Tuesday Talk*: Guns, Guns, Guns

Upon learning of the slaughter in Vegas, I “called” for a day of respite before the “causes” kicked in. Silly moi. As horrific as it was, this was a problematic mass murder. The targets were people attending a country music festival, meaning the shooter was unlikely to fit the hoped-for narrative of racist, sexist, homophobic.

Indeed, it was quite possible, once a motive was ascertained, that the shooter was on the “good” side. Since no tragedy can go unexploited by the opportunists, and there being no easy target of their invective, the narrative plucked the low-hanging fruit: guns. The narrative, inexplicably, was “there is never a good time to talk about guns,” designed to overcome people like me who called for breathing room before the hysteria, before seizing upon death to further the cause.

It was ironic, of course, because we talk about guns all the time. But that’s not really what they mean. What they mean is that regulation hasn’t happened, making “talk about guns” a euphemism for regulating guns. After all, no real talk could end in anything other than regulation, since there is no other “correct” outcome.

While the twitters were already enraged, the first serious shot I saw came from Nick Kristof, who won the Vegas sprint. He argued that we sensibly regulate driving to save lives, and should do the same with guns. He makes a good argument on a poor premise. Driving cars is a “privilege.” Possessing a gun is a fundamental constitutional right. They’re not the same, which is why others blame the Second Amendment, Heller/McDonald and the lawyer who made that happen.

We had this talk here before** after the New York Times put its editorial about guns on Page A1. It’s buried in the editorial pages today, although it includes a survey of anti-gun commentary. Former Long Island congressman Steve Israel writes about congressional inertia on regulation, blaming it on the far-right “gun lobby” and voter’s short attention span.

Third, the problem is you, the reader. You’ve become inoculated. You’ll read this essay and others like it, and turn the page or click another link. You’ll watch or listen to the news and shake your head, then flip to another channel or another app. This horrific event will recede into our collective memory.

That’s what the gun lobbyists are counting on.

As is de rigueur, the argument is directed to appeal to the people who already believe in it. They seek to shame Second Amendment supporters as deplorable killers under the delusion that everyone desires progressive approval. There is an avoidance of questions as to whether the regulation called for would have prevented this, or any other, tragedy, particularly since this slaughter involved a fully automatic weapon.

In the alternative, there are calls to rescind the Second Amendment, which not only appears untenable, but even if it was a possibility, opens the door to a constitutional shift as to the Bill of Rights which might end with only the Third Amendment remaining unscathed.

At the same time, the shooter had a lot of guns in his hotel room. The shooter killed and wounded a great many people who should have been able to enjoy a concert and survive. Not to overemphasize the deep thoughts of a Vox kid, but German Lopez writes:

More guns mean more gun deaths. Period,

Is death the price we pay? Putting aside the gun control arguments that appeal only to gun control advocates, is there any way that Second Amendment supporters can be persuaded to agree with regulation? Is there a middle ground? Should there be?

What say you?

*Usual Tuesday Talk rules apply.

**Having already made my position clear, there’s no reason to restate it here.

169 thoughts on “Tuesday Talk*: Guns, Guns, Guns

  1. Joseph

    This time around, the Constitution will forced to play solo on the debate field, since the standard “if only someone in the crowd had a gun” argument isn’t flying so hot right now. It will be interesting to see that develop.

    Legally, though, the Second Amendment leaves the door open to an overwhelming amount of firearms regulation. Even restrictive gun control regimes are currently good law and could probably get a great deal more restrictive before the Supreme Court dropped the hammer. In the end it will be a “more regulation or less” debate. Repeal of the Second Amendment will probably be an ignorable sideshow.

  2. Bruce Coulson

    There are a lot of answers to these questions. Unfortunately, most of them are wrong. Even more unfortunately, it’s becoming more likely with every shooting that one of the wrong answers will become the answer.

    The middle ground is going to be drowned out by hysterical calls on both sides for the Government to do ‘something’.

    1. Kurt

      I just don’t see where “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” leaves any room for legislation.

      It seems to me that if a weapon can be conceivably be implemented in battle by a member of the militia, it’s covered by the Second.


  3. that david from Oz

    Bearing in mind your rule regarding links, I commend to you Jim Jefferies, an Australian comedian currently plying his trade in the US. Check him out on Youtube, specifically Gun Control part 1 and 2. Its old, but still relevant, and I think has the starkest break down of pro- 2nd Amendent arguments I’ve ever seen. Warning – not safe for work (or at least wear headphones), he swears like a drunken Australian at a pub thats run out of beer.

  4. B. McLeod

    I like to wait for the facts on these. If it turns out the shooter was a good, law-abiding mass-murderer, in compliance with all existing gun laws, then we should look at what additional gun laws we might need.

    As of yesterday, slanted media accounts were (quite unhelpfully) positing that the shooter was in compliance with “all Nevada gun laws,” so long as his machineguns were federally licensed. We don’t know if they were. We don’t even know if they were machineguns. I am waiting for the details on whatever he seemed to be firing full auto, as the media is still speculating on whether he really was firing full auto, or semi-auto with mechanical enhancements designed to increase rate of fire.

    Logically, if we are going to reform firearms law based on a single misuse, we would design reforms that would (or at least might) have prevented that misuse. It is not helpful to anyone to respond to a handgun attack with a convoluted “assault weapons ban.” We need to sort out the facts, stop Dianne Feinstein at the door, and let someone with an IQ in the triple digits talk about what changes would actually be responsive to the problem. Plain vanilla “need,” “plan,” and “plan meets need” analysis, instead of the usual political stupidity.

    1. SHG Post author

      So you aren’t impressed with the millions of word murdered on cable news that provide no actual information?

      1. B. McLeod

        I checked again this morning, to find one article with headline declaring the shooter used “bump stocks.” In the actual narrative, the reader learns two bump stocks were found with the 23 firearms in the shooter’s room, and authorities are investigating whether he used them. Two tripods reportedly also were present, and at least two scopes. Because all this stuff was up there, and he was reportedly firing for nearly two hours before the police got to him, it is going to take them some time to piece together what he used and what he did not. (It does seem remarkable that he managed to haul all of this gear up into a high-rise structure without attracting anyone’s attention). When we have a better picture, there may well be some accessories and quantity/place of carry restrictions that suggest themselves as subjects for additional regulation. It seems to me that it might well be possible to block the sort of conduct at issue with a few measures that would not greatly impact the rights of anyone not engaged in an attempt to commit mass murder from a high-rise structure.

        1. PseudonymousKid

          The details will be important like you say. I saw an article that outlined various modifications based on “experts” who listened to the gunfire and claimed to be able to tell that the intervals between each bullet (at about 10 per second according to USA Today) were inconsistent. Apparently, fully-automatic weapons are more regular in the intervals between shots. Also some people claim to be able to tell the difference between 700 rounds per minute consistently and a variable firing rate. There’s tons of learning to be had today if you look hard enough.

          Some of these things are ingenious and apparently easy to install. You can buy a crank apparently that turns a semi-auto into functional full-auto by pulling the trigger multiple times per revolution. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. What was actually used and how will be important.

          You’re being too sensible though. Wanting facts before you call for action. I thought this was America.

        2. Mark Bennett

          What “few measures” do you envision stopping people bent on mass murder from committing it?

          1. LocoYokel

            If someone is determined nothing can ever truly prevent it, but you can try to make it less convenient without trampling all over the rights of everybody else excessively. How this would be done I leave as an exercise to those claiming to be smarter than I am.

            In this case, a person hauling that much gear up to a hotel room should have raised eyebrows, especially as it seems he was a (relatively, compared to being from across the continent) local. What could have been done about it I don’t know. Much like parking a panel truck or van in close to a government building and then walking away or getting into another vehicle and driving away would.

          2. Ash

            If you can stop the legal commercial manufacture of bump fire and gat crank and other mechanisms, it makes it much harder for these incidents to occur.

            1. Mike

              This was arguably the first time a crime has been committed with a bump-fire stock. So it’s hard to say if this will make a meaningful impact of any future events.

            2. B. McLeod

              See everybody? There’s a thought. Still a bit early, because we don’t know if he actually used the bump stocks or not. But if he did, this would be on the list of logical minor repairs.

          3. Ash

            There is nothing that will stop people bent on anything from committing it.

            But there is lots that will reduce a great amount of crapola.

            Do speed limits work at all in reducing speeding? I bet they do. I bet speed limits reduce the average speed of the average speeder.

            At this moment, I am okay with laws that require people to jury rig their own bump firing mechanisms and not just order them off the open web.

            I don’t see any need for bump firing in hunting or even in self-defense. (The bump fire videos I watched on YT were both from gun experts and also from very hot women but neither group exhibited that bump fire mechanisms offered any sort of accuracy and precision that most people would from self-defense weapons or offer any advantage in self-defense that a shot gun doesn’t have.)

            1. B. McLeod

              There were no demos by people with very limited mobility in their hands? How did these devices fail to hit their target market?

          4. B. McLeod

            Well, again, if we’re going to gear proposals to the incident sparking the discussion, let’s wait until we know what it involved. Then, we can consider what could have stopped it, starting small.

        3. Rojas

          The guy was a high roller and they likely comped his room.
          A couple of hard sided roller suit cases would have done the job.

          Having spent a fair amount of time in Bogota when things were still pretty hot I wonder what few measures you think might not greatly impact anyone.

    2. that david from Oz

      ” . . . IQ in the triple digits . . . ”
      where on earth are you going to find such a person in either of your Houses?????

      1. B. McLeod

        Although we talk about them like they’re all idiots, many politicians really aren’t. The key is getting them to start the discussion with a view to solving a problem. The biggest reason nothing happened after Newtown was that Obama and the Democratic choir seized on the tragedy as an opportunity to pull out the discredited Feinstein bill and ram it up the NRA. Their goal wasn’t to fix or solve anything, but simply to tag the NRA with an act of political vengeance per their usual zero-sum bullshit. Before that one got very far, they realized they had misread the room, and it wasn’t going to fly. Even so, expect to see exactly more of the same from Feinstein and some others in the days to come.

  5. Keith

    I wrote a while back in your previous post (since turned into a blog post) about ideas for future gun regulations.

    Talking to people on both sides of the issue of regulations,, a few reasons people were consistently against regulatiory proposals kept popping up:

    1) A belief that the government is going to use the new law to create a list or directory of who has arms.
    2) A ban on certain types of weapons and / or confiscation
    3) Taxes on law abiding owners and programs which create excess costs for firearms

    I’d start with keeping those ideas as a backdrop when designing new regulations.

    Take background checks…

    Here is my proposal for universal background checks:

    – An online background check system (think eVerify, but for prohibited buyers)
    – No registration of firearms
    – Requirement for sellers to print and keep confirmation
    – Penalties for those that can’t prove they performed a check
    – Jail time for those that knowingly sell to someone on prohibited list

    The idea is to make it easier to let an individual run the background check (they currently aren’t even permitted), take away the drawbacks (it can add costs of time and money at present) and have just enough of a stick that the carrot is palatable.

    Other ideas include offering subsidized classes and safe storage options for those that may not be able to get them easily.

    Correction: there is no evidence he had a fully automatic weapon at this time. He may have used what’s called a “bump stock”, which BATFE has declared legal device.

    1. B. McLeod

      Do you have a citation for that BATFE declaration? I have only been able to find a June 2010 letter saying they classified it as a “firearm part” not subject to regulation under the GCA or NFA. (Interestingly, the purpose of the bump stock system was represented to them as an accommodation for shooters “with limited mobility in their hands”).

      1. Keith

        My apologies. That was a scriveners error. I meant “a legal device” and my iphone glitched.

        You are correct.

        [Ed. Note: I corrected the original comment to reflect this. Serves you right for using an iToy.]

        1. B. McLeod

          Thanks. I know there was some pressure 2010-2012 for them to change that interpretation, but I couldn’t find where they ever did. Bump stocks made it past the unicorn riders of the Rainbow Brigade because they weren’t designed to mimic full-auto fire, but to help the disabled. It feelzed good, so it was obviously correct, and I’m sure all the disabled hunters with AR-15s were grateful.

          1. zoe

            Provided that the disabled who were using the bump stock had no intentions of controlling the aim of the firearm.

    2. Hunting Guy

      – An online background check system (think eVerify, but for prohibited buyers)
      – No registration of firearms
      – Requirement for sellers to print and keep confirmation
      – Penalties for those that can’t prove they performed a check
      – Jail time for those that knowingly sell to someone on prohibited list

      Maybe I misunderstood your post. Under current federal regulations these requirements are already in place for commercial gun sales.

      1. Keith

        Maybe I misunderstood your post. Under current federal regulations these requirements are already in place for commercial gun sales.

        That’s correct, but commercial gun sales require going to a Federally Licensed Firearm Dealer (FFL) and paying a transfer fee, a fee for the check and none of that is required for a private sale.

        So when dad wants to sell his old rifle to his neighbor, is he going to travel 30 minutes each way to pay a $50 transfer fee on top of a $20 background check fee to hand off his $100 rifle to the guy he’s known since forever which isn’t even a requirement?

        And if he wanted to run a private check, he wouldn’t be permitted. In my conception, he’d be able to go online, run the check and print or save the approval for free. If the buyer gets a thumbs up, he can sell it. The whole point is making it super easy to run a check without the associate costs currently involved in the commercial regime.
        (The idea is more fleshed out in the post linked in my previous comment)

        1. norahc

          Keith, the devil is in the details with your plan. Washington state voters passed an initiative a few years ago claiming to close the “gun show loophole” by requiring background checks an all firearms transfers…including temporary ones.

          The way their law is written if you want ti borrow a buddy’s gun while your both at the range just to test it, you have to go to an FFL and transfer the firearm. When you’re done shooting the one mag at the range, you have to go back to the FFL to transfer it back. It doesn’t even matter if both people involved have gine through the background checks to carry a concealed weapon.

          I would love to see a free online based system where people could run a background check on a potential buyer and keep a serialized yes/no response record.

        2. phv3773

          In Connecticut, he would have determine that the recipient has an appropriate eligibility certificate or permit, call the state for an authorization number, fill out and distribute a couple of forms.

    3. Edward

      Their is already a hefty federal tax on firearms and ammunition. 11% for long arms and ammo and 10% for Handguns. This is the Pittman-Robertson Act of 1937.

    4. Mike

      Considering your second point was “No registration”, your subsequent points seem to fail. How would police be able to know you had a gun (let alone sold) to necessitate penalties for selling without a check?

      Otherwise I completely agree. Universal background checks don’t need to be mandatory, but allowing a system in which everyone could use it, with no cost increases, would be beneficial.

      And a bump stock was declared legal because it doesn’t modify the gun. Not sure if you just had a typo or not.

      1. Keith

        It’s important to realize that this plan doesn’t prevent every bad use of a gun. It wasn’t designed to do so. What it’s designed to do is to get people to want to do background checks. Lots of them. Because the more checks that are done, the more people that you know are ok to buy guns are the one’s doing the buying.

        The idea is two-fold. Make it super easy and cheap to run a check. Make it the responsibility of the owner of the gun to run it and if they don’t, to make that person liable.

        Here’s a simple scenario: Gun X is sold from it’s initial FFL to you, Mike. You want to make a private sale to Mort. Do you run a check on him, knowing it’s easy and free and if he winds up killing someone and it’s traced back to you, you can be held liable for penalties for selling without the check being done? I sure would run the check under those circumstances.

        Is there a chance that Mort will kill people and the cops wouldn’t be able to trace the gun from Mort back to you, so you could “get away” with not running it? Yea, that can happen.

        But let me ask you, do you want to bet hard time on that?

        Now what do you think?

        1. Mike

          So if you’re tracing the sales of a gun through all owners, it’s de facto registration; which seems to go against your first point. I’m all for having NICS be widely available and free (cheap), but attempting to enforce any meaningful documentation without registration would be hard and fraught with unintended consequences IMO.

          1. Keith

            The system (I’m designing) wouldn’t be tracking the info from the checks. I’d check if you were a prohibited user, it pops out you’re ok and then nothing is kept. I can print the check and that’s it.

            Remember, the check is only relevant when the person using the gun for a crime was a prohibited buyer.

            So if I buy it, sell it to Mort and Mort sells it to you and you were a prohibited buyer, they will know I’m the original purchaser because FFL’s track the first sale (as they currently do) and then I can either show I sold it to a non-prohibited buyer or face the consequences.

            1. B. McLeod

              But, as to people like Paddock, who had no problem passing background checks for purchases from licensed dealers, this would add nothing.

            2. Keith

              But, as to people like Paddock, who had no problem passing background checks for purchases from licensed dealers, this would add nothing.

              Ignore Paddock. The question posed by our ever gracious host was:
              “Putting aside the gun control arguments that appeal only to gun control advocates, is there any way that Second Amendment supporters can be persuaded to agree with regulation?”

              My answer is yes. I’ve identified the beginning of a plan for legislation that does something (not everything) and I’d love input from people on both sides as to reasons it’s better / worse or indifferent than the system we currently have.

              Let’s not start moving goalposts. It was never designed to stop a Paddock. Trying to stop the freak occurrence isn’t worth the effort when it comes to designing legislation.

            3. Mike

              Seems overly cumbersome for a small time seller, but if the government made it easy to use and keep records, I could support it.

            4. Keith

              Seems overly cumbersome for a small time seller, but if the government made it easy to use and keep records, I could support it.

              The concern over any of these systems is registries. If you know who has the guns, you can go there to harass them, steal them, confiscate them, etc…

              The Statute in Florida actually specifically bans registries claiming they serve no legitimate law enforcement purpose. In practice, anything remotely smelling like a registry is DOA.

              So I agree with you, it’s a bit cumbersome and could be much easier with some Fed database keeping track, but that simply isn’t an option if you want to pass a law.

              The question then becomes, will passing this be better than what we have?

        2. Frank

          So…we’re back to the days of GCA ’68 where anyone could get an FFL for the princley sum of $1. Didn’t stay that way. And along the way came “storefront” requirements and “gun safe” requirements designed to eliminate the “kitchen table” FFL.

          Free universal background checks won’t stay free. Or available. Progressives will see to that. This sums up my objections to “common sense” gun control (really citizen disarmament) measures.

          1. Keith

            The sad part is that you’re right. But this has less to do with whether the regulatory process will be helpful or wise and far more to do with the fact there’s simply no trust on the other side. And if there’s no trust, why give an inch you don’t have to give.

            Got any suggestions on how to force a truce between people with no trust? I’m at a loss on that one.

  6. KP

    He’s (was) a criminal.
    Criminals can always get illegal guns.
    Therefore banning guns is waste of time.. as Australia and England have both found.

    However if you want to disarm the law-abiding population, there is nothing better than a good massacre!
    If you’re not making headway with those banning laws, it pays to organise one yourself, just find some ordinary patsy with no reason at all to shoot other people and set him up. Always remember to make sure he kills himself.

    1. PseudonymousKid

      Everyone here is being too weak. We’re talking about a constitutional right. There’s on picking or choosing which rights to “support” – as if your support did anything. The Eighth says no cruel and unusual punishments. It doesn’t have an asterisk. It doesn’t say “except when the government really wants to.” Principle says I should be able to own a tank, and goddamn do I want a tank.

      You’re so right. If everyone was armed with a tank, no one can be killed by guns. Tuesday Talk is over.

        1. PseudonymousKid

          Didn’t consider the arms race. Next are death rays. Second Amendment proponents are literally cartoon villains.

      1. Ken Hagler

        If you can afford a tank, you’re welcome to buy one. It’s perfectly legal in the US (among other countries). They’re just so expensive that only wealthy collectors actually buy them.

          1. B. McLeod

            Show me a person who can “bear” a tank, and I’ll show you one who does not need a weapon.

            1. PseudonymousKid

              Constructive bearing. You need the tank to bear the gun that’s on top. Tanks win again.

            2. B. McLeod

              I was reading yesterday about a Texan who got tanked up, and decided to park his used Sherman on the front lawn. Now the neighborhood association is upset, and when the neighbors start buying Panthers and Jagtigers, Russian T-34s, or even some old Panzer IVs, Mr. I-have-a-Sherman will find he has wasted his money.

    2. that david from Oz

      -He’s (was) a criminal-
      Based on current actions, sure. Prior to killing 50 people? Mebbe, mebbe not. You don’t think that if there was any evidence his guns were illegal the MSM wouldn’t be shoving it down out throats by now?

      -Criminals can always get illegal guns-
      No, they can’t always get auto- or semi-auto weapons. Often they’ll get shot by the criminals selling them the weapons.

      -Therefore banning guns is waste of time.. as Australia and England have both found-
      Fucking bullshit, if you’ll pardon my French. Number of massacres in Oz since 1996 (year gun control came in) – zero. Number of mass shootings between 1979 and 1996 – 13, with 112 deaths.
      After gun control, rapid decline in firearm homicides and suicides, with no matching rise by other methods.
      Go pound sand, troll. Actually, don’t go anywhere . . .

      [Ed. Note: Take it down a notch, please.]

      1. Mike

        Actually there isn’t really evidence that extreme gun control did work in GB or Australia. Australia’s numbers were trending down prior and both countries have seen increases in violent crime since the bans. If the only metric is “mass shooting” then it’s a small metric to argue against.

        Large increases in firearms in the US haven’t had a rise in violent crime or firearm homicides, but rather the opposite. Not to say that ownership has caused the decrease, but rather it hasn’t increased like is widely argued would happen.

        The best gun control argument I’ve ever read deals with wait times and suicide rates. But that isn’t a glamorous platform to run on.

      2. Charles

        To ban guns in the United States, you would have to amend the Constitution. Amending the Constitution to give more rights to the people (e.g., lowering the voting age) is hard. Amending the Constitution to eliminate rights we already have (e.g., the right to keep and bear arms) is impossible. Whether your idea is good or bad, it is a non-starter.

        BTW, are you not counting the 2014 Martin Place, Sydney hostage crisis where two hostages died and the gunman was killed? At the time, that was as big a deal in Australia as Vegas is here.

        1. maz

          Not sure Martin Place qualifies as a mass shooting, in that the gunman was [directly] responsible for only one death; the police shot and killed the other hostage and the gunman, in addition to shooting and injuring three other hostages and a police officer. Semantics, sure — but, then, so is the argument that a weapon capable of firing in excess of 100 rounds a minute isn’t actually an ‘assault rifle’ because that’s not what the term mean[t|s] to the [ Wehrmacht | U.S. Army procurement office ] — pick one, depending on how old-school you feel — despite the only reason for shooting at even a tenth that rate is to lay down suppressive fire. (Hi, David!)

        2. Ash

          Would you have to amend the Constitution to ban guns that exhibit a certain degree of lethality?

          Already we can’t have F-16s, howitzers, fully automatic weapons, …

          1. SHG Post author

            Can we take amending the Constitution out of the question. It’s absurd and every level, and isn’t something any serious person would find worthy of discussion.

            1. Ash

              > Can we take amending the Constitution out of the question. It’s absurd and every level, and isn’t something any serious person would find worthy of discussion

              That’s fine and was my point. Somehow we already have lots of limitations on various Constitutional rights including guns that did not require amending the Constitution.

      3. KP

        “No, they can’t always get auto- or semi-auto weapons”

        If you think that come and live in Sydney with me- Drive-by shootings are not even uncommon!

    3. norahc

      Up until the point he pulled the trigger, what made him a criminal?

      From what I’ve seen so far, he had no criminal history and his only previous interaction with law enforcement was a trafffic ticket. Or are you really saying anyone with a traffic ticket is a criminal?

  7. Ken Hagler

    Nothing can persuade this Second Amendment supporter to agree to _more_ regulation. I refuse to accept punishment for someone else’s crime.

    However, if the government wants to regulate guns the same way it does cars, I’d certainly be in favor of _that_. There are nowhere near as many car control laws. Whenever you see someone in favor of gun control arguing that cars should be regulated like guns, it means that he either has no idea what the current laws are, or thinks his readers don’t.

    Some examples of thing that would be true if guns were regulated like cars:
    There would be no restrictions whatsoever on what you could buy, own, sell, or loan. Laws would only restrict what you could carry in public.
    There would be no such thing as background checks, and you could give or loan a gun to anyone at any time. Businesses could rent guns to travelers who found it inconvenient to bring their own.
    All guns would be sold with suppressors, and the vast majority of them would be full auto capable.
    Carry licenses would be issued to anyone who could pass a very simple test and was at least 16. High schools would offer classes on shooting and passing the test. Past criminal record would not matter.
    Carrying (or towing) a crew-served weapon such as heavy machine guns, missile launchers, and artillery would require a more difficult test to get a higher grade of carry license, but would still be readily available to anyone who wanted one.

      1. Lee

        Fair is fair. If one side wants to whine “why don’t we regulate guns like we do cars,” then the other side should be allowed to point out the ignorance of that remark.

        I don’t know about you, but I have yet to see a serious, workable proposal that would have stopped this shooter. (And citation to Australia is unconvincing because the USA ain’t Australia). Furthermore, most of the proposals I have seen appear to be ignorant of the current laws in place.

    1. kushiro

      So…unleaded bullets only?

      Instead, we could do the same as for dogs:
      – you can have whatever kind you want, except for whatever type the government decides is too dangerous
      – you need to have a tag on them in public, and a leash as well
      – if you insert any kind of metal or projectile into them, you’ll be subject to cruelty laws
      – you can’t take them into private businesses or public buildings (unless you can explain the service they’ve been trained to perform for you)
      – if you leave one alone in your car, you could face punishment, and someone might smash your window to rescue it
      – the twitter account for “we rate guns” will probably not be as fun or as popular

  8. jim cline

    Once again people will go for the simple “fix” of blaming the tool and not the user. Mental health issues will be overshadowed and almost ignored as will the growing tendency of using violence instead of reasoned discourse to address divisive issues.

      1. jim cline

        I think almost anyone would agree someone who would fire in to a large group of unarmed people who aren’t firing at him has a mental health issue.

        1. zoe

          As described in the DSM-5? Your ill-defined net just captured a large number of cops, military personnel, fiction writers (who have penned their disorder), movie directors (who have audio-video recorded their fantasies), World-of-Warcraft video gamers, etc…

          Or is it a mental health issue only AFTER the crime has been committed?

  9. B. McLeod

    As far as anything I have heard from anybody, the Australians and English believe they have accomplished a great deal with their substantially restrictive systems. However, I don’t think they had quite as many guns on the street when they imposed their regulatory systems, and (of course) they did not have Second Amendment considerations at all.

    1. phv3773

      Australian gun laws are not hugely different from the laws in the “ban states” in the eastern US from Maryland to Massachusetts, except that police attention is somewhat more intimidating. Gun death rates in most of these states (MD and DE are the exceptions) are the lowest in the country. Obligatory reminder: correlation is not causation.

      England is a different case. Violence has always been held to be the prerogative of the Crown. Current laws come close to outlawing self-defense altogether. For example, a subject may not defend himself with anything, even a common household object, that he has purchased for the purpose of self-defense. They have taken all handguns out of civilian hands.

      1. Ken Mackenzie

        “a subject may not defend himself with anything, even a common household object, that he has purchased for the purpose of self-defense.”
        It’s been some time since I practised in criminal law in England, but I think your summary is misleading. It depends what you mean by “defend himself”. When unlawfully attacked in England, you may use reasonable force to defend yourself, using whatever is to hand. However, you cannot carry an offensive weapon in anticipation that you might need it in self defence. A cricket bat in the car is best accompanied by pads, ball and other playing kit.

    2. that david from Oz

      As someone else has published, the situation in England and Australia are quite different wrt gun laws.
      We’ve had no real tradition of gun ownership, no history of “rebellion” or militias; and even taking population size in to account, a much smaller exposure to automatic weapons in Army service due to our relatively small footprint in the Vietnam and Korean wars, and relatively small armed forces currently.
      Of course automatic weapons are available in Australia on the black market, but because they are illegal, they are quite expensive; theres just less of them around.

      Our crazies, our terrorists, just don’t have the access to those types of weapons that American nutjobs do. Its as simple as that. We’ve had a couple of ISIS-wannabes try for US style mass shootings, but its pretty hard to do that with just a handgun. Our most recent “mass killing” was a mentally ill ISIS wannabe who had an old sawn-off shotgun; he had 10 hostages, he killed one, and the police accidentally killed a hostage as well as him storming the place. We had another ISIS wannabe walk up to two policemen with a knife; he got shot. We had another one manage to shoot a police accountant as he left work, and he was then shot as well.

      You can crap on about the 2nd Amendment all you want; but without automatic weapons, these losers are forced to rely on home-made bombs for mass killings, with a much greater chance they just blow themselves up or the bomb fails. Or the car-as-weapon routine we’re unfortunately seeing, which at least may be more survivable than a bullet to the head.

      1. cpast

        “We’ve had a couple of ISIS-wannabes try for US style mass shootings, but its pretty hard to do that with just a handgun.”

        Most mass shootings in the US are done with handguns.

    3. anonymous coward

      Actually neither Anglosphere gun confiscation and regulation scheme has worked very well. The best estimate is that Australia has hundreds of thousands of unregistered guns along with thousands of illegal guns smuggled in or made in secret workshops so Australia’s firearms homicide rate is approximately the same as the control group New Zealand which has much more liberal gun laws than Australia ( as an example NZ treats suppressors as unregulated gun parts).
      The UK has managed to reduce firearms crime rates, but only at the expense of very high rates of violent crime and leading the world in acid attacks. This is despite police reporting that minimizes violent crime rates and a pervasive surveillance state. This also did nothing to stop the 7/7 bombings. A further note on the futility of gun control is the Bataclan attack, which had a higher death toll than Las Vegas, in a country with strict gun control, and an attack pattern where somebody with a pistol could have stopped them.
      As for the mechanics of getting rifles into a hotel room, that is trivial, put them in a golf club bag and have a bell hop carry them right through the lobby.

      1. Keith

        The whole comparison to Australia and England has always perplexed me.

        For the people saying it didn’t work… if you were shown it DID work, would you change your minds?
        Same question in reverse for others.

        Maybe you’re all far more principled and just going with data, but it seems like a sideshow to me.
        My analysis is based on my view of liberty, freedom, government encroachment on rights… you know, principles and axiomatic stances.

        The idea of comparisons to other Countries just seems like a means-ends test that coincidentally works in your favor.

        Am I wrong?

        1. Rick

          Since a lot of people are not persuaded by principles and axiomatic stances, you have to figure out another way to persuade them. That is why people use examples of ways in which gun control does or does not work.

        2. Paul

          I think it also poisons the discussion. In order to do any significant reform you need to entice the moderates – many people have no problem with background checks, mental health requirements etc (never mind the existing laws blah blah blah). But the second you bring Australia into this it has jumped from regulation to the confiscation end game, and that, understandably I think, scares would be supporters to the oppose crowd.

          1. B. McLeod

            I don’t think confiscation will ever go here. Both because we have the Second Amendment, and because so many people can’t support it due to self-defense concerns. Our streets are awash with guns, and the government is not going to be able to change that easily or quickly. While that remains true, I am going to be very insistent on keeping mine.

          2. Ken Mackenzie

            Australia hasn’t made private ownership of firearms illegal. It’s just highly regulated: registration, licensing, training, safes, and inspections. Pistols and semi-automatics have a higher level of restrictions on them. Most people can own rifles, provided they jump through the regulatory hoops. The system doesn’t limit the number of licensed owners.

    1. phv3773

      No. Just plain no. The number of guns in private hands has approximately doubled since 2000, and gun deaths rates have been pretty much steady. There has been an small uptick in the last couple years. I have not seen a analysis explaining why.

  10. Eddie Harrington

    I am still shocked this “bump stock” device is legal given fully automatic weapons, save for those that are grandfathered in under the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986, are illegal to possess in the United States. Go watch a a few videos about a bump stock and what it is capable of doing. Simply put, it can pretty much make an AR-15 or AK-47 fully automatic. That is crazy.

    1. norahc

      Not quite true. The definition of fully automatic means one trigger press releases more than one bullet. Bump stocks, slide fire stocks and binary triggers only fire one bullet per trigger press…albeit at a faster rate than most people can pull the trigger themselves.

      And even if bump fire stocks were made illegal it could still be done by hooking your thumb through your belt loop and pushing the gun forward while your finger stays in a constant position. The recoil action of the gun would move the trigger enough to reset on the next pull.

      1. Eddie Harrington

        I hear what you are saying, norhac, and having been in the military since 1989 with one short break in service I have fired plenty of semi-automatic and automatic weapons. While what you say is 100% true, the videos I have seen on YouTube where the manufacturers are showing off what a bump stock can do show a weapon firing pretty much no different than an automatic weapon, especially when the person knows what he or she is doing. There is virtually no hesitation. Is it as fast as an automatic? No, but it is really not that much slower. Hell, I saw one video where the person emptied a 100 round drum in no time at all. But you are right in that even if they were to ban bump stocks someone will find a way around it. No easy answers.

        1. norahc

          Good points, Ed.

          But since mere possession does not equal usage, we should probably wait and see what was actually used before running off and making a hastily implemented and poorly drafted law to change it.

          The time to draft and change gun laws is not in the immediate aftermath of a tragedy, but when there hasn’t been a tragedy fir a while. Trying to use a tragedy to restrict rights rarely works, often has unintended consequences and reeks of using emotion and not reason as the foundation.

      2. maz

        I will say I never had any interest in owning an AR-15* until I learned about bump stocks…
        * A Kalashnikov, sure — assuming I could find an affordable, U.S.-legal, early-1950s style AK-47 (type 2A, 3A if I had to) with all walnut furniture. And didn’t live in California…

        1. PseudonymousKid

          Nice choice on the firearm. Gotta have the solid wood. I want a bump stock too now. It looks awesome, except they are going to all sell out quickly, I’d wager.

          1. B. McLeod

            It will surprise me if they aren’t addressed by a prohibition. Otherwise, I can see every manufacturer designing entire lines of these to retrofit every semi-auto in their line. For the disabled. Because it’s the right thing to do.

            1. zoe

              Maybe only the disabled should be legally allowed to own bump stocks. There’s not too many disabled people causing mass murders.

  11. Ahaz

    As former Army and a 2nd Amendment supporter, I do believe that reasonable restrictions are appropriate and necessary. In our nation of laws, we allowed this person to legally acquire weaponry that has only one purpose, kill another human. It shocks and offends me that any citizen can go into a gun shop and purchase and assault type weapon, AR-15, AK-47, Israeli Tavors; all weapons designed for war. It should not be permissible. I see legitimate self defense needs for handguns. Legitimate needs for rifles and shotguns to be used for hunting and every citizen should be allowed to purchase them freely, but assault weapons?! Not even on military bases are soldiers allowed to carry weapons without need. They need to be stored in the armory and only to be used when needed. This man was able to kill 59 people and injure 500 from a distance of 500 yards, because he had assault style weapons with that capability. Yes, the are hunting rifles with much more power, but rounds are limited and are not generally modifiable. Everyone is a law abiding citizen until they are not or mentally stable until they are not. Why make those weapons available to the masses?

    1. Mike

      This is a misnomer. Aside from looks, what is the functional difference between a mini-14 and a AR-15? AR variants are the most popular firearm in the US currently and probably gaining the most traction as a legitimate hunting rifle. The low recoil and accuracy at hunting ranges is ideal for people.

      Labeling those types of weapons as “weapons of war” completely ignores the firearms used during the first and second world war. Many of those weapons were taken home and used for things as defense and hunting.

      And what do you mean hunting rounds are limited and no modifiable? Anyone can load their own ammunition and there are many calibers that are more accurate at a greater range than (assuming) a .223 or 5.56 variant. He was shooting into a large crowd, the distance is negligible because he wasn’t targeting specifics.

    2. JAV

      Since on the internet, no one knows if you’re a dog, I need some clarification.

      “It shocks and offends me that any citizen can go into a gun shop and purchase and assault type weapon, AR-15, AK-47, Israeli Tavors; all weapons designed for war.”

      What elements about those guns specifically bothers you?

    3. LocoYokel

      You’re a dipshit and I seriously doubt you’re former army. To start with, the AR15 was originally a civilian rifle modded into the M-16 for the army’s use in Viet-nam.


      The M16 rifle, officially designated Rifle, Caliber 5.56 mm, M16, is a United States military adaptation of the Armalite AR-15 rifle.

      Can you tell me the difference between these rifles?

      html as my last attempt to put image links in failed.





      I’ll tell you. Absolutely nothing except the furniture. They shoot the same ammo, at the same rate, with the same capacity magazine. But one is a scary, evil, assault weapon another is something many ranchers and farmers carry in their truck to shoot coyotes, mountain lions and wild dogs threatening their livestock, and the third just shows the magazine and a scope on the “civilian” version.

    4. Paul

      Please then, define assault weapons, assault type weapons, and war.

      If you cannot see a reason for this fence should I let you remove it?

      Should other amendments, such as the first – or hell even the third, have exceptions for what shocks and offends you?

      1. norahc

        I think that in addition to defining the assault rifle, we need to look at what it is called depending on who happens to be in possesion of it.

        A semi auto AR-15 in the hands of a law abiding citizen is carrying a modern sporting rifle.

        That same AR-15 in the hands of a criminal is called and assault rifle.

        That very same AR-15 in the hands of law enforcement is called a patrol rifle, and some may actually be select fire assault rifles.

        It’s almost as if the words are being chosen to deliberately mislead people so that they react with emotion instead of reason.

    5. NYC gun owner


      If the Las Vegas shooter used an Ares/FightLite SCR (sport configurable rifle) would that have made the shooter any less dangerous? Link: https://fightlite.com/collections/scr-rifles It has no pistol grip, a classic sporting style shotgun stock, is semi-automatic and shoots the 5.56/.223 round. These are available for sale –all day long– in New York State *and* you can register one NYC. How about the Mini-14 Ranch by Ruger with its folksy wood stock? Link: http://ruger.com/products/mini14RanchRifle/models.html Shoots .223 just like any other AR pattern rifle and also legal in NYC.

      And I don’t understand what being former Army has anything to do with dictating what civilians should have or *need* for their personal defense needs. You signed up and knew your ass was the property of Uncle Sam. I’m a free citizen not beholden to military regulations.

      The Tavor scares you more than the Mini-14 Ranch even though they shoot the same ammunition and can be fired just as fast. You use “assault type” or “assault style” to justify banning certain guns that look scary. Admit you’re really upset about cosmetic differences in guns. It’s a long list of many semi-auto guns that (originally designed for the civilian market) you would have to ban before you reach the nirvana you’re looking for.

    6. NYC gun owner


      I really want to note (after seeing some other comments here) that I typed my comments without any anger, sarcasm or condescension. I had a knot in my stomach when I learned of the event because I knew what the backlash towards law-abiding gun would be.

      1. Ahaz

        No offense taken, I realize this is an emotional topic for some. But I adhere to my original thought. These weapons have no legitimate purpose beyond killing people. Yes, these assault style weapons my not meet the legal definition of an assault weapon. The problems is that they’re easily modifiable into something that can be as effective as an military weapon. It was mentioned earlier that weopns used for personal use were used in war and that some soldiers brought them home. Those are irrelevant arguments. Those are weapons from a different era. Today’s weapons are arguably more dangerous, powerful and more easily attainable on a mass scale. Our liberal gun laws allowed this citizen, and many others, the ability to easily shoot and kill other citizens from great distances. Yes, citizens should be allowed to buy weapons, the 2nd amendment says so. It doesn’t mean we have to be able to have access to every type of weapon. There is nothing wrong with drawing a line.

        1. DaveL

          These weapons have no legitimate purpose beyond killing people.

          And yet we allow our government to have all kinds of guns. Does that mean that there are times when killing people is not only permissible, but desirable, even morally imperative? Yes, yes it does, not only for the state but also for the individual. Hence the protection of the right to own weapons. The 2nd Amendment was never about hunting*.

          *Not that you’re going to find guns that can humanely drop a 1,500lb bull moose with a single shot at 300 yards yet still glance off a human being, of course.

        2. Weebs

          These weapons have no legitimate purpose beyond killing people.

          I own seven AR-15s in various calibers and have enough parts to build a few more. I use them for target shooting and hunting. None of them have been used for killing people.

          I also own a bumpfire stock. It’s a novelty, and a good way to convert money into noise.

    7. Scott Jacobs

      assault type weapon, AR-15, AK-47, Israeli Tavors; all weapons designed for war.

      As were the Colt 1911 and the Beretta 92. You wanna ban those too?

      You’re a liar. No vet that isn’t addled-headed uses the words you used. Instead, they use accurate terminology, not the idiotic buzzwords you did.

      So either provide the Host with a copy of your DD-214, or shove off, m8.

      1. B. McLeod

        My 1917 Colt Army Model revolver was “designed for war.” So were the 1898 Mauser, 1903 Springfield and .303 Lee Enfield (all used in WWI). “Designed for war” is simply not a useful descriptor for this discussion, as it would also extend to the Model 1861 Springfield rifled musket and the old British “Brown Bess” infantry musket.

  12. Jake

    The 2nd Amendment is not an unlimited freedom. In the world today, arms dealers offer a vast range of devices and systems for killing. Somewhere between a pocket knife and an ICBM, there are a bunch of lines that state things like:

    Private citizens may own devices to the left of this line
    Private citizens may carry devices to the left of this line

    Contrary to popular, unoriginal memes the agents of local, state, and federal government entities in the US are quite successful at enforcing these lines.

    At a Federal level, I support moving these lines a couple of ticks further to the left. I don’t believe private citizens should have access to devices which can deal death at the rate we saw yesterday as conveniently as they currently can.

    I suggest this needs to be handled at the Federal level because I also don’t think we should close the borders between cities and/or states, which is an effective alternative to federal regulation ensuring the weapon system someone purchased in a more permissive state doesn’t end up in a less permissive one.

    1. Scott Jacobs

      I don’t believe private citizens should have access to devices which can deal death at the rate we saw yesterday as conveniently as they currently can.



      They already can’t, absent an extremely lengthy process that includes a very detailed background check by the federal government. They look at you closer than they do if you join the military, and they just HAND YOU the assault rifle in the military.

      So what’s your next brilliant suggestion, chief?

  13. PseudonymousKid

    There’s no good solution as long as the Second Amendment is around. One for all and all for one. Let’s keep the Second if it means we get to keep the others too.

    Making gun ownership a right was short-sighted, but there’s little to do now, but sing of the arms and of the man. I don’t see a solution, but there’s lots of smarter people around.

    1. Edward

      The right to bear arms is inalienable. Even if it wasn’t enumerated in the U.S. Constitution it would still be a right. It would fall under Amendment 9 of the U.S. Constitution. And many of the state constitutions have a right to bear arms enumerated in them as well.

      [Ed. Note: I post this because Tuesday Talk Rules, but otherwise, this would get trashed. Please, PK (and others), please do not jump down this rabbit hole.]

  14. Jim Ryan

    It seems to me that the only way to enact meaningful (whatever that means) Gun Control in the USA is to take back the NRA and make it the Marksmanship and Safety Organization it was before the ““Revolt at Cincinnati” in 1977. There will be no end to the massacres as long as the NRA holds America Hostage.

    I remember the NRA as a Friendly Gun Training and support group, focusing on marksmanship and safety.

    The National Rifle Association was first chartered in the state of New York on November 16, 1871. One of the Founders, George Wood Wingate was also the founder of the PSAL (1903) which is NYC’s Public School Athletics Organization. Midwood High School Field was known as Wingate Field. He thought all young men should learn how to shoot and handle weapons.
    I learned basic NRA sponsored gun safety in High School, we had a Rifle Range as well as a Rifle Team and I think even a Gun Club – All in suburban NY High School (West Islip).
    But then came the “Revolt at Cincinnati”.
    The 1972 Republican platform had supported gun control, with a focus on restricting the sale of “cheap handguns.” I remember the call against “Saturday Night specials”, because they were the problem.
    In 1975 Reagan wrote in Guns & Ammo magazine, “The Second Amendment is clear, or ought to be. It appears to leave little if any leeway for the gun control advocate.”
    By 1980 the GOP platform proclaimed, “We believe the right of citizens to keep and bear arms must be preserved. Accordingly, we oppose federal registration of firearms.”

    More details here:

  15. Chris Ryan

    Is death the price we pay? I think the answer is obvious, yes, its the price we pay for the freedoms we have.

    Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on perspective, we live in what I refer to as the CNN era. Anything, and everything, that can attract eyeballs is splashed in our faces until the next event takes over. To use automobiles as an example, the latest report shows about 96 people die per day (2015) in car accidents, yet that isn’t on the news, why? No one cars about one person dying in a crash. Now if a family is wiped out by a drunk driving on the wrong side of the road, that is news…for a day.

    Reasonable regulations should exist, a quick review of the last guns talk here on SJ showed a lot of agreement on what could be done. Unfortunately, finding reasonable people in Washington DC’s halls of power isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

  16. Adam

    Pro-gun guy here. I’d be willing to support a repeal-and-replace of the second amendment that clarifies what rights, precisely, are protected. But until then, I’m opposed to arms restrictions of any kind; private icbm ownership should be legal.

  17. DHMCarver

    I think the problem has as much to do with the culture of violence of this country than any regulation, or lack thereof. And how the hell you change that, I don’t know. To go to a likely controversial source in the SJ universe, the most interesting part of Michael Moore’s “Bowling for Columbine” was when he compared Canada and the US, and asked why Canada, which has equivalent gun ownership levels as the US, has far fewer murders and other violent crime. He did not have an answer to that question, but it has preyed on my mind for years.

    It is curious that though overall gun ownership in the US is down, the average of guns owned by gun owning people is up, and gun sales are up. Yet despite the drop in overall gun ownership, mass killings are increasing. These facts do not square with any of the arguments for or against the present interpretations of the 2nd Amendment.

    I grew up in a rather typical Southern household, lots of guns the norm, shooting one a rite of passage to manhood, etc. It was not until after I had lived in Europe for seven years as an adult that I came to realize how obsessed with guns and enamored of violence the US was. Until that fascination shifts, the deaths by guns will continue. But no one wants to talk about the culture, they only want to talk about the objects (the weapons).

    1. Mike

      People try to talk about the culture, but that ultimately ends up being a shouting match on who you can blame the easiest. There is a reason that LaPierre went after violent video games after Sandy Hook. There is no evidence for correlation, but video games are the easy spot to punch down.

      And mass killings aren’t necessarily increasing in frequency, but perhaps more deaths per occurrence. It’s tough because definitions get skewed and can sway numbers up or down.

    2. B. McLeod

      I agree there is a cultural problem here, because this is a regular kind of happening now, and didn’t use to be. I share the observation as well that there is no indication what we would do about that.

      1. david

        Access. On the latest data (from the same time period for consistency; 2015), the homicide rate, per 100 000 people, was 4.9 in the US; 1 in Oz, .9 in New Zealand, and .9 in the UK, and 1.68 in Canada.
        In Oz, gun-related homicide came in 3rd, behind knives and beating.
        In both Oz and Canada, there are widespread issues with the Aboriginial populations, and they are disproportionately represented in the stats in those countries because of rampant alcholism and substance abuse; but I’m leaving them in.

        Since 1996, when Australia passed its gun control laws, there have been zero mass shootings. That mass shooting was with a legally obtained semi-automatic weapon, although the killer also had a rifle and a shotgun.

        In the UK, they passed their version of gun control laws after the Dunblane massacre, also in 1996. That was one guy in a school, with four pistols and 700 rounds of ammunition. All his guns were legal. After this, the UK have had one mass shooting, which was one guy driving around in his own taxi with a shotgun and a rifle randomly shooting people. I agree this shooting would not have been stopped by banning assault-type weapons.

        In NZ, they passed their gun control laws after a mass shooting in 1990; the killer used several guns, including a variant of an AK-47. All his guns were obtained legally. They have had no mass shootings since.

        Canada has no mass shootings; I have arbitrarily decided the score for a mass shooting is 10 deaths. In Canada, semi-auto weapons are legal, but the magazine is meant to be limited to 5 rounds. On my reading, legal weapons don’t need to be registered.

        So, in the countries that have very strict gun control, the homicide rate is around 1, and since their gun control laws have been passed (1996), there has been one mass shooting, which was done with legally obtained weapons.

        Canada has a slighlty higher homicide rate, but has legal semi-auto weapons but magazine limits to 5 bullets. Canada has no mass shootings.

        And the US, is the US.
        All these countries are Western; and all have similar cultures (except Quebec).
        Correlation is not causation; but you have to admit there is definitely something there.

        1. B. McLeod

          Except the access here hasn’t changed, so “access” can’t explain the cultural change.

          1. david

            You’re looking at it the wrong way around. If they don’t have access, the culture doesn’t matter.
            In Oz / NZ / UK, if I conveniently ignore the one recent UK mass shooting, when the access changed (gun laws) mass shootings stopped.

            The US culture is changing; your access to guns if anything is increasing . . .

            1. B. McLeod

              There didn’t use to be background checks, now there are background checks. FFLs used to be widely available to hobbyists, now they cost an ass load of money and there have to be real business premises. Access to firearms has become increasingly restricted, notwithstanding the large numbers manufactured and sold.

            2. that david from oz

              Wonderful. Yet the number of mass-shootings continue.
              This POS had all his guns legally, and presumably passed all the background checks.
              At least admit that all the 2nd Amendment arguments about toppling a repressive government are fantasy. In the low-technology days of single shot muskets and cavalry charges it’s entirely possible that a citizen uprising would be effective; that’s how the US started.

              These days, unless you manage to convince a significant proportion of the standing armed forces to get involved, the “citizens militia” won’t last 30min. And if the Army revolts, that’s no longer a situation the 2A covers.

              Just admit it, you guys love guns and death, and are happy for 1000’s of your fellow citizens to die so you can defend a no-longer relevant legal point.

              I really don’t think Americans realise just how stupid the US looks to the rest of the world over this issue, and seriously hampers your otherwise highly desirable program of spreading democracy and Western values.

            3. B. McLeod

              So, the measures that have increasingly limited access to guns had no effect in this case. Because the shooter had no record of any issues disqualifying him from firearms purchases.

            4. that david from oz

              At risk of coming across as boorish, you are perhaps deliberately misconstruing my point.
              I agree that your current gun control measures failed, because up until he fired the first shot, there was nothing to disqualify him under your current laws.
              Even if I avoid using words tbat would most 2A absolutists running for a safe space and a Desert Eagle to cuddle, it is self-evident to anyone who isn’t an American that access is the issue.
              No access, no issue.
              I’m not going to insult your intelligence by again quoting all the recent research showing effective gun control does hugely reduce mass shootings, suicide and murders, because you already know it’s out there. Why else is the NRA so desperate to prevent the CDC researching it?
              Don’t insult mine by pretending the 2nd Amendment has had any actual relevance in probably the last 150 years, as opposed to when your Constitution was written.

            5. B. McLeod

              I am rather pointing out that your “point” is not supported by facts, including the facts you cite (which show that access restrictions have not prevented incidents like Las Vegas).

              You don’t seem to understand the word “relevance” either, as it is evident the Second Amendment has had great relevance since the Heller case, and in fact stands in the way of those who advocate total bans.

            6. that david from Oz

              It seems pointless to continue this as you keep deliberately misconstruing what I am saying. Perhaps the problem is your starting point is the 2nd Amendment has been handed down by Dog, can’t be changed, and gosh darn it you’ll have to prise my semi-auto with a bump-stock from my cold dead hands (my three year old shot me, you see, I left my 13-shot semi-auto Glock pistol out last night by mistake) before I’ll consider any changes to the 2A.

              I’ll try one last time.

              By “access”, I mean no semi-auto, or auto, or anything capable of mass rates of fire (sure, we can argue about this means, but just go with it for arguments sake) for anyone, ever, at all, outside of the official armed forces (for arguments sake, lets include the police, national guard, and “official contractors” working outside the US).
              No guns – vastly reduced mass shootings. Google it all you want, its real, established, and accepted everywhere (except in the US, home and world champion of the mass shooting).
              The 2nd Amendment? Scrap it. Its served its purpose. Heller doesn’t mean anything, if the 2nd Amendment gets AMENDED by your legislature.
              Difficult? Absolutely. Impossible? Probably. Reading on multiple blogs as I do, the common consensus among the majority of gun owners seems to be as long as I get to have my guns, I don’t care how many get killed because its my right, as per the 2A, to have as many guns as I want, in case I have to rise up against the gubmint. Yeah. ‘murica! That is just retarded.
              But hey, as you yourself have admitted on multiple occasions, your current laws DON’T WORK. Its intellecutally dishonest to say anything else.

            7. Lee

              You mean you want us to be like France, where there were four mass shootings in 2015, all with automatic weapons?

              You probably don’t realize that the Las Vegas shootings only ranked 14th in the world for mass shootings since 1970? Or that there were roughly the same number (26 vs. 29) of mass shootings in Europe as in the US during the 8 years of the Obama presidency? (Dammit, wish I could post links!).

              And seriously, would ANY amount of gun control have stopped a multi-millionaire who spent year preparing (per the Clark County Sheriff)?

              I think not.

            8. Adam

              A revolution doesn’t have to achieve its aims by direct military might to win. If the populace is armed, the miliary will not be able to operate in an unrestricted, legitimate-looking sense and will be forced to do ugly-looking things like bombing cities if they want tactical victory, which would likely lead to strategic defeat in the hearts and minds sense. Think vietnam. We didnt leave because we couldnt kill every last man, woman and child there, we left because killing every last man, woman and child was the only option left.

            9. that david from oz

              Do you not know your own history?
              You didn’t lose; you gave up because you had a mostly conscript army who with some very noticeable exceptions were probably more dangerous to each other than the enemy; there was no support for the war (as opposed to the soldiers) at home, and the bulk of your politicians were concerned they were going to get kicked out on their arse. Pulling out was a face-saving exercise; you guys had lost the war probably before you even went in.

              It is of course more complex than that, but don’t pretend that your loss in Vietnam to a highly skilled guerilla force operating in their own terrain, wholly committed to the war in a way no Western nation has ever been (Israel the notable exception; love you guys) since WWII, can in any way legitimise the 2A in any form since perhaps the early 1800’s.

        1. B. McLeod

          Whether or not it should, it’s “the actions of one” that frequently cause new laws to be introduced. Especially laws that are named after a victim, in the “so-and-so’s-law” tradition.

          1. PseudonymousKid

            Should is the main part. You’re on the path to hell with your narrowly tailored evidence based solutions. What’s damned is this so called principle I keep hearing about.

            Don’t punt. Uh, please. Cause you know. It’s all a game.

        1. B. McLeod

          I don’t believe such a method of diagnosis is recognized by any medical or psychiatric standard.

  18. Matthew S Wideman

    I am a liberal and an avid gun owner (I know it’s an oxymoron). I own several AR15 rifles and pistols and I still voted for Hillary. I live adjacent to a rough part of town, and I own property in some of the roughest areas in St. Louis City. Last week a guy who works for me got his house shot 30 times. He asked for an advance on his pay to buy a Glock and a video camera. I don’t think a lot of these liberals live in an area where the police say, “we are too busy to take your call”. I don’t want to let someone impose their will on me or members of my family without me being able to defend myself.

    When I am at parties and I am challenged on the liberal herasy of owning a gun (second only to naked racism and Trump support). I always say, change the Constitution with an amendment. We have done it in the past, and we could do it again. I read some of the proposed regulations in the comments. I don’t think those would actually stop anyone who is crazy enough to start a mass killing. Obtaining a gun is a very regulated process, and it comes with a serious background check. I have seen many people at my local gun store be turned down trying to buy one. I know a lot of people who have more than 20+ fire arms, but none of them have a machine gun. They are very expensive and rare to obtain.

    The holes I see as a gun owner. Are unregulated peer to peer state sales and gun shows. Which to me seem pretty obvious to try to control. The DA’s could also impose a no lesser crimes plea agreement rule for crimes that involve firearms.

    Just My Two Cents.

    1. B. McLeod

      Again, as we look at the incident sparking the discussion, it appears Paddock passed a plethora of background checks, and so far, there is no indication any of his guns were purchased at gun shows or in private resales not subject to checks. As far as sentencing enhancements, what would he care? If the shooter doesn’t survive to be arrested, sentences are irrelevant.

    2. that david from Oz

      And no-one commented on the fact that as a citizen in a highly-developed, first world Western power, a bastion of the liberal democratic tradition, probably the only superpower left, you feel you have no alternative but to go armed in a major US city to make it through the day safely.

      Shame, America, shame.

      This is my last comment, I promise, you guys are just too depressing; too hung up on your “rights” to accept that the 2nd Amendement has been pointless for about the last 200 years, and the direct cause of death of thousands of your fellow citizens.

      1. B. McLeod

        The founders could have provided for amendments to be repealed when foreigners deem them “pointless,” but they did not. Amendments persist until they are modified or repealed by later amendments.

  19. Mike G.

    Are unregulated peer to peer state sales and gun shows. Which to me seem pretty obvious to try to control.

    Unless you’re talking about peer to peer sales in the parking lot of gun shows, there is no gun show loophole. Inside the premises, you have to fill out the same forms and do the same background check as you would at your local gun shop.

        1. Richard Kopf


          I watched. It makes me want to shake my head back and forth, roll my eyes, and sigh in undisguised disgust.

          Now you’ve done it. I am going to get fat. You are a cruel person.

          All the best.


        2. wilbur

          Wilbur liked the Al Gore music.

          When I first heard this slaughter occurred at a country music festival, my first thought was of jazz drummer Buddy Rich, all-time King of the country music haters. For example, Buddy got rushed to an ER one night and when the nurse asked him if he was allergic to anything he croaked “Country and western music”. But Mister Rich has an alibi: he’s been dead for a good many years.

          The debate above has been interesting.

  20. John Barlycorn.

    Kids who are allowed to drive tractors to school once a year don’t need no stinking bump-stocks to have fun.

    Tractors for everyone…..


    P.S. Your gun guys crack me up.

    P.S.S. The clicking required via this new captcha system of yours might benefit from a bump-mouse though. But even then, I do don’t think it would be any fun? Do you think I should get me a bump-mouse anyway though for my own protection from captchas? Those captcha critters are getting smarter you know… and once they figure out their place in the universe a few of them bound to snap.

  21. JohnM

    It’s an interesting question, but I think the regulation “cat” is well out of the bag at this point. Gun ownership by US citizens is more ubiquitous then car ownership.

    Even as a thought exercise, I can’t imagine any regulation, no matter how far skewed left or right, any amendment to the Constitution, nor even a declaration of martial law by the Federal government followed by a house by house search and confiscation of all firearms putting a serious dent in what’s already “on the street”.

    What regulation could un-ring the ownership bell? Even without another gun made in America, we have ~300 million of them in private citizen’s hands today. That doesn’t include the millions in Federal hands, or in other countries (that could sneak them in at will).

    Even if everyone turned in their weapons, then what? Vehicles become the new mass murder tool (re:Europe). Or various household chemicals that everyone has (you know the ones) – the one’s that tell you on the label never to mix because it creates a poisonous gas that kills you and everyone around you.

    You cannot regulate away all the interesting chemical combinations the universe has made available to us and be able to live. Even water is dangerous – The Hindenburg went *boom* because of a certain element easily extracted from water. The other element in water can also incredibly dangerous and can make and accelerate some very large booms. Hell, any idiot can make poison gas with beans.

    Water. Beans. Each of them starter ingredients to easily made weapons of mass murder. Think about that for a second.

    At the end of the day, you cannot regulate away the will to commit evil, the lack of moral fiber, the cowardliness of bad people. This isn’t a new problem either – we’ve had easy methods for private citizens to kill each other off in large numbers for many generations now (Remember, remember, the fifth of November…).

    However, for the most part, we haven’t been killing each other off with guns, cars, fertilizer, and beans at an alarming rate. Until recently. What has changed in American culture in the last generation or two?

    Maybe that’s the question we need to be asking ourselves.

    SHG – Hope I didn’t get to far afield.

  22. Pedantic Grammar Police

    This is another of those made-up hot-button issues. Sure, the PTB would love to take our guns, but will they be able to? No, they will not. Politicians on both sides of the aisle know this, but they pander to their respective audiences (we’ll make you safe | we’ll stop them from taking your guns). Nothing will change. This is America. We have been gun-toting motherfuckers since day 1, and we always will be, regardless of what some pantywaist east/west coast liberals delude themselves into thinking. The politicians will tinker around the margins with bans of this or that gun or gun part and pretend like they are accomplishing something, and maybe local liberal politicians will take away more guns from their own constituents, but permissive states will remain so. This of course enables the old “Well (we couldn’t get it done this time | we stopped them this time but they’re still at it) so you have to elect us again so we can finish the job” scam. Bipartisanship at its best.

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