Mass Shootings

This Is the Time To Defend the Second Amendment and Less-Strict Gun Control

Anti-gun activists are pushing for a crackdown in the wake of the Vegas shooting. That's understandable but wrong.

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In the wake of the Vegas mass shooting—the deadliest in U.S. history—anti-gun activists are out in force. "There can be no truce with the Second Amendment" reads a headline at The New Yorker. "How should we politicize mass shootings?" asks The New Republic. "Dear Dana Loesch, shut up" proclaims a piece at Refinery 29 name-checking a prominent spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association (NRA). Late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, who recently made an appeal to maintain or even expand Obamacare, told his audience on Monday, "There are a lot of things we can do about [gun violence]. But we don't."

Who can blame them? Of course Second Amendment defenders (I'm one, despite my visceral unease around guns of any shape or size) say that this isn't the time for an emotion-laden discussion of horrific violence. Shouldn't we resist "the grotesque urge to immediately transform all human tragedies into a political agenda" before we even know what happened, I asked just yesterday. Seven years ago, in the wake of the shooting of Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords and the instantaneous and erroneous linking of Sarah Palin's bland go-get-em campaign rhetoric to the rampage of a deranged shooter who turned out to be an MSNBC fan, I sounded a similar note, arguing that the "the goddamn politicization of every goddamn —thing not even for a higher purpose or broader fight but for the cheapest moment-by-moment partisan advantage" was one of the major reasons that Americans increasingly hate politics and politicians.

I stand by all that. It's wrong, I think, to immediately pivot to what are inevitably pushed as "common-sense" policy responses to gun attacks, such as banning "assault weapons" (a class of guns that doesn't really exist, have been banned in the past with no impact on violence, and detract from other, arguably more effective regulations). Thoughts of tearing up the Constitution clearly come more from the heart than the head and should be resisted until the passions calm at least a little. If hard cases make bad law, then public tragedies make terrible policy, whether we're talking about mass shootings, acts of terrorism, or celebrity drug overdoses.

Bureau of Justice Statistics

Yet libertarians who believe in their arguments should also advance their case that strong protections for gun owners are a good thing even as we pay condolences to the dead and think about ways to minimize similar events. It's not cold-blooded or Vulcan to point out that we remain in the midst of an unprecedented deceleration of violent crime and gun crime. Surely that has some connection to policies over the past quarter-century or so that have made it easier for a wide variety of people to legally own and carry guns.

"From 1993 to 2015, the rate of violent crime
declined from 79.8 to 18.6 victimizations per 1,000 persons age 12 or older," says the Bureau of Justice Statistics in its most recent comprehensive report (published last October, using data through 2015). Over the same period, rates for crimes using guns dropped from 7.3 per 1,000 people to 1.1 per 1,000 people. The homicide rate is down from 7.4 to 4.9. These are not simply good things, they are great things. They are the essential backdrop of all discussions about gun crime and mass shootings, even as we grieve the people killed nonsensically in Vegas.

By one count, seven of the 15 deadliest mass shootings have occurred in the 21st century alone, despite the fact that it's not even two decades old yet. It is not clear at all whether mass shootings are actually more common than they used to be, although there is evidence that they are more deadly. Last June, after the mass shooting at Orlando's Pulse nightclub, CNN published two charts showing mass shootings to date in 2016. Using an expansive definition that counted all incidents in which four or more people, including the original gunman, were wounded or killed, there had been 136 incidents as of June 21. Using a more restrictive definition that excluded domestic violence and gang incidents, there had been three shootings involving four or more casualties. Partly as a result of such wide parameters, the overall decline in gun violence has gone largely unacknowledged by many people, including Donald Trump, who delusionally campaigned as "the law-and-order candidate" who alone could reverse a non-existent increase in violent crime.

Which of course gets us precisely nowhere as we contemplate the dozens killed and the hundreds wounded on Sunday night in Vegas. Are there policies that might reduce the likelihood of such terrible acts without eviscerating not just constitutional rights but developments that have correlated with a much, much safer America? Perhaps, but they aren't immediately obvious or pragmatic. As Jacob Sullum noted yesterday, most of the ideas pushed by anti-gun activists would have no conceivable impact on mass shooters such as Stephen Paddock. Raising the minimum age for gun purchases to 21, limiting the number or purchases allowed each month, and developing "smart gun" technology have nothing to do with what we know (so far anyway) about Vegas, or virtually any other mass shooting. And the policy prescriptions that might—such as barring individuals with serious, documented mental problems or convictions for domestic abuse—would not have snagged Paddock. Dreams of confiscating the more than 300 million guns in private hands, thus creating a country where only the police (who have their own problems with using firearms responsibly) would require the creation of a police state every bit as bad or worse than the ones implied by The Patriot Act and the nonsensical urge to rid the workplace of illegal immigrants. Gun-control proponents like to point to rigid controls put in place in Great Britain and Australia after mass shootings. But they fail to report that, as scholar Joyce Malcolm writes, "Strict gun laws in Great Britain and Australia haven't made their people noticeably safer, nor have they prevented massacres. The two major countries held up as models for the U.S. don't provide much evidence that strict gun laws will solve our problems."

Denouncing those of us who counsel waiting until all the facts are in before implementing bold new policies whose real effects are often unintended is understandable but misguided (read this about Australia's widely mischaracterized gun-buyback program). Jimmy Kimmel and others who agree with him mean it when they say things such as:

There are a lot of things we can do about [gun violence and mass shootings]. But we don't. Which is interesting, because when someone with a beard attacks us, we tap phones, we invoke travel bans, we build walls. We take every possible precaution to make sure it doesn't happen again. But when an American buys a gun and kills other Americans, then there's nothing we can do about that. Because the Second Amendment. Our forefathers wanted us to have AK-47s, is the argument."

Their anger and sadness, which is heartfelt and shared by everyone I've spoken with, is understandable but it misdirects them. Who exactly are the people clamoring for presumably fully automatic AK-47s, which are already virtually impossible for most people to own, in every home? That's not the argument from the NRA and certainly not from me. And when you start to look at the policies Kimmel and people like him use to justify doing something now, the examples are plainly terrible. It's not a good argument to say that since we are still overreacting to Muslims because of 9/11 and to Mexicans wanting to work in the United States, we should follow suit when it comes to mass shootings.

As a country and as individuals, we need to pay our respects to the dead and wounded in Vegas. But policy cannot be a form of therapy that will neither bind our wounds now nor make us safer in the future.

Related video: "How to create a gun-free America in 5 easy steps" (2015).

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121 responses to “This Is the Time To Defend the Second Amendment and Less-Strict Gun Control

  1. These responses linked above are not surprising or very imaginative. Kinda reminds me of a Pavlovian response you see with animals. So boring……..

    1. I can smell your cunt.

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      That names rings a bell.

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  2. The progressives say, “never let a crisis go to waste”.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pb-YuhFWCr4

    It’s despicable.

    You know how the left comes across when they use tragedies like this to push policy?

    They look like the Westboro Baptist Church, back when they used to protest military funerals with signs that read, “Thank God for Dead Soldiers”

    Do they sit around all day hoping that the death toll will rise higher and higher?

    Our response to tragedy should be emotional because we’re compassionate people, but there isn’t anything we should do–or not do–because of any one tragedy. The reasons to support or attack our Second Amendment rights are the same as they were last week, and shame on the ghouls who would prey on our compassion for victims to push something we wouldn’t support otherwise.

    1. You do have to love how the exact same bunch of leftards who say we should let in hundreds of thousands or even millions of Muslim “refugees” and the potential threat of terrorists coming in is irrelevant then spin around on a dime and say we should ban all guns if doing so will “save even one life”.

      Never mind that the constitution specifically mentions arms and says absolutely nothing about immigration.

    2. “Do they sit around all day hoping that the death toll will rise higher and higher?”

      Sadly, many actually do, because tragedies like what happened in Vegas give certain people a chance to pontificate about their own righteousness and how terrible other people are. Just look at Twitter. It certainly doesn’t matter to them if their scapegoating and shaming isn’t based in evidence and reality.

      Of course, this kind of self-congratulatory condemnation behavior shows across the political spectrum. It just depends on the issue. Others wait for all kinds of bad things to happen to other people to get on their own soapbox about certain people. Doesn’t really matter what issue, as long as they can take advantage of scared, confused public by posturing as a beacon of reflexive righteousness.

  3. There are a lot of things we can do about [gun violence and mass shootings]. But we don’t. Which is interesting, because when someone with a beard attacks us, we tap phones, we invoke travel bans, we build walls. We take every possible precaution to make sure it doesn’t happen again. But when an American buys a gun and kills other Americans, then there’s nothing we can do about that. Because the Second Amendment. Our forefathers wanted us to have AK-47s, is the argument.”

    Agreed – if our federal law enforcement agencies were more powerful, more intrusive, and more heavily armed we would not have these shootings.

    1. It baffles me that Progressivism, which is quite suspicious of police, wants them to be the only ones who have guns. I don’t get it.

      1. I almost fell for the sarc. Good one.

    2. ^^^A billion times, yes.

      What would’ve been cool is if Kimmel stopped halfway through that quote and said “Wait, the PATRIOT Act is horrible isn’t it?” And went on 5 minute tear for the Libertarian Moment.

  4. I half expect to see Hillary Clinton holding a sign that reads, “Thank God for Shooting Victims”. This tweet of hers comes pretty close:

    “Our grief isn’t enough. We can and must put politics aside, stand up to the NRA, and work together to try to stop this from happening again”

    —-Hillary Clinton on Twitter

    https://tinyurl.com/yarby2q2

    Ignore for the moment the obvious contradiction of putting “politics aside” and standing “up to the NRA”, . . .

    Isn’t denigrating people’s grief highly offensive?

    What an inappropriate thing to say!

    Compared to Hillary Clinton’s response, Donald Trump’s tweets have been a class act. Donald Trump isn’t my first pick, but I’m still glad Hillary Clinton isn’t the president. She’s a ghoul.

    1. Progressives eventually lose their souls over time. Eventually, they’re not really people in any human sense. Just soulless unclean things. Look at Tony, PB, AmSoc, or Hillary Clinton.

      1. Dehumanize the opposition, so you can hate them?

        1. News flash: I already despised them, and they dehumanize themselves. In what way could I dehumanize Tomy or PB that they haven’t already done. It to themselves? I’m just calling a spade a spade (although not in a racial sense).

          1. Also in case it’s not obvious, I am both LotS and Elias. It’s not a sock puppet thing, but a log in issue I have on my iPad, versus my laptop.

            1. Then you should change it to Last of the Shitlord on iPad, or something like that, so people know it is you.

              1. Like I said, I’ve been having a problem with that.

    2. I saw people protesting the NRA yesterday in my California city. As if the NRA is bribing Congress to uphold the Constitution, in opposition to the will of the people.

    3. She’s saying that grief isn’t a sufficient response to the incident. Which doesn’t denigrate anyone’s grief as far as I can see.

      It’s a stupid comment and she’s an awful person, but that doesn’t mean we should interpret everything she says in the worst possible way.

      Let’s say 9-11 happens again and Trump gets up and says “our grief isn’t enough, we need to destroy these assholes”. I don’t think that’s denigrating anyone’s grief either.

      1. “She’s saying that grief isn’t a sufficient response to the incident. Which doesn’t denigrate anyone’s grief as far as I can see.”

        She wrote that at 7 am yesterday, when people were first finding out about the shooting and people were first discovering that their loved ones had been shot.

        Denigrating people’s grief. That’s what it was doing.

        Grief = not enough. That’s what it means. That’s what she said.

        It was insensitive and inappropriate.

      2. She’s a horrible and despicable human being, Zeb.

  5. I personally would rather take my chance living in a country where mass shootings occur (relatively infrequently), than a country where I know that I don’t have liberty. Mass shootings are horrible and appalling, but the alternative is even more appalling.

    There are bad people in the world. This is a fact of life, and it will never change. This has been the same throughout all of human history, and it still to this day isn’t a reason to give up individual liberty.

    1. I personally would rather take my chance living in a country where mass shootings occur (relatively infrequently)

      Relative to what?

      1. Relative to mass shooting rates in Norway, Finland, and Switzerland, for one.

        1. In 2011 there was a mass shooting in Norway that left around 70 dead (with some more from a bomb attack). Since Norway is only 5 million people, a proportional attack in the US would have to kill over 4000 people to be equivalent in terms of deaths per population numbers. Meaning Norway could have no other attacks for ten years, while the US maintains their current rate of about 400 deaths by “mass shooting” per year for ten years to match that. And that’s with the very “liberal” definition of “mass shooting” we use.

          For a little more perspective, while roughly one American per day dies in a mass shooting, over two thousand die from other causes. Accidents kill several hundred per day, and all murders is somewhere around 40 people/day.

      2. Your odds of dying due to a mass shooting are what? ~100 / 300,000,000 isn’t a very big number.

        I’ll take my chances.

    2. Mass shootings are also a statistical rarity. These kinds of mass shootings are more rare than getting struck by lightning.

      1. Which has the slight possibility of transforming one into Captain Marvel, but only if you yell “Shazam” first.

    3. There are bad people in the world. This is a fact of life, and it will never change. This has been the same throughout all of human history, and it still to this day isn’t a reason to give up individual liberty.

      Yes, but what has changed is our understanding of this. Say to anyone, “life is tough, always has been, sometimes there’s nothing we can do about horror and tragedy,” and see what happens. Heartless is now the new “racist.”

      I think the problem is that, since the world is actually so much safer, so much more comfortable, so much more prosperous, instead of people being thankful that these events are actually a rarity, they become outraged because the expectation is that everyone should be able to live life free from all troubles. And damn what it might mean to individual freedoms to try and legislate that.

  6. Which is interesting, because when someone with a beard attacks us, we tap phones, we invoke travel bans, we build walls.

    Which is interesting, because I bet he opposes that. So why the double standard then?

  7. The political hysteria is predictable. They wait in the wings and wait for the next tragedy, then capitalize on it. All the while toward the day they can decide for all of us. And don’t think for a second those decision will be limited to only 2nd Amendment issues.

    I detest what evil people do and the loss or crippling of innocent life. I also detest using such tragedy to further an agenda, as much as i do not want to live in a place like Great Britain they all seem to believe is f’n Valhalla. Because there the enlightened experts get to decide everything.

  8. I started re-framing this tragedy in my mind as a MK-ULTRA false-flag attack, and a lot of stuff started making a whole lot more sense.

    Shooter
    – true Lone Wolf, with no apparent reason whatsoever to commit this crime
    – elderly, white, apparent gun enthusiast, wealthy with no obvious grievances

    Venue
    – Vegas, notoriously permissive on guns, widely-known access to fully automatics
    – Country Western Music festival, presumably full of 2A supporters

    Method
    – Large cache of guns, ammo
    – Used 50-dollar hellfire trigger to make gun shoot automatic

    When I put all of that together, this guy looks like the perfect stooge to use in order to poison the well of gun rights, given that there is no way anyone could have predicted this, meaning that no amount of profiling, mental health intervention, background checking or anything else would have proven effective. The only way he could have been stopped is if there had been no guns available whatsoever. The city venue/music venue is nearly perfect, and when you add on the fact that he converted a widely-available semi to full with a cheap sub-100-dollar attachment, it just seals the deal.

    I hate to say this, but given how easy it is to pull something like this off (with or without the assistance of the spooks), gun rights aren’t going to be a thing for very much longer.

    1. When you consider how many people are willing to die for causes there is no reason why he wouldn’t die for the cause of further gun control. wether others convinced him to do this or he chose on his own. I don’t believe in conspiracies but with the number of weapons in that room it becomes suspicous of how he got them all there without help

    2. If Fast & Furious showed us anything, it’s that gun control advocates don’t care how many people have to die so they get their way. So a false-flag attack is not out of the question for me in theory. I just doubt that they’re competent enough to pull it off.

    3. “The only way he could have been stopped is if there had been no guns available whatsoever.”

      Fly into the crowd?

    4. Internet badazzes will preach that “government will never take MY guns”…but the reality is that when the government show up at the door, there will be a teary goodbye from Mr. 2nd A and his weaponry. We’ve become fat and lazy, and never had to actually fight for anything. Its easier to type on the ‘puter and feel vindicated.

      I’m a firm supporter of the 2nd A, but unless there’s some sort of uprising…I’d give it 15-20 years as it dwindles out.

      1. You’ve never lived in Minnesota or Montana then. When the government comes for their guns, they’ll give a rusty old shotgun, while the rest of their hunting rifles are hidden in the woods.

        1. PVC tubing, cosmoline, deep hole.

        2. Yup. In places where guns are not registered (which I believe is most of the country), door to door confiscation just isn’t going to work.

          1. Or they’ll just be shot dead in a lot of places. I can see that in Texas, if a some government stooges came around. Never to return to the home office.

      2. No, you are wrong.

        If it really did come to that the police would be getting ambushed on their way to collect guns.

        You surmise that it all would happen by surprise and all at once. Not possible.

      3. Ain’t nobody coming for guns around the Buffalo river. None that’s leaving.

    5. I don’t think is is likely, but it is absolutely possible. Let’s prove a point about gun control and how easy it is to kill people, all while killing people who are mostly white Republicans.

      If this was an audience at a concert of any genre of music but country music, you know that we would be almost entirely focusing on that as a motive.

      Hell, the Orlando shooter never said anything about gays. He spoke for twenty minutes explicitly about ISIS. There’s no actual evidence that he chose it to target gays whatsoever. Is it likely? Yes. But that narrative was basically the only thing we talked about, and it was even blamed on the homophobia of white Republicans.

    6. Given that Obama and Holder actually tried to perpetrate an anti-gun false flag operation (fast & furious) it certainly isn’t out of the question. Progressives, being evil soulless things, don’t give a shit if a few hick Trump supporters die, right?

    7. Or maybe some things simply aren’t explainable, especially so early after they happen.

      Not sure why so many on the internets seem to think that if something cannot be explained, it means the real explanation is being “hidden”.

      The only plausible reason is that people are comfortable with a clear explanation, because it gives the illusion that things can be prevented somehow.

      Even scientific experiments in a controlled environment usually yield more questions than answers. That’s the way the world is.

  9. Actually, violent crime correlates a lot better to average citizen’s age than it does to gun possession. As people get older, they commit less violent crime, if only because they don’t have the energy for it anymore.

    This is especially true given that 50% of both murder victims and murderers in the US are young black men between the ages of 15 and 30. As American fertility rates drop across the board, the size of that cohort drops with it.

    It has very little to do with gun ownership.

    1. The gun control crowd doesn’t give a shit about safety. They just want to take all the guns away.

  10. The hundreds injured in the most recent mass shooting were not injured by the gun but by the people rampaging to escape the confines of the area they were in, according to the Las Vegas police. they still count but that is not due to the gun just like in France when 86 were killed by a van and hundreds more hurt while trying to escape.

    1. But pointing this absolute fact out is denying the severity of the issue and “besides the point”.

  11. Poor Kimmel. His deep understanding of policy and Liberty has never been the same since he found out his crazy gf was fucking Matt Damon. Sad.

  12. Why do people give two shits what Kimmel thinks about anything? Do we only accept the words of college drop-outs when they are from the Left?

    “Man, that was an insightful take” — said by nobody after watching anything involving Kimmel. Even his writers are hacks.

    But it is nice to see Gillespie not getting too angry or snarky here. I imagine if he said that transsexual bathrooms are a bad idea and we’d have seen Nick REALLY mad. Gotta protect the REALLY important things to Libertarians these days…

    1. Why do people give two shits what Kimmel thinks about anything?

      Because he’s on TV and they already agree with what he is saying.

  13. I for one will make the argument that the 2nd amendment allows us to have fully automatic weapons. If you research the issue and constitutional history/law you will easily see that the 2nd amendment was meant to allow the people to own and bear small arms especially be not limited to the type as used by the military. How else would the people be able to take back their country from an out of control central government which was a central fear at the time.

    As always I recommend reading John Ross’s excellent book Unintended Consequences. Also the Boston Gun Bible.

    1. Hell, extrapolating from context – the immediate aftermath of well-armed citizen militias fighting a standing army – the 2nd Amendment allows private citizens to possess tanks, SAMs, howtizers, and fighter jets, too.

      Also, the Constitution specifically authorizes Congress to issue letters of marque and reprise, which assumes that there are privately-owned warships around.

    2. Actually, it reads to have citizens keep and bear military grade weapons because they will have to defend the country if attacked. There was no intention of a large standing army.
      Of course, at the time, cannon and warships were the only kind of ‘arm’ not commonly owned by the citizenry.

  14. Let’s ban jets, they take out entire buildings full of people. Then ban cars and trucks, even when not driven with ill intent they kill thousands. Then let’s get on the hate speech and never mind rights for the innocent (especially on college campuses). There are multiple countries which do NOT guarantee individual rights (like all of them) and I believe that Kimmel, et al, are free to go there.

  15. This is the playbook of the left:

    Obama: Mass shootings are ‘something we should politicize’

    Quote:
    President Obama on Thursday made an impassioned case that gun violence is “something we should politicize” following a mass shooting at a community college in Oregon.

    Obama chided opponents of gun control legislation, including those who argue the country needs more guns to prevent mass shootings. And he urged proponents of stricter gun laws to vote for political candidates who share their views.

    “Each time this happens, I’m going to bring this up,” Obama said. “Each time this happens, I am going to say we can actually do something about it.”

    In a veiled jab at the NRA, Obama asked American gun owners to consider “whether your views are properly being represented by the organization that suggests it is speaking for you.”

    1. consider “whether your views are properly being represented by the organization that suggests it is speaking for you.”

      I’m not sure an elected member of a government would find it in his own best interests to get people to think like that, Barry.

  16. “Kimmel cried more for me than he did those 50+ victims. You’re sick Kimmel, I’m coming back to bite you.”

    -Cecil D. Lion

  17. I think the best argument against gun control would be to ask proponents what other parts of the Bill of Rights they would give up to be more secure from threats against their lives.

    Countless people have died because of freedom of speech or religion, or the inability of the police to arrest criminals without due process or due to warrantless searches.

    1. I think the best argument against gun control would be to ask proponents what other parts of the Bill of Rights they would give up to be more secure from threats against their lives.

      Countless people have died because of freedom of speech or religion, or the inability of the police to arrest criminals without due process or due to warrantless searches.

      I fear their answers would depress a whole lot of us.

      Anybody want to put odds on Kimmel’s “security detail” packing heat?

      1. I fear their answers would depress a whole lot of us.

        I saw a preview for “Wisdom of the Crowd” the other night that pretty much answered the question. When the cop character expresses skepticism about Jeremy Piven’s methods due to questions over violation of privacy issues (stop laughing), Piven’s character snarkily responds, “We gave that up when we started using devices that made it easier to watch cat videos.”

        These people think no violation of our rights is out of bounds as long as its “for a good cause.” Progressives really are modern-day Puritans.

        1. Unfortunately you guys are probably right in some cases. However I would say that if you polled Americans with the two following questions, you would get markedly different results, and to me it makes absolutely no sense.

          Would you give up your first amendment rights if it meant no more terrorism?
          Would you give up your second amendment rights if it meant no more terrorism?

          1. I’m not a gun hobbyist. I’m only interested in bearing arms to protect myself. If I could give up that right in exchange for getting rid of every threat out there, then that would be a great a deal. In contrast, the right of free speech is something I value in and of itself. So it makes perfect sense to me.

            Of course, your question is only about terrorism. Most of the threats out there are not terrorism related so that makes it a harder question to answer.

          2. Here’s one: would you support the extermination of all serious progressives if it meant the restoration of all our individual rights forever?

  18. The deadliest mass shooting in US history happened in July 1863 in Pennsylvania.

    1. The deadliest school massacre was in 1927 in Bath, Michigan. It’s a pretty fascinating story.

      1. Wasn’t that a car bombing?

        1. Nope. He loaded up the school with dynamite.

      2. Ah, another prohibition-related tragedy. Sad, those christian mohammedans and their sharia laws…

    2. NPR was saying “in modern US history” yesterday, but they seem to have switched to “recent US history” now.

      1. If the Public Brainwashing System said it, I believe it, and that settles it!

      2. But it’s always mass shooting.

        58 dead isn’t anywhere near the top three U.S. mass murders. Happyland night club, Murrah Federal Building, and 9/11.

  19. Think past the immediate. There are simply too many guns in this country for added controls to have any meaningful effect other than to make you feel good that you’ve “done something” by tweaking the edges, and the notion of confiscating them all in a country this large with long-standing gun rights is absurd.

    We had guns everywhere in rural America sixty years ago when I was learning to hunt, and no mass killings with them. What’s different? The same people complaining today about the NRA are also responsible for removing every trace of formal morality training in society. Not only do today’s children not go to Sunday School or Schul, they don’t even know any children who do, with no traces left in our Public Schools, either. Add to the mix the elimination of free-range kids channeled into a preoccupation with intensely violent video games and eventually violent pornography, and you have a breeding ground for psychopaths.

    1. There have been psyochopaths for all of human history, and there will continue to be psychopaths for all of the future of the human race. No amount of laws or “formal morality training in society” (whatever in the hell that means) are going to stop this.

    2. We had guns everywhere in rural America sixty years ago when I was learning to hunt, and no mass killings with them.

      Yeah, there were mass killings back then. They just weren’t sensationalized by the media.

    3. Mystical brainwashing is not morality. The equivocation is common. It occurs everywhere in National Socialist literature. A better case can be made for the effects of overcrowding and of socialist and mystical initiation of force as the panacea for all ills, real and imaginary.

  20. Those fucking progs! they always wanna ban my asault rifles why don’t they ban the towel heads from coming in our country. thems more dangerous then any guns. we needs our guns to protect our white women from all the niggers and towel heads that wants to rape them.

    1. If US guns are so frighteningly terrible, that means we do NOT have an immigration problem, right?

  21. If more gun laws are so damn important they would have been talking about it on all the Sunday shows, tweeting about it day and night and slipping it into late night monologues BEFORE the shooting. The anti-gun crowd doesn’t give a shit about guns, murder or safety. They care about the power to control people and horrific events like Vegas give them the fear and hate they need to pull the wool over people’s eyes.

  22. Lowering gun deaths is simple, end drug prohibition. This part is completely true. My best friend’s son’s girlfriend’s father is the high roller concierge at the Mandalay. He spent 20 hours with the guy last week. Has known him for years. He had no clue the guy was planning anything. The guy was even gambling right before he started shooting. Crazy.

    1. I’m still wondering abt the patsy angle, and hoping for better data. Every one was convinced Oswald acted alone, but a lot of research has weakened that hypothesis.

  23. Sadly this issue is so controversial that nobody’s analysis can be trusted. You have to actually do the research yourself and come to your own conclusions, which is way too much work for the majority of us who don’t have any real say over what policies to adopt. And so when someone rightly says we need to slow down and not pass a knee jerk law in response to the latest disaster, they are just as likely to be saying that because they are a gun rights activist who knows that the spike in support for gun control following a mass shooting fades away in a few months and therefore the best way to keep the status quo is to put off debate for a month or two.

    But the fact is, gun control issues are nothing new. We already have heaps of research on the subject. I’m sure there are actual policy proposals out there that would lower the dangers of mass shootings, and perhaps some of them would even have reasonable trade offs with gun ownership. It’s doubtful that I’ll ever be able to tell them apart from the political rants.

    Also, gun control is not primarily about preventing mass shootings. Does an abundance of guns make it more likely some kids will blow their brains out playing with them? Does easy gun access increase suicide rates?

    1. Before the first wave of altruism-at-gunpoint delivered us from the horrors of making our own choices, laudanum and morphine were popular choices for suicides. But congregants of mythical mystics did away with those less messy alternatives. Those brainwashees today seek to coerce women into coathanger abortions instead of the less messy alternative of the safe and legal assistance of physicians–asistance women enjoy in godless Canada. I suspect this has something to do with taste in decorations. Mystics hang on their walls effigies of a tortured cadaver and claim it is their teacher, who never wrote a word, was never recorded by contemporaries, and never existed save in the folklore of a dead and alien language generated a century and a half later.

      1. “something to do with taste in decorations. Mystics hang on their walls effigies of a tortured cadaver and claim it is their teacher, who never wrote a word…”

        poetry

    2. Ask yourself: how many guns were needed to bring down the World Trade Center? The enemy is the initiation of force, and those ideologies that require the initiation of force as the main recipe in their concoction of “solutions” to the individual rights which stand in the way of their agendas. Deductively or inductively, this is not all that difficult to grasp. The Second Amendment is about a “free” state, and the “right” to own something coercive altruists deem inconvenient. Fifty people were killed by someone in Las Vegas, but more than seventy were killed by gun-grabbers in Waco, Texas. Disclosure: I do not use or sell guns and am a member of the LP, not the NRA.

  24. I went from believing that the 2nd amendment was obsolete in high school to practically doing a 180. Today, as I sit and think about it, the pro-gun side did nothing to convince me. Actually, I just kept listening to the the gun control advocates talk.

    I never took debate or anything, but if you really want to win an argument, you might not want to go around calling those who disagree with you heartless cowards who are possibly even accessories to murder and then proposing solutions that have little hope of preventing anything.

    1. Yes. Before “we” tried making government into thieves–instead of defending individual rights–Bellamy, London, Howells, Hitler, Mussolini and Lenin preached the goodness of armed altruism enforcing the common good over the individual good on disarmed dupes. Today, armed with forensic and demographic data reporting the results of these noble experiments, we see the wisdom of “the existence of a free State” much more clearly. Free, you see, is the opposite of coerced, enslaved, rightless. Surely you don?t expect looters to come out and admit that what they prefer are Gulags and Auschwitz, right?

  25. RE: This Is the Time To Defend the Second Amendment and Less-Strict Gun Control
    Anti-gun activists are pushing for a crackdown in the wake of the Vegas shooting. That’s understandable but wrong.

    The little people in this country must surrender all their firearms in this country.
    This way, life will go much smoother for out socialist slavers oppressing us.
    We’ve been over this before.

  26. The 2nd amendment is a constitutional right. It can’t be repealed by elections and popular mandate. And there’s no way enough states in the union will agree to repeal it like they did with prohibition. Some blue states will try to restrict gun rights. Some will go through, many others will be struck down by the courts.

    So that’s how it is. You’re living in a nation with unparalleled freedom to own guns and mass shootings will occasionally happen. You can either choose to stay here, a superpower nation with Disneyland and fancy malls or you can live in some place like Norway. All the Mexicans in LA can double flee violence by moving to Montana or Canada.

    Guns scare me and barring some catastrophic scenario, I’ll never own it. Who knows how any of us will feel if WE were shot? But Americans had guns decades ago and mass shootings of this scale did not happen frequently. I don’t think the KKK shot up 58 black people in one setting. So what happened?

    I’d bet schools probably indoctrinate kids to “treat someone else equally even though he looks different from YOU” instead of “Killing and stealing is wrong”. Just look at the sort of meaningless things American society gets angry over – oh no, white people making Mexican burritos! Meanwhile your friend and colleagues who need the human touch are ignored. Disaster relief is great, but that’s to be expected.

  27. Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times yesterday proposed 8 gun control measures, none of which would have prevented the Las Vegas shooting:

    1. Universal background checks. (The shooter would have passed, because he already did.)
    2. Minimum age of 21 for gun purchases. (The shooter was in his 60s.)
    3. Gun ban on anyone with domestic violence protection order. (The shooter didn’t have one.)
    4. Limit gun purchases to 2 per month. (He could have collected the 17 guns used in 8 or 9 months.)
    5. Microstamp cartridges for tracing. (No mystery where the bullets came from in Las Vegas.)
    6. Smart gun PIN technology to protect children. (The shooter was a licensed hunter.)
    7. Require safe storage of guns to protect children. (The shooter had a safe in his garage.)
    8. Invest in research to find what will work. (Good luck with that one.)

    1. They wouldn’t prevent this shooting, but they would help with accidental shootings of children by children and reduce suicides (especially teen suicides).

  28. “Over the same period, rates for crimes using guns dropped from 7.3 per 1,000 people to 1.1 per 1,000 people. The homicide rate is down from 7.4 to 4.9. These are not simply good things, they are great things. They are the essential backdrop of all discussions about gun crime and mass shootings, even as we grieve the people killed nonsensically in Vegas.”

    Per 1000? Wow. That sounds awful high. Assuming the current rate is 1.1/1000 then it’s 110/100,000 or 330,000/300 million. 310M is the 2010 population of the U.S.

    Last I heard there were around 33,000 gun deaths per year in the U.S., not 330,000.
    What’s up? Who is wrong, me you, the guy behind the tree?

    1. Why not recite the suicide rates in countries where only the only the Myrmidons of Marxism have guns? East Germany had really strict gun laws, and people literally liked up to kill themselves rather than “live” there.

  29. For every nonconsensual gun fatality there are two traffic fatalities, and there were no motor vehicles when the Second Amendment was ratified. Trucks, cars and other instrument of Mohammedan berserker murders were all invented much later. So if the idea is to reverse progress to the days of flintlocks and matchlocks to make the world safe for murderous mysticism, “we” could start with the greater danger. Traffic kills twice the people and is NOT protected by the Bill of Rights. Once the last mo-ped has been melted for scrap, the political will should be ready for repealing the Bill of Rights and passing Kristallnacht laws banning guns.

    1. Well, difference is that cars, trucks, and traffic are essential to our society. And most of the fatalities are accidents, not intentional crashes. Get rid of cars and society collapses. In contrast guns are less important to society. How many gun owners have actually needed and used their guns? Fired them into another human being and watched him/her bleed?

      1. Every time a snatcher spots an honest gun and therefore abstains from grabbing a purse, that gun was successfully USED for its constructive purpose. Hydrogen bombs were successfully used daily to keep Soviet socialists from attacking prepared neighbors. This blind spot as to the meaning of “use” spills over into the meaning of “winning” an election via spoiler votes that change laws. Frodo has wandered into a neighborhood that values individual rights, armed with some picturesque notions about collectivized rights and what he presumes ought to be important to “society.” But observe. Brittania is a magnet for Saracen berserkers eager to set right the revenue transfers of salt and opium regies of colonial times. Everyone else wants to flee to These States, to escape looter monopolies on the initiation of force against rightless fools. Where the Bill of Rights makes looters tread lightly, THAT’s where people seek to relocate. Otherwise, why the Republican Wall?

  30. As an European I have never really understood the American fascination with guns. I don’t own a gun. My neighbours, friends, and family don’t own one and still gun crime is rare atleast in my country (Finland). Never fired a gun, and I would never imagine carrying one. They are not toys after all. We did have shootings but these are a lot rarer than in the US. So why is it that gun crime seems to be so common in the US compared to Europe? I think one of the biggest reason is the American culture where guns are seen more normal and common. They almost seem to glorify guns.

    Some americans also seem to feel the need to have guns to defend themselves against possible criminals or government intrusion, which is a fair concern. But how many have actually felt the need to defend themselves with guns against government agents? And if they did felt the need, how many would have actually used their guns? Fired their guns into another human being? That is not an easy thing to do, and it’s not clear why it would make the situation better. More likely things would just escalate.

    Maybe the media is also to blame? Don’t many mass shooters just want attention and feel the need to end their life with a bang? Our current media likes to cover these issues 24/7 and give constant attention to these people. But yeah, it is a difficult problem with no easy solutions.

    1. There are many reasons we are pleased not to be Euros; you have shown us some.

    2. As an American I wonder why England gave up the idea of British Bobbies with nightsticks but no guns? None of the Kristallnacht gun law advocates for a second considers repealing the income tax translated in London out of the 1948 Communist Manifesto. Even less attention is given to disarming the myrmidons with machine guns hired by politicians to make it stick. In a force-initiating mixed economy dominated by national socialist looters committed to the initiation of force, mutual disarmament would seem a lot less stupid to suggest than a repeat of the unilateral way European Jews were disarmed, then “extirpated” by earlier advocates of Christian altruism.

    3. Here you go, buddy:

      Americans are not “fascinated” with guns, as you put it. We are, however, pretty attached to remaining relatively free of governmental tyranny. For hundreds of years, only members of the aristocracy, the privileged class, could own weapons. The little people? Well, they had pitchforks. Our founders knew this. They also knew that government at its core is rotten, aims for absolute power, and that all power structures eventually fall.

      Hence, the Second Amendment. It guarantees that anyone of any class has a right to buy something with which they can defend themselves. Doesn’t matter if they ever will have to. It just matters that they CAN, that a power structure at some point in time recognized the sanctity of the individual over that of the state, and the right of the individual to defend itself.

  31. “There are a lot of things we can do about [gun violence and mass shootings]. But we don’t.”

    God what a tool.

    Such as what, Jimmy?

    I’ll pay attention and seriously consider any proposed action that demonstrates it would have prevented the most recent mass shooting event. Otherwise it’s clear you are up to something else entirely.

  32. This incident is quite disturbing, however between this and everything I have read by the agenda driven MSM for the last year none of it inspires me to even consider that now is a good time for me to be disarmed. Last month my doctor warned me a procedure he recommended is fatal 1 time in 10 thousand but he recommended it and I went for it even though the odds are worse than those of being shot. On top of that I went in a car driven on a freeway by an old woman.
    All be it everyone with a TV set knows until the CSI people finish their forensic examinations every story is pure speculation.
    I can’t help but wonder if the upcoming SCOTUS case has anything to do with the killer’s motivation, whoever it was. In a hunter’s life a half dozen riffles in October would not even raise an eyebrow.

    Supreme Court’s next big gun control case? Post-Newtown laws face …
    Aug 4, 2017 – A Maryland law could be at the center of the next big precedent-setting gun case at the Supreme Court.
    Jay Porter, an attorney for the plaintiffs, complained about a patchwork of rulings in the wake of the landmark 2008 Heller decision upholding the individual’s right to own a gun. He called on the Supreme Court to clear up the confusion.
    CALIF. STRUGGLES TO IMPLEMENT NEW GUN CONTROL MEASURES
    The 5th column is desperate for us to surrender our bill of rights and open our borders.

  33. The thing to remember about the Progressives is that after passing prohibition, they spent a dozen years in the wilderness, but were able to blame the enforcement problems on the Republicans and then use it as a major weapon against them when they got FDR elected in 1932. Then it was right back to Progressive wet-dream time.

  34. The shooter violated many laws including murder. This pass a law mentality is for the simple minded. Does anyone really think the shooter would have decided not to do this because one more law would have been the bridge too far for him?

  35. Is Jimmy Kimmel gay?

    I mean, if he is, that’s fine. But he seems really, really gay.

    Or perhaps he’s transitioning?

    1. He’s married with kids. But he does seem gay sometimes.

  36. You are about 150 years late.
    Just join the NRA.

  37. Two points, perhaps only minor. Britain is a country where, to all intents and purposes, only the police can use handguns (and normally they don’t carry them). That may be regrettable for a number of reasons, but I rather doubt it means it can be called a police state. Secondly, it is stated that this has not significantly reduced massacres. That is true, as recent events demonstrate. But it has reduced gun massacres, which have not occurred since the inception of recent legislation. Of course, they were extremely rare in Britain before the current legislation was put into effect, so the actual reduction is small.

  38. The author is correct, the “common sense gun policy” being called for by Schumer, Murphy and the other gun grabbers are nothing more than the same old gun grabber wish list. None would have stopped the Las Vegas shooter not would they stop one in the future.
    Instead of trying to restrict guns Congress should look at ways to tone down the hateful rhetoric being directed at our President and the voters who elected him. OK Bill Maher,Jimmie Kimmel, Lena Dunham, Trump won the election fair and square. No evidence of vote rigging, vote hacking. You weren’t happy, you expressed it and now it’s time to shut up and move on.

  39. Of the mass shootings identified in the article, at least three were terrorism ( Ft Hood, San Bernadino, Orlando) but the Obama administration refused to call it such calling it “workplace violence” or a mass shooting. The larger issue is Democrats always use the term common sense gun legislation” but refuse to tell us what it is, but anyone with a brain knows exactly what they mean. They mean legislation that allows the government to decide who is and who is not allowed to own a gun. In his statement yesterday, Mark Kelly, the husband of Gabby Gifford slipped when giving his list – criminals, domestic abusers, people with mental illness and “idiots”. Kimmel is no different than any other urbanite who was born, raised and still living in the only world they have ever known. Also remember these are the same people who have branded every person who voted for the President, lives in the center of the country or opposes progressive ideology as a racist, Islamophobe, and homophobe which means they would be able to claim we are too dangerous to allow to own a gun.

  40. Yeah, let’s do nothing. And while we are at it we should get rid of the TSA. If someone wants to hijack a plane you can’t stop him.

  41. RE: This Is the Time To Defend the Second Amendment and Less-Strict Gun Control

    Anytime is a good time to defend the SA, unless you are an atypical proggie who wants the citizenry of the country to be disarmed “for the good of the people.”

  42. Before any sensible conversation can be undertaken to develop means to prevent another ‘Vegas Massacre, we have to know what caused Paddock to undertake his mayhem, and to know …. precisely …. what weapons he used. The delineation of his weapons will come from the ATF/FBI labs, and the ATF will compile as precise a time-line as they can in tracing the route for each weapon from Importer/Manufacturer to Paddock (if there were any unregulated private party sales enroute, there will be gaps).
    That’s the easy part.
    But, the most important element is WHY?
    And that will take some sleuthing to uncover as Paddock seems to be, at first glance, a cypher, having no known social-media presence, no manifesto, no journals.
    Remember, we’re still arguing about whether or not Lee Harvey Oswald was the sole gunman in Dallas 54-years ago, after the Warren Commission spent years studying the matter.

  43. ” It’s not cold-blooded or Vulcan to point out that we remain in the midst of an unprecedented deceleration of violent crime and gun crime. Surely that has some connection to policies over the past quarter-century or so that have made it easier for a wide variety of people to legally own and carry guns.”

    This is poor reasoning. Correlation is not causation. Other countries with no easing of gun laws have had a similar decrease in violent crime and homicide. Meanwhile the homicide rate of the USA (although dropping) remains much higher than other developed countries.

  44. Here’s what Wayne LaPierre thinks (an extract from this article: https://tinyurl.com/ycojvn3v)

    “Right now,” LaPierre told them, “we face a gathering of forces that are willing to use violence against us ? some of the most radical political elements there are. Anarchists, Marxists, communists, and the whole rest of the left-wing socialist brigade.”
    After 39 years with the NRA, is he really itching for an actual civil war, or are his horrific movie-trailer visions just good for business? “Make no mistake, if the violent left brings their terror ? into our homes, they will be met with ? full force of American freedom in the hands of the American people, and we will win.”

    So according to the NRA everyone needs their own arsenal to fend off this huge army of home-grown commie terrorists. The NRA is the gun lobby and they have to stoke the fears of people like the Las Vegas shooter to sell more guns. Most guns are owned by enthusiasts who have large collections. If you make these people fear the fantasy armies of commies you get lots more money from them.

  45. Like many of you, I have been debating the intent of the 2nd amendment with anti gun zealots. They love to talk about what the Founding fathers envisioned and what the term “militia” actually means. These debates prompted me to do some research and want to share what I found so you too will have the means to shut them up. The Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution as a check on a strong federal government. George Mason is the one who pushed hardest for including a bill of rights. The intent of the Bill of Rights to limit the power of the Federal government. A couple of quotes from those who helped draft the Constitution on the 2nd amendment is very enlightening. George Mason : Disarming the people is the most effective way to enslave them”. Noah Webster ” For a standing army to rule, they must first disarm the people”. Even in Federalist #29, Hamilton acknowledges the intent of the 2nd amendment is to counter the standing army of the Federal Government. So when gun grabbers claim the amendment is about hunting or muskets, you can tell them exactly why they are wrong. Can, we the people, truly stand as counter to the current standing army with muskets? To stand as a counter, we must have weapons of comparable strength. I am not saying we have a right to tanks and nukes, but we clearly have a right to semi auto rifles with hi cap magazines… I thought it was very interesting and wanted to pass it along.

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