Guns

Ending Gun Violence: Common Sense Versus Magic

The only defender guaranteed to be present at any attack against you is you.

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weaverphoto/Flickr

What passes for thinking about the prevention of gun violence is not thinking at all. Thinking (as problem-solving) is a search for means that can be reasonably expected to achieve a given end. By reasonably I mean that supporting arguments can be provided to demonstrate to the satisfaction of reasonable people the connection between the means and ends. What we get from gun-control advocates is nothing like that; instead they operate on the magical belief that uttering certain words—codifying just the right incantation—will accomplish the end. 

We know they believe in magic, not logic, because those who propose to restrict individual rights regarding guns see no need to explain how their proposals would reduce or end gun violence. For them it's enough to declare their sincere belief that this is the case and to invoke polls showing that a majority of people also believe in whatever is being proposed.

What's belief got to do with it?

Passing "common-sense gun laws," gun controllers say, would prevent mass shootings. "Universal" background checks is the most popular proposal. But where is the explanation of how that would achieve the end? Not only is this not explained; the people supposedly paid to raise such questions—journalists—never even ask. Most of them operate on the basis of magical belief too.

Let's look at "universal" background checks. The term indicates that all would-be gun buyers would actually undergo a check. Leaving aside the recent mass murderers who passed background checks, we know that universal checks are impossible no matter what the legislation says because buyers in the black market, gun thieves, and those who are given guns will not be included.

Similar objections apply to the anti-gun lobby's other magical proposals. Each would leave untouched those who obtain their guns through already illegal channels. We can have no reasonable expectation that people who intend to commit violent offenses against others will be deterred by mere restrictions on gun purchases and possession. Stubbornly ignoring that self-evident truth is the sign of a magical disposition. 

We see the same disposition in the "mental health" approach to preventing gun violence. Some conservatives like this approach presumably because it deflects attention from guns. But proposing, as Mike Huckabee and others have, that the government "do a better job in mental health"—whatever that means—tells us nothing about how it would prevent gun violence. What justifies the belief that psychiatrists and others in the field can predict with reasonable accuracy who is likely to commit mass murder? (Psychiatrists are not known to be competent at predicting who among their own patients will become violent.) Isn't it more likely that people who never would have committed violent acts would be drugged and imprisoned (in "hospitals"), while others never even suspected of being potentially dangerous would go on to commit horrendous acts? One shudders at the civil-liberties implications of "doing a better job in mental health." Do we want the police to have pre-crime units?

In contrast to the incantations offered by practitioners of public-policy magic, gun-rights advocates propose measures that reasonably can be expected to prevent or reduce the extent of mass murder: for example, eliminating government-mandated gun-free zones. (Property owners of course should be free to exclude guns, however foolish that is.) Those with ill-intent are unlikely to respect gun-free zones, but most peaceful individuals will. Thus they will be defenseless against aggressors. Gun-free zones, then, are invitations to mass murder. Refusal to acknowledge that fact is also a sign of a magical disposition.

When this objection to gun-free zones is raised, gun-controllers typically respond that the answer to gun violence cannot be "more guns." But when aggressors are the only ones with guns, what would be wrong with more guns if they were in the right hands? Eliminating gun-free zones would in effect put guns in the hands of the innocent at the scene of the attack. As it now stands, the only people with guns are the killers and police, who may be miles away. (Too often the killers are the police.) The connection between means and end is clear. If would-be mass killers suspected they would meet resistance early on, they might be deterred from launching their attack. But even if not, the chances of minimizing an attack would obviously be greater if some of the gunman's intended victims were armed.

Another reasonable measure would be to remove all restrictions, such as permit requirements, on concealed or open carry of handguns. Again, the link between means and ends is clear. Concealed carry has the bonus of a free-rider benefit: when people are free to carry concealed handguns, assailants, who clearly prefer their victims unarmed, won't know who's carrying and who's not. That extra measure of deterrence—that positive externality—could be expected to save innocent lives.

Believers in gun-control magic refuse to acknowledge that one cannot effectively delegate one's right to or responsibility for self-defense. With enough money, one might arrange for assistance in self-defense, but few will be able to afford protection 24/7. It's a myth that government assumes responsibility for our security, since it does not promise round-the-clock personal protection and its officers are not legally obligated to protect you even if an assault occurs before their eyes. The only defender guaranteed to be present at any attack against you is: you.

Those who believe in the right to bear arms have common sense on their side in the matter of ending mass shootings. Magic won't do it.

This piece originally appeared at Richman's "Free Association" blog. 

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154 responses to “Ending Gun Violence: Common Sense Versus Magic

  1. Ol’ Sheldon may be out in left field on a few issues, but he nails it here. Thinking is dead in America. All that matters is how you feel, or more importantly, how other people think you feel.

    1. I almost didn’t read this because it was Richman, but then I thought, “how could he possibly inject his Israel-is-an-apartheid-state shtick in here?”

      Great read, would recommend.

    2. The families of these wacko-birds know their kin is sick in the head and dangerous. The way to stop these sickos from doing their damage is to press charges against the family members and throw them in prison for 10 years if Mr. Sicko kills anyone.

      Problem solved.

      1. This is not a serious comment. The families are supposed to do what? Involuntarily incarcerate? Is that the way we want to go on this? You surely don’t think so. This is the Thought Police writ large.

      2. I have multiple lunatics in my family, and they are NOT my responsibility, you ass.

        1. Yeah man, no shit Sherlock… Can I kill my bonkers relatives, so that I will not be charged for their mis-deeds? If not, the fascists need to fuck off, then… I am in control of me and me alone… Hold me responsible for the deeds of others, then I must be allowed to control them, period! (Way to go Hooha, I do like yer Hooha, can you send pictures?)

          1. SQRLSY, Hooka and Robert Evans — WRONG on all accounts. You procreate these pieces of shit, you rear them, you instill your values or lack of values in them, you know they’re sick-wackos and yet you allow them to roam the streets unchecked so they can kill innocents? You’re damn right I’m going to lock you up!

            We initiate a system where the sickos are institutionalized, like we use to do. If you knowingly allow your wacko brother to roam free and we can prove you knew he was sick when he wiped out half his schoolmates, then yes I will gladly throw you in prison and throw away the key.

            Is any of this getting through your thick numbskulls?

            Give me a better solution. You dumb asses can’t!

            1. His classmate shoots him in the face. A much better solution. You are the one that missed the point of WHAT THE FUCK EXACTLY AM I LEGALLY ALLOWED TO DO TO STOP MY ADULT SIBLING FROM POTENTIALLY BEING ABLE TO HURT PEOPLE?

              1. synonyymou — Surely you can’t be this fucking STUPID!

                Like so many of these cases where the Mommy actually bought the guns for their sicko child and then took their mentally ill sons to the target range after their visit to the psychiatrist where he prescribed prosac for the piece-of-shit and then mommy dearest bought him violent video games to practice his killing sprees on, we prosecute these stupid fucking bitches, or bastards, and throw them in prison for fucking ever!

                And of course we get rid of Gun Free Zones and allow conceal carry EVERYWHERE without a fucking permit but that alone will not prevent the sickos from getting the jump on innocents.

                Or on the other hand maybe you really are this fucking stupid.

      3. Studies have shown–your head is going to explode–that psychopathic people have one of two problems, or both. First, they have low cholesterol levels. Second, they have low niacin levels. The killer in Oregon was “isolated” it was reported. Why was he isolated? That, of course doesn’t give him a pass for his actions. I wish the college had not been a gun free zone and I wish a half-dozen or more individuals would have been able to stand up and blow him to kingdom come. “Eff” the sad little, poor me, bastard.

    3. He did bring up a salient point. To conservative and socialist looters the solution to EVERYTHING is “more guns,” provided only that they be in the hands of jackbooted minions beholden to politicians. So how is it that for the “problem” of legally-disarmed civilians not being able to defend themselves because of the violence of excessive laws, relaxing those recently-enacted prohibitions enforced by government firepower they interpret as “more guns.” There is bound to be something of a “forgotten man” and “invisible hand” conundrum behind such Orwellian selective blindness.

  2. During a conversation on Twitter with a gun control nut, I was talking about the usual stuff about how banning guns would just result in black markets and so on when I got to a point where I said something about meth labs (because they told me it was impossible to manufacture guns yourself or whatever), when I was exposed to this gem:

    “You think meth labs are real? What a moron? I know most CONservatives get their news from Faux News, but this moron gets his from Breaking Bad!”

    (I don’t know how to do that fancy quote bar thing you guys do, so I just copied and pasted it)

    1. I think he was asking me if I was a moron.

      1. Nah, he was proclaiming his moronhood to the world.

    2. To quote something is elemental HTML. At the start of the quote, put “less than”, “blockquote”, and “greater than”; at the end of the quote, same thing, but include a “/” after the “less than”. Like this:

      You think meth labs are real? What a moron? I know most CONservatives get their news from Faux News, but this moron gets his from Breaking Bad!

      Most browsers have some way of looking at the source, where you can find the “blockquote” above. Or you can save the source to a file and edit that file to see it.
      I use the words “less than” and “greater than” instead of the characters themselves because they and the ampersand have special meaning in HTML.

      1. To quote something is elemental HTML.

        Yes, but most discussion systems don’t allow “elemental HTML”, so many people assume that it’s not available.

      2. I?ve never heard of a meth lab in South America, and a quick search in those languages turned up very few hits–all of them talking abt speed in the US and Europe. It is broady assumed in cocaine-producing countries that ritalin is a counterfeit of their product. So if meth is as awful as reputed, a harm-reduction approach would be to relegalize coke. It was peacefully produced in Java and all up and down the Andes when William Jennings Bryan was still learning to soil diapers. The violence was introduced by US-backed live-by-the-sword prohibition laws, with attendant economic ruin.

      3. Is there a guide anywhere to the elemental HTML that can be used on this site? I’m a computer savvy person but have no idea how to do anything here other than type into this box.

        1. You need HTML?!
          I’ve been asking for “agree” and “disagree” voting buttons here for quite a while!
          I think it would beat “like” all hollow, and most sites with “like” buttons don’t have “dislike” choices… User interface? User-hostile software?

          Yep.

    3. http://www.dailytelegraph.com……6760983916

      Australian man makes machine guns at home,sells them to gangs.
      (including suppressors,aka “silencers”.)

      http://www.theage.com.au/artic…..99535.html
      Submachine-guns found in weapons factory

      FEDGOV is “missing” several thousand of their guns,some being full-auto machine guns. that does not include US military arms losses. Then state and local law enforcement have guns stolen from their vehicles frequently. Former Orlando POLICE CHIEF Val Demings had her service handgun stolen from her unmarked SUV in 2009,and years later,it still hasn’t been recovered. OPD has “lost” 2 AR-15 kits,and had 2 machine guns stolen from vehicles.
      Post-9-11,several armed Federal employees have LEFT their loaded handguns on commercial air flights and deplaned,the guns being discovered by other passengers. One guy in Alabama stole rifles (real assault rifles,select-fire) and grenades from Anniston Army Depot.
      guns will ALWAYS be available to those who really want them.

  3. Simple experiment. “50% of People Here Are Carrying” vs “Gun Free Zone”. 2 posters 2 outcomes. Check back in 5 years and get the results.

    1. Your are asking for a controlled experiment, ie science. Progressives do not believe in science, although they are as quick to it as anything else when it suits their desired end.

    2. Really? most mass murders either kill themselves, or are clearly resolved to die in the aftermath. I doubt the number of guns present will effect their psychopathic thinking.

      1. Not responsive to the post you replied to.

        1. Fair enough, I’ll elaborate. The idea seems to be that knowing that there are more guns around will deter psychopathic mass murderers. This seems unlikely, based on on what I said. They expect to die in a hail of bullets, or by their own hand.

          Such conditions may well deter non-suicidal criminals, like thieves. Different situation.

          1. It is physics rather than psychology that will influence them at that point. Physically disabling them with gun fire is fairly good deterrence of further bad behavior.

            1. Yeah man, I have not heard of anyone being shot or killed by an already-dead man… Death will kill them, as I understand it!

            2. Maybe I’m fluking a dead thread, but is Robert suggesting these murderous guys don’t choose vulnerable victims? Pure nonsense. How many mass shootings at police stations and gun ranges compared to “gun free” schools?

          2. Ok, then name a psychopathic mass murderers who WASN’T deterred by gunfire. Name one who opted to shoot it out with police or civilians. Name one who tried to shoot up a place that they might reasonably suspect to be full of gunmen. Dylan and Klebold exchanged fire with one policeman, then retreated and killed themselves. They did not kill anyone else after being fired upon.

            There is a difference between killing yourself and being killed in self-defense, and mass murderers very much prefer the former. None of them expect to be killed in a hail of bullets because they all plan to give up (either surrender or suicide) before that happens.

          3. Robert Evans|10.4.15 @ 2:57PM|#

            Fair enough, I’ll elaborate. The idea seems to be that knowing that there are more guns around will deter psychopathic mass murderers…. They expect to die in a hail of bullets, or by their own hand.

            That’s half of “The idea [around here].” The other half is that their kill-count will be reduced if some of their intended targets are armed. That would have cut the Oregon shooter’s killed and injured count considerably, because the class was aware that he was approaching after he’d killed the teacher with a shot through the window..

          4. actually,in most mass shooting incidents,when confronted by an armed person the killers generally surrender or suicide. Either way,their killing STOPS.

            http://www.buzzfeed.com/ryanha…..omeone-wit

            1. Pearl HS
            2. Parker Middle School dance
            3. Appalachian School of Law
            4. New Life Church,Colorado Springs,CO.
            5. Trolley Square,Salt LakeCity UT.
            6. Golden Market,VA
            7. NY Mills AT&T store
            8. Clackamas Mall,OR.
            9. San Antonio Theater

  4. Favorite facederp of the day: sign this petition to stop the NRA!!1!. …lulz, these people actually think my position on guns has anything to do with the NRA.

    1. It is common practice for proggies to assume some giant ebil organization is behind all actions. The Kochs, the NRA, the ASPCA, etc….always some vast corporation polluting the world and giving automatic machine ghost guns to toddlers all so the Kochs can pollute the arctic and one day rule over a ruined wasteland.

      1. It is common practice for proggies to assume some giant ebil organization is behind all actions. The Kochs, the NRA, the ASPCA, etc…

        Didn’t you know? These evil organizations use their evil mind control rays to get people to vote their way! It’s the only possible explanation that so many Americans reject the benevolent guidance and leadership of progressives!

        1. It’s safer to believe that there is a sinister, powerful force in play. The alternative is that everyone disagrees with you.

          For us, it’s safer to believe that people are misled by the government instead of them just being really stupid.

          1. Stupidity attracts hustlers just as gun-free-zones attract shooters. Only once in my life have I seen evidence of a gunman opening fire on a police station, and that one didn’t last long at all. Stupidity also attracts stupidity, and knowing the score repels hustlers. The only socialist orator who wanders into this forum does not know modus ponens from affirming the consequent and couldn’t differentiate a constant if he had to.

            1. There are actually a few that post here on a regular basis, and very rarely, one may even make a valid point.
              Their scientific literacy is debatable, however.

    2. Same here. All lobbyists for single issue causes I agree with have a vested interest in keeping the problem alive. Only the LP offers me a principled method for changing the laws, assuming the votes are not completely rigged. The election in which Al Franken was first defeated, then declared the winner by a huge margin proves absolutely that election fraud by secret ballot is an ingrained tradition. We really need verifiable ballots and repeal of the Nixon campaign subsidies law to make any kind of democracy work at all.

  5. I have sadly come to the conclusion that the driving force(s) behind the Gun Control lobby don’t care if “common sense” gun control laws will work, they just want guns out of the hands of the citizenry. I won’t go so far as to say they want the citizens disarmed for some specific end. I don’t really think they’ve thought that far. I just think that guns, like free speach, are something that our self-appointed betters simply don’t believe the vast majority of us can handle. They want to deprive us of them For Our Own Good …. and, ultimately, as a sing that we are Peasants and they are Aristocrats.

    As for the Rank and File – the poor dupes who are ready to embrace Peasanthood – I return always to my basic question; are they going to obey the Constitution or not? Propose an Amendment making “Common Sense” gun laws Constitutional, or sit down and clam up.

    1. They actively and openly scoff at the Constitution. It’s just an old paper written by racists, derpety derp derp.

      1. But its writ only runs over a tiny part of the planet–the part people die of thirst crawling through cactus to get into.

      2. Yes – why amend the constitution when you can just ignore it?

        1. We need action, not words !!!!1!1

    2. I cannot recall a single instance of the looter press wanting guns taken out of the hands of government thugs. Can anyone point to an article in a communist, socialist or “progressive” publication recommending a reduction of guns in the hands of federal agents? The closest I recall is the unilateral disarmament lobby, which included self-proclaimed anarchists, urging US surrender to the Soviet Union.

      1. I’m beginning to think the whole point is to disarm the generally law-abiding populace on purpose. At that point, we’d all be relatively defenseless versus the still-armed criminal element. We’d have no choice but to beg and plead with the state for protection.

  6. You can’t “end gun violence” in a free society. In a free society, people have the liberty to own and use dangerous things, and some people will invariably abuse it.

    If you are concerned about our already historically low average levels of gun violence, you can take steps to reduce your “risk” further, all the way up to and including never leaving the house. But don’t impose your phobias on other people.

  7. Best piece by Richmman in a long time.

    Very good analysis of where the “common sene” regulators motivations lie.

  8. Sixty-eight years ago a new standard for formulation of common-sense laws occurred to a writer laboring over a book titled “Atlas Shrugged” during the Nuremberg trials; it was the non-aggression principle. Since 1972 Americans have contrived to ignore the idea and vote instead for parties committed to the initiation of harmful, coercive and deadly force as practical, reasonable, and mandated by common sense. So in Kettle Falls Washington a jury is induced by the federal government to jail the ill for medicinal plants in an exercise of paternalistic altruism. Yet the same jurors gasped in horror when others of their persuasion were altruistically ushered into a face-to-face audience with The Almighty. Still they recite that “all who draw the sword will die by the sword,” while lining up to vote for more initiation of force.

  9. Stop the silliness Sheldon.

    You say there has to be a connection between the action of gun control legislation and the problem, no less the results.

    So tell us…there are existing gun control measures right now. Show us exactly how those measures have reduced any gun violence statistics. You seem to want proof of a connection.

    By your logic, since no direct connection will ever be proved, we shouldn’t have any gun control measures whatsoever. Free and unfettered proliferation of guns with anyone, anywhere.

    You’re nuts.

    1. That’s like a C- effort. Try again.

      1. Nah, right on point. I’m sticking with it.

        1. So what proof of connection did he ask for about existing laws?

          Oh, that’s right: none.

          1. “By reasonably I mean that supporting arguments can be provided to demonstrate to the satisfaction of reasonable people the CONNECTION between the means and ends.”

            Means is legislation and gun control. Here is s tip…if you are going to comment on an article, you may want to read it.

            1. Sure means is gun control the ends are a disarmed and timid population.

            2. OK Jackass, go! demonstrate the reasonable connection between the means and the ends……. we already know you wont like the results since stricter gun control results in more gun violence unilaterally across our society
              but go ahead, do the research and figure out for yourself why everyone thinks you’re a disingenuous asshat

    2. The ultimate magical thinking is that, with a few rules and a good enough government, all outcomes can be controlled and everything that bothers them on the news can just go away.

      Hell, you’ll see the same people who agree with the right to die, turn around and use suicide statistics to try to prove that gun control works. That’s either stupid, delusional, or deceitful. Probably a little bit of all of the above.

      1. So your solution is to have no rules? Which rules do you want, and prove how any of them reduce gun deaths.

        1. prove how any of them reduce gun deaths.

          You do realize that gun control advocates have yet to do this themselves right? No, of course you don’t.

          1. How about you? Since there isn’t any proof that current gun laws reduce gun deaths (maybe you have some), why have any laws all? Anyone can buy them, they can be carried openly anywhere…repeal every bit of gun legislation we have. No? Why, your intuition tells you that makes no sense?

            1. First off, it’s the responsibility of the group proposing the theory to provide the support for their position, not the group to which they are presenting.

              Secondly, as a responsible gun owner, I have no problem with open carry and would welcome it in society. If you were having an off day and decided to pull something, I’d like to know the potential you’ll be stopped is high. You want to repeal all the gun laws? Fine. I’m good with that. It will change my behavior not one whit.

              I have read enough of your arguments to know leaps right over logic and the magical thinking this article references are your stock in trade, so have at it.

              1. Ta ta.

            2. “Anyone can buy them, they can be carried openly anywhere…repeal every bit of gun legislation we have.”

              What an excellent idea! How wonderful that we can come to such an agreement!

            3. I agree, repeal all of the laws…. in fact i think we can agree on repealing the entire government.

        2. Can you show me why I’d want to do that? Other than you seem to care for some random reason?

          Sorry, that alone doesn’t really do it for me. Do you have a better reason?

          1. You answered me…I never seek out your comments. But I knew you’d have no courage.

            1. You seem to have read my comment and responded with questions, wanting to know more. What point you’re trying to make, and what the seeking out of my comments has to do with anything, is beyond me.

              You seem to think I’ve suggested that we shouldn’t have any rules. If so, that’s your mistake, and any point you’re trying to make with your follow up vague questions about rules in general seems irrelevant.

              Do you have some point to make? Perhaps something relevant to the issue at hand? Or is this all you have?

              1. I made my point to Sheldon. That he, and you I am sure, want some proof that new gun legislation will reduce gun deaths…expanded background checks, limitations on gun show sales, whatever.

                So you are Ok with some existing laws? Let’s take your requirement them… Prove how any of them reduce gun deaths. Or is it intuition that tells you that… Or “common sense” as Sheldon would say. Just want to see if you hold yourself to the same standard as you would me, who wants increased background checks.

                1. Yeah I’m ok with some existing laws. Laws against mirder? Pretty good.

                  However, you have to recognize that most laws only work youths degree that they discourage the behavior by the risk of punishment. Once you’re dealing with a person who’s willing to risk the punishment, it all goes out the window.

                  So, once you realize that a person is willing to commit murder, and is willing to risk life in prison or execution, stacking more punishments for more crimes on top doesn’t do a lot of good. The risk/reward equation of laws and punishments doesn’t always yield one answer for everyone.

                  This is especially true of laws designed to limit peaceful people with no bad intentions, as if they are the same as murderers. Just like banning sharp objects isn’t likely to decrease stabbings, but is very likely to make cooking dinner for everyone harder.

                  That’s completely different Han suggesting we have no rules.

                  Hence, I just can’t figure out what point you’re trying to make.

                  1. Every time someone suggests expanding background checks, assault weapons ban, or limiting gun show sales, the stock answer is prove how that would reduce murder rates. The bad guys won’t follow those rules, only the good guys.

                    Again, if that is required…some kind of proof that there must be a proved connection to means and ends (see Sheldon), then why not repeal every bit of gun legislation that exists today? They were passed with no “proof.” If there were no age limitations on gun purchasing or ownership, would Sandy Hook not have happened? Or is it just common sense that tells you we need that law.

                    Sheldon thinks only he and his supporters get to define common sense. By the way, the overwhelming majority of Americans want expanded background checks. That’s pretty strong sensitivities of the common man…common sense.

                    1. If you’re suggesting that we have no proof that current gun control works, then I think you’re conceding a lot.

                      Unless you’re arguing “Let’s increase gun control, because, sure, we have no idea if current law works, or if proposed new laws will work, but that’s never stopped us before!”, then I’m not sure what your point is.

                      If you want to argue that, then, fine. But, I think I can foresee the outcome, and it doesn’t look good for your argument.

                    2. What I think is that there never will be any kind of proof that will be enough for gun advocates, that every bit of legislation on guns is just common sense. And I would be happy enough if the common sense of the majority of Americans prevailed on background checks.

                      How about you?

                    3. When you look at the mass shootings that those proposals are in response to, and you realize her the shooters already passed background checks, then the problem isn’t that we have no proof that the proposal will work.

                      The problem is that we have proof that the proposal would have had no effect. That’s worse than a lack of proof. That’s proving no effect.

                      I’m not sure about you, but I’d like to have some positive effect, or at least some likely possibility, before I go regulating a bunch of peaceful people with collateral costs. That’s just me, though.

                      And it does seem that people are willing to vote for ineffective measures, especially when they imagine that they will pay no cost. For example: people who think they’ll never want to buy a gun.

                      Their willingness to endorse such proposals doesn’t really inspire a lot of faith in their effectiveness, however, just by itself.

                    4. Hey, we tried. Sorry for my snark. It gets the best of me. Enjoy your Sunday. My Jets won, hope your team does well.

                    5. I am not on a professional sports team, so I’m not really into that. But, I do hope you and everyone else enjoys either playing sports, or watching them be played.

                    6. I wonder if Jack knows that open carry was legislated against when prog bogeyman Ron Raygun was in charge because the (gasp) Black Panthers were open carrying a lot of firearms around Sacto. my guess is it would break his brain….

                    7. By the way, Brian, what I will concede is that nothing will change. People like Sheldon will see to that. If anything changes, it will be less restrictions, not more. See Robert Evans comment.

                    8. The American people don’t get to vote to place restrictions on my civil rights, whether it’s my freedom of speech, my right to a trial by a jury of my peers, or my right to defend myself and my rights.
                      So I don’t really care what the majority of the American people want.

                    9. Good luck to Peyton today.

                    10. Thanks. Broncos defense looking strong as always, but offense still struggling.

                    11. Looking good today

    3. Apparently we are going to have a mass nation-wide experiment where the percentage of people carrying guns will go to levels never seen before. We’d like to think these people will be “like us” – reasonable, responsible people who will think carefully before unholstering and letting fly.

      Unfortunately, this is wishful thinking. I foresee endless cases of two men in a shoving match in a bar, a gun comes out, then ten guns come out, and various people go down. Our gun saturation rate is quite low now, and we already have such cases. (“I walked up to the car to tell them to turn down the music, and I saw a gun, so I shot them”).

      Responsible gun owners believe that proper training will mitigate these possibilities, but I suggest that hours on the shooting range do not prepare one to walk into a public place where several guns are going off, pick out the bad guys, and take safe and effective action. Maybe future gun training will require exactly that kind of training – how to handle a free fire zone with no uniforms. In addition to training, this kind of judgment requires a certain kind of temperament. Not just anyone can be an MP. We are not going to restrict 2nd amendment rights to those who pass some kind of personality test.

      1. You are right.

      2. By the way, when that just gets to much to bear, Sheldon will ask you to PROVE that any new regulations would have prevented that shootout in the bar.

      3. I am not arguing here for increased gun control (call off the 2nd amendment dogs!). I am just suggesting what is likely to evolve, and that we need to numb ourselves to mass shootings and fatal shoot-outs every few days. The mass shootings may well have a reduced body count due to more guns in the room, but they will be more frequent. Get used to it.

        1. I know you are not just saying your prediction seems spot on.

          1. Thanks. Of course I hope I am completely wrong! and you surely join me in that hope. But I fear not.

            1. I do.

      4. I think you are overstating he risks dramatically. Every time concealed carry rules are loosened or removed, proggies scream that conflicts like you outlined will happen all the time. The only problem is that they never do. Less strict gun laws do not increase gun violence.

        I agree with Sheldon here. The thing the gun control activists want is the removal of all guns. We know that won’t work. We. Know. It. Won’t. The only explanation for their belief is magical thinking.

        Well there is another reason they would want guns banned, but saying they are engaging in magical thinking is much kinder that saying they are engaging in fascist thinking. Although at this point in time what difference does it make?

      5. We send hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children into our forests every year heavily armed with the intention of killing. Yet any confrontation that does occur rarely results in a shot being fired. This is the best evidence that an armed population is a polite population, and this includes children as young as 10 years old being armed. If someone wants to risk a shot, they risk being shot at.

        We already have armed citizens walking through our public forests, walking around the city armed is really no different.

      6. the number of people carrying guns HAS gone up in every state that issues concealed carry permits. (all 50 states,now.)
        And in ALL those states,those permit holders have amassed a SUPERB record,they are not the ones causing any problem. the scenarios you and others fear (and “foresee”) simply HAVE NOT HAPPENED. They said that long ago when Florida enacted its “shall-issue” concealed weapons permit,and crime went DOWN,not up. No “blood in the streets”,no “Wild West shootouts”,etc.
        CCW permit holders are the MOST law-abiding,safest segment in America,even better than police.

        “progressives” are all too willing to consider trashing the Constitution with Utopian-fantasy gun control and mental testing that cannot work and is impractical,but absolutely rule out allowing armed,carry-permitted school employees that HAS worked before in a couple of schools and other public places,doesn’t cost anything,and is very practical. VERY do-able,and EFFECTIVE.

        So it’s not really about keeping the children safe.

      7. explain VERMONT,that has had Constitutional Carry;open or concealed needing NO permit,for many decades,with no serious problems. No rampant gun violence,even in the large cities. No “Wild West Shootouts”,etc.

    4. So because you can’t carry out a controlled experiment with public policy and show with certainty the effects of a law, the state is justified in creating policy and limiting individual liberty with no evidence as to whether it will do any good? First, the burden of proof is on the person who is proposing policy, just like on anyone else making an argument. Second, while you’re quite right that you can’t show with any certainty the effects of any individual law, if you can find a quantitative x-axis you can expand your sample size to smooth out variability. The obvious choice is to use gun ownership by the public, or “proliferation,” as you call it. Turns out that within the United States and abroad, the presence of more guns tends to coincide with fewer murders. Does this mean that “unfettered proliferation of guns with anyone, anywhere” reduces murders? Not necessarily, but it makes it damn unlikely that restricting gun availability does.

  10. And yet even more common sense than a thought experiment where one presupposes that everyone who doesn’t agree with oneself has no solution to a problem is to look at other countries where they don’t have nearly as many mass shootings per capita and try to imitate what they do. Do any suggest more people carry guns? Or do they have harsher gun control laws?

    1. It’s hard to suss all of that out. Japan has low rates and few guns but they’re a demographic monolith. Switzerland has high ownership rates and low gun violence rates. Russia makes it very hard to legally obtain a firearm and a sky high murder by firearm rate. Same with South Africa. There are way too many confounding variables to really draw any meaningful conclusions from such an analysis.

      1. Just one of those confounding variables is whether and how those countries define a mass shooting. Another is how statistics on crime are kept. In the UK, for example, where a murder isn’t counted as a murder until there’s a conviction, which resulted in the UK having conspicuously low gun-related homicides even before their handgun ban was instituted.

        1. Wow, grammar went right out the window there. That last sentence should read, “In the UK, for example, where a murder…”

  11. If you define “people” to exclude the jackbooted minions politicians use as bodyguards, robbers and executioners, then yes, other countries will have fewer guns per “person” than the US. But if you add guns held by slavers pointed at the citizens elsewhere, I would bet the numbers are close to the same. I expect great effort is made to keep such information unhandy.

  12. REgarding mental health guidelines – don’t forget the definition of “Mental Health” changes over the years. Gun rights should not be attached to something so fluid. Something we consider today as sane and rational, might next year be considered unstable.

    1. Agreed. If you question “climate change” or the “goodness” of ever expanding government, you run the risk of being labeled “mentally unstable” or worse. Government will use whatever means are available to deprive the people of their liberty.

  13. Here’s the problem with gun control. Let’s assume for a minute that we banned firearms nationwide and shut down every domestic manufacturer. And following that, let’s assume that most of the guns in circulation were confiscated. Would that make us safer? Not likely. What we would see is the rise of a very illegal black market. Unfortunately, confiscation is a poor solution for the constraint of demand. We tend to forget or at least minimize the fact that thousands of tons of illegal drugs are imported in the US each and every year. Only a small fraction of that tonnage would be necessary to supply guns to each and every nut case and bad guy who wanted one. What we have in the US is a cultural problem with weapons. Maybe the day will come when far fewer individuals are interested in guns. But until then, there will be a plentiful supply for the demand whether legal or otherwise.

    1. Or, maybe the day will come that those that truly understand the reason the Founders included that 2nd A check on government [because they understood that the default position for (any) government is tyranny, (more or less)] will no longer consider it necessary to possess any deterrence to tyranny.

      With the daily lawless activity of the current administration, and fresh memories of past administrations, what’s your over/under on such a change of attitude coming soon?

      Forget personal protection Richmond! That’s merely a related benefit of the 2nd A.

      1. Richman. RichMAN. Why can I not remember he way this shit stain spells his moniker?

    2. I hope that day never comes…the less the populace is armed, the less Top Men fear the populace and that is not a good thing.

      Note also that new polls indicate people think government IS a problem at over a 50% rate.

      If you dislike guns, fine, don’t fuck with mine.

    3. http://www.dailytelegraph.com……6760983916

      Australian man makes machine guns at home,sells them to gangs.
      (including suppressors,aka “silencers”.)

      http://www.theage.com.au/artic…..99535.html
      Submachine-guns found in weapons factory

      FEDGOV is “missing” several thousand of their guns,some being full-auto machine guns. that does not include US military arms losses. Then state and local law enforcement have guns stolen from their vehicles frequently. Former Orlando POLICE CHIEF Val Demings had her service handgun stolen from her unmarked SUV in 2009,and years later,it still hasn’t been recovered. OPD has “lost” 2 AR-15 kits,and had 2 machine guns stolen from vehicles.
      Post-9-11,several armed Federal employees have LEFT their loaded handguns on commercial air flights and deplaned,the guns being discovered by other passengers. One guy in Alabama stole rifles (real assault rifles,select-fire) and grenades from Anniston Army Depot.

      guns will ALWAYS be available to those who really want them. “Progressives” don’t realize this.

      1. That is just the tip of the iceberg…
        https://homemadeguns.wordpress.com

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    This is wha- I do…… http://www.buzznews99.com

  15. The truth of the matter is that more people in the U.S. defend themselves with a gun each year than are victimized by people with guns. Don’t take my word for it, ask the CDC.

    The truth of the matter is that gun control is counterproductive. Don’t take my word for it, ask Harvard.

    The truth of the matter is that armed civilians stop mass murders. Don’t take my word for it, ask the FBI.

    The truth of the matter is that the crime rate, including “gun crimes” and gun homicides is at a 30 year low despite the sunset of the “assault weapon ban”, liberalized concealed carry, steady gun ownership, stand your ground laws, and ignoring the DEMANDS of the “gun control lobby”.

    Everyday our leadership has an opportunity to look at the root causes of crime and violence such as poverty and lack of opportunity and education, the War on Drugs, our revolving door justice system including plea deals, as well as mental health and the role of SSRI drugs and enact policies to address these issues.

    It’s time to move on from “gun control”.

    1. I googled “armed civilians stop mass murders FBI” and found only articles that argue against your thesis. Could you help me out and point me to the supporting documents? Thanks.

    2. I’ve noticed more than one mention in this discussion to anti-depressants. What’s going on here? I am familiar with the meds and some of the side effects, but I’ve never heard SSRi’s as a public violent health menace. Is there an idea that we might deprived the large depressed population of meds because of some rare side effects?

      As always, citations gratefully appreciated.

  16. The same applies to registration which only works in Hollywood. Unless you are planning confiscation.

  17. Probably not going to be a popular view, but what about the responsibility of the people selling guns? In the absence of self-policing, the state is highly motivated to take over.

    It seems to me the dealers should take it upon themselves to make sure their product is going to be used properly. That would include asking simple questions like: Do you have a way to secure the firearm? Have you ever had gun safety training (because we offer it for free every 3rd Saturday)? It seems to me that in a world were parents aren’t passing along the knowledge to their children, it would be a good idea. And if the salesperson got the impression that the buyer doesn’t know what responsible gun ownership is, no sale.

    Of course, make sure the pharmaceutically altered are monitored for some of the “disclaimer” side effects by their doctors, who should also take the responsibility of the actions of the patients under their care, but that’s a whole other can of worms.

    1. It’s a nice idea, but not terribly practical. Gun dealers are in the business to make money. Few retail businesses are as heavily regulated by the government as those in the firearms industry. Frankly, it wouldn’t bother me if a firearms safety course was a requirement, but in most (if not all) states, it is not. We also do not make people demonstrate their skill with the weapon on a range. In the eyes of the law, you don’t need to be able to hit what you aim at. The ability to secure the firearm is, in most cases, provided by the manufacturer in the form of a gun lock. I’m not trying to be critical, just repeating some well worn facts about the business. While I wish it wasn’t so, there just aren’t many practical options.

      1. I would add that there’s really no way to ensure that everyone takes the safety course without a government registry of all gun owners.

        1. I would make firearms safety part of grade school education. It used to be, in my part of the country. A person who has never touched a gun, but buys one as an adult for whatever reason, scares me to death.

      2. Back in the old days, it was fairly common for a bartender to cut off a customer when he felt “he had enough.” There was an unwritten rule that responsibility works both ways. Of course, there’s nothing stopping the drunk from going down the street to another bar, but hopefully that walk might put some sense into the drunk, or perhaps one of the other patrons would attempt to talk him out of it and get him home safely.

        What my point is, somewhere along the line we quit looking out for our fellow man. When we stopped, the state stepped in. And since the state f***s up a cup of coffee, this is the result.

      3. Gun safety is more than knowing which end to point. I’m talking about the basics, like “don’t hang it up over the mantle where the grandkids can get at it.” style rules. Again, the stuff dad should have taught you when you were growing up. We didn’t hunt, but dad had/has guns in the house, and he made sure me and my sister knew that they were very dangerous tools not to ever be messed with, except while in the presence of an adult, and preferably on the range or other appropriate location.

        I wonder how many adults today had that conversation with their parents?

        1. My Dad had guns in the house and we had the conversation about safety early on. My son was age 10 the first time I took him to the range. When we got home, he got a clinic on safely taking each weapon down and cleaning it. He now has a very good understanding of how to safely handle guns and has turned out to be a pretty good shot. I’ve gotten a fair amount of criticism over the years when I’ve told this story, but the truth is there is no substitute for hands on training. If every kid got a day or two on the range we might not have quite so many gun phobics running around advocating more government control.

        2. Most of the people that own guns have the exact same conversation with there offspring, at least where I’m from, Montana. South Side of Chicago, maybe not so much…..58 murders in september.

        3. In my family, gun safety was a top priority. We did a lot of hunting and target shooting, but whether I could hit the target was immaterial. Safety was everything. Once you get to the point that those basic safety rules are so deeply ingrained that you obey them without conscious thought, then we would start to talk about marksmanship. And my kids got the same or better training than I did. But I still keep the guns locked in the vault, and the ammo in a safe in another building. I would say that my kids are as well trained in gun safety as is possible. But it is something you have to work at constantly. My biggest concern is not my kids, but their friends. No child is going to come into my house and be able to get his or her hands on a gun. it requires constant vigilance.

    2. Oh I see: A baker not baking a cake for a gay wedding is somehow violating the gay couple’s rights, but it be perfectly ok for a gun shop to not serve certain people.
      What about a black guy? Should the Hihn so owner be able to deny him service?
      Actually, I think both the baker and the Hihn so owner should be able to discriminate, but I bet the idea horrifies you. The only people that it should be legal to discriminate against are white males.

      1. “and the gun shop owner”

      2. Actually, I’m all for allowing private citizens conduct transactions with whomever they wish, even if I disagree. There’s no reason why the state should be meddling in other’s business.

        The problem with Jim Crow laws was that public spaces were segregated. That IS a problem.

        1. The Jim Crow laws demand that some people not be served. The civil rights laws demand that they be served. It’s still the government demanding which people get served.

  18. Probably not going to be a popular view, but what about the responsibility of the people selling guns? In the absence of self-policing, the state is highly motivated to take over.

    I’m sure this point of view is popular with many, but only statists who want to control the lives of others.

  19. Where’s the solution to ending gun violence, promised here in the title? And as for magical thinking, the notion of that all we need is for more good people carrying guns in more places seems to fit right in. Straight from the magic of the Hollywood Western.

    1. Here’s magical thinking causing gun violence!

      http://www.chron.com/sports/ar…..549385.php

    2. Amen.

      If only I could get these libertardians to admit that my common-sense, foolproof solution to right-handed violence should be implemented posthaste. We have suffered under the spectre of right-handed viciousness for entirely too long, and it’s time for a hopey change so that we can be a carefree, peaceful nation like Australia.

      (and WTF is a trade-off? These kids and their latin nonsense)

      1. ” right-handed violence”

        It’s not right-handed violence, it’s not gun-violence. It’s people violence, and arming people with guns, knives, swords, or vials of poison isn’t going to change that.

      2. Consider the source….

  20. This is exactly the kind of thing I have in mind. The gun-rights hero of the Gabby Gifford shooting came really close to firing on a man who had just DISARMED the shooter.

    “The Arizona Daily Star, based on its interview with Zamudio, adds two details to the story. First, upon seeing the man with the gun, Zamudio “grabbed his arm and shoved him into a wall” before realizing he wasn’t the shooter. And second, one reason why Zamudio didn’t pull out his own weapon was that “he didn’t want to be confused as a second gunman.”

    http://www.slate.com/articles/…..earms.html

    1. I came really close to laughing before I blocked you on Reasonable.

      But then I didn’t, out of respect for our shared humanity.

      1. Say more! Please! Did I say something offensive? Did I misstate facts? I am open to differing opinions

    2. Slate…..bwaaahhhaaaahhhhaaaa…..fuck off tool and go back to fellating the state.

    3. It’s funny how the right dismisses you. An armed veteran at the Oregon college said EXACTLY the same thing. Drawing his weapon would confuse law enforcement. The right keeps thinking these situations are managed like some Saturday cartoon. It’s obvious they’ve never been in an emergency situation.

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  22. If more guns = more safety, then the US, with the most guns in the world, would be the safest fucking country on Earth. Fact is, it’s not.

    Every advanced nation with uniform strict gun laws has a gun death rate orders of magnitude lower than ours and mass shootings are an extraordinarily rare occurrence.

    Those are the facts.

    Arguing otherwise in the face of those facts is, well, laughable and, well, “believing in magic”.

    1. Please do me the favor of Googling “Swiss gun laws” and then tell me what you’ve found.

    2. facts thrown together != correlation

  23. Mental Health gun control is used as a Weapon against the people and SOVIET in origin..

    Islamic State (ISIS) Claims Responsibility for Chris Harper Mercer Umpqua College Shooting.. Law Enforcement removed his page and the Media is trying to make it out about blood glory..WHAT DID THEY SCRUB – thats the question..
    http://pamelageller.com/2015/1…..ting.html/

    Oregon Shooter Linked to Man Praising Islamic Terrorism: ‘Kill the Jews’ – Mercer’s MySpace features only two connections, one of which is a man named Mahmoud Ali Ehsani. Ehsani published a photo album titled, “Classic ? The Mujahideen Collection LOL,” featuring Islamic terrorists from several countries, including Palestine, Iran, and Pakistan, among others. One caption reads: “my brave soldiers keep on fighting for the liberation of Palestine against Israel. f*ck israel. Kill the jews. jews are the only infidels.” Mercer wrote on a dating profile he disliked “organized religion,” and considered himself “spiritual” instead of religious. He also described himself as a “teetotaler” and said he “never” did drugs.
    http://www.breitbart.com/big-g…..-the-jews/

  24. How would gun free zones stop gun violence? Talk about NOT having thought this out!

    This is like saying a chef can do brain surgery because he knows how to use a knife. Having a panicky, untried untrained untested person carrying a gun in what he THINKS is an emergency situation? Well..not thought out.

    The FACT is OTHER advanced nations manage to stop gun violence BEFORE it starts. It’s NOT rocket science. EVERY nation does it EXCEPT US

    So your statements about the gun control side are provably false and risible, showing that the gun side is based on cult beliefs with no logic to support them

  25. I wonder if a program that encourages more people to carry would help.
    Also maybe encouraging more people to carry pepper spray or other non lethal weapons would help.
    Perhaps try to invent better non lethal weapons or better defense against guns.

  26. What % of the legal gun owners in this country commit murder with their guns? Exclude suicide, those folks would just find another way to kill themselves.

  27. Consider just a few of the likely consequences if all firearms disappeared in the U.S.

    How soon would gangs and drug dealers kick off a black market for weapons that they or others would smuggle in? How soon would people living in high-crime areas start seeking out the black market and purchasing guns? How much more robbing and burglarizing would criminals have to do to cover the increased cost of guns that are now much more expensive because of the gun-smuggling and low supply? How many more homes would be broken into by gun thieves trying to acquire guns on the cheap?

    What can you add?

    1. Take your imagination one step further: All firearms disappear everywhere, and they can’t be manufactured in any way. This is the fantasyland desired by the gun control nuts.

      Obama and the nuts apparently believe the only reason these mass killings occur is because otherwise stable folks can get their hands on guns. A Dylann Roof in their fantasyland would stay home happily and do nothing violent–because guns don’t exist.

      What no one seems to mention is that there are much better ways to kill lots of folks if you are unhinged. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_School_disaster , for example, which no one ever talks about or remembers, sadly. I suppose the gun control nuts think the mass shooters are too stupid to figure that out.

      The gun control nuts always say that “we’re the only civilized nation… blah blah blah.” I suppose India, Pakistan, Egypt, China, etc.–other places where mass non-gun terror attacks occur–are not “civilized” to the apparently racist gun nuts. I dare not mention the b*mb word.

  28. It strikes me, corrections please if necessary or appropriate, that when seconds count, the police are minutes away, assuming that they come at all. Secondly,various courts have repeatedly ruled that the police owe the individual no particular duty, that they are there “to protect society”. I really wish that someone would provide a plain English translation for that bit of phraseology. Also, re serving society, who but individuals make up “society”? I have posed this question before,though without receiving an answer. Maybe now??

    For those who might dismiss, for whatever reason the above mentioned, consider the following. Gun Control, in it’s several variations, many guises, has yet to prove successful, despite the never ending stream of excuses offered by it’s “sales force”. Re this,consider comment attributed to the late Albert Einstein,who offered the following, not an exact quote,but it has the essentials. Continued pursuit of a goal using methods shown not to work is insanity.

    1. “Continued pursuit of a goal using methods shown not to work is insanity.” Exactly. Einstein was a genius. The goal of having guns everywhere with everyone as advocated by the NRA and gun nuts, has not shown one bit of promise. More guns, more deaths by guns. Now the Aussies did something right, gun control and it worked! In Australia the chance of being killed by a gun is 1/15th of what it is in the US. Study, learn facts my boy and the results should speak for themselves. Tight gun control is the answer!

  29. I have said for many years, much to the dismay of my leftists friends, that when the bad guy pulls the trigger no policeman will magically appear between you and the bullet. Also, the original intent of the Second Amendment was not for personal safety against bad guys, that was a given back then. The original intent was to keep firearms in the hands of the people in order to defend themselves against an over-reaching and tyrannous government, much like our government is today–both Republicans and Democrats.

  30. Recently in Lansing michigan an individual ran down with his vehicle and killed a firefighter who was fundraising. Not a gun issue, I know,but that individual’s mother had tried on 2 recent occasions to have him committed and was not able to. Don’t be too quick to blame family, they are often as helpless as the rest of us.

  31. You’re not a cowboy. Let’s focus what we can do to avoid getting into these mass murder scenarios in the first place. Keep in mind, these people are on a suicide mission and probably don’t see any possible resistance as much deterrent. But when it does happen, leave it to the police to stop violent criminals. The last thing we need is a movie theatre full of people shooting at each other looking for the bad guy with a gun. It’s an asinine plan for reducing gun violence.

    1. You’re wrong, and those 12 dead in Aurora would agree with me, not you. And those alive in the New Life shootings would probably disagree with you too. Who are you to decide that people threatened with death must wait for the police to arrive?

      Concealed carry in a place not ruined by idiotic leftist policy works well. There is no “wild west” where I live and where concealed carry is common.

      1. Unless you’re mandating thorough crisis response training for all those concealed carriers, they’ll probably react like anyone else – total panic or freezing up. There’s a reason soldiers undergo training and aren’t just given rifles and thrown into a war. Just because you own a gun and know how to pull a trigger doesn’t qualify you as law enforcement. You don’t have a right to risk the lives of others to fulfil your hero fantasies.

  32. Are you insane, totally without common sense??? In the more developed nations there is a highly significant correlation between the number of guns in a given population and the number of deaths by guns. The US is worst by far in this respect, an outlier, off the chart. It is dumb to think guns can be put in the right hands and you know it. When there are guns in a home, the ratio of spouses killed by guns is 6:1 over homes with no guns. There are no right hands for guns, not even the police in a civil society.

    Accept the fact, that is the fact that the 2nd Amendment states that gun possession is for the purpose of an organized militia and not as wrongly interpreted as everyone having the right to guns. Furthermore, as the Founding Fathers could not see the future, they were not specific in defining guns, thinking only of the extremely slow to reload muzzle loaders. [There is a difference between one shot every 30″ and 4 shots per second. 120 to be exact.)

    What a sorry commentary on guns! You neither believe in logic or common sense.

    1. well said. The 2nd amendment is very short and vague. The NRA would like you to think it means what they want you to think it means, but constitutional scholars disagree that it is so straightforward. Even if it said “individuals have a right to unregulated access to guns for self defence” (which it could have said, but doesn’t) is the constitution so sacred that we should accept tens of thousands of deaths per year instead of changing the laws? We can amend the constitution. We’ve done it more than a few times.

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