Gun Control

A Cure for Mass Shootings Doesn't Exist

There are no plausible options that offer more than the faintest prospect of preventing the next massacre.


Angel Valentin/Polaris/Newscom

Every time there is a mass shooting, a chorus goes up: "We must do something to keep this from happening again. We can't tolerate it any longer."

Revulsion understandably creates a demand for remedies. But every time, we do nothing, to the fury of those who denounce the inaction as shameful.

There is a simple explanation, though, for the inaction. It's not that the National Rifle Association is all-powerful, that too many Americans are blind to reason, or that most are complacent about wanton slaughter. It's that there are no plausible options that offer more than the faintest prospect of preventing a massacre in the next year or the next decade.

Our constitutional framework was not designed to facilitate drastic government action. It was designed to prevent it in the absence of a clear and durable public consensus. In this instance, there is none.

Mass shootings are a horrific problem that is peculiarly resistant to solutions. To a great extent, public policy is impotent. Until the advocates of new restrictions can make the case that they would make a difference, little is likely to happen.

What answers do they offer? One is reinstituting the federal ban on "assault weapons" and high-capacity magazines that was in effect from 1994 to 2004. Another is expanding the federal background check system to cover private sales. Another is to make it easier to flag people with mental health problems and bar sales to them.

These are not necessarily wrong, but they are unpromising. Though an AR-15 may be particularly useful for mass shootings, there are many substitutes that fire just as rapidly and use equally destructive ammunition. A ban on high-capacity magazines would be a puny impediment to someone like the killer in Parkland, Florida.

Mass shooters, Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck told me, "always use multiple guns and/or multiple magazines, enabling them to easily fire many rounds quickly even if they had only smaller-capacity magazines. And they do not need guns that fire fast, because they do not fire fast during their crimes." The Parkland shooter had multiple magazines.

A 2013 study of the 1994 law for the National Institute of Justice said, "We cannot clearly credit the ban with any of the nation's recent drop in gun violence." It also said, "Should it be renewed, the ban's effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement."

Even if the law had any positive effect then, it would be far less likely to help today, because there are far more of these guns now. In 1994, Americans owned about 1.5 million "assault weapons." The number is now around 8 million.

Restoring the 1994 law would not eliminate them. It would only block new sales—and foster new models engineered to get around the new rules. People would be able to keep and buy the "assault weapons" already out there.

Background checks for private sales would make it harder for felons to acquire guns. But mass shooters have typically gotten their arms legally from licensed dealers as the alleged killer in Parkland did.

Yes, it might make a difference if the United States emulated Australia by outlawing certain guns and requiring owners to surrender them. Constitutional issues aside, that sort of law couldn't be passed here—or enforced. It belongs in the realm of fantasy.

Broadening the exclusion for mental health problems would mean penalizing millions of people who pose no danger. It would also deter troubled gun owners from seeking treatment.

"To say no one with mental illness should have a gun—how do you accomplish that?" Ronald Honberg, senior policy adviser for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, asked The New York Times. "Does that mean anybody that goes to a therapist for depression or anxiety should be reported and put in a database and prohibited from purchasing a firearm? That would impact a fair number of police officers."

None of this is to argue against any changes whatsoever. Some reforms could modestly reducing gun crime without putting much of a burden on law-abiding gun owners. Universal background checks, banning bump stocks, and improving databases to prevent the omission of people who are barred from purchasing guns could help diminish gun violence.

Outrage is an appropriate response to the carnage in Parkland, but it's not an answer. Those demanding dramatic action accuse those who disagree of enabling murder. But it's no sin to reject false remedies.


NEXT: People Will Eat What They Want, Not What Government Prefers

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  1. I am willing to bet if we ran some regression models we would find more of a pretty strong correlation between the amount of outlets/time on air/published stores of the media. Same with terrorism. I am not sure exactly how anyone can stop crazy/low self esteem/sociopathic people from lashing out when, just like terrorists, they do not care about death and want the limelight of the media even in death.

  2. “We must do something to keep this from happening again. We can’t tolerate it any longer.”

    We should. Eliminate all gun control since its unconstitutional. It would also allow anyone who wanted to carry concealed pistols to protect kids from shooters instead of the current government decision to leave teachers, kids, and Americans defenseless.

    Run kids! In one way or another, the government is going to make or allow bad things happen to you.

    1. Because what schools need more of is crossfire.

      You should never do shameless PR for the gun industry for free. They have the money. Let them pay you. You’re just the right type–you care more about selling guns than kids dying.

      1. Tony, clearly, you don’t anything about guns or how to shoot. People who know how to defensive shoot don’t wildly spray bullets. You shoot to end the threat not potentially hurt and innocent bystander.

        The more armed Americans at the scene of a mass shooting, the greater the chance that someone will end the criminal’s shooting spree. There is zero chance otherwise. 0%.

        In this event, the shooter left school by the time the chicken shit police arrived at the school.

        Your shameless gun grabbing lefty propaganda gets kids killed. You are okay with gun free zones. Guess where many of the shootings recently have been? Gun free zones.

        Luckily, the rolling back of gun control will continue unabated while you lefties screech about Trump’s tweets. Its “n”th D Chess.

        1. You’re almost literally advocating implementing a police state instead of regulating guns a little. You’re not talking about freedom. You’re talking about doing anything–including arming teachers and children–in order to prevent gun sales from declining.

          Schools should be gun-free zones you psychopath. They’re full of children.

          1. The USA is full of children too. Safer now that more people have more guns.

            I know it sucks that the lefty gun grabbing policy has shown to be false- more guns do not mean more violence in the USA.

          2. I’m confused. Aren’t they already gun-free zones? And yet…

            I don’t think allowing citizens their rights equals a police state, but that’s just me.

            Did he mention arming children?

          3. Schools should be gun-free zones you psychopath. They’re full of children.

            They are actually “defenseless victim zones”. You’ll note that 98% of mass-shootings happen in such places. Don’t you find it the least bit curious that “gun-free zones” are such bloodbaths, while gun shops/show/ranges are not?

          4. Tony, decades go, schools were often full of guns with ‘children’ regularly firing them using live ammunition. We’re you not aware of that?

            I’m not being funny. What I said is absolutely true.

        2. Loveconstitution’s argument contains a gaping hole T-totalitarian Tony will exploit in a heartbeat. When the gun gestapo showed up at the Christian Millerite commune in Waco to collect a tax payable on possession of a gun part the socialists wanted taxed, then banned someday, that wasn?t a gun-free zone. Yet the feds managed to murder 83 fellow christians, some fifty of them children under 12, with four invaders shot, one of them with his own government gun. So Tony’s peeps and handlers will say those people made things worse by resisting, as in the Warsaw Ghetto, and therefore deserved what they got, you watch…

          1. Koresh defenders are among my favorite kooks.

            1. Look, Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland supports the murdering of children.

            2. Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland|2.18.18 @ 1:17PM|#
              “Koresh defenders are among my favorite kooks.”

              Yeah, shame on them for not letting the FBI kill the lot of them, right?
              Fucking scum.

          2. Americans were not ready to surround the ATF, FBI, and other feds at Waco and end the government’s tyranny.

            More Americans are ready now and see how much agents of the government murder and lie.

  3. The problem is caused by mental illness ‘treatment’ and thus banning guns based on the dictates of psychiatrists is putting the fox in charge of the henhouse. No thank you. If you really want to prevent more massacres, track down the people who ‘treated’ this child and wrecked his brain with their absurd ‘therapies’ and pharmacologies, and put them behind bars, and track down their other victims and have a little chat with them before it’s too late.

    1. But how do you buy MD 20/20 or Boone’s?!?

  4. Everyone uses mass shootings to point the finger at their preferred demons.

    The right will point their fingers at our “Godless society”, and liberal lack of traditional values.

    The left will go after guns, or violent video games.

    They are both right and wrong at the same time: Our society is sick, and people fetishize firearms and violent solutions. There is a cult of firearms and militarism, and a lot of men and boys see guns as toys rather than dangerous tools. At the same time the family unit breaks down, with both parents (if the kid is lucky) working and not providing enough guidance and support. Fathers are too often MIA, traveling, or simply working all the time. Further, the media glorifies killers, painting their names and pictures for all to see. Where a messed up person once would have committed suicide at home in thier room, they now see a path to infamy. And as Americans, well keep firmly entrenched in our political silos and blame the other guys.

    1. We should remember that the purpose of the Second Amendment really is to make sure the American people are armed and well trained so as to be ready to defend themselves against the U.S. military if and when the latter becomes an instrument of oppression.

      . . . and it’s ridiculous to see progressives dehumanize white, blue collar, middle class Americans for being white, blue collar, and middle class, applaud while nuns are forced to provide birth control for their employees so the latter can fornicate freely, advocate forced sacrifice under the guise of authoritarian and socialist solutions to global warming, etc., etc.–and then claim that the right is ridiculous to fetishize gun culture.

      If the left doesn’t want average Americans to fetishize guns, then the left should stop fetishizing elitist, authoritarian socialism.

      1. The constitution does not have a built-in provision for permitting treason against itself. You don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about.

        1. “To oblige the great body of the yeomanry, and of the other classes of the citizens, to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions, as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well-regulated militia, would be a real grievance to the people, and a serious public inconvenience and loss.”

          . . . .

          “By thus circumscribing the plan, it will be possible to have an excellent body of well-trained militia, ready to take the field whenever the defense of the State shall require it. This will not only lessen the call for military establishments, but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens. This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should exist.”

          —-The Federalist Papers, Number 29

          1. So why don’t you people go after the standing army instead of supporting every extra $100 billion that gets thrown at it? That is the primary threat being talked about here, and the reason local militias were considered a superior option.

            Let it not go unnoticed that nobody’s talking about any untrained yahoo off the street being able to acquire an arsenal as a fundamental right.

            I appreciate that you agree with me that the 2nd amendment is totally obsolete.

            1. Tony and his gun grabber friends cannot repeal the 2nd Amendment, so guns are not going anywhere.

            2. I appreciate that you agree with me that the 2nd amendment is totally obsolete.

              Actually it is more relevant and necessary than ever with the US (illegally…) maintaining a standing army.

        2. Aw Tony, the Constitution gives zero authority for the federal government to become tyrannical and violate the protections and enumerated powers set forth.

          If the government does. There is literally no authority for the government to exist because the US government gets is authority to exist from the Constitution.

          Without the government following the constitution, there is no treason. There is nothing. The Founders knew this and set forth in the Declaration of Independence that:
          …That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security…..

          1. A black man being president for 8 years isn’t a long train of abuses and usurpations.

            1. There goes the goal posts. Good job Tony.

              I thought for sure, you would not give up this easily.

          2. Again, the purpose of the Second Amendment is so that everyday people will have the means and training necessary to defend themselves against their own oppressive government should it be necessary to do so.

            Considering that the Framers had fought against their own government in the American Revolutionary War, that’s hardly surprising or controversial. Like I showed, it’s spelled out right there in the Federalist Papers.

            1. Tony and his leftist ilk hate the Constitution and anything supporting a free America.

              You will never get a discussion from the lefties on how the Federalist Papers supported an armed populace no matter what the SCOTUS says.

            2. No, it’s about an alternative to a standing national army (meaning to protect against foreign threats). And even if the built-in treason provision existed as you say it does, I don’t see what any of this talk of well-regulated militias and training has to do with any nutjob on the street being able to get his hands on weapons of mass death.

              If you were being honest about your motives in this discussion you’d be spending all your energy railing against the Pentagon. How long have we had a standing national army? How long have we been violating the spirit of the 2nd amendment and the wishes of the framers!?

              Oh no this is all a bunch of horseshit employed in the service of making money for gun vendors. Somehow it always IS the appropriate time to do that after a bunch of kids get shot up.

              1. Aw Tony, you should know by now and have been educated several times that the 2nd Amendment has two parts of that clause.

                The state militia needs to be supplied and trained well and government cannot infringe on the People’s right to keep and bear arms.

                The Constitution also mentions an Army and Navy as well as a militia. You lefties really need to learn more before trying to grab guns.

              2. We have that alternative. Nuclear cruise missiles can defeat any attackers by vaporizing the government that ordered the attack. And neutron bomb technology with feedback-loop guidance ought to suffice to brush aside incoming on crude ballistic parabolas. The idea that These States need to invade the rest of the world and murder them into smoking Marlboros and drinking Bud light for Jesus is a Republican and Democrat kleptocracy idea. The libertarian platform contains no such drivel. But you folks misunderstand T-Tony’s conditioning. Anything that allows a single individual to resist altruistic coercion for so much as a second is a threat to the death these people love, admire and are willing to die for as set forth at the bottom of the Nazi platform of 1920.

              3. “If circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens. This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should exist.”

                ——–The Federalist Papers, Number 29

                The militia is made up of average people who are already armed and have taught themselves how to use their own guns–since the freedom to choose to own a gun is a right that is protected by the Second Amendment, they own guns and they’ve used them. If and when a standing army of the federal government threatens to oppress us and violate our rights, we can rise up and form a militia against that army–because we’re already armed with own our own weapons and we already know how to use them.

                This was abbreviated to “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” in the Second Amendment.

                1. What is meant by “a well regulated militia”? I’ve already answered that question:

                  “To oblige the great body of the yeomanry, and of the other classes of the citizens, to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions, as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well-regulated militia, would be a real grievance to the people, and a serious public inconvenience and loss.”

                  —-Federalist Papers, Number 29

                  “A well regulated militia” is a militia of average people who are trained in the use of their guns. That use of the word “regular” in this context isn’t even archaic. We still differentiate between “regular army” and “irregulars”, and the difference between them is training.

                  Because having a body of average, armed citizens who have trained themselves to use their own guns and who can come together and defend themselves and their rights against an oppressive authoritarian state and its army, should such a thing materialize, the right of everyday people to own and bear arms shall not be infringed.

                  That’s what the Second Amendment is saying, that’s what Federalist Papers #29 was arguing, and anyone who says otherwise either doesn’t understand what they’re reading or is being intellectually dishonest.

              4. “the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens. This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should exist.”

                English motherfucker, do you read it?

              5. Tony, we also want to protect against the enemy within, like you and your Marxist friends.

    2. Our society is sick

      The lamentation of the disaffected, the maladjusted, the backward.

      Our society has improved throughout my lifetime. More education, reason, tolerance, science, progress, inclusivity, modernity, technology. Less ignorance, bigotry, superstition, backwardness, dogma, insularity, unearned privilege.

      More work remains to be done — income inequality, intolerance, backwardness, and ignorance continue to be troublesome, especially in some lesser communities — but I believe the improvement will continue.

      1. Your last paragraph contradicts your second to last paragraph.

  5. In two of the recent mass shootings, law enforcement had an opportunity to prevent the mass shooting but failed to act on information that was already in their possession. The FBI dropping the ball in this latest mass shooting is another disturbing example.

    I suspect this is a problem of focus. Since the attacks on 9/11, the FBI’s focus has steadily drifted away from domestic law enforcement and towards international terrorism. The FBI’s Counterterrorism Division is monitoring terrorist activity outside the United States and tracking down terrorists worldwide. That’s what the increased funding from Congress has been paying them to do, but the more focused they are on terrorists outside the US, the less focused they are on their job inside the US.

    Maybe the FBI’s Counterrorism Division should be absorbed into the CIA, the military, or somewhere else. Better focus might have prevented this latest mass shooting. The mass shooting at the church in Sutherland Springs in November might have been prevented if the FBI’s database had been properly updated, too–and if it wasn’t because the Air Force wasn’t reporting court martial findings, then maybe the FBI should get a handle on that problem and let the CIA or the military track down terrorists in Syria.

    1. Ken, take your Trump-FOX talking points and shove them up your fucking ass.

      Bob Mueller is responsible for this school shooting! Right. Is it that you don’t see the obvious horseshit, or are you just a fucking tool?

      1. I wasn’t thinking about that, but thanks for bringing it up.

        If the FBI were more worried about acting on tips they had about a mass shooting brewing and less about digging up dirt on candidate Trump, maybe this latest mass shooting could have been prevented.

        1. What do you propose the FBI should have done about the shooter before he shot anyone? Arrest him for futurecrime? I’m going to assume it’s not “take away his guns,” but feel free to correct me on that.

          If you don’t want law enforcement spending resources on investigating Russian interference maybe you shouldn’t have supported a president who invited them to do it on national TV.

          1. “Washington (CNN)The FBI failed to act on a tip about Nikolas Cruz, the confessed shooter in the Parkland, Florida, school massacre, the bureau said in a statement on Friday.

            A person close to Cruz contacted the FBI on January 5 to report concerns about him, the FBI said in a statement Friday. But the bureau did not appropriately follow established protocols in following up on the tip.

            “The information was not provided to the Miami Field Office, and no further investigation was conducted at that time,” the statement said.

            The stunning admission — which prompted Florida Gov. Rick Scott to call on FBI Director Christopher Wray to resign — is sure to raise further questions about whether the FBI could have prevented the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which left 17 dead.

            The FBI said the caller provided information about “Cruz’s gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting.” The information should have been assessed as a “potential threat to life,” the bureau said.



            1. Yes, it was sure to raise further questions about what the FBI could have done. And I just asked your opinion on that question. Arrest him for a crime he might commit, or take away his guns, or what?

              1. So you’re digging in those clown heels, then?

                1. It’s a simple question.

                  1. If the kid made a threat then arrest him. Put surveillance on the kid. Let him know the FBI is watching him. Talk to him. Talk to family to intervene with the kid.

                    Or do nothing and have constitutional carry Americans everywhere and shoot the kid when he illegally opens up on kids.

                    1. Obviously, he should have been investigated.

                      If he did something illegal, he should have gotten a fair trial.

                      If he’s insane, he might have been referred to a psychiatric facility.

                      Regardless, he should have been investigated.

                    2. Obviously, investigating someone on the basis of testimony and verifiable social media posts is not unconstitutional.

                      But Tony doesn’t do obvious.

                    3. Ken argues well, but the very last clause of Section 10 in Article I allows the states to defend themselves if “actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.” And the burden of proof is on anyone who wants me to believe that meant calling together a grand jury to hear reasons for handing up a bill of indictment as preliminary to possible charges–rather than zap the incoming aggression in a flash of fire. The Languages of Pao by Jack Vance describes an armed society that polices itself both formally and in threat-elimination mode.

                    4. There is no law that says you can arrest someone for saying he wants to shoot up a school.

                      It would be amusing how much of a police state you’re advocating to get around talking about guns if the implications weren’t so grisly.

                    5. There’s no law saying that you can arrest people on the basis of violent threats and witness testimony?

                      That’s ridiculous.

                      I’d say that Tony doesn’t know the difference between reasonable suspicion and probable cause, but Tony doesn’t even seem to know the difference between an investigation, an arrest, and a criminal conviction.

                      Why bother?

                    6. Tony and his socks thought they had this comment section all sown up with gun grabbing comments today.

                      Luckily, there are still some Libertarians left on this site to counter this gun grabbing nonsense.

                    7. I see mostly faux libertarians — nanny-state right-wingers prancing about in silly, unconvincing libertarian drag, masquerading as something they despise.

                      Do some of you goobers genuinely believe that government gay-bashing, anti-abortion zealotry, white nationalism-flavored immigration restrictions, race-targeting voter suppression, cop succoring, and drug warring are congruent with libertarianism?

                    8. “anti-abortion zealotry” said the gun grabber.

                    9. So the FBI should have done what? Still trying to get a clear answer here. Hold him indefinitely for futurecrime?

                      What about his gun? Should they have confiscated that?

                    10. Aw Tony, he already answered you. #Metoo

                      Why don’t you be #MeNext and quit peddling your socialist gun grabbing here.

          2. “What do you propose the FBI should have done about the shooter before he shot anyone?”

            The FBI was led directly to Cruz on January 5th. They received a call on their TIPS line. The caller indicated that Cruz had guns and wanted to shoot up a school. If the FBI had followed up with this call as their protocols direct them to do, they would have then linked it to the September incident in which Cruz made a similar threat to shoot up a school, which had been reported to them but they failed to follow up. The FBI would’ve also discovered that the local P.D. had dozens of interactions with the guy.

            The FBI could’ve alerted all local law enforcement in Florida with Cruz’s name and address. The FBI could’ve alerted gun stores in the state of Florida, and they could’ve contacted them to find out if Cruz purchased weapons. The FBI could’ve alerted area school districts, including the school district in which Cruz was expelled.

            These are just some of the things that the FBI could’ve done, if they had been on the ball. And they dropped this ball HARD. This is a big deal.

            1. Still trying to figure out what you guys think they should have done had they followed up appropriately. What law would they have been able to enforce that would have prevented this shooting?

              1. You have already been answered knucklehead.

                Ken has put your nonsense to shame for the last hour.

                1. So remind me. I’ve been scrolling and I can’t find it. Should the FBI have illegally arrested him for a crime he had yet to commit, or should they just have taken his guns away?

                  1. Look up a few comment threads.

                    You will find Ken and my answer does not involve your silly false dichotomy. There are other alternatives. You want tog rab guns, so you cannot look past that.

              2. Normally, the left dumps all over the FBI and law enforcement in general. So, why are you rushing to defend the FBI when it knowingly admits that it dropped the ball here?

                Oh, that’s right, it obscures the real agenda here for you: making noise about gun confiscation

                1. I’m just asking a very simple question.

                  1. Its been answered Tony.

                    Overall this was a win today. Most people ignored Hihn and the lefty gun grabbers had their nonsense gunned down again.

                    1. So, really, what would minimize the chance of any public violence while maximizing innate and constitutional liberties?

                      Put aside gun restrictions, and prophylactic incarceration. Then what?

                      How about threatening behavior earns you an armed shadow that follows you everywhere in public but takes no action until your hypothetical danger starts to become real, and then takes you out?

                    2. I’d rather keep the important constitutional protections and discard the stupid ones.

                    3. Which means we lose all of them, you stupid bitch.

          3. Right. Instead of that, we should take away people’s rights to prevent futurecrime.

      2. Bob Mueller is responsible for this school shooting! Right. Is it that you don’t see the obvious horseshit, or are you just a fucking tool?

        This is an insane comment in response to an interesting angle on where FBI resources have been focused since 9/11.

        1. His interesting angle is part and parcel of a shiny-object strategy to both distract from talking about guns and to–stunningly– serve as a means for defending Trump against his Russia problems. And Ken went on to agree with it anyway.

          1. Aw Tony. Trump is getting more popular as Mueller’s “investigation” continues.

            I think you act the way you do because you know this. Maybe you don’t know.

            Its like the media trying to use the shooting to grab guns. Gun grabbing is a lefty fantasy and never going to happen in the USA. The media will move on after two weeks and focus on trump tweets.

            I was going to put off buying 1000 rounds of .50cal but I am headed out tomorrow to buy as much as I can from my two local gun stores. I might even get a buttstock.

            Billions in free publicity.

            1. No prominent Democrat is proposing a gun ban or to “grab guns”, you idiot.

              You can even fuck up something when you’re even on the correct side.

              1. Just admit it, you idiot. We all know what gun grabbers are trying to do.

                Literally in Commifornia they are going to people’s houses and grabbing guns.

            2. I wonder if the NRA leadership actually celebrates whenever kids are murdered in large numbers. It would be tempting what with so many people like you actually thinking dead children is a reason to donate to the gun industry.

              I actually can’t fully understand this level of taught psychopathy.

              1. We know that lefties love kids getting murdered. Its adds millions in donations to the lefty causes.

                You lefties really are lunatics.

              2. No, you and your kind do. It’s called ‘Planned Parenthood’. You’d goddamn pederast.

          2. The shiny object strategy of distracting us from how to better defend our schools from mass murderers is your silly and unrealistic talk of gun control.

            1. We had a ban on the type of gun that has been used in nearly every mass shooting in recent years. I don’t happen to think that that law’s expiration and the uptick in mass shootings is a coincidence.

              Surely you can appreciate the frustration that comes when the NRA lobbies for the radical extremist position of maximum gun proliferation and then turns around and uses the ubiquity of guns in society as the excuse for why nothing can be done about guns.

              1. There was never a ban on rifles.

              2. 1. Put armed security in these “gun free” zones. This can be in the form of either armed police, qualified armed teachers, or both.

                2. Make students, teachers, administration, parents alert to the signs of a potential mass murder. The FBI has been profiling them literally for decades and the information about what to look for is widely available. This way some sort of intervention can occur before the bullets fly.

                Implementing these two things will do far more to reduce mass school shootings than the fantasy of confiscating guns.

      3. “Ken, take your Trump-FOX talking points and shove them up your fucking ass.”

        If you read my comment Tony is responding to, here, it’s interesting that Tony would react that way, especially if you’ve seen Tony–repeatedly, over the years–refuse to admit that Jews had a right to their lives during the holocaust . . . because that might suggest that their rights (and ours) arose from somewhere other than the government under which they lived.

        Tony is going after me for suggesting that if the progressives don’t want average Americans to fetishize guns, then the left should stop fetishizing elitist, authoritarian, socialism . . .

        . . . presumably because Tony himself refuses to even acknowledge that Jews had a right to their own lives during the Holocaust–much less that we have a right to defend ourselves against the threat of an oppressive, authoritarian government developing in the future.

        If ever there was a shoe that fit Tony, this is it.

        Tony thinks our rights only come from government.
        +Tony think the Jews didn’t have a right to their own lives during the Holocaust.
        +Tony thinks we shoudln’t defend ourselves against the threat of an authoritarian government
        =Tony is on the left?

        I don’t think so.

        Tony isn’t on the left just like libertarians arne’t on the right or left.

        Libertarians aren’t on the right.

        And Tony isn’t on the left. He’s just an authoritarian.

        1. Tony is an authoritarian socialist.

        2. You sound like a fucking moron when you talk about fetishizing socialism, elitism, whatever. That sentence means nothing. Obviously Democrats don’t do that. You’re just talking like a lower-rent Alex Jones. Get a grip on something man.

          But perhaps you actually are that dense because you should fully well know by now that you’re framing my argument about rights in a ludicrously disingenuous way.

          Jews didn’t have a right to their lives during the Holocaust. That’s kind of what defined the Holocaust. They obviously should have had that right. Can you wrap your mind around the difference between “is” and “ought”? Did you attend even rudimentary schooling, or were you taught to do logic by braying donkeys?

          1. You quack like a duck and certainly act like a duck.

            Have you wiped that spit from the corner of your mouth yet? I know that countering your socialist nonsense gets you so mad you form spit in the corners of your mouth.

          2. “Jews didn’t have a right to their lives during the Holocaust.”

            Yes they did, and what the Nazis did to them was both criminal and immoral–because the holocaust violated their rights.

            Just wanted to point out that I wasn’t kidding about Tony’s authoritarianism.

            Tony genuinely believes that your rights only exist if the government says so, and the government can’t violate your rights unless it acknowledges your rights and says they’re your rights.

            Is there a better definition of an authoritarianism?

            We’re being lectured on how we shouldn’t be free to defend our own rights from the threat of an authoritarian government in the future by someone who says that our rights only exist if the government says so.

            1. I’m sorry you can’t get past “Rights are what God says, and He invented them in 1776,” but not knowing the difference between “is” and “ought” is quite inexcusable for anyone over the age of 10.

              1. I’d say that’s a nice straw man, but it’s actually old and boring.

                Our rights might arise from a social contract.

                Our rights might arise naturally as an aspect of our agency.

                Our rights might arise as a decree from God, for all I know.

                Wherever they come from, they exist regardless of whether the government acknowledges them.

                The Jews had a right to their lives–even if the government didn’t say so–and your insistence to the contrary (after all these years) betrays several things about you. To some degree, you’re morally bankrupt, to some degree you’re intellectually dishonest, and to some degree, you still so ignorant that you don’t know that a straw man makes you look foolish in the eyes of everybody.

                The extent to which of those things are true may be up for debate, but they’re all present–and become obvious, every time you insist that Jews didn’t have a right to their own lives during the holocaust.

                1. The difference is I want to see rights actualized and you want to tell the millions of dead Jews that they should feel some kind of bizarre solace from having rights they never got to actually enjoy.

                  I prefer rights that are real to ones that are floating around in your mind.

                  1. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

                    Stop Tony, you’re too much.

                    You don’t give one good goddamn about rights being actuallized. You want to eliminate your political adversaries, which you’ve readily admitted to on these very pages.

          3. Tony, based on al, the things revealed about you here, there should be little alternative for you outside of suicide.

            So go do it.

      4. Tony. You’re a rude little faggot bitch. You apologize to Ken.

        Now run along, we’re all very busy here, and don’t need your inane pestering, like some retarded child throwing a tantrum.

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  7. Since knives and vans are equally as deadly as guns, why not let’s do a win-win: We can test the gun regulation theory, and y’all can defend your property with knives and vans for a while.

    1. Or you can finally know your place, and learn to obey. You’re too fucking stupid for anything more. Or better yet, go drink your Drano.

  8. A gun confiscation program would result in more casualties than mass shooting do now (not to mention that it would be unconstitutional). Think of something on the scale of the War on Drugs and its total failure and homicides.

    1. Some people would prefer not to settle on “this problem can’t be solved.” Surely you won’t begrudge that. And if the constitution requires regular mass shootings, it’s a bad constitution.

      1. I encourage debate on the subject ( I am Open Society all the way). I just won’t expend any meaningful energy on this subject. I have bigger fish to fry. Let’s legalize all recreational drugs for one thing. And use the market to solve the big problems coming with AGW.

        That reminds me to send a donation to or OSF.

        1. I wonder when they are going to deport Soros for lying on his citizenship paperwork?

          He was a Nazi collaborator after all.

          1. You’re a proven idiot.

            And you don’t like Soros because he fights fascists like yourself. We all know he lied to real Nazis like yourself when he was running from them during WW2.

            1. Soros’ family bought documents to hide as Christians. He worked with Hungarian bureaucrats to inventory Jewish property during WWII.

              He lied to get citizenship. He omitted that he collaborated with the socialist Nazis.

              It will be interesting to see him deported. While you lefties are watching Trump tweets, more illegals are being found by ICE. Especially those illegals that flaunt our immigration law. Easy targets for deportation.

              1. Spoken like the true fascist you are.

                ROUND EM UP! ROUND EM UP!

                1. Deport them! Deport the criminals!

                  The lefties hate that they might even lose a few Congressmen during the 2020 census after all those illegals get deported.

                  A fascist like Butt is against a democratic majority of Americans choosing immigration laws and wanting them enforced.

                  What a lefty fascist you and your lefty friends are.

                  Wipe the spit from the corner of your mouth too.

                2. Only leftists like you can be fascist. As racism is one of marxism’s bastard children.

        2. Its not often that I agree with PB, but his idea here is spot on. And legalizing recreational drugs would bring gun homicides down to FAR greater degree than any moronic regulation. Or whatever cat shit covered idea Hihn is flinging around.

      2. Some people would prefer not to settle on “this problem can’t be solved …by new laws or more restrictions on everyone’s freedom” because that would mean we would not have more laws or more restrictions on freedom, which is what they want.

  9. Certainly with today’s inexpensive security technology you could eliminate a great deal of risk in targets like schools. Malls and large corporate offices have security. You could buy 2 dozen HD cameras, recorder, a couple monitors, motion detectors, remote locks, etc for probably less than 10K (without the graft). Have school employees take shifts or just hire a security guard to watch. All doors are locked. Most doors are emergency only exits. Doors that are not will have 2-way communication and visitors have to be buzzed in. You could get metal detectors if you wanted to spend the money. I think some schools already have them. We have more security now, guarding the perfume counter at Macy’s.

    1. As far as putting people into NICS, it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing deal. You have somebody making the kinds of threats this Florida AH was making that the FBI knew about, he gets put in NIC’s to flag for 90 days. That’s time to alert the school and local authorities and look into it. The NIC’s entry expires automatically in 90 days without the person having to do anything. If in that time he’s arrested or deemed a danger by a mental health expert than he would go into NICS through the normal process just as is supposed to happen today with existing rules.

    2. Turn every public school into a prison? Get those kids even more institutionalized before they get any ideas of freedom in their heads.

      1. So when I add security cameras to the exterior of my home and have locks in my doors I now live in a prison. Ok.

        1. My niece’s school has locked doors and a policeman on duty. I wish my daughter’s school had that.

      2. If parents of local schools want to secure those schools I take no issue with that. If they don’t want to secure them, that’s fine too but then don’t turn around and tell me that the only solution is banning guns.

  10. Outrage is an appropriate response to the carnage in Parkland, but it’s not an answer. Those demanding dramatic action accuse those who disagree of enabling murder. But it’s no sin to reject false remedies.

    Excellent summation. Outrage policy is the worst, because while it’s often emotionally satisfying for some, in the end it’s likely impotent and often exacerbates the problem or creates new ones.

    Or, stick to hindsight fallacies and blunt instrument reactions for actual policy if the interest in emoting surpasses the interest in understanding, and hopefully stopping, this violence.

    1. We must wait until the emotion subsides before we do anything about this problem. At which point of course we’ll be on to something else.

      There is a world full of evidence of what policies work and what don’t, and that goes not only for gun deaths but for everything else too. Many Americans are just too fucking arrogant and propaganda-addled to understand that.

      1. Agreed.

      2. No problem with guns. Luckily, the 2nd Amendment protections will prevail.

        More and more gun control is being rolled back under Trump.

      3. We must wait until the emotion subsides before we do anything about this problem. At which point of course we’ll be on to something else.

        Which is why emotions should not determine the course of action. If the laws are only determined by emotion and those emotions shift around from one outrage to another, are emotions really a good basis for determining law?

        1. I totally agree that the pathological paranoia of gun fetishists should play no role in public safety legislation.

          1. Which side of this wants to change the law again?

          2. Yup. Gun grabbing socialist fetishes are not given any slack here. Those paranoid lunatics have no say in public safety legislation.

      4. Unfortunately progtards don’t believe in logic or evidence. So we can’t get much done while you’re in the way. So it’s best you all end your own lives. Comfort yourself by knowing you have no value to begin with, so it isn’t a loss at all.

  11. One good thing to come out of this current debate is the young people telling conservatives to take their useless “thoughts and prayers” and shove them up their asses.

    1. Looks like Libertarians and conservatives are telling lefties to take their useless gun grabbing rhetoric and shove it up there asses.

      Trump! Trump!

      1. I’m for both going up someone’s ass somewhere. Gun laws are definitely thoughts and pretty much like prayers.

    2. What’s good about young people being vile bigoted assholes?

      Aside that you are happy they are following in your footsteps?

      1. The common people see religion as true, wise men see religion as false, and politicians see it as useful


        1. “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” – John Adams

          1. Soulless unclean things like PB amd Tony aren’t capable of understanding that.

    3. Unfortunately, they’re telling them that then turning to the Holy State and saying “Why won’t you DO something?”

      Not sure that’s better.

  12. Whatever proposed solution is the most expensive is the one that should be pursued. If the point is to make ourselves feel better without accomplishing much, then the more we spend the better we will feel that we are really trying. It’s like placebo’s, the more expensive your placebo drug, the better a job you think it’s doing.

    1. The placebo comparison is interesting. It would be interesting to study expensive policy already in action and how it relates to public perceptions of effectiveness. Federal and state law in the US would provide particularly good opportunities for it.

  13. And if there are 8 million just AR-15 type weapons in this country making them illegal will just raise their profile and market value.

    In 1994, Americans owned about 1.5 million “assault weapons.” The number is now around 8 million.

    1. Butt, its more than that. In fact, the government and gun grabbers have zero idea how many rifles there are.

  14. We will turn to technology to deal with this. Guns will be disabled within a school for example.

    1. The vast majority of that tech is extremely unreliable. In the event you need to wield a gun, the last thing you want is more of a chance of failure.

      1. “The vast majority of that tech is extremely unreliable.”

        Gun laws and screenings are unreliable too.

        1. So is the FBI. But, I bet there are a lot of people on here that think more laws and government agencies is going to solve all of their problems including the almost non existent one of guns.

          You know what is reliable? Freedom.

          1. “Freedom.”

            You want to freedom to discharge firearms within school grounds? You’re free to run for office on that platform.

            1. “You want to freedom to discharge firearms within school grounds? You’re free to run for office on that platform.”

              Fuck off, you lying piece of shit.

            2. Luckily, the 2nd Amendment is the supreme law of the land not what you want it to be.

              I will continue to discharge my firearms as the Constitutional allows.

              1. I wish you a happy trigger finger.

                1. I will go out in my back 40 and shoot off a few rounds in your honor.

    2. Who will buy those guns? Not me. I will never own a gun that the government can disable on some tyrannical whim.

      1. You think you will be given the choice?

        1. The government does not get to say what weapons I have or will have.

          1. They proscribe all sorts of weapons. Your preference in weaponry must be pretty mundane if it hasn’t led you into contact with the law.

            1. We don’t have much law around here. We have lots of guns though. Tannerite too.

              I wish we could post pictures so you could see my cool constitutional carry holster. I love it when lefties come through Georgia and stare at a big ‘ol scary gun on my hip at the gas station register inside.

              1. I suspect there’s other reasons why you get funny looks.

      2. I do not discount the prospect that loveconstitution1789 is a candidate to go “the full LaVoy” someday.

        I just hope it is recorded and distributed on YouTube.

        Let it be a lesson for the other disaffected right-wing losers.

        1. How many babies were aborted last week? You’re ok with that.

        2. That could be. I would take quite a few tyrants with me, if they murdered me.

          Death does not scare me. I fought you lefty socialists around the World.

          LaVoy still thought he was not fighting a government tyranny and they were just protesting. He was wrong. He was murdered and didn’t take some of those murderers with him. He should have.

  15. Open botders, taxpayer-funded abortion on demand, taxed and regulated marijuana, central planning by expert Top. Men. Universal Basic Income wealth redistribution, put more Black men in prison, “public-private” crony capitalism, coercive public health “harm reduction” for drug users,…

    What else am I leaving out of the Cosmotarian playbook ?

    1. Butt-sex?

    2. I consider myself a cosmo in the original sense–not in line with that list, really, at all. It used to be in contrast to that Lew Rockwell kind of thing, . . .

      I’m more Adam Smith and Hayek than Ayn Rand and Rothbard, but I guess the meaning of words changes over time.

      I think I have more in common with other libertarians than anyone else–and I don’t feel like I’ve got much in common with a lot of the staff at Reason anymore at all.

      I don’t really think of the Reason staff we’re talking about as cosmos. I think a lot of them write about libertarianism without being libertarians themselves like some people write about football without actually being a football player. In that case, they’re not libertarians per se. They’re spectators.

    3. Gun grabbing?

      1. “put more Black men in prison” covers that.

  16. What about motorcycle gangs?…..dents-safe

  17. This tragedy, just like the Florida night club shooting, is clearly the fault of gun control advocates.

    Gun control advocates, as a group, created and enacted legislation that TOLD these people, under penalty of law, what they could and could not do. They told them how they would allow them to defend themselves. They made these people defenseless and are now refusing to take responsibility for their safety.

    These incidents were created by the very people calling for more gun control with, surprise surprise, the very incidents they created as evidence.

    If it weren’t legal for government and private parties to remove people’s right to bear arms, none of these mass shootings would’ve happened.

    1. That kid knew that there would be nobody at that school to stop him shooting thanks to gun-free zones.

      Run kids! The lefties are trying to get you killed so their political donations get larger.

      1. The gun-free zone argument is lame. Lots of places have large numbers of unarmed people in small areas, like movie theaters, nightclubs, concerts, etc. The people in these places are all sitting ducks no matter what. Maybe some concealed carry hero is somewhere in the crowd, maybe not, but simply lifting the gun-free zone won’t really do much. They should be eliminated, but only because they’re stupid and pointless, not because doing so will prevent the next mass shooting.

        1. The gun-free zone argument is lame.

          True. Any trained person could walk into a major airport with an AR-15 where there are thousands of unarmed people and a couple of wasted guards.

          But LoveCons is lame. So he attached himself to lame arguments.

          1. Butt, is giving up already too? Lame.

            I wonder when the media will give up on the Florida shooting to use kids to further gun grabbing? Lame.

        2. “If it weren’t legal for government and private parties to remove people’s right to bear arms, none of these mass shootings would’ve happened.”

          Read that again. The moment anyone tells someone else how they will allow them to defend themselves, out side the gross arrogance of that, they are responsible for their safety. The theatre and night club shootings were on private property with posted signs and laws that wouldn’t allow a law abiding citizen to carry.

          AGAIN, these people were murdered by horrible people and gun control advocates tied their hands while they were shot.

        3. I am armed at movie theaters, sports bars, concerts, etc.

          Not sure what other people are doing but I refuse to be a victim where I cannot shoot back.

    2. So obviously the countries with the strictest gun control laws should be having the most violent murders right?

      1. Yes actually. When taking democide into account, the countries with very strict gun control, averaged together have much higher gun homicide rates than the US. We won’t even count forced starvation or gas chambers at the point of a gun, just guns. We’ll let you keep that proggy murder, just to help you with your argument for disarming the people you and ‘your’ government choose.

        Without cherry picking the countries you want to in the time frames you want to; take all of the countries with strict gun control, through out the last 100 years, throw in the HUNDREDS of MILLIONS of people killed by their governments and average it out.

        That number of gun deaths per year per 100 people is MUCH higher than the US’s. We’re not even getting into rights infringement, we’re just talking deaths here. You want to start talking slaves or subjects like the ones in N. Korea?

        Stop trying to cherry pick your numbers and ignore the very atrocities that have and are going on around the world that likely would’ve never happened had the population been heavily armed.

        1. You can’t be serious with this crap. All any reasonable person is asking for is an apples to apples comparison. That’s not the US vs. Nazi Germany, in case you were wondering.

          I do so love the contention that a tyrannical fascist government would be foiled by the 2nd amendment. We would have succeeded if not for the magic forcefield around everyone’s guns that prevented us from taking away that one right among all others!

          1. Of course I’m serious. You are being deliberately deceptive in your choices for examples of strict gun control. You’re also completely ignoring the very reason we have the 2nd amendment.

            Stop pretending places like Mexico, China and North Korea don’t exist today and that Communist Russia, Rwanda, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, India, Imperial Japan, Pre-1900 USA, etc… didn’t exist yesterday.

            World history and examples of human behavior didn’t start in 1990. Just because everything is hunky dory, in the places you like right now, doesn’t mean it’s going to be that way tomorrow.

          2. The government was scared of armed protesters in Nevada and Oregon.

            They would not dare arrest a group of armed and peaceful protesters.

            Tony does not realize that many in the military and police would turn on tyrannical government officials. I would have passed out all the weapons from my government armory to civilians if there was a civil war.

            1. …many in the military and police would turn on tyrannical government officials.

              No, they wouldn’t. A few would, but most would follow the orders of the government. And it wouldn’t take many following orders to pacify the citizenry. If they shot just a handful of those playing Minute Man with daddy’s shotgun, the rest would wet their pants and surrender.

              1. Just like the British thought that colonial rabble would be subdued quickly.

                If you were in the military, you would know that many of your peers not only talk about not letting the bureaucrats and politicians turn America tyrannical but would actively sabotage.

                As you said, some military and police would follow unconstitutional orders and some civilians would wet their pants. The rest of us would fight it out.

                It would not go how you think and the patriots would prevail.

                1. Yes, they certainly do talk.

              2. Just the state of Wisonsin, ONE state of 50, had over 600,000 hunters out last year. That’s half the amount of active duty military for the US. They already have guns and ammo. Most have a fair bit of training and shooting under their belt. Go on… Invade, shit on their rights… I dare you.

        2. My dog will NOT look at the hole he dug in the flowerbed. Nor will the Tonytalitarian realize that the socialist “common good before the individual good” and its lemma that altruism justifies coercion at gunpoint has anything to do with the holes he digs. The self-deception is the ingrained reality control and doublethink Orwell observed among British appeasers in 1939 and even after 1945. The bottom of the NSDAP platform says at the sacrifice of our own lives, and Tonytalitarian here is living proof that such a thing still exists, relies on guns to coerce, but is cowardly afraid of armed victims. I invite everyone here to take note of the pitiful sockpuppet’s spewings and observe the outcome and conditions of survival in people’s states in which only totalitarians have guns.

      2. So obviously the countries with the strictest gun control laws should be having the most violent murders right?

        Like Brazil and Mexico you mean?

        1. Obviously we’re talking about hypothetical restrictions that actually work.

          1. A hypothetical that works actually?

  18. If libertarians, after much armchair sitting and smoking of pipes, want to declare that a particular social ill simply cannot be addressed, they should not be surprised when people of other political persuasions come in with solutions they don’t like.

    The crime against decency and thinking here is that you’re more interested in convincing yourself that your ideology is correct than fixing a problem that can’t be fixed by your ideology. It’s rather sick you know.

    1. The right to keep and bear arms isn’t mere ideology. It’s the supreme law of the land.

      1. If I wanted tautological horseshit I would have ordered it. No constitutional jurisprudence in existence prevents reasonable restrictions on guns. Not even in Scalia’s 5-4 constitutional axe-job Heller.

        Libertarians like all right-wingers have simply ascended to the realm of sincere dupes. They don’t even ask for payment for doing the gun lobby’s work for it. They simply think gun lobby interests and “the good” align because they’ve been taught to think so for so long. And by that I mean taught not to think too hard.

        1. No constitutional jurisprudence in existence prevents reasonable restrictions on guns.

          The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, Supreme Court justices’ inability to read English notwithstanding.

          1. Does arms include nukes? No? Then there’s a line to draw somewhere. And the text doesn’t say where.

            1. Yup. Nukes too. Good luck building one of those. You have trouble forming sentences that are not nonsense.

              Let me know when you save up enough to enrich the Uranium or you build yourself a breeder reactor for some plutonium. I am sure all your lefty friends will help you nuke one of their sanctuary cities.

              Either that or you will a few thousands nukes to get all of us patriots who would put a stop to your murder spree because we have the 2nd Amendment to constitutional carry and defend ourselves from you.

        2. You are pro abortion so shut the fuck up about gun deaths.

          1. Against the government forcing women to give birth against their will, like someone who actually loves freedom.

            1. Tony, you’re getting sidetracked. Get back to your socialist roots and advocate grabbing guns some more.

        3. Luckily, justices are not supreme law of the land. The Constitution is. The justices are supposed to take the supreme law and force the Executive and Legislative Branches follow the law and declare unconstitutional laws void.

          Most times they don’t do their jobs.

          Another reason we don’t need government’s permission to have any weapon we want.

        4. We already have reasonable restrictions on guns.

          Fuck off, slaver.

    2. This is one of my beefs with Reason. I can’t say I totally disagree with you here. It is almost like Reason wants libertarians to look inept. There is something seriously wrong with this magazine.

      Why Reason simply cannot look throughout the world and see where other people have succeeded without banning guns and offer that as a solution, I’m not sure. Israel is a good example of something that CAN be done from a libertarian perspective. I can agree that following Israel’s example might be a little onerous, but it is far less onerous than confiscation, and if Reason cannot at least acknowledge that a solution might exist other than do nothing, our rights are going to be run over by jack-boot fascists such as yourself, Hihn and Reverend Douchebag.

      1. Israel is a good example of something that CAN be done from a libertarian perspective.

        I don’t think Israel is the place you want to look for libertarian “solutions” to anything.

        1. Not generally, but requiring security and teacher training is far more libertarian than banning guns, wouldn’t you say?

    3. Re: Tony,

      want to declare that a particular social ill simply cannot be addressed

      Tony, don’t engage in easy misrepresentation and dishonesty. No one has said that the issue cannot be addressed, only that facile and emotional responses are not going to solve the problem.

      The issue is that you as well as many (including pro-gun ownership) keep perpetuating the same myth: that somehow massacres are created or are originated by the existence of guns, in which case the solutions end up beibg totally inadequate. Banning things has never worked, as the War on Drugs can tell you. Forcefully removing guns from 80 ot perhaps even million gun owners is bot realistic. Neither is the notion that mental health policies will reduce thr number of bad people.

      Just a couple of years ago, three armed people massacred 127. All on the street. That was Paris, France where, for a civilian, getting a permit to have a gun is a bureaucratic nightmare.

      Your friend Michael Hindered loves to cite Australia the UK as prine examples of what strict gun control can do, conveniently forgetting that Mexico’s gun control laws are far STRICTER yet the murder rate by guns is higher than Chicago’s, and that’s saying a lot.

      What you’re perhaps decrying is the fact that us libertarians are far less hysterical than you.

      1. “Forcefully removing guns from 80 or perhaps even 100 million gun owners is not realistic.”

        1. It will never happen, you mean.

      2. Nobody is more of a whiny paranoid little baby than a gun nut.

        1. Lefties are pretty whiny. I collected so many of their tears from election 2016 and Trump year 1, that I am making my own wine. I call it “Tears of Clowns”

  19. It would help the gun controllers immensely if they weren’t such drooling idiots when it came to the basics of firearms.

    After every shooting like this, they bring out their tired laundry list of “solutions” most of which are completely irrelevant or are already against the law.

    As a result, it’s easy to ignore them.

    1. Networked weapons are just around the corner. It’s conceivable that with a click of a mouse, a principal can disable any weapons from being discharged on school grounds. This would likely put a crimp in school shoostings.

      1. Re: mtrueman,

        You don’t know what a simple machine is a gun. Anyone can make a gun. That’s why prohibitionists ate deluding themselves.

        1. I have never made one, but I am 100% sure I could do it with a lathe and a mill.

          Maybe we need to ban machining knowledge too. Burn those books!

          1. “I have never made one, but I am 100% sure I could do it with a lathe and a mill.”

            If you really need a gun, forget about these hand-made ones, or guns from 3D printers. Take a page from the Yakuza, an outfit that needs guns but is situated in a country with very strict gun controls. They don’t make their own guns or print them but buy real guns from reputable manufacturers, via less than reputable brokers.

        2. What was it that Robert Heinlein said about altruism?

        3. “You don’t know what a simple machine is a gun.”

          A networked gun would not be so simple. It would include the capability to be switched off should, for example, a principal clicks on a mouse. It’s not all that difficult to make knives, bombs, and guns, though a stint behind bars seems enough of a deterrent to most people.

  20. Alcohol prohibition, drug prohibition, labor prohibition, gun prohibition, none of them work.

    Don’t stop people from doing or buying things that don’t harm anyone else. Like drinking booze, smoking pot, hiring the person of their choice, or owning guns.

    1. Yes. Also add abortion/contraception prohibition, gays kissing prohibition, sex worker prohibition, etc.

      Of course the “paleo” libertarians will object.

      1. Well, there’s an argument as to whether or not abortion does or doesn’t harm someone – which we don’t need to get into here – but other than that the list that y’all put together is a great start.

        I am sick and tired of statist thugs on both political sides hacking away at the Bill or Rights. Every one of the civil liberties contained therein, except for those in the 3rd and 7th Amendments, are under attack from somebody who wants to roll them back. The assholes that do so, of course, only want to roll back those that don’t matter to them and then squeal like hell when somebody does the same to a civil liberty that matters to them. Enough of this shit.

        In this thread, Hihn and Tony are fine with shitting on the 2nd, but if somebody attacks one that they care about -say the 4th- they’d throw a fit. Their cognitive dissonance is breathtaking. Leave our civil liberties alone. All of them.

        1. The 2nd Amendment is obsolete, much like the 3rd. This isn’t holy text. It was law written by educated frontiersmen centuries ago. Some stuff remains relevant; some stuff only harms. Intelligent adults alive today can decide which is which. Some of the founders, some of the more respected in libertarian circles, believed that succeeding generations ought not to be bound by the laws of their ancestors. And not a single one of them would have said it was all or nothing, sacred word, never to change.

          1. “The 2nd Amendment is obsolete, much like the 3rd.”

            The 1st Amendment is obsolete, much like the 2nd and 3rd. It was law written by educated frontiersman centuries ago. Some stuff remains relevant, some only harms. Intelligent adults alive today can decide which is which.

            And you’re going to smugly scoff, but there are intelligent, educated adults who are saying exactly that about the 1st. And others about the 4th. And so on.

            I actually agree with you from time to time on here (example – Roy Moore), which makes me rare. But in this case you’re full of shit. There’s only one way to protect our liberties, and that’s to try to not let the train even leave the station. Keep your fucking statist hands off of my fucking civil liberties.

            1. I’m saying the 1st amendment is good and the 2nd and 4rd are obsolete. In my opinion. Nothing about that opinion is a threat to any system of liberty.

              1. “I’m saying the 1st amendment is good and the 2nd and 4rd are obsolete. In my opinion. Nothing about that opinion is a threat to any system of liberty.”

                I’m gonna give you the benefit of the doubt and think that by “4rd” you meant the 3rd.

                As to the rest of your statement, you’re in la-la land. So you can take away a right from the citizens of the country and it doesn’t affect liberty? That makes absolutely zero sense. What about the vast majority of those people out there that own guns (and I’m not one of them) that don’t do anything wrong with them? What about their liberty?

                I mean, shit, let’s take away the 4th. It only helps criminals anyway, amirite? Doesn’t affect liberty as to the people that aren’t doing crimes. That’s the same logic that you’re using here……

          2. Tony, enjoy your delusions while many other Americans carry guns concealed or open carry. It will scare you because you’re a pussy.

            Trump! Trump!

        2. Tony, and Hihn too for all we know, would have no problem with the 4th being struck down for their political enemies.

      2. Butt does not even know anything about Libertarianism, so anything not socialist is baffling to it.

  21. The Guns of Neverown are dedicated to LP voters and spit on all international socialist and nationalsocialist aggressors of the disarmed who presume to convince Libertarians that property is theft and the Bill of Rights is old-fashioned and out-of-date. I vote libertarian, drum up votes, contribute what I can and volunteer as I have for several decades now. Already as results, women exercise individual rights, the Prohibition Party is vomiting blood with every state that repeals its ku-klux prohibitions, and the candidate who in September 2015 said Libertarianism? “I like it!” was chosen as candidate in 10 months by the morons that hitherto copied the Prohibitionist Coathangers-Only Amendment into their every platform and have now ridden those coattails to government paychecks. This is spoiler votes in action!

  22. Bullshit, every other country that has encountered the problem of mass shootings has found a cure for it. Austrailia had a mass shooting(a bad one) in 1986 and then created a strict gun ban. There hasn’t been one since. The same for England, Norway, Finland…everywhere. There is absolutely a cure for mass shootings. We just choose to ignore it.

    1. Except for:
      Garissa University College Attack Garissa, Kenya 2015
      Peshawar School Massacre Peshawar, Pakistan 2014
      Paris Attacks Paris, France 2015
      Norway Attacks Oslo, Norway 2011
      Westgate Shopping Mall Attack Nairobi, Kenya 2013
      Sousse Beach Mass Shooting Sousse, Tunisia 2015
      Port Arthur Masacre Port Arthur, Tasmania, Australia 1996
      2015 Bamako Hotel Attack Bamako, Mali 2015
      2010 Chihuahua Shootings Chihuahua, Mexico 2010
      Dunblane Massacre Dunblane, Scotland, UK 1996
      Erfurt School Massacre Erfurt, Germany 2002
      Hungerford Massacre Hungergord, Berkshire, UK 1987
      Winneden School Shooting Winnenden, Germany 2009
      Zug Massacre Zug, Switzerland 2001 14
      Baku Shooting Baku, Azerbaijan 2009
      Velika Ivan?a Shooting Velika Ivan?a, Serbia 2013
      Rio de Janeiro School Shooting Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 2011
      Campinas Massacre Campinas, Brazil 2016
      Cumbria Shootings Cumbria, England, UK 2010
      Charlie Hebdo Shooting Paris, France 2015
      Rio de Janeiro School Shooting Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 2011
      Bombo Shooting Bombo, Uganda 2013
      Kauhajoki School Shooting Kauhajoki, Finland 2008

    2. I can add more. You gun grabbers crack me up. Lies and deceit to try and grab guns.

    3. I guess he doesn’t want me to list more.

  23. “Yes, it might make a difference if the United States emulated Australia by outlawing certain guns and requiring owners to surrender them.”

    Or perhaps instead, the people who commit mass shootings start resorting to IEDs instead. I’m sure that would be a big improvement.

  24. A “cure” does not exist.

    If we are going to use medical terms we have not even arrived at a diagnosis yet the illness is undeniable.


    When we the people stand our ground and say enough then things can happen. Most of what we may do may prove to be ineffective. There may be no cure but that should not stop efforts at prevention and treatment. Some of those will work.

    We have a gun culture. I have ’em.

    It is not impossible to reduce the gun violence in our country. It is not impossible to keep our children safer in school.

    I simply cannot accept that there is nothing to be done.

    1. “A “cure” does not exist.”

      Technical cures are just over the horizon. A networked gun could be programmed not to discharge if the gun is within the school grounds, for example. Technical solutions have the added benefit of adding to the profits of gun manufacturers.

      1. Never going to happen.

        It violates the 2nd Amendment to force Americans to buy something they don’t want to.

        1. “It violates the 2nd Amendment to force Americans to buy something they don’t want to.”

          That’s an issue the supremes would decide, though I’m sure they’d value your input if it ever became an issue.

      2. mtrueman|8.30.17 @ 1:42PM|#
        “Spouting nonsense is an end in itself.”

  25. I like how Michael Hihn used the word “unalienable” 15 times in this thread, and every time interprets it to mean the opposite of what it actually means. You can’t make this shit up.

    [uhn-eyl-yuh-nuh-buh l, -ey-lee-uh-]

    Word Origin

    See more synonyms on
    not transferable to another or not capable of being taken away or denied; inalienable :
    Inherent in the U.S. Constitution is the belief that all people are born with an unalienable right to freedom.

    1. “Inalienable” by government is especially problematic because it suggests that your rights can only be taken by a jury of your peers.

      Not being part of the government is what makes it a jury of your “peers” rather than a collection of law makers in Congress.

      You should need to be convicted by a unanimous jury to lose your right to bear arms, not have a bunch of professional politicians deprive you of them by fiat with some law.

      1. Furthermore, having a few rights suspended while you are in state custody for a crime still includes those rights being restored as a matter of being released from your sentence.

        It’s why the voting, serving on a jury, and gun restrictions for ex-felons are not constitutional but racist Democrat tools to prevent blacks from messing up the police state’s power.

  26. There is no “cure” that will completely preventing any sort of wrong but sound public policy exists that can reduce various harms. The same applies here. Certain Reason articles reasonably suggest there care certain things that can be done here that will in some fashion do this in the area of gun shootings. Anyway, the op-ed here is a mixture of “can’t do it” and “we wouldn’t want to do it.” And, things like this:

    “Our constitutional framework was not designed to facilitate drastic government action. It was designed to prevent it in the absence of a clear and durable public consensus. In this instance, there is none.”

    The Constitution was in part ratified to expand the power of the national government, in certain ways to “facilitate drastic government action.” For instance, the singular executive, as noted by Hamilton in the Federalist Papers, gave “energy” to one person that made it easier for that person to act, at times in various drastic ways. More so when Congress was out of session much of the time, and the one branch able to instantly act was the executive. [1/2]

    1. But, such dictums like the quoted portion is really a matter of scope. Surely, the system in place provides various mechanisms that slows down things and requires a certain level of consensus. But, over and over again, there is a strong dissenting group when major public policy is carried out. In fact, often the dissenting group in some fashion might reflect the sentiments of a majority of the population in some fashion!

      There is enough “consensus” here to pass certain gun regulations and some have passed especially on the state level. As to the national level, there actually is a “clear and durable” consensus in place. The question is how strong it is & if it is enough to override certain bottlenecks. Like segregation and other things, at some point the forces of a certain path is strong enough. Then again the inability to override the strong feelings of a minority here is different than there not being a “cure.” It is a realistic accounting of how it’s hard to get it, perhaps. [2/2]

      1. “As to the national level, there actually is a “clear and durable” consensus in place.”
        And the Constitution, being a check on the power of government, purposely made amendment very difficult to enact, specifically to avoid rash, mob action in response to a particular incidence.
        So, yeah, go ahead. Have a ball; we’re onto folks like you:
        “Constitutional Amendment Process”

    2. “The Constitution was in part ratified to expand the power of the national government, in certain ways to “facilitate drastic government action.””
      It was also ratified to restrict further expansion of those actions.

    3. Law is no match for determined evil. People must act. The problem we find with the second amendment is it was primarily designed to serve a governors needs for large scale defense, such as insurrection or invasion. That power was gifted to the president by congress under Washington, as a professional standing army simply takes years to build. Is it time for another amendment to fill the void for the right of self defense? I find it repulsive that becoming an educator means that what you will get for your college degree is… the same loss of rights as a convicted felon. Whoever said the law is an ass may have understated their position.

  27. Wow! Having the lefty socialists on here today really got those website visit stats up.

  28. Know what US Constitutional right allows for mass murders? The right to assemble.

    1. If you’re not doing anything wrong, why would you need to assemble?

  29. Michael Hihn|2.18.18 @ 1:33PM|#
    “It’s not an authority thing. It’s an IQ test,
    You failed.”

    No, you fucking scumbag, it’s an honesty test. You LOSE.
    Just like you did 11/9/16

  30. Another fact, quite gruesome, but a fact I think nonetheless.

    This guy might have done more damage with a shotgun–if he knew how to use it properly.

    He might have gotten a lot more people with a shotgun and some practice, and that speaks to the suggestion that banning 30 round mags or AR-15s is the solution.

    1. He could also have killed more with a katana and expert katana skills!

      Right now the only thing on the table is restricting weapons that any idiot can cause mass carnage with. And it’s still not going to last beyond the next news cycle. Congratulations on your win. You must now celebrate every child’s needless bloody death as a worthy sacrifice on the alter of whatever the fuck it is you think is so important about the right to own semi-automatic guns.

      1. “Right now the only thing on the table is restricting weapons that any idiot can cause mass carnage with.”

        Do you not understand anything you read?

        A shotgun generally isn’t considered a “weapon of mass carnage”, but under the circumstances this shooter created (I understand he pulled the fire alarm and had his victims in lines and groups at close range), he probably could have done more damage with a shotgun, which, once again, isn’t usually considered a “weapon of mass carnage”.

        Did you just make up that term, or are you regurgitating it like most everything else you write?

        1. Not being an expert on shooty things, I don’t know if you’re right but it sounds like utter bullshit. If true, then we need to ban shotguns too.

          1. Well now ain’t that the bait and switch, Uncle Joe Biden told me to buy one after Sandy Hook.

      2. Tony is a defender of leaving those defenseless kids vulnerable to murder.

        Never let a crisis go to waste. /lefties

    2. I agree Ken. People fear rifles for some reason but auto shogun with ’00’ shells would do much more violence. Rifle rounds tend to got thru you and maybe hit something vital. Shogun rounds can literally blow you head clean off your shoulders.

      Plus, you only have to aim in the general direction to hit something with a shotgun.

      1. I’ve seen people reload them with incredible speed, too.

        1. Even with a regular shogun, if you combat reload correctly, you always have one chambered while you reload the magazine with more shells.

          Most of these murders killing kids are too much of a pussy to handle a twelve gauge. They chose 5.56mm because the kick is small.

          1. There may be a certain amount of self-fulfilling prophecy, as well.

            We know that gun sales explode when people think the government might ban a certain model, and I’m sure a lot of people buy AR-15s specifically because the progressives are always trying to ban them.

            I saw a gun store guy once talk about a kid that game in wanting to buy a 40 Glock. He thought that was the model#–because there’s a rapper named “40 Glock”.

            I’m sure there are plenty of people who don’t know anything else about guns but walk in and want to buy an AR-15 because that’s the one progressives are always trying to ban–so it must be the baddest ass gun around!

            Meanwhile, progressives don’t talk about semi-auto shotguns or Savage rifles that can hit reliably at 800 yards–because all they know about guns is that they want to ban the AR-15, too. They don’t know why or whether it’ll solve any problem, but they want to ban the AR-15 for the same reason they want to eat organic quinoa.

            It’s marketing.

    3. “This guy might have done more damage with a shotgun–if he knew how to use it properly.”

      AR-15s save lives. Another fact, rather comforting.

      1. That wasn’t what I wrote.

        I said it speaks to the suggestion that banning 30 round mags or AR-15s is the solution.

        But you knew what I wrote. It’s sitting right there.

        Did you have to look at it cross-eyed to misread it that way, or does misrepresenting what other people say just come naturally?

        1. He’s a dishonest piece of shit who considers his lame sophistry as ‘clever’.

        2. “That wasn’t what I wrote.”

          I know that. I’m suggesting you should have written it, if only to rally the pro-AR-15 folks with some solidly convincing positive spin to an otherwise rare and tragic incident.

          1. It’s a terrible argument for a number of reasons, and I would not use it.

            1. “It’s a terrible argument for a number of reasons, and I would not use it.”

              With an attitude like that, you can kiss goodbye to any aspirations to a career in politics.

    4. The people who want to ban guns are imbeciles just like the reactionaries that banned alchohol. The city of Chicago is still polluted from the residual criminality it birthed.

  31. I’m taken aback that Michael Hihn turned out not to be a libertarian at all, with all this inane gun control push. I wish someone would have given me a hint here.

    How I wish Reason used Disqus, so I can block him out of my existence.

    1. The Reason cannot get such high website traffic numbers.

    2. The best part was “him” (using quotes because it’s probably actually the manic-depressive Mary Stack of Fort Worth, Texas indulging in her Reason fetish) pimping a handgun ban in one of the previous threads, despite the fact that Scalia’s Heller opinion that he’s always linking explicitly says that DC’s handgun ban violated the 2nd Amendment.

  32. Now ^this^ is a Hit and Run Weekend Shit-show classic!

  33. One quick way to get the numbers down would be to stop counting suicides along with murders. Suicide is a choice. Murder is a crime. They shouldn’t be lumped together.

    1. Most survivors of suicide attempts regret the attempt. Guns don’t often give you a chance to reconsider, because like with all violence, suicide is easier with a gun. Most people think too many suicides is a social problem.

      1. Most survivors of suicide attempts are teenage girls who drank a bottle of Nyquil to get their parents’ attention. People who sincerely want to die use sufficiently deadly means so that they’re usually not around to express regrets. It’s their right to end their lives if that’s what they want. It’s not for the rest of us to decide whether other people’s choices to end their lives constitute “too many”.

  34. Wow, the worshippers, supplicants, and idolaters of the Notorious Block Insane Yomomma-Nixon really came out in force this weekend.

  35. i don’t think I am wise enough to come up with a solution to the issue, that said our constitution was created by men who argued and debated over issues, and I do think there should be a debate, a public debate on what should be done. Hell, if it’s private and it only gets released afterwards then I’m okay with it, but the fact remains that it should be debated.

    The problem isn’t that there are no solutions, it’s that one side wants a solution and the other side doesn’t feel obligated to do anything but be against those who are proposing solutions, and thus solution aren’t subject to debate.

    1. “The problem isn’t that there are no solutions, it’s that one side wants a solution and the other side doesn’t feel obligated to do anything but be against those who are proposing solutions, and thus solution aren’t subject to debate.”

      That is not true.
      The “other side” has examined the solution from the “one side” and found it unacceptable. That is NOT the same as ‘being against those who are proposing solutions’, and if you can’t see that difference, please step away from the table.

  36. The vast, vast majority of gun owners are not violent.
    The vast, vast majority of people with mental illness are not violent.

    There is no political solution to mass shootings, which is not to say that there is no solution.

    You want to decrease mass shootings? Be a neighbor. Get involved in the lives of those around you, and intervene when you notice trouble. We’ve got to take it upon ourselves. Government simply cannot accomplish this.

    1. “See something, say something, do something…”

  37. Hmm….according to the Washington Post since 1966 to the present date 1077 folks have died in mass shootings of 4 or more people . They were committed by 150 men and three women .

    They are roughly 160 million men of all ages in the USA and from 300 million to 500 million guns available for use .Add in the billions of rounds in private hands and lot of carnage could be created. But yet in the 52 years as stated in the article only 150 men have chosen to commit mass carnage .Yet we are being consumed as a society as to how we can limit incidents that accounts for a minuscule amount of deaths in the USA.

    As a person who has been the subject of medical error and have had several friends and family members who have as well,I’m more concerned about the between 98,000 to 251,000 folks who are killed by medical errors each year.It’s like we are worried about a penny that is missing but we’re unconcerned about the 100 buck we were robbed of.

  38. This is the best fucking comments section in the world. Hinh, loveconstitution, Sevo, Tony… I love you. Your relationship is more symbiotic than you realize

  39. There are no plausible options that offer more than the faintest prospect of preventing the next massacre.

    Actually, ending “Gun-free” (i.e. “defenseless victim”) zones would go along way in the right direction.

  40. I note the loons mindlessly screaming “do something!” are still content, and by default are trying to preserve a key component of what fuels so many mass killings: the alleged fire & safety plans schools have. They look impressive to some people, even approaching the heft of a small book, but basically they can be boiled down to a single sentence: call somebody else and let them deal with it. For fire, that’s ok – get the kids out first, and insurance can handle the rest. But for security, the need is absolutely immediate when the moment arrives. It’s not a case where seconds count, but something is needed right then right there. When the law is used to disarm school staff, that creates a black hole that will consume that plan without twitching. They just don’t get it.

    1. You can boil it down further to this: Never take personal responsibility for any decision. That is the bureaucrat’s first commandment. “Safety” plans are about ass covering first and safety second.

  41. If you are intent on suicide, a gun is a surer option. A surgeon friend of mine told me that before he shot himself while he still could (he was losing fingers to cancer.) He said pills and even injections are too unreliable, especially if you get wheeled through the doors of a modern E.R. The next best bet is to close your garage door and sit in your car running the engine, but this risks a family member trying to rescue you before they open the garage door and make it safe to enter.

    A bullet is much surer as long as you don’t pull off target at the last second.

    Statistics routinely undercount how many times guns are used to deter a serious threat. No intelligent person is ever going to call the police and confess to them that they waved a gun at a suspicious vagrant in their backyard, or at a drunk yahoo relative.

    It is extraordinarily dangerous to own a firearm for self defense if you don’t store it properly and never practice the checklist of mental things you need to be sure of in a volatile situation.

  42. The United States has ~270 million guns and had 90 mass shooters from 1966 to 2012.No other country has more than 46 million guns or 18 mass shooters. Only Yemen has a higher rate of mass shootings among countries with more than 10 million people. Yemen has the second highest rate of gun ownership. The U.S. high rate of gun homicides and its high rate of mass shooters is not explained by an inordinate number of people with mental disorders or without access to mental health treatment, a stronger disposition to play violent video games, more combustible race relations, or due to more criminality (the odds of being robbed in New York are the same as they are in London….you just have a much higher probability of being shot in New York). There are simply more guns….and a greater tolerance for guns…that will just correlate to more occasions when these guns are misused. In 2013, there were 11,208 gun-related homicides in the U.S…..with an additional 505 deaths due to accidents. In the same year, guns were only involved in 13 deaths in Japan. Banning assault rifles with certain cosmetic features, arbitrarily limiting magazine capacity, and more data bases will do little to nothing with regards to the underlying causation or correlation. Greater mental health screening sounds promising until one considers how to actually implement it.

    1. More people carrying always sounds good…but will this reduce the number of mass shootings….we seem to be having more shootings as more carry permits are awarded. Even Switzerland with some of the highest gun ownership, requires licensing and registration…and a compelling justification for open carry. Yes, the U.S. along with Mexico and Honduras recognize an inherent right to own a weapon for, in part, self defense, but are we then stuck with the statistical inevitability of what high gun ownership brings? That occasional mass shootings are the price of broad ownership. Who would have imagined that we are now looking to make schools into armed bunkers…and teachers into first responders. Some will argue correlation is not causation…and that statistically the number of victims of mass shootings is miniscule…but this incorrectly minimizes how this terror multiplies through society…and how it encourages copy cats…and desensitizes us. I’m far from a gun grabber…but I am a realist….

      1. we seem to be having more shootings as more carry permits are awarded.

        This is false–the number of shootings don’t even come close to what they were 25 years ago, when carry permits were far less common.

        1. The data on mass shootings:
          1990: 1 shootings, 8 killed, 6 wounded
          1991: 3 shootings, 32 killed, 26 wounded
          1992: 2 shootings, 8 killed, 10 wounded
          1993: 4 shootings, 22 killed, 34 wounded
          1994: 1 shootings, 4 killed, 23 wounded
          1995: 1 shootings, 5 killed, 0 wounded
          1996: 1 shootings, 5 killed, 1 wounded
          1997: 2 shootings, 8 killed, 5 wounded
          1998: 3 shootings, 13 killed, 36 wounded
          1999: 5 shootings, 44 killed, 54 wounded
          2000: 1 shootings,7 killed, 0 wounded
          2001: 1 shootings, 4 killed, 4 wounded
          2003: 1 shootings, 6 killed, 8 wounded
          2004: 1 shootings, 4 killed, 7 wounded
          2005: 2 shootings, 16 killed, 9 wounded
          2006: 3 shootings, 18 killed, 7 wounded
          2007: 4 shootings, 51 killed, 32 wounded
          2008: 3 shootings, 16 killed, 24 wounded
          2009: 4 shootings, 38 killed, 37 wounded
          2010: 1 shootings, 8 killed, 2 wounded
          2011: 3 shootings, 18 killed, 21 wounded
          2012: 7 shootings, 67 killed, 68 wounded
          2013: 5 shootings, 31 killed, 13 wounded
          2014: 4 shootings, 17 killed, 28 wounded
          2015: 7 shootings, 46 killed, 43 wounded
          2016: 6 shootings, 71 killed, 83 wounded
          2017: 10 shootings, 112 killed, 531 wounded

          1. If you rather talk gun homicide (where there are also multiple factors)
            15 years prior to 2012: fairly flat
            2012: 12,093
            2013: 11,675
            2014: 11,472
            2015: 13,463
            2016: 14,925

            we simply don’t see a drop in homicides as more carry permits are awarded…and we don’t see less mass shootings as we introduce more guns. What am I missing?

            1. Thanks for confirming that gun homicides . are far lower than they were 25 years ago, despite the fact that more permits have been issued.

              1. There has been a growth in carry permits of 256% since 2007. In 2008, there were 12,179 gun-related homicides. In 2016, there were 14,925 gun-related homicides. How exactly is increasing carry permits cutting the number of homicides? Is there some new math that I’m not aware of?

                1. In 2008, there were 12,179 gun-related homicides. In 2016, there were 14,925 gun-related homicides.

                  So carry permits grew by 256%, but gun homicides grew only by 10 percent of that total in the same time period. Truly a crisis of epic proportions!

                  In the meantime, alcohol-related deaths are 2.5 times ALL gun-related deaths, including suicide. You going to call for the repeal of the 21st Amendment any time soon?

                2. Alternatively, you could learn the lesson that correlation is not causation.

  43. By DarrenChaker – I agree!! Just in the last year, vehicles have been used as an instrumentality to carry out attacks, CNN reports a few:

    * Charlottesville, Virginia, a Dodge Challenger drove into a crowd of demonstrators, driver is an alleged white nationalist;
    * Barcelona, Spain, a van drove down a side walk 14 people were killed and more than 100 were injured, ISIS claims responsibility;
    * New York, NY – At least eight people were killed and about a dozen were injured where a man inspired by ISIS rented a Home Depot pick up truck and drove into crowds of people.
    * London Bridge – Eight people were killed and more than 40 were wounded where a van was driven targeting people, also ISIS inspired.

    Given the above, do we ban the sale of cars?

    Although what happened in Florida is horrific, as are all similar events, the fact is we cannot focus on restricting rights based on the actions of a few merely because of the instrument used to cause the deaths is a firearm. What would we try to ban if, for example, the Florida shooter drove a car through a school crossing resulting in several deaths?

    We should focus on preventative measures like following up on tips given to police, having more police on campus, screening before getting onto a campus, etc. This is not the ideal way life should be, but do we live in an ideal world?

  44. There is a solution, everyone who works at a school should be REQUIRED to be armed at all times. Also implement nationwide constitutional carry. No permits or licenses needed.

    1. This would have the added benefit of cutting down on talking out of turn.

  45. In the 1970’s They said that it’s impossible to prevent people from bringing firearms on board aircraft.

    That’s the same solution to schools need to implement to make our schools weapon free zones.

  46. Some commenters REALLY make me wish Reason had an “Ignore” button that would eliminate certain posters from my view at my discretion. They never fail to completely and utterly fuck up a thread with their childish antics, duplicative posts, and generally drop the SNR of a thread by 50 or 60 dB, easy.

  47. A solution for mass shootings might not exist, but we can minimize those events and we can take reasonable steps to prevent them.

    1. Keep guns out of the hands of mentally disturbed (we already have many laws in this regard)
    2. Law enforcement needs to be alert to social media (again, daily news tells me they are already doing this)
    3. The media needs to stop making ‘heroes’ out of these men, and sadly, making enormous sums off the tragedy of others

    Here is why I think this is happening:

    1. Young men are lacking good father figures
    2. Young men who are at risk are given mind bending drugs which warp their perception
    3. Many young people have lost the ability to lose gracefully

    So what are the answers? None of them easy, but here are suggestions:

    To #1, stop no fault divorces. It should be very difficult to destroy a family. I dare you to watch one season of the TV show Intervention and not come to the conclusion that absent fathers are absolutely destroying entire families

    To #2, drugs should be a last resort, not a first.

    To #3, Leave the kids alone. Let the bullies bully. Let kids play games and let the winners win and the losers lose. Stop patronizing the losers. Learning to lose is a critical skill. Just look at this last presidential election for evidence of an entire generation that simply cannot abide a loss. Sore losers on an epic scale.

    1. I agree in the vast majority of these cases the parents have checked out. That said it is a cruel irony that young males spiral into mental illness starting around 17 which also happens to be the age they are expected to become independent of their parents. Maybe if we were more like Italy where males are mama’s boys through their 20s we wouldn’t have this problem? Because the mothers would notice the signs and get their sons help.

      However keep in mind in the aftermath of the VaTech shooting a prominent VA politician saw his son falling into mental illness and he couldn’t get his son committed. I hate to say maybe if VA had focused more on mental health and less on guns then his son might still be alive and wouldn’t have stabbed him.

  48. I have a solution?lower the stakes of having males ages 17-30 committed. So make it easy to have them committed and have the mental health clinics they get thrown into more like full service hotels with booze. Next make it very easy to have these records expunged if they make it a certain number of years behaving as upstanding citizens. Or if they can’t be rehabilitated send them overseas into Iraq or Libya and let them shoot terrorists.

  49. The photo chosen to illustrate the OP deserves consideration. It seems to show gun control demonstrators?notably repellent-looking ones, at that?but with no sign of any demonstration in the frame. Photographer Angel Valentin, who gets the photo credit, is identified online as a studio photographer, portraitist, and corporate photographer. In short, his talent and usual practice is working with posed subjects, and carefully manicured sets. Nothing in his profile suggests a photojournalist. There appears to be a likelihood that Reason has chosen a posed photograph using deliberately unattractive models to discredit gun controllers. Any comment from Reason about where and when the photo was taken, and who the “demonstrators” are, would be welcome.

  50. Don’t splash it on the news for days and days on end. If a pathetic loser wants attention, don’t give it to him. Or, if you must, mock him relentlessly the entire time. Refer to the shooter as a pathetic loser incessantly.

    1. No, no, we have to demolish buildings and build memorials! Immortality!

  51. What good would “Banning bump stocks” do when they were used in a single crime where a bolt action rifle or a can of gas would have been more effective?

    What good would “universal background checks” do when existing background checks are pointless?

  52. A cure for mass shootings doesn’t exist in Reason TV / Magazine’s world because Reason TV promotes psychotropic drugs. These mass inexplicable shootings started in the 1980s, when the use of psychotropic drugs dramatically increased..

    I don’t recall any such inexplicable shootings prior to the 1980s. But there are over 5000 documented inexplicable cases of violence since then and in everyone of those incidents the perpetrator was on psychotropic drugs such as LSD, Prozac, Ritalin, Zoloft, Xanax, etc.

    Yet Reason TV has promoted, at least twice in the last year, the use of LSD, a psychotropic drug, which may well lead to more shootings. Instead Reason puts its attention on guns, which is metaphorically speaking closing the barn door after the horses are out of the barn.

  53. Our Founders established our system of government and laws with the provisions for change as change was needed. As Jefferson wrote: “I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and Constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.” …

    Clearly, our armamaments have exceeded anything our founders would have expected… And although when dealing with people, nothing is ever a 100% cure or prevention, I’d sure like to know why gun control after Australia’s ONE big massacre was adopted within a couple of weeks and has succeeded so well.. Gun deaths are about 20% of what they were before the law was enacted .. and people are still allowed to own guns?…

  54. All this article suggests is that any plausible legislation is not going to make a magical difference. But lots of things could make some difference and over time maybe even a significant difference. I doubt very highly that in colonial times it was seen as the right of any citizen to own a cannon that would fire grapeshot or canister. My gut tells me that while licensing for firearms did not exist back then, so the question whether a license was required is not relevant, most citizens of the United States in the late 1700s would have assumed those weapons of mass destruction were uniquely for the state or some state organized militia to control. They are analogous in my mind to anything remotely approaching a multiple shot rifle or so-called assault rifle. So ban them, consistent with the Second Amendment.

    Also, males between the age of 15 and 25, ballpark, commit essentially all of these atrocities. Most males do not develop mentally and emotionally into real adults until about age 25. Let’s ban anybody under the age of 25 from buying a gun. Of any sort. They will still be able to exercise their Second Amendment rights, just a few years later. And if their parents want to buy them a gun, at least an adult is in charge.

    Really, I get the absolutism on the Constitution in most regards, especially the First Amendment. But it doesn’t work with the Second Amendment and the arguments don’t hold water.

  55. find out the silly reason why he was expelled and begin your analysis with the oppression which prevents people from expressing themselves in their own unique way, rather than as the sheep they hope everyone to be.

  56. #1 Anybody who is prescribe psychotropic drugs would have their ability to purchase fireams suspended indefinitely. They could be reauthorized by a doctor and doctors would be immune from liability. This could be accomplished through the DOJ prescription monitoring program at little cost.

    #2 Any student suspended from school for most any reason (TBD) would would have their ability to purchase fireams suspended indefinitely. They could be reauthorized by a doctor and doctors would be immune from liability. Schools would NOT be immune from liability due to failure to report.

    We currently suspend rights for people involved in an order of protection and domestic violence. In both cases above the law would require they surrender any weapons that can be returned when they are “clear”. This action could be handled by notification and failure to respond would be a misdemeanor.

    Comments anybody?
    #1 Would have impacted the LV shooter and many others.
    #2 Would have impacted the Broward shooter and many others.

    Thirdly…doing what the Israelis did to train teachers to defend schools is something we should copy.

  57. Steve Chapman leaves out the one thing government can do which would be instantly effective is stopping school shootings: stop giving armed invaders a monopoly on guns. Government creates gun-free school zones that are gun-free until that exact instant someone who doesn’t care about the law brings a gun to commit murder and mayhem.

    In recent history — going back only five decades — it was common for high schools to have on-campus firing ranges where students trained, and brought their rifles with them to school for such training. The rifles were parked with the coats in home rooms. In those days when schools were not gun-free mass school shootings didn’t happen.

    What stops the mass murder of an invading school shooter are, if not armed and trained students themselves, armed and trained teachers to shoot back at the invader and stop him. Or her, if we don’t want to be sexist.

    Since Mr,. Chapman cites Gary Kleck, here’s a website using much of his research of defensive gun use:

    And here’s a YouTube video where I show and tell my own views:

    J. Neil Schulman, author
    Stopping Power: Why 70 Million Americans Own Guns

  58. Of course, there isn’t a 100% solution to the mass killings. But by removing assault-type weapons, banana clips, requiring background checks for any weapon transfer (private or public), a central database for all weapon-related data with input from social agencies, and local police, concerning individuals who should be evaluated further to determine their suitability to own any firearm.
    There will always be the idiot who wants to make a name for himself. There is no real protection from that person, but I have to wonder how many of the people killed in the past 3 years of mass shooting would be alive today had these laws been in effect. So far our representatives in Congress, by their inaction, have simply stated that the loss of these children and adults is bearable.

  59. These mass public shootings seem to often take place in schools, not just as a convenient venue, but because that is where the killer’s aggression is focused. I wish Reason would do a piece comparing schools in the US and Europe. The differences are dramatic, and I’m not talking about classroom size.

  60. If all semi automatic firearms were absolutely banned and scooped up then mass shooters would use carbines, shotguns, bolt action rifles and revolvers with speed loaders. Of course people will still get shot and the people who are opposed to all guns today will still be opposed to them and will attempt to pass yet more laws. And so on. I guess we can look to the Muslims for car ramming attacks then.

  61. There is a solution: teach people, especially children, that there is eternal life after death and if they violate the Ten Commandments, they will not be happy in heaven but will suffer eternally in hell.

  62. Even you appear to pointlessly embrace the “must do something” mantra and you exhibit a disrespect for the realistic costs vs. benefits, Mr. Chapman!

    >And they do not need guns that fire fast, because they do not fire fast during their crimes.” The Parkland shooter had multiple magazines.”

    Yet you say,
    >Universal background checks, banning bump stocks, and improving databases to prevent the omission of people who are barred from purchasing guns could help diminish gun violence.

    As you point out, background checks have never worked and they also pose significant risks for the intent, means and ends of the Amendment and Bill of Rights. As an example of a lack of benefit, guns can be easily modified with a few hardware store items to a bump stock or bump stock performance–or even full auto fire for that matter! No serious and premeditating mass shooter would have any trouble with the necessary procurement of parts or trivial hand fabrication required. These high profile shooters spend many hours, days, or even months studying and preparing!

    Government cannot efficaciously address the problem with more and more policies surrounding the tools of the murderers. Rather, society itself must look to root cause (particularly bad parenting and guardianship of children and young people). Look to the minds of the murderers themselves. Look to big pharma and its relentless supply of psychotropic prescription drugs, which are all too popularly prescribed to both minors and adults.

    1. Also look to the popularity of psychological and moral safe guard inhibiting violence training software (video games). Unlike the very realistic simulations that airline pilots use to acclimatize to danger and prepare their minds for the stress of in-flight emergencies, in order to perform far above a “normal” and untrained person, video games tend to acclimate user mind’s to violence and heinous immoral actions. Video games and lawful prescription drugs are a significant and under reported factor that’s highly linked this problem.

  63. For a surprisingly number of shootings like this, my heart goes out to the shooter, of all people. How many of them hear voices telling them to do this? Schizophrenia isn’t fun to live with, and I wouldn’t inflict it on anyone.

    I have a strong desire to tighten up our treatment of mentally ill people. Too many of them wander the streets, and we ignore them, because they aren’t “harmful to themselves or others”. Too often, they demonstrate that they are harmful to themselves or others by seriously hurting or killing themselves or others.

    Yet I agree: if we make it too easy to take away guns from the mentally ill (particularly if we expand “mentally ill” to mean “I felt *really* sad the day my son or my father died), there’s going to be *a lot* of people who are going to avoid treatment!

    (to be continued…)

    1. (…continued)

      Having said that, even if we take care of our mentally ill, I have little confidence that it will prevent mass murder events. Sure, it’s *possible* that some of these mass murderers would have been institutionalized. BUT these mass murderers seem to hit a special sweet spot: just insane enough that they go and kill a lot of people, but not quite insane enough to do the things that trigger commitment, either mental or criminal.

      Are we seriously going to suggest that every person who says weird and a little scary things be forbidden from getting guns, and have their guns taken away from them? If they aren’t really a danger, we have violated their rights; if they really *are* a danger, then they need to be institutionalized, one way or another, before they do harm — because keeping them away from guns isn’t going to be sufficient for keeping them from committing mass murder. Indeed, every time a mass shooting happens, I have a deep sigh of relief that the shooter chose guns — and usually a relatively low-powered gun, like an AR-15 or a handgun — over the many other ways that they could have chosen, that would have caused significantly more death and mayhem.

    2. …how many of them were drugged as children simply because they were boys. That’s the real question.

      1. And a very good question too, I might add!

        Indeed, we have a serious problem in our society right now, where we call our boys monsters, going so far as claiming that masculinity is toxic. It’s not a wonder that so many violent things happen. It’s more of a wonder that so few do, and that violence in general is going down!

  64. It would be, perhaps, sobering, to let the anti-gun nuts know that since 1993 the number of deaths per year has dropped by a remarkable ~11,500. Hear that? 11,500 less people die per year since 1993 in the US by gun violence alone. Yes, we have seen an increase in mass shootings, but please don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. It is only because these killings are consolidated and the media draws your attention to them that you are so outraged. For over two decades the gun death rate in this country fell and you people remained silent about it. Now you have a new rallying cry. You can’t expect to live in a society where there is a right to guns and NOT expect more people to be killed by guns. If you did, perhaps you need to seek the mental health counseling that is referenced in this article. Freedom comes with risks. If you don’t like it there are plenty of places to go where they have less freedom. Please feel free to vacate the premises, we were here first.

  65. Lever action rifles and pump shotguns can be reloaded “on the go”. Fire a couple rounds, reload your weapon as you seek new targets. Lever actions are loaded on the right side, pump shotguns underneath. The low cost single shot rifles in various calibers with practice can be fired surprisingly fast. Pistols in various calibers have magazines ranging from 7 to about 17 rounds. And with practice, replacing magazines can be done rather quickly.

    Given the number of people who reload and/or stockpile ammo, I don’t think ammunition controls will be very effective except over a period of decades.

    Seems to me that making schools more “secure” (entrance controls) plus armed security would be the most effective way to resolve the issue.

  66. It just so happens that I agree.

    Stop thinking mass “shooter.” See what I mean in:

    “Gun Control and Mass Killers”

  67. May I offer a suggestion that would cost nothing in terms of individual freedom OR tax dollars? My thought lives with the NRA taking a greater role, not a lesser one, in assuring responsible gun ownership or possession. The failure of the FBI in the Cruz case demonstrates (once again) the failure of law enforcement to protect us all from mentally-impaired individuals (call them nut cases if you prefer). These CAN be identified, as was Cruz, in many but not every case. Then the system we have today breaks down; people fear reporting same for a variety of reasons, most of which can be addressed by permitting anonymous tips. Of course that does damage to the rights of those reported; the reporters motivation can be less than constructive. But if there were a NON-GOVERNMENTAL agency to which reports could be made,evaluated, and from which an outreach to the “nutcase” could be made, then steps from counseling up to, when found justified, arrest. Who better than the NRA could assure that this process would respect the second amendment?

  68. Surly informed people know CA has had mandatory background checks and a 10 day “cooling off” waiting period for years. It is a state’s rights issue. My question is next week when the school re-opens will the school provide any security whatsoever for the kids they have an obligation to protect? Where I live you can’t even get a fingernail clipper into a courthouse. Amending the second amendment won’t get guns off the streets next week or ever really, but the county could spare a couple of deputy sheriffs to protect these kids at school immediately at and all the schools if the public demands it, in every county in the nation. We are already paying hundreds of deputy sheriffs. I simply suggest we rethink how and where they are deployed. Schools maybe have become a bigger priority. I assure you taking away my gun will not prevent a single school shooting ever.

  69. Guaranteed Safe Schools:

    1. Students, parents, teachers and administrators all agree to renounce the use of violence in all of their human affairs, including its use by their agents in government.

    2. Ipso facto, their school is safe.

    Alternative method: home schooling. Number of students shot in schools since Columbine 120. Number of children shot while being home schooled: 0.

  70. In China, a similar nut case went berserk at a school, but all he had access to was a knife. He stabbed around 15-20 people, but they all survived. High powered guns do not belong in the hands of private citizens any more than hand grenades, bazookas, and artillery. If the only gun people could buy was an 1853 muzzle loading Enfield Rifle, gun deaths would go way down. I don’t understand why so many Americans still feel that people should have the right to own such dangerous weapons. One question I have is this: The shooter had ROTC training. Were certain aspects of that training what went into making him such a lethal shooter?

  71. I agree with many points made in this article but have to take issue with one. Felons are not buying guns through so called private sales unless it means on the black market. Felons are often captured carrying stolen guns. In addition, there is no way to impose background checks on private sales without imposing registration. Police would have no way to monitor private sales which they should not. As for the mental health reporting, the most glaring barrier to that proposal is HIPPA. The HIPPA makes releasing health info to anyone who does not need it a crime with draconian penalties.

    1. I would propose that HIPPA should be used to prevent the name of a mass shooter, and his rantings, from going public. After all, how many of them have proven to be schizophrenic? And if we can prevent the name of the shooter and his rantings from going public, then maybe, just maybe, we can cut back on the copycat nature of these crimes….

  72. Once again, Chapman reveals he has no answers and doesn’t even know the questions. He simply shrugs and walks away from an important topic. Why do his articles even appear in libertarian or tea party venues? He’s left-leaning.

    –prevent psychiatrists from prescribing “anti-psychotic” chemical drugs
    –prevent “gun free zones”
    –armed teachers and staff

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