New Gun Laws Won't Prevent Another Sandy Hook

There's no guarantee new regulations will prevent another tragedy.


How do you solve a problem like mass shootings? The answer is one that, understandably, few people want to hear: You probably can't.

That's the logical, if grim, conclusion to be drawn from a new Congressional Research Service Report on "Public Mass Shootings in the United States." CRS strives to be studiously neutral, so they're not going to put it quite like that.

Instead, the report's authors say things like "the utility of widely employed preventive measures in these areas [law enforcement and public health] to fight public mass shootings is far from clear."

As the Daily Beast's Megan McCardle observed in December, "it is beyond horrible to suggest that even a small number of attacks are largely unavoidable. I don't like saying it. Unfortunately, I think it's true." The tragic fact is, there's not a great deal that public policy can do to avert spree shootings.

Still, it's worth asking, as CRS does, "what are the parameters of this threat?" The report defines "public mass shootings" as incidents involving four or more deaths and "gunmen who select victims somewhat indiscriminately," excluding drug trafficking, gang activity and terrorism.

By that measure, there have been 78 such incidents in the U.S. since 1983, claiming a total of 547 lives. Horrifying as that toll is, it represents a substantially lower risk than lightning strikes, which have killed 54 Americans a year on average over the last 30 years.

The fact that spree shootings occur so rarely makes the problem extraordinarily difficult to solve, and the solutions aren't costless.

CRS notes the Obama administration's support for using the Community Oriented Policing Services program to put more armed officers in schools. Still, they observe, "schools continue to be among the safest places for children," and only eight of the 78 mass shootings they've identified over the last three decades occurred in primary or secondary schools.

Moreover, "there are those who question the impact of such officers on the learning environment." Indeed, the New York Times recently reported the main effect of the policy so far has been "a surge in arrests or misdemeanor charges for essentially nonviolent behavior," feeding the "school-to-prison pipeline."

CRS isn't dramatically more optimistic about the likelihood that enhanced mental health services in the schools will avert school shootings. Only four of the 78 incidents they identified since 1983 involved high schoolers or middle schoolers as assailants. They quote a National Institute of Justice report noting "[t]here is no accurate or useful profile of 'the school shooter.' "

The CRS report doesn't look at gun control, focusing instead on federal health and safety policy with regard to mass shootings. But, as my colleague Bob Levy pointed out recently, "the two most exhaustive studies on gun control were conducted by the National Academy of Sciences and the Centers for Disease Control," in 2004 and 2003, respectively.

Neither NAS nor CDC could identify any regulation that meaningfully reduced gun violence. Levy notes that "random multi-victim killings are a fraction of 1 percent of all murders in the U.S." If it's difficult to show that gun control positively affects that larger class, it's well-nigh impossible to conclude it will impact the much smaller one.

In the CRS report's conclusion, the authors underscore the "overarching difficulty confronting experts interested in crafting policy to address mass shootings. Essentially, baseline metrics gauging the effectiveness of policies to thwart public mass shootings are often unclear or unavailable."

H.L. Mencken put it more starkly: "The fact that I have no remedy," the libertarian gadfly and journalist wrote in 1956, "is no reason for my accepting yours. It simply supports the strong probability that yours is a fake."

This article originally appeared at The Washington Examiner.

NEXT: Crowdsourced Evidence May Be Key to Boston Investigation

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  1. Boston proves we need a “One Bomb A Month” purchase limit.

    1. And we need to limit C4 to 10 oz.

    2. It sounds so insensitive, but don’t forget the background checks before you purchase a pressure cooker. (I’m in favor of background checks by the way)

      1. Why? Background checks are largely symbolic and would have made no difference in the shooting.

        1. just before I saw the draft saying $7940, I didn’t believe that…my… sister woz like actually earning money part-time from there pretty old laptop.. there great aunt has done this less than 22 months and a short time ago repayed the debts on their house and purchased a gorgeous Lotus Esprit. read more at,

  2. I’m getting essay fatigue from articles like Healy’s.
    It *does not matter* to TPTB that new regulations won’t prevent another tragedy.

    Also, Mencken rocks.

    1. Yeah, there’s a huge segment of the population that does not care that any new regulations wouldn’t do anything to stop events like Sandy Hook. It’s symbolic politics.

      1. It is more than symbolic. They wont come out and say it but they want a feudal society; helpless unarmed serfs at the mercy of the elite who will be armed to the teeth.

        1. Im not sure the supporters of more law are “a huge segment of the population”. “A huge segment of the media” perhaps.

  3. How about this, why don’t we just prevent the mass media from covering such shootings. That would prevent the killers from becoming famous and discourage copy cats. That is the only thing I can think of that might actually prevent a shooting from occurring.

    1. But freedom for the media to say and do anything is protected or something.

      Not like those icky mass killing death machines.

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    2. Never happen. How about: “The alleged gunman, Adam Lanza, Donald Duck ….”

    3. And even that won’t work so we’d just be taking away someone’s right to share facts with us. I for one don’t think hiding the truth is beneficial. And define mass media. CBS and Fox can’t air, but youtube videos posted by private citizens are OK?

      Since you can’t fix crazy, just allow adults to be armed so they can take the sonofabitch out before his kills reach double digits.

      1. I was being sarcastic. Sure it wouldn’t work very well. But it would work better than banning guns. And if the media can be so willing to take away my rights to feel better, I can be the same about their rights.

        1. My meter’s off today. Sorry.

          1. Mine almost never works. So apology accepted.

    4. I’ve had serious thoughts in that direction. Well, maybe not too serious. But it’s crossed my mind many times that if only things were hushed up, we’d have more freedom today, because public awareness of danger seems to lead to bad things. Like if you knew somebody was going to die, they’d be so much better off not knowing. Don’t worry, be happy…it’s true.

  4. Yes, but we MUST tryyyyyy! Won’t sombody PLEEAAASSEEE think of the children!!!!

    1. ^This. We’ve exited the age of reason (drink!) and entered the age of emotion. What you feel matters more than what you accomplish.

    2. Thanks to posters here at Reason it has been pointed out that many are trying to exploit the deaths of the Gosnell children! for political purposes.

      1. I know you’re retarded and all, but are you sure that’s the takeaway you want to go with?

        1. OK, what is the motive to get the Gosnell story out there in front of as many people as possible?

          I will trust you on this.

          1. To show what leftist twits the fucking media is. Why should anyone outside of Florida care about Trayvon Martin? They only elevate local stories to national stories when said stories can be used to shill the liberal agenda. When the story can’t do that, they don’t report it.

            1. John, by not covering the story the media has already confirmed its stance on the matter.

              It tried to ignore the story because it knows its audience will react viscerally and emotionally to the evidence and testimony. Just the Newtown coverage, except that news serves to advance its agenda, whereas the Gosnell atrocities will serve to reverse it.

          2. Shriek, it’s kind of a national tragedy that no one delivered you, live and fully viable, and then cut your spine with a pair of scissors.

            1. Shriek’s still just pissed off that he survived the abortion procedure. If only his mom had gone to Dr. Gosnell, then his feet would have wound up in a jar in his office.

              1. So you guys want the horrors of abortion reported?

                No political agenda there.

                1. FUCK

                  You are so full, fucking retarded. So I guess the horrors of mass shootings shouldn’t be reported, either?

                2. I said nothing about reporting Shriek. I just said that it was a national tragedy that no one delivered you, live and fully viable, and then cut your spine with a pair of scissors.

                3. So you guys want the horrors of abortion reported?

                  So you claim to be pro-choice and then refer to ‘the horrors of abortion?’

                  So you admit abortion is horrific, and you’re still in favor of it. Sociopath or sockpuppet? Take your pick.

                4. No political agenda there.

                  By this logic, Newtown should have received no news coverage. Unbelievable.

          3. OK, what is the motive to get the Gosnell story out there in front of as many people as possible?

            I thought abortion was way down your list of interests, and yet you dragged it into an unrelated thread?

          4. Why make stories about Kermit Gosnell national? All he did was kill some people.
            Why make stories about Adam Lanza national? All he did was kill some people.
            Why make stories about James Holmes national? All he did was kill some people.
            Why make stories about Jared Laughner national? All he did was kill some people.
            Why make stories about Lee Boyd Malvo national? All he did was kill some people.
            Why make stories about the Boston bombing national? All it did was kill some people.
            Why make stories about the 9/11 attacks national? All it did was kill some people.

            1. I’d agree on the Gosnell, Lanza and Holmes. They are not national stories. The others all have some hook which gives them more national interest.

              I think that the lack of reporting on the Gosnell story does betray a bias in the media. But I don’t think not reporting it is a failure in itself. It’s not reporting it while reporting on all sorts of other sensational stories that really don’t have much to do with anything.

              1. Not reporting it is absolutely a failure of the fourth estate.

                Yes. So why wasn’t it news? Pro-choice writer Megan McArdle of The Daily Beast notes that it’s about fear of where the story would go, and what it would require writers to confront: “Gosnell is accused of grisly crimes that I didn’t want to think about. … I understand why my readers suspect me, and other pro-choice mainstream journalists, of being selective — of not wanting to cover the story because it showcased the ugliest possibilities of abortion rights. The truth is that most of us tend to be less interested in sick-making stories — if the sick-making was done by ‘our side.’ ”

                It was fine to dwell at length on the Newtown, Conn., shootings, because those could be blamed on the evil NRA. But writing about these dead innocents might be a political liability instead of a political asset. It might have been awkward for President Obama.

                Failing to do your job because you’re afraid of the conversation it might instill is cowardly. Either you can intellectually continue to justify abortion in light of Gosnell, or you can’t. Gun rights activists and regular citizens alike did so in the wake of Newtown. Ignoring the story implies the latter.

          5. Shorter Shriek: derp!

          6. Steven Massof, 49, of Pittsburgh, pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree murder, murder conspiracy and other charges.

            Massof testified to a grand jury that he snipped the spines of more than 100 babies after seeing them breathe, move or show other signs of life.

            “Severing the spinal cords of moving, breathing babies outside their mothers’ wombs was, according to Massof, `standard procedure,”‘ the grand jury report centered on Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s clinic charged.

            Yeah, no news value there. Who cares about a hundred murdered babies? Or the fact that this unsanitary clinic was allowed to keep operating when it should have been shut down. Even the vast majority of pro-choicers are are against murdering a living, late term viable child after its been removed from the womb. Where are all of the “think of the children!” media hand wringers when it comes to this case?

              1. Margaret Sanger would be proud.

          7. You might not be able to grasp principle, not being acquainted with them yourself and all, but the story is newsworthy, ignored by the self-appointed protectors of the children. See where I am going. Political agendas kept the story off of the evening news, front pages etc. I think it is an important story and I am generally ho hum about abortion as policy. I think it is a horrid thing that is generally it’s own punishment. But, here’s that pesky principles thing again, there is without a doubt a real person to be protected in late term procedures. And principle is where you get confused.

          8. Because it is newsworthy.

            1. The story is horrid, awful, disgusting. Was at least in some measure sanctioned (at least ignored) by the state. My greatest outrage is the dishonesty in the media and you won’t find me feeling embarrassed at calling them out for their full of shitness.

    3. “We” are thinking of the children. Let a properly trained person put a stop to it right there. CCW and properly trained. Only way to stop a BAD GUY WITH A GUN OR KNIFE OR HAMMER OR POINTED STICK IS A GOOD MAN OR WOMEN PROPERLY TRAINED AND ARMED TO STOP IT. “Gun Free Zone” How’s that working for you?

  5. How do you solve a problem like mass shootings? The answer is one that, understandably, few people want to hear: You probably can’t.

    Even with total confiscation, which is the ultimate goal, there would still be black market guns.

    1. Sarc, now you’re just being ridiculous. When the government outlaws something, it goes away and we are never troubled by it again. Why look, when was the last time we had a murder? Or when did you last hear of someone smoking marijuana with negro jazz musicians? Or when was the last time someone was robbed?

      Sarc, I think you don’t understand that legislation is omnipotent. It has powers tha mere mortals like you just don’t understand. It is, in fact, the foundation of all just political theory.

  6. “You probably can’t.” If “You” = the government.

    Free individuals can protect themselves. They can arm themselves are practice with firearms until proficient enough to have an excellent chance of successfully defending against a mass shooter.

    1. Yes. This is correct. There are several cases in the last year alone of would-be mass shooters thwarted by an individual with a gun.

      1. Worried about schools, let every teacher who wants to be a CCW and carry their weapon to work. One person with a pistol would probably stopped the Newtown shooter. It is not like these people are Delta Force or something. They are generally deranged losers looking for easy targets.

        1. It is the certainty that all who follow the rules will be unarmed that makes schools attractive targets.

          Allowing anyone with a CCW to carry on school grounds would take that certainty away.

          Even if no one actually carried, that lack of certainty would cause the shooter to choose a different target.

        2. Yes – and they are very distracted in the target rich environment. Not like you are in a straight-up fight with your pocket .380 against a better armed opponent.

        3. But the CCWs will panic and start shooting the children and then more CCWs will burst in and start shooting other CCWs and also start shooting the children and then the police will come and the CCWs will shoot them too and

          1. And then there is always the danger of the gun magically going off and killing a bunch of toddlers.

          2. Gun banners actually believe that.

        4. so many people say the teachers would not be able to properly defend the children if they had guns yet many of the teachers at Sandy Hook and Virgina tech stood between the shooter and the students in an attempt to protect them. Anybody willing to sacrafice their body would surely prefer to use a gun to stop the violence.

        5. how many potential ccw adults did the Newtown shooter pass after he shot the first child, second third fourth, 12th?

      2. Yes. This is correct. There are several cases in the last year alone of would-be mass shooters thwarted by an individual with a gun.

        The effectiveness of “civilian” intervention actually removes public shootings from the “mass shooting” category, which is defined as a minimum of either 3 or 4 deaths, depending on who you cite. If you go back through the last 100 public shootings in the U.S. and categorize them by how the shooting was stopped, the results are vivid.
        Waiting for police resulted in 14 deaths. Bystander intervention drops that number below 3.

        1. Yep. Common sense really. Even the dumbest crooks in the world aren’t going to shoot people near a cop.

          A 7-11 in Colonial Heights got robbed by two guys yesterday. One of the other patrons drew and exchanged fire with the robbers. They took off, good guy is in the hospital, took a round to the face. Looks like our two enterprising wealth redistributors had pocket pistols, not anything in a serious caliber.

    2. Here’s the most recent one that comes to mind:


      1. LALALALA!


  7. The solution to psycho killers is to make it illegal for sane, rational people to arm themselves.

  8. I hope no one here, including the author, is under the impression that any gun regulations in place or any proposed have the prevention of gun violence as their goal.

    1. There is a great book to be written about the psychology of the gun control movement. For some I think it is psychological projection. They cannot reconcile themselves to the fact that there is unstoppable and unexplainable evil in the world. So, they look to find something they can control and use that as a stand in for the evil. It is the same psychology that produced witch burnings and such. Guns are just the modern day witch.

      A few I think really hate the concept of an autonomous individual and of self defense. They really believe that it is wrong to shoot someone who is breaking into your house or trying to harm you. They view such actions as threatening for some reason and symbolic of people taking care of themselves outside of the state.

      Lastly, I think some are just hard core leftists who hope to some day use the mob to terrorize their political opponents. Mob tactics only work if you can get the police to look the other way and if the victim is unarmed.

      1. More simply – they want to make it impossible for anyone to ever resist the State.

        1. Some of them for sure. But I think the majority of gun banners fall into the first category. They really don’t think they think that deeply. They just are very emotional, very threatened, and desperately need some way to feel like they are in control and doing something about the problem they are confronted with. And of course the modern 24/7 media coverage just exacerbates this by constantly sensationalizing and overplaying these stories and getting these types of people riled up.

        2. More simply – they want to make it impossible for anyone to ever resist the State.

          Considering that many gun grabbers fall into the “We are government” category, they take any resistance to the state personally.

        3. Making it impossible to resist the state is the goal of the leaders of the ban crowd; a feudal society of unarmed helpless peasants lorded over by an elite who are protected by a warrior class that is armed to the teeth. Think feudal Japan. When the Samurai walks down the street every peasant he passes must not look him in the face and must bow, otherwise he is beheaded on the spot.

          Large numbers of gun-banners I have talked to are scared shitless of standing up for themselves. They are cowards, plain and simple. For them gun banning is partly an ostrich strategy and partly a pretense for not having to stand up for themselves.

          A. Guns are banned so the danger doesnt exist.

          B. If you cant have a gun then you dont have to be ashamed of cowering in fear and letting the bully have his way. Standing up to bullies is scary.

          1. The gun is one of the greatest and perhaps the greatest force for freedom in history. Before the gun, the world was basically ruled by martial artists. Be it a Samari or a European Knight, in a world without firearms, young strong, highly trained well armed men rule absolutely. In the late 14th Century, before firearms, pretty much all of the English populace revolted against Richard II. And they were slaughtered. Contrast that with the later revolt against Charles II. Firearms are the great equalizer.

          2. B. If you cant have a gun then you dont have to be ashamed of cowering in fear and letting the bully have his way. Standing up to bullies is scary.


            1. That is an excellent point. I had never thought of it that way. But to me the idea of someone breaking into my house and doing my wife or family harm and me doing nothing about it is just infuriating. I would feel really ashamed for letting that happen. Perhaps others feel differently.

            2. Standing up to bullies is scary.


              That’s going out to everyone I know. Simply cowardly pussies. PERFECT!

              1. It is a good come back to the “you just have a small penis and are compensating” bullshit. Julia Gorin is pretty damned awesome most of the time. I haven’t seen her writing in a while. Shame.

      2. For some I think it is psychological projection.

        I’ve heard gun grabbers say that they don’t own guns because they’re afraid they’d murder their own children in a fit of emotion.

        They really believe that it is wrong to shoot someone who is breaking into your house or trying to harm you.

        Well, yeah. That’s vigilante justice. I mean, it’s no different than shooting someone in the back a week later. (I’ve heard progressitards say this)

        1. I’ve heard gun grabbers say that they don’t own guns because they’re afraid they’d murder their own children in a fit of emotion.

          Damn, sarcasmic, I hope you called in an anonymous tip to Social Services!

        2. Who was it that wrote not long ago that if you shoot someone who is trying to kill you they could end up in a wheelchair, and that society cant afford that cost?

          Was it in Slate?

      3. Don’t forget the projection, John. Many of them would kill someone in a fit of rage if they had a gun, or they at least fear they might, so they project that weakness onto everyone else, and therefore conclude that “normal” people shouldn’t have guns.

        Projection is their raison d’etre, after all.

        1. That too. For some people, the idea of being an independent responsible adult is just terrifying. It is a bit of a responsibility to own a gun. You can’t just play with it. You have to follow some basic safety rules. It is nothing that a mature 10 year old shouldn’t be able to do. But sadly, that seems to be a very high bar for a lot of society.

          1. “Anyone who cannot be trusted with a gun cannot be trusted without a custodian.” — David Codrea

  9. People need to be deprogrammed. Sensationalism is largely to blame for the “we need to do something” mentality. Fear sells copy/air-time. The more the media can keep the masses at a constant fever pitch, the more money they generate and the more the public will demand solutions to nonexistent problems. It’s not just guns, but also terrorism. Look at the money WASTED on programs/agencies whose sole purpose is to keep us safe from terrorists. For the love of God people, what are the odds of dying in a terrorist attack? One in ten million?

    Rich may be fatigued by articles like Healy’s, but having good statistics available to debate with is huge. You are five times more likely to get hit by lightning than of being on the receiving end in a mass shooting… That’s something people can get their brain around.

    How you get the media to responsibly report such stats is another matter.

    1. Look at the money WASTED on programs/agencies whose sole purpose is to keep us safe from terrorists.

      Bingo. Alot of good that did in preventing a terrorist attack in Boston yesterday.

      1. Alot of good that did in preventing a terrorist attack in Boston

        And that’s exactly the point. It’s just not possible to stop someone hell bent on killing random people. It’s too easy. If we were to sit down over a beer, we could come up with hundreds of ways to do it that the authorities just cannot protect against.

        People need to know the odds are miniscule and learn to live with the risk. Not saying don’t punish the shitheads who commit these acts. They should be publicly drawn and quartered, but trying to prevent them if positively futile.

        1. “If we were to sit down over a beer, we could come up with hundreds of ways to do it that the authorities just cannot protect against.”

          Like plowing into the crowd with a Ford Expedition?

          1. Or worse, a Ford Pinto.

            1. You’d need to back into the crowd for that to work.

    2. Rich may be fatigued by articles like Healy’s, but having good statistics available to debate with is huge.

      I hear you, Francisco. It’s that it increasingly seems that “debating with good statistics” is a thing of the past.

      Perhaps I just need more coffee ….

    3. Fear sells copy/air-time.

      It also makes it much easier for the government to strip away people’s freedoms in exchange for imaginary security if the populace is kept in a constant state of fear.

      Just look at the Patriot Act. Most of the provisions had been written and Congress had attempted to pass it before 9/11. It wasn’t until people were good and scared of “teh terrists” that they were able to get it through.

  10. Never let the truth interfere with a good political narrative.

  11. Horrifying as that toll is, it represents a substantially lower risk than lightning strikes, which have killed 54 Americans a year on average over the last 30 years.

    How many of those lightning deaths were on golf courses?

    For the good of the nation the scourge of golf must be stamped out.

    If it saves one life…

    1. Right on! And do you have *any* idea what the carbon footprint of golf is?!

  12. By that measure, there have been 78 such incidents in the U.S. since 1983, claiming a total of 547 lives.

    In all the talk about “mass shootings” we tend to forget that the three worst U.S. mass murders during that time, Happy Land Night Club in NYC, Murrah Building in OKC, and 9-11, each produced a body count several times that of the worst mass shooting (VA Tech) and involved no firearms whatsoever.

    1. As my father remarked last night, this should remind people how lucky we are that people only shoot each other in this country rather than bomb each other like they do in many places.

      1. “As my father remarked last night, this should remind people….”

        I got that far and glanced up at your name expecting to see tiggyfoo or bartyfart or some such thing.
        I hope the bots arent rubbing off on us.

        1. As Lisa told you, my friend’s brother’s uncle made $12,538 last month in just a few hours a week making bombs for someone on the Internet. Click here for details.

          1. My father then told me how he was making $1500 a month on the internet right after we were done talking about the Boston bombing.

  13. Speaking of H L M:

    The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

  14. We could save more lives by banning stairs, or bathrooms, than by banning gunz.

    1. Don’t forget that fucking child-killing machine, the swimming pool.

      1. And trampolines.

      2. And 5 gallon buckets.

        More toddlers drown in those every year than from bullets.

        1. It’d be pretty hard to drown in bullets 😛

          1. Of course, and that is the explanation, but I left that out because it kills the sensationalism.

            *facepalm* I deserved that.

          2. It’d be pretty hard to drown in bullets

            Not the way I go through them.

            /Tony Montana

      3. How can you bring up all these things and still fail to mention plastic bags? And K’Nex? And Buckyballs?

        1. And lawn darts.

          1. Even thought I wasn’t elected President (shockingly), I stand by my plan to reintroduce Jarts? brand lawn darts into the back yards and cranial cavities of the yutes of ‘murca

            Somewhere I still have a set around my house…let’s get out the whisky and play!

            1. All my Jarts broke, and I had TWO SETS! The stupid vanes get fragile eventually and just snap off. I would be happy to see Jarts come back with new and improved metal vanes that don’t break.

              1. Parts are available on the internet, just not complete Jarts.

      4. see: Jarts

        1. damn, refresh I should!

    2. We don’t need to ban bathrooms, we just need “common sense regualtions” such as seat belt laws, monitoring cameras, and of course a new cabinet level Toilet Safety Administration.

      “I just need to check inside yer asshole.”

  15. Don’t forget that fucking child-killing machine, the swimming pool.

    Oh, right. Those things are worse than Hitler Teletubbies.

    1. So, how many children did the Teletubbies kill?

      1. I don’t think we’ll even know the true depths of their depravity.

      2. The teletubbies were only here to pave the way for the true evil.

        Having a 16 mo/old grandchild has let the horror of Yo Gabba Gabba! into my life.

        Can anyone tell me why a giant red dildo ( a one -eyed monster no less ) in the style of a french tickler is an appropriate character for a children’s show? WTF?

        1. Get him/her (and yourself) hooked on Adventure Time.

    2. Just had the news a few days ago about 2 kids who climbed a fence and drowned in a pool.

  16. The REAL question is,
    How do you solve a problem like Maria?
    How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?
    How do you find a word that means Maria?

    /musicals, NTTAWWT

    1. Over a decade ago I thought it’d be interesting if the Maria in The Sound of Music and the Maria in West Side Story were the same Maria. David Lindelof and I started working on the new song lyrics to make a single consistent compromise plot from both. I forgot whether the Sharks or the Jets were going to be the Nazis.

      1. nice

        “Hey Officer Krupke – KRUP YOU!”

        *OfficerKrupke mows down gang with state-issued machine gun*

        1. Now you got it.

          The way something like this works is to assume that West Side Story and The Sound of Music were each someone’s subjective and somewhat metaphoric and fictionalized acc’t of the same events, and you’re going to present something you think is a little closer to the truth based on them. Because it’s a musical play, of course you’re not going to be that literally close to the truth either, but at least you’re not going to slant it as much as the previous acc’ts.

          I do remember coming up with the line, “How do you solve a problem? Gun her down!”

          1. That is a great idea. Set it in 1920s Germany. Make the gangs communists and fascists. Throw in a little Cabaret for spice.

            1. Somewhere I might’ve saved an e-mail from David with some of his lyrics for this. He died 11 yrs. ago. You may have heard of his son Damon, though.

          2. And with Austria and Germany being unified, there’d be a song about how wonderful everything is in Germany, to the music of the one from West Side Story about America. Each song would have music from one but lyrics modified at least partly by events from the other; sometimes the music would be from one, sometimes the other.

            1. My mother got the LPs from both, and I guess I still have them in the closet. Not a priority project, obviously.

      2. The previous inspiration might’ve been when I divined that the Kyle McLachlan characters in The Hidden and Twin Peaks were the same character. David helped me make a compilation video of them to illustrate that.

  17. Mencken was still writing in 1956?

    1. I mean, people are like, he was just a smiling face after his stroke. Apparently reports of his commentary demise were exaggerated.

  18. Humans are just not very good with probability. It’s one thing to be paranoid, having failed to grasp the odds against your becoming a victim. However, it’s quite another to believe, in reducing the likelihood by 99.99%, by whatever means, that you have achieved anything noteworthy. Leaving aside, of course, whether it’s even possible to do that.

    1. Humans are also naturally and biologically risk adverse.

  19. How do you solve a problem like mass shootings? The answer, writes Gene Healy, is one that, understandably, few people want to hear: is mass concealed carry.

  20. I posted this in the AM links but it was pretty late and I dunno how many read it, but I am at the end of an awful process of simply getting a license to purchase a rifle in Ontario, Canada. Here is my post from the AM link:

    I just went through the task of getting my unrestricted (meaning no handguns still) firearm license in Ontario. What a fucking process.

    I had to take a 10 hour safety course and then pass a written test and a practical test. I then had to wait a month to get confirmation that I passed that and also get the signed official form saying I did so. Then I had to fill out a long form with all of my info, if I have ever been diagnosed with depression, etc. I had to get two guarantors to sign that and then anybody who is living with me to sign it.

    I now have to send that to the TOP.MEN. at Canadian government HQ and wait “at least 28 days” to actually get my license to go buy a hunting rifle (which by the way can only hold up to 5 rounds, legally). I sent in the form 2 months ago and am still yet to receive it. The US is, as of late, trying its hardest to match this level of unbridled liberty but fuck I want out of this BS. I am an dually with the US and am trying my best to find engineering work south of the border and move to warmer weather.

    It’s just stupid. And as an added bonus, you can only hunt with 3 rounds in the gun. For some fucking dumb reason, if you hunt you can’t even put 5 rounds in your gun.

    1. And Canada has some pretty serious fauna. I don’t really think I want to stare down a moose or a big brown bear with only three rounds available. That is betting that you are a pretty damn good shot.

      1. Yeah, that, soo.

    2. No one NEEDS more than three rounds for hunting.

      Heh heh…guess you don’t have wild boar packs in Canuckistan…cause three rounds is just about enough to piss ’em off before they rip you to shreds.

      Good luck with that rifle app!

      1. Just carry 5 rifles. Problem solved!

    3. The instructor tried to make the US sound like the god damn wild west. It took all I had in me to not stand up and call him out on his gun access BS. But I wanted to pass the course so I kept my mouth shut. The problem is, the entire class agrees with him.

      If somebody breaks into your house here and you shoot the son of a bitch, your likely going to get charged with man slaughter. It’s fuckin backwards here, you have no right to your property or to self defense.

      1. All your cells are belong to us.

        1. If you want to buy a handgun, you have to take another course to get a “restricted” license.

          I would take it but it opens up the government into your personal life like nothing else. You have to register the handgun upon purchase and once they know you have a restricted weapon, they do not need a warrant to search your person or private property. The only place you can take said gun is directly to the firing range (using the shortest route) and you have to get permission to do this from the government.

          I can’t even use it to defend myself without being thrown into prison so why let the government get that much access to my private property. I guess I’m letting them win when the process stops me from getting it?

          1. They win either way. They always do.

            1. Basically. But not if I leave the country and stop paying the taxes.

              But I guess I trade that BS for another bunch of BS in the land o’ the free. I used to think the US had much lower taxes, but they are now comparable to Canada. There are more loopholes in the US but standard levels are getting damn near close to Canada.

          2. And this is Canada. Right across the border, commonwealth country that has a long tradition of gun ownership. But remember, the threat of making gun ownership impossible is just a right wing meme.

            Fuck those people. And fuck anyone who gives so much as the time of day or any support or encouragement for anything.

            1. Fuck all gun grabbers. FUCK ’em.

              1. Ummm…I’m thinking of something else.

            2. That is where it goes. Once they get their foot in the door the incremental restriction add up.

              However, about a year ago they got rid of their long gun registration. So now you don’t have to register every individual unrestricted gun you own. I don’t see it ever getting better than that though. The majority of the voting people here think the guns laws are perfect if not a little too loose here. They scoff at the US’s right to bear arms.

              1. They scoff at the US’s right to bear arms.

                Most of the world does. Well, except for anyone who might want to invade the mainland. They don’t scoff at the fact that there are as many guns as there are people.

    4. Look for work in Bossier City/Shreveport Louisiana and Grapeland Tx.

      Grapeland for structural engineering jobs, Bossier for anything related to oil and gas.

      Make yourself a resident of Louisiana and buy all the guns you want. Walk in the store, pay and walk out with your gun. Fuck a license, fuck waiting.

      1. Thanks for the tip. I have mainly been looking in the south because I have family down there and I just generally like the attitude more than the north. Been mainly look at the chemical industry since my undergrad is in chem eng and any nuke jobs since that is what my master’s degree is about to be in.

        However, from the looks of things the oil and gas industry may be the place to be for now. The nuke industry is too tightly regulated and it has just gotten worse with Fukushima.

        1. Look in Texas. Houston has all the o&g jobs you could want, and a lot of chemical plant engineering jobs, too.

          1. yes, but it is houston. Ha! I would rather stab myself in the eye with a rusty fork than live in houston. That is just me I guess.

            Sulphur and Lake Charles have lots of chemical jobs…there is a nuclear plant in St. Francisville ( very cool place to live ).

  21. Konqueror’s behaving vexingly here, I see. After every comment I submit, it goes back to the originally cached page, which I then have to refresh to see the comments since.

  22. A chicken in every pot and a cap in every ass!

  23. Caleb. although Matthew`s posting is unbelievable, last monday I bought a gorgeous Bugatti Veyron after having made $7185 this munth and-a little over, $10 thousand this past-month. it’s by-far the most comfortable job I have ever done. I started this five months/ago and almost immediately started bringin home minimum $80 per/hr. I use the details on this web-site,

  24. Guys. We can. We can totally solve this. Hornet spray. Keep a can in the car, and it can non-lethal subdue someone from 18 feet.

    1. Fuck that shit. You come at me with intent to lay your hands or club or knife or bullets on me, I’m using the most effective means available to me. A rifle or shotgun is too heavy to carry around all the time.

      If you don’t commence to running when steel clears leather, then the rest is not my problem.

  25. my best friend’s step-sister makes $74/hour on the computer. She has been without work for eight months but last month her paycheck was $19194 just working on the computer for a few hours. Here’s the site to read more

  26. Thank you for the clear discussion of your topic. I keep hearing gun control advocates either crying over the deaths of these shooting victims or worse putting the grieving parents and families out there to to do the same. How many of the schools in the U.S. that allow PROPERLY TRAINED conceal carry teachers, admin, janitors, counsellor, etc to carry, have ever had a mass shooting? Now to be honest, it may be that they haven’t got to one of these schools yet. . . but when they do, what are the odds that they will be stopped before they reach the 4 dead body limit for it to be a “mass shooting”? Of the 78 shootingS listed, How many of these allow properly trained ccw on school grounds? How many times have shootings or knifings or mass assaults been stopped by armed ccw people above or below the 4 limit? Thank you Reason and Washington examiner for the courage to face these issues. As for the “GUN FREE ZONE” proponents, sorry, but how’s that working for you?

  27. I’m not sure what the point of this article is. Since random mass shootings are so unpredictable and uncontrollable we should do nothing to stop gun violence? Is that the idea?

    As the article points out, mass shootings are only a small fraction of total gun violence. How about these realities:

    European countries with strict gun laws don’t just have a much reduced rate of gun violence, their total murder rate in about a third of the murder rate here: In the U.S. we have 4.8 murders for every 100,000 people. In the United Kingdom the rate is 1.2; in France 1.1; in Germany 0.8; in Greece 1.5. This gives lie to the oft-repeated comment that if people can’t kill with a gun, they will find another way. Maybe not.

    And while the rate of gun murders has dropped in the U.S. according to CDC data, the number of hospital admissions for shooting victims has gone from 20,844 in 2001 to 31,759 in 2011. More people are getting shot; we just have better trauma care now.

    I am really curious. Unlike politicians and the NRA, I don’t think that Reason Magazine has a financial stake in stopping gun control laws. So why this article setting up a straw man to argue against?

  28. my neighbor’s mom makes $69 an hour on the computer. She has been out of a job for 9 months but last month her check was $13517 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read more here

  29. my classmate’s mother makes $86/hr on the laptop. She has been fired for 6 months but last month her paycheck was $12984 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more here

  30. Wonderful quote! I’ve now used it on my Government Failure in Education page.

  31. If you think Robert`s story is nice…, last month my friends bro brought home 5372 just sitting there seventeen hours a week from home and the’re best friend’s sister`s neighbour did this for eight months and brought in more than 5372 part-time on- line. applie the steps here,

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