Crime

At Sandy Hook Memorial, Obama Showcases the Magical Thinking of Gun Controllers

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On Sunday night, speaking at a memorial service for the 26 victims of Adam Lanza's horrifying shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, President Obama provided a window onto the magical thinking of people who think such appalling crimes could be prevented if only we had the courage to pass the right law:

We can't tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true. No single law—no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world, or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society.

But that can't be an excuse for inaction. Surely, we can do better than this. If there is even one step we can take to save another child, or another parent, or another town, from the grief that has visited Tucson, and Aurora, and Oak Creek, and Newtown, and communities from Columbine to Blacksburg before that—then surely we have an obligation to try. 

In the coming weeks, I will use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens—from law enforcement to mental health professionals to parents and educators—in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this. Because what choice do we have? We can't accept events like this as routine. Are we really prepared to say that we're powerless in the face of such carnage, that the politics are too hard? Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?

Finally, a president who has the guts to come out against the murder of children. Not only that, but he is prepared to confront those who, for murky but clearly frivolous reasons, tolerate violence, oppose tragedy prevention, and shrink from saving innocent lives. Because "politics" cannot be allowed to obstruct the solutions that every decent, right-thinking person favors.

Such as? Well, the president did not say. Neither did New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Friday, when he scolded Obama for not taking a firmer stand against the wanton slaughter of elementary school students. "We're going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this," the president had said, "regardless of the politics." Bloomberg was unimpressed:

Calling for "meaningful action" is not enough. We need immediate action. We have heard all the rhetoric before. What we have not seen is leadership—not from the White House and not from Congress. That must end today.

In Bloomberg's view, then, we need action that is not only meaningful but also immediate. Through leadership. By the White House as well as Congress. He reiterated that message on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday morning, when he got a little more specific:

We kill people in schools. We kill them in hospitals. We kill them in religious organizations. We kill them when they're young. We kill them when they're old. And we've just got to stop this….

What the president can do is number one: through executive action he can order his agencies to enforce the laws more aggressively. I think there's something like 77,000 people who have been accused of lying when they applied for a gun permit. We've only prosecuted 77 of them. The president can introduce legislation even if it doesn't get passed. The president campaigned back in 2008 on a bill that would prohibit assault weapons. We've got to really question whether military-style weapons with big magazines belong on the streets of America in this day and age. Nobody questions the Second Amendment's right to bear arms, but I don't think the Founding Fathers had the idea that every man, woman, and child could carry an assault weapon. And I think the president through his leadership could get a bill like that through Congress. But at least he's got to try.

Since Lanza took the two handguns and the rifle that he had with him on Friday from his mother, who acquired them legally (and who was his first victim), the relevance of lies by gun permit applicants escapes me. Furthermore, the rifle, a .223-caliber Bushmaster M4 carbine, was not covered by the federal "assault weapon" ban (which expired in 2004) or by a similar law in Connecticut. Even if it were, plenty of guns equally lethal against schoolchildren (hundreds of millions, in fact) are widely available. That is hardly surprising, since the "assault weapon" category is arbitrary, based more on scary, military-style looks than features that make guns more deadly in the hands of criminals. Likewise, Lanza reportedly used "high-capacity magazines" (holding more than 10 rounds), but millions of these are already in circulation, and they can be readily fabricated no matter their legal status. (That's leaving aside the question of whether the need to swiitch magazines or weapons makes much of a difference in a murderous assault on defenseless people.) The notion that restrictions like these can have a noticeable impact, let alone that they can "end" or "stop" occasional outbursts of senseless violence, is hard to credit unless you believe what Obama insists he does not: that evil can be legislated out of the world by acts of Congress.

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180 responses to “At Sandy Hook Memorial, Obama Showcases the Magical Thinking of Gun Controllers

  1. “Finally, a president who has the guts to come out against the murder of children. Not only that, but he is prepared to confront those who, for murky but clearly frivolous reasons, tolerate violence, oppose tragedy prevention, and shrink from saving innocent lives.”

    His pure intentions, by themselves, form a mystical shield to protect the children of the world. Except the ones who die in drone strikes or abortion.

    1. You forgot the innocents who are killed by the guns the Justice Department provided to the Mexican drug cartel …. they too are not covered by the “mystical shield.”

  2. Saw this earlier tonight on a supposed grand bargain between Boehner and Obama that trades gun control for keeping the top tax rate at it’s current level.

    1) Magazine capacity restrictions: Nobody will be able to have more than a 10-round magazine in any weapon – rifle, shotgun or handgun. And all of the existing “high-capacity” magazines will have to be **turned in** this time. Being caught with one will be a federal crime. This will be subject to some exceptions for personal security guards and services, hired through a licensed provider. Barbra Streisand’s security guards near her home will still have access to high-capacity magazines for their AR-15s. Right now, MA has a 10-round restriction but the legislation to confiscate the existing pre-ban high capacity magazines had been stalled. I expect it to pass this year. And it’s going to be a part of the bill that is going to be introduced in Congress this year.

    2) Insurance mandate: If you own a handgun or a rifle and keep it in your home, as opposed to a vault at the police station or a gun club, you must henceforth carry half a million dollars in liability insurance **per weapon**. You will have to buy gun insurance just as you have to buy health insurance. The government’s power to do this has been upheld by the Supreme Court. This shooting happened in upper-middle class Connecticut and the insurance companies in Connecticut are going to get their slice of the deal.

    1. 3) 30 day waiting period on all gun purchases except for security institutions, police officers, licensed security guards, and gun clubs and other organizations. If you run a gun club or obviously if you are an FFL you don’t have to wait. You will, however, have to pay a fee of $500 to receive even your “personal” guns immediately.

      4) Everyone who keeps a gun at home must purchase and have installed a rated and approved gun vault, which must be inspected on a regular basis. Personal gun ownership is conditional upon purchasing a vault and having it installed, or co-locating your guns with another facility that does have one.

      5) Ammunition purchases will be regulated and taxed more heavily than they are now. In MA, individuals cannot buy ammunition through the mail and I expect that to become a nationwide restriction.

      6) Probably some kind of an excise tax on gun collections larger than 2 weapons. You can have 1 rifle and 1 handgun, or 1 rifle and 1 shotgun, but if you buy a rifle, a handgun, and a shotgun you’re going to pay the excise tax.

      1. 7) Sales between private parties at gun shows are going to be completely prohibited. The Brady Campaign has wanted to eviscerate the right of people to buy and sell weapons between themselves for several years now, and regardless of the fact that the weapons used in this shooting were stolen during a murder, I think they’re going to finally get their wish.

        8) Steps may be taken to remove or modify the language in federal law that protects a gun owner while traveling interstate with their weapons. Right now, you can do it even without a permit/license in the states you’re passing through – as long as you are allowed to own the weapon at the origin and the destination, and the guns are secured and unloaded while in transit. That language is probably going to be changed, so that in order to move with a weapon across state lines you have to have licenses/permits in every state you travel through.

        1. “Congress shall make no law”, “shall not be infringed”, it’s almost as if liberals don’t understand the plain meaning of words.

          Of course that’s unpossible since they were taught in public schools.

        2. Where did you get this from? A leftist’s wet dream?

          Boehner would be expelled from the House if he agreed to that stuff.

          1. Strange. You wrote “expelled,” and yet I read “tarred and feathered.” Strange, huh?

        3. If you live in an R district, make it known that any new gun control your rep supports will result in a primary challenge. Then be that challenge yourself if you have to.

        4. No way any of this happens.

          Even Team BLUE has members in Congress who would be tarred and feathered if they voted for this.

          1. You mean like ObamneyCare?

            1. No, I think that more people support gun rights than support not being forced to buy insurance. There are a lot of Dems who know that promoting gun restrictions will mean the end of their career.

        5. Concur. If that law, or anything remotely like it, passes the House, the Republican party is dead as a doorknob. Laid out cold on a slab, with a tag on its toe. Done. Finito. Hasta la vistaville.

    2. Boehner isn’t in a position to make that bargain. The GOP House will revolt and the GOP in the senate will filibuster (possibly with Dem support, particularly all the red state Dem senators running in 2014)

      1. “ObamaCare is the law of the land”

        John Boehner, Speaker of the House.

        You sure about that, Tulpa? The timing is too perfect, and I’ll bet dollars to donuts in every town, village, and hamlet any gun related crime is going to get prime attention. If not that, then this event gets replayed and replayed.

        You yourself have proposed that something “reasonable” has to be sold to the general public, and this smacks of the popular aspects of ObamneyCare, despite the law’s lingering, but dwindling, unpopularity.

  3. Sorry, I didn’t realize Sullum was going to post this late, so I’ll repeat what I just said on the list article:

    “I haven’t read this entire thread, but in case it hasn’t been brought up: Gun ownership in the United States has been a constant of the modern era; however, violent crime has declined to record lows. Even if you could prove, empirically, a causal link between a civil liberty and an unfortunate result, aren’t civil liberties supposed to be values protected even in the most extreme of circumstance? (Why else codify them in our Constitution as specially protected from the federal government?)

    Let’s not let the raw emotion of this sad tragedy allow us to confuse what’s reality. The liberty of self-defense like the liberties of speech, religion, and association must not be trampled by the hysteria caused by the sensationalized coverage of this horrific event.

    Are we ever going to learn our lesson from the unfortunate consequences of the War on Drugs or the War on Terror?”

    The liberals who are still troubled by the War on Terror but are voicing support for gun control in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy are going to have to explain to me why the government can’t restrict our civil liberties when 19 hijacker kill 3,000 people yet it can restrict our liberties when a one gunman kill 26 people. It seems to me that they just don’t accept the right to bear arms as a means of self-defense to be civil liberty.

    1. well said Caleb

    2. They don’t recognize the RKBA as a liberty, since it is not something that they themselves value.

      1. They just haven’t been mugged yet and realized just how utterly useless the police are at defending people.

      2. They don’t recognize the RKBA as a liberty, since it is not something that they themselves value.

        This is exactly right. They do not see it the same as speech or freedom of religion. They will be very surprised that there are those who do.

        1. They don’t recognize freedom of speech or of religion in anyone who disagrees with them, for that matter.

    3. Excellent point. Not only do we need more gun control laws, but we also need laws authorizing racial profiling. Then we’ll be really, really safe.

      1. Racial profiling is the one crime control measure that will work. In New York City, over 90% of all gun crimes are committed by blacks and Hispanics. Frisking the white guys isn’t going to change that.

        1. You ought to get sweaty with Slappy.

        2. It’s not race, it’s socio-economic/cultural. Frisking well dressed black guys and latinos in midtown isn’t going to change that either.

    4. are going to have to explain to me why the government can’t restrict our civil liberties when 19 hijacker kill 3,000 people

      Uhm, they did restrict our freedom, and with bipartisan support. Liberals exist for one purpose, restric our freedom. Whether it’s in the form of the PATRIOT act, or the simple bludgeon of gun control, never let a tragedy go to waste.

    5. The liberals who are still troubled by the War on Terror but are voicing support for gun control in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy are going to have to explain to me why the government can’t restrict our civil liberties when 19 hijacker kill 3,000 people yet it can restrict our liberties when a one gunman kill 26 people.

      Because its rednecks who want to keep their guns. Gun control isn’t about stopping massacres; that’s just the pretense. It’s about suppressing part of a culture they disdain with all of their being.

  4. Did the 1994 Assault Weapons ban help the students at Columbine in 1994 (5 years priors to the legislation’s expiration)?

    I don’t think it did. In fact, Clinton was so pressed for an explanation that he went straight towards youth culture and blamed video games and heavy metal music.

    1. Excuse me, Columbine was in 1999.

  5. The 1996 Dunblane Massacre in the UK was followed by a massive increase in gun control in the UK, in an all-out effort to control handguns.

    Since that increase in gun control, gun violence in the UK has doubled.

    Gun control simply doesn’t work, the blind religious faith of gun controllers notwithstanding.

    1. Not only that, but London, Manchester, and other urban shitholes in the UK are notorious for stabbings and other knife-related crimes.

      1. CHAVS! THOSE KNOBBY CHAVS!

    2. Gun control simply doesn’t work, the blind religious faith of gun controllers notwithstanding.

      Handgun ownership is illegal in UKR,and it didn’t stop this fella.

      He was found not too long ago, and much worse for wear.

      1. Norway’s gun laws didn’t stop this guy either.

        Huh. I wonder how he managed to do that? There was gun control, donchaknow?

      2. I know it’s not quite germane, but coulnd’t you have mentioned this Ukrainian?

    3. Which also later, after determining private security firms were handicapped, recent legislation led to this.

      Local reactions these days are mixed, but skew towards the positive. Long gun ownership is still quite legal, thankfully.

    4. And of course gun control laws more draconian than anything that could ever pass here (at least in the foreseeable future) were in effect in Norway when Breivik killed all those kids. It took him years to carry out his plan, and it was all the more deadly as a result.

  6. Besides gun control, I think we are going to see a push for easier rules for committing someone to an institution, and of course, more institutions. Which to my mind, is just as scary as gun control.

    1. More scary, because the committee that writes the DSM can make ANY behavior a “mental illness”.

      1. My personal favorite: V62.89 Religious or spiritual problem. Is that demon possession?

        1. No. That’s also not a primary DX, but a supportive axis for a primary condition.

          Here’s the equivalent IC9-CM DX.

          In layman’s terms, it simply means a religious or spiritual person may be expressing doubt or disillusionment with his or her belief system in lieu of recent (or chronic) disease DX, TX, or other endogenous or exogenous primary causes.

      2. Yeah, that’s what the Soviets did. “He doesn’t love the state? He must be crazy! Lock him up!”

        -jcr

    2. It is less scary because fewer people will be affected

  7. I’ll be more than happy to give up my right to self defense, and my guns, as long as the President and his Secret Service detail are willing to give up theirs.

    1. Whenever someone says that the Second Amendment is antiquated because the government has jet fighters and nuclear bombs, I scream a little bit inside because they are making my point for me.

      By the way, I think nuclear weaponry is immoral because it’s indiscriminate. Whereas guns can reasonably be used to target appropriate assailants, fission and thermonuclear weapons are bound to kill thousands of innocent bystanders.

      1. It’s antiquated for the purpose of defeating tyrannical US governments. That doesn’t mean it’s antiquated for other purposes.

        If you want to limit the armed forces to AR-15s as their highest weapons technology, you won’t have to worry about the tyrannical US govt anymore, because the PRC will be calling the shots (and I don’t think they have a second amendment to worry about).

        1. Sorry, but a dictator needs Qaddafi levels of psychopathy to bomb his own countrymen.

          Could I see the government retaliating against an insurgency. Yes, but to avoid the risk of horrifying the international community, I would the POTUS would reserve the use of force to tactically deployed infantry units.

          1. If the revolt was coming close to succeeding he wouldn’t.

            Are we talking about an attention-getter revolt or a revolt that actually aims to win?

          2. The basic rule of war is that it’s better to kill any number of other people by any means necessary than to surrender, because dead people can’t do anything to you (except pass along diseases for a while), but anyone left alive might be able to hurt you.

          3. Honestly, I don’t think “horrifying the international community” enters into it. Most of the international community is made up of thugs, despots and their enablers. What they’re worried about is issuing the order and having the military tell them to screw off. Without command of the men with guns, a politician is just a pundit. And usually not a very good one at that.

        2. “It’s antiquated for the purpose of defeating tyrannical US governments.”

          So why are we still in Afghanistan?

          1. Yeah I was just thinking this.

            There are more than a few instances of rebellions of armed commoners overthrowing technologically advanced armies. Just look at Syria and Lybia.

            1. Syria & Lybia “rebels” were armed by western powers. They were not “armed commoners”.

        3. The government needs to maintain emotional dominance as much as any rampage killer.

      2. because the government has jet fighters and nuclear bombs,

        Yes, and anybody can just jump in an F16 and fly it, just like anybody target and fire off an ICBM. No training required. Of course, if you kill the pilots while they aren’t in the planes, what good is an F16?

        For the supposedly “educated” set, the proglodytes have some truly baffling notions about modern warfare and the requirements to fight it.

        1. UAVs don’t require pilots.

          1. UAVs don’t require pilots.

            Actually, they do. The pilot’s just not strapped to the vehicle. Even the most high-tech drones can’t fly themselves…yet.

            1. Yeah the next step is semi-autonomous UAVs. Where all the piloting stuff is in the computer, and you just tell it where to go and what to do with a simple point and click. Just one more app on your iPad. You tell it to orbit a house at 20 miles out and it files the flight plan, calculates fuel curves, launches, navigates, orbits, locks cameras, uploads imagery, flies back, lands, taxis for maintenance.

              That’s scary. I actually do trust the oath of the majority of American military’s officer corps. I don’t think the majority of tactical or strategic air forces would carry out airstrikes against a rebellion in the CONUS.

              But some DHS agent double clicking on a computer terminal to get his next promotion? Yeah. I can definitely see that.

              1. I think it depends.

                I think the military by and large and especially the NCO’s and Officer corps at least up through the rank of Colonel take their oath to the Constitution VERY seriously and they understand very clearly it is an oath to the Consitution and not the President.

                Whether they would intervene in a rebellion in the CONUS I think in large part depends on which side, the government or the rebels were closer to the Consitution.

                That said I really can’t see a rebellion like that starting in the US unless the government really steps over some Constitutional line and in that case I wouldn’t bet on their having the full support of the armed forces.

                1. “really steps over some Constitutional line”

                  Like what? Murdering Americans? Beuller? Beuller?

        2. Or cut their deliveries of gas and food. How is it that the Afghani goat herders haven’t lost yet?

          1. Because every time the government kills “the Number 2/Number 3” Commander of Al-Qaida, some other Afghan goat herder morphs into a new one. They’re like Agents from the Matrix.

            1. And how would this be different in the US, if the American people really decided to oust the fed gov? After all, at the time of the American Revolution the British Empire had all the latest and greatest military toys.

              1. Well the argument is that back in 1776 the difference between the latest and greatest military tech and what the average farmer used to hunt bear with wasn’t that large where today it is.

                The argument is of course flawed because it completely ignores the fact that F-16’s are pretty much useless against small decentralized groups of fighters. The majority of “cutting edge” military tech is designed to fight another standing army with similar technology. As we are once again discovering in Afghanistan however, containing a rebellion is all about the every day rifleman slogging through the mud trying to find the rebels which puts the tech available to each side right back on about the same level/

    2. Speak for yourself. I don’t trust them.

  8. If any of these weasels were actually serious about preventing tragedies like this, they would end public schooling now. The occasional murderous nut job is a (thankfully)rare but statistical certainty. Putting all your precious snowflakes in one place, under the supervision of unarmed adults mentally, physically, and emotionally incapable of defending them from the nut jobs is just rolling the dice waiting for it to happen again. If nut jobs are shooting fish in a barrel, the only solution to save the fish is to take the fish out of the barrel. It’s a hell of a lot easier than trying to guess who the next nut job might be, or shoving the rest of the country into a similar barrel.

    1. So, homeschooling for everyone?

      I’m no proponent of government run schools, but aren’t private schools also pretty much exactly the situation you describe?

      1. Private schools could at least hire the security even the above proposal allows. No way a public school would do that.

  9. We kill people in schools. We kill them in hospitals. We kill them in religious organizations. We kill them when they’re young. We kill them when they’re old. And we’ve just got to stop this….

    Are you sure he wasn’t talking about the drones and other WoT oopsies?

    1. Sounds like it. But they’re not ‘murcans so it doesn’t count.

    2. Yes, he was talking about our policy in Pakistan.

    3. My thought was that Bloomberg should stop killing so many people. “We”?

    4. It’s Bloomberg, so I assume he was talking about the NYPD.

      1. I assumed he was talking about medical errors when it came to hospitals, and some metaphoric sort of killing by schools and religious organiz’ns. At least that’s how it seemed reading it here out of context. WTF was he actually talking about? It reads as if he’s calling for immortality, as in the Libertarian Immortalist Party — “an end to death & taxes”.

  10. So I might run for political office someday. I’m pretty young and have a while to think about it. I’m sure I’ll inevitably be asked “so you believe citizens should be able to own nuclear warheads?”

    Can someone make the libertarian argument that individuals shouldn’t be able to own nukes-without using the concept of pre-crime?

    1. Depends on how broadly you define the concept of pre-crime.

      I’d place it on the list of things that no one would need for any purpose other than threatening people with, and the dangers of which are severe and cannot be corrected after the fact.

    2. But citizens should be able to own nuclear warheads…provided they foot the entire bill privately. So only Bill Gates, Lahksmi Mittal, that Mexican dude HM pointed out and others in their financial league could afford them. And truthfully to me the thought of the super rich having nukes is less terrifying than a Chicago Machine hack having nukes.

      1. You wouldn’t allow people to pool their resources?

        Pretty sure AARP or NJDC or CoS could raise the money.

        1. I can’t really see too many of the geezer set voluntarily chipping into the “Let’s get a grey nuke” fund over the “Lets lobby for more goodies from our grand kids fund”, but sure why not?

          1. It might be useful for keeping the young whippersnappers from cutting SS benefits.

      2. Thanks for the replies. I think this issue clearly demonstrates the need to pander to the majority if we’re going to be effective.

        I mean I agree with BuSab… but anyone running for office could never say something like that right? So this brings up another question-is it dishonest to lie about your honest beliefs if you’re doing it to try to advocate for things that may be feasibly accomplished? Is it ok for me to say I don’t think individuals should have nukes in order to further the libertarian agenda? The libertarian-ish republicans sometimes get crucified by our kin for doing this-see Rand Paul.

        Re: Tulpa-Liberals are saying that about guns. They say that no one in our modern society NEEDS to hunt anymore and that collecting or competitive sport aren’t legitimate arguments to allow guns in our society. I need something a bit beefier if you can provide it.

        1. is it dishonest to lie about your honest beliefs if you’re doing it to try to advocate for things that may be feasibly accomplished? Is it ok for me to say I don’t think individuals should have nukes in order to further the libertarian agenda?

          “It’s not a lie if you believe it.” — George Costanza

          If the situation comes up you’re better off changing your beliefs since private nuke ownership is extremely unlikely to come up in practice while you’re in office.

          They say that no one in our modern society NEEDS to hunt anymore and that collecting or competitive sport aren’t legitimate arguments to allow guns in our society.

          They can say that but it’s not the same thing. You need a gun to hunt or target shoot (and of course for self defense). If they want to argue that no one should do those things you can say tough luck, and paint them as trying to ban peaceful activities.

          On the other hand, There is no activity you can use nuclear warheads for other than threatening people with. You can’t hunt squirrels with nuclear warheads.

          1. You CAN, but the meat is no good.

            1. You just have to wait a few thousand years before butchering it, to let the radiation levels go down.

          2. I don’t think changing beliefs is proper. That’s the beauty of Libertarianism; it’s pure and (unhelpfully, perhaps) consistent. It’s what gets people addicted to the philosophy.

            And OK, what if a private citizen wants to own a nuke for the purpose of scientific endeavor? What if instead of a nuke its an attempt at building a private nuclear reactor?

            1. A warhead is not going to be useful for either of those things. Perhaps enriched uranium would be.

              That’s the beauty of Libertarianism; it’s pure and (unhelpfully, perhaps) consistent.

              Which is why we argue like crazy with each other on blogs like this? Ron Paul and Gary Johnson are both libertarians but fiercely disagree on several isues.

              There’s wiggle room, and anyone who denies that is fooling themselves.

    3. Aside from the fact that owning, building, and maintaining a nuclear weapon is cost prohibitive to pretty much all individuals except Bill Gates and Warren Buffett?

      Since the proglodytes like the argument that “government is the people”, you could just give the smart-ass reply that citizens already own about 1,150 of them, so take that.

      From a “libertarian” standpoint, it could be argued that there is no way an individual could own a nuke the comforts of a populated city or town that doesn’t pose an immediate risk to his neighbors or their property.

      1. But the government owns nukes and they argue that they don’t pose an immediate risk to neighbors/property. And yet society puts its trust in government on this issue when it wouldn’t put its trust in the individual.

        And Liberals are saying the same thing about guns. Chicago wants to “keep guns of the streets.” The idea of an immediate threat is also present in gun control arguments.

        1. But the government owns nukes and they argue that they don’t pose an immediate risk to neighbors/property.

          Helps that they keep them out in the middle of Nowhere, USA.

          And yet society puts its trust in government on this issue when it wouldn’t put its trust in the individual.

          Personally, I don’t, but that’s another episode, so I can’t speak for society. Oh, and society is dumb.

          And Liberals are saying the same thing about guns.

          Guns and bombs. Apples and oranges. You get the idea hopefully.

          1. Helps that they keep them out in the middle of Nowhere, USA.

            A private citizen could also do that, though.

            1. That would certainly lower the astronomical insurance costs–slightly.

              1. Maybe they don’t want insurance.

                1. Maybe they don’t want insurance.

                  Penal-Tax.

          2. “Helps that they keep them out in the middle of Nowhere, USA.”

            Like 20 miles from Seattle or Jacksonville?

        2. But there’s a very different degree of danger even if one accepts the gun control arguments you mention. A nuclear detonation in a US city would make 9/11 look like child’s play, let alone the Sandy Hook shooting.

          I know the B&W thinkers around here don’t like differences of degree, but sorry. Such is life.

          1. What AC and you seem to both be getting at is that while libertarian principle should allow individuals to own nukes, the potential for nukes to do harm is greater than that of guns, therefore it is practical to just go along with what society wants…

            Here’s the problem. The potential for guns to do harm is more than knives (don’t bring up the mythbusters episode or the incident in China), so while we subjectively don’t view guns as dangerous enough to be banned, leftist imbeciles do, and are making the argument on the same principle that you guys are making.

            Freedom is addictive, but this is what turns people off. It’s the eternal battle between liberty and security, and it seems here that, at least a little, we have to compromise.

            So then if libertarianism in its purest form is imperfect because of society being flawed and unreliable, is libertarianism nothing more than an ideal?

            1. “Freedom from responsibilityis addictive…”

              FTFY

            2. Well you have to evaluate what your debate with this hypothetical leftist is trying to accomplish. If you’re trying to convert him or her to libertarianism, it’s going to be nearly impossible if they bring up the dishonest talking points that you’re anticipating.

              If there’s some audience that you’re in front of, then what about them? If it’s a bunch of jumpy soccer moms who wear their heart on their sleeves, you’re better off not going into the logic at all. Just act like the nuke question is bizarre and obvious. Don’t let them force you to go there. It benefits you nothing at all to talk about this. (this is a huge problem for both of the Pauls and Gary Johnson as well; they love talking about libertarianism so much they engage the enemy on the enemy’s terms.)

              I’m probably going to be accused of fellating Romney again, but a great example of how to handle this — and how not to handle it — came during one of the GOP primary debates where Stephanopoulos attempted to ask Mitt Romney whether he thought it was constitutional to ban contraceptives. Romney pretended not to understand the question and went into semi-related talking points; GS attempted to follow up, but Romney questioned why this question mattered since no states want to ban contraceptives. GS then gave up and asked the same question to RP, who gave a typically meandering response about how maybe it would violate the 4th amendment or maybe not, and sounded like a kook.

              1. I should add, GS was clearly trying to trap Romney into (a) saying contraceptive bans were constitutional, or (b) saying they’re unconstitutional, at which point GS follows up and asks why abortion bans would be constitutional.

        3. “And yet society puts its trust in government on this issue when it wouldn’t put its trust in the individual.”

          To quote a great work of literature…

          “Prof: “I’m a rational anarchist. . . .A rational anarchist believes that concepts such as ‘state’ and ‘society’ and ‘government’ have no existence save as physically exemplified in the acts of self-responsible individuals. He believes that it is impossible to shift blame, share blame, distribute blame … as blame, guilt, responsibility are matters taking place inside human beings singly and nowhere else. But being rational, he knows that not all individuals hold his evaluations, so he tries to live perfectly in an imperfect world … aware that his effort will be less than perfect yet undimayed by self-knowledge of self-failure.”

          Wyoh: “Professor, your words sound good but there is something slippery about them. Too much power in the hands of individuals–surely you would not want … well, H-missiles for example–to be controlled by one irresponsible person?”

          Prof: “My point is that one person is responsible. Always. If H-bombs exist–and they do–some man controls them. In terms of morals there is no such thing as ‘state.’ Just me. Individuals. Each responsible for his own acts.”

    4. I’m sure I’ll inevitably be asked “so you believe citizens should be able to own nuclear warheads?”

      It shows the moral bankruptcy of my opponents that they would rather talk about things that have a 0.000001% chance of happening instead of such everyday realities as massive indebtedness caused by overspending, a war on drugs destroying our constitutional liberties, [and so on; fit your other favorite issues in here].

    5. “We are not going to waste time on ‘angels on pinhead’ issues. My campaign is about …”

      Then move on to the next question.

      1. This is the one to go with. Maybe add just a touch more mockery if you can stand a butthurt journalist digging through any dirt you may have, but don’t buy into their framing of the issue.

    6. Can someone make the libertarian argument that individuals shouldn’t be able to own nukes.

      Sure. There is no way to use a nuke that doesn’t involve massive violations of rights in the form of tens or hundreds of thousands of non-combatant deaths. I don’t see any meaningful conflict between a libertarian right of self-defense/nonaggression principle and a prohibition on civilian ownership of any WMD.

    7. “Can someone make the libertarian argument that individuals shouldn’t be able to own nukes-without using the concept of pre-crime?”

      Here is your answer…

      1. “You are asking the wrong question. The question is never should someone be or not be allowed to own something. The important questions to asked are “what is to be gained by banning such ownership?” and “can ownership of this thing actually be prevented by law?”.

        With Nuclear weapons you are referring to a VERY expensive and dangerous object, both to create and to maintain with extremely limited uses. That in and of itself would preclude 99.99% of the populace from ever attempting to acquire one. However imagine a world where they are legal to own and some crackpot billionare decides he wants one.

        So lets answer the second question first. Can you prevent the crackpot billionare from getting a nuclear weapon by force of law? Unfortunately not. Anyone with the financial wherwithal to actually acquire a Nuclear device can use a tiny fraction of that wealth to find a way of circumventing your laws, anyone who lacks the wealth to get around the law would have lacked the necessary resources to develop a nuclear device.

      2. “Now with the first question, what is gained by the law if it did succeed? Well here it is a matter of the crackpot’s intent. Did he want the device as a status symbol just to say he had one or was he intending to use it either as a form of blackmail or to actually deploy it? If the first, well you have not actually gained anything since the device would never have been used even if he did get it. With the second, at best you would have forced the billionare into chosing a different mechanism to use for the attack but even that ignores the fact that it would be effectively impossible to prevent him from acquiring the device in the first place.

        Ultimately there is no benefit to outlawing possession of anything because if the possessor is intent on causing harm to someone they will find a way to accomplish that goal regardless of the law and if their intent is not to cause harm then the law is of no value.

  11. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true.

    Well, at least he avoide saying, “There are those who say the causes of such violence…”

  12. I believe George Will described President *barfff* Obama best by quoting William F. Buckley, “The president is a pyromaniac in a field of strawmen”.

  13. If we must Do Something, why not security guards in the schools? It seems to work in Israeli schools, and in the Family Research Council in this country.

    If the expense is a problem, just fire a vice-principal or facilitator for each guard you hire.

    1. Mall cops or cop cops? Cause the LEO types value “officer safety” above all, as is shown by Columbine where they waited for the shooting to stop before they went in, and also by the absolute terror inspired by puppies wagging their tails.

      1. People like the Family Research Council guy.

        1. What if the guard is a nut job?

          1. What if the absence of a guard allows a shooter to kill lots of people?

            There are a couple benefits to my suggestion – (a) some institutions have already adopted it, with some useful results, and (b) the act of hiring a security guard doesn’t violate anyone’s constitutional rights.

      2. The schools I went to had at least one cop on duty in the school. And this was 10 or more years ago.

    2. Soldiers would be better.

      But what happens if they start shooting sprees?

      1. It depends on whether they’re Muslim or not.

    3. You mean for each three guards, no?

      1. Simply allowing the employees to embrace the 2nd Amendment could be the elusive solution.
        Not every teacher would wish to pack heat, but surely there would be some. If these intellects can select a union rep to represent themselves in government theft they can surely elect representatives to carry guns.
        The school district could pander to the regulation crowd and require monthly gun range performance, psycho evaluations, even training on offensive/defensive shooting skills.
        No one need be offended, no one need to know actually how many staff are packing. The guns would be concealed so even the doddering librarian need not feel threatened, but the pud bent on mayhmw would never know who/how many could/would put a round in his melon.
        Moreover the people armed would have a self interest in his action, unlike the Dunphy’s who arrive at the scene and merely hog a good viewpoint behind the fender of his cruiser.

    4. There is no need to Do Something? other than allow teachers so inclined to carry concealed with the caveat that the ONLY approved use of said weapon is during a crisis when there is a known gunman in the facility. Any other use will be met with prison.

      1. I can’t imagine any other use inside a school, or any other populated building other than a gun range, that would not be a crime under Libertopian law.

      2. allow teachers so inclined to carry concealed

        But what if the teacher were crazy? It would be entertaining to watch unions simulutaneously argue a teacher *might* be crazy and should not be allow a gun and that no teacher could ever possible be crazy because they are union members and pay dues to union leaders that spend their money on….nevermind.

    5. Do not like security guards in schools. You think they will just be used in the near zero probability that some nut comes in and shoots the place up? It will just continue the process of turning schools into prisons.

      Allow teachers to carry if they so choose. Perhaps encourage the principal to be armed.

      1. It would probably serve the bonus purpose of having students actually respect the principal for a change.

  14. Of course, Obama has anticipated the expected argument that there’s no policy that can stop a deranged individual from getting guns SOMEHOW to hurt unsuspecting people. I saw that “But that doesn’t mean we can’t do SOMETHING” line a mile away.

    I guess we’ll find out if the country really has turned libertarian. How many of the white suburban kids who voted for legal weed will also stand up for the second amendment? Will they vote for massive spending on mental health to eliminate that .000001% of the chance of preventing another massive shooting? Agree to give the government more power to commit people?

    Was Lanzar and the Jovan Belcher some right wingers who were influenced by incivility? Boy, that narrative went out pretty quick.

  15. What is all this BS about a conversation?

    We all know what they really want is a discussion which ends with Americans giving up more gun rights. They frame this BS discussion as “give and take” – as if they would be giving up something in return for us doing the same.

    First off, even the least restrictive states we already have restrictions on full-auto, barrel lengths, overall lengths, calibers over .50 inch, and unusual configurations, restrictions on imported semi-auto rifles and parts to build them with, restrictions on interstate shipping, arbitrary “sporting purposes” restrictions on imports, required background checks, and in most places convoluted restrictions on places and methods for carry and transportation.

    So if we are supposed to be entering into a conversation to discuss what each side would be willing to concede I would really like to hear a list of just which of the items mentioned above they are planning to loosen up on.

    Somehow I just don’t believe the anti-gun crowd are really interested in a conversation.

    1. Well, if they give up their welfare state – or even a few percentage points of it – I’ll give up my bayonet lug on the next rifle I buy.

    2. They always talk about “striking a balance,” but in their view, the balance is always tilted against their point of view, therefore rebalancing pushes the status their way. It’s a simple and effective rhetorical trick. Why it’s still effective I have no idea, as it is so transparently used.

      1. Paint your opponents as absolutists so your absolutism seems excusable…

        I’ve read many comments here that basically say “any gun restriction at all is a complete cave to the left.”

        1. There already are plenty of restrictions. There have been restrictions in the past about “assault” weapons. How many more restrictions do you propose before there is “enough”?

          Using a tragedy to further an agenda that is diametrically opposed to a Constitutionally enumerated right is nothing more than sour grapes and a desire by a great many busybodies to force their beliefs upon the rest of us.

          The solutions proposed in the aftermath of this tragedy are nothing more than the proverbial “foot in the door” with the ultimate goal of removing the right enshrined in the 2nd Amendment one regulation and “reasonable restriction” at a time. If you think this is loony, I submit to you the “reasonable restrictions” that have gutted the 1st Amendment in just the last 50 years.

  16. One solution would to be to euthanise the mentally disturbed.

    After all, the problem is supposedly easy access to guns by the mentally disturbed. If all mentally disturbed people are euthanised, then they will not have access to guns.

    Would this be worth protecting our children.

    1. Are you always this stupid? Or is it just a Monday morning thing?

      1. Yeah mlg it’s satire. Remember that guy who advocated the starving Irish eating their spare children? Same type deal.

    2. I don’t think I know many people that couldn’t be classified as mentally disturbed in one way or another.

      1. Could Obama, Boehner, Reid and Cantor all be classified as mentally disturbed? If so, I’m all in favor of this alternative.

  17. Obama’s nebulousness on this topic can be explained by his reluctance to be the guy who proposes the draconinlan regulation. He will let Congress come up with something, and no matter what it is, he will sign it. He will make some speech about how the representatives of the American people have met and come up with a plan and he is proud to enable it. He will probably push things in certain directions but all that will be behind the scenes. He will reserve his major public support for the moment he signs something in order to take himself out pf the picture as a focus of discourse.

    1. Either that or he was afraid of the optics of turning a mass funeral into a particularly specific campaign speech. For some reason Americans seems to expect the Prez to ahow up at every major disaster to mumble a few words of comfort and generally look human. But they seem to react badly when the leaders muff that perceived duty by looking either not sympathetic enough, or overinvolved from a political point of view.

      1. When the anointed one sheds a tear for the hundreds of children he has murdered in Pakistan and Yemen and Afghanistan and the various other nations with which we are not at war and vows to Do Something about that, then I’ll perhaps see him as having some actual sympathy.

        Every move he makes, every words he speaks is perfectly calculated by a team of people, and likely rehearsed various times, in order to extract the maximum amount of political capital possible in any given situation. His “sympathy” is no accident.

      2. For some reason Americans seems to expect the Prez to ahow up at every major disaster to mumble a few words of comfort and generally look human.

        Do they? It appears to me that the prezzes just barge in and take the opportunity to showcase their compassion.

        I remember the left going apeshit about Bush just flying over NO after Katrina and not really visiting, but they went apeshit over everything Bush. I don’t recall the general public being pissed about that. (and it was of course the right decision since a presidential visit would siphon a lot of first responders away from aid work).

        1. And Obama did even less after Sandy, and we didn’t hear a peep.

          1. Hey Kanye, Obama hates white people!

  18. But that can’t be an excuse for inaction. Surely, we can do better than this. If there is even one step we can take to save another child, or another parent, or another town, from the grief that has visited Tucson, and Aurora, and Oak Creek, and Newtown, and communities from Columbine to Blacksburg before that?then surely we have an obligation to try.

    Mother of Zod, Obama has droned Tucson, and Aurora, and Oak Creek, and Newtown, and communities from Columbine to Blacksburg?

  19. Whoa, Michael Bloomberg publicly admitted that he kills people in schools, hospitals, religious organizations, when they’re young, and when they’re old? Sounds to me like he needs to be arrested and charged with murder!

  20. It’s telling that the president doesn’t specify exactly what he thinks ought to be done. This is the “Do something. Anything.” response.

    1. This is the “Do something. Anything.” response.

      The mark of a community organizer.

  21. The President is right. We can no longer tolerate the 1st Amendment that allows “news”-casters to dwell on these shootings. Sick people see the effect, the power, the fascination with massacres, broadcast in porn-like fashion by the media, and they must think “Look at the lasting effect I can have on the world by doing this!” The media lobby must be resisted.

    The world has changed and it’s not like it was in the era when everyone could walk around claiming “free-speech rights.” In this new era of mass, instant communications, we need common-sense restrictions on what can be broadcast because you never know whether a sick, potentially violent person may hear something that sets them on some horrible rampage that (in their own diseased minds) will being them glory.

    1. This actually would likely cut the number of these incidents far more than any gun control law.

    2. I’ve often commented that I can make a stronger logical case for banning literacy than for banning guns. Since both amendments use similar language, if you can regulate, restrict, ban or limit one of them to a collective right, you can do the same things with the other.

      Throughout history, more people have been killed by misapplication of the knowledge found in books than misapplication of the bullets found in guns.

      The problem with trading real freedom for imaginary security is the real world likes to prove that imaginary security doesn’t exist. So people trade more real freedom for imaginary security. Over and over. Eventually we’ll live our lives locked in windowless rooms never seeing another living creature from cradle to grave…and we still won’t be totally safe.

  22. sadly someone with a single bullet in a weapon with the skill to use it could have possibly ended this tradgedy sooner than it did … magazine capacity is simply a red herring … defensless victims need protection not useless laws …

  23. Obama does what he does best, throw a speech at it lol

    http://www.Anon-ot.tk

    1. waaminn| 12.17.12 @ 9:56AM |#
      “Obama does what he does best, throw a speech at it lol”

      Yea, and the son of a bitch camera-whored in a football game to make sure he had an audience.

  24. What a terrible event

  25. In some ways, a long bloody fight over gun control would be just the thing to exhaust the political capital of the various wings of TEAM BE RULED. I know, silver lining.

    I can tell you this, though: before the week is out, I will have at least one, and probably two more, guns. I need a more practical carry gun, and I’d like to get a shotgun for home defense. My current shotguns are all for hunting, and I’m not going to cut their barrels down. I didn’t want to spend the money right now, but I’m thinking now is the time.

    1. Hey RC, how’s the TX secession movement looking, now that gun control is front and center the the rest of the US?

    2. Maybe you can get a shorter (but still legal) barrel for one of your existing shotguns? Last I checked you can get an 18.5″ barrel for an 870 (you have to have one of those, right) for a hair over $100.

  26. When will the Congess and President work together to pass the laws we need to prevent this sort of violence? Murder is illegal in every other industrialized nation on Earth! When will we stand up to those right-wing loonies and get serious about banning murder in this country!!!!!

    1. I can’t comment on your state but I know that in mine murder is a Class One Felony.
      I suspect the same is true for Connecticut, Colorado, and those other jurisdictions where mass murder has recently occurred.

  27. Not to be a huge downer here, but, we are glacially destined to lose our liberty in the US.
    When ignorant citizens bend over and accept the notion that we serve the government (“because it’s us”)we are all doomed. It’s just a matter of time now.

    1. Nahh….we’re going to run out of money first!

      A vastly preferable direction!

      1. Nahh….we’re going to run out of money first!

        No. The government will just print more. Eventually, it won’t be worth crap, but we won’t run out.

  28. What is the Welch/Jacket solution to this issue?

  29. “But that can’t be an excuse for inaction.”

    Never let a lack of result keep you from doing something!

    1. After all, it’s better to royally screw up by taking drastically wrong action right away than to wait a little while, think about it, then do something useful, right?

  30. How many innocent people have been killed by President Obama Drone Strikes? I think there should be more uproar over a ‘Sane’ President ordering the death of innocent people than over one ‘Mentally Unstable’ person. People tend to think that more Gun prohibition will stop or prevent future unstable people from attacking others. Personally I don’t think it will work. How did that work for Alcohol & How well is it working for the current Drug prohibition? I do know with any questions that ending the Presidential Kill List and Drone strikes will stop the killing of some innocent people.
    If Obama is serious about ending Violence then he need to stop being a hypocrite and end Drone Strike now.

  31. By “assault weapon”, they mean any more powerful than a single-shot musket.

    1. Unless the musket had a bayonet lug or pistol grip.

  32. Yeah, we gotta pass a law to make murdering children with stolen weapons illegal. No one will break a law, right?

  33. Just like I have found at most big corporations – the person who gets promoted is the one who quickly commands “Fire! Ready! Aim!” rather than the patient sniper who can bring in the “one shot, one kill”.

  34. Any time someone starts talking about legislation related to firearms mentally substitute the word drugs< for every firearms related word.
    If you can do a mental fact check with the word substitution and find that the real world bears out the proposed outcome then you know that the proposal may have some possibility of achieving a positive outcome. If your mental fact check of the real world demonstrates that the proposal would not improve the situation [and is most likely to have no effect or make the situation worse] then you know that this is a poor course of action.
    “Gun Free Zone” = Magnet for Homicidal Maniacs

    1. Amen to that, Public Citizen. Nancy Lanza’s home was a gun-free zone — look what *that* got her.

  35. “The notion that restrictions like these can have a noticeable impact, let alone that they can “end” or “stop” occasional outbursts of senseless violence, is hard to credit unless you believe what Obama insists he does not: that evil can be legislated out of the world by acts of Congress.”

    Well said, Jacob. I think Americans tend to think we can do everything better than the rest of the world, but there are limits to what we can do. So other countries have so much less mass murder than we do, so what? Other countries don’t have 300 million guns! I’m glad that all those other countries have miniscule incidents of gun violence compared to us, but that doesn’t mean we can do anything to reduce gun violence here. We’re not those other countries; we’re the U.S. The problem is just too big for us.

    1. You know, dear, when one uses sarcasm in one’s commentary one must take pains to assure that it not be overly subtle – if most don’t get that it actually is sarcasm, it loses most of its effect. Or is that problem just too big for you?

  36. How sick is this…

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/18/…..?hpt=hp_t1

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