A Tale of Two Shooting Sprees

Yesterday's horrific string of homicides in Alabama inevitably will be cited as an argument for more gun control, especially a new federal ban on "assault weapons." Geneva Police Chief Frankie Lindsey told ABC News the gunman, Michael McLendon, used a machine gun to murder 10 men, women, and children, including his mother and grandparents, before killing himself:

He opened up on us with an AK-47. That's what it looked like. It could have been an M-16, but it was an assault rifle, automatic. And he burst about 15 to 18 rounds on our vehicle, all at once.

Assuming that's accurate, McLendon's weapon probably was already illegal, since federal law prohibits civilian possession of post-1986 machine guns and requires an arduous and expensive licensing process for machine guns made before then. And if McLendon did use a fully automatic gun, a ban on "assault weapons" could not possibly have made a difference, since the firearms covered by such laws are all semiautomatic, firing once per trigger pull. If Lindsey was mistaken, and McLendon's gun was in fact one of the semiautomatic models covered by the now-expired federal "assault weapon" ban, it's doubtful that he would have done less damage with a gun that did not have a sufficiently "military-style" appearance to qualify for the ban. Even a ban on magazines that hold more than 10 rounds (another provision of the "assault weapon" law), assuming it prevented McLendon from obtaining such magazines, would not necessarily have reduced the death toll, since magazines can be switched in seconds and McLendon was, in any event, carrying other weapons.

It's instructive to compare McLendon's rampage to today's shooting spree in Germany. A teenager killed 15 people (five more than McLendon) at a technical school in Winnenden and outside a supermarket in Wendlingen. It's not clear exactly what type of gun he used. But according to Reuters, "German television reported that he may have used a legally registered gun that [was] kept in his family's home." As The Washington Post notes, "Firearms are tightly regulated in Germany, but the country has been afflicted by other mass, lone-gunman shootings in the past several years." The reasons for those attacks defy easy explanation, just as McLendon's neighbors were at a loss to understand why he did what he did. Reuters nevertheless instantly located the root of such violence in our Bill of Rights:

Mass shootings have become a feature of life in the United States....Guns are widely available for purchase in the United States, a country that prides itself on the right to own weapons for self defense and hunting.

Last month I noted Attorney General Eric Holder's reiteration of President Obama's support for reviving the "assault weapon" ban.

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  • Kickstart.||

    I've biked in that part of Alabama. Hell on earth.

  • Helen Lovejoy||

    Will somebody please think of the children!

  • TofuSushi||

    In another thread MNG informs us that this is a good reason to institute card check along with gun control.

  • ||

    Two high school students in Atlanta were arrested last week.

    "Deputies said two assault rifles and dozens of rounds of ammunition were found in the closet of 17-year-old student Forrest Busby.
    "And in their possession they possibly had an AK-47, a mini-14 rifle and a handgun along with 180 rounds of ammunition," said Cherokee County Sheriff Roger Garrison."

    (source - cbsatlanta.com)

    Also of note - a right-wing Obama-hater was killed by his wife while mixing up a dirty bomb.



    http://bangornews.com/detail/99263.html


    The atmosphere is getting toxic.

  • Taktix®||

    Looks like another crisis is available to not waste...

  • ||

    So, how many would have been killed by these two psychos if everyone were armed? Half? Less than half? Maybe still all of them die. Who knows? But I like the odds that the numbers are lower if the victims or bystanders were packing. Crazy people will use any available method to carry out their attacks. Time to fight back and limit the carnage.

  • ||

    a country that prides itself on the right to own weapons for self defense and hunting.

    And the need to have elected officials in mortal terror of the citizenry. One day that will matter more than the other two.

  • Xeones||

    the need to have elected officials in mortal terror of the citizenry

    The 4th check/balance, as it were.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    So, how many would have been killed by these two psychos if everyone were armed?


    Every armed person is like a cop.

  • ed||

    Assuming that's accurate, McLendon's weapon probably was already illegal

    That can't be, because if it were illegal, then he wouldn't have had it.
    Making something illegal makes it disappear. Doesn't it?

  • Jay||

    ed is exactly right, which why I am badgering my elected representative to make cellulite illegal.

  • ed||

    Add leafblowers while your at it, Jay. Thank you.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    That can't be, because if it were illegal, then he wouldn't have had it.
    Making something illegal makes it disappear. Doesn't it?


    Ask River Phoenix.

  • ed||

    Also while you're at it.

  • ed||

    If Michelle Obama can bare arms, why can't we?

  • jtuf||

    Let's just outlaw murder and put the incident to rest.

  • ||

    This just proves the need to have stricter and better gun control laws. I think people should be able to hunt with single bullet guns, but no one needs an assault style weapon, nor a handgun or any concealable weapon. We should extend the area of gun free zones to basically everywhere except where you hunt or shoot targets. By law, it should be required that guns be kept unloaded and locked up, and ammo be also locked in a separate cabinet in a separate room. When the shooting began, didn't anyone call the police?

  • squarooticus||

    But I thought schools were gun free zones! Clearly it's a logical impossibility that this occurred, so the story must be false.

  • ||

    What's up with the police chief who can't tell the difference between an M-16 and an AK-47? Those weapons look nothing alike.

  • ||

    McLendon (in the AL shooting spree) was 28 yrs old. He was in high school at the time of Columbine. Also, to go back a few years, the VA tech murderer was from that same mini-generation (he would have also been in high school at that time). IMHO, there is something toxic in that age group.

  • ||

    But I thought schools were gun free zones! Clearly it's a logical impossibility that this occurred, so the story must be false.

    Clearly, a faster response from the police would have helped.

  • squarooticus||

    Clearly, a faster response from the police would have helped.


    Exactly: when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

  • ed||

    it should be required that guns be kept unloaded and locked up, and ammo be also locked in a separate cabinet in a separate room

    Hell, why not a separate state?

  • squarooticus||

    Hell, why not a separate state?


    It's probably sufficient to store them with the police: the cop can bring them over when he responds to your 911 call.

  • ||

    Hell, why not a separate state?

    That's absurd. The idea is to make someone think before they use their gun. The idea of the gun free zone is to keep guns out because if people have them there is a greater chance of someone snapping. In some instance it may not work, but it is a collective security issue.

  • robc||

    a faster response from the police would have helped.

    As the courts have stated time and again, the cops have no responsibility to save your ass. Its you versus the world, you can either defend yourself or die.

  • squarooticus||

    The idea is to make someone think before they use their gun.


    This is because people outside of gun-free zones regularly fire their guns without thinking.

  • ||


    As the courts have stated time and again, the cops have no responsibility to save your ass.


    They are there to protect society, that protects you. Just because they can't be held liable if they fail to protect you doesn't mean that they don't.

  • culture warrior||

    The real culprit is all those evil first-person shooter games that young people waste their lives on.

  • robc||

    [Insert whichever libertarian discliamer applies]

    A better idea than banning guns would be a Kennesaw style law applied to concealed carry. Everyone* not only can, but MUST carry a concealed weapon.

    *standard restrictions apply - felons, disabled, insane, minors.

  • squarooticus||

    They are there to protect society


    The good of the many outweighs the good of the few.
    We keep you alive to serve this [state].

  • ||

    Assuming that's accurate, McLendon's weapon probably was already illegal, since federal law prohibits civilian possession of post-1986 machine guns and requires an arduous and expensive licensing process for machine guns made before then. And if McLendon did use a fully automatic gun, a ban on "assault weapons" could not possibly have made a difference, since the firearms covered by such laws are all semiautomatic, firing once per trigger pull.

    That's so cute: Jacob expecting logic to have *any* impact on gun controllers.

  • robc||

    if they fail to protect you doesn't mean that they don't.

    What is the exact opposite of a tautology?

    Something that is by definition not true?

    If they fail to protect me, they have, in fact, failed to protect me.

  • TofuSushi||

    Is MNG calling himself Susan on this thread?

  • Yoda||

    Do or do not. There is no try.

  • Alberta Libertarian||

    "That's absurd. The idea is to make someone think before they use their gun. The idea of the gun free zone is to keep guns out because if people have them there is a greater chance of someone snapping. In some instance it may not work, but it is a collective security issue."

    Yes, their's a massacre everyday in Switzlerand.

    Gun's don't kill people, people kill people, and the government.

  • ||

    What's up with the police chief who can't tell the difference between an M-16 and an AK-47? Those weapons look nothing alike.

    Exactly what I thought. If he couldn't tell this, then his whole implication that it was full auto is called into question.

    Don't forget, folks, that many cops know Jack and shit about guns, and Jack left town. They think they know something about them solely because they are cops.

  • ||

    Gun control is obviously misguided and ineffective. What we need is bullet control.

  • robc||

    Warren,

    Watch out, Chris Rock is posting as you.

  • ||

    What is the exact opposite of a tautology? Something that is by definition not true?

    Anything MNG posts.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    What we need is bullet control.


    Yes, we need to control bullets so that they strike the bad guys, the way that USMC snipers do it.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    They are there to protect society, that protects you.


    Whom were they protecting when they killed Amadou Diallo, Patrick Dorismond, Sean Bell, and Malice Green?

  • ;-)||

    Yes, we need to control curve bullets so that they strike the bad guys, . . .

  • squarooticus||

    Yes, we need to control curve bullets so that they strike the bad guys, . . .


    Yeah, we need those guns that Gary Oldman's character in the Fifth Element was selling.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    The idea of the gun free zone is to keep guns out because if people have them there is a greater chance of someone snapping.


    Prisons are gun-free zones. They must be the safest places in the world.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    but no one needs an assault style weapon, nor a handgun or any concealable weapon


    Including the police?

  • ||

    "The idea of the gun free zone is to keep guns out because if people have them there is a greater chance of someone snapping."

    The guns made me snap. (and liquor stores make me DWI).

    (

  • Stagman||

    McLendon (in the AL shooting spree) was 28 yrs old. He was in high school at the time of Columbine. Also, to go back a few years, the VA tech murderer was from that same mini-generation (he would have also been in high school at that time). IMHO, there is something toxic in that age group.

    Perdidochas ,

    May I ask what the range of ages are you are referring to? I'm 26 and I think you may be on to something. My completely anecdotal and unreliable evidence is that while I was in highschool my class year (2001) associated much more with the classes below us (2002, 2003) than above us. I still have many friends in those classes (the same is true of my classmates) that I stay in touch with, but NONE from the years 2000 and 1999. In particular, on my football team we were so disgusted with the hazing rituals (banana-in-the-tail-pipe level bad) that the classes above us put us through, that we agreed to not do any hazing at all when we were seniors. To this day, the vast majority of my friends are either my age or 1-3 years younger than me.

  • ||

    Whom were they protecting when they killed Amadou Diallo, Patrick Dorismond, Sean Bell, and Malice Green?

    Accidents happen, but those people were suspected of having guns and/or drugs on them.

  • squarooticus||

    Accidents happen


    I repeat:

    The good of the many outweighs the good of the few.
    We keep you alive to serve this [state].

  • Dan||

    Susan you ignorant slut.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Accidents happen, but those people were suspected of having guns and/or drugs on them.


    I see.

    So if some Crips were to break into someone's home to look for drugs and shoot someone to death in the process, it is just an accident?

  • Dello||

    I saw a thing on Colbert a few nights ago, that I missed back in Feb.

    Seems that a Tennesee newspaper printed the personal info (name, address, phone, etc.) of all the CCW holder in the state (though according to many posters at the paper's blog, they missed lots of people). They defended their actions on a "when in public, the public has a right to know" standpoint.

    As a contrairian, and a guy who likes to poke the hornets nest, I propose the following:

    There should be a database available on the internet that clearly shows the name, address, and phone, along with a list of every firearm held by every person in this country.

    If this were put in place, there would be a small uptick in the number of unoccupied home burgleries of gun owners (to steal their guns), combined with a HUGE, HUGE uptick in crimes of all kinds against every person and address that wasn't on the list.

    I wonder how long before the libs go buy guns or move to shut the list down....

  • ||

    http://www.ichv.org/Statistics.htm

    According to this somewhat dated article, there were 30,694 gun deaths in the US in 2005. 40% of these were homicides.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/13/AR2007091300480.html

    According to this article, there were a total of 2,447,900 deaths in the US in 2005.

    So the TOTAL number of deaths by handgun was 1.25% of the overall number of deaths. Homicides accounted for 0.505% of ALL deaths in the US.

    So while firearms may make for sensational news, they're not common. If we outlawed every possibly dangerous object no matter how small the chance that it may kill someone, we'd better get on the ball. There's lots of things out there that can cause death.

    No matter what we do, people will always kill other people. Making them think before they act isn't going to stop them.

    Susan, if the gunman in any of these stories had to get his gun out of his closet and get the bullets out of his garage, do you really think that the crimes wouldn't have been committed? Let's be real here.

    And gun free zones? Come on. How many murders happen because people 'snap' while they're carrying the gun? If someone's going to snap, they're going to snap, and telling them that they can't have a gun in the schoolyard isn't going to stop them from killing people if they're intent on doing so.

    You can't stop someone from doing something if they're willing to die in the act of doing it. Period.

    Don't restrict my right to protect myself because you think that it may stop the insane person from killing someone. Because it won't. Ever.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    And gun free zones? Come on. How many murders happen because people 'snap' while they're carrying the gun? If someone's going to snap, they're going to snap, and telling them that they can't have a gun in the schoolyard isn't going to stop them from killing people if they're intent on doing so.


    If I remember correctly, Malice Green was beaten to death with flashlights .

  • TheExpatriate||

    Perdidochus and Stagman,

    I come from roughly the same age group as Stagman, and I noticed something rather odd in the upper high school classes. Particularly nasty for some reason.

    Has anyone done any real research on this?

  • Warty||

    What is the exact opposite of a tautology?

    Contradiction.

  • Warty||

    No wonder this dude snapped - he lived in a dry county. Poor bastard.

  • ||

    Susan is the most annoying sock puppet since the pets.com mascot.

  • ||

    If I remember correctly, Malice Green was beaten to death with flashlights .



    Susan, what say you? Shall we require people to store their batteries separate from the flashlights? Shall we require people to store their flashlights in locked safes? Obviously, we need people to think before they use their flashlights.

    See how silly this sounds?

  • ||

    Is Susan the new Joe?

  • ||

    Juanita is old and busted.
    Susan is new and shiny.

  • ||

    This just proves the need to have stricter and better gun control laws.

    Germany has stricter gun control laws.

    I think people should be able to hunt with single bullet guns,

    Sometimes you need more than one shot to bring something down. Sad but true.

    but no one needs an assault style weapon, nor a handgun or any concealable weapon.

    Aside from law enforcement, security personnel, and people who face unusual threats like politicians and celebrities, amirite?

    We should extend the area of gun free zones to basically everywhere except where you hunt or shoot targets.

    This is the law in Germany.

    By law, it should be required that guns be kept unloaded and locked up, and ammo be also locked in a separate cabinet in a separate room.

    This is the law in Germany.

    When the shooting began, didn't anyone call the police?

    In the German shooting, they were there within minutes, but the shooting itself only lasted about two. The suspect was gone by the time police arrived.

  • ||

    And just to be an equal-opportunity party-pooper, correct me if I'm wrong, but there isn't a shortage of firearms in Alabama, is there? It doesn't seem to have helped in this case.

  • ||

    I am not saying no one should have a gun, just that we need effective laws to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. Also, I think most people want gun free zones because it makes them feel safer.

  • ||

    If Michelle Obama can bare arms, why can't we?

    FTW. That Maureen Dowd piece was exponentially barfier than usual.

  • ||

    Gun control is obviously misguided and ineffective. What we need is bullet control.



    Yes, because we all know that no one would ever figure out how to melt lead and pour it into a mold to make their own bullets.

    Just like no one would ever be able to figure out how to make meth in their basement or grow pot in their shed.

  • ||

    Also, I think most people want gun free zones because it makes them feel safer.



    Yep, definitely a sock puppet.

  • TofuSushi||

    Aren't gun free zones safer when the rules are followed?

  • ||

    I am not saying no one should have a gun, just that we need effective laws to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.

    In other words, we need effective laws to prevent murder. True to a point, but the sad fact is that no matter what your laws are there are going to be people who will commit murder. Similarly, no matter what gun laws you make, there will be people who go on spree shootings.

  • ||

    I am not saying no one should have a gun, just that we need effective laws to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.


    Criminals don't follow gun laws!!! They're criminals!!! How is restricting my ability to protect myself going to prevent someone who has no regard for the law from getting a gun? You need to explain how this would work.

    Also, I think most people want gun free zones because it makes them feel safer.


    Yes, lets just all pretend we're safe. Then we'll be safe. That's the problem with 'feelgood' legislation. It doesn't actually do anything but inconvenience the law-abiding citizen. But if it makes us 'feel' safer, who cares that we give up some of our freedom to do it, right?

    Bits and pieces people, bits and pieces.

  • robc||

    I think most people want gun free zones because it makes them feel safer.

    Not me. And to quote myself: Fuck other people.

  • Tyler||

    "Also, I think most people want gun free zones because it makes them feel safer."

    Ah, the constitutional right to "feel safe"! Obviously more important than silly things like the right to bear arms.

    And who are you to MAKE me feel safe? I'll feel as dangerous as I want, damn it!

  • Zeb||

    Susan is definitely not real.

  • ||

    Susan you ignorant slut.

    Only a paid shill for the police could exhibit such ignorance (and keep at it so long).

  • ||

    Mac: You shot him in the head, bro!

    Dennis: No, if I shot him in the head, he'd be dead, Mac.

    Charlie: No, it really hurts. I gotta go to a hospital.

    Dennis: Um, all right, man. I'll call an ambulance.

    Mac: Bro, the hospital's like three blocks away. We should just drive him!

    Dennis: I know that, but I don't wanna get blood stains all over the interior of my car.

  • Willie\'s Wonka||

    "That's absurd. The idea is to make someone think before they use their gun. The idea of the gun free zone is to keep guns out because if people have them there is a greater chance of someone snapping."

    I agree. A good example would be the Clint Eastwood film, Unforgiven. When people came to town of Big Whisky they surrendered their guns to the sherrif, Little Bill (aka the Duck of Death). And if I recall correctly the town was totally free of violent crime. Of course it was only a movie so it might be a little different in real life.

  • TofuSushi||

    Maybe everybody should be able to buy nuclear bombs too.

  • Willie\'s Wonka||

    "Juanita is old and busted.
    Susan is new and shiny"

    Racist.

  • ||

    " or grow pot in their shed."

    Note to self: In the shed! Great idea!

  • ||

    Susan, where I live it is very difficult to get a permit to have a handgun for home protection. The neighboring town has even stricter gun control laws but the criminals don't abide by them, making the whole area fairly unsafe. They have guns, we don't, and by we I mean everyone who abides by our laws. I'd feel safer if I could have some home protection. My Lousiville Slugger is no match for his Smith & Wesson.

    And, if I were able to have the handgun, keeping the bullets in a separate location would prevent me from defending my family from home invasion, because I would not have time to get the gun from the lockbox and the bullets from a separate lockbox, load the gun, and then defend my wife and daughter from the armed guy (who already has his gun ready because he knew he was breaking into someone's house). It's bad enough I'm in my pajamas.

    Your safety measures (which started with your support for gun control which many jurisdictions have enacted because of your advocacy) put my family at risk and make us less safe. So while you feel safer, I feel exposed. Thanks for spreading your fears onto society through legislation rather than keeping them to yourself.

  • TofuSushi||

    Nick,

    If the American public had half a brain, Social Security would be in a lockbox with the bullets.

  • ||

    I think people should be able to hunt with single bullet guns,

    They can, if they so choose. Note that last word carefully.

    I think most people want gun free zones because it makes them feel safer.

    I feel safest when I'm carrying.

    And if I recall correctly the town was totally free of violent crime.

    Well, not counting the violent crimes committed by the Sherriff, of course.

  • LarryA||

    The idea of the gun free zone is to keep guns out because if people have them there is a greater chance of someone snapping.

    Then why do almost all the mass shootings happen in gun-free zones?

    They are there to protect society, that protects you.

    Ever notice that "protecting society" always includes "acting as personal bodyguards for the people who make anti-gun laws?"

    I think people should be able to hunt with single bullet guns,

    Come on over. We'll get you a "single bullet gun." Then we'll go looking for feral hogs. Got your life insurance paid up?

    Also, I think most people want gun free zones because it makes them feel safer.

    Ever notice that the second step in setting up a "gun-free" zone is to assemble and heavily arm a SWAT team to make people feel safer about problems we didn't have before there were "gun-free" zones?

    When the shooting began, didn't anyone call the police?

    Sure. And they responded to the house fire, by which time the shooter was elsewhere. This was complicated by the separate jurisdictions involved.

    What's up with the police chief who can't tell the difference between an M-16 and an AK-47? Those weapons look nothing alike.

    Turns out he had both an SKS and a Bushmaster. From experience, while it's easy to tell the difference between such guns from the side, if you're looking at the muzzle and it's spitting lead at you, hitting you in the vest, ID is a tad more difficult.

  • ||

    Isn't it funny that yesterday's shooting in
    Germany (with MUCH tighter gun control than
    here in the good old USA) produced a higher
    body count than the one in Alabama.
    How is this possible? WOULD a new "assault
    weapon" ban save us from such a tragedy?
    Yep, ban the evil guns, I say. Then everybody
    will love everybody, we'll all turn into
    Smurfs and live happily ever after. And
    before I forget, Benjamin Franklin said something about how those who trade freedoms for a little (imagined) security, deserve, and GET, neither - and in this case, we'd be trading freedom for NOTHING. Think about
    it...

  • ||

    You can carry in Georgia if you have a licenses.

    No permit carriers around at the time of the shootings? I'm disappointed. This could have been a good example of why CCWs are a good thing, but it's not. It's fodder for the anti-CCW crowd.

  • JB||

    Ban the media. The more the media covers these shootings, the more there will be.

    It is an obvious cause and effect relationship.

    Just say no to media!

  • ||

    Hi killed his mom first, then went and killed his granny, grampa, uncle and two cousins at the same house. Two other victims were visiting his family.

    When I carry, I don't usually go on high alert when my brothers come around.

    Rape is a terrible thing. I say we outlaw penises. That'll work.

  • ||

    """Rape is a terrible thing. I say we outlaw penises. That'll work."""

    Woody Allen's Sleeper?

    Ooops, that might mean something different than when the movie came out.

  • ||

    "From experience, while it's easy to tell the difference between such guns from the side, if you're looking at the muzzle and it's spitting lead at you, hitting you in the vest, ID is a tad more difficult."

    No job is too tough for Internet Tough Guys.

    "Here's how I'd have handled it..."

    "No permit carriers around at the time of the shootings? I'm disappointed. "

    Yeah, that's the real tragedy.

  • ||

    Clearly another damn good example of why prostitution should be legal

    these spotty fuckers are just in need of pootang


    whenever one of these kids does this, its always a spotty nerd
    who just can't get laid
    and can't take it anymore

    its a crazy time being a teenager

    hormones flying all over the place and you look like crap so not even the ugly chicks are into you as there's probably some older bloke who's just as socially inept and ugly but at least he has a house/car/better drugs etc


    If you live in a big city
    whores are all over the place
    but in small little towns
    (and these shootings always happen in small little towns) its hard to find one

    Ok I went through the same thing and I just got a uber-badass collection of rare 70's dub reggae on vinyl and smoked lots and lots of very low quality hash, that probably actually further reduced my ability to get laid but still I didn't shoot anyone

    but man did I feel like shooting someone

    not getting laid sucks

    so legalize prostitution, and there will probably be far less of these little bastards shooting people

  • ||

    The local newspaper here, "The Dothan Eagle" is reporting that McLendon was carrying an SKS, a Bushmaster, a shotgun and a .38 caliber handgun. He reportedly had high capacity magazines taped together.

  • ||

    MaterialMomkee, I live about 25 miles from Samson Alabama. If you can't get pussy in this neck of the woods for free, you aren't interested in it.

  • ||

    brotherben

    I'm from a small mining town in Wales

    there's a joke which goes like this

    Q. Why wasn't jesus born in Wales?

    A. They couldn't find three wise men or a Virgin

    But man I could never get laid as a kid

    I totally reckon these fuckers need to get laid
    same goes for the suicide bomber types

    That my theory and I'm sticking to it in spite of any rational evidence, studies, or statistics to the contrary! Even though I reckon if anyone ever did do a survey of genocidal teenagers I bet its always to spotty kids who can't get laid

  • ||

    "The reasons for those attacks defy easy explanation, just as McLendon's neighbors were at a loss to understand why he did what he did"

    bull shit

    its a lack of pootang!!!!

    easy explanation!

  • Posse Comiwhat?||

    http://ca.news.yahoo.com/nphotos/US-Army-soldiers-from-Ft-Rucker-patrol-the-downtown-area-of-Samson-Alabama-after-a-shooting-spree/photo/11032009/6/photo/photos-n-usa-u-s-army-soldiers-ft-rucker-patrol-downtown-area.html

  • ||

    I have long friends who live just a couple of blocks from the Winnenden shooting. I have to comment anyway. The problem isn't the guns, which are as tightly controlled in Germany as they are anywhere on the planet. The problem is with the people.

  • jester||

    Visit Germany!

    Where Gun Control is tight und Freuleinen sind los!

  • Richard Lawson||

    The fact remains that guns are a more efficient way of killing people than, say, clubs. Armed with a club, there would have been a few bruises, maybe concussion and fractues, but not the 17 deaths we are looking at. If not gun control, how about ammunition control. An ammunition tax sufficient to cover the cost of policing, courts, NHS and widows pensions would be fair and just, and as Chris Rock says, at $400 per bullet, you are really going to have to think before you fire.

  • What Is Wrong With You People!||

    There is such thing as bullet reloading. Give an economic reason for it and it will appear.

  • Sean Healy||

    Sullum conveniently skates over the fact that the German kid had easy access to legal firearms - his dad was a gun club member and had (I think) 17 weapons. Only 16 were locked up. The other was kept in a bedside drawer, presumably for self-defense. That seems to have worked out well.

    Let's add up the costs and benefits. Anyone here think having that revolver next to the bed prevented at least 17 deaths over its lifetime? You know, to balance out the ledger.

    Look, I'm all for principled arguments in favor of a right to bear arms, but lets stop fucking kidding ourselves about the practical ramifications. Every one of these mass murderers had access to firearms at home. A crime requires means, motive and opportunity - which of these can be controlled or eliminated? Is it a freaking accident that America has a relatively high homicide rate AND nearly one gun for every person? God, can we at least be honest that guns may be PART of the problem? One can admit that and still make the rights argument, you know. But when one doesn't admit that, it seems like a flight from reality, which makes others disinclined to listen about the rights.

  • ||

    Forget it, Sean. It's Reasontown.

  • JD||

    Richard Lawson - true, but over time fire has proven to to be the most effective means of mass murder.

    Sean Healy - Well, sure, if these guys had no access to guns at all, maybe they would have just strangled their wives or something. But as you point out, the US already has somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 million guns. No legislation is going to make those disappear into thin air, so any practical approach is going to have to take that into consideration. Also, the "guns = murder" calculus doesn't explain all the countries with strict gun control and a high murder rate, or why the US also has a high rate of murder by means of knives, blunt objects, and bare hands.

  • ||

    Sean, you seem to believe the fallacy that homicides in the United States occur at the same frequency throughout the population.

    Which is simply not true: For example, blacks and Hispanics in the United States are far more likely to be shot and killed than whites and Asians are, and their killers are far more likely to be black or Hispanic. And many, if not most, of those homicides are tied directly to the illegal drug industry.

    The example I'm most familiar with is Utah, where the homicide rate is one of the lowest in the nation yet the gun laws are some of the loosest in the nation.

    Utah's rate of about 2.0 homicides per 100,000 population compares favorably to most European countries. However, when one considers that nearly half of all Utah homicide victims are members of a minority group, Utah's white population has a homicide rate almost identical to those of their Scandinavian and British cousins.

  • ||

    Mass murder existed long before firearms.

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