RIGHT PROBLEM, WRONG SOLUTION

Having doubled down on the Anything But Guns red herrings since Newtown, gun fetishists have shown a remarkable and unprecedented concern for America's mental health issues lately. The idea makes sense on its face; who would be in favor of crazy people having guns? Filter out the Crazies and you'll be left with only Responsible Gun Owners (and devious criminals, of course) owning America's private arsenal of firearms. The problems with the argument become apparent when subjected to anything beyond a passing glance. The only people who can be identified as "mentally ill" are people who have gotten treatment – voluntarily or by court order – and they're a lot less worrisome than the people out there who insist they're Fine and don't get treatment.

This argument is too tired to be interesting at this point, so it's pretty cool that we never have to have it again because it turns out that using mental illness as a criterion misses 99% of the people we should be worried about. According to a recent study, gun hoarders (six or more guns) are far more likely than the rest of the population to exhibit "impulsive, angry behavior." There is no single demographic profile that will cover all people likely to use guns to commit crimes, but it makes far more sense in terms of probability to stop focusing on Crazy and start focusing on Violent.

Because only a small proportion of persons with this risky combination have ever been involuntarily hospitalized for a mental health problem, most will not be subject to existing mental health-related legal restrictions on firearms resulting from a history of involuntary commitment. Excluding a large proportion of the general population from gun possession is also not likely to be feasible. Behavioral risk-based approaches to firearms restriction, such as expanding the definition of gun-prohibited persons to include those with violent misdemeanor convictions and multiple DUI convictions, could be a more effective public health policy to prevent gun violence in the population.

In short, if you're the kind of person who does things like punch people or destroy property when you get angry we should be much more worried about you having a gun than some college kid who's depressed. That's not to say that the latter is incapable of gun violence or the former is certain to do it, but as a matter of public policy aimed at reducing gun crime this would make far more sense.

Since when do our laws make sense, though. Especially when our Most Important Right is involved. It's far easier, legally and politically, to pick on Crazy People than to suggest that there's something alarming about good old-fashioned American male behavior like getting in fistfights and breaking things when angry.

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55 Responses to “RIGHT PROBLEM, WRONG SOLUTION”

  1. Xynzee Says:

    Just slip into the language referring to desire to secede and do you want to defend yourself from the Gub'min's packs of Death Beagles(TM).

    One definitely points towards delusional paranoia.

  2. Jason Says:

    The focus on mental health is pointing in the wrong direction. If you want to sharply reduce gun deaths, the best place to start is gun suicides, which outnumber gun homicides. One of the few anti-gun facts that even (some) pro-gun people concede is that there is a pretty strong correlation between the presence of a gun and suicide. This makes sense as suicide is usually impulsive and a gun is the quickest, easiest way to get the job done.

    A comprehensive, well-funded anti-suicide initiative would prevent more gun deaths than all the assault weapon and high capacity magazine bans combined. The true face of gun death in this country has little to do with the CNN-anchor-erection-producing "big" gun events. It's actually the anguished faces of the severely depressed and damaged, and thousands of less sexy individual murders caused by an enormously complicated mix of inequities in economics, education, and race, substance abuse, and a perverse penal system fed by insane drug policies.

  3. Major Kong Says:

    After 9/11 a program was created to allow pilots to be licensed to carry guns in the cockpit.

    One Captain said to me "They should automatically turn down the first 500 applications, because those people are probably fanatics and the last ones we need carrying guns."

  4. Anubis Bard Says:

    Dwelling on the sensible gun policies that we should have is just a recipe for heartbreak.

  5. Pee Cee Says:

    Jason says: "One of the few anti-gun facts that even (some) pro-gun people concede is that there is a pretty strong correlation between the presence of a gun and suicide."

    Of course, when you point this out to Responsible Gun Owners, they will swear to God that their guns could never possibly be used for that purpose, since they are stable, well-adjusted individuals who would never do such a thing. And that goes for their family members, too.

    Never mind that the stated reason most of these Responsible Gun Owners keep loaded guns in their nightstands is paranoia that Obama or one of his minions is going to personally invade their bedroom with the specific intent of killing them and their family. Or, worse yet, he might come for their gun.

  6. c u n d gulag Says:

    I firmly believe that our ammosexuals will sooner give up their spouses and kids, than their guns.

    Imo – if you feel the need to be armed all of the time, then you have some sort of mental illness.

    If you need an assault weapon to go the Mickey D' for a burger of WalMart for a shirt, how can there not be something wrong with you?

    Somehow, for about a century, no one needed a gun with them when they went shopping.
    Then, in the late 70's, the NRA went from a gun-safety organization, to one which was the marketing arm for gun, ammo, and related things.

    Ah, the power of marketing!
    Don't get no respect?
    Bring a gun everywhere. INSTANT RESPECT!!!

  7. Jason Says:

    Pee Cee-
    "Of course, when you point this out to Responsible Gun Owners, they will swear to God that their guns could never possibly be used for that purpose, since they are stable, well-adjusted individuals who would never do such a thing. And that goes for their family members, too."

    To be fair, the vast majority of them would be correct. Somewhere around 35-40 million households have at least one gun and there's about 15-20,000 gun suicides per year. That number is horrible, but it's a tiny fraction of gun owners. And it doesn't take into account people who get a gun for the sole purpose of suicide.

    Other than disseminating information, I'm not sure what you can do in terms of prevention. The more effective angle is to deal with the underlying problem that leads them to the desire to kill themselves. As a liberal gun owner, I am aware of the difficulty in doing so, as the pro-gun party isn't fond of pouring money into most problems, never mind mental health care.

  8. c u n d gulag Says:

    Jason,
    It's like that old joke, "If you want to see a Psychiatrist, you must be crazy!"

  9. Andrew Laurence Says:

    A gun advocate pointed out to me that people without guns who want to commit suicide can use knives, pills, cars, etc., This is definitely true, but suicide is often a very impulsive act. In Britain, suicide by Tylenol overdose (a slow, extremely painful method) was greatly reduced by putting Tylenol in blister packs rather than bottles. If your urge to commit suicide is weaker than your desire not to push a bunch of pills through foil packaging, not having a gun in the house might also save your life.

  10. Pee Cee Says:

    "To be fair, the vast majority of them would be correct. Somewhere around 35-40 million households have at least one gun and there's about 15-20,000 gun suicides per year."

    You can make the same argument about pretty much any hazard, though. The gun nuts follow that up with "…and therefore we should do absolutely nothing about the easy availability of handguns* or any other firearms."

    Imagine making the same arguments about auto safety, or chemical safety: "The vast majority of car drivers don't get into a wreck every day, so why take away our cherished freedom to ride around without a seatbelt?" (We actually had people saying that when my state *finally* adopted a seatbelt law.) Or, "The vast majority of people who handle caustic don't splash it in their eyes, so requiring eye protection for chemical workers violates our rights!"

    *I think if you can reduce the number of handguns swirling around society, just about all the gun death numbers (suicide/criminal/accidental) would go down significantly. Rifles and shotguns? Not so much.

  11. sluggo Says:

    Death Beagles!!! Slowly I turned………..

    http://www.ginandtacos.com/index.php?s=death+beagles

    A classic. Good to send to your ammosexual relatives

  12. Jason Says:

    Pee Cee-
    "You can make the same argument about pretty much any hazard, though. The gun nuts follow that up with "…and therefore we should do absolutely nothing about the easy availability of handguns* or any other firearms.""

    I was only addressing the idea that if a gun owner says, "I'm not going to commit suicide," the odds are overwhelming that he won't. And I'm not going to speak for all gun owners. I also don't know what, in the real world, could be done to limit access to handguns. They are by far the most popular type of firearm, which is why gun control groups don't bother trying to ban or severely restrict them. Instead, they opt for low hanging fruit like scary looking "assault weapons" that are used in a vanishingly small percentage of gun murders. The gun control side can wield scare tactics as well as the NRA.

  13. Emerson Dameron Says:

    I advise a quick, horrifying stroll through downtown Los Angeles if you want a reminder of how right-libertarians really feel about the mentally ill.

  14. Whatver Says:

    Interesting how the NRA wants to restrict the rights of the *possibly* or *temporarily* mentally ill so that they may enjoy absolute gun freedom.

  15. Major Kong Says:

    To be fair, I own guns. Several of them actually. They stay happily locked away. Never felt the need to carry one around in public. Never felt the need to stockpile ammunition and high-capacity magazines for the day I need to overthrow the government.

    And that is where I parted ways with the "gun people". I own my guns, they don't own me.

  16. Nick Says:

    I'm with Jason on the issue of gun suicides, which I do think is more a mental health issue than a gun one. Is it possible that suicides could be prevented by some gun law? Maybe, though I don't know what such a law would look like. Identifying and treating depression is a more reasonable goal, both because there's a direct causal link rather than merely a symptomatic one (you might dissuade the occasional suicide by restricting access to guns, but having a suicidally depressed person who's still suicidally depressed and might be walking across a bridge in two weeks isn't exactly a win in my book) and because you can use it politically as an alternative to gun control.

    As for Ed's point, I don't think expanding certain restricted categories is unrealistic. Misdemeanor domestic violence convictions weren't always grounds for denial of a gun sale; now I believe all 50 states bar purchase by someone with such a conviction. Adding violent misdemeanors (particularly multiple violent misdemeanors, i.e. you're a truly violent asshole and not just someone who got in a fight one time) to that list seems both more politically possible and more reasonable than most attempts at gun control, and would be a hell of a lot more effective than bickering about whether having 11 rounds in a magazine instead of 10 makes you a violent sociopath.

  17. Andrew Says:

    @Nick: As I've pointed out before, the suicide problem with guns is that I can end my life with one in a fraction of a second with zero chance to reconsider and with little to no physical pain. This is not true of other common methods such as Tylenol overdose (which requires swallowing a lot of pills and, in the UK, poking them through a blister pack), knife (very painful, easy to miss, could take quite a while to lose consciousness), carbon monoxide poisoning (takes time and planning, particularly if you lack a garage), etc.

    I'm also not sure that moderate gun control measures could do much to deter suicides, but societies in which gun ownership is vanishingly rare have very low rates of suicide by gun. Some of them, such as Japan, have high suicide rates overall, but that's a separate topic.

  18. Pee Cee Says:

    "Instead, they opt for low hanging fruit like scary looking "assault weapons" that are used in a vanishingly small percentage of gun murders."

    I really think the only thing that would really reduce gun crime (and gun suicides as a side effect) would be some sort of massive effort to get most/all of the handguns out of circulation. Of course, this being the USA means that we stand an approximately zero chance of *any* meaningful restrictions on handguns.

    As for the mental health issues, I'd welcome a serious effort by anyone – left or right – to attempt to tackle that problem. Unfortunately, I think that about all you're going to hear from the right wing (and the majority of the gun lobby is right wing) is going to be simply words with no intent of action behind them. The mental health thing, for the gun lobby, is just smoke and mirrors. Just like their hand-wringing over "violent video games".

    And while I'm filling in the comment box here, I think that improving economic conditions across the board via a little bit of wealth redistribution from the 0.1% to the 99.9% could do wonders for lowering suicide attempts … but I'd also like a pony. :)

  19. Jason Says:

    Andrew-
    "I'm also not sure that moderate gun control measures could do much to deter suicides, but societies in which gun ownership is vanishingly rare have very low rates of suicide by gun. Some of them, such as Japan, have high suicide rates overall, but that's a separate topic."

    That's a good point, and it's evidence that whether it's homicide or suicide, things are always much more complicated than, "Guns=bad." Japan and South Korea have little to no private gun ownership yet both have much worse suicide rates. Even if we magically eliminated all of our gun crime, our violent crime rate would still be significantly higher than places like the U.K. Whether we have a gun problem or not, we undoubtedly have a violence problem unique to our country. Even a theoretical perfect system of gun control won't fix that (though it obviously could have a significant positive impact). That's why I talk about the causes (education, income disparity, the drug war, etc.), causes which have traditionally been defining aspects of the Democratic party. Putting the emphasis there has the benefit of both reducing crime and removing gun control as a vote-losing weight around their necks.

    Major Kong-
    "Never felt the need to stockpile ammunition and high-capacity magazines for the day I need to overthrow the government."

    Are there nutballs that stockpile for the reason you say? I'm sure there are, but the people I know (and maybe me, *cough*) don't have large amounts of ammo or lots of magazines in preparation for when the blue helmets come to force us into the new world order. If you like to shoot at a range, you go through a lot of ammo. Even during a leisurely half hour session with my handgun I easily go through 200-300 rounds. Ammo is expensive, and one way to save money is to buy in bulk (I really wish Costco would start carrying 9mm :) ).

    As for magazines, reloading a magazine-fed gun is a pain in the ass, especially so if you are out shooting. The more magazines you can load before your trip to the range, the more time you'll get to actually shoot. And unlike ammo, magazines are cheap, so there's no drawback to buying a lot.

  20. charluckles Says:

    Having gotten deeply into the weeds during recent debates about gun control laws in my own state, I can state with some certainty that the obvious mental illness of gun fetishists is what has pushed me towards a belief that we must move towards and outright ban on nearly all guns in nearly all circumstances and a complete repeal of the second amendment, and I say that as a gun owner. These are people whose "reality" has more in common with summertime action blockbusters than they do with the reality that the rest of us are force to live in.

  21. Andrew Says:

    @Jason: It's probably not all that relevant to compare different countries' suicide rates because of cultural, economic, climate, and other differences, but it would not surprise me at all if a hypothetical country exactly like Japan but with US levels of handgun ownership would have dramatically MORE suicide than real Japan.

    #charluckles: I'm not unsympathetic to your position, but I fear that ammosexuals would become even MORE dangerously unhinged under a scenario of actual gun confiscation than they already are, which could have negative repercussions for those of us who live in reality.

    I don't own a gun but am very interesting in trying target shooting for fun, and I realize that I would have to buy quite a bit of ammo to do that, but if I did have a gun, it would be utterly useless in self-defense as it would be locked up, unloaded, in a safe, with ammo stored elsewhere. I wouldn't have it any other way. My wife wouldn't want one in the house. Her father gave her one as a present when she moved to Indianapolis, and she refused it. He carried one in his car glove box well into his 80s, and he suffers from diabetic neuropathy and macular degeneration, so you can imagine how well an armed conflict would have turned out for him.

  22. jon Says:

    Most of the worst problems with guns come from felons having access to them. That's the thing that terrorizes neighborhoods. That's the thing people need to worry about much more than Gomer and Jethro and their paranoid fantasies about The Guvmint.

    Why do violent convicted felons get access to guns? Why don't such people get checked regularly to see if they have any weapons in their possession? I don't know. They lose the right to have guns, but we have some sort of blind spot when it comes to their 4th Amendment rights. I say the police/ATF/FBI/whatever should be able to knock on any home where a violent convicted felon lives, go to wherever they are, and search the premises for guns. If any are found, they should be placed into a shredding machine. If guns are found a second time, the violent felon loses both trigger fingers. If found a third time, both hands. (Alternately, they could take long-ass prison sentences, because they still get 8th Amendment rights.)

  23. Andrew Says:

    Why would violent felons not be in prison already?

  24. mothra Says:

    jon: I'm thinking Saudi Arabia's views on crime and punishment would appeal greatly to you.

  25. Jason Says:

    Andrew-
    You made my point for me. That's exactly what I'm saying — gun deaths, whether suicide or homicide, can't be boiled down to simple, single elements.

  26. Skepticalist Says:

    I've had my share of guns over the years but I sold them years ago. Somewhere along the line I lost my interest in personal firepower. I think it was the NRA itself and their predictable childish responses to gun control that had something to do with it. It's they who are nuts.

    Most of the gun fetishists I know are kinky as all get out but are mostly just an unimaginative bunch. I get it though. It's so damned convenient focusing on mental health as the big solution. It proves that the NRA loves us and looks out for our arsenals.

  27. Andrew Says:

    Keeping guns out of the hands of those with a proven propensity to violence seems like a good idea. Sadly, the overlap between those people and the mentally ill is very nearly nonexistent, so focusing on mental health issues, while a good idea in general for building a better society, won't do much about gun violence.

  28. Brian Says:

    I, like Major Kong, own several guns. Possibly even enough to be thrown into the super high rate of temper tantrum demographic.

    I even * gasp * reload my own ammunition.

    I am not however scared of an imminent government takeover, nor do I own a single gun I would refer to as a 'weapon' or 'home protection'. They are tools that I have accumulated as I have grown into adulthood, and moved to places where a different type of rifle is necessary for ethical hunting.

    All of that being said, it only takes a trip or two to the local range to be able to say that a large percentage of gun owners just shouldn't have guns. You can go to the range and point them out in the first five minutes.

  29. Mark Says:

    I've recently begun to wonder if the "mental illness" starts AFTER the shooter acquires the guns. Maybe it's the 6th gun that's the "trigger."

  30. Khaled Says:

    I've become pretty cynical about guns. If we can't pass anything like expanded background checks or closing the "loophole" of gun shows after Newtown, then the horse is too far out of the barn. At this point, I'm not sure what we can do to reduce the number of guns.

    If you want gun violence to go down in the inner-city, try making wages higher so that being a gangsta isn't a very attractive career option. What would most of you rather do, sling dope a few hours a day and make some good paper, or sling hash at McDonalds for 8 hours a day and still have no money. Sure, the risks involved in dealing drugs are much higher than punching a clock at a fast food job, but clothes and food aren't gonna buy themselves.

  31. democommie Says:

    "I'm with Jason on the issue of gun suicides, which I do think is more a mental health issue than a gun one. Is it possible that suicides could be prevented by some gun law? Maybe, though I don't know what such a law would look like."

    So, let's not do anything, thanks for the suggestion, that's what's already being done. Nice talking point, total bullshit, but it sounds all concernedy.

    "Most of the worst problems with guns come from felons having access to them."

    Which is mostly due to states that have astonishingly idiotic gunzlawz (or lack of same) allow allathem handcannonz to be out there for the felonz to buy or steal.

  32. Mo Says:

    Hey, let's invent a death raygun.

    "Bullets are soooo yesterday."

  33. Xynzee Says:

    So suicide is the new talking point to distract the topic??

    You do realise somebody choosing to self annihilate is different than choosing to take another person's life. Which is why, ironically in this case, you can be executed for committing the latter, but not the former.

    But the reality is you are far more likely to succeed in suicide using a firearm than with any other method. Men generally resort to using violent means to commit suicide and therefore far more likely to succeed than women.

    Thus the logical conclusion to draw is that if it is harder to access a firearm, then there will be a reduction in the number of *successful* suicides.

    Thank you Jason for making our argument for us.

  34. Major Kong Says:

    @Brian

    That's why I stopped going to the range. I had a 12-year-old kid point an AK-47 at me.

    Kid was shooting in the lane next to me while his dad watched.

    "Bang!"
    "Bang!"
    "Click!"
    "Hey dad! This thing's jammed!"

    As he swung the muzzle right past me………

    I packed up my stuff, left, and never went back.

  35. Jason Says:

    Xynzee-

    "One of the few anti-gun facts that even (some) pro-gun people concede is that there is a pretty strong correlation between the presence of a gun and suicide. This makes sense as suicide is usually impulsive and a gun is the quickest, easiest way to get the job done."

    Did you even read what I said?

  36. Andrew Laurence Says:

    @democommie: Given that Jason and I have admitted that you don't know what to do to reduce gun suicides, and you also haven't said what you think we should do, doing nothing seems the most sensible course. Would you prefer we enacted legislation at random just so we could say we did something?

  37. Andrew Laurence Says:

    @Xynzee: Your conclusion is indeed logical, but without empirical evidence we can't say with certainty whether it would work. And it's a moot point, because absolutely nothing is going to make American legislators enact strict (or probably any) gun control legislation. The mere fact that the Senate is apportioned by states, so Wyoming has as much power as California, dooms gun control legislation forever, whatever any of our positions on it might be.

  38. Greg Says:

    Jon, offenders on parole or whatever it's called now have no .4th Amendment rights. They can be searched without probable cause. But their parole officers cannot search every home of every parolee because there are just too damn many. Maybe if we put fewer people in prison generally, the hideous scenario you describe could be enacted. Or you could start work now on the Walker campaign.

  39. democommie Says:

    "Would you prefer we enacted legislation at random just so we could say we did something?"

    No, I would prefer that the NRA lose its 501c3 status (yeah, I know that they set up an "arms length" foundation–just like every other duplicitous piece-of-shit lobbying group). AND, I would love to see the people who cater to the gunzloonz have their dicks put in the financial sausage maker of product liability.

    Simple fact, the NRA depends upon idiots who can't tell the difference between their own narrow desires and the public good.

    Since we both know that any sort of genuine firearms restrictions at the level of handgunz is extremely unlikely you can pontificate safely. Fuck the NRA and every fucking one of their idiot supporters.

  40. Andrew Says:

    @democommie: On "fuck the NRA" we wholeheartedly agree. They are a lobby for gun manufacturers, not gun owners. They prey on people's stupidity, fear, and racism to sell their deadly products. "OMG, there a blah man in the White House. You need enough guns for yourself, your spouse, your children, and your unborn fetus to operate one with each hand and one with each foot, simultaneously, or you'll die."

  41. bb in GA Says:

    Does anyone here have a problem with a person losing a Constitutional Right based on a misdemeanor conviction ? Are there other examples in our body of Laws where that happens except with the Second Amendment ? I am ignorant of any other cases, please inform…

    I really think the Left should do a better job of persuading the public, at large, to your point of view and go for a repeal of the 2A.

    We then we will have the Grand Confrontation and get this over with. The numbers are on your side since there are only about 90 million gun owners and 240 million adults.

    I, and many 2A supporters, have no illusions of defeating the USG in any kind of confrontation. Having those tools ultimately and sadly MAY allow us to set the terms and timing of our own demise if we choose to disobey.

    //bb

  42. Major Kong Says:

    @bb

    I don't want to repeal the 2nd Amendment. I just would like to get away from the current pour-gasoline-on-the-fire approach of "everybody's got a gun so everybody has to have a gun".

  43. Andrew Says:

    We don't take printing presses away from those convicted of libel, no matter how many times they are, so taking guns away from people who HAVEN'T committed a gun crime seems a bit inconsistent. I'm not a Second Amendment fan, but the thing about having a constitution is that you have to support the bits you don't like if you want others to support the bits you do like.

    The people who have six or eight or more guns who commit a crime usually only use one of those guns to do so, since people mainly have two or fewer hands. So the problem isn't how many guns there are, but how many people have one or more guns, which has been steadily declining even as the number of guns increases.

    Also, our history of preventing adults from possessing things in this country has led to less-than-stellar results. Witness alcohol prohibition from the early 20th Century and the current War on Drugs the Government Doesn't Tax.

  44. jon Says:

    Violent felons lost the right to own guns. Permanently. But we know damn well they can get them. And they are the ones who everyone with a lick of sense knows shouldn't have guns. SO WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT THAT?

    At present, nothing. I read almost daily about some felon committing a crime and using a gun while doing so. Either every felon shouldn't be released ever, every driver's license should identify them (and must be shown when purchasing weapons, period, no exceptions, and records must be kept.) Or we should trust but verify that they aren't armed.

    I think we can identify the problem. Doing something about it? I don't envy the police or parole officers that would do that. But I think it's necessary to go after those people if we are going to remain insistent that we don't go after everyone's gun rights.

    As for my punishment options, they were options. I think they belong back in prison, really. But having worked in one, I know many would choose the barbaric options.

  45. Andrew Says:

    I can think of lots of people who shouldn't have guns, violent felons among them, but constitutional rights are constitutional rights, and we don't take the others away for any reason (though we often ignore them).

    On another topic, but tangentially related as we're talking about constitutional rights, AFAIK we are the only rich country in the world besides the UK that doesn't allow convicted felons to vote while in prison, never mind after. The European Court of Human Rights has informed the UK that this is inconsistent with EU policy, but the UK is not budging for now. Obviously that Court has no jurisdiction over the US, but I'm not a big believer in American exceptionalism, so I'm not really persuaded that we're doing it right when virtually no one else does it the way we do.

  46. democommie Says:

    "Does anyone here have a problem with a person losing a Constitutional Right based on a misdemeanor conviction ?"

    Well, yes, I think we all do. More to the point of course, a lot of us have a PROBLEM with asshats who conflate an amibiguous (at best) sentence with their right to own, carry and use any fucking gunz that they can buy.

    "Violent felons lost the right to own guns. Permanently. But we know damn well they can get them. And they are the ones who everyone with a lick of sense knows shouldn't have guns. SO WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT THAT?"

    Today, right now? Howzabout we make selling gunz to people without background checks a crime? Cuz, I'm pretty sure that violent felons (kinda sounds like "scary black mans" if you squint when you say it) BUY them from other people. Or, they steal them from nimrodnumbnuts who haven't got enough sense to secure their gunz.

    The vast majority of people who own and use firearms are not the folks I worry about. The vast majority of the fuckheadteabaggistRambowannabes on the other hand are one discharge away from being in the category of "violent felon".

  47. Skepticalist Says:

    Gun fetishists have done their job. Here we are talking about suicide and illegal guns. The problem is legal guns.

  48. bb in GA Says:

    @d-commie

    You got any numbers (even an estimate from some semi-neutral source) on how many of the 90 million gun owners are Rambowannas (or better yet Tea Party Members) and how many of them per year go from no criminal record to violent felons with one trigger squeeze ?

    //bb

  49. HoosierPoli Says:

    bb:

    I don't agree with the Supreme Court that owning a handgun is a constitutional right, but not having your door broken down by cops in the middle of the night, because someone who sold drugs lived there five years ago, isn't.

  50. bb in GA Says:

    @Hp

    PTL – we agree on the second half of your sentence. Dayum, we're almost buds :-)

    //bb

  51. Nick Says:

    So democommie, what part of "I don't know what gun law you could pass that would reduce gun suicides, though it's possible one exists" read to you as "never do anything"/lunacy?

    There's one person coming across as slightly unhinged here, and it's you.

  52. Eau Says:

    As long as Your corporate masters are making billions per annum from selling guns to anyone and everyone (including the American drug cartels, one of the worlds biggest markets for guns) without any kind of real regulation, it will continue. Some of you will be too smart to fall for the bullshit that this argument is about individual gun owners instead of a massive, lucrative, unregulated goldmine, but not enough of you.

  53. democommie Says:

    bbbrain in Ga:

    I know that in every state with idioitic firearms laws the incidence of "accidental" and deliberate (hard to tell which is which, at times) are far in excess of what they are in states that have BOTH sane and reasonable firearms laws AND aren't surrounded by states full of fuckheadz with gunz and a profit motive where selling your handcannonz privately is just fine, regardless who the fuck you sell them to. I'm thinking GA is just such a state–as are most of the benighted former slaveholding states.

    Nick:

    Let me think about this for a minute.

    Fuck you, you gunloon asshole.

  54. Nick Says:

    Another eloquent and well-reasoned argument, democommie. I really enjoy your cogent, factual explanations of your positions.

  55. bb in GA Says:

    Gee d-commie, you came up with that middle school epithet all by your lonesome didn't you

    //bb