Whenever someone says there's nothing the government can do to stop mass shootings, remember that in December the Senate voted down a bill to prevent people on the terrorism watch list from buying guns. That's right – Senate Republicans are so corrupt, so totally beholden to the NRA that they wouldn't vote to ban sales of firearms to actual…let's call them "Terrorism enthusiasts." People who have made contact with known terrorists. People who are big fans of ISIS websites. Are they all terrorists? Of course not. Might it be a reasonable idea to think twice about letting them load up on guns? Well. Maybe that much caution is appropriate.

This gentleman's Twitter account is detailing exactly how much each member of Congress who voted against that bill – people who wanted to make sure that individuals on the terrorism watch list could buy guns – received from the NRA recently. As usual, all they can do is offer their Thoughts and Prayers. Thoughts and Prayers. Thoughts and Prayers. It's just too bad that there's nothing else they can do about it.

House and Senate Republicans currently up in arms over Islamism and terrorism had an opportunity to prevent something like this from happening but they didn't. Keep that in mind. Remind them of it every time they wail and rend their garments over another Tragedy that no one anywhere could possibly have stopped unless more people had more guns.

Prayers are for the dead. The living deserve more.


  • define and redefine says:

    For the sake of argument, there were liberals opposed to such a measure as well: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/12/no-fly-list-inverted-politics/419172/

    To be honest, considering how often completely innocent people with no connection to terrorism whatsoever, have no sympathies with terrorists, etc wind up on the no-fly list, I kinda agree that it was a bit of an overreach to try to institute a no-buy policy for folks on the no-fly list.


  • Emerson Dameron says:

    Since Sandy Hook, I find it hard to fathom that US gun nuts will ever lose a significant battle again. They are the most secure and successful special interest group in DC.

  • Sadly, the only thing shooting up a gay nightclub will do for the right is make them side with the Islamists in this case. 50 people dead and not a thing will change in this country policy-wise. Though that was obvious when Sandy Hook failed to inspire meaningful legislation. Number one with a bullet…

  • How much would it cost someone like Mark Zuckerberg or George Soros to buy out a bunch of gun stores and shows? If someone could send his billions of dollars toward that end, how many murders could he prevent?

    Mathematical and rhetorical answers are welcome. Of course the question then becomes "What would someone like that do with all those guns?" Maybe it would be better to focus on high-capacity magazines or even buy ammunition plants? Is there a capitalist solution to this, even a temporary one? Drive up the price of brass? Anything?

    Politics and police seem useless. Maybe something else could help? What?

  • @ jon: The market capitalization of, for example, Smith & Wesson is $1.15bn. So in theory, a Zuckerberg or Soros could take it over and have it make ice cream instead. But that wouldn't address the issue of hundreds of millions of guns already in circulation.

    The way to do that is a buyback program, as the Australian government did a few years ago. Again, there's nothing to stop a private citizen from offering lots of money for guns owned by other private citizens. But the sheer numbers are such that, at (say) $500 per gun bought back, even Soros would be bankrupted pretty quickly. And crucially, a private buyback can't force anyone to participate, so it won't reach the real gun lovers/fetishists.

    This problem is on a scale that only the US federal government can address. Unfortunately it will not do so in the foreseeable future. Yay, freedom.

  • HoosierPoli says:

    All of Trump's most draconian fantasies won't do a thing to stop another Orlando if gun control isn't part of the equation. Hell, I doubt the NRA would even support restrictions on gun purchases by Muslims…the Islamist dollar is a good dollar.

    Short of a workplace shooting at NRA headquarters, nothing is going to change.

  • Define and….. And when my congress critter used that exact same argument my response was that maybe the effort is to fix the No Fly List, not crumple it up and throw it away as a piece of shit. I'd rather have a few extra people who may be entitled to get a gun not get one than take the chance that killers like this fucker can get ahold of one and produce such carnage.

    I'm with many of your sentiments, since Sandy Hook I have no faith that we will ever see any meaningful gun legislation, ever. Hell, I have my doubts about ANY meaningful legislation of any kind. If twenty dead five and six year olds don't bring you to your senses, fifty dead gay clubbers ain't gonna do it.

  • define and redefine says:

    @ Buckyblue – yeah, I'd be on board with fixing the list (or how people end up on it and/or are removed when cleared). For sure.

  • The problem with gun buybacks is there are so many pieces of rusted shit that were once guns sitting around. You bring them in and get some cash and you go out and buy yourself a nice new one.

  • @mm: Yes. The Australian buyback was compulsory, and applied to categories of gun which had just been made illegal. A private buyback wouldn't do that.

  • One of the most disingenuous arguments I keep seeing on this issue is the one that goes "no law would have prevented [X mass shooting] because the killer wanted to kill; he'd have just used another weapon." Setting aside that pretty much all other available weapons are less lethal than AR-15s, etc., this is a crap argument about the effect of law.

    And the people who claim that laws can't affect gun crime are pretty much the same crowd demanding that we pass laws "defending" marriage and regulating who can use what public bathroom.

  • The shooter wouldn't have managed to kill 50 people with a bolt-action or lever-action rifle.

    It's the combination of high rate of fire plus high ammunition capacity that makes these weapons so deadly, even if they're not a true "assault rifle".

    Sixty rounds per minute is still an awful lot of lead downrange.

  • @Philippa Don't forget abortion. By their logic banning abortion would stop all abortions (just like drugs) but banning guns won't stop gun violence. The cognitive dissonance is jaw dropping.

  • Stepping away a bit from rifled steel dick extensions, it bothers me that a god-botherer who likely believed that all homosexuals would burn in hell found that insufficient. Those fuckers will build a hell if it doesn't exist, see Iain Banks "Surface Detail'.

  • old white person says:

    Apparently the shooter was interviewed several times by the Feds because of visits to the Middle East and complaints by co-workers. He was never put on a "watch list" and bought his gunz legally.
    Don't know what the answer is but I'm pretty sure cracking down on all Muslems, especially the ones who live in his neighborhood (as the talking yam recommended this morning) is not the solution. And why did CBS interview the talking yam this morning about this anyway?
    Also the magic bullet of calling him a Radical Islamic Terrorist isn't going to stop the next one.

  • Because of the way the Supreme Court has ruled on the issue, the only way that we can even begin to have a conversation about reasonable limits on firearms is the repeal of the Second Amendment. I realize this is unlikely and improbable; nevertheless, I am convinced that repeal must be the starting point for removing easy access to firearms. It would not be quick, and it would not be easy, but it is the only way that will work.

  • The elephant in the room that so far no one has mentioned is the effect of money on politics. The NRA, which represents gun manufacturers and not gun owners, can spend gazillions of dollars to defeat any politician who dares to even attempt to rein in the weapons of mass destruction that are passed off as implements of "sport" or "hobbies." It can also fatten the coffers of those who do its bidding.

    Get money out of the political process and this shit will stop. Until then, nothing is going to change.

  • Net Denizen says:

    The problems with the Terrorist Watch List are that (a) you can be put on it for capricious reasons that have nothing to do with terrorism, and (b) there *is* a problem with using an "assumed probably guilty" method of limiting one's rights. Certainly, a link can be made between someone on the list buying a gun and an FBI/CIA tracking of said individual more stringently after the purchase. But to say that this list of "you may be a terrorist if…" constitutes sufficient cause to limit what is a given right is not going to fly even in the face of yet another mass shooting. I'm all for limiting access and ability to buy and own guns, but let's at least work within the Constitution and not use probable guilt as the means for restricting access when the Constitution presumes us innocent until we actually commit a crime.

  • Couldn't be the gun that made it easier for this guy to kill 49 people and wound 50+. No way. It's all because he was a supercrazed Moooslem. I KNOW that if we ban all Moooslems from the US and cage the ones that are here that all mass shootings will end.

  • Someone on my FB feed mentioned that every mass shooting since Newtown has had two things in common – high powered firearms and a man doing the shooting. Two have had one thing in common – a Muslim shooter.

    Clearly, the problem is Muslims. Heavy sarcasm tag.

    Because I choose who I friend on FB carefully, nobody gave him shit.

  • Skepticalist says:

    Many years ago an antique customer stopped by and seeing that I had a Civil War cavalry saber in the corner, I was shown his collection of machine guns he was towing around in his trunk. I've never seen anyone so excited. I thought he was going to explode.

    I guess it was okay though because he told me he was only a white supremacist.

  • These "excuses" will only lead to more dead. but we are Americans, we're exceptional, Killing for fun and profit is the American Way. we all know this "worst mass killing" will be surpassed later on. just a matter of time, guns and hatred for the "other." and of course good ole time Religion in the mix as well. White men seem to account for most of the killers. but as Sandy Hook proved. killing with these "military weapons' is as American as American Pie. Thoughts and Prayers, indeed. If our children are not worth saving from the gun nuts, you can bet the killings will continue.

    too bad we live in a country where guns are more important and more valuable than human lives.

  • defineandredefine says:

    @Net Denizen – I wish I had made the argument that well. A lot of what I read really backs that up. People on both the right and left opposed that proposal at the time because of how many people have ended up on that list arbitrarily.

  • Re: Repealing the 2nd Amendment. Why is this the only way? Why couldn't a future SCOTUS just overturn Heller etc.? Certainly there is room for interpretation in the wording of the 2nd Amendment. The court only recently tacked to the right on it.

  • … meant to add: Which is yet another reason to support Hillary, even if she's not perfect. More liberal justices would go a long way to fixing some of this shit.

  • Skepticalist says:

    Repealing anything is incredibly hard and it would take closer to a decade than a few years. It would be fun watching the individual states work on it though.

  • Others have already addressed the problems of the no-fly and watch lists (different lists, btw) so I'll only add this: Given the political realities of the american securacracy there is not a snowball's chance in hell of those things being rationalized. Especially after Pulse, no investigator will want to ever take anyone off for any reason.

    @Skeptalist: The states really can't do anything, either, so long as Heller stands. The doctrine of incorporation under the 14A applies the first eight amendments to the states.

    @Major Kong: This is one of the biggest arguments over semi-auto "assault" rifles and one I have to disagree with you on. Those weapons are designed to suppress enemy fire, not kill, especially in any volume. Take a look at the actual incidents; none of them (except the Austin tower) would have changed much when substituting a hand gun and a dozen mags. Close range shooting at unarmed people doesn't take much. In fact, given the moonlighting cop he exchanged fire with on his way in this may be the first mass shooting in which a black gun contributed significantly. That volume of fire only helps when the lead is going both directions.

  • Numbers

    Homicide rate in the US (according to the FBI) has been falling for 30+ years.

    We peaked in about 1980 at about 10 murders per 100K pop. We are now at about 4.5 (roughly equivalent to 1963) Broad brush about 2/3 of the homicides are accomplished with guns.

    Guns into the US have increased in the last several decades at a faster rate than the pop increase.

    The H.R. still keeps going down. We have a correlation, do we not ?

    Mass shootings (defined by the FBI as 3 or more injured in one event) are up.

    But the H.R. is falling. Isn't that the goal ?


Comments are closed.