J. Neil Schulman on How to Prevent Mass Shootings. And Joe Klein on What "Caused" Them!

Libertarian novelist and filmmaker J. Neil Schulman has a spirited take on the reaction to the Aurora, Colorado shooting.

"The media," says the Stopping Power: Why 70 Million Americans Own Guns author, "focuses on the psychology of the shooter rather than the practical question of how to defend against these unpredictable shootings."

Schulman, who cites an estimate by academics Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz that there were 2.5 million defensive gun uses in 1994, writes:

You can’t blame people who write comic books, or make movies, or wear costumes of characters in their favorite comic books and movies, for what happened in a darkened movie theater....

Massacres of the unarmed are not infrequent events on this planet, and every time they happen there are jokers with no ability to learn from history who use these killing fields to call for further victim disarmament. What the Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas; Columbine High School in Littleton Colorado; the Long Island Railroad; the campuses of the University of Iowa or Virginia Tech; Dunblane, Scotland; and the United States Army Base at Fort Hood, Texas all had in common is that it was illegal for the victims to carry firearms in case some demented joker who didn’t abide by gun laws decided it was their day to die....

More gun-control could not have stopped James Holmes. The strictest gun control in Dunblane, Scotland — or even mass killings using a knife in Akihabara and Osaka, Japan — have never stopped these kinds of unprovoked massacres.A public with a critical mass of individuals carrying handguns, ready at all times to shoot back at sudden attackers, has worked to minimize casualties from terrorist attacks in Israel.

Meanwhile, over at Time's Swampland, Joe Klein acknowledges that gun violence is way, way down despite liberalized gun ownership laws. In fact, single-victim gun deaths are down 40 percent since 1980, according to the FBI. But Klein says that "mass shootings [in which four or more victims are killed] have exploded in frequency since the 1970s." And he claims to know why shootings like the one in Colorado persist:

[It] has to do with a lot of things. It has to do with industrial-strength violence on TV and the movies, and the obsessive use of violent video games by young men, and the increasing mobility and atomization of society....

Oh come on, already! Fantasy violence leads to real-world violence? How long will that mistaken (and unproven!) conceit survive despite all evidence - and countless Reason articles - to the contrary?

As to the mass shooting "explosion," Klein points to data from Northeastern University criminologist James Alan Fox (best-remembered for predicting the rise of "super predators" in the 1990s that turned out to be wrong) on mass shootings. Far from showing a gigantic rise in the number of incidents and victims over time, what you see is a pretty tightly constricted range of shootings and victims over time. Or as Ron Dicker of the Huffington Post notes over a slightly different time span, "The total number of people dying in attacks that claimed four or more victims has climbed from an average of 161 a year in the 1980s to 163 between 2006 and 2008, according to FBI statistics." Any gun death is a tragedy but a change of two in averages over a 20-year-plus time frame can't be characterized in any way as explosive.

Then again, Klein works for a publication that has never met a moral panic it didn't hype on its cover. From Satanism to Pokemon to "the Columbine Effect," Time is there for you when you need to feel worried about trends that exist first and foremost in the minds of the journalists who write about them.

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  • ||

    Time is getting increasingly tabloidish, much like Newsweek. It's part of the general decline of the print media. They have to do something to sell copies of their rag, and they are turning to sensationalism to do it.

  • albo||

    Time has yet to realize that weekly print newsmagazines are about as dead as Lindsay Lohan's career.

  • wareagle||

    weeklies, even monthlies, do relatively well provided they realize their role in the marketplace and focus on that niche. Covering spot news is NOT what they do and neither is offering up days-old commentary on the news of the day.

    Their role could be in-depth analysis of current issues that need more than a 90-second piece on the evening news, articles that explain what is behind problems and what is contained in legislation. It sounds cliche to say 'the story behind the story', but that is what that type publication can do.

  • ||

    They sell copies as impulse buys in grocery checkout lanes. So their role in the market place is basically to grab your attention during the 5 minutes you spend between two rows of candy and bubble gum.

  • SIV||

    You will not speak ill of the Goddess Lindsay Lohan

  • playa manhattan||

    Counterpoint:
    http://itthing.com/wp-content/.....-grown.jpg
    She's not 40 years old, she just looks it.

  • ||

    I just threw up in my mouth. She looks like a cracked out Sheryl Crow in that image.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Just really drunk, I think. Her pupils would either be dilated or blown if she was on hard drugs.

  • playa manhattan||

    It also reveals her ginger heritage.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    US Weekly and even People used to be quite enjoyable rags to browse before the Enquirer-types took over their publication offices. They had their share of sensationalism, but usually followed the lead of the larger pubs like Time and Newsweek; generally it was just a pastiche of book and movie reviews and a few harmless, feel-good special interest stories ("Dog drags kid from hole in the ice" and things like that).

  • Mainer2||

    There was a rumor that Newsweek is going to start producing a separate weekly edition that will be pitched to adults.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Either Schulman is claiming that the Columbine, Ft Hood, and Va Tech shooters chose those locations because of their gun free nature, or his point is a non sequitur. Dylan and Klaybold chose Columbine because that's where they went to school, not because of the gun situation. Likewise for Cho. And of course Major Hasan chose Ft Hood because of its military nature.

    He also ignores the Loughner shooting which (along with many others) took place in a place where there very well could have been people carrying guns.

  • o3||

    anyone who *CLAIMS* those areas were "gun free" better provide sources.

    they have no way of knowing who was, or wasnt armed

  • Tulpa the White||

    It's highly unlikely there was anyone at VT, Columbine, or Ft Hood packing heat.

    The theater, who knows.

  • R C Dean||

    Well, we know the shooters were armed.

    And we know that guns were (legally) banned because they were schools/campuses.

    Is Schulman claiming those locations were chosen because of the legal bans? Or is he arguing that the absence of any law-abiding gun carriers made the shootings worse?

  • Tulpa the White||

    He's not doing either, he's just pointing to a (cherry-picked) correlation and letting people who want to agree with his point connect the dots. Dots that perhaps should not be connected.

    To back up the latter argument, he'd have to provide instances where mass shootings were stopped by CCW holders.

  • playa manhattan||

    If "shooting sprees" are stopped by CCWers, a lot of them won't be classified as "mass shootings" because they are stopped before the bodies start piling up.

  • R C Dean||

    To back up the latter argument, he'd have to provide instances where mass shootings were stopped by CCW holders.

    I believe a few recent ones have been discussed right here.

    Of course, it can be hard to know whether a shooter who is stopped early enough would have been a "mass" shooter.

  • Gray Ghost||

    He could start with the 2007 New Life Church shootinsg and the Trolley Square mall shootings in Salt Lake City. Not sure about New Life Church, but Trolley Square had a "no weapons" policy (would link to, if the squirrels didn't hate it) and some signs to that effect. Then again, the shooter reportedly hung out at the mall all of the time, and I agree with you Tulpa that I doubt he chose it for his rampage because of its gun-free nature.

    The only reason there were CCW holders in these two cases were because one was a security guard (so, probably not very concealed) and the other an off-duty cop, enjoying his exemption from the rule.

    Re, Batman, I don't know if allowing CCW in the theater would've slowed the gunman down. But for Chrissake's, he shot enough to send 70 people to the hospital and 12 to the morgue: how much worse would allowing CCW have made it? I am guessing that if indeed the shooter was armored, then exchanging gunfire with him would have similar results to the Tyler courthouse shootings. But at least, it would have slowed Holmes down, and given the cops time to pull their thumb out. Thank God, Holmes didn't know how to use a weapon like Brevik or Woo Bum-Kon, or just use a bomb to blow up the theater to begin with.

  • tarran||

    He wasn't armored.

    he looked like he was wearing body armor, but it turned out to be a 'tactical' nylon vest.

    A 9mm round to his chest would likely have dropped him in his tracks.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Depending on how fast his AR jammed, that doesn't necessarily imply it took him a long time. The majority of those shot must have been from the AR since you couldn't hit half that many people with an 870 and a pistol without reloading.

  • Chris Mallory||

    From accounts I have read it jammed after about 40 rounds.

  • Tulpa the White||

    If that's the case, he must have reloaded one of the other weapons at some point.

  • R C Dean||

    Its all speculative, of course, and much depends on exactly where the CCW holders might have been in the theater.

    In the back rows? Probably not much they could do.

    In the front rows? Some survivors were only few feet from him. If any of them had been armed and willing, this could have turned out very differently.

    And the point isn't to try to quantify exactly what the difference would have been in any given case.

    The point(s) are (1) we have an inalienable, fundamental right to self-defense and (2) there isn't a single case where a "good guy" with a gun made it worse, and several where they made it better. It improves everyone's odds.

  • ||

    In many cases, somone with enough nerve can probably tackle the shooter but who actually does have the nerve?

    In the theater though everone's movement is constrained, you basically can go in one of two directions or freeze in one spot. To tackle him you would have to be in the front row.

    And, of course, the tackler runs the very real risk of becoming a victim.

  • wareagle||

    of course, those areas were "gun free". That is one reason why they were attractive to the assailants. High schools, public universities, and ironically, a lot of areas on military installations, are gun free.

    Yes, the Columbine and VA Tech shooters chose location because they attended but they also knew no one else was going to be armed. And Hassan purposely picked an area he knew to be gun-free.

  • Tulpa the White||

    And Hassan purposely picked an area he knew to be gun-free.

    Is this known from his own statements or just speculation? From what I've heard, weapons are not allowed to be carried on most of an army base.

  • wareagle||

    he picked a confined space where there were plenty of people. I think this goes beyond speculation. If you want to commit mass mayhem, you have to go where a mass of potential victims will be.

  • sarcasmic||

    Either Schulman is claiming that the Columbine, Ft Hood, and Va Tech shooters chose those locations because of their gun free nature, or his point is a non sequitur.

    Nice false dichotomy. No, his obvious implication is that those who follow the rules in gun free zones can't shoot back.

    He also ignores the Loughner shooting which (along with many others) took place in a place where there very well could have been people carrying guns.

    All that shows is that while it is pretty much guaranteed that no one will be armed in a gun free zone, in a mall parking lot it is merely unlikely.

  • tarran||

    Actually, one of the guys who tackled Loughtner was concealed carrying.

    IIRC he said he didn't draw his weapon because he thought tackling him would be faster, less likely to miss, and because he didn't want people thinking he was one of the shooters.

  • Tulpa the White||

    So even if CCW holders are present, the fact that they're carrying won't necessarily cause the shooting to end faster.

    That helps my point. CCW is a good thing in general but not a reliable method of dealing with mass shootings.

  • sarcasmic||

    Had Loughner been shot would you be singing a different tune?

  • Tulpa the White||

    I'm not going to speculate about counterfactuals involving the evidence.

    If the USSR had prospered while the US sank into economic ruin, would you cease to believe in the free market?

  • sarcasmic||

    That's a really poor analogy. Even for you.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    well you did on the ROADZ! thread.

  • Tulpa the White||

    How?

  • Cliché Bandit||

    I addressed you ineffectual comments here

  • ant1sthenes||

    "So even if CCW holders are present, the fact that they're carrying won't necessarily cause the shooting to end faster"

    Well, it won't cause the shooting to end faster due to blowing the shooter away. But tackling him while he reloads also works. Apparently people with guns sometimes (even in crazy situations) try to exercise judgment about when to use them rather than turning the whole scene into the wild west.

  • ||

    Apparently people with guns sometimes (even in crazy situations) try to exercise judgment about when to use them rather than turning the whole scene into the wild west.

    This is something that I think most gun opponents refuse to recognize. They often seem too eager to assert the opposite and claim that adding more guns to such situations will lead to more deaths.

  • ||

    Apparently people with guns sometimes (even in crazy situations) try to exercise judgment about when to use them rather than turning the whole scene into the wild west.

    This is something that I think most gun opponents refuse to recognize. They often seem too eager to assert the opposite and claim that adding more guns to such situations will lead to more deaths.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Gun free zones are tackle free zones?

    Look, I'm ambivalent on CCW with regard to mass shootings. Just taking issue with the people who seem to think CCW deters or mitigates mass shootings and never makes things worse.

  • ant1sthenes||

    "Gun free zones are tackle free zones?"

    To everything, there is a season. A time to tackle, and a time to ventilate.

  • R C Dean||

    Just taking issue with the people who seem to think CCW deters or mitigates mass shootings and never makes things worse.

    Well, it never has made things worse. Unless you know of an example you are keeping secret.

    And it improves the odds. There are cases where it has helped, after all.

    I see no downside. I don't understand your opposition to the idea.

  • sarcasmic||

    So even if CCW holders are present, the fact that they're carrying won't necessarily cause the shooting to end faster.

    True. There is no guarantee that the person who is armed will have an opportunity to end things early. But the probability is much greater than if everyone who follows the rules is unarmed.

  • JD the elder||

    But, but, but, that can't be! CCW holders just instantly draw and begin blazing away at everything they see, hitting more innocents than actual targets! I know, because thousands of Facebook commenters say so!

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    All that shows is that while it is pretty much guaranteed that no one will be armed in a gun free zone, in a mall parking lot it is merely unlikely.

    Only too true. Although the media and the Left (but I repeat myself) are constantly wailing about how "gun crazy" the U.S. is, the truth is that not very many people are routinely armed. Many gun owners simply are people who have guns stowed in a closet or who only use guns during hunting season, skeet shooting, etc.

  • Tulpa the White||

    In PA, if you don't have an LTCF and stop at McDonalds on the way to the range with your gun in the trunk, you've committed a crime. And if you're on the way to the range and get pulled over, you have to prove to the officer that you were on your way to the range (good luck).

    So there are lots of people who have an LTCF purely to avoid legal hassles.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    That was happening a lot in Virginia too, although this year the Virginia Citizens' Defense League was able to push through some changes to the laws so that innocent gun owners don't get screwed by this type of scenario.

  • R C Dean||

    There was a CCW holder at the Loughner shooting. He didn't use his gun, because under the circumstances he judged it better to just tackle the guy.

  • o3||

    correct, after the shooter fumbled the reload...which then feeds into mag capacity

  • WTF||

    Loughner had a high capacity mag which jammed, which they have a tendency to do, numbnuts. So it was not a mag capacity issue.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Apparently high-capacity magazines are the only technology that the free market doesn't encourage improvement of!

  • ||

    Arguing against o3's invincible ignorance will only lead to frustration.

  • wareagle||

    mag capacity, schmag capacity. Didn't the theater shooter's high-cap weapon jam? Capacity just hints at the number of possible victims.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Yeah, and that's a common feature of high-capacity magazines, especially in guns that can shoot at higher rates--it makes it easier to mis-feed the rounds into the chamber.

    There's a guy on the Denver Post message boards claiming AR-15s and high-cap mags need to be banned because, unlike shotguns and handguns, they're nothing but weapons of mayhem. He was completely oblivious to the fact that Holmes likely did most of his damage with the shotgun and Glock pistols after the AR-15 jammed.

  • wareagle||

    I would only disagree with one thing - that he was "completely oblivious." I would say he is being completely disingenuous about that point because a malicious truth would mess up his narrative.

  • Rasilio||

    Um in a crowded theatre with Buckshot and a wide choke each shot can easily injure or kill multiple people.

  • Tulpa the White||

    "wide choke"? I'm not familiar with that one, sounds like jumbo shrimp.

    When the pellets come out of the barrel they're no more spread out than the width of the barrel. Unless he was hitting people at over say 25 yards, it was probably one hit per round.

  • Rasilio||

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S....._and_choke

    Basically the choke is a mechanism designed to control the spread pattern of the shot, the "wider" it is the quicker the shot spreads increasing the odds of hitting something at close range while decreasing it at longer ranges. An narrow choke on the otherhand constrains the rate of spread which makes the round more effective at distance.

    Given that he would have been firing into a crowded space at ranges under 50 yards the widest possible choke would have been fine for his purposes and while a single ball of buckshot is probably not going to be fatal to a healthy adult human it would still serve to up the chaos factor and number of wounded significantly.

    On the flip side if he went with the narrowest choke it is highly likely that each shot would have hit at most 1 or 2 people and each one hit would have been far more likely to be a fatality.

    Also all this brings up one other point.

    Tactically speaking the guy was an idiot.

    Had he wanted to maximize the death toll he would have started out with the shotgun against the densely grouped target clumps that would have presented themselves in the initial rush to get out, then as the Theatre started to empty some and he could have switched to the AR for more targeted killing. Had he done this it is likely that the death and wounded tolls would have been double what they were.

  • Tulpa the White||

    He was completely oblivious to the fact that Holmes likely did most of his damage with the shotgun and Glock pistols after the AR-15 jammed.

    The highest capacity 870 I'm aware of holds 8 rounds. The Glock holds what, 17? At close range you're pretty much talking a max of one hit per round.

    There were 82 casualties.

  • Gray Ghost||

    (Worthless fucking spam filter)

    Buckshot spreads from a cylinder loading at about 1 inch per yard of linear travel. The Denver Post mentioned he was shooting the 870 from the bottom of the theater, near the screen, to the back of the theater. Call it about 90 feet? More? I can see the pattern being several feet wide at that distance, and so am willing to credit the idea that multiple people hit with each shotgun shot. Not half the theater at each shot, but maybe two to three people?

    I'm also willing to guess there were some through and throughs, or bullets hitting seats, fragmenting, and causing surface lacerations. All of which + injuries suffered in the stampede to get the hell out, could help towards explaining the high number of casualties.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Good points. Depends on the size of the theater, I guess; most of the new cineplex showrooms are actually not that big.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Since it was opening night, the showing was likely in one of the largest auditoriums in the theater.

    The fact that only 12 people died out of 82 struck indicates that he wasn't even aiming all that well (the .223 round being what it is); he was mainly just spraying in the hopes of causing as much carnage as possible, not methodically picking out targets. If he had any real experience shooting firearms, the death toll likely would have been a lot worse.

  • Rasilio||

    Actually it is not all that surprising that only 12 out of 82 died, the general public constantly overrates the lethality of gunshot wounds.

    I read a study at sometime in the past that indicated that if you were able to reach a hospital within an hour of being shot by a single bullet your odds of survival were greater than 70% and almost 50% if it were multiple bullets.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Too bad they fired or reassigned whoever was playing MNG, they were always entertaining.

  • Spoonman.||

    Wait...so because an attorney named John is on a list from DHS, we are to believe that the attorney named John who says he works for the federal government on this board is a DHS agent?

    You realize how many people are named John, right?

  • tarran||

    Don't be her porn, man.

  • perlhaqr||

    Only one. They're all the same person. John may manifest multiply.

  • fish||

    You know there was this guy named Jim Holmes...and he was um... a Tea Party member and um.....somebody named Jim Holmes shot up a theater in Colorado......

    /Brian Ross snark regarding people who share common names.

  • SIV||

    So Gang Lu makes the list for a 1981 shooting in Iowa but not Amy Bishop at Uof A Huntsville in 2010?

  • wareagle||

    he was a crazed student; she was a serious academic. Surely you can see the difference.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    I noted that Amy Bishop was ALSO into neuroscience, like Holmes.

  • SIV||

    Yes. I'm caling for some sort of pogrom on neuroscientists. It's long overdue.

  • ||

    Mostly OT: So I finally saw Batman and thought it was a terrific movie, just as good as the last one. It had been a while since I saw a movie in the theater and when the room went dark it really occurred to me how terrifying that shooting must have been in a darkened packed house (the thater I was in was barely 1/4 full).

    As to the movie, I fully admit I was wrong to doubt Hathaway who was fantastic as Catwoman. Bane was kind of disappinting, mainly because it was difficult to understand what he was saying half the time and let's just say his demise was unbecoming of the film's most hyped villain. I also like how they left the backdoor open for more movies within the Nolan contiunity if they so choose.

  • o3||

    too long, too loud, and hathaway sucked.

    fortunately the theater i was at had a bar.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    The theaters that serve you dinners and have bars are really the only ones worth going to--at least you know they won't be populated by goons bringing their three-year-old kids to the show.

  • R C Dean||

    hathaway sucked

    I'm in.

    Oh, you mean you didn't like her acting? Never mind.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I heard that he sounds like Deckard Cain. I'd find that distracting, if true.

  • o3||

    gun control is a canard used by the RW leadership to foam-up n fund-raise the wingnuts like death panels FEMA kamps.

    large capacity magazines are the real issue whose only purpose is to kill humans.

    state depts of wildlife prohibit xmags to hunt animals.

    unfortunately they dont set policy for hunting humans.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Attempting to ban "high capacity" magazines is futile.

    A magazine, after all, is nothing but a box with a spring in it. Yes, it must be machined to the correct dimensions and to the correct tolerances, but anybody with metalworking tools and skills can do it. (For that matter, the magazines don't even have to be made of metal.)

    So what's your next proposal: ban tools?

  • albo||

    So what's your next proposal: ban tools?

    Like Joe Klein? Sure.

  • fish||

    If we ban Joe Klein will he then be free to participate in the "Most Punchable Face" contest against E.J.?

  • Citizen Nothing||

    large capacity magazines are the real issue whose only purpose is to kill humans.


    What's your point?

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    What's your point?

    He does not like them, therefore he wants them banned.

  • ||

    He has no point. He was at this all day yesterday. He assumes that eliminating high cap mags will magically make events like this stop; that somehow people only commit these mass killings because high cap mags exist not because their monstrous human beings bent on destruction.

  • ||

    "not because their they're monstrous human beings bent on destruction."

  • albo||

    Nobody needs a V-8 engine in their car. Their only purpose is to go fast and cause fatal accidents. They need to be outlawed.

    Signed,

    The Federal Department of Determining Exactly What Citizens Need and Don't Need

  • o3||

    again, the state depts of wildlife ban large ammo capacity to hunt animals

  • albo||

    Of course they do. My state does too--3 rounds max for small and big game.

    But, you know, guns have other perfectly fine uses than hunting. Like target shooting, home invader shooting, collecting, etc.

  • ||

    But, you know, guns have other perfectly fine uses than hunting. Like target shooting, home invader shooting, collecting, etc.

    Don't forget the perfectly legitimate use of overthrowing an oppressive government.

  • wareagle||

    hunting animals is legal so the states put in place some guidelines. Hunting humans is NOT legal, whether one plans to use a Howitzer or piano wire.

  • Carston||

    O shit, now we need to start banning piano wire, and pianos by extension, otherwise crazies could decide to use them to kill.

    Either that or a knife, bat, a myriad of fuels to make bombs... wait, what can't be used to kill again?

  • o3||

    oh and xmags =/ V8 engines.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Sure, that's why I'm seeing lefties argue that "since we require licenses to drive cars and have laws regulating their use, we should require the same of firearms!!!" Never mind that you're more likely to die in a car crash than you are to get killed by someone shooting a gun at you.

  • SIV||

    That has been seriously proposed before.

  • GW||

    LOL. Anyone who really practices at reloading can make mag capacity a non-issue.

  • ant1sthenes||

    "large capacity magazines are the real issue whose only purpose is to kill humans."

    The capacity to kill animals isn't really a life or death (or liberty or death) situation for people except in rare cases, and almost always in undeveloped areas. To the extent that guns serve any useful purpose for society, it's their ability to kill humans.

  • perlhaqr||

    This. The purpose of the Second Amendment was not to guarantee that we'd have the tools to go sport hunting.

  • Chris Mallory||

    So you are in favor of the government not being able to use large capacity magazines?

  • Barack Obama||

    John Ashcroft hired to edit video at CNN:

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/18/.....index.html

  • fish||

    No boob shots then?

  • Tulpa the White||

    And of course, it's far more likely for guns to be "banned" in places where crowds of people typically gather... also prime targets for mass shooters. So there's bound to be some correlation that has nothing to do with a CCW deterrent.

  • ||

    It kind of shows how stupid gun free zones are since a person can easily cocnceal a weapon and enter a crowded area. So why have them?

  • sarcasmic||

    Signs are magic. They look down on us and keep us safe.

  • wareagle||

    why have them? Because signs are the last deterrent between us and lawlessness. Because all those silly laws against murder and mayhem are meaningless unless some building owner puts up a sign declaring that only outlaws can have guns on the property.

  • Tulpa the White||

    I agree that gun free zones are a bad idea except where you can enforce them by having metal detectors and such (eg airports, courtrooms).

  • Tulpa the White||

    But remember what we always say, freedom implies the freedom to be stupid.

  • SugarFree||

    So why have them?

    Liability. If someone gets shot, the theater/school/restaurant can say they have no culpability because the shooter was defying their policy.

  • R C Dean||

    It would be interesting indeed to have a court rule that where a property owner denies patrons the ability to defend themselves, the owner takes full responsibility for their safety.

  • SugarFree||

    Yeah, it does sound like something that could backfire. Especially if you mix in public accommodation and a few nutcases sue successfully for denial of service.

    But remember, tort reform is just a right-wing meme.

  • sarcasmic||

    I actually had that argument with a coworker.

    His argument was that it is his right to not allow me to arm myself on his property because it is his property, and go no further than that.
    I asked what happens when someone ignores his rules.
    Isn't my safety now his responsibility since by following his rules I have given up my ability to defend myself from the person who didn't follow the rules?

    We agreed to disagree.

  • T||

    My last job explicitly took the position that my safety on their property was their responsibility so I should leave my gun at home. The wife, who is a corporate contracts attorney, laughed her ass off when I showed her that.

  • Tulpa the White||

    You have the right to not enter his property if you're concerned for your safety.

  • Tulpa the White||

    I seriously doubt that holds water in a case where someone enters the property voluntarily.

    Property owners who ban food and drink on their property don't have the responsibility to feed and provide water for those who enter the property.

  • Fluffy||

    +1

  • R C Dean||

    The differences being, of course:

    (1) The property owner is requiring that I surrender a basic, inalienable human right in order to enter his property, the right of (effective) self-defense. What we have here is an apparent conflict of two rights - his right to limit access to his property, and my right to defend myself. I say we split the difference, and say that he can deny my right to self-defense only if he assumes responsibility for my safety.

    You can, of course, take the position that assertion of your property rights should imply no responsibility on the property owner's part. Perfectly defensible, but I don't think its the only valid position on this issue.

    (2) The food and drink analogy might work a little better if I might suddenly and without warning starve or dehydrate to death. As it is, I can leave his property to eat and drink if I get hungry or thirsty, but I can't leave his property to defend myself if I'm attacked there.

  • ant1sthenes||

    If they somehow created a situation where people were there long enough for lack of food and drink to be a problem, they might. If an airplane keeps people from deplaning, but also doesn't take off, I think they're morally obligated to feed those people eventually. And they don't even ban food and drinks.

  • Carston||

    Because nanny state busybodies need to be seen as DOING SOMETHING so the idiots will continue to vote for them.

    Been said many times, but:
    When guns are outlawed, only the outlaws will have guns.

  • wareagle||

    yup...the "do something" mentality is the same one that has practically criminalized Sudafed, among other stupid actions. It's as though these people believe the .001% of the population that would commit mass mayhem can be stopped if only one more law gets passed.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Joe Klein is, like, totally neural.

  • R C Dean||

    Any gun death is a tragedy but a change of two in averages over a 20-year-plus time frame can't be characterized in any way as explosive.

    I wonder if the per capita change has been flat or even negative, given population growth.

    large capacity magazines are the real issue whose only purpose is to kill humans.

    Even if that is correct, doesn't that make them a valid/desirable for purely defensive shooters?

    state depts of wildlife prohibit xmags to hunt animals.

    Depending on the game and time of year, they may also limit calibers, require muzzle-loaders only, ban hunting with guns altogether in favor of archery, or just ban hunting altogether. Care to analogize those to the sorts of gun control you want?

  • Tulpa the White||

    The way the statistic was reported makes me very suspicious of cherry-picking. An entire decade avg vs. a three year avg (and a very weird avg at that)?

    What you'd want to look at would be the standard deviation of the number of people killed in shootings. An increase in mass murder severity would send that up.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Even if that is correct, doesn't that make them a valid/desirable for purely defensive shooters?

    This is why I thought that was a moronic argument against 'Saturday Night Specials'. If you're using one for self-defense, the fact that it's ostensibly only good for killing people isn't a drawback.

  • albo||

    Yes, violent media makes people violent. That means positive, non-violent media should make us all pay-it-forward saints.

    (best-remembered for predicting the rise of "super predators" in the 1990s that turned out to be wrong)

    Hey, maybe James Holmes is a crack baby! Weren't they supposed to grow up to be monsters?

  • Apple||

    The debate on ABC's This Week between George Will, Jennifer Rubin, Joe Klein and Ed Rendell over the shooting was great. I've never read Joe Klein but he's a first degree moron.

  • Killazontherun||

    I blame mass killings on the rise of assholes in society. When little sphincters see a full grown asshole, like Joe Klein, rewarded by the rest of us with social status for the crap he spews, the little sphincters become inspired to be like their roll model, Joe Klein, to take the simian like throwing of shit they see him engage in even further than he has at this point.

  • ||

    Speaking of assholes named Klein, I was surprised to learn that Ezra Klein only has a B.A. in political science. And someone that stupid has a job with a major American newspaper?

  • Killazontherun||

    You see the name 'Klein' in print, you know it is bad news before you read another word. Is everyone with that last name a total dumbass?

  • CE||

    Joe Klein acknowledges that gun violence is way, way down despite liberalized gun ownership laws.

    "Despite"?

  • albo||

    Yeah. And why is crime down when so many people are in prison?

  • o3||

    nobody cant afford em

  • Carston||

    Liberal is being used their in the liberty sense, it is not in reference to the modern American liberalism/leftism/socialist paternalists.

  • ||

    He's saying that despite the fact that more people own guns, gun violence has dropped.

  • Bardas Phocas||

    Aren't 'Super Predators' the polar bears coming south to reek vengence on us for Global Warming?

  • H. Peters||

    how to defend against these unpredictable shootings

    You can't. Because they are unpredictable. Hope this helps.

  • R C Dean||

    You can't prevent them.

    When one happens, those present can defend against the shooter. And do a much better job of it if some of them are armed.

  • wareagle||

    and that's just it. There is not a politician alive willing to look folks in the eyes and say "there are no laws that can prevent the unpreventable, and we cannot pretend that simply passing a law will stop people from doing evil things. If this were possible, our society would already be free of murder, assault, rape, and whatever other crime anyone can imagine." Instead, they have to do something, activity disguised as action.

  • R C Dean||

    There's been a potential RC'z Law in the works for awhile about the difference between motion and progress. Can't get it to gel, though.

  • sloopyinca||

    if the reason bigorati were ever forced to live without me and my brother officers, the pants wetting would be immediate and immense.

    last night i made two TERRY STOPS and after having the perps thank me, which happens more often than you bigots would think, i took them to jail.

    that's the side of LAW ENFORCEMENT you don't see because you live with cop-hate blinders on.

    i know what it's like to be needed. too bad you BIGOTS don't.

    it must be sad to live such a small life that you can't even face the fact that LAW ENFORCEMENT is the most respected profession and they are entitled to go home every night even if it is at the expense of some idiot dumbshit that the fact pattern as presented says opened his door with a gun drawn, even if the physical evidence says otherwise.

    i've done more for AMERICA than the lot of you combined.

    just yesterday, i performed open heart surgery on a DV call and saved the woman. and the day before, i saved seven children from a burning building by blowing out the fire.

    but those stories aren't sexy for the cop-hating media so you never read about them.

    and no, i won't link to anything that substantiates them because i must protect my identity.

    so keep on hating, you bigots. you all talk a big game but you know if the cops went on strike tomorrow, the world would come to an end.

    oh, and i'm a more of a libertarian than you all anyway because i believe in legalized gambling, prostitution and drug use. i'm super-cool like that.

    hth.

  • R C Dean||

    Stop it, sloopy. You're going to damage your psyche if you keep doing those.

  • tarran||

    Stop it, sloopy. You're going to damage your psyche if you keep doing those.

    Remember sugarfree's gruesome libido-nuking political fanfic?

    Imagine what he was like before his flirtation with such unnatural modes of thought damaged his mind.

  • SugarFree||

    I was America's high school sweetheart.

  • ||

    Yeah. Like I said, TEAM WHORING. You went out with the whole basketball team, right?

  • ||

    Will you two fuckbuddies find a room already?

  • SugarFree||

  • ||

    Hey, fuckbuddy, you're on TEAM FUCKBUDDY too.

  • SugarFree||

    Isn't he really more of a FUCKACQUAINTANCE?

  • ||

    FUCKPANION?

  • ||

    God, it's like you're all a bunch of 14-year-old girls. I can't even carry on a conversation with you.

  • R C Dean||

    Such a missed opportunity.

    Should have gone with "OMG, its like you're all a bunch of, like, 14-year-old girls."

  • BakedPenguin||

    This is, like, the worst fuck chat room ever.

  • perlhaqr||

    I think that's spelled FUCQUAINTANCE.

  • tarran||

    You left out the drug dealers thanking him after he refers charges to the DA without arresting them.

  • Sam Grove||

    There's still the question of whether Holmes was on psychiatric medication.

  • Mike M.||

    If I had to wager money on it, my bet would be that he has adult onset schizophrenia.

    If this terrible disease isn't treated properly or the person takes the wrong drugs, look out, because the results will most likely be disastrous.

  • Mike M.||

    Speaking of psychiatric medications, Mary Stack must have taken hers this morning, because none of her twenty different personae have been around here at all today.

  • tarran||

    Oh, they've been around.

    Mike Alissi seems to have been scourging her from the board.... with cleansing fire.

  • ant1sthenes||

    As much as the DHS should die in a fire and all, Alissi should probably warn the poor fucker there that she thinks is John that there is a psycho out there who is obsessed with him personally.

  • ||

    Just for the sake of novelty, what about the possibility that Holmes is innocent.

    Maybe the police just stopped a Batman fan in costume who happened to be carrying around a bunch of guns in the trunk and assumed he was the shooter.

    A paranoid Batman fan who had his apartment rigged up with explosives so that nobody would break in.

  • albo||

    Stolen from RachelLucas.com. The shooting will follow:

    1. The crocodile tears. This includes the False Moment of National Unity, during which people proclaim that events like this bring us together,

    2. The blood libel. With no data, motive is assigned to some conservative group or belief. This proves false 100% of the time, but like a tattoo, the accusation can never be entirely removed.

    3. The Rorschach test. Every politician and pundit on earth pens an editorial explaining how this one isolated event has a much broader meaning that proves everything he’s been saying for the last 20 years.

    4. Something Must Be Done. A national debate ensues on how to make sure that something like this never happens again.

    5. Suzy’s Law. Congress vomits forth a bipartisan bill that no member dare vote against. For precisely that reason, the bill includes a litany of unrelated pork and policy for both parties that could never otherwise pass. In exchange for a few billion dollars and a bit of your liberty, the president, surrounded by beaming legislators, offers a few cloying words about “what this town can do when people put their differences aside” and ostentatiously signs “Suzy’s Law”, a new set of rules that, had they been in place before the tragedy, would have made absolutely no difference.

  • PapayaSF||

    +1

  • Fluffy||

    Either Schulman is claiming that the Columbine, Ft Hood, and Va Tech shooters chose those locations because of their gun free nature, or his point is a non sequitur.

    How many people chose police stations as the site of their mass shooting?

    How many chose firing ranges?

    It's not just a matter of the places shooters choose. It's the places they DON'T choose.

    Why didn't the guy who shot up that McDonald's in San Diego attack a Navy destroyer in the harbor?

  • Tulpa the White||

    How many chose barber shops? How many chose lemonade stands? How many chose auto repair shops?

    These incidents are so unusual that trying to form a pattern from them is going to be quite difficult. Columbine, VT, and Ft Hood HAD TO take place at those places. For the shooters to go on a rampage anywhere else would make no sense (even within the psychotic logic where going on a rampage in the first place maeks sense).

  • Fluffy||

    What about the guy who shot up the LIRR train?

    Or the San Diego McDonald's?

    These incidents are so unusual that trying to form a pattern from them is going to be quite difficult. Columbine, VT, and Ft Hood HAD TO take place at those places.

    Right, but it's the entire thought process.

    A nutjob has a problem at his place of employment, or at his school. He thinks, "What can I do to get back at all the people at that place?" If his place of employment or his school is gun-free, he can plausibly and reasonably think, "Hey, if I go get a gun, I can kill all those motherfuckers!"

    Why don't cops go postal? Because it's too implausible even for crazy people. "Hey, I know how I'll get back at all the other cops at work. I'll go SHOOT them!" It doesn't work. It can't be part of even a crazy person's plan.

  • Gray Ghost||

    But in the case of Fort Hood, as Randian pointed out in another thread, Hasan picked a place where he knew there'd be a lot of guys packed together, and no weapons other than his. It's not like he decided to go for a rampage at the 300m range.

    Ultimately, places like malls and movie theaters try to ban CCW because they think it's cheaper for them to do so. The likelihood of them being found liable for allowing CCW, and having a CCW-holder draw and kill another shopper (accidentally or intentionally) is higher than their being found liable in a mass shooting like this. Sad thing is, I don't think they're wrong, and I don't see R.C. Dean's novel theory of liability upthread being adopted any time soon.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    and i'm a more of a libertarian than you all anyway because

    nothing is more libertarian than steadfastly refusing to call murder by its rightful name based solely on the fact that the killer has in his possession a badge.

    hth

  • R C Dean||

    Say, what kind of wifi service do you get up there, anyway?

  • Pro Libertate||

    [Norm-welcoming voice] P Brooks! [/Norm-welcoming voice]

  • The Late P Brooks||

    What do you mean, "Up there"?

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I was gonna make that joke myself, but didn't want to risk a haunting.

  • ||

    I remember a time when 2 and 3 vwere not normal parts of the national greiving process.
    It usually just went straight from 1 to 4.

  • ||

    That was supposed to be inresponse to albo.

  • ||

    I'm so tired of james Holmes already. When can we get back to talking about paleolithic diets and the agricultural city-state.

  • ||

    It's too bad Schulman makes his own dumbass statements. In his article he says:

    But by disarming its theater patrons Cinemark accepted legal liability for their safety, and the victims disarmed by these enablers need to sue this corporation into bankruptcy…

    And when a commenter named Paul Bonneau responded:

    Agree with all points but this one:
    “But by disarming its theater patrons Cinemark accepted legal liability for their safety, and the victims disarmed by these enablers need to sue this corporation into bankruptcy…”

    No they didn’t assume any legal liability. Patrons had a choice, to use their services or not. The correct way to drive them into bankruptcy is to stop using their services.

    Schulman replied:

    Paul, I’d like Cinemark’s lawyers to argue in court what you just wrote. That CCW holders who were capable of stopping James Holmes were not deprived of any rights because they had the choice to stay home. And see how far this legal argument gets them.
  • J Neil Schulman||

    Darius404:

    Apparently I'm not alone in my theory of liability.

    Front Sight's owner, Ignatius Piazza, writes, "I have the answer to the insanity of Gun Free Zones and I am putting my money where my mouth is by paying the legal fees of the first victim to file a very specific lawsuit against the Cinemark Movie Theater chain that denied responsible citizens their right to carry a concealed weapon to defend themselves against the murderous rampage of a deranged killer."

    http://www.ignatius-piazza-fro.....-massacre/

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