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Free Minds & Free Markets

A Massacre Is Not an Argument

The Las Vegas attack does not strengthen the case for all the usual gun control ideas.

The morning after a gunman murdered nearly 60 people in Las Vegas, Hillary Clinton tweeted that "we can and must put politics aside, stand up to the NRA, and work together to try to stop this from happening again." The former Democratic presidential nominee's commitment to putting politics aside disappeared in the middle of that sentence, and her implicit claim that she knows how to "stop this from happening again" was equally empty.

Gun controllers like Clinton habitually seize upon mass shootings as evidence in favor of the policies they have always supported. But there is rarely any logical connection between the two, because in this debate showing you are on the right side is more important than persuading anyone.

Clinton, for example, argued that the Las Vegas attack demonstrated the folly of the NRA-backed Hearing Protection Act, which would loosen federal restrictions on suppressors, a.k.a. silencers. She suggested the death toll in Las Vegas could have been higher "if the shooter had a silencer," since "the crowd fled at the sound of gunshots."

But as firearms experts immediately pointed out, so-called silencers do not actually eliminate the sound of gunfire; they merely reduce the noise level. Even with a suppressor, the hundreds of shots fired from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Resort and Casino would have been clearly audible.

By the time Clinton was tweeting irrelevantly about silencers, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof had already published a column in which he listed eight gun control proposals, all supposedly aimed at "preventing mass shootings like the Vegas Strip attack." Most of them, including a minimum gun purchase age of 21, safe storage requirements, microstamping of cartridges, and promotion of "smart guns," plainly had nothing to do with mass shootings like the Vegas Strip attack.

Even the most plausible-sounding of Kristof's ideas, "universal background checks," would have made no difference in this case, since the Las Vegas shooter, identified by police as a 64-year-old retired accountant named Stephen Paddock, was repeatedly cleared by the FBI when he bought his guns. As is typical of mass shooters, Paddock did not have a disqualifying criminal or psychiatric record.

After presenting his list of new gun controls, framed as responses to the previous day's attack, Kristof conceded that "it's too soon to know what, if anything, might have prevented the shooting in Las Vegas, and it may be that nothing could have prevented it." His column, in other words, was a 20-paragraph non sequitur.

That's par for the course in the wake of mass shootings, which gun controllers use to create a sense of urgency they hope will translate into new restrictions. It does not matter whether the restrictions would or could have prevented the horrifying event that supposedly justifies them.

If you are truly outraged by crimes like the Las Vegas massacre, gun controllers argue, you must agree with them that some unspecified piece of legislation is long overdue. Otherwise you are a heartless ideologue or an NRA stooge. That is Hillary Clinton's idea of putting politics aside: blindly assenting to a proposal you have not seen as a way of proving your courage and compassion.

"It's time for Congress to get off its ass and do something," Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) declared on Monday. "There's no excuse for inaction," tweeted former Vice President Joe Biden. As CNN observed, "Democrats are desperate to do something—anything—on gun control."

The White House is not so eager. "Before we start trying to talk about the preventions of what took place last night," presidential press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Monday, "we need to know more facts."

Democrats obsessed with gun control may not be interested in facts, but they have managed an impressive feat by making Donald Trump look calm and thoughtful. Contrary to what Joe Biden seems to think, having no idea what you're doing or whether it makes sense is an excellent excuse for inaction.

© Copyright 2017 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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  • Chipper Morning, Mean Girl||

    I have yet to hear a single proposal that would have prevented this tragedy, other than total confiscation, which ain't gonna happen.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    One interesting things I heard (I describe things as "interesting" a lot) on the radio was describing the difficulty of doing any that could have prevented it. Then the host jumped to Trump's removal of that regulation preventing people with severe mental illness from buying guns (their description, not mine, I'm aware what the regulation actually was.)

    So, it's interesting. People are talking about how hard it would be to do anything to sound reasonable about the event, and then they immediately jump to talking about unrelated regulations that should be in place. It's ridiculous honestly. This doesn't help anyone, and all it does is get pro-gun people jerking off in anger, and anti-gun people jerking off in anger. Bunch of nonsense.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    This is the dilemma for gun grabbers and why they jump from the tragic shooting to illogical violations of the 2nd Amendment.

    There is really no way to have prevented this shooting and no law could have prevented it either.

    The 2nd Amendment makes all laws relating to gun control unconstitutional anyway.

  • mortiscrum||

    RE: The 2nd Amendment makes all laws relating to gun control unconstitutional anyway

    Not really. There's lots of clarifications, qualifications, and limits placed on the other amendments. Why is the 2nd any different?

  • Ron||

    those "qualifications" are already illegally applied to no affect

  • mortiscrum||

    The entire history of jurisprudence in our country disagrees with you.

  • latentprints||

    Jurisprudence once said slavery is all cool ... beyond that, there are no limits placed on the other amendments. Despite the tired "you can't yell fire in a theater", there isn't anything that can prevent someone from yelling fire, and it may well be necessary and proper to yell fire. So the clearly stated "shall not be infringed" is meant as a reminder to the generation that finally sees our government reveal its evinced design to place us under absolute despotism, as the cue to take up arms and correct in part or whole the violations of its institution.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Just remember that you are siding with government bureaucrats who said that Americans of Japanese descent could be put legally in concentration camps.

    They were wrong then and they are wrong now.

    People just need to demand that government officials that choose incorrectly are gone from the government.

  • Tionico||

    the written letter of the law, together with the clear intent of they who wrote it, have been illegally set aside time after time by the courts. THEY do not make law, much as those unelected legislators in black nighties would have us believe.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The Supreme Court and government has illegally made clarifications, qualifications, and limits for the Bill of Rights when they were not allowed to.

    The whole point of the Bill of Rights is to prevent the government from banning specified actions like speech or protesting, or keeping and bearing arms.

  • CE||

    "infringed" means "clarifications, qualifications and limits".

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Police snipers with 7.62x51 EBRs or SASSs and NV/Thermal optics. At least 3 or 4, ideally at least 12 for an event this large, on the surrounding buildings, each with an assigned sector to watch over (so they don't each end up wasting time desperately scanning the entire horizon for the source of the gunfire) and orders to laze (bird-dog) the shooter once PID'ed. Have at least one guy with a .50 (not on it, just nearby) in case a truck shows up and somebody needs to put one through the engine block.

    If the French President gets sniper overwatch, 22,000 + Americans sure as hell oughta.

  • Leo Kovalensky||

    When I think of having a calm, cool, collected individual on a rooftop with a sniper rifle, I think of having police there.

  • Vernon Depner||

    Yeah, if those snipers shoot anyone, it will probably be an unarmed black guy reaching for his phone.

  • Leo Kovalensky||

    ...and every menacing looking dog.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Private security or volunteer with their private hunting/target rifles, then. Whatever makes you feel better. Still about one fifty-eighth as likely to kill you as one Paddock, Stephen, firing unopposed.

  • DavidVazquez||

    If not police, then who else?

  • Cavadus||

    An organization made of qualified individuals would be a start. I'd take an 18 year-old green GI over the most "seasoned" LEO any day of the week. At least the GI gives a shot about positive ID on targets.

    Honestly, though, any private security force, PMC, or Oathkeepers are a better choice than LEOs.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    The security guard outside the Pulse Nightclub didn't exactly cover himself in glory. His charges' viscera, on the other hand...

    Mercenaries and PSCs can be the best combatants on earth, but only if they're getting paid a lot more than the average club or sports venue is able or inclined to pay. Police or volunteer citizens are the only option for most places; although the relative safety of a sniper's nest would admittedly likely improve a hireling's courage under fire. Certainly a high-attendance concert could afford to hire latter-day Landsknecht of the sort that wouldn't shoot and scoot.

  • marshaul||

    "The security guard outside the Pulse Nightclub didn't exactly cover himself in glory. His charges' viscera, on the other hand..."

    The security guard was a cop.

    "Adam Gruler, an Orlando police officer working security for Pulse nightclub that night, traded gunshots with the gunman, Omar Mateen, near the club's entrance."

    http://www.factcheck.org/2016/.....-security/

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    I stand corrected.

    About the private vs. police part, anyway. I stand by the assertion that he wimped out instead of doing what needed to be done. (I make no claim I would have done better, of course, but if I did what he did in the same situation, it would be fair to accuse me of cowardice too.)

    Doesn't change the fact that private or police snipers are a lot less likely to run away than someone outgunned on ground level. And that hired combatants historically have a very inconsistent reputation for consistency and courage under fire.

  • Loss of Reason||

    So 22,000 get 12 police snipers. What about an event that has 10,000? What about 5,000? What malls on the weekends that have thousands of people?

    You are signalling out one event. So do all sporting events also get police snipers? Large churches?
    There are high schools with a few thousand do they get their own sniper?

    French President is one person that is important...well not to me but to someone.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    I think 1 police, private security or citizen rifleman on overwatch per 500 to 1,000 people is appropriate at any outdoor venue. High school classes and church services are not generally held outdoors, so with the exception of outdoor events that is not applicable.

    We already post security guards with handguns at such events; a sniper in an open area is much more likely to be able to stop an attacker shooting or running over people at ground level as well. If the attacker is apprised of the sniper's presence and location and attempts to kill them first, then at least that will buy the crowd some time (and probably not go well for the attacker, if he attempts to engage the sniper's scoped weapon from ground level).

  • CE||

    Don't schedule large public events in venues where the surrounding high ground can't be cleared by security.

  • mtrueman||

    "I have yet to hear a single proposal that would have prevented this tragedy, other than total confiscation, which ain't gonna happen."

    Smart guns. What can be done to your cell phone can be adapted to firearms. It's gonna happen.

  • Nihil||

    How would smart guns have prevented what happened? I thought smart guns were only smart in how they could detect if the owner of the gun was the one holding it.

  • mtrueman||

    "How would smart guns have prevented what happened?"

    Better to ask a smart gun programmer. They're sure to have some ideas on the subject.

  • Murgatroyd||

    "Smart guns" use an RFID chip on a wristband to deactivate a trigger lock inside the gun, allowing the trigger to be pulled. The idea behind this is that only the person with the correct wristband (presumably the lawful owner of the firearm) can actually shoot the gun.

    1) Paddock was the lawful owner of his guns, so a smart gun wouldn't have stopped him from shooting anyone even if he had owned one.

    2) Smart guns can be easily disabled by placing a magnet on the gun or by physically disassembling the gun to remove the trigger lock.

    3) Even if a law were created to mandate that any new gun purchase must be a smart gun, that doesn't do anything about the ~400 million guns that aren't smart guns.

    4) Smart guns are dumb.

  • mtrueman||

    "4) Smart guns are dumb."

    And they will stay dumb, right? It's simply not conceivable that they might become more sophisticated.

  • Murgatroyd||

    A gun, even a smart gun, is just a mechanical device and a relatively simple one at that. Any mechanical device can be modified to disable whatever safety mechanism you can possibly conceive of. No smart gun of the future will be smart enough to tell whether or not it is being used to commit a crime.

    Additionally, if we are talking about how technological progress will change firearms ownership, I predict that homemade guns made on 3d printers or micro-CNC machines will become common long before smart guns.

  • mtrueman||

    "A gun, even a smart gun, is just a mechanical device "

    A smart gun would be more than a mechanical device. It would also be electrical.

    " I predict that homemade guns made on 3d printers or micro-CNC machines will become common long before smart guns."

    I predict they will be illegal.

  • Loss of Reason||

    Because as we found out criminals don't use illegal guns right?

    Hey, this 3-d printed gun is illegal, I better put it down! I don't want to break the law while I'm gang fighting or killing people.

  • Tionico||

    but they will still BE there, and BE used. No numbers, toss them when done, walk away, no possible connextion to the perp. Great idea......

  • mtrueman||

    "No numbers, toss them when done, walk away, no possible connextion to the perp. Great idea......"

    Assuming your betters don't have access to your printer. Your printer is not your friend.

  • mtrueman||

    "No numbers, toss them when done, walk away, no possible connextion to the perp. Great idea......"

    Assuming your betters don't have access to your printer. Your printer is not your friend.

  • mtrueman||

    "No numbers, toss them when done, walk away, no possible connextion to the perp. Great idea......"

    Assuming your betters don't have access to your printer. Your printer is not your friend.

  • CE||

    "No smart gun of the future will be smart enough to tell whether or not it is being used to commit a crime."

    A crime like this one? Yes it could. Firing non-stop for a minute or two? Washington DC disables your gun and sends a local official to check on you (the gun has GPS). Mass shooting in progress? It took them 5 minutes to determine which room the shooting came from. Surveillance video could have identified the shooter in a few seconds. It took SWAT an hour to open the door after they knew which door.

  • Murgatroyd||

    People shoot rapidly and for prolonged periods all of the time without being involved in mass shootings. There are literally hundreds of thousands, if not millions of bump stocks being used in this country. At this point, all but one of them has been used to shoot at things other than people.

    You don't think someone who is planning a violent mass shooting using a smart gun would take precautions to prevent tampering with his plans? You can certainly still use your phone even if it is not connected to any network. You can remove the sim card, remove the antenna, hack the firmware and do any number of relatively simple things to prevent the government from seeing your phone, especially if you don't want to connect to any networks. This would also work on a smart gun.

    Or, the prospective shooter could use one of the ~400 million dumb guns currently available in this country and just skip the hassle of a smart gun entirely.

    Smart guns are like flying cars. They are both interesting forms of technology that seem great at first glance, but any real attempts to implement the technology quickly reveal that they really don't work well or solve the problems they are intended to solve.

  • Chasman1965||

    When the U.S. Secret Service and all of the U.S. military(including the SEALs) and all police forces (local, state, federal) have adopted only smart weapons, then I will think about it. Until the above happens, they aren't rugged enough and reliable enough to use.

  • Tionico||

    besides that when the guy on your right gets hit, is out of action or dead, and your gun malfunctions, how ya gonna activate HIS gun to save yourself? Ain't a gonna happen.

    Law enforcement have near unanimously refused to adopt them as presently configured. Maybe someone will "fix it".... but, as mentioned, there are all manner of issues making things more complicated.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Smart guns are another trick to take a wonderful tool (guns) that works probably 99.9% of the time even in bad conditions and make them less dependable.

    Flawed as intended.

  • mtrueman||

    "Flawed as intended."

    They take ultimate control and put it in the hands of the software owner.

  • Sevo||

    "They take ultimate control and put it in the hands of the software owner."
    Remember this the next time you get an 'upgrade' from MS.

    And remember:
    mtrueman|8.30.17 @ 1:42PM|#
    "Spouting nonsense is an end in itself."

  • mtrueman||

    "Spouting nonsense is an end in itself."

    Of course it's nonsense to assume that smart gun technology will improve or change in any way. Clearly this is impossible and/or too progressive to imagine.

  • CE||

    Or have the National Bureau of Firearms Control with a supercomputer monitoring all the smart guns, and disabling them remotely when they are being used in a crime. It's not that far off in the future.

    Of course, it would still do nothing to stop crimes with 100 million existing non-smart guns.

  • epsilon given||

    "Or have the National Bureau of Firearms Control with a supercomputer monitoring all the smart guns, and disabling them remotely when they are being used in a crime."

    Fun fact: There are plenty of things a government might consider a crime, but not an individual, and vice versa.

    Example: hiding from authorities to avoid being put on the train to be taken to gulags or concentration camps. A crime? Government says yes, but I'd say no.

    Example: Systemically killing people in gulags or concentration camps. A crime? Government says no, but I'd say yes.

    If the Government has the power to turn off guns to "prevent crime", it will prevent peaceable citizens from shooting Government officials attempting to put people in gulags or concentration camps, yet do nothing to prevent Government from committing their own crimes.

  • Nihil||

    Sorry, I thought maybe you had some insight on smart guns. Apparently I should have bought the SarcMeter 3000 instead of the Sarcastitron that was on sale.

  • mtrueman||

    The insight was more on smartness, ie taking control away from the user and putting it into the hands of the owner of the software. Take the trouble to look into an Android phone. No sarcasm was intended.

  • Nihil||

    Maybe I need an asshole detector instead of a sarcasm meter...

    You threw out "smart guns" as if they are the answer without even attempting to explain what smart features could have prevented the shooting in Las Vegas. Based on Murgatroyd's comment current smart guns are not all that smart and wouldn't have stopped the shooting. Your only response seems to be someone could make a smarter smart gun. You couldn't even muster up a "what if smart guns did this" scenario. You're like Giorgio Tsoukalos. You don't know how guns could be made safer so you just trot out "smart guns."

    I'm not sure why I read these comments. Hell, I'm not even sure why I bother reading the articles anymore.

  • mtrueman||

    "Your only response seems to be someone could make a smarter smart gun. "

    Sorry to disappoint you. I thought I could you could muster up something using your own imagination. There's no reason to assume I'm any better at this kind of speculation that you are.

  • Procyon Rotor||

    The insight was more on smartness, ie taking control away from the user and putting it into the hands of the owner of the software.


    Yes, because gun owners are so very likely to buy weapons they can't control. If it ever becomes mandatory to have smart features in guns, I predict a renaissance in the field of home firearm manufacture. That or everyone learns to jailbreak the things. No one wants to rely on a crippled product.

  • DavidVazquez||

    Yes. Just like gun vontr9l laws only control the actions of the law-abiding, "smartbguns" will only be used by those notbcommitying any crimes. I.e. useless.

  • mtrueman||

    "Yes. Just like gun vontr9l laws only control the actions of the law-abiding"

    No laws necessary. The gun makers will be only to happy to make these valuable added features mandatory. For safety and to protect themselves from liability.

  • epsilon given||

    I've looked into the technology of both creating guns and creating "smart" guns. It's not all that difficult to imagine a gun user with access to his own guns disabling and/or spoofing any sort of smart gun technology we might come up with.

    Fun fact: a good rule of thumb for computer security is "if you have physical access to the machine, you likely have access to the contents". Granted, hard drive encryption has made this a bit less true for those who use it, but only a bit.

    Exercise for the reader: Apply this fun fact to a "smart" gun.

  • Curmudgeon44||

    Guns are close to an ageless technology, it is not useful to imagine a technological innovation which will spread across 100% market share and affect crime. My bedroom gun is a 100 year old Webley, it shoots .45 ACP and is not obsolete yet.

    For this problem, smart guns are no answer at all. Might as well stop this conversation if you want to be productive.

  • mpercy||

    Giorgio Tsoukalos, good one.

  • Ron||

    Smart guns have already been shown to be by passable with magnets and considering the government wants to be able to get into your phone they will also be able to control your gun through that same phone

  • Tionico||

    The ONLY "smart guns" aren't very. For one thing they're .22 only, nothing bigger.. For a second they are inherently unreliable... a failure rate of over ten percent, so unacceptable LEO refuse to use them. Read about New Jersey's experience with them. Further, a guy about a month ago took one of the more effective models and, with a two dollar magnet, got the gun to fire at will. Multiple times.

    Maybe its gonna happen, but so what? Nowhere near here yet. Further, this creep would have been the "connected one" to be authorised to use his own guns, which he did. Unless there is some mechanism like On Star, where "headquarters" can disable a gun remotely, there would be no stopping his evil intent. And, HOW would they know WHICH guns to disable, and then do it in time?

    Guess again.

  • mtrueman||

    "where "headquarters" can disable a gun remotely, there would be no stopping his evil intent."

    What is the point of a smart gun that doesn't have this feature? Or better yet, needs permission from headquarters before it is cleared to fire.

  • bvandyke||

    "What is the point of a smart gun that doesn't have this feature? Or better yet, needs permission from headquarters before it is cleared to fire." ---- I really hope that my sarcasm meter is broken but I doubt it. That has to be the most dumb, f'd up statement I've seen in a very long time. Really, just think through what you said.

  • mtrueman||

    "Really, just think through what you said."

    I don't have to. I wrote it.

  • Ron||

    total confiscation doesn't help either, the guns used are not allowed in France but some people did use them to great affect there as well

  • latentprints||

    Total confiscation will descend us into an armed revolution almost immediately.

  • CE||

    With several states seceding.

  • Some Engineer||

    I for one welcome the formation of the Republic of the Southeast, featuring founding states Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisianna, Mississppi, Texas, and the Carolinas.

  • zazoo||

    I've got a couple more you could add to that list if you like.

    Or should I quit while I'm ahead ?

  • Tionico||

    as in: "it CANNOT happen", and that for several reasons.

    First, as New York, Connecticut, and Australia prove conclusively, not everyone will "Mr. and Mrs. America, turn them all in". Meaning there WILL be some "sort of lost" when time comes to turn them in, or before that, to register them.

    Second, our border with Mexico is "sealed" against drugs, isn't it? So NONE come in, at all, ever, right? The droguistas already bring in lots, easier than trying to buy them here (yeah, Fast and Furious was a REALLY great idea, ¿no? I mean, without that illegal and never prosecuted racket those droguistas would have remained totally disarmed, right?) So, once they've got them here and are heading back for the next loads, leave them here to be resold into the black market....

    Third, the manufacture of arms is NOT that difficult, particularly with today's modern, efficient, very capable CNC milling equipment.

    Fourth, FedGov owned and controlled firearms regularly end up in the hands of those other than FedGov agents who are supposed to keep them safe. One glaring example is the illegal invader/felon who got one from an agent in San Farncisco and used it to kill an innocent bystander in that city. It happens regularly, and that's in a society when getting a gun is easy for the law abiding.

  • Bob Meyer||

    You had better be sure your life insurance is paid up if you decide to confiscate the guns from MS13.

    Worse, try to confiscate the guns from the elite who insist that everyone with a hand gun is dangerous except for their bodyguards who have Uzis.

  • RichardKane,PhillyPa||

    You said no comments besides banning missed my comment about an alarms flood lights when windows break in hotels facing events or overcrowded streets. Sportsman can bring guns into Nevada casinos but a metal detector would let management know which room. Since he tried to do this at several different concerts he would have tried elsewhere met any security. The wounded should sue, security an F. One sight of night goggles or a rifle with a scope and he would have tried elsewhere.

    Mr. Padlock may be similar to James Holmes who shot up a Batman movie. Holmes life was playing Guitar Hero, dropping out of college he switched playing Batman Villain. Jimmied a huge gun chamber on a gun that quickly jammed; otherwise this mass carnage would have occurred back then. Tiring of endless video and casino poker, Steve casually switched to playing terrorist. Several others switched to playing Call of Duty with live ammunition, two young friends decided to they really were cartoon calentures and slit their friends throat. China has mandatory computer detox.

    Perhaps the safest thing when confronted by an armed aggressor is to take off ones clothes and go naked. Asking some not to have a gun while others do, is asking them to so to speak go naked. Many risk arrest because those confronting them or may do so are armed.

    Besides cops we should move toward a nation where all guns have cameras and mikes as soon as loaded or out of a gun bag or fingerprint unlocking holster.

  • RichardKane,PhillyPa||

    No proposal? MY comment about him trying elsewhere but stopping when he encountered good security. Windows with alarms when they shatter, one seurity guard with night googles and rifle with a scope would have led him to again try later

  • RichardKane,PhillyPa||

    "I have yet to hear a single proposal that would have prevented this tragedy, other than total confiscation,

    Hotel windows breaking over crowded events leading to alarms,video and spotlights might even help in a suicide attempt. Guests are guns in Nevada casinos but a metal detector would have allowed the management to know which rooms. Since Mr. Padlock visited hotels overlooking several concerts, spotting a security office with a rife and a scope would have sent him elsewhere.

    Steve Padlock may be similar to James Holmes who shot up a Batman movie. James life was playing Guitar Hero by himself or friends switched playing Batman Villain. He jimmied a huge gun chamber on the gun that soon jammed; Tiring of video poker and casino poker Steve switched to playing terrorist. The Elementary school shooter and four other terror events were playing Call of Duty day, switching to live ammunition. Two young friends thought they really were a cartoon figures slitting a friends' throat. China has mandatory computer detox.

  • RichardKane,PhillyPa||

    Not having a gun when confronted by an armed aggressor is to many similar to going naked. Besides cops with cameras let's move toward all guns having cameras and mikes as soon as loaded or out of a gun bag or fingerprint unlocking holster. Philadelphia has rental bike racks for rent. I would like to see in down towns gun rentals in gun bags but $2 a minute with camera and mikes when the padlock is opened. When the trigger is pulled video sent to a carefully monitored screen.

  • RichardKane,PhillyPa||

    Sorry I thought my comments didn't post and edited then to be more on the subject.leading to repeat comments, again sorry for a touch of computer illiteracy.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    The Las Vegas massacre is the perfect time for presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton to push hard on silencers.

    #relevant

  • Tionico||

    too bad we can't get one specially made just for HER, then get a new "common sense offensive speech control" law enacted to mandate she use it.

  • RichardKane,PhillyPa||

    Hillary was as a Senator moderate on.guns until she had to find an issue where she was more progressive than Bernie

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    "A Massacre Is Not An Argument"

    Come now, Sullum. The question is not how words can mean so many things. The question is, "who is to be master"- that's all.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Caesar's bloody toga made a fine argument for Marcus Antonius.

  • josh||

    To show you how bad it is, I've barely been fazed by the repetition of people calling this the largest mass shooting in U.S. history.

    The thing that is most likely to kill us all, is the belief that for every problem, there is a government solution. But as far as I know, the NIH and company haven't ever done a single study about it.

  • CE||

    What about Gettysburg? Antietam?

  • XM||

    What kinda puzzles me is that both the SB shooters and this guy Paddock had enough weapons to arm a small militia, and 98% of them essentially went to waste. They engaged in what amounted a one time YOLO suicide mission with a handful of guns. Every single remaining weapon was captured by the enemy.

    Whereas in the Paris attack, multiple armed terrorists moved around to hit several locations and actually used bombs. Which leads me to believe that these terrorists felt every round had to count and every action had to be planned out for maximum carnage, since the guns smuggled inside a gunless nation had to be freaking expensive. If gun control arbitrarily limited the amount of guns you could own, the terrorist here may do the same.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    This guy was prepared for whatever with the guns and he probably already came to grips with not being taken alive.

    He could have shot at incoming airplanes at Las Vegas airport or flew one of the two planes he owned into something and caused more casualties. It could have been worse.

  • Longtobefree||

    The Paris attack was in fact an attack, planned and executed for a political end.
    The current Las Vegas attack was just one batshit crazy old man.

  • Tionico||

    on what basis to you unreservedly hold that this guy was NOT acting for a political end? And are you absolutely certain he was acting solo? Don't believe every assertion either the mainstream media or the government make. Their track record is rather consistent....consistently WRONG. Remember "workplace violence" at Fort Hood? How about at the packing plant in I think it was Indiana? or that nightclub in Florida, or for that matter the time the "white hispanic" shot and killed Obama's "son"......

  • RichardKane,PhillyPa||

    Steve Padlock may be similar to James Holmes who shot up a Batman movie. James Holmes life was playing Guitar Hero then when this led to dropping out of college he switched playing Batman Villain. Fortunately he jimmied a huge gun chamber on the machine gun that quickly jammed; otherwise this mass carnage would have occurred back then. Tiring of video poker and playable poker Steve casually switched to playing terrorist. Several other killers switched to playing Call of Duty with live ammunition, two young friends decided to they really were a cartoon figure and slit their friends' throat. China has mandatory computer detox.

  • DajjaI||

    This was mental illness bullying by the FBI. They wrote "DIAGNOSED AS PSYCHOPATHIC" on his WANTED poster. This was bound to have an effect on his impressionable kids. Who were no doubt similarly bullied. This was their revenge. As his brother explained, "I hope to G-d they find a tumor in his head. Because if they don't, we're all in trouble."

  • DajjaI||

    Similarly they bullied Lee Harvey Oswald by harassing his wife and scuttling his job prospects. The rest is history.

    A somewhat different dynamic is when the children attack the country that paid their father to fight a war (Orlando and Manchester).

  • Vernon Depner||

    "scuttling his job prospects"

    He had a job with the CIA. The others were just covers.

  • mtrueman||

    "I hope to G-d they find a tumor in his head. Because if they don't, we're all in trouble."

    When they do an autopsy I'm sure they will find an unraveling of his moral fibre. A pretty common condition.

  • CE||

    The shooter did slip and fall at a casino a few years ago. Maybe he hit his head.

    Any access to his medical records? Was he taking any psychoactive drugs, like most other mass shooters?
    Does his privacy matter? He's dead.

  • Some Engineer||

    I read this AM that he was prescribed valium a couple of months ago.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    They wrote "DIAGNOSED AS PSYCHOPATHIC" on his WANTED poster.

    His father's wanted poster, not his.

  • Robespierre Josef Stalin||

    I'm apathetic about gun laws in particular. Personally, I see no compelling reason to own a gun and several compelling reasons not to. If a community wants to outlaw gun ownership in response to public pressure I really wouldn't care enough to object. I guess my heart is on the side of keeping gun ownership legal, but I certainly don't think the ability to legally own a gun should be enshrined in the nation's founding document and I'm certainly {guffaw} not going to engage in a shoot-out with the police if they came to my door to confiscate my gun in any kind of buy back program. "How much do I get for this thing?... A thousand bucks! Wow, cool, here ya go, buddy."

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    "If a community wants to outlaw drug usage, alcohol, abortion, or prostitution in response to public pressure I really wouldn't care enough to object."

  • Don't look at me.||

    If a community wants to outlaw your comments on websites I wouldn't object.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Sarcasm meter in need of a check up? Meant as a reply to RJS? Or just a malignant brain tumor?

  • Leo Kovalensky||

    You forgot:

    "If a community wants to outlaw free speech, freedom of religion, due process, or the right for a person to be secure in their privacy from warrantless search and seizure in response to public pressure I really wouldn't care enough to object."

    Those rights are on par with 2A.

    Maybe my examples are bad because 2/4 have been compromised in the name of security.

  • Robespierre Josef Stalin||

    It's funny you mention abortion. I'd say about half of the people here would be perfectly fine with strapping a women to a gurney for 9 months to prevent them from having an abortion. Keep in mind, I made no mention of being for gun confiscation-- just that I don't care very much one way or the other and can see the logic given these increasingly common mass slaughters. But, really, turning back to the abortion restrictionists here you have to ask yourself who is the real slaver, me, who says I don't care about a certain law or these abortion restrictionists who talk about liberty up to the point of a women's reproductive organs. Fuck those slavers.

  • latentprints||

    Slavers? How could you hold such a pronounced position, yet be apathetic to the idea of the means of defending and securing our liberty is a "blah, I could take it or leave it"? If a woman has a liberty to destroy the life of another person and anyone that undermines that is a slaver. How is your position any more noble or less of an enabling of the slavers, if not a slaver?

    Pointing towards people violating, what Cesare Beccaria called out as, "the most sacred laws of humanity, and the most important of the code" as justification to support a "restrictionists" position to undermine our natural liberty is simply an amazing position.

    As for why some people might have an issue with women exercising an unencumbered liberty over their reproductive organs, has something to do with the idea that people bring into the world the unalienable rights of man, that society should preserve life as much as possible. Without an act of aggression or the mother's life being in danger, there is no just cause for the loss of life.

  • Uncle Jay||

    Slavers?
    Really?
    Name me a bigger slaver than Josef Stalin.

  • epsilon given||

    Robespierre might rival Joe, if not in scale, then at least in intent.

  • politicalmenace||

    I definitely see your logic in giving up a firearm that honestly you have no care in the world about. Surrendering your safety for a few thousand of dollars makes absolute sense. I am curious if the Cubans felt the same way or maybe those who live in Venezuela who have been completely suppressed by their government. The deeper premise in why we have a 2nd Amendment is devised off of what this country endured and if it was not for those who hid firearms we may still be under British control. To be honest I feel safer in my community in Florida knowing that we have a broader outlook on firearms and that criminals second guess if its a good idea to commit a burglary or home evasion without dying. We always talk about the negative impacts of guns but never the positives and the incidents that are thwarted that could have been mass murders if it was not for a law bidding citizen or likeminded entity stopping such massacre. Just my thoughts.

  • mortiscrum||

    I know "guns make communities safer" is something of a popular talking point, but is there actual evidence to back that up? Asking honestly. I heard on a podcast recently (it might have been the Reason podcast) that there isn't a great link between gun ownership and crime rates, in either direction.

    We might actually know stuff like this is there wasn't a federal ban on researching anything to do with guns....

  • loveconstitution1789||

    There are hundreds of thousands of firearms in the USA.

    There have been less people killed in 2017 than US troops in war over the last 15+ years.

    There is no causation that more guns equals more violence.

    The 2nd Amendment makes all these gun grabber arguments moot anyway. All gun control laws are unconstitutional. Pass an Amendment to change the 2nd Amendment or fuck off slaver.

  • mortiscrum||

    RE: There is no causation that more guns equals more violence

    And I didn't suggest there was. That's why I said "either direction." Crime and gun ownership just don't seem to be connected. According to the podcast I listened to anyway.

  • Robespierre Josef Stalin||

    More guns equal more crime. A finding found in dozens of peer-reviewed studies. Here's one: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.g ov/pmc/articles/PMC3828709/

    Objectives. We examined the relationship between levels of household firearm ownership, as measured directly and by a proxy—the percentage of suicides committed with a firearm—and age-adjusted firearm homicide rates at the state level.

    Methods. We conducted a negative binomial regression analysis of panel data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Web-Based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting Systems database on gun ownership and firearm homicide rates across all 50 states during 1981 to 2010. We determined fixed effects for year, accounted for clustering within states with generalized estimating equations, and controlled for potential state-level confounders.

    Results. Gun ownership was a significant predictor of firearm homicide rates (incidence rate ratio = 1.009;

  • mortiscrum||

    Guess the podcast was wrong, then ;)

  • Murgatroyd||

    You are incorrect about the study you cited.

    That study doesn't differentiate between murders committed with firearms and homicides committed with firearms. In fact, the study doesn't attempt to measure crime rates at all and only uses suicide-by-firearm rates as a proxy for overall homicide-by-firearms rates. Since homicide data includes suicides, this study doesn't show that crime increases with gun ownership. It only shows that the total number of deaths where firearms were involved increases with gun ownership, which isn't surprising to anyone and isn't relevant to discussions about changing rates of firearms ownership and changing crime rates. The study has no explanation for states like North Dakota, which have very high rates of firearms ownership and suicide, but very low rates of murders-by-firearm.

    Additionally, even studies that have measured crime rates directly and determined a relationship between increasing firearm-ownership rates and increasing crime rates have never been able to determine the directional causation of this relationship. Do more firearms directly cause more murders to be committed, or are people in high-crime areas more likely to own firearms because of a perceived need for self protection?

  • Some Engineer||

    In other news, states with more cars report more deaths by automotive mishap, higher incidences of automotive manslaughter, more DUIs, and more car thefts.

    I've read the NIH study. Its methodology is questionable and it doesn't make the case for causation.

  • Uncle Jay||

    So, Cuba and North Korea have to be safest places to live.
    Why don't you go to one of the proletariat paradises and live there for the rest of your life.
    That way you won't to worry about some private citizen shooting, only a government thug shooting you.
    Won't life be wonderful?

  • DrZ||

    "There are hundreds of thousands of firearms in the USA."

    I believe that's in the millions, perhaps hundreds of millions.

  • zazoo||

    I've heard that most people who are killed are killed by someone they know.

    I'd therefore be more than happy if the people I know were disarmed, especially my wife.

    The rest of you can fire away to your heart's content.

  • epsilon given||

    Of course, the FBI has a funny habit of including your drug dealer (or customers, if you're a dealer) as "someone you know". Thus, drug deals gone wrong are included in this number.

    There will be no shortage of people here who would insist that this number would be much smaller if drugs were legal, because these people would be much more likely to resort to the courts, rather than to violence, to settle disputes.

  • Nihil||

    I know "guns make communities safer" is something of a popular talking point, but is there actual evidence to back that up?

    There is some evidence which seems to show a weak correlation between gun ownership and lower levels of crime, but I don't know of any high quality studies looking at the relationship between gun ownership and crime. Just because I'm not aware of studies doesn't mean they don't exist. Maybe the commentariat can share some links.

    Before people pile on... I support the second amendment, and believe all people have a right to defend themselves.

  • Robespierre Josef Stalin||

    There is some evidence which seems to show a weak correlation between gun ownership and lower levels of crime,

    Wrong. This has been thoroughly debunked.

  • Nihil||

    Keep in mind I didn't equate correlation with causation, although I could have made my point more clearly. I know that violent crime has been falling for decades, and I don't believe that is caused by gun ownership.

    Admittedly I'm not an expert on this topic, but I had the impression there was some correlation (weak at best) between gun ownership and crime. If you can share some links debunking the correlation of gun ownership to levels of crime I'd like to read them - at least the abstract. In this instance I'm specifically interested in seeing debunking of the correlation, but if you have links to research debunking any causal relationship between gun ownership and crime I'll take a look at that as well.

  • EvilWayz||

    The hell it has. Gary Kleck from FSU wrote a book called More guns, less crime, and everybody jumped on him for it until the Blessed Obama commissioned a study that discovered that while guns kill 30,000 people a year, 2/3 of which are suicides, they are used to stop 600,000 to 3 million crimes per year. Simple math would show you that guns are a good thing.

    I'd like to see a link to this alleged debunking.

  • mpercy||

    Name a place in this country that has more stringent gun control laws than metro-Chicago. Name a place that has higher gun-related crime rates than metro-Chicago.

  • mtrueman||

    Maybe the cops are slacking off when it comes to enforcing the laws. Name a place in the country which can rival metro-Chicago for delicious snacks.

  • Curmudgeon44||

    One of the historical reasons for 2A is to fuck with a future tyrannical government. Let me just observe, there are other ways to fuck with a government that don't need a gun. I don't have a plan, just noting that if we lose the 2A entirely, human ingenuity will offer some other tool.

    I'd rather keep my guns, but am rather apathetic about high capacity magazines, machine guns, and the fantasy of fighting off a horde of Negroes... oops I meant Ninjas. I am not endorsing the fantasy but that is what I hear between the lines of gun talk again and again. If we ever got riotous social disorder, it would be a safe bet the demographics would be similar to today's criminals.

    I can say Negro, can't I?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You are lying. You want all guns taken from the serfs, so your little socialist utopia can work (this time).

    Fuck off slaver.

  • mortiscrum||

    Are you joking? Is this a libertarian joke? Or are you actually this distrustful?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Are you joking?

    The socialists took guns away in Nazi Germany, USSR, China, Vietnam, Cuba, Italy, Australia, Britain....

  • mtrueman||

    British certainly have guns if they want them. It is extremely difficult to hunt pheasant or grouse without one. As for the Chinese, wouldn't you say that under communism the number of guns in people's hands has increased?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The British don't have per capita gun ownership like the USA. Guns are rare and hard to come by in England. Even most police don't carry guns.

    Communists don't like the serfs to have guns. Even most police don't carry guns.

  • zazoo||

    The lack of guns in Britain goes back a lot longer than Socialism so it's got nothing to do with that. More the lack of a gun culture and there's not much hunting either because that's naff all to hunt.

    It's frustrating also for the criminal classes because they are compelled to go around stabbing people.

  • mtrueman||

    "Even most police don't carry guns."

    You'd be surprised at how many people go about armed in China. Especially in the countryside.

    "Guns are rare and hard to come by in England. "

    You're expected to keep it safe in a gunroom, something akin to a vault.

  • mortiscrum||

    I'm not talking about socialism, I'm talking about your specific response to Politicalmenace. They expressed an apathy towards personal gun ownership, along with a statement in support of gun ownership generally. But to you, it apparently meant that they were a socialists that wants to take all the guns.

    So I guess you actually are that paranoid. Do you scan your box of cereal with a heat detector before opening it, just to make sure there's nothing waiting to jump? Or do you play it safe and strafe your house with a machine gun when your alarm goes off?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I pointed out socialists countries that grabbed people guns. If that is paranoia to you, then you have serious mental issues.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Not on mortiscrum's side. But Britain actually banned guns between 1920-1946 because they were scared of... Communists.

    Also the Irish, lot of good it did them in keeping the IRA from their beloved Armalites and Kalashs. You put 'em in a cage, they just stick it through the bars.

  • S Medina||

    Italy, Australia and Britain are not socialist countries

  • Vernon Depner||

    "after a gunman murdered nearly 60 people in Las Vegas"

    Sorry to nitpick, but it's important to stick strictly to the facts in these situations. We don't yet know how many of the dead were killed by gunfire from the known shooter.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    That's not nitpicking.

    They are using both death and wounded stats as if all are from bullets when the police have already stated that people were trampled.

    Gun grabbers gotta gun grab. The higher the number the better.

    Orlando had 49 people die from bullets, so if this Vegas shooting only caused 48 deaths from bullets it would tough to say "its the worst mass shooting in USA history".

    By the time they sort this out, the media will have moved on to other TDS business.

  • Ron||

    at the same time people would not have been trampled to death if there had been no shooting, maybe, a cause and effect scenario

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You cannot logically advocate for gun control to prevent people from being trampled. It makes no sense.

    Not every mass shootings involve trampling deaths, so how would banning guns end trampling deaths?

  • mrpepelopez||

    OK but when say he murdered 60 people you aren't saying he shot 60 people. His actions caused 60 innocent people to die and he would legally be responsible for their murders whether it was from a bullet or trampling. If he had been taken alive he'd be charged with crimes all of those deaths.

  • Jerryskids||

    Oh you sneaky, sneaky bastards. Now we see who clicks on "Leave A Comment" before clicking on "View This Article".

    And frankly, I'm ashamed of all you people.

  • Old Mexican's Speedos||

    That's par for the course in the wake of mass shootings, which gun controllers use to create a sense of urgency they hope will translate into new restrictions.


    Or their efforts are mostly exercises in virtue-signaling, since they know that new restrictions will amount to nothing.

    At least the Marxians are sincere enough to tell us straight to our faces that they want a total ban on firearms and forced confiscation, so that they can murder a few dozen million kulaks with no resistance, just like they have done always.

  • Eman||

    Sorry to be the clichéd libertarian extremist, but there ought to be a law that you have to wait like six months after a tragedy to pass a law about it. Or require a 2/3 majority to pass a law but only a regular majority to repeal one. That would go a long way, I think. Or both.

  • mortiscrum||

    What about modifying laws? Does changing a law count as effectively creating a new law, or is there a different threshold for modifications?

  • CE||

    Ban all new laws for 100 years.

    Existing laws can only be repealed.

    All laws should expire after 6 years (or less), so a new Congress has a chance to reauthorize them if truly needed.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Seeing as how the 2nd Amendment prohibits infringing on anything relating to the right to keep and bear arms, there should never be laws passed relating to guns.

  • m.EK||

    You are so correct. The Amendments do not reflect rules or "laws" for the people. They are very clear and succinct "laws" for the federal government, their employees, and contractors.
    What is sad is that We The People don't seem to remember that the Oath of Office is a legal and binding contract to honor the Constitution AS WRITTEN! Having a different point of view is fine. However, by LAW, they must act within the Limits and duty's of the Constitution.
    That is the purpose of the Oath. To violate the Oath is a CRIME.

  • seahorsedan||

    I can't help but wonder if the upcoming SCOTUS case has anything to do with the killer's motivation, whoever it was. In a hunter's life a half dozen riffles in October would not even raise an eyebrow.

    Supreme Court's next big gun control case? Post-Newtown laws face ...
    Aug 4, 2017 - A Maryland law could be at the center of the next big precedent-setting gun case at the Supreme Court.
    Jay Porter, an attorney for the plaintiffs, complained about a patchwork of rulings in the wake of the landmark 2008 Heller decision upholding the individual's right to own a gun. He called on the Supreme Court to clear up the confusion.
    CALIF. STRUGGLES TO IMPLEMENT NEW GUN CONTROL MEASURES
    "We would like to see a reversal in the trend of the lower courts," Porter said. "At best, there is a lot of confusion in the lower courts about the Second Amendment. At worst, lower courts are ignoring and resisting the Heller decision because they didn't like the outcome. That resistance needs to be mediated."
    The 5th column is desperate for us to surrender our bill of rights and open our borders.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Same thoughts here. In my libertopia, any legislature can publish a bill and has sole control over it; if, after 30 days of review, if 2/3 of legislators in every chamber have approved it, it becomes law. Any changes restart the review period. If, at any point, 1/2 of legislators in any chamber sign an appeal petition, the law is voided.

    Also had fun with elections and the chambers themselves. Elections are for contracts, not candidates, and voters can sue for violations of the contract. Of course this means most contracts will be meaningless pablum, but it also means some candidates will offer real promises to stand out. Each district selects the top three winners; each legislator proxies the votes they got in the election, so "2/3" means proxied votes, not a count of legislators.

    Another chamber is made of random volunteers. Every voter can check a box to volunteer; one is chosen randomly. They proxy how many volunteers there were.

    Both these vote proxying tricks are intended to encourage people to vote, to make sure there are fewer "safe" districts, to break up the two party system, and to encourage newcomers and fresh ideas. I have no doubt that parties would still exist and would enforce party rules on which bills they can author, approve, or disown, for instance. But parties would no longer control legislative committees and which bills come up for a vote.

  • Archibald Baal||

    I like the L. Neil Smith version: all representatives are for-hire, not allocated by geography or population, and hire is revocable at any time for any reason. Representatives would wield votes in proportion to the proxies of their customers at any given moment.

    I would modify it with a requirement that a re-vote occur the next day, or perhaps two days later, to take advantage of the "He did what? He's fired!" effect when reps are clearly, and the vote would have to pass by supermajority both times.

    This would, of course, require a really smoking computer system with extremely high reliability and security to ensure hackers don't artificially inflate/deflate the number of proxies representatives own, so is likely in the realm of science fiction for the foreseeable future. However, it seems like blockchain might be a decent method of tracking where people have put their proxies...

    It makes sense in a low-tech world to have representatives allocated by geography and population, as those people are more likely to have things in common. But in modern times? I have a hell of a lot more in common with libertarian crazies in Montana than I do with the authoritarians that live next door. Why should I be rep'd on national matters by their numbskull instead of my own just because we share a zip code?

  • Archibald Baal||

    EDIT: "when reps are clearly bought and paid for by some scumbag"

  • CE||

    Only net taxpayers should be able to vote.

    You should get one vote per ten thousand dollars paid in federal taxes.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Better yet, every taxpayer can allocate his taxes as votes, OR every taxpayer has to pay the defined taxes, but has 100% control over where they go.

    At any rate, there's no need to say one vote per $10K. Just make it $ votes.

  • mtrueman||

    "Sorry to be the clichéd libertarian extremist, but there ought to be a law "

    You don't sound like a libertarian extremist, but a libertarian statist. You know, the kind of libertarian who thinks problems can be magicked away with a law.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    I have all sorts of schemes for reforming government. Not all of them involve abolishing it. None of them will ever be implemented. If I had my druthers, the only thing a legislature would do is define common terms like "threat", and those would always be subject to citizen complaint for inconsistency, vagueness, irrelevancy, etc, to be tried by random citizen juries require unanimity to be upheld; because if a definition, or any rule, law, regulation, etc is too confusing to be understood by 12 random people, it is too defective to have any expectation of being honored.

  • Leo Kovalensky||

    I'd take it a step further and say that any time you want to revoke or modify a right it should require 2/3 of congress and 3/4 of the state legislatures.

    Oh wait... that restriction is already in place. It's funny that it never seems to matter.

  • CE||

    They used that clause for alcohol prohibition. But not for drug prohibition.

  • Uncle Jay||

    RE: A Massacre Is Not an Argument

    Any good proggie worth his copy of "Das Kapital" will tell you emotions and feelings trump logic and reasoning.

  • m.EK||

    I would think Joe Biden would appreciate the "look of calmness" that having no idea what to do and doing nothing would present. Every time he violated that concept he proved what an idiot he is.

  • oldnick||

    How about outlawing all automatic and semi-automatic weapons. Require all rifles to be either level or bolt action. I have yet to hear a reasonable justification for the necessity of private citizens to have these high rate of fire weapons.

  • seahorsedan||

    It is the 2nd amendment that makes Posse comitatus, possible: the body of persons that a peace officer of a county is empowered to call upon for assistance in preserving the peace which restricts the participation of the military in domestic law. Who is to say how many foreign invasions never happened because it is common knowledge Americans are armed? Your average single shot 22 does not exactly convey the message.

  • mpercy||

    The Founders were quite clear in their fear that the federal government might keep a standing Army and might be tempted to use it on the people. Thus we have the 2nd and 3rd Amendments, and the restriction that an Army not be funded for more than 2 years.

    The 2nd provides the people the ability to (out)match a standing Army--as might be used to oppress the people by a despotic government--and so obviously implies that weapons used by a standing Army should be available to the people. The militia's arms at the time were essentially the same as the Army's.

    It is useful to note that "regulated by Congress" was not in the 2nd. Indeed the text says "shall not be infringed" not "shall not regulated by Congress".

  • mpercy||

    "Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive."
    --Noah Webster

    "What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty .... Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins."
    -- Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts

    " ... 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 use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights ..."
    -- Alexander Hamilton

  • zazoo||

    In the intervening years the standing army have kind of moved ahead of us a bit in terms of that firepower though, wouldn't you agree?

    I only hope that our Glocks and AR-25s are enough to raid their armory before they find where they left the keys to the tank.

  • marshaul||

    Yawn. This old canard is boring.

    Tanks, plans, and battleships are excellent for fighting other tanks, planes, and battleships. Funny thing though, when fighting insurgencies, we've discovered the hard way that none of these things are a substitute for boots on the ground. And what do boots carry? That's right: AR-15s.

  • AFSlade||

    And to add a corollary to your point, Marshaul, in the case of the possibility of a standing army being used against the People, one must always keep in mind: where does/will this Army live? Where will it sleep? From whence will it get food, bullets, and other necessary logistics?? This is the same reason we couldn't pacify Afghanistan (nor could the Russkies), nor Vietnam, nor Iraq. Everyone had/has AKs and more; therefore, the troops have to sleep behind wire and live as invaders with all of the problems that come with living under constant threat.

    The 2A exists for a reason and it perfectly anticipated attempts to disarm the populace.

    There hasn't been a single argument offered against it that survives in the most cursory historical, reasoned examination.

  • epsilon given||

    Imagine South Korean immigrants on the tops of the roofs of their business to defend it from mobs of rioters wanting to loot said businesses. Is it really unreasonable for said South Koreans to use semi-automatic weapons rather than lever or bolt action ones?

    It's not all that difficult to imagine other types of situations.

    It's also not hard to imagine a serious mass shooting using lever or bolt action rifles, or even shotguns.

    And it's not all that difficult to imagine even worse mass murder, without even using guns at all. (The day that mass murderers transition from guns -- even fully automatic guns -- to other means, would be a very dark day indeed.)

  • Fmontyr||

    Gun advocates such as Jacob Sullum miss the one most obvious thing about gun death massacres. If there were no guns there would be no gun death massacres. It is as simple as that. There are many nations where guns are sparse and gun massacres seldom if ever happen, and murders by guns are rare events also. The highly intelligent among us are cognizant of that no guns, no death by guns relationship. The stupid among us cannot begin to fathom that which is so very obvious.

    Little boys, take your toys and go BANG, BANG!

  • mpercy||

    If there were no Muslims, there'd be no Muslim terrorism.

  • epsilon given||

    And we will do well to remember that the worst massacres in the United States haven't involved guns. Not even this, the worst shooting so far. (Well, the worst non-government-sponsored shooting. As someone pointed out elsewhere, 250 people died at Wounded Knee.) Heck, the nations you reference as places where "gun massacres seldom if ever happen" have had non-gun massacres with more killed and injured than this one, and have smaller populations as well, making a strict count of massacres deceptive. (Any given European nation has fewer gun massacres as the United States, but when you compare the US with Europe as a whole, they are about the same.)

    Furthermore, gun ban advocates ignore the one subtle thing about "gun deaths" in general: that (1) they don't go away just because you ban guns, and (2) other means of murder go up.

    Finally, there are many nations where guns are sparse and the governments have systematically gathered and executed its own citizens. In the United States, we have lots of guns, but we at least haven't traveled fully down that road yet. Here's to hoping we use those guns if the Government ever *does* go down that road.

  • MikeyB||

    One thing that would have prevented....anybody who gets prescribed psychotropic medicines should have their guns seized until cleared by a judge. Apparently this guy was prescribed early this year.
    Even a concerned family would be like "Dad, I think we should lock away your guns".

  • epsilon given||

    While it may be the case that most, if not all, mass murderers are prescribed psychotropic medicines, the vast majority of people who are prescribed such medicines aren't likely to commit any violence at all.

    Furthermore, it's not at all clear that this would have prevented the horror. How are we going to be sure that we have all of his guns? What's to stop him from using any number of gunless methods to commit such horrors?

    Even this isn't as clear a solution as we'd like it to be.

  • Joe_C||

    All non-subsonic rounds are silent enough at the approximately 1400 feet distance of this shooter. It takes about 1.27 seconds for the sound to reach (about .77 after the bullets impact). So you can kill a few in a densely packed area before anyone would hear anything anyway. But hey, who cares about physics or logic?

  • Jima||

    Bullshit. Any projectile travelling above the speed of sound will produce a very distinct and audible crack at nearly the same instant the projectile arrives. You could have a 100ft long 10,000 lb silencer, and if the projectile leaves the exit from that silencer at supersonic velocity, it will most definitely make a sound, and a very loud one, until the projectile velocity falls below the speed of sound. Fun fact - sonic booms are physics and logic... Everyone in the vicinity of an arriving supersonic round will be aware something happened. They may have no idea what happened, but they'll hear the arrival unless the round travels through their brain stem.

  • seahorsedan||

    As much as I would like to label this Vegas shooting terrorism I refrain.
    I must however have missed left leaning MSMs stand on freedom of speech vs. Protocol: Universally accepted customs and regulations that govern the formality and etiquette practiced in a civilized society. Protocol is the body of accepted rules of social behavior practiced by thoughtful and considerate people.
    When liberals raise their children on a diet of disrespect for protocol and authority and their own country it does not bode well for civilization let alone our country regardless who wins the next election. It is the 2nd amendment that makes Posse comitatus, possible: the body of persons that a peace officer of a county is empowered to call upon for assistance in preserving the peace which restricts the participation of the military in domestic law. Who is to say how many foreign invasions never happened because it is common knowledge Americans are armed? When the Globalist assault is obviously meant to surrender America's sovereignty and our bill of rights that produce such vitriol and violence as Stephen Craig Paddock demonstrated I still hesitate to label them terrorists. As disturbing, however as this incident is between this and everything I have read by the agenda driven MSM for the last year none of it inspires me to even consider that now is a good time for me to be disarmed. Like the saying goes: When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. Beware the 5th. column.

  • DrZ||

    The gun control people have the sequence all mixed up.

    It's not read-fire-aim,
    it's.......

  • steve walsh||

    If only we could implement "common sense gun control". Right. Except, when pressed, no one can describe what that is to a sufficient level of detail as to convert it into policy or legislation. Conclusion: the common sense gun control people aren't serious about doing anything, they're simply virtue signaling and attempting to demonize opponents of unconstitutional gun control proposals.

  • S Medina||

    Registration and insurance just like with cars. What's wrong with individual responsibility?

  • Some Engineer||

    "Just give us a list of all of your firearms. We promise to never abuse this information or use it against you in any way."

    It would be within a generation of this list being completed that Congress would pass a law that firearms cannot be transferred as inheritance after death, and one by one they would collect them.

  • Jima||

    It would also be a very helpful list to have in the event the government decided they were going to exert control of their citizens more aggressively. "Hey guys, we should go to these addresses and collect those arms before we start that forced tax collection regime, don't you think?" "Good idea Bob, lets disarm the sheep before we fleece them. Sure glad we have this handy list." Yeah, registration is a swell idea...

  • MarkF||

    You have written almost the same article you wrote two days ago: http://reason.com/blog/2017/10.....las-vegas.

    The same comment applies. To say that Les Vegas is not relevant to gun control because some measures would not have prevented it is like saying a major pile-up on the freeway is not a good reason to revisit auto-safety because not all auto-safety measures would have applied in that case.

  • Ned Netterville||

    Gun control legislation, or any other political means to reducing violence only obscures the primary cause of gun violence, to wit: violence.

    We are a violent people. Through our government agents we kill people at home and abroad all the time. Unfortunately, violence begets violence. We agree to tax our neighbors by means of force and coercion to purchase weapons to arm agents to kill people: trained-to-kill military forces, similarly trained cops with authority to use as much forcer as they deem necessary to enforce the nation's 4,970,323 laws (I made that number up. It is probably low), drone operators who kill in the Middle East from their seat in D.C., etc., ad nfinitum.

    The state is the author of violence. Taxation is theft. Abolish taxes and the state will fold with it.

  • Tony||

    "'No Way To Prevent This,' Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens"

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    Kristof could have taken the brief bit you quoted ("it's ... it."), put it on Twitter, and had the same effect on the debate:
    NONE!

  • Hank Phillips||

    So, if the Second Amendment is all so horrible and awful, I guess this means we can get rid of the Department of Homeland Security and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. Migrants will realize that Uganda, Germany, Austria, France and Italy are preferable. The Scandinavian countries, England... all those places whose politicians wish they could erase all but the 16th Amendment of the US Constitution, can now eagerly absorb the Saracen berserkers and welfare moochers who used to want into America. We're gonna miss those folks...

  • jfxgillis||

    You people are sociopaths

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