Sandy Hook School Shooting

Wrong Answers for Mass Shootings

Rounding up the usual suspects: certain firearms, mental illness, and video games

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The film "Casablanca" has many famous lines, but none more immortal than Capt. Renault's order after seeing a Nazi officer shot by Humphrey Bogart's character, Rick Blaine: "Round up the usual suspects." He issues that command to give the impression he's trying to solve the crime. In the aftermath of the Newtown massacre, the Renault approach is alive and well.

The three suspects commonly cited are the purported danger of certain firearms, mentally ill individuals and modern forms of entertainment. They all make plausible culprits, until you look closely.

The first is our old nemesis the "assault weapon." The Newtown shooter used a Bushmaster semiautomatic rifle, which resembles a military model, and several 30-round magazines. President Barack Obama and several Democratic senators are therefore calling for a renewal of the "assault weapons" ban that expired in 2004.

But the guns they would ban are functionally identical to innumerable guns that would not be outlawed. Contrary to myth, these firearms don't produce bursts of automatic fire, don't "spray" bullets and aren't any more lethal than other semiautomatic guns. They are exceptional only in how they look.

What would a new ban achieve? As Reason's Jacob Sullum noted, Connecticut forbids the same assault weapons covered by the old federal law. Under its terms, however, the gun used by Adam Lanza was legal.

The gun-control advocates also want to prohibit high-capacity magazines, limiting them to 10 rounds. The lifesaving value of this change is likely to be close to zero. Ordinary street thugs rarely fire many rounds, and those intent on slaughtering large numbers of victims can carry multiple magazines and multiple guns. That's exactly what Lanza did.

The theory is that a shooter who has to pause to reload can be stopped. But switching out a magazine takes only seconds. Florida State University gun scholar Gary Kleck says he knows of only one case where bystanders overcame a mass shooter when he stopped to reload.

Jared Loughner, who killed six people in Tucson, was tackled only after reloading, when his gun jammed. Lanza, shooting docile first graders in a confined space, didn't have to worry they would subdue him.

Many of the suggestions for averting the next massacre involve how we handle the mentally ill. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) called for denying guns to "those with a history of mental instability."

That's a bit like looking for your keys where the light is good instead of where you dropped them. We don't know that Lanza suffered from mental illness. His developmental disorder, Asperger's syndrome, is not associated with violence. Lori Shery, president of the Asperger Syndrome Education Network, told The New York Times his disorder was about as pertinent to the crime as the color of his hair.

Even if Lanza had some serious psychiatric ailment, it may explain nothing. The vast majority of mentally ill people are not dangerous, and the vast majority of violent criminals are not mentally ill.

Federal law already bars sales of guns to anyone declared mentally incompetent by a court. Durbin wants to improve state reporting of mental health records, which makes perfect sense. But broadening the criteria for mental-health disqualification, as others suggest, would punish millions of people who pose no risk. It's important to protect the rest of us from the mentally ill, but equally vital to protect them from indiscriminate sanctions.

So desperate are some people to make sense of the slaughter that they resorted to the flimsiest of straw men. Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) fretted about "the impact of violence in the entertainment culture."

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) took a more threatening tack: "Major corporations, including the video game industry, make billions on marketing and selling violent content to children. They have a responsibility to protect our children. If they do not, you can count on the Congress to take a more aggressive role."

Seriously? If violence in media causes violence in the real world, how do they explain that homicides are less than half as common today as they were in 1980, before video games took off?

Does anyone think the new film of "Anna Karenina" will cause a rash of train suicides? Has Rockefeller heard of the First Amendment?

He evidently thinks video gamers can't understand the difference between fantasy and reality. Funny thing: A lot of politicians have the same problem.

NEXT: Everyone's a Critic

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  1. The theory is that a shooter who has to pause to reload can be stopped. But switching out a magazine takes only seconds. Florida State University gun scholar Gary Kleck says he knows of only one case where bystanders overcame a mass shooter when he stopped to reload.

    If it saves only one life it will have been worth it….

    1. Major corporations, including the video game industry, make billions on marketing and selling violent content to children. They have a responsibility to protect our children.

      That’s a lie. Major corporations have a responsibility to not hurt children. The only people responsible for protecting them are their parents and our government (via its responsibility to protect all of its citizens.) Jay Rockefeller is either a liar, a fool, or both.

      1. We can do far more to protect our children by teaching them that politicians are mendacious, grandstanding bastards than we can with any legislation that those politicians can think of.

        1. And we will continue to not do so.

          1. How about this novel idea: That PARENTS regulate and keep watch over what their kids do.

            How about that for a bloody change? Everything has to start with a politician. Why?

            1. It’s what “we” want.

            2. Parents are evil fools and must be replaced entirely by the state.

            3. Except Adam Lanza shot his mom with her own gun. Plus he was 20 … an adult.

    2. And how many lives would be lost because a law abiding citizen didn’t have a high capacity magazine when he needed it? If it saves only one life it will have been worth it….

    3. That is a very foolish comment

      1. Damn thread put my comment under the wrong person.

    4. It is also important to note that Jared Loughner’s gun jammed BECAUSE he was using a high capacity magazine which was known for being unreliable. If he had been using standard capacity magazines, he almost certainly would have shot more people.

    5. “If it saves only one life it will have been worth it….”.

      One of the most frightening comments ever made.

  2. Well no one is going to get elected, get money sent to their districts, or get to put their friends and relatives into jobs by saying that there’s nothing the government can do, and that this is going to happen again. That is, by telling the truth.

    To expect them to say anything like that, given the complete and utter dependency, ill-education, laziness, and sheer worthlessness of the electorate is as naive as the true believers are in thinking that the bans would have any effect.

    People nor governments can stop tragedies so the only decision is how much treasure and liberty you want to give up to watch them fail at trying.

    1. WHY DO YOU SUPPORT THE SLAUGHTER OF CHILDREN???

      1. Have you hung out around or with many children? That question answers itself.

      2. Here’s the thing. We own a daycvare in Montreal – roughly 500km from Newtown – and parents were asking us about our security measures. My sister – a hippie liberal – proceeded with a security review starting by inviting the local police. She then sent out an email to parents reassuring them.

        I let it happen but then came reality. As I told here, how are you exactly going to prevent such a tragedy? For starters we’re unarmed…

        Well, she just went off. Like a liberal. It went something like – and with the typical look of liberal disgust feigning as progressive thinking:

        Cont’d…

        1. Hippie: Are you suggesting teachers be armed? Becuase if you are I will not tolerate that!

          Me: Not necessa…

          Hippie: And the 2nd amendment was written 300 years ago!

          Me: Well, hang on…

          Hippie: Those kids were mowed down like animals!

          Me: I know but…

          (At this point I’m boiling because it’s a cheap common tactic by fucking liberals to mug people with appeals to emotions like this. As if I was unaware of the carnage. Damn, I’m still tearing up a week later. It’s a complete devastating event.

          Her: I don’t want to hear it…

          Me: Will you at least defend myself and some of the specious claims…

          Her: What do you do around here anyway? Look at the paper work…

          Me: Hello! Focus! Your spraying so many strawman fallacies and as hominens I can’t keep track!

          Her: Oh, only you are right! You have the answers…

          Me: When did I even remotely suggest…

          Her: You know what? I can’t take it. I’m about to quit here.

          At this point, dear fellow Reasoners, I just had to let it go. I tried to bring her back on track but couldn’t. It’s what they do and the scary thing is the zeitgeist is on their side.

          1. “you’re” spraying.

          2. I’m somewhat inclined to throw the left a bone just so they’ll shut the fuck up for two seconds.

          3. Her: You know what? I can’t take it. I’m about to quit here.

            You should have called her bluff.

          4. You should have told her to get the fuck out.

          5. Rufus, what you fail to understand is that Our Children are our most precious and priceless things. They are so pricless and precious that it is absolutely imperative that we leave them utterly defenseless in the face of armed assailants. I mean, don’t you do that with all of your valuables?

            1. Seriously. I couldn’t get a word in. And I realized if I said maybe packing wouldn’t be such a bad thing (I know all about the risks blah, blah) I would have had an incident of liberal myth making proportions.

              I realized, also, we’re fucked.

      3. WHY DO YOU SUPPORT THE SLAUGHTER OF CHILDREN???

        That’s so 1990s.

        The modern progressive question is:

        “You secret want to go on a murder rampage, don’t you”?

        1. “You secret want to go on a murder rampage, don’t you”?

          And you can reply, “That’s why I want them disarmed? easier to kill a target that’s not shooting back.”.

      4. I hope you are being sarcastic. Other wise you are an idiot

        1. Jesus tapdancing Christ, of course he’s being fucking sarcastic.

          You know, there’s a bunch of fuckers around here who really fucking need to work on their reading comprehension skills.

    2. To be fair to our fellow citizens, the shooting is horrendous, and thus people exhibit a particularly strong emotional response(usually horror, disgust, and fear). That most people don’t stop, take a deep breath, and examine evidence before pointing fingers and looking for scapegoats is not a function of laziness or dependency, its human nature.

      1. Witches must be burned.
        Guns must be grabbed.
        Scapegoats must be scaped.
        Lions must be towed.
        Somethings must be done.

        1. Lions must be towed?

          1. We all know that Lions park in handicapped spaces…

      2. Why should I be fair to my cretinous fellow citizens. They choose to be whiny, ir- and unresponsible, stupid, bitches, and are thus deserve every ounce of loathing I can spare. Which is quite a lot (by mass if not by volume).

        Their inability to separate reason from emotion, or even incorporate a hint of rationality IN their emotion means I will get to laugh at them from within my guarded compound until the day their hordes overcome my walls.

        1. Don’t you guard your own walls?

          1. That’s what the child labor is for.

            1. Don’t the Stormcloaks flay your ass in a fiery rampage?

        2. You didn’t build that.?

  3. Watching the reactions to this shooting I am reminded of what Einstein said;

    “The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has limits.”

    1. And I am reminded of what David St. Hubbins said:

      “It’s a fine line between stupid and clever*”

      *Yes I know that Nigel finished the quote for him.

  4. Assault Weapons Bans, in the Words of Some of Their Supporters
    …In fact, the assault weapons ban will have no significant effect either on the crime rate or on personal security. Nonetheless, it is a good idea, though for reasons its proponents dare not enunciate. I am not up for reelection. So let me elaborate the real logic of the ban:

    …Passing a law like the assault weapons ban is a symbolic ? purely symbolic ? move in that direction. Its only real justification is not to reduce crime but to desensitize the public to the regulation of weapons in preparation for their ultimate confiscation. Its purpose is to spark debate, highlight the issue, make the case that the arms race between criminals and citizens is as dangerous as it is pointless.

    De-escalation begins with a change in mentality. And that change in mentality starts with the symbolic yielding of certain types of weapons. The real steps, like the banning of handguns, will never occur unless this one is taken first, and even then not for decades…….

    1. That was written in 1996, I’m fairly certain Mr. Krauthammer has changed his mind since then. At least I get that distinct impression from his tv appearances.

      1. I don’t know, I could easily be convinced he’d be completely happy if only the cops and military had weapons of any sort.

        1. I get the impression that Mr. Krauthammer is never completely happy , ever.

          1. The grumpiness is what makes him entertaining when he decides that an idiot needs a beat down. He can be flat out mean.

            1. Oh that is mostly why I watch him. He’s usually well behaved on Fox, but when he’s on PBS he barely conceals his scorn for the lesser intellects showcased. I don’t always agree with him, but he’s always entertaining.

              1. It’s how he rolls…

                1. Hey Groovus, what’s your opinion of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? Think it’s something real, or just something that was invented to placate the whiny and lazy?

                  1. It’s as real as fibromyalgia.

                  2. It’s real, but grossly over-DX’d, and should never be used as a primary DX.

                  3. It’s as real as fibromyalgia.

                    Also, real, same as above. If you say that PX arising from fibromyalgia (meaning fibrous connective tissue of muscles causing PX) is a myth, so is chest PX claimed before someone keels over from cardiac arrest.

                    Another way of putting it is, “I’m in pain! It hurts!” (describing non-specific complaint of PX here)

                    “I see. On a scale of 1 to 10, on what number does it fall?”

                    “8”

                    “Where do you feel pain?”

                    “In my tummy…”

                    “Does it hurt when I do this?”

                    (palpates area)

                    “No…”

                    “Ah. Can you prove your claim of PX then besides your word? Because I certainly can’t see it. It’s as mythical as mental illness and The Tooth Fairy.”

                    “Well, no, I can’t…BUT IT HURTS!”

                    “I don’t believe you, Tulpa. Because you can’t prove pain.”

                    1. “Does it hurt when I do this?”

                      (palpates area)

                      “No…”

                      Reminds me of one of my favorite blonde jokes:

                      A blonde walks into a doctor’s office. “Doctor, I don’t know what’s wrong with me. My entire body hurts!”

                      The blonde pokes herself in the arm. “Ow!” She pokes herself in the chest, and winces again in pain. She goes on to poke herself in the stomach and leg, each time letting out a painful cry.

                      “I think I know what’s wrong with you,” the doctor says.

                      “What?”

                      “You’ve got a broken finger.”

                    2. “I see. On a scale of 1 to 10, on what number does it fall?”

                      Reminds me of a great xkcd comic.

                      All arbitrary scales are relative. My 10 might be much higher than your 10, simply because I have a better imagination or more experience with pain…

                      Out of curiosity, is there any hard evidence indicating that the whole “1-10 pain scale” question conveys meaningful information to a doctor? What about the scale where doctor doesn’t even ask and simply assigns a number based on furrowed brows, wincing and moaning?

                    3. Out of curiosity, is there any hard evidence indicating that the whole “1-10 pain scale” question conveys meaningful information to a doctor?

                      Absolutely. The PX scale is critical for establishing a baseline level of pain claimed, and we RX PX meds accordingly, barring contraindications. When a WX heals after I make an incision, I expect the PX to eventually dissipate after a certain period of time. When it doesn’t, then we have problems and need to figure out why.

                      The type of PX, location, (there is demonstrable evidence of “referred PX”, where trauma is occurring in one area of the body, but manifests somewhere else), and PX quality (such as “dull, sharp, radiating, and deep/superficial).

                      It tells us a lot so we can better DX different ailments since (most of the time) the PX locations/distribution is pretty consistent with most disease processes, and helps to R/O a DDX.

                      What about the scale where doctor doesn’t even ask and simply assigns a number based on furrowed brows, wincing and moaning?

                      That’s the Wong-Baker Face Scale, and is especially useful for children and those who have verbal deficits.

                    4. OK, so the scale is primarily used as a relative measure, specific to each patient. That makes sense.

                      Also, I like how our discussion of pain plus the forum’s threading is making NoVAHockey look like a monster…

                    5. I don’t know that it’s really been validated in a clinical trial sense, although it can occasionally be useful if uniformly applied. Still, I find that no pain, some pain, severe pain, and worst pain of life scale gives me just as much information than the 0-10 scale, and sometimes more. Often, the nurse just asks “give me a number for your pain from 0-10”, which of course elicits a “10” response. That gives me zero useful information. If three nurses ask for a pain scale number in three different ways, they get three different responses.

                    6. When my boyfriend had a heart attack they asked him that 1-10 scale pain question and he said 5. So they didn’t think it was as serious as it actually was.

                      I asked him why he’d said 5. He said, well I don’t know what 10 is. Sheeesh.

                    7. This is interesting. But there seem to be people with furrowed brows and wincing and moaning all the time, even when in no physical pain. Hmmmm

                2. i laughed.

                3. “It’s how he rolls…”

                  That’s cold, doc.

      2. hat was written in 1996, I’m fairly certain Mr. Krauthammer has changed his mind since then. At least I get that distinct impression from his tv appearances.

        Why?

        He’s a progressive that left the democratic party because they weren’t violent enough for him.

      3. Krauthammer is a Canadian and he’s married to an Australian.

        I’m pretty sure he has absolutely no trouble with Canadian/Australian style gun bans.

        And further to that, I’m pretty sure he has absolutely no trouble with Australian style gun confiscation either.

        1. I doubt that, considering the other night he said something like “Australia banned and confiscated these types of weapons. Do you really think that would work in the US with 46% gun ownership compared to 7% in Australia? You would have a revolt on your hands!”

          He may dislike guns, but he clearly see’s that they are not going anywhere.

    2. We all know the end game. Once they’ve banned some guns for cosmetic reasons saying this won’t stop you from buying guns, they’ll turn around and say “OMG! These other guns are just as powerful as the ones we’ve banned as too powerful for the cattle, we must ban them all!!!”

      1. Personally I don’t find slippery slope arguments very convincing. The assault weapons ban was on the books for 10 years? Was their every any movement at the federal level to ban handguns during that time frame?

        1. 30 years ago when the anti-smoking people were trying to force private property owners (restaurants) from allowing smoking, there were people who said, “The next thing you know, they’ll be telling us what we can and cannot eat!”

          This was pooh-poohed back in the 80s, but it turned out to be prescient.

          1. I’m not arguing that the slippery slope argument is always incorrect, but usually its hyperbole. But if you always suspect that something will lead to a slippery slope you’ll reflexivly ignore others ideas, which will occasionally be good and well intentioned. For a good example of this, see the Democrats resistance to any reform of entitlement programs, despite the fact those reforms are mostly made in good faith.

            1. But if you always suspect that something will lead to a slippery slope you’ll reflexivly ignore others ideas, which will occasionally be good and well intentioned stand a much better chance at maintaining some semblance of individual liberty.

              FIFY!

            2. Do you really think the gun-grabbers are well-intentioned?

              1. Strictly speaking on only the current call to ban “assault weapons” and/or large magazines, yes, they are mostly well intentioned.

                I don’t doubt that some on the left see this as a means to an end. But I think that is generally a minority view.

                1. they are mostly well intentioned

                  No, they aren’t. They’re mendacious fucks who have an eventual goal of outlawing private firearms ownership. See as an example, Dianne Feinstein.

                2. The “assault weapons” and “large clips” bans are classic cases of regulations that will accomplish nothing, whose failure will be used to justify further regulations.

                  When the hoplophobes are admitting that the proposed regulations will be ineffective but should be passed anyway for symbolic reasons, they are telling you that they will use the next crisis to ramp up those regulations.

                  Some slopes are slipperier than others and in this case the assholes are telling us exactly what their future plans are.

                  1. Did they not have exactly that chance before the “assault weapons” ban expired? Columbine happened in 99, so shouldn’t their have been a major attempt at further “gun control” after Columbine and before the expiration of the ban?

                    Once again I’m not saying some on the left don’t see this as a small step toward repeal of the 2nd amendment, but I think they are a minority of Democrats, and are certainly a minority of Americans. The country has moved rightward in the last 10 years on “gun control”. Along with the two recent SCOTUS decisions on the matter, I think the 2nd amendment is relatively safe for at least a little while.

                3. RightNut: I’ve never argued with a gun-banner who didn’t eventually reveal their preferences for an all-out ban, aside from some fudds who think placating the banners will prevent them from going after deer rifles and bird guns.

          2. what he said.

        2. The assault weapons ban was on the books for 10 years? Was their every any movement at the federal level to ban handguns during that time frame?

          The assault weapons ban was passed in 1994 and went into effect that Septmber. Elections were held on November 8. Pro-gun Republicans gained eight Senate seats, fifty-four House seats, and ten governorships, establishing majorities in both House and Senate.

      2. I don’t know. Liberals like to enjoy a period of smug satisfaction after “doing something.” The ugly details of ballistics and accuracy holds no interest to them. Nobody at the right cocktail parties speak of such things.

        1. Liberals like to enjoy total power over their enemies. That’s the only purpose of gun control.

          1. Always nice to see someone who gets it.

          2. Much like religion. Thomas Payne said the purpose of religion was to control people.

  5. Sounds like a pretty solid plan to me dude. Wow.

    http://www.usa-privacy.tk

  6. Correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t think the SS death squads that ran amok in Europe during WWII played Grand Theft Auto or listened to Gangsta Rap.

      1. That video led me to this one,btw. I lol’d.

      2. Dude.

        Busted out laughing at the smackn’ babies part.

        This will be my xmas gift to everyone this year.

    1. No they played Saints Row and listened to Metallica.

    2. No, but they constantly listened to Hitlers 4 hr long speeches condemning the non Aryans as a blight on the world and only useful as slaves. Did someone gore your Ox by naming violent video games as a problem?

      1. Oh, so speeches and books can be just as “complicit” if not more so in violent outbursts as video games and movies??

        Wow, then we better ban all of those “bad” ones. Oh wait, that is protected by the 1st amendment. So…..if hateful speech, with no other useful purpose, is protected by the 1st amendment, then entertainment that might possibly contribute to violence SHOULD definitely be protected and so should be off limits. Yeah, great point! Makes sense. I think it “gores all our oxen” when people suggest banning things that are explicitly protected in the constitution and have at-best a tangential relationship to a negative event.

      2. Senator Rockefeller to be exact.

  7. The sorry fact is that a pathetic twisted loser can do great harm. That is really all there is to it. And people have a hard time accepting that and look for scape goats and conspiracy theories as an alternative explanation. It is the same reason people believe in kooky conspiracy theories about the Kennedy assassination. They just can’t accept that some little nobody can have that much effect.

    Here people do not want to face the banality and inevitability of evil. Some pathetic little aspy gets angry because his mother wants to commit him and he does all of this damage and there was no way to see it coming or prevent it. People hate that feeling of powerlessness and need some kind of a target to vent their feelings of rage and powerlessness. So they go and find one in guns, video games, the Jews or whatever.

    1. I also think the Overlord Class is pissed cuz they have no one to prosecute.

    2. The sorry fact is that a pathetic twisted loser can do great harm. That is really all there is to it.

      This right here. Bad things happen. And they always have happened and always will happen.

      And acknowledging that fact and not “doing something” is not an endorsement of said fact.

      1. Its a very hard argument to make to emotionally compromised people. Just watch how freaked out and emotional ole Soledad gets when confronted by the reality that gun control wont stop horrors like Sandy Hook.

        1. Doesn’t SNL know that “Silent Night” is an openly Christian song? Aren’t they concerned with potential outrage from the Jooz, Mooslims or Fundie Atheists?

          1. ya, missing the point, I guess if you dont want to watch the whole video, the freakout starts around ~5:00

            1. I only read the screencaps when someone posts a CNN “interview”. Sorry, but they haven’t reported fairly in years.

          2. One of the benefits of religion to a society is that it provides a framework of meaning to random, incomprehensible acts without the need for people to fly off the handle looking for scapegoats or solutions.

            We all laugh at the idea that it’s God’s will or similar sentiments, but the truth is that they are healthier and less destructive in the wake of a tragedy (yes I know it’s really a crime) like Newtown than what the progressives are doing now.

            1. That is a great point Zaysev!!

        2. O’Brien: “I just do not understand your position”.

          And she wouldn’t shut up long enough to let him explain it.

        3. It “completely boggles” her mind. Well it would, wouldn’t it, being dumb as a box of hair and all.

          1. But oh soooooo hot. Its tragic really.

        4. She kept talking about semi automatic weapons like they were the things you see in movies… spraying the crowd with bullets, seemingly endless clips of ammo… She didn’t even listen to the description of the rifle numbnuts used in the shooting.

          Soledad shouldn’t be on TV… she’s too stupid to function.

    3. Given the known mental disorder of the shooter, I call for the makers of The Big Bang Theory to take their dangerous and irresponsible show off the air.

      1. No. That show is telling Aspy’s everywhere they might some day get to bang Melissa Rauch or Katie Cuoco. It is keeping them from becoming suicidal lunatics.

        1. Yes, but it also telling the public they are just lovely, harmless nerds. Which we know is a lie.

          1. There are lots of lovely harmless nerds in the world. The people on that show, outside of Sheldon are not really Aspy much less autistic.

            In all seriousness, there are irresponsible shit in the media, namely the endless “the autistic kids are just like you and me” propaganda. No, they are not. And some of them are deeply disturbed and violent when they get older. Pretending they are normal and can lead lives like the rest of us is actually pretty irresponsible and stupid.

            1. That’s really overly broad John.

              I’ve met plenty of people over the years that would be diagnosed with Aspy if they had been school aged in the last decade, instead of decades ago; who nonetheless have lived productive happy lives.

              We have two problems in society now. One is over diagnosing mental or emotional problems and the second one is trying to mainstream kids that shouldn’t be. Two separate issues which the education-therapy complex has thoroughly muddled.

              1. I was speaking about Autism. Aspy is such an amorphous term that I don’t think you can make any statements about it.

            2. LSD basically a cure for autism. Too bad it’s illegal.

            3. How many people with autism have committed gun violence vs. the number that have not?? I doubt you will find any significant difference against the population without autism. Soledad O’Brien and Piers Morgan wrapped into one you are with such comments!

            4. As someone who actually has Asperger’s, I already have a difficult life as it is without everyone assuming I am a potential serial killer due to misinformation. Yeah, no thanks.

    4. The sorry fact is that a pathetic twisted loser can do great harm.

      Look at all the harm done by the pathetic twisted losers in DC.

      1. Look at all the harm done by the pathetic twisted losers in DC

        Motherfucking This!

    5. The sorry fact is that a pathetic twisted loser can do great harm.

      Yep,

      And the sad truth is that there’s literally nothing that can be done to prevent that.

      Even turning your country into a giant prison won’t prevent it because the pathetic twisted losers will gravitate to state service where they can leverage up their destruction. – see every totalitarian state in history for examples.

      1. Just following orders is what gets you ahead in total states. Misfits and social pariahs are not responsible for the worst.

    6. “The sorry fact is that a pathetic twisted loser can do great harm.”

      But enough about Obama.

    7. “The sorry fact is that a pathetic twisted loser can do great harm”

      This is not the sorry fact. The sorry fact is that this person does do great harm. The question is why? I agree that guns, madness, and violence in media are not the answer. I’ve looked through the comments here and I think you may come the closest to agreeing with me, the killings stem from a feeling of powerlessness and dispossession.

      I disagree here, when you say “there was no way to see it coming or prevent it.” And I’m surprised the self styled “libertarians” who comment here haven’t taken you to task over this. The shooter himself could have chosen not to take his rifle and shoot those children. This is our ability to control our actions and take responsibility for them. There is nothing inevitable in what we do. In the end, it’s a matter of our choosing. I would have thought this was central to libertarianism.

      If we accept that the shooter could have not shot all those children, but chose to do anyway, the question is why. I think the motives of powerlessness and dispossession go a long way towards an explanation.

  8. I followed someone’s advice and sent a message to my blue team rep. I also foolishly included my address. Anywho, the crux of my email is that I want to defend myself from rioters. I have a feeling said rep is going to send a few police around to make sure I feel ‘safer’

  9. Ever notice that whenever mental illness makes the news, it often gets lumped into “mental illness and alcohol/substance abuse” ? I’ve been close to both hardcore alcoholics and people suffering from mental illness. They are not the same thing and conflating the two only serves to obfuscate already clouded issues.

  10. Florida State University gun scholar Gary Kleck says he knows of only one case where bystanders overcame a mass shooter when he stopped to reload.

    Jared Loughner, who killed six people in Tucson, was tackled only after reloading, when his gun jammed. Lanza, shooting docile first graders in a confined space, didn’t have to worry they would subdue him.

    When “Crazy Jill” shot up the Penn State HUB lawn back in the ’90s, she was stopped by a passerby when she had to reload. She had fire seven shots from a sporterized Mauser hunting rifle. She struck three people, killing one instantaneously, seriously wounding another, and hitting a third in his backpack. The other shots went wide of their targets, ending up embedded in buildings across College Avenue from where the HUB sat.

    1. And she couldn’t have just brought another weapon and dropped the mauser?

      1. She didn’t have room for another weapon in her purse. It was too full of tampons and Jane Austen novels.

      2. She did bring another weapon–a knife. Which she used to try to cut her femoral artery when she was being subdued. She was completely nuts.

    2. Jared Loughner, who killed six people in Tucson, was tackled only after reloading, when his gun jammed.

      As I recall reading, he was using a 30-round magazine – in a Glock 19. These novelty hi-cap magazines hold more rounds, sure, but they’re also more prone to failure-to-feed stoppages

      1. So the high-capacity magazine actually helped stop him. Maybe we should mandate high-capacity magazines. Seriously, all these hypotheticals are just that, and are useless for making policy.

  11. There’s a letter in today’s paper from an Asperger’s advocate claiming that Aspys are extremely unlikely to do what Lanza did and
    questions where the “diagnosis” is coming from. Any of you with mental health training care to comment on how violence prone an Aspy would be?

    1. It is such an amorphus term, damn near any kid who is not the prom king can be diagnosed with it, I doubt anyone could even make a good guess at that.

      Autistic kids do sometimes get violent as they get older, however. Run a google search for “Autism and Violence” and you will find a million stories of “advocates” and “parents” saying they are not. The truth, however, is a bit more complicated.

      http://www.salon.com/2009/03/26/bauer_autism/

    2. My wife retired from 33 years as an educator, the last 20 as a principal. She said Aspy kids are almost never violent. However there are other “special needs” kids that are extremely violent.

      1. Aspy is not autism. I am not even sure there is such a thing as Aspy.

        1. Yes, Aspy IS autism. It is classified as an autism spectrum disorder. You’re going off on things you’re ignorant about. Again.

      2. ASDs aren’t a get out of mental problems free card. Some people have both ASD and other mental disorders.

  12. For once I don’t hate Steve Chapman’s article. Nonetheless, fuck you Steve Chapman. I’m sure you can land a job at Newsweek or The Nation, they appreciate hackery.

  13. I don’t disagree with a Chapman article for once. But nonetheless, fuck you Steve Chapman. Go work at the Nation or Newsweek where the readers have come to love journalistic hackery.

  14. I don’t disagree with a Chapman article for once. But nonetheless, go work at The Nation or Newsweek where the readers have come to love journalistic hackery. I hate you, Chapman.

  15. Any of you with mental health training care to comment on how violence prone an Aspy would be?

    No mental-health “training,” per se, but I’ve got insticts, and that’s good enough. My instincts tell me these lunatics should, at the very least, be registered with the federal government. I’d prefer they all be institutionalized, but baby steps. In the meantime, perhaps a licensing scheme of some sort to allow the parents of these lunatics to keep them at home, with a permit of some sort being required before they’re allowed to bring them out in public.

    1. Your instincts are worthless. Aspy kids are not violent. This kid had other issues.

      1. Your instincts are worthless. Aspy kids are not violent. This kid had other issues.

        I thought I was laying he sarcasm on thick enough. Apparently not.

        My point was to draw a parallel between the hysteria over guns and the hysteria over kids with Aspberger’s or autism that I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of.

  16. I’m going to just go ahead and assume this is more of Chapman’s standard idiotic bullshit.

    1. Actually it was uncharacteristically reasonable.

  17. I have to disagree with part of Chapman’s article. People that are mentally disturbed don’t need to have firearms. I think you can probably determine those that have a propensity for violent behavior and not allow them to buy weapons.

    I also think it is unhealthy for young children (up to 16 or so years old) to watch violent movies or play violent video games.

  18. I know some of you don’t think slippery slopes are anything to worry about, but I for one am not super-excited about cranking up the enforcement, (effective) incarceration, and limiting rights of the “mentally ill”. I mean, its not like that’s never been abused in the past, either here or overseas.

  19. There needs to be a website, called victimsofguncontrol.com. I’m not talking about hypotheticals where disarmed citizens become targets. The site should be dedicated to revealing the stories of gun laws imprisoning the innocent, and putting faces to those people (Brian Aitken comes to mind). Like child porn laws, sexual predator laws, gun laws are well intentioned efforts that have unintended consequences that are equally unjust.

    1. In one of Larry Elder’s books he interviews several people that were victimized during the waiting period after they had purchased a gun.

  20. Banning high cap magazines and scary looking assault weapons since they “have no sporting purpose” is going to do nothing to save people from spree killers – but may cause a few victims of home invasion to be killed… People think 10 rounds in PLENTY for anything you may need but don’t think about the main reason they put a gun in their home – defense against a home invasion. Let any idiot who wants to cap magazines to 10 rounds set up 5 targets in their living rooms, get a semi-auto airsoft gun and put 10 bb’s in the magazine, then turn the lights off and try to hit every one of those targets with just 10 rounds. To make it more realistic of having a pistol to defend yourself, have someone flash a bright ass flashlight in your eyes after your first shot… how did you do? Oh, you ran through 10 shots and only hit 2 of the targets or so? Now you get to reload while 3 guys with guns get to shoot back…Bet you wish you had an AR-15 right now don’t you? People don’t realize a single person doesn’t break into your house at night – 3 to 5+ people do all at once and are usually armed…I live in one of the safest towns with a crime rate FAR below the average with less than 20k people and we have 2 or so home invasions a year. This year there were 2 and both involved THREE men with guns – one homeowners was shot and one criminal was killed… What is the point of only allowing guns with a “sporting purpose” when the #1 reason for buying a gun is self-defense/home defense…

    1. I concur.

    2. Too much seeing the Lone Ranger snap off one shot and hitting the perp in his gun hand. As we know, cops routinely spray dozens, even hundreds, of rounds and, as trained marksmen, fail to hit their targets.

    3. “Bet you wish you had an AR-15 right now don’t you?”

      What do they cost?

  21. Everytime I hear the mental illness gun prohibition argument, I can’t help but think that tyrannical regimes have been diagnosing political dissidents with mental illness or ages.

  22. Renault should’ve stuck to making cars. The creator of Monk, Andy Breckman, had a very different means of addressing crimes than did Monk. Andy says, we’re not good enough to even attempt to solve this, so we’ve got to find a patsy.

    But let’s say Monk did set to work on this case. What do you suppose he might find? Very attractive (to the writers, who seemed to have just a few formulas) would be that there was really only one intended victim, and that all the other shootings, including the killing of the ostensible shooter, were to throw investigators off the track and/or eliminate witnesses.

  23. Leaving children unprotected in a “gun-free zone” is like leaving priceless jewels and gold bars sitting out in the open with signs declaring the area a “no-stealing honor code zone.”

  24. How about offer an explanation of events. I’ll tell you what:

    1. crazy person (autism, schizo)
    2. “on drugs”. Prozac etc…
    3. anti-social
    4. plays war strategy & 1st person shooter video games
    5. hallucinates and thinks world is video game

    Pretty obvious for the most part.
    Also we have a culture of self hate and weakness. People hate themselves and their culture. So people say f it I’m going to go down shooting.

    Liberal solution: Get rid of guns, crazy people not “as easy” to take out entire room with knife.
    Libertarian solution: Do nothing, not that big of a deal, who cares anyway.

    1. Liberal solution: imagine that a ban on guns will look nothing like alcohol or drug prohibition in terms of its tragic effects in creating black markets and creating incentives for more violence.

    2. Liberal Solution: Have 5 year olds throw chairs, pencils and backpacks at the armed shooter, who ignored the gun ban. Limit magazines to six bullets so the five year olds can tackle the shooter while he’s changing clips. A teacher with a CCW would end up accidentally killing the whole class while trying to stop the shooter. Also, ban 3-D printers, since crazy people can print functional guns with those.

      Libertarian Solution: Allow trained, mentally stable teachers, security guards and volunteers with sterling criminal records to carry onsite. This alone may dissuade most shooters from even trying. In the event it doesn’t, at least someone is able to try to neutralize the situation well before the cops would be able to respond.

      For a bunch of crazy psychopaths, they always seem to have enough sense to target gun-free zones. The one mass killing in the past 50 years that wasn’t a gun-free zone was a Democratic Party rally, which might as well be.

  25. Liberal solution: Make it harder for trained, law-abiding citizens to have access to guns and therefore increase the ratio of criminals to law-abiding citizens that are armed. Also, wave your hands over your head and scream “why do you want children to die?!?” when someone wishes to discuss real world outcomes to well-intentioned rules and regulations

    Libertarian solution: Accepting that there are 300 million guns already in the US and that there always will be guns (1800’s technology afterall) let us prioritize our police away from “crimes of consent” such as gambling, prostitution and rec drug use and focus them on prosecuting and jailing people who commit violent crime. Also, accepting that: police cannot be all places at once and normally only respond to crimes already committed and that criminals will respect gun regulations as much as they respect personal property and the well being of their victims; therefore we think it unwise to make access to guns (that criminals already have and will always have) harder for people who are trained, permitted, law-abiding citizens of their community. This is especially relevant because a gun is the only real defense against an armed gunman who wishes to do you harm (that is why police have them).

    Strawman burned and replaced by reality.

  26. The most devastating part of the fallout for me is that Quentin Tarantino will have to switch to making romantic comedies.

  27. So you solution is what exactly?

    1. Part of it is to do away with gun-free zones. See post below.

    2. Armed, trained, mentally stable parent volunteers with clean criminal records if the schools can’t afford security guards.

      1. You do remember what happened in NY this year, right? Well trained police officers shot and killed civilians. So your idea to reduce violence is more guns in the hands of ordinary people?

        1. Jeffm8,
          I’m LMMFAO! “Well-trained police officers”, my ASS! They are the MOST incompetent schmucks ever to have the misfortune of carrying a firearm! Especially in NYC.

          I’ve been shooting in competitions for over 35 years, and at least once a year, some cops will be invited to join us. Instead of “showing these civilians how it’s done”, as they brag before the shooting starts, they wind up at the bottom of the placement almost every time, and NEVER place in the top 10.

          Well, one time the guy who trains all of their snipers in the whole huge state here came out to shoot F-Class with his wife. He placed 7th out of only 10 people who showed up.

          Get this: His WIFE won! Guess which one I’d call if I needed a 1000 yard shooting partner … 😀

          Oh, back to my point? Cops can’t drive, can’t fight, and definitely can’t shoot.
          I’ll be nice and say, as a subculture.

          “Ordinary people” kick their asses at most anything.

  28. In the Connecticut shooting, the principal charged the shooter in a vain attempt to stop him and was killed in the process. Obviously, she was very brave. But wouldn’t her odds have been much better if she had been properly armed and trained? I couldn’t recommend what kind of weapon she should have had, but I know there are people who could.

    Having several people in the school properly armed and trained certainly would have reduced the carnage. In fact, had the shooter known about such arrangements, he never would have attacked the school in the first place. “Gun free” zones are open invitations to mass murder.

  29. On Gun free Zones:

    “Don’t go to parties with metal detectors
    Sure it feels safe inside; but what about
    all those niggaz waitin outside with guns?
    They know you ain’t got one..”

    -Chris Rock

  30. Being declared mentally ill by the courts should not be reason enough to ban a person from owning weapons. Anyone who is poor and temporarily suicidal can be declared mentally ill. I did something stupid when I was drunk and got declared mentally ill since I couldn’t afford staying at the hospital and threatened to leave. I have no mental illness- I’m just stupid when drunk (so I not longer drink). I met people in the state psych ward there for eating disorders and depression (along with what people would expect to see- schizophrenia). The common denominator was that everyone was poor, otherwise they’d stay at the local psych wards and still be allowed to own guns. If you get declared mentally ill by the courts, you have no right to a trial, lose your rights to guns, and can never serve on a jury. Most people end up in psych wards for being suicidal, not homicidal. It makes no sense to make guns illegal for them.

  31. Merry Christmas to you 2012.

  32. Gun is not the crime culprit, the crime culprit is the people who use the gun for what

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