Gun Control

How To Protect Americans Without Destroying the 2nd Amendment: Podcast

Nick Gillespie talks with National Review's Robert VerBruggen about the Texas church shooting.


On Sunday, November 5, a man identified as 26-year-old Devin Kelley opened fire in a church outside of San Antonio, Texas, killing 26 people and wounding at least another 20. Reason's Nick Gillespie speaks with Robert VerBruggen, the deputy managing editor of National Review and a gun-policy analyst, about what can be done to reduce mass shootings without eviscerating the Second Amendment.

In this new podcast they discuss the changing nature of mass shootings, whether an armed society is actually a safer one, how Kelley was able to obtain guns despite being flagged for domestic abuse and a bad-conduct discharge from the military, and what policies can be put in place to limit mass shootings.

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  1. “How To Protect Americans Without Destroying the 2nd Amendment”

    Why would we want to do that?


    1. Pretty much this. Assuming that progs want anything besides “government has all the guns” is a sucker bet.

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  2. In a list of “The Top 10 Objectives of Sensible Gun Control”, protecting Americans and not destroying the 2nd don’t even rank. But at least the question was asked so +10 points for effort.

  3. Interpret the 2A as written, as guaranteeing an absolute right.

    1. ^This guy gets it.

    2. Seeing absolutely no room for error, SIV is a mental midget.

  4. There is no such thing as “gun violence”. This is a focus-group-driven buzzword and talking point to create an imaginary bogeyman as the main anti 2nd Amendment propaganda tool. There are PEOPLE who commit violence with guns, but there are many more people who commit violence without them.
    And, since the term “gun violence” is a catchword/cliche, the title suggests an unattainable goal. People have been robbing and killing other people, using the weapons of the day, since the beginning of man on this planet, which identifies the real issue – controlling criminal impulses in humans, not the otherwise legal instruments they use to commit crimes.
    Anyone who doesn’t realize and/or acknowledge this isn’t thinking, s/he is ‘feeling’, and our liberty cannot depend upon what anybody ‘feels’.

    1. And controlling the criminal impulse is near impossible, so there you have it. Human nature. It’s a bitch.

    2. It’s another facet of progressive animism. Guns are violent, words are violence, that statue is oppressing me, the banana peel was an attack, etc. It’s taking objects, and infusing them with actions.

  5. Mental health as a weapon against the people is communist in origin..

    Dominate the psychiatric profession and use mental health laws as a means of gaining coercive control over those who oppose Communist goals.

    Deceptive Transformation: The Truth of Soviet Influence in America and Gun Control…The idea of using mental health as a weapon against the people is communist in origin, and the social sciences, or the studying of human behavior has its roots in early twentieth century Russia when Ivan Pavlov developed his “classical conditioning” theories. In fact, Pavlov was disturbed that Vladimir Lenin would use these conditioning methods against the people in order to get them to accept communism. Since that time the social sciences have been used as a means of maintaining control over populations and getting them to accept their own down fall.

    1. This is happening today in the United States as our universities and public schools have long ago adopted educational techniques based on the social sciences and classical conditioning methods. Subjects like White Privilege and Multiculturalism are used to demoralize our population, create a guilt consciousness and silence us into accepting a new agenda based on the idea that we have been unfair, and our lifestyles are oppressive, and offensive to others. This agenda dates back to the early twentieth century; however, it saw some of its most major advances in the mid 1900’s after the U.N. was created in 1945. While many people today view the Democrat Party as being made mostly of communists or socialists; the sad truth is that the Republican Party is just as responsible for what we are seeing in education and culture in the United States today.

  6. There are over 370 “mental disorders” listed in the latest version of the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.) The list includes “Tobacco Addiction Disorder” among other equally mundane and ridiculous so-called “mental illnesses.”

    If the DSM is the standard by which politicians wishes to remove our rights to own guns, then I’d guess 90% of the American people could probably be classified with a mental disorder of one kind or another.


  7. Mental health is the avenue to gun control..

    American Psychiatric Asso: Half of Americans are mentally ill..
    After crafting by politicians and Media all will be crazy except for them..

    300 million prescriptions for psychiatric drugs were written in 2009 alone..
    Your children on medication for ADHD?
    Single woman with children diagnosed with depression?

    be careful what you ask for

    1. Considering the Presidential candidates were Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, half of the US being mentally ill might be an accurate assessment.

      1. On those terms, half sounds like a serious understatement to me.

  8. How about we make fun of every mass shooter for having an incredibly small penis? That way the next would-be mass shooter will think twice about the world knowing the tiny size of his phallus.

  9. I think Nick missed something important in fact he was saying that there is some value in understanding why these guys committed their crimes. I’m a libertarian, I believe in less rules. But I think we need to start limiting the publicity exposure we allow these mass murder criminal get after they commit their crimes. As Mr. Trump has pointed out these people are losers and suddenly Fox, CNN, NBC … are showing their picture prominently on their newscasts and breathlessly reporting their social media postings as though they are somehow profound. I already know what I need to know about these people, they are willing to kill people they don’t even know with firearms they bring into settings where most likely no one has any ability to defend themselves. They are the worst form of coward and yes, they are always mentally ill. I think we need laws about the kind of publicity these people are allowed to have after they commit these crimes. I think this would prevent some, not all of these crimes obviously.

    1. I don’t agree that we need a law, but I’m sure 70% of the reason most of these losers do this stuff is the attention. 20% is the fact that society has been losing cohesion and more people are just nutting out, 10% “other” factors.

      These things simply didn’t happen nearly as often back in the day, when people had even more powerful weapons available. So it has nothing to do with availability of guns.

  10. The US is solidly in the middle for gun murder rate. It’s not something to even worry about. Of course if the nitwits really wanted to lower it all they have to do is end drug prohibition.

    1. I don’t support gun control but saying the US is in the middle isn’t giving the full story. because the countries that have more are second and third world or are centers of drug Cartel operations. It is an indisputable fact that the US gun homicide rate is way higher than similarly developed countries. And I am not saying this to mean we need gun control but it is important to be honest when debating something.

      1. We are also the center of drug Cartel operations. If you look at that underlying cause of the vast majority of murder, it’s directly related to the illicit drug market.

      2. You cannot excuse the higher rates of other nations as being explained by illegal drug activities, but then piously decry the rate in the United States as compared to that of other developed nations, without acknowledging that a large portion of our gun deaths are also attributable to the drug trade. Subtract urban street violence from the equation, and we compare well with any of the European democracies.

        Similarly, the alarming factoids often trotted out about “children” being killed by guns is intended to leave you thinking of the victims as innocent toddlers, when the majority of “child” victims are feral teenager gangbangers killing each other, also often over drugs.

        1. p3orion wrote: Subtract urban street violence from the equation, and we compare well with any of the European democracies.

          Can you provide a link to the data that supports your claim?

          Also, why would you imagine it’s okay to subtract urban street violence in the US if it’s a significant portion of the violence? And if you subtract it from the US, you’d also have to subtract it from any country you compare with.

          p3orion wrote: the majority of “child” victims are feral teenager gangbangers killing each other

          There have been mass shootings like Sandy Hook Elementary School, Columbine, the Aurora theater, Las Vegas, various church shootings, etc. In other words, there are sufficient numbers of INNOCENT victims of ALL ages, and plenty of innocent victims who happen to live in the poorest, most dangerous communities, to warrant concern about gun violence in the US.

          That being said, how about you provide a link to the data that supports this claim, too? Show me the data on non-adult victims of gun violence.

  11. The sheriff reports that fifteen 30 round empty magazine were found at the church. 450 rounds fired and 26 dead and 20 wounded. That is terrible. But it would have been worse if he had used a sporting gun designed to kill rather than wound.
    Despite the rhetoric of the gun banners, the AR is not the powerful deadly weapon of war they claim.
    It is also true that it can be deadly. It was used to drive the killer away. The heroic men may have had an identical rifle and they wounded, perhaps fatally, the killer which probably lead to his car crash. He then committed suicide.
    My point is that fixing teh errors the USAF had in failing to report the criminal conviction prevented the NICS background check from working.
    That has to be fixed.
    And soft targets must harden or at least “firm up” because attacks and death could have come from a gun, a few gallons of gasoline or poison gas, just to mention a few possibilities. Like an airport or bus depot, lost baggage, stray packages could be innocent or a bomb.
    Terrorists or domestic violence, stopping either requires arming society, not gun bans.

    1. The AR series of military rifles is more effective at injuring because the bullet tends to tumble after entering bodies.

      Now the 7.62mm round! Much better at the ‘ol in and out.

    2. Jim wrote: the AR is not the powerful deadly weapon of war they claim

      Are you serious? Assault weapons like the AR may not be THE MOST DEADLY gun in the world, but it is designed to kill people – lots of people – and it is a weapon of war. The AR is NOT designed to “wound.” If you have information to the contrary, please provide a link.

      Don’t get confused, Jim. I’m not saying that AR’s should be banned. I’m just asking for you to talk sense.

      Jim wrote: a few gallons of gasoline or poison gas, just to mention a few possibilities

      Gee, Jim, I guess that’s why bombs and poison gasses are illegal, and having them is not a constitutional right.

      Jim wrote: stopping either requires arming society

      To what degree does society need to be armed to achieve a comfortable margin of safety? Are you suggesting that gun violence in the US is so bad that it makes sense for a majority of people to carry weapons wherever they go? Should all school teachers be required to carry weapons? When the shooting starts, how do we distinguish between the good guys and the bad guys? Is everyone who carries a gun in your world going to be as good a shot as the heroes we see in TV shows and movies?

  12. How about this (trigger warning for those who reject reality): life is uncertain. We simply can’t foresee and prepare for every possible scenario of human violence. That’s the reality. That doesn’t mean being indifferent, contrary to what the angry mobs on social media would froth out.

    Another “crazy” idea here: the world right now is the most peaceful it has been in recorded human history.

    While there are reasons behind everything, maybe we should try understanding what we can, but know when to stop short of delusory ideas that we can foresee everything that humans will do, and stop the reflexive tendency of taking a sledgehammer to everything that makes us uncomfortable.

    1. Spot on. But impossible to say to the average person.

      1. Rena wrote: But impossible to say to the average person.

        Can you be more specific? The “average person,” even the average liberal person, doesn’t seek to ban guns. I would guess that the average liberal is more likely than the average conservative to agree with the two points Juan made. Conservatives, much more than liberals, use scare tactics (e.g. the US and the world are very dangerous, therefore we need more guns, more defense spending, and more military interventions).

        That’s why, for me, Juan’s larger point is unclear, and it’s unclear what you mean by referring to the average person. Besides, I’m sure you’ve heard the old joke about conservatives being ex-liberals who got mugged. 🙂

    2. Jim wrote: We simply can’t foresee and prepare for every possible scenario of human violence . . . the world right now is the most peaceful it has been in recorded human history.

      JIm, while I agree with both of the points you’re making, your views on gun violence (and violence in general) are unclear. Here, I’ll make a point and let’s see how you respond:

      EVEN THOUGH life is uncertain and, overall, the world is more peaceful now than ever before, isn’t it also true that violence is a serious problem in the US? Do we understand anything about the causes for the high levels of violence and are there any positive steps we can take to reduce it?

    3. Juan, I apologize for calling you Jim. 🙂

  13. A little history:

    After the Declaration of Independence, the Founders drafted the Articles of Confederation to hold us together as a nation while we fought the British. The Articles created an extremely weak federal governmetn, so weak that it couldn’t force anyone to pay it taxes, which is one reason all the stories about Washington fighting the British usually center around just how poorly supplied they were, short on guns and ammo, short on food, short on winter clothes.

    After we defeated the British, we were so broke that the economy was in the tank, and debtors prison was the normal response for people who couldn’t pay their bills. Militia men often didn’t get paid for years of service, and were having their homes confiscated to pay their debts.

    A former militia man named Shay didn’t like this. He rallied a bunch of people to shut down the debtor prison courts. When the states sent men to stop them, Shay and his group started to raise arms to fight back. An armed rebellion flared up. Shays marched a large group of men to a federal armory in an attempt to get a whole bunch of guns but were repelled.

    How did the founders respond to this? With shock and horror. The federal government was too broke and weak to do anything about it. And they were concerned that armed rebellion could tear the nation apart soon after it finally got free of the British. John Adams said Shay should be executed, saying taking up arms against a tyrant king is morally acceptable, taking up arms against a democracy is an attack on the people. Washington and several others pushed for a constitutional convention to ditch the articles, and rewrite the nation with a stronger federal governmetn that could put down people like Shay and stop rebellions. There had been several calls for a constitutional convention and they had been ignored. After Shays rebellion, the convention happened within months.

    The constitutional convention was focused on creatign a stronger federal governmetn to put down men like Shay. The ARticles never bothered to define treason. But after Shays, the Constitution did, defining it as taking up arms against the governemtn. Men like Shay were committing treason.

    The otehr thing they added was a bil of rights. The second amendment established that the people should have the right to own guns so that the government could call upon them to serve in militias as needed. It wasn’t meant to encourage men like shay to get guns and overthrow the governmetn, it was meant for people to have guns so they could be drafted into a militia by the government to put down people like Shays.

    The Militia Act of 1792 required every abled bodied man to register with their local militia and own a musket. This was passed one year after the second amendment was ratified.

    And then the Whiskey REbellion flared up. Men in pennsylvania were taking up arms against a tax on Whiskey. With the constitution and second amendment as his base, the now President Washington used the Militia Act to call up 13,000 militia men, marched them to Pennsylvania, and crushed the rebellion.

    Clearly the founders never intended the Second Amendment to encourage men like Shays or the Whiskey people to take up arms against their own government. The founders made clear in teh Constitution that what men like Shays did was Treason. And they made clear that the second amendment was phase one of a military draft, not some blank check for men like Shays to stockpile anonymous weapons to commit treason.

    In that vein, background checks can be used to determine who is “abled bodied” to serve in a militia, and who has teh temperment to serve. And gun registration, like the militia act of 1792, tells the government who has guns so that they can be called up to serve in a militia if needed.

    Background checks and registration laws have been upheld by the courts as constitutional for this very reason.

    So, I don’t know what you’re going on and on about “destroying” the second amendment, but its pretty clear teh founders were against men like Shays getting guns and intended the second amendment to allow them to create a militia to be used by the Federal government when needed and disbanded when done.

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