Orlando Shooting

Don't Disarm Suspected Terrorists

Americans should not lose their Second Amendment rights without due process.


After Omar Mateen murdered dozens of people at a gay nightclub in Orlando early Sunday morning, he immediately became Exhibit A in the case for banning gun sales to suspected terrorists. But such a policy would not have stopped Mateen, and it would deprive many innocent people of their constitutional rights without due process.

Federal officials say Mateen bought the weapons he used in the attack, a Sig Sauer MCX rifle and a Glock 17 pistol, at a local gun shop on June 4 and 5, respectively. He passed a background check, meaning he did not have a criminal or psychiatric record that legally disqualified him from owning a gun.

The day after the massacre, Senate Democrats argued that the gun sales could have been prevented by the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act, a bill the Senate rejected last December. "If that legislation had been in effect," said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), "it is very likely that the FBI would have been able to block the purchase of these two weapons."

The bill, introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), would authorize the attorney general to block a gun purchase by someone "appropriately suspected" of involvement in terrorism based on "a reasonable belief" that he "may" use the gun "in connection with terrorism." If Schumer is right that Mateen met those criteria when he bought his guns, that only shows how easy it would be to strip people of their Second Amendment rights under Feinstein's bill.

In 2013, the Los Angeles Times reports, Mateen, the son of Afghan immigrants, "was questioned by FBI agents after they were told he had made inflammatory comments that co-workers worried were sympathetic to terrorists." Nothing came of it: "The FBI agents determined that Mateen had not broken any laws and closed the investigation."

The following year, the Times says, the FBI interviewed Mateen again "because agents had learned he had contact with an American who later died in a suicide bombing in Syria." They "closed that investigation because they concluded the contacts with the suicide bomber had been minimal."

At that point, according to the Times, Mateen's name was removed from the FBI's so-called Terrorist Watchlist. It is hard to see how a man who was cleared twice by the FBI and was no longer on a watch list could have been "appropriately suspected" of involvement in terrorism, or even how the FBI would have noticed that he was buying a gun.

But it's true that Feinstein's bill makes it very hard to reverse such a determination. A would-be gun buyer who tried to get his Second Amendment rights back might not be able to see the evidence against him, and he would lose as long as the government could show it was more likely than not that the attorney general's decision met the statutory criteria. The upshot is that people could permanently lose the right to keep and bear arms based on nothing more than unsubstantiated suspicions.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which estimates that the FBI's watch list includes more than 1 million names, describes it as a "virtually standardless" dragnet that "ensnares innocent people and encourages racial and religious profiling." Although the list is supposedly limited to people "reasonably suspected of being involved in terrorist activity," something like two-fifths have "no recognized terrorist group affiliation."

The presumptive presidential nominees of both major parties nevertheless think people on watch lists should not be allowed to buy guns. "If somebody is on a watch list," Donald Trump told ABC News last November, "I would keep them away, absolutely." Hillary Clinton dismisses constitutional concerns, saying, "If you are on that list and you believe you should not be on that list, we have a process to actually raise your objections."

But that process is stacked against people mistakenly linked to terrorism, who are forced to prove their innocence. Americans should not have to dispel secret suspicions before they can exercise their constitutional rights.

© Copyright 2016 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

NEXT: Terror Semantics, the AR-15 McGuffin, Runaway Aboutism, and the Clinton/Trump Follies: Working Through Orlando on The Fifth Column

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  1. Slippery slope arguments don’t always hold merit, but I can’t think of a better example of a proposed policy that’s pretty much guaranteed to have a steep slope. Libs don’t even hide the fact that they’re happy to use whatever extrajudicial means necessary to subvert the 2nd w/o repealing or amending it. And they have no problem with totalitarian abuse from the permanent bureaucracy.

    So how quickly would a “terrorist” watchlist become a defacto “possible militia member” watchlist become a “any rural white guy with a gun” watchlist? Pesky need for a constitutional amendment averted!

    Though I don’t know why gun grabbers are going this route anyways. Civil forfeiture is much easier. They can just presume your gun guilty of something and arrest it without violating your right to due process.

    1. I think the slippery slope argument started when the Dems insisted that the newly minted Homeland Security take over security at the nation’s airports. Anyone who objected was called a nutter conspiracy theorist (or worse).

      Then we got no-fly lists…. which civil libertarians objected to…. but only a nutter would believe that they would be misused. Yet we have two year old kids who cannot travel with their families because they might be a terrorist.

      Nah. There would never, ever be a possibility that expanding the no-fly list to become a no-buy list might further a slide down the slope.

      We’d never see people added to the no-fly list because they want them on the no-buy list as well. Couldn’t happen.

      When their stated agenda is to get rid of all guns, I don’t really see how we need to invoke the slippery slope argument anyway.

      1. I am close to one of those two year olds. I have a screencap saved of his mother being interviewed about it, with the banner, “Mother of suspect infant.”

        1. I don’t see what the problem.. Why would a 2 year old need to buy an assault weapon with an extended magazine? /s

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  2. I have an answer. It is not as Libertarian as NOT having a system, but until our society is considerably more peaceful with each other and our weapons, one is likely needed.

    The issue is allowing the government to be both users and custodians of the same set of data. When that happens, the slippery slope is excessively steep. How long did it take to get from the Patriot Act to NSA phone records?

    I am working on a citizen-issued permit system (or at least a citizen-data-custodian model where the government must present a warrant to further get information). This system is set up with private registrars who can ensure due process rights. It is not perfect, but I have been working on it a lot with the feedback I’ve gotten so far. Please read. Probable Kickstarter on July 31.


    1. Our society is remarkably “peaceful with each other and our weapons, one is likely needed.”

      The problem isn’t pervasive. Its isolated to a very few communities. We don’t need a universal system. 99.99% of gun owners don’t need a permit, regardless of who holds the paper.

    2. This seems pointless to me. We actually did have a system in place that was designed to a)be local, b)train people in arms safety/usage, c)provide feedback specifically on who was socially hostile to their neighbors, d)provide feedback on who seems to get weird by the mere act of holding a gun in their hands, e)help the latter two groups over those hurdles, f)while denying the ‘right’ of community to decide whether an individual should surrender their own ‘right’ to self-defense

      It was called the militia. And in all honesty, it worked in those areas which took that local responsibility seriously. Unfortunately, most areas did not take that responsibility seriously (for all sorts of different reasons – which are the PROPER object of any solution) – so we scrapped it in favor of the standing army and professionalized unionized police/fire/etc.

      1. Have the Union Congress add females to the definition of militia exempt them from the requirement of federal militia enrollment even in time of war. Force the Union Congress to create the SOP considered in the Constitution to be the “well regulated” [currently they consider me to be well regulate with out any training requirements] as required by the consitution.
        Then when the Union Congress has done their job, have the States train the militia in those Systems of training, organization, disipline, and enrollment. Insure that most training is when not enrolled but with bouts of actual practice enrolled under military disipline. [testing the stability of the member, creating oppertunity for dishonorable or mental medical discharge]
        The only question about weapons the State needs to ask is if the logistics officer needs to lay up an assault rifle in the armory for them. They don’t need to know if you prefer to bring a battle rifle instead unless enrolling for active service rather then training.

        This done the State using the call of the 14th amendment can then define good governance of local posse comitatus rather rather than the federal posse comitatus of the militia. The State then takes the Union role of creating SOP for posse, and the counties and settlements do the training. This training including LEO standard weapons, team organization, and techniques.
        just remember the keep and bear claus.

  3. Of course the fact that is never mentioned in these stories is that he worked as a security contractor for DHS and was allowed by the government to carry a gun for his job. A job he should have lost when his coworkers indicated that he was a huge risk to carry out violence.

    1. They want more power for the government, not competence.

    2. “A job he should have lost when his coworkers indicated that he was a huge risk to carry out violence.”

      If that’s so, then government employee unions had something to do with that, I’m sure.

      You can’t fire a DHS employee just because he threatens people–at least, not on the first offense.

    3. A job he should have lost when his coworkers indicated that he was a huge risk to carry out violence.

      So instead of the government deciding when your 2A rights should be taken away, we have your co-workers preemptively decide instead?

      Um…no thanks. Your rights are your rights until you’ve actually initiated force upon another. Until you can invent the crystal ball, it can be no other way.

      1. If his coworkers had legitimate reason to think he was a huge risk to carry out violence (which they probably did considering what happened), and had proof of it, then I don’t think him getting fired from a government job would be unjust. Maybe he hadn’t committed a crime at that point, but I don’t think you have to commit a crime for the government to fire you.

        1. But how would losing his job stop him from what he did?

          We going to steal the guns of anyone fired from a government job, because of what they might do?

          He had a government approved license to carry anywhere in the state. If anything, this incident shows that it’s impossible to predict who’s going to be the nut-job that snaps and kills a bunch of people.

          While still a tragedy, this is the price you pay for living in a free society. People need to get over it.

          1. But how would losing his job stop him from what he did?

            It wouldn’t. But he should have been fired anyway.

            1. This

      2. Good point, Fd’A. Off the cuff and feel free to destroy this idea. How about publishing the names of terror suspects instead of taking rights while giving those listed reasonable recourse to have them removed and compensating them when they are in error as in the 2 year old. Perhaps listing their accusers as well. I don’t want any rats to feel they have to hide in the shadows and people should have the right to know who accuses them which would aid in their defense from same. There would be transparency that would allow the accused to have others come to their defense as well.

        The “See Something, Rat Something” should work both ways. People should not be losing rights because of an unaccountable bureaucracy with secret files.

        1. Additionally, the burden would be on the agency responsible for the list to meet the burden of proof necessary to defame them (if untrue, of course) at their hearing that would be held expeditiously as in a speedy trial of sorts.

          People should not be willing to make accusations without accountability as in child abuse reports. Like cockroaches, the accused would not feel comfortable operating nefariously under the light of day and scrutiny. And in the case of reprisals against accusers, they would be taking one for the team if true. I would predict an increase in restraining orders which should also not be able to strip people of their rights.

          1. How about publishing the names of terror suspects instead of taking rights while giving those listed reasonable recourse to have them removed and compensating them when they are in error…

            Interesting notion.

            My fear is there is too much potential for this to be used against political enemies and those who speak out against the state. I see that you’ve includes safeguards for that, but a government with unlimited resources could wage all manner of smear campaigns to subvert the “truth.”

            I’m more inclined to keeping government in the business of punishing criminals rather than preventing them..

      3. So are you saying a gun dealer should be forced to sell a gun to someone who hasn’t initiated force yet?

        1. Why would you think I said that?

          You have a right to keep and bear arms. You never have a right to force a private citizen to do fuck-all against their will (provided he complies with the NAP).

          1. But the 2nd Amendment is at core a right to self-defense not just a gun fetish. And the question then is how far does NAP stretch. I’ll use an analogy that is a reach here but to make my point clearer. Let’s say you have a lynch mob in town and they string someone up?

            Who is guilty of violating NAP? Not the LEGAL issue of who is guilty – but the NAP issue
            The person who put the noose around the neck and only that person?
            The people in the lynch mob who just had a fun time chasing the guy and then just watched the final act?
            A guy who knew the lynch mob was getting ready and refused to help the guy before it started?

            I don’t have ‘answer’. But the self-defense right here is probably the most serious and basic one that can exist. And it really is a responsibility of those who (correctly) assert that it remains an individual right to say how the right remains real when it is a situation of an individual v a ‘free association’ group. It is a complete copout to assert that ‘self-defense’ only applies to defense against a big anonymous ‘state’.

            1. The person who put the noose around the neck and only that person?


              The people in the lynch mob who just had a fun time chasing the guy


              An onlooker, who took no part…certainly not.

              A guy who knew the lynch mob was getting ready and refused to help the guy before it started?

              Certainly not.

              WRT self defense and the NAP, you are justified in coming to the aid of another who has had aggression initiated upon them, but you are by no means obligated to.

    4. Judge Napolitano said on “Kennedy” that the FBI and his employer both failed to report to the other about Mateen’s FBI contact which would have likely prevented him from passing the background check. Your tax dollars at work and keeping you safe until it doesn’t.

  4. We could, though we won’t, simply say it is the job if the citizenry to protect themselves. Leave the State to arrest and try any criminal that survives.

    But that would cause the gun-grabbers to drum their widdle heels on the ground and shriek as if they were being fed into a tree shrdder….

    1. We could, though we won’t, simply say it is the job if the citizenry to protect themselves.

      This. It’s the statutory reality, anyway, since it is established that LEOs have no obligation to protect any particular individual.

  5. Due process is so quaint. Like innocent until proven guilty or mens rea. Nobody cares about that anymore. It slows things down when right now we need government to DO SOMETHING and DO IT NOW! I mean, think of the children!

  6. Punishing people who’ve never done anything illegal for what some psychotic terrorist did is wrong.

    There’s a word for those who would punish a whole group of people for what one person did, and the word is “prejudiced”.

    It’s wrong to be prejudiced against people because of their race. It’s wrong to be prejudiced against law abiding gun owners, too.

  7. The upshot is that people could permanently lose the right to keep and bear arms based on nothing more than unsubstantiated suspicions.

    And you’d better believe that’s the point of it.

  8. Like I needed another reason to suspect selfie-takers

  9. That Terrorist Watch List is really the Hotel California.

    1. “…is really the Hotel California.” But, but it’s such a lovely place.

  10. Trump reiterates that he wants people on the FBI’s watch list banned from buying guns.


    1. No. He says he’s going to discuss the topic with the NRA. It’s actually pretty brilliant positioning. I’ll wait to condemn him until after the talk if he actually does say that’s his proposed policy.

      1. To add: you don’t see Hillary, or most other Democrat gun-grabbers, willing to sit down at the table with the NRA and discuss these issues.

      2. Is this a joke? Are you imitating a Trump supporter?

        Read this article. He established this as his position last November. And since the NRA is against the ban, why would he discuss it with them unless he wanted to convince them of his position (in support of it)?

        1. I can believe he wants them to convince them of his position, but I also believe that he’s willing to back off that position, if, as RC Dean says, the NRA grows at least one testicle. He wants to see how bad holding that position will hurt him. Hopefully the NRA will have the balls to say “very badly.” Persuasion can work two ways, and I think Trump is persuadable.

          So, if he backs off the position, fine. If he doesn’t, then … I dunno: so many shit sandwiches on the menu in November

          1. Update: It appears the NRA will display exactly zero testicles. 🙁

      3. I will be meeting with the NRA, who has endorsed me, about not allowing people on the terrorist watch list, or the no fly list, to buy guns.

        Sounds to me like he wants to roll the NRA. Here’s hoping that the inside-the-beltway rifle association grows at least one testicle and tells him to knock off the gun-grabbing if he wants their endorsement.

  11. Hillary Clinton dismisses constitutional concerns, saying, “If you are on that list and you believe you should not be on that list, we have a process to actually raise your objections.”

    The smug arrogance of that woman never ceases to amaze me. When she says “you believe you should not be on that list” she is plainly saying “you’re too stupid to know and your betters will decide what list you’re on, serf”. And a process to “raise objections”? WTF is that? A form you can fill out that they can ignore? Heh, “raising your objections” will probably land you on another list.

  12. Hillary Clinton dismisses constitutional concerns

    No shit?

  13. Branding people heretics and destroying their rights is the proudest legacy of the Republican, Democratic and Islamic parties. Likewise, alienating voters who might otherwise dream of breaking the family tradition of voting the straight Democratic Ku-Klux Bryanist or straight Republican dry-killer Methodist tickets, and maybe vote libertarian, seems to have developed into a religious sacrament for some of the staff at Reason.

    The libertarian platform does not welcome suicide-jihadist Ottomaniacs with no passports, as Reason has convinced conservative crusaders to believe. But even freethinkers balk at handing military hardware to the mental likes of Robert Lewis Dear or Omar Mateen for pretty much the same reason. That pro-life-after-death whack jobs will struggle to camouflage themselves in the shadow of the Bill of Rights is a given, but it is better to expose than abet them in this endeavor–while a few scraps of the Bill of Rights still remain.

  14. “Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2015”

    But firearms and explosives are available to non-dangerous terrorists.

    And, of course, available to dangerous people so as long as they aren’t terrorists.

    By the way, has any civil libertarian lawyer read this on appealing a denial of firearm and secrecy? Particularly: “The court shall sustain the Attorney General’s determination upon a showing by the United States by a preponderance of evidence that the Attorney General’s determination satisfied the requirements of section 922A or 922B, as the case may be. To make this showing, the United States may submit, and the court may rely upon, summaries or redacted versions of documents containing information the disclosure of which the Attorney General has determined would likely compromise national security. Upon request of the petitioner or the court’s own motion, the court may review the full, undisclosed documents ex parte and in camera. The court shall determine whether the summaries or redacted versions, as the case may be, are fair and accurate representations of the underlying documents. The court shall not consider the full, undisclosed documents in deciding whether the Attorney General’s determination satisfies the requirements of section 922A or 922B.”

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  16. RE:
    Don’t Disarm Suspected Terrorists
    Americans should not lose their Second Amendment rights without due process.

    No! No! No!
    That only works in a free country.
    This is Amerika, land of the watched, home of the enslaved and land of the oppressed.
    Just look at all the wise and prudent civil asset forfeiture laws.
    You don’t see the accused getting due process there and for good reason.
    Everyone in this country is guilty until proven innocent.
    But then, isn’t that what our Founding Fathers wanted?

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  18. If government gets that power, they WILL use it against political dissenters — thus ultimately thwarting the purpose for which the 2nd Amendment was written: revolution. This must not happen and if it does it must be disobeyed.

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  20. The proper discussion we should be having is to repeal the 2nd. No one can defend it without invoking myth. And it’s killing us

    1. I can defend it without invoking any myth. The government has no legal obligation to protect anyone. If not them, and not you, then who?

      1. And I have the right to defend myself against people with guns, via the law…by restricting their access

        1. Yeah, the criminals are totally going to ask your permission first.

          1. Let’s only pass laws crooks will obey. The US has, by FAR, the highest murder rate of any developed nation. Are their crooks nicer than ours?

            1. Crooks don’t obey laws. That’s what makes them crooks. You haven’t explained why you need to control my access to guns when I’m not a crook.

              1. So your solution is to get rid of the laws. What a logical argument…for a gun cultist. I need to control your access because you’re not a killer until you are. It happens 10,000 times a year…hardly unique

                1. Well by that stellar logic, how do I know you’re not a murderer? Maybe I need the gun to protect myself from you.

                  1. Exaclty my point. Thank you. Before i can get a gun I should have to prove myself. You’re getting it!

                    1. Prove yourself to whom? Where are these superhumans with perfect judgment?

                    2. You have to prove you can drive a car. Guess all the super humans are at the Dmv

                    3. Why shouldn’t you have to prove yourself before you can have a phone line that isn’t monitored by the FBI as well?

                    4. Phones dont kill. Guns do. Big difference

                    5. Terrorists and criminals use phones to communicate.

                    6. And yet no one was ever kill d with a phone. Plenty killed with guns.

                    7. And you have offered no evidence that they would not have been killed had there been some nebulous form of gun control which is totally not gun confiscation even though you keep talking about getting rid of all guns.

                    8. Evidence? The US has a murder rate 300% higher than any other advnaced country. That’s the evidence

                    9. Did you know that people commit suicide because of how much money we spend on science and technology? True story

                    10. Talk about a non sequitur. Giving up, are you?

                    11. You’re right, the evidence is stronger for my proposition than yours. It has a correlation coefficient of .997; all you’ve got is cherry picking and wishful thinking.

                    12. Boy I’d love to see yiur spread sheet! As to suicides, since you brought it up, 20,000 people shoot themselves each year. Oops

                    13. I thought we were talking about murders? So you’re just gonna flail some more with unrelated crap?

                    14. You brought up suicide. You really do have a short term memory problem dont you?

  21. The right says the govt will use power against us. Just who? The Marines? Who?

    And if the slippery slope argument were true, the death penalty, invested by the right with maigical powers, would have been used to kill govt enemies. It’s a bogus argument

    1. Just who? The Marines? Who?

      Why don’t you ask Cheye Calvo and his wife?

      1. So That was resolved by law. Golly. No guns needed. You advocating killing cops? And local cops cant take over the country. Your entire thesis proves my point.

        1. It wasn’t resolved. The cops who did it faced no consequences whatsoever. And if “no guns [were] needed”, then why did the SWAT team have guns?

          1. And all thise blacks killed by cops? Are conservatives advocating blacks rise up and start slaughtering cops? By the way the case you cite was not a govt take over.

            1. The only right being argued for is self-defense. Not slaughter or massacre. No one has that right and anyone who commits such acts is severely punished, up to and including the death penalty.

              The “takeover” already happened. It happened the day people like you voted to give the police immunity from the very laws they are charged with enforcing.

              1. It’s funny to watch the right scream about the very cops they made into 007s

                1. So you got nothing?

                  1. You’re complaining about the fact your idea is a failure? Well…yes, it is

                    1. You just keep telling yourself stupid lies.

                    2. You’re the one complaining about killer cops…defended by the right

                    3. Where did I defend a cop?

                    4. The right screams that blacks who complain about killer cops are racist.

                    5. Are you talking to me, or the voices in your head? Where did I say any of that?

                    6. You denying that the right is screaming that blacks are racist against cops?

                    7. I’m having a discussion with you, not nameless third parties who do not speak for me.

                    8. Sorry, cant keep up with all you right wingers. Your arguments are contradictory. But tell me about these swat teams taking over America

                    9. I didn’t say they were taking over America. I said they already had. With the willing support of voters like you. But all they’re really interested in is getting overtime pay, harassing innocent people, and shooting dogs. We should all be so thankful for our benevolent overlords.

                    10. Really? They have? Well if you’re going to lie certainly you’re a gun cultist.

                    11. What happened to the SWAT team that invaded Cheye Calvo’s home and shot his dogs? Or the sheriff and his buddies that defended their actions?

                      Oh right, they are all still employed with the government.

                    12. Did they take over the govt? If so where are they here in PA?

                    13. Your state calls them SERT. Whoopdie-do.

                    14. And yet my township doesnt even have a police force. So much for a govt takeover. Again your argument fails

                    15. Your township declared independence from PA and the US? Bravo. When does the bombing start?

                    16. Like I said who’s gonna take us over? You failed to answer. So much for the 2nd.

                    17. You set up a challenge and I answered it. If the SWAT team wrongly busts down your door at 3AM, shoots your dogs, and shouts contradictory orders at you at gunpoint, you will cower in a puddle of your own piss like anyone else.

                      If you want to look at a more blatant takeover, then you will only prove my point further. Mao confiscated all the guns that weren’t his. He then murdered millions. So much for gun control.

                    18. You’re gonna kill local cops? Now you’re claiming we need guns in case LOCAL cops take over the country? Is THAT your argument?

                    19. They already took over. Are you illiterate? I’ve said that multiple times.

                      They get what they want: comfortable salaries, pensions that bankrupt one city after another, immunity from prosecution, and the ability to act like thugs under color of the law.

                      That is the takeover. It already happened. They are the feudal knights, and we are the serfs. There is no greater plan.

                    20. They already took over. Are you illiterate? I’ve said that multiple times.

                      They get what they want: comfortable salaries, pensions that bankrupt one city after another, immunity from prosecution, and the ability to act like thugs under color of the law.

                      That is the takeover. It already happened. They are the feudal knights, and we are the serfs. There is no greater plan.

                    21. By the way mao used the chinese armed forces. You STILL have failed to tell us who’s gonna take over! You really dont have an argument here, do you?

                    22. Mao used the paramilitary forces of the Communist Party, after driving the republican-nationalist Chinese forces to Formosa (later, Taiwan).

                      And if you are going to take people’s guns away, then it’s you who’s taking over. And you’re pretty scary, since you think murder “just happens” and the cops are infallible.

                    23. The US has no national paramilitary forces. Oops.

                      And, again more proof that you’re in a cult. Not once did I ever mention taking away guns. Ever. But you cultists have your myths dont you?

    2. It is worth noting that, in the quintessential example of fascism, the armed forces of the country were not the instrument used to oppress people. The Nazi Party raised its own paramilitary forces. And even the police forces had to be gutted of people who opposed the fascists.

      1. The US has no paramilitary forces. That’s the whole point of decntralized police forces. Again you prove my point

        1. The US has no paramilitary forces.

          And there are no homosexuals in Iran, either.

          1. I notice you didnt describe any paramilitary forces at all. Not a single group…almost as if there are none

              1. Swat teams are local cops. They cant take over the US. thanks again for proving my point. You simply cant prove a scenario where we need guns to stop a takeover

                1. You simply cant prove a scenario where gun control stops crime

                  Your argument works both ways

            1. And even if there were none today, so what? Do you think none will ever exist? There were no Nazis in Germany in 1920. So I guess the long night of fascism never descended on Europe?

              1. They had to gut their constitution to do it. You really think the marines would watch that happen?

                1. The same Marines who grew up with guns and hunting? No. The “Marines” you’d create by disarming the populace? Absolutely.

                  1. So the answer is no, no one is taking us over, so guns are useless. Thanks for proving my point

                    1. guns are useless

                      Then why do you need to “control” them?

                    2. Because they kill. You think murder is useful?

                    3. You think people are going to stop murdering because you pass a law?

                    4. Killing does not necessarily equate to murder. Killing is sometimes justified.

                    5. There were 300 justifiable homicides last year and 10,000 murders. Less than 3% of all homicides are self defense

                    6. So 300 people must die so that some number might live? Talk about a cult.

                    7. 10k must die so 300 may live? Talk about a cult.

                    8. The 300 did not kill the 10,000.

                    9. Nor did the 10k kill the 300

                    10. The lowest estimate of defensive gun uses provided in testimony to the Supreme Court during the Heller hearing was somewhere around 50,000. A gun does not have to be fired to be used in defense.

                    11. Since there are MANY more crimes in the US than 50,000 it’s obvious there are many ways to stop crime, without guns. And since our gun ownership rate leads to the highest rate of murders in the developed world it’s evident one crime guns do NOT prevent is murder.

                      Ironic, isnt it?

                    12. Of course guns don’t prevent murder. But they might stop you from murdering me. I never promised to stop you from murdering anyone else.

                    13. Ah. On the basis of “might” we decide to kill 10k per year. Why not restrict guns and have that number drop? If your goal is fewer dead that’s how you do it according to the evidence

                    14. I didn’t kill anyone.

                    15. Tomorrow you might. Or I might. It happens 10,000 times a year. This is not about you!

                    16. So what? You might kill somebody with a hammer tomorrow as well.

                    17. And yet guns are used in 80% of murders. There’s a reason the marines use guns and not hammers

                    18. I know I’m not going to kill anyone. But the way you’re talking, I think you might. We should lock you up just to be sure. Just put a government stamp of approval on that decision and it’s all good, right?

                    19. You know you’re not going to kill. Every killer says that. Funny that argument fails 10,000 times a year.
                      But lets’s keep trying it!

                    20. Did you develop mind-reading technology?

                    21. I can read an obit about someone who got killed

                    22. And you can feel smug about your self-righteousness. What you haven’t demonstrated, at all, is that you could have prevented the murder.

                    23. Since no advanced nation has our murder rate the evidence shows gun control reduces the murder rate

                    24. Broken record, much? No, it doesn’t show that. But maybe if you repeat it enough, like a wish, it will come true!

                    25. You find me a developed country with a higher murder rate and I’ll join the NRA. if you cant you join handgun control. Deal?

                    26. What the fuck does the NRA have to do with anything? More irrelevant drivel. Stop spewing talking points.

                      And no, I’m not joining your cult. You’re worse than Scientologists.

                    27. Good god you dont even inderstans a bet! What a simpleton!

  22. If everyone in that bar had been carrying a gun, how many would have died? I’m sure it would have been a lot less than 50.

    1. And if no one had a gun the toll would have been 0

        1. We had 10,000 killed by guns. There’s a reason the marines use guns and not knives. It’s called the “instrumentality effect”

          1. 1. The guns the Marines use are illegal for civilians to own in the same form
            2. We have 325,000,000 people and 3 million in prison for various crimes; 10,000 homicides is not a statistically significant number
            3. You said 0 deaths. You lied.

            1. If so few are killed by guns…why do we need guns to protect us from something that never happens? And if no one had a gun no one would have been killed. You lied.

              1. So you got nothing?

                1. It’s your argument that’s an oxymoron

                  1. Your strawman is not my argument.

                    1. It’s your argument that we need guns to protect us from statistically insignificant (sic) events. Your words, not mine

                    2. My argument is that you don’t need to control them.

                    3. Your argument is incoherent. If 10,000 deaths…the highest rate in the developed world…are insignificant then we dont need guns. If they are significant we need fewer guns since the evidence from every advanced nation shows that works. Either way we dont need guns

                    4. There is no evidence. There is only conjecture. And it is poorly supported. But that is irrelevant, anyway. I don’t answer to your technocracy cult any more than you answer to the alleged gun cult.

                    5. No evidence of what? That 10k are dying per year? Well you’re wrong on that. And it’s your own argument that relies on 10k deaths being insignificant (sic)… Your word, not mine

                    6. No evidence that your policies would have saved them.

                    7. Sure there is. new Zealand, Canada, the UK, germany, France…all of which have lower murder rates.

                    8. I’m sure the low murder rates were of much comfort to the attendees of the Bataclan Theatre. But hey, there was gun control, so that didn’t even happen, right?

                    9. And yet shootings still occur in those countries. How many of those countries you listed have lower violent crime rates than the U.S in general?

                    10. Murder is a crime. Why dont guns stop that crime? Why is our murder rate 300% higher than any other advanced country? What part of murder is not a crime?

                    11. Guns stop plenty of crimes, including attempted murders. Why is our violent crime rate in general higher?

                    12. Since our murder rate is 300% higher than other advanced nations, why dont guns stop murder?

                    13. How many crimes did you personally stop?

                    14. At least a dozen or so by calling the cops when I see something suspicious

                    15. You stopped crimes by picking up a phone? Did the phone walk out and threaten the criminals?

                      Oh, no, that’s right. Men with guns came. But guns are bad, right?

                    16. One way to stop crime is to call the cops. And TRAINED people with guns came. not the NRA. Oops

                    17. The police have less than 50% accuracy. Sometimes, they fire 20 shots and hit innocent bystanders. Trained professionals, huh?

                      But yeah, the NRA is out murdering people. Mother Jones told me so!

                    18. And yet you trust untrained people with guns???

                    19. I trust myself more than your empty promises.

                    20. The rate of domestic violence among police officers is twice that of the general population. So why should they be trusted with guns?

                    21. Maybe they shouldn’t. But that’s not really rlevant is it? Getting desperate I see

                    22. You have not yet set up a point that doesn’t fall down upon scrutiny. Desperation is not an accusation you should be throwing around like a stone in your glass house.

                    23. Ah. Point. Like the fact the US has the developed world’s highest murder rate…a point you ignored

                    24. I’m not ignoring it. It doesn’t say anything about gun control. You keep repeating the same irrelevant factoid as though it were a magic totem making your arguments sound. It’s not.

                    25. The fact they all have stronger gun control and 1/ our murder rate? Their murder rate should be higher if guns made us safe. It’s called empiricism…testing an assertion.

                      That you dont know this, but relect it? Cult beliefs. Face it. You’re in a cult

        1. That happened once. We have 10,000 killled every single year. Because of guns. And you still cant tell us why guns are needed

          1. Why do you need to take away the guns of non-murderers?

            Your needs are not greater than mine.

            1. Did anyone say take away guns? Notice, again, the paranoid right has to invoke myth to support their faith based cult about guns. Gun control is not gun confiscation.

              1. If your policy does nothing, then why is it needed?

                1. You said gun confiscation. Glad to see you rolling that back. Since NO advanced nation has our murder rate and NONE has a “2nd”, gun control works

                  1. Lots of nations have gun control. What does being “advanced” have to do with it? I thought it was about guns.

                  2. So you’re not going to take guns away, except for the guns you need to “control”. Got it.

                    1. Yep. Works in every advanced country on earth. It’s not rocket science except to the US gun cult

                    2. You don’t even have correlation, never mind causation. Crime across the “developed” world has generally trended downward for decades. The same is true in the US. Gun control didn’t change the overall rates of violent crimes.

                    3. You saying guns cant cause death? I’m a volunteer EMT. I’ve seen dead people shot with guns so you’re wrong.

                      And if violence is down why do we need guns? By the way our murder rate is 3x that of other advanced countries. Why isnt that a problem?

                    4. Of course guns can cause death. The person pulling the trigger almost certainly intended as much. Because he’s a murderer. He can also intend a knife, a bomb, a blunt weapon, or a well placed matchstick to cause the same outcome. The gun doesn’t make him want to kill, and he doesn’t stop wanting to kill because he has a harder time getting a gun.

                  3. But those same countries have always had a far lower murder rate than we have, even before they enacted strict gun control.

                    1. Because they always had fewer guns. Again proving my point that fewer guns means fewer deaths

                    2. That would only make sense if their rates of violent crime in general tracked with ours.

                    3. Gun ownership in the US is at all-time highs yet murder rates are at 40-year lows.

                    4. Well no. Per capita gun onwership is down. Fewer people buying more guns. And if violence is down why do we need more guns? Why does the US, the most heavily armed nation on earth, have the highest murder rate? Why doesnt it have the LOWEST?

                    5. The US does not have the highest murder rate. You told another lie.

                      It doesn’t have the lowest because guns don’t magically stop criminals from existing any more than they make people commit crimes. People commit crimes because they want to.

                    6. You cant read can you. Typical gun cultist. I never said the US had the highest murder rate. Ever. Not once.

                      And other nations have criminals are theirs just nicer than ours?

                      But you’re incapable of understanding or formulating a coherent argument

                    7. Correction.i made a typo…we have the highest murder rate in the developed world AS I POINTED OUT AT 6:30. Do I really need to tyoe that over and over for you? Are you incapable of following the thread?

                    8. Of course I can follow the thread. You can’t follow your own script. Try harder.

                    9. If you’re gonna lie about what you just said, at least wait until the thread is cold so people might believe you. You said the US has the highest murder rate on earth. You forgot your bullshit “advanced” qualifier. It’s not my fault you’re so far up your own ass you can’t keep your talking points straight. I’m still waiting for your explanation of what “advanced” has to do with anything.

                    10. Guess you cant tell time can you? I expect you’re intelligent enough to follow the thread

                      My mistake

                      And advanced is bullshit? You wanna live in Somalia?

                    11. You’re right. Brazilians should just lay down and die because they’re not real people, right?

                    12. So yiu want to compare the American murder rate to 3rd world countries? Another proof the gun cult argument failed. If you want to be proud that we’re more like Brazil than Canada, go ahead, tell the American public how proud our guns make us!

                    13. Who’s talking about pride? You’re getting incoherent at this point. But I understand, those savages should know their place. Under the heel of government.

                    14. Canadians are under the heel of govt? Funny I’ve been there dozens of times. Never saw that. Same with the UK

                    15. I’m glad your brief visits to foreign countries were so enjoyable, but I’m a citizen of the US not a tourist so what you said is irrelevant to the argument your’e making.

                      Also, I was pretty clear talking about Brazil. A place with strict gun control. And a lot more homicides than here.

                    16. So, like a culltist, you reject evidence if it come from furrners!! ‘MURRICA, YEAH. A CULT

                      Brazil is 3rd world. If that’s a comparison go ahead and tell the public we’re just like a 3rd world country becuase of our guns

                    17. Fire arm ownership wise we are more like Canada.

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  26. What if Mateen had been unable to buy any guns?

    A response I made after another Reason commentary:

    “People respond to incentives, although not necessarily in ways that are predictable or manifest. Therefore, one of the most powerful laws in the universe is the law of unintended consequences.” -From the book “SuperFreakonomics”

    The San Bernadino shooters had:

    “…12 pipe bombs … found in the home of the two now-dead killers, along with three pipe bombs wired to a remote control device, hundreds of bomb-making tools in their garage….” bostonherald.com

    Had all guns been outlawed and none available, one unintended consequence might have been this:

    “200 pipe bombs are found in the home of the bombers who blew up the disability center, killing 50. Also found are 100 pipe bombs and thousands of bomb-making tools.”

    The Boston Marathon bombers used pressure-cooker bombs triggered by a device used in remote-control toys.

    Deny access to guns, and mass killers will use bombs.

    Deny access to bomb-making, and mass killers will use toxic gas.

    Let everyone carry guns, and mass killers and terrorists will hurl bombs and/or toxic-gas containers as they drive or dash by, catching the gun bearers by surprise.

    With each new gun law, we must try to think like a determined mass killer. Only by trying to put ourselves in these killers’ minds can we best recognize unintended consequences and find our best solutions.

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