Crime

A Gun That Can See Into Your Soul

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National Review associate editor (and Reason contributor) Robert VerBruggen offers some tips to leftish columnists who want to write about guns without sounding like idiots, including "don't assume criminals follow laws," "don't forget about self-defense," and "when you think about mental health, think about due process, too." A few of the credibility-undermining bloopers he notes:

Alan Webber complains in the Washington Post about "semi-automatic handguns that serve only one purpose—to shoot and kill innocent people." The New York Times's Gail Collins refers to Loughner's gun as distinct from a "regular pistol," the kind "most Americans think of when they think of the right to bear arms." Semiautomatic handguns are "extremely easy to fire over and over" and can carry 30-round magazines, she explains.

Perhaps the most egregious example of this came from someone who knew better: the Brady Campaign's president, Paul Helmke, who in Collins's column is quoted claiming that 9mm semiautomatics are "not suited for hunting or personal protection" and that "what it's good for is killing and injuring a lot of people quickly." If 9mm Glocks aren't suited for protecting oneself and others, someone should tell the nation's police departments, many of which use them.

VerBruggen attributes such errors by journalists to ignorance: a lack of "firsthand knowledge of guns or gun culture" and a lack of familiarity with the relevant criminological literature. I think that explanation, though hardly flattering, is too charitable. How much gun expertise do you need to recognize that a firearm cannot be designed to do nothing but "shoot and kill innocent people"? I mean, how exactly would that work? Some highly sophisticated artificial-intelligence component that can peer into people's souls? More generally, even someone who has never handled a gun or read anything on the subject that was not published by the Brady Campaign should be able to understand that an instrument of lethal force can be used for good or bad purposes, and that features improving its effectiveness for self-defense would also tend to improve its effectiveness for criminal violence.

NEXT: Adventures in Drug War Incompetence

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  1. Maybe I’m a contrarian at heart or just don’t like intellectual circle jerks but let me take up for gun control people for a second.

    I think maybe what they are getting at is this: many weapons would be few people’s first choice for hunting and many are “overkill” on personal protection. That is, sure, a weapon with 30 rounds can be used like a weapon with 5 or 6 to protect oneself but all one would need in most situations would be the 5 or 6. Therefore the extra capacity only represents a potential liability to society, increasing the deadliness of a mass shooter.

    1. Most guns are used for target shooting and target shooting with fewer reloads appeals to people, which is why they buy high capacity mags.

      1. I guess the answer to this would be easy: target shooters should sacrifice the cost of having to stop and reload more for the benefit of limiting the damage mass shooters can do.

        1. But if it really doesn’t limit the damage (and I assert it doesn’t) then you are hassling people with unnecessary laws for the sake of making people who are never near guns pretend to be safer.

          Inconveniencing people truly is a noblest aspect of the progressive.

          1. Well, sure, if it has no effect then the hassle would not be worth it.

            1. In fact, the ‘hassle’ would make it more dangerous for law abiding people.

              What is it about legislation fetishists that makes them believe that people willing to break the law against murder will hesitate to obtain items to carry out those murders simply because the possession of those items is also illegal?

              The columbine shooters also had pipe bombs. Had firearms been more difficult to obtain, perhaps they would have increased their skill level with explosives?

              But that’s impossible: explosives are illegal.

              1. Yeah, if they focused more on their bombs (made from common household items), then they could have killed a few hundred.

        2. As with all these silly arguments, it is simply too late. The mags are out there. Even law abiding citizens, me included, will not turn in their higher capacity magazines, and you can bet criminals won’t. So, get over it. Crazy people will do crazy things.

          By the way, I found the 31 capacity mag for my glock a pain in the ass andd got rid of it. But my 30 round mags for my AR15 you will have to take from my cold, dead fingers. Unless yours die first.

          1. The other consideration is that bullet magazines are not very complicated, and with the increased advent of home CNC and 3d printing hardware, it will become almost impossible to regulate this sort of thing in the future.

        3. How about those “mass shooters” who simply carried three full handguns with them, or five full magazines?

          The Virginia Tech shooter, Seung-Hui Cho, killed over 30 people. He didn’t have any “high-capacity” magazines. He was in a “gun-free” zone.

          He fired about 170 shots. The found at least 17 empty magazines afterwards.

          Oh, and one of the guns he used was a Glock 19.

        4. I guess the answer to this would be easy: alchohol drinkers should sacrifice the cost of having to buy on the back market and pay more for the benefit of limiting the damage mass conumers of alchohol can do.

          1. You can tell by my spelling that spellcheck had not been invented in 1919.

        5. A magazine change takes all of about 5 seconds. So now instead of carrying one 30 round magazine they carry 3X 10 round mags or whatever. Congratulations, you just restricted freedom for no gain….

          1. A magazine change takes all of about 5 seconds.

            Only if you have to ask your wife to get your spare mag out of her purse.

            1. Seriously. A little practice and you can get it down to one second. And the guys who are really good at it can do it in a fraction of a second.

          2. When was Loughner tackled?

            1. When he was fumbling around for his enormous, difficult-to-conceal magazine?

            2. 6 people too late?

        6. I guess the answer to this would be easy: target shooters should sacrifice the cost of having to stop and reload more for the benefit of limiting the damage mass shooters can do.

          A large pistol magazine isn’t really what you want, either for self defense or homocide. As Mr. Loughner found out, it’s difficult for the springs to produce a reliable feeding pressure over such a length, leading to misfures. They’re also hard to conceal.

          If you want to kill people, you carry a number of 10-12 round clips, and learn to change them in a fraction of a second. The utility of large magazines is so you don’t have to face the choice of either preloading a bag of clips or spending most of your range time reloading.

          1. Thank you. I was going to say something similar. It’s funny that people with little or no knowledge of guns think “moar is better.” 30 round mags seem like the worst option because of the feeding/jamming issues of larger magazines.

            I guess some people think guns are like magic lead hoses from watching movies and sadly try to base policy on this “knowledge.”

        7. “Stop and reload more for the benefit of limiting the damage mass shooters can do.”

          Do you mean shooters aiming for mass or shooters shooting at massachusets?

          1. Shooters from Massachusetts.

        8. As a target shooter, my answer to your answer is equally easy: fuck off and die, you statist toad.

    2. Of course the extra capacity would increase the number of shots fired under such circumstances. This is self-evident.

      What is not self-evident is the exact number a person “would need in most situations”.

      Personally, neither of these issues are relevant, IMO, as the ability to defend myself is the only consideration I can control. Even if guns led to greater violence, my lack of such a means of defense is worse than the false sense of security gun bans produce.

      1. I’m not sure that people in nations with strict gun laws, where homicides and armed robberies are much, much lower, have a “false sense of security.”

        1. Like Mexico.

        2. Please show a citation showing nations with strict gun laws and their exact homicide and armed robbery stats compared to ours, or don’t make a statement like this.

          1. I mean, you guys are kidding right? Compared to other industrialized nations our murder rates are MUCH higher.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C…..s#Homicide

            1. Whenever the government prohibits a drug whether alchohol or other drugs the murder rate increases. Look at what happened when the policies I supported got implemented.

              1. No spellcheck and i guess no logic either in 1919…

                What do you say to all the other developed nations with strict gun laws and much lower murder rates?

                1. A smaller lower class seems like it might cause lower murder rates, assuming that poorer people in countries with high income inequality are more likely to commit murders. As far as I know, countries like Sweden don’t have nearly as large of a disadvantaged urban poor as the US does.

                  It might be useful to think of gun laws in a country as resulting from its cultural views on murder and guns, as opposed to murder rates resulting from a country’s gun laws.

                2. What do you say to all the other developed nations with strict gun laws and much lower murder rates?

                  That there is more to a high murder rate than the availability of guns.

                  1. How do we compare to Brazil? They’re a developed nation now. How do we compare with “developed” nations when certain demographic adjustments are made?

            2. Compared to other industrialized nations our murder rates are MUCH higher.

              Wait, you just said you were going to compare us to nation with strict gun control laws, not just other industrialized nations.

            3. They may have lower murder rates overall, but the murder rate tends to increase after gun control measures are put in place.

              For example, they went up in Great Britian after they banned guns:

              http://www.justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp
              (between D.C. and Chicago)

            4. Compared to other industrialized nations our murder rates are MUCH higher.

              Not really. You cherry-picked the data. Try including, say, Hitler’s Germany, or Mao’s China during the Great Leap Forward, or North Korea for any year you fucking care to name, where they had gun control and state-sanctioned murder rates, or deaths caused by the inability to stop crazy statist policies, in the hundreds of thousands or millions, and the small numbers you quote in peaceful years in selected countries become a rounding error.

            5. So basically MNG wants to exports certain ethnic segments to make the US more white and homogeneous like these other countries.

              Racist fuck.

        3. Yugoslavia had strict gun laws, and when the police and military turned on civillian populations they did so with a “sense of security” that the people could not harm them.

          1. ^THIS^ is why I’m against most gun control.

            1. Yes, because you are going to be the heroic defender of freedom when the black helicopters come for our liberties…Sheesh.

              1. Don’t be absurd. I can’t fire all my guns at once.

                1. I can’t fire all my guns at once.

                  Well then you’ll never explode into space.

                  1. winner

                2. Can you at least explode into space?

                  1. Depends on what I’ve been eating.

                  2. 2 minutes late, bro.

              2. You don’t need to wory about “black helicopters” in a literal sense. Our once free country is turning into a soft tyranny before our very eyes. Black helicopters are not needed. Although I should point out that Miami is buying a drone.
                http://www.justnews.com/news/14708354/detail.html

              3. How many nations have existed forever? Oh, none? Mkay.

              4. MNG, you fucking cunt.

                Do you realize how often governments have rounded up their own citizens and killed them in the past 100 years?

                Ignorant fucks like you are what’s really dangerous for America. Get the fuck out.

            2. This is a terrible reason to be against gun control. If you’re having to shoot to protect yourself from the government, it was over a long time ago.

              1. The fact that the populace owns guns itself can be a strong deterrent for the government to get to that stage.

              2. This is a terrible reason to be against gun control.

                We beg to differ.

              3. Yes, the government’s superior military might has never been contested by an armed population. The Vietnamese, Afganis and Iraqis all gave up in a few days after they realized the awesome might of our military.

                Everyone knows that the army of Great Britain’s was nothing compared to a bunch of ragtag colonists. That’s why we won the Revolutionary War: Because our guns were bigger… 😉

        4. Some of those countries have lower violent crime rates, and some do not. Some of the most violent countries have strict gun control laws.

          The rate of violent crime appears to be completely disconnected from gun laws, or gun ownership rates. I suspect its pretty cultural, myself.

          1. “The rate of violent crime appears to be completely disconnected from gun laws, or gun ownership rates.”

            If you ignore homicide and armed robbery you are right.

            1. The high cost of drugs is one reason for the high rate of murder. Some deaths are at the hands of police on drug raids.

            2. I hate to do this but:

              Even Michael Moore disagrees with you, bro.

            3. Bullshit. The UK’s violent crime rate is three times higher then ours. They have more robberies, more rapes, more assaults, and more burglaries. The only category they have more of is homicides, and I think that is much more of an artifact of the War on Drugs then anything else.

              Look, you can name countries like Japan and Sweden that have high gun control and low crime rates, and I can name countries like Mexico and Russia that have high gun control and high crime rates. It’s a crapshoot.

              Controlling crime is simple. Not easy, but simple: lock up violent predators for a very long time. Not talking about drug users or other bullshit felonies. If you rape, beat, steal from, or kill someone you should go to prison for decades. As it is rapists can be out in less then 15 years, and murderers are regularly released from jail.

        5. I bet murder is illegal in those places too. Maybe we should do that.

          1. We can declare the all the US a murder-free zone.

            SUDDENLY UNICORNS!

        6. people in nations with strict gun laws, where homicides and armed robberies are much, much lower

          Cite, please.

          1. You really need me to cite the lower homicide rates of places like Germany, Japan, England?

            Really?

            1. how about the low homicide rate of switzerland and israel (in the latter, not terrorist related especially). in the former, there are a high %age of households with full auto and an even higher %age of semi-auto “assault weapons” in households due to mandatory military service.

              they have a lower crime rate than the UK btw.

              also, last i checked mexico had a fair # of murders despite tough gun (and immigration!) laws.

              1. Switzerland and Israel? Arms via mandatory military service?

                Dude, you are making my arguments for me, let me handle this.

            2. Vermont and the Dakotas have among the lowest murder rates in the USA, and have very loose gun control laws.

              The UK has a much lower rate of rape, too, and guns are only used extremely rarely in rape (less than 10% of the time), as opposed to in murders.

              Cum hoc ergo proctor hoc is your motto, apparently.

            3. England is not a good example. England’s murder rates were extremely low compared to the US when they had gun control laws as lax or laxer than that of the US, pre-1968. (Though the 1937 law banned fully automatic weapons.) If anything, the homicide rate went up after the mid 20th century, as gun laws got stricter.

              The statistical evidence is tenuous. You’re on no firmer ground than racist cranks who blame it on the percentage of people of the wrong race who live in a state or country.

              1. Yes John, it’s just a coincidence that all other developed nations have far less murders and far less guns than we do…

                1. It’s not a coincidence but it has nothing to do with gun control. The countries cited, like the UK, had less murder than we did before they enacted their gun control laws. So the fact that their current rate is lower does not prove that gun control is the reason.

                2. So is Russia not a developed country, MNG? Do they not have gun laws? Because their murder rate is whoppingly, massively higher than that of the US.

                  1. Actually Russia is not usually thought of as a first world nation. Look at their GDP per capita and compare it to commonly accepted first world nations.

                3. …it’s just a coincidence that all other developed nations have far less murders and far less guns than we do…

                  We’re killin’ ’em as fast as we can, please be patient!

            4. You cited lower armed robbery rates.

              Take a look at what happened with crime in England after their gun ban. Violent crime skyrocketed – an in particular crime involving knives.

              Take a look at the jurisdictions in the U.S. with the most onerous gun restrictions and compare their crime rates with those in jurisdictions with less stringent gun regs.

              Chicago and D.C., which for about 30 years have had outright, total bans on handgun ownership, have tossed the title for murder capital of the U.S. back and forth ever since.

              Meanwhile, just across the Potomac from D.C., Virginia consistently gets one of the lowest grades from the Brady Campaign, and yet our murder rate is much lower.

              Is is just maybe possible that the incidence of gun ownership is not the cause for crime?

              In fact, the empirical data demonstrates that ALL crimes have been steadily decreasing for the past 20 years, and in fact, just recently the FBI reported that crime rates nationwide are at an all-time low. And yes, simultaneously during this entire period, gun sales have been at record highs – most of all within the past two years, when Obama went into office. So many people were concerned that the Dems would enact another gun ban that guns and ammo, including so-called “assault weapons”, were flying off the shelves. Hundreds of thousands of guns were sold in just a year or two.

              So we are at a point where we have more guns than ever in the history of the country in private hands – including more so-called “assault weapons” than ever before – and yet crimes of EVERY TYPE are at near-record lows.

              I am NOT proposing that, as John Lott suggests, more guns = less crime; however, these empirical facts pretty well destroy the old meme that guns CAUSE crime or that more guns = more crime.

              Maybe, just maybe, there is no direct correlation and other socio-political factors are to blame for crime.

              1. “Violent crime skyrocketed – an in particular crime involving knives.”

                What are their overall armed robbery numbers compared to ours?

            5. Oh the joys of using two different populations with completely different societal values as an argument base.

              1. I notice you said the same thing to all those posts pointing to Chicago, DC, N Dakota, etc….

                Oh, you didn’t!

                1. Don’t know who that was directed at, but the point is, as I said above, it is far, far too juvenile and simplistic to say that guns make people commit more crimes.

                  Just look at the town in Georgia that passed an ordinance several years ago requiring all homeowners to have a gun in the house. The crime rate plummeted.

                  The fact that England or any other country might experience a lower rate of certain types of crime compared to the U.S. cannot simply be attributed to the lower incidence of gun ownership – because there are too many states and localities here in the U.S. where gun ownership is widespread and gun laws are “lax,” yet crime rates are quite low. E.g., Vermont.

                  The vast majority of murders, etc. that contribute to the nation-wide crime rate in the U.S. occur in major urban centers, such as N.Y., D.C., L.A. and Chicago – all places with very strict gun laws.

                  There simply is no correlation.

                  In fact, a study done by, IIRC, the U.S. DOJ a few years ago concluded that no study ever done could demonstrate any kind of direct correlation between gun control laws and crime rates.

                  1. “Just look at the town in Georgia that passed an ordinance several years ago requiring all homeowners to have a gun in the house. The crime rate plummeted.”

                    Citation needed.

                    As to state variation, those states usually have very low crime rates in every area. But we can find many developed nations with comparable crime rates, even higher ones than ours, but with very small homicide and armed robbery rates. Why? Very little access to guns.

                    Took me about one minute to find this one. Dozens of others out there.
                    http://journals.lww.com/jtraum….._26.1.aspx

                    1. Here’s your link.

                      Ever since your initial question, you’ve revised the criteria. Now it’s developed countries, and now it’s only certain crimes.

                      Face it – your argument that the REASON – i.e., the CAUSE – for robbery and killing and other crimes are guns. That simply is demonstrably a gross oversimplification and not true.

                      Again, and again, and again – look at the crime rates in states with “easy access to guns” and compare them to crime rates in states and localities with strict gun regulations. If “easy access to guns” cause crime, what causes this disconnect?

                      He thrusts his fists against the post and still insists he sees the ghosts.

                  2. It was at me. It’s a flaw that you see in a lot of the crappier public policy studies. MNG here is trying to argue that the difference between societies in Detroit and DC is the same as Detroit and Hong Kong/Stuttgart/Oslo/Stockholm…

                    It’s an even shittier argument than his strawman below. I’m beginning to question exactly where this mythical PhD came from.

                    1. Keep questioning, because you missed my argument.

                    2. See, you would expect societal differences, yes. So then, why are all the other developed nations, with their vast societal differences, common in their low homicide rates and the US so high? Well, one thing they share which the US does not is low access to guns. Put that together with the fact that most US murders are committed with a gun and what do you get?

                    3. How common are they and are the differences between the US and the societies you compare them to great enough to influence a study. Are you actually arguing that because a lot of European countries are similar in one aspect so should the US be similar enough for a valid comparison of one aspect of law between the two? Really? Talk about the mother of all assumptions.

                2. Are the societal differences within the US that great?

                  You don’t do a lot econometric or survey based stats do you? God this is why I hated tutoring the MPP people, they were like talking to cats. They knew everything and once they had their pet policy mind made up it was like pulling teeth to get an objective model out of them.

              2. Not to mention completely different ethnic makeups. This week’s MMWR has a breakdown of homicide rates by age and racial/ethnic ethnic in the US, and some of the differences are pretty astounding.

                1. Fail. Many of the developed nations with low access to guns/low homicide rates are quite ethnically diverse.

                  1. Ethnically diverse in the Eurocentric sense. That is, a bunch of white people whose ancestors had different lords in the 1500s are considered to be ethnically diverse.

                  2. Fail. Many of the developed nations with low access to guns/low homicide rates are quite ethnically diverse.

                    Yet these stats show nothing about the effect of the gun restrictions on crimes. What were the rates of gun violence prior to the enactments and post. This is the evidence needed to support a causal relationship.

                  3. Um, ethnically diverse does not equal ethnically similar. Jesus H. Christ I hope you teach and don’t work in any capacity that may affect legislation.

                  4. And with that, MNG runs away.

                    “Why? Very little access to guns.”

                    So dunphy brings up Switzerland, where everyone has access to guns.

                    “Arms via mandatory military service? – So now it’s not access, it’s now training.

                    Then it becomes “it’s just a coincidence that all other developed nations have far less murders and far less guns than we do…

                    So now it’s not access, it’s the number of guns, and only with respect to violence in developed countries.

                    Then someone brings up Russia.

                    Which becomes “Actually Russia is not usually thought of as a first world nation.

                    So now the Russians are stupid? Next you’ll be trashing collectivism.

                    Wow. The ever changing argument – impossible to defeat! – as long as nobody actually pays attention.

                    B..b..but the Japanese!

                    What’s funny is that the Japanese in America have a lower murder rate than the Japanese in Japan – but have higher “access to guns”.

                    Gun control freaks like MNG don’t know what they’re talking about, and run away every time they’re challenged.

                2. Thanks for the article. Those stats are mind-blowing.

            6. You really need me to cite the lower homicide rates of places like Germany, Japan, England?

              Yes, because over the last hundred years, almost no one was murdered by the government in Germany and Japan, or elsewhere by those governments. Proof positive that a cowed populace that has given up their guns and let the government have all of them results in fewer violent deaths.

              Really, that was the best you could come up with?

        7. I’m not sure that people in nations with strict gun laws, where homicides and armed robberies are much, much lower, have a “false sense of security.

          But nor do people in states and nations with lax gun laws, where homicides and armed robberies are much, much lower, (like Vermont) have a “false sense of security.”

          The British had a much, much lower rate of homicides and armed robberies than the US even when they had extremely lax gun laws pre World War.

          1. Pre World Wars, the Brits simply took all of their violent aggressive tendencies out on “the wogs” instead of on each other, that’s all.

        8. I’m not sure that people in nations with strict gun laws, where homicides and armed robberies are much, much lower, have a “false sense of security.”

          This is not demonstrative of the effects of the gun laws. One would have to show a study of baseline prior to the introduction of the law and a decreasing trend post enactment.

        9. I’m not sure that people in nations with strict gun laws, where homicides and armed robberies are much, much lower, have a “false sense of security.”

          And “much, much lower” means little when one is confronted with one of the “much, much lower” numbers of criminals who still has a gun. This is the “false sense of security” that I speak of.

          These statistical aggregates are actual individuals whom are injured or killed by others who don’t abide by such laws.

      2. +1

        Further, even if there was some way of determining the number of bullets that one would need for personal protection “in most situations,” what about people in other situations? Are those people just out of luck, because some hoplophobic asshole has assigned a social value of zero to magazines with a capacity higher than N?

        1. The elite cannot be bothered with the concerns of “the little guy” when said little guy is simply trying to stay alive.

    3. right on u r a genious!

      1. the inaccuracy is epic.

    4. 1. You don’t have the expertise or knowledge to determine what is “overkill” on personal protection. I don’t either, and I know way more than you; so neither of us has any business deciding for someone else what is “enough”. That is for them to decide.

      2. Just like guns, if you really want high-capacity mags, you can get them or even make them yourself.

      3. You cannot prevent crazy people from doing crazy things. Making stupid laws with arbitrary numbers (what size mag is OK?) will not stop them.

      4. Jacob is completely correct when he says “I think that explanation, though hardly flattering, is too charitable”. If these people can’t understand that a gun is just a tool, then they are too stupid to even pay attention to, and if they are just saying that to try and create an emotional response, then they’re a lying scumbag.

      1. “You don’t have the expertise or knowledge to determine what is “overkill” on personal protection.”

        Well, we can just look at empirical reality to see how many successful self defenses required the firing of 30 rounds….

        “You cannot prevent crazy people from doing crazy things.”

        If there had been a ban on such then Loughner could not have driven to the store and bought it as he did. That may have prevented him from doing what he did with what he did…

        1. Well, we can just look at empirical reality to see how many successful self defenses required the firing of 30 rounds….

          Why do cops carry handguns that typically have mag capacities of 10 to 14 rounds, and then also have at least one or two extra full mags on their belts?

          Is it so they can wander into a crowd and kill more innocent people more easily?

          1. In some areas, they might run into a roving pack of dogs.

          2. I can definitely see a cop needing 14 rounds to reliably score one hit on the intended target.

        2. “If there had been a ban on such then Loughner could not have driven to the store and bought it as he did. ”

          If Reason has taught us anything it is that when people can’t buy something at a store, then they don’t buy it at all.

        3. “May have” doesn’t mean shit. He “may have” created a nuclear bomb instead like in The Manhattan Project.

        4. If there had been a ban on such then Loughner could not have driven to the store and bought it as he did.

          Wrong. Because Pandora’s box was opened long ago. So-called “high-capacity” magazines are out there. Likely tens of thousands of them. So a ban on manufacture of new ones would not affect the many thousands that exist already.

          Even under the Clinton AWB, he could easily have bought pre-ban hi-cap mags.

          And a new ban that made ALL of them illegal, including existing ones, would affect only those people who voluntarily turned them in – unless you want the police to go door-to-door and search everyone’s houses for 30-round mags.

          1. This is a goofy argument. You assume Loughner would know where to go to get these existing things.

            Additionally most gun control advocates would say they should be banned both in manufacture and possession.

            1. And banning possession would work, just like banning possession of drugs…oh, wait…

              1. Indeed. You can still get drugs, yes, but it is obviously harder to get them than if they were legal.

                It’s interesting how libertarians who often love economics take a dump on it when you talk about prohibition. Making things illegal increases their price (literally and figuratively), price increase means less demand.

                1. “Indeed. You can still get drugs, yes, but it is obviously harder to get them than if they were legal.”

                  Citation Needed

                  1. Really? You need a citation for the proposition that attaching penalties to a thing makes it less likely to be done, that when the cost of something increases demand for it goes down?

                    WTF?

                    1. All it takes to buy drugs in this country is money and a telephone.

                    2. Can I get scope on that little citation you’re talking about. Are we talking about grounding junior for smoking or outlawing an action across a country where economic forces will apply.

                      Cause I an pull up a metric ton of cites where federal regulation has failed to dissuade action and actually made situations worse.

                2. You can still get drugs, yes, but it is obviously harder to get them than if they were legal…Making things illegal increases their price (literally and figuratively), price increase means less demand.

                  Price increases also cause supply to increase, which is EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE of the point you were setting out to make.

            2. You’re using the internet yet you’ve never heard of the internet. That paradox blows my mind.

              1. That’s a reply to MNG’s 3:30 delusion.

            3. You assume Loughner would know where to go to get these existing things.

              And you assume he wouldn’t.

              I have an idea: how about, oh, I dunno … a GUN STORE??

              You think gun stores deal only in newly-manufactured items, and that a ban on new manufacture would prevent all sales?

              You’re fucking clueless.

            4. Additionally most gun control advocates would say they should be banned both in manufacture and possession.

              Yes, we know they do – and again, as I asked above, how about if you explain just exactly how that would be enforced? Are you going to send teams of LEOs door-to-door, searching everyone’s homes for “illegal” magazines?

        5. Again, the notion of proportional response with respect to personal protection is fucking stupid.

          It’s even more stupid in war where the goal is (or should be, but even that has been fucked up) to kill enough of them to warrant any further action on their part a poor fucking decision and force capitulation.

          1. reminds me of what the anti-israel types say when discussing israel’s “disproportionate’ response to missiles being lobbed over the border into their country. the argument is that since they use kick-ass(tm) missiles, that’s “disproportionate” (unfair, in a cosmic sense) to the shitty missiles the palestinians use.

            they need to put a random # generator in their missiles so it only goes off 1/10 of the time or something, to even things up

            1. /shrug

              War is war. At some point the small political portion of war grew and turned it from a last resort to a tool of the politician. If war was still war in all its ugliness and horror a large portion of the stupidity that goes on today would be short lived and over with. As ugly as it is that is what it is for, a last resort.

              1. i saw that star trek episode. where they computerized the war and people who were “dead” had to step into little no muss no fuss no pain execution chambers when the computer determined they had been killed in the virtual attack.

                kirk of course knew that sterilizing war was worse than war itself.

                1. Don’t remember it. Not a huge trekkie.

                  I do remember one about terrorism because it was used in a college class many moons ago.

                  The point was less to the mechanics and more to the social shift in the use of war.

          2. “Again, the notion of proportional response with respect to personal protection is fucking stupid.”

            I see, so when someone trespasses on your yard you should have the right to shoot them, haul them into your house and keep them in your basement for decades as the target of SM torture?

            1. Is trespassing a bodily threat and torture has nothing to do with proportional response to a threat.

              Strawmen are flammable might want to keep that one away from the flames. You’re better than that dude, that was weak like Ukraine.

              1. Yeah, that was Tony-level crap. I expect better of MNG.

              2. No, no, don’t backpeddle now! Is it better if instead of trespassing he is throwing balls of paper at you?

                1. Does paper constitute bodily harm?

                  You won’t be the first gun control advocate to take this line of thinking. It doesn’t work. You should know that by now. I’m being totally serious, you have to know how stupid this attempted line of logic it is and it amazes me the number of educated control advocates that take it.

                  Can we just skip to the need to the definition of bodily harm.

                  1. lets make that “skip to the definition of…”

                    owned by editing.

                  2. Jimmeny you’re a pedantic one.

                    So let me get this straight: if my 98 pound girlfriend slapped me I would have the right to shoot her in the kneecaps and slowly torture her for decades?

                    You said ” the notion of proportional response with respect to personal protection is fucking stupid.” Right?

                    1. We covered torture. Can we let that go? It’s not acceptable or a proportional response to bodily harm. If you want to explore the individual morality of torture that’s fine. But using it in this case is a clear and relatively childish strawman unless you want to argue you are being tortured and the return of the same is moral. (eye for an eye)

                      Now, hopefully we have removed that nagging little strawman from the argument. If you slap me and threaten bodily harm, morally my response can range from lethal to laughter. Of course, as a human I would take the entire situation into account, but at no time should I be morally or legally bound to not respond to a level that removes the threat.

                    2. “It’s not acceptable or a proportional response to bodily harm.”

                      But didn’t you just say ” the notion of proportional response with respect to personal protection is fucking stupid.”

                      WTF?

                    3. You consider torture a response? Or are you just trying the old reductio ad absurdum and failing at it.

                      I think we established torture is bad. Do we need to go over that again? I also did not make a statement about anything not being or being mutually exclusive. So if adding the addendum that torture is bad makes you feel better go for it. I kind of considered that a no brainer and given in the framework of the argument, but I guess you think torture is acceptable. Or at least acceptable in the scope of arguing for gun control.

                    4. While we’re at it lets just get off torture and say if she slaps me can I nuke her. That’s more fun.

                    5. Bah edited again and screwed up it up.. Fuck!! Oh well point gets across, not bothering with mistakes.

                    6. You calling me pedantic has hilariously ironic.

                2. Having had this argument with Meu Mejican many moons ago, if you’re trespassing in my state and will not leave the property, I can shoot you. It will be a defense to prosecution that you were trespassing and refused to leave. This is settled case law here.

                  And god help your ass in this state if it’s dark outside. I can light you up for a litany of reasons if you are engaged in what I perceive to be nefarious activities during the hours of darkness.

            2. In my neighborhood, it’s not uncommon to be set upon by a gang of ten or more people, most of whom are armed. It has happened to me. I wasn’t carrying and I got lucky. But other people haven’t fared so well. If 10 people in a gang each have a gun holding 10 rounds each, that’s 100 rounds for the bad guys and under your scenario. 10 rounds for the good citizen they set upon.

              1. Can you cite one case of a person firing 100 rounds in a successful self defense event?

                1. So the magic number is 100?

                  I have strawmen too.

                  1. Er, see EAP’s post (right above yours)

                    1. How does that translate to 100 being the basis of “overkill.”

                      Looks like he was using an example. While possibly hyperbolic, just an example nonetheless. You in turn take that and want actual proof that it occurred instead of just proof that it was possible.

                      A disingenuous way to proceed and a strawman.

                2. Why would one case make any difference to you?

                  You apparently are looking for statistics. It’s possible to find “one case” of nearly anything. But the plural of anectode is not data.

                  Not only that, but my natural, constitutionally-protected rights are not subject to negotiation with statist fucks based on what might have happened or might not happen in the future to other people.

                  1. ” but my natural, constitutionally-protected rights are not subject to negotiation with statist fucks based on what might have happened or might not happen in the future to other people.”

                    Ah, deontology. If losing argument break glass!

                    1. If I showed you “one case of a person firing 100 rounds in a successful self defense event,” I’m sure you’d come back with some new reason why it didn’t mean anything.

                      Seriously, this is getting boring.

                    2. MNG|1.13.11 @ 3:59PM|#

                      Can you cite one case of a person firing 100 rounds in a successful self defense event?

                      Of course being a racist anti-immigrant scumbag, MNG forgot all about me.

                    3. I’m howling with laughter at the suggestion that BSR is losing the argument, rather than handing you your ass on a plate.

                    4. “Ah, deontology. If losing argument break glass!”

                      But that’s how you started your case. Underlying your thesis is the idea that we all have a duty to sacrifice our liberty if a tiny subset could use that liberty to hurt people.

                3. Well he sure isn’t going to fire 100 rounds in an unsuccessful personal defense attempt.

            3. I see, so when someone trespasses on your yard you should have the right to shoot them, haul them into your house and keep them in your basement for decades as the target of SM torture?

              Sounds good to me.

              1. That was quite nice of you to hold the Buffalo Wings for me when you were electrocuted. They turned out delicious.
                Thanks, Teddy!

        6. See Barely Suppressed Rage supra re VT shootings. And let’s say Loughner only shot 10 people, and was more accurate. Then there would be 10 dead people, with nice, “legal” mags.

        7. Thank god there were no ax laws when I was growing up.

        8. Well, we can just look at empirical reality to see how many successful self defenses required the firing of 30 rounds….

          Hey, it took 41 shots to take down Amadou Diallo.

        9. When I have MNG and 30 other liberal douchebags, demanding my property, then 30 rounds is not enough.

          I need 31.

      2. Overkill doesn’t exist in personal protection or response to a bodily threat. You feel threatened, you respond until the threat is gone, 1 round, 30 rounds makes no difference.

        1. Otherwise known as “Shoot ’til he quits moving”.

          1. “Gone” doesn’t always mean death. If the threat retreats and doesn’t appear to be gaining an advantage through retreat then the threat is removed. Engagement in civilian life should (has to) differ from that in combat. Retreat in combat is always a tactical maneuver to gain advantage, in civilian life not so much.

        2. Yeah, I went through that with my CHL instructor. She says you need to be clear afterwards that your aim was to neutralize the threat.

          I agree completely, but after 6 years in the Army my definition of “neutralize the threat” is a little more active than hers.

    5. “are “overkill” on personal protection.”

      Superior firepower has been one of the key aspects of any confrontation since men wielded wooden clubs. That argument is pure bullshit. Even our current president prescribes to the theory. The notion of proportional response in self defense is legal bullshit.
      “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun”

      1. With some obvious caveats. A knife is a lethal weapon. So is a gun. One is responding to lethal force with lethal force. If you respond to non-lethal force with lethal force, however, you’re in trouble. You don’t pull a gun on someone because they called you a pussy and shoved you.

        1. That is law, morally responding to bodily harm proportionally is legal bullshit.

        2. If you shove me and I fear harm you’re damn right I have a right to respond with lethal force or the threat there of. I cannot be and should not be liable for deciphering your intentions.

        3. What is the proper response to being shoved under the doctrine of proportionate force?

          You can’t really punch them in the nose either, as that is likely to cause bodily injury, unlike a shove.

          1. Anywhere from laughter to lethal…

          2. If “you” is a 96lb. woman, and “them” is a 260lb. dude, then pulling may not be out of line.

            But of course MNG would just have that woman take her chances with rape and death – you know, for the good of society. MNG loves helping “the little guy”.

    6. The extra capacity also increases the chances of an armed citizen when defending against multiple attackers. So it is not true that it is only a liability to society. In any case, you could just as easily argue that there is no need for a 500 HP Mercedes, and that such a car’s capacity to speed is only a liability to society, and therefore should be banned. Notwithstanding that gun ownership is a Constitutional right, and someone’s opinion of ‘need’ is ireelevant.

      1. Well, the Constitutional right thing is not going to help you much here as Heller explicitly notes that, like all our other Constitutional rights, reasonable limits can be placed thereon.

        1. Except the Constitution does not actually say “shall not be infringed, except of course when the government believes there is a need for ‘reasonable’ restrictions.

        2. Can reasonable limits be placed on speech? Religion? Jury trials?

          1. Yes (you can’t ride down the street blasting Rush Limbaugh really loud at midnight), yes (you can’t sacrifice someone even if your religion calls for it) and yes dude. Read a book…

            1. Book? What is this “book” you speak off?

              1. Try the ones Barely suppressed must have come across in his examples below.

                1. You’re a towel!

                  1. You misspelled “tool”.

                  2. You’re a beaner towel!

          2. Can reasonable limits be placed on speech? Religion? Jury trials?

            Yes. Speech: time and place restrictions, libel, slander, threats of violence, etc.

            Jury trials: you’re entitled to a jury only in circumstances under which you would have been entitled to one in 1789. Which means you don’t always get one in certain civil matters, no matter if you want one – unless state law provides for it.

          3. Religion: Jehovah’s Witnesses who refuse to allow medical treatment for their children in life-threatening circumstances have been convicted of child endangerment and more serious offenses.

            Speech: the usual. Perjury, fraud, threats, libel, slander…all are speech acts proscribed by law.

        3. I like how you refer to that “Constiutional right thing” like it’s a booger on your collar that you forgot to flick off before you left the house.

          1. The constitution is to some, as “those meddling kids” are to Scooby Doo villians.

        4. “Reasonable” is in the eye of the beholder.

    7. Shorter MNG: I don’t need it, so no one needs it. I wouldn’t buy one, so no one should be allowed to buy one.

    8. Here’s where you do error. The reason we are allowed to bear arms is to protect us from the government and I am certain that you realize those fuckers are armed to the teeth.

      1. That makes your argument even poorer imo. Whether you have a 22 five shot or what this guy had the government would eat your breakfast.

        1. Oh, wait you’re serious. Let me laugh even harder.

          1. Yeah, you’re going to wade into the jungle and defeat the evil black helicopters…Red Dawn and all that, huh?

            1. If the feds tried to invade Detroit, how well do you think they’d fare? Or better still, Tucson?

              1. Do you think they would have much trouble with either?

                Our military has had trouble with occupations, not battles.

                1. So what is the US government going to do under your scenario? Kill everyone and then move to Canada?

                2. Well sure. They’re built to win battles. Why would you fight your opponent where they are strongest? Sun Tze covered this before Jesus rode his first dinosaur.

              2. There’s no way those farmers can beat us. We’re the most powerful military force the planet has ever seen. Bwuhahahah!

              3. Here in Tucson, even my liberal friends own guns

            2. Yeah, you’re going to wade into the jungle and defeat the evil black helicopters…Red Dawn and all that, huh?

              This hypothetical is irrelevant, as it is easy for one to contrive unwinnable situations and then claim “Since you can’t win X, then you shouldn’t have the right to do/own Y”.

              Even if one is out matched by superior fire power or numbers, one is doomed with certainty if they are prohibited from owning such a means of defense. The freedom to own guns gives one a greater chance of survival, not a certainty for survival.

              1. Yeah, you just bumped your chance of winning from 0 to .00005!

                1. Yeah, you just bumped your chance of winning from 0 to .00005!

                  Since you can’t predict this, you’ve argued nothing.

                  Your line of reasoning is no different than arguing that one individual’s speech can’t change the world, so freedom of speech should be constrained.

                2. Wow you’re going to die anyway so kill yourself now. Nice waste of time MGN.

                3. “Yeah, you just bumped your chance of winning from 0 to .00005!”

                  Show your work for partial credit. History abounds with victories by underdog armies. I’d argue that hanging on significantly longer than they “ought” to have counts for something, too.

            3. Budapest, Hungary, 1956.

              Bands of rebels held off the Soviet army for several days. The Soviets had T-34 tanks, armored cars, and trained soldiers. The rebels consisted mostly of students and factory workers from the industrial Csepel district. They even managed to capture a couple of the tanks and turn the big guns against the Soviets.

              What lethal weapons did the rebels have to accomplish this feat?

              Molotov cocktails, gasoline bombs, homemade grenades. They had a couple hundred rifles from Hungarian soldiers at the barracks downtown.

              But mostly it was the grenades and homemade shit.

              Just one example of tactics for defeating an enemy when you’re totally outgunned: They would lay a dinner plate face down in the middle of the street. A tank would come along and see it, and stop short fearing it was a land mine. While they were stopped, people would pop out of doorways and alleys and shove shit in the tank’s tracks, including homemade bombs.

              The Soviets had to retreat and regroup. Then they came back with newer T-54’s and troops imported from Kazakhstan (who wouldn’t be sympathetic as the “local” boys). They still didn’t really subdue the rebellion until they got a few artillery pieces positioned on high ground in an open area, where they could defend it with troops while lobbing shells anywhere in the city with impunity.

              One major difference between a military takeover of a hostile enemy city and taking over one of your own cities that has “gone rogue”, is that you’re generally not as willing to carpet bomb your own city. Hell, we don’t even do that to funny looking foreigners anymore.

              So, to use the example offered here, if the citizens of Detroit decided to repel an invasion by the US Army, they might not hold them off forever, but their chances are pretty fair. Good enough at least to make the government pause, think it over, and reconsider whether “diplomacy” might be a better option.

        2. Isn’t this an argument for allowing people to own assault weapons, grenade launchers and the like? Which side are you on again?

    9. There is nothing about the design of most handguns that limits the capacity of rounds it can carry. Magazines are very basic spring-loaded tubes. Large capacity magazines are easy to fabricate and are available for a few dollars anywhere in the world. Regulation isn’t going to get you out of this one.

      The gun itself, probably a Glock 17, certainly isn’t overkill. It is a very basic handgun with a not-so-powerful round. Most rounds used for self defense are larger caliber, heavier and pack more power (the small 9mm bullet is what allows it to carry so many rounds in a magazine). There are millions of Glock 17s (and similar variants) in the United States. It is one of the most common self-defense pistols. People who talk about “semi-automatic” handguns being a problem sound like they have never gazed at the Wikipedia gun page. Have you ever heard of a *non*-semiautomatic pistol being sold in large quantities? Those are relics.

    10. “That is, sure, a weapon with 30 rounds can be used like a weapon with 5 or 6 to protect oneself but all one would need in most situations would be the 5 or 6.”

      Many gunfights are won by the guy who didn’t run out of ammo first. Better to have it and not need it, etc…

      Always carry a standard-capacity magazine (around 15 in most modern full-sized handguns) and an extra magazine.

      Altering double-stack magazines to only fit 10 rounds is a foolish practice.

    11. Re: MNG,

      I think maybe what they are getting at is this: many weapons would be few people’s first choice for hunting and many are “overkill” on personal protection.

      You’re right: For instance, landmines are simply not good defense weapons – too cumbersome

      That is, sure, a weapon with 30 rounds can be used like a weapon with 5 or 6 to protect oneself but all one would need in most situations would be the 5 or 6.

      Situations that, of course, you have faced many times so as to speak so matter of factly.

      Therefore the extra capacity only represents a potential liability to society, increasing the deadliness of a mass shooter.

      This is a non sequitur, does not follow from what you stated previously. Like saying:

      “SUVs are big vehicles that, sure, may be useful in some instances but not others. For this reason, they are dangerous and a liability to society as they can fall on someone’s head.”

    12. Here’s a nice cold blooded accounting

      In short, more lives are saved by high capacity magazines than killed by them. Well. Except magazines themselves just lay there inert, so I mean by shooters using them, etc.

    13. Guns are not efficient methods for killing loads of people, magazine capacity notwithstanding. In the absence of a gun, for whatever reason, a nutball murderer will still kill people. They will kill a lot of people.

      When it comes to a single nutjob perpetrator, the best bets for racking up massive kill counts are: A crash, a fire, a bomb.

      These three methods are the most effective ways a lone nut can kill lots of people, all at once. You can rack up the triple digits pretty easily this way. For example:

      The Our Lady of the Angels School fire, which killed 95. The suspected arsonist was never tried.

      Or maybe the the work of Jin Ruchao, who killed 108 people in Shijiazhuan with his ill-synced bomb attack? (4 bombs that went off at once)

      Or Zhang Pilin, who killed 112 by downing China Northern Airlines Flight 6136 all by himself? (Passenger, not a pilot)

      Or good old American Robert Dale Segee, who killed over 700 in a fire in Hartford? The circus grounds were so burnt the authorities still aren’t sure how many he murdered.

      We could talk about Kim Dae-han, a 56 year old half-paralyzed man that killed 198 Koreans in the Daegu subway fire? He didn’t need a gun.

      Gameel Al-Batouti went a little crazy and killed 217 when he crashed EgyptAir Flight 990 into the ocean. Not a gun in sight – though he was the pilot.

      Adilson Marcelino Alves killed over 300 in, you guessed it – another act of circus related arson. What is it about circuses and fire?

      Hell, a drunk chinaman by the name of Li Xianliang managed to kill 17 people with a tractor! More than our boy in Arizona with his scary gun.

      William Unek managed to whack 21 folks to death with an axe in an orgy of violence, which goes to show a dedicated killer will succeed even without machinery.

      (I’d have included McVeigh, but he had accomplices)

      Guns aren’t the problem. Nutball murderers are. ‘Gun Control’ won’t keep them from killing people, the best case is that it will change their method – at great cost, financially, socially, and to liberty.

      I might even argue that the presence of firearms lowers the bodycounts of nutball murderers. A gun is very psychologically attractive, as its direct approach favors their narcissistic empowerment. Thus the gun is selected over other, indirect methods like arson. These indirect methods are more effective at racking up bodycounts, but generally less desirable to the non-rational nutball.

      Thus the presence of arms causes the nutball to self-select a method that is sub-optimal for mass killings, resulting in lower bodycounts.

  2. Perhaps the most egregious example of this came from someone who knew better: the Brady Campaign’s president, Paul Helmke, who in Collins’s column is quoted claiming that 9mm semiautomatics are “not suited for hunting or personal protection” and that “what it’s good for is killing and injuring a lot of people quickly.”

    I’d like to make one addendum: The Glock 9mm is especially useful for the owner to shoot himself.

    *ducks*

    1. That’s not a 9mm. That’s a “Glock Fawty” and you aren’t professional enough to have one.

        1. There’s a recognized syndrome among law enforcement known as “Glock leg,” when an officer forgets to keep his finger off the trigger when reholstering his weapon and shoots himself in the leg.

          1. DEA boy suffered from it.

            Apparently another culprit of accidental Glock discharges is cops drop their weapons, and their natural instinct is to try to catch it on the way down.. fumble fumble *BANG*

            Sorry about your 7-year-old…

            1. No, he (1) ejected the chambered round, (2) dropped the slide, (3) removed the magazine, and (4) pointed the gun at his foot and pulled the trigger, all while explaining to the kids that he’s the only one professional enough to carry a gun. That’s not an accident, that’s karma biting him on the ass.

              1. As I recall from seeing that video a couple years ago, didn’t he also paint some of the audience with teh muzzle while he was waving it around?

                1. As I recall from seeing that video a couple years ago, didn’t he also paint some of the audience with teh muzzle while he was waving it around?

                  Yes. He’s the only person in that room professional enough to carry one.

              2. I wasn’t talking about DEA boy, I was talking about large number of other LEO accidental discharge. DEA makes up the other percentage of LEO glock discharges.

          2. Never mind accidents from cleaning said Glock. http://www.thegunzone.com/nd.html NSFW Link shows graphic pictures of perforated hand.

            Always make sure the chamber is empty before disassembling your Glock…

            1. Always make sure the chamber is empty before disassembling your Glock… gun.

              FIFY.

              1. It is even more important than usual with a Glock since the first step in disassembly is pulling the trigger.

                My disassembly procedure goes something like:
                1) Drop magazine
                2) Empty chamber
                3) Pull back slide and verify gun is unloaded
                4) Pull back slide and verify gun is unloaded
                5) Pull back slide and verify gun is unloaded
                6) Pull back slide and verify gun is unloaded
                7) Pull trigger and complete disassembly

              2. Many other pistol designs don’t require you to pull the trigger as one of the stages in disassembly. And I say this as someone who will probably buy a Glock for my first defensive handgun.

                Your larger point is definitely true, however.

                1. I have an XD and it’s the same way. Just sayin’.

    2. Dude, that’s a GLOCK 40!!!

      That guy is a the perfect example of what is wrong with LEOs.

  3. My favorite is the horror of semi-auto handguns. All you have to do is pull the trigger and it fires another bullet!

    Not like a revolver. Nope. Not at all.

    all one would need in most situations would be the 5 or 6.

    Only someone who hasn’t spent any time at a shooting range would believe this. 5 or 6 rounds are gone appallingly quickly. In a high-stress, bad light self-defense situation, you could easily miss with the first 5 or 6 rounds.

    Cops everywhere carry high-capacity (that is, more than 7 round) magazines. If these magazines have no utility in self-defense situations, I propose we take them from the cops first.

    1. Having 20 rounds does not mean that you have to use them all. Does your car have a 3 gallon gas tank?

    2. I guess most of these people haven’t seen videos of cops and bad guys shooting round after round at each other, and hitting… nothing. And those are trained officers.

      1. Those aren’t videos. Those are movies. Lethal Weapon isn’t a documentary.

        1. I’ll refer again to Amadou Diallo…

  4. A silver hammer is sufficient for eliminating annoying people.

  5. Call me cautiously optimistic, but I think that this is one area where people like Gail Collins are way off general public opinion, even among liberals.

    When I mention going to the range to my mostly liberal friends in mostly liberal Seattle, there are no gasps of disapproval or panic. And the range here is always full of people of every color, age, tax bracket, lots of women, etc. Anecdotal, but I think the general view of guns has shifted a lot.

    1. Nobody’s scared of some Canadian wielding a weapon. That’s why.

      1. Speak for yourself, Canada Boy!

        1. Correction: Nobody except Paul, that is. And maybe other Canadians.

          1. Substitute “Canadians” for “chicks” here.

              1. They are armed now, but they’re still dickholes.

    2. CAUTIOUS OPTIMIST!

      1. Get her!

  6. if i read one more article about how the “mental health system failed loughner” i’m going to hurl. people have civil rights. at least where i work you CANNOT force somebody to even speak to a MHP, take them into protective custody etc. unless they are an “imminent danger” to themselves or others. i’ve done dozens of these invol’s. usually they involve attempted suicides (pills, knife, hanging, etc.), repeated claims that “i’m going to kill myself”, people who lie down in the middle of traffic etc. stuff like that.

    loughner’s behavior didn’t meet that threshold. school officials suspended him pending a VOLUNTARY mental health eval but there was no legal way to force loughner to get help, which there is no evidence he would have taken, even if free.

    routinely, when i invol people they are out within a couple of hours after speaking to an MHP at the hospital and working out a “safety” plan

    1. The state didn’t fail him. The society and people around him failed him. But the state is easier to blame and acts as a means to further legislation by those who want legislation.

      1. right. and again, since he was an adult, the people around him couldn’t FORCE him to get treatment. it’s simply illegal (at least where i work, and i suspect most everywhere due to that pesky law thing)…

        maybe they could have been more insistent, but you still can’t FORCE an adult to get any type of treatment unless the cops/psychologist/psychiatrist etc. have reasonable cause to believe the person is an imminent danger, which was not in evidence.

        he was definitely acting cuckoo for cocoa puffs, but that simply isn’t enough to physically detain somebody, and give them a forced ambulance ride to the hospital.

        i end up writing a invol affidavit about once a week, since i live in the epicenter of mental illness (and serial killers). it requires a lot more than “batshit crazy”

        1. I wonder how nutty buddies manage to fill out the 4473 form. Maybe all those check boxes make it too easy. For example if there was a line asking the applicant “what’s the frequency Kenneth” it might smoke out a few Loughners.

          1. Magic 99.5! With the tunes to get you home soon!

            Shit, I wasn’t suppose to answer that was I?

        2. You can force commitment or evaluation. I imagine a lot of people or agencies don’t do it because of repercussions. As a medic I even forced one evaluation, well suggested and the ED forced it.

          None the less I agree the state didn’t fail, the family, friends, and society left someone who in hindsight seemed pretty lost to twist in the wind.

          1. the case law is clear. i cannot force an involuntary commitment (we call an ambulance to take the person to a hospital for an eval by MHP’s) unless there is an imminent danger to self or others.

            that’s simply the law.

            once they are invol’d, the hold can be up to 72 hrs (it’s usually less than 4) before they must get a hearing at a mental health court where a judge determines if further detention is warranted.

            even a psychologist MUST find in their affidavit that the person is an imminent danger to self or others. no diagnoses of any mental condition/disorder/etc is enough without that determination

            i went to grad school for counseling psychology, so i have training on this in both the cop and psychology field, which of course intersect

            1. I know the procedure. I had an NREMTP license and hauled a few. The point was evaluation is possible, but that is evaluation and not treatment.

              1. i am sorry but you cannot forcefully take them into custody which is the only way to haul somebody somewhere w.o their consent without them being (perceived to be ) an “imminent danger to themselves or others”.

                if you have a cite otherwise, i’ll check it out and of course change my mind if it’s valid.

                1. And I clearly stated that those two circumstances didn’t happen.

                  Fuck me, I’m agreeing with you. Yet you seem to somehow manage to draw assumptions from thin fucking air to continue an argument.

                  1. fair enuf. if i misread u, my bad

            2. Yeah. Typically you can put on a 48-72 hour hold on somebody who is an imminent threat for evaluation only.

              If the evaluation pegs the meter, they can be involuntarily committed.

              Its a little odd that Loughner, with his long history of threatening people + batshit behavior, never got hauled in for an evaluation.

              1. it’s not odd at all. from all the reports i read he didn’t do anything that would meet the threshold (in my state at least) where he could be invol’d.

    2. You are the shittiest, lyingest troll to ever scoot their shit-dripping ass across H&R.

      Go fuck yourself dry.

  7. the first time I went target shooting was with a 14 round .40cal pistol. I was surprised how quickly the ammo was gone. I mentally “lost count” and thought I had only fired 8-10 rounds…

    even after going a few times, my mental count was bad. I never knew I was out of rounds until I was out.

    On a side note, if you ever play the FPS “Red Orchestra”, they don’t give you a bullet counter. I tend to reload any chance I get since I don’t want to be caught short – even with a 71 round PPSH.

    1. I thought the first time you went shooting was when you tried to take down the gyro captain.

      1. I was well practiced by then – though I can only hit radiators and gyrocopter engines.

        1. Pneumatic crossbows should definitely be banned.

          1. What about metal boomerangs? And feral kids?

            1. Feral kids? So you’ve met my old neighbors.

              Damn, I’m glad we moved.

    2. Counting short and reloading a full magazine is a common tactic. You run a mag dry and you have to manually re-chamber a round and waste time and possible lose forward focus. (and grab bags are bad)

      “1911 mag, twinkie, twinkie, cupcake, primary weapon magazine”

    3. and in an actual shootout vs. the range, that is even more true.

      there have been shootings where people (cops or otherwise) thought they didn’t shoot at all, or only one or two rounds and had ended up emptying their guns. it’s a well documented phenomenon similar to the fight/flight response (narrowed field of vision, diminishment of fine motor control, time distortion, audio distortion, etc.)

      nature is weird that way

      1. That’s cause nature hasn’t been sued yet. But lawyers are working on it, rest assured. We’ll take that bitch down a peg.

  8. well, they already banned her frigging parkay shit for the transfats… at least in NYC.

    “butter? parkay!”

    not any more!

    1. “Your Honor, my client would not have had that heart attack if not for this so-called “Law of Gravity. I intend to present evidence to the jury that this law is dangerously out of date.”

  9. you know who else was killed by a semi-auto handgun…

    1. General Fettgesicht?

  10. “If 9mm Glocks aren’t suited for protecting oneself and others, someone should tell the nation’s police departments, many of which use them.”

    “Robert, honey, don’t try to reason with them! You’re just making them more angry!”

    Yes, I know – journalists are not some bunch of screaming monkeys, but…

    1. Screaming monkeys throw their own feces much less.

  11. From Nicholas Kristof’s column in today’s NY Times:

    Just since the killings in Tucson, another 320 or so Americans have been killed by guns ? anonymously, with barely a whisker of attention. By tomorrow it’ll be 400 deaths. Every day, about 80 people die from guns, and several times as many are injured.

    Handgun sales in Arizona soared by 60 percent on Monday, according to Bloomberg News, as buyers sought to beat any beefing up of gun laws. People also often buy guns in hopes of being safer. But the evidence is overwhelming that firearms actually endanger those who own them. One scholar, John Lott Jr., published a book suggesting that more guns lead to less crime, but many studies have now debunked that finding (although it’s also true that a boom in concealed weapons didn’t lead to the bloodbath that liberals had forecast).

    A careful article forthcoming in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine by David Hemenway, a Harvard professor who wrote a brilliant book a few years ago reframing the gun debate as a public health challenge, makes clear that a gun in the home makes you much more likely to be shot ? by accident, by suicide or by homicide.

    The chances that a gun will be used to deter a home invasion are unbelievably remote, and dialing 911 is more effective in reducing injury than brandishing a weapon, the journal article says. But it adds that American children are 11 times more likely to die in a gun accident than in other developed countries, because of the prevalence of guns.

    1. Cars and swimming pools kill thousands. When will NYT call for banning them?

    2. Max, you fecal cunt, are a fine example of why handguns should stay legal. I wouldn’t want you shitting up my house, just like you shit up the comments here.

      1. Whoa, don’t drive angry…

        1. This isn’t me angry.

    3. From Nicholas Kristof’s column in today’s NY Times:

      Just since the killings in Tucson, another 320 or so Americans have been killed by guns ? anonymously, with barely a whisker of attention. By tomorrow it’ll be 400 deaths. Every day, about 80 people die from guns, and several times as many are injured.

      Handgun sales in Arizona soared by 60 percent on Monday, according to Bloomberg News, as buyers sought to beat any beefing up of gun laws. People also often buy guns in hopes of being safer. But the evidence is overwhelming that firearms actually endanger those who own them. One scholar, John Lott Jr., published a book suggesting that more guns lead to less crime, but many studies have now debunked that finding (although it’s also true that a boom in concealed weapons didn’t lead to the bloodbath that liberals had forecast).

      “Many studies” have debunked this, but we will not give any reference to them.

      ,i>A careful article forthcoming in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine by David Hemenway, a Harvard professor who wrote a brilliant book a few years ago reframing the gun debate as a public health challenge, makes clear that a gun in the home makes you much more likely to be shot ? by accident, by suicide or by homicide.

      Hemenway’s book is “brilliant” because it agrees with the gun control view of the author. Partisan hack is partisan.

      Stop the Presses!!!! Having a gun present increases the risk of gun injuries!!!! Next week’s issue: Having a pool increases pool drownings!!

      The chances that a gun will be used to deter a home invasion are unbelievably remote, and dialing 911 is more effective in reducing injury than brandishing a weapon, the journal article says. But it adds that American children are 11 times more likely to die in a gun accident than in other developed countries, because of the prevalence of guns.

      We should tell all those people who have used their weapons to deter a crime that they were wrong and that they were safer if they did not own one.

    4. From Nicholas Kristof’s column in today’s NY Times:

      Just since the killings in Tucson, another 320 or so Americans have been killed by guns ? anonymously, with barely a whisker of attention. By tomorrow it’ll be 400 deaths. Every day, about 80 people die from guns, and several times as many are injured.

      Handgun sales in Arizona soared by 60 percent on Monday, according to Bloomberg News, as buyers sought to beat any beefing up of gun laws. People also often buy guns in hopes of being safer. But the evidence is overwhelming that firearms actually endanger those who own them. One scholar, John Lott Jr., published a book suggesting that more guns lead to less crime, but many studies have now debunked that finding (although it’s also true that a boom in concealed weapons didn’t lead to the bloodbath that liberals had forecast).

      “Many studies” have debunked this, but we will not give any reference to them.

      A careful article forthcoming in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine by David Hemenway, a Harvard professor who wrote a brilliant book a few years ago reframing the gun debate as a public health challenge, makes clear that a gun in the home makes you much more likely to be shot ? by accident, by suicide or by homicide.

      Hemenway’s book is “brilliant” because it agrees with the gun control view of the author. Partisan hack is partisan.

      Stop the Presses!!!! Having a gun present increases the risk of gun injuries!!!! Next week’s issue: Having a pool increases pool drownings!!

      The chances that a gun will be used to deter a home invasion are unbelievably remote, and dialing 911 is more effective in reducing injury than brandishing a weapon, the journal article says. But it adds that American children are 11 times more likely to die in a gun accident than in other developed countries, because of the prevalence of guns.

      We should tell all those people who have used their weapons to deter a crime that they were wrong and that they were safer if they did not own one.

      1. I hope this makes up for my shitscreed in some small way but my next book will be titled, Autoerotic Asphyxiation, Max, What’s In It For You.

      2. Home invasions are very rare because the criminals are afraid of being shot by somebody in the home.

        If guns were illegal they would no longer worry about that.

    5. I thought he was the artist that wrapped stuff in sheets and took pictures.

    6. There is an awful lot to disagree with and debunk here. A lot of these numbers and “factual statements” are put forth in a way that makes them seem reasonable and attractive – but it is, after all, spin. And as with all spin, a closer, harder look at the facts yield a different picture.

      First, the number of people who are killed every year by guns. If you take a good look at the data, you’ll find that about half are suicides. I submit you cannot count those, because if someone wants to end his life, whether he has a gun or not, he’ll find a way to do it. Jumping off a bridge or sticking your head in the oven will get you just as dead as a gun in your mouth.

      Then the question is whether he’s including righteous shoots in his numbers. I.e., an attacking criminal who a homeowner shoots and kills in self-defense might count as “killed by a gun today.” I submit that such a case is not a valid statistic to count in favor of taking guns away from law-abiding citizens.

      As far as “guns in the home make you much more likely to be shot”: as Mark Twain said, there are lies, damn lies, and statistics. What skews this number is that they include the “guns in the home” of gang-bangers, drug dealers, etc. So when homeboy #1 keeps his Glock fawty lying on the end table because his rivals from the gang on the other side of the street might come get him, and then one night, they do, he adds to the number of people who had a “gun in the home” and ended up getting killed by homicide. I also note that the number expressly includes suicides. It’s kind of tautology to say that having a gun in the home makes it more likely that you’ll use a gun to commit suicide – but the precedent is the desire to commit suicide. I.e., dude decides to take his own life; dude goes out and buys a gun; dude now has “a gun in the home”; dude uses said gun to end his life; dude now is a statistic showing that you’re more likely to commit suicide if you have a gun in the house.

      The chances that a gun will be used to deter a home invasion are unbelievably remote.

      Except for the dozens of times every day they are used exactly for that purpose. A little Googling will yield examples every single day.

      In fact, until the Obama Administration, the Clinton Administration was the most anti-gun in the history of the country. And a Clinton-era federal government study concluded that guns were used defensively about 8 times more frequently than they were used to commit a crime.

      Finally, all of these numbers regarding people being killed with guns completely leave out the number of times a person uses a gun to prevent a crime – i.e., lady is approached by scumbags in a parking deck at night, as they get close, she brandishes her gun, they run away. No report to the police, no story in the news.

      There have been several studies done on that topic, and as with the Clinton-era study, every one has concluded that defensive uses of guns in the U.S. far outnumber the use of guns to successfully commit crime.

      1. All good points.

    7. Re: Max,

      “Just since the killings in Tucson, another 320 or so Americans have been killed by guns ? anonymously, with barely a whisker of attention. By tomorrow it’ll be 400 deaths. Every day, about 80 people die from guns, and several times as many are injured.”

      That would mean that around 29,200 people die each year from handgun usage. That is only slightly lower than septicemia (34,828), nephrosis (46,448), pneumonia (52,717) and so on:

      Number of deaths for leading causes of death:
      Heart disease: 616,067
      Cancer: 562,875
      Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 135,952
      Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 127,924
      Accidents (unintentional injuries): 123,706
      Alzheimer’s disease: 74,632
      Diabetes: 71,382
      Influenza and Pneumonia: 52,717
      Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 46,448
      Septicemia: 34,828

      http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/deaths.htm

      So, I don’t understand Kristoff’s contention.

      A careful article forthcoming in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine by David Hemenway, a Harvard professor who wrote a brilliant book a few years ago reframing the gun debate as a public health challenge, makes clear that a gun in the home makes you much more likely to be shot ? by accident, by suicide or by homicide.

      And having medicines in the home makes one more likely to die from accidental overdose, or suicide, or poisoning. So does having a jug of antifreeze – I still don’t understand his point.

    8. The chances that a gun will be used to deter a home invasion are unbelievably remote,….

      Care to test that fun fact at my place?

  12. Nicholas Kristof is a god damned communist.

  13. of someone from The Corner to give advice to liberals on how to write without sounding like idiots. In this generous spirit, I would like to extend that to him, on how to make the Corner not sound like idiots:

    1. Never publish anything by Jonah Goldberg. Ever.
    2. No more Star Trek, ever.
    3. Katherine Jean Lopez. What the hell happened there?
    4. Sometimes, things happen that don’t involve either you, or your sense of cultural resentment.

    I would like to again thank Mr. VerBruggen! That was very edifying. Good day.

  14. Re: MNG,

    I think maybe what they are getting at is this: many weapons would be few people’s first choice for hunting and many are “overkill” on personal protection.

    You’re right: For instance, landmines are simply not good defense weapons – too cumbersome

    That is, sure, a weapon with 30 rounds can be used like a weapon with 5 or 6 to protect oneself but all one would need in most situations would be the 5 or 6.

    Situations that, of course, you have faced many times so as to speak so matter of factly.

    Therefore the extra capacity only represents a potential liability to society, increasing the deadliness of a mass shooter.

    This is a non sequitur, does not follow from what you stated previously. Like saying:

    “SUVs are big vehicles that, sure, may be useful in some instances but not others. For this reason, they are dangerous and a liability to society as they can fall on someone’s head.”

  15. VerBruggen: “[W]hen you think about mental health, think about due process, too.”

    Progressive: “Due process rights? I thought only terrorism suspects have those, and even then only when there is a Republican in the White House.”

  16. It’s good to see MaunderingNannyGoat has reverted to his old tenaciously imbecilic self.

    Speaking of “journalists”, Gregg “Everything I know About Handguns, I Learned From Lynyrd Skinner” Easterbrook (whom I knew in college) wrote a fantastically moronic column about handguns a while ago (BAN THEM! BAN THEM NOW! They ain’t good fer nuthin’ at all!).

    I hate to think what manner of shrieking panic this last event has sent him into.

    1. Hey, I learned from Lynyrd Skynyrd that handguns are made for killin’ – they ain’t no good for nuthin’ else. So why don’t we take all pistols to the bottom of the sea, before some ol’ fool come `round here and wanna shoot either you or me?

  17. Actually according to my S.O. and also my father (both criminal defense attorneys), criminals get shot over and over and won’t go down, but innocent people tend to die in one shot. They’ve had so many defendants that were shot up but they lived. Many victims weren’t so lucky.

    So, actually it’s just the reverse: a single shot or revolver seems to be the weapon designed to kill innocent people, and the automatic weapon designed to kill the bad guys.

    1. That’s referred to as the “Law of Inverse Value“–the less you contribute to society, the more likely you are to survive severe trauma. Survival also correlates well with a high tattoo:tooth ratio.

    2. It makes sense. Civilians are usually level 0, while criminals take levels of fighter or rogue.

  18. 9mm semiautomatics are “not suited for hunting or personal protection” and that “what it’s good for is killing and injuring a lot of people quickly.”

    How is this not exactly what you want in a self-defense scenario?

    1. This is a Brady Campaign spokesperson we’re talking about. All you need in a self-defense scenario is harsh language.

      On second thought, forget about harsh language–that might make the poor criminal angry. Just deal with them like you are supposed to deal with the TSA–close your eyes and think of England.

      1. Yea, they are actually wanting to make harsh language, even metaphoric harsh language, illegal.

  19. Guns are not efficient methods for killing loads of people, magazine capacity notwithstanding. The big thing that people seem to forget when crowing about gun control is: In the absence of a gun, for whatever reason, a nutball murderer will still kill people. They will kill a lot of people.

    When it comes to a single nutjob perpetrator, the best bets for racking up massive kill counts are: A crash, a fire, a bomb.

    These three methods are the most effective ways a lone nut can kill lots of people, all at once. You can rack up the triple digits pretty easily this way. For example:

    The Our Lady of the Angels School fire, which killed 95. The suspected arsonist was never tried.

    Or maybe the the work of Jin Ruchao, who killed 108 people in Shijiazhuan with his ill-synced bomb attack? (4 bombs that went off at once)

    Or Zhang Pilin, who killed 112 by downing China Northern Airlines Flight 6136 all by himself? (Passenger, not a pilot)

    Or good old American Robert Dale Segee, who killed over 700 in a fire in Hartford? The circus grounds were so burnt the authorities still aren’t sure how many he murdered.

    We could talk about Kim Dae-han, a 56 year old half-paralyzed man that killed 198 Koreans in the Daegu subway fire? He didn’t need a gun.

    Gameel Al-Batouti went a little crazy and killed 217 when he crashed EgyptAir Flight 990 into the ocean. Not a gun in sight – though he was the pilot.

    Adilson Marcelino Alves killed over 300 in, you guessed it – another act of circus related arson. What is it about circuses and fire?

    Hell, a drunk chinaman by the name of Li Xianliang managed to kill 17 people with a tractor! More than our boy in Arizona with his scary gun.

    William Unek managed to whack 21 folks to death with an axe in an orgy of violence, which goes to show a dedicated killer will succeed even without machinery.

    (I’d have included McVeigh, but he had accomplices)

    Guns aren’t the problem. Nutball murderers are. ‘Gun Control’ won’t keep them from killing people, the best case is that it will change their method – at great cost, financially, socially, and to liberty.

    I might even argue that the presence of firearms lowers the bodycounts of nutball murderers. A gun is very psychologically attractive, as its direct approach favors their narcissistic empowerment. Thus the gun is selected over other, indirect methods like arson. These indirect methods are more effective at racking up bodycounts, but generally less desirable to the non-rational nutball.

    Thus the presence of arms causes the nutball to self-select a method that is sub-optimal for mass killings, resulting in lower bodycounts.

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