Gun Control

Banning 'Assault Weapons' Makes As Much Sense As Banning Opaque Backpacks

The gun control policies student activists favor are just as dubious as the school security measures they mock.

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Cameron Kasky is one of the most prominent student activists calling for gun control in response to the February 14 attack that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Yesterday Kasky, a junior at the school, mocked the transparent backpacks now required there by filling one of them with tampons and posting a picture of it on Twitter, along with the tag #MSDStrong. Like "many Marjory Stoneman Douglas students behind the #NeverAgain movement" (per USA Today), Kasky seems to think the backpack policy is a dubious imposition that creates the appearance of doing something about gun violence without actually making people any safer. But as Robby Soave noted the other day, the policies favored by Kasky and his fellow activists are open to the same criticism.

"We are demanding an assault weapons ban," Kasky explained on Face the Nation after last month's "March for Our Lives" rally in Washington, D.C. "We are demanding the prohibition of sales of high-capacity magazines, and we are demanding universal background checks, which is something you'll see from the polls pretty much the entire country is behind and yet we've seen nothing of it." If the aim is reducing the frequency or lethality of mass shootings, these measures do not hold much more promise than MSD's see-through backpacks.

Assault weapons. The ban proposed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), which presumably is the legislation that Kasky has in mind, would not actually eliminate the guns it targets, since it exempts firearms legally owned prior to the bill's passage. (The alternative would be a mass confiscation campaign that would be practically and politically problematic, to put it mildly.) Based on data for production and imports since 1990, the National Shooting Sports Foundation estimates that Americans own more than 16 million rifles that would qualify as "assault weapons" (which the industry prefers to call "modern sporting rifles"). If grandfathered firearms undermined the effectiveness of the federal "assault weapon" ban that expired in 2004, that problem is more than 10 times as big today.

More to the point, the features that define so-called assault weapons—things like folding stocks and barrel shrouds—have little or nothing to do with their effectiveness in the hands of mass shooters. Contrary to popular belief, the guns that Feinstein wants to ban do not fire faster, fire more rounds, or fire larger-caliber bullets than the ones that would remain legal. Even if she could make all "assault weapons" magically disappear, would-be mass shooters would have plenty of equally lethal choices left.

High-capacity magazines. As with "assault weapons" (but more so), many millions of these are already in circulation and therefore would remain available to violent criminals. And given how quickly magazines can be switched, it is not clear that, say, forcing assailants to use magazines holding 10 rounds rather than 30, even if it were possible, would make a significant difference in attacks on unarmed people.

Consider the 2007 Virginia Tech attack, which killed almost twice as many people as the Parkland massacre. The perpetrator used ordinary handguns, as opposed to "assault weapons," and he had 19 magazines, some holding 10 rounds and some holding 15. He emptied 17 magazines before ending the rampage by shooting himself in the head.

Universal background checks. The Parkland shooter passed a background check because he did not have a disqualifying criminal or psychiatric record, as is typically true of mass shooters. In such cases, requiring background checks for all gun transfers (as opposed to sales by federally licensed dealers, as under current law) obviously would not stop murderers from obtaining weapons. Even when someone planning an attack is not legally allowed to buy guns, it is unlikely that a notional, unenforceable background check requirement for private transfers would foil him. The perpetrators of the 1999 attack at Columbine High School in Colorado, for instance, were both younger than 18 when they began acquiring their weapons, which they did illegally, through older third parties. If a background checks had been legally required for those secondary transfers, it would not have made a bit of difference.

We cannot say for sure, of course, that none of these measures would make a difference, just as we cannot say for sure that mandating clear backpacks at Kasky's school won't save any lives. But it both cases, it seems quite unlikely.

"My new backpack is almost as transparent as the NRA's agenda," MSD freshman Lauren Hogg, the younger sister of gun control activist David Hogg, tweeted on Monday. "I feel sooo safe now. As much as I appreciate the effort we as a country need to focus on the real issue instead of turning our schools into prisons."

I agree that turning schools into prisons makes little sense, especially given the rarity of the crimes that administrators are trying to prevent. But I don't see how phony, feel-safe gun controls are any more "real" than phony, feel-safe school security measures.

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  1. It is usually much easier to demand others make sacrifices than to make any yourself. That high school kids demand this is not really a surprise, but then again, some people took them seriously as experts on much of anything.

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    2. Just like you are demanding that these sacrifice their right to be appalled at seeing their classmates gunned down on a schoolday rather than put some proper hurdles in place to make guns as inaccessible as possible to nutcases? When there’s another shooting spree every other month, guns are way too easy to get.

      And are you aware that the NRA actively lobbies legislation to defund any government services put into place to monitor firearms tracking and licensing, not to mention gun violence research? There’s a whole division of the ATF tasked with monitoring ownership that isn’t allowed to use computers for its database. If anything is put into place to try to get a handle on the proliferation of guns in this country, the NRA lobbies to make sure it can’t do its job. NOTHING is being done right now, despite the background checks.

      1. The ATF cripples its own records. Gun manufacturers have to petition to use new forms of record keeping. Gun stores got the O.K. to go digital in 2016. The ATF is very adverse to electronic records, and those that they do keep are hodge-podge. eTrace 4.0 and Access 2000 are both utilized by gun manufacturers, among other non-standardized systems.

        The NRA was lobbying against electronic registration in 1997 because it offered no advantage at that time and would have unduly burdened small shop owners to invest in expensive computer equipment when, absent internet access, would’ve been located at the shops just as paper records are. Now that shops are already keeping their inventory on computers, the ATF says they still have to keep duplicate physical records. Great.

        And don’t even get me started on NICS, which is another patchwork nightmare that frequently fails when we need it most. Due to a failure of the VA State police to report to NICS, the VA Tech shooter was able to purchase weapons illegally.

        I don’t want to stitch in new systems until the old ones have been refined; every time this happens the overall database becomes harder to unify such that when it finally happens, hundreds of thousands of errors slip through.

      2. Nobody is suggesting they should lose their right to be appalled over any dumbass thing a teenage mind can be appalled by

        No gum chewing in class
        Transparent backpacks
        That mass shooters don’t have to register their weapons prior to shooting up a school.

        Nobody is questioning their right to go full retard. They are questioning the wisdom, the ethics, and the morality of doing so.

        1. But the retards are demanding that we listen to them, and do what they say. Sorry to disappoint them.

      3. I worked for a government contractor for a few years unifying the systems of a military branch. You have to trust me on this; the government’s electronic recordkeeping hygiene is atrocious beyond belief. Some of the greatest programmers in the world couldn’t automate the transfer of data from dozens of legacy systems, some dating back to the 70s and using 5.25″ floppies. An unfathomable amount will have to be entered manually – introducing errors, and even more will be incorrect. Hundreds of billions of dollars spent to populate a database that has trillions of dollars of missing information on zero day.

        This experience is the only thing that’ll ever be “universal” about the government’s recordkeeping systems. Gun manufacturers, shop owners, and sellers have more reason than anyone to want electronic trace records. I doubt they enjoy getting calls all the time to go thumbing through 50 years of cluttered government forms for a serial number.

      4. Re: “NRA actively lobbies legislation to defund any government services put into place to monitor firearms tracking and licensing, not to mention gun violence research”

        That’s because the gun violence researchers are all conducting bad science.

        They do not bother to try to count the GOOD (defensive/preventative) uses of guns (estimated in the millions of times per year). They only count the BAD uses and then call it an “epidemic.”

        That would be like a pharmaceutical company only counting the times their drug saves lives and totally ignoring the many times it kills the patient.

        It’s dishonest science, and nobody, especially the gov’t, should fund liar science.

        1. An example of a GOOD use of guns.

          My brother and I witnessed a fender bender accident. The man who had been rear ended was yelling at the woman who had rear-ended him. He was standing right at her driver-side window and acting in a physically-threatening manner. She pulled a shiny pistol out of her purse, and he suddenly got really calm and cooperative.

          No shots were fired. No violence of any kind occurred. Merely showing the gun was a deterrent to a road rage physical assault. This good, defensive use of a gun would not have shown up in FBI crime statistics because no police report was filed. It ended up being just a car accident without injuries: exchange insurance info, done.

          Would the CDC bother to put in the effort to try to count this unreported, good use of a gun? Nope. It doesn’t fit their belief that guns are a public health or public safety problem. They’ve already assumed a political position and are looking for biased studies to confirm that position.

  2. It’s like the school-to-prison pipeline but without the pipe. Honestly I have no sympathy for them. They are now getting bullied by the state just like they did to little Nikky. Of course, this will only worsen the problem. As for banning weapons, they are criminalizing the purchase of them (not the selling), which will only put more of them behind bars and incite more violence. Careful what you wish for, kiddos. Karma’s a bitch. #autisticlivesmatter #hugsnotpitchforks

    1. You have no sympathy for the Parkland students.

      I have no sympathy for faux libertarians, half-educated bigots, stale-thinking conservatives, or authoritarian conservatives.

      I guess we’re even.

      1. You have no sympathy for the Parkland students.

        Appeal to emotion.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_emotion

        1. Isn’t it all appeal to emotion these days?

          We’ll except for appeal to personal attack.

      2. Hmmmm…. is this the ~real~ Artie commenting or just one of the many posters who pretend to be Artie by posting ridiculous ideas under his name?

        It’s tough to go thru life like he does as a living example of Poe’s Law.

      3. So you are good with well educated bigots, neoconservatives, and autocratic conservatives?

        Or really what you mean is that everyone that disagrees with you is literally a nazi.

  3. As much as I appreciate the effort we as a country need to focus on the real issue instead of turning our schools into prisons.

    Sending armed state agents to round up undesirable objects from yesterday’s law abiding citizens is preferable to the kids sacrifice a single liberty just so you can keep your death machines.

  4. Wait until they start randomly frisking the students as they enter the building.

    They wanted a police state, but thought it would be others getting policed.

    Useful. Idiots.

    1. “They” always think someone else is going to get the boot of the government they want empowered for, and run by, themselves. There is an adage along the lines of “what you empower a government to do unto others will inevitably be done unto you.”

    2. At least in this case in particular, these are children who legally cannot vote or make any meaningful decisions for themselves so why would anyone listen to their idiotic opinions? Most of them haven’t even taken a single semester of civics or economics, let alone government or meaningful history classes.

      They’re only in the limelight because the gun-grabbers feel that using children and corpses is a perfectly acceptable tactic as long as they get to their end results.

      No more. No less.

      1. At least in this case in particular, these are children who legally cannot vote or make any meaningful decisions for themselves so why would anyone listen to their idiotic opinions?

        I think the problem is that the argumentation has become whether we should accept their arguments or not, rather than just discussing their arguments. The problem, for the gun-control people is that they need to put them beyond a state of arguing, because their arguments are close to nothing. Largely yelling and platitudes.

        1. Precisely. If your arguments are shit than who gives those arguments is of paramount importance.

          1. I wish I could recall who, but there was some writer for the National Review (I think, maybe the Federalist) who was having a long twitter war over this exact point. People were calling him a jerk and cruel for criticizing Hogg’s argumentation. He responded that he was the only one not infantalizing them by engaging with them in argumentation as he would any other.

            I think his point was quite solid.

            1. What was actually mean was exploiting a child victim of a tragedy to try and ram through legislation that would criminalize millions of law abiding citizens, but hey I’m just over here using logic and reason.

              I’m told that makes me part of the patriarchy, but I have yet to see an upside because of it.

            2. That was Charles Cooke over at National Review.
              Now that Williamson has defected to The Atlantic Cooke is the only really good writer left at NR.
              We’ll see how long the delicate sensibilities at The Atlantic can tolerate KD.

  5. To steal from Mencken, they wanted more government, and they got it good and hard.

    1. That statement illuminates a lot of things about Past Me’s political leanings.

    2. Not quite hard enough though.

  6. So they’re fine with inconveniencing other people but hate being inconvenienced themselves?

    *begins rubbing nipples*

  7. That Kasky thought a bag of tampons was the height of mockery, and that the standard response to that tweet seems to be the perception that he’s being an “ally” of the girls who are on the rag, is a great example of how feminized modern society has become.

    Reminder this this is the same guy who pussed out on doing a public debate with one of his fellow students over gun control.

    1. Actually, I think it’s a microaggression toward females– ridiculing their natural hygiene needs– and he should be condemned by the progressives.

    2. How is a boy in high school not getting his ass kicked for carrying a backpack full of tampons around?

      1. Well, you have to be a Roman Emporer to kick the ass of someone who’s followers think they walk on water the way Kasky’s do.

        Now, how he doesn’t get a locker full of tampons, tampons thrown at him everywhere he goes, and feminine napkins stuck on every surface of the vehicle(s) he rides in, I don’t know. I understand that kids today regard such gestures as violence and, thus, avoid them at all costs.

      2. He’s at a relatively upper class school, so they are very likely quite self-serious and appreciate his actions.

      3. I thought this same exact thing the first time I saw David Hogg on television. I thought, “This dude has never been punched for being an asshole.” Regardless of his (incorrect) views, he just comes off like he’s got a chip on his shoulder for no reason whatsoever.

        1. Regardless of his (incorrect) views, he just comes off like he’s got a chip on his shoulder for no reason whatsoever.

          If those reddit post screenshots making their way around the net are really his, I’d say it’s because his fellow students thought he was almost as weird as Cruz and the girls wanted nothing to do with him romantically. Dude was probably an Elliot Rodger in the making before Cruz beat him to the punch.

  8. Our right to own firearms holds it most important value as a last deterrent to tyranny. That is what the founding fathers were talking about.

    Any dipshit that advocates repeal of the second amendment or even outlawing semi-automatic rifles is na?ve to the wanton abuses of governments and certainly ignorant of the history of governments the world over that have confiscated firearms in the past.

    Their is no acceptable rational argument to repealing the second amendment unless you are an ignorant fool.

    High school students certainly will not be able to grasp this since public schools are admitted brain washing facilities. Just look up what Eric Holder said, on camera, about brain washing children against guns.

    1. Unfortunately ignorant fools are a pretty large voter constituency.

  9. Didn’t Harvey Weinstein pledge to fight to NRA recently? He should be out marching with those schoolchildren.

    1. Michael Jackson is willing to tag-team in if called upon.

      1. He’s really quieted down lately.

        1. He’s dancing in a Thriller video for eternity. With real ghouls.

          1. I thought Michael Jackson wasn’t into ghouls.

    2. I had to google him again to remind me that he isn’t Harvey Fierstein.

    3. The Hollywood crew fights with checks. Airline flights, buses, hotels, posterboard, and markers don’t come free.

      Just like “free education” isn’t free.

  10. Is anyone else getting an ad for “covert tactical backpacks”? Thought it was fitting.

    1. My ad is “Exclusive dating site for singles 50+” which says sad things about my patterns that it thinks I’m twice my age.

      1. I’m into Milf porn too. Try incognito browsing

      2. It doesn’t apply to me either because it’s exclusive.

  11. “We wouldn’t need clear backpacks if guns were illegal!”

  12. My new backpack is almost as transparent as the NRA’s agenda.

    So, has the word ‘transparency’ literally tumbled down the literal rabbit hole too?

    1. To be fair, the NRA’s agenda of defending gun rights is fairly transparent.

      1. Right. The only way her statement is political and not just a fashion statement or even laudatory is if the NRA, being completely open and honest about it’s actions, is somehow subversive and dishonest or that their advocacy of gun rights is bad because they do it transparently/covertly.

        I guess maybe I can’t tell if their transparent mask is slipping or not.

    2. Also, does anyone believe that these high school kids are orchestrating this nation wide movement? Would love to see what team of scum bag political operatives showed up at these kids’ houses to coach them.

      1. Some of them have been uncovered. They’re the usual collection of Team Blue scumbags.

        https://joeforamerica.com/2018/04/ 10-anonymous-donors-behind- the-march-for-our-lives-exposed/
        (remove the spaces to reassemble the url)

        1. Do us a favor, google “html coding for a link”. You do that, it’ll provide instructions for how you can do the linkety-link without running into their “single-word character limit”.

          1. I do like teh sign “no more thoughts” sums up their thought process quite well

        2. Thanks; pretty much all the usual suspects.

      2. Depending on what you believe about conspiracies, Fusion GPS.

    3. A much shorter list would be what hasn’t tumbled down that hole, but I honestly can’t think of anything that hasn’t.

  13. I feel sooo safe now..

    As much as I appreciate the effort we as a country need to focus on the real issue instead of turning our schools into prisons.

    Hogg and kids like her are in for a real shock when they find out that the real world is indifferent to their existence.

    1. They don’t understand that turning things into a police state is the solution either way.

    2. It’s also sort of amusing that they’re completely unaware of the fact that public school as it already exists is indeed a prison. Their participation is, in a word, mandatory by force of law.

      1. I probably should have ended with ‘mandatory’, so pretend there’s a semi-colon or something after it. Grr.

  14. People demanded the govt “DO SOMETHING!” and they did. I wonder if this is making any of these kids reconsider their positions. And yes, the NRA’s agenda is transparent. Isn’t that a good thing?

    1. No, I would guess there is very little reconsideration. They are convinced the solution is obvious, and easy, and requires no effort. This is taken as an axiom by many people in this debate. Because of this, a solution that hurts them in anyway is obviously not the good solution that exists.

    2. Charlie Rangel was calling for the death penalty for drug dealers as late as the 90s. “Do Something!” is how we got tthe War on Drugs, and those calls were largely led by bipartisan efforts, including vociferous support by black Democrat politicians . I don’t know why these retards can’t see how this is going to go down the same way. Black men commit over half the murders in our country, largely with illegally obtained handguns. Who is going to wind up suffering if there is a crackdown on guns? Do we really want to throw millions more black men in prison for no goddamn reason?

      1. To answer your question the progressives do not think that far ahead. Truly they view gun issues as a “White” problem since the picture of the American gun owner is Straight White guy from the South. Now we know that that isn’t the case. Anytime laws are strengthened it is going to come down on the Minority Community the hardest. But they can’t see that or don’t care cause it won’t be them impacted.

        1. If you read between the lines, it’s not that Progressives don’t think ahead it’s that they’re thinking ten moves ahead of everyone else.

          Note that the actual goals of organizations like Planned Parenthood, which is the ultimate brainchild of women like Sanger, had the stated goal of killing off minorities which is exactly what continues to occur up to this very day. It’s one ‘disparate impact’ no one gives a shit about.

          I suspect that when it comes to the Progressive movement, they’re outplaying everyone.

          1. This. Their malicious intent is well disguised in appeals to emotion.

            1. The same could be said of the far right too.

          2. Well like i said they either are ignorant or don’t care. Sadly the early 20th century progressive mindset has peeked out it’s ugly head again. You already have people advocating the same nightmare crap that Sanger and the Eugenics crowd pushed. They want child limits and have argued one should not take a Down Syndrome child to term. Scary that is happening again.

    3. They just demanded that something be done to someone else and when they discovered it would impact them as well, they suddenly did not like it. I have heard countless student whining about “turning their school into a “prison”. Ironically, they do no understand, disarm the people and it is very likely the entire country will become a “prison”. As the people of Venezuela.

      1. I don’t think you are allowed to eat the zoo animals in prison.

  15. As much as I appreciate the effort we as a country need to focus on the real issue instead of turning our schools into prisons

    Name them. I notice that there is many claims of simple solutions, and then often they speak in platitudes or suggest nearly useless ideas.

  16. This is what happens when you let outside organizers do your thinking for you, kids…You can’t come up with a coherent response to your own rights being infringed upon.

  17. That pick…jesus h. christ those Parkland gun-grabbers are pansi-assed, beta, cucks.

    1. It’s the smug, punchable face that makes you think that.

    2. Speaking of pussies, why have Republicans and conservatives stood slack-jawed for decades while liberals and moderates shoved decades of liberal-libertarian progress down their throats?

      School prayer, abortion, treatment of gays, the drug war, creationism, Social Security, treatment of women, Medicare, public accommodations, desegregated schools, Medicaid, voting rights, miscegenation . . . liberals have been shoving all of this, and more, down traditionalists’ throats for longer than any of us has been alive.

      And what do conservatives do in response? Whine about being victims. Mutter bitterly and inconsequentially. Nip at the ankles of strong universities and other mainstream, liberal-libertarian institutions. Pine for “good old days” but never accomplishing anything.

      Pansies and pussies. Maybe it’s time for one of the right-wingers around here to write a stern comment.

      1. There’s no such animal as ‘liberal-libertarian’. It’s effectively an oxymoron. Like a ‘Conservative Progressive’, these do not exist in nature except as confused individuals with no actual guiding principles.

        1. BYODB, get a fucking dictionary sometime. Your tribal fixations have you ignoring all etymological precedent and getting it exactly backwards, and in the process allowing progressives to win their war of words.

          Correctly: there is no such thing as a “liberal” progressive. Progressivism is inherently illiberal. In the US, true conservatism must be liberal, and liberalism is by definition conservative.

          “The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of ‘liberalism,’ they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.” – Norman Thomas

          To everyone smarter than BYODB: don’t let the illiberal left get away with co-opting concepts they have no justification to claim.

          1. This is how we lose. We attack each other rather than the dumbfuck that started a stupid argument. Pedantry isn’t always appreciated.

      2. liberal-libertarian progress

        Delusional, self-regarding sockpuppet is delusional, self-regarding.

      3. Speaking of pussies

        Arthur L. Hicklib knows one of his own.

      4. And hilariously you attack the masses here as though they are all conservatives. I can see how your ridiculously far left brain would think anyone right of Lieberman would appear to be conservative, but surely at some point you’ll become analytical and realize that some things are relative.

        1. He won’t, and don’t call him Shirley.

  18. Yesterday Kasky, a junior at the school, mocked the transparent backpacks now required there by filling one of them with tampons and posting a picture of it on Twitter, along with the tag #MSDStrong.

    Funny how when you poke the regulatory monster with a stick to nudge it into action, it sometimes tears your arm off.

    1. Ah! So the message is that he’s prepared to mop up all the blood. Now I see…

      1. Good catch there. It is after all what they are made for, is it not?

  19. My hopeful, positive-thinking side thinks this is how kids acquire “hard-won” wisdom.

  20. “We are demanding an assault weapons ban,” Kasky explained on Face the Nation after last month’s “March for Our Lives” rally in Washington, D.C. “We are demanding the prohibition of sales of high-capacity magazines, and we are demanding universal background checks, which is something you’ll see from the polls pretty much the entire country is behind and yet we’ve seen nothing of it.”

    “Demand”? I demand you respect the limits of government and the rights of others.

    1. You’re cute.

  21. I guess no one ever told these pricks bitching about the clear backpacks violating their privacy rights while they simultaneously call for other people’s rights to be violated that “Rights for me but not for thee” is supposed to just be implied, not stated outright.

  22. I am disappointed to see many people on my Facebook that find this tampon action to be both witty and meaningful.

    1. Tampon actions sell themselves.

    2. Somewhere in the world, at that very moment, a young girl ruined a pair of pants because of the patriarchal chains of her menstrual cycle. Something must be done….

  23. A piece of paper in the federal code banning Brand A Model B will not make it safe to allow a person not a teacher, not a student, not a parent — a person with no legit business at the school, like Nickolas Cruz — to waltz in a side door with a duffle bag of god-knows-what.

    What will assure school security is identifying bad actors with motive and expressed intent and stopping them from carrying out there plans: like the two who planned to out-do Columbine at a county high school in 2013, or the guy arrested two weeks ago for threatening to shoot up the city highschool.

    For unidentified bad actors, you must deny them the opportunity to act. That locally has included swipe cards for students to enter doors. We have had school resource officers at the county high schools since 1997. Not too long ago an SRO engaged an armed intruder threatening the principal.

    It is not about making the schools prisons: it about making the schools fortresses and safe havens.

    9 years after the 1990 Gun Free School Zone Act and 5 years after the 1994 Assault Weapon Ban was the 1999 Columbine massacre where the most used gun was a pistol caliber carbine with ten shot magazines. Just before the sunset/renewal date, reviews of firearms and violence research by Centers for Disease Control and National Research Council found no measurable effect of the AWB and other gun laws on the levels of gun violence. The focus on banning means is blind and fuzzy.

    1. So, pre-crime? I’m sure there will be no downside in criminalizing speech.

  24. What’s so hard to understand? They want gun control, as long as it doesn’t infringe on their sense of fashion.

    Needless to say, this in no way reveals any idiocy on the part of these children who are given a national soapbox, set upon corpses, by adults that want to shield themselves from criticism by hiding behind children and inserting words into their mouths.

    Next up, a one year old will break down Trump’s newest tariff policy. They can’t talk quite yet, but we’re sure their burbling has important ramifications for international economics.

    /sarc

  25. “I agree that turning schools into prisons makes little sense, especially given the rarity of the crimes that administrators are trying to prevent.”

    Okay installing security measures seen at Airports, Government Buildings, Sports Stadiums and all Disney Parks isn’t turning a school into a prison. Cut out the over the top BS. Now the clear backpacks seem silly when controlled entry with bag searches would accomplish the needed task.

    1. You mean all the security theatre that moves the soft target from inside among packed innocents to the outside among packed innocents?

      I’m not so sure those measures accomplish what you think they accomplish. They serve to protect the important people which are the administrative staff, sports players, and park owners who are all already inside over the masses of people who attend.

    2. clear back pack is especially silly considering you can’t fit an “Assault Rifle” in one in the first place which is what they are crying about

  26. Any gun ban is stupid because unless you plan a mass confiscation, it will never work. Banning Hi-Cap mags will not have any impact because like last time, those in private hands will likely remain in private hands. When they were illegal during the last ban, you could still buy them anywhere, they just cost a fortune. As for the “universal” background checks, I wish someone would explain how this will be done and how it will be enforced. Unless you have some national registry, there is no way to track private gun sales. The only thing it will impact are private sales at gun shows which are already less than 1/10 of all sales annually. It is impossible for the government to monitor face to face sales unless it plans to monitor all internet traffic and email which is another major problem. All this crap sounds great but there is a reason it is not the law, it doesn’t never work and/or is impossible to implement.

  27. My new backpack is almost as transparent as the NRA’s agenda.

    I thought the NRA had a shadowy, opaque agenda that needed exposin’.

  28. Let’s make this clear, since this ridiculous argument against any sort of gun control comes up again and again:

    Neither opaque backpacks, nor cars, nor forks, nor swimming pools or any of the other innocuous things you might fill in the blank with were invented for the express purpose of killing human beings. If these things kill a human being, it is by accident or misuse.

    Guns, on the other hand, WERE invented for killing human beings. They were invented for war. Hunting, sporting, and home protection were all secondary uses that were thought up later. The idea that they are not dangerous is at best dishonest and at worst insane. Sure, you need to have a dangerous person to wreak havoc with a gun, but the gun is what makes that person such an efficient and destructive killing machine. You can’t remove the gun from the equation.

    1. A national effort to reduce mass murders, the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which expired in 2004, produced this consequence:

      “The ban didn’t appear to have a significant impact on the number of mass murder incidents in that decade compared to other decades, and within the decade, there was no downward trend. This only shows that the availability of assault weapons doesn’t change the number of mass murder incidents, which means that killers just switched to different weapons, obtained illegal weapons, or made improvised weapons.

      During the ban, large attacks like the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Park Bombing occurred, and the average number of people killed per incident increased from 9.4 pre-ban to 11.3 during the ban, then decreasing to 7.6 after the ban expired. The average number of people injured per incident increased from 8.0 to 35.0 during the ban and decreased to 5.6 after the ban.

      More consequences detailed in:

      “Gun Control and Mass Killers”
      https://relevantmatters.wordpress.com/
      2016/06/30/rush-draft-why-gun-
      control-fails-against-mass-killers/

      Join the links and delete the spaces.

    2. “Guns, on the other hand, WERE invented for killing human beings.”

      This is a variant of the pathetic fallacy, attributing agency to inanimate objects. Guns don’t have purpose. They’re manufactured for a purpose, and bought for a purpose, in both cases the purpose is an attribute of the person doing the manufacturing or purchasing.

      Most guns are manufactured for the purpose of making money by selling them, nothing more nefarious. And, empirically, most guns are purchased to punch holes in pieces of paper.

      Don’t try to impose some mystical murderous intent on them.

      1. Brett, you are wrong, as guns were from their beginning were intended to kill and especially to kill people. You have no knowledge of gun history and logic fails you. “Consider, ships were produced for the purpose of making money and nothing more nefarious than floating upon water.” Actually, ships were for moving people and goods over long distances of water and the fact that shipbuilders made some money isn’t relevant to there being ships.

        So what is the purpose of a corkscrew, to be an attribute to the person who makes them and the person who uses it? The person buying a corkscrew can mount it and look at it, but in most cases will use it to remove corks from wine bottles. Guns have a purpose and that is to kill, not to sit on a rack and not for punching holes in paper.

        Please, for the sake of human sanity, don’t try to purpose guns for anything other than killing.

        1. As stated, the vaaaaaaaaast majority of people that have them have never killed anyone with them.

          I do grant that a lot of people buy guns to be able to kill someone that breaks in their house and tries to kill them, which is not illegal.

          The right to self defense is central to self-ownership. A semi-auto carbine is an effective tool to protect yourself, and it is very good at punching little holes in paper.

        2. I’m trying to make an important logical point here. Purpose isn’t a property of inanimate objects. It’s not like charge, or angular momentum, or mass. The purpose some person had in inventing a tool has no influence on the tool at all, because it’s a property of the person, not the tool.

          This means that somebody can invent something to kill, and it doesn’t matter.

          Slings were invented as weapons of war, and for a long time that and hunting were the only thing they got used for. Now they’re toys. That they were weapons of war once doesn’t mean diddly squat: You use one, the slug doesn’t turn in the air to hit somebody! Because it’s just an inanimate object, a tool, and all that matters is the present purpose of the person using it.

          Gun controllers ‘reason’ like primitives, they live in a demon haunted world where inanimate objects control what people do with them, rather than the other way around.

          Because you want to pretend the problem isn’t human, that the problem is tools used to murder, not murderers. You think you can create a world where murderers walk the streets, but no murders happen, because you took their murder instruments away!

          That’s insane, Fmontyr. Literally insane. Only madmen think the world works that way.

        3. In the real world, murders don’t happen because ordinary people happen to pick up a murder weapon, and it takes control of them and sends them on a killing spree.

          In the real world, murders happen because somebody decides they want to kill, and they find or improvise something that could be used to murder.

          Let me say that again: In the real world, murders happen because somebody wants to kill. Not because there’s a weapon present.

          Come, live in the real world, with the rest of us. And leave behind that fantasy world where people kill because of guns, where inanimate objects tell people what to do, instead of the other way around.

          1. Of some roughly 30,000 gun deaths annually, over half are suicides. Suicides are not categorized as murder but are the intentional ending of one’s life and a gun is most often utilized for this kind of death. Guns are more used for suicides when guns are easily available such as in the home. In domestic violence situations, a gun is far more likely to be used if there is one in the home. When little Bobby finds a gun in the house, little sister Susie is far more likely to be a gun victim than if there were no gun in the house (occurs about 9 times a day in the US). So your thesis that someone dying from gunshots has no relationship to weapons being present is bulls–t.

            You are the one in a fantasy world. People kill with guns because they are available, easy to use, are very lethal and can do their job from a distance. Guns have a purpose and that is to be a highly effective killing instrument. You need to revise your thinking, Brett.

    3. Ultra, you only missed half. Weapons are potentially used for harming others, and for threatening the harm of others. And guess which occurs more frequently? Even military forces, with really big guns, use them much more as threats than in action. And guess what? In the real world (the one where not everybody is a magical sharing, caring fairy), having weapons that serve as threats is a good thing, and prevent violence every day.

      So yes, the gun does make the person–and the threat–more credible, and does not not depend on the size of the person or the crowd. Sounds like a good equation to me.

      1. Earth, you are being just as coy as Brett (see above) in trying to subvert and make non-lethal the true purpose of a gun. If guns only shot soft cotton balls they would not be much of a threat. But guns shoot bullets which can tear living tissue apart and that is why they are perceived to be a threat. Don’t try to fool me and others as we know the real purpose of a gun is to kill living things. It’s LOL since guns cause violence every day as about 90 people die from them every day.

        Oh, lordy, lordy the stupidity of so many comments in this thread as people try to make guns be something other than they really are. In psychological terms, it’s known as a denial of the truth.

        1. The fact that he acknowledges that a gun is threatening is agreeing that it is lethal, otherwise it would not be menacing.

        2. I’m not being coy. Inanimate objects don’t HAVE “true purposes”. It’s not a rational concept, it’s magical thinking.

  29. Gun-control advocates ignore or are unaware of what happens after guns are either banned or severely restricted. Skeptic.com tells what happened after a national effort to reduce mass murders, the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which expired in 2004:

    “The ban didn’t appear to have a significant impact on the number of mass murder incidents in that decade compared to other decades, and within the decade, there was no downward trend. This only shows that the availability of assault weapons doesn’t change the number of mass murder incidents, which means that killers just switched to different weapons, obtained illegal weapons, or made improvised weapons.

    During the ban, large attacks like the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Park Bombing occurred, and the average number of people killed per incident increased from 9.4 pre-ban to 11.3 during the ban, then decreasing to 7.6 after the ban expired. The average number of people injured per incident increased from 8.0 to 35.0 during the ban and decreased to 5.6 after the ban.

    More consequences detailed in:

    “Gun Control and Mass Killers”
    https://relevantmatters.wordpress.com/
    2016/06/30/rush-draft-why-gun-control
    -fails-against-mass-killers/

    Join the links and delete the spaces.

    1. So your argument against gun control is that, even though gun control results in fewer gun killings, it just pushes people toward bomb-making? Pardon me if I think this argument is just off-the-wall goofy, even if it is true. Ask yourself: What was the total number of killings due to bombs during this 10-year period? Was it more than the total number of assault weapon killings during a 10-year period when assault weapons were legal? In these 10-year periods, were there a greater number of shooting incidents or bombing incidents? The per-incident rate means little if the number of incidents and the grand total of deaths were fewer.

      Besides, if enough of these would-be bomb makers blow themselves up in the process or had their plans foiled when they bought too much fertilizer at one time, then the incident was stopped before it began. I’m fine with that. Doesn’t happen too often with these shootings.

      1. No, goofy, it’s that for all your caterwauling, we’ve had empirically lower levels of gun violence than we did 30 years ago, and that studies have shown the AWB’s effect on lowering that rate in the interim was negligible—primarily because most firearm murders are committed with handguns, not “assault rifles”.

        You’re far more likely to be killed by someone with a revolver or a Glock than an AR-15. The only reason you think the latter is used more often is because the Brady Campaign (formerly, Handgun Control, Inc.) realized that people like you responded better to the thought of “scary assault rifles” than handguns, and changed their gun-grabbing strategy to focus on that instead.

  30. Sure, banning opaque backbacks is dumb, but in response to your premise.. not it doesn’t. Banning semi-automatic rifles is dumber. And more dangerouse

    1. Banning ownership of guns period of violent people is quite effective. That would stop a great deal more shootings.

      1. There are far too many homicides committed by non-violent people, e.g., the passionate spouse in a domestic argument. How are violent people screened from society as all people have the propensity to be violent?

        1. It’s hard to say it’s not “too many”, as any are too many. But the truth is quite the opposite, that people without a record of violent behavior really do have a very low murder rate.

          See this, for instance. People in Illinois arrested for homicide had a 43% likelihood of a prior felony arrest, compared to 3.9% likelihood for the general population. At that level, the most likely conclusion is that the murderers who didn’t have such records were mostly just felons who hadn’t bee caught yet.

          That murderers, far from being ordinary people who just “snap”, are instead people easily distinguished from the general population by a record of violent behavior, is a well established finding in criminology.

  31. A law to take guns away from people who have a propensity for violence would of worked with Parkland. Cruz clearly would of been refused to buy the weapon.

    1. How are violent people screened from society as all people have the propensity to be violent?

      1. Multiple run-ins with the law, as Cruz had, tend to be predictive of future bad behavior.

    2. If he was determined he could have stolen a gun or bought one on the black market. No law or ban can guarantee compliance.

  32. Right, banning assault weapons is pointless.

    ALL these half-way measures are pointless.

    What we need is to take on the problem with TOTAL COMMITMENT.

    Pass a law saying ALL firearms–any explosive-based projectile weapon–must be licensed, and MANDATORY MINIMUM twenty-five years in SOLITARY confinement for ANY violation, NO MATTER HOW SMALL OR MINOR.

    And I mean REAL solitary, with NO contact WHATSOEVER with ANY human being. NO one hour per day “exercise time” outside the cell. NO meetings with lawyers, doctors, or religious personnel. NO phone calls, NO tv, NO books, NO games, NO writing material, NOTHING except you, a sink, a toilet, bright lighting 24/7, and three times per day, a small tray of food slipped through a slot in the door by a SILENT guard.

    1. You ready to use firearms to enforce that? I have a feeling you won’t want to be at the tip of that particular spear.

    2. Why not try this with drugs and see if we can shut down the gangs?

    3. Or speeding!

    4. I think you are talking cruel and unusual punishment here, there is a certain document you might want to read.

    5. Why don’t you have the stones to call for the death penalty for these scum? Is it because the NRA bought you out too?

    6. No toilet paper?

  33. If the “cool” kids would be friendlier to the “nerds” then there would be less angry nerds to shoot up schools. I mean, this is obvious and simple, and would not require legislation. Like a no brainer. I mean, stop teasing the nerds, be friendly and perhaps even “human”. It should be a human right to be not bullied. Like, the angry young nerd comes in to your school and shoots it up. How did he get so angry? Think about it. And be friendly to a nerd today.

  34. So what’s the “real issue” then?

    My opinion: too many of us have become too comfortable with the unnecessary use of force. And force doesn’t just mean gun violence. it also includes other forms of physical violence, as well as verbal and psychological abuse. I believe that if we really want to solve this in a way that’s compatible with libertarian principles, that’s where we have to start. Otherwise, the violence will go on, whether with guns, knives, clubs or bare hands. Not only the state but it’s citizens must commit to use any kind of force only as a last resort, and to instill that spirit in the present generation and those to come.

    “[F]reedom is in danger of degenerating into mere arbitrariness unless it is lived in terms of responsibleness.”
    — Viktor Frankl

    1. I’ve had to reflect hard on this. All of the gun control measures that have been suggested seem unacceptable to me. So my mind has to go to “Is this a problem that requires intervention?” How big of a problem is it really?

      Realistically it seems to be relatively small in the numbers sense. However, I think there is a difference in kind when it comes to this type of unique terror. It hits a different part of the brain that just is confused by the senselessness of it all. If someone murders their Business partner for money or a fumbling mugger kills a non-complaint mark we have ways to process that we understand the motive. If a bunch of people die in a car accident, it’s tragic but it doesn’t baffle us.

      There is a reason that we get so disturbed by these sorts of things (mass killings, terrorism) and it’s an empathetic response. I don’t know if it’s an urge to resist or an urge to embrace but if we are going to try to write policy to prevent THESE particular incidents, then it makes things much harder.

      1. I have moved past dismissing these incidents as infrequent or diminishing the impact of them. Though that said it seems like a weird band-aid solution to try to on the margins make purchasing guns harder. Seems like a non-sequitur to me. We should be examining what makes this sort of thing such a popular statement these days. It seems like there is some sort of cultural bug in our programming that creates incidents like this.

        If it is really true that they are decreasing in frequency as some have indicated, we still need to dig and find of there is something that we have done to contribute to that trend and if we can accelerate that trend or if it is just a preference that cannot be accounted for.

        I despair in the fact that this is not something with an easy answer and part of me fears it is an innate flaw in humanity that cannot be overcomed. If we can’t fix it or learn to tolerate it (as a society) we will start seeing our freedoms yet again be sacrificed on the altar of SAFETY.

  35. “My new backpack is almost as transparent as the NRA’s agenda”

    It’s amazing to me that these kids seem to understand, in some sense anyway, that infringements on their liberty in order to gain some measure of security…or at least the illusion of security…isn’t going to solve the problem. Then they go out and demand another liberty be taken away in order to provide them some security. There’s a reason we don’t let minors vote and we require a few years under one’s belt to run for national office. I’m not saying that results in better government but it certainly doesn’t hurt.

    1. We have no counterfactual to compare against but you can be sure that if he were old enough, boss Hogg would be running for the nearest office this November.

  36. The clear backpacks could be a great learning moment here, if only schools were run by people who wanted the students to learn.

    1. When kids learn that they can get an exact-o-knife and carve out a hole in the book for a hidden gun… maybe then we’ll see a call for transparent text books.

  37. I feel sorry for you if you think you live in Somalia and need a semi-automatic to keep yourself safe. I have no problems with shotguns, hunting rifles and pistols but semi-automatics there is no need for.

    1. There are many things people don’t “need” that kill far more people than assault rifles, yet are not banned. Whether or not you “need” something is completely irrelevant.

  38. No one needs an opaque backpack (or, as I like to call it, an “assault backpack”).

  39. A clear backpack would make for a much better gangster smuggling (aka Casino) than an opaque one. Hollywood should get right on that.

    1. Autocorrect fail. smuggling == smothering

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  41. How in living hell does carrying a clear backpack constitute a prison?

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