Archive for the ‘gun crime’ Category

I almost bought an AR.

I guess the H&K MR556 or SIG516 are AR-15 variants.

So, number one deterrent was price. The SIG is the less expensive of the two, but still in the four figure range. We are talking a price of US$ 1400+. Ouch. Toss in that I am leaning toward the H&K compared to the Sig.

And that’s the price if you can find one.

Assault Rifles and guns in general are a hot commodity these days. For good reason given the chaos of the past week. Some people have seen it on TV. Other people have lived it.

And people want to protect themselves. And what better way than with a weapon that was designed for the battlefield and proven in mass shootings across the country. Las Vegas was a good advertisement. The chaos of the past week are the perfect advertisement for a weapon like this.

I may not like it, but it is hard to say that people shouldn’t be able to own these weapons when the cities are under siege. That makes me different from a lot of people on the left, but I am also much more pragmatic than a lot of people on the left.FireShot Capture 012 - Why are some US police forces equipped like military units_ - World n_ - www.theguardian.com

Those are the ones who are moaning about the militarisation of the police, like this article in the Guardian. But it misses something that this post is pointing out. Civilians can buy the 5.56 Assault Rifle with no problem. Shouldn’t the cops be as well armed as the civilians if they are going to keep the peace?

Toss in there is a movement to defund the police:

Defunding, said activist Jeralynn Blueford, is the logical response from leaders in this moment of unprecedented unrest. “If police had been serious about reform and policy change, then guess what? People would not be this angry.”

What The Fuck? Serious What the Fuck?

3d25106b37We have seen chaos and looting in US cities over the past week. Gun stores have lines that wrap around the block as people scramble to buy weapons to defend their homes.

While I support keeping guns out of the hands of people like criminals and the looters, it is thoroughly insane to prevent the law abiding to their safety. And for the most part I am sceptical of firearms for home defence, I can get why some people would want them.

It’s the image in this Tommy Gun ad from the days when they were freely available.  The ability to protect your home against marauding bands of evil doers.

And the do gooders (I can’t really say the left since there are some of us who get what needs to be done) who would defund the police and try to make assault rifles illegal. The argument that “no one needs one of these in a civilian world” rings hollow these days.

The chaos of the past week ISN’T the civilian world and toleration of those who are destroying US cities is wrong. It’s turning the “silence is consent” argument back at them. Even worse, it’s not silence, but outright appeasement.

Black Lives Matters lost any relevance the moment the fires and violence broke out. They could have salvaged their effort if they stood down and denounced the violence. But allowing violence on either side is wrong.

I don’t really like that I have to accept that assault rifles are an undeniable fact of US life, but there needs to be some feeling of safety and security until people stand down: especially the rioters and looters. Violence isn’t the answer. Especially if you are not the body authorised by law to keep the peace. Breaking the law really isn’t the answer.

There are options other than violence and chaos, however, there is a misguided belief that is what is necessary. That is costing the Black Lives Matters its legitimacy even amongst the people it claims to represent.

Because the people buying guns aren’t just white.

Reality versus gun rights

It’s really fun watching people defend the rioters and looters in the current situation. I’m going to use Pennsylvania law, but there is Title 18, Article F, Chapter 55: Riot, Disorderly Conduct and Related Offenses, which means that the destruction and looting caused by the rioters is illegal.

No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

Trashing stores and stealing the contents is not a political act, but a criminal one.

Let’s add in that not only is it a criminal act, but it is actual violence. As I said to one person being able to understand the rioters would also mean that you understand why people are protesting the Covid-19 lockdowns with guns. As they say, they may not agree with the method, but they understand the frustration.

Actually, I find the armed protesters less of a threat than I do an out of control mob who are actually engaged in violent acts. Arson is a major cause of loss of life and injury in commercial properties. Strangely, the people who somehow find that the rioting and looting are justified have an issue with people exercising their right to self-defence.

Rioting, looting, arson, and the other illegal acts mentioned in Title 18, the crimes code, and specifically Title 18, Article F, Chapter 55, are just that crimes and illegal. On the other hand someone does have the right to self-defence if they have a reasonable belief that are in danger of death or serious bodily injury. Which happens to be a very real threat if you are in the sights of rioters.

One person said, “couldn’t you get out of their way, or leave town?” Is that a fair question if you get the lockdown order and AREN’T allowed to leave? Someone in that situation is pretty much stuck.

Which gets to the gun rights type’s question: “shouldn’t the person be allowed to defend themselves?” To which “Fuck, yeah!” seems to be the most sensible answer. And if the best weapon happens to be something semi-auto that can accept a large capacity magazine: then they should indeed be allowed to have such a weapon.

Which is why I titled this the way I did.

The person who somehow feels that the violence is “justified” or “understandable” should also be able to accept that people have a right to protect themselves. And the right which is lawful is the one of self-protection.

Not rioting.

Or as Donald Trump said: “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.

While I don’t like Trump or the underlying events which led to the protests, the movement to violence has changed the game to a no win situation. And the people who are going to be the big losers are the ones the protests were supposed to help.

Likewise, I have made it clear that I don’t support “gun rights” or believe it to be a real thing, but if people are going to condone violence, then they need to accept that the cycle of violence will continue.

And isn’t ending the violence what the protests were trying to do?

You can condemn the violence, yet still support the underlying cause. If anything, it makes far more sense to condemn the violence instead of allowing the cycle of violence to keep rolling on.

Gun Control Irony

Yeah, yeah. I try not to post this stuff on my blog, but this one is pretty important.  It was posted on Penigma, but I want my other post to get a few more views before this shows up again on that blog.

On the other hand, this needs to get out there.  That said:

It would be really ironic if instead of all the mass shootings the US has suffered (my condolences to the victims and their families of those), that the incident that caused people to realise the US needs gun control is an out of control suburban mother fighting over a notebook in a suburban Wal-Mart.

No, pulling a gun in this situation is not self-defence by any stretch of the imagination.  No one was fearing death or serious bodily injury which would justify even the threat of deadly force.

The woman pulling the gun is committing Felony Assault under Michigan law, Section 750.82.

The offense of Assault with a Deadly Weapon (ADW), is also known as Felonious Assault in Michigan. ADW is felony which is punishable by up to 4 years in prison. ADW is a crime which involves an assault with a deadly weapon (such as a gun or knife) or any other instrumentality which is fashioned or used as a weapon (car, club, bottle) which is capable of inflicting serious bodily injury or death. A criminal charge or conviction does not require actual physical contact or an injury. The offense is considered complete upon placing another in fear of an assault by a person who possesses a deadly weapon

Michigan law requires that the defendant “must have honestly and reasonably believed that he or she was in danger of being killed, seriously injured or sexually assaulted” in order to use deadly force.  Additionally, the defendant “may only use as much force as he or she thinks is necessary at the time to protect himself or herself.”

While a person may believe he or she had acted in self-defense, the police, prosecutor, judge and jury may disagree.

No shots need to be fired for her to be found guilty.

I’m not sure how the “pro-gun” crowd can defend this action.  I know responsible gun owners don’t, but it’s time they stepped up to the plate and admitted this shit happens too often with the relaxing of concealed carry law for it to be condoned.

It’s time to give Presser v Illinois, 116 U.S. 252, 6 S.Ct. 580, 29 L.Ed. 615 (1886) yet another plug.

One of the many failings of the Heller-McDonald bullshit is that those cases were not cases of first impression, but that post is coming in the future.

See also:

What Does Brandishing Mean? And Why You Should Never Do It…

The Physics Of Mass Killing

Excellent article on how firearms technology enables mass killing which takes it beyond the “cosmetic features” talk.  I strongly suggest that anyone involved in this issue read this article.

The Physics Of Mass Killing.

One trivial criticism the P228 comes with a 13 round magazine, but accepts larger.

The Last Hand Gun On Earth

Take an old movie serial, add a new voice over by the Firesign Theatre and you have some very funny stuff.  In this case, the gun loon’s nightmare: Big Brother’s henchmen come for the last handgun on earth.

“To think people used to sleep with these things under their pillows.”

Prof. Simon Chapman’s Over Our Dead Bodies: Port Arthur and the Fight for Gun Control – Australia’s last gun massacre is now a free E-book

Prof. Simon Chapman’s Over Our Dead Bodies: Port Arthur and the Fight for Gun Control – Australia’s last gun massacre is now a free E-book and available at the following link:

http://bit.ly/YZtHQ2

I strongly suggest that anyone who is involved in the US gun violence/gun control movement read this book.  Australia’s political climate surrounding this issue at the time of the Port Arthur Massacre was eerily similar to that of the US, yet the Australians were able to cut through the non-sense and enact serious and effective gun control laws.

This is a valuable lesson for people who want to see similar laws in the US.

This book is really about the workings of the media, the use of lobbying, and the skills of advocacy. So pick a day when you are tired of dealing with the aftermath of ignored public health issues and read this ripping yarn, arm yourself with the tools it offers, and be ready to go into battle.

Less than a day since I did my last post…

And there is yet another mass shooting in the US.  ‘Seven killed’ in Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting!

Maybe gun control won’t stop mass killings, but not having gun control definitely doesn’t stop them!  In fact, looking at the past 230 odd years of the US being an indepndent country, we have seen that it is a highly violent and blood thirsty country.

WhoWhatWhy has an interesting piece about mass shootings:

One of the most striking things about shooting incidents in America…is how common they are. Another striking thing is how often the media fails to note the previous point, or to explore what that means—or what might be done about it.

Late last night, a gunman walked into a movie theater in a Denver suburb, killed 12 and injured 50. Two days earlier a gunman opened fire outside a bar in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in an incident in which at least 17 were hurt. These were not really so exceptional. Every year, about 100,000 Americans are victims of gun violence, and every week, people calmly enter our schools, our workplaces, our leisure gathering spots and open fire on innocent bystanders.

Whenever we tweet or post about these, often the only people we hear from are those who say we need more guns not less. “If I had been there with my gun….” The problem, of course, is the public at large is being asked to arm everyone and trust that, while the rest of us cower, “the right people” will quickly dispatch “the wrong people” in the modern equivalent of the Shootout at the OK Corral. No mention of whether the teacher is supposed to be armed…when a nut walks into a preschool and starts firing away.

Given that there have been 125 Mass Killings since Columbine, you think some serious solutions would be mentioned, yet it seems that there is the consistent response of inaction, or worse, the loosening of restrictions which make it easier for these incidents to happen.

Unfortunately, a realistic discussion of this aspect of US life never happens while the bodycount keeps rising.  Instead, we keep hearing that the US needs more guns, but that is the cause of the problem.

Man with a plan

This is a graphic of the gear that, James Holmes, the Aurora, Colorado shooter had on him during his shooting spree:

This graphic can be found at:  http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/07/25/graphic-james-holmes-was-a-man-with-a-plan/

If you consider that at least three of the last big mass shooting incidents were  done by someone who bought his gun LEGALLY (Virginia Tech’s Seung-Hui Cho, Tucson’s Jared Laughner, and Aurora’s James Holmes), you would think that some alarms would be going off in people’s heads in the US.  Yet, the usual reaction of  “oh, there’s nothing that can be done about this sort of thing” is once again to be heard.

Sure, there will be some people talking about actually doing something about firearms, but it will once again go quiet once all the outrage dies out.  That is quite a difference from how these incidents are handled in other parts of the world–especially one’s that share a heritage with the US.  Hugerford saw a tightening of UK gun laws, Dunblane led to pretty much  all handguns being taken from private possession in the UK, And The Port Arthur incident saw Australia’s gun laws tighten up intensely in less than a year.  But, the US averages 20 mass shootings a year.   The Brady Campaign has a tally of these since 2005.

Mother Jones has an interactive map of mass shootings in the US since 1982.  Some estimate the figure to have been 125 Mass Killings since Columbine: I don’tthink the number is that low.  Mother Jones found that out of the 132 guns possessed by the killers, more than three quarters were obtained legally. The arsenal included dozens of assault weapons and high-powered handguns. (See charts below.) Just as Jeffrey Weise used a .40-caliber Glock to massacre students in Red Lake, Minnesota, in 2005, so too did James Holmes when blasting away at his victims in a darkened movie theater.   Mother Jones also found that half of the cases involved school or workplace shootings (11 and 17, respectively); the other 28 cases took place in locations including shopping malls, restaurants, government buildings, and military bases. Only one of the killers was a woman. (See Goleta, Calif., in 2006.)

Of course, that is a limited guide to mass shootings since very few people have an accurate grasp on how much firearms harm society, and that’s the way the gun lobby would like it.  Like the climate denial crowd, they want to flood the marketplace of ideas with shit science.  The fact that the NRA is so terrified of correct and accurate numbers being collected that they obstruct any legislative attempt to do so is as clear a red flag that they know an informed public will not follow, support or agree with them as you could ask for as an indicator of a serious problem.  But, like climate change, the truth is out there (I give a pitch for this blog) if one is willing to sift through an internet filled with loads of bullshit.

Fact is, the carnage has been going on at least since the 1978, but probably much longer, yet no one wants to do anything about it.  There is too much fantasy out there about people being able to outshoot the gunman, which is total crap in this case since they would have had to do it through a haze of tear gas.  Unfortunately, it is the fantasy which will win out in all this as it always has seemed to have done in recent years.

But, as the graphic says: “By looking closely at Holmes’ ammunition and equipment, it becomes clear the attack at the movie theatre could have been much worse.”  The question is when will it be so bad that people in the US will finally feel some outrage at the carnage happening around them and say enough?

More on hoplophobia

It was made up by Jeff Cooper who gave us the four rules of gun safety and the combat mindset. So, is he saying that we shouldn’t be concerned if we see someone carrying a firearm? I think this goes to point of VPC’s study Unintended Consequences where Pro-Handgun Experts Prove That Handguns Are a Dangerous Choice for Self-defence. In other words, the candid voices of pro-handgun experts and exposes through expert opinion the gun industry’s lies about the illusory benefits of handguns for self-defence.

First off, this “condition is not recognised in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (AKA DSM). It is probably unlikely to be recognised as a condition as well, despite the efforts of the people who like to use this terms efforts to get it in there. This would be due to the fact that most of the medical community is aware that the risk of harm from pistols and revolvers that is demonstrated year after year in America’s unparalleled handgun death and injury rates.

Irrational Fear? This term came from Jeff Cooper the person who gave us the four rules of gun safety and the colour coded combat mindset. The first two rules of gun safety are:

  1. All guns are always loaded. Even if they are not, treat them as if they are.
  2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. (For those who insist that this particular gun is unloaded, see Rule 1.)

Rule number 2 is the most important for this critique since it concedes that guns are destructive devices. Unfortunately, the fact that guns when used properly can cause serious injury or death is one of the things the folk who tend to use this term would prefer to neglect—in particular, the person who created the term.

Is he saying that we see someone we don’t know carrying a firearm and not see the possibility of a threat? Is he saying that guns don’t deserve at least a shred of respect for their capacity to cause injury or death?

Spot the inconsistency!

Before I leave this, I should say that no one has addressed Cooper’s inconsistencies in that he has his little colour coded combat mindset and points out that guns are indeed lethal, or at least destructive with his four rules of gun safety.

YET…

He would call people who are concerned about those who would carry firearm in a civilian setting hoplophobes.

Instead he wants people to walk around in condition white about someone who is carrying a deadly weapon:

 “Unaware and unprepared. If attacked in Condition White, the only thing that may save you is the inadequacy or ineptitude of your attacker. When confronted by something nasty, your reaction will probably be “Oh my God! This can’t be happening to me.”

But the ultimate absurdity is that Cooper taught COMBAT firearms use.  In fact, the colour coded mindset was expounded upon in a book called Principles of Personal Defense and refers to the states of awareness in combat, or the combat mindset

People who have served in the military, especially in combat arms and are quite used to the presence of weapons know the difference between war zones and civilian life. Being in the military is different from being in a civilian population. And that is a rational consideration, not mental illness. The civilian environment does not have life threatening danger around every corner. It is not a combat zone.

Civilian life is not combat. You would have thought a battle hardened marine like Cooper would have caught on to that fact. One usually does not encounter weapons in a Civil Society which is at peace.

So,which is it, are you tryiing to create a society where it is considered normal to be in a combat state of awareness?

Or do you live in a society where there is peace and laws?

Are you a hoplophobe?

I have to admit this is one of the most idiotic terms I have ever heard, yet it is repeatedly used to castigate those who support gun control.  I have devised this simple test to determine if you are a hoplophobe or not:

A madman is pointing a large firearm at you (e.g., 12 Bore riot-shotgun with 00 buckshot, Desert eagle .44 with hollow points and laser sighting device, or something else of your choice which would most likely seriously harm, if not kill,  you).  He is far enough away that any attempt to disarm this person would be futile.  Likewise, any attempt to pull a weapon would be met with his (or her) getting in at least a shot that would probably result in your being hurt, if not killed.

Are you:

  1. Afraid
  2. Not at all scared since you know full well that guns are not harmful in anyway, especially not in the hands of the insane or criminals, and you could not be hurt no matter how lethal the weapon or good the person’s holding its aim.

I am sure those gunloons out there will say that they have no fear and fit squarely into category 2.

Whereas anyone with a shred of sense would be afraid and say 1.

This is why the discussion of gun violence in the United States makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.  “Gun rights” advocates place themselves and others in this situation through their policies, yet want to imply those who oppose them are in some way not sensible.

Another treasure I found in my research:

I’m reposting this for a variety of reasons. First off, I am amazed it hasn’t been discovered as of yet. Secondly, I am amazed it hasn’t been shouted down off the Internet. Thirdly, what it says needs to be better publicised:

http://studentactivism.net/2009/04/14/concealed-carry-laws-and-school-safety-evidence-from-the-1940s-and-1950s/

StudentActivism.net is the work of Angus Johnston, a historian and advocate of American student organizing.

Concealed Carry Laws and School Safety: Evidence from the 1940s and 1950s (April 14, 2009)

The campus concealed-carry debate is heating up in several state legislatures right now, and I’m trying to get up to speed, so I’ve just started reading “Pretend ‘Gun-Free’ School Zones: A Deadly Legal Fiction” — an article by David Kopel that argues that laws prohibiting faculty and adult students from carrying guns on school campuses are “irrational and deadly.” (I found the article through the National Review‘s Phi Beta Cons blog)

Kopel says that for most of America’s history “it was not uncommon for students to bring guns to school.” He cites a column in which John Lane reminisces about his youth in the 1940s and 1950s, and says that he “attempted to find a ‘school shooting’ from that era,” but “came up empty.” On the following page Kopel goes further, passing on the claim that “before the 1990 [Gun-Free School Zone Act], there had been only seven shootings at an American school in the previous 214 years,” and that “in the 17 years following the GFSZA, there were 78 such incidents.”

Each of these claims — that one might search for school shootings in the 1940s and 1950s and find no examples, and that there were only seven shootings at American schools before 1990 — struck me as unlikely, so I decided to check them out.

I fired up the search engine for the archives of the New York Times, looking for articles published between January 1, 1940 and December 31, 1959 that included the words ”shot” and “school.”

The search returned 4,940 results.

Most of these weren’t articles about school shootings, of course. Many were stories about gun violence that happened to refer to a school that a perpetrator or victim attended. A significant number were sports coverage — articles about target shooting competitions, or shot-put records, or even teams that the Times believed to have a shot at a state or national title.

But as I made my way through the results, I found that eighteen of the first two hundred were reports of school shootings in which one or more people were killed or wounded.

There were three suicides and six homicides among these eighteen incidents. More than half involved a student perpetrator, and at least three were accidental shootings on school grounds.

Reading these stories, each of which I’ve excerpted below, suggests a world in which gun violence was anything but rare in the school setting. There are a few premeditated killings, but more cases where tempers flared or caution was absent, and the Newspaper of Record seems not to have been terribly surprised by any of it. In March of 1949, for instance, when a student at New York’s elite Stuyvesant High School accidentally shot one of his classmates with a 38-caliber revolver, the story got just five short paragraphs on page 30, and the shooter was charged only with “juvenile delinquency.”

The Eighteen Articles

Most of these articles describe events that took place in the New York metropolitan area, but several are wire stories from other parts of the country. Each refers to a shooting on school grounds. As noted above, these are just a sampling of articles from one newspaper, and so presumably represent only a small fraction of school shootings in the 1940s and 1950s.

May 23, 1940: “Infuriated by a grievance, Matthew Gillespie, 62-year-old janitor at the junior school of the Dwight School for Girls here, shot and critically wounded Mrs. Marshall Coxe, secretary of the junior school, on the first floor of the building this afternoon.”

July 5, 1940: “Angered by the refusal of his daughter, Melba Moshell, 15 years old, to leave a boarding school here and return to his home, Joseph Moshell, 47, of 252 East Girard Avenue, Philadelphia, visited the school this afternoon and shot and killed the girl, according to the State Police.”

November 18, 1942: “Erwin Goodman, 36-year-old mathematics teacher of William J. Gaynor Junior High School in Brooklyn, was shot and killed in the school corridors on Oct. 2 by a youth whose hand he had clasped in thankfulness for acting as peacemaker a few minutes earlier.”

February 23, 1943: “Harry Wyman, 13-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Wyman of Port Chester, NY … shot himself dead tonight at the Harvey School, a boys’ preparatory school.”

June 26, 1946: “A 15-year-old schoolboy who balked at turning over his pocket money to a gang of seven Negro youths was shot in the chest at 11:30 A.M. yesterday in the basement of the Public School 147 annex of the Brooklyn High School for Automotive Trades.”

November 24, 1946: “A 13-year-old student at St. Benedict’s Parochial School here shot and fatally wounded himself tonight while sitting in an audience watching a school play.”

December 24, 1948: “A 14-year-old boy was wounded fatally here today by an accidental shot from the .22-caliber rifle of a fellow-student … the youth was shot in the head when he chanced into range where Robert Ross, 17, of Brooklyn, was shooting at a target near a lake on the school property.”

March 12, 1949: “A 16-year-old student at Stuyvesant High School, 345 Fifteenth Street, was accidentally shot in the right arm yesterday afternoon by a fellow student who, police said, was ‘showing off’ with a pistol in a classroom.”

July 22, 1950: “A 16-year-old boy was shot in the wrist and abdomen at 10 o’clock last night in Public School 141 … during an argument with a former classmate. They were attending a weekly dance sponsored by the Board of Education.”

November 27, 1951: “David Brooks, a 15-year-old student, was fatally shot as fellow-pupils looked on in a grade school here today.”

April 9, 1952: “A 15-year-old boarding-school student who shot a dean rather than relinquish pin-up pictures of girls in bathing suits was charged with murderous assault today.”

November 20, 1952: “Rear Admiral E. E. Herrmann, 56 years old, superintendent of the Naval Post-Graduate School here, was found dead in his office with a bullet in his head. A service revolver was found by his side.”

October 8, 1953: “Larry Licitra, 17-year-old student at the Machine and Metal Trades High School, 320 East Ninety-sixth Street, was shot and slightly wounded in the right shoulder at 11:30 AM yesterday in the lobby of the school while inspecting a handmade pistol owned by one of several students.”

October 20, 1956: “A junior high school student was wounded in the forearm yesterday by another student armed with a home-made weapon at Booker T. Washington Junior High School.”

October 2, 1957: “A 16-year old student was shot in the leg yesterday by a 15-year old classmate at a city high school.”

March 12, 1958: “A 17-year-old student was indicted yesterday for carrying a dangerous weapon. He had shot a boy in the Manual Training High School March 4.”

May 1, 1958: “A 15-year-old high school freshman was shot and killed by a classmate in a washroom of the Massapequa High School today.”

September 24, 1959: “Twenty-seven men and boys and an arsenal were seized in the Bronx last night as the police headed off a gang war resulting from the fatal shooting of a teen-ager Monday at Morris High School.”

If gun violence is senseless, it’s because there are people who won’t do anything about it.

I was at Ohh Shoot and saw the current post: Homecoming queen unintentionally shot and killed at fraternity house.

Now, the usual line is that victims of gun violence are criminal scum, but that doesn’t appear to be the case with this particular victim.

One caption about this incident read that Ashley Cowie was Standout Student at St. Johns Country Day School.

OK, I know that journalists can distort the victims of crime, but that doesn’t appear to be true in this case. Ashley was truly a good person who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“She was a young woman of great promise.”

And the gun owner was a 20 year old student who had been drinking. According to the news reports he was showing off the flashlight on his AR-15 when it went off.

He didn’t know it was loaded.

The only thing which is senseless about the gun violence problem in the US is the fact that no one is willing to address the issue.  In fact, the answer these days is to get more firearms out on the streets.

Yet another life cut short because people are willing to tolerate the relaxation of firearms laws.  They tolerate irresponsible behaviour in the name of freedom.

The problem isn’t that gun control isn’t working–there is no significant gun control in the US.  And the laws are getting weaker.

And people like Ashley are dying.

For real stupidity see: http://www.opposingviews.com/i/ashley-cowie-20-killed-in-shooting-at-fsu-frat-house

For Colin Godard, V-Tech victim…

Who asks: Why Do We Make Gun Violence So Easy? and “Maybe crazy people will do crazy things. But why, I ask my country, my president, my representatives in Congress, why do we make it so damned easy?”

Hey! what did I hear you say?
You know, it doesn’t have to be that way…
You’ve only got yourselves to blame
For playing the game

Society Take a tip from Me–It doesn’t have to be that way.

And call your local radio station to request “I don’t Like Mondays” and “If it were up to me”.

Are mass shootings really senseless?

Or is everyone ignoring the elephant in the room?

In my  Freedom is not being held at gunpoint post I pointed out that the US has the highest number of assassinations and attempted assassinations and it also leads in the amount of mass shootings. The US also has the highest amount of civilian gun ownership per capita. The correlation between the guns in circulation and victims from gun violence is undeniable.

So, it doesn’t come as a surprise that there is a multiple assassination in Arizona this past weekend given that Arizona leads the US in gun deaths per capita, coming in second after Mississippi.

#2, Arizona
Gun deaths per 100,000: 15
Permissive gun laws: 1st out of 50

Oddly enough, the States with strict gun laws come in at the lower end of the pile:

#40, California
Gun deaths per 100,000: 9
Permissive gun laws: 50th out of 50

#41, New Hampshire
Gun deaths per 100,000: 5.9
Permissive gun laws: 26th out of 50

#42, Minnesota
Gun deaths per 100,000: 6.6
Permissive gun laws: 36th out of 50

#43, Illinois
Gun deaths per 100,000: 8
Permissive gun laws: 45th out of 50

#44, Iowa
Gun deaths per 100,000: 5.3
Permissive gun laws: 38th out of 50

#45, New York
Gun deaths per 100,000: 5.1
Permissive gun laws: 43rd out of 50

#46, New Jersey
Gun deaths per 100,000: 5.2
Permissive gun laws: 49th out of 50

#47, Connecticut
Gun deaths per 100,000: 4.3
Permissive gun laws: 46th out of 50

#48, Rhode Island
Gun deaths per 100,000: 3.5
Permissive gun laws: 42nd out of 50

#49, Massachusetts
Gun deaths per 100,000: 3.6
Permissive gun laws: 48th out of 50

#50, Hawaii
Gun deaths per 100,000: 2.8
Permissive gun laws: 47th out of 50

Of course, the standard line is that the assailant could have used another weapon, but how many mass stabbings are there?  Short of using explosives, which are highly regulated, the weapon of choice for mass killers is a firearm.  This is undeniable–firearms are the weapon of choice in mass killings.

The problem is that we have seen that the mass killers in the US such as the Fort Hood, Virginia Tech, and the latest from Tucson bought their firearms legally. This was despite the fact that there were warning signs which would have led to these people being prohibited persons in other jurisdictions (e.g., Australia and Great Britain).

The NRA is keeping silent since it knows that nothing will be done. The American people are happy to die in the name of “freedom”. This is because the Second Amendment has been misconstrued to include a concept of “gun rights” which exists in no other jurisdiction with a common law heritage. Prior supreme Court Justices have called this view a fraud. Justice William O. Douglas, who was on the Court at the time of US v. Miller said:

A powerful lobby dins into the ears of our citizenry that these gun purchases are constitutional rights protected by the Second Amendment, which reads, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

There is under our decisions no reason why stiff state laws governing the purchase and possession of pistols may not be enacted. There is no reason why pistols may not be barred from anyone with a police record. There is no reason why a State may not require a purchaser of a pistol to pass a psychiatric test. There is no reason why all pistols should not be barred to everyone except the police.

The leading case is United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174, upholding a federal law making criminal the shipment in interstate commerce of a sawed-off shotgun. The law was upheld, there being no evidence that a sawed-off shotgun had “some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia.” Id., at 178. The Second Amendment, it was held, “must be interpreted and applied” with the view of maintaining a “militia.”

“The Militia which the States were expected to maintain and train is set in contrast with Troops which they were forbidden to keep without the consent of Congress. The sentiment of the time strongly disfavored standing armies; the common view was that adequate defense of country and laws could besecured through the Militia – civilians primarily, soldiers on occasion.” Id., at 178-179.

Critics say that proposals like this water down the Second Amendment. Our decisions belie that argument, for the Second Amendment, as noted, was designed to keep alive the militia. But if watering-down is the mood of the day, I would prefer to water down the Second rather than the Fourth Amendment. Adams v. Williams, 407 U.S 143, 150 -51 (1972)

Even the Heller-McDonald Cases allow for some form of gun control:

Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose. See, e.g., Sheldon, in 5 Blume 346; Rawle 123; Pomeroy 152–153; Abbott 333. For example, the majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment or state analogues. See, e.g., State v. Chandler, 5 La. Ann., at 489–490; Nunn v. State, 1 Ga., at 251; see generally 2 Kent *340, n. 2; The American Students’ Blackstone 84, n. 11 (G. Chase ed. 1884). Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Heller at 54-5

Which has as a footnote (26):

We identify these presumptively lawful regulatory measures only as examples; our list does not purport to be exhaustive.

Better yet:

But the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table. These include the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home. Heller at 64

From McDonald:

It is important to keep in mind that Heller, while striking down a law that prohibited the possession of handguns in the home, recognized that the right to keep and bear arms is not “a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.” 554 U. S., at ___ (slip op., at 54). We made it clear in Heller that our holding did not cast doubt on such longstanding regulatory measures as “prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill,” “laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.” Id., at ___–___ (slip op., at 54–55). We repeat those assurances here. Despite municipal respondents’ doomsday proclamations, incorporation does not imperil every law regulating firearms. McDonald at 39-40

Personally, I would take Justice Douglas’s opinion over that of Scalia’s since it is obvious that Scalia’s personal opinion taints his interpretation, thus creating bad law and precedent. Additionally, Justice Douglas was a member of the Court, which means that his opinion should be granted some weight in regard to the interpretation of the Second Amendment.

Despite those who claim that there exists no basis for gun control, there is even using the base line based upon Scalia’s biased opinion, the power for the regulation of firearms under the Second Amendment. In fact, there is strong reason to disregard the Heller-McDonald decisions given that there had been no Amendment of the Constitution or drastic change in circumstances which would cause a change in interpretation of the Second Amendment.

Despite the image, gun control has a solid basis in US culture with New York’s Sullivan Act now reaching the Century Mark.    Even Arizona’s Tombstone lawmakers in the 1880s did more to combat gun violence than the Arizona government does today. The “Wild West” was not the place of dime novels, but had stronger gun control than it does now. See also <a href=”http://historynewsservice.org/1999/07/gun-control-and-the-old-west/”historynewsservice.org/1999/07/gun-control-and-the-old-west/

Unfortunately, the massacres will carry on happening until individuals decide to say no to guns. The problem is will anyone ever get fed up with the bloodshed caused by the current trend to deregulate firearms so that they will say “no, there is no reason we need to put up with this”?

See also:  http://newtrajectory.blogspot.com/2011/01/important-data-trends-nra-doesnt-want.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/11/rachel-maddow-arizona-shooting_n_807212.html

Don’t go blaming guns…

Yet another crazy goes berzerk with a legally purchased firearm: will anything be done?

FUCK NO!