, ninja warriors, either. (I reserve the right to wonder if PIRATES belong in this scenario, however).

    When X-man and Brady bring up guns, the counter argument is that guns are irrelevant. Where was the counseling? Most of these types speak of their intentions beforehand. Where was the responsibility of others here?

    Stuff like this has opportunities for prevention long before the shooting starts.

    That's what Brady et al need to understand. (I guess their socialism falls down when it comes to being responsible). Also, the right to have a concealed weapon for defense doesn't rest at all on this case. It should be there regardless.

    We've all agreed that these cases are very rare. If that is so, then let's stick with the "here's a usual situation where your concealed carry will help".

  • Andy||

    Dave W,

    In order to save space on the screen, I have labeled each of your bold points with a number, and will respond to your comments and expand upon my own under that number. As such 1) will stand in for the entirety of the previous discussion under the points beginning "strict compensatory liability." Hopefully that works out ok for you.

    1)
    This is one of my biggest pet peeves in any gun law argument, the "guns are designed to kill people and are thus somehow special" argument. I will offer several points here - the first is somewhat more rhetorical - I assume your laws would apply also switchblades, swords and the like. What about baseball bats? I find this to be an essential point, because guns do offer limited other uses, such as recreation, stress relief, hunting, and competition in shooting sports. A baseball bat is another object which offers only that range of purposes - fun in a controlled sporting environment, and physical violence outside of it. I do not think it is in any way a stretch to say that the use of bats for defense and violence is common. So where does this line appear? Additionally, this is why I chose the specific second example I did: alcohol dealers. Alcohol provides essentially the exact same beneficial functions as a gun - social facilitator and stress reliever. It certainly can't be argued that it is "more beneficial" than a gun, and it kills a ton of people every year. (This is true even when limiting to "gross misuse" deaths, which don't include auto fatalities or long-term health consequences.) Finally, this is where my toxic chemicals example below comes into play. One can clean their home using nothing but soap and natural ingredients (like citrus rinds) which are essentially harmless to a human being. All harsh, toxic chemical additives do is make that process more convenient and the cleanser less expensive. IF our central governing principle is that we have an obligation to remove danger where possible at the cost of some degree of benefit, they have to be considered in the same class of willful negligence to do so, because your decision to purchase them, rather than use safer, natural alternatives expose family members and visitors to an unnecessary degree of risk.

    So it is on that note that I return to your call to place liability on manufacturers. The fact remains that a gun is manufactured and can be intended for use in several ways that aren't killing people, and certainly at least to the same extent that a bat is. To place this liability on gun manufacturers opens up the door for all the products discussed above. Furthermore, you haven't answered the challenge that gun manufacturers simply don't, and can't reasonably be expected to, shape the hands of the person into whom their guns end up. Your argument essentially boils down into "someone must be punished" - but nothing about it, or this policy change, suggests that it would change the means or standards of gun distribution. You simply hope to sue guns out of existence, which is not something that should be accomplished legislatively. You can bring a civil case against gun manufacturers, but I don't think you'd be able to convince 12 jurors that the manufacturer should be held at fault without a law telling them to do so. And a law designed for no other reason than to allow for that eventuality, and in doing so, for suing gun industries to death, is tantamount to just banning guns. It's not a reasonable middle step. The fact is, no matter how careful anyone is with distribution their product, it will be misused, and holding the gun industry to a higher standard because of high-publicity incidents like this doesn't hold water.

    Finally, the argument that "cars aren't good at killing people" doesn't seem particularly well supported. According to the CDC, 43,354 were killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2000, with 230 million cars on the road. 28, 663 people were killed by firearms, meanwhile, with 200 million firearms in America. This means that for every million cars on the street, 187 Americans were killed. For every million guns, 143 Americans were killed. Cars are actually a far more efficient killer than guns on a per unit basis. To argue that an invisible line of manufacturer intent to kill should link gun manufacturers to their product, but not to auto or alcohol manufacturers, does not seems supported by logic or statistics.

    2) You are confusing ends and means somewhat in your Constitutional discussion. You cannot waive the Fourth Amendment. You can waive your right to be protected by a specific search, but even that isn't the end of the story - you can still contest the search. You can not, however, waive your right to be protected by the amendment. What you are proposing is not a voluntary temporary waiver of the Fourth Amendment, but a waiver of your right to be protected by the Fourth Amendment. To act like those are the same is disingenuous. Furthermore, any waiver of Fourth Amendment rights must be determined to be free from coercion. Your assertion that one must waive Fourth Amendment rights to exercise Second Amendment rights, or vice versa, is clearly one of coercion. It's simultaneously immoral and essentially impossible to defend in Court.

    The problem with your Fourth Amendment detour, again, is the degree to which it guts liberty. No one would contend that unsafe driving isn't responsible for far more deaths in the United States than firearms - by your logic, the government should be allowed to install a video camera in every car, that will operate and feed into a monitor bank to ensure that you are driving at the optimum level of safety at all times. Hey, maybe you're comfortable with that, but if that's the case, it is my personal opinion (and I believe would be the opinion of every Supreme Court in US history) that your fetishization of safety goes beyond Constitutional grounds.

    3) Again, we come back to your "guns are special" argument. As mentioned above, it is not necessarily that toxic cleaning chemicals are designed to kill, it is that they provide no other benefit than killing. You seem to equate these concepts, and to do so is misleading. If we were to eliminate all inventions that were invented to kill, we'd be starting all over. The realistic test you've offered is some sort of ill-defined line of the risk of violence from the product versus the potential benefits it has offered. Toxic home chemicals, in most case, do not offer such significant advantages over their natural equivalents that they would pass any reasonable test on those grounds.

    Your detour into explosives does not, I think, prove what you think it proves - explosives, chemicals, poisons, radiations and the like require those standards NOT because of the potential for lethality, but because they require expert knowledge for safe handling. Some objects can simply not be handled regularly and casually in an urban environment without that degree of expertise. If the application were that anything that could be used, with intent, to kill efficiently, you would be emptying American homes right and left. When it comes to the question of whether firearms should be included in this category, it is my opinion that we should look first to the framers. Of course, this is one of the rare situations where there is simply no doubt. Firearms, which at the time were MORE unpredictably dangerous, were explicitly allowed for home consumption.

    I do think this is an interesting area for exploration of thought, though. Every fan of high access to guns should understand in his own belief system whether or not he believes it allows him equal access to, say, a mutated superflu. What about a hand grenade? And, if not, what the distinction is. I think any reasonably nuanced position would have very little trouble with the exercise, but it can still be interesting. For the sake of discussion I'll introduce a side-track thought I have on that point. To me, if one believes in the basic concept of the American justice system, one must, to some degree, believe in the power of deterrence. It is this reason that mass killings like this or, more to the point, bombings like Oklahoma City are so devastating to the American psyche (aside, of course, from the sheer horrible loss of life.) The retributive, and thus deterrence-creating, mechanism simply doesn't seem to be in place. How can one possibly make it any more not worth it to kill 100 people than 1 or 2? This looks like it may be a serious issue in this case, where the student may have committed those two murders of passion, and then snapped and headed in for a penny, in for a pound.

    Regardless, apologies for the detour, nothing about any point you've made has made me any less sure of this train of logic following from yours. One does not NEED 409 in their home. If one wants to be allowed the privilege of accessing this dangerous, and potentially lethal device, either if accessed accidentally by someone unprepared to handle it or purposefully with malicious intent, one should be prepared to submit to all of the consequences you want to pile on gun owners.

    4) On the concealed carry point, I'm more or less just going to leave this point alone. I understand your point about increased deterrence though, for what it's worth, I think your argument about open carry increasing the chance of reporting suspicious behavior doesn't really float. Many mass killings in the past have occurred by people who've been known to be violent or have access to weapons, many haven't. I don't think there's any good proof that knowledge changes people's innate action to leave the unstable to themselves. Ironically, I only see a clear need to become passionate about the right under your proposed system, in which if my gun is stolen I am held liable. Under open carry, some guy could just reach over, grab my gun, and shoot someone, and bam, I've just committed murder. That's a pretty good argument not to advertise that I'm armed.

    5) Sorry about the harsh words, but making having something stolen from you a crime is a really stupid idea. Someone posting above my original post went into plenty of detail on it, and when you finish it with a phrase like "period" you're intentionally leaving out any room for any kind of reasonability standard. This is just, basically, another attempt to backdoor ban guns by disproportionately weighting the possible consequences of even responsible behavior beyond that of anything else.

    6) I don't know how much more I can expound here, assuming that by "stiffer penalties for people who allow children unsupervised access to guns" you mean it in a reasonable and honest way - if you leave your gun sitting on your end table while you're passed out drunk and your kid shoots himself with it, you should pay, I would think anyone would be for it. Heck, ESPECIALLY responsible gun owners - just like a responsible dog owner should want the stiffest possible penalties for people who breed and abuse dogs for dog fighting. (Because that sort of behavior makes dog attacks more likely and thus endangers your furry friend, as well as the negative PR and the sheer frustration of someone who does not take something that important seriously.)

    7) I'll revisit the point of civility once more. It would hardly be reasonable for me to compare guns to cars throughout the discussion, then balk at one of the central things that makes cars a slightly less terrible social investment. Insurance should be necessary, and it should be subject to the same kind of market factors car insurance is. You want consented searches - this is where I would like to see it. A reasonable gun insurance company would demand the right to see your safety precautions, hell, maybe even to put a webcam in your gunsafe to make sure they could see your guns in there when you're not using them. People who were fastidious about safety would have great rates and nothing to fear. But try getting insurance with one "used gun as beer coaster" on your record. I tell you, those bean counters just don't care how much your wife hates rings on the table.

  • ||

    Whoah. That has to be the longest response to Trollman Dave I've ever seen. Andy...damn! You do realize Dave is a comment troll, right?

  • Andy||

    Yeah - I've run into him before, but he took the time to make some actual points this time, and I figured I'd put together some answers. Anyway, as any good libertarian can tell you, life is a constant battle with "trolls". Anytime politics comes up I can expect at least one "why do you hate poor people" and a few variations on "so, basically, you just want survival of the fittest, right?"

    I find that by making arguments here, taking the time to really flesh out what I think and how I think, and trying to make it reasonable enough and strong enough that even someone who's going to hit me with the most off-the-wall things in the world can't do too much damage makes me better at expressing my position and justifying what I think and say, especially on the fly and against a room full of arguments.

  • D.A. Ridgely||

    Also, some of the ones I've had are much, much bigger than any of yours.

    Oh please, not those stories about your show business days in Tijuana again!

    (I keed, I keed!)

  • Jennifer||

    Jealousy doth not become thee, Mr. Ridgely.

  • ||

    Nice post, Andy.

    CB

  • D.A. Ridgely||

    Oh, now, I really do hope you weren't really offended, Jennifer. Sometimes I just can't resist a good straight line. (Then, too, I hope you really meant envy and not jealousy.)

  • TJ||

    Mr Moose:
    "Stuff like this has opportunities for prevention long before the shooting starts."

    Hmm, me and the missus kicked that one around last night. I think schools try to determine which of the kids are "a few frys short of a happy meal". I think that maybe increased investment there would pay off. But it's not a sure bet, and "Minority Report" is still fiction.

    "...and will stick with the thought that gun control (either side) is largely irrelevant to this case."

    Well, given that the university was a "gun free zone", "gun control" seems to have bearing on the issue. If concealed carry was allowed on campus would there have been a lower body count? Maybe. Would society gain net benefit by allowing concealed carry on campus? Maybe.

    Tough problem. I don't have any magic beans.

  • Jennifer||

    Fear not. I was joking, DAR, and I knew that you were too.

  • Dave W.||

    Also, some of the ones I've had are much, much bigger than any of yours.

    "Between 40 and 70 percent of women killed are done so by a husband or lover."

    Just keep taunting'em on the way out the door, Jennifer. As long as you have a gun you will be safe.

  • VM||

    TJ:

    those are indeed excellent points.

    and I concur with your two "maybes" (since he was willing to die, especially). And also agreed that the school probably can't tell how far along on the Happy Meal scale the individual is.

    And that friends/comrades might have known the dood was a little strange, they really couldn't make diagnoses, either.

    So you're right there, again.

    No magic beans here, either. I just don't think this tragedy (considering the frequency of such events, etc) is a good poster child argument to show how important concealed carry can be, as it lends itself to knee-jerk, emotional reactions. There is enough good evidence out there without resorting to emotion.

  • Jennifer||

    "Between 40 and 70 percent of women killed are done so by a husband or lover."

    Nobody on this thread is either one, so I can taunt y'all as much as I damned well please, Shorty.

  • ||

    "Piffle. You guys have only one penis apiece. I can get as many of 'em as I damned well want."

    Yep, that's my name in the snow. But that's not my handwriting.

  • ellipsis||

    Wait, what happened to Jeff?

  • Dave W.||

    Spent too much time on this board today, so only have a chance for a couple response (but I do appreciate having a few non-shrill peeps around here to discuss this with):

    This is one of my biggest pet peeves in any gun law argument, the "guns are designed to kill people and are thus somehow special" argument. I will offer several points here - the first is somewhat more rhetorical - I assume your laws would apply also switchblades, swords and the like. What about baseball bats? . . . toxic chemicals

    Ultimately, this is an empirical issue for me. It depends upon how many murders there are, and also what weapons are being used to commit them. Right now there are too many murders in the US for my tastes, and guns are used in 70% of the murders near as I can tell (the FBI reports stats relevant to this). That is ultimately why I think guns are the problem that needs addressed (not banned, tho). If either the murder rate went down, or guns dropped drastically as a percentage, then I would no longer think of guns as somehow special. It is a numbers game.

    If 10,000 people (not suicides) in the US were killed by defenestration, then I would want society to look into regulating high up windows. Let me know if that happens.

    10,000 people are killed in traffic accidents, but we already regulate the hell out of the safety aspects of automobiles. If 10,000 people were killed by being purposely run over, then it would be time to start looking at new types of regulations for autos. Once again, wake me up when we get there.

    You can bring a civil case against gun manufacturers, but I don't think you'd be able to convince 12 jurors that the manufacturer should be held at fault without a law telling them to do so. And a law designed for no other reason than to allow for that eventuality, and in doing so, for suing gun industries to death, is tantamount to just banning guns.

    The idea is that the utility of guns that people are willing to pay for needs to be greater than the damage they cause. With automobiles (including drunk driving), we do that with insurance. You pay a big auto insurance bill, by law, because the utility of driving is greater than the probabilistic risk you cause by being behind the wheel. Now maybe it would be better if the law required you to get two insurance policies: one before you could drink, and the other before you could drive. That way, the cost of drunk driving accidents might be more fairly allocated to drinkers, as a class, and your auto insurance would go down. Compensation schemes aren't always perfect, but the one for driving accidents is pretty good (less so up here in Canada where insurers get to run amuck on autos because they can't make it back on health insurance).

    Now, we could cover gun damage with insurance. however, because guns are easier to conceal than cars, the uninsured gun problem would be even worse than the uninsured motorist problem. that is why it is probably best to handle the risk spreading thru the manufacturer. If you want one of their guns, then you can pay them the equivalent of an insurance policy on that gun when you buy it. that way, after your gun has been stolen, had the serial number filed off, been sold on the black market, and then sold again, we would still know which gun manufacturer was sitting there with the insurance "premiums" related to that particular gun. Manufacturer who were careful about their marketing channels could charge less for the insurance. Those who did not care who their customers were would need to charge more. It would not be equivalent to a ban. It would be a system that would encourage manufacturers to distribute with care and to limit production to reasonable quantities.

    You are confusing ends and means somewhat in your Constitutional discussion. You cannot waive the Fourth Amendment. You can waive your right to be protected by a specific search, but even that isn't the end of the story - you can still contest the search. You can not, however, waive your right to be protected by the amendment.

    Got a case? There may be limits, in time and space, to the scope of a permissible consent, but I do not know the cases on that. at any event, in the context of exercising the right to bear arms, I think that the scope of consent should be allowed to be made co-extensive with the extent of your gun ownership. Because guns are that dangerous, empirically speaking.

    Insurance should be necessary, and it should be subject to the same kind of market factors car insurance is.

    Looks like we are not that far apart after all. Not all my proposals need to be implemented -- some are definitely duplicative. I explained above why I prefer strict mfgr liability to insurance. nevertheless, if insureds were willing to pay for the margin of damage caused by the uninsured margin of the market then insurance would work for me.

  • Dave W.||

    Wait: I thought I was fat and had an ugly face. Now I am short, too. Ay yi yi.

  • ||

    I for one would rather have the fighters chance in the gun fight by having my own gun. I have never gotten the hang of deflecting bullets with my forearms.

    For everyone of you anti gun folks out there all I can say is that if this type of event ever unfolds in my immediate area I hope the lunatic takes aim at all of you first so I have a wee bit more time to defend myself. You shouldn't mind be the first one shot since your anti gun and all right?

    Dave- wtf planet are you from with those types of ideas? Sadly though we already elected many Dave clones and sent them to DC ready to do all those types of things. Saying to hell with an individuals rights its for a better cause will never be the answer. Notice to those that push for gun bans always seem to have lots of ARMED security around them, why might that be?

  • Dave W.||

    Dave- wtf planet are you from with those types of ideas? Sadly though we already elected many Dave clones and sent them to DC ready to do all those types of things.

    I am writing at such length today precisely because my ideas are what the gun ban crowd is not suggesting. Cause they are even stupider than youse guys. They freekin' bug me!

  • ||

    I appreciate that you didn't see any posturing. I felt there was.



    I didn't take it as anything other than what's expressed here: No macho-man posturing or fantasies, just I'd rather have a chance and not be utterly helpless, which doesn't merit the contemptuous screed you threw his way.

    These situations are certainly rare, but being endangered is not vanishingly rare. It doesn't matter if the cause is some rare episode or some more mundane mugger or rapist - some folks would just rather not be helpless. Going on about dropping into martial arts stances because a guy on a libertarian site says he'd actually like to use one of those rights we go on about... Whatever.

    But as you're dropping that, that's all I have to say on it.

    I will say that it all became about guns the moment it hit the news. The gun-banners leap on it, so the people who want to keep their rights gear up to argue back. The people who want to protect themselves make the helpless/have a chance evaluation I mentioned above. Gun-rights folks won't get anything but derided for a guilty silence if they stay out of the discussion.

  • VM||

    whatever, then.

    I read it as posturing, you said you didn't. No need for the "whatever", as I stated that I interpreted his statement as posturing. And I know you didn't.

  • ||

    Oh, don't have a hissy fit.

  • VM||

    In fact, deflecting the issue from me ripping some dood who was posturing to pretending that I'm not defense friendly was a neat trick.

    It's also implying that being armed is the only thing that makes you not helpless. That's a load if there ever were one. It should be viewed as a last resort.

    aw fuckit. Just put me in your filter and be done with it, please.

    *drops into horse stance with huge ki-ai

  • VM||

    *that was a hissy fit, BTW.

    I'm done with you.

  • ||

    "It's also implying that being armed is the only thing that makes you not helpless."

    Mindset is what makes one not helpless. Any weaponry is secondary.

  • ||

    "aw fuckit. Just put me in your filter and be done with it, please."

    It's good to be in the filter.
    Demand to be in the filter.
    Insist on the filter.
    The filter is now--bow to the now.

    You've gotta fight...for your right...to fiiiiiiilter!

  • ||

    Jennifer | April 17, 2007, 4:22pm | #

    "Between 40 and 70 percent of women killed are done so by a husband or lover."

    Nobody on this thread is either one, so I can taunt y'all as much as I damned well please, Shorty.
    .....

    Dave W. | April 17, 2007, 4:49pm | #

    Wait: I thought I was fat and had an ugly face. Now I am short, too. Ay yi yi.

    ...................

    Somehow...I don't think she was referring to your height, Dave. ;-)

  • ||

    In fact, deflecting the issue from me ripping some dood who was posturing to pretending that I'm not defense friendly was a neat trick.


    Actually, I'd never deny that you're defense friendly, which was why I was pointing out the absurd contradiction you were engaging in purely for the purpose of shitting on some guy who didn't deserve it.

    It's also implying that being armed is the only thing that makes you not helpless.


    Sorry, that's a claim out of your own ass, not my mouth. Though, if you'd like to argue the merits of being unarmed when trapped with a crazy gunman, if somehow given the option, feel free.

    *that was a hissy fit, BTW.



    As was bleating about someone saying "whatever" to you after you'd posted long screeds mocking some guy who didn't do anything to deserve it. If you're gonna play pompous internet-tough-guy, at least be vaguely capable of taking a trace of what you give out.

    aw fuckit. Just put me in your filter and be done with it, please.



    Nah. Don't feel like letting your shit stand at the moment.

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