DEATH BY MISADVENTURE

On Tuesday a 39 year old firearms instructor was fatally shot near Kingman, AZ when the nine year-old girl he was instructing on the use of an Uzi submachine gun lost control of it…while it was on full automatic. This resolves once and for all the question of whether it is a good idea to give a nine year old girl who appears in the linked video to weigh about 20 pounds (note: the video shows only the events leading up to the fatal incident, but does not include the incident itself) a submachine gun set on full auto. The facility, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal, caters to the vacationing yahoo crowd:

KINGMAN, Ariz. — An instructor who was shot by a 9-year-old girl who fired an Uzi at a northwestern Arizona shooting range died Monday night at University Medical Center in Las Vegas.

The girl fired the weapon at the outdoor range that caters to heavy tourism traffic along U.S. Highway 93 between Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon Skywalk.

Highway signage and Internet advertising beckons visitors to stop in, fire a machine gun and enjoy a meal at the Bullets and Burgers enterprise at the Last Stop, about 25 miles south of Las Vegas.

The instructor had, among others, the following hilarious pro-gun images posted on his Facebook wall (h/t Balloon Juice):

cap2

Capture

Charming. Get it? Ha ha. If you don't love guns you're a great big Fag. While it's hard to argue with scientific reasoning of that caliber, I'd rather be Gun Gay than have the coroner's office scrape my cerebral cortex into Ziploc baggies because I wasn't smart enough to realize that a tiny child should not be handed a fully automatic weapon designed for Israeli special forces units.

A+ parenting too, by the way. I'm sure the child will not be haunted by this incident forever because her dad, presumably some d-bag Fox News enthusiast from Seacaucus, thought it would make for hilarious video to allow his nine year old daughter to be given the aforementioned weapon. I guess the prospect pulling off the highway on the way to the Grand Canyon to fire submachine guns screams "family fun." If you're an asshole.

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95 Responses to “DEATH BY MISADVENTURE”

  1. ADM Says:

    Do gun nuts still trot out the line that guns don't kill people, people kill people? Or have there been too many unintended consequences for that line to live on yet?

  2. wetcasements Says:

    Darwin had a point.

  3. Breezeblock Says:

    Freedumb isn't free. As long as someone else pays for it, cool by me.

  4. bjk Says:

    Hey guys, great news from social psychology: racism isn't just for scowl-faced dads from Secaucus! No seriously, even liberals can enjoy the satisfactions of a good hate now and then. From Jonathan Haidt:

    "Using research designs that include both left-leaning and right-leaning targets, and using nationally representative as well as student and community samples, these researchers have demonstrated that prejudice is potent on both the left and right. Conservatives are prejudiced against stereotypically left-leaning targets (e.g., African-Americans), whereas liberals are prejudiced against stereotypically right-leaning targets (e.g., religious Christians; see Chambers et al., 2013; Crawford & Pilanski, 2013; Wetherell, Brandt, & Reyna, 2013)."

    See yourself in the other, it's good for you.

  5. carrstone Says:

    Whatcha gonna do? Create yet another law?

  6. skwerlhugger Says:

    Don't need to create any more laws, just enforce the one's we've got. So, was this shooting range a well-regulated militia? Because the only well-regulated militias I've ever heard of in this country outside the state national guards were the southern state slave patrols. Curiously, back when the constitution was being written, the slave states were very worried about the abolitionist states creating back-door laws to shut slave patrols down, thus making slavery unenforceable.

  7. sluggo Says:

    The instructor's last words: 'Hey, Bubba ,watch this!'

  8. Freeportguy Says:

    Bjk, apparently you can't tell the difference between people having inherited a skin color that has caused them to be treated like objects for a couple of centuries, and then like sub-humans ever since, AND people trying to shove their own personal religious down other people's throat no matter what in an authoritarian way.

    Here is the funny thing about my apparent "prejudice" against the latter: while I share many of those religious beliefs, I keep these to myself because they are personal matters, and I despise wholeheartedly the vicious and nasty way the religious right nuts try to impose their fundamentalist and twisted interpretation of those beliefs unto others.

    Yeah, and this applies equally to fundamentalist Christians and Muslims and others.

  9. Freeportguy Says:

    Carrstone: funny, somehow I'm willing to be you are not too bothered by ANY new law against abortion or the use of drugs or alcohol…

  10. arjun Says:

    @fpguy: Amen!

  11. carrstone Says:

    @Freeportguy
    And you'd be 180 degrees wrong, so keep your money in your pocket. Wish you'd do the same with your athleticism in jumping at conclusions – it's not a pretty sight.

  12. geoff Says:

    I thought about "sharing" this story yesterday, since this guy could have a used a Shaker-style book nook to hold his gun at his girlfriend's pad, (instead of just shoving it underneath the frigging couch), but I'm thinking the new slogan oughtta be, "guns don't kill people, little fucking kids kill people", although thankfully in this case no one was killed:

    http://www.wmcactionnews5.com/story/26365604/four-year-old-accidentally-shot-by-her-brother

    Her TWO YEAR OLD brother. I guess the safety was off?

  13. bjk Says:

    I could probably come up with a dozen Ed rants about "scowl face" "mullet headed" rednecks. It's not hard to deduce that it's really about one group of white people vs. another group of inferior white people. But hey, it's OK because it's just white people, and status posturing vs white people is approved by the right kind of white people. Meanwhile, when Ed lists all the things he hates about America, it turns out that what he really hates about the US are St. Louis, Gary and oh yeah, Terre Haute too. But mostly St. Louis and Gary, Terre Haute was just the token white city.

  14. c u n d gulag Says:

    Live by the Uzi, die by the Uzi.

    Imo – A just dessert in the middle of the desert.

  15. Comradde PhysioProffe Says:

    Hahahahahah. It's so cute when degenerate right-wing ignoramuses smear shitte on the walls. I wonder how they stumbled on this post?

  16. Jex Says:

    @bjk. One. You can find one incidence of "scowl face" "mullet headed" rednecks. It was Monday. You must be new here.

    I had a whole thing typed out, then realized that if you are not actually a troll, I won't be able to convince you of anything on this forum anyway.

  17. bjk Says:

    So does that mean everybody gets one racist mulligan? I don't need one or anything, but just checking.

  18. arjun Says:

    Wow, how did Terre Haute (i didn't think anyone outside of Indiana had ever heard of this little town of some 70,000 people) get into this conversation?

    I grew up in TH in a mostly white neighborhood, but there are many black people in the city, so i don't know where you got the idea that it's a "white city." BTW, race relations are no worse, and probably much better, than the Gary or St. Louis.

    In fact, my brother married a black woman that he met through one of my black friends that i've known for a long time. My parents were a little shocked at first, but none of my friends or brothers and sisters thought anything of it.

    OTOH, i can't speak about Gary or St. Louis because i've only visited those two cities a couple of times.

  19. buckyblue Says:

    Isn't Larry Bird from TH? And Indiana State U?

  20. Marc Says:

    Gun fanatics have insisted on trying to make their toys omnipresent. I respect the ability of other people to do their own thing in their own space. I don't respect the idea that public places have to be crammed with dangerous weapons; that it's OK to "stand your ground" and gun down teens instead of doing what all sensible people do, and to resort to violence only in self-defence. If gun nuts can't respect the rights of others then my sympathies vanish – and the majority of people who don't own guns will decide that we want a whole lot more limits on the ability of insecure people to play with dangerous toys. I'd like to see people tossed in jail if their guns hurt people and they're negligent, for example, just as I want to see people tossed in jail if their cars hurt people and they are negligent.

    Mocking obnoxious beliefs is not bigotry, and playing the whining victim attitude isn't very appealing.

  21. arjun Says:

    Yes, Bird is somewhat of a local hero. Chapman Root was also born here, as well as Tony Hulman of Indy 500 and Clabber Girl fame.

  22. Chris Ekman Says:

    I can't decide what my favorite part of that story is. I love the other gun range owner they quoted, saying that a petite child should really only be using a semi-automatic at best. I guess that makes him a moderate. But I adore the story's punchline:

    "[The county sheriff] said no citations will be issued and no charges will be filed as the shooting range is a licensed and legal operation."

    Thank god they're not stifling free enterprise and our constitutional rights. With any luck, Burgers & Bullets can mop the blood off the walls and re-open in time for the big Labor Day tourist rush.

  23. Sarah Says:

    Hahahahahah. It's so cute when degenerate right-wing ignoramuses smear shitte on the walls. I wonder how they stumbled on this post?

    More than likely trackback on the linked article.

    I think the cutest part is how the loss of human life and the accompanying irony is just background noise–the real tragedy of this post is the ZOMG anti-white racism!!!1!!! (And anti-white racism doesn't even do anything–the power structures aren't affected, white dudes still hold most of the wealth and the cards, white dudes aren't losing their lives to black murderers who go unprosecuted, et cetera. Never mind that, though, anti-white racism hurts this poor widdle white dude's precious widdle feelings, and we can't have that.)

  24. Clark Says:

    bjk: fundamentalist xianity isn't a race, but thanks for playing.

    My variation on that old saw: Guns don't kill people. Bullets rip through flesh and bone causing bleeding and internal injuries that kill people.

  25. Robin Farley Says:

    All I can think of is the poor girl and the weight of this on the rest of her life. Unimaginable and literally the product of poor parenting.

  26. bjk Says:

    Don't you guys get it? You're still fighting the battles of the past. The figure of authority in America is not the mulleted, scowl faced white watching his Fox News. He's old news. That's the past. Ed represents the respectable opinion of every institution in society, from the media, the churches, the unions and academia and John Boehner and Harry Reid. Every diversity training session, every newspaper headline on the "lingering legacy of racism," every smiling gay couple in the ad for life insurance is testament to the power of the winning side. The mulleted, scowl faced loser is just idle nostalgia. That's over and done with. You guys are in charge and it's time you owned it.

  27. bb in GA Says:

    This is another clear case of trying to make the 6 sigma event the norm.

    Both the Right and the Left do it and it is tiresome.

    //bb

  28. jestbill Says:

    The really sad thing about this thread is that it's just the way things are.
    No, not the shooting, the thread.
    Y'see, if you really try to be politically correct and avoid all the major stereotypes, if you stifle the mouth breathers and ranters, you ruin the conversation.
    Once you get down to a group of sane people who actually know something, well, they mostly have nothing to say to each other: they agree on all the main points.
    All they can do then is to break up into mini-groups discussing the fine points of tax policy or some other discipline requiring deep knowledge.
    Conversation ends, everyone goes away.

  29. GeoX Says:

    You guys are in charge and it's time you owned it.

    If I'm in charge, why can't I do anything about all these insane gun fetishists?

  30. Marc Says:

    I'd think that brave, manly conservatives wouldn't spend so much time whining and playing victim.

  31. Mo Says:

    Oh yeah, BB? Over 10,000 kids shot each year, with over 3,000 dying before they can even be brought to the hospital?

    http://www.webmd.com/parenting/news/20140127/twenty-us-kids-hospitalized-each-day-for-gun-injuries-study

    I'm with Marc:
    I'd like to see people tossed in jail if their guns hurt people and they're negligent, for example, just as I want to see people tossed in jail if their cars hurt people and they are negligent.

    Let's make careless gun ownership an offense instead of weed.

  32. jharp Says:

    Always remember. There is absolutely nothing we can do to stop these senseless deaths by firearms. Just ask Rush.

    You know 2nd amendment and all.

  33. Sarah Says:

    You guys are in charge and it's time you owned it.

    If I'm in charge, why can't I do anything about all these insane gun fetishists?

    I want that. And a single payer system to go with Obamacare. We also need to restore all the funding that's been lost to left-wing causes since 2000. And raise minimum wage to $15 per hour, and restore the capital gains and inheritance taxes and the top tax rate back to what it was when Eisenhower was president.

    You heard the man, everybody, we're in charge! We can make this happen!

  34. Major Kong Says:

    Having fired an Uzi on full auto I would NEVER think of handing one to a 9-year-old girl or boy for that matter.

    It's a difficult weapon for even an adult to control on full auto. The muzzle climbs like a bronco under sustained fire.

    Unlike what you see in the movies – the preferred technique for firing a submachinegun is to fire a 3-4 round burst and then stop to re-aim because it's probably no longer pointing at what you wanted to shoot at.

  35. Brian M Says:

    Isn't carelessness with a gun (negligence) often prosecuted as a crime? Certainly subjected to civil penalties.

    bjk is so oppressed, though, by the Great Liberal Conspiracy.

  36. Nick Says:

    bjk, I'm a gun nut and even I think you sound like a douche. Being pro-gun control or mocking segments of the population–even those to which I personally belong–is not the same thing as centuries of institutionalized oppression and a power structure designed to exploit one class of people based entirely on the pigmentation of their skin.

    On topic, incidents like this are a) not the norm, and b) can and should be addressed by existing law, IMO. We don't need new, firearm-specific statutes for things like this–handing a 9-year-old girl a fully automatic firearm and saying "have at it," after having her fire a grand total of one round on semi-auto, while standing next to and about a foot away from the barrel (rather than behind the shooter, like literally every range I've ever been to requires), is pretty much the definition of criminal negligence, and should be treated as such. The instructor's negligence may outweigh the parents', as he was supposedly trained and in charge, but depending on the negligence law in Arizona the parents should be held responsible as well. Similarly, criminal (and civil) negligence charges should be filed anytime someone does something stupid, with a gun or otherwise, that results in injury to another person. This happens sometimes, but not often enough, I think.

  37. Proffessor Fate Says:

    Well I can think of one new regulation: "you must be this tall to shoot this gun."

  38. fernando_g Says:

    Professor:
    I think you got it nailed to the point.

    Just like any other extreme-thrill rides, which require a minimum height/weight to actually enjoy (and for which no one becomes upset about infringing constitutional rights), this would be a sensible regulation.

    Which of course will be fought all the way to the Supreme Court by the NRA.

  39. Don Says:

    What a sad loss of life. However, per the victim's Facebook humor, I'm relieved to know he died comfortable, unoffended by the manner of his death, and male.

  40. Nate Says:

    I have sympathy for the young girl, but honestly, I'd rather these loons kill each other at a gun fetish amusement park like this place than in my neighborhood or any other public space. Par for the course.

  41. swkellogg Says:

    Don

    Yeah, but unfortunately in Kingman.

  42. Nate Says:

    @buckyblue Larry Bird is actually from French Lick, IN (good casino there I hear), but he did attend ISU for college.

  43. Glen h Says:

    How does that poor little girl live the rest of her life?

  44. Burning River Says:

    @ Sarah,

    I'm not going to feel in charge until we have universal pre-K, seriously inexpensive access to higher education, and a few of the Wall St. crowd are hanging by their necks in Times Square. Also, all of your things.

  45. Scepticus Says:

    Unable to contain my Inner Asshole, I find I fail to refrain from offering the following tasteless and utterly unproductive remark:

    "He had it coming. He allowed himself to be disarmed by a 9 year-old girl. What did he expect would happen?"

  46. bb in GA Says:

    @Mo

    Your article stats are wack if you are talking the US gov numbers.

    Consistently for a decade or more:

    Total US Accidental Gunshot deaths are about 800 per year

    Children (0 thru 17) Accidental Gunshot deaths are about 200 per year.

    Sad, but consider childhood drownings are in the thousands….

    My statement stands, depending on what base you want to use:

    6 sigma is 3.4 parts per million
    5 sigma is 233 ppm

    What base is reasonable?

    Total US Population ~310 million

    800/ 300 million = 2.7 ppm which is 6 sigma plus

    US Child Pop (~ 75 million)

    200/75 million = about 2.7 ppm (see above)

    US Gun owner Population = 85 million

    800 / 85 million = 9.4 ppm Between 5 and 6 sigma

    200 / 85 million = 2.4 ppm Beyond 6 sigma

    So just about every way you slice it, it is exceeding rare especially as compared to accidental deaths during activities that are not specifically associated with Constitutional rights.

    //bb

  47. Short Attention Sp Says:

    The Guardian has named the owner of the gun range: Sam Scarmardo.

    He says that he's reviewing their policy allowing minors to fire automatic weapons, and that Charlie "was like a brother."

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/27/arizona-last-stop-gun-range-policies-instructor-dead

    Meanwhile, on Scarmardo's Facebook page, two hours ago he posted a fun video of Marines doing Call Me Maybe:

    https://www.facebook.com/sam.scarmardo?fref=browse_search

  48. papagene Says:

    This incident is not the first tragic result of giving an uzi to a small child,
    from 2008:

    http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2008/10/boy8_accidentally_shoots_himse.html

    Seems the Arizona people didn't learn from past tragedies.

  49. Karl Says:

    Anyone else baffled by the lack of ammosexuals mansplaining the finer details of what kind of gun that was? Usually there's plenty of "That's not an UZI, That's a model FU629, so none of you libtards know what you're taking about…." by now.

    Side note, fuck swype for interpreting "finer details" as "ginger crisps" but having no trouble recognizing "libtards".

  50. Arslan Says:

    " "That's not an UZI, That's a model FU629, so none of you libtards know what you're taking about…."

    Kind of like when they claim something isn't an assault rifle if it isn't select fire. Never mind the fact that for decades the US Army teaches recruits to use single shot and their weapons can't fire full auto(only 3 round burst). I guess that means that military M16A2s and M4s aren't assault rifles now.

    Just another example of the kind of childlike semantic games these overgrown children play. The term "assault rifle" was most likely coined by Adolf Hitler, for a weapon whose designers wanted to call a "machine pistol." So acting like there's some rigid, scientific taxonomic nomenclature is childish bullshit.

  51. Nick Says:

    Karl, that's probably because it actually was an Uzi. In any case, those "mansplanations" usually arise because people are claiming that AR15s or similar guns are "machine guns" when they are incapable of automatic fire, the defining characteristic of a machine gun, which is pretty important to the question of whether such firearms are inherently more dangerous than other semi-automatic rifles.

    Arslan, you're misattributing the origin of the "semantic games" surrounding the term "assault rifle." "Assault rifle" has always meant a select-fire (either full/semi or burst/semi), until anti-gun groups changed the definition–interestingly, one of the few times the traditionally liberal side has managed to define the language; normally it's the right who defines the debate with terms like "pro-life" or "family values" or "traditional marriage." It was an intentional attempt to confuse people who are unfamiliar with firearms, and judging from the fact that every gun-related comment thread has people claiming that you can walk into any gun store in America and buy a machine gun, it's been successful.

    As for the WWII German assault rifles, the reason they were originally called "machine pistols" is because Hitler, a veteran of WWI trench warfare, saw no value in a weapon that was not either a) a long-range, accurate, single-fire rifle or b) a "trench broom"; thus, he allowed for the commission of only standard rifles (the Mauser K98 and similar) and submachine guns, known in German as "machine pistols" e.g. the MP40. Lower-ranking weapons designers and officers in the field immediately saw the value of assault rifles, but didn't want to get the program canceled, so they designated the rifles "machine pistols." By the time Hitler found out, the weapons were a proven success, so rather than cancel it he changed the name to "Sturmgewehr" (literally "assault rifle") as a propaganda move.

    Note that none of this is relevant to the initial story, which did involve a full-auto weapon, nor is it a comment on anyone's "qualifications" to engage in a debate about gun control; I just think the history (both of firearms and of political semantics) is interesting.

  52. Arslan Says:

    Thank you but I'm well aware of the history of German weapons. The idea that a weapon can't be called an "assault rifle" just because it doesn't have full-auto capability is a semantic game. I have never seen gun control advocates label anything an assault rifle which could not be used in that capacity, whether AR 15's, Mini-14s, semi-auto AKs, etc.

    And by the way, military assaults in WWII and WWI were made with bolt action rifles, not even semi-automatics. So the idea that a semi-auto Romanian is somehow not an assault rifle is nonsense.

  53. Arslan Says:

    Also if you want to go into semantics, there's actually no such thing as a weapon known as an "AK-47." All them libtards are all upset about something that doesn't exist! LOL!

  54. Nick Says:

    Wait, so any gun that's ever been used in an assault is an "assault rifle"? Meaning semi autos, bolt actions, Kentucky rifles and the like are "assault rifles"? And yet somehow I'm the one playing semantic games…

    Fact is, the term "assault rifle" did not exist until it was invented to describe a specific type of weapon–a select-fire rifle chambered for an intermediate cartridge. Claiming that this definition doesn't apply because other guns are used in assaults is like saying that a bolt action rifle can accurately be called a machine gun since it contains machined parts. That's just silly.

    Also not sure what you mean by the "no AK47" comment, unless you're referring to the official Soviet army designation, which simply called it an AK until the AKM was introduced.

  55. Arslan Says:

    I'm sorry but you are the one playing semantic games. A semi-auto AR-15 or AK is, by definition an assault rifle. Please stop with the strawmen.

  56. Nick Says:

    By whose definition? Even the Encyclopedia Britannica states that assault rifles are by definition select-fire. The fact that you consider using the proper term for things to be "semantic games" doesn't change their definition.

  57. cromartie Says:

    *yawn* Another episode of False Equivalence Theatre in the comments section, I see.

    As for the shooting range incident…just another story full of just deserts.

  58. Anonymouse Says:

    Here's a nice bit of irony; my youngest child and his friend enjoy those "air soft" guns; the plastic ones that shoot soft plastic pellets. The kids get together and shoot at paper targets and occasionally go out to a field and shoot at each other. Unless you're hit directly in the eye by one of these pellets, you're in no danger of being injured. However, the boy had to wait until his 18th birthday to buy refill pellets on his own because they're considered to be dangerous. To put this into perspective; a 17-year-old is not allowed to buy soft plastic pellets for a plastic gun because of the supposed danger, but a 9-year-old is perfectly entitled to shoot an automatic weapon used by the Israeli Army to kill other human beings?!?

  59. Sarah Says:

    Here's a nice bit of irony; my youngest child and his friend enjoy those "air soft" guns; the plastic ones that shoot soft plastic pellets. The kids get together and shoot at paper targets and occasionally go out to a field and shoot at each other. Unless you're hit directly in the eye by one of these pellets, you're in no danger of being injured. However, the boy had to wait until his 18th birthday to buy refill pellets on his own because they're considered to be dangerous. To put this into perspective; a 17-year-old is not allowed to buy soft plastic pellets for a plastic gun because of the supposed danger, but a 9-year-old is perfectly entitled to shoot an automatic weapon used by the Israeli Army to kill other human beings?!?

    I was about 18 or 19 when my father asked me to buy a couple boxes of duck shot for him (surprise, pro-gun readers, I actually do know and am related to people who are avidly pro-gun). I had to show ID to prove my age at the register. Of course, this was before Florida legislators completely lost their minds and decided that the "castle doctrine" should be replaced by "stand your ground," which has turned out to be a dog whistle for saying that it is (somehow) OK to kill unarmed black people who are minding their own goddamn business.

    On the other hand, a lady who lives three doors down from me recently found one of her outdoor cats had been killed by a pellet from a BB gun. So yet another generation is apparently growing up to believe not only that guns are toys, but that it is OK to maim and kill inoffensive creatures that do nothing more than hang out on someone else's property. Good to know.

  60. Tim H. Says:

    Arslan, I've got to side with Nick on this one, an AR-15 is pretty much a scary looking, very expensive deer rifle. I suppose the large magazine might be useful to hunters with poor aim or something… or maybe a proxy for something that doesn't work…
    I've got it, the new name for gelded assault rifles can be "Angry looking Dick substitutes".

  61. Anonymouse Says:

    @Sarah; my spouse's family grew up in a very rural part of their state actually hunting for food. They all grew up with guns. They've all been outraged that a 9-year-old was allowed to fire an uzi, and under those conditions. As for shooting pets, that's why I don't let my cat outside–a lot of sick fucks out there who think it's funny to mutilate and kill cats.

  62. lMo Says:

    Guess the dif between thee and me, bb, is that I'm not dazzled by trendy statistics jargon, and think that even one kid's accidental death from a gun is one too many.

    Jail time. Confiscate the weapons.

  63. Bandersnatch Says:

    I love it when people tell me gays are in control. Cute.

    This man was a menace. And so are the girl's parents. These same people are so against early childhood sex education but they're zeal over gun preparedness is unmatched. Do you think they would sanction their girl taking shots if it was in a 'safe' and 'professional' environment by a 'drinking' coach? Or high-speed racing so long as all the safety measures were there? No…and that is because simply because a child can appear mature does not mean they are mature…seeming adult does not confer adult responsibility. If that 'instructor' couldn't handle the gun then how is that girl supposed to?

  64. Bandersnatch Says:

    their*

  65. Major Kong Says:

    Call it what you want Nick.

    If we can (and do) regulate weapons capable of 600 rounds per minute I don't see why we can't regulate one capable of 60 rounds per minute.

  66. Karl Says:

    Hey Nick, the point is that nobody gives two shits how much you know about guns. Guns kill whether they are automatic or semiautomatic. Kids get killed. Because guns are fucking dangerous.

    Drawing distinctions about what guns are of what type is just a distraction, one that ammosexuals love to do because it makes them feel like only their opinions are valid.

  67. Nick Says:

    Major Kong: We can, and do, regulate semi-automatic weapons. The question is how much regulation is effective, necessary, and appropriate, which is a conversation that I'm sure we'll have again in the comments here, but which isn't particularly relevant to whether it's a good idea to hand a small child an automatic weapon (spoiler: it's not).

    Karl: Wait, pro-gun types (or "ammosexuals," as the latest Facebook meme term seems to be) are the ones obsessed with silly distinctions? It's not "ammosexuals" trying to claim that one semi-auto rifle is more dangerous than another semi-auto rifle because it's got a heat shield or a different type of grip. It's not "ammosexuals" claiming that 11 rounds in a magazine is a killer evil assault weapon, while 10 rounds is acceptable. It's not "ammosexuals" claiming that some guns are acceptable because of some nebulous "sporting purpose," while others are unacceptable despite the fact that the ammunition, operation, etc. is identical. The distinctions made by "ammosexuals" have to do with the operation of a firearm (e.g. full versus semi auto). The silly distinctions are drawn by anti-gun people, not by "ammosexuals." Now, if you think all guns are equally dangerous and should all be equally restricted, that's fine, but claiming that we're the ones drawing irrelevant and unnecessary distinctions between guns as a propaganda tool is laughable.

  68. John Doheny Says:

    @BB in GA; "

    "So just about every way you slice it, it is exceeding rare especially as compared to accidental deaths during activities that are not specifically associated with Constitutional rights."

    It seems to me that stretching "2nd amendment rights" past the "god given right to own as many of any variety of firearms I want" into "and leave them lying around where toddlers can shoot each other with them" is pushing absurdity to it's limits, don't you think?

    And while "exceedingly rare" might pass muster in "accidental" deaths, such as swimming pool drownings, there is liability attached to that, since most jurisdictions insist on things like childproof fences around your pool. If liability reliably attached to unsafe handling and storage of firearms, we'd see a lot less of this nonsense, guaranteed. The rate of "toddler shootings" in countries that legislate liability into unsafe handling of firearms tends to hover around absolute zero.

  69. democommie Says:

    "Arslan, I've got to side with Nick on this one, an AR-15 is pretty much a scary looking, very expensive deer rifle."

    Right.

    I know scores of hunters who shoot at deer–ONE of the uses an AR-style weapon which is rebarrelled and and has a different breech and receiver group–because he doesn't think .223 or 5.56 is sufficient to do the job. Everybody else I know uses a .308 (or something close) or a 7mm Magnum.

    Btw, trick question was does the "AR" in AR-16 stand for? I didn't think it was "Assault Rifle", but I was hoping it was "Asshole Rifle", just because most of the people I know who claim they are useful for hunting are laughed at by the people who use more conventioanal calibers for the job. Did I say I thought that those people who use AR-15's for hunting are assholes? No, I didn't; but those other hunters sure do.

  70. John Doheny Says:

    @Nick,

    "Now, if you think all guns are equally dangerous and should all be equally restricted, that's fine,"

    While this may be an opinion held in the deepest reaches of birkenstalk/volvo/liberal/land, there is no political constituency in the United Stated pushing this agenda. None.

    Strangely, I actually agree that the "assault rifle" mass shooting people can be a bit tiresome. At the risk of sounding like BB in Georgia, "death by mass shooting" is not something that keeps me up nights, since statistically I'm much more likely to suffer premature death at the hands of what is laughably referred to as the "health care system" in this country. School shootings with "assault rifles" are a tiny fraction of death-by-gun in the US. Most people are shot dead with handguns. Which are (I'm sure this is just coincidence) much harder to get in modern industrialized nations with much, much lower rates of gun violence than us.

  71. Assistant Professor Says:

    Just seconding the folks noting that a .223 round isn't very good for hunting unless the critters are exceedingly small. The AR-15 is owned mainly by hobbyists–it's actually pretty accurate even with iron sights–and by lunatics who are waiting to use it on the Ravening Negro Hordes who are expected to show up, "when the welfare runs out."

  72. Nick Says:

    John, I was referring to Karl's comment that the operation of a weapon is irrelevants since they're all terrible and dangerous.

    5.56 is indeed a shitty round for deer hunting, but an AR ("Armalite Rifle," for those who weren't sure if "Asshole Rifle" was the original designation) can have a lot of different upper receiver/barrel/magazine combos. That's one of the reasons they're so popular–you can have a 5.56/.223 receiver for target shooting, and in about thirty seconds swap it out for a .308 receiver for hunting, for about half the price of buying a new rifle.

  73. Alex SL Says:

    Interesting how the discussion got derailed into one about the definition of assault rifle.

    One stupid question, if you will indulge me as a non-American: The comments on this thread seem to imply that leaving guns lying around where a toddler can get them, or handing an automatic gun to a nine year old is not, in the USA, considered criminal negligence and child endangerment. Is that really true? If you do these things in the USA, the police and judges just go, ah well, s**t happens, but nobody can be blamed?

    In the same country, I might add, where people regularly scandalise school directors or even risk losing custody if they let their child walk to school without adult supervision? That seems somewhat odd.

  74. Major Kong Says:

    Nick –

    Having spent a lot of time arguing NRA types, they like to take the thread off into meaningless arguments over the terms "clip" vs "magazine" (they love that one).

    It's a favorite debating technique of theirs. Not saying that's what you're doing, but don't be surprised when people assume it is.

    I don't recall my grandfather, who was an avid hunter, ever complaining that his .30-06 and .30-30s weren't cutting for deer hunting.

    I certainly don't recall him ever wishing he had a 30-round detachable magazine and a flash suppressor on his hunting rifle.

  75. Nick Says:

    Alex: Negligence laws would certainly apply to gun-related accidents, but generally it seems that the only time it's prosecuted/sued for is when one parents' negligence results in another parents' kid getting shot. When it's a parent's negligence getting their own kid shot, it seems like the response is some sort of "oh, well, they already feel so awful that no legal punishment could compare."

    Major Kong: That does happen, but on the other extreme are the anti-gun people screaming about machine guns and exploding bullets. Blinding pedantry and blinding ignorance seem present in equal measure, unfortunately.

  76. bb in GA Says:

    @IMo

    Since there are so many other causes of accidental death of children that are way ahead of accidental gunshots…I hope you will wear an 'IMo' button or something so I will know who you are when I see you on TV at all the demonstrations you will likely be attending for all those causes.

    Oh, BTW it is usually us right of center folks that get accused of anti-intellectualism. You seriously gigging me for talking a little 'Standard Deviation" stats ?? Trendy ? Jargon ?

    //bb

  77. Bandersnatch Says:

    Anyone who is actually attempting to justify a nine year-old child using any gun whatsoever or attempting to diminish the ridiculousness of such a rationale should really ask themselves why it is important that young children be able to use guns. Any slippery slope arguments can quickly be dismissed – the same could be said of any kind of legislation.

    Further…any argument for gun-use underpinned by the intellection that it is adequate defense against the government is an idiot. The government will out-resource and tact you no matter what weapons you have. They have more money, men, resources, technology, and research. Their power is unquestionably superior and you and your little buddies will never be a match for that power.

    The reality is guns are made for one thing and one thing only. Depriving an organism of life. This is not justifiable as an arbitrary freedom you should 'just' have. I could easily make the same argument as to why I should have a moat of genetically modified crocodiles around my house. Not reasonable. Aside from recreational hunting and shooting, you should not be permitted guns, and certainly not the kind that make hunting and recreational shooting a military-esque affair.

  78. Bandersnatch Says:

    It is wisest to begin with all freedoms and then restrict with reason. Restricting gun-use is entirely reasonable. You are not justified 'just because' or because hey! 'freedom'. You cannot live in a community and then demand rights on the basis of egoism. There is NO reasonable argument to own an Uzi.

  79. Sarah Says:

    I don't recall my grandfather, who was an avid hunter, ever complaining that his .30-06 and .30-30s weren't cutting for deer hunting.

    I certainly don't recall him ever wishing he had a 30-round detachable magazine and a flash suppressor on his hunting rifle

    There's Second Amendment swag for sale which are printed with, among other things, variations on the statement "the Second Amendment ain't about shooting at deer."

    Just in case we need it spelled out more specifically, I've seen it said and written among ::cough:: right-wingers that the zombie apocalypse meme (for which ThinkGeek sells a lot of expensive swag and apparently makes a lot of money) is actually code for the coming race war.

  80. Nick Says:

    Sarah, would the place you've "seen and read" that be the last big gun debate on G&T? Because that's literally the only place I've ever heard anyone claim that "zombie apocalypse" is code for "race war," or in fact anything whatsoever besides "played out joke." But yeah, I guess those bastards at ThinkGeek are horrible racists, as are the CDC people who release a zombie apocalypse guide. All SECRET RACE WAR ADVOCACY, I tells ya!

  81. cackalacka Says:

    Nick- "Now, if you think all guns are equally dangerous and should all be equally restricted, that's fine, but claiming that we're the ones drawing irrelevant and unnecessary distinctions between guns as a propaganda tool is laughable."

    Not a legal scholar, but will note that the state is fine with my traveling to work at 70 mph, but once I cross into 71 mph, I am exposed to fines/penalties.

    One can look at a 10 vs 11 round capacity restriction as arbitrary, but all regulations have to have set delineations. It is possible and rational for folks (and by extension, their code of laws) to not see a problem with their neighbor owning a rifle, shotgun, or side-arm, while simultaneously have a problem with their neighbor possessing a .50 cal capable of downing a small helicopter. These aren't irrelevant/unnecessary distinctions.

  82. Sarah Says:

    Sarah, would the place you've "seen and read" that be the last big gun debate on G&T?

    Uh, no. I actually do read quite a bit of stuff from various points on the political spectrum, including as much right-wing material as I can stomach. Know thy enemy, and all that.

    Because that's literally the only place I've ever heard anyone claim that "zombie apocalypse" is code for "race war," or in fact anything whatsoever besides "played out joke."

    Well, you haven't been reading very carefully. Try this:

    Of course, the real lesson of Trayvon Martin is that the vibrant youth had better save their violent outbursts for gun-free zones like schools and school buses. Because, thanks to the Internet punching through the veil of the mainstream media, there are millions of black and white and Hispanic gun owners who are more than ready for the zombie apocalypse.

    Oh, were you under the impression that the whole zombie meme was actually about zombies?

    http://www.donotlink.com/bed5

    As an aside, that blogger also uses "vibrancy" and "vibrant youth" as dog-whistle code words for young black males. Check out his "vibrancy is our strength" tag.

    I'll put the rest of this in another comment so I can discuss ThinkGeek.

  83. Sarah Says:

    But yeah, I guess those bastards at ThinkGeek are horrible racists, as are the CDC people who release a zombie apocalypse guide. All SECRET RACE WAR ADVOCACY, I tells ya!

    Okay, regarding ThinkGeek, I should do full disclosure here and say that I am a geek myself (Star Trek, Star Wars, Highlander, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and other fantasy and sci-fi generally) and I've been shopping at ThinkGeek for years and currently have over 10,000 "geek points." Also, I live in an area which is at risk for hurricanes, so disaster preparedness is not a foreign concept to me. I think that the people who operate ThinkGeek are probably not racist (or at least, they don't seem to have a problem selling to me, a woman of color), they are just capitalizing on a trend and trying to make some money off of it. Heck, people still buy and read Mein Kampf and the goddamn Turner Diaries, and if somebody is willing to shell out the money for those, why shouldn't Amazon or whoever be able to sell them and make a buck off of it? I do find it curious that their customers seem to be willing to shell out an awful lot of money and bitch about the quality and real-world practicability of the knives and machetes that are sold, and make these complaints in conjunction with variations on the phrase "we must be prepared for the coming zombie apocalypse!" If, for the sake of discussion, we assume that this has nothing to do with a race war, all this preparedness is a little bit on par with that religious cult that committed suicide when the Hale-Bopp Comet came around. Check out the discussion on this knife-and-machete set: http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/1821/ (I mean, I love Star Wars, but I don't believe that there ever really was an Empire or a Rebellion or a Death Star that has the capability to travel through space and destroy planets.)

  84. Nick Says:

    Or maybe, just maybe, the vast majority of people who refer to the zombie apocalypse are a) joking, or b) using a pop culture touchstone in referring to general disaster preparedness, and it's actually only a handful of racist wackjobs who considered a race war to be part of "general disaster preparedness"?

    Nah, that couldn't be it. Must be that everyone referring to zombies secretly means "young black men." The Walking Dead is actually a metaphor for whites losing the race war, Left 4 Dead is a game about shooting black protestors, and George Romero is just an incredibly subtle Joseph Goebbels.

  85. Brian M Says:

    Nick, you are usually somewhat rational, and most people talking about the zombie apocalypse are movie or sci fans.

    But when the subculture talking about said Z.A. are also rabid survivalist right wing gun nuts, it is deliberate blindness to claim that there is not a significant racial war theme underlying their rather rabid discussions! Especially when you are given explicit examples!

  86. Nick Says:

    See "a handful of racist wackjobs," above. Sure, there are a few people who mean "race war" when they say "zombie apocalypse." But Sarah was claiming that that was the commonly accepted meaning, and that places like ThinkGeek or other retailers of fine zombie-related gear are no different than people profiting from Mein Kampf or the Turner Diaries.

  87. democommie Says:

    Nick never makes a mistake, that's for sure.

    Nick, what is an assault rifle? I'm a little confused. Is it a rifle that's used for assaulting people? Cuz, that would be, like, every fucking gun that was ever made.

    "Sturmgewehr" does not, afaia, translate to "Assault rifle", although a lot of gunzloonz like to say that HITLER invented the term. They, like, Nick, tend to full of shit.

  88. Pat Says:

    … I have many thoughts, so it's probably telling that the one I'm actually putting into comments is to wonder whether Ed was making a reference in the post title to the album by Chymera (youtube).

    Because, if so, cool reference, and if not… cool coincidence.

  89. Nick Says:

    Democommie: It translates to "storm rifle," but the storm in this context is "storming of a position," so a more accurate translation than "storm" is "assault." But I bet if you keep zpelling with z's, you'll eventually be correct about zomething.

  90. John Doheny Says:

    @BB in GA,

    "Since there are so many other causes of accidental death of children that are way ahead of accidental gunshots…"

    Yes, and in those areas we generally try to actually do something to lower the numbers of accidental deaths of children, with things like car-seat requirements, child-proof caps etc. Instead of just saying "hey it's only a couple of hundred kids a year. No big whoop."

  91. Robert Says:

    From what I've read, about two thirds of all Americans killed by guns each year are, in fact, suicides.

  92. Robert Says:

    I'm starting to think that gun control is like the metric system – no matter how well it works in other countries, there will always be enough Americans unwilling to consider it to keep it from happening here.

  93. Sarah Says:

    Or maybe, just maybe, the vast majority of people who refer to the zombie apocalypse are a) joking, or b) using a pop culture touchstone in referring to general disaster preparedness, and it's actually only a handful of racist wackjobs who considered a race war to be part of "general disaster preparedness"?

    Of course the majority of people who refer to the zombie apocalypse meme are joking. Are you unclear on the meaning of phrase "dog whistle"?

    But Sarah was claiming that that was the commonly accepted meaning,

    No. I did not. Again, see the phrase DOG WHISTLE, fer cryin' out loud; I had no idea that this zombie meme stuff had anything to do with race until I saw that one blog post. The reason why I see it now–well, when one spends so much time swinging a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail.

    and that places like ThinkGeek or other retailers of fine zombie-related gear are no different than people profiting from Mein Kampf or the Turner Diaries.

    You don't read very well, do you? I did make specific reference to the fact that there is a difference between a business which acts in its own interest without regard to the motives of its customers, and the customers who buy perfectly legal products with less than savory intentions. A business tries to make a profit and (generally) can't be held responsible for the evil acts of its customers.

    I'm not sure I understand what it is you are trying to defend here. If you're a fan of Walking Dead or whatever, I'm not trying to take away your TV show and whatever other swag you like to buy; if you like zombies, watch zombies! I enjoyed 28 Days Later and Night of the Living Dead (the good one, not the remake), and ThinkGeek has (or had) a Star Trek/zombie crossover tee shirt I was lusting after. I merely pointed out that there is an element of racism that goes along with the meme, but I could give two shits about people I don't know wearing zombie themed tee shirts. What concerns me is the use of the meme by racists–picture, if you need to, a Venn diagram in which there are racists, there are people who are fans of the zombie meme, and in the middle they intersect. Does that help?

    Now, on the other hand, if you are going to try to tell me that racism isn't really a thing with that line about "a few racist whack jobs," I am going to laugh at you and point towards all the various Ferguson-related news that's come out in the last couple of weeks–the most recent being that a white cop allowed his dog to urinate on the memorial which had sprung up at the location of Michael Brown's death. And then I'm going to ask you why the people who purchase weaponry under the meme of preparation for the "zombie apocalypse" seem to be so concerned about the real-world practicability of goddamn machetes. This is a real solution with real consequences made in response to an imaginary thing; I wouldn't purchase a replica of Bilbo's sword (which ThinkGeek sells!) with the expectation of traveling to the Lonely Mountain in order to fight a goddamn dragon and many orcs and trolls (and possibly a weird little creature with a mysterious ring) before getting there. There are no zombies, just as there is no Lonely Mountain!

  94. democommie Says:

    "Democommie: It translates to "storm rifle," but the storm in this context is "storming of a position," so a more accurate translation than "storm" is "assault." But I bet if you keep zpelling with z's, you'll eventually be correct about zomething."

    Yeah, Nick, I can read a little deutsch, as well. It's nice to know that you have access to Hitler's brain.

    You and the rest of your asshole gunzloonz buddiez spend an awful lot of time fantazising about how you'd handle the apocalypse. Truth is, if the shit comes down, I'm going to sit in my shitbox truck and wait for the guy who's flying a Gadsden Flag to check his mail, run his ass over and get HIS gunz!

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