I am sick of writing this post. I am sick of responding to this type of event. I am sick of revisiting this issue every three or four months. I am sick of accepting that there is nothing we can do.

There are so many different directions to go with this. I'm overwhelmed by choice.

I could point out the staggering banality and complete disingenuousness of the common refrain that it's "too soon" to talk about policy solutions or it "politicizes the tragedy" to point out how this keeps happening over and over again while we do nothing because gun fetishists argue that "gun control" doesn't work (as opposed to the status quo, which clearly works well).

I could focus on the fact that the entire pro-gun argument falls to tiny pieces when you take away its straw man version of the opposition: that gun control will not end violence and killing, therefore it is not worth pursuing. No one has any illusions that man's urge to do violence to his neighbors can be legislated away. No one argues that more "gun control" will end gun crime. I think most of us would appreciate less of it, though. Maybe a mass shooting every 9 months instead of every 3. That would be pretty cool.

I could point out how selfish, misguided, and delusional it is to think that your wants, disguised as your own selective interpretation of your rights under the 2nd Amendment, are more important than other people's right to not get shot in the fucking face while sitting in a movie theater or in a classroom.

I could go with the "responsible use" canard, as if the fact that you can use something responsibly is evidence that it should be legal. You know how to handle guns safely and properly? Me too. Here's a medal. Thousands and thousands of people can't. Therefore it might be in our interest to look more closely at what we make available to them.

I could vent endless, eye-curdling word rage over your new-found concern with "mental health", an important issue that you care about only as a red herring to distract everyone from your precious guns. So you believe that the government can't stop you from owning an AR-15, but it can somehow FORCE people to undergo psychological evaluation and then force them to accept treatment, including medication? That's a curious interpretation of state power. Oh, and "mandatory mental health screening" in schools has been tried in a few places and rejected for what it is – a thinly-veiled effort to distribute surveys written by pharmaceutical companies ("Do you feel sad sometimes?") to get as many kids on Prozac and Adderall as possible. Next.

I could note how staggeringly disturbed you are as an individual if your response is "Well if more people were armed, they could shoot back!" as though it is a solution that a sane person would prefer. Armed vigilantism runs into the insurmountable barrier of reality: the attacker is prepared, and you are not. He will shoot you before you have a chance to shoot back. You are not tightly coiled and ready to pounce like he is. And when the live bullets are flying, you will be too shit-scared to use your weapon effectively in all likelihood. Again, if your idea of a rational response is "Well, let's arm teachers!" you need some of the mental health care you so suddenly value. Badly.

I could point out how ridiculous it is to think school security is an answer unless we're going to turn schools into military bases with three layers of defensive perimeters. Someone prepared to die doesn't have much of a problem shooting his way past locked doors and secretaries.

No, I will let all of that go for the moment. Instead, here is a concrete proposal, of the kind that I often receive criticism for lacking.

No one's going to take away your precious guns, not even the ones that fire military rifle ammunition like the .223/5.56 NATO caliber semiautomatic rifle used in this shooting. I know how unpopular that idea would be, because you believe you need these things. Or you simply want them, and you believe that your wants are more important than other people getting shot in the head. Instead, how about this:

1. A nationwide ban on the sale of any rifle magazine larger than 15 rounds. Aside from your convenience (reloading less often at the range) or your Rambo fantasies, there is absolutely no reason you need a 30-round magazine. Yes, a spree shooter could simply carry twice as many 15 round magazines to make up for the lack of 30-round clips. But every time he stops to reload, precious seconds for police to respond are gained. Opportunities arise for your favorite imaginary person – the heroic bystander armed with a concealed weapon – to intervene. Additional seconds for potential victims to run away will be purchased. A chance for a teacher to bonk him over the head with a textbook might come up. Or if nothing else, the shooter will be unable to fire quite so many rounds quite so quickly. A life here or there will be saved. Maybe there will be 22 victims instead of 28. That sounds like a worthwhile tradeoff for your very minor inconvenience, no?

2. Grandfather anyone with an existing 20+ round magazine, but institute a national buy-back program, no questions asked, for any older models. $50 per mag, well in excess of the sale price (approx. $20-30 for basic magazines for most common civilian rifles) escalating to $100 for certain models that retail for higher prices.

3. Pair it with a national buy-back program for any semi-automatic or illegally converted fully automatic weapon. No questions asked. No proof of ownership needed. Just walk into a police station, hand it over, and get a check for $____. If you'd rather keep your weapons, fine.

4. A mandatory training course, including a basic psychological evaluation, for anyone who chooses to buy semiautomatic rifles. We make people pay for months of Driver's Ed before they can get in a car. You can take five classes before you're granted access to your toy. If you don't want to take the course, fine. Buy a different kind of firearm.

5. Mandatory life in prison for straw purchases. Right wingers seem to think that harsher penalties deter drug crime, right? So let's stop pussying around with moms who buy guns for their 18 year old kid because Billy can't pass background checks on his own.

There you go. The only real restriction this creates is that you can no longer buy new 30 round magazines. If you're that desperate for one you could probably buy a used (albeit pricey) one. What would any of this accomplish? Well, it might take 10% of the semi-auto guns out of circulation. It would rapidly diminish the number of 30-round mags available. It might do something to take this kind of tragedy, which no society can eliminate completely, and at least make it A) less common and B) less successful when an assailant does decide to go on a rampage. No one's takin' yer guns.

Now go ahead and argue that your right to purchase a brand new 30 round magazine, as opposed to a 15 round one or used model, is so fucking sacred that people should keep dying so that you can enjoy it. I think 48 hours have passed, so the time is right. Go for it.


  • I'm completely fine with numbers 2, 3, and 5. We've tried #1, and while it was in place, Columbine happened. I'd be okay with #4 if it were for concealed carry instead of purchase–I see that as the difference between requiring someone to take a driving test to buy a car (which they might theoretically use only on their own property, if they have a farm or something), and requiring them to take one before they drive it on public roads. I still don't think it would make a difference, but if that's what it takes to get you to be open to trying a solution that doesn't involve demonizing guns and dismissing the suggestion that any other causes of violence should be addressed, so be it.

    I'm still irritated by the idea that addressing mental healthcare is somehow a cop out just because it means someone is suggesting something other than gun control. Even if you favor gun control, I don't see how making it easier for disturbed and violent people–and even nonviolent, but mentally ill or traumatized people–to get the help they need is somehow a straw man.

    Beyond that I think I'm done for today. I argued this all weekend, if anyone wants to see what a pro-gun liberal thinks, look at the G&T Facebook page.

  • My eyes were prepared to roll into the back of my head. I'm so sick of reading people who know NOTHING about guns writing about them in the wake of some tragedy where everyone is all emotionally amped up to the point of being physically incapable of making a coherent argument.

    So then I read this, and as a gun owner, and someone who has a lot of .223 ammo and an AR-15, I'll just say that I'd have no problem with anything Ed is proposing here. It makes sense, and it might make a difference.

    It's true that someone with the right training could slaughter a movie theater full of unarmed innocents with a double-barrelled shotgun that only holds two rounds. Hell, it's true that you could kill most of them with a good samurai sword. But his point holds that if we reduced the number of weapons out there voluntarily, reduced their capacity to fire endless rounds, and made it mandatory to have training with weapons to own them… we just might make a dent in the violence and carnage. Heck, during that training is a great time for a professional to judge if the person taking the training might just be a little too unstable for such a permit.

    I've not seen a post from an anti-gun person after a tragedy that had even one foot in reality, but this one does, so my hat is off to Ed for that.

  • So to summarize: Here are a list of very reasonable proposals to help curb the current insanity.

    First comment to the proposal: Not good enough.

  • How about banning civilian ownership of motherfucken military mass-kill weapons? What possible legitimate purpose does anyone have for this kind of fucken hardware? Civilians aren't allowed to buy fucken howitzers, so why should they be allowed to buy any military fucken weapons at all?

  • Beating around the bush will do little. The 2nd amendment in its current gun industry interpretation also allow me to buy a tank and shot at my threatening neighbor. No, the 2nd amendment doesn't allow you to have automatic weapons. Are we going to fight for it? How about OWS and O2A? Cosmetic changes will do nothing. Let those who desire gun have their own country: USG.


  • (Fuck. I knew we were going to have to talk about this today. OK, then.)

    First, kudos to Ed for his suggestions. Times such as these are the moments in which bad policy decisions are made, because anguish and horror provoke over-reactions. At the same time, important changes can *only* happen at times such as these, because only anguish and horror (and anger) can motivate substantial alterations in law/behavior. The tide of the times has to be taken at the flood, but the flood leads to idiot over-corrections, and equally idiot defensiveness, and so on.

    But for Ed (and, one hopes, others in positions of legislative authority) to come out and propose sane modifications to circumstances–that suggests that's there's hope that things will get better. The fuckheads on the right will insist that "enacting legislation won't stop murderers from murdering"–and they're correct. It won't *stop* such events. But it will *reduce* their numbers. There's no cure–just alleviation, and just because we can't achieve the former doesn't make it any less our moral duty to pursue the latter.

    So, Ed, thank you.

    This is a good time for creating 'bumper-sticker' nuggets of 'wisdom'–for creating aphorisms based on "what gun tech was like in 1787" and "what could have happened if the principal had been packing," and so forth. Such cheapness offends me, because it's so goddamned easy–because it's confirmation bias disguised as the discovery of a heretofore hidden truth.

    Reading over Nick and SeaTea1967's comments, I recognize that anti-gun commentary that doesn't acknowledge the rationality of the other side is witless and counter-productive. At the same time, I would appreciate it if more pro-gun people would respond as Nick and SeaTea1967 have done (thoughtfully), and not with "The answer to too many guns in the wrong hands is even more guns in the right hands." Because the presence of a gun does so often seem to transform the right hands into the wrong hands. (Bias confession: I don't like guns. Therefore I would be likely to legislate in such a way that offended the desires, and perhaps even the rights, of gun-owners. Which is why it's good that I'm not a legislator.)

    Nick's point regarding the need for a better safety net of mental health care is well-taken–but so is the implication of Ed's point: that the conservatives who are the biggest proponents of unfettered access to guns are the same ones who will not spend a dime on such health care. There may not be any one solution to the problem, but when the same group of people are consistently against *any* solution to the problem, they become the bad guys, and it's time to start ignoring them.

    I dunno–I'm rambling, and I wandered into tl;dr territory a few paragraphs ago, so I'll shut up. I find myself wondering, though, whether we have a duty to preserve the freedom to be murderous–to be evil–whether those freedoms are entailed in the other freedoms we regard as essential to our national character. I don't know. And, like Ed, it's a feeling I'm tired of having: helpless ignorance in the face of human evil.

  • How about mandatory registration of all firearms, with an annual tax, which can be based on type of gun, type of ammo, and such; also, a cigarette-style 'sin tax' on ammo, bringing a per-bullet price up 30 or 50 times higher than it is now; perhaps then a gun that shoots quickly will be less attractive than shooting accurately.

    Taxes collected can be used to pay for increased mental health access.

  • I don't disagree with the prescriptions Ed put forth here, I fully agree, but I think they don't go far enough. I'd rather we outlaw handguns nationally. Not Shotguns, or rifles. Just handguns, the absolute #1 favorite for those who commit gun violence.

  • duck-billed placelot says:

    Fuck 'pro-gun' people. That nomenclature is just as misleading as 'pro-life'. Physioproffe, I'm with you; civilians (and, I would further argue, police) don't need assault weapons. No one 'needs' automatic weapons. The only people who need guns at all are hunters or people in regular danger from animals – and I've seen the armed school run in the arctic circle, where polar bears can be a problem, and they use a shotgun. We don't need to 'demonize' guns. Guns are tools designed to kill, and semi-automatic weapons are designed to kill extra rapidly, from a distance. NRA membership, at this stage, should be a fucking badge of shame. Fucking hypermasculine bullshit that goes along with the 'gun culture' crap is absolutely the 'other cause(s) of violence', but I've completely given up hope that we can solve that problem, so like Ed I'd settle for the slaughters being less effective.

  • yes, the same old same old. more people will die so some can have guns, just like the Right carries on about taxes.

    society is the collective of many different people. living in a society means we give up some "rights" to live together.

    i think the Right has done a wonderful job of destroying society through various methods. Guns are one of the most effective.

    and yes we will see more killing due to gun nuts. the sun rises in the east. not much new things can be said, but a lot can be done. Will we value our lives over the rights of Guns? that is a good answer.

  • How about requiring liability insurance for every gun? that might get some leverage on Capitol Hill since it plays to corporate interests. Beyond that, Ed nailed it.

  • I am particularly impressed that you mentioned the element of surprise (though not referred to it by that name) in the equation. For some reason I hadn't yet heard it used in an argument against arming the potential victim.

  • As part of #5, an out right ban on private sales. That until that weapon has been resold to a registered gun reseller, you're still on the hook for a life sentence. That way the weapons are only being transferred through the hands of those who are capable of ensuring *all* checks were done appropriately.
    that private sales can only occur at registered gun exchange gun shows. Where prior to entry you will need to have gone through a preregistration process. That way only "known" quantities are coming in/going out. Again this way the exchange has happened so that transferral is documented. Those that are in charge of the gun show will be in the sling if a weapon is later used in a crime.

    If the weapon is "stolen" you're up for a $10,000–1,000,000/per weapon fine (depending on one's financial position). If the stolen weapon(a) is/are later used in a crime, then you're looking at a life sentence for failing to report. Charge being: Failure to adequately secure a fire arm.

    Annual police inspections of premises where the weapon is stored with surprise inspections being permissible wouldn't go astray. You can get a pretty clear indication of the person that way. I know the razor stubble and y-front TV watching type who you say "hand gun" to, they say, "gun locker!" I know "lawyer"-types who are incredibly worrisome with how they store their weapons.

  • This is just a masterful piece of writing. It comprehensively covers nearly every disjointed issue in this sprawling topic efficiently. A deep and sorrowful anger pulses through every sentence but it is extremely civil. It encourages further discussion but focuses it extremely narrowly into areas that everyone should be able to agree on or at least argue about productively. My God. Thanks, Ed.

    I know Nick excused himself but in general I'm interested in hearing more about "demonizing guns". In what way was Ed "demonizing guns"? Assuming he was, what are the negative consequences of doing so? Why is "demonizing guns" a bad thing? Because people who otherwise need them would not get them? Because it would stigmatize gun owners? Why is that stigmatization a bad thing? Do these negative consequences exist if only specific kinds of guns are demonized?

  • Fantastic post Ed. Time and again you keep upholding your status as my favorite writer on the internet. I hope this gets some deserved attention.

  • Modern semiautomatic firearms are highly efficient killing tools.

    They're light, accurate, compact, easily transportable, fairly easy to use (a .223 has a lot less kick than your grandfather's '03 Springfield) and designed to put as many projectiles downrange in as short a time as possible.

    Sure you could kill someone with, oh let's say a halberd, but you'll have to get close and your arms are going to get pretty damn tired after the fourth or fifth victim.

    There's a reason the Army issues AR-15s and not halberds (or Springfields for that matter).

  • I don't recall "politicizing the tragedy" being an issue when one was used to pass torture, domestic spying, secret prisons and the invasion of a country unconnected to the tragedy.

  • Oh the other thing I'd like to see is that individual property owners rights trump gun owners rights *always*!

    Meaning that I as a homeowner can post "no guns" and if you come on to my property packing you can go to jail. If I'm a business owner, including the parking lot, I can post "no guns" and you can go to jail. If I'm an employer, I can sack you outright even if you keep it locked in your vehicle and you bring it on to company property or a job site.

    None of this horse about concealed carry into bars. If its posted and you carry it on and you get caught, jail and no more guns for you ever.

    No more of this one way absolutist crap.

  • c u n d gulag says:

    Apparently, the "right to bear arms," trumps everyone's rights to "life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness."

    One question – what "organized militia" was this guy, or his mother, part of?
    What kind of "organized militia," has as its goal, the murder of Kindergarteners?

    I look forward to hearing from our "Pro-life" crowd on the gun issue.
    Oh wait…
    Sorry, I forgot – these children were out of the womb for over a half a decade, so they won't give a flying fuck.

    I'm almost 55.
    I'm not a parent.
    But I've been crying all weekend.

    If not now, when?

    Nothing happened when a Congresswoman got shot, and others near her, died.

    Nothing happened when a movie theater was shot up, with dozens dasd, and even more wounded.

    Nothing happened last week, when a shopping mall was shot up. The “realtively” small body-count made that shooting-spree a short story.

    It was always “too soon” to talk about it, until the next slaughter happened, making the last one “old news” – and it being ‘too soon” to talk about the present one.

    But maybe now, that the killing field is a Kingergarten classroom, people will finally wake up, and tell the NRA to shove its guns where the sun don’t shine.

    No one wants to take away a hunter’s gun. Nobody’s talking about that.

    And, if to feel safe in your home, you feel you need a handgun, no one’s going to take that away from you either (though you might not feel you need one, if the “others” guns are eliminated).

    It’s the semi-and-automatic’s that are useless to hunt with (unless you like shredded venison, rabbit bits, or metal-ground squirrel), and also useless for home defense (unless a baseball team decides to steal, and invades your home base, en masse).

    And if we can’t outlaw these semi, and automatic, weapons, as I’ve asked before, ‘why can’t we outlaw bullets?’

    There is NO Constitutional right to bear/have bullets.

    So, after a Connecticut Kindergarten classroom ends up a killing field, with its floor awash in the blood of the innocent, and the childrens fingerpaintings and drawings on the walls splattered with their own gore, and families whose carefully hidden gifts will never be torn open on Christmas morning by eager little hands -after all of this, NOW can we at least start a discussion about the out-of-control gun culture that too many people in America have, literally, bought into – to pad the pockets of the gun and arms manufacturers and their Lobbyists?

    And if not now, when?
    Sweet Jesus, if not now, when?…

  • "Armed vigilantism runs into the insurmountable barrier of reality: the attacker is prepared, and you are not. "

    This is the bottom line. Armed nuts have shot up Amish schoolchildren (obviously the Amish have no place for God in their lives, no?), a doctor in his own church and a congregation in their own church (apparently God can't keep guns out of churches, either), and various schools including a Baptist one.

    You can't expect the oblivious masses–the same ones who can't figure out their shopping cart is blocking the entire aisle while they're on their cellphone yakking about trivialities, the same ones who have to zoom across six lanes to take an exit because it's simply too much work to be aware of where they're navigating their behemoth SUV, the same one who waddles three-abreast down the sidewalk so nobody can pass –to suddenly become Wyatt Earp in the OK Corral when some nut whips out a gun and starts slaughtering those around them.

  • c u n d gulag says:

    And, after that long word-turd diatribe, two last thoughts:
    1. If we want to stick camera's into women's vagina's, so they have to look at their fetuses before they decide to have an abortion, and exercise their 'right to choose,' why can't we make people applying for gun licenses, who want to exercise their 'right to bear arms,' look at photo's of 'The Great Kindergarten Carnage in Connecticutt?'

    2. Guns don't kill people.
    People with small, pale, impotent peckers, kill people.

  • cund: "There is NO Constitutional right to bear/have bullets."

    Along with Lawrence Tribe, I don't even believe that the right to bear arms extends to the individual beyond state defense purposes, which puts arms exclusively in the hands of state militias and out of the hands of individual citizens, who today no longer serve in ad hoc, minute-man-style armies. Supreme Court interpretation notwithstanding.

    Our flawless, timeless Constitution originally protected slavery, too.

    Some media outlet pointed out that only last week new legislation, in Minnesota or Michigan, I think, made carrying concealed weapons legal in yet another venue–maybe classrooms or confessional booths or toilets, I forget. The tide had been moving so strongly, state by state, towards making gun-totin' legal in one new venue after another that it's going to be interesting seeing an attempt at a reversal. Someone said the NRA, shark-like, could only stay alive if it continued to force gun rights into new venues, and it has been in robust health recently.

    I can't believe I'm saying this, but I wonder how Sarah Palin will weigh in. Surely we will hear from her.

    Great post, Ed.

  • The Metafilter thread on the shooting is long but enlightening. There's a self-proclaimed "gun nut" claiming that gun control punishes responsible gun owners like herself. She copped to owning 15 guns so I asked her directly, what kind of a gun cabinet/locker set-up/fireproofing are you using?

    None. 15 guns lying in an apartment closet with lord knows how much loose ammo. In shoe-boxes, I guess.

    There is no such thing as a non-responsible gun owner in America, apparently. The moment you buy a piece you are absolved forever from basic gun safety tenets because Jesus Ted Nugent, or something.

  • addendum to my comment, a specific:

    "Just 18 hrs ago, those Republicans in the Michigan House rammed thru a bill making it LEGAL to carry a gun into a school or day care center."

    –one of Michael Moore's tweets last Fri.

  • I just want to point out that 'the heroic bystander armed with a concealed weapon' in the Gabby Giffords shooting successfully stopped further violence.

    Please pay no attention that he left the gun in his pocket and tackled the guy during a reload, and having the gun made no difference.

  • @sluggo: I've been wondering where all of those armed concerned citizens were at CTC. I know people who have/had CC in Oregon. You'd think one of them would have tried to squeeze of a round. I mean hey this is why they got the damn thing in the first place for wasn't it?

  • c u n d gulag says:

    And the Right's solution is, "Arm the teachers!"

    And let me get this straight, Righties, YOUR solution to this school massacre, is to arm the teachers and Principals?

    Would these be the same teachers that you’ve called union thugs, who are parasites, leeching off of society with their demands for decent hours, fair pay, benefits, and secure pensions?

    The people who you claim are lazy moochers, living on Easy Street, working only only part-time, with plenty of paid vacation days throughout the years?

    The ones who take the Jesus and prayer out of “edumacation,” and waste our childrens precious minds and replace Him with secular garbage like math, science, poetry, literature, history, civics, foreign languages, art, and gym?

    The same people you call Godless Socialists and Communists, and you claim use Fascistic methods to achieve their goals? Methods learned at the feet of Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Che, Castro, and Alinsky and Ayers?

    And these are the people you want to arm, and be able to open-carry in the classrooms of America’s children?
    The people who’ll be trained to shoot-to-kill?
    If all that you’ve said about teachers is true, may I respectfully ask, “ARE YOU MOTHERFECKER’S CRAZY?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!”

    Our tax dollars will now be spent now, instead of on Public Schools,
    private ones – where children learn in Charter School Christian Madrassah's, that Adam and Eve and their offspring rode dinosaurs, and are protected by the best flunkies we can find who couldn't quite pass muster with "Academi" (previously known as Xe Services LLC, Blackwater USA and Blackwater Worldwide – Hmm… I wonder why a company needs to change it's name about as often as its owner changes his underwear? Lawsuit's, perhaps…).

    Somehow, I think we're spelling it wrong.
    Maybe it should be "FreeDUMB!!!"?

  • @ xynzee

    There was a short- dicked Texas Congressman that said this could have been stopped if the principal had an assault rifle herself. (Kindergarten Cop????)

    I bet he thought 'Starsky and Hutch' was a documentary. These clueless idiots watch too much TV.

  • If you give it some thought CU, arming the principals and teachers would certainly make wage negotiations… interesting… particularly in MI and WI.

    @sluggo, I was asking about the shooting in Crackamyass (Clackamas) Town Center. Very much an optimal test bed for the self styled hero to spring into action and save the day, by shooting someone's kid in a stroller or something.

    Why stop at the teachers any ways? Shouldn't little Billy and Suzy be learning to take care of themselves? They should be allowed to pack heat as well. Something small of course, like one of those itsy, bitsy Derringers. Of course they'll need a bit more stopping power, so we can let them have a two shot 10mm.

  • Consider moving to the UK, Ed. The most dangerous firearm you're allowed to own here is a shotgun. Pistols and rifles are extremely tightly regulated. Semi-auto rifles are like rocking horse shit. Full-auto anything is practically unheard of. I don't recall actually seeing firearms of any kind more than two or three times in my whole life: shotguns at a clay-pigeon shoot, a (quite possibly deactivated) GPMG at an army recruiting thing, and submachine guns in the hands of airport security cops.

    On the whole, people here just don't really want guns. We have lunatics and desperate criminals like anywhere else, but the (OMG!) Nanny State is generally pretty good at both preventing them from doing too much damage, and administering mental care, thanks to the brilliant NHS. And on the whole, people recognise that.

  • I'm with ZRM on this. Treat ammunition like alcohol and tobacco – tax the shit out of it. Also, owners of "assault" weapons ( I know, an undefinable term ) should be required to purchase some sort of insurance for the weapon, for potential wrongful death indemnity ( yeah, yeah, my wrongful death is somebody else's Jack Bauer moment). Weapons kept at an armory or gun club get cheap rates, at home in a secure safe, more expensive. Not secured, really expensive. Mentally ill or young children in the house – hhhmmmmm… No insurance, no weapon.

    I know several gun collectors who are very responsible. They don't keep large caches of ammo, secure their weapons, and act responsibly. My proposal would cost them money, but because they're sensible, it wouldn't be any worse than car insurance, maybe even less.

    All of us pay for these crazy shootings, from deaths, to mental trauma, to basic inconvenience of metal detectors and locked down schools. I have no animus towards gun owners. I would just like them to pay to play. Hard to enforce this? Maybe, but you have to start somewhere.

  • I am a pro-gun leftie, and I am fine with all this – with a couple of minor changes.

    1. Mandatory training courses for anyone who buys any sort of gun, period. We do it for cars; there is really no difference. Gun safety was an optional course in my grammar school, just like driver’s safety, but free.

    2. No lifetime imprisonment. Just kill them. Life in prison is cruel and unusual, whether or not it’s in solitary, and we have to stop using “life in prison” to mean “you must be sequestered from nice people who don’t go to jail.” If you think a death sentence is too harsh, learn more about life in prison. Coventry would be fine with me, but we don’t have any place that will do.

    3. No basic psychological evaluation, unless you can name the exact test that covers “won’t for any reason go haywire.” So-called “normal” people go off the rails with enough prodding or momentary bad timing, and most so-called crazy people are harmless, or harm only themselves. Believe me, I would love it if there were a single test for “possibly dangerous” that didn’t include people who vacuum nine times each day or have a serious degree of narcissism. It is so easy to game simple psych tests that the only folks who can’t do it are the ones who are writing them. Psychology has not progressed enough yet to make this a viable option. Sorry.

    4. “Straw purchases”, as you call them, are not the only crime that should be dealt with harshly. Can we agree that any firearm-related crimes should be dealt with severely? Punishment to be named later, but I feel the same about substance abuse and driving. The first infraction displaying irresponsibility must result in permanent revocation, and the revocation is not the punishment itself but in addition to it.

    Either way, let's be honest about one thing: nothing I suggested and nothing you suggested would have in any way prevented the shooting in Connecticut. The damage can be limited in the future, but that's all.

  • "Crazy people will still find a way to attack and kill! They could use knives, like that guy in China!"

    OK, so if you were forced into a Thunderdome-style duel to the death, would you rather fight the guy with a Bushmaster .223, or the guy with a knife?

  • 6. If a convicted felon is found in possession of a gun, cut off his hands. Just fucking cut off his hands. And then put him in prison for a while. Without hands. Sucks for you, buddy, but you were told you weren't supposed to have a gun.

  • Just as a side note Germany has gun control laws and we still had shootings. But the funny thing is all were committed with legally owned guns. Not a single (mass)shooting has happened with an illegal gun. You would expect if gun control laws do not work, that there would be more (mass)shootings with illegal guns. But obviously they do work. And as a comparison:

    This is total gun related deaths. And funny thing while both Canada and Switzerland are not as bad as the US (both have plenty of legal weapons) they are still much worse than Germany (strict gun laws but still not enough in my opinion). Btw the numbers look worse when only looking at homicides. (in comparison)

    So here is my take. I dont care weather or not somebody thinks they have a right to own guns(as civilians). Guns should be illegal to own(except law enforcement).

  • Coming soon, to America – a new school morning ritual.

    “Did you make my sandwich, Ma”
    ‘Yes dear.’
    “Did you load my gun?”
    ‘Yes dear. It’s in your holster on your kitchen chair, ready for you to strap on.
    “Thanks, Ma!”
    ‘Son, before you go, remember The Three S’s.’
    “I know them!”
    ‘Ok, then recite them to me.’
    “Oh Mom…”
    ‘Don’t ‘Oh Mom,’ me, young man. Recite The Three S’s for me, right now!’
    ‘Ok, here goes:
    Study hard,
    Stay safe, and
    Shoot straight. Now can I go?”

    ‘YeSSS dear.’

  • Fuck 15 rounds in a magazine. The M-1 had an 8-round magazine, and we won World War II with it. Rifles in World War I had 5-round magazines, and killed hundreds of thousands. Hell, rifles in the Civil War were muzzle loaders, and we still managed to kill 600,000 of each other. There is no reason for any civilian to have a semiautomatic rifle; heck, the German, British, and Soviet armies in WWII all issued bolt-action rifles as standard equipment, and you know the rest of that story. Anything beyond bolt-action rifles with 5-round magazines should be illegal. And hunters and responsible gun enthusiasts would never notice the difference.

  • We've had very strict regulations on fully automatic (Class 3) firearms since the 1930s. You can legally own them but the fees are steep and the background checks extensive.

    And amazingly enough, nobody's robbed a bank with a Tommy Gun or a B.A.R. (Clyde Barrow's weapon of choice) since way back in the day.

    In fact, crimes committed with Class 3 firearms are so rare that you would be hard pressed to find one.

    But silly me, regulations don't work.

  • I am a responsible gun owner. My firearm has saved my life twice in my own home. And I still think these ideas don't go far enough.

  • concerned citizen says:

    I have read each comment, and there have been some good ideas that some have stated. I am all for having gun owners take classes, reducing clip sizes, and if people want to place signs on their homes and businesses that guns are not allowed on their premises that is great. There have also been some irrational statements made. I think we all need to look at the root of the problem. Has anyone taken a look at the video games kids play these days? These certainly teach our youth great life lessons? These can be bought at any store, and trust me they do not really look at the age of the kid buying it, or parents are buying them. They are played on the computer, ipad, any electronic device available. I know my kids are outside playing, using imaginations, not much TV time, and not playing all these games where you just shoot and kill everyone imaginable.
    I am a gun owner, I have my guns locked in a safe unloaded, I have ammo locked in a separate safe from the guns. I also have my conceal and carry license. I have taken all the classes and have paperwork for most guns I own. If you take the CC class you would know that they teach you there you should never get out your gun unless you are truly in a situation where the other person could kill you. They also teach that no one ever wins in a gun fight. Instead of criticizing why don't we start educating.
    I have two boys, and yes they shoot. They shoot in a controlled environment, have taken classes, and know gun safety. We hunt as well as target shoot.
    Look at another statistic, more than 10,000 people were killed by drunk drivers last year alone. In the meantime 3% of firearm deaths were rifle related (this includes, but is not limited to assault rifles) Less than 4000 were from these in 2000-2008, so almost 3 times the killings from alcohol in 1 year as in 8 yrs of of rifles. I don't see anyone fighting to take this pleasure away.

  • @concerned citizen

    Since you brought up the death-by-automobile analogy:

    If you want to register, license, tax and require insurance for guns and their operators the way we do motor vehicles I'm all for it.

  • Well this sounds great and is instituted already. The average honest Joe can buy a gun and wait. His mother purchased the guns not him. I have never seen a gun all by itself shoot anyone. We will never know what makes the brain do what it does. I have taken hunter safety with my boys. Taught them respect for the rifle and all are single shot. That way no mistakes are made after a round is fired!

  • concerned citizen says:

    Major Kong, like I said I am all for safety, and have insurance on all my guns, however is it the motor vehicles fault that it had an accident do to drunk driving. Last I knew it had to be the decision of the driver to get behind the wheel.
    Once again it goes back to educating our youth and doing the best we can to teach them right from wrong, and how to make the best decision. Lead by example.
    We just need to about that next time we go to dinner with our family, have an innocent glass of wine and drive home. Or for those who don't know how to safely handle and respect firearms yet just go target shooting with no training.
    Or plug in Modern Warfare or Black Ops.
    Our kids look up to us lets show them we care about our safety and others.

  • I also would like gun safes in peoples home. Not cheap glass cabinets. At my work everyone has a Top Secret/SCI clearance. We are trained to shoot with the best in the world. If the gun is not in my holster or my hand we lock it up at work. There are no bad people no untrained people. Poked prodded scrutinized by the government like you wouldn't believe. My AR-15 at home is locked up, I own one since I use one at work.

    Magazine bans may be worth looking at nationally . CT, CA, MD, NY all have bans people got around them though.

    The US has ALWAYs ignored mental health and crazies need to be in NCIC. For law enforcement we dread dealing with psychologists. James Holmes should have been stopped from buying a gun. The 30 grenades well bombs are just to EASY can't stop that sadly.

    Training. Training. Training. 99% of cops are not trained effectively. You want a gun them be trained correctly. Rights can be regulated to a degree and mandatory classes is not a restriction.

    First person shooter games. We use them at work to train to kill. It is proven we spend billions to make us better killers now the same is available to 12 year olds on Call of duty on PS3 or Xbox.

    Lastly ask the pros. We ask scientists on the environment ask the few cops who are experts. Why do politicians always ignore the actual doers of the job.

  • c u n d gulag says:

    I don't know if today's video games exacerbate this situation by de-sensitizing our young people to violence.

    I don't like them, and if I had children, I wouldn't allow them to play them at home – and if I found out they'd played them with some friends, I'd ask that friends parents to please not have their child play those game with mine, when he/she was over there.

    Having said that, when I was a kid, we played a lot of Cops & Robbers, and Cowboys & Indians. And no one I knew ever became a cop, a criminal, a cowboy, or an Indian – though, I imagine you'd have to be born the latter. But "Dances With Wolves," and "A Man Called Horse," may disprove that impression.

  • mel in oregon says:

    i own an m16 (ar-15 & also plenty of .223 ammo). i only use it for shooting not hunting. my .308 mossberg is for hunting. i also own a .38 colt double action police special & a smith & wesson .40 caliber. that said, i have never been a member of the nra. i despise what they stand for. also, i don't give a shit about the second amendment. lives of children & other innocents are far more important than some right written when the country was far different than it is today. more than that, i am willing to give up my ar-15 if we can stop the violence. it's entirely for recreation & has no empirical value. i doubt if any meaningful legislaltion will be passed. sure there will be tears shed, but remember how obama & romney ducked the question asked during the debates. also, the comments from the corporate news media concerns background checks. the ct. shootings were with the perps mother's legally purchased weapons. the oregon shootings were with a stolen weapon. background checks wouldn't have prevented either tragedy. the easiest answer is outlaw high velocity weapons & high volume magazines. any other proposals are just whistling in the wind.

  • Let's take the first clause of the Second Amendment seriously. If you're going to own a gun, you are in the militia and can be called up for service at any time! I bet gun purchases go way down if that's in place.

    Obviously I'm kidding, but we need tighter restrictions on what kind of weapons people can have and on who can own them. We can quibble about things like magazine size, but Ed's list is a good starting point.

  • …would like to take c u n d gulag out for a chocolate malted. Just because.
    …does not allow guns in his house, with one exception, a friend, a 30 year veteran of law enforcement is allowed to come in without removing his gun
    …took his 10-year old son (with said cop) to the range, last month, for the first time. Both of us shot guns for the first time, after our safety training.
    …holy f^&*, would not have a gun in my house. And honestly, no amount of surprise, no amount of weaponry, would make you victorious if I thought you were a threat to my family. [Though, to be fair, there are devices in the house, which I am trained to use as weapons, which I bet any intruder is not.]
    …may be naive. We *do* have an arsenal of NERF weaponry, and we did build a pneumatic cannon (spud gun). And we've had discussions that these are toys, which mimic what weapons do, but that they are not weapons. Have I desensitized him? I don't think so. When he felt the kick of the .38, he was both excited, and scared. I think he gets the difference.
    …believes that, if you want to arm teachers, you need to ensure they're adequately trained to use them (especially in "surprise" situations), and to secure them (to minimize the risk of accidents), if those are even simultaneously possible. But if you want to make teachers do all of that, then you have a different objective for the education system than I do.

    but mostly, I want that chocolate malted. And I want to not have to think about this stuff.

    [And as someone who is legitimately enraged by this massacre, and equally saddened, I'm #$%^& sick of the people engaging in tragedy porn, in sympathy competitions. After 9/11, people waved their flags rabidly, declaring they were more American than thou. And now, so many people posting their faux mourning, thinking that we can't tell the difference between real sadness—and I believe c u n d gulag, for example—and people who want to be a part of the movement. And yeah, this is parallel, not even a tangent, so I'm sorry, Ed. But I'm sick of it all. I'm tired of people who aren't aware of what they don't know. I'm sick of people who announce feelings they don't really have. And I'm apoplectic about people making stupid-ass arguments about things they know nothing about, and proposing things which prima facie won't work, and …

    mostly, I want a better world. And I'm grateful for powerful minds like Ed's to at least suggest things that move us in that direction. But I'd be happier if the collective would discourage folks who move us the other way, rather than preserving their right to do that.]

  • Are we seriously derailing to talk about video games right now?

    So let me get this straight: people should be able to buy the actual tool that is used to kill and there should be no way for the gov't to check to see if they are secured in your home.

    But a *simulation* that features the use of that tool should be censored and banned?

    The real thing that can do real damage to real people is okay but the simulation is now?

    Guns don't kill people, video games kill people?

    Give me a fucking break. This is what Ed meant by saying that the sudden "mental health" obsession is getting thrown up as a distraction. Someone starts talking about sensible gun control ideas and gun enthusiasts start throwing out any and everything to distract.

    I also don't get the gun to car comparison. Cars are tools of transportation. They are designed to get us from place to place and if they are misused they can hurt people. So we regulate the shit out of who can use them and how they can be used.

    Guns, on the other hand, are tools of destruction. All guns are expressly designed to kill. And some guns are expressly designed to kill other people. As in engineers work on them to make them more and more efficient at killing other people. That is what they are FOR. If you use those kinds of guns to kill someone, it was not an "accident" like a car accident. You simply successfully used the gun for its expressly designated purpose. Yea, I would be happy to see fewer tools with that purpose out in the world.

    PS: no pro-gun folks have touched the "regulated militia" idea brought up several times in this thread. I wonder why? …

    – An angry school teacher

  • Oh, and I think that Shadow's Mom has a really good idea. Liability insurance is the perfect analogy to a car ownership and so suggesting mandatory firearm insurance would shut the face up of somebody who makes the blisteringly ludicrous analogy between cars and guns. Then people would get insurance discounts for keeping their gun in a safe, etc.

  • And concerned citizen…you don't see anyone fighting to take the "pleasure" of driving drunk away?

    Read your last paragraph, over and over, until you can figure out what's wrong with it. (Hint: it's not just one thing.)

  • There's a simple rule about power – those who desire it should not be trusted with it. That would work pretty well with guns, too, I think. Personally, I'm just tired as hell of all these "sensible gun-owners". I grew up in a hunting area, I can understand the urge to hunt, and even the use of hunting under certain circumstances. I like shooting a gun, myself, although I can't hit a barn with a rifle, let alone a pistol. But a gun for home defense? Screw that. The only one I'd even consider would be a shotgun just because the effect of the shot is minuscule next to the effect of the noise. The thing is, when you get into the debate, you've already lost. Every sensible "gun-owner" is responsible for those terrified and dead kids and all the others before them, just as the rest of us are, for not managing to push our supposedly representative government to respond to the people who aren't fucking shits. Shooting a gun is fun, yeah. So is raping women and killing your neighbor with a pointy stick, right? Lots of things are good, clean, traditional fun, but many of them we don't consider "OK" any more. Some things just cost more than they're worth.

  • c u n d gulag says:

    Hazy Davey,
    I'd love a chocolate malted!!! (If I can't have a banana one, that is).

    Maybe I'm a little more touched by this tragedy since my best friends lived in Bethel, CT, the town right next to Newtown, from 1994 to 2000, when they moved to Chapel Hill, NC. Two of their three boys went to Elementary School there (their youngest is Autistic, and they moved when he was 3). And I'd gone to Newtown several times with them.

    So, unlike other horrible gun tragedies, since I'd been in that town, I feel some sort of connection.
    But I'm probably too much of an 'empath,' so even if this happened 6 states away, I'd probably be just as upset.

  • Depending on your stat source the US had a homicide rate rising from about 1.0 in 1900 [recently subject to revision higher] to about 9.7 per 100K back in 1932, trended downward to about 4.5 in the late 1950s and locally peaked in 1980 at about 10.2 and gradually reduced to the 5.5 to 6 range by 2000. We’ve been bumping along roughly there since.

    Murderers who use guns have most recently accounted for about 75% of the yearly total which would be about 4.3 per 100K. The so-called ‘assault’ rifles (usually just bad-assed looking semi-auto weapons with large capacity magazines) have regularly been used in 1 – 2% of these murders.

    So we are talking something on the order of 0.1 homicide per 100K. When the ‘assault weapons ban’ was passed back in 1994 w/ a ten year sunset provision, I thought that there would be a tremendous statistical hill to climb to make any statistical inferences about the effectiveness of the law unless it were almost 100% effective.

    Well, I was right. Gun restriction fans and gun rights promoters have concluded that the 10 years of data supports their respective positions.

    At this writing, it still is not clear that Mr. Lanza used his 0.223 cal rifle in the attack. He may have just used his handguns.

    Emotional times like we have right now seem to make for bad law. Might I cite the ‘Patriot’ Act and some of its progeny (like the NDAA)?

    Norway has considerably more restrictive gun laws than the US, for instance:

    All guns registered
    All gun owners licensed and required to have training
    Some calibers restricted
    All ammo sales registered

    Mass murderer Anders Breivik killed 69 and wounded over 100 with his LEGALLY OBTAINED, registered, weapons in Norway in 2011. He also killed 8 people and injured over 200 with a bomb the same day. He killed the equivalent population in the US of over 4000 people in one episode. (Norway pop ~5E06)

    For those who haven’t heard, SCOTUS declared in the Heller case (IIRC) that the 2nd is an individual right. I know, I know it’s a corrupt, blah, blah, SCOTUS (just like the ones that handed down decisions that I don’t agree with…)

    Those who oppose gun ownership in the US ought to ‘cowboy up’ and educate the public to their position, sell enough of them to get the needed political support, and amend the Constitution to change the 2nd Amendment to what they want.

    In fact, I have predicted it here before (just like BHO’s victory), the Left is going to win in the long run (another 20 years.) I think that if y’all push it too hard too soon you will get your civil war (as most Cracker history students believe we’ve not had the first one yet.) Then you can get the ethnic cleansing that many here have long desired.

    Of course, maybe some old Crackers said stuff like that back in Brown vs Board days…


  • Another reason to consider gun control is that the weapons used by the Mexican drug cartels are coming from America. Americans seem oblivious to the fact that Mexico is turning into a failed state. We should be helping Mexico with this problem.

  • Armed vigilantism runs into the insurmountable barrier of reality: the attacker is prepared, and you are not. He will shoot you before you have a chance to shoot back. You are not tightly coiled and ready to pounce like he is. And when the live bullets are flying, you will be too shit-scared to use your weapon effectively in all likelihood.

    This is something that really pisses me off. All these jerks keep saying "If I'd been there with my glock… you know- tap, tap." Bullshit.

    I was at a party several years ago where there was a drive-by. When I heard the shots, my gut reaction was "get down." Maybe if I'd been in the military or law enforcement I would have reacted differently, but I wasn't. And I'm 100% sure these dicks advocating armed civilians/teachers weren't either.

  • the goal isn't to arm the victim per se, though dying armed may make certain insecure types feel better. any targeted victim is, as everyone agrees, generally fuct. however:

    also, given this:

    and the fact that our government is perhaps uniquely constituted as one deriving its powers from the consent of those governed, there seems to me a strong philosophical case for retaining a measure of violent capacity in the hands of US citizens.

    the mag size bit, like the "victims should be armed" bit, is all feels and no substance. i definitely dig #4 and #5, though.

  • @JohnR:
    Some things just cost more than they're worth.

    Yes. This is true of so many things, but particularly of the gun debate. Guns don't, by themselves, kill people; but they make it very much easier for people to kill people. Less of that would be great.

  • Coming from a man that owns 3 guns and one high capacity magazine, I do not disagree with any of this! In fact I would say anything larger than 10 rounds is unnecessary.

  • First time, long time. Good post, Ed. Everything you stated seems very reasonable, but I have a question regarding a more extreme position regarding gun regulations that I'd like to toss out to your learned readers because I don't know what my views are right now.

    I'm currently on the far left of the political spectrum, but I grew up with firearms and feel comfortable around them. Even after I changed my political views I couldn't really accept a lot of arguments for gun control for the same reason I don't think the drug laws work…I always felt it was utopian to think we could put the genie back in the bottle (among other arguments). But after this last spree I've had enough and emotionally I don't care what it takes to prevent this from happening again, but logically I think these shootings are symptoms of a dying empire and it doesn't matter what we do at this point, we're fucked. The fact that half the population seems like it can't have an adult conversation about gun control, whether or not that is the solution, shows just how fucked we are.

    So my question to the G&T readers, especially on the left, is this: we chastise the right (and a lot of Dems as well) for sacrificing the Bill of Rights after 9/11 by passing the Patriot Act. It was a moment of fear and sadness, and we allowed that to cloud our judgement. Is it possible that we on the left do the same any time there is a shooting spree? After all, the same thugs that prosecute the drug war and the war on terror will be the same ones that prosecute any ban on guns. Is it worth expanding our police state? Most of the time I'd say no, but after this…fuck everything…I don't know anymore.

  • Anyone can own a gun.. but they have to be registered with their local militia and show up the first Monday of every month for a muster.

    They must appear at 8pm with rifle, 200 rounds of ammo and enough food for a week. appropriately clothed and with a militia registered cellphone.

    anyone who missed 2 meeting without excuse will be paid a visit.. if they fail to appear next time a committee will be sent to confiscate their guns.

  • False equivalence for the win. Just stop with the guns=cars analogy, mkay? That's about as bad as the voting & buying alcohol analogy.

  • Get over the militia thing.

    The 2nd has been recognized as an individual right by the SCOTUS. You have to change the court's composition (can happen during BHO term 2 if the right people die) and bring a case they will hear and could reasonably merit a reversal (or support liberal friendly restrictions.)

    As a holding action, if Ds get full control any time soon, a bunch of un-Constitutional laws could be passed to gum up the works for a decade.

    Constitutional amendment – pretty tough, but not impossible

    Revolution – toughest of all, but if you win…

    Some of the proposals to heavily tax this or that associated w/ firearms and ammo might eventually rise to the level of a poll tax vis-a-vis the 1st amendment. Too far fetched?


  • So I guess that the right wing should just get over the fact that the SCOTUS ruled in favor of women's right to an abortion? Since when is that how arguments about the Constitution work? Just because something is currently interpreted one way doesn't mean it will be interpreted that way tomorrow. And circulating alternative interpretation is the first step in possibly building enough momentum to eventually get a different ruling. In the meantime, I find it telling that most gun nuts I know don't even know that the word militia is mentioned in the 2nd amendment.

    And who is talking about armed revolution?? Is that some weird gun nut projection or just straight up trolling?

  • @w-bread

    No, revolution is a Left or Right wing extreme alternative as per the DoI.

    Yes, you are right to keep circulating your alternative opinion, but in the meantime, as a practical matter, the militia thing is over – short term. Your reference to abortion on demand is very apt and applies likewise.


  • "Mass murderer Anders Breivik killed 69 and wounded over 100 with his LEGALLY OBTAINED, registered, weapons in Norway in 2011. He also killed 8 people and injured over 200 with a bomb the same day. "

    Which was considered extremely shocking because usually nothing even remotely close to this happens in Norway. Also, I suppose maybe we should lift the ban on explosives too, since "criminals will always get them if they want" right?

    Also, can we dispense with the "assault weapons are just scary looking semi-auto" guns argument? When a soldier serving in an army switches his M4 or Kalashnikov to semi-auto, does it stop being an assault rifle? What about the AN-94, which fires two-round bursts unless you hold the trigger down after the first two shots leave the barrel?(this gun is not for sale in the US)

    The term "assault rifle" was coined by Adolf Hitler(seriously, read on) for propaganda purposes when they released the Stg-44(Sturmgewehr or assault rifle in English). It was appropriate because the weapon's intermediate round plus a high capacity magazine made it ideal for assaulting positions(keep in mind this was in a war where most soldiers, especially on the Axis side, were armed with bolt-action rifles). Assault rifles are more deadly on semi-auto. This is why in Basic Rifle Marksmanship you qualify with two twenty round mags, firing "one-shot-one-kill."

  • Wonderbread: "Guns don't kill people, video games kill people?"

    That's the Fux Noise propaganda of the day. All the obedient little sheeple will bleat that non-stop until given a new phrase.

  • I think the best argument against armed vigilantes is that either they are gonna be so scared and not thinking straight, they are gonna be more likely to either shoot innocent bystanders, or a police officer (when they arrive on scene), or get shot themselves by the police when they they turn up in an officers view wielding a gun.

  • Don't mention militias in their Second Amendment context nor talk about buyback of certain types of guns or he'll cut ya!

    Sure, he'll mockingly refer to Abortion on Demand and talk civil war and secession, but that's only because you pushed him, you liberal bullies!

    And anyways, he really doesn't believe in this stuff. He's just playing armchair historian pedaling fantasies of future race riots and class war and the South Will Rise again as drippingly mocking fact for shits and giggles..

    bb, one of the last conservatives capable of semi cogent argument, finally succumbed to the sickness on December 17th, 2012. He was last seen backed into a corner, snarling at a small stuffed rabbit on the end of a stick.

  • @concerned citizen: Videogames are the scapegoat of today, just like Heavy Metal music and Rock and Roll was in the 80's and 40's. Or comic books. I've played videogames for practically all my life, including the so called "murder simulators" and "realistic" wargames of today. I would never even think of going on a shooting rampage. I don't even own a gun. Of course, I can also easily discern the difference between fantasy and reality and right and wrong.

    That said, there are certain types of videogames that are clearly not for children, most retailers have rules against selling an M (Mature 17+) rated title to anyone that is under 17. All videogame titles that are released in the US go through the ESRB, a content ratings board, and are rated much like movies are.

  • I was on a pro gun site over the weekend and asked if there were any practical reasons for the average citizen to own high capacity magazines, whether for hunting or self-defense is there any situation where these accessories are required to get the job done. There were lots of silly extraneous arguments, like why do cops need them? but nobody even tried to address the question. I tried to point out that fully automatic weapons are highly regulated, so why shouldn't something like a high capacity magazine be subject to the same. There was the usual slippery slope argument, but no one came forth with a legit argument for the existence of these things. Of course such a ban wouldn't have stopped this tragedy, but it was really an exercise to see just how intransigent the NRA types are. It is the height of selfishness that in their mind, their simple wanting of something which seems to add, nothing, really to the gun owner's life other than not having to reload as often, is more important than the potential damage that can be done by it.

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